Saturday, June 28, 2008

Fired up! Ready to go!

Allison and I attended a "Unite for Change" event today in Savannah hosted by a co-worker of hers. There were over 4,000 of these events held all across the country today. Basically the idea was to meet other Obama supporters and discuss why we are supporting him and talk about our potential involvement in the campaign - everything from working the phones and beating the streets to helping with voter registration. It was a nice change of pace to be surrounded by like-minded people - compare this to my workplace, where I take incoming fire from the Conservatives in the office nearly every day (yes, I know I enjoy giving it back as good as I get it, but I'm just saying it was a nice break from the ordinary). I came away feeling as though I could certainly be doing more to help - it occurs to me that I know a lot of people through this job of mine that might not be registered. The least I could do is talk to them and make sure they know the rules and that they won't be called for jury duty if they vote! I had already registered one of my staff members who had never voted before (she wasn't allowed another day off until she did), so that's one down.....

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Monday, June 23, 2008

So nerds are cool now? All I can say is....meh.

I am a Nerd. Geek will also suffice. Have been since 1986, the day my Father brought home the Macintosh Plus computer. I was mesmerized by that thing....the mouse...the icons....the folders - of course I had no idea at the time, but using that computer would set me down the path of nerddom for the rest of my life. So, as a practicing nerd for 22 years now, I feel uniquely qualified to talk about something that I've noticed recently and that upsets me even more than the idea of Han shooting first. It seems as though nerds have apparently become cool.

This truly is the golden age for my kind - one need look no further than a just plain awesome Iron Man movie to know that this is as good as it's going to get for us. In addition to live-action superhero movies that are actually good, we also have our own geek goddess on prime time TV in the form of Tina Fey of "30 Rock" fame, who makes statements such as "I will cut you open like a Ton-Ton!" and "BLERG!". For that matter we even have our own TV show that is actually very funny - "The Big Bang Theory". A recent Twitter post from Chicago Sun-Times columnist and all-around nerd Andy Ihnatko read "If the Big Bang Theory is our Sex in the City, which drink is our Cosmo?" A fierce debate between the Mt. Dew and Diet Mt. Dew partisans followed. We're no longer ostracized from the rest of society - so help me, I can only think of one instance in the last several years that my nerdiness has been made fun of, and that's only when people I know meet my wife for the first time and are surprised (ok, astonished) that she's really, really hot.

So in seeing my people finally arrive as it were, you'd think I'd be one happy Trekker. Sadly, I can't help but feel like there's something wrong. Yes we're still nerds and yes we're still up on the latest and greatest tech, but as the cool kids begin to rely more and more on the Intarwebs, we're now being accepted for who we are because we're needed. Gone are the days when I would be asked if I could help them set up their e-mail while they laughed behind my back at my “Every time you can haz God kills a LOLcat” t-shirt. Now I get questions from the proverbial ex-prom queens and star high school Quarterbacks such as ""Which should I use: Twitter or Plurk?"" or "When the 3G iPhone comes out, am I going to be able to unlock it and use it on Verizon?". This doesn’t make me feel useful – it makes me feel like just another drone. I cringe every time I see some awesome-looking-twenty-something checking their Facebook page - I thought the cool kids had actual friends, not virtual ones (by the way, you don't find many geeks on Facebook. We hate it with a passion - mainly because it's become mainstream).

So what is the problem exactly? I guess it all boils down to the fact that I'm still angry. When I was getting shoved up against lockers in middle school, I knew one day things would be different. I also knew that if I ever got the chance I would make their bank accounts disappear, but that's another story entirely. The very idea that the cool kid who taunted me in 9th grade Algebra class about never having had a girlfriend now probably asks for and receives help from his IT department on the weekend with hooking up his new Blu-Ray player into his home theater system makes me >>:0<<. To my fellow geeks, I would remind you of the 48th Rule of Acquisition..."The bigger the smile, the shaper the knife". We may be in an extended period of détante with the cool kids but we're not like them and never will be - and I, for one, am proud of that fact.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

In for a penny....

So I just donated money to the Obama campaign for the first time today. I had said previously that I wasn't going to fork over money unless (let's face it - until) I felt that he was really getting attacked unfairly (by, you know, a Republican. I came very close to donating when Hillary was being a big jerk in March...). But his decision this week to opt-out of the public financing system stuck a cord with me on two levels. First, by relying on small donations from his supporters, he isn't spending all his time at fundraisers like McCain has to do, and that means when he's in office he owes the American people not his big campaign contributers. Second, the fake-outrage by the McCain supporters pushed me over the top. I find it to be just about the most ridiculous frickin' thing in the world that the right-wingers are pissed off that the Democrat is NOT taking taxpayer money for his campaign while the Republican is - all $85 Million of it. If they were real Conservatives wouldn't they be happy about not funding the general election campaign of their Democratic opponent?? But of course they aren't thinking along those lines - all they see is their boy currently getting blown out on the electoral college map, and have to grasp at any straws they can find to hang on. Make no mistake - the nasty stuff is on it's way. My guess is we'll see it in August as Obama continues to lead in the polls. I can only imagine what's coming (ooooohhh! Scary black person!! He's a Muslim! He hates America! He's the Anti-Christ!), but I will do all I can personally to help him fight back.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Bill vs. Battletoads

In his defense, this was by-far one of the hardest levels ever created in a video game....

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A good question....

From The Kos:

OKLAHOMA CITY — Democratic Rep. Dan Boren of Oklahoma said Tuesday Barack Obama is "the most liberal senator" in Congress and he has no intention of endorsing him for the White House. Boren, a self-described centrist, is seeking a third term this year in a mostly rural district that stretches across eastern Oklahoma."We're much more conservative," Boren said of district. "I've got to reflect my district. No one means more to me than the people who elected me. I have to listen them." He called Obama "the most liberal senator in the U.S. Senate."

Boren still is going to vote for Obama, mind you, just not "endorse" him. Because, you know, Obama is "liberal", and that's just not an OK thing to be in the OK state.

It seems like a rather odd line for a Democrat to be taking -- clipped as it is from conservative talking points -- but I'll be honest. I can't get all that worked up about it. So, you know, whatever -- if he "votes for" Obama, but "endorses" an animated tick hiding in a Pokemon's brightly colored back fur, meh. I'm hoarding my disapprobation right now, in anticipation of Peak Outrage. Which will probably be sometime in 2009, for those of you who are following the outrage markets.


So here's my gentle question for Rep. Boren. Let's just suppose that he was right, and Obama really was "the most liberal senator" in the entire Democratic contingent -- a term magically conferred by conservatives on whatever figure wins the nomination, election after election, while hyper-mega-death-penalty-mocking-war-humping-salmon-punching-archconservative Republicans magically turn into "moderates", using those same conservatives' exact same terribly objective calculations for such things.

So let's just stipulate that someone might be "the most liberal" senator. My question for Rep. Boren, and for his Oklahoma constituents, is this: so what? So what if someone is a "liberal"?

What exactly are you afraid of?

What, will he start some wars? Will the economy go to hell? Will gasoline suddenly cost four bucks a gallon, so that getting from one end of town to the other starts to be something you have to plan for in your family budget? Oh, wait, no -- that's what conservatism has wrought. So what big, scary menace will "liberalism" rain down upon us all?

The horror of free public education? The apocalypse of affordable healthcare for families and the elderly? An energy policy that consists of something other than "hell, let's just sit on our asses and see what happens"? My God, maybe we'll have a foreign policy that doesn't revolve around sucking thousands of dollars out of your constituents' pockets, lighting all that money on fire, and using the pyre to make super-special Democracy Smores in the middle of the Iraqi desert?

What, are we afraid less American soldiers will die? That our trade deficit will be, if not reversed, at least addressed? Are Oklahomans all huddled in their closets, lest some of the now-legions of outsourced jobs start reappearing in their towns? What? What is it that is so absolutely alarming about the word "liberal" that you'd rather stomach having everything that's happened to America for the past decade continue, rather than being seen as someone who might secretly have tolerance for, shudder, that word?

Friday, June 06, 2008

I'm famous!

Well not exactly, but I was a guest this week's Popcast, a Podcast put on by my co-workers Jeff Vrabel, Liz Farrell and Tim Hager where they talk about all things pop culture. I was there to talk tech and the content delivery mechanisms of the future. I also tried (and probably failed) to explain Twitter. Anyway, check it out via iTunes here - I don't show up until the 4:40 mark, so feel free to skip the first few minutes ;)

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Behold....the Obamamobile!

No, I haven't traded in the Celica, this beauty belongs to one of the Packets Ad Reps Mothers (I have no idea where all the apostrophes should go there, so you are just going to have to live without any) and she and her fiancé were kind enough to give me a ride in it today on the way to lunch. While they themselves claim to be Republican and did their best to hide (her Mother is clearly the smart one in the family) it is my belief that by the time November rolls around they will officially be "Obamacans" :)

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Viva La Revolucion!

Vote for Revolution

Having tried all three new Mountain Dew flavors, I can say the only one I really like is the "Revolution" flavor. Sadly, apparently everyone else seems to currently like the "Voltage" flavor (too sweet!), so help me get my next fix of high fructose corn syrup and calories by voting for Revolution! Oh, and you should probably vote in November in that election thing too thanks....