Leaving it all on the field

Perhaps it’s just because I’m getting older, but it seems I find myself thinking (or even worrying) about what kind of legacy I’ll leave when I’m gone.

That sounds morbid right? While I try to be positive as much as possible, I can’t help but have thoughts of impending doom/demise. I want to live a long and full life (my son hopes I’ll live to be 500 years old), but that doesn’t stop me from wondering about what happens if I don’t.

I used to love playing sports (I’m way too out of shape and out of practice to be much good these days) and back then I used to live by the old saying “leave everything on the field”. The idea that you want to give it your all or “play every game as if it were your last”. That’s actually not too difficult to do with sports, but applying that principle to life isn’t so easy.

Life has a way of making everything blur together. We get so wrapped up in the rat race and lose focus from what is most important. The days come and go, people come and go, and we carry on. When our turn is up, all that’s left is the impression we made on those who knew us.

If today was my last…

I’d want my kids to know that they are the most amazing thing to ever happen to me, that they are beautiful and intelligent and special in more ways than I can express in words, that I’m proud of them and believe in them, and that I love them with all of my being. I’d want them to know that I’m sorry I couldn’t be the invulnerable superhero they imagined me to be, that I want them to be brave and live life without fear and full of love, and to always stick together.

I’d want my wife to know that I am thankful every day that she agreed to be my bride, that she is beautiful and wonderful in every way,  that she is the strongest person I know, and that I love her more than she knows.

I’d want my family and friends to know that they are all awesome and that I’ve enjoyed knowing them and being a part of their lives.

There’s a lot more that I’d like to say, but no time (funny isn’t it?), so for now I’ll sign off by saying that if you’re reading this: I appreciate you and I hope you have an awesome day. Be good to one another. Let people know you love them. Be bold, be brave, be awesome!

I can’t wait to see my wife and kids again so I can hug them and tell them how much they mean to me.

Learn Shell/Terminal Basics

Do you have interest in learning basic shell commands? Perhaps you’re new to Linux and want to become more familiar with the Terminal? Perhaps you’ve been using Linux for some time now, but never really got the hang of using the command line?

Codecademy has a nice beginner course on shell commands. You should definitely check this out. I consider myself an advanced user in this area and I still managed to learn a few things.

The course is free and should take less than an hour (I was done in 15 minutes and I took time to skim/read the lesson).


What in the World is Dudeism Anyways?

Alright so I know it’s been forever since I last posted (hyperbolically speaking) and I suppose it’s time for an update.

Well today I have sort of a guest post for you. I happen to know a guy who has this cool deal on Fiverr where he’ll write you a nice 500 word article on any topic you like for $5. So I thought I’d give it a try and I picked Dudeism. Now I’ve been a Dudeist for a few years now, but haven’t really said much about it to too many people. Perhaps I’ll write more about it another time, but for now I’ll let Steven fill you in on the details.

What in the World is Dudeism Anyways?

For those fortunate few, who may have encountered one of the many individuals who live in our wonderfully advanced society, they may have seemed like your standard slacker, or maybe just an individual who just didn’t seem to have much ambition in life. They may have even been the type of person who seemed to just say “Screw it” whenever a huge problem way get slung their way. While it’s easy to just rip on these people (unless of course you may just relate to this kind of person), under no circumstances should you be so quick to judge, while we do have lazy people in the world, the first question that should come to mind should be “Am I encountering a Dudeist?”.

Now it’s quite easy to ask, “What the hell are you talking about?”, and the question is completely founded, after all, what exactly is a dudeist? At its base (and I totally risk over-complicating it) is that the dudeists, abides. What that means is, regardless of the craziness that life throws your way, regardless of how much heavy stuff is going on in your world, the easiest way to deal with it, is just to deal with, “go with the flow” and realize that while the present is super ridiculous, if you just take it one day at a time, and take it easy, that all of the worry and stress will eventually pass!

Sound a little familiar? Well this way of life was based off of the legendary Jeff Lebowski, a character created by the legendary Coen Brothers, and made famous by his portrayal by Jeff Bridges in the movie known as the Big Lebowski, and while that may seem like an almost ridiculous pretense for a faith (Though you’ll never hear a Dudeist call it that, they prefer the term “worldview”1) it was still brought to light by their Dudely Lama, Oliver Benjamin2, who dubbed his amazingly astute Church the Church of Latter Day Dude, and has slowly built its ranks, which continue to grow everyday based on its beliefs which closely resemble ideologies
such as Taoism, and Buddhism, but don’t follow that same dogmatic rituals of those religions, not that they’re looked upon with disdain, but with a view that they can be easily replicated with a solid chill session that might include bowling and the occasional acid flashback.

So then tell me oh curious reader, can you ever picture a time when you’ve viewed the world as just being too intense? Where life keeps speeding up when all you want is for it to slow down and just chill? Well like the amazing members of this astonishing and almost outlandish, life is a ride, and sometimes you just gotta get off, while you may not totally convert into a supreme Dudeist, it comes highly recommended that everyone at last look into the way of the dude, and recognize that even some practice of the culture can be healthy, then even the most stressed out people in the world (the writer of this article included) can abide everything
the world has to throw at you!

— Steven Schwanitz

1. Eutsey, Dwayne. “Take It Easy Manifesto.” Dudeism.com. Web. 15 May 2015.
2. Ehrlich, Richard. “The Man Who Founded a Religion Based on ‘The Big Lebowski'” CNN Travel. Web. 16 May 2015.


If you’re interested in Steven and/or his services, check ’em out here:
Steven Schwanitz Fiverr
Mr Writing Fanatic – Steven Schwanitz


If you’re interested in Dudeism leave a comment below or check out one of these interesting books:

The Abide Guide: Living Like Lebowski
The Tao of the Dude: Awesome Insights of Deep Dudes from Lao Tzu to Lebowski
The Dude De Ching
The Dude and the Zen Master


Alright, that’s it for now. I’ll try to write something again soon. Take care everyone.

How to watch Amazon Prime Videos in Ubuntu 14.04

I’ve been frustrated that I can’t watch Amazon Prime videos on Ubuntu, until tonight. I finally got it working. Here’s what I did. Note, only attempt to do this yourself if you know what you are doing. This is just a list of steps of what I did, I’m not telling you what to do.

# Install Adobe Flash Player 11.2+

I didn’t have much luck using the plugin in the repositories, so I went did it this way and it worked.

  1. Go to http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/ and download the  .tar.gz version (I got the 64bit since I’m using 64bit Ubuntu) and download the file.
  2. Open your terminal and cd to the directory of your download. In my case the download went to:
    so I ran:
    cd ~/Downloads
  3. Run this command to extract the archive:
    tar -xzvf install_flash_player_11_linux.x86_64.tar.gz
  4. Now run this command to copy the plugin files to the appropriate location:
    sudo cp -R usr/* /usr/
  5. Now run this command to copy the plugin to your mozilla firefox plugins directory:
    sudo cp libflashplayer.so /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/
  6. Now cleanup the leftover extracted files (note: do NOT use sudo with these 2 commands… if you have to use sudo here you’re doing something very wrong — run these 2 commands at your own risk)
    rm libflashplayer.so
    rm -rf usr

# Install Hal

  1. Add the repository so you can install hal… run this command:
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mjblenner/ppa-hal
  2. Update and install with this command:
    sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install hal libhal1

# Test it out!

This only works in Firefox (as far as I know), so launch Firefox (if you had it open/running during this process, restart the browser before proceeding). Then go to Amazon Prime Instant Video, pick a video, and go! Enjoy!

# Summary

Here is a list of all the commands I ran, in succession, without all the blah blah blah…

Go to http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/ and download the  .tar.gz version (I got the 64bit since I’m using 64bit Ubuntu) and download the file. Open Terminal. Commands:

cd ~/Downloads
tar -xzvf install_flash_player_11_linux.x86_64.tar.gz
sudo cp -R usr/* /usr/
sudo cp libflashplayer.so /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/
rm libflashplayer.so
rm -rf usr
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mjblenner/ppa-hal
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install -y hal libhal1

# Disclaimer

Don’t do any of this if you don’t know what the commands do. I cannot be responsible for what happens to your computer as a result of your attempt to follow this tutorial. By using this guide you acknowledge that I’m just trying to help describe what process I used to get it to work on my computer and offering it as feedback to anyone else attempting to accomplish the same thing.

We’re all in this together…

I don’t have as much time to write as I’d like, but that’s good because it forces me to condense all the thoughts I have in my mind into something digestible by those who read this rambling.

That being said, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about this crazy world we live in. It’s amazing how much diversity there is and at the same time people seem to have a tendency to automatically reject those who are different than themselves and people who insist on forcing diversity. Two sides of the same coin? I try not to think about it too much….

I’m not trying to ignore it, I’ve just come to accept it. I’m not going to change anybody. I have my opinions and so does everyone else. One huge thing I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older is that my opinions sure have changed a lot over the years. In some ways that’s terrifying and in some ways that’s comforting.

I disagree with you, but...

There was a time when I was very forceful (and often negative) in expressing (I called it “sharing”) my opinions. I don’t do that anymore (or at least try not to) because I realized that it’s pretty ridiculous considering my opinions are based on my own experiences and observations and I have a bias based on those and many other things. So, if I’ve ever offended you or made you feel bad, I want to take this moment to offer my sincerest apology. I really mean that.

One of my favorite quotes is: “Opinions are immunity from being told your wrong. Paper, rock, and scissors they all have their pros and cons.” (Reliant K).

Anyway, I’m out of time and I’m rambling. “This is a very complicated case, Maude. You know, a lotta ins, a lotta outs, a lotta what-have-yous. And, uh, a lotta strands to keep in my head, man. Lotta strands in old Duder’s head.” (The Big Lebowski).

So what am I blathering about? I guess it all boils down to this: I think the world would be a better place if we would all stop being so ridiculous! It’s about time we accept that we are different and that’s OK. It’s time we accept that people should be allowed to believe what they want and live how they want to live (provided their choices do not infringe on the rights of others). It’s pretty simple really.

Live and let live. Be at peace. If somebody forgot to put sprinkles on your latte, it’s not the end of the world.

…the cure for what ails you…

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