Any Relationship Requires Effort

One of my friends on Facebook posted the following:

“I was talking with a friend who has never been married. They said that they don’t understand people who say marriage is something you have to work at and that it seems that if a marriage is a lot of work, you probably aren’t compatible. I wasn’t sure how to respond to that… Thoughts?”

As I told her in my reply, what her friend said is one of the stupidest things I have ever heard.

PixelAnarchy / Pixabay

PixelAnarchy / Pixabay

Any relationship requires work – be that with family, friends, or romantic interest.

I’m not married, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that NO relationship is 100% smooth 100% of the time – despite whatever front some people put up.

One of my favorite movies of my generation is Fireproof. In the movie, Caleb Holt and his wife Catherine are on the brink of divorce. Caleb is being a terrible husband (which he comes to realize), and Catherine wants out of the marriage (understandably). Caleb doesn’t want a divorce. His father, John, loans him a book called The Love Dare. This book is full of challenges – things to do each day to strengthen the relationship. Caleb reluctantly agrees to go along with what he believes to be a hopeless campaign to save a dead marriage. What happens next, however, is the whole point of this post.

Caleb loved his wife, but he wasn’t putting the effort into his marriage that he should have been. Catherine loved her husband, but the relationship was nearly dead. They were not being a husband and a wife. They were co-habitating – and tenuously at that.

How many marriages, dating relationships, friendships, and even family relationships are falling apart from lack of effort? When people expect everything and give nothing, they should not expect relationships to last.

Will you always like your spouse? Will you always enjoy the company of your friends? No, definitely not. You will irritate each other and need time to cool down and forgive. Sure you could get mad and leave. That would be the easy thing to do. OR you could stay and work out your problems and strengthen your relationship. Did you catch that word? Work. No it won’t always be easy, but much in life worth having requires one to work for it. This is no exception.

How many of us are in marriages without being husbands and wives? How many are in friendships but are not being true friends? How many are simply related but aren’t a family? One is easy and takes little work. The other is hard.

A branch that doesn’t get nutrients from its tree dies and falls off. A relationship of any type that isn’t fed dies as well.

If you have yet to see Fireproof, I highly recommend picking up a copy. The acting isn’t the best, but that’s not the point of the movie. It’s an excellent discussion starter and may help you examine your own relationships before it’s too late.

 

5 FREE Windows Image Editors That Aren’t Photoshop

Photoshop is expensive (though it is now somewhat more affordable via Creative Cloud). What if you only need to touch up a photo or create some simple graphics? Photoshop may be overkill for you. For those who don’t need the full power of Photoshop, there are a few notable options to consider.

All but one of these programs can also run on non-Windows/Mac computers while Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator are tied to Windows and Mac OS without third-party software like WINE.

GIMP (gimp.org)

While not as powerful as Photoshop, GIMP (the GNU Image Manipulation Program) is a great, free tool. It runs on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X. One feature that Photoshop provides that GIMP does not (as of this writing) is the ability to set a fixed size on the selection tool. However, most things you would want to do in Photoshop can be done easily in GIMP, but there is a slight learning curve. You can find quite a few tutorials with a simple Google search to help you get started. Those coming from Photoshop may prefer Gimpshop over GIMP as it looks a bit more like Photoshop. See the next option.

Gimpshop (gimpshop.com)

For those who are used to Adobe Photoshop, using GIMP is a little like jumping naked into ice water. Uncomfortable.* To ease the learning curve, I present Gimpshop. Gimpshop is essentially GIMP with Photoshop-esque customizations to present an interface that is more familiar and less confusing. This means that tutorials written for GIMP should also work just fine for Gimpshop. Like it’s brother, GIMP, Gimpshop runs on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X.

Paint.NET (getpaint.net)

Paint.NET is based on Microsoft’s .NET framework. With an interface vaguely similar to Photoshop, Paint.NET is a decent tool for basic image work. Unfortunately, it requires a minimum of Windows 7 SP1 which means Vista and XP users are out of luck.

Krita (krita.org)

Krita is designed mostly for digital painting. It is based on the KDE framework, but it runs on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X.

Inkscape (inkscape.org)

Inkscape is my favorite in this list and is a direct answer to Adobe Illustrator. Its main purpose is the creation of vector graphics. It provides excellent tools for designers without the pricetag of Illustrator. Check out the Inkscape.org gallery for examples of what can be done with the program. It’s quite impressive. Once you download the program, be sure to see the tutorials to get started. One issue of note, however, is speed. I have noticed Inkscape tends to be slow at times – even on faster computers. That may be solved in future releases, however. Inkscape runs on many platforms including Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X.

  • No, the author has never attempted this. It’s simply a metaphor. He has enough sense to know that such behavior is stupid and can only end in tears.

Sick of Facebook App Invites? Don’t Play Facebook Games? Do this.

Don’t play games on Facebook? Are you sick of the endless app invites from Candy Crush Saga, Farmville, Petville, et al?

You can easily eliminate the requests by turning off the Facebook platform here: https://www.facebook.com/settings?tab=applications

Simon / Pixabay

Simon / Pixabay

Note: Turning off Facebook platform will mean you won’t be able to use “Like” buttons on third-party sites. Fortunately, this also means that Facebook won’t be able to track your browsing activity with said buttons.

Gideros Mobile (Gideros Studio) is going completely FREE

Gideros Mobile, the Lua-based development platform for Android and iOS is about to become completely open-source, free software.

This is good news for developers. No longer will users have to pay to get advanced features. All features will be available for free without upgrading.

Additionally, being open-source will (hopefully) accelerate the development and maturity of Gideros. As I have noted previously, Gideros is powerful, but it has a bit of catching up to do before it becomes a serious rival to Corona SDK.

Once Gideros loses its price tag, Corona Labs should feel a bit of pressure, however. While Gideros is, as of this writing, less mature than Corona, being completely free and without restrictions may be reason for new developers to enter the arena on the side of Gideros.

Time will tell.

In the mean time, read more about Gideros becoming open-source here: http://giderosmobile.com/forum/discussion/5053/making-gideros-free-and-open-source

 

Cross-platform Mobile Development Options

Unity (Games)

Platforms Supported: iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Windows (Desktop) Windows 8 (Store), BlackBerry, Mac OS, Linux, PS3, PS4, PS Vita, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii U.

Programming Language(s): C#, Boo, JavaScript (a modified version of JavaScript anyway),

If all you want to make is games, Unity may be your way to go. Unity allows you to choose one or all of three programming languages. JavaScript users should note, however, that the syntax Unity uses differs from what you may have used in the past.

Unity has no shortage of learning resources available.

Corona (Games, Apps)

Platforms Supported: iOS, Android, Ouya, Game Stick, Nook, Kindle, (Windows Phone coming soon)

Programming Language(s): Lua

Price: Free (Starter edition), $16/month (Basic), $49/month (Pro), $79/month (Enterprise Small Business), $199/month (Enterprise Unlimited) — For most people the Free, Basic, and Pro editions are fine.

I like Corona for the most part. Its syntax is very easy to learn. However, finding an up-to-date book to learn with may be a challenge. Several older books are available, but you may run in to problems in some areas unless you are willing to dig through the Corona API section of the Corona website.

Gideros (Games, Apps)

Platforms Supported: iOS, Android

Programming Language(s): Lua

Price: Free, $149/year (Indie), $449/year (Professional)

In my opinion, Gideros is Corona’s less-mature brother. You may find Gideros does not natively do some things that Corona can. However, if you know Lua, it shouldn’t be difficult to create the functionality you need by writing your own classes. The syntax of Gideros is very similar to that of Corona (though not similar enough that programs will work without tweaks). It has a good user community it seems. Unfortunately, finding updated books may be a challenge for this one too. However, with some self-teaching it’s learn-able.

 

LibGDX

Platforms Supported: iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Desktop, HTML5

Programming Language(s): Java (with LibGDX libraries to overcome Java’s slowness)

Price: Free

LibGDX is completely free. It does (in my opinion) have a steep learning curve, but for those familiar already with Java, LibGDX may be easy. If you are interested in learning LibGDX, I suggest checking out Learning Libgdx Game Development by Andreas Oehlke.

Free Business Card Template Download

Hey all,

I’m uploading for you a simple business card template made in Photoshop. There are two PSD files – one for front and back.

The template is designed to VistaPrint specifications but should work for any printing company you choose to use.

Each PSD file is in CMYK, 300dpi, 3.617″ by 2.117″ (3.5″x 2.0″ with 0.117 bleed)

You are free to download, use, copy, modify, but you may not sell them or upload the template anywhere else for access by the public.

When referring people to this template, please do not hotlink to the ZIP file but rather to this page.

Business Card Template Business Card Template

 

Click here to download this template: BUSINESS CARD TEMPLATE