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28th December 2016

9:08pm: Posting from the future
When I first joined Live Journal, it was 2001, and I had a phone that was more like a big black brick. Today, I'm sitting on a train, posting from a laptop which is connected to the Internet through my phone which has more processing power than my computer in 2001. Welcome to the future.

Here in the future, I am quite tired. Rowan, that's my daughter, isn't so good at going to bed... ever. And I have to get up at 4:30 AM to catch the train into NYC the one day a week when I do that. I enjoy my trip to the city, but I'm just a bit worn out.

My job remains awesome, but it has moved from the phase of striking out here and there trying this and that to having to settle into the grind of executing strategies and getting results. Mind you, the strategies are those of my own devising, so it's quite exciting, but it can be wearing at times too. What I do matters. Can I bring home results? I think so. But right now I just want to bring home my tired face and put it on a pillow.
Current Mood: tired

19th December 2016

10:11pm: Strategic Plan
I had a very new experience today. I prepared and presented the 2017 strategic marketing plan for my company. The whole thing.

A couple weeks ago, Shana, the CEO, was telling the team that the managers would be preparing and presenting plans. I've heard those kinds of "the management team will be..." statements before, but this time, I was one of the management team. Woah. Awesome.

Awesome in the supergreat way. Also awesome in the "holy crap", this is on me way. Well, I've wanted the chance to prove myself for a while. I've been saying that I'm all that and I've got all this knowledge. Now, it's time to see if I can deliver.

I worked on this plan from Thursday morning through today. The Powerpoint presentation was 35 slides and took about 3 hours to make, but I got complements on it.The document is was based on is 27 pages comprising 14 campaign ideas, 2 of which were rejected, but 12 of which were accepted. There's something really exciting about having a boss who respects your abilities.
Current Mood: pleased

18th December 2016

9:03am: A More Elegant Media for a More Civilized Age
It’s your father’s social media. This is the social media of a Writer. Not as clumsy or as random as a Facebook or Twitter, but a more elegant weapon for a more civilized age. For years, Live Journal was the medium of discussion and promotion in the Internet. Before the dark times, before the Empire.

I wandered back over here because I was using Live Journal as an example of early adoption in a strategic document I was writing for work, and I realized, as I looked at it, that Live Journal offered some things that the numerous other platforms that I use do not. It offers a persistent repository of long form reflection. I was able to look back at some posts from years ago and realize that my personal recollection of those events had shifted and colored with time. There is great value in being able to have such a log.

Couldn't I just have a personal journal? Sure. And I'd probably be wise to download by LJ logs and save them in Google Drive, but, so long as LJ remains on the Internet, it is a good repository.

How is this different from my blog? Well, my blog is not a place to talk about me and my story. I might tell a story from my life for illustrative purposes, but it's not the place to record my story. It's a place to share lessons and advice. Very different.

What makes this an interesting format is that it is a place where anyone could find what I am writing, but likely no one will. This means that I have to be careful what I say, because the wrong thing could get me in trouble one day, but it doesn't have great self promotional value.

Being careful what I say reminds me of how much things change. In 2001, back when I first started using LJ, I had recently broken up with a woman named Amanda. I mentioned her by name in my Journal, and she was quite upset that I had violated her privacy by using her name on the Internet without her permission. She was not the only one who was upset by such things, so most people in my Journal are referred to by some kind of psuedonym. Amanda became SWSNBN or She Who Shall Not Be Named. Snarky? Yes. Yes I was. Not proud of my 21 year old self, but looking back it's pretty funny.

Now, everyone has a Facebook, with their real name, pictures, city, birthday, likes, interests, relationships. Everything is so much more open. And, yes, she has a Facebook page.

A more elegant medium for a more civilized age.
Well, it was actually the scene of many a flame war, so I don't know how civilized it really was. However, the medium encouraged a longer format of writing. It's hard to write 1000 words three times a day, so most people posted 1-3 times per week. LJ didn't need a sorting algorithm because there was a natural barrier to posting. Facebook and Twitter and Instagram, of course, have no such barrier. You can post 10 times a day like nothing, and thus 1500 friends posting 10 times a day makes for quite a bit of traffic, and very little of it is of any great value. With all the traffic, you still don't really get to know people or what is happening in their lives. You learn their politics. Share their jokes. Read their articles, but you don't really know them anymore.

And that is why I shall be posting here now and then. America's #1 source for Michael news is back, posting now and then. Leaving messages for future Michael if nothing else.
Current Mood: thoughtful

17th December 2016

5:40am: Back, Maybe to Visit, Maybe to Stay
This is reposted from Facebook. Since I logged in, I might as well post something. Is anyone listening?
I was writing the strategic plan for work, and it came up that people get proud of random little things. Like for me, I have a 6 digit Live Journal account number. I'm almost an early adopter on a social media platform that hardly anyone uses anymore. Yay.

I did have to go check my account to see how many digits it was so I could be accurate when referring to it, and I made me realize a great benefit that Live Journal has over other forms of social media. While things you do on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram may forever exist on the Internet to haunt you, they are not usefully persistent. It is very difficult to look back a few years on your Facebook to see the details of your life then. The interface is very poor for it, and even if you can see old posts, you have to slog through shares and memes and such. On Live Journal, I posted stories. On Facebook, what persists is mostly pictures.

It's new. It's now. It's what drives eyeballs and advertising, but I can much better look back and understand myself and my life from 2001 to 2010 than I can from 2010 to now.

I have long felt that something was lost when we went from the long form of Live Journal to the short form of Facebook (and don't get me started on Twitter), but we have traded depth for breadth. My LJ account shows 200 friends, although that may have pruned down. I think it peaked around 400. I believe I'm around 1500 here on Facebook. More networking, not as much connecting.

10th September 2010

9:31pm: A Day That Rocked...
Going into today, I expected to be out on appointments from 11 AM to 10 PM. This bodes well for great success in a sales job, and I was pretty excited. I was on I-91, heading to my first appointment, listening to The Godfather on tape, when I noticed something bouncing on the highway. At first, I thought it was a potato, until I remembered that potatoes tend not to bounce. The object seemed to be bouncing along the side of the road, until it suddenly bounced towards my lane. I soon discovered that the object was, in fact, a rock. This fact was ascertained by comparing my background knowledge of what flying rocks to do windshields to my own windshield's reaction to the object.

The rock left cracks across the entire windshield, punched a whole in the glass, and showered tiny shards all over the front seats. Looking ahead, I found the dumptruck which had misplaced it's rock on the highway. I pulled up and made him pull over. In retrospect, I realize that it was quite a thing for me, in my damaged Honda Civic, to force a 10 ton dump truck to pull over. At the time, I just wanted this guy to pull over so I could get the information I needed to make sure that the truck's owner took responsibility.

The driver was a very nice man named Mike. We exchanged information, and the liability process was underway. Now, I had a new problem. This car was not suitable to take me from appointment to appointment. It had to be fixed immediately. I remembered a glass place from my days working for Mazda. I went to Affordable Auto Glass in West Springfield. At first, they said that they could not fix the windshield until Monday, but after I walked out, someone ran after me and said that they could do it today. Even better, they had a loaner car that I could use while they fixed the car. Of course, the car was emblazoned on all sides with AAG logos, which was very classy for visiting clients.

The first member that I met with was not one who was likely to buy anything. He felt that he had been cheated by the company when his wife died. Further investigation revealed that one of the two policies, the one that did not pay out, had lapsed 6 months before his wife's death. That was a very interesting appointment, and I think that I may have helped him to get to the bottom of the situation, which, as it turns out, was likely not our company's fault.

Two of the next three appointments canceled, and one no-showed, so I went off to door knock. Many of the leads that we get have bad phone numbers for one reason or another. When this happens, we go and knock on the door to present them their benefits. I went off to do so and met a very nice fellow who found great value in what I had to show him. Thus, I made my first solo sale at a door knock, a kind of contact that many agents avoid, while my car was having it's broken window replaced.

Oh, what a story!
Current Mood: amused

30th July 2010

2:29pm: She's Pretty Smart, and I'm Kinda Dumb
My job search is going quite well, mostly because Annie made me start it. In the course of this search, I am finding a great variety of full time and part time jobs. These part time jobs are lot like freelance jobs. So much so that it seems that my consulting strategy was lacking looking in the right place.

Sorry if my voice sounds muffled in this post, but Annie is busy stuffing my words down my throat to make me eat what I said about there being no jobs available.

Annie adds: "Yeah bitches."

Moral of the story: listen to the fiancee. She's probably right.

29th July 2010

10:37pm: A Partial Retraction
singingdragon was nice enough to remind me that I was wrong. (Don't you get tired of being right all the time?)

In my previous post, I blamed Annie for being insufficiently supportive. I do feel that her anxiety made things more difficulty, but I was also trying to do something that was, more or less, impossible. She is very supportive and has stood by me through all the trials, tribulations, and poverty, and I owe her better appreciation than I gave her in that last post. So, to Annie, I apologize.

In happier news, we were overwhelmed by the incredible support we got from many friends. Thanks to your generosity, we will be able to not only eat but keep the electricity and phones on! Thank you very much to everyone who helped out. It means more to us than I can say.
Current Mood: thankful

28th July 2010

10:53am: Thank You All
After my last post, a few people offered to assist us.

Frankly, it never even occurred to me to ask for help, so it was incredibly meaningful to receive offers of help. If you would like to help me and Annie out, I have set up a Paypal button here. No obligation, but your help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you again.

Current Mood: thankful
12:00am: Knowing Hunger
Three months ago I set out on a journey to escape my miserable job, my periodic poverty, and to escape to better places. I started working for New York Life and was sold a line of bullshit about all the money I could make. You could, indeed, make a great deal of money there. You do not own a defunct corporation that will take a great deal of time, money, and effort to shut down. They conveniently failed to mention that this would prevent me from ever being paid until I have been there over a month.


It's okay. I got a great deal of networking momentum. Many opportunities presented themselves. I could really go places.

Today, for the first time in my life, I knew the experience of being hungry not just because I did not have food handy but because I did not have the money to buy it.

There are many great opportunities before me, but not one of them will mature before I starve and am evicted from my darkened apartment. The time is now upon me to try to find a more traditional job. Fortunately, I still have a network, and skills and experience.

Unfortunately, I have a fiancee who has already lost faith in me and misses no opportunity to remind me of our dire circumstance and make sure I can never achieve the focus needed to do anything.

That is the update for today. Perhaps tomorrow will be better.
Current Mood: depressed

25th July 2010

1:18pm: Blogity Blog Blog Blog
I was having a bit of trouble sleeping last night, and it occurred to me that I need to get on Live Journal more. Live Journal will, of course, never be what it used to be back before the siren's call of Facebook pulled away many of the users, but it is still a good place to communicate with good folks. Although everyone is on Facebook, the signal to noise ratio there is terrible.

I have started doing some actual blogging on Blogspot as well. I find blogging there to be a very different activity than posting here. Live Journal is well suited to personal posts, but not so good for more public-targeted writing.

I have three blogs that I am writing. Keep in mind that Live Journal is an excellent RSS aggregator, so you can feed my blogs into your LJ feed is you like them.

People I Meet
Much of my day to day work involves networking with very interesting people in the Pioneer Valley. In this blog I talk about the interesting people I meet and what I learn from them.

Radical Moderate
America lacks balance in political discourse. There is an idea that you cannot advocate change unless you want to make dramatic changes to the "left" or the "right". I am not a radical liberal. I am not a radical conservative. My radical thesis is that the left and right are not so different as they think and that the answer is not at either extreme. I am radically moderate.

Smart Love
Many years ago there was a "free love" movement. Today, we need a Smart Love movement. Let us move away from "us and them", away from tips and tricks. Smart love means embracing love as being between PEOPLE with different needs, desires, interests, prejudices, and concerns. It is about building the greatest connection possible, whether in a lifetime commitment or a passing encounter. Join me as we begin the Smart Love Movement.
Current Mood: hopeful

6th April 2010

9:22am: On "Zombie Jesus" Reprise
I got two very good comments on my last post, which made me decide to clarify what I meant because, indeed, I jotted the last post off too quickly without being clear.

singingdragon concluded her comment with "You can pry my right to make fun of things people hold sacred from my cold, dead fingers." That is a statement I entirely agree with. When I said no one has the right to belittle another's beliefs, I used poor wording. Of course, everyone has the right to say anything they like and no one can or should stop them from doing so. This is one of the underpinnings of democracy.

However, like many of the rights that we hold dear, just because you may do something does not mean you should do something.

There is a great deal of very insightful and incisive humor around religion. The "Three Boats" joke of which I am so fond, for example. It is humorous and makes you think. It is quite important, however to know what you are making fun of before you can effectively create humor from it. Many (though not all) of the people who say "Happy Zombie Jesus Day" often know very little about the religion that they mock. Many (though not all) of these people have had some bad experiences with some people who call themselves Christian, and they then write off the entire religion as all 1,500,000,000 followers of it as a bunch of dupes who do not deserve the respect that they feel their own religion deserves.

The right to free speech is the most precious of all of the rights we have in this country, and I would indeed fight to defend it, even if it means fighting to defend people who say things that are thoughtless, ignorant, and offensive. However, people need to realize that their words have power and consider that when exercising this right.
Current Mood: thoughtful

5th April 2010

11:04pm: No Zombie Jesus Day
Annie and I saw a comment on Facebook saying that the term "Zombie Jesus Day" was offensive. At first, we thought that it was a little bit of an over-reaction. Then, we thought about it a bit, and it occurred to us that it was entirely true. Easter is the most important day of the Christian calendar. Yes, more important and sacred than Christmas. If we called Passover "Blood Splatter on the Door Day," it would be considered offensive, but because Christianity is the mainstream religion, people feel free to make fun it.

People are certainly entitled to their own religious views, but no one has the right to belittle another person's beliefs, even if they are mainstream. I'm sure that many people who enjoy this joke are bad people, but rather that they have just not thought about the implications of what they are saying.
Current Mood: thoughtful

28th March 2010

5:58pm: On Being Old(er)
This weekend was ConBust over at Smith College. ConBust is a great convention. As a college convention it is off the charts. The way that they are able to maintain continuity and good relations with their sponsoring college both continuous amaze me. As a convention, ConBust can well hold its own against any con out there.

I am now thirty. I ran 5Con IX 9 years ago, and I about a decade older than most of the people involved in running ConBust. I am also 10 years older than Annie, and some people look askance at that. I think otherwise. I think of who I am today and who I was 10 years ago. Frankly, 10 years ago, I was a dick. As I have gotten older, I have gotten better in many ways. (It's not just a line from a bumper sticker). I have learned a great deal about how to get along with and treat well other people. I have also learned a great deal about myself, how I react to situations, when my beast will try to run off with me, etc.

Age also gives me distance and perspective with which I can be valuable to groups like SSFFS and other college groups because I can tell them how things were done in the ancient times, to perhaps help them to avoid mistakes of the past or to keep from having to reinvent the wheel. It is a good place to be.

So far, 30 has treated me pretty well. 2010 has been a year of moving forward to become more of who I want to be and to live more of the life I want to live.
Current Mood: pleased

24th March 2010

I took my Life and Health Insurance test today. I passed with 89% and 87% meaning that I can move forward into the real training with New York Life. This is, of course, very exciting. I can finally get on with my life into a job where I can make the kind of money which means that I don't have to worry from paycheck to paycheck if I will have enough to keep a roof over my head. More importantly, because the job is a matter of networking, it means that I no longer have a job over there and the rest of my life over here. Everything comes together and overlaps as it should, as it did back in the Phoenix Days.

It looks like April 12 will still be the actual start of things, and the week of the 5th to 9th will be a full week of training.

Annie remains really really awesome. Sometimes I forget how awesome she is, then I compare her to other relationships that both I and others have had, and I realize just how lucky I am.

LittleWho is finally back from Spring Break and I will actually get to see her this week, which is quite exciting to me. I have not seen her in about two weeks, and makes for a sad panda.

I will get to attend Tam's going away potluck dinner tonight. I had thought that I would not be able to because I would be at a review session for the tests, but since I have passed the tests, the review sessions are not exactly necessary.

Now it is nap time!
Current Mood: excited

7th March 2010

8:30am: A Graduation of Sorts, in a Dream
For some time now, years probably, I have had dreams about going back to school. I don't mean going back to grad school or even going back to college. In these dreams, I go back to high school, not as a teenager, but as myself, a 20-something with a college degree. I would go to classes, learn new and interesting things. I think that I even did various bits of homework, but, of course, there was no stress because I knew that nothing I did there really mattered since I had already graduated college years before.

When the dreams first started, they were about first arriving at the school, which, in the dream like way, was never entirely fixed in physical appearance or any particulars. As time went on, I was more established at the school.

This morning, I woke up from what felt like a very cathartic dream on this topic. I was walking around the school as I often did. The problem with not needing to do anything is that a regular occurrence was forgetting what the period order was today or what classes were which. This was never really a stressful thing because it really didn't matter. If I didn't make it to class, there would be no great consequences, but this was a common theme, not knowing where I was supposed to go next.

Apparently in this dream, I had been absent for some time. I had sent in a note or whatever documentation they needed for it, but they had never gotten it. I was walking by an office and an ill-tempered woman inside called me in sharply by my last name. I informed her in a sharp but polite tone that I had already sent her what she wanted, but she proceeded to berate me for not sending it in. We argued with great fervor for a time before I finally left the room. She insisted that the documentation was very important and implied that I was terribly irresponsible for not having gotten it to her.

After a few moments outside, I went back in for some reason. She was not there, but I talked to a secretary or whoever was there. I explained sharply that I did not need to be there and that I could just leave whenever I wanted, and wouldn't it make the nasty woman look bad if I dropped out all because of her.

Now, here is where it gets interesting. Some of my friends came in, and then we were sitting around a large rectangular table. I guess the staff was still there, but they did not say much. My friends, however, did say much. I do not remember what they said exactly, but I do know that I felt much calmer. I think they talked about why I was there, what I was to learn, what I had gone back for. They made me focus, and they made me realize what was important, and my anger, which had been volcanic previously, settled and passed into the distance like the clouds from a departing storm.

Then someone said that I should kiss this particular girl, someone who had been interested in me for some time. I guess I had kissed her in the past at some point, maybe years ago, but she had slipped out of my attention. As the group was breaking up and I was thanking friends for all their help, she approached me, and I kissed her gently. We walked out of the room and down the hall, discussing the whole thing.

I think that most of the friends around the table had been waking world friends, people who knew me from this world, but she was from the dream world, so she knew little of the fact that I was only at the school in dream. I explained that time seemed to pass for me the same as for her. I suggested it was April in her world, just as it was in mine (which is interesting, since it is March right now). We talked and shared and I got the sense that we were finally connecting. In the end, she pulled me over to an alcove and started painting my face. I don't know what she painted because I woke up, but I woke up because that was the end of the dream.

In fact, the reason I am writing about it is that it felt like something had come together, concluded. It was like I no longer needed that dream high school because I had learned what I needed to learn there and it is time to move forward. There was nothing sad about this, not even with the woman who had been watching me for so long, perhaps because she does not represent a woman at all but a concept, a spirit. She was that force of maturity, stability, focus guiding me through the process of the dreams to a point where I would be ready to move on. She is not gone, but now a part of me as she always was.

I feel that this dream means that I am ready for a step into a wider world. When I was a child, I played with childish things and thought in childish ways, but now I am an adult and I may play in adult things and think in mature ways. Not that I should become some old fuddy-duddy, but that I am ready to move to a place, metaphorically, where I achieve the trappings of maturity: respect, restraint, means, connections, etc.

I have graduated the high school in my mind, and now it is time to move on to the next stage.
Current Mood: awake

28th February 2010

7:16pm: (In) Progress
I just caught up two more episodes of Caprica. It is a decent show. It develops a bit slowly, but it is definitely interesting. I must say that I am pleased by the variety of relationships and social issues that they touch upon. You've got a group marriage, and a married gay thug. There's the WASPy Capricans and the tough guy Taurons. Politics, police, terrorists, business, intelligent robots. You know, the usual elements of drama. I still quite enjoy the way that they portray the group marriage in a completely unremarkable way.

My job search improves. I have two job interviews in the next two weeks, both of which would likely keep me in the Valley. A friend of mine told me that there is a Spirit of the Valley which takes care of its own, and I am inclined to agree. As soon as I started to seriously consider leaving the Valley, opportunities presented themselves which would allow me to stay here. I guess my work here is not finished yet.

17th February 2010

10:35am: Giving Up Negativity for Lent
Today is the first day of Lent, and I have decided that I would give something up. The difficult thing about this process was trying to find something to give up. Since I am quite purpose driven, most of the things that I do have a purpose, and there is not much in the way of vices to give up. I thought about something dietary, but much of my diet is dictated by what I can afford and what I have time for at this point. When I get a new job and can actually be home for meals, I might try something like that, but this year is not the year.

I then realized that I do have one vice: negativity. I often fall into the trap of bashing someone or something about this or that. So, for the 40 days of Lent, I shall not say anything unproductively negative about any person or thing. This does not mean that I cannot criticize if the criticism is designed to elicit improvement in some way, but it means that I cannot bitch and moan about anything.

Speaking of someone that I have never had occasion to be negative about, this week is LittleWho's birthday. Annie and I are making her a birthday dinner. Annie has been practicing making angel food cake all week, and she has it pretty close to down.

We have also arranged to bring her with us to Wicked Faire which is awesome. It is particularly awesome because it means that we will not have to rush her to her 10 AM class in the morning for once. (Silly everyday classes.)

Annie and I have been waking up lately feeling crappy. We concluded that there was something about our room that was unhealthy, but we were not sure what it was. Then it occurred to me that we had never cleaned out the heating unit. We have baseboard heat which means that there is no real airflow through it. This means that dust accumulates in it. Particles of the dust then hit the heating element, burn and release tiny bits of smoke. Not enough to see or smell, but enough that if you breath is overnight you get a gunky throat, stuffy nose and achy head. Last night I cleaned out the heating unit, and sure enough, this morning we woke bright eyed and bushy tailed! SCIENCE for the win!
Current Mood: cheerful

9th February 2010

8:49am: More LJ, Less Not-LJ
Winterfest was this past Saturday, and I volunteered there as their photographer/videographer. At the end of the event, they had a great fireworks display, and it got me thinking about where I had been the last few 4ths of July. I could not really remember too well, and it made me realize that I should get back to posting to LJ since I likely do not have any record of many things I have done in the past couple years since I dropped off on here.

I am still pursuing the new job in financial planning. I had one small thing to clear off of my credit report before they could move forward. Coming up with the $2700 to do that proved less difficult than getting the proof to the new company that I had done it. Now, however, all the letters have been sent to all the right places. Now it is just a matter of waiting, and by "waiting", I mean calling them until I get in touch with the person I need to talk to in order to make sure they have the letter.

I think it also might not be a bad idea to look at other jobs in the same field. The one I am looking at is definitely excellent, but only if I get it, and it seems like getting a few other irons warming in the fire is not a bad strategy in the job search world.

I watched the Superbowl on Sunday. I did not get to Micah's party as I had hoped, but I did get a private halftime show from Annie, so I would say that all in all it was a pretty good time. Actually, it was pretty close to the ideal football watching experience. I watched the game, my girlfriend brought me snacks, I got the private halftime show upstairs, then back to the game in time to see the incredible onside kick (which I had to look up the rules for since I had never actually seen one). Being with Annie, I believe that I can say a winnar is me!!!

This weekend is the Flea. Annie and I have a new friend, who I shall refer to here as LittleWho for now. We will be bringing her with us. She has never been to such an event, and we like to help educate folks in the finer ways of the world, so it should be good time had by all.

Wicked Faire is in two weeks. We are hoping to bring LittleWho with us to that as well if I can figure out how to pay for her hotel room. It's times like this that I wish I had the income I should be making. I should go find a job. Fortunately, such a process is underway, and I have a few crafty ideas that may take care of our more immediate needs.

There we go. Now when I look back years from now I can say, "Oh, look, another time when I resolved to start posting more... then failed again." ;)
Current Mood: hopeful

1st February 2010

12:07pm: How to Report the News

25th January 2010

8:30am: I should do that posting thing sometimes
In just a few minutes, I have my phone screening for the financial planning job. I have a good feeling about this one. I have applied to many jobs in my time, and have gotten very few, but this seems like a good company that is really dedicated to finding and hiring the best people. By best, they mean people who are hard working and dedicated, as opposed to people who fit exactly into the peg hole of what they think is best. (Being a bit non-tradtional in most respects makes my resume have trouble fitting into some peg holes.)

This past weekend, we held the 24-hour Game-A-Thon at Worlds Apart to support Warmer Winters. It was a huge success. We had 32 people onsite at peak, and half a dozen made it to the morning. We raised about $100 for Warmer Winters and produced about 7 items. We have also gotten many of the Worldsers into knitting, so there are now some partial items in the store for people to work on as they find themselves inspired.

The Valley Advocate Best Of ballots are out, and there is a Board Game Store Category, which will be ours! Please go to The Advocate Web Page and vote for us. We are also a non-profit, so you could also vote for Worlds Apart Games for best non-profit if you were so inclined. Thank you.

Well, it is nearly time for the call, so I should stand ready!
Current Mood: awake

24th January 2010

8:34pm: Sharing the Love
"2009 is past and now it is time to make 2010 better. One way we might make 2010 a bit better is to spread some love around. So if you care to reply to this post I will give you a response of something I like about you.

If you like participating in these sorts of things and want to repost this in your LJ that'd be fun, too."
Current Mood: amused

8th January 2010

10:30pm: Reposted from VU13
Hi, just wanted to save this for the future. Thought some of my food diet friends might find interesting.

Since the 90's the myth has been spread that iceberg lettuce has no nutritional value. This is actually false:

For as little as 10 calories a serving is gives you a ton of stuff including folate (a B vitamin), vitamin B6, vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, and thiamine. It’s made up mostly of water (which is actually a good thing) and dietary fiber providing necessary roughage for our digestive system. It’s alkaline, clarifies your blood, and a nerve strengthener. It also contains the the cancer fighting carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin. Iceberg lettuce has been linked to preventing cancer better than any other lettuce (for some reason the body more readily uses the cancer fighting vitamins from iceberg than other sources) Yes mixing your lettuces is your best bet, but iceberg does have it's place in a healthy diet.

31st December 2009

9:39pm: 2010 Theme - Faith, Not Fear
End of the year and time to post the retrospective. 2009 has not been one of my best years. It's not that it was a particularly bad year, it's just that things were unsatisfying, draining, and ultimately depressing. I have been battling long term depression for a while because of an unsatisfying job and a lack of sense of purpose. This is not to say that 2009 was miserable. There were certainly some very good times, and the last three months have been a period of fairly constant improvement, mostly thanks to Annie's influence.

Nexus Faire and MaulCon I were in 2009, and they were both quite good. MaulCon was fairly small, and the second one was even smaller, but they were a good time. Nexus Faire was fantastic even though it lost over $1000. It was totally worth it and I would gladly spend $1000 to do it again, although I would much prefer not to lose the money again.

I got together with Annie in early September, and we will be moving in together fairly soon. She gave me the gentle kick in the butt that I needed to get moving on making my life more to my liking. Thanks to her, I have gotten set up with PVDS which is quite pleasing to me. She is also helping to turn our apartment into the kind of place where we can invite adults over. The malaise which I had spent quite a bit of time in is now over.

Every year, there is a theme for the year. Here are the past ones:
2006: Make it happen
2007: Show me the money
2008: Whatever makes me happy
2009: Yes

Sometimes, they work out well, sometimes they are incredibly ironic, like 2008. This year, the theme for the year shall be

2010: Faith, Not Fear

For too long, I have been afraid to take action. Afraid to move off of the narrow path that I was walking on, even though that path was going nowhere in particular. In 2010, I will act from faith, not fear. Faith that there is a path for me where I will find success, happiness, and fulfillment. In 2010, I will lift my foot and move forward in faith that God will see to it that it lands on the path.

A happy new year to you all, and may your path also lead to success, happiness and fulfillment.
Current Mood: hopeful

22nd December 2009

11:56am: No money but good muscles
I just spend two hours at the gym today. I have no hours of work this week. Doing out the math, 0 times my hourly rates is... ZERO. That is the number of dollars I will be making this week (after taxes, of course). So, I figure if I am going to be dirt poor because of my unreliable job, I can at least get all muscular and sexy! And I don't want to hear any of that claptrap about not being able to lose 25 pounds and gain definition in a week. I've never let reality get in my way before, and I damned well do no intend to start now ;)

But seriously, I expect that I shall have better, stronger, faster, deeper employment soon. I am expecting a call back from a local company for whom I might be a store general manager, and if that falls through, there is a great local driving school which can give me reliable work close to home working with local folks. I would even get to teach classroom, which I believe I would enjoy immensely. So, my current poverty is only temporary if terribly ill-timed.

Well, Mr. Smarty-with-money-pants, since you are so smart with money, why don't you have any savings to get you through the lean patch?

An excellent question. I know quite well the value of savings. Unfortunately, I have to pay $550 per month in debt payments for Phoenix. Add to that my job paying $25K instead of the $50K I was promised and planning for, and you may understand why saving was not an option. This may also help you understand why staying at my current job is not an option either.
Current Mood: pleased

21st December 2009

10:52pm: Seeking the Truth Episode III
Current Mood: cheerful
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