1. Paragon Points are valuable. There are a limited number of opportunities out there to do good. Each time you make a difference for good, doing so becomes easier, and greater deeds come into reach. (The opposite is also true.) Take those opportunities. Search them out. Even doing a tiny little positive deed that no-one will ever notice will make you that much a better person. You get XP for everything.
2. The world is dark for a reason. People have long struggled with the question of why an all-powerful God would allow evil. I've thought about it a lot and I've reached an answer that satisfies me: The world is dark to give us the opportunity to do good.
There wouldn't be a story about Commander Shepard if the galaxy wasn't under threat. The threat he faces is too big for him to solve on his own, but in cooperation with the right people, it can be overcome. The world is dark because it is in need of heroes; without that darkness, the heroes would have nothing to do.
3. Carry a heavy pistol, a sniper rifle, and a grenade launcher with you every time you leave your home. I mean, that's just basic common sense. There could be space zombies--you never know.
Thanks, as ever, for handling thorny personal discussions with patience and grace.
So good to be able to have conversations about Big Stuff (tm) that don't rapidly devolve into the typical "Your momma!!!" "No, YOUR momma!!" internet idiocy.
I knew there was a reason we were pals. :-) Thanks, James!
First, I keep the files I'm actively working on in Dropbox (or another cloud storage system). This keeps them synced between my desktop and laptop and lets me access them through my phone. This is free.
The rest of my stuff I keep in a Storage Space on my gaming rig. This is a great feature introduced in Windows 8 that lets you treat a bunch of hard drives as a single unit with its own drive letter. You can set it up with some redundancy built in, so if a drive fails, nothing is lost. I have four hard drives plugged in (not counting the solid-state drive where Windows and my program files live), totaling 3 TB of space; Windows treats them all like one single 1.5 TB drive. If a drive crashes, or if I want more space, I'll order a new drive from Amazon, pop it in, and the size of my Storage Space will adjust. No interruption in work, and I never have to ask myself which drive a file was on.
There is one more threat to protect against. If a virus got into my system--say, one of those ransomware viruses that encrypts a bunch of your files, waits for your next backup to finish, and then demands $500 for the decryption key--Storage Spaces won't help. That's why I use CrashPlan Unlimited; for $60/year they provide unlimited, versioned backup space. Not only can I revert to previous versions of my backed-up files, I can use an app on my phone to access my backed-up files when I'm away from home.
So that's my system. Storage Spaces + CrashPlan = peace of mind, at a good price.
Put it on your shopping list for your next trip to the grocery store. In one of the chilled containers in the dairy area you will find Pillsbury cookie dough. Zero cooking skill is required; the only other supply you will need is a cookie sheet. (Buy one if you don't have one; metal trays are handy.) I also recommend buying a pack of paper plates to aid with distribution.
Cooking them could not be simpler; that's why they're called "cookies". Follow the instructions on the back. The one I bought, I didn't even have to guess at the size of the cookies--they were pre-cut. When you're taking the cookie sheet out of the oven, use a towel if you don't have oven mitts.
Let the cookies cool for a couple minutes, then put them on a paper plate or other serving surface. It's important that you eat a few yourself for quality assurance, preferably with a glass of milk. Then distribute them immediately (cookies are best when they're still warm). If a specific person who deserves cookies doesn't spring to mind, pick a neighbor--everyone has at least one of those. Go to them, hand over the plate, and say, "I made you some cookies." Mission accomplished. Bask in the warm glow of giving someone a pleasant surprise.
Really impressed with the most recent episode of The Expanse--specifically, with Jim Holden (our idealistic protagonist) and his conflict with Amos Burton (the "animal" who likes guns). Everyone seems alienated from Amos because of his cold-blooded violence, but his philosophy of "look out for number one" seems to be shared by nearly everyone on the show, right up the that female UN inspector-general--Amos has just internalized it more thoroughly than most.
The way Jim Holden stood up to him, I think, is what's made me a fan of this show. Jim has selflessly acted on his conscience before, but this is the first time he's done it when he knows it's going to cost him. When you point a gun at a heavily armed killer and let him know you're ready to shoot, you're putting your life on the line--and Jim did it for the sake of people he didn't know and in fact hoped never to meet, for no other reason than his conscience. In Jim's place, I'm not sure I would be able to do the same. That makes me look up to him, and that makes me look forward to the next episode even more than the show's excellent sci-fi world.
- Rocky Mountain College of Art and DesignGraphic Design, 2010 - 2013
- Community College of the Air ForceComputer Information Systems, 2006 - 2010
In my free time, I read books, play games, and make cool stuff on my computer.
- My Father's WorldDesigner & Web Developer, 2014 - present
- US Air ForceSenior Airman, 2006 - 2010Computer accountability, maintenance, and repair
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