I’ve been spending the past few weeks working with the Yii framework to develop some tools for work that may be adopted organization wide and so far all I can say is that once this shit is done I will never write another fucking line of code in my entire life; I don’t see how people do this shit fro a living honestly. Every week its been an uphill battle to not wipe out my entire code base, lock my laptop and just walk out the damn door, I am supposed to be maintaining Linux and Unix systems yet I spend the majority of each day reading documentation on code, mangling SQL queries and beating PHP code that barely passes as human legible into shapes that are supposed to resemble actual things.
So I find myself sitting here on the couch at 1030 PM New Years Eve, no drink in my hand, no laughter in my ears or friends surrounding me; only thing going on right now would be the gears in my head. Shortly after the election I decided to delete my social media accounts, now that its been roughly 2 months since then I figured it was time to revisit this decision and think about it.
One of the first things that comes to mind regarding my departure from social media (not like I was some paragon or other such nonsense) is that I just dont care anymore, I’m lazy. I don’t care enough to even bother contacting people that I used to regularly interact with via Facebook even though they are only a few clicks away in my cell phone’s contacts Where as it used to be effortless to initiate contact with others because I could see things they were doing via their activity feeds now I have to come up with something to say and I find that its becoming harder and harder to come up with anything that I think even matters to myself let alone others. Instead of texting that friend from X place I just say to myself “they don’t care that I just did Y or Z” This makes me wonder how much the people I interacted with on facebook cared before I left; its easy to click like and make it appear as if you give a shit when its just a few pixels on the screen.
Going out used to be a thing that was common, but ever since then I’ve started looking at the associations I keep and noticing things that somehow I never noticed before; probably because I was nose deep in my phone keeping up with the latest facebook posts or tweeting nonsense. Some would say this is a good thing, however I have noticed that now I am far more critical of those who I surround myself with to the point that flaws which formerly were minor now are glaring and deal breaking. This drives me to avoid outings with friends and generally shy away from them; now I will go out to the stores or to eat by myself and exclude people when I can’t muster up the fortitude to deal with them. This coupled with the fact that as of September 19th I quit smoking means I have a shorter fuse than previously, so much so that now I take St Johns’ Wort daily in an effort to help curb the urge to scream profanities at people when they push the wrong buttons with passive-agressive bullshit or childish tantrums.
Expanding on the mental aspect I have noticed that I generally have a far more drastic reaction to outside stimulus; news stories will make my pulse quicken, I break out in a sweat when something stressful happens, etc. This also is another thing that can be partially attributed to quitting smoking but the fact remains that now I am more exposed to information that has some kind of value since I don’t waste time on facebook and twitter. There is nowhere to hide like before, I can’t just mindlessly scroll through peoples’ wall posts to distract myself from some current event, I have to either avoid the news completely (hard to do when CNN is on the tv 24×7 at work) or face the fact that things are happening in the world that will piss me off and there is little I can do to change it, I must instead learn to cope with it where as before I had convenient distractions aplenty.
Fortunately its a new year in a couple of hours depending on your time zone, everyone likes to make these resolutions that they wont keep to (kinda like the UN) but I can say that I’m being the change I want to see without such bullshit. Over 100 days without a single cigarette, two months without any social media what so ever and I’ve managed to get a promotion at work; this is the change!
I don’t remember when it happened but it would seem that now in order to post videos to Youtube you must have a Google+ account, which obviously I don’t have anymore. I wanted to link a friend to a video I shot during the Derecho this past summer and lo and behold I get a message saying that I must have a Google+ account in order for others to see videos that I have already uploaded to Youtube. Despite them saying that my videos are only available to myself I can’t even go to them to review comments/stats. I don’t see why I need a fucking social media account that I will never use and will intentionally put bullshit information into just to post some fucking videos, based on this I think I will be taking the time to relocate my videos off of Youtube and onto someone who sucks a little less, maybe Vimeo
What the hell is this bullshit? Stores opening at 8pm thanksgiving day before the turkey induced coma has even run its course? Its absurd that the greedy fuckstains can’t even wait the four hours to start hawking their wares and feigning surprise when store goers are trampled in the haste of deal-fueled madness.
So I have finally started on the path to the unthinkable, removing all social media from my life. Over the course of two days I waded through help page after help page regarding how to delete my accounts and finally I can say they are all gone!
What led me to this started as a drunken rampage on Facebook, I was so annoyed at the gloating and backslapping that I deleted the first comment I saw proclaiming the joys of having voted for the giant douche as opposed to the turd sandwich. That first delete felt damn good, so I picked another victim from the seemingly endless list of those who came to Facebook to essentially troll and shove their pseudo-victory in everyone else’s face. Two deleted people quickly turned into six or seven and my level of intoxication rose in accordance as I swilled bourbon between blindingly righteous clicks.
The following morning I woke up and checked the list of people I had deleted; several of them were otherwise people I liked except for their seemingly blinding political stupidity. I sat there pondering the growling in my stomach and the fact that I realized I really didn’t give a fuck anymore what other people did or thought or felt, I no longer wanted that interaction with them that I once did when I first got my feet wet with Facebook. In the past two months I had deleted no less than 10 people for disagreements stemming directly from politics and every time I was left with an elevated pulse and other obvious signs of stress that shouldn’t be triggered by a website, then it dawned on me that I had been putting off doing what I knew I should have done ages ago: delete all the shit and just leave it behind.
Its been two days so far since I began the process and I must admit that I find it harder to give up than smoking ever was (haven’t smoked since the 19th of September), when bored I would pull out my phone and check Facebook, then Twitter and sometimes even Google+. Its amazing how much of a habit it can be and now I realize that not only did I use social media mostly out of boredom but I smoked for the very same reason. Going forward I have no clue what I’m going to do to fill all this empty time that I seem to be gaining by cutting out pointless shit from my life, I can only hope that it will be something positive that will help to counteract all the bad that I had been taking part in for many years.
I would have hoped for something a little more realistic and based on actual data from Dr Zimbardo after his famous experiment but sadly it seems he is on board with the trend of blaming everything on males lately. Its somehow OUR fault that we get the short end of the stick in relationships and marriage and thus are increasingly opting out to spend our time on more rewarding and enjoyable activities. Hell take one look at the way alimony is determined (rule of thumb is to maintain the quality of life equal to that during the marriage for half the duration of the marriage) in your area and you might just think its a far saner option to remain unmarried.
So I’m sitting here at work making sure the tickets are all squared away like usual and the phone rings. Pop out my headphones and pick up the handset to hear the phone system identify which client is calling and sure enough it identifies one of our clients and passes the call on. Instead of getting a human on the other end of the line I was greeted with what was obviously an audio recording of someone giving a well rehearsed speech. I sat there for about 30 seconds repeatedly asking for a human and what they wanted, but the recording just went on and on so I gave up and hung up; if it was that important I figured they would call back.
So I sat here puzzled by what I had just heard, so I started googling around to find out where the audio was from and with just a little effort turned up that it was Judge Andrew Napolitano, who used to have his own show Freedom Watch and has been featured on Lew Rockwell’s website. Further digging around and I come across several results where people have been recieving robo-calls from random numbers playing this audio file. The creepy part about this whole thing was that right when the phone rang I was in the middle of a semi-heated political discussion with some folks I know online so needless to say I was a little disturbed by the coincidence.
I haven’t figured out who would be behind something so random as this, however so far my leading suspect is some fringe group of wanna-be revolutionaries like Anonymous as it seems like the kind routine they would pull to “like, try to wake people up, and stuff…..man.” Considreing this call didn’t sway my oppinon, light a fire under my ass or even wake me up (pretty tired right now honestly) what do they thing can be accomplished by annoying the hell out of people?
So for some completely unknown reason I find myself unable to use Firefox or Chrome in a reasonable manner at work. Through some manner of network or desktop wizardry all web requests are MUCH slower in either of the two aforementioned browsers, like 30 seconds or more from the time I hit enter to the time a webpage loads, sometimes closer to a whole minute when I’m particularly unlucky. This has sadly driven me to resort to the one thing I said I would never ever do again; use Internet Explorer. The best part about this whole mess? Like just about every other large (see also: stupid) company out there the baseline is IE 8 and pretty much any security conscious web platform advocates using the latest up-to-date release (of which this is obviously not). I can’t explain why its not up to date, nor can I figure out a reason to go to such lengths as to manipulate requests from other browsers to make them painfully slow but it all has the same result of driving me to return to using what is perhaps the worst web browser out in a manner that falls miles outside of what could be called secure.
Jesus H Christ on a pogo-stick, why are these things still being left attached to the damn internet? People have been ragging on the utility industry to get their shit in gear and lock down their SCADA equipment for years now, especially Bruce Schneier. I can’t even fathom how this has been left alone for so long and nobody has managed to take out the power and water to a major city like say Chicago. I just hope those who do tread upon the various SCADA systems out there continue to be like pr0f and not some anti-social miscreant who thinks its a great idea to plunge a city into darkness for shits and giggles; at least until we finally realize this is a very real threat and address its accordingly.
I’ve been sitting in training for the past three days now learning a new host of tools for a client that we are taking on at work and it comes time to actually install the software to my work computer. Some of the software is simply a module to something already installed, however a handful of the tools are brand new to me and need to be installed. To get the ball rolling I hit up the help desk and landed in line at position 6.
Forty-five minutes later I finally got a human being on the line (who happened to be somewhere in India I think) and got to explaining the problem to them. Another 15 minutes later and they have told me nothing and done less; according to the second person I got on chat (they had to transfer me to a US tech) I was informed that there was “a new process” for requesting admin access to my system.
The following day I decided to attempt to contact the Help Desk people again, this time I checked out the main site a little more closely and saw a link where I could request admin access to the computer. Upon inspection of the request page I was informed that this request had to be approved by a VP, then after that it was evaluated by the IT department for security concerns at which time they could still deny the request.
Now comes the part where I rage about this, because its so absurd that I have to go through a VP and the IT department (in that order) to get a few pieces of software installed on my computer to support an existing client. I cannot fathom why the VP would be consulted before the IT department, it seems so backwards that I would expect it from the Federal Government and not a business. It really is a shame that I can’t use this as an excuse if I don’t get my software installed in preparation for the next phase of taking on this client, because its not like the process is friendly or efficient if a VP who probably has a pile of stuff on their plate has to approve my request (which they probably don’t even understand) and then pass it to the IT department ( who takes a month to get anything accomplished) before I can actually get the password so I can install the software and start ghosting around in it to get better accustomed to it.
If your organization is stupid enough to do this please for the love of god fire the moron who was responsible for this as they are probably a power-hungry douche bag who wants to feel like some sort of demi-god as opposed to an effective manager or VP or whatever their bullshit title is. Nobody but the jackholes who create this kind of police benefit from it and I can assure you that your employees don’t appreciate being jerked around.