Friday, June 28, 2013

An Annoucement

This should have been posted about 2 weeks ago, but during the time I was doing a lot of soul searching about even continuing this blog. Everything that has come out in the past months about government surveillance gave me an initial reaction of wanting to withdraw from the internet entirely. That isn't possible, however. And upon further thought, I realized how silly I was being, since this blog is public anyway. So without further ado, on to my news.

I got engaged! My wonderful girlfriend and I went down for a walk on a local walking trail by a small river, and after finding a place out of site of any other living people, I dropped to one knee and popped the question. And she said yes! Odd to think how just how a year and three weeks ago I had such a dismal view of ever finding someone. Just a year ago I was too busy thinking about how did the last two dates go to worry about if we'd be engaged in a year. Yet here I am. It's been a pretty great year, looking back, but I'm happy to be where I am. Hopefully sometime next April or May you'll see a post here about how I am no longer engaged, but married.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Marriage Equality: The Aftermath

Yesterday, SCOTUS handed out it's decisions on the Defense of Marriage Act, and on Prop 8. They invalidated Prop 8 through technical reasons to avoid a country-wide decision, and fully invalidated the section of DOMA which kept the government from recognizing gay marriages from States which recognize them.

To put in another way, SCOTUS struck down DOMA, in the battle of the acronyms.

Humor aside, these decisions, along with the increasing speed at which States are coming into the marriage equality fold, leads me to the conclusion that full marriage equality is certain, within a matter of decades, if not years. And with this becoming a certainty, recent events are starting to cause me concern.

There was an indecent in the past year where a baker refused to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple, and was sued. This, in my mind, crosses the line from right to wrong. So far in this entire debate, the question has always been, are we trying to be free, or force our beliefs on others. Live and let live is the proper solution when possible, and so for marriage, the proper answer is to let anyone get married. Conservatives are trying to force their beliefs (that gay marriage is wrong) onto others, by controlling them and forcing them not to get married. Marriage equality proponents are therefore in the moral right.

Yet in the case of this baker, it becomes our side which is in the wrong. We are forcing someone else to do an action, namely making a cake, against their will. A couple has no moral right to have a cake made for them, just as conservatives have no moral right to live in a world filled only by people who fit their definition of "good". Because this example has already happened, I worry that in the future similar things will happen. Even more so, I worry that our side, filled with confidence from winning and bitterness from decades of struggle, will over react and become guilty of the same types of abuses of power that were used against them. Will it be considered okay to force a priest/pastor/minister/etc to marry someone? Or to force a Church to allow their building to be used for a marriage? I sincerely hope not, but I worry because I personally know several people who would consider those acceptable.

We are winning the war. Let us not lose our morality in the process.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


In general, the Halo 4 soundtrack disappointed me. Most of the music was bland at best. However, one song stood out. Number 12 on the disc, entitled simply '117'. Very powerful.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Wordpress and the Rise of Vector Image Fonts

As a Wordpress developer (ironic, I realize, since this blog is hosted on Blogger), one thing I follow pretty closely is the Wordpress Make UI blog. An overhaul of the WP backend has been cooking for several months now, and one aspect of that overhaul is a change in the way icons are displayed. Currently, WP uses PNG rastor icons, but the new backend will likely use vector icons in the format of a font. Confused yet? Let me give you some background info.

Images come in two types: Raster and Vector. Most images you see on the internet are Raster. JPGs, PNGs, GIFs, all of these are Raster images, which means that they are static. You can think of them as a giant grid, with each point, or pixel, having a specifically set color. When all these points are put close enough together, you can't tell that it's square points. But when images are zoomed in, they look blocky. Vector images don't consist of set points. They use lines and formulas and things that I don't fully understand. The end product is an image that will look sharp no matter how far it is zoomed in and out.

Wordpress is switching from Raster to Vector, because Vector images look better when zoomed in (when using a Retina display, for example). They are also going one step further and using a font, instead of image files. Fonts have used Vector images for a long time. Each character is a small image with a transparent background. It's certainly possible to place custom images yourself. I found a very interesting article on the reasoning behind switching to icon fonts, rather than using icon image files, which I've added a link to here.

The Era of Symbol Fonts