Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Wood Carving with Hand Tools Don't Sell Yourself Short.

I started with a piece of basswood
This was my first serious effort it was a neighbors discarded deck step. 
This is what I was able to complete after some practice.
Wood carving is a time honored tradition. I have found it to be a tremendous source of relaxation and stress relief. Believe it or not prior to about three weeks ago I had only ever used a box cutter to strip the bark off of a would be piece of fire wood. With a bit of practice I was able to achieve these results.

This is my favorite picture of Eddie which is on this page at all times. I transformed it  into wood.

Using a wood burning tool is an inexpensive way to finish your project.
I traced the picture I Printed out with a box cutter then removed all of the voided space with a small curved wood tool. This is also basswood.
I have to be so closely linked to technology in my schooling and internship that using the tools that have been around for hundreds of years just made sense to me. I was able to really connect with the wood in a way. This might sound silly but if you handle a piece of wood long enough you get familiar with the grain pattern and the best way to remove the material you want to exclude from your project. I felt such a sense of peace and calm when just playing some of my favorite old time country tunes (on my iPhone) and just being transported back in time. I hope you fight your fears of potential failure and find some of your hidden talents. Good Luck!
Please follow me on Twitter @RichardLPryorJr http://twitter.com/#!/RichardLPryorJr Visit http://parmalionsclub.blogspot.com/ My other venture.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Is pain in our brain like a computer virus? Zach I am still looking for you.

"No no no this sucker's electrical" –Doc Brown Back to The Future

This is of course the famous line when Doc Brown is explaining to Marty how time travel is possible. In 1985 when the words 1.21 Giga watts was spoken nobody I knew had ever heard of or needed to think of numbers that big. Now trillion and tera are part of the everyday lexicon. This is how we describe money or computer memory in the present. I was thinking about this, and our brains and their capacity. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard we only use 10% of our brain and wondered if it was fear stopping us from using more.  I know this might seem like it is coming out of left field but it will all make more sense soon. The reason I was considering all of this is two part. First, I was thinking a lot about the recent psychology class I took last semester. Secondly, the last couple of months have been especially taxing on my mind and emotions.
As many of you know, I have been trying to contact my son who celebrated his 18th birthday last month. I have been estranged from him since Christmas time in 2000. I thought I had been successful in contacting him. As it turns out, I was exchanging text messages with his mother who was only too willing to play along. It was just another opportunity for her to drive the knife deeper into my chest metaphorically speaking. She must have truly enjoyed me pouring my heart out to who I thought was my long lost son. The fact that she moved out of state without my permission and hid our son for eleven years must have simply slipped her mind. The fact that she got over on me yet again really had a damaging affect on my spirit. I have been licking my wounds these last several weeks trying to get the courage up to reach him again, this process has taken its toll. I am finished waiting for this feeling to pass. Attacking the problem directly is the only way to get my mind working at full speed again.
I have been using the information I learned in psychology to try to better understand what and why I was feeling these emotions. I was certain that my brain was in some type of protection/auto-pilot mode to a degree. I am using logic to break free of this mode and prevent and permanent damage. This is when it occurred to me that the electrical paths my brain was taking were different  than they normally were. I figured out that since the pathways in my brain had been altered my mind was not working as efficiently as possible. The fact that I am writing this and attempting to restore those connections is the first step to fully recovering. Also, if we employ a host of defense mechanisms in order to avoid the painful topics in our mind we will just keep adding more detours in our thought processes and eventually take much longer to complete a roundtrip thought.
I have no imperial data to back up these theories they are just my mind trying to make sense of recent events. As a computer security student, I can think in these terms. A perceived painful event is similar to getting a computer virus. If you do not remove it, the normal path taken by the data will become corrupted and will not function properly. The same thought will use more resources to be completed and eventually you will crash. I am sure there are those that will read this and mock its simplistic argument. I am not pretending to be a psychologist just a man who has been trying to deal with the pain of not seeing my son. I feel much better traveling directly into the heart of the issue and attacking it head-on.
The chemical-electrical processes in the brain are above my level of understanding. I just know that since I have got back on the horse and started back toward my goal of reuniting with my son Zach someday soon my thinking is quicker and my mind is better able to function. If anyone who might read this can take some value from it then by all means I will be glad to have helped. I do believe the pathways in the brain are voluntarily reachable. You just need to summon the courage to volunteer. Good luck and full speed ahead.

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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Cisco CEO John Chambers Does he owe America more than his income taxes?

This was an informative interview. Mr. Chambers is an example of a man who came from a modest home and truly grabbed all the success he could. Does he owe the American people something more than just is income taxes for the opportunity that was available to him? That is the true question that seems to be dividing the country these days. I try to steer clear from the political sphere here on my blog but this question keeps coming up. Let me know what you think.


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Thursday, May 12, 2011

Female Graduates looking for That First Job This Should Help Guys This Can Help You Too

As a member of the new post Fred Flinstone era generation I wanted to give this some thought. I thought that throughout my day I seem to deal with more women then men while going through my daily schedule and this is worth more exploration.

This video is a link to a speech that I saw on C-span one afternoon. The speaker got my attention and I watched the entire program. I thought about how I would feel if I was a woman and was paid less than I deserved. I took a different look at this for two reasons plus I need to make my critical thinking instructor proud.

First, I was laid off from a good paying job back in 2008. Since then I have had to take extraordinary efforts to get myself ready to re-enter the job market. I have been earning an IT degree for those of you who may have not seen my earlier posts. As a formerly dislocated worker my resume is indelibly marked with this event that might call into question my character since I am not currently working. I am not prepared to lie on my resume. However, there is nothing to stop a potential employer from assuming the worst about me.

Secondly, I have a weight issue that is also out there front and center. Unlike other potentially damaging things an employer might see like a tattoo or piercing I cannot simply wear a long sleeve shirt. This might say things about me that I cannot control in the very immediate future. Lord know's I have tried. Like a woman who is seeking a job she cannot hide or control her gender, nor should she have to. Without women none of us would be here today. Similarly women did not get a chance to opt-in to being the gender who carries the unborn. Thankfully, it is inherent to who they are and why they deserve equality.

The nice thing about this video is that it can benefit anyone who watches it man or woman. The speaker is not secretly holding a meeting of the "He-woman Man-Hater's Club." She is just offering some good advice. I suppose I could tie in some mention to the serenity prayer here but I think you all get where I am coming from. I hope this helps you my readers, that is my goal.  

Helpful information for those seeking jobs or renegotiating their salaries.

Please follow me on Twitter @RichardLPryorJr http://twitter.com/#!/RichardLPryorJr Visit http://parmalionsclub.blogspot.com/ My other venture.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Meebo.com is Really a Great Tool for Your Site/Blog

One of the latest trends I have seen is the Meebo Bar for your site. I was curious about this so I went and did some looking around and this is what I found.
Left Side of bar where you can choose to share pic's video's or text. I put in a custom button that goes to my favorite music.

The meebo.com site has two primary functions that I found. As a site for regular users it serves as an aggregation point for various instant messaging feeds a user might belong to. AIM or Facebook Chat even Google Chat works there. You can install a widget on you main tool bar on your desktop which will alert you when a friend signs on to a site you have registered with meebo.com. This is akin to the old days when you would hear the door open sound on AOL. Sorry I have not used AOL in years. They may still use that. They offer private chat rooms for collaboration with friends.

It is important that you register your accounts with them there so that they work on a site with a meebo bar.
I was chatting with the Facebook chat function without visiting Facebook. This is a function of the right side of the bar. This is where all of your Facebook friends, AOL chat, ect. go to be monitored. You can set a status available away so forth. You are then able to chat on what ever site you are on without being tied to a single site.

On my site for example I was watching YouTube videos, chatting on Facebook and updating twitter all without leaving my own site. This multiple tasking functionality is great.

As a site operator There is a ton of functionality too. This is why I am writing this in the first place. This bar allows you to un-clutter you page and put all of the links, videos, twitter feeds, RSS feeds and what ever else you want. You can even make customizable buttons that could link to photo albums or one of my favorites Prezi's. The flexibility is endless. I would imagine every page will have one of these bars in the future. You can bring your friends with you to your favorite site share parts of it link back and forth.

The basic code is cut and paste like a Facebook badge. From there you can add other buttons by adding scripts just above the </Script> HTML tag. That is just for custom buttons. The dashboard on meebo allows you to change up as you like allowing you different levels of permissions for every button there.

I have not been this excited about a new feature in some time. You can truly complete the Cyber-Trinity (LET THIS SERVE AS PROOF THAT I COINED THE PHRASE CYBER-TRINITY RIGHT NOW)  in one place. Blog it Facebook it Tweet it without ever leaving the page you are visiting.

I hope you take a minute and look at my site and try out the bar buttons and share this with your friends.  

YouTube Mini Player pops up from bar. No need to leave your site to see your videos.

Meebo Site

Please follow me on Twitter @RichardLPryorJr http://twitter.com/#!/RichardLPryorJr Visit http://parmalionsclub.blogspot.com/ My other venture.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Mothers Day 2011-Why I Believe My Mom Loves the Color Green

Mothers Day, 2011 will just be different this year. As the years fly by in a world that has so many colors in its palate my mom loves green. This is no surprise to anyone who knows her. Over the last few years, she has become one of my best friends. One of the first tests of a friendship is to ask one of the parties what is your friend's favorite color. I have known that green was my mom's favorite color since I can remember, but recently I stopped to wonder why.
Very likely My Moms Next Car
Green is a secondary color. As a secondary color, it has the freedom to vary in its shade from light to very dark. It is a combination of yellow and blue two primary colors. Now she does also love The Blue Angels, but I digress. I thought about this for some time and have come up with some reasons. This is by no means an exhaustive listing just some things that cross my mind when I think of mom on this Mother's Day.
Her birthday is just a few days into spring, which is loaded with the magical renewing green colors sprouting up from the apparent lifeless soil. This renewal is one of the many things I am most proud of about my mom. After the love of her life, my father, passed away, she chose to push through the hard rocky soil and reinvent herself. She found the strength located deep within her soul to reemerge. Spouting up out of the ground as a completely different woman than existed three years and nine months earlier the day my Dad died. She came out of Lancaster Theological Seminary as a beautiful blossom completely renewed and ready to serve the Lord in ways nobody could have foreseen.
Lancaster Theological Seminary
Mom's Church Union U.C.C. Tekonsha, Mi.
The green plant she left behind at seminary to mark her husband's final resting place is a Harry Lauders walking stick. When the leaves are in bloom, the green bold color hides the curled indirect paths taken by the branches, which support them. If someone had asked her in 1992 if she thought, she would be a Pastor of a church and in her 12th year of service at the same church in the year 2011 she would have looked at him or her as if they had two heads. However, life is also filled with many unexpected twists and turns. Forrest Gump (like the green reference) was right life is like a box of chocolates.
Harry Lauder's Walking Stick in Bloom
Mom and Gram at Tendercare of Marshall
My grandmother died since the last Mother's Day. She was ready to be home with her God and family that had preceded her in death. She loved fresh flowers especially on Mother's Day. The tables in the dining room at the long-term care facility she lived in were adorned with flowers. I think of my Mom's tireless service at Tender Care serving trays to others, helper to the staff, minister to the sad, friend to the lonely, and most of all dedicated daughter to her sick mother. The green stems of the flowers on the tables must have been why she was there so often. She surely did not do it for the money as there was none left.
The Secret sticks we all have
My mom's is truly one of the most loving and caring women I have known in my life. Her love for the color green is not really, what is important here. What is important is why I think she deserves to have her story told on this Mother's Day. Sadly, I will be unable to be with her on Sunday but I wanted to shout as loud as I could why I love her and try to honor her the best way I know how, with my words of course. I love you Mom. 

Please follow me on Twitter @RichardLPryorJr http://twitter.com/#!/RichardLPryorJr Visit http://parmalionsclub.blogspot.com/ My other venture.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Artisteer 2.6 (Windows) | TechRepublic

Artisteer 2.6 (Windows) | TechRepublic

Please follow me on Twitter @RichardLPryorJr http://twitter.com/#!/RichardLPryorJrVisit http://parmalionsclub.blogspot.com/ My other venture.

VR+ Voice For Twitter / Facebook / Blogger / MySpace 1.6 (Mobile) | TechRepublic

VR+ Voice For Twitter / Facebook / Blogger / MySpace 1.6 (Mobile) | TechRepublic

Please follow me on Twitter @RichardLPryorJr http://twitter.com/#!/RichardLPryorJrVisit http://parmalionsclub.blogspot.com/ My other venture.