Previous Blogs: (2007 - 2008) / (2008 - 2014)
One of the most interesting things to happen in Wilkes-Barre since I was truly living here decades ago is the deployment of windmills. Yes, Wilkes-Barre is today a windmill town, although technically these have been built in Bear Creek which is kinda like maybe Queens or the Bronx to New York when speaking spatially.
Anyway they are awesome! Giant wind turbines up close look like slow-rolling "sticks" in the high mountains when viewed from, for example, East Main Street. Even so I can't get decent pictures with my camera from the lowly city bowels so dig the Wiki entry about the project which brought these turbines to town:
How disappointing! In visiting my old neighborhood, Miners Mills in Wilkes-Barre Pennsylvania, I discovered that a staple church which has existed in the neighborhood for decades (1921 it turns out) has been demolished.
An empty lot where Blessed Sacrament Church once stood
Some local coverage of the demolition which took place in March (2014)
I never took time to learn much about the church since it was always a quiet fixture that commanded little attention beyond that granted by its parishioners. That is except for its tower bell which rang (bonged) every Sunday. It stoked everyone like a weekly coo-coo clock and for the non-church-attending population in the 'hood like myself, reminded us that we were sleeping in too late on Sundays. I think the bell in its later years was actually an 8-track tape or something.
Its absence definitely changes the ambience of this neighborhood as many people considered it an institution. As to the why it was torn down, I only understand loosely that the local Catholic parish was too small to support it and
over time the building fell into disrepair and neglect the Scranton Diocese decided to consolidate to just four churches, of which the Blessed Sacrament Church was not to be one (updated info based on tip from an actual parishioner).
A seasonal shot from the farmer's market at Union Square last week.
The video below will show you how to change from the usual Facebook newsfeed you experience just after logging in, to one represented by a personal list of your own.
I want to create video tutorials so this one represents my first crack at the process. Alas, video quality got a little more deluded at each rendering step, although You Tube applied a neato video sharpening process at the last step that saved the day.
You Tube video explains how to set a default list instead of Facebook's newsfeed for you to land on when hopping in.
In the tutorial I explain how to change the default Facebook newsfeed to one of your own lists -- which is technically not exactly what happens by virtue of the process, but is a good facsimile of that effect when you're working at your desktop computer.
This entire project took about 3.5 hours from impulse to product so once I am settled in my temporary digs I may be able to keep cranking these out while application-dumping myself toward a job of one sort or other. One thing for sure, I definetely have time on my hands.
|I Refuse To Quit|
|9/22/2014 7:12:14 AM|
| by Dave |
|Comments (0) Hits: (177) Promote (0) Demote (0) Score (0) Permalink |
To clarify my tweet below I gave 2-week notice to my company. Although I have no idea whether I'll be whisked out or not before then as too eerily "zen" to be regarded as stable enough to maintain root access to various resources that I do (or did?), I am not currently roaming the streets. I am committed to winding down my workload and hope to enjoy being with the people who have defined my last six years in a lighter spirit.
There is nothing wrong with work or my company and there is no great explanation or drama there to account for this, nor is there anything I am hiding. It is not a cry for attention or a move to negotiate something better somehow within it. Perhaps while they secretly dink champagne glasses in the backroom - in this particular environment I really have been somewhat negilible at best, I will be pointedly drawn out to defend and explain this action for the next 2 weeks by various company folks. But to put it bluntly, I quit because I refuse to quit.
To attempt an explanation: I am just simplifying my life and to get on, in the process, with doing those things I love doing and actually flourish at. I have been mediocre, by my standard (and if anyone is being completely honest by the data itself) at what I've been doing for a long time, and have come to settle on that. Time is running out. I can forgive myself for being reckless and homeless in chancing an abrupt transition from one way of life to another, but not for wasting another minute of my control and self-oversight. This is not to say that I have quit the workforce. My next job will just look more like and feel like one, whatever it may be. It will be every bit as challenging, demanding, frustrating, and time-wearing as any I am sure, but it will be simpler in the bigger picture I am forging to craft. I'm looking for a fit that undoubtably re-distributes the taxation of stress by current configuration, and in doing so, the mental and emotional freedom to create at whim.
There are no guarantees, particularly up front. People don't assert their right to "find a fit" exclusively on their terms without risking a few nights on the ground in Union Square. The transition could take months or even a year, and I can't say that I won't regret leaving the sanctuary of a cubicle a month after this. Even my continued presence in New York is questionable if not certainly doomed. Many things have to happen quickly and in well enough form to not have me packing. But if I am I will be alive and loving life even with this twist in my journey.
I will pride myself on keeping this a relatively open affair. Where I work today, too many people "disappear", seemingly at random, one presumes either in shame or in such complete social disconnect or malcontent over their departure they or others cannot discuss. Fuck that. There is nothing wrong with me, the people, or the company I work for. To this very second, I and it are exactly at the head of where and what we are as entities. This wise or foolish move is the result of the nearly six year interactive equation between us. I loved the opportunities, I love and respect the people, and I've even come to find a certain admiration for the corporate process itself. Make no mistake, it's a money-making trough operation where people under some circumstances can wind up living in fear and the victims of perpetual managed or internalized guilt. But, it favors those for whom it works, and for whom work well for it. It is structure that measures, produces, and rewards value, and for those sharper than me I am oft to observe, a sure conduit to security and achievement. For those who work well within it, do not try my move at home.
Resigned my job Friday - it was blocking me from succeeding or failing spectacularly. Time for change!
Got out to a beach for the holiday weekend. Much like hurricanes, the irony is I have more contact with beaches here in the northeast than I ever did living in Florida.
I might be exaggerating there.
So, based on the monument can anyone guess which beach this is?
I'm off Facebook, again. I didn't even bother telling people about my latest flight, and come to think of it, nor did I the time before this. My first proclamation and foray back to it were probably interesting once, even twice. But after three or so tries I have to figure my continued written expressives on the matter could well cause others to leave Facebook.
I have new reasons for this latest departure, but the Facebook conundrum which drives me back and forth has always boiled down to two basic pressures.
Oddly enough I believe Google+ might be an okay supplement to my website, whereas Facebook wanted to replace it.
The first is that I want the Facebook "channel" as I want any in which to spread content and to improve other's access to me. For all the reasons I hate Facebook it has nonetheless always been a way, if not just one of many, to take my content to people who I know will never roam the wild Internet circa circa 1998, to encounter it. A healthy Facebook with a few hundred "friends" is today's best spamming vehicle.
I'm perfectly aware that most people ignored and probably even filtered out my missives but it feels more natural to spray my latest blog tease via Facebook these days than it does to e-mail addresses, anyway. In not so many words it's exactly why people sign up to Facebook: to see what their pals, or at least those who they awkwardly agreed to befriend, are up to. Although I use the word "spamming" loosely here, I could always rationalize that insight to my narcissim is exactly what my Facebook connections asked for in agreeing to be a friend.
At the same time I don't want the diffusion of communication Facebook promotes. I want one place in the universe to check for my incoming electronic communication. The Facebook e-mail system, not to mention the wall feeds that people use just as purposefully to send personal-like messages over, sends me chasing a separate alien inbox. It would be one thing if I could turn off Facebook's e-mail like I can its chat system but I can't. Hence, diffusion.
This diffusion issue is a new thorn brought about by my effort to produce comedic writing and to develop a standup comic persona. Unlike approximatley 10+ years of previous blogging operations, promotion now counts. As much as possible I need to plug up "metric leakage" which is something I define as lost information about those who are in some way, to varying levels of degree, interested in me. Something that happens when personal content exists on a third-party host like Facebook rather than a server I control directly. Facebook has this information but keeps it to itself, or at least the good stuff. By eliminating my FB presence I am irrigating interest and the information associated with it back onto my own platform (my DWG website), however more or less of it there may actually be.
So that's it. My umpteenth attempt to leave Facebook with new reasons and a new sense of control.
I remain active on Twitter and encourage readers to subscribe to moi'. I am also looking into, believe it or not, using Google+ as an external outreach tool since it binds directly with GMAIL and doesn't "quite" qualify as a diffusing social network so much as it does (if you struggle really hard to make it so mentally) a sharing platform. I might be able to live with that and if I do, you can plus me here.
I tend to make a big deal out of how to apply my digital devices. I instinctively want a system of incorporation that works day to day, not just a satisfaction of the services delivered by each.
I have a desktop, laptop, a 7-inch Nexus, a 10-inch ASUS tablet, a smartphone, a Kindle Fire, a Kobo (courtesy of my company which owns them), and I obsess about which of these is the permanent go-to device for which scenarios. It's not trivial considering these things are expensive and then require constant doting over configurations and other use-level details in order to interface smoothly with our daily activities. The thing you want to do on your smartphone when your smartphone isn't immediately handy is not configured on your tablet or laptop in exactly the same way. You can do it - you probably will - but you have to spend time bringing the cursor up to date. Once is no problem, but you have to do it over and over each time this incongruence in your operating ecology is encountered. It's disruptive and lowers the useful yield not to mention experience.
Cheaper hardware in combination with the concept of the the "Consistent User Interface
" (CUI) resolves all this anxiety. Let's say that the cost of these things, any of them, drops to a point where they are considered junk purchases where you can get a reliable 7-inch tablet for, say, $20 in any discount store. In time, people would trade them as superficial gifts or hold them in the same regard as cheap transistor radios, something you acquire many times over but can never remember exactly how. Things that wind up in the kitchen's junk drawer or scattered all over the house.
Now let's imagine that, at the same time, the cloud experience is perfected to such a level that the experience from logging in to using apps is so uniform between devices that the 10-inch tablet you carry around affords the exact same experience as the forgotten 7-inch tablet collecting dust under your couch. In a world like this devices are cheap enough to be densely lying around in numbers, and the experience between so exact, you no longer have to think about a system of application the way I, for example, do today.
The CUI is where it's at. You configure your layout, applications, and other mundane settings once from any device, even a friend's, and you're good to go on any of the billions around the world in the same instant.
Obviously I don't think we have this level of consistent interfacing yet. Don't confuse the fact that we have "cloud" computing (cloud being in quotes because technically the word is misused 90% of the time in pop articles including this very one), or apps that promise to synchronize bookmarks or browsing histories ala Chrome and other web browsers. Those are good starts but they aren't what I'm talking about. I'm talking about to such a great level of detail that nothing has to be done in dropping one device and picking up another, other than perhaps identifying yourself. Like, if I receive a text on my smartphone and read it, the flag indicator that there ever was a text message clears on my tablets the moment that I do so. Or, if I set a wallpaper on my desktop, the same wallpaper appears on my smartphone in compatible form. If I shift an icon a millimeter to my left on my 10-inch tablet, the same icon shifts a millimeter to the left on my 7-inch tablet, or, on the 7-inch tablet I find in the seat next to me on a city bus. Remember, such tablets would be cheap enough to leave behind so the idea of an occassional orphaned tablet on a bus seat is completely viable.
When this happens the CUI will become the "Internet" by casual viewpoint. I suppose it's just a matter of who can figure out how to perfect all angles of this thing first.
It's way too late and I'm way too tired to explore how the comedy classes went, but the short of it is that I got exactly what I wanted out of it and then some. The class focused on standup which is a form of presentation and social connection that I badly needed to improve as a person.
Without getting overly congratulatory with the process, it all helped, but more importantly it will help moving forward. The classes were great for the mechanics and spirit required of great comedians but it is the process of doing it over and over where the craft is actually honed. That means continuing with the open mics and pushing myself closer to "real" rooms. I got this.
That's me on stage - an hour or so before Janeane Garofalo was up. Sweet stuff - but the audience needed it's money's worth!
UPDATE PIC: An episode of Louie featuring Louis C.K. on the very same stage (Season 1 - Episode 13 "Night Out"). I'm even wearing (inadvertantly mind you) the same black T - kinda freaky. And yes, Louise C.K. for all his tenure, does a masturbation bit - making me feel much better about my own.
Louse C.K. on the very same stage! Even sweeter!
The "grad show" as we called it internally went smoothly. I don't recall knocking the room dead as I stood petrified working through my material, but I got a few, if not polite, laughs. Most importantly though I didn't freeze. In an effort to squeeze in a last-minute dry run I did an open mic in another venue no less than 2 hours before and stammered away big parts of of my set, blowing away my confidence in so little time before real showtime. It's tough because you have to be focused tightly on your set and delivery, while at the same time remaining loose enough to converse with the crowd and connect. The latter was all but tossed out in my case as I sprinted from beginning to end afraid of fumbling my internal cursor.
In the end I would say A+ for the follow-through, C for the final product. Until I am fluidly connecting with a crowd and talking to them first and making them laugh second, the best I can continue to say is that I am "in development" as a comic.
As for the video which I probably can't circulate among a general crowd due to the fact it contains blue gesturing and self-deprecating work humor, I will make a decision to post on review and on rationalization that, hey, everybody masturbates on a stage in front of an audience at least once in their life right?
It's been six weeks now and the culmination of my comedic studies will be on display tomorow @ 9:00 PM.
Here's the flyer - it should be a lot of fun, Janeana Garofalo is our headliner: