Tuesday, October 22, 2013

My Dog Broke My Nexus 7

I've been having a charging problem with my Nexus 7 for some time now. The power adapter can charge all other devices without a problem, but not the tablet. The adapter has to be inserted at a very specific angle and then could not be moved at all. To me, that's clearly a problem with the tablet charging port, not the power adapter. So I sent it to ASUS for repair. They sent it back "No trouble found."

While trying to convince them that it really was the tablet and not the power adapter, they insisted that I had to buy a new adapter. This is despite the tablet still being in warranty for two more weeks. I finally gave in and spent the money to buy a new adapter. It's going to be delivered tomorrow.

And then tonight, this happens:

I haven't even had it a full year. Close, by about nine days, but still not a full year.

Oh well, what are you going to do? I've been wanting a good reason to get the new Nexus 7 or a 10" tablet of some sort. I am stuck with a power adapter that I don't need, though. The cost of shipping it back to Amazon would cost nearly as much as I paid for the adapter itself, so I'm not going to bother returning it. If you have an original Nexus 7 and need a new power adapter for it, let me know! I paid $15.

Still, FML. Stupid dog. And he keeps pooping in the house. Dumb, stupid, annoying dog.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Poor Neglected Blog

I rarely update my blog anymore. There's a lot of reasons why, none really worth discussing. I keep my blog around as a central place to 1) archive my past ramblings, most of which were nonsense and 2) to serve as a way to link to the various ways to reach me on the Interwebz (which you can see over to the right).

For some reason, blogger isn't playing nice with Chrome (odd, since they're both Google products) and so Chrome doesn't reliably display the "widgets" of my contact info. So here's a quick and dirty way list of links.

Facebook: Brandon.Stauffer

Twitter: @brandon72mo


Instagram: brandonstauffer

Amazon: Brandon P. Stauffer (it's really just a wish list)

I also have Snapchat (brandon72mo), Skype (brandon.p.stauffer) and Kik (brandon72mo).

So there you go, now you can listen to my pointless ramblings without me ever updating my blog! You're welcome.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Ex Files

No Mulder and Scully here. Though I do miss that show.

I'm talking about ex-boyfriends. I had an interesting conversation with one several weeks ago and it left me wondering if perhaps I'm approaching things the wrong way. I'd love some input.

It was just a few hours of texting back and forth. It ultimately lead to a "Can we be friends again?" question from him. He said I was always important to him, and even though he knows how much he hurt me, he still thinks fondly of me, and, could we maybe keep in touch and be in each other's lives? I replied very honestly: What do we have in common besides a short time spent dating?

Now that's not true for all of my ex's - I had some things in common with many of them. But in the end, things DID end. And with just one exception they ended because the other guy cheated on me (for the record: I have never been unfaithful). This has lead to some difficult trust issues, to be sure, but it also squashed my affection for them. And it definitely destroyed my trust in them.

By the way, for the one that didn't cheat, he's still a great friend to this day. We recognized early on that we were more compatible as friends instead of boyfriends and just took it back down to that level. Easy enough.

For all of the others, they violated my trust. Many of them lied to try to cover their indiscretions. Three of them continued to lie even after I uncovered indisputable evidence. For the one that inspired this entry on my much neglected blog, he even had the audacity to lose his temper with me when I confronted him, accusing me of having never trusted him and "spying" on him. Side note: I came across the evidence of his cheating entirely by accident; I had no idea it was going on until the very moment it was staring me in the face on my computer screen. It was also the second time he was unfaithful, he was honest about the first time.

Don't get me wrong, with the exception of just one of these cheaters, I was not in love (and that one exception still rattles around in my head and my heart despite how terribly things ended). My relationships with them were already strained in one way or another before they cheated. And in every case, that strain was caused by a very different world view or set of values. These were people that, besides mutual attraction, there just wasn't much to draw us together.

Of course, there were things I picked up from them and they picked up from me. From the one who inspired all of this, I gained a love for HBO's The Soprano's. Actually it was a friend of his that encouraged us both to watch it. I got hooked, he eventually lost interest. But still. From another I gained a love for the Civilization franchise of games. For yet another still, I was a catalyst that helped him rediscover his faith. And another still is a huge Alanis Morissette fan to this day because of my borderline obsession with her music (hey, find me another artist who so perfectly puts to song the words of my heart and soul as much as she does. Death Cab for Cutie comes close, but Alanis nails it perfectly). Yeah, these are almost all rather trivial, and the list would really is much longer. My point is that I am an open minded person and I seek to learn from each person who wanders into my life.

And that brings me back to the question that has been nagging me ever since those few hours of texting one evening. Am I missing something here? With each of my friends, there is something, however small, that we have in common. Some common thread that runs through both of our lives that binds our friendship in the first place. If I don't have this with my ex's, am I foolish to not make an effort to remain friends with them? It's not as though I go out of my way to avoid any of them. It's just that I do not see anything that creates within me the desire to keep in touch with them (well, except for the one that I still love to this day, but love is never rational, so I get a pass).

Ignore the cheating, ignore the lies, ignore the drama. Bring it all down to that one simple question: What do we have in common that would cause us to be friends?

Is that a fucked up way to look at things or am I on target with this? Thoughts?

Saturday, May 04, 2013

CBC Is Gone

So, Central Bible College is gone. Most of me says good riddance; it was an institution that sought to indoctrinate instead of educate and, in my experience, discouraged any thought contradictory to the "16 Fundamentals of Faith." But that's not the purpose of what I'm about to write. No, I want to write about some of the few rays of light in what was, to me, a very dark place and time.

There were three professors who had a lasting impact on my life. Peggy Catron, Steve Badger and Vernon Purdy. I'll start with the latter.

Dr. Purdy was, without a doubt, the person most responsible (some might argue to blame) for my curiosity into differing theological thought. That may seem like it's not such a big deal to some, but for me it was huge. For reasons I will not go into, but some are quite obvious, I never truly felt at home within the Assemblies of God or Central Bible College. This was a time before the Internet was as easy as opening Chrome and clicking on a link, and I had come from a small south Arkansas town, so my resources to explore other theological studies were limited. Dr. Purdy offered so much material to work with in that area. From quick discussions after class to meetings in his office, he helped me to find the resources I longed for. He was also really the first truly "great mind" that I encountered that didn't see doubt or questions as heretical. Of all the people I have met through the A/G and CBC, I am probably most thankful for Dr. Purdy's willingness to challenge the status quo and offer varying points of view.

Years after I finished at CBC, I ran into Dr. Purdy one evening while I was working at Barnes & Noble. It was just a few months before he passed away. We talked a bit about theology and he shared with me the circumstances of his departure from CBC. During our conversation, I took the opportunity to thank him for all of the things he shared with me and let him know he stood out as one of the biggest impacts on my life during my time at CBC. In typical Dr. Purdy style, he joked and said, "yeah, now pull my other leg." So I repeated it; I wanedt him to know he had left a permanent mark. He changed the subject and asked where I landed theologically after I left CBC. That lead to a long, wonderful chat and, also in typical Dr. Purdy style, ended with him rattling off about 30 books or articles I should read. I still haven't found everything on that list!

Dr. Badger... what an amazing mind! My first experience with him was in a science survey course. All I recall from that course is him joking in front of the class regarding how quickly I made my daily commute from Kimberling City to Springfield for classes. My next encounter would be in his philosophy course, Christian Faith and Natural Science. I've always been a geek. I've always been fascinated by science and nature. Yet in both the pew and in the classroom, there seemed to be so much animosity for science in general that it seemed the greatest known enemy to Christianity were people in lab coats. Dr. Badger changed that for me. Yeah, he was at CBC so he had to be cautious, but the course materials he presented spanned an amazingly broad range of thought. It was in this class that I really found my voice as a geek who loves science and Jesus at the same time. It was also in this class that I earned a bit of a reputation as a heretic. One pastor's son even told me later that I actually made him cry once because of some things I had said that challenged his world view (he was thanking me for that, by the way). Heretic was a title I wore with a fair bit of pride because, by that point, I had already had enough of the A/G and the generally small minded people I encountered.

Dr. Badger was also a bit of a geek. He'd let me use his office computer and that super-fast T1 connection to download pretty much anything I wanted. He encouraged me in my then budding HTML hobby (long since abandoned, but that's another story) and even helped me get a short gig putting some things online at the brand new (by late 90's measure) site for the A/G Archives. There wasn't much of an outlet for geeks at CBC, so I was and remain thankful for him providing that. I can still remember a long afternoon discussion about computer storage, Zip disks specifically, and us both remarking how that whopping 100 MB disk seemed to store an infinite amount of data.

And then there's Peggy Catron. We knew her as Peggy Catron-Ping back then. Peggy's impact on me wasn't academic or theological, it was personal. To put it simply: she had the singular ability to call me on my bullshit when no one else would or could. I don't want to gloss over that because it seems that the fair majority of people in my life were/are content to let me live up to my initials. Peggy could shoot me down, in a way that wasn't judgmental or mean-spirited, and she could often do it with just a look. It was something I needed (and something she probably realized I needed). Whether she intended to or not, Peggy taught me to truly think before I opened my big mouth and she challenged me to be able to back up what was I was saying. That's pretty huge because, like many people I knew at CBC, I was great at regurgitating what I had heard but I was lacking in any true substance.

It's kind of funny now, but back then, Peggy was referred to as a "liberal" on campus and other professors and students would warn me about her and her "liberal ways." I say it's funny now because I have her as a friend on Facebook and over the past few years I've seen her post things that I roll my eyes at and think, "Ug, conservatives." But back then she seemed so left-wing that she was about to fall off the bird all together.

Oh, and Peggy also encouraged the hair-brained idea that I could act. I auditioned for a school play, mainly because my friends were doing it too, and was shocked to get a part. Peggy was in charge of the school plays, she conducted the auditions, and she gave me the part. Totally her fault. I gave it my all but looking at an old video of it shows the truth: I was terrible. That's OK, Peggy made it fun and never once rolled her eyes at how terrible of an actor I was.

So CBC is gone, merged in with two other schools, and no longer indoctrinating future minister's with a narrow (and in my opinion, dangerous) world-view. And I say again: good riddance. Yet I am thankful for these three professors who, in an environment that I saw as increasingly hostile to open discussion and thought, were able to help me expand my own world view and grow not only in my faith, but as a person.

I wanted to post this on an alumi page for CBC, but for reasons I don't understand, I can't join. Maybe they're afraid of what the scary gay man might say.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

A Fresh Look for My Words

I've update my blog to use Bloggers new-ish "Dynamic Views." Though I did do some minor customization so I could keep a version of that synapses/neurons header. What do you think?

I know I haven't written anything in what would be a lifetime according to the Interwebs. I have been locked up in my own head for quite some time and not felt like any of it was worth sharing. I have recently updated Tapes, an entry originally posted almost three years ago.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Clever Google

I meant to Google View Askew, but forgot the "View". This was the result:

You can find some other fun Google Easter Eggs here.

(sorry for all the splotchy black lines; edited out personal info. Try the trick for yourself!)

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Snow Day

I snagged this pic from www.ozarkstraffic.info; the camera is about two blocks from my house. The pic was taken at 10:40 AM today. You can usually see the sidewalk just outside my house on this camera. Lots of snow and ice today here in Springfield. Glad it's my day off! The snowfall is beautiful, but it unnerves me a little bit hearing a lot of ice pelting the windows with it. If you're out in this storm today, be careful.
I shoveled a nice clear pathway to the gate just about 30 minutes ago. The snow is falling so fast, and the wind blowing so much, you can barely tell I was even out there. And check out those Toby paw prints. That dog loves snow! He can fling it at you with his nose and his aim is near perfect. The entire time I was shoveling, he was throwing snow at me.

This was shot from my bedroom window. My house is split-level, so my eye-level is also right at ground level. It was rather calm when I shot this, but the snow has been falling very heavily and the wind is blowing it around so much I can barely see my gate at times.

And here's Toby, a few hours later. He's not so sure about his love affair with snow at this point, I think.
An near battalion of snow plows approaches Battlefield and Glenstone around 2:30. And local residents say the plows aren't out. Pshaw!