How I feel every day at work.

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Something Undertaken

Hello everyone. Happy 2014!

I have a big announcement to make.

I’ve thought long and hard about what I want in life. Like everyone, I want a certain kind of life. For me, that’s making significant impacts on my industry, living without fear of what the future may bring to my finances, and continuing generosity to others with what I have, especially to give others the tools to find happiness.

I don’t like learning in an institution. It’s never really been my forte. I took an online class recently, and the experience wasn’t what I was hoping it would be; the textbook was the instructor and it didn’t manage to keep me engaged. I still learned a few things: first, that I don’t like institutional learning. Second, I’ve many more relevant skills than I thought I did before taking the class. Finally, I really don’t want to go to university.

My industry is growing out of wanting a piece of paper to prove skill. I can teach myself a computer language in a few months. I could write good programs in that language in around a year. Formal education is becoming a formality—and as an entrepreneur, who would I show a degree to? I believe a good plan, a great leader, and an amazing team would trump any degree when talking with investors or creditors, because it certainly would with me.

I’m tossing a few ideas around in my head. My internal monologue is occasionally interrupted by a shriek of terror or frustration at the thought of being a stereotypical 20-something and of failing at a career as an entrepreneur.

If I had to choose an option—and really, I do—I would rather fail while trying to live how I want than resign to living something I know I don’t want at all.

When I see others who have a life similar to the one I want, they arrived at it through building their own business. What I need out of my life is something I believe I can meet through entrepreneurship.

Thus, I have an announcement: I’m starting a company. It will likely be a while before you hear anything about it, but I’m going to do my best to make sure you’re just as excited as I am when you do.

(Time for a wordnik moment! The words ‘entrepreneur’ and ‘enterprise’ are very similar words, in form and function. Both entered the English lexicon in Middle English (1150–1470 CE) from Old French. They share the root entreprendre, which in the case of ‘enterprise’ means ‘something undertaken’.)

Have you ever seen the rain?

Sometimes there is no better metaphor for a period in one’s life than rain. There’s the spring shower, where it’s grey for a day and everything blooms come the next. There’s the summer thunderstorm, which is often dark, loud, and scary. It seems to last forever, stretching deep into the night and keeping you awake, hiding under your covers. There’s the autumn rain, where there’s wind stripping the trees of their bright, colorful leaves and giving arid farmlands a sigh of relief until harvesting ends. And further, there’s the wintry rain, sometimes frozen, hammering on the roofs of homes and offices, shattering on windshields and pelting pedestrians; and when the rain stops, the path can be treacherous, well into the following days and weeks.

There is beauty in rain that no other weather has. There are so many conditions that can coalesce into something beautiful, or into an absolute terror.

In the late summer, each raindrop that falls onto the parking lot evaporates from the absorbed heat of the asphalt. The sweet vapors flow through your nose, giving a subtle nudge to your brain to recognize how amazing its natural talent of cleaning the air of its impurities and pollutants really is. The realization that despite human expansion, we have no control over the weather and that only it can undo so much of our contamination is both humbling and frightening. It leaves one literally awful.

Even the long, dark winters of the Pacific Northwest are beautiful. The sound of the rain against the rooftops and streets, mimicking its mother ocean’s waves breaking against beaches, can lull one to sleep at night or provide a soundtrack for busy afternoons at work and romantic evenings.

And perhaps the most amazing, when you think about all of the factors and extremes that contribute to it happening, is every single rainbow. The sun burns at several thousand degrees to throw visible radiation in every conceivable direction, and a few of those photons make it to Earth, slip through her atmosphere, break through the rainclouds, strike the raindrops at just the right angle, refract through it, and strike the back of your eye, turning into pulses of electricity, showing amazingly bright, saturated hues across the entire spectrum in your brain to your soul.

After the rain hits the ground, it drains away, from capillaries, to larger and larger waterways, until it hits a river like the mighty Columbia, and flows back into the ocean, only to take the journey again—someday.

Though today is a sunny one in my part of Oregon, winds are calm and our high is set to be around 54°F. A nice day for Thanksgiving in America.

Gods know I have a lot to be thankful for. But in particular, I’m grateful for being alive, for knowing the people I know, for my family and friends, whether living or absent, and for everyone who works around the globe on everything from computers and medicine to water treatment and milling so I don’t have to.

And I’m grateful my friend is still alive. The world would not be as bright of a place without you.

The rain may come, but it doesn’t stay forever.

On Holiday (A Pseudo-Liveblog)

On holiday in Massachusetts! Presented in reverse-chronological (latest first) order.

…rest of the trip?

So I was a little too occupied to write much else in this post. I’ll be leaving it up for posterity, though. I had a great time on my trip. And it ended the way I wanted it to. I kissed my love.

2013-06-20 07:59-0400

Oh my god it’s cold, really, really cold.

2013-06-19 06:50 UTC-0400

Yes. That’s the offset for Eastern Daylight Time you see there in that heading. I have crossed the entire nation—and a great lake.

I was surprised at how short of a trip it was getting here. (Being hindered and not aided by the jet stream on the return trip is definitely going to make the flight back, well, painful, both literally and figuratively.) The 757 I was on (sadly its cabin is not wider than a 737) had in-flight Wi-Fi. Unfortunately, its provider charges an exorbitant amount of money for access which ends up lasting less than ¼ a day (if you’re on a longer flight, it’s still not worth the price).

Well, unfortunate if you hadn’t looked for a workaround before leaving. Hack My Trip had an article detailing how to get Gogo’s in-flight service for free: own a BlackBerry—or make the service think you do. As detailed in the article, you can make your device identify itself as a modern (≥ BB10) BlackBerry. When Gogo directs you to their payments page, it realizes you’re “a BlackBerry” and gives your device free access to the Internet (including VPNs and SSH). One IT department’s stupidity, though, is another man’s $20. Or something like that.

Also, a bit of kudos to the TSA agents at KPDX (don’t worry, I still don’t like the TSA):

  • They actually reopened security lines to handle the >300 passengers waiting in line for red-eye flights.
  • None of them were rude, to me or other passengers.
  • I opted out of the millimeter nudie-wave scan, to no protest on the TSA’s part. (Though not ionizing or genotoxic like backscatter X-ray, I still don’t want to go into a device used to treat everyone like terroristic cattle and that looks an awful lot like a death trap in science-fiction movies.)
  • I wasn’t “gate-raped”: no personal space violations, no groping, no molesting, no cavity searches.

I hope it’s the same when flying out of KBDL, because I will be watching. So don’t fuck it up.

2013-06-18 03:08 UTC-0700

I’m writing this while hurtling towards Detroit at around 10 times faster than highway travel.

(Don’t worry, it’s a layover—I switch planes to go to KBDL/Hartford-Springfield after I land in around an hour.)

Also, the morning twilight is beautiful from up here.

2013-06-17 23:00 UTC-0700

Look who I found! An Internet friend of mine. No, I didn’t get a picture of him until after we parted ways—my flight was boarding and I didn’t even think about it beforehand. (He’s the one in the chartreuse ASIG uniform.)

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Robert! …’s back. Ah well, might catch him on the return trip.

Some days are better than others.

Events occurred 12 April 2013. Thank you to all of my readers. I enjoy reading the comments, so please: if you have a minute free and an opinion on what I’ve written, I’d like to hear it.

Something like this shouldn’t have such an influence on me; shouldn’t make me want to cry… but it does. These were the words that a client, a Navy veteran nonetheless, said this morning:

They say “It’s OK to be gay,” but it’s not.

A sentence of just over 10 words shattered my day. On the way home from work, I pulled off the road at the park near my neighborhood. I stopped the engine, pulled my iPad out of my bag and, not bothering to unlatch my seatbelt or crack open the window, started writing this. Honestly, I’m putting off having to go home and explain to my mom and dad the reason their son is broken.

Continue reading “Some days are better than others.”

Mercurial

mer·cu·ri·al
adjective

  1. (of a person) subject to sudden or unpredictable changes in mood or mind: his mercurial temperament.

    • (of a person) spritely; lively

I recently had someone describe me as mercurial. I think he was right.