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Art Changes the World

I saw an ad on TV for some educational program that stated “Technology Changes the World”.  Wrong.

Technology complicates the world, for sure.  It is intended to simplify life, but in fact we have to learn how to use new tools.  But the more that technology advances, the more the world stays the same.  We always will rely on technology.  In fact, we count on and anticipate its advances.  The law is often up-ended in its failure to keep-up with the swift advance of technology, but the main thing is that right is still right and wrong is still wrong.  Leveraging a computer to cheat still has to be programmed in by a human.  Cheating is still wrong, that has never changed.

Part of the problem is that lawyers and lobbyists step in and muck-up the mucky-muck law to take advantage of us.  The rich and corporate entities that can influence the law do so in order to take advantage of it for their own gain at our expense.  Hence, you have slave labor when corporations take advantage of us by paying minimum wage with no real benefits, no significant recognition or care of its employees, while it builds millions, even billions on their backs.

It is a shame that we, as a people are so dismissed by corporate society, when we are its very core.  But technology won’t change that, only art will.  Corporations leverage technology to their advantage, but it doesn’t change their attitude or outlook, only encourages their abuse of power.

Not all rich people or large corporations are like this.  The few 1%-ers and corporations that are acting responsibly usually do well by doing right by its people, treating them as family.  Employees are flocking their posted career opportunities and a culture is created that is nurturing and interested in each individual’s lives.  But this humanity does not arrive from technology, it arrives from humans making correct decisions and doing the right thing.

So where do we pick-up these inclinations to do right by others?  You can look to religion, but perhaps a more important concept is the art of parenting.  It certainly doesn’t come from technology, as technology doesn’t teach us what to do, it only enables and enhances our opportunities to either do right or do wrong.

Technology has never changed the world.  It advances civilization, and the one constant in this world is change.  Technology simply allows faster and further change with a broader reach.  But change, real change that tugs at our soul comes from education.  The teachings of which, are art.  The art of writing, the art of communication, the art of understanding, the art of compassion, even our own morality and ethics are formed in an art of our perception of the world.

If you are like me, it is the art of Michelangelo, da Vinci, Raphael, van Gogh, Monet, Cézanne, Goya that inspires us to not just do our best, but appreciate other’s work, even when it is not their best.  the lessons we have to learn of morality and ethics are echoed through-out literature not just in education and leadership classes, but in the art of parenting (which by no means is a science).

Technology, on the other hand, gives art a new voice, and we see this in television and digital, where concious decisions are openly made to deceive the public not only in advertising, but even through the art of journalism by deep pockets that want to use art to twist the reality of politics, news, human rights and pacify the public with how well we should be doing, how great our slave nation has become.

Don’t think that the slaves weren’t paid.  True, very little, but in better houses they were paid a bit to maintain their lives so that they were presentable and clean.  And that seems to be all the growing working class poor can afford in this country, enough to keep their nose clean, but not enough to meet any life crisis or even afford their own healthcare.

And yet, there will be those that will try to convince you that it is better to have poor, because otherwise their own profits are robbed.

No, it is not technology that changes the world, but the artists that control and mold its impressions on us, and how we allow the arts, even fashion, to grab us and take a hold of us.  How art moves us, in books, education, parenting, what we see in the beauty of art, in the humanity of others and how we feel about the art that they reveal through their lives…

Art Changes the World!

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April 2, 2014 Posted by | Advertising and Marketing, Business, Internet, Media, Parenting, The Human Condition | | Leave a comment

Math Counts South Dakota State Champions

Math Counts 2014 SD State Champion Team

My son, Max, placed fourth overall in the state Math Counts competition. He was the highest ranking 7th grader in the tournament and is pictured here as a part of the winning team from Patrick Henry Middle School in Sioux Falls.  Max is the second from the end on the right side.

Obviously, I am very proud of him and his team mates, he has worked very hard to get where he is. Sometimes, I think that Max works too hard, but I have to let him be who he wants to be, which is a big deal to me since I never was given the chance to do what I want to do.

Congratulations Max, on a great showing at the South Dakota state Math Counts competition. You have punched your ticket to the national competition in Orlando, Florida, at Disney World.

Max also took second place in a math competition for geometry at USD in Vermillion, SD this past Saturday (3/29/2014). Patrick Henry Middle School students did great representing Lincoln High School (where they have their math classes) at the event. Great job, Max!

March 31, 2014 Posted by | Parenting, The Human Condition | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dad was a Righteous Man

My father, John C. Peters, Attorney at Law, died on February 24th, 2009.  He was a good man, he also loved to party.  He was often described as the life of the party by family and friends.

He helped quite a few over the course of his life.

He didn’t like Me much.  He rarely helped me.  I can remember when he said “No.” to my request for $500.00 to replace the tools that were stolen because I had a job as a motorcycle mechanic that I was starting the next Monday.  I lost the position because I didn’t have any tools.

Of course, he was trying to counteract the lifestyle of the spoiled rich kid.  I may not agree with how he did it, but he was a self-made man, he expected me to be the same way, I suppose.

He was a righteous man and he could recognize that quality in others.  It made him a born leader.

And he didn’t see that in me.  I had disappointed him too much as a child.  I liked to joke around and he always took me seriously.  So I didn’t live up to his great expectations.

When we moved to West Hartford, Connecticut, for my last year and half of high school, I was all excited to be moving to a new place and making new friends, checking out new girls, racing my motorcycle on new tracks.

But the motorcycle racing attracted the wrong crowd.  Spoiled boys, gearheads and hoodlums.  That was quite different from Omaha, when we lived next door to Warren Buffet and his family.  The guys that kept hanging around me in West Hartford lacked any direction or a sense of responsibility.  And I could not discourage them to leave me alone.  I guess if they had one good quality, it was that they sure were persistent.

I actually liked a couple of them, but some were just up to no good.

One guy I was just starting to like, Kieth, who rode his motorcycle everywhere, was killed right after we decided to be friends and look  out for each other.  10 days afterwards I heard he was killed a couple of days after we talked.

I heard it like he hit the back of his head or neck on a trailer hitch.  The guy I dislike the most shook him to revive him.  Later he found a piece of his bone and made a roach clip out of it.  Sick.

I never told Dad.

I hate death.

Dad died before we straightened out some things.  But he had a new wife, a new family, new responsibilities, and he loved the West Hartford area.  He protected his family.  And his new family treated him well.  He deserved that.

He always hoped that I would do something with my art.  I guess that’s the one thing he could be proud of me for.

And I am told he loved me.

But he never met his 8 year-old blackbelt grandson (my son, Maximilian).

He kept me out of college, though I wanted to go. Heck, I wanted to go to the Rhode Island School of Design.  But I had setup motorcycle school first.  What did I know?  Motorcycles were my life back then.  So he made me chose between the American Motorcycle Institute (motorcycle mechanics classes) and the Rhode Island School of Design.  The thing is that he made me chose once the motorcycle school was already setup and expecting me.

He wouldn’t allow me to get into a college after that.  I tried to enroll in a couple of colleges, but I had to wait until I was 24 years old to get in because he refused to sign a document declaring that I was independent, even though he kicked me out of the house at 18 years old.  I never did get that.  I finally started college shortly after I turned 25.

Some of the crumb bums (trying to be civil, here, I call these particular scum by worse privately) that called themselves my friends in my West Hartford days actually stole my racing engine.  My father did work hard at getting it back.  I still have it, a Bultaco Pursang A.  But by the time I got it back the season, maybe 2? was over.

There went my racing career.

I suppose I should have appreciated his efforts more.  I really did appreciate it, but I don’t think he felt like I did.

But I was not actually a great kid.  When the rest of the family went to the Dominican Republic, I stayed behind and threw a party.  A few close friends?  That’s not what showed-up.

One time I was sweet on the Seventeen Magazine cover model and started talking to her, getting very into her.  My hoodlum “friends” surrounded us.  I made a deal with them, they would leave her alone.  She would leave and they would follow me.

I told Dad these guys were no good, that I didn’t want to be their friend, but I doubt if he believed me.  Besides, they had fellow lawyers as fathers.

Too many things were left unresolved with Dad’s death.  This was a shame, but I guess we don’t always get the closure we expect.

We had a memorial at the Malloy Funeral Home in West Hartford on Saturday, March 21st.  Most of the family reconnected.  It’s unfortunate it took that for the reconnect to happen, but it is good that something good came of his passing.  There were many family & friends, new & old, in attendance thinking and saying great things in the celebration of his life.

I took some great photos at the reception.  I plan on sending them by DVD to his family & friends as soon as I can.

It was great to see everyone.  I was able to reconnect with my brother and his family, and with my sister.  It was so good to see them, as well as see my father’s new family and speak with them.

Once again, he did a great thing, by getting us all back together.

I wish I could have spent more time talking to everyone, exchanging business cards and catching up.  But there is so little time and my brother’s family was hosting my cousins from out-of-town.  And Ed & Mary Beth are expecting their first born, so I was happy to follow along with whatever was required as like my wife’s pregnancy, I understand theirs is also a tough one.

My father was loved and will always be missed by many.  I am very sorry to see him go.  Of course, I wish he wouldn’t have passed so soon.  But the memorial was a great celebration of his life.  And he did enjoy a long and full life.

He often reminded me that I was the eldest of a generation.  I really never knew what that meant.  I guess I was supposed to be a good role model and I failed him there.

But I hoped that he will understand me in the long run.  In a way I think he did.  He didn’t like to keep in contact with me.  He said “No news is good news.”

I always loved the man, I always will love him.  I guess I just wish we could have understood each other more.

One of his favorite songs reminded him of our relationship, as he explained it to me.  I think it’s called “Cats in the Cradle” by Cat Stevens (I’ll correct the song title in that sentence later if I find it named something else).

-His eldest son… Douglas Peters

April 11, 2009 Posted by | Parenting, Social Communities, The Human Condition | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This is a Crazy Time

Hi Everyone…

This has been, and continues to be, a very crazy time for me.  I have lots of my own projects that I need to work on, as well as work I need to do for some of my clients, and more things I need to accomplish for my employer.  To top that off, my mother (who provides her great child care services for our son) is vacationing in the Virgin Islands.

As a result, I am spread as thin as tin at the moment.  That’s why I haven’t been blogging too much or on Twitter and other social networking websites a great deal, recently. I’m just too busy.

I do have a whole long list of articles that I want to post, as I am still actively running the Web Design and Development group at Google Groups.  I have contributed quite a bit to the group over the years and want to archive my most helpful posts/articles here.

I am also trying to learn a few new things, as well.  Flash would be just one of them.  I have been putting-off learning Flash far too long.  I think that if I can just get a handle on drawing and tweening in Flash, I will be able to do what I need.  Unfortunately, Flash looks quite spectacularly different than any other vector drawing or frame animation graphics program that I have ever used before.  And the tutorials I am taking are the absolutely most boring peices of junk that I have ever seen in any kind of design or artistry textbook (usually I love reading these things).

I bought an HP notebook for my wife for Christmas and was so jealous that I almost bought one exactly like it for myself.  It’s a good thing I didn’t because I found a Sony Vaio VGN-AW125J laptop with a full keyboard, full 1080p Hi-Def screen and a CD/DVD/Blu-ray player & burner.  Although I couldn’t ask for a better computer, Sony is having great difficulty getting me a decent battery.  The first one would only charge to 80% and drains quickly, and the replacement battery that I received yesterday only seems to charge the battery up to 79%.  So I am starting to get very disappointed and angry with Sony. My family and I actually spend quite a bit buying Sony products.

Please note that although I would prefer to buy American for most of our stuff, Gateway & Dell have failed me miserably, before.  So I am truly puzzled when this Sony Made-In-China laptop can’t perform as required straight out of the box.  But Dell, Gateway, Compaq & HP products are all coming out of Taiwan or some other foreign country, anyway.  So it’s not like I could buy American, the US doesn’t make anything, anymore.  Even American cars and trucks could well have been made in Mexico or Canada.

The state of the economy is absolutely sinful.  And the financial institutions did this to us.  And they did it on purpose in the name of profit.  Greed corrupts.  It always will.

I am truly thankful that President Obama is finally in office.  I am very pleased with his performance so far.  I am not pleased with the senate & house who are either to inept or feeble minded to cut the pork out of the bail-out bill.  It kills me that the senate is crying about the pork and does nothing but attach its own.  No one seems to even be pondering the ridiculously heavy burden we are putting on our kids.

So I am not at all happy with how the bail-out has been going, and feel infuriated at how it has been handled.  Especially the mismanagement of banks and financial institutions who have been ripping-off the public for years on end.  And we have no options, we have no choice but to trust banks.  And yet, they stiff us at every single turn.

Bank executives are making millions for failure while I am still in the poor-house as a productive freelancer and employee.  I barely make anything and often pay double the taxes for my freelance projects because I am “self-employed”.  My own bank is wasting millions and I will be addressing that very soon by transfering accounts to a different and much smaller FDIC insured bank that I can trust.

The country was run by a moron and his moronic administration for 8 years now, and it is simply falling into the gutter.  The rich are richer and drunk as hell with unchecked power, peeing all over the rest of us.  There is no way that Bernie Madoff should have been able to steal 50 Billion dollars.  But he did because the government looked the other way.  WTF?

I am absolutely sick of this pork barrel attitude and the ineptness of our government.  And while I realize that President Barak Hussein Obama had absolutely no part in building the situation that he was left with, he is still holding the bag at a time when everything is so bad that he may get blamed with the predicament despite his hardest efforts because the government itself is so positively and absolutely broken and non-functional.

But today is a time to enjoy the blessings of my family.  It is a wonderous time because tonight my 8 year-old son will try to become a Black Belt at Songhamn Taekwondo.  Whether he accomplishes it or not doesn’t actually matter to me.  Sure, I will be very proud of him if he does, but I will be just as proud of him for trying if he doesn’t test-out as a Black Belt.  I know that he will be a Black Belt at any time, now.  When doesn’t really matter.

We put Max in the Taekwondo program at Hoover’s Martial Arts (in the Western Mall in Sioux Falls, SD) as a Tiny Tiger less than 4 years ago.  He was excited about it then, as he is now.  In fact, we have given him several chances to leave the program, but he really enjoys it and is anxious to attend each class.

Although almost certainly a great deal of pride comes from this impending great accomplishment, no matter when it actually occurs, the thing that I am the most proud of is that Max made this happen on his own.  It really is his accomplishment, not ours.

There is a little something more to add to this, as well.  Because taekwondo has been extremely good for Max.  It hasn’t just helped with his coordination and control, but it has actually enriched him as a person and taught him discipline.  Obviously, his instructors deserve a great deal of credit for inspiring him and instilling this capacity for discipline in my son.  But Max also deserves an even larger portion of the credit for understanding and utilizing the tools he was armed with through their teachings.  He was, afterall, open minded enough to absorb what they taught him.  And he is intelligent enough to understand it it, as well.

The truth is that Max’s attitude was just starting to becoming a bit of a problem when we enrolled him in the taekwondo class.  The classes gave Max direction and focus.  He’s stopped behaving like a little boy, and more like a big boy who understands responsibility.

We still struggle to keep Max from becoming a “spoiled little brat”, every parent does.  Although his taekwondo classes offer a great deal of guidance towards that goal, it also functions as a platform on which our minds can connect when discussing life’s lessons and choices.

Because as Max has told me, we have choices.  He knows he can choose to have a good day or a bad day, to be a good boy or a bad boy.  And I am proud that he has a history of making good choices.  That’s what life is all about, trying to become a righteous man.

With all that going on, I really have been busy.  I certainly wish Max all the luck in the world, although he is so skilled I am comfortable that he won’t need it.  I do hope that the government wises up and just passes what is required.  I know something needs to be done right away, but if they give away the horse and the cart too my son will be paying for that mistake because they will mis-manage it again, just as they always do.  History continues to repeat. Why doesn’t anyone learn from this?

Stupidity still abounds.  Even my own x-senator, a minority leader, can’t pay his taxes after making millions?  Don’t get me wrong, I like Daschle, he helped us out, he did some great work.  But he can’t pay his dang taxes when I have to?

ARGH!

What is wrong with this government?  Too much, I’ll tell you!  I just hope Obama will bring change, or we are truly doomed.

WE NEED SOME DAMN LEADERSHIP, RIGHT NOW.

Anyways, I had to make it a point to stop and post something to the blog, it has been way too long since my last post, and this is a very crazy time.  I am extremely busy.  I am proud of my son, yet extremely shameful of my government.  And I’m really, really sick of buying crappy computers.

But now, I have to get back to work…

Take care & be cool!  -Doug

February 6, 2009 Posted by | Government/Politics, Parenting, The Human Condition, Web Design & Development | Leave a comment

The Sioux Falls SkyForce puts away the LA D-Fense

It was actually quite a strange game.  The LA D-Fense kept pulling about 10 points ahead of the Sioux Falls SkyForce, and then the SkyForce would just catch-up and tie them, every once in a while they went a point or two ahead, but then LA would surge again.

I kept thinking, “They should know how to handle the ball better than that.”, and “Why can’t Sioux Falls sink a free-throw?”  And although it was a good game, it’s not actually all that much fun when your team is mostly losing, most of the time. But at the half, it was all tied-up at 46.

My friend went to the bathroom in the 4th quarter when Sioux Falls was yet again 10 points behind.  They had actually pretty much stayed there, as well.  So it was getting a little depressing because they weren’t bouncing back like usual and just stayed there at about 10-12 points back.  But by the time he returned from the can, it was all tied-up again. It happened so quick I felt sorry for Bill because he missed some good action, Sioux Falls had come back strong and very quickly.

Actually, in the 4th period, the SkyForce really woke-up and poured it on once they started coming back.  They kind of just ran-over LA, really.  In the end we won the game 90 to 98 and were quite happy we came out to watch the game.

On the way out of the arena My son and I hit the head.  Suddenly I looked down at his shoes and realized he was wearing his house slippers.  That boy is going to catch a death of a cold for not listening to me, one day.  Why would anyone think that house slippers would suffice after a fresh snow storm?  Especially when we had just discussed this a few short days ago and I told him that he was never to wear his house slippers outside the house.  Heck, we had to trudge through snow to get from the parking lot to the arena.  So, I gave him a stern warning about leaving the house with his slippers on.

This was My 8 year-old son’s first basketball game. He was wearing his Taekwondo lesson outfit under some pants and sweatshirt, and still never took of his coat.  Now I know why, because when your feet are cold, you are cold.

At least the SkyForce won and we had a good time enjoying the game.  Heck, now that SkyForce has won, was it because he was in his Taekwondo get-up and slippers?   LOL…  I’m glad I’m not superstitious.

December 19, 2008 Posted by | Parenting, Sports | 2 Comments