Tag Archives: Snark

Alright, now I’m pissed

WTF? We give AIG $80 billion to stave off bankruptcy, and their executives go to a fucking spa? Are you fucking kidding me?

It’s time for us to get real about this problem. Fortunately, I think there’s at least one solution that make a lot of sense:

*All* executives in America — every last person who has “president,” “officer,” “chief,” or “head” in their job title— accepts a ‘pay-for-performance’ model where, if their company doesn’t make any money, they don’t get one god-damned penny. I’m am, however, all for people getting rewarded for doing good work. So it’s simple: If your company makes a profit, and you contributed to that at the executive level, you get rewarded. If your company fails to profit, you shouldn’t either. This pricing model should not, however, apply to middle management nor to labor. Keep your company’s foundation in good condition, and the rest will follow.

This plan avoids the mass confusion and opportunism that’d arise if we just fired every executive in the country (or lined ’em up against the wall). It also provides incentive as well as a direct channel for feedback for the people in charge (via their bank accounts).

It’s incredibly important in this crisis to separate the wheat from the chafe, and sweeping measures are a way to aggregate, not segregate; just look in your dust pan. We need positive lasting change that sets the stage for America to move forward as a stable, positive player on the global stage, not an opportunistic consolidation of money and power in the hands of a few pampered, Peter-principled pricks.


I just checked on a site that I built — for free — for some friends who have a little non-profit organization they run. I redesigned their site from the ground up, I battled Yahoo! for six weeks to get their domain name released, I put the whole shootin’ match into a nice little CMS, and I hosted it for more than half a year, all for free, because they’re good people doing a good thing.

Except when they turn around try to screw me.

When I went to the site, I noticed that they had some other developer rebuild (again) their site. This hack person totally ripped off my design, put the site back in tables, and put his (?) name on it. At least it’s on his server. I’d like to send him (and CC my friends) a nasty-gram explaining in great detail what bad form it is to steal my work. I’d like to send my friends a slightly-less-nasty-gram asking them WTF?

I think I’m pissed off because I put a hell of a lot of time into this project, and to have this kind of outcome feels like I’ve totally failed. It feels like I’ve failed as a developer by making a site my clients (friends) weren’t happy with, and it feels like I failed as a friend by (apparently) screwing up what could have been a nice gift for them. I think the worst part is that they didn’t even bother to email or call me and say something like, “Gosh, aj, we really appreciate what you tried to do for us, but we’ve decided to go in a different direction. Thanks for all your work.” Even, “Man, aj, you suck! Go get a real job,” would have been better that the whole lot of nothing they gave me.

Any thoughts on how to approach this garbage?

Three years, +/- 10 percent, in April, no less

Goddamn it! it’s that time again.

Every three years, give or take a little, I start getting restless and something usually gives. Sometimes, it’s the job that goes (witness my tenure at The Press), sometimes the house (or something with it); sometimes it’s just my attitude. Oh, and did I mention how I absolutely loathe the completely useless month of April?

My job isn’t going out the window this time around; I like it way too much. Though I do have a confession: I’ve been doing my pilot routine again. Hell, I might even get myself worked up to the point of taking lessons this time; anything’s possible. My house isn’t going out the window, either. I mean, really, who’d buy this dilapidated piece of crap, anyway?

Apparently, it’s my attitude that’s going to get the make-over this time around, then. Instead of dwelling on the nasty, muddy, wood chippy shit-hole (literally, around the dog house) that is the yard, maybe I can look at the bright side of things: Wow, that rabbit has gotten really fat and juicy-looking by eating our apple tree and tulips.

AJ’s new toy

I’ll give you some hints: it’s electronic (there’s a big surprise, right?), it’s sexy black, and could potentially fit perfectly in the entertainment center. And it’s not an XBox.

Give up?

Meet my new radio. I’ve been kind of dancing around it for about the last three months while I’ve been dancing around ham radio as a whole.

In the last month, though, every time I’ve talked with someone about my involvement in radio, I keep hearing myself say “I love the technology and the public service opportunities, but get frustrated by some of the people.” Finally, it clicked for me: If I give up, then the forces of darkness other people win. If every time someone new comes to ham radio, all they interact with are grouchy uber-geeks, then that’s they only kind of person that’ll be in ham radio. So I’m going to try to amplify the friendly, useful faces of ham radio around here. We’ll see how it goes.

And that brings me to the new radio. Another local ham* upgraded one of his radios, so he had one to sell. He gave me a great deal (yes, he made me an offer I couldn’t refuse ;-)), and the radio is in pristine condition. For those of you who speak ham, it’s an HF+50MHz rig. For those of you who don’t speak ham, think medium and short wave, plus a little. Once I get my antenna repaired (and no, honey, I’m not going on the roof until you get home), I’ll be able to talk regionally (100-500 miles), across the country (500-2,500 miles), and around the world (do the math), depending on conditions. I’m pretty stoked!

A Note on the Ham Community

The guy I bought my radio from is a super-friendly guy, just like almost all of the hams I’ve had the good fortune to meet. There are only a couple of “pain-in-the-ass apples” out there in the ham ranks, but they’re louder than most of us regular apples. Most of us are just geeky people playing with geeky toys, and that’s cool.

Vast tracts of… monitors

I’ll be the first to admit it: I’m a desktop slut. The more real estate I have in front of my keyboard, the better. Currently, I have dual 22″ flat panels with my laptop (17″ screen) to one side, and another 22″ flat panel (for ad hoc work) to the other.

Before you say WTF? though, check this out: I currently have 21 application windows and 18 browser tabs open. STFU!

Ethanol fuel = bad, pt. 2

Ah, look at this: the New York Times has a story about a major study supporting my previous assertations. Note: I’m not claiming to be any kind of thought leader; clearly, that’s not the case. It’s just fun to be ahead of the mainstream bubble for a teeny bit. Note two: Thanks to Dad for the link to the story.

Here’s the gist of the story:

Almost all biofuels used today cause more greenhouse gas emissions than conventional fuels if the full emissions costs of producing these “green” fuels are taken into account, two studies being published Thursday have concluded.

I’m glad to see this thinking make it to the mainstream media, but we all know what’ll happen next: someone will find the next great “cure” for our energy needs while trumpeting environmental benefits that don’t really exist under close inspection. I’m pretty certain that in the final analysis, we’ll find that as a species, most of our problems stem from one of two basic problems: too many people, too little education. I’d add “too much greed” to that list, but I think a decent argument can be made for greed descending from scarcity and under-education.

At any rate, there’s no cause for undue alarm: while it won’t be pretty, the above combination is inherently self-limiting.