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Father’s Day Thoughts June 16, 2013

Posted by Conrad Hubbard in : The Chip , add a comment

Today, I worked in the yard. Not the most exciting Father’s Day, perhaps. However, other than calling my own father (which I definitely did), I think it was the closest I could get to experiencing fatherhood this day. Yardwork always makes me think of my ex’s little one, Deva, because she used to insist on helping “daddy” with it. She even had a toy mower she pushed around for a while. Eventually she insisted on helping push the real mower. Walking bent forward so a child can stand in front of you and pretend to help push a mower is hard work. I also always felt like I had to be extra cautious the entire time. I miss you, little one.

Wiki Rather Than Blog? March 6, 2012

Posted by Conrad Hubbard in : The Chip , add a comment

I started thinking about that this evening. I wonder if I should simply start moving everything on my website into a wiki and stop doing anything in any sort of linear blog fashion. My site is currently split between: old hard-coded html files and images which have lots of archived but outdated creative efforts, a WordPress blog (that I rarely use relative to), a Wiki. Hypothetically, the blog setup should be inspiring me to write every day. However, it seems to fail in that regard, and I post to the Wiki far more often.

Netflix Split September 19, 2011

Posted by Conrad Hubbard in : The Chip , 1 comment so far

Maybe they are doing this for publicity, in which case I guess they are winning. However, I do not understand the decision that Netflix has made to intentionally spin off their DVD division into some other company. For people who get both services: streaming and mailed DVDs, this seems like a reduction in ease of use. Having your queues, billing, customer service, etc all split up onto two different websites seems inconvenient. At very least, imagine having to login twice just to check the same stuff you logged into once. Netflix argues they are doing this to be better and more competitive with other streaming services. It seems to me that one way they could brand themselves as better would be to advertise that they also offer this huge DVD service in addition to their streaming one. Strange stuff. Maybe it will work for them, but I don’t see how, and I don’t look forward to the extra logins and credit card entries.

Happy Birthday Deva April 13, 2011

Posted by Conrad Hubbard in : The Chip , add a comment

Nine years ago, Deva Alyssa Winter was born, and I was there to witness it. I just wanted to say happy birthday, Deva. I wish I could say it in person, but for whatever reason your mom will not let me. I hope you had a good birthday anyway! If you ever want to talk to me, and you find this, feel free to contact me.

Equality and Military Service January 16, 2011

Posted by Conrad Hubbard in : The Chip , 2 comments

Active military service has not been a consequence of mandatory draft registration since 1973. Nonetheless, every male in America must legally register for the draft within 30 days of the age of 18 or suffer serious legal penalties including lengthy imprisonment, large fines and lack of civil rights on a state and federal level.

I was reading an article today on CNN about the movement to “allow” women to serve in combat duties in their military service in order that they might be treated equally to their male counterparts. Frankly, I wish that nobody had to serve combat duty. However, there is a strangeness to this approach to “equality” in my view. To me, equal means equal for bad and equal for good.

As such, it seems that real equality is not limited to those who choose something when others are forced into something. To me, real equality in this case would require that all men and women should be required to register for the draft or that no men or women should be required to do so. All or none. Equal or not equal.

More Posts April 22, 2010

Posted by Conrad Hubbard in : The Chip , add a comment

Lately, I have fairly consistently failed to meet my own ideas of what I should be doing as regards new creative works. I have this sense that I am supposed to be writing things, and posting them online, way more often. I think that part of this stems from the fact that I don’t currently have a close confidante that is sharing my day to day thoughts. In the past, I was fairly satisfied to tell my love what I was thinking. In absence of such a presence, however, I have an urge to tell the world if I cannot tell the most important person in my world. I think another part stems from the fact the fact that my brother was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and this makes me feel extraordinarily mortal. When I was a teenager, I was struck by a car while bicycling to track practice. This permanently damaged my left leg. As I grow older, that leg has gradually caused me more and more trouble. My brother has been brave about dealing with his condition, but finding out about it has given me self-induced cause to dwell upon my injuries and their longterm effects. Hm, this feels a bit like personal bitching to excuse lax behavior. I am going to leave it that way, though, as recognition that I might be doing exactly that.

Happy Birthday Deva April 13, 2010

Posted by Conrad Hubbard in : The Chip , 3 comments

DevaEight years ago today I was standing in a hospital room in Nashville, Tennessee cutting the umbilical cord of a tiny little baby. Deva Alyssa Winter was born into the world, and I was standing there like every other nervous dad in the history of mankind. Except, that I am not Deva’s biological father. As luck would have it, I had met a woman and fallen in love with her, only to discover she was already pregnant. I almost jumped ship the moment that was revealed, but I thought that we were the right couple and that I should give it a chance. So I stuck it out with a long distance relationship as my then-girlfriend developed all of the signs of childbearing, and I made the drive from Atlanta to Nashville to visit her every weekend. Finally, there I was watching the miracle of birth.

The moment that I picked Deva up and cradled her in my arms, I was a changed person. Unlike many folks, I had never wanted the responsibility of children. I always figured that other people were better parents than I could ever be, and that it was just not something for me. When I held that tiny little girl, swaddled in layers of cloth, I felt the powerful protective instincts of millions of years of evolution sweep over me. Deva’s mother, Rachel, determined that she wanted to raise Deva to think of me as “Dad” and this seemed to work fairly well since Deva’s biological father basically disappeared to Canada and saw her only a single time shortly after her birth. I know he had his own life to live, and that is not for me to judge.

I fell in love with Deva, as a dad, and she took to me as well. I was the one she would usually call out for when she was sick. I was the one that read her bedtime stories, and typically drove her to daycare. As the years passed, when I came home from work, she would grab my hand and insist that I join her in playing with blocks, or her dolls and toy castle, carry her like I was a horse, all of the silly stuff that you do to make kids happy. Rachel used to call Deva a “daddy’s girl” because she would run to meet me when I got home from work, she would demand to go with me to the store, she would try to help me cook, she would even try to help me clean the house.

Sadly, when Deva was 5 years old, her mother took off and left me here. She initially encouraged me to keep in touch with Deva, and I would visit or call when I was allowed to do so. Eventually, for whatever reason, Deva’s mother Rachel cut off contact. Finally I discovered that Deva wasn’t even living with her mom, having been taken in by her paternal grandmother. I tried to reach out to her, but Rachel refused. I still try to reach out to Deva on holidays and her birthday, but her mom seems determined to block this.

Anyway, Deva, I tried again this year to get your mom to let me see you in person, or even just talk to you on the phone, and she ignored the request. I hope that someday you will at least know that I tried. I hope that you have had a happy birthday today, and that everything is going well for you.

Is There a Candidate? April 13, 2010

Posted by Conrad Hubbard in : The Chip , 3 comments

One of the things that I wonder about the so-called Tea Party is: Do they actually have any real candidates? I don’t mean Republican Party candidates or Libertarian Party candidates. I mean actual Tea Party candidates. If they do have such candidates, are they really going to vote for them? Seriously, this is entirely anecdotal, but most Libertarians that I know, who tell me how they vote, historically have voted Republican. However often they proclaim Libertarians philosophies, they don’t actually vote that way when the chips are down. To be fair, some of them voted for Obama in 2008, but that was shocking given prior self-professed records. It seems that Sarah Palin scared them, too. Usually, though, election after election, most of them ultimately decide that a vote for a Libertarian is a vote for a Democrat, and so they vote Republican.

And so, I am serious. How many teabaggers are going to vote for a Tea Party candidate? I suspect there won’t be many. Is there even such a thing as a Tea Party candidate? As an outsider watching them on TV, it sure looks to me like they are being played by the Republicans, who seem to be their primary event speakers. Or maybe they aren’t being played by the Republicans. Maybe they are playing themselves, pretending to be something new and different while actually just continuing to be the same old Republican grassroots they have always been.

Congress Against Democracy March 4, 2010

Posted by Conrad Hubbard in : The Chip , 2 comments

I was watching CNN tonight, and they had two Congressional members, one Democratic and one Republican, talking about the current healthcare issue and what the Senate should do. Republican Representative Michele Bachmann stated that having the Senate settle issues of law by majority vote was wrong. She said that the Senate should require a 60%-Yes vote for anything to pass. Hm? While I definitely believe that our Constitution has strong (usually judicial) provisions designed to protect minorities against immoral majorities, it also provides for a democratic-republic form of government. The same so-called “reconciliation” tactic was used to pass the Bush-era taxcuts for the wealthy, so really the Representative is talking out of both sides of her mouth anyway. Regardless, to me it is silly that this has to have some special term like Reconciliation. Why does it require weird obscure rules for a simple majority to win the vote? Why should it take 60-40 votes for a bill to pass in the Senate? Why are so many Republicans against the basic idea of democracy?

State of the Union Response January 27, 2010

Posted by Conrad Hubbard in : The Chip , 1 comment so far

Presidential SealI just finished watching President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address—which I thought was pretty good—and a weird thought popped into my head. I am sure that the Republican Party has some prepared “response” ready to whack him with, something that they hope will somehow make them look better and him look worse. But this idea occurred to me—what if they just said, “Yeah, what he said. Seriously, that sounds pretty good, and we are going to help make it happen, because America deserves our help.” Okay, just an odd thought. Let’s see what their handpicked spokesperson really says.