theOtter

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  1. theOtter

    Too many blessings?

    Absolutely, John. One of the many sources for that concept is my favorite General Conference talk ever, Elder Dallin H. Oaks’ Healing the Sick. I’ve tried to discuss this concept several times, but his five-year-old brain just isn’t quite grasping it. Perhaps an FHE object lesson is in order? I’ve yet to come up with one, though.
  2. theOtter

    Too many blessings?

    Thanks, MorningStar. That‘s a lot of what I’m thinking: I don’t want to hurt my son in any way. I don‘t want to take away the belief, even faith, that he’s exhibiting in this case. And yet, at the same time, I don’t want Priesthood blessings to become so unremarkable in his life that they don’t help him, down the road.
  3. theOtter

    Too many blessings?

    Sorry about that, Pam. I certainly wasn’t trying to spam; I just wanted to have the discussion in a centralized location so all participants could see the other suggestions. Ironically, I now have responses in at least two different places, neither of which is my blog. Thanks for the clarification, though!
  4. theOtter

    Too many blessings?

    I’ve posted this question to my personal blog and am hoping that someone here will have some insight. Feel free to post there; I’d love for what few readers I have to be able to join in the discussion. Thanks! The Gospel According to Jeffrey: A Cry for Help
  5. theOtter

    IMac?

    Definitely, but as with any company, you have to watch pricing cycles and play the game a bit. There are two ways to pretty much assure that your Apple is competitively priced. Choose one or the other, because they very rarely intersect.1) Apple, like any successful company, considers competitors’ pricing when determining its own. So if Apple is releasing a new computer and the competition is selling similar machines for $1,299, they’ll probably price it at $1,299 or, most likely, a little bit less. The sword, however, cuts both ways: since Apple is an industry leader (and definitely the leader in mindshare), they’re also the ones to beat. Once they’ve released that $1,299 computer, you can bet that three, four months down the line, two or three other companies will offer a fairly similar one for $1,199 or even $1,099. (How similar—including specs—is another question and varies from model to model.) Ultimately, it’s not rocket science; it’s just the reality of a capitalist market. The problem is once a particular Apple product has been on the market for eight, nine, ten months (as most eventually are). The machine is still just as good as it was at its launch, but its age means it’s probably fallen behind the curve. At that point, you should probably consider waiting for the new model, which will add new features, drop prices, or both. (Tip: to see how long a particular offering has been around and how often Apple tends to refresh that model, check out the MacRumors Buyer’s Guide.) In short, the closer to release you buy it, the more price-competitive it will be. 2) This one is little known, but very powerful: buy from Apple’s “Special Deals” section. All you have to do is go to the online Apple Store, scroll down to the bottom of the page, and click on “Special Deals.” (As of this writing, it’s on the left side.) There, you’ll find close-out and refurbished models that are every bit as good as new, including an identical warranty—but for hundreds of dollars less. So there are your tips. Buy early, buy refurbished, or, if you don’t care about getting the latest model, do both! Last year’s model—even if new—is usually significantly less than the current one. Good luck! :)
  6. theOtter

    IMac?

    That’s awesome, Mahone. I am curious, though: since you mention these were “dedicated machines,” were they only used sparingly? I ask because as a former IT guy in a Dell-based company, my experience was markedly different—as, incidentally, were my brothers-in-law’s, each of whom recently replaced his broken Dell with an iMac. My G5, on the other hand, has been in full use at least 40 hours a week (and usually more) since 2003. The power consumption is pretty high by today’s standards, but that thing is a rock! I agree somewhat, but most of the time the finer details aren’t readily available, especially in print ads. My point was mostly just that, right or wrong, the average consumer doesn’t look beyond what’s in the tag line and therefore forms an erroneous perception of inequity. True enough. I, too, am a bit of a squeaky wheel. But after my experiences with several other companies (Samsung being the most abysmal; don’t EVER buy a Samsung!), my assessment of Apple has only improved.My point is that I’m not one of those “Apple or nothing” purist fanboys, although I do own quite a few of their products. I use whatever it takes to get the job done, and if that isn’t an Apple, no problem. I just feel that Apple gets a majorly bum rep on its pricing structure, for the aforementioned reasons.
  7. theOtter

    Date Night Advice

    Thanks to everyone for the great suggestions so far. We live in a decent-sized area—Lafayette and West Lafayette, Indiana, have a combined population of about 170K—but the populace still hasn’t gotten the idea that being an hour from Indianapolis doesn’t mean we’re “close enough” for a lot of things. Still, not a bad place to live. Dravin, we do have a small art museum in the area. We do need to go there, sometime, but it’s only open weekdays from 11:00 AM–4:00 PM, so definitely not a date-night option. Great idea checking the city web site, though! Blocky, we’d actually hoped to go to a local pumpkin patch and corn maze, this past weekend, but then my sister-in-law (our babysitter) got sick and that idea went out the window. She and her husband still watched the kids (she’s amazing :)), but we cut our date short, for her sake. Lots of great ideas there, though. We’ve often gone to various stores, and will sometimes go to the mall and just walk around or even just sit and watch people for a while. So, yeah, that’s right up our alley. Thank you! Rameumptom, another awesome idea. We’d have to budget for that, but it would definitely shake things up a bit! :) RMGuy, yes, we have three living kids, ages 5; 4; and 2 months. As for making cookies, I’d love that, but I think it would currently be more hurtful than anything. (Dang promised healing that hasn’t come yet. ) Still, also some very creative stuff. We’ve definitely done the shopping-as-a-date thing, too, although I think the library would be a great one. We used to read together, all the time; not so much lately, besides the scriptures. Anyway, thanks to all that have participated, and if anyone else has any ideas, please keep them coming! This is great stuff! Thank you!
  8. My wife and I have been married for almost 14 years, together for almost 21. We've reached a point in our marriage where we really want to start strengthening it again, and are doing so in the form of a regular—hopefully at least monthly—date night. Unfortunately, we're having some difficulty figuring out exactly what to do. • While we'd love to go to the temple more often, the nine-hour round trip makes that an impractical date night, to say the least. • Going out to eat is always nice, but my wife has severe dietary restrictions that make eating out rather unenjoyable for her; and forget getting dessert later: she can't lie down for three hours after eating, so she generally refuses anything after dinner. • Going to a movie would be fine, but there's so rarely anything good playing, particularly not something worth spending $20+ to see. (Not to mention the fact that she can't have popcorn or any other snacks—see above—so out of love for her, neither do I.) • Watching a movie at home would be fine, but that's so similar to what we do every night, it wouldn't feel like a date at all. • Mini-golf and bowling both work, but we're frankly burned out on both of those options. So… any ideas? We really need this time together, but we honestly don't know what to do. When we were newlyweds, we'd even do silly stuff like drive all over town looking for an A&W machine or whatever; but even if A&W machines still existed, she can't have carbonated drinks. (It's amazing how completely it affects your life when you're effectively allergic to all food and drink.) Please help! Thanks in advance! :)
  9. theOtter

    IMac?

    I understand where you're coming from, Mahone, but the problem with specs is that they can't reasonably quantify user experience. This is why the iPad, for example, is outselling every Android tablet in the world combined, despite many Android tablets having some superior specs: the average user couldn't care less. They want a good user experience, and they'll flock to the manufacturer that can promise that.On the flip side, some specs are also fairly meaningless or at least misleading. Remember back in the late 1990s and early 2000s, when Intel kept making less and less efficient processors running at faster and faster speeds? My employer paid extra to get my predecessor a 1.7GHz Pentium 4–based machine while others at the company were settling for 1.0-1.2GHz Pentium III–based machines, only to discover that the PIIIs were actually faster. Meanwhile, the Apple/IBM/Motorola alliance was trying to build increasingly efficient processors, but they couldn't sell them because Intel spent billions teaching people to equate “megahertz” with “speed”—a not wholly inaccurate assessment, but one which requires considerable qualification. The point is that while the rest of your post (regarding Apple and the business world) is definitely appropriate, I think your assessment of specs is rather wanting. Specs only matter when comparing extremely similar, even identical architectures. If you're comparing—pardon the pun—apples and oranges, the specs are often quite pointless. My 2¢.
  10. theOtter

    IMac?

    The one thing that absolutely amazes me is how many people still think Apple computers are comparatively overpriced. I agree that we'd need to see the specs on this machine to make an informed determination, but Apples really aren't that much more than comparable Windows PCs, and are often quite a bit less. Case in point: my main machine is a Power Macintosh G5, purchased by my Dell-loving then-employer because we could get the Mac (including 20" display, which was huge in 2003) for $4,300. A comparable Dell cost $6,600—over $2,200 more! Furthermore, it's been my experience that Dell computers will last anywhere from 2-4 years; my G5 is now over eight years old and still functioning perfectly. Another problem people run into is that they look at specs that seem identical at first, but really aren't. For example: a new iMac has a 27", all-glass, 2560x1440, LED display with ColorSync technology (which gives you perfect color without ever needing adjustment). If you want to price a “comparable” PC from some other manufacturer, you probably shouldn't be looking at one with a TFT, 1920x1080, LCD display with a bunch of buttons and on-screen controls. Even if they're both 27" displays, they're not even vaguely comparable. A lot of people also completely ignore certain specs when making comparisons. For example, you may be able to get an Acer all-in-one for less than a similar iMac, but how many FireWire ports will it have?(Hint: probably zero.) How many Thunderbolt ports will it have? (Hint: see number of FireWire ports.) The list goes on and on, but the point is you can't jut ignore specs and still claim that such-and-such is such a better deal. If those features don't matter to you personally, that's certainly your prerogative and you should make your purchasing decision accordingly. But since every spec adds value to the proposition, it should be reflected in the price; to claim otherwise is just ridiculous. Finally, do keep in mind that Apple has what I can only describe as the best warranty on the planet. In the last seven years, I've had two Macs come down with minor problems, plus a third with major problems (which turned out to be some bad third-party RAM that I added myself). In all three cases, instead of fixing it, Apple gave me a brand new machine. And I don't mean an identical machine; I mean a current model. One of the three machines was even out of warranty, but they replaced it anyway. That's the kind of customer service that you just can't put a price tag on. Now, all that having been said, let's talk down side: Apple computers really are going to be pricier than many cheap PCs. Apple doesn't make cheap PCs (see above), so they price them to fit in the appropriate markets (i.e. mid-range to lower high-end). You get what you pay for. And yet, I'll be honest: $3,300 sounds like a lot of money for an iMac. Your boyfriend has obviously added a lot of optional upgrades, the 16GB of RAM being one of them. Apple definitely overcharges for its non-stock options, especially RAM; it'll cost you $600 to get 16GB pre-installed, or you can go to RAMseeker and buy 16GB for $95.96 (as of this writing). It won't be quite the same quality, but even Crucial RAM (which is comparable) is only $103.98. Plus, you get to keep, sell, or perhaps even trade in the 4GB that comes with the iMac. For a few minutes removing and replacing a couple of sticks, it's definitely worth the $500 savings. So, bottom line: 1. Yes, it's a great computer. 2. Comparable means comparable, not just “vaguely similar.” 3. Many options can be had for less, if you get them elsewhere. HTH!
  11. theOtter

    Masturbation help needed

    Your bishop is really the one to take this to. Even if mastubation weren't a sin, you've obviously got an addiction and need help. Good luck and God bless!
  12. theOtter

    Green Tea HP

    I agree. The Lord says “tea,” I don’t drink tea. I don’t care if it’s black, white, green, puce, iced, herbal, Texas, or any other kind of tea; I don’t drink it. I’ve heard a lot of people claim that the Church has specified that this kind of tea or that kind of tea is okay, but in 20 years of asking, not a single person has been able to cite such claims. (And if that single person is reading this thread, please feel free to educate me. I certainly don’t claim to know everything!) Let’s face it: the Word of Wisdom is different for different people. My wife has significant health problems and can’t eat probably 99% of the foods on the planet. Her Word of Wisdom is significantly stricter than mine. Likewise, plenty of Church members drink herbal teas, caffeinated sodas, etc.; their Word of Wisdom is less so. Heck, a woman in my ward has severe health problems for which one of the only treatments is green tea. After significant prayer, fasting, and Priesthood blessings, she decided to use it medicinally. She is currently serving in a leadership position, and her husband—an ordained bishop and currently serving high councilor—fully supports her in this. I don’t know if our current bishop knows, but she certainly has a temple recommend. Who am I to judge? The bottom line is that until the Lord decides to clarify this issue at the Church level, the best we can do is ask Him to clarify it at the individual level. So, if you’ve still got a question about it, get on your knees and ask Him! :)