Archive | September, 2012

Freelance programming can be liberating

Posted on 17 September 2012 by The Secular Nerd

One of the things I enjoy most about Freelance programming, is the fact that I work from home most of the time. I get out of bed, pop my morning allergy and caffeine pills, power on my computer, and I check Facebook and e-mail. By the time I do that, I am as ready as I will ever be, to continue work on my latest contract(s).

Over the course of the last 10 years, my full-time employment opportunities were either short lived due to lay-offs, or I simply despised doing the same repetitive tasks time and time again. I am a creature of the night as well, so some of my best programming has come “after hours”.

It wasn’t until I moved down south, that I found out what my true calling was in this world. I always wanted to be a computer repair person when I grew up (at the age of 5), then I refined it to Network Administrator (age 14), and I kept with that until 26.

I had a lot of experience programming through that time span, but always got burned out doing it. I think in part, because of what I was programming, as well as the circumstances arising in my early 20’s. Life hasn’t always been peaches and cream, but computers kept me going.

Down south, I found many opportunities that were non-existent (as far as I knew) up north. My reputation spread like wildfire (some great, some bad). I would either have short lived dry spells of contracts, or a ton of them drop on me like a pile of bricks. Either way, it was the programming that kept edging itself to the top.

My field of expertise in coding is customization and integration. I work with semi proprietary software that usually always accesses a form of SQL (MySQL, MS SQL). I highly enjoy slapping a WAMP (Windows, Apache, MySQL, PHP) server on their servers, make a portal using AJAX and web 2.0 techniques, and just go to town. Enhancing the capabilities beyond what their software can do has always driven more work to me when they have an idea.

Thinking outside the box, and removing the phrase “It can’t be done” from my vocabulary has kept food on my table, a roof over my head, and has opened the doors to many other ventures. One key component to all of this, is critical thinking.

Critical thinking isn’t just for religion, politics, or philosophy. It’s a way of life. Bringing critical thinking into programming has pushed me far beyond what I had ever imagined. It has challenged me to rethink my programming style, enhance old techniques, and broaden my horizon on what I can apply it to.

The sad thing, is critical thinking can’t be taught. It’s like one of those Neo moments on the Matrix. “I can only show you the door” etc. It just gradually develops, but when it does eventually hit you full on, the best way to explain it is using a phrase from a friend of mine up north “It’s like reality shifting without a clutch”.

– The Secular Nerd

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Libya: Planned, or just really angry?

Posted on 16 September 2012 by The Secular Nerd

Afghans burn the U.S. flag in Herat

If you haven’t been hiding under a rock this week, you would know the craziness that is going on around the world that was supposedly caused by an anti-muslim satirical video. Protesters in several locations on the other side of the pond gathered and attacked U.S. interests (embassies) and on the streets.

What’s particularly interesting about this whole deal, is that there have been reports that this was carefully planned for quite some time.

A deadly assault on a U.S. consulate in Libya was a spontaneous reaction to an anti-Muslim video, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations said Sunday, even as Libya’s president insisted the attackers spent months preparing and carefully choosing their date — the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. [AP/Google]

Ambassador Susan Rice seems to believe (according to the evidence gathered so far) this was not the case, however had this to add:

“It seems to have been hijacked, let us say, by some individual clusters of extremists who came with heavier weapons,” Rice said, adding that such weaponry is easy to come by in post-revolutionary Libya.

Libya’s interim president had this to say about his claims that it was planned:

“It was planned, definitely. It was planned by foreigners, by people who entered the country a few months ago,” el-Megarif said. “And they were planning this criminal act since their arrival.”

Who or what do we believe with this? As a skeptic, and as someone who saw the video, I honestly believe it was carefully planned. I believe the video was used as an excuse to gather even more support for the terrorist attacks and the murders of several good people. I believe this, because of this article and many more like it that are outside the United States and its media outlets. If I’m wrong, I’ll be the first to admit to it, but there are too many red flags on this one boys and girls.

“I do not exclude discovering things that will link al-Qaida and the US consulate attack,” said Mr Megaryef but added that it was “very early to talk about the investigation.”

His comments come as al-Qaida said the deadly attack in Libya was in revenge for the killing of the network’s number two Sheikh Abu Yahya al-Libi, SITE Intelligence Group reported.

“The killing of Sheikh Abu Yahya only increased the enthusiasm and determination of the sons of (Libyan independence hero) Omar al-Mokhtar to take revenge upon those who attack our Prophet,” said al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula said in a statement, quoted by the US-based monitoring group. [Herald Sun]

One particular article has me thinking though. One of the individuals who were slain in the attacks was Christopher Stevens. He was brutally raped and put out on display. What they did was unforgivable in my opinion, but were the circumstances of which led up to his murder provoked?

I’d like to take a moment to reflect on the irony, or perhaps the term might be more an oxymoron. That is a region in our world that is very much so against homosexuality (they brutally murder LGBT’s) , yet they performed sexual acts as a group on him that is completely against their beliefs.:

“Would ye really approach men in your lusts rather than women? Nay, ye are a people (grossly) ignorant! But his people gave no other answer but this: They said, “Drive out the followers of Lut from your city: these are indeed men who want to be clean and pure!” But We saved him and his family, except his wife; her We destined to be of those who lagged behind. And We rained down on them a shower (of brimstone): and evil was the shower on those who were admonished (but heeded not)!” (Qur’an 27:55-58)

We live in a world full of questions, full of violence, and full of hypocrites. It may never end until we can rid ourselves of the hate, the lies, and religious bigotry. Below, is the video that supposedly sparked all this (Not accessible in all countries, due to YouTube doing its part to prevent idiots from getting all worked up over it):

– The Secular Nerd

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Barnes Claims ‘God’ Chooses to Bless Rape Victims with Pregnancy

Posted on 01 September 2012 by That Heathen Girl

    Barnes Claims ‘God’ Chooses to Bless Rape Victims with Pregnancy

image ©

Rape and abortion are subject matters that most people avoid talking about. It’s one of those moral things that people are afraid of speaking out about for fear of persecution or a lecture.

First, let me paint you a picture. Imagine that you’re a woman, and you have just been violently attacked and raped. You go to the hospital to get examined, police are asking you questions, and you go home upset and feeling completely dirty and violated. Let’s say about a week later, after your work has been suffering because you can’t stop thinking about what happened, you find out you’re pregnant.

Now, regardless of your religion and background, would you really think that God had blessed you with a child?
Sharon Barnes, a high ranking republican, was quoted by the New York Times as saying:

“Abortion is never an option.”

“If God has chosen to bless this person [the rape victim] with a life, you don’t kill it.”

This was pretty much all she said on the matter. She may not have wanted to elaborate because she didn’t want to explain what the woman who had been raped is supposed to do for the next nine months. Sure she could give it up for adoption, but would you really want to carry around a baby you never wanted in the first place?

The human population wouldn’t suffer, Africa alone has a fertility rate of four to five births per woman every year.

So how would ‘God’ choose to let women who are raped get pregnant? Christianity is all about compassion isn’t it? Shouldn’t a good ‘God’ prevent something terrible like that from happening?

I bet Sharon Barnes would be whistling a different tune if she got raped.

– That Heathen Girl

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Clint Eastwood, make my furniture

Posted on 01 September 2012 by The Secular Nerd

Clint Eastwood at the RNC

Besides the fact that it was one of the most painful speeches I have ever volunteered to listen to, it made amazing meme’s flooding my Facebook newsfeed.  What started off as a “celebrity endorsement” feeling, quickly escalated into a spiraling out of control babbling futile attempt at comedy, poking fun of an invisible Obama sitting next to him in a empty chair.

Yes, the picture is a parody image, but you can view the entire speech above. It all went downhill from there on out. The man is in his 80’s, and I would never make fun of him I always respect my elders like my mother has taught me, and I still respect his film making career… but this was just insane. He poked fun at Obama’s election, and put much emphasis on Oprah “crying”, to get a laugh out of the audience. He then went on to tell that he had not cried so much as he did realizing there were “23 million” unemployed people in this country.

I can’t stress this enough, how Republicans place blame on Obama for Bush Jr’s presidency farce. Every sane democrat… hell, every sane, rational person in the world knows that Obama is cleaning up after Bush’s presidency. I’d like to also note, that “W” never came to the RNC, to show support for Mitt. That has to say something right there.

There’s a few questions I’m asking my invisible Clint Eastwood as we speak, but he seems to not be able to answer:

  • Where were you going with half your questions you just stumbled with your words?
  • Where were you going with the Oprah part?
  • Did you know Mitt Romney went to Law School at Harvard when you said that the White House doesn’t need Attorneys?
  • Do you realize that a president has to weigh the pro’s and con’s of every decision he makes?
  • What were you meaning about Obama going to colleges talking to the students about the ever looming darkness of student loans?
  • Did you mean that the Republicans get paid off, since they are “our employees”?
  • Did you even have a speech or notes prepared going on stage?

All in all, I am deeply disappointed in you Clint Eastwood. I thought that was the most painful speech I have ever listened to, and all I could think about to myself while watching this, is “man, conservatives are eating every little bit up. I don’t want to live on this planet anymore.” Thanks for the laughs at you, not with you. (Yes, it’s brutal, but I’m just saying it like it is)

– The Secular Nerd


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