How is it that 20 years ago a person working in my field really had to know his shit to get this kind of job but yet today anyone with a visa an indi/pakistani last name can get the same job. Somehow corporations seem to feel that it works for them because training and support contracts are cheap. Give them a desk and a phone and hopefully they will work for peanuts and hey you can’t complain, you’re here on a visa along with your whole family, aunts, uncles and everyone else we can afford to ship over. It brings a whole new definition to slave labor. I work in a field where you can barely understand or communicate to people IN THE U.S. that can’t perform certain actions that you require them to do to fix a problem. It drives me insane. Yet corporations are begging that the U.S. government release any visa limits so they can bring more uneducated low wage labor into the country that already has a 9%+ unemployment rate. Well yah get what you pay for.

Marvel is just getting better and better with its movies.  This time they went 3D with Thor and I have to say it was awesome.  Loving the hidden easter eggs that I don’t think people are picking up on.   A couple of spoilers, appearance of Hawkeye without his costume that I don’t most people understood who he was.  The other being the Cosmic Cube after the credits.  Which btw, if you watch the Captain America clips, you will see it being displayed as well.

More on comics, I got accepted to volunteer at the Dallas Comic-con which is great for me as I really need to get out and do something.  I used to work a lot of these cons when I was younger, so getting to do this is going to be a big thrill for me.  Guests like Leonard Nimoy, Stan Lee, John Romita jr. and my favorite comic artist, Amanda Connor of Power Girl fame!  It should turn out to be a fun experience.

Nook update, thoroughly hacked and I am loving it.  Loaded the Dolphin Browser, TT Torrent app, Pic Viewer and I am set just getting tons of books to read.  Amazing such an excellent Android device for one that wasnt even put out but to be just a book reader.  More epubs than I could begin to start with and I know I’ll be getting more.

Traded my bike in yesterday.  The previous one I got at Wal-Mart, while I liked the design, had huge issues.  The new one I got this weekend is only a 7 speed but with some tweaking of the pressure has turned out to be a really good bike for my laps around the block.

Right now all together, life is good.    Lets see how long it lasts.

The j4ckl3

Why am I always so fascinated with gadgets?  I have enough computers in my house. (5 or 6 at last count)  That along with the biggest android phone made, 5″ dell streak.  And now to top things off I have picked up a 7″ Barnes and Noble nook.  Why?  Just to hack it and see what all the fuss is about.  It is a nice e-reader.  Not much bigger then my Dell Streak.  I rooted it in about 10 minutes.  The fascination of it will probably wear off, so I am deciding to keep it next to the bed.

It is surprising how many of the books I can already find out on torrent websites to download.  I guess its better left for the uber-geeks out there because I am sure most people buying it are really just interested in the purchase of books without having to leave home.  For me, I’ll recoup my $329.00 in free books for a long time to come before I really buy one.  Other then that, fun toy.

Who would teach me every thanksgiving dinner… “Live life to the fullest and if anyone tells you different or they dont like it you say ‘vaffanculo!’. ” I will always miss you PeeWee.

Decided to take a stab at trying to code for android. One thing I will never understand is the level of complexity there is in just getting started. Some really should package the entire thing up nicely so you can just jump right in and start coding. Installing the ide, installing 2 development kits, updating code for those kits plus pluggins and then deciding how your going to start off is just a nightmare that would put anyone off. Here’s to coding.

I am a firm believer that money makes people do strange things.  Having only been on this planet a little over 40 years and I have seen sooo many things when it comes to money.  I came from parents that never had much of it and what they did have I would have to say they were pretty conservative baby boomers.  Both of them did the classic “work for someone for 30 some years and collect a 401K and a pension, pay off the house and retire.”.  They both came from large families that were probably of the poor farmer types always struggling but yet happy in miserable at the same time.  (I’ll come back to what I mean by this later.). 

My parents put me through a very expensive education and by doing this I think I garnered some advancement in my lifestyle that brought me to where I am at today.  Although I think the word is still out on that today.  Many of the people I graduated with went on to some successful careers in life and I think they did very well for themselves.  I am thankful for the education my parents work so hard to pass on to me and their conservative lifestyle and mindset of working hard eventually did pay off and I think it gave me a well-rounded picture on what I am about to say.

In the last 20+ years of being on my own and moving out I worked through a career and which also included obtaining my first home at the age of 22.  This was a time when most people my age I knew rented or still lived with their mom/dad etc.  At an early age I learned the importance of paying my mortgage, light, car payments etc and what kind of struggle that would be.  It kept me in a low middle-income job until something pried me loose of that position and on to something else.  (hurricane Andrew.).  This succession of jobs from one place to another always had me hoping around but always in that low to middle-income position to I finally started working with IBM.  After 15 years with IBM, I am definitely not in the low/middle-income but probably more in the upper middle-income if not working my way fast out of that position.  (I hope I am not boring you by this point but I am trying to get to a point.)

Now in my mid 40’s I have seen my variation of income ranges and I would say only until the last 5 have I reached a point where the level of income has started to exceed my own level of contentment.  Let me be clear on what this means to me.  About 2 years ago I hit a level where on the same day of every month I can pay all my bills and incidentals that I really don’t have to worry about playing the “robbing peter to pay paul game.”.  Outside of the usual electric, phone, water, etc. I have no debt.  I have no car payments and no credit card debt at all.  For this I consider myself to pretty fortunate.  I know plenty of people in this day and age are far worse off.  It took me way to long to get to this point.  Over the course of the last year I have been enjoying it and is made me think.

     Its interesting when I hear people complain about money at varying levels.  Now that I am at the point where it doesn’t seem to much of an issue to me, it makes me wonder about whats next for me.  It’s not something I had been used to thinking about.  I think there are phases to money in people’s lives.  There is a phase of complete poverty, which I have never really though I was ever in.  Its seems like I am always figuring a way to get by.  Then the phase of shelter, food, utilities etc.  Figured this out pretty quick early on.  For the last 20 years of moving between homes (last count 14) and jobs towards my career I think much of it has been just upgrading to get to a point I’m pretty much comfortable at in my lifestyle.  With the moves, having kids and a family and various other things happening in my life I think my progress at different points was slowed.

     Over the last year or so, as I stated earlier, I have been able to enjoy things a little bit.  Bought the sports car and a few other toys but for the most part I think I was largely unproductive.  I am hoping in the next 20 years of my life to become a little more productive and do some things with it like fix up the house etc.  But again though it makes me think about other things. 

      What happens when you get to the next stage when you do things with your money to make you money?  At some point people begin to realize that they can really spend about all they can spend and then begin the point where their money makes them more money that they can’t even begin to spend.  I don’t think its a phase I’ll ever really be at, forgoing hitting the lottery, but I always seem to wonder about that level.  Which brings me to my original thought point of “Money makes people do strange things.”. At what point do you begin really buying the things you don’t really need just for the sake of having them?  I did this with my Audi and looked back pretty quickly with the thought of “Did you really need this?”.  No probably not.  I see so often in wealthy people (which btw I think is always in a matter of perspective) where they succumb to this need of buying the new house, multiple cars etc and I can’t help but think at what point does it stop?  I mean whats wrong with the house that I am in?  I certainly downsized from the last one and this one seems just right for me.  I don’t need or want the glamor or glitz or get caught up with competing against the Joanses.  To me it at some point it just has to stop.  Is it because each person has some differing level of contentment?  That may very well be.  How many homes does Opra or J.K. Rowlings have?  Why would a single person want several homes with 15-20 rooms in them?  Is it for a tax write off or merely someplace to shelter the money? 

     I think at some point people develop this nature of greed that goes to the point of absurdity?  Then I think it comes to this “Dont tread on me.” lifestyle of complaining about things like taxes etc to the point of extreme protectionism.  It urks me when I hear the uber rich of billionaires like Rush Limbaugh complain about taxes when they have enough money and tax shelters to keep them way beyond the point of wealthy for multiple lifetimes. 

     My view has always been this.  When you tax someone of a billionaire status 38%, even after paying those taxes they still are billionaires.  When you tax a family that combined make 40,000 per year a 30% tax rate, you leave them with 1/3 less an income to survive with.  This is so incredibly abundantly obvious but when the uber rich talk about wanting a flat tax rate for everyone, this is exactly what they want.  I have no sympathy when it comes to taxing people who make over a 1/4 million dollars a year and yet it is always a contention with them.  They shout and scream “communism” but it’s not that (more like marxism) but there is a little bit of Marxism in every economy otherwise it wouldn’t work and you’d have an elitist society running things by the control of the wealthy. 

     The last two terms we suffered the worst destruction of the middle class while the wealthy got richer.  It happens constantly and it keeps the middle to lower-income class in check and wanting jobs at whatever the wealthy wish to provide.  It is a sad state of affairs if you ask me.  Even the term conservatism has been given a bad name by the largest group of people touting the word the most.  Correct me if I am wrong but how does a single individual with no family have a dozen or more homes with 15-20 rooms and continue to tout conservatism?

9.8% unemployment and rising in the U.S. and our government is worried about embarrassment from Wikileaks? Again its that diversion of “look over here people, never mind about the man behind the curtain.”

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-jobs-20101204,0,4236567.story

I am absolutely a supporter of wikileaks.  While the information released by them cannot seriously be construed as top secret and isn’t something most governments didnt know about, it does fly in the face of the U.S. with respect to embarrassment over things they can’t control.

To think that interpol would try to put Mr. Assange on the top most wanted because of some trumped up rape charge?  WTF?  Seriously?!?!  Most wanted and they are trying everything to make it stick to extradite him.  Already, and I am sure our government is involved here, hackers have been doing their best to attack the hosting site.  Talk about your big ass babies.

Wikileaks has found a new location at http://www.wikileaks.ch .  I still look forward to the day when our own government will grow the hell up when it comes to information like this.  When the best we have to offer for elections are people like Senator McCain and Palin, I mean common?!?!  Are we all this gullible  to just keep watching the crap we’re fed and believing it.  I have seen more embarrasing stuff come out of what is shown on “The Daily Show with John Stewart.”.  Which you will find most people don’t watch anyways because they really don’t care to see the truth about our own government. There will always be two constants.  Politicians lie and politicians are crooks.

Heck if you ask most of the public they probably have never even taken the time to read the docs in Wikileaks and just want to be spoon fed their news source from Fox News or whatever they get that they can pass on to others in their emails with a quick click and forward.  Easy activism for the group of people that won’t even take 5 seconds to verify it on snopes.com.  Which also btw are the same people that KEEP DOING IT OVER AND OVER.  Like friggin lemmings over a cliff.

The U.S. really needs to take a different tactic to this kind of information.  Its kind of like what we tell our kids.  You do something wrong, you take ownership of it.  You step up like an adult, apologize and admit your weakness and you work at doing better.  Doesn’t seem like that is what is being done here.  Damn shame if you ask me.

 

If you even care, take more then 5 minutes and go to the link and dig through some of the documents  Some of it is worthwhile.  Some of it is embarrasing and some of it is quite interesting.

 

 

– Note:  The opinions expressed are my own and do not represent the views of my family.  Also please note that I never agreed that my english could be taken as anything more then barely legible at best but I do try to proofread what I put up here.  I am always open to constructive criticism. –

 

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/15/world/asia/15prexy.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

I see this stuff and it drive me nuts.  I knew 10 years or so going into this mess with Bush and his cronies that it just wreaked.  We send in a few thousand troops expecting some big victory celebration for some specific reasons that either seem to keep changing or that nobody can really detail.  2 years after Bushes administration is done and who do we fault for the mess?  The guy that is in power now.

We spend so much time watching our politicians and listening to what they or the media tell us and not really looking to see if there is something under the covers that were missing here.  And when we vocalize any questions about it, we’re called anti-american or conspiracy nuts.  I mean really, take a look.  2-3 years ago gas was over $5 a gallon nationwide and higher worldwide.  Were we really running out of gas.  Was it really all the much harder to produce or obtain.  Again, we were duped and a whole lot of people got really rich off of it.

Time and time again we’re all lead down some same path like sheep and Its so easy.  We want to get on with our lives.  When 911 happened we were all angry yelling “Grr lets go gettem boys! Yeeahaw!  Payback time!”.  And were given some target and some reasoning behind attacking it.  We all sit there and shake our heads and say “Yup sounds good.  Lets shoot and kill something and blow some crap up!”.   It’s in the news and were watching it every day.

But then it gets old.  Our economy gets driven into the ground and the President that left it that way pretty much goes into hiding.  Again I ask that you think about it folks.  When have you seen a president pretty much fade away as fast as the last one we just had hrmm?  And yet we really just don’t care.  Its old news.  Lets all get angry at our current government and President hrmm??

Now we’re doing another gradual pull out and fade into existence on this one and do it quietly only to hope nobody notices.  We don’t want to ask questions and really we don’t care.  Lets all stay focused on sports and just watch some more Glee.  Amazing aren’t we?  We’re sitting on 9 3/4 unemployment handed to us by the abysmal failure of the Bush presidency.  Worst market crash.  Worst Housing crash.  And what do we have for it?  Oooh but wait.

Everyone is just jumping for joy now that republicans have the house seats again.  Its all good times now!!  Lets give people making $250,000 dollars a year continuing huge tax cuts and lets do it permanently ?!?!   We can’t RAISE taxes on people who make a quarter of a million a year right?  uuuuh no.  Lets get the story straight.  Its not raising taxes.  Its going back to what these people were paying BEFORE Bush handed this all to them 10 years ago.  But hey lets listen to more endless spin an drivel right?

You know we go round and round on this every year.  The government and media give us something new to focus on and its a constant battle of the rich and wealthy against the poor and middle class.  Ronnie and George have always wanted everyone to believe “pull up your bootstraps and you can become a millionaire too.”.  But thats never been the case.  When republicans are in power its always about “Don’t touch what I have and don’t create more laws to protect the poor and middle class, you’ll just hinder them.”.  Two days ago I see our Texas Governor ‘Rick Perry’ on the tube saying “Yah know we just gotta get rid of the EPA.  I mean were all good people here right.  We can handle this ole clean air thing ourselves without the EPA.  All the people in government today are just good ole folks that just have your best interest at heart.”.  I sit and listen to this and I am thinking… “Seriously??  People believe this crap?”.  And yet yes we do.  Its more of the drivel that I see soft mushy brained people just keep on sucking in and espousing back out.  Holly shit!!

Nobody watches this crap or even really cares.  If you were to pull over the average individual on the street and ask them you’d see the eyes rolling back and going white.  Don’t believe me just sit and follow Facebook for a few months and see what the important topics really are.  Studies have show all to often that several things we do as humans are constantly true.  We repeat our mistakes every 20 years.  No matter how great the tragedy or the loss we tend to want to forget about it as quickly as possible and move on.  We generally want to hand over the more important stuff to our Government and corporations and leave the small stuff to us so that we can come home and watch Glee and football and enjoy the rest of the 16 hours we’re not at work.  Just cut me a check every twice a month and I am good.

As a society I really think we are lemmings just running in one line to the end of the cliff.  Its like my neighbor said to me once when I was talking about gas when it was over $5 a gallon and he responded with “So … really?  What are you going to do about it?  And so what if you do, there isn’t anything that you do thats going to change anything?”  Its a damn shame really.

As I write this its 6 a.m. in the morning.  So please bear with me if my grammar isn’t what it should be.  I’ll proof read it some more later.  Its just that lately this whole thing has been quite depressing.  Maybe tonight I will just drink the Kool Aide and turn on some cool funny sitcom and wait for the pod next to me to open up and take over.  (not that anyone under the age of 40 will get that but hey.)  We’ll all be much happier anyhow right?

As I predicted, windows 7 phone will be a bust.  In the electronics market there is a 1st and a second.  There is no third.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/11/11/windows_phone_7/

http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=275041

This is the second solid strike for Microsoft on phones.  Don’t expect Christmas to save them.  If they dont make it through first quarter next year, it will disappear like the KIN phone.

Good luck mickeysoft.  Enjoy your employee stint in India along with IBM and others.  Hey maybe Pakistan will buy your crap phones.

word.