Page 106 of 114

Duck

I woke this morning with aching feet and half-closed eyes. I rolled out of bed and into my morning routine.
Until I looked out the window.

Seven floors below, in the still-filling pool was a single duck. This little fellow was swimming playfully to and fro in the crystal clear waters. The only disturbance was his webbed feet propelling him forward.

I watched this duck for a couple of minutes paddling to and fro. This happy duck seemingly without a care in the world. Swimming in the pool. Dunking his head beneath the water and shaking the excess off.

I wanted to be this duck. So carefree. So happy. Without burden of responsibility.

I wanted to be swimming back and forth in a crystal clear pool this morning.

Instead, I finished dressing, made a quick lunch and dashed out the door. Off to start the chaos of a Monday morning.

All the while, still thinking of the duck. In the pool. Happily splashing.

Macs are too expensive

The price of things is all relative to how often you need to buy them. Would I spend $100 on toilet paper? Never. I need to buy rolls and rolls of the stuff every month to keep enough around to use. Would I spend $5000 on a used car? Yes, the money I spend for the car is meant to last for many years. My 2001 Ford Taurus is still humming along nicely $5000 later. It’s paid off and I have no need to replace it.

The same goes for computers. Week after week people tell me they will never buy a Mac because they’re “just too expensive” and the PC they have or just bought was much cheaper. That’s fine. I will not argue with you. I will simply ask two questions, how many PCs have you owned in the past 4 years? How much have you spent on repairs and troubleshooting?

If the answer is one and “covered by warranty” then you may stop reading right here and go on with your day. I am sorry to have wasted your time.

However, if you’ve had two or three or more than I have to ask why? Why would you keep buying something you need to replace or repair on a yearly basis?

Before my MacBook died, it was the only machine I used for nearly four years. I upgraded the operating system as new ones were released. I maxed out the memory and installed a larger hard drive than the factory option at the time. But beyond that, I did not make any other changes and that machine served me well. I took it everywhere and used it everyday.

I have never had a Windows-based computer, laptop or desktop last anywhere near that long. I’ve had hardware failures and operating system corruption long before that. I’ve had to reinstall Windows more times than I care to count and troubleshoot a host of problems that sent me delving deep into forums and knowledge bases, often finding little knowledge.

Sure, I fall squarely into the realm of computer geek and not “normal computer user” which may make me an edge case for computer usage. However, in the nearly four years I had my MacBook it never suffered a hardware problem. ((Beyond the plastic case chipping that was evident with most of the first generation MacBooks))

I can count on one hand the number of times the machine kernel panicked on me during that time. In short, I rarely had any sort of problem with it and what little problem I did have was easily remedied with a reboot. I don’t know of anyone who can boast that about their Windows computer. ((I am not counting little old grandmothers who use theirs once a week to email their grand kids.))

Would you skimp on the cheapest television or refrigerator on the market?

How many hours do you expect to spend on your computer in the next week? The next month? The next year?

Why would you skimp and buy the cheapest machine you can afford? You may save $500 now on the laptop thrust at you by the closest Best Buyer in Blue. How many times will you need support on that machine in the next three years?

With Apple computers, you have a year of technical support and repairs from Apple. With the purchase of Apple Care, the only extended warranty I’d ever buy. you get an extra three years of support on your equipment.

This means any hardware failures are covered, free, no questions asked. Just walk down to the nearest Apple Store and speak to a Genius and they’ll take care of you. What other store can boast that? Will Best Buy take such good care of you? Will Microsoft offer to help you troubleshoot Windows or Office in person?

Apple also offers free one-on-one training in their stores. Buy any Apple product and they’ll teach you how to use it. They also offer classes on various higher functions like simple video editing, backing up your data and any other questions about their products.

You’re going to spend more money on that Apple laptop but it will come back to you many times over in the next three years. When you buy an Apple computer, you’re not just getting a computer. You’re also getting a year of support an answers. You’re getting a quality computer that you’ll spend far more time using than fixing.

If your time is valuable, you owe it to yourself to buy a Mac.

How to sync multiple Google Calendars to an iPhone or iPad

My wife and I use Google Calendars to sync and share events and information. Ever since we setup a Bills calendar, it’s annoyed my that it won’t sync to our iPhones. Today, I decided to sit down and figure out how to make it happen for my iPhone and iPad. ((Just replace “iPhone” with “iPad” below.))

By default, only the main Google Calendar is synced to the iPhone. To select secondary calendars, open Safari on your iPhone and go to Google’s iPhone Select page.

Select calendars to sync.

Second, still on Safari on the iPhone go to Calendar Sync page and select the additional calendars to sync.

Manage the devices syncing to Google Calendar.

Force quit the calendar app and reopen it or reboot the iPhone. Once that is complete, you should see the additional Google calendars available to sync. Check the ones you want on your iOS device and you’re all set.

Calendar selection in Calendar app on iPhone.

Marriage

After you have a wedding, you judge all weddings after with a critical eye.

But in the end, a wedding is personal to the people marrying.

And each wedding is perfect. To them.

The question of “Why”

I originally wrote this in June 2009 when I was still dating the wonderful woman who would become my wife. I am attending a wedding this weekend of another young Mormon couple which got me to thinking about my own explorations into religion. I thought I would share them with you now.

The journey into why is a frightening one. For most of my life I have lived by the 10 Commandments. Not on a conscious level but as a general rule for how I conduct myself.

Most importantly, I have lived by the golden rule do unto others as you’d have them do unto you.

Treat people how you wish to be treated. I never really considered why I lived this way. I credit it to good parenting and upbringing. It always seemed like the right way to live. Why should I hurt others when I could work for the greater good? That way everyone benefits. I live for the greater good. I never really questioned why. Until now.

In recent months I’ve dipped my toes into religion. Don’t worry, I’m not going full on born again. I have explored Mormonism. My girlfriend is Mormon. The biggest reason is their belief of an eternal family. They believe once you die you go on living with your family forever. None of that “til death so us part” nonsense. The process is not automatic (and honestly not one I fully understand yet) and involves a temple marriage and being “sealed” to each other.

So once you’re sealed in a temple, you live with your family forever.

I’ve never given much thought to an afterlife but if there is one, being with your family sounds pretty good to me. Where is all thing back story taking us? The questioning of WHY?

Why do we live like we do? Why do we act as we do?

I often think about introspection and try to look inward as much as I can because It’s the key to understanding yourself. Part of that is questioning why.
I have not questioned myself why in a long time. I realized this as I found myself incredibly sad one Sunday afternoon and couldn’t figure out why. I had just come from church. And I was a mental mess. I just wasn’t feeling it.

I hear all the time of people speaking of the comfort religion brings them. I didn’t see it. Maybe I need to try harder.

In my discussion with my girlfriend she pointed out how I was basically a good person as far as religion goes. I don’t smoke. I don’t drink. Never touched drugs. I’m pretty boring.

The other trigger was the message from church itself. The message was about giving yourself to God and letting him into your life. The message was presented well and in a sensical, applicable way.

However, that is a main point of contention for me because I’ve seen it taken too far to often. You can’t expect God to run your own life. You can’t look at thing and go, “God will take care of me” and not help yourself. God will only take it so far. You need to help.

God will help you out and nudge you on the right direction. He will be your guide to life and try to push you down the right path. He won’t drove the car or be your GPS. He’ll ride along and suggest routes along the way.