Thursday, June 28, 2012


I don't live here anymore.  Seriously.  All my cool stuff is in storage, we have pulled the computer room apart to paint it an inoffensive color that I don't really like, we don't have enough seating for company, and we can't leave Magic cards all over the living room like we used to.  Eventually we will move and everything will be worth it, but the last year of this has kinda killed the buzz around here.  I'm dealing okay, but Gord is particularly buzz-less.

In related news, I think I need to make a chocolate cake.  A sugar buzz makes everything better, right?
I took the rest of the week off to coincide with Gord's holiday which has now been cancelled due to flooding, so it looks like I have time to bake all kinds of things.  And do laundry.  Wheeeee.   Yup, it's going to be that kind of week(end).

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

My books! Mine!

So I spend most of yesterday afternoon stripping the DRM from my purchased eBooks. Which is not yet illegal, no matter what Adobe and Amazon would like you to think. Although if this stupid C-11 bill passes it would be. But that is a totally different rant.

I have no intention of uploading, distributing or otherwise violating copyright on any of these files (That's the illegal part). I just want to guarantee that should Kobo or Adobe or Sony go out of business, or change their policy or hardware, or get bored with this eBook business, I will still be able to read the items that I have paid good money for. I refuse to rent books under the guise of "purchasing".   I feel the same way about music or movies or video games (ummm, what do you mean I can't play single player Diablo 3 if Blizzard's servers go down? I don't THINK so!). The main difference is that I actually get really attached to my books, and I read them over and over and over. Heck, I just finished my sixth time through the entire Dresden Files series, although I also own that series in dead tree format just to make sure it is 100% safe from apocalyptic hard drive/technology failure. I may own the audio books as well. I REALLY like that series.

On a related note, Tor books, the Science Fiction/Fantasy imprint of Macmillian, will soon be releasing all of their books DRM free and selling through their website. I am so excited about this step that I can barely type straight! They had some issues with the big distributors adding DRM to the first book they tried this with,(Redshirts by John Scalzi) but they were really great about getting people the file they had promised. I only bought this book to support the decision to let me own it, but it was very funny and totally worth it!

I hope it goes well and that all the other big publishers are forced to admit that people are capable of supporting an industry without being treated like criminals in waiting. I still think the difficulty and limitations of DRM'd material, combined with the philosophical opposition to not being allowed to actually OWN your media causes more people to turn to digital piracy than the idea of free books. Free books from libraries didn't kill the publishing market. Only the publishers can do that.

I found this point of view on piracy in an old blog post from Charles Stross, and I love it, so I am going to use it here to finish this up.

"In the pre-internet dark age, there was a subculture of folks who would get their hands on books and pass them around and encourage people to read them for free, rather than buying their own copies. Much like today's ebook pirates, in terms of the what they did (with one or two minor differences). There was a closely-related subculture who would actually sell copies of books without paying the authors a penny in royalties, too.
We have a technical term for such people: we call them 'librarians' and 'second-hand bookstore owners'."

Monday, June 25, 2012

Being "Right"

For the record, evangelical Atheists are just as annoying as evangelical Christians (and probably any other fanatics of a religious or philosophical belief system)

Me being Christian does not automatically make me stupid or gullible, any more than you being Atheist/Agnostic/Egocentric/Pushy automatically makes you enlightened or educated, and would be great if you could stop making stupid assumptions.  I believe in a lot of things that you might not.  But the main thing that I believe is that everyone is entitled to live their own life. We call it "Free Will".  I don't have to agree with you, I don't have to like you, and I certainly don't have to listen to you, but I DO have to respect your right to your own opinions and your right to make your own choices.  I would appreciate the same concern. 

I don't talk religion very often.  I am always willing to talk about what I believe in, and I certainly don't hide it, but I also don't go out of my way to find ways to work it into the conversation or wave it around like some great universal cure all.  I know that what makes sense in my brain will not/cannot have the same impact on someone who has led a life other than mine, with different experiences, priorities and needs.  For some reason western culture has become very confrontational about, well everything.  The need to "be right" has become a big part of any discourse, and it is ruining our ability to think critically about other peoples points of view.  People grow and change and learn and it is a shame that some people have started to look down on people who change their minds. Unless of course it is to change their minds to whatever it is those people think is 'right'.  I find that very very sad.  It discourages thought and personal growth.

I have my reasons for believing as I do, and I assume everyone else does as well. It does not mean I put any less thought into me life then they do.  Granted, some people don't. But those are specific cases, and not nearly as common as anti-whatever-their-particular-hate-is would like the world to think.

 I also have great respect for people who believe in nothing specific because they don't feel the need to.  I would much rather someone admitted to that than cling to something ultimately meaningless (to them) for the sake of fitting in, or not having to think for themselves.  There is nothing wrong with saying "I don't know"

My church has as one of our main "Articles of Faith"  this line  "We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship  how, where, or what they may".   Combine that with the a following bit about "Doing good to all men"  and I really can't say it better then that.    

This has gotten very long, but the key point is this:  
Worship or not as you will, and leave me to do the same.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Change and Starting Again

Hey there internet.  How've you been?   I was thinking I should start a new blog, but I found reading over my old posts kind of fun, so I think I will stay here and maybe rebrand a little as I feel inspired too.

General life update for those who care about what's new since.....oh 2008:  Done school.  Working at a public library in the area and loving it.  Trying to buy a house, but not having any luck selling our apartment.  Planning on turning the computer room into the nursery by the end of the summer. Oooh!  And I just got a new lemon juicer after Gord juiced the ever-living crap out of a lemon and broke the old one!

It amazes me how much can change while you are sitting there thinking nothing is new.  It's all the same old stuff over and over every day, until you look back and realize that your days a year ago were totally different somehow, and you never noticed!    I mean, sure, there are big things that change occasionally but after the first day or two, that becomes the norm and you stop thinking about it and when someone asks "what's new" you shrug and say "not much"  even though your entire life is changing around you.

For example, there is not a single good Science Fiction show on TV right now (with the sporadic exception of Doctor Who).  That is a pretty big deal! Suddenly I am reading WAY more, and I have new favorite authors, and have started knitting to keep from staring into space when I have nothing better to do because there is NOTHING ON TV!  Also, I watched Mad Men.  *Shudder*

Maybe I will say that to the next well meaning lady who asks what is new even though they don't really care and only want me to let them touch my tummy......