Saturday, September 29, 2007

Change the world Plan A has failed

The post-my-insane-yet-brilliant-idea-to-Digg-and-watch-it-take-on-a-life-of-it's-own plan doesn't seem to have worked.  Honestly, I didn't really think it would, but I had to try, ya know?

"Henry Rollins for President" has 4 Diggs as of this moment.  In fairness I'm a bit new to this whole Digg thing, and I'm sure people saw a new profile posting a link to what looked like his own blog.  Probably looked a little fishy.  But give me a few points for passion.  I need a plan B.  I still would like to see a "Henry Rollins for President" movement, but I still don't know how to get it started.  O muse of Creativity, be with me now.  And be hot.  And promiscuous.  Wait, what was I talking about?

Right, shake up the establishment with new ideas.  Check.  I suppose four Diggs isn't bad for my first time out (however one of them was from me, so I guess it's only three).  Maybe the venue was wrong.  Maybe Digg isn't the way to go.  I'm making this up as I go but Henry's got to have a large fan base out there.  Maybe I just need to get the idea out there.  I'll think this over for a bit.

Oh, and if happen to be one of the three people who read this, leave a comment on how you think I might up the Digg score for Henry.  And if you're a hot, promiscuous Muse Of Creativity leave a phone number too.  We need to talk.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Henry Rollins for President

That's right, I've made my choice for the 2008 election. He's perfect. He loves this country, and he has a no-bullshit attitude towards everything. And the fact that he's not actually running is like icing on the cake.

First I should probably explain my views on political candidates. Anybody (and I mean anybody) who runs for political office is not the sort of person we need in office. It's a time old paradox with no solution, except one. Draft politicians. That's right, throw out all the good ole' boys and institute a draft, getting normal everyday people to serve as the leaders of our country. It's not without flaws, I don't want to see Jim Bob Redneck serving as president any more than you do, but could it be any worse? I think he's already there.

It's not "Power Corrupts" but rather "Power attracts the Corruptible". In order to have honest politicians, we must have politicians who don't want to be politicians. In my life I've been a Democrat, a Republican, and I've finally arrived at the conclusion that they both disgust me. The two party system has to go, but the one thing holding it in place is the Electoral College. This antiquated system ensures that nobody will vote outside the two major parties. Ralph Nader doesn't stand a chance while this system is in place, and neither does anybody else. It served a purpose once, but it's no longer needed. The popular vote should decide now.

Since Henry Rollins is not running it proves that he's a good candidate, according to my theory. Not only that but the more you learn about this man the more you realize that he's more patriotic and loves this country more than the vast majority of us. He also sees things from a humanistic compassionate point of view. The fact that he's a punk rocker doesn't hurt either in my opionion. Now comes the hard part.

I've got roughly fourteen months to convince 51% of the country that he's the right choice for our next president. Where to start....

Digg would be a good place to start. I'll have to Digg my own post and hope that it catches on. I don't have the time or the energy to run a campaign for a candidate who isn't running, I have to hope that the grassroots movement catches wind of this and propels him to the White House. One can dream, eh? If you see this post and you agree with my assessment, help out and pass the word. It may be our way out from the long succession of bad choices we've had for the past several decades.


Restored comments:

henry rollins is an idiot like you said:

Christ, you're a fucking idiot

Nanette said:

I said this weeks ago - if I had to put together a perfect candidate, it would be Rollins. I am writing him in

The Cowboy said

Hey nanette, thanks for the comment. Unfortunately people don't seem to take me seriously when I say he should be president, nor did I really expect them to. I most likely will write him in as well, for what that's worth. I understand older people not wishing to vote outside of the established Washington norm, I'm surprised there's not more support for alternative candidates among the younger crowd though. What great change has come about without controversial actions? Voting a former punk-rocker in for president might be controversial, but I'd rather see Henry in the Oval Office than any "standard" candidate currently running. There's an unwritten rule that you have to vote Democrat or Republican, and you have to vote for those party's chosen candidates. I think that's bullcrap, and it's time we elected somebody outside the system. At any rate, thanks for posting something other than "Christ, you're a fucking idiot" :D

Anonymous said:

I went on-line tonight to see if anyone felt the same way I do. LOL

When was the last time the majority of Americans felt good about a candidate? Need a hint...look at how many people don't vote. Personally, I've always felt like I was stuck trying to decide between the lesser of two evils.

Sure, Rollins has done things in the past that the "moral majority" find distasteful or feel threatened by, but at least he won't be denying it or trotting out feeble defenses. An articulate and knowledgeable man, he certainly seems to be more conscious of the difference between right and wrong than the all of the present candidates combined.

I can't think of a person I'd rather see in the white house...and that's coming from a 40-something military veteran. Write in Rollins!!!

The Cowboy said

Hey Mr. Anonymous, that's awesome. I'm guessing Desert Storm based on age? I had several friends there.

"I've always felt like I was stuck trying to decide between the lesser of two evils." I think a lot of people feel like that. Personally it's been a long time since I voted for a candidate, rather than against one.

"An articulate and knowledgeable man, he certainly seems to be more conscious of the difference between right and wrong than the all of the present candidates combined."

I'm not so sure the candidates really have that much trouble telling right from wrong. If you look at the background of politicians, you'll find a lot of them started as lawyers. Lawyers, as part of their job, can cognitively disassociate themselves from their ability to judge right and wrong and recategorize things into "neccesary" and "unneccesary". Rollins, on the other hand calls things as he sees them. Politicians are experts at double talk, or the ability to answer a question without actually answering the question. Try it sometime. Watch a debate, and listed closely to the answer they give while judging the answer againt the criteria "did they actually answer the question?" You have to keep the original question in mind while evaluating their answer. Don't get caught up in whether or not you agree with what they're saying, just simply say "did they answer the question." The answer is almost overwhelmingly "no". I can see Henry Rollins as the kind of guy who can get up in front of a group of people and give you the answer, good or bad. This is often political suicide, but I would love to see it all the same. I don't trust any of the candidates. Henry Rollins is someone I think I could trust to be honest with us.

I find it funny that this post is finally gathering a little attention now. It went pretty much unnoticed when I wrote it, but now the debates are heating up, and I think that more people disgusted with the establishment are coming out of the woodwork. Maybe there's still hope.

I at least intend to write in Henry in the next election, whether it's a futile gesture or not.

Kenny Bales said:

I say Greg Graffin for Pres w/Rollins as VP. Been pushing that ticket for years. Reason Hank wouldn't be a good President, IMO, is I think he lacks a certain amount of restraint that is necessary for successful diplomacy. I've met the guy. I thnk he's a Legend. But Graffin would do well as a strong silent type, which would keep our enemys guessing...and we'll always have enemys, no matter what.

Nanette said:

Hey its Nanette again - and btw I am 45 and my 16 yo daughter is a huge Rollins fan, of her own doing, not much influence on my part, really! We just got tix to see Henry in Tampa on 9/22 - 2nd row, and my daughter is already working on making a tshirt to wear - HENRY 4 PREZ! yeah!

Nanette said:

sorry i had date wrong. its 9/29. 2nd row too - I wonder if Henry will see her T?

My Daily WTF

Surfing Digg I found this today.

Narrow minded people amuse me.  I love the part about freedom of religion meaning you have the freedom to choose the denomination of Christianity you wish to follow.  Non-Christians need not apply.  Separation of church and state in action.  Well, I guess I'll be moving to Canada, eh?

Customer Service, where art thou?

I actually got a comment on a post!  That means somebody is actually reading this stuff.  That's awesome.   Thanks, Darth Nepharia.  Your blog is very interesting.  I can appreciate it being a complete Star Wars geek.  I won't embarrass myself by going over how many times I've actually watched the movies or citing how many Star Wars books I own.  And yes, Geeks Rule.

Whatever happened to customer service?  I watched Back To The Future again a couple of weeks ago.  One of the most interesting scenes in the movie is when Marty first goes back to 1955 and is wandering the town square.  Everything is alien to him.  Being around that same age when the movie came out (1985, since I've already dated myself) it seemed alien to me too.  One of the most striking images was the staff running out at the gas station to check the tires, wash the windshields, etc.  Full Service gas stations were rare when I was a kid, they don't exist now.  We don't even call it Self-Service anymore.  That's just the way it is.  Go to your local Taco Bell and the disgruntled teenager at the window is likely to see if they can complete the sale without actually speaking to you.  We don't even find it odd anymore when they lean out the window and just hold their hand out like a beggar asking for spare change.  No, even that's not a good comparison.  The beggars I've met actually spoke to me.  Then again, even the beggars seem to be fairly half-assed about it: re-using the same lines like a cheap hooker, not even bothering to try to dress the part.  One Christmas I was accosted by a beggar wearing what must have been a $100 Packers jacket, asking for spare change.  Come on, at least try to look like you really are poor, and not just faking it. 

I recently had to reformat my hard drive.  I did better this time, saving everything to an external hard drive and not trying to filter what was important first.  Even so I still failed.  I purchased Pocket Quicken for my Palm Pilot when I still had one.  When I upgraded to a Windows PDA, I contacted Landware for an upgrade code and they graciously gave me one.  After the reformat, my desktop side software was gone, but the PDA software was still there and still legally licensed, so I went to their site to get the desktop connection software again.  This was mistake #1.  The install removed the licensed software from my PDA and re-installed it IN DEMO MODE.  I now have about 23 days left on my trial version of software that I have a license for.  Cute, eh?  I couldn't find the code I received before, so I contacted Landware again.  They sent me a terse little note saying "You purchased the Palm version, buy the upgrade butthead!"  Okay, paraphrased and embellished but essentially the same message.  So I sent back "Thanks, but you've already given me the Windows Mobile code before, I just want that same code again."  So they graciously sent me the Palm code again.  No message, just a repeat of my registration from years ago.  I can see the CSRs chuckling as they put this message together: "Dumb ass, trying to make us do work or something!"  This piss poor attitude towards customer service has turned me off to Landware permanently.  Intuit too, just for good measure.  They did partner with the assholes.  How long would it have taken to look it up and see if I was telling the truth?  How long did it take to piss off a long time customer?  How many customers did they lose?  More than one!  Me, everybody I tell this too, and hopefully whoever reads this blog.  So we're up to like three or so.  Whatever.  Don't buy from Intuit or Landware.

This is on the heels of my fiasco with the cable company.  We had one cable box and one DVR.  We traded the cable box in for another DVR a while back.  I'm taking a close look at the bill a few days ago, and notice I'm being charged for three boxes.  So I call them.  The lady wants to argue with me and keeps repeating "one is for the receiver and one is for the DVR", to which I keep saying "No I can see the two DVR charges, below there's three receiver charges.  I don't have three receivers!"  Finally after a while of this I give up and move on to other issues I'm calling about.  Mid sentence, she states "They are actually charging you for three boxes, sir".  No really?  I never would've known if you hadn't told me because I'm obviously too freaking STUPID TO READ THE GODDAMNED BILL!  If only somebody had tried to bring that to your attention LIKE FREAKIN ME!!!  Don't get me wrong, I appreciate that she actually looked at the bill and realized something was wrong, but why didn't she do that when I was telling her point blank something was wrong with the bill?  At least they took it off.  With three year old crying in the background I didn't press the issue that they'd been charging me that for nearly a year, but it's noteworthy that she didn't offer.  What a jaded society we've become...

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Today's Moment

My three year old son refuses to go to bed under a blanket.  It all seems well and good until the middle of the night when he's in there freezing.  Or he was tonight anyway, fall is starting to set in.  I looked in on him tonight, grabbed the blanket he refuses to use when he's awake, and covered him with it.  Then he did the most amazing thing, he smiled.  In his sleep, he smiled, then snuggled the blanket.  That was my moment today.  Not every day has one, in fact most don't.  Musicians know what I'm talking about. I had my first moment when I was 16. 

I was playing Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet at an arts camp in Oklahoma. This was an intense arts camp, we put on four concerts in two weeks.  Everybody there was an incredible musician, and the conductors where among the best there were.  I remember one, Akiro Endo.  He had the most amazing memory I've ever seen.  He never once used a score, having memorized it.  He could tell the brass to start at measure 247 to rehearse a section that hadn't gone well.  The first words he ever said to me were my name.  He had memorized the seating chart and knew who I was having never spoken to me before.  He wasn't the conductor for the Prokofiev, honestly I don't remember who was, but it's not important.  At the end of that performance was my moment.  It's hard to explain if you've never had one, but imagine an orgasm without sex, but it involves your entire body and your complete consciousness.  You're never quite the same afterwards.  I remember being just a little disoriented at the end of the piece, not entirely sure where I was and how I got there. 

If you don't play an instrument I highly recommend learning to play something.  Anything.  You may never have a moment, but then again you might.  Like with anything else, some people can and some can't.  Some can't and don't know it, but you'll never know if you don't try. 

On a completely unrelated topic I've been getting the urge to write again.  I used to write all the time when I was a kid.  Much like George McFly I never really shared very many of my stories, but the few I did were well received... generally.  I remember writing a story in the fifth grade that my teachers like so much they wanted to enter it into some district competition, but needed me to tone down the gore just a bit.  I was an odd child.  If a child wrote a story like that today they'd be more likely to be institutionalized than praised.  That's why we'll probably never see another Edgar Allan Poe.  We're all so afraid of everything these days. 

I abandoned the rock opera I started last year when the writing muse left me.  Probably just as well, it would have gotten me institutionalized as well.  I'm thinking of trying something new, publishing the story as I write it via a blog.  Create another blog and use it to publish the story.  Instant feedback, that is, assuming anybody actually reads it.  The idea is to face my fear of others actually reading my work.  Most music I've written as well as most stories I've written have never been performed or read by anybody but me.  The few times they have been they've always gone over well.  You'd think that would help me get over my fear, but it must run pretty deep.  Honestly the only reason I can write here is the fact that I'm 90% sure nobody reads it but me, but being on the Internet there's always the chance somebody might.  It's a step in the right direction.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Geek for sale

My favorite Dilbert of all time!

So my birthday is coming up.  I tell my wife what I really want is a widescreen flat panel monitor for watching movies on the computer.  Context: I have two flat panels already.  She says "Are you crazy?  What are we going to do with the extra monitor?"  Completely serious I reply "Extra monitor?" 

I'm a geek.  I admit that about myself.  I'm not the alpha geek, but I'm pretty up there.  I could tell you just about anything about Star Wars, most things about Star Trek, and a good deal about the Matrix.  I write code all day, then I come home and stay up late doing my favorite hobby, writing code. 

My problem is I get involved with my job.  I care, it's a failing.  The sad truth is most software created today is done under completely inept management who are convinced they know more about software development then the developers they're paying so much for.  Hello, McFly!!  There's a REASON you pay us so much.  We know what we're doing and could do it so much better if you'd just get out of the damn way!  Well, a lot of us do, anyway.  There's a lot of idiot coders out there too.  I've worked with several.  I've spent more than my fair share of time cleaning up the crap code they left behind. 

I'm looking for another job.  If you know anybody that wants to pay somebody a ridiculous amount of money for writing code let me know.

I'm gonna go stream a Dr. Who off Netflix while cranking out some more code I won't get paid for.  How's that for geek?