Moments that Define Your Life

I try not to dwell on the past, I also try to live a life of no regrets. We all have moments that define our lives, some are easy to spot. The moment we first feast our eyes on that person that we know we will spend the rest of our lives with. Like when I saw Bea walking towards me at  O’Hare airport; I will never forget that moment. I am sure everyone has the moments that are easy to put in this category, getting married, having a kid, etc. Your brain cherishes those moments like jewels.

I had this post sitting in draft mode for a while, probably in my head since it happened. I could not get it out for several reasons. Interestingly enough, today is going to be one of those days that houses a moment that will probably define my life. Today is not the day to share the current event, however it seems like the perfect time to share the last one.

I have moved for jobs before, a lot. Working on large systems for companies has allowed me the luxury to actually get paid to move to different cities. My heart has always been back in Chicago and I was often reminded of how much I talked about Chicago. I did come to love Kansas City and miss Michigan, but it’s more because of the people and not because of the cities themselves. Chicago as a city, in my opinion, is second to none.

During one of my first jobs I had made the mistake to buy a house in an area that had no other redeeming qualities than being really close to work. That taught me a valuable lesson when I ended up switching jobs and having horrible commute times. That is probably one of the things that made it very easy to start moving around quite a bit. I promised myself that I was not going to buy a house solely on it being close to work ever again.

Fast forward to years later and I finally was in a mental place where I wanted to once again sprout roots somewhere and buy a house. It was a tough choice, because even though I liked the job that I was doing I was dealing with a boss that was extremely emotional. I am not delusional enough that there is a perfect job, but I thought that when you counted all of the chips, the “angry” boss was trumped by good work, awesome coworkers and overall a great atmosphere when the boss was not around.

As time progressed the angry boss became even more and more obsessed with control. What time are you taking lunch, who you talk to during the day, how long you stay after five. I had experienced this kind of behavior before and it’s very common amongst entrepreneurs that built a company. They start to feel like nobody works as hard as they do for the company they built, or nobody can do as good of a job as they could. They have a hard time letting go.

The perfect storm came together one afternoon as the angry dude came back from lunch. That day I had decided that I needed to make a move, and like in poker, go all in. I was going to make a commitment to be permanent not just at the position but to that city. So since I had finished the current task I was working on I opened up the web browser and looked at some houses. My plan was to seriously start looking for a house to settle down in that area.

Not even two minutes into the search, I had not even clicked on an actual properly to see details the angry dude walks into my work area and start grilling me about my current task. I did not even have a chance to answer because his verbal abuse started. His diatribe went all over the place, but the part that struck a cord once he moved on from grilling me about the task that was already complete; “Why are you in the internet? You know what? I don’t even care, you should be coding…”

That moment defined my life. I knew then and there that even though I can code software and enjoy the finished product, I needed to move up from programming to doing more process and business analysis. More importantly, I knew right then and there that I could not work for that guy or that company anymore. The chips had started to stack against staying there altogether. I ended up not buying a house and not sprouting roots. I will never forget that day. It might not have been a sign from God, but it was definitely a sign.

Making Blog Comments Social Again

Ever since I started to get serious about posting in the blog again I am faced with the problem that made me stop doing it as much as I used to… all the comments go elsewhere.

While it is easy to get a post into facebook for example, it is another story to get the people to come and comment on the actual blog.

I have been looking at plugins and alternatives, and it just does not seem to be simple. Part of it is that my facebook is not public, and only some people have adopted google+

While the blog still has readership besides the ones that I have that also use facebook, it seems that the vocal ones have moved on to that platform.

The other issue is the stream. Some people ride the twitter stream all day… I just never got a surfboard for that one. Mostly it is because it requires a lot of time, and depending on the number of people you follow, it can quickly get cluttered. Facebook’s stream seems a little easier to follow, but it faces the same issue other streams do, you miss the boat and you are last hours post.

Our internet usage seems to have a very quick attention span, so topics gets lost quickly and even though I really never cared about how many people read my blog, I do care that those that do get to interact with one another via comments. All of that is lost when the comments become fragmented between social media and the blog itself.

I guess I won’t worry about it too much, in the end what I want to do with most of the posts here is make people think, and if it does not spark a dialogue I can deal with that. I am going to keep my google+ pretty open for now (I am having fun with the circles features) and maybe I can figure out a way to merge comments without them being hosted somewhere else like discus. Let me know if you know of anything that can accomplish the daunting tasks of creating a seamless streams for the comments to be a attached to an actual post.

Friday Fill Ins 8/12

I guess it will help if I actually link the image they provide… lol, don’t pay attention I am just amusing myself.

And…here we go!

1. The only question is “is there a spoon?”.

2. Back pain coming in one day.

3. Three things on my desk: Humongous water bottle, Giant squeezable pill and a Suzuki Hayabusa .

4. Water is the one thing I HAVE to do today!

5. I love playing with friends. I think its time to trick people into a pictionary night.

6. Orange all over overwhelms the senses.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to chillazing with the wife, tomorrow my plans include helping a friend move and Sunday, I want to take my wife to see The Help!

Logtar’s Next Phone

I now have a history with eating crow when I make a strong stance on some technology. I remember my disdain for the XBoX when it came out and the horrible design of their first generation controllers… what do you know, they came out eventually with superior controllers that were completely wireless and just awesome… to make it worse, I have a modified remote for the xbox that we use to watch digital content so I don’t even know if the actual controllers are even charged right now.

I have called the iphone many things. I don’t hate apple, I actually enjoy their products and one of my best friends is a developer that has many times suggested that I leave the whole windows development world and try the green pastures of awesomeness that it is to develop for apple.

When my wife got her first iphone I hated it. It seemed to hate me back. I could never quite get the hang of typing on the on screen keyboard. I stuck with my conviction and entered the smartphone market first with a blackberry that I loved, and later on with an andriod… who I have mixed feelings about. Even though it has a slide down keyboard, I now use the on screen keyboard almost exclusively.

My wife then upgrade iphones and her old one became an itouch by all intents and purposes and I started using it. Little by little the reconciliation with the device begun and I started to play with it more, and more and more. I use the thing more than my android now.

The thing that pisses me off the most about smartphones is battery life. Even after all the hacks you can do to make them waste less energy, they all end up drained after heavy use. And guess what… we have like 3 different iphone plugs around the house and even in the car, so when thinking about my next phone it is a consideration that I have plenty of places to power the device back up.

I looked at the latest android devices and the next entry for motorola is not even 4G… its almost like waiting for a device that is outdated before it is even released. The other option would be an LG with an android OS… but apple is just making a better product.

Then I read an article about how much of the iphone does apple really make. While the article is almost taking a shot at apple for basically not “building or putting together the hardware” which is mostly manufactured by samsung. The real reason the iphone is successful is because it has a superior OS.

No matter how much you love the android OS, apple’s user experience is more intuitive. Even after being an android user primarily, things just happened a lot easier when it came to using the android. Getting music into the device, downloading podcasts, getting games, even web surfing sees easier on an outdated iphone.

So I am getting ready to cook that crow and probably make an iphone my next smart phone choice.

Creative Outlet

We had a wonderful weekend and part of it was spent showing one of our dear librarian friends around the parts of Chicago I like to show people. During that time we got into a conversation about creative outlets and I have seriously been craving having an outlet again.

I recently saw on a blog some amazing sketches. I also saw a presentation about comic book creation last week. Both things really made me want to draw again. About 5 years ago I even got supplies to pick up drawing again as a hobbie but I never really started or kept up with it.

Same goes for writing. I started to write a short story and got a couple of chapters in, but I left it at that. The story is still floating in my head but I never really got it down on “paper.”

Then Alicia suggested looking for a local creative group. A group of people to share your work with and get some of the creative process going. It sounds like an interesting concept, and we have tried to do that online with a group of friends but it never got traction.

Bea and I are going to start taking ASL classes together soon. It is something she has become increasingly interested on and I could not be happier. I have always wanted to get my competency level up to be an interpreter and having someone to practice with will be awesome. I hope we do continue with it and practice it.

I know the classroom environment will make it easier to learn, but for drawing and writing I really should not need a class or group of people. I do think it would help. I think it is important to set time aside for a creative outlet.

Who knows maybe Bea and I will end up liking taking classes together an we can do some kind of creative class together as well. We had talked about photography in the past, but I am leaning more towards writing or drawing at the moment.

Are there any creative outlets that you are not exercising as much as you should? or do you maybe have some suggestions about how to get my creative side motivated?