The Year I Really Started to Feel Older…

All throughout my life I have always felt like a kid at heart. I still love the simple things in life, would love to get together with my neighborhood kids to play a game of “mud gutter”, and I still feel like I am the person I was in college….except I am realizing more and more I am not that kid anymore.

This year was a big wake up call.

  • I began enjoying AM radio (something I always got annoyed by when I was younger)
  • I look forward to going to be early
  • I wake up early
  • I have three kids
  • I see some of my “teenage 80s/90s stars” now as parents of high schoolers on TV
  • I have very limited time available for doing things I actually want to do (golf, fishing, etc) and look forward to the day I can do that…ten years from now 😉
  • I remember my grandparents at my parent’s current age

Of course – there are also a lot of pluses about getting older, but for someone who thought they would never “grow up” – it is interesting seeing my perspective on live change.

Anyone else play mud gutter out there as well? I was the bus stop champ!

My Take on Twitter

So many people still do not get Twitter so here is my take:

I was forced to get a Facebook account in order to work on an API project for a client. After a few months of using it for then personal stuff – I got completely sick of all the garbage. “X person played Y game”, “Z bought you a drink”, etc. For some people that is great – and fun…just not for me. I did walk away thinking – “I really like the way I can keep up with certain people (family, friends, etc) when they update their status. I also did not like the fact that all of your content is “stuck” in Facebook. Let’s say you get tired of Facebook – all your photos, updates, etc are not exportable. You lose everything you put in there.

It was nice finding out what my sister was up to, what cool new restaurant my cousin tried, or what some of my friends were doing last weekend. I found myself staying in better touch both using Facebook, as well as actually calling them to talk about what they were up to.

From there – I looked into Twitter and started using that for increased interaction with the people I really cared about hearing about/viewing their quick pictures, etc. Basically – you get status updates from people you care about. It is not what most people think either “I am getting coffee”, “I am walking to work”. Some people do write those updates, but if you start following someone or actually use Twitter – you will see most people actually write something interesting. Using Twitter – I keep in contact with friends/family, and interact with people I normally would never interact with and enjoy getting to see first hand photos from some of my favorite TV personalities, have conversations with family, and learn about new stuff from people I choose to follow. Basically – I get the best of Facebook (the status updates) minus the garbage I hated…and on top of that, everything is exportable – and can flow right into my personal blog. This way – if I decide in a few months/years Twitter is not for me, I can dump it and keep my content.

Not sold? Hey – it is not for everyone. But it is pretty cool to get a timeline of what you thought was interesting/important at the time and then look back on it at a later date. You can make what you want out of it and for me…it has been interesting, I have learned a lot, and I enjoy making new connections!

http://www.twitter.com/thejappler

Glam Scum

I have recently become a fan of a DJ by the name of The Scumfrog and have really enjoyed his podcast called “Glam Scum International”. If you like electronica/club/vocal trance – give him a shot. Make sure to check out episode 8 first (my favorite so far).

Socializing on the Web

We have all seen or heard of a lot of the web’s big social web sites (Facebook, MySpace, online dating, etc) but the other day when I was in the car listening to the radio – I was a combination of disturbed, somewhat impressed (with the idea that this market was targeted not the actual web site idea), and shocked that someone created a new site for socializing/dating with a whole new hook. A site for setting up “Married Dating & Affairs” (The Ashley Madison Agency) which even guarantees 100% satisfaction. Please note I am personally very against cheating or having an affair. I personally believe if you are unhappy with a relationship – it is best to get out before it gets worse. We have all seen the movies and heard the stories – affairs are nothing but trouble. I know people are always trying to make a buck – but where do you draw the line?

I was disturbed that there is now a place to easily go and seek out someone who is married and wanting an affair – and at the same time, I was also somewhat impressed that someone saw the need/market and built this site around it. Perhaps the people using it will finally be open about it on the “first date” rather than after they lie about their marital status until a few dates in and then open up the can of worms to the person that thinks they are single too.

My initial thought: “Go sanctity of marriage!” Even though I would never use the service and would hope none of the people that I know would – my only hope is that people will at least come clean and promote honesty (even though it is with strangers instead of your “partner”).

Even if you do target an audience successfully for something that is not socially acceptable and illegal, I only would hope you are responsible enough not to throw it in people’s faces with billboard ads for all to see (kids especially) with messages like “Life is short, have an affair”. I was not terribly upset with the company until I saw that advertisement which tends to promote having an affair instead of promoting their web site which is more geared towards people that have already made the choice to have the affair.

What are your thoughts?

Completed: One Life Goal and One 2009 Goal

Every Easter my family went to Myrtle Beach for a week to two weeks and we stayed in my mother’s cousin’s beach house. Alone, that was exciting, but what was mesmerizing was this thing called “cable”. Sure – cable was around when I was younger, but my parents thought channels 2-13 were enough for us. I would love going to Myrtle Beach and then watching this crazy comedian named Gallagher. Ever since I first saw his great Sledge-O-Matic – I decided I had to see him live…and I am finally going to next month. He is coming to the Chicagoland area and I am totally excited to see him in action.

Another goal of mine – has been to finally start releasing some WordPress plugins and I did that earlier this week by releasing SDAC Related Content – a highly configurable, cached plugin that allows you to show related posts by category at the end of your posts or pages that does not make any database changes (perfect for WordPress VIP). I have a few more plugins that will soon be released as well as some themes. I just need time 🙂

Neighbors

I have had some beef with my neighbors in the past. They have weird habits, refuse to shovel a foot of snow on my property, and are generally strange…but I have to say the last week has given me some hope. On Thursday we had to call 911 for Evan (cracked his head on something and got a bouncy ball sized bump on his head that kept growing and growing as we went back and forth on who to call… Within a few minutes of the crew getting to our house, one of our neighbors a few houses down ran up the street to ask if the baby was ok. Another neighbor left us a card, and another neighbor left us a sticky with her phone number and a message.

I was pretty impressed and happy that we had people that actually were concerned. To those people who will never read this…thanks 😉

Favorite Presidential Quotes

Since it is Presidents Day – I thought I would share some of my favorite presidential quotes.

George Washington:

It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one.

Worry is the interest paid by those who borrow trouble.

Abraham Lincoln:

Perhaps a man’s character was like a tree, and his reputation like its shadow; the shadow is what we think of it, the tree is the real thing.

Leave nothing for tomorrow which can be done today.

Lyndon Baines Johnson:

If one morning I walked on top of the water across the Potomac River, the headline that afternoon would read: “President Can’t Swim.”

Any jackass can kick down a barn but it takes a good carpenter to build one.

Wasting Money the Government Way

Here in Illinois we have been hearing about the Rod Blagojevich fiasco for weeks. I have been busy for the last few weeks and have not watched the news or his trial – but I did happen to catch that as soon as he was impeached – IL spent $15,000 to remove signs on our highways that had his name on them (Open Road Tolling–Rod R. Blagojevich Governor). PS – these signs cost $480,000 to create and put up.

I am disgusted with the waste that I continually see government organizations partake in on a daily basis. I remember when I transitioned from working for a higher education/non-profit workplace to working for my own for-profit company. The first few weeks I really saw how much more effective for-profit companies are and have to be (both mine and others that I worked with) compared to the constant flow of tax money into some government/non-profit organizations.

Not that I believe all non-profit and government organizations are extremely wasteful – but the moderate in me – would love to see some of our government and non-profit organizations have to make money before they could spend it. I bet you things would quickly change (and it drives me crazy that it would change…because organizations should spend money carefully and responsibly regardless of their profitability – in my opinion). Responsibility should not be forced…but perhaps it should for some?

Do I agree that most of the organizations have the best interests in mind for Americans? For the most part…yes, but just like with anything – you really do not appreciate what you have until you have worked for/earned it. I can guarantee you that some of the projects that take years to complete would either get outsourced or dropped as they should instead of taking up valuable resources. Ineffective managers/workers would get the boot and every dollar brought in and then spent would be appreciated, counted, and better used. I would love to see this play out because I think a wake up call is needed – especially now since our government is in so much debt, programs are bloated, and general waste is high.

Do I agree that Rod Blagojevich needed to be removed from office – yes (assuming the evidence holds up)…but do I agree with removing the signs and wasting overall almost half a million dollars? No. Please – whoever made this decision…wow. Thanks for wasting more of our money, especially when we could have used that for education, construction, etc.

Give Credit to Single Parents

I have to say – there are not too many days that go by where I think to myself at least once a day “I cannot imagine being a single parent”. I was sick yesterday and all I could do was lay in bed…moving was not a real option. Thankfully – I have A to help out with Evan so as soon as they got home – she kept him busy, fed him, got him ready for bed, and put him to bed, cleaned up, let Colby out, fed the cats, etc. I could not imagine having to do all of this when I was feeling like I was and yet many single moms and dads do it everyday. I give single parents all the credit in the world because their kids’ needs come first – regardless of what they might want to do, how they feel, etc. Being a parent – you see single parents completely different than people that do not have kids…and thinking back to all the people I know that raised their kids in a single parent household – you have my upmost respect.

Call for All PSU Friends to Gather…

I received a long awaited phone call yesterday – from one of my favorite people of all time: Amy G (now Amy M after getting married). We had not spoken for some time – but it was great to catch up. Amy was Amy’s (my Amy) roommate freshman and sophmore year. Not only did we catch up and talk about our great times at Penn State – we decided that it would be great if we could get together again back at Penn State during the Penn State Blue and White game (annual spring scrimmage) on April 25th. I am hopeful that we can start an annual tradition with this.

So far – it will be me and Amy, Amy G, Casey, and I promised at least one Wessner – so hopefully I can pull that off. Parents/friends are welcome. We plan to get some sort of tailgating action together so hopefully we can enjoy some time together while talking about how we cannot believe it has already been ten years. Ken – you will be there, right? 😉