New Movie Blog

I’ve started another blog to talk about movies over here. Cinematical Ambivalence was the best term I could think of to indicate my love/hate relationship with movies. I love watching movies of all kinds and I’m very opinionated about them. Rather than put that stuff here, I decided to separate concerns so this blog keeps a more personal tone. Head on over and check out the first post on Indiana Jones.

There will be more stuff here this weekend.  Stay tuned.

Some Positive Effects of Not Having a Dad

The other day I was talking with a friend and ended up revisiting our favorite topic.  We talked for over an hour, but the short version of the conversation goes something like this:  “Having 2 people bringing in money has got to be awesome!

Being African American, my friend and I have always been kind of amazed at the thought of two paychecks.  We’re used to the single-parent home where Momma had to make it happen on her own.  In fact I remember thinking at one point how unfamiliar the word “parents” was to me.  There was just Mom.  For me and my friends and anyone else I could think of off the top of my head.  Sure there were some “Fathers” around.  But it always seemed to me that they didn’t do much.  And all the Mom’s were mad at them.  So pretty much anything we got came from Mom.  We got new school clothes and birthday parties and Christmas presents like other kids.  But these weren’t a given.

I can remember the first time I thought Christmas was canceled.  I was that magical age where you’re young enough to still be excited about presents, but old enough that they don’t necessarily come in giant gift-wrapped boxes.  My Mom had been doing this thing for months where she was warning us that she wasn’t able to get us anything this year.  There were three of us (me, my brother and my cousin) and she told us she didn’t have the money for gifts.  Plus we were too old for Christmas right?  We all put on our most mature looking faces and told her that it was fine.  We didn’t need gifts.  We understand money is tight.  We weren’t expecting anything.  Plus, we’re too old for Christmas anyway…

I slept late on Christmas morning.  The house was still silent when I got up though.  I got out of bed and walked downstairs (not ran, no need to get over-excited right?)  I was still rubbing the sleep out of my eyes when I realized that they were playing tricks on me.  The tree was empty.  It was a nice tree.  A real one that smelled like fresh pine.  It was all done up with multi-colored lights, ornaments and tinsel.  But at this moment it was utterly worthless.  There was nothing under it.

I’m not really sure how to describe the feeling.  The closest thing would probably be that wrench in your gut that happens when you go down the big drop on a roller coaster.  That seems dramatic, but this was a defining moment for me.  Kids get presents at Christmas.  It’s a well known and undisputed fact.  So how was I supposed to process what seemed to be the exact opposite of that?  To be clear, I wasn’t upset at Mom.  Instead I was worried.  She really didn’t have the money even for one gift?  Were we really in trouble?  Was it because of me?  Did I spend too much money?

This internal line of questioning went on for a long while.  But honestly there was no peace of mind to be had.  I didn’t know how much money my Mom made.  I didn’t know how many things she had to pay for.  I just know she’s at work most of the day Monday thru Friday and sometimes Saturday.  She’s always really tired.  And if you don’t turn the light off when you leave a room then you’re in trouble.  Electricity ain’t free.  Nothing is free.

If you haven’t already figured it out, this is my story of learning the value of a dollar.  It wasn’t immediate, but that was definitely the start.  I found out how much my Mom made.  I found out how much electricity costs.  And it probably started my long-standing tradition of telling everyone that I don’t need or want anything for Christmas.  So these days I shop for clothes on sale, I have a high yield savings account and I filled out my itemized taxes just to make sure it wasn’t more cost-effective than the standard deduction.

So what if my dad was around?  What if we had two paychecks and the second one had bought me my Christmas presents that year?  I’d probably be less responsible with money.  I’d have way more crap and way less cash on hand.  I’d be a lot less self-sufficient.  While Mom was at work I fed myself, washed clothes, did the dishes and cleaned the house.  In hindsight, I feel pretty good about the way things turned out.

Anyway, I feel like I should put a happy end on the story.  Turns out we did get gifts.  There were three Looney Tunes watches sitting under my tree.  I just missed it because I was too busy being traumatized.  Mine had the Tazmanian Devil on it.  Those watches were hot.  My Mom is the best.

I Feel The Need To Help, So Sue Me

A friend of mine has a problem.

What can we learn from the above sentence?  Quite a few things if we put our thinking caps on.  Let’s call this person Buddy.  Buddy is my friend.  Buddy has a problem. Right about now, we’d be aces in our simple reading comprehension class.

Also consider this.  I want to help my friend. To my mind, this is a natural progression.  If you call someone your friend, you should truly want to help them with a problem they have.  Have you ever helped someone move?  Have you ever loaned them money?  Have you ever jumped in to aid them in a fight?

Hmmm.  That last one is tricky.  What if you’ve never been in a fight before?  Most people don’t want to get hurt.  The self preservation instinct kicks in.  We may start asking ourselves questions about Buddy and about the situation.  Who and Why is Buddy fighting?  Did he start it?  Does he deserve it?  Uh oh, let’s not lose sight of the fact that Buddy is our friend.  Friends help friends no matter what right… ?  Will I get hurt if I help buddy?  Am I willing to get hurt to help Buddy?

That’s it.  Buddy is screwed.

In a lot of cases, for a lot of people, the answer to that last question is No.  Not a qualified no as in “well it depends.”  But just no.  Buddy is going to get his ass kicked.  Maybe by some drunk at a bar.  Maybe by a spouse or partner who doesn’t know what stop means.  Maybe because of an inability to keep himself out of trouble.  People get into fights all the time.  And their friends don’t support them, because they’re afraid of the consequences.  When you’re younger, the consequences might be a black eye.  When you’re an adult, the consequences turn into swift and severe legal action.

If Buddy and I beat the barfly.  He could sue the both of us for assault.  If I help Buddy with his domestic situation, I could be liable for invasion of privacy or something to that effect.  If Buddy needs professional help in the form of some type of intervention, either Buddy or his family could sue me for… I don’t know, giving a shit?  I don’t actually know what the legal implications are.  But I know they might be there.  And I know they’re scary.  Either way the problem is I could be found in violation of the law for caring enough to help someone.

The only thing I can say is that breaks my heart.  It’s never difficult to find someone willing to complain about how messed up things are these days.  There’s a war going on.  We’re in a recession.  More and more of our friends are losing fights every day.  And I think one of the big reasons is because they are going at it alone.  But those same complainers turn their backs to it every day.  They watch their Buddy get beat down and they can’t bring themselves to take action.  Apparently someone needs to define the word “friend” for me.

There’s a valid argument that maybe Buddy’s family should ultimately be responsible for helping.  But what if Buddy’s family doesn’t care as much as I do?  What if they’re ignorant and irresponsible and self-centered?  We’re talking about the downfall of society here, so clearly there are people who can’t count on a benevolent family support structure.

Another argument is that I should also consider my own situation when deciding whether to jump into the fray with my friend.  Can I afford to be hurt?  Will other people get hurt through me, like perhaps kids or my employer?  Probably the most pointed question is, if I need help next, will anyone help me? These are all important things to consider and not to be taken lightly.  But shouldn’t we consider them in the right context?  Instead of scaring ourselves with all these “what ifs” and convincing ourselves that it’s best not to get involved, why don’t we convince ourselves to do what’s right.  And then think about how to minimize the collateral damage.

Everyone has a limit.  If you aren’t part of a situation, you have to be cautious about getting involved.  But people survive hardships every day.  We all go through hard times and somehow come out on the other side.  Battered and bruised, but still standing.  And isn’t it worth it to do that sometimes if you can help someone you care about?  I think we have to try to take care of each other if we’re going to make it.  And if we’re going to help each other, we can’t be afraid to stand up.  Even if we might get hurt.

A friend of mine has a Big Problem.

I want to help my friend, but I could get hurt.  So do I help anyway?  Damn right I do.

You Don’t Have To Be Smart To Be President

I hate politics.

I know it’s important to stay informed.  I know people should take responsibility for their government.  But I just can’t.  The sheer volume of bullshit makes my head spin.  Any time I try to pay attention to what goes on in political circles I get that nervous twitch like I survived being struck by lightening but the experience is still with me.

I’ve gotten into the habit of following the mostly politically focused blog of a good friend of mine.  And I run into things like this:  John McCain doesn’t even know what this war is about. And this is his war!  Him and his Grand Old Prick buddies are milking this war like it’s their life’s blood.  They’re all making off like bandits somehow, so people keep dying and the world hates us a little more each day. And they can do this because we put them in charge.

Good Lord Please Have Mercy (That’s how bad it is.  My Southern Baptist roots are showing.)  How can we find ourselves in a place where a man has a serious chance of being Commander in Chief of our entire nation at the same time he’s foaming at the mouth to continue a war he doesn’t understand?  He will be making decisions that affect not only the lives of people in this country, but the lives of people in other nations as well.  And we don’t even require him to be smart.

That is what really galls me.  That is the reason politics will never be something I can actively participate in.  There is so much riding on the decisions that politicians make.  But you don’t even have to be remotely intelligent to be one.  You wouldn’t let someone drive your car who frequently got confused on which pedal was the brake, right?  You wouldn’t hire a carpenter after he told you he likes to use styrofoam instead of wood because the nails go in easier, right? Why would we continue to elect presidents who aren’t smart enough to even create the illusion that they know what they’re doing?

I’m not talking about being clever or charming or crafty in that Snidely-Whiplash-mustache-twisting sort of way.  I mean really smart as in educated and informed and experienced and well-reasoning.  Essentially you should be capable of understanding and performing the tasks assigned by your position.  Admittedly, the position of President of the United States is an enormous undertaking that requires expertise in a myriad of areas.  But that’s exactly why we should be looking for someone who is mentally prepared to shoulder this responsibility.

How do we ensure that our candidates for president are smart?  I have no idea.  How do we screen people for jobs in other areas?  Resumes and interviews.  Well, we sort of have those in place now.  The current Democratic candidate election seems to be abnormally focused on past experienced.  Who’s going to be ready on Day One.  The problem is that the candidates can pay lip service to the things on their resume but they have no real substance.  This guy outlines it pretty well.  You can’t have a resume for being president.  There is no other job like it in the world.  As a member of Congress or a State Politician or a foreign diplomat you’ll certainly get some experience in some aspects of the job.  But even that experience won’t compare to the Global-level magnitude of what you’ll have to contend with as president.  So essentially it’s all circumstantial.  No one is ready to be president on Day One.

To paraphrase my new favorite quote.  It’s important to be ready on Day One, but it’s more important to be right on Day One.

Interviews?  Give me a  break.  Okay, if we hold the candidates’ many speeches and debates as surrogate interviews, we can examine this for a second.  This is our chance to talk with this person and have them convince us that they’re the man (or woman) for the job.  This idea is flawed for a couple of reasons.

A) They don’t have to tell the truth.

b)  There’s no way for the average lay person to tell if what they’re saying is any good.

The first point is obvious.  Politicians contradict themselves on important points all the time.  Whether they’re misinformed or telling blatant lies, it’s par for the course to catch politicians spouting falsehoods.   And it will continue to be par for the course as long as there are no real consequences for lying.  In fact, the only thing you seem to get in trouble for as a politician these days is having sex.  So these people have carte blanche to do and say whatever they want to secure their position.  Strike one.

The second point is the more troubling one in my mind.  When I listen to speeches and debates, my bullshit meter is going crazy.  I consider mine to be pretty good, even when I’m not completely informed about the topics under discussion.  If you pay attention, you can tell when a person hasn’t thought something through or they’re skirting the issue.  But when talking to others about the issues on the table, I’m frequently reminded that most people don’t have any real insight into the complex workings of government.  If we’re talking about a polarizing question like “Should we continue the war or not?” or “Pro-life or Pro-choice?”, people can easily take one side or the other and feel pretty good about joining the discourse.  But when you ask a candidate what their plan is for handling the war in Iraq, you get 5 minutes of incoherent mumbling.  “Continue to root out insurgents”, “Withdraw our troops in stages”, “Invest in the Iraqi government”.  I don’t know anything about military tactics or foreign policy so at the end of the day I don’t know if these are good ideas.  Strike two.

If I was well equipped to evaluate these ideas and choose which I think are the most appropriate given the situation, guess what?  I’d be President of the United States.  So inevitably, many people will end up choosing their candidate based on the usual party lines, or on the polarizing issues (He’s not a Republican.  He opposes the war.  He’s black!  Go Obama!)

I think McCain is a warmongering idiot.  I think Clinton is self-aggrandizing and self-serving.  And to be fair, my inherent cynicism makes me fully aware that Barack may be playing us all for saps with this “hope for the future” bit, even though I want to believe him.  This is a terrible way to choose a leader.  It’s very possible we’re gonna strike out again this time.

Man I hate politics.

The Problem With Blogging When You’re Neurotic

So it’s been about 3 weeks since I started this blog, and it looks like I’m averaging a post a week.  I’ve thought of a million things to post about, but only 2 of them have actually made it to prime time.  Let’s figure out why.

My intention with starting this blog was to write whatever I was thinking about.  Don’t think too hard about it, just get all the random stuff out of my head.  But therein lies the problem.  I have to think too hard about it.  I think too hard about everything.

Top 3 Reasons for discarding a blog post:

  1. I don’t think I know enough about that – One of the first things I read about starting a blog is you have to be prepared for people to think you’re stupid.  Clearly I’m not an expert on any topic.  But I’m still not quite ready to find out just how uninformed I am.  Combine that with the fact that I hate doing any type of actual research (even the internet kind that frequently leads to entertaining distractions) and you have a recipe for inaction.
  2. That subject has been covered to much already – I’m one of those people who is frequently surprised that other people value my perspective on things.  I don’t always have an opinion, but when I do, I can cite reasons and I’m able to articulate it well.  (FYI, this is not me patting myself on the back, though the tone is so similar as to be indistinguishable.)  Still, even if I feel that I have something to add to a particular discourse, I shy away if I feel that smarter and more well-known personages have already rambled on about it at length.
  3. Nobody really cares about that enough to read this – This one is the most common.  I read things on the internet all the time about a million different things.  But it’s rare that I come away from with anything more than a vague feeling of “that was interesting.”  To the more practical parts of my brain that translates as “waste of time.”  And who really wants to think of their work as a waste of time?

I got 2 useful things out of this brief introspection.

A) I immediately forgot the point of my starting to do this

B) I am frighteningly neurotic about everything I do and say

The first obstacle should be easy enough to combat.  I just need to stay focused on the fact that I started this blog for myself and not for others.  If anyone gets anything useful out of it, I will certainly be pleased.  But I shouldn’t get hung up on that and let it stop the forward motion.  This blog is about helping me gather my thoughts and put them some place where I can examine them from an objective standpoint.  I’ve tried keeping a journal several times, but it always ends up feeling like a chore.  Nobody’s going to see it but me, so there’s really no reason to spend any significant time on it.  But this blog is open to the public.  It’s outside the box.  I have a responsibility to make it into what it’s supposed to be, even if that responsibility has been arbitrarily assigned to me… by me.  Essentially I’m taking advantage of the fact that I have a strong outward work ethic to counteract my extreme personal laziness.  Pretty smart huh?

So, hopefully you’ll see more in the coming weeks.  But…

That second one is tougher.  This is one of those aha moments where you’ve known all along, but putting the right phrase around it brings it into sharp relief.  This is the part that was cleverly foreshadowed in the title.  Neurosis.  Let’s go to Wikipedia shall we!

Neurosis – “… refers to any mental imbalance that causes distress, but, unlike a psychosis or some personality disorders, does not prevent or affect rational thought.”

Well hot damn, that just about sums it up.  The important thing to note here is that it doesn’t mean you’re crazy.  It means you have mental problems despite the fact that you are completely sane.  I’ve been dealing with this my whole life, but just referring to it by different names.  I would say “I tend to over-analyze things.”  Some ex-girlfriends would probably say “You have to always be right.”  Hopefully my boss would say “He’s always on top of things.”  What this all boils down to is that I have a hard time taking action on anything until I’ve thought about it for at least 30 secs too long.

During that crucial period after my initial decision on a course of action, a few things happen.  I start to feel like I missed something.  I always feel like I don’t know enough.  Like everything seems to make sense now, but that’s a false feeling of security.  I’ve missed some critical bit of information that makes what I just decided to do a huge mistake.  I’ll give you an example.  I have missed every single first kiss opportunity in my life, except one.  You know what I’m getting at.  You’ve been hanging out with a girl for a while, things are going great, you both know it’s time to test the lip-lock chemistry.  She gives you all the signals:  getting really close, awkward pauses for no reason.  All she’s waiting on is for you to go for it.  But I don’t go for it.  I sit and have a conversation with that annoying little man in my head.  What if I’m reading these signals all wrong?  I don’t know what the signals look like – I didn’t get the handbook.  Did I check my breath?  Did I check her breath?  What should I say after the kiss?  What if it’s stupid?  How do I recover?  This goes on for a while and eventually the moment is lost. *sigh*  No blog post for you.  (Yes I know we were talking about kissing.  Try to keep up.)

Sidebar: I’m not gonna talk about the one time everything went according to plan.  There’s nothing special about it.  I’m sure you’ve been there.  It was a great kiss.  Her breath was  more than acceptable.

If you re-read the above, you may also be able to discern the other symptom of my neurosis.  See the over-thinking alone would probably be more manageable.  But add this and it’s pretty much game over.  My thought process isn’t a loop, it’s a spiral.  Let me explain.  If this was a simple loop process, then once I had examined all the factors related to the outcome of the current situation under review, I would arrive back at the call for action.  Maybe I would have a new decision on what to do, but it would be time to do it.  Unfortunately somewhere along the track, a lever was pulled, the track shifts, we’re flying past the station!  I keep processing data.  Who cares what happens after the kiss, right?  We’re trying to make something happen here.  Stay in the moment man!  But my brain often refuses to cooperate.  Next thing I know, I’ve planned for a dozen different scenarios that could potentially occur after the kiss.  And another dozen covering the more likely occurrence that I crash and burn and there’s no kiss to speak of.  I’ve literally had whole conversations in my head based on what I know about her and what she’ll probably do or say.  Yes, I know.  It’s getting a little scary.  Remember, this is not a mental disorder, just an “imbalance.”  Feel better?

So basically, whenever I have any kind of decision to make, I go into one of these neurotic spirals.  If it goes unchecked, it can last for a good long while.  It’s not all bad though.  It works well for my job as a consultant.  Part of a consultant’s job is thinking through all the various issues to identify risks and hopefully plan for them appropriately.  I do this almost instinctually.  Thankfully, everything in software takes longer than it’s supposed to, so it just looks like I’m making sure we’re prepared.  And there are always deadlines, which usually suffices to bring the train forcibly back to the station.  “On top of things” indeed.

Neurosis.  Well, it’s been proven that the better you define a problem, the better equipped you are to solve it.  So now we know what we’re dealing with.  Shouldn’t be too difficult.  In a peculiar meta-analogy that I just thought of, allow me to close the loop on this post by referencing my earlier train idea.  All I have to do is make sure that I realize when my train has gone off the track.  Once I recognize that, I’ll try to make sure the tracks land on this page.   3 down, lots to go.

Axiom Stack is Go!!

Being a web developer during the last few years has made for exciting times (if you’re a huge nerd, which I am).  The web has been a whirlwind of innovation and change with newer and better ways to create bigger and better experiences.  For instance, last week I signed up, created this blog and launched the first post in literally 20 min.  It’s still amazing to me even though I understand a lot about how it works.

A lot of this good stuff is made possible by web frameworks.  Some group of really smart people choose their favorite programming language and design a platform that abstracts away a lot of the details of building complex web applications.   This allows others to get to the important business of making something cool. What’s even more exciting is being a part of releasing one of these frameworks to the world.  Some buzz-killers are certainly going to bring up the fact that there is already an abundance of these platforms out there touting easy setup, rapid development and a powerful environment.  Well this is actually true.  But some of the hype is warranted and IMHO Axiom Stack is the newest addition to the kickass group.

What’s cool about it?

I’m glad you asked.  Let’s explore.

You program in javascript.  I’ve been a fan of the language for years.  I could go into why from a technical standpoint, but there are plenty of examples out there.  For me it’s simple.  I enjoy programming in javascript.  It’s simple and I can be extremely productive in it.  Using it in a server environment seemed like it would be weird at first, but it’s just as fun to use on the back-end as it is in the browser.

You can use Java if you insist.  Axiom Stack runs in a JVM and the javascript environment is provided by the excellent Rhino platform.  What this means is that you have full access to Java in your server environment.  This is an important distinction for Axiom Stack.  You have the speed and convenience of a dynamic language for most things.  But when you need that extra power, you can drop straight into Java and have full access to the packages and libraries therein.  Any useful software product or service has Java APIs these days.  The potential for mashups is tremendous and you can use code instead of the sometimes nasty business of managing web services and processing xml.  I know some people want to argue with the value of that last statement as well.  Maybe I’ll expand on it sometime.

JSON and E4x packaged in.  Speaking of processing XML!  If you’ve read about it, or played around with it in Firefox, you know you want e4x.  Native syntax and APIs for XML make working with it fun again (wait, was it ever fun?).  It’s one of those things that makes Axiom Stack so powerful.  Skip all the SAX/DOM business and just get to work on your document.  Rhino’s implementation is solid and you’ll be up to speed in no time.  And just as awesome, your JSON data is now native on your server.  JSON has become an increasingly popular method of data representation due to it’s advantages in size, simplicity and native support in the browser.  Now you can generate it and manipulate it directly on your back-end.

Fully integrated search.  Building sites on more traditional architectures like LAMP, you still have work a little harder to provide a decent search.  Granted, these days there are all kinds of packages to make searching simpler.  But imagine an environment where great search capabilities are not only built-in but designed in from the start.  The default data store for Axiom is Lucene, the free java-based search platform from Apache.  In Axiom Stack, search is part of your normal development environment.  All of your data is indexed and searchable by default, and you have full access to Lucene’s capabilities.  If that ain’t sweet then I don’t know what is.

Optional RDBMS storage.  If the idea of using only Lucene to store your data gives you an uncomfortable itch, you can use a relational database simply by setting one up and changing some configuration.  All of a sudden your data is being stored in MySQL (or whatever) automatically, your interface doesn’t change and you can feel safer at night knowing your tried-and-true db replication script is keeping you backed up.

So I’ve basically convinced you that I’m some type of marketer for Axiom Stack at this point.  But honestly, I’m just a pretty lazy programmer who has found that this web framework allows me to do really cool things very easily.  Is it the best out there?  Yes, probably, but I’ll let you guys fight about that.  The important point is go check it out.  And let me know what you think.

If You’re So Smart…

… why aren’t you rich?

It’s a simple question that I’ve been thinking about for a long time. I don’t remember where I first heard it, although a quick search reminded me that I love Batman the Animated Series. It’s one of those questions that seems innocuous unless you tend to over think things like I do. So I started to try and formulate an answer.

Do I even want to be rich? Absolutely. Let’s not spend time on pseudo-philosophical crap like that.

Am I smart enough to become independently wealthy? Certainly. Anyone can make it big in this country. Even these assholes. So surely yours truly should be living the good life by now right? People tell me I’m smart all the time. It’s been my experience (and thus a proven fact) that people will give you all sorts of other insincere compliments. But rarely will a person call you smart unless they believe it. Since this blog is unconstrained by the usual rules of polite humility and fact-based proof, we can move forward under the assumption that I am, in fact, a brilliant individual.

Some people will argue that it takes more than smarts to get rich. But not really. All it really takes is some kind of idea, some kind of talent or some kind of product. Get someone to pay you a lot of money for it. Or more likely, get a ton of people to pay you a little bit of money at a time. Boom, you’re rolling in it. You may have already noticed, but if you keep reading this blog, you’ll find that I have a habit of distilling things down to very simple terms. Sometimes it makes sense, sometimes it makes me sound shallow or arrogant or stupid. Fortunately, all of those things are true to a point depending on who you ask. It works for me, so just try to roll with it.

So we’ve established that I want to be rich, that I’m smart enough to be rich and that I’ve pretty much got the basic formula down.

So what do I want to do? Ahso. Now we start to get to the interesting part. I’m currently employed as a computer programmer. A software engineer and tech services consultant to be more precise. It’s not a bad gig and pays the bills. There’s certainly potential for getting rich. In fact, the richest person on the planet does what I do. But I’m thinking of the kind of wealthy where I never have to get up early and certainly don’t have to wear a tie to get anything done. Ties are out.

I like movies, I could do something with movies (I literally had a Costanza moment). It’s a good idea and I’ve been working on a few things for a while now. But being creative is one of the most difficult things to do in my opinion. That’s probably why most movies are so lousy these days (that and the fact that decisions are being made by people with no filmmaking talent whatsoever.) All the more reason I should make one and get someone to pay me a lot of money for it. We’ll come back to this one. It may take a while but it has merit.

By now you’re probably asking yourself, “Wow, does this kid always argue with himself like this.?”

A) Yes.

B) Don’t interrupt.

Well, after many more rounds of the above insane chatter, I came to two conclusions. First off, I have no earthly idea what I want to do. And second, there’s really no good reason why I’m not rich. So… I’m gonna do it.

While I’m working on that, I’ll probably talk about whatever else occurs to me. Welcome.