10.28.2007

FW: NASCAR!!!

Yay! NASCAR!

Actually it's not as bad as you think... It's just VERY LOUD. Everywhere. There's music blaring out of hundreds of speakers all over, with the occasional car rumbling around... But I'm sure that'll change here shortly...

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(posted via mobile device. Please forgive any errors and/or pointlessness)

10.25.2007

MEGATRON!

So, I've recently discovered the very best part about being my age:

You can afford to buy back your childhood. Case in point:







I am 10 years old again.... Only this time, it doesn't suck.

I have to say, there's one hell of a business being built around selling peoples' childhoods back to them. It's absolutely insane that I would spend $100 dollars on this toy. Ludicrous, even. In fact, if Dave Ramsay or Clark Howard or Suze Orman or any of those famous economist types were here to witness it, they'd very likely smash my face in with something heavy and inexpensive.

But to hell with it. I had Megatron when I was a kid - some of my happiest memories of a not very happy childhood surround VERY intense battles on lego-built forts between Megatron and Optimus Prime, along with Ironhide and Starscream duking it out behind the scenes while Bumblebee carted out tons of plastic green army men and got them to safety.

I lost my Transformers in an unfortunate, hasty move that I've already refused to write about once, and I've regretted it ever since - so the opportunity to buy high-grade, fully articulated TOTALLY BAD ASS versions of some of my brightest childhood moments... Yeah. I did it. And notice this:



See that piece of metal on my finger? That means I had to get PERMISSION first. And she said yes. SO THERE. Judge me all you want. She likes the fact that I got one... At least, she's still sleeping in the same bed as me. And when you've been married for over 5 years, that's a sure sign that you haven't screwed up.

Anyway... I am a happy, poorly matured adult right now. But aren't we all?


10.21.2007

Missing (well, kinda missing) Shoes - REWARD IF FOUND

I can't believe I'm going to do this, but I've reached a point where I feel I truly have no other choice.

About 10 years go, I lucked into the best pair of shoes I have ever put on - the Nike Air Minot.

This image is taken from this guy's ebay auction. If they were 13's, I'd have bought them without hesitation. If they were 12's or 14's, I'd have bought them with just a little hesitation. But 10.5... That's suitable for framing, but not quite what I'm after.


These shoes... Man. The stories I have surrounding these shoes - you would not believe how much craziness in my life happened while these things were strapped to my feet. I showed my wife around her chosen alma matter in these, I chased down a mugger, I climbed onto the roof of... Well, MANY hotels and buildings to get stealth shots... Oh, and I worked out in them, too. They were a very very instrumental part of my training regimen back then. They were super light, completely waterproof, and stuck to the street or trail rocks or gravel or just about anything you put them against.

Then one day, Georgia State University found out that I wasn't actually an active student and cut the lock off my gym locker (the one I'd been using since the wrestling team was disbanded to make "room" for more basketball budget) and confiscated all of my stuff - including a bottle of Pert Plus shampoo (which I've been able to replace), a towel (again, replaced), a "Just Do It Bengals" shirt (who's print I've not seen again, but I do have another shirt saying the exact same thing), and saddest of all, my pair of Nike Air Minot size 13 Navy Blue & "Taxi" shoes.

Now, most people - NORMAL people - would just get over it. After all, it's just a pair of shoes, right? WRONG, these weren't just a pair of shoes. These were an extension of ME! These shoes... They spoke to me, man. They were powerful and strong and provided my feet with adequate protection against the dangers of the environment! Stray glass shard on the sidewalk? PSHAW! Huge puddle from a pre-dawn rain? WHATEVER! These shoes handled all of that and MORE - including being used as a device to convince my roommates to leave the room when I was on the phone.

Around 2000, I heard that there was a business being built around the acquisition and resale of vintage shoes. Wholesalers would sell off remainders from stock and people would sell these original model shoes from the 80's and 90's on Ebay for insane quantities of cash.

Natrually, my thoughts went to my Minot's.

For 7 years, I've scoured the net and the small boutique shops around Atlanta for someone selling these shoes - and for 7 years, I've been disappointed... Until very recently. For some reason, I've noticed the Minot - in the exact colors I want - showing up on Ebay and other online stores. The problem is, it's always size 7.5 - 10.5. I once even saw an 11 - but still, there's no way in hell I could squeeze my gigantic surfboard feet into an 11. I need at LEAST a 12 (which I can stretch out) - and I could live with a 14. But 13 - those are the sweet spot.

So here's where I'm at - I've noticed these shoes going for between 100 - 150 on Ebay, so I'm posting a bounty - I will pay upwards of $300.00 for an original pair of these shoes in Navy / Taxi colors, size 12 - 14.

Yeah, I'm an idiot, but I WANT THESE SHOES.

Just for reference, here's a few more pics:


See? Aren't they just beautiful?


Even from behind, they're gorgeous - which is fortunate for you, since you'll be staring at
them when I pass you. Haha! You get what I did there? I turned this into a contest!





Pretty.


10.20.2007

Baconator

Just some advice:

If you do something - say, physical training and eating right for a few months - and you decide to stop doing it for a few days and eat whatever you want and slack off... Don't eat a Wendy's Baconator.

Just... Don't. Or rather, don't do it if you're a rational and normal person. If you're into either bending over or onto the toilet for a few hours or so, go for it.

10.18.2007

I get a sound 'thash'ing

He just grabbed me as I walked through the door and began pummeling me. I'd have fought back, but... You know... It's the state bird and all...

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(posted via mobile device. Please forgive any errors and/or pointlessness)

The coming storm

News of violent relief from the current drought is here by way of a dark and ominous swirl of clouds far off on the horizon. The wind is kicking up in sporadic gusts; they blow the smell of the lantana plants through my office windows... Such blissful warning for the impending storm; the sharp and bitter pain before the beautiful release.

I watch the butterflies dance and frolic against the gusts, landing on the lantana and then circling, over and over, either in anticipation or in spite of what's on its way, and all the while, one thought keeps circling in my mind as I experience this:

"How fucking gay am I for thinking this shit?"

10.17.2007

I like hockey, but...

The Atlanta Thrashers are my second favorite team in hockey.

The New York Rangers are my absolute favorite team in hockey.

The two are playing one another in Atlanta tomorrow night.

I want tickets.



But not THIS badly:






I knew Ticketmaster gouged, but JEEEZ... A thousand bucks for 50 dollar tickets?

10.14.2007

Back to business as usual... If there's a "usual"

Well, the big tryout was yesterday. Now that I've hit this point, it's time to focus back on writing and get this book going strong.

Not that I'm going to stop working out - I'm still going to be keeping in shape and getting better. But there's definitely a difference between "training" and "working out" - working out is getting into and keeping in shape, while training is a dedicated, focused regimen where every single action is geared toward the end goal.

So until I get a call from the Force or another, more official one from the Storm, I'm going to go ahead and move on to the next big thing - the book.

Of course, everyone's heard me say "This time, I'm totally going to write a lot OMG YEAH WOOOO" so many times, it doesn't mean too much. But hey, I managed to train for 53 days straight and get through major cuts for a pro football team... What happens when I redirect that energy?

We'll see, I suppose.

10.12.2007

10.11.2007

I R Faild.

I just failed an IQ test.

How does one fail an IQ test? Well...

I got this facebook invitation to take an IQ test (for those of you who don't feel like reading, there you go - I just gave you the answer). So I signed up.

During the 15 minute test, I was answering questions with lightning fury, when I came across Question #9 - which was one of those "which of these is the odd one out?" type questions... Only, there were no "these" to be seen.

Thinking that maybe an image didn't render correctly, i hit CMD+A (ctrl+a for you pc'ers) and saw that yes - the highlighting indicated there should be an image in that space. So, I viewed the source, pulled the URL for the image out, and looked at it in a new window (for the curious, this is it).

So I answered (I chose B, cause that's the correct answer), and moved on - only to find 3 other questions with a similar issue.

I went about my little impromptu fix and finished the test, and when I went to get my results...


I should have known better than to waste about 11 minutes taking an IQ test on freakin' Facebook. THAT'S how you fail an IQ test.

10.09.2007

The most profound bathroom-wall grafitti you'll read all day

That is all.

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(posted via mobile device. Please forgive any errors and/or pointlessness)

10.08.2007

See, now THIS is advertising done right...

Advertising should do more than just market a product. It should ask a fundamental question, and then answer that question in such a way that the only response for the viewer is "Wow, they're right!" When you do that, your product becomes a sure-fire hit.

Case in point, this 300x250 ad I saw on some local news website:




I mean... It's right to the point, isn't it? It's perfect.

On other people

I really want to write about the thoughts of other people right now... How they affect me, how they make me feel, and how they impact the way I go about doing what I do. But for some reason, I just can't get it out the way I want to.

I really want to talk a bit about how we're all guilty of thinking about other people and formulating opinions on their actions, their looks, their style of dress... And we all know deep down how little we actually care about those thoughts and opinions - yet, when we're the victim, we think it's the most oppressive feeling on Earth. We think it's all other people can think about - we just KNOW that they're sitting there obsessing over whatever it is we think they're going to have an opinion on.

I want to point out how silly it is - especially in light of how little we actually care about it when we're the ones looking at someone else.

I want to also talk a bit about how trivial the thoughts of others truly are in regards to how much impact they can make on you accomplishing your goals and achieving your dreams. I want to explain that anyone who laughs at another person for going after what they aspire to be is a tiny void of a spirit; an empty husk of an individual who contributes nothing to society or humanity and who will ultimately die having worked a pointless career for nothing substantial whatsoever.

I want to also mention that a person who would dare mock another person for reaching for their dream has no dreams, has never accomplished anything, and could never know the joy and the power that someone feels when they achieve it - if they did, they certainly wouldn't laugh at another when they go after it themselves.

But for some reason, it's just not... Gelling. It's like... I just can't bring myself to care enough about the opinions of small, weak little bastards to actually get anything meaningful together to write about it.

Oh well... Maybe another time.

10.06.2007

I <3 70's soul

Man, I'm totally bummed.

My wife won't go with me to this show. I even explained to her that she's probably going to hear all the original sources for all the samples of all the rap groups I listen to. Still no sale.

Anyone bored enough to go with a white cat to this groovy show?

10.05.2007

Followup to "Unordered List o' client bashing"

Well, I didn't really think about it, but I guess a list like this would be prime material for the developer page on Reddit, and as such, I've gotten a little feedback from it... Some of it good, some of it bad, and some of it way off-base.

This is intended to address the off-base responses.

You see, first and foremost, I DO care about my clients. I care about their aspirations, their happiness, and more than anything, their budget. It's the reason I've been able to pay for a house and a car and my cats by doing what I do for 12 years now.

That having been said... I've got NO patience for the more-money-than-sense or wanna-be-rich-by-tomorrow-afternoon crowds. They are what soured all sense of joy during the BBS era (with pay-to-post erotic / game / horoscope boards littering every single PC magazine and shop you saw), they are what destroyed the newness and sense of wonder during the late 90's and early 2000's during the first crash, and they are what's driving this current crop of ridiculous head-first-into-the-shallow-end diving into the tech pool (God I love hyphens).

Anyway, I see legit entrepreneurs like Zuckerberg and I smile. I see guys like the founders of Blogger.com, SixApart, MySpace, etc. and it makes me happy... It reminds me of a time when small, bright companies like Mirabilis (the inventors of ICQ) get bought by larger groups like AOL - which was the first real buyup to get any attention back in the happy-go-lucky, climb it because it's there techie 90's. They made it on a good idea well executed.

Then came the impostors. Every MBA with a rich uncle immediately wanted to go build some form of instant messaging client with the big dreams and hopes that they, too, could get bought. These people are like the cargo cults in the South Pacific. They see these huge airplanes fly in and unload tons of rich cargo to the Americans who were there during World War II, and they assume it's because the Americans built the perfect airstrip, wore the perfect headgear and goggles, and knew all the right arm signals to wave at the gods. Build the strip and the tools, and the cargo arrives. They see the tools as the cause for the bounty.

It's these folks I have no patience with. And my "handlers" know it. That's why they put me on these calls.

The art of steering clear of bad clients is just as valuable as finding good ones. Knowing immediately that you're wading head-first into a financial quagmire is a valuable skill that takes only one bad experience to learn. It's hard to look at a line-item sheet with six, seven or even eight zeros on the end of it and turn it down unless you know, from tons and tons of very painful past experience, that you will never see that money... And if you do, it will go right out the back-end you had to build to attempt to build the product.

Whether it's Fox, IBM, Bellsouth (then Cingular, and now AT&T), or any of my other clients, I'm honest about feasibility. And I will listen with both ears and my whole heart to try to bring out the true need in all my clients - and for the most part, I'm pretty good at it. But there's a certain breed of client who simply does not get it. They have no honest strategy besides "build it and they will come."

I'm not the brightest guy on Earth, and I'm not the techie evangelist that, say, a Richard Stallman or an ESR or any number of brilliant minds blogging their hearts out every single day about the state of the new internet vs. the old ways... But I do know bullshit when I smell it. And my journal post was a reaction to that.

Now, for those who think I was hiding behind anonymous blog posting... My signature on every email I send includes links to my sites, so it's not THAT anonymous.

And yes, I have a Facebook page. And Twitter. And I read Digg and Fark and I post videos to YouTube. I don't hate them. In fact, I love them (except MySpace). It's just that the internet - the huge huge huge network of a vast number of machines all connected to one another communicating over various protocols - is not just those sites... And a lot of people with a lot of money (or potential money) just don't get that.

And those of you who believe that you should smile and wave and say all the nice things you think you need to say to "find the client's problem" and whatever... Let me know when you actually GET clients. Because you'll find that sweet-smelling crap that someone who's made a career in academia shoveled up your nose doesn't really play all that well when it's three in the morning, you stopped receiving checks a month ago, and you and your team are STILL working on changes and updates on your fixed-bid contract for five million dollars that ran out a long, long time ago... All because the account manager or the CEO smiled and waved and said all the nice things they thought they needed to say to "find the client's problem."

Forgive me if I don't wear a suit and smile a fake smile at every MBA I meet in the hopes that I can impress the wallets out of them. I say what I say, I do what I do, and so far, it's worked out just fine, thanks.

Oh, and I know I'm not Maddox. You see, my page has a WHITE background with BLACK text. DUH...

10.04.2007

An unordered list of thoughts I had during a conference call with a potential client today

- There's no way in hell this is going to be under thirty minutes. Why are you lying to me? It's not possible. You know it's not possible. You are a liar, sir.

- God, I wish I'd been paying attention in college when they went over the definition of "synergistic" in English and "how to leverage it" in Business... Oh yeah, I didn't go to college. That's probably why I use regular words and thoughts to describe how I want to create a product and then make money on it. And why I know you can't "leverage" anything, given that it's a noun.

- IF YOU SAY "Drink the Kool-Aid" ONE MORE GODDAMN TIME, I'M GOING TO BURST THROUGH THE WALL AT YOUR OFFICE, KILL YOU IN A VERY UNSIGHTLY AND BLOODY WAY, AND THEN SCREAM "Oh, YEAH!"

- Facebook isn't the internet, dipshit.

- New technologies like CSS, huh? Wow. You guys have your thumb right on the pulse of this here internet thing.

- Oh for chrissake... AJAX is NOT A LANGUAGE, and you CANNOT "code" A WEBSITE IN IT.

- MySpace isn't the internet, dipshit.

- I know you guys are in California and all, but last I checked, the timezones don't shift back far enough for you to have been born yesterday...

- You want to rank and hide comments on your "Completely open and honest corporate communications blog," but only after an admin / editor has approved the comments that have been made? Do you not understand the concepts of "Completely open?" And for that matter, ranking and hiding?

- You can't use XML to "program" a site either.

- You want four million users by DECEMBER?? You have four hundred active licenses for your product currently! Nothing - and I mean NOTHING - is going to add four zeros to the end of that number in three months short of hiring Arthur Anderson to handle the bookkeeping.

- Wait... First you wanted to clone Digg... Then you wanted to "add the social aspects of Facebook to it," and NOW you want it to be Wikipedia? Where the HELL did you spend your morning? In the "Web 2.0 Company Names to Memorize" symposium sponsored by the local Linux Enthusiasts club?

- Uh... Four million active users means minimum 20,000 concurrent users at any given moment, and you want to do all of this on ONE co-located virtual server in India? On .Net and MS SQL Server? Honestly? You really, really think that's how it will go? In that case, can I punch you? Please? I mean, I only ask because you seem like the type of person who'd ponder the question and then just blurt out "Yes," and I've been dying to hit something since I pressed "1" to join your conference.

- Flickr is not the internet, dipshit.

- Oh man, I wonder how they'd take it if I unmuted this line for just a second to let them hear how loud I'm laughing at all of this...

- Oh for fuck's sake, you honestly think you can get the guys from Penny Arcade to do advertisements for this whacked-out product?

- Did you really just say you're going to use ISS on Vista because it's more reliable than Apache? Really? Cause, like, you know you can run Apache on Windows, right?

- FACEBOOK. IS. NOT. THE. INTERNET. YOU. DIPSHIT.

- Uh... You really... Um... Okay, I guess you DO think that Microsoft will buy you next year. Can I get paid, like, all in advance on this gig? With a cashier's check?

- Oh, there it is... The three letters I've been waiting for... IPO.

- Hey Google? I have a bug to report... I checked my calendar, and it SAYS this is 2007... Are you SURE? Cause I really, really feel like I'm in 1999 right now...

- Okay, so wait - Now we're adding YouTube onto the Digg-a-book-apedia-r site you want to miraculously create in six months?

- OH COME ON... You honestly expect me to invest work hours into your project and get paid "when the VC comes in?" Like... Where's the VC coming in FROM? Xenu?

- Oh. Great. The Director of Development also owns the outsourced programming company we'd use in Romania. How... Convenient. Sounds like he's the only one in this entire group who's actually thinking about how to make a profit here.

- Where's my gun? I know I own one somewhere... Even if it's a toy gun, at least I can disassemble it and choke on the small internal parts.

- Is it impolite to just hang up and not return the call, or should I begin crafting my "No thanks" speech?

10.03.2007

Just a little tip from me to you...

Corporate America Survival Tip #67:

Do not consult for a company whose employees put your IM name on their list, and then allow your IM client to display the titles of the songs you're listening to in iTunes as your current status message... Especially when the song is "I'm that type of nigga" by The Pharcyde.

It will not go well.




Not that I know from experience or anything... Especially experience gained this afternoon.