Giving Thanks

I quit my job. More about that in the next news post.

My mom and dad and two sisters and their husbands, a total of six people, flew out to San Francisco to visit over the long Thanksgiving weekend / combined Christmas. We went on a boat tour of the Bay, rode the cable cars, walked through China Town, saw the Muir Woods, went to the Legion of Honor museum, attempted and failed to stop in Golden Gate Park because there were too many people, some of us went to the zoo, we went shopping for Christmas presents, toured Alcatraz Island, saw the Museum of Modern Art, ate a lot of good food and had a great time.

More about other topics to come soon.

Election Times

It’s that time again. I was a little worried that my voter registration wouldn’t catch up to me in time for the election, but that seems to have been needless. A few weeks after I got my California driver’s license, I received my voter registration information and I registered to vote permanent absentee. This means that when election time rolls around, they mail me a ballot and I mail them my choices. Now, when I moved to California I made a deal with myself not to discuss politics while I was physically located in this state. This may seem a little odd, but it has actually been very beneficial. Instead of telling other people what I think and explaining my reasoning and showing supporting evidence for my positions, instead I just kept my mouth shut and listened as the people around me expounded on their own political beliefs. Most of the conversations revolved around the office of the President, of course. I noticed a few interesting themes among the conversations I heard:

  • Most of the comments and conversations were derisive of a particular candidate based not on the candidate’s espoused position but rather on a particular turn of phrase used by the candidate.
  • The conversations tended to be derisive more towards one particular political party affiliation than others.
  • There were only ever two possible vote choices mentioned, debates were always held between "the" two sides, and no mention was ever made of other entries in the Presidential race, other races, voting without looking at party denominations.
This was an unsettling realization for me. Regardless of which party is being praised or disparaged, I like to think of my fellow Americans as posessing some ability to reason and discern and base decisions on rational thought processes. Granted, I have no idea for whom any of the people I’ve talked with are voting, nor would I ask. The part that unsettles me is the complete void of mention of any other political party or candidate aside from the candidates supported by the official Democratic and Republican parties, and the lack of any substantive discussion about issues and positions on them held by any of the candidates. It’s even more unsettling to me that no one so much as mentioned, not even once!, the senate and house seats in congress that are up for grabs. Do they not realize that the President doesn’t get to make laws or control spending or taxes? All he can do is veto bills, lead the military (but not define its budget), influence foreign policy and appoint Justices of the Suprime Court. Granted that’s a huge amount of power for a single man or woman, but people seem so caught up in the Presidency that they completely ignore the power of congress.

There was no mention of state, county or local government races at all, which I can somewhat concede because they don’t have as far reaching effects as federal level elections, but they are still important and worthy of discussion and reflection and research. The bills and ammendments included on my ballot also got research and reflection time from me, though I wonder if any of those I’ve heard wax poetical about political intrigue bothered to do more than read the summary of the item before casting a vote yay or neigh.

I’m all for voting, but come on. Discuss the topics, have thoughtful discourse, realize that there aren’t just two candidates for any of the positions on the ballot! I don’t know if I’d rather have an American abstain or vote from ignorance, because both are equally insulting to the country that men and women have bled and died for.

In closing, VOTE, and VOTE INFORMEDLY!

Goodbye, Sausalito!

Just temporarily. I’m flying home for a few days to see family and friends, and hopefully get some rest in before diving into the next several big projects at work. My own projects are all humming along nicely, and may eventually even see the light of day. Most of my projects don’t, since I abandon them before completing them but after learning what I set out to learn about. As Fred Brooks said, build one to throw away.

Video conferencing is cool, and wikis are a great vehicle for writing documentation. The spell checking in firefox 3 doesn’t work very well, though. And I got some incredible news the other day: they’re remaking Ghost in the Shell with modern animation and sound! I’m so happy I could fart a rainbow. More to come soon.

Hello, Sausalito!

Well kids, as you may have heard, I moved. There was a really cool opportunity out west to work on video games for some of the biggest names in the industry, and it was just a little too good to pass up. So here I am, sitting in my tiny little apartment in Sausalito, California, finally updating this website after a seven month absence. For those of you interested in this sort of thing, you can check out my flickr page to see what I see when I get up in the morning.

I’ve been walking to work, through the old / tourist part of town and down by the water front. It takes me about half an hour each way, and it’s surprising pleasant (not to mention good exercise). Some of the deadlines at the new job keep me at the office until midnight sometimes, but not very often, and I’m having a good time with my new coworkers. If any of you readers happen to have a PlayStation 3, you may want to go sign up for the Home beta so you can see what I’ve been working on for the past few weeks.

I’m still feeling a bit homesick. I’m going to try to come home for a week in January to see everyone, and though it’s still almost a year off, I’m still planning to move back to Atlanta. The best laid plans of mice and men often don’t line up with what God’s got planned for us though, as my presence in this most gun controlled of states clearly exemplifies. I’ll try to keep you all up to date with future happenings rather than than ignoring this site for another 8 months. More to come possibly soon.


In preparation for the inevitable rise of the zombie hordes, I’ve been updating my emergency preparedness kit. It now includes some military field rations, water purification tablets, some parachute cord (really strong stuff), and other miscellaneous things. A small step closer to surviving the apocalypse. I’m going to visit my old roommate Brian in Charleston next weekend. We’ll chat about zombies and computer stuff, just like old times. I’ve decided that Battlestar Galactica is sufficiently sci-fi for me to be interested in it. Kevin and Brittany come over on Friday afternoons and we watch a few episodes of that, along with an episode of the new Terminator TV show that we lovingly refer to as River Tam Beats Up Everyone. I haven’t started rewriting my novel yet, but it’s on my list of things to do. My weekends of late seem to have been consumed trying to get my two Internet connections (long story) to work together towards peace. It’s been an uphill battle, and things still aren’t settled quite yet, but we’re getting close. The next LAN party will be within the month, I hope. Everybody go buy a USB joystick! It’s going to be a fly-space-ships-and-shoot-aliens LAN party this time around! More to come soon.

Forgotten Blog

Yeah, I know I haven’t posted in a while. I’ve had too much fun to have the time. As you may have noticed, it’s 2008 now. I managed to get to my goal of 50,000 words in my novel by the end of November, and while it’s a horrible mess, I’m eventually going to get around to rewriting big chunks of it into something I’m not totally ashamed to show other people. My new job is still going well, and I’m finally familiar enough with the code I’m responsible for that I’m actually able to make a big difference to the people that use the stuff I make, which is a good feeling. My new tires haven’t given me any trouble yet, although I’m still suspicious of them and occasionally prod them with my boot to make sure they’re not going to explode or anything. Christmas with the family was good; I hadn’t realized how much I missed hanging out with them, and having two chefs married into the family made for good eats. Tomorrow night I’m taking some of my coworkers to the shooting range to participate in IDPA, which I’ve been looking forward to. I think that’s about everything. More to come "soon."