Chris Dodd, Bribery and elected representatives.

There is a petition over at We the People, the White House online petition website asking for an investigation into statements made by Chris Dodd of the MPAA regarding funding for politicians.

The story has been picked up in a few places.

While I am probably just a little jaded and think this won't actually accomplish anything, I also think this may actually get the ball rolling, if enough people actually get involved. I would really, really like for our elected representatives to actually listen to us instead of basing decisions on how much money they can get for the reelection campaign.

Lunar Festival begins

For those of you that play World of Warcraft, Lunar Festival has started today. For those of you that know my wife, you may have some sympathy for what I am going to be putting up with.

Who knows, I may even get some of that achievement done myself, at least on a couple characters.

Things to check into.

Thomas Gideon mentioned duply today. Since I used duplicity a few years ago for backups, I think I may have to take a look at it.

Aleksey Tsalolikhin over on the LOPSA mailing list mentioned nwdiag for drawing out network diagrams. Aleksey asked a little while ago on the mailing list about network diagram tools and I had suggested graphviz since I had used that along with some perl scripting to mangle 'show cdp neighbors' out of a couple of routers to get a network diagram of sorts.

Now I am looking forward to poking at this while at work on Monday to see if I can get an easier to use/maintain network map going.

Linked on the same site is another tool, rackdiag, which I can see great potential for as well.

Nanoblogger, again.

Here we go again, blowing up the blog, going back to nanoblogger. I know that I keep saying that doing things to my blog is about trying to actually USE this as a place to keep notes, ideas, whatever. And that it keeps falling short of that. Much like my goals of getting organized. But if I don't try, I can't improve. So, here we go again.

Echo Chambers

People forget what an echo chamber can be like. Tech Industry, Politics, Wall Street, Police and others, we are all victim to it in some way. We are all shocked when someone on the inside of one of those echo chambers thinks that everything is fine and working as intended, when those on the outside are shocked and dismayed. Or that the actions they took were justified or even expected.

Hindsight is almost always 20/20.

During the height of the recent housing boom, almost no one was asking "Can this last? Should this be happening?". Those that did ask, were laughed at and ridiculed.

It is easy to paint all those in a group with the same brush, on either side of an echo chamber or bubble. While the actions of a few may be the result of a systemic problem, not everyone would have done the same thing in their place.

We need to remember that, and we all need to have a little more tolerance for our fellow humans. None of us are perfect. We need to actually TRY to examine peoples actions from their standpoint at that time, knowing only what they know then.

If I have no way of knowing that someone is pointing an unloaded firearm at me, and I take action with the belief that my life is in danger, not many would fault me for that.

People tend to forget that police officers are aware and reminded every day that they are outnumbered. That in many cases they are not liked. That all of their actions are looked at under a microscope without the benefit of detachment or even empathy. Have the bad actions of a few made this worse? Yes. Are there lots and lots of cops that have done nothing to warrant distrust and suspicion beyond putting on the uniform? Yes.

Please remember that almost everyone that has something to say on the internet or in a news room has an ax to grind in some fashion. Even me. Take what you read or hear with a grain of salt. Ask questions of all involved. Look for and demand facts, not interpretation. But when putting those facts together into a story or a narrative, do look at it from all sides, look at it through the lens of what was known then, at that time. Not what has been learned since.

Insomnia

I wish I could sleep when I really wanted to. Instead, my brain decides to take a tour of any random event or past thought. And I do mean any.

Some of the things my brain has decided to rehash today (yes, instead of sleeping).

  • The Acting Company of Hibriten High School 1994 performance of 'Romeo & Juliet'
  • Do I have a fiber to go from patch panel A to patch panel B at the office?
  • Why don't I write a blog post about the music I have been listening to lately and why I have been listening to it?
  • Why can't I sleep?
  • I should clean my office.
  • I should clean my office at home, too.
  • Why didn't that port work this morning during the overnight maintenance?
  • I need to order 'Small Favor' by Jim Butcher.

Yes, some of these things are 'todo' list items that I should probably have on a todo list so that I stop thinking about them. The problem with that is, once I start making a list, I obsess about it. Which means I don't sleep anyway. So what do I do? I fire up the laptop, look at my rss reader, facebook, twitter, email and then fire up a blog post.

Oh yeah, reaaaalll productive.

Anyone have a location of the Insomnia Fairy? I have something I would like to discuss with that individual.

blogging, nanoblogger, fail.

I attempted to update to the latest RC for nb today.

It failed. It failed miserably. Before attempting to upgrade to the latest version of nanoblogger, I seriously considered using iWeb to do my blogging. I could then, in theory, also update my photography pages, all from in iWeb!

But the templates suck. I know, it's always something right? I am never really satisfied with something, I always want to pick at it, make it better, stream line it, SOMETHING. But then I spend more time picking at something than actually doing it.

Which is one reason why GTD appeals to me, intellectually at least. It makes sense. Out of all the stuff I am picking at, what do I need to do NEXT. Ok, do it. Simple, right? Hah! Guess what? You can pick at GTD, too! Which is what lead me to Merlin Mann's website. And then lead me to read the Inbox Zero series. And to watch the video of his presentation about it to Google. And then to look for other things that he had talked about, so I came across a blog post that pointed to a video of him talking about how, and WHY, to blog.

One of the best slides from the talk is:

Find your obsession.
Every day, explain it to
one person you respect.
Edit everything, skip shortcuts,
and try not to be a dick.
Get Better.

Of course, the explanation that goes with the slide is what makes it so great, so you should probably go watch the video.

Which leads to...

The last couple of days I have been inspired by or at least obsessing about blogging, and doing it about things that I obsess about. Like why it is that I keep falling off the GTD wagon. I do good for a few days, maybe a week, and then I fall back into my old, horrible habits. Or what it is about the candidates in the current U.S.A. Presidential election that I like/dislike/loathe/love. What is happening with the wow expansion that I think is really cool? What new thing have I learned or relearned in perl, bash, ksh, linux, html, etc? Yes I am a geek, if you didn't know that about me before, sorry to shatter whatever illusions you had of me. These are all topics that I think about, some more than others, and some instead of others that I should be thinking about.

Those that know me, know that I am a professional procrastinator. I come by it honestly. I always seem to not have a TUIT handy, "I'll do that tomorrow" is literally a horrible black hole for me. I have things that I need to do. I even know, most of the time, that there is something better that I should be doing. (For instance, right now I should probably be doing one of half a dozen things, including sleeping, sending invoices out, cleaning my office, putting up a shelf in the garage... see what I mean?!)

Back to blogging software... so instead of blogging, I have been tweaking, messing with, researching and trying to decide HOW I want to blog. A WYSIWYG has it's appeal, so does wordpress, drupal, serendipity, and others.

But I keep telling myself, "Simple, I just want to be able to write, and not worry about the software!" I don't want HOW I am doing what I am doing to be getting in the way of doing it. So I am back to the installed, working, version of nanoblogger. Will I still obsess about what software I am using to blog with? Probably. Will I stick with nb? Again, probably. The real question is, can I keep posting? Will I keep posting? I intend to keep posting, but we know about the best intentions, don't we?

Maybe once the moderator lets me into the support discussion group for it, I will see if I can get the new version of nb working, just because.

Organizing, again.

I have come to the conclusion that my previous effort to implement GTD, while not a total failure, has been fraught with problems.

One thing I have noticed, I sleep better when I have things planned, taken care of, or documented. I have not been sleeping as well for the last couple of weeks. Guess what? I have been depending on my brain to keep track of todos and concerns. Those of you that know me know that this is a plan that is doomed to fail.

I will be re-reading "Getting Things Done" and "Time Management for System Administrators" to help me get back in the groove of things.

Matt in the Hat has been located!

Today I crawl out of bed, far too early in the afternoon I might add, to find an email from an old college buddy, Matt Bower. Matt and I lost touch after I was asked to... ummm, take a break from college.
He then informs me that he is getting married in less than 2 weeks! MF'er. If only I was still down south I could at least crash the reception!

Congratulations and good luck Matt!