Archive for the ‘rants’ Category

Day Two Hundred Thirty Two | Sick(ish)

Monday, August 31st, 2009

Day Two Hundred Thirty Two | Sick(ish)

Something went wrong with my stomach, and I spent the day trying to right it. I’m not sure if it was some kind of food poisoning, or what, but I threw what I had available at it, and by the evening, things were somewhat back to normal.

The last time something like this happened to me, it was a huge gas bubble lodged somewhere in my digestive system, and I went to the doctor’s office. This time, I just went ot CVS for some Gas-X. The doctor took six hours of waiting, and like a hundred dollars. CVS cost me $5 and five minutes. And some people say the healthcare system doesn’t need an overhaul?

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Day Two Hundred Twenty Nine | Lens

Friday, August 28th, 2009

Day Two Hundred Twenty Nine | Lens

I’ll be putting some extra work in this weekend. That means, even after a full week of hard work, I won’t be going out tonight. The best I could manage was driving around aimlessly for a while. That’s when I shot this photo.

About the photos: I’ve been terribly uninspired, and lacking a proper lens. Maybe now that I’ve got money coming in again, I’ll be able to get a wide angle lens I can actually use during normal circumstances. Then, I can start shooting proper photos again. Seriously, I can’t even shoot portraits or building shots, or anything useful.

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Day Two Hundred | Security

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

Day Two Hundred | Security

I don’t like anything spur of the moment and I don’t like unannounced visitors. I scared off Jehova’s Witnesses such that they’ve never gotten anywhere near my house in ages, and I usually don’t answer the door.

And yet, for some reason I did that today, and before I knew it, had a home security system installed. A security system which, after actually reading the fine print (they never make that easy to do during sales pitches) I have literally cancelled not an hour after the damned thing was installed. Probably a cancellation record.

The company in question is Platinum Protection, and the Google search results are not very keen on that company. Apparently, they’re of the fly-by-night variety. The funny thing is, their unannounced visit actually did get me thinking about home security, and after they rip out the mediocre (from the reviews I read) system they shoved into my house, I’m going to research some legit brands, and get a real security system/service set up.

So, thanks, Platinum Protection, for making me think about getting a security system with one of your reputable, big-name competitors.

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Day One Hundred Fifty | Pushing Through

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

Day One Hundred Fifty | Pushing Through

I’m almost done with the little project I’m working on. I would have been finished by now if this were a design project, and not a build-out for a website, and that’s one of the reasons why I’m trying to back away from web development and toward design.

Web development seems to be 5% coding correctly, and 95% being frustrated over the haphazard, malformed piece of garbage web standards are. Fifteen years in, and it’s still in its infancy. Too many variables, too many things that should work but don’t, too many tricks and hacks just to get things to work.

I’m pushing through this project, and trying to continue the transition away from this frustrating line of work.

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Day Ninety Four | 1999-2009

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

I’m spent.

All I ate all day today was a veggie burger, and I’ve been doing coding work and listening to drum and bass so long that my head is spinning. I just got off the phone with one of my few friends, and she could hear the haggard, defeated person I am in my voice.

The little freelance work I’ve been doing, I haven’t been paid for yet, because the guy I’m working for hasn’t gotten paid yet, because the clients aren’t doing so well, naturally, because of the recession. So, I’m working for money that I don’t know when I will get, and I’ve got enough cash to pay this month’s mortgage. Then, I’m officially out of money. Getting my portfolio finished has never been as important as it is now.

This June it will have been ten years since I graduated high school, and even if I wanted to go (and I definitely don’t), right now I can’t even afford the tickets to my 10-year reunion. It’s definitely nowhere near where I thought I’d be in life when I was 18 and just beginning to piss all over my potential.

I’m 28, I own the bank owns my home me, I’m dead broke, without a real job, still trying to finish a Bachelors degree, farther from getting hitched getting laid than I’ve ever been in my life, and I haven’t made any sort of dent in this world. Were I an F-student fucking around and smoking weed all day (like the people I ended up hanging out with a few years after high school), the state I’m in wouldn’t be entirely unimaginable at 18. But, I was always beyond the top 1% in everything I ever did, I was one of the elite nerds with the towering IQs and GPAs and SAT scores and I sacrificed my entire social life for my studies, and…

And here I am, ten years later, and spent.

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Day Eighty | April

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

One of the major changes I’ve made in 2009 so far has been to be somewhat positive. And it came at the right moment, because since 2009 started I’ve lost my job (and have just enough freelance to pay the bills); mostly lost contact with nearly all of my friends for various reasons; watched my home value plummet into nearly upside-down territory, despite my being one of the responsible home buyers; and I had my main credit card account closed due to my job loss.

I could go on describing the shit that’s blown up in my face in the past three months, but I’m trying to be positive here. The goals I started the year with have themselves basically vanished into the realm of wishful thinking at this point, so wishful thinking is all I have left.

This is what I came home to this week.

And as an unintentional April Fool’s Day joke, Bank of America sent me a “pre-qualified” platinum credit card offer in the mail today… just after they had cancelled my platinum card.

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Day Seventeen | School

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

Day Seventeen. I think I’m almost done with school. Not because I’ve gotten all the degrees I wanted, but because I’ve been worn down by all the tedium one has to sit through in order to get just a few moments of transcendence.

What I mean is, yes I have learned a great deal over all these years, but for every piece of useful data or experience inside me, I’ve had to sit through loads of nonsense. It’s not just money I’ve spent, it’s time. And when I’ve spent the so-called best years my life sitting through hours of bullshit, at my own expense, I’m not sure the nuggets of information I’ve gained were even worth the trouble.

The system just isn’t built for people like me. People who don’t need to do busy work and take exams and listen to the same information countless times in order to “get it”. If it were, and courses were boiled down to weekend-long lecture/workshops with no filler material, I’d probably have a degree in everything from art history to economics by now.

I wonder if it’s any better on the west coast. I remember learning a lot more when I was a kid in California, so much so that I was way ahead of everyone else when I moved to Florida. And was forced to stay at their pace, despite this. That was probably my first dose of reality, and my first helping of cynicism.

But, maybe it’s different out west. I can’t wait to be back out west.

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Taking the Debate to… Myspace? Seriously?

Sunday, September 28th, 2008

A friend of a friend, not pleased with the number of Obama fans on said friend’s Myspace page, decided to post a link to The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. Hmm, what do you think they’d have to say about Obama’s tax plan? Something, non-partisan, perhaps? Right. Anyway, I was in a writing mood and so left this comment in response:

Question: do any of you make over $600,000? No? Then you’re going to get a few hundred bucks at best under McCain’s tax plan, all of which will be very likely swallowed up under his health care plan* and at least a thousand bucks under Obama’s. Plus, your payroll taxes will get a cut. (Quarter-millionaires, take note: They would increase for those making over $250,000.)

Look, McCain can cut out all the pork he wants, it’s still not going to make up for the the $300 billion decrease in tax revenue the federal government will have to deal with under his plan. What about those earmarks McCain is so fond of bringing up? That’s $18 billion a year. Of the $2.9 trillion we’re spending on our budget for 2008, about $1 trillion is not mandatory spending, and includes stuff like the Department of Defense, Homeland Security, NASA, the Department of Education, and energy spending. In other words, we’re not going to find $300 billion of needless spending no matter how hard we look.

Also, this:

* About that McCain Healthcare Plan

The plan encourages individuals to leave their employer-subsidized health insurance plans to go it alone by offering a $2500 rebate to individuals who do so ($5000 for families) and penalizes those who stick with their employer-subsidized plans by treating the portion their employer pays as taxable income, thereby… wait for it… swallowing your tax cut and increasing your taxes on the down-low.

Furthermore, the plan forces state governments to deal with anyone who is denied healthcare, thereby allowing insurers to deal with a low-risk (and low-cost) pool, while forcing states to come up with some kind of expensive government-subsidized healthcare for the high-risk pool, which will mean… wait for it… increased taxes! Oh, wait, you think the health insurers will pass on their savings to you? Has anyone ever passed on their savings to you? Of course not.

The AFA’s Latest Boycott: Hallmark Cards

Sunday, August 24th, 2008

I love how thinly veiled almost-hate-groups use names that make them sound all warm and fuzzy. Take the anti-gay organization American Family Association for example. Hallmark decided to start making greeting cards for same-sex couples to go with their five billion other hyper-focused greeting cards. The AFA has decided to set their targets on Hallmark for doing this, so Hallmark can now join the laundry list of other major brands who have been boycotted by the AFA. Bravo.

Here’s the fun part. The AFA has a form on their website right here for people to send complaints to Hallmark’s chairman, so you should know where this is going: subversion, obviously. Here’s the letter I sent:

Dear Chairman Hall:

I’m pleased to see that Hallmark is offering greeting cards for same-sex couples in an effort to reach this burgeoning market. It makes sense from a business perspective, but some people outside the mainstream might think otherwise.

I encourage you to ignore the glut of form letters you are no doubt receiving from the American Family Association, and I’m fairly certain that their boycott will not affect your business. After all, they’ve already boycotted basically every other major brand to little effect.

In addition to being an anti-gay organization promoting intolerance against this group, The American Family Association is trying to restrict a private business from operating in the free market as they see fit. Don’t let them dictate the way you run your business, Mr. Hall.

Note that their form seems to be down, so you’ll have e-mail Mr. Hall directly (the form has a handy link to his e-mail though). And I encourage you to do so.

Also, a quick note on the whole gay marriage issue: Why is it that I am a believer and have no issue with gays, and know that God loves gays the same as he loves all his creations, and yet so many people see it as such an affront to God that gays don’t deserve the same human dignity as anyone else? Replace “gays” with “blacks”, or any other race/gender/orientation/affiliation/etc. and the same applies.

Tropical Storm Fail

Thursday, August 21st, 2008

I’ve lived in Florida long enough to live through enough bad-ass hurricanes to have had enough of bad hurricane reporting on the part of the local news. As soon as the possibility of a threat of anything beyond a breeze looms over the state, news agency go into Emergency Ratings Mode.

Picture a war room with frenzied people running about, klaxons blaring, and red lights flashing; now replace that picture with a one of a news room filled with news people who are, instead of eschewing important news for celeb gossip, eschewing important global news for sensationalized hurricane gossip. That’s Florida during hurricane season.

Except that every so often, the 24/7 hurricane “threat” coverage turns out to be true, and we get hit with a real storm. Actually, we’ve been getting hit with real storms a lot lately: In 2004 Florida had to deal with four nearly back-to-back hurricanes—Charley, Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne—in the span of just over a month. Then, six more in 2005, including Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Wilma. That’s in addition to dozens of tropical storms and tropical depressions.

Which brings me to Tropical Storm Fay. With the hype machine broadcasting warnings about Fay for about a week (it felt like a month), T.S. Fay zig-zagged around the state with all the speed and energy of an octogenarian. I think it’s finally passed over central Florida by now, but I stopped paying attention to the weather updates yesterday.

P.S. Don’t forget to click those links for a bunch of sweet hurricane photos.

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