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No, I Don’t Think I’ll Add “Giggles Wilkinson” as a Friend

I don’t think that’s your real name, and although your location/home is “Earth”, I have faith in you, oh anonymous person, that you can be a bit more specific.  And I don’t think the photo of the dog is really you, although your social network profile has scant other details.

…like a friggin clue as to who you are.

The “ignore” button is very near the “accept friend” button.  Your mission is to help sway the mouse pointer.  Think for a moment about achieving your goal.

Perhaps you’ve been given this URL to look at; please read it in entirety, I wrote it for a reason.

I get “Add me as a Friend” pokes and prods daily, and I have the memory of a goldfish.  If I cannot look at the information there and see a reason we know each other, there’s a good chance your social networking ambitions will not be met this time.

Remember: you’re asking me.  For some reason, you think you’ll get enjoyment from interacting with me.  I’m particular, peculiar, and unnerving.  I ask the sideline questions that mainstream is overly afraid or under-ly concerned to ask, and I check your math.

If you really want a piece of that, to interact, then give me a clue as to who you are, where we met, or how we know each other.

Remember: the “cancel” or “ignore” buttons are very near the “accept friend” button.  Your mission is to help sway the mouse pointer to the button you want me to click.  Think for a moment about achieving your goal.

Consider what your profile looks like to an anonymous stranger.  Consider whether there are clues and hints as to who you are, or — contrariwise — whether you appear to be a twitter bug looking for followers at whom they can spam adverts, or a WebCam Girl looking for viewers who have strong credit scores and a brace of credit cards.  Which do you think you appear to be?

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Loose Lips Sink Productivity

Innocent questions can be expensive.

If a person walked into certain tax offices and started making noise, with the travel I’ve done, I’d probably have a long, expensive process of proving that I have indeed paid customs tariffs, taxes, and fees necessary for each country.  There exists considerable risk that each country will lay claim to the same incomes (as the USA does for foreign income) and there will be disagreement on who gets paid on what amount.  That would be expensive.

If you look through your life, there are probably many things you do that look a bit questionable (I love the British term “dodgy”)

I just transferred $11k to the UK; this exceeded the USA $10k limit, so it is into the awareness of some searching computer somewhere.  The IRS probably has an “event” flagged onto my National ID (err.. I mean my Social Security Number).  This will probably flag me to ensure my taxes are checked, if not audited.

If the right risky questions are asked, you might not be able to explain cheaply.

I’ve carried a sword on the street in NYC; this would make me look like a psycho.

I’ve spent a lot of time in Thailand; this would make me look like a sex tourist.

Who were you going with to France?  I see two tickets booked to France… (Wargames, 1983)

As the USA Famous-Person-Suing lawsuits prove, suspicion can be almost as expensive as actually doing something wrong.  The collection of multiple suspicious things, innocent as they might actually be, combine to make one’s life difficult.

Sometimes, my brother’s habit of splitting social groups and barring them from communicating has benefits, but even that habit is suspicious (communication barriers are where two halves of a lie are split).

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Sharing for Most Utilization

The more people who use my stuff, the more used and efficient that stuff becomes.

When I had an apartment in NYC at which I was seldom staying (I was in Beijing often), I told my friends “look, use the place, clean up after, and you must take 24 colour digital photos to show me the fun my apartment is having without me”.  The whole idea is that while I’m out of town, I am getting no use from my place, so why can’t my friends enjoy it?  Besides, strange things (pests, snakes, birds, alligators) move into quiet places, but a well-used apartment gets leaks detected, holes fixed, and enough noise to keep oddness at-bay.  Some friends started calling it “their place” (Hi Rose, Ruth, miss youze) which made me really quite pleased.  My goal was fulfilled even if the 24 photos didn’t always (ever) show up.

My friend’s cousin came by to visit when he was at a customer’s site.  His cousin got a cheap place to stay, made it easier to see the city, and he had an extra guest for dinner.  The world is more fun to see as a group, and cheaper when you can share costs.  This resource — the room — was better-utilized by two.

The “right” or “correct” feeling of reusing something, it’s hard to explain if you don’t feel it.

I used to leave my car keys in easy reach for the people around me.  When I was younger, it was my brother; later, it was housemates, girlfriends, whatever.  A car is very personal to some, but to me, it’s a machine to be well-used (so long as the driver understands the peculiarities of that machine).  My brother scares me a little about the speeds and things he’s done to my car, but it did get more usage, if “rented” or “borrowed” much longer than bargained.

“No, Rick, I didn’t know that my car does 105 mph (169 Km/h) on the Pulaski Skyway (limit: 45 mph), good to hear”

Surprises aside, the most usage we can get from the devices we have, the more efficient that purchase.  I also prefer to pass on my stuff rather than sell, for the recipient might truly want or need that item, but might not have the finances on that day to repay the cost.  Salvage is always half, but the value of friendship and cooperation, and the “right” feeling of sharing and re-use, outweighs lost salvage in laterally-passing an item as gift.

Often, gifts come back when you need them.

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Clusterphobia

I hate stuff.

I don’t have claustrophobia, or agoraphobia, but I do get uneasy when I’m over deep water without SCUBA gear.  I also get pretty unsettled when I have too much stuff to pack around.

We didn’t want for too much as children, our parents provided for us.  We didn’t have the luxuries our friends have, but our envy wasn’t too significant.  Aug 23, 1987, we had a housefire, most of the things I valued went away.  The remainder of my needful things live in a plastic tote in Canada.  I have a 4×8 locker in NYC, but there’s not too much I really need in there.  I have two totes at a very good friend’s house, and that stuff would suck to lose.

In London, I have two suitcases, and a backpack, and an armoured suitcase for carrying crazy-expensive gear.  Seriously, that case can hold $100k of gear.  I also have a dead-ass Dell laptop, which is paired my its replacement that I have carefully left turned off lest it follow its stepbrother into the grave.  A lot of Dell-extras in my baggage, I need so much stuff just to make it go.

I’m kinda at my limit.  It’s nearly too much.  I feel myself getting easily angry about “This Crap”, I find myself saying “I don’t even want this stuff” the same as I do when I pack up my house to move (and begin throwing away things I didn’t use the week previous, so mustn’t need).

I need to get a printer/scanner.  I don’t want more stuff.  Seriously, it’s too much to pack around already.

Too much stuff clustered around, I feel like a shark with a thousand pilot-fish globbed on and dragging me back.

Maybe I’ll torch the Dell.  It’s not doing anything anyhow.

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Hello world!

Yes, this blog was also a victim of the death of the backup.  …all my history is gone.  Is that a clear slate?  no no no … I remember what I have to write, and what I’ve written, but I think I’ll now make errors when I think I’ve written something and haven’t.  Let’s see…

I considered joining the blogs again and making each into a view of the content — so that all my tech thoughts, miscellaneous thoughts, travel are in the same source, but feed out to views based on categories.  That’s almost cool, but it’s not quite enough.

Why do I split them?  The Friendster Rule:  Your friends friends are not friends, nor are all your friends.  We have circles of friends, polarized based on immiscible groups (techies and technophiles, Swing Kiddies and the Non, etc).  Just because you know two people, that doesn’t ensure they want to know each other.

In the same vein, your communiques are often geared to one group or another (often both, which is why the split-blogs fails).  My family often doesn’t care about my tech stuff, and the tech people don’t care if I hate turnips or have recently learned to juggle.  Neither are true at this time, but they don’t care.

The Tech side is geared towards “what do I have that you can use TODAY?”, whereas this blog is “what’s new in my life?” …travel is just checking in, signs of life, a backbone for additional discussion.