Torre's Blog
Anger 
Saturday, August 12, 2006, 02:15 AM
Anger is such a destructive force, I know, because I have issues with anger. No, I don't beat my wife or kids, I don't punch walls, at least not often, and I don't stay angry long. I also don't have a short fuse in the normal sense of the term, i.e. I am usually slow to anger, but I go through periods when my fuse is short enough, thank you. And when I do I explode, and it is loud, and seldom called for, and usually my anger is way out of proportion to whatever set it off.

I also tend to be very diplomatic in public. Situations that would set me off in private are generally handled coolly and calmly.

Unlike my co-workers and acquaintances, my family gets to witness or, worse, be the brunt of my outbursts, and like toothpaste once out of the tube my anger cannot be put back away.

One of my heroes in life, Victor Frankel states, in his extremely moving book Man’s Search for Meaning, that “the only human freedom lies between the stimulus and the response.”

Reflecting on this I suddenly realized that there was only one person who could make me mad, and that was me. No matter what the stimuli I could decide upon my response.

Though this thought was very empowering, I also realized that it is beyond my own ability to overcome the anger that I have trained myself to respond with. Fortunately I believe in a loving God, and believe that He has the power to mend what I cannot.

I make this public declaration that I will do my best, and let God do the rest when it comes to my temper. I will hit my knees tonight and ask for help, in faith that it will be given. And will ask my family’s forgiveness and forbearance tomorrow.

I also use this venue to share with others who might be looking for help, and for others whom have overcome their anger in hopes that the will share their thoughts and encouragement with me, as well as their well wishes.

The only things we can control in life are our attitude and our actions. I’ve decided, with Gods help, to take back the reigns.


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Current poetry 
Thursday, August 10, 2006, 06:28 PM
Hey, I'm inviting comment on this poem that I am currently working on...

Cosmology
By Torre Anthony DeVito

"Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse."
-T.S. Eliot

Quantum physics suggests that observation affects reality and that the relation of position
to momentum is uncertain. Notions of causality disappear from our map of the cosmos.
We are off the charts, and here there be dragons.

On the old map, the Earth was our mother. Her womb was the sea, and
The sky-father fucked her on the backs of four elephants standing on a tortoise.
In the old paradigm, stars ejaculated matter upon Earth's primordial soup, where,
Life sprang forth as cosmic accident.

On the old map all revolved around the Ego. The child was the crux of its own universe.
In the beginning the child knew only self, and the rhythmic pulse of wet warm darkness.
Slowly, muffled sounds penetrated ignorance, and an awareness of otherness grew, until
Light burst forth, accompanied by pain.

Then the view shifted and there were other bodies,
Strange attractions and invisible bonds that redefined the focus.
The world is not flat. The universe is expanding, but will collapse, and
One learned that neither Earth nor Sun were the center of the universe.

To read the new map one must unlearn such nonsense, for all is relative, and
The geocentric and the heliocentric are just more-complicated models, no less correct.
All is uncertainty but observation affects outcome, nailing down the multiverse to a single path.

On the new map, perception is reality. I revolve around you; and you, I- even as
Gravity takes its toll and we grow older and feebler. On the new map
Time and distance are the variables, and though time flows differently for us all,
It seems to move solely and inexorably in one direction. The only constant is speed.

Maps, however, are just representations of reality. Truth has a way of slipping
the bonds of conception. The sub-atomic and galactic hint of grand design.
Beneath the fabric of the universe is the sublime,
And behind the infinite, and the infinitesimal: the Divine.


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Troops 
Tuesday, February 28, 2006, 11:58 PM
Rant:

When did a soldier become a troop? The media insists on counting individual American casualties as troops... e.g. "three troops were killed today in Iraq..."

I am not sure if this is because the reporters are so closely entwined with the entertainment industry, and thus feel that "entertaining the troops" and "entertaining the soldiers" is essentially the same, thus troops and soldiers must be synonymous, or if there is something more sinister at work here.

Every death is important, but I get the sense that the reason the media uses the word "troops" is because they actually are aware that a troop means a group of soldiers, and that using the term makes it seem like more peoople have died...

Hear this... when three soldiers die it is no more correct to say "three troops" than it would be to say "three choirs were killed in a bus crash" if three singers met their end in said bus.

I guess it is just another example of the laxidasical, biased, editorializing that passes for news these days.

Thus ends the rant.

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Floor Plans 
Tuesday, February 28, 2006, 11:42 PM
My sister is buying a house. About two weeks ago she began to talk about the fact that her rent was going to go up, and today she signed a contract with a builder. If all goes well she will close in late July and move in some time in August.

Decisions of this magnitude are not an easy matter for my sister. She has to poll all her friends and family for their opinion, and typically she disagrees with all of the opinions she gets at first, perhaps to see how convicted we are of our opinions, because despite her protests, she often does incorporate at least a portion of the advice.

Anyway, I find the whole thing amusing, if not somewhat exhausting, but it got me looking at different floor plans again.

I am of the opinion that houses these days are designed more for status than for living. Here are my rules for more logical houses.

1 - Doors should be at least eighteen inches away from the corner, unless the wall beside that corner contains closet doors or other doors, otherwise the wall cannot be used for furniture placement.

2 – Dining rooms and bedrooms should never be less than 10 feet wide or long, and should have at least 100 square feet of floor space.

3 - No toilet should face an object less than four feet away.

4 - If a house is on a busy street, all bedrooms should be in the back.

OK, so they seem pretty obvious, until you go house hunting.


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Dual Monitors - Virtual desktops and KVM software 
Monday, February 13, 2006, 04:49 PM
My desktop, the physical one, is covered by three 27 inch monitors that I bought from a university surplus place... $40 for a palette of 4 monitors, one which I gave to my father. Why would I need to use 3 monitors? Simple: because I can. Actually the reason is a bit more complex than that... I use two monitors at work because I do web design, and I have a monitor and a Lenovo ThinkPad. Since the external monitor requires a duplication of video functions, ThinkPads have the ability to use the external monitor as a second monitor, doubling your desktop space at the same resolution (i.e. if both the internal and external monitor are set at 1024 x 768 you can use a 1024 x 1536 desktop - one monitor above the other -OR- a 2048 x 768 desktop - one monitor beside the other...). Windows can stretch across the two monitors for very long or very wide viewing, and sets of windows can be placed on separate monitors for working back and forth between applications and documents without opening and closing windows... this later use is my main purpose for using dual monitors at work.
With most new laptops and a Windows 2000 or later operating system the whole operation is easy to accomplish, you plug the external monitor in, attach it to the laptop, right click on the desktop, select "properties" go to the last tab (which is "settings" in XP). If you see two monitors labeled 1 and 2 in the window, you can select the grayed-out one with your mouse, and select "extend my desktop onto this monitor". Drag the monitor icons to match the physical arrangement of your actual monitors, and select "Apply". Viola - you have dual monitors.

To accomplish the same thing with a desktop model, you will either need to install a second video card or use a second computer and two network cards (NICs) to drive the other monitor along with a piece of software to actually use the second monitor from the main computer. I actually use both solutions. Two of my three monitors are connected to two video cards in my main computer, the secondary computer drives the third monitor and is connected to my main computer by a crossover Ethernet cable. Now I have no need to stretch any single window out to 3072 pixels in width so the software that I use to access the third monitor is a software KVM (keyboard/video/mouse) switch designed to use one computer's keyboard and mouse to drive another computers monitor (it should be called a KM switch, but lets not be nit-picky).
The software I use is Synergy (Google it on the web, you'll like the price) which has several nice features, you can add more than two computers and configure how they work together, and moving your mouse between the screens switches the control to the other computer. you can also cut and paste between the computers. What you cannot do is stretch a window across screens of more than one computer. This is no great hardship for me, though, because I like the added advantage of having a second computer with it's own processor and memory at my disposal simply by moving a mouse. I can run a processor or memory intensive ap on the second computer without impacting resources on my main system. Biggest drawback? You need a keyboard and mouse attached to the second system to use to launch Synergy on the second computer... I am thinking of installing a terminal program like VNC on the second computer so that I can run VNC Viewer on my main computer just to launch Synergy w/out digging out the second keyboard... I'll let you know how that works out.

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Self promotion 
Sunday, February 12, 2006, 05:53 PM
Today I am working on uploading my poetry, along with descriptions of each poem written by John Anderson. His glowing comments are embarrassing to me, but I am also amazed at how in-touch he is with my work. Promotion is the difference between failure and success I guess, so I just grin and bear it.

My understanding is that the descriptions will be used to generate the RSS feed as well. The whole thing is fascinating, but I just want to get done with it. I need to get done with it. I have other projects waiting and I don't need this one to go to my head.

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"High Art" 
Saturday, February 11, 2006, 10:06 AM
Watched the movie "High Art" last night. The acting was wonderful, characters believable, but I think it misses something. I get that the character Syd feels "connected" to the Ali Sheedy Character (July, Trudy? Something with a long U but it escapes me) but they fail to meaningfully develop the friendship, and the ending was a bit predictable. Still, all things considered, it's a worth-see, provided you aren't offended by a lesbian lifestyle. Still scratching my head about how it got on my Netflix list though? I sure don't remember adding it. Maybe 'cause of Ali though... I enjoy her in the edgier parts... (let's not play thermonuclear war).

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Redesigning the site... up past midnight - YAWN! 
Friday, February 10, 2006, 01:46 AM
Wow... lots to do, trying for an ecommerce site with ads and rss feeds. I want lots of poetry but still want to entice some book sales. It is 1:37 AM I just added this Blog page, but I think I'd better call it quits. So far I have to fix all the book pages, add all the poetry in my new db format with template functionality, and add all the other pages from archived versions of the web page. Glad John Anderson is arround to keep me going... And Whammy. But he will distract me to other projects... like the margethon page and a new page for his son the actor.

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