And I’m Back

I keep trying to get myself excited to write posts again, but whenever I think that I have some idea on what I would actually say, I talk myself out of it. I think part of my issue is that I have this long history of posts on this site, and most of them are just rubbish. I need to go a completely new direction, and refrain from the inane posts of the past. Instead, I need to find some new inanity…

I have some peaks of interest in trying to code things again. I have a utility that I wrote for a game I play that helps me find profitable trades. I also have taken a stab at writing a game based on a popular card game, but have had mixed results on my success. I mostly enjoy the aspect of learning something new, but find that I too frequently lose interest to actually get something to completion. I typically have something come up, I get distracted, and then I just cannot get back into it. I’d really like to though, so I’m seeing if I can’t think of some new idea to try to get me back into it.

I’ve completely dropped off the face of social media, with only the occasional Facebook post. I don’t even remember when the last time I tweeted was.  When I had Foursquare posting to my pages, there was activity there, but it was entirely checkins. As such, I’ve lost touch with the social media zeitgeist into which I used to be plugged. I’m still debating if this is a good or bad thing.

I have considered trying to write how-tos for things I actually know how to do. These days, however, there are already thousands of results of instructions for quite possibly literally everything. As such, trying to throw in my two cents is pretty much useless.

One thing that also crossed my mind was to write about the area in which I work. I do product management, and I really get excited about software development, new SaaS opportunities, different ways of tackling some complicated problems, and the direction of corporate software in general. This, however, would bring me a little too close to bridging that real life/online life which I have always kept separate. Not necessarily from a privacy standpoint, but from a what I do in my free time stand point.

Basically, I want to do something here, but I just don’t know what. Given that it’s been over four years since my last update, I think I have some leeway in how quickly I figure it out (not to mention zero readers).

Political Cycle: Lather, Rinse, Repeat

I’m surprised I don’t see more stories about how this election is just another example of how sick people are of both parties. For the last few decades, any time one party held all the power, they lost it as soon as possible. The only time that a party stays in power in one area is when they aren’t in the other.  People are fed up of both parties trying to push their one-sided agenda, so they keep switching power back and forth between them Yet, politicians don’t seem to clue in. Republicans will get power back, they’ll do stupid stuff, and then Democrats will regain power.
Etc, etc
How long will it take before it stops? Or are we so entrenched in this system that the powers that be will maintain it? I just don’t get why people, of both parties, will admit that this is a problem, then continue to vote their career politician into office.

Target and Corporate Campaign Spending

Target has come under fire for a recent $150k donation to a group in Minnesota called MN Forward. They are a pro-business group that supports Tom Emmer, a Republican running for governor in MN. While Emmer has business friendly proposals, he also has voiced opposition to gay marriage and other gay rights.

The site MoveOn.org has proposed a petition to boycott the store due to the fact that they support a candidate who opposes gay rights, but also because they disagree with corporate donations to political agendas. I have a feeling that the first of those is really the underlying issue. Interestingly, on the MoveOn.org homepage right now, the Target item is still the main point, despite that yesterday the AFL-CIO said that they would spend well over $50 million before the November elections to support Democratic candidates. To be fair, the AFL-CIO is not a corporation, but they are definitely a special interest group, which MoveOn claims to be opposed to. I agree with MoveOn when they say corporations are not people, but I also I don’t think a labor union is a person either. Sure, they “represent” people (laborers), but really so does a corporation (shareholders). Both are going to do everything they can in order to reap the most benefits for those they represent.

As a reminder, the Citizens United ruling affected both corporations and unions. Something that the MoveOn.org site seems to fail to mention.

Target will do whatever it can to get higher profits. That’s what their job is, and they use various methods to do it. One of these was to give $150k to a group that supports a candidate that will try to enact policies they favor. Another thing they do is give a ton of money to charity. I honestly don’t think that they don’t give away all this money because they feel a moral obligation to do so, I think they do it as a PR gig in order to drive sales. Really, though, it doesn’t matter why they do it, they still do it. Every dollar I spend at Target, some small portion of that comes back to my community. I’m buying cookies, and helping some school or something. Does this influence my buying habits? Heck no, I go where it’s cheap, but a lot of people do take note.

What’s my point with all of this? A couple, actually. My main one is that I don’t think you should boycott Target for this. As far as “evil corporations” go, Target is actually pretty good. They’re just looking out for their best interest, the same way any other entity would be it a person, company, or nonprofit organization. Second, if you do feel like you need to stop shopping there, think about why. Is it just because you disagree with someone they indirectly support, or is it because you don’t think a company should be able to give to a political cause? If it’s the former, I can understand. If you’re doing it for the latter, though, as MoveOn.org suggests, I ask that you rethink your reasoning. Would you stop sending your kid to school in NJ because the teachers union there spent $6 million in ads against Chris Christie simply because you don’t think special interest groups should spend on political ads? Not supporting something because it backs someone you disagree with is one thing, but to get mad when a corporation gives money to a political cause while ignoring that unions do the same seems a bit hypocritical.

Driving Behavior

I was thinking about something a bit odd this morning as I was driving to work. I am not a very patient driver, as anyone who has ridden with me can attest. That’s not to say I drive crazily, or run lights, or things like that. I just don’t like moving slowly.

This morning I was behind a car that clearly had a different driving style than me. It was closer to that of a lazy Sunday afternoon drive, not morning rush-hour. They went a few miles under the limit, they turned corners without the speedometer even moving (they also didn’t use a blinker, which is a huge peeve of mine), and they took a good 20-30 seconds to start up after a stop. Due to the roads being one lane, I couldn’t go around them.

This was greatly aggravating to me. It also got me to thinking about having to go slow. I get so angry when I’m forced to move slowly because of a real, physical impediment, such as a slow moving car. What’s weird, though, is that I don’t really mind at all when I’m forced to go slow due to an artificial limitation, such as a 30 MPH speed limit sign. Sure I’d rather be going faster, but I don’t sit there thinking about how I should be speeding instead of going 30. I just slow down, and go on my merry way. The entire thing is a psychological.

Am I alone in this, or do any of you people have the same problem?

Hot Stalker Chicks

I’m being stalked. 

There are people out there that have a nefarious idea in their minds, and it involves me. From what I can gather, they are trying to get cash out of me. Who are these miscreants? There’s a band of them on Twitter, and they’re after me. The one that started it all is @frizzle_fry. She would always know exactly where I was, and would taunt me with it. Fortunately, she’s in another state so I never got too worried. Then she started recruiting.

Before too long, she had @franklin5 after me too. This was a bit more concerning, as @franklin5 is in Dallas, which is where I’m currently hiding. I have even met Mrs. F5 in person, which makes this all the more concerning. I think that it was actually the new recruit that suggested trying to profit from the stalking. This makes me wonder what exactly @frizzle_fry had in mind when she started the stalking. Shortly after the two ladies teamed up, they got even more help. Next thing I knew, @lizwebpage was on the stalking bandwagon. Being Liz, she immediately started telling all of her friends, and even trying to recruit more people. Also, around this time, they decided to make the stalking progress easier by using hashtags. Not one, not two, but three. It was rather scary, they were starting to get organized. They even moved the stalking beyond Twitter, and started commenting on what I was doing on Facebook too. They were all over the place. Everywhere I went, they were right there behind me.

I’m currently hiding in an undisclosed location, hoping to stay safe. There appear to have also started stalking my pal @thronkus, and even a mention of Johnny Depp. I don’t know how long these distractions will last, though. They seem to be watching me at all times. Wish me luck, my friends, for I don’t know how long it’ll be before they find me.

Wow What a Week

Last week was a very tiring week. It’s not necessarily that I did a lot, but just the combination of being so busy at work and not feeling too well made it feel pretty bad. All of the week I was training a new girl at work. That meant that for the whole week, I was sitting with someone and going 8+ hours a day of covering all sorts of different stuff. To make matters more fun, there are a number of things that I’m showing her how to do that I’m literally learning myself as I teach her. It was a big mental toll as we were going hard and non-stop.  Since I’m only going to be in town working for a few weeks, we are trying to make sure that we cover as much as possible while I’m still here.

The crazy working wouldn’t be bad if it didn’t coincide with me getting my spring time cold. Every year around this time I seem to get a cold. It lasts about a week or so, and is very annoying. It doesn’t usually do me in too badly, but it is exhausting. It also means that I wasn’t able to do much of anything after work. I’ve been trying to go out with friends as much as I can while I’m in town, and I lost a whole week since I wasn’t feeling well.  Oh well, I’d rather be healthy. 

A side effect from the week, I think, is that my brain just seems to be complete mush. I just am not thinking clearly, nor acting right. I’m hoping to get myself back on track this week, though. That’s partly why these last couple posts have been pretty meh. Maybe I’ll find something to rant about soon. That usually sparks decent writing from me.

So Much For Consistency

I tried, I really did. I just didn’t quite make it doing a post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I was flying home last Thur, and fully intended on writing something on the plane, but completely forgot. I couldn’t do it Friday itself because I was at the coast all day. I knew that I’d be flying back to Dallas on Sunday so I planned on doing Monday’s post then. No dice, though, as I came down with a cold, and was so exhausted I just slept most of the flight. Monday was out since I was super busy at work, and came home and went straight to bed. Now here we are at Wednesday, and all I can come up with is to tell you why I’ve not been posting. It’s sad, really.

I’m starting to shake my cold a bit, so that is a definite improvement. I’m thinking that if I can get myself to remember to write something tomorrow night, I can have it go up on Friday, and at least salvage most of the week. Skipping two posts isn’t too bad, but it would have been better had I not done it two in a row.

I’ll try to explain what’s been keeping me so busy next time. For now, I need to get some grub and get to bed. Still feeling the effects of the cold…

Poke, Nudge, Hump

Social networking sites are full of different features. Some of these are useful, others are completely irrelevant. Two of the most popular social media sites have little things that sound similar, and playful. If you are a Facebook user, you are likely familiar with the “poke.” On Twitter you have the ability to “nudge” people. Both of these are things that don’t serve much purpose, but can be fun to play with. 

The poke on Facebook means different things to different people, and there have been a number of sites that try to answer the question, “What does it mean to poke someone on Facebook?” On the Facebook site itself, it answers the question as so. 

The poke feature can be used for a variety of things on Facebook. For instance, you can poke your friends to say hello. If you poke a user who normally does not have access to your profile, they will be able to temporarily see your Basic Info, Work Info, and Education Info. When you poke someone, they will receive a poke alert on their home page.

This is actually a newer answer, as when Facebook started, they said that a poke basically meant nothing. From what I remember, to early Facebook users a poke was basically a flirtation, or a way to get someone’s attention. Now it seems like there is a whole myriad of different meanings for a poke that people have come up with. In my mind, it has always remained as more of a flirty thing (probably why I never poke guys). 

On Twitter, you can nudge someone. This is described as being a friendly way to remind someone to update their profile. If they have a phone registered, and notifications turned on, they’ll receive a text message telling them that you want them to update their status. 

Perhaps it is just my mind, but all this poking and nudging got me thinking…

Why don’t we just go ahead and cut to the chase, and just have the ability to hump someone. I figure that if I ever have my own social network, that’s going to be the little thing that you can do. This can lead to all sorts of fun things. Do you only hump someone you’re attracted to? If you just hump everyone, will you get a bad rep? Will having the hump be so easily done mean that it means less? Will you only do it on Wednesdays? Will people get into humping wars? What about when someone releases an app that allows you to super hump? Really, the possibilities are endless. And given the typical mindset of a social network’s userbase, I really think that the hump thing could really take off. So the next time that you’re about to poke or nudge someone, just think about how nice it’d be to be able to go all the way.

Welcome Back, Life

One of the big things that I left when I moved from Dallas was my social network. There are a lot of people and places that I used to hang out with and at in Dallas, and I just haven’t replaced that up in Oregon yet. That being the case, I’ve really just spent a lot of time doing other stuff, and socializing or going out haven’t been on the agenda. Then, I got a call that beckoned me back to Dallas for a few weeks. I’ve been down here since last Monday, and quickly started filling up my schedule. I’ve managed to have something or another going on every day since I’ve been back. To be honest, I’ve really missed going out with friends, and hanging out with people. I’ve enjoyed the downtime, and relaxing that I’ve been doing in Oregon, but it’s been really great to get back into having a social life. At the same time, jamming as much in as possible has been a little bit crazy. It’s been years since I’ve gone out this much, and in truth it’s not even like I’ve been going that crazy here. I’ve not even been out past one down here. So far it hasn’t taken its toll on me, but I am wondering if by the end of the week it will. Sunday I just lounged around and read a book, and it was nice to have some down time to recharge. This week is filled with something going on everyday too so by the end of it I might really be missing the lack of doing anything. While there are a number of things that I miss about Dallas, my friends here are on top of the list. It’s been really great to get to see them all again, and I’ve had a ton of fun with them. At the same time, I’m really in love with Oregon. The geography has been calling my back all my life, and now that I’m finally up there it’s been great. I’m having fun while back in Dallas, and it’s definitely making me miss it, but so far, I’m still happy with my move.

Out of Touch

Before I moved to Oregon, I was constantly reading and keeping up with the news. I always stayed abreast of the latest events, and knew what was going on everywhere from locally to internationally. Ever since I moved, though, I really haven’t been keeping up the same way. The bad part is that I have a lot more time now to invest in that sort of thing, but it’s just not happening. As a result, for the last three months, I’ve been pretty out of it. I really think that I need to change that. I miss knowing what’s going on, and feel like I’m part of the ignorant masses when I don’t keep up. My biggest problem has been my lack of routine. Back when I was working a full time job, and basically did the same thing every day, I had reading the news as part of my daily regimen. As it stands right now, I don’t really have much of a routine at all. What I do every day changes. I had a week where I was in somewhat of a routine, but other changes put a stop to that. With any luck, though, I’ll be able to get myself back into the swing of things. One of the things I’m actually trying as part of this attempt at order is to post more. I’m doing pretty well this week, hopefully I can continue it into next week too. I am going to aim for a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule, and see how that goes. I might switch it to a Tuesday/Thursday if I’m not hitting three a week. I realize that trying to put out posts just for the sake of posts may not do me a lot of good in terms of making every post of great quality (this post being an example of one that’s sub-par), but the idea is that if I make myself write more, I’ll be more likely to write when I do actually have a good idea. As it is now, many of my good ideas never make it past the idea phase, as I’m not in the habit of writing. 

So, to sum it up, I need something that resembles a routine because without one I’m not making myself keep current and I feel like an idiot. As with before, wish me luck.