good things afoot

So, those of you paying any attention know that I got notice that I am let go from my current employer. But fret not since I am in excellent company. This year, I have been focusing on creating my “online presence” from blogs, to Twitter, LinkedIn, and recently Facebook. Honestly, I am very proud of my efforts since it allows me to talk about stuff that really gets me excited and even happy. At the very least, it’s an expression of who I am.

On to the future! I am ready to find my dream job and do something that I completely love. An old friend, Lance Weatherby, wrote an excellent post for folks in my position.

Lance pretty much summed up everything I had learned and read about this year. I found it a very helpful post. And I am sure it will help other people in a similar situation.

My wife’s cousin who has done international business gave me a similar lesson, although it was in a 45 minute care ride. His tactics were more for non-tech jobs, but the premise is the same; you got to network.

Having been at the same company for 12+ years, I heard that “you got to network” from every angle. But what does that mean? I had a really hard time figuring that out. For me, it really meant, be yourself. That’s a tough lesson. I guess some people can “sell themselves” but networking with other people means to me to be able to talk about what you know, love, do passionately. Don’t try to bullshit the bullshitter, (as my Dad used to say). Somewhere, along the line, someone I really respected said, “To be free you have to be totally responsible.” That means be honest. I can’t / won’t lie to my wife, employer, friend, etc. I simply can’t do it anymore. It’s not always easy, but I now see it’s the only way I can be. Having said that, I defer to Henry Winkler in “The Waterboy.”

Back to the “networking” issue. Of course I realize you have to sell yourself at some point. That’s the part I need to know more about.More later, but I am feeling very positive.

wordpress upgrade and other things

So, with the release of WordPress 2.2, I took the leap and updated tonight. It went really smooth and I seem to think there might be a performance gain, but it could be the vodka. You might have noticed that I am using the K2 theme, which has a slight issue with WP 2.2. You can get the fix here. It worked as advertised. If you are using WP-Cache you probably need to delete your root out of the cache to see the change.

Today, I was really glad I had my GPS unit, the Mio c310x. Twice today, I had to get somewhere fast and having the GPS let me bypass traffic and cut through other neighborhoods. It was cool saying, “hey, this is a load of crap… I’ll turn here…” and get me around the BS. Today in Atlanta, there was really heavy rain around the very beginning of rush hour and that set traffic home off to a terrible start. If only we had TMC like Europe has then is would trump Google! Maps on my Treo. I don’t think the c310x has the support for TMC, but that might be something to consider in my next GPS purchase.

BTW- I’ve done a considerable amount of stuff to my Mio over the last few weeks. Unfortunately, I don’t feel comfortable talking about them here. Let’s just say I am ready for a trip to Europe…

With regards to the Cheap-o HTPC, I’ve come to the conclusion and recommended to my brother-in-law, that an original XBOX is the way to go. For roughly under $100US you can find one on Craigslist, Ebay, or at a local pawn shop and easily hack it and put XBMC on it. He’s not a big game player, so he’s really only interested in the media capabilities. I’ve suggested a couple of places for him to find one and offered to hack it for him, so I’ll update as time goes on.

I also noticed that Trixbox 2.2 is out now. My Trixbox server is 2.1. I honestly don’t know if I’ll upgrade since it’s one of those things; if it ain’t broke… don’t fix it! If you read the thread over in the Trixbox forums, there is a way to upgrade despite what the first post says. We’ll see.

I’ve also been learning a lot about the business side of this. More on that, too.

Finally, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about innovation and technology and how it affects my and my family’s life. I’ve started writing up a doc highlighting some of the key points, but I am not sure what I plan to do with it when I’m done. Maybe I’ll post it here… but I wouldn’t count on it.

flexing the ol’ wordpress muscle

I don’t know very much about wordpress, but I know enough to be dangerous.  I’ve been wrestling with making my blog perform a little better and I haven’t really nailed it down yet.  I got a message from a friend today that my site was coming up blank and indeed it was.  If I was logged in as admin, everything looked fine, but if I wasn’t the site did come up blank.  I had a conflicting setting between wp-cache and another plugin trying to get get some additional performance.

If you search on the interwebs, you’ll find several people have their “Top 10 WP Plugins” and for the most part, everyone has their favorites.  But, there are a core group that everyone uses.  Once I nail down the performance issues and I am sure they are not related to the plugins, I’ll publish my list, too.

Today was a good day.  I broke my fishing pole a couple of weeks ago, (I’ve been taking the kids fishing at the lake in our ‘hood), and I got a really nice on on clearance at the Sports Authority.   It was $4!  You can’t beat that with a stick.  We also went to a neighborhood block party and had a nice time with all the neighbors.  It was a nice way to spend the Saturday.

If the weather holds up tomorrow, I’ll try to take the kids fishing again

what to write, tonight

I never thought I would enjoy keeping up a blog like this. When I first started, it was pretty hard to write. I didn’t even do a good job writing once a week and I think I was pretty much a curmudgeon when I did write. But, now I like it and I am surprised at how often I think about things to write about. I’ve gotten over the fact that most people won’t or don’t care what I have to say and a big step for me was to come out from behind my curtain of anomiminity on the Internet. I’ll be honest, a blog is a useful tool today when it comes to job hunting or self promotion. Things may come out in a blog that just won’t been seen in an interview. It gives your readers a little glimpse in just who you are and what you are about. I like it and the feedback I’ve gotten from people has been very encouraging. I get a lot of hits on my Trixbox and Mio posts, so that’s pretty cool.

I haven’t gotten over the fear of posting about my family or sharing pictures of my family. Having my personality out there is one thing, but my family is another. There are a lot of creeps out there, as you may know and the thought about giving them any fodder is disturbing enough as it is. Maybe over time it is something I’ll get over… or smarter about. Time will tell.

I was thinking about Kraftwerk today as I walked out to lunch. As I mentioned in the past, I wept as I read the wikipedia article about them. I was able to get one of their CD’s that was a reissue of a 1974 concert. Holy smokes, it was good. It totally blew me away. Dig this from Amazon: essential recording
Kraftwerk built upon the international success of Autobahn by expanding their conceptual conceits to an album-length exploration of radio waves (and the band’s other favorite wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum). Musically, the album represents a quantum leap of pop sensibility; though still distinctly a “prog” soundscape, its brilliant melodic hooks (best represented by the title track and “Airwaves”) are organized in more traditional–read shorter–form. In tracks such as the minimalist audio-verite “News,” Kraftwerk pay homage to another of their musical influences, the great modern composer/theorist Karlheinz Stockhausen. “Antenna” foreshadows the techno-gods they became, with its electronic washes and clever less-is-too-much lyrics, which read, in total: “I’m the antenna catching vibrations; you’re the transmitter, give information!” Radio-Activity is an underrated masterpiece waiting to be rediscovered. —Jerry McCulley

It is good stuff. The problem is, this isn’t something someone might just pick up on a whim. It’s kind of out there and I think if you had the chance to listen to it somewhere, you might like it.

So, this might be a nice opportunity to show a video that you might enjoy.

The album I have has this song in German. I like it better than the way it sounds when they sing in English. This is a great song to chill out with headphones on.Finally, if you liked some of the above website, I’ll suggest a few more.

Man, the bass is making my table shake. Awesome.