Feb 022015
 

BillyJoel_AnInnocentMan

I wrote the following as one of my assignments in my Orientation to Graduate Studies class at the University of Maryland University College. The goal was to write an article in the style of the “This I Believe” series by Edward R. Murrow. Unfortunately after I finished my essay and turned it in I realized that the assignment had been to write something about our professional beliefs and not a personal one, so I had to scrap the assignment and write another one in about 10 minutes (which, for the record, I got a 98% on). I really liked what I wrote in my original essay, though, and I wanted to share it here.

Fair warning – It’s mushy.

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Jan 132015
 
Image courtesy of Bruce Sallan - http://www.brucesallan.com/2012/03/25/are-you-a-socialmedia-addict/

Image courtesy of Bruce Sallan – http://www.brucesallan.com/2012/03/25/are-you-a-socialmedia-addict/

The company I work for considers themselves to be a Gallup Strengths-Based organization. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the concept, the long and the short of it is that the Gallup organization has a list of 34 traits that are apparently common in all people. These traits are referred to as strengths. When the company you work for decides that they want to become a strength-based organization (or you decide you want to find out what your strengths are on your own), you take a test and you get a list of the 34 strengths in in the order that they apply to you.

My number one strength is Input. What follows is a description of the type of person who has Input as one of their top strengths, according to the Gallup organization.

You are inquisitive. You collect things. You might collect information — words, facts, books, and quotations — or you might collect tangible objects such as butterflies, baseball cards, porcelain dolls, or sepia photographs. Whatever you collect, you collect it because it interests you. And yours is the kind of mind that finds so many things interesting. The world is exciting precisely because of its infinite variety and complexity. If you read a great deal, it is not necessarily to refine your theories but, rather, to add more information to your archives. If you like to travel, it is because each new location offers novel artifacts and facts. These can be acquired and then stored away. Why are they worth storing? At the time of storing it is often hard to say exactly when or why you might need them, but who knows when they might become useful? With all those possible uses in mind, you really don’t feel comfortable throwing anything away. So you keep acquiring and compiling and filing stuff away. It’s interesting. It keeps your mind fresh. And perhaps one day some of it will prove valuable.

I, without a doubt, fall into the former category of collectors. I collect information. I used to collect things, but I had a change of heart about that a few years ago and really try to live my life amassing as little stuff as possible. But information? Oh, I collect information. I want to know…well, everything. I ask questions constantly. In many ways, I’m like a child. I constantly want to know why.

I’m still not entirely sure why Gallup considers this a “strength.”

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Oct 012014
 

Every once in a while I think about deleting all of the posts on my blog.

It’s not a matter of being embarrassed about the content here or anything like that. I’ve written before about how I’m not a fan of people who try to ret-con their online lives, and I still feel that way. There are posts out there that I’ve removed for professional reasons, but for the most part if you were really inclined you could use this site to look back over the last 15 years of my life and, I’m sure, get a kick out of how stupid much of it has been.

No, if I’m being honest the reason I think about deleting the history here is because I’m lazy. See, the fact is that many of the older posts here were written on my now-inactive LiveJournal blog. They are improperly formatted, contain broken images, are untagged, and generally a complete mess.

This fact bugs me, you see, because those posts aren’t pretty.

Yes, I’m vain. I like the way my blog looks. Those old posts are an eyesore, and the amount of work required to fix them is pretty damned extensive. The easiest solution would be to simply eradicated any content that existed prior to me switching to WordPress.

The conundrum, of course, is that I’m under some kind of illusion that some of that content is actually good, and I won’t know that until I’ve finished going through it all.

So, no. I won’t be deleting all those old posts.

But damn, is it tempting.

 

 

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Aug 272014
 

I’d love to say I have some kind of well thought out, eloquent post in me. I do not. My sad, neglected blog is likely to remain just that for the foreseeable future, and this post won’t break that trend. This is just a thought dump. A “what’s going on with me” that most of you will likely gloss over if you even bother to read it in the first place.

Man, that sure sounded emo.

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Jun 232014
 

Shortly after I started the final push for my Bachelor’s Degree back in 2011, I purchased an Asus Eee PC so that I would have something portable to do my school work on. It cost me about $400 at the time. I upgraded the RAM in it to the maximum that it could possibly hold, and I threw a SD memory card in it to run ReadyBoost as well. In the years that have followed, I have installed tons of software on it that I have needed to complete my assignments. IDE’s, Server software (IIS AND Tomcat), database programs, the MS Office suite, you name it.

In all the time I have been using this netbook, the only thing I have had to do to it to keep it running was buy a new battery.

As I approach the final 5 weeks of my scholastic career, my little netbook is struggling. It has never been reformatted. The amount of time I’d have to spend re-installing all the software I need just hasn’t made it worth pursuing. What used to be a zippy little machine is now sluggish and frustrating to use.

But it still works.

Once school is done my netbook is probably going into retirement. I may reformat it first and see how it performs after that, but I’ve got my eye on more powerful machines as I move on to the next phase of my life and career. Regardless of that, it will be somewhat painful to let this little engine that could go. It has performed well beyond my expectations, and was worth every penny I spent on it. When I do decide to finally shut it off for the last time, I know I’ll feel more than a little sad.

“That will do, Netbook. That will do.”

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Jun 042014
 

I recently asked a male relative of mine if he would send his nephews to a rape defense class. This was part of a larger discussion on rape culture, misogyny, and the general state of affairs in our society that have been brought into sharp focus due to the recent events in California. My relative replied to my question by stating that he would hope his nephews “would respect women.”

Now ignoring the fact that he dodged my very direct question almost completely, what he said was still somewhat interesting to me. In the next few days,  I saw similar comments from other men I knew along the same lines. More often than not, I see them offered up as part of a thinly veiled “Not All Men” defense. “I was raised to respect women,” the argument goes, “so clearly I am not part of this ‘rape culture’ you speak of.”

This defense is not only irrelevant and distracting, it’s also inherently flawed…and it proves exactly what it is trying to deny.

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May 202014
 
Image shameless yanked from http://www.autostraddle.com/tag/travel-guide/

Image shameless yanked from http://www.autostraddle.com/tag/travel-guide/

When I originally bought the house in St. Petersburg that I am currently living in, back in 1999, it was pretty much perfect in every way. It was big enough to accommodate my family, it was within a few miles of both my Sister and my Mother (who were helping us raise our son), it was near great schools, and it was safe. What it wasn’t, by any means, was close to my job. I was working in Clearwater at that point, at the Staples up on Sunset Road. My daily commute, distance-wise, wasn’t horrible…but it wasn’t great either (especially considering the fact that, at that point, very little of the construction that has improved traffic on U.S. 19 had been completed).

My next job after Staples was my first job working for a software company, and the office was located in Tampa near the airport. The commute wasn’t horrible, because I was able to get off of the interstate right at the airport exit and miss the traffic going through the downtown area, but it wasn’t great either. It was around this time that I started acting professionally, and with the exception of one show in the entire time I’ve been acting all of them have been in Tampa. I briefly worked for a company that had an office that was right off of the airport exit from 275, but it was still in Tampa.

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Apr 292014
 

Sometimes people need to fail.

I know that’s kind of a weird concept these days. We live in a world where everyone gets a trophy and products are marketed to us because we “deserve” them. We live in a world where we have to be sensitive about the feelings of everyone around us, and where we have to be careful about everything we say because our comments might be offensive. American culture is perfectly reflected in our medicine – we’re all loaded up on antibiotics and over-sanitized, and as a result we’re starting to develop some pretty horrible diseases because we aren’t letting our systems build up the proper immunities.

This really isn’t new.

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Nov 122013
 

S358_28142889665_850_no last week I turned 41.

This is kinda mind-blowing to me, as I am now officially “in” my forties. I’m no longer just 40. Oh, no. I have now fallen off the cliff into being middle-aged. That nebulous time when we’re supposed to be all grown up but we still don’t really know what the hell we are doing and we spend all of our time trying to get everyone around us not to see that.

It’s fun. No, really. I also enjoy playing the “what hurts this morning?” game and having to squint when I read small print. It’s just lovely.

I wasn’t inspired to write this post because of angst over my current age bracket, though. What actually got me to blow the dust off the old WordPress server was the decision to come clean about a few things.

You see, folks…In many ways I’m not your typical member of Generation X.

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May 212013
 

Terran-Empire-Insignia

Warning: Spoilers Ahead!

I have a theory about the J.J. Abrams Star Trek universe. It’s likely wrong, because Abrams seems pretty well content to just do whatever he wants regardless of whether or not it makes any kind of sense (see : The Enterprise at the bottom of an ocean), but it’s a theory I have nonetheless.

The Abrams Trek universe is actually an alternate Mirror Universe.

What follows is a whole bunch evidence that demonstrates, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I spend far too much time thinking about this kind of shit. Some of what follows here isn’t necessarily canon, but it’s the best info we have so I’m going to go with it.

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