Self Doubt

For the last 3 months or so I’ve been working on a project that I’m almost ready to announce to the world. It’s been a long three months but things are starting to fall into place. I should be happy, excited, whatever…But instead all that I feel is raging self doubt..I don’t know enough about what I’m doing, I’m going to mess up some paperwork, or that I’m going to flat out fail.

I’m going to push through it simply because I have to. I may fail, I may fall flat on my face but I think about how I was before I started on this journey 3 short months ago and I will not go back to that person..I can’t.

Well That’s Odd

TL;DR DNS was broken after a server move causing requests to go to old server. Some posts have gone MIA..No clue where.

If you checked out my blog recently you might have noticed it hasn’t been around. My hosting company moved my sites to a new server and didn’t update DNS settings which caused all requests to go to the old server. So, that’s awesome. In other news it also seems that I’m missing posts. No clue where they went. I’m looking at my old database backups to see if they’re hiding there.

And Now For Something Different

Very rarely have I ever written about politics (read: never) but the events in Arizona last Saturday and the fall out from that have compelled me to put virtual pen to paper.

Here’s a news flash for everyone. The left, right, center, and even sideways have *all* used this so called “death-wish-like rhetoric” at some point in time. Media outlets have spurred this on in the quest for ratings in our constant 24 hour news cycle. Don’t believe me? Google it.

Are they responsible for this nut gunning down so many people? Not fully, but possibly. I don’t think it can be ruled out 100%. Most sane people filter out this rhetoric as just something that is said to get a reaction. But how would someone as apparently unstable as this guy filter these comments? Would he feel like this pundit is calling him to arms? I don’t know.. I’m not an expert in the human psyche. But maybe, just maybe, using terms like “lock and load”, “don’t retreat, reload” could be misconstrued as a call to arms by a mentally unstable person..

I’m sickened by the way that most media is turning this into “who said the worst inflammatory thing in the past”. Turn on Fox News and you’ll hear how the Dems have threatened the GOP, turn on MSNBC and you’ll hear the exact opposite. This is not a time to point fingers. It’s the time to say “yes, we’ve said bad shit and we won’t do it again”. Most pundits haven’t done this. They’ve jumped to “protect” their candidate(s)/party. I will commend Fox News’s Roger Ailes. He told his crew to “shut up, tone it down” and “make your argument intellectually.”.

But, of course, that falls on deaf ears to some of the Fox New’s contributors such as Michelle Malkin who now feels like her right to free speech is being infringed…Give me a break. Free speech is a cornerstone of this nation, but inflammatory speech comes with consequences.

Strangely enough I think Keith Olbermann got it right in his “Special Comment” on the night of the shooting. Full video and transcript can be found at MSNBC

Finally tonight, as promised, a Special Comment on the attempted assassination of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona. We need to put the guns down. Just as importantly we need to put the gun metaphors away and permanently.

Left, right, middle – politicians and citizens – sane and insane. This morning in Arizona, this age in which this country would accept “targeting” of political opponents and putting bullseyes over their faces and of the dangerous blurring between political rallies and gun shows, ended.

This morning in Arizona, this time of the ever-escalating, borderline-ecstatic invocation of violence in fact or in fantasy in our political discourse, closed. It is essential tonight not to demand revenge, but to demand justice; to insist not upon payback against those politicians and commentators who have so irresponsibly brought us to this time of domestic terrorism, but to work to change the minds of them and their supporters – or if those minds tonight are too closed, or if those minds tonight are too unmoved, or if those minds tonight are too triumphant, to make sure by peaceful means that those politicians and commentators and supporters have no further place in our system of government.

If Sarah Palin, whose website put and today scrubbed bullseye targets on 20 Representatives including Gabby Giffords, does not repudiate her own part in amplifying violence and violent imagery in politics, she must be dismissed from politics – she must be repudiated by the members of her own party, and if they fail to do so, each one of them must be judged to have silently defended this tactic that today proved so awfully foretelling, and they must in turn be dismissed by the responsible members of their own party.

If Jesse Kelly, whose campaign against Congresswoman Giffords included an event in which he encouraged his supporters to join him firing machine guns, does not repudiate this, and does not admit that even if it was solely indirectly, or solely coincidentally, it contributed to the black cloud of violence that has envellopped our politics, he must be repudiated by Arizona’s Republican Party.

If Congressman Allen West, who during his successful campaign told his supporters that they should make his opponent afraid to come out of his home, does not repudiate those remarks and all other suggestions of violence and forced fear, he should be repudiated by his constituents and the Republican Congressional Caucus.

If Sharron Angle, who spoke of “Second Amendment solutions,” does not repudiate that remark and urge her supporters to think anew of the terrible reality of what her words implied, she must be repudiated by her supporters in Nevada.

If the Tea Party leaders who took out of context a Jefferson quote about blood and tyranny and the tree of liberty do not understand – do not understand tonight, now what that really means, and these leaders do not tell their followers to abhor violence and all threat of violence, then those Tea Party leaders must be repudiated by the Republican Party.

If Glenn Beck, who obsesses nearly as strangely as Mr. Loughner did about gold and debt and who wistfully joked about killing Michael Moore, and Bill O’Reilly, who blithely repeated “Tiller the Killer” until the phrase was burned into the minds of his viewers, do not begin their next broadcasts with solemn apologies for ever turning to the death-fantasies and the dreams of bloodlust, for ever having provided just the oxygen to those deep in madness to whom violence is an acceptable solution, then those commentators and the others must be repudiated by their viewers, and by all politicians, and by sponsors, and by the networks that employ them.

And if those of us considered to be “on the left” do not re-dedicate ourselves to our vigilance to eliminate all our own suggestions of violence – how ever inadvertent they might have been then we too deserve the repudiation of the more sober and peaceful of our politicians and our viewers and our networks.

Here, once, in a clumsy metaphor, I made such an unintended statement about the candidacy of then-Senator Clinton. It sounded as if it was a call to physical violence. It was wrong, then. It is even more wrong tonight. I apologize for it again, and I urge politicians and commentators and citizens of every political conviction to use my comment as a means to recognize the insidiousness of violent imagery, that if it can go so easily slip into the comments of one as opposed to violence as me, how easily, how pervasively, how disastrously can it slip into the already-violent or deranged mind?

For tonight we stand at one of the clichรฉd crossroads of American history. Even if the alleged terrorist Jared Lee Loughner was merely shooting into a political crowd because he wanted to shoot into a political crowd, even if he somehow was unaware who was in the crowd, we have nevertheless for years been building up to a moment like this.

Assume the details are coincidence. The violence is not. The rhetoric has devolved and descended, past the ugly and past the threatening and past the fantastic and into the imminently murderous.

We will not return to the 1850s, when a pro-slavery Congressman nearly beat to death an anti-slavery Senator; when an anti-slavery madman cut to death with broadswords pro-slavery advocates.

We will not return to the 1960s, when with rationalizations of an insane desire for fame, or of hatred, or of political opposition, a President was assassinated and an ultra-Conservative would-be president was paralyzed, and a leader of peace was murdered on a balcony.
We will not.

Because tonight, what Mrs. Palin, and what Mr. Kelly, and what Congressman West, and what Ms. Angle, and what Mr. Beck, and what Mr. O’Reilly, and what you and I must understand, was that the man who fired today did not fire at a Democratic Congresswoman and her supporters.

He was not just a mad-man incited by a thousand daily temptations by slightly less-mad-men to do things they would not rationally condone.

He fired today into our liberty and our rights to live and to agree or disagree in safety and in freedom from fear that our support or opposition will cost us our lives or our health or our sense of safety. The bullseye might just as well have been on Mrs. Palin, or Mr. Kelly, or you, or me. The wrong, the horror, would have been – could still be just as real and just as unacceptable.

At a time of such urgency and impact, we as Americans – conservative or liberal – should pour our hearts and souls into politics. We should not – none of us, not Gabby Giffords and not any Conservative – ever have to pour our blood. And every politician and commentator who hints otherwise, or worse still stays silent now, should have no place in our political system, and should be denied that place, not by violence, but by being shunned and ignored.

It is a simple pledge, it is to the point, and it is essential that every American politician and commentator and activist and partisan take it and take it now, I say it first, and freely:

Violence, or the threat of violence, has no place in our Democracy, and I apologize for and repudiate any act or any thing in my past that may have even inadvertently encouraged violence. Because for whatever else each of us may be, we all are Americans

I stopped watching the 24 hour news channels because of the constant cycle of making mountains out of molehills and the constant use of inflammatory speech. I distinctly remember the first time I heard a talking head allude to Presidential assassination. I remember the disgust I felt for that host and that news channel to allow such speech. We as a country are heading down a very dangerous path. I have a feeling it’s going to get worse before it gets better.

New TV Goodness

I decided to take advantage of the after xmas sales and pick up a new TV. My old TV was hanging in just great but it was close to 6 years old and getting a bit long in the tooth. I’ve been waiting for LED-LCD tech to hit the market and become affordable. I kind of figured when I got my new work laptop with a shiny LED screen it was time to check back into the TV market.

Over the holidays I scoured the interwebs and hit a lot of brick and mortar stores trying to find the perfect combination of features vs price. I found it in the 46″ Samsung Series 6300 LED TV. This thing has everything I was looking for and some that I wasn’t looking for. I knew I wanted full HD with a lot of HDMI ports. Here are some quick stats on the new TV:

  • LED-LCD screen (Picture quality is simply amazing!)
  • Full HD 1080p at 120Hz
  • This sucker is only 1.17″ deep!!
  • 4 HDMI ports, 2 USB ports

It also has a builtin media player so you can hook up a usb key with a bunch of mp3’s and the TV will sort them and you can use the remote to play them. In messing around I figured I’d hook my phone up and see if the TV would pick it up..Sure enough since I have music and a couple of movies on my phone the TV asked me if I wanted to listen to music or watch a movie…Pretty damn cool if I do say so.

My old TV was a Samsung and I was thoroughly pleased with it so when I found this TV I knew it was going to kick ass…I just didn’t realize how much. Overall I’m very impressed. Hopefully it will last me 6 or 7 more years!

5 years

5 years ago today I started with the company that continues to make a huge impact in the world of Open Source Software. I’m not going to say it’s been all ponies and rainbows, but it’s been an amazing journey and it continues to challenge me every day I come to work…Here’s to 5 more years? We’ll see ๐Ÿ™‚

2011 Goals

I’ve never been one for New Year resolutions..I never follow through with them. But this year I’m setting some goals and I’m putting them on here for accountability in hopes that having them out here will help me keep them.

The past year has been rough…But it’s also been eye opening…I’m finally finding out who I am for real, without trying to be what I think people want me to be. Open and honest. Which sounds so simple, easy and something I should have been doing forever right.. I like to please and it’s in my nature to “go with the flow” as opposed to making waves and saying “Hey! I’m not happy about this!! Let’s hash this out and get to a place where everyone is happy”.

I’m slowing changing my habits and getting more vocal about things I don’t like and *not* going along because I think it’s what someone else thinks I should do. It’s been a tough process and it’s still very uncomfortable at times..But it’s making me a lot happier and giving me more self confidence as I go.

I haven’t been writing on here as much as I’ve wanted to simply because I felt (feel?) like I would have to censor myself in order not to hurt people’s feelings or make myself look like a jackass. One of my goals this year is to write at least once a week. There is still a lot in my head that will never see the light of day on this blog, but this is my space for my thoughts and I’m not going to feel like I can’t write what I want to here.

Well, that was way more long winded than I intended it to be..So let’s get to the goals for 2011 shall we:

    General

  • Blog 1 time per week, consistently.
  • Get to sleep before midnight
  • Clean as I go and don’t let things pile up on me. (I’m getting better about this..But it’s something I struggle with. I do feel so much better about everything with a clean, clutter free house.)
  • Be open and honest in *every* single interaction with every single person I come in contact with. (This will be tough since my natural instinct is to just back down and go with the flow..But I’m learning to change that habit by taking a few minutes to think before I reply.)
  • Re-connect with friends that I’ve lost contact with.
  • Finish all the books I’m in the middle of reading before buying anymore (I currently have 9 books I’m in the process of reading. 3 of which are part of trilogy’s. One of which is the first book in the trilogy and is 1600 pages long! Is it sad that I’m *really* looking forward to losing myself in that book? ๐Ÿ˜€ )
  • Getting my sleeve done on my right arm (met with the artist on 1/1 and she seemed to grok my ideas. I’ve got 4 five hour appointments setup with the first one starting in March. I’ve been saving for this now for a little over a year and it’s good to have my ideas with someone who seems as excited as I am about them. It could take upwards of 40 hours to get my ideas onto skin but it will be awesome once it’s complete.)
  • Health

  • Go to the gym 3 times per week ( 2010 saw a 35lb weight loss, which I’ve kept off for the most part but I need to re-commit myself to this being a *lifestyle* change)
  • Track weight lifted and work on increasing that by at least 5% every two weeks.
  • Run 1 mile non-stop by January 31st
  • Run 2 miles non-stop by February 28th
  • Run 5 miles non-stop by March 31st
  • Run 13 miles non-stop by June 30th
  • Run City of Oaks Marathon November 7th
  • Cook at least 3 times per week at home
  • Limit going out to lunch to 1 time per week
  • Limit going out for dinner to 1 time per week
  • Fix foods that I can then pack for lunch during the week

I’m feeling good about the list I have. Writing these down has me excited to start checking things off. There’s a lot that will require a fundamental shift in habits that I’ve had for my entire life. I’m under no illusions that I will falter on some of them. But, it’s how I come back from the falter that I’m focusing on more. Off we go! ๐Ÿ™‚

The Tattoo Process

I’ve had a lot of comments on my new tattoos. The most common question is “Why?”. The next question is “Does it hurt?”.

Why

There are lots of reasons people get tattooed. I can only speak for myself when it comes to getting new ink. For me, now, in this moment. It has to mean something. Tattoos are a roadmap to life.

That wasn’t always the case. My first tattoo was a small kanji that means “Dragon”. I got it because I really like dragons. To this day that hasn’t changed. My love of dragons is not something that will go away. However, I’m certain this will get covered up eventually to make room for a sleeve down that arm.

My second tattoo is a piece of flash that I picked off the wall 5 days after I got the kanji. It was a color piece but I wanted it in black and grey. I love it..To this day it’s one of my favorite tattoos and I don’t think I will cover it up.

My third tattoo is a tribal sun, in black and red. It was not something I put a lot of thought in. I went with a friend to get her first tattoo and the bug hit me and I decided to get it. I don’t regret getting it since it reminds me of this person but it’s not one that I would mind getting covered up. In fact with my new sleeve design it will be covered up.

The fourth tattoo is one that still means the most. It’s a kanji meaning “Eternity”. I got it to commemorate something that I thought was going to last forever, and it looks hella cool. I’m under no illusion as to why things ended and I take my full share of that. I see that tattoo almost every day. It’s painful…It reminds me that I hurt someone I care a lot about through inaction and apathy. It will not be covered up. It reminds me of good times as well as bad times.

My fifth and sixth tattoos are newest. Bitter/Better are symbolic of a change. Yes, A change that should have happened years and years ago. But it took a lot of bad things happening to push me in the direction I needed to go. When I first saw them it was like they spoke to me. I knew right then I had to have them on my body. And I knew exactly where I wanted to put them.

Some say tattoos are about healing, a way to cope with things that happen. I agree. Not so much with my current tattoos (with the exception of Bitter/Better). My sleeve will have a very deep meaning and that’s why it’s taking so long to get designed and started. I’m not ready to discuss it yet but as I felt with Bitter/Better it was a “healing process” of sorts…A lot of emotions came up getting those tattoos and I know my sleeve will bring up a lot more. The design process has been healing in it’s own way. I see my demon’s and my inner turmoil on paper..I can touch it, look at it, and hold it. To be perfectly honest I’m nervous about getting it because I will literally be wearing my soul on my sleeve.

Does It Hurt

ummm…duh! Yes..Tattoos hurt. Anyone that tells you different is a fucking liar. I relate it to a cross between a cat scratch and sunburn. It’s not unbearable but it’s not the best feeling in the world. There’s an old feeling that pain is a rite of passage of sorts. You have to earn that tattoo. There are ways to minimize the pain with sprays and other things..But if you’re not ready to deal with the pain of a tattoo..You’re not ready for a tattoo.

Another question is “How do you pick out what you want?”. For me that was easy. I see the design in my head or some other source and I know ,instantly, exactly where on my body it will go and I don’t care how much it hurts or costs. That’s how I pick out my tattoos.

I love the process of getting a tattoo. The smells in the shop, the smell of the solution they use to clean whatever body part that’s getting tattooed. The feel of the stencil as it’s being pulled off. The sound of the tattoo machine and the coolness of the solution (water?) that’s used to rinse the tattoo off once it’s done. Is getting tattooed addicting? Maybe for some people, but I don’t think so..There’ve been some pretty big gaps in between my tattoos.

My advice for someone who’s thinking about getting ink done.

  • Don’t get tattooed for the wrong reasons
  • Think about what you want
  • Think about what you want
  • Think about what you want
  • Research different artists and shops..Find one that you’re comfortable with
  • *DO NOT* try to haggle the price of your tattoo…You get what you pay for. Good tattoos are expensive. Amazing tattoos are amazingly expensive. But as I said before, if you care about what a tattoo will cost then it may not be the right tattoo. Most shops will have their hourly price or set price in an easily viewable place.
  • Tip your artist well. Don’t be “that guy” who tips $10 on a $200 tattoo. 20% is fairly standard but if it’s a really good experience then show your appreciation. I’ve never tipped less than 40% for any tattoo I have, but that’s just me. Most shops have set prices for certain types of tattoos or an hourly rate for large tattoos. Factor in a really good tip and then adjust it for your level of satisfaction.
  • If you need a break during a session let the artist know. Don’t turn what should be a great experience into a miserable one by trying to tough out the pain.
  • Don’t bring 50 people in with you to get work done…This can cause the shop to lose business when people walk in and see, what they think, are a large number of people ahead of them. Check to see what the shop’s policy is on bringing people in..Most don’t mind as they all know that getting a tattoo is a big deal…Just ask.
  • Just don’t be a douche and don’t do stupid shit.

And We’re Back….

I was mucking around with some mysql settings to shave down some of the db that I’m backing up and ended up hosing the entire damn thing! Finally got around to restoring the latest db backup I had…Unfortunately it seems some posts have been lost…So, yea..I’m now backing up the entire thing again and leaving it alone!