Saturday, March 28, 2009

inner happiness and outer space

Hello everyone. Today, my father and I installed my new Bose Companion 3 speakers. Things went more smoothly regarding getting the desk up onto small bricks than I expected. Nothing even slid on the desk surface or lower shelf. So far, it seems to be quite stable. The speakers themselves produce very good sound especially taking their small size into consideration. Things seem much more balanced than with the Logitech X540 set of surround sound speakers. The sub-woofer just overpowered the other speakers too heavily no matter how you tweaked it. Also, I could never really get the rear speakers situated very well. The virtual surround simulation feature of my soundcard is actually producing better results with these speakers. Apparently, they'll sound even better once they've been used a while. It's a phenomenon called "burn-in" where components need to be worn in like a new pair of shoes. A lot of reviewers talked about that. I presume I'll be adjusting the bass compensation over the next while as that happens. I don't need the desk as far out from the wall now since the sub-woofer fits under the desk and fires forward as opposed to downward. Music sounds a ton better through these speakers. So do games.

The cell phone is also up and working. I've gotten a pay-as-you-go plan. We'll see how the economics of that work out over the next while. The setup was quite easy as things turned out. I got the simcard for free. The plan is to receive calls on the cell phone and then call people back using Skype. I can call anywhere in North America on Skype at no cost. Theoretically, despite how expensive cell phone calls are at 25 or even 15 cents per minute, I should do alright. It'll also be handy to have when I'm away from home provided I remember to take it with me. That'll take a while to get used to. One thing's for damned sure. When I'm out visiting, the phone will be off. I refuse to be one of those idiots who brings proceedings to a halt so somebody can take time I've already decided to spend with others. Doubtless, many of my contemporaries would think that a very Victorian and curmudgeonly stance but well, there you have it. Just because it might be possible to be in contact with everyone all the time doesn't always make it a good idea.

Regarding the new version of Internet Explorer, that hasn't worked out so well. It keeps freezing up on me after a while. I ended up reverting to IE7. None of the new features appealed to me all that much. So much has to do with consolidating all the information you zip around the Internet for into one screen or page. Sounds like a real good way to get comfortably stuck in a rut to me. Yet another dismal sign of how much people are packing into their lives so they have no time to look around for new possibilities. Firefox might be the next move for me but I'll wait a little while and see if they fix things given the not so positive feedback they seem to be getting. I know, damn it! I'm an incurable optimist.

The space shuttle seems to have landed alright. I caught that earlier this afternoon and it sounded pretty neat. They seem to have had quite a good mission this time around. One of these days, I wouldn't mind checking out a physical model of the international space station and having a better sense of what it felt like. I've read a lot of dismal commentary of what a waste all this effort in space is. Frankly, I hope they discover a nice mass-time-travel device so we can send all of those folks mor short-sighted than me back to the stone age they seem to cherish so much. The moment we stop exploring new horizons both artistic and real as a species, we stagnate. I got a pretty good taste of what that kind of life was like after Rebecca and I separated. It took something close to five months to pull myself out of the dead space I inhabited. Certainly, life suddenly got a whole lot easier and less costly in physical terms. However, there was nobody new to see. Nowhere I had any inclination to go. There was working on the guide but I already had a sense of where that had to go. Those idiots are gravely mistaken if they think that money saved by abandoning outer space would automagically ease this world's problems. How many billions have been chucked at the poorer countries of Earth? How many ads have I heard about the plight of African's, the poor of India, the homeless right here in Canada and the US? Things only make a difference when good people approach them with truly good attitudes and intentions. Even in that circumstance, due to the short-sighted idiots in said countries or helping said people, a lot of the money gets misspent or downright stolen. They see a chance to improve their own lives quickly and obscenely in comparison to those around them and don't contemplate what a better life everyone could have if the lives of everyone around them improved just a little.

Space exploration inspires good people to think in new directions. It keeps our minds open and even by changing the single constant of gravity, opens up new potential discoveries. They were looking at bacteria up there and a load of those experiments have just arrived back for scientists here to look over. Remember that salmonella outbreak a while back? What if some observations made in the new environment of space lead to breakthroughs in dealing with that? The space program has certainly already given us better construction materials and computers. How many improved or saved lives would make the money spent on space worth it in their eyes?

Sorry about that rant, folks. I just get frustrated when I see all these negative comments on the CBC site right below any article discussing what goes on in space. There's too much damned negativity in the world. Happily, I have it on good authority from a psychologist on DNTO that happiness leads to greater creativity and more openness to possibilities. Take that, Darth Vader! I, for one, am pretty happy all in all. Good friends, good family, a lovely betrothed and new possibilities in life are things I'm very thankful for. On that happy note, I believe I'll sign off for now.

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