1 Cor. 7:1-17

June 30, 2006

Okay, if you’ve done this correctly, you’ve read an introduction from Reality and Redemption. Then you went over to Unsolicited Advice for a bit of a Bible study. Now you’re here for a bit of personal commentary and discussion based on that scripture.


For people who have been reading me, it seems like this scripture would be a major tool get Arwyn to fly straight. As a Christian, it is her obligation and duty to follow and observe such scriptural teachings, right? I should be clubbing her over the head with this, night and day and day and night! Right?


Not really. In this same letter in the 13th chapter, Paul is going to give a lesson on love. It is a wonderful bit of scripture that is worth reading. But a better one is written in the 4th chapter of 1st John, where God is love and how love drives out fear. Love is the guiding principle here, and clubbing my wife with any scripture due to my own sense of entitlement is hardly a loving thing to do. It becomes a selfish thing to do.


Alright, I think I’m going to have to name a few names, here. No one get offended.


What so many of us struggle with is having a heart that is either prepared to give of ourselves or prepared to receive. KJ, after 20 years of having sex with her husband, is having a very difficult time maintaining a heart that is willing to give and share. She feels she is entitled to have something her husband has not been giving her. I’m not casting judgment so much on her, because my own story is about not getting something from my wife that I feel entitled to get. I’m merely framing her struggle against this scripture that says we are are supposed to submit to each other. My question about her is; is she struggling hard enough? Reconciling scripture with an affair is no small feat. It’s not enough to say that one sin is as bad as another. I’d like to think that I at least feel kind of bad about my sins. Maybe even repent and quit doing them.


Christian Husband has taken a mighty stab at squaring himself with God’s Will. In the context of 1 Cor. 7, he is trying to make it a truly mutual thing. His wife, OTOH, has been willing to submit to the letter of the law while not being so much in the spirit of it at times. Christian Husband has had to struggle with his own attitude on the matter. I’ve said time and again that I admire his effort. I have also acknowledged his struggle and identify strongly with the nature of it. I think the mistake many people make is equating a stellar sex life with being within God’s Will and a lousy sex life as being outside of His Will. This is akin to the prosperity preachers saying that poor people must be outside of God’s Will because they are not getting the benefits of His blessings. That is simply not true.


The only reason sex and money are important to God is because they are important to us. They are gifts FROM God TO us. We can enjoy them, spurn them, squander them or whatever. But God owns it all. He really does not care whether we have lots of sex or money in the grand scheme of things. They are gifts and they are tools.


I’ve learned that I can be married and not have sex with my wife. I’m presently struggling on learning to be content with that, which is the same exact struggle Christian Husband set out to conquer. It is a road that he does not have to travel for the time being, as long as his wife is open to sharing. His struggle has taken off in a different direction. That’s why I’m reading him, because I think I’m going to see a different version of the struggle coming up in his story as long as he is willing to continue sharing. He may very well be reaping blessings from having sown some good righteousness. He might also not be quite ready for the extended wilderness journey I’ve been traveling. I obviously still have some learning to do out here.


I think FTN, who is somewhat familiar with this struggle, comes fairly close to dealing with it almost constructively. While there is some pain and discomfort that come through from his wife’s lack of reciprocation, he mostly has a sense of humor about it. Or he at least projects humor about it. Sometimes a body just has to laugh. But I don’t think his wife gets the whole “mutual submission” bit any better than Arwyn or Christian Husband’s wife. These three women have a marked lack of interest in either having authority over their man’s body or allowing any authority to be had over their body, as Paul states that we ought to have. To answer FTN’s question, no, I don’t think his wife would care much if he masturbated. In fact, I’d wager Autumn would rather not know at all.


Which is why the chastity cage is a loser for Arwyn. She does not care if I masturbate. She dislikes smoking but not because of what it does to my body but the collateral things like the smell and the mess it leaves in my truck (I’ve never smoked in our house). It’s actual the intimacy derrived from someone caring enough to exert authority over my body that makes the chastity device so appealing. Someone who values and wants my sexuality for herself or for her and ONLY her. That might be an inherent appeal to the whole D/s scene where authority is so explicitly given and taken and exchanged. And along with it, trust.


Hmmm. This isn’t helping do much with my Sunday school lesson. Kinda hard to work in a question for discussion like that: “How does Paul’s view on marital sex lead into the BDSM lifestyle?”





If anyone else wants to discuss or extend this on their own blog, leave a comment and I’ll be happy to add a link here.  FTN extended the concept of “mutual submission” here.



Why am I Still Here?

June 26, 2006

KJ asked me this, and I have to admit that of all people, she is the last one I expected to here this question from.  I have a mind to flip this right back at her.  Go and read her blog and you'll see the irony.  I rather like irony, which is why I read her fairly regularly.


There are so many ways to answer this question.  I'll start with the first and most obvious; the children.  Despite a wide array of disagreement in many areas, we seem to both agree being together for the children is best.  I'm going to qualify that in a minute, though, so don't get your panties in a twist.  I've already heard so many of the counter-arguments, which I will address.


E Mavis Heatherington, John Gottman and Josh Coleman are 3 researchers who have done a ton of research on family discord, conflict, divorce and the effect on child behavioral, cognitive and emotional development.  I've read the research, myself and it is widely available off of any university database.  These researchers also have written a ton of popular books on the subject, if you care to read them.  But the universal truth is that when it comes to the emotional, cognitive and socio-behavioral functioning of children, divorce is bad.  The opposite is not universal, which means that staying together is not always good.  But these instances where some sort of abuse is taking place is the exception rather than the norm.  With Arwyn and I, the kids definitely benefit by having both of us being with them.  We are loving but firm.  Neither of us is abusive and we are generally good and competent parents.  We do not expose them to the conflicts that we have.  At least overtly.  Arwyn and I both have weaknesses that the other compliments and compensates for.  There is no one else the other would entrust our children with.


In Josh Coleman's book, Imperfect Harmony, he concludes the book by describing types of relationships that are beyond revitalization yet not worth breaking the family up over.  That would be the "Co-parenting Friend" relationship and the "Parenting Roommate" relationship.  Co-parenting friends show some hope of revitalization sometimes, but often there are some insurmountable hurdles, like one being gay or one or both getting married for reasons other that romantic intimacy.  In any case, they can enjoy spending time as a family and share some superficial likes, but the deep intimacy just isn't there.  With Roommates, the situation is even more removed with limited time spent together as a couple outside parental duties and events.  There is limited gift giving or sharing of interests outside of involvement with the children.


Arwyn and I are definitely on the roommate track.  Our interests have drifted in different directions and expressions even in areas of commonality.  For instance we both have a keen interest in autism and developmental disabilities, but we have diverged in how we express that.  I'm into the research, the academics, the scientific aspects of it.  Arwyn is totally into the parent networking and connecting on the emotional level with others.  The facts matter less to her than how she feels about it.  The strength of her convictions is independent of any facts or reality.  If I'm less than 100% supportive of some myth or whim (which abound in autism) I am cold, uncaring and not empathetic enough.


THE major area that we had the greatest bit in common, prior to marriage, was the area of our Christian faith.  Again, there has been a divergence between us on that score.  I think Arwyn really wanted to have a strong a vibrant faith, but I was not very good at nurturing that.  I have a deep and rich Christian history with a fairly strong personal theology.  Hers is much more recent, and again, it is based almost entirely on feelings and emotion and circumstances.


Another reason for me staying is, and how about this for irony, is because I do love my wife.  I do love and care for Arwyn in my inner heart of hearts, with a strength that surpasses understanding, reason, circumstance or emotion.  Sometimes I dislike her actions, words and so many things about her.  Sometimes I think she is being stupid.  Sometimes unreasonable.  Sometimes cruel and uncaring.  Sometimes she is selfish and demanding. 


But if I were to leave, I worry about what would become of her.  Would she end up destitute and in public housing, like her mother?  Would she be able to take care of herself, much less the boys?  I am concerned about her and her health. 


In a way, it is more like loving a sibling or a parent or grandparent than a real reciprocal relationship one would expect of a spouse.  We do sort of take care of each other.  If one or the other has car trouble, gets stranded or has a major health crisis, we are the other's  best source of support.


Sex simply does not enter into all this, does it? 


There is some conjecture as to whether I would jump on any opportunity for sex from Arwyn.  Yes, she is quite attractive.  I might, but not under any 'ole circumstance.  The "let's hurry up and get this over with so I can get back to doing laundry" sex ain't going to cut it.  If I asked for a handjob, I would probably get one.  She hasn't often denied a request to use her hands on me, as long as I promise not to take too long.  How enjoyable does that sound to you?


So by not asking for it, I AM sacrificing an opportunity for sex, as loosely and broadly defined by many.  Why am I sacrificing it?  Because by indulging, or expecting or demanding it, I look and feel like a lecherous pervert.  There is no way to take possession of my OR my wife's sexuality that does not make me look like a sick sex maniac.  I can jack off, but I'm going to catch hell for that by a few of my hypocritical evangelical bretheren.  They are hypocritical because they piss and moan about going more than a week without marital sex, and then go on to extol the virtues of giving it all over to God and how they bask in the Heavenly blessings by not masturbating.  Go celibate 4-5 months (outside of health concerns) and then we'll talk about "blessings."


If you think I'm talking about you, I'm not.  I just don't want risk offending anyone who might think they have to defend themselves by naming names.  But if they do, they can defend themselves on their own blog and take offense in their own space.




 Okay, let's address some counter-arguments:


What are your children learning about having a loving relationship?  Aren't you teaching your boys to have dysfunctional relationships just like yours?


Let's see; my parents have been together for 43 years.  They had rough spots and stuck with it.  Arwyn's parents divorced after 15 years, and her dad just got divorced a second time while her mother never remarried.  The question is; what did Arwyn and I learn about relationships from OUR parents?  And how strongly does that carry over?  Fact is, it doesn't hold much water unless there is some serious abuse going on.  Apply your own dysfunctions to your own parents and what you learned.  Either your parents fucked you up or they didn't.  That


You only live once.  Don't you owe it to yourself to live it happily rather than being miserable?


There is some truth to that, but not where you think.  Happiness is less about circumstances than about a state of mind.  That's not to say environment doesn't play a part.  It does.  And it really is up to me to somehow carve out an environment where joy is a part of it.  But I'm not ready to visit misery on my children for it.


So why the hell don't you DO something about it, instead of avoiding or sitting around and just tolerating?


This blog is that story of doing stuff.  It's not a very fast story, unfortunately, but it is a REAL story.  Things move when they move and sometimes when I feel like moving them.  If things are moving too slow, check in less often.


What if you just separated for awhile?  Wouldn't that help gain some perspective?


Funnily enough, I sort of got a taste of that 6 years ago due to job related stuff more than actual relationship turmoil.  I'll have to write about that sometime.  If I move out, I want to be close to the boys and it also will be deliberate with certain conditions.


Any other arguments, I may entertain and address later.  I hope this satisfies for the time being.



When and How Did Digger Lose His Virginity?

June 21, 2006

An email list gone awry is the inspiration for this post, as well as my bloggiversary present to all of you.  Someone seemed to misdirect it towards me, but it wasn't a bad question and ties in with one of my earliest posts here.  Apologies to those who read all this stuff on Sensual Dementia, which would have been 2 years old about now.



In "Dead Ringer" I regaled the tale of woe of my first love.  My virginity was still intact at the end of it, even if my heart was not.  While we did many, many intimate things, including getting naked, sexual intercourse was not part of it for Ellen and I.  I wished she would have been my first.  She was not, but she was there in spirit.


I went back to college after having graduated 1 1/2 years earlier.  In some ways, I felt closer to Ellen there, since it was where she went and where we met and where we spent so much of our time.  I was almost a year out when I kissed her under the Campanile, a tradition I never got to participate in as a student.  But this story is not about Ellen.  It's about the loss of my cherry.


While Ellen and I did not go all the way, my sexual side was ignited.  My need for affection, cuddling, holding, kissing and passion…these all fairly oozed out of me.  As a vampire craves blood, I craved the tender flesh-upon-flesh sensations of being physically melded together as one, even if I was not exactly experienced.


Living off-campus as a 25-soon-to-be-26 year-old student, I was more mature that most of my college peers.  I was taking some lower level science and language courses, which allowed me to observe younger-me clones making the mistakes I made my first 4+ years.  But I was a studious adult student.  I hit the books nonstop 8-6 M-F whether I had class or not.  I knew the world of working 18 hour days, so this was gravy.  My evenings and weekends were mine, mostly.  So what to do?


The community newspaper (not the college one) ran personal ads a couple times a week.  On a lark, I went ahead and filled one out, as meeting women in bars was a place I had outgrown, and I had not yet learned about picking them up at church.  In fact, this was a period where I lived a godless, heathen life as much as I wanted. 


Three women answered my little ad.  I met all 3 of them.  One of them, we went out exactly once.  It was nice and lovely, but there was definitely no chemistry.  She was a grad student in the genetics department and had a sister who was a bit of a celebrity in the state of Iowa.


The second was a total flake.  But we did see each other several times as friends.  Again, there were no sparks coming from her.  Her dad was professor at the university and she was just sort of sponging off of her parents.


The third was the one.  Missy did not have a degree, but worked in the university library.  She also had a 2 year-old little boy.  She was upfront about that, and I was more than fine with that.  I was going through a stage where I was really wanting to have babies and kids.  Or at least I thought so at the time.  Our first date nearly didn't happen, as we arranged to meet at a Godfather's Pizza joint.  What neither Missy or I knew was that it was closed.


So, I tried calling her, and reached her sister who was babysitting for her.  The year was 1989, well before cell phones, so we were using these archaic things called pay phones that used to actually be pretty common.    So Missy's sister ended up coordinating us to a Pizza Hut located in the same area as the ill-fated Godfather's.  


Missy had warned me that she had gained some weight and was quite heavy.  However, I did not see this as a big deal.  I wasn't heavy at the time, but I did have this ugly thing going on.  However, Missy sort of sized me up and decided I wasn't too bad.  I suppose that was how I saw her, too.  She was not morbidly obese, just a woman who had a young child and hadn't lost the pregnancy weight.  She also had long red hair.  We had our pizza and shared a pitcher of coke or something and then we went to a bar that had a bunch of pool tables.  I'm not very good at playing pool, but Missy was even worse.  At least we got our money's worth!  We had a couple of beers, and while playing pool, I had a chance to really check her out.  I liked her, and it was obvious that she was nervous and trying to make a good impression for me.  It was an okay date.  We might have ended with a hug, and that was that.  No one would ever guess that there was chemistry brewing.


I did call her a day or so later and we talked quite awhile on the phone.  We actually did arrange a second date, meeting at a hockey game.  More beer was consumed there, and there was a lot more flirty hugging-holding type stuff going on.  No kissing at this point, though.  I agreed to meet her back at her place after the game and after I picked up my VCR and a couple of movies. 


Her son was in bed asleep when we got there, and I met her sister who promptly left.  So we lay upon the couch and snuggled and sort of watched the movie.  Actually we didn't watch it at all.  We were making out and kissing pretty much the entire time.  Things got hot and out of hand.  Really hot.  No, I mean hot as is in sweaty hot.  My body really did get into a sort of overheated state and there was no way I was going to get and stay hard.  So there was some frustrated tension, there.  I went home from the second date, still a virgin.


But there were other dates.  Quite a number of these were booty calls, because I somehow learned the fine art of giving Missy handgasms.  That was SO awesome, and I enjoyed making her come over and over until she couldn't stand it anymore.  But I was still pretty much a virgin.  We were naked and intimate, but it wasn't until I spent an entire night with her that the early morning wood kicked in, and I was able to easily slip inside of Missy.  I was good to go, but didn't come inside of her the first time.  I don't know why, I just didn't.


This story does have a tragic ending.  Or tragic to me, at least.  Every time I came over to Missy's house, I had condoms in my pocket.  Every time.  But I never once used them, and she never made an issue out of it.  In 1989, AIDS was well known, but still it was considered a gay thing.  But there were still all sorts of other things out there.  Not the least of which was pregnancy.


One night I got a real booty call.  Missy and her sister had gone to see some male strippers, and she asked if I'd come over.  The girl was positively smokin' passion when I got there as she fairly threw her sister out the door.  She had a mini skirt on and no panties and she positively ATTACKED me!  Clothes went flying, except for the mini which just got pushed up.  It was so hott.  I mounted up and she was so wet, I easily pushed right in.  Missy was just so totally into me that night.  I came inside of her and she held me right there, hands on my butt, feeling every spasm and pulse and throb.  How I loved having my butt held.  How I miss that.


   I felt a bit guilty about the condoms in my pocket, but this being the first time coming inside of her…I made a mental note to be more careful next time.


However there really wasn't a next time.  I went several hours away for Christmas break and then when I came back, she didn't really want to see me.  She was terse and brief with me on the phone.  I wasn't too good about keeping in touch over break, although I did come down once and talked to her on the phone.  She said she was really sick and didn't want to talk to anyone.


The next time I saw her at a hockey game, she was more reserved.  She did finally invite me to her house to talk afterwards.  There would be no more sexual foolishness, though.  Missy dropped the bomb that she had gotten pregnant from the one time and had gotten an abortion.  I was devastated.


Keep in mind, I was at a place where I thought I wanted babies and kids.  Wanted them really badly!  And I was absolutely opposed to abortion being my fundamental/evangelical (and terribly sinful) hypocritical self.  But I couldn't be too upset with Missy.  Already a single parent, the prospect of having another one was not something she looked forward to.  She simply did not want to bother with the whole pregnancy bit, despite the fact that I had voiced a willingness to take care babies and kids.  I would have gone it alone or at least tried.  But the fact is, I had no idea what I was thinking.  I wasn't thinking, which was the problem. 


In the end, Missy said that she really enjoyed the sex that we had.  The handgasms I gave her were her first ever orgasms, and she really liked them.  But Missy and I had very little in common outside of her bedroom.  In fact, I can't really think of anything.  We had nothing in common politically, spiritually or educationally.  Missy was a nice, handy piece of ass.  Subconsciously, I was avenging my non-loss of virginity with Ellen.  I picked someone as totally unlike her as I could find, and had a fling lasting less than 3 months.


I never told Missy that she was my first.  I was probably only her second after her baby-daddy, and nearly became one myself.  I doubt she really suspected, or maybe didn't care once I started getting her off multiple times.


So much for the loss of my virginity just a few weeks after my 26th birthday.  I was glad to be shed of my cherry, but really had so much more to learn about sex.  Missy and I never had a whole lot of practice, so I never had a chance to get any good at it.  In fact, it would be another year before I would find a partner who would truly educate me in the erotic arts.


The whole abortion thing still bothers me, sometimes, but it was not enough to traumatize me against sex by any stretch.  In fact, I was determined to make up for lost time.  In 1990, there would be 4 new partners making it my most promiscuous year ever.


Happy Bloggiversary




Thoughts on WordPress

June 18, 2006



Okay, so anyone who is following along can see that the two R&R Blogs are similar, but are not exactly the same.  Sometimes they are, but I'm putting more original content here. 


FTN asked how I liked WordPress.  I've actually been using it for a different sort of blog since January and it has served me very well.  If you look over at my side bar, you can see just a very basic set up.  There are a few other options for organizing things, but what you're seeing is a basic default.  WordPress includes as a basic package what Blogger includes as extras.  For instance, you might notice that I have categories for various posts.  When setting up categories, WordPress has its own categories or you can make your own.  If I set up a "blogging" category, and click on the category link you can read all of my other posts about blogging.  But you can also read what others are writing about blogging.  So setting up various tags can help others search for specific entries.  Try the "chastity" category and see where it takes you!


In this way, WordPress has become quite a cozy little community with people borrowing various tags and categories.  Trackbacking is used more extensively in the WordPress universe.  If another WordPress user links to a post of mine, I'm going to know it right away as it shows up and is treated as a comment on my own blog.  WordPress comes with its own statistical suite for keeping track of traffic.  Again, you'll know if someone is linking to you as you see referring pages, referring search terms and popular posts.  It's not as extensive as the stat counter most use with Blogger but it is a nice basic feature that most will appreciate.


WordPress is a newbie's dream, offering sophisticated tools with a very easy interface.  It has a very clean' fresh and friendly look and feel to it.  For those of us who are not enamored with HTML or any other coding, it is just the thing.  Editing the blogroll, posts and categories is an intuitive snap.  The price for all this friendly convenience is not being able to add things like polls, new templates and buttons on your own.  But if you are really into advanced tweaking, you might want to join the WordPress development team in improving it.


I'm unsure of Blogger's status as an open source application due to its association with Google.  However, WordPress has no such association to muddy the waters.


The primary reason I availed myself of WordPress for R&R was because I wanted to backup my blog.  Being the noobie knob that I am, I have no idea how to back stuff up off of Blogger.  However, WordPress has this nifty importer that allowed the transfer of my entire Blogger account, including comments, over to WordPress.  And it worked very nicely.  Archiving things from here won't be so easy, as I know of no exporter utility.  WordPress suggests using RSS to back up posts and comments.  And that is one way of doing it.  In fact, for most of you on my blogroll  as well as several others I read, I do have many of your posts archived on my own machine.  If disaster strikes, check with me and I might be able to help you partially restore your content.


I highly recommend WordPress as a primary blogging address, especially for newer folks.  I also highly recommend it as a back-up option for those who so highly value their blogger posts and comments.  As for those contemplating a switch from Blogger, I recommend doing what it is that I'm doing.  Try running both side-by-side for awhile.  There are reasons to hold on to that Blogger account.


One is just the history, which for many runs over a period of years.  Not everyone is going to be keen to resetting their links, blogrolls and favorites lists.  Another reason is just the way Blogger works, and its dominance among bloggers.  One reason Ive struggled with how to handle comments is that WordPress users can not comment on Blogger blogs that won't accept anonymous comments.  Moderation is one way of working around this, but it has its own drawbacks.  WordPress has similar issues when it comes to dealing with comments, however it is easier dealing with those in large batches.  And both outfits have had to work around spamming and spammers, unfortunately.  I suspect I'll have to learn how to deal with that more as traffic increases.  However, barriers still exist as far as WordPress users interacting with Blogger users.


One more note about WordPress; if you have your own domain, you can downlaod the software and then have all of the bells, whistles and buttons that the free wordpress.com site doesn't offer.  It's still an evolving place and is getting better all the time.




Changes Changes

June 17, 2006

I feel like I am going through a series of changes around here. Some big and some not so big. First off, is the gradual migration to my WordPress account from blogger. I see reading everyone else that I'm not the only one having fits and starts with blogger. It's nothing personal, and I really have liked blogger and many aspects of it. WordPress sacrifices some of the flexibility for ease of use. But there is also some reliability issues that blogger has that WordPress has less of. I'm still using both blogs as the mood strikes me, but eventually see just doing the full migration. WordPress makes it very easy to move from Blogger, and brings over links and comments as well!


And then there is the impending migration from Windows to Linux. My machine has some serious kernel hooks robbing it of CPU power. I had to do a complete reinstall last year because of a bad motherboard and swore I wasn't going to be taken like that again. It takes hours and hours to do a complete Windows install, complete with service pack updates and then downloading even more updates. I took it to a PC repair shop and they kept the machine for over a week and cost over $150. And then to reinstall all my old stuff was additional time. What a pain! Windows will always vulnerable to attacks and security flaws. Linux and MAC OSs are also vulnerable, but are much less likely since the programming is different enough as to not make it worth a hacker's while. At least for the moment. Plus, most Linux OSs are free or near free. My Ubuntu disks are on order, so it's just a matter of time.


I'm also interviewing for a possible job change. This will involve a bit more money, but also involve more responsibility as well. It's just one more in a series of adjustments coming down the pike.


Funny thing about these changes; nothing is really pushing these other than a drive for something better. I'm not being laid off or fired. I just saw an opening and applied. My computer is lame, but not dead. I just happen to know and have tried out some different operating systems that can make most of my hardware good, again. And Blogger is a pain, but most of you all are sticking with it. I began my migration to WordPress back in March.


I'm clearly more comfortable with certain types of change than some of you. Most of you are still using the IE browser, which is THE gateway for 99% of all worms, viruses, hooks and malware in existence. Almost every problem Microsoft has ever had can be traced to their web browser and the way it is integrated with their operating system. The hooks working on my system are forever trying to work through Explorer and have crippled it beyond use, and continually drain the CPU. Arwyn and I were both unknowingly surfing bareback for about a week after our virus protection expired so that's probably when we picked up these varmints. And they are buried deep within the operating system, right next to where the virus protection hooks are. I can detect them, but I can't get rid of them without redoing the operating system.


Blogger does offer flexibility that WordPress does not at the present time. However what is offered in the basic, free version is beyond impressive. Managing posts, comments, blogroll, categories and statistics is a snap. Extras like buttons, polls and invisible trackers are not so readily available and templates are bit less flexible and variable.


WordPress, Mozilla and Linux all have one thing in common besides being free: They are Open Source, meaning that if you are into programming, you can get the source code and do with it as you wish according to your own purposes without violating copyright laws. There is no pirating or stealing open source because it's free! If I download Open Office 2.0, I do not have to call in to the Mother Ship in order to activiate it. None of the features will expire, forcing me to upgrade. Crashes are actually unexpected and rare. The cost of MS Office for a student runs about $100. Open Office is free. The XP OS can be had for around $100 if you shop around. I just ordered 5 Ubuntu copies for free. That includes shipping. You can download most Linux OSs for free.


My computer performance is decaying. So is yours. It is not a matter of IF the thing crashes, but WHEN. Will you be ready? Having a spare operating system might come in mighty handy along with the loads of productivity software these usually come bundled with. A live CD from Mepis, Ubuntu or Knoppix might actually help save data files after a system crash.


I've begun preparing for my inevitable crash:


A. Backing up all data to rremovable media and a second drive. Flash media is becoming dirt cheap and could be just the thing for moving large files, especially music folders and video files. Your ipod can be used as emergency storage as can digital cameras. I've done this using a Linux live CD, and the Linux sees the device as another hard drive-like storage device. Linux also enabled me to move a slew of files over on to regular DVD-R disks, which Windows severely balked at. Since I was using the live CD, I did not physically install Linux, I was just using it to burn files on my second drive.


B. Make an emergency disk of MS compatible applications. You probably have disks of many applications you use, but what about those you've downloaded? And then there are the activation codes that might have been emailed separately. All of the install files and codes should be backed up on an application disk. My top applications:

1. Antivirus software – I have a university version paid for through my payment of numerous fees. I have the installer on this application CD. If I decide to reinstall Windows, I have a matter of minutes of going bareback on the internet before getting zapped.

2. AdWare – need something to defend against malware.

3. Zone Alarm – More defense against invaders. Of course, switching to Linux makes none of this necessary, but this is a disk for restoring a Windows machine.

4. Firefox – I'm also including all my bookmarks which I have recently backed up.

5. Thunderbird – If you haven't tried this alternative to Outlook, you are missing out. I read most of your blogs using Thunderbird's RSS feed feature.

6. Foxit Reader – This is not open source and not affiliated with Mozilla. But it is a neat alternative to Acrobat Reader, which is a resource hog. Foxit is small, nimble and quick pdf reader. You will still need reader Acrobat to print many documents, though. So add that to your list.

7. Open Office – You may end up like I did by having Microsoft greeting a second installation of Office with suspicion, requiring a call to their corporate office to beg for permission to activate the software you paid good money for. Time consuming and humiliating. At least with this, you can still read and write office documents plus save them in the pdf format.

8. CDex CD ripping software

9. Everest Home Edition : this nifty program allows a person to identify all of the components in their computer, including chipsets, various cards and displays. This can be very important when looking for replacement parts and drivers.

10. Drivers – oh yeah. Keep all downloaded drivers in a special folder and make that a part of the back-up plan.


C. Clear space on the primary hard drive: that means erasing stuff. If you do need the services of your technician, how much of your personal stuff does this technician have to know?


Probably so much more than you wanted to know about this, but I have had blogging block, lately, in addition to the same sickly crud Cinnamon had. YUCK!



Simmer Down

June 8, 2006

 Of course blogger is being the shit, so I'll just post this here.  This was originallt supposed to be in the comments section (see link below) of my blogger site.


One thing about our poor-ness is Arwyn and I both have a keen understanding that divorce is not even a tenable option at this point.


We are in a stalemate, relationship-wise.  Counseling may move things along, one way or another, but I'm not going to impoverish my family for it.  True, divorce is a leading cause of impoverishment, but we're not going there, either.


All that stuff bccc mentioned in the comments?  We have none of it.  Well, antennae basic cable for $12.95/month, which the cable guy mistakenly gave us the full upgrade.  But there is no panic, here.  While I do piss and moan about stuff, it is still not the crisis y'all want to make it. 


Nothing like a funeral to sort of drive that home.


No, obvious, sometimes people seem to do stuff for no rhyme or reason. And much of this blog has been spent trying to noodle that out and deal with it.


But I do intend to do the counseling with or without her.