Dobie w/ Rainbow Dash's Cutie Mark

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Dobie w/ Rainbow Dash's Cutie Mark

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Something I've been wanting to do from the day I got on LiveJournal I've finally been able to! I now have the LJ Username "Dobie" instead of "lildobe"
:D :D

The account that had been sitting inactive for more than 12 years was finally purged by LJ, and I was quick enough to snap it up! I am so excited about this. I know I shouldn't be, as it's a minor victory, but it's still awesome! :D

Interestingly enough, before I checked my e-mail, I had been bitching about being stuck in a traffic jam for a couple hours due to an accident. But if I hadn't been stuck, I'd have already been in bed, and wouldn't have seen this till morning, which means I probably would have missed out on claiming the username :D

Funny how things work out that way.

Too bad that's not going to happen on Twitter, where I'm still lildobe, or with my domain, :(

Ah, well, can't win 'em all! :D
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Dobie w/ Rainbow Dash's Cutie Mark

My Little Pony: Why I'm so obsessed.

When my room mate (skyefox) first suggested I watch an episode or two, I flat out refused, citing that I was "more of a GI Joe or Transformers" kind of guy. But then, after much prodding, I sat down and watched my first episode (Sonic Rainboom, for those interested) and was blown away by not just the depth of the story, but the amazing voice acting, superb music and wonderful animation. So from there, I watched the pilot episode and almost immediately got hooked.

Why? The characters have a depth to them that is rarely seen in a cartoon, or even most of the more mature entertainment fare out there, the animation, while simple, is extremely well done (and from a technical standpoint is pushing the boundaries of Flash animation beyond what most people thought was possible) and to top it all off the the characters are relatable.

The main cast represents six different paradigms of self: A couple athletic types, one of whom has an insane work ethic, the other is talented but lazy. A shy veterinarian, who is always working to overcome her fears and shyness. A fashion-obsessed artist type who tends to bite off more than she can chew, especially when it comes to making her friends happy. A spacey party planner who often takes things too far, but is always there to lighten the mood and remind the others that even in the darkest of moments, there's always something to laugh about. And a finally, a neurotic perfectionist student who often prefers the company of her books to other ponies, and is obsessed with pleasing and living up to the expectations of her teacher and mentor.

No one character is ever depicted as being better for having a set of traits the others don't have, and they ALL have very real and believable character flaws. The stories are character driven and while episodic, there is continuity and over the course of the series you get to see the characters mature and develop. And along with all of that, it's cute and funny and somehow squeezes in some mature themes.

The situations are familiar and the challenges faced by the characters are also highly relatable:

Everyone has had deadline anxiety, or been over the top with worry that their friends didn't like them anymore.

Everyone has had a big event/convention/party that they've looked forward to for months, only to have it fall flat on it's face for whatever reason and not live up to their expectations.

A lot of people have had their pride get in the way when tackling an insurmountable task and forgotten (or refused to accept) that they have friends that they can call on for help.

Many people have had to deal with being too wrapped up in school and study to go out and make friends, or been unsure how to approach people TO make friends.

And who in their lives HASN'T, at one time or another, had to deal with choosing one friend over another to take to a special party? Or had two friends who had opposite and clashing personalities who you had to help find a middle ground when all three of you tried to do something together? Or had to find your place as the new person in a group that you just didn't fit into? Or faced the demons of their past in school when you had to return for an event or reunion?

There are plenty of "classic" cartoon moments that hail back to the old Warner Brothers cartoons that I grew up with, plenty of subtle pop-culture references and enough in the way of mature jokes (that a lot of kids just would NOT get) that even the most stoic adults that I've watched it with still smile quite a bit.

TL:DR, it's not for everyone, but those who do enjoy have very real reasons for doing so. It's not just another internet meme, or a rebellion against trolls, as has been insinuated.
Critical FAIL

Depression is humiliating

I originally found this on Tumblr, but the way that works, there's next to no way to track down who originally posted it.  To whomever originally wrote this, I thank you deeply - this gives perspective to a very real problem that I struggle with every day that other people might be able to understand.
Depression is humiliating. It turns intelligent, kind people into zombies who can’t wash a dish or change their socks. It affects the ability to think clearly, to feel anything, to ascribe value to your loved ones, your lifelong passions, your relative good fortune. It scoops out your normal healthy ability to cope with bad days and bad news, and replaces it with an unrecognizable sludge that finds no pleasure, no delight, no point in anything outside of bed. You alienate your friends because you can’t comport yourself socially, you risk your job because you can’t concentrate, you live in moderate squalor because you have no energy to stand up, let alone take out the garbage. You become pathetic and you know it. And you have no capacity to stop the downward plunge. You have no perspective, no emotional reserves, no faith that it will get better. So you feel guilty and ashamed of your inability to deal with life like a regular human, which exacerbates the depression and the isolation.

Depression is humiliating.

If you’ve never been depressed, thank your lucky stars and back off the folks who take a pill so they can make eye contact with the grocery store cashier. No one on earth would choose the nightmare of depression over an averagely turbulent normal life.

It’s not an incapacity to cope with day to day living in the modern world. It’s an incapacity to function. At all. If you and your loved ones have been spared, every blessing to you. If depression has taken root in you or your loved ones, every blessing to you, too.

Depression is humiliating.

No one chooses it. No one deserves it. It runs in families, it ruins families. You cannot imagine what it takes to feign normalcy, to show up to work, to make a dentist appointment, to pay bills, to walk your dog, to return library books on time, to keep enough toilet paper on hand, when you are exerting most of your capacity on trying not to kill yourself. Depression is real. Just because you’ve never had it doesn’t make it imaginary. Compassion is also real. And a depressed person may cling desperately to it until they are out of the woods and they may remember your compassion for the rest of their lives as a force greater than their depression. Have a heart.

Writer's Block: Remembering Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs once said, "Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life." He inspired a generation to Think Different. How has the legacy of Apple's co-founder influenced your life?

My first thought when I heard the news of his passing:

2/3rds of my life, from the Mac Plus through the PowerBook G4 was spent playing with, hacking and learning everything I could about Macs. I got my AAST when I was 16, and worked for the Apple Specialist store in Downtown Pittsburgh for 4 years.  At one time, I knew everything there was to know about both the Operating System and the hardware. I learned Assembler on the MC68000, I could (with the help of a soldering iron, and later jumper blocks) overclock the Power Macs, get the machines to recognize more memory then they were designed for and even hack hardware to use PC accessories with Macs.  Those were the glory days of my computer experience, and I miss them.

I have owned:
  • Apple //c
  • Apple Lisa
  • Macintosh Plus (8 MHz MC68000, 4mb RAM, External 20MB SCSI HDD) (My father actually said we'd NEVER outgrow this computer)
  • Macintosh SE-FDHD (8 MHz MC68000, 4MB RAM, Internal 20 MB SCSI HDD)
  • Macintosh SE/30 (16 MHz MC68030, 8MB RAM, Internal 40 MB SCSI HDD)
  • Macintosh IIx (16 MHz MC68030&68882 FPU, 16MB RAM, Internal 80 MB SCSI HDD)
  • Performa 550 AKA LC550 ( 33 MHz MC68030&68882 FPU, 20 MB RAM, Later upgraded to 36 MB and a 160 MB HDD)
  • PowerBook 140 (16 MHz MC68030, 8 MB RAM, 40 MB SCSI HDD)
  • Quadra 950 (33 MHz MC68040, 256 MB RAM, 1.0 GB SCSI HDD)
  • Performa 5400 (180 MHz PPC603e, 136 MB RAM, 1.6 GB SCSI HDD)
  • PowerBook 5300ce (117 MHz PPC603e, 64 MB RAM, 1.1 GB SCSI HDD)
  • Power Macintosh 6500 (300 MHz PPC603ev, 128 MB RAM, 4.0 GB IDE HDD)
  • PowerBook 3400c (240 MHz PPC603ev, 144 MB RAM, 3.0 GB HDD)
  • Power Macintosh 7600 (200 MHz PPC604e, 512 MB RAM, 2.0 GB HDD)
  • Power Macintosh G3 Tower (333 MHz PPC750, 768 MB RAM, 8GB HDD)
  • PowerBook G3 Lombard (400 MHz PPC750, 512 MB RAM, 10GB HDD)
  • Power Macintosh G4/AGP (500 MHz PPC7400v2.9, 2.0 GB RAM, 27 GB, 7200 RPM SCSI-2 HDD)
  • PowerBook G4 Titanium 15" (500 MHz PPC7410v1.3, 1.0 GB RAM, 20 GB IDE HDD)
  • PowerBook G4 Aluminum 12" (867 MHz PPC7455v3.3, 1.2 GB RAM, 60 GB HDD)
  • Many other misc machines that I can't remember, or that I got in non-working condition for parts.
I do admit - I miss owning a Macintosh computer. I just have not been able to afford them recently. Though I do have my eye on getting one of the new MacBooks at some point. Maybe.

Writer's Block: 9/11

Where were you?

10 years ago, at 8:46 am I was asleep in bed. When a friend called me at 8:50 and told me that an airplane had crashed into the World Trade Center, I didn't believe him, until I turned on the TV. At first I watched with the impression that it was just an accident - the firefighter in me analyzing what would have to be done to mount a rescue and extinguish the flames.

Seventeen minutes after the first plane impacted the North Tower, a second plane hit the South Tower. I sat there, watching in disbelief as I knew it was next to impossible for two planes to accidentally crash into buildings that close together, but it was even harder to comprehend that someone would do that on purpose.

Thirty-four minutes later, news came of a third plane, this one having crashed into the Pentagon in Washington, DC. At this point I knew it was some kind of sick attack. Turning our own transportation infrastructure against us.

Less then a half hour after all three attacks, news came of a fourth plane, crashed in a field in Rural Pennsylvania. At the time, no one knew if it was connected to the other three, but it only made sense that it would be.

Over the hours following, I didn't do anything but watch the news coverage on TV. I moved my small TV out of the bedroom so I could watch two channels at once in the living room. I logged onto the internet and scoured the news websites for information. I guess I was still in shock, and didn't believe that it had actually happened. I think I was looking for some proof that it hadn't.

When the request was received at my volunteer fire company for people to step up and make themselves available for the search and rescue operations, I was one of the first names on the list. We never did get called though.

Now, ten years later, the emotions are still there. The pain of watching thousands of people loose their lives at the hands of a few radical terrorists. But an even deeper pain saddens me. The terrorists attacked us, and our freedom, and we let them win. By instituting security measures that are ineffective at best, constitutional violations at worst, at our airports. We let them win by creating legislation such as the Patriot Act that allowed the abridgment of the 4th Amendment, all in the name of "safety".

I am reminded of something that Benjamin Franklin wrote, 252 years before the attacks: "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." (Written in the Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759)

In the past when I've voiced these opinions, I've largely been vilified, especially when I add the most important part: The government, police, military, etc, cannot protect you. They are there as a reactionary force. Only you can be responsible for your own safety. Learn how to protect yourself, and equip yourself to do so. Stockpile nonperishable food and water if you have the ability to do so. Stockpile ammunition and reloading supplies as well as weapons and weapon parts. And also, stockpile precious metals if you can, as electronic currency is unusable without infrastructure, and paper currency is fiat and worthless.

Why do all this? Because if there ever is a wide-spread attack against our country, as unthinkable as it is (Remember how unthinkable it was that someone would use commercial jets as missiles?), the government will not be there to protect or defend you. On the contrary - the government will need you there to protect your homeland. And only you can take full responsibility for your own safety and well being.