Carl T. Holscher fights for the customers.

Month: April 2014 (Page 2 of 3)

Violence Problem

In the wake of 20 students being stabbed at a Pennsylvania high school, much has been said about it. But I’ve read nothing better than what Chief Oliver from the Brimfield Police Department posted to the police department’s Facebook wall. I have included it in full below:

Good Afternoon,

A little while ago, I posted about the tragic stabbings of students at a high school in Pennsylvania. We post info like that incident (and also officers being killed) as a notice for mourning and reflection. Soon after, the insults and innuendos started, with words like “conservative” “liberal,” “it wasn’t a gun” and “arm the teachers.” Here is some unsolicited advice. Do with it what you will. If it does not apply to you, then ignore it.
Until we, as adults, learn to stop being angry, insulting each other and picking fights every chance we get, how in heck can we expect our kids to behave any differently? I guarantee, if you are an Internet troll, generally angry and surly and by all appearances hate the human race, the children around you will act no better than what you are modeling. We have to be the examples for those who are still growing.
If you want another opinion, here you go. Until adults start leading and acting like adults, we are just spinning our wheels. There is no perfect political party, no perfect way to peel a banana, and no perfect person. Adults insulting each other and cramming political views in our ears in a constant barrage of “the world is ending,” is only making the kids in our society more stressed and angry.
In a case like this awful stabbing incident at a HIGH SCHOOL….pipe down and let the people mourn. Be there for them, but be quiet unless there is something helpful to say.
My apologies for being direct. It’s sort of my thing.
Carry on….Chief Oliver.

Take a moment to read his words. We need to come together and stop blaming each other. It’s not the violent video games or loud music turning our kids violent.

Adults insulting each other and cramming political views in our ears in a constant barrage of “the world is ending,” is only making the kids in our society more stressed and angry.

Maybe it’s us. Kids look at how we treat one another and reflect that. Look around you. Everyone is screaming at everyone else over everything. How are kids supposed to learn to deal with their problems when we’re so quick to scream and threaten. So what’s what our children do.

Despite a personal policy of never reading the comments. I did wade into the muck since I saw the Chief was responding to a couple of them.

Greg Aydt RhymesWith Right writes:

Chief – you should still think twice before you use official department resources to spout your personal opinions and tell Americans what they should and should not say. Get your own blog or own facebook account if you want to do that.\

And the Cheif replies with:

Greg….All I want, simply, is for everyone to stop fighting and solve problems. We don’t have a gun or knife problem…we have a violence problem. We also have a problem involving everyone being angry and spouting politics constantly. It is getting old. You are attacking a person who likely shares many of the views you have….which is troubling….Chief Oliver.

He’s right. We have a violence problem. And until we start addressing that we’re not going to get anywhere.

But Carl. That’s such a huge problem how do we even start?

The first step is to start treating each other as human beings with feelings. Start talking to each other instead of at each other. Stop being so quick to anger. Stop shouting. Take a second. Think before we speak. As the Cheif said, you are attacking a person who likely shares many of the views you have…which is troubling…

And it is troubling. It doesn’t matter how we got here. We’re here now. And we need to step back.

I’ve got a task for you today. Instead of replying to someone in anger. Take a second. Think before you speak or hit post. Respond with kindness. Respond with peace. Respond from a place of level-headed thought instead of reactionary vitriol.

The world could use some more positivity in it.

Adventures in Rust – Part 1

I finally gave in and bought Rust. After my initial love affair with DayZ and watching play through videos on Youtube I realized it was PC Only. Not a huge issue but it would involve installing Windows on my Mac. So I looked at Rust. It seemed to be geared more towards survival, if not running for your life.

Something I’m used to from years of Serious Sam and generally any first person shooter.

My Rock. There are many like it but this one is mine.

I started life with my rock. It is a good rock. It led to much smashing of things. Other rocks. Trees. Animals.

Wolf Death

I spent much of the game running. I ran from wolves, bears, wolves and bears. I started out on an empty server so I could orient myself to the controls without the additional fear of other players.


I did some sight-seeing. I built a hovel. I found some animals. And after eating some raw meat and vomiting to my death, I learned how to cook it properly. Though I never found my original place in the world, I started over and built a new tiny cabin. I had a roof over my head and a door

I felt safe. I cooked some meat. I ate it. I survived. I went exploring and found more meat. More wood. More stone. I built a hatchet. I felt like I had the hang of it. I crafted some pants and a shirt. Then I closed my door, doused my fire and went to sleep.

When you leave a server in Rust, your character goes to sleep.


I joined a bigger server with around 100 people on it. And I encountered my first sleeper.

This server was very similar to my first attempt. I tried to build and I ran into wolves. I tried to explore and ended up in a radiation area. Trying to get through it, I nearly died and attracted a zoo’s worth of angry animals trying to end me. Which they eventually did.

I died a lot. But I’m OK with that. I was out to explore. I wasn’t trying to build a home. I was a traveler. I was sight-seeing.

Tower to the sky

I saw this mighty tower to the sky. I didn’t approach it since I wasn’t sure if it was inhabited or not.

Cower in a corner

I found a campfire. I put some wood on it and cooked the raw meat I was able to collect. It was getting towards nightfall. And as the meat cooked and the smoke wafted into the air, I hear footsteps nearby. So I crouched in the corner, clutching my rock, hoping to complete my meal before my life.

Thankfully the footsteps retreated. I quickly doused the flames and collect my now-cooked chicken breast. All animals give you chicken breast. Wild boars. Deer. Rabbits. I did see a chicken but I’ve not been quick enough to catch one. I assume it will also produce chicken breast.


I saw many houses. Some with doors. Some without. I climbed through a few, looking in long-abandoned storage boxes. I found very little to help me. So I kept going.


I saw a man standing on a rock. He didn’t move so I approached slowly. He was staring off into the sky. He didn’t respond to my advance. I didn’t attack. I looked with him. I didn’t see anything. Maybe he had stepped away from his keyboard. Maybe he was having network problems. Perhaps he was just typing to a friend or in another window.

Either way, I spared him and moved on.

After that, I tried to avoid people, as I wasn’t sure of their intentions and I was a lone traveler through their land. Despite a huge map, I did have some close calls.


I heard footsteps coming up behind me. I turned to see a man with a bow and arrow and a full set of clothes. I quickly typed friendly into the chat. Hoping he would spare my life. He looked at me for a moment. Then ran off.

As night fell, I lit my torch cautiously. I didn’t have anything worth stealing, though he didn’t know that. I hoped my newly spawned appearance would work in my favor.

Torch Man

Rounding a bend in the rocks, I saw a man in the distance with his own torch. I quickly extinguished mine and stopped. I stood silently in the pitch black night and waited. Had he seen me? Was he violent?

He didn’t seem to notice me. He was moving away from me. I watched him for a bit and once he rounded a rock out of sight, I lit my torch and took off in the other direction.

Later that night, I found two people around a camp fire.


I stopped. I went dark. I stood motionless. I watched them. They were talking and working together. Though I dared not approach. Never knowing what to expect.

I would welcome an ally in the harsh world. But with nothing to trade and without knowing their intentions, I watched them for a bit then crept away into the darkness.

Elsewhere on the internet

I read a lot. There are some great writers out there that not everyone is reading. I wanted to share a few of them with you.

Sid O’Neill writes about needing to take time off to be with your family. Especially after the birth of a child.

Here’s what I think: time with your family isn’t some fun bonus extra that you get to do if you work hard enough at the things that actually matter, like playing baseball in front of millions of people. I think that it should be your starting point: your priority. This is the weird sickness that has crept into our society — this idea that the most important thing we do is what brings home the bacon.

Zac Szewczyk comes to terms with riding on the backs of others without adding anything. Always add something. We come to your site to read your words. It’s good that you read other people and agree with them. But have something else to say too. Your voice is just as important as your idols.

“It’s my goal never to use a pull-quote in a link blog post. If I can’t add to the surrounding conversation, I shouldn’t be linking to it.”

Scotty Loveless reminds us that we all have talents and skills. We can all make good things. We need to stop comparing ourselves to our idols. They were starting out once too. They were the little guy before they got big. Make things you’re happy with. Make them because they make you happy. And share what you’ve made. All good lessons I learned far too late in life.

I will not compare my creation to that of anyone else, because I can create something no one else can. Some are ahead of me, some behind, for we are all travelers on different legs of the same journey. I will learn to celebrate those ahead of me, encouraging them to keep going, and help those that are behind me, encouraging them to stay strong. The success of others does not inherently label failure upon myself, unless I let it. The popularity of another does not imbue unpopularity upon me.

What have you been reading lately? Who could use a boost in confidence? Tell someone you’ve enjoyed their words. Share their words with a wider audience. Even within our little bubbles there is overlap. Bring someone’s words to a new audience.


Might as well bring this trilogy to a close.

Mozilla’s CEO has stepped down. And the Internet erupted. I held my tongue today. But I watched a lot of impassioned discussions break out among the social networks I frequent. And I’m sad. I’m sad because I feel like I’m sitting on a side that bullied a man into leaving a job.

I’m sad at how this all played out. It feels an awful lot like a witch hunt. The HTMLynch Mobs gathered with their TorchPresses. The words have flowed today and the stories have been fast and furious. I’ve watched debates take place on Twitter and

I saw a lot of anger today. A lot of rage in my tiny corner of the Internet.

Justifiably. This is an issue that riles everyone up. This is an issue of discrimination and the results of such are not pretty. But this also became an issue of bullying. And an issue of ganging up on one person. That in the end, is inconsequential. What really changed today?

Did we win anything? Are we more tolerant as a people? Did we show that we can come together and work through our differences? No. We just yelled and screamed until we got our way. Did the ends justify the means?

It may be a win. But it’s not a pretty win. How is this any better than others losing their job for their views? We should not be out for blood. We’re not trying to make the whole world blind.

Are we any better for bullying a man who gave a small amount of money to a cause four years ago? He has not publicly spoken out against it. He has not made it an issue. He has not enacted policies to forbid it. He is coming out of this whole situation looking like the bigger man. He gave $1,000 to a cause where over over $83 million was donated.

Why are we not turning our pitchforks and torches towards the IRS who leaked the information? If they’re leaking information the no one’s donations are safe. No one’s actions are safe. Would you feel comfortable with everyone knowing who you gave money to last year? What about 5 years ago? How about 10 or 20?

Update: “California requires disclosure for donations over $100 in any ballot measure, and makes them publicly available.”
I did not know that and had not seen that mentioned.

Turn this situation on its head…

Take this headline.

Mozilla CEO resigns amid controversy over donation to anti-gay marriage proposition

Now let’s pretend it read differently.

Mozilla CEO resigns amid controversy over donation to gay marriage proposition

How does that strike you? Would a CEO stepping down after supporting gay marriage make you just as angry? Is that a win? Or a loss? Or a man losing his job because he had an opinion a vocal minority didn’t agree with? This doesn’t feel like winning. It just feels mean.

Patrick Rhone said:

I agree with him. We should be working to come together despite our differences. Not yelling at those who don’t share them.

This wasn’t justice. This was revenge. And that does nothing to aid either side. We are not working to be closer and to have our side heard. We’re using the same tactics as those who wish to keep things as they are.

The Verge has a good post on this whole mess. Mozilla is a company in turmoil. Their board members were already planning to leave. Eich wasn’t even sure he wanted this job. And this issue originally surfaced in 2012.

For a man who talked of his wish for inclusiveness, he wasn’t given any. One of the people who originally started this whole thing writes of the sad “victory” and about not ever wanting it to become this big.

The fact it ever went this far is really disturbing to us.

If that was the case, when why make a public statement? Why not talk to your new CEO privately? Why not take to email? Pick up the phone? Schedule a meeting. Sure, CEOs are busy and not necessarily in the same building as you. But there are ways this could have gone down very differently.

So you raised an issue publicly. Got a man fired for his beliefs. And now you can go back to your life without consequences? That’s not inclusiveness. That’s not equality. That’s not a victory. Extremism doesn’t end well for anyone.


I like long projects. I like them because it’s a fun challenge to keep something going. That said, I dislike starting from January 1st. There’s so much going on the first of the year. I don’t like to start anything new on the first of the year.

So I started in March. I decided to take and post a photo everyday for a year. I chose March2March because I intend to post from March 1st, 2014 to March 1st, 2015.

March 12, 2014 at 01:28PM

Will I make it? Only time will tell. I’ve already missed a few weekend days in the first month. I’m not perfect. It’s not about perfection. It’s about taking pictures and sharing them.

After nearly forgetting to post a photo a couple of days, I decided I needed to make this project as simple as possible. I needed to automate it.

I’m not a programmer or anything fancy so I used a simple solution. I turned it

I take all my photos with my iPhone, so I started there. First, I needed to differentiate March2March photos from the rest.

So I made a new album on my iPhone and named it March2March. Any new photo I want to post, I add to this album.

April 01, 2014 at 08:21PM

Then IFTTT takes over. I used a recipe to post from that album to Flickr.

IFTTT Recipe: iPhone album to Flickr connects ios-photos to flickr

This will post the photo to my public Flickr stream and tag is with March2March and Project65. Now that the photo is somewhere I can easily find it later. Then I share it using this recipe.

IFTTT Recipe: Flickr to Tumblr connects flickr to tumblr

It takes any new photo from Flickr tagged March2March and posts it to Tumblr. Originally I had it add the photo to the queue but sometimes it would not get posted for a few days, depending what I had there, so now I have it post automatically.

It’s not a perfect system. I still need to go into Flickr and manually add the March2March photos to a set there. And sometimes the IFTTT recipe doesn’t trigger because my phone has to be on WiFi for it to fire due to cellular data usage.

But it works well enough for me and allows me to easily share a photo I take nearly everyday.

March 18, 2014 at 08:45AM

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