Friday, August 22, 2008

A Conflict of Value

As most of those who know me know, I am a big fan of Open Source software. I love the idea of free software and esp enjoy that it'll always be free. Who wants to make huge software companies filthy rich off my dime. Besides the upgrade costs to maintain software can get expensive.

Along this thinking, I have installed OpenSource or free utilities on my home computer and laptop. I haven't done so at the church mainly because while OpenSource makes one feel like an Apple artsy/fartsy Matrix-like Neo, it does have its disadvantages. Some of those disadvantages can be troublesome to those who cannot finese their way through various menus or have compatability issues between OpenSource programs.

Mostly for me its a financial thing: buying really good software is expensive. And so, here is my challenge for today. Microsoft just released its new discount for students for its Office Ultiminate Suite, which has almost every product the offer for only $59. Normally the cost would be around $800!!

You know, Microsoft software, its Word, Outlook, Powerpoint, One Note, Publisher... all of it is really nice and workable. To stay with OpenSource stuff can be a pain because, well, it doesn't run as nice or as smooth. Simply put, Microsoft is better software.

Here's the deal, check it out and let me know what you think. Are you challenged by it too?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

20/20 Segment on PDA

Being in an openly gay relationship as Jay and I are in, we are careful about how we display our affection--and certainly how we do so in public. Having both moved from NYC, we realize that attitudes are different in New Jersey. Although we live in a very progressive and liberal state, we are mindful that not everyone has the same values and 'live and let live' mentality as those in Manhattan.

So when we're out shopping, going to the movies, or walking Maggie, we're careful not to present ourselves in a way that might warrant negative or hostile reactions. Sure, I am confident that most in NJ are open-minded and peaceful. But it isn't the majority that worries us, but rather the minority of close-minded bigots that carry bats and guns in their pickup trucks. It can be frightening to think about such things so we don't think about it too much while remaining careful how much affection we display in public.

One time not long ago we were shopping at Wal-Mart. While not displaying any PDA, I am thinking we were talking in hushed tones, looking at items pondering whether to buy one thing or another. Such aside displays of affection did not go unnoticed. While checking out, the man behind the register said to us in hushed tones himself, "You two are family, right?" By this he meant that he too was gay but was keeping things on the 'down low'. I supposed to those who are looking, they can see. To those who aren't, perhaps they don't see.

A while back, 20/20 did a television segment on Public Displays of Affection between straight, gay men, and lesbians. All were actors being videoed by the film crews at 20/20. Below is the segment aired on 20/20. You may be surprised at the woman who called 911 upon seeing two men kiss on a park bench. But then, maybe you won't be. Still, it's an interesting video and worth all the conversation about public displays of affection.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Forgetting an Email Attachment has a great post today about adding a script to your Outlook email program (this won't work if you use Outlook Express) or Gmail account. The script looks for words in an email you've typed to include words like "attach" or "attachment" and then checks to see if you actually attached anything to your email. If you forgot to do so (and how many times have you forgotten to attach something only to say "Oops!" in your next email and attach there what you intended to attach before), it'll ask you.

Go here for the Outlook script and directions on how to use it. Go here for the Gmail script and how to use it.

I just did the Outlook script and it was soooooo easy to do.

Monday, August 04, 2008

A Poem

by William Ernest Henley.

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank what ever gods may be,
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeoning of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

I found this poem after reading a Facebook entry about a young man who died today after being beaten up in an anti-gay attack in England. Go here to read the story. Go here to see the Facebook page.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

It's In.... FINALLY!

The new Ikea catalog is in stores. Go here to see some buzz about what's in the new catalog.