psycho

This is just another day in my life…

Picture a small suburbian corner store.

Most of the people living in and around the area may not know each other, but we’ve seen each other before. We say hi or at least nod to each other in passing. It’s a pretty friendly day. I have an incredible addiction to TruMoo that draws me to the corner store almost daily.

As I approach the entrance, another patron approaches the same door and I open it for her. She seems surprised and looks at me like I just did something unheard of. I say, “After you.” I go and grab my Trumoo and as it happens end up in line behind that same woman.

As we’re in line we both seem to be cutting joke with the staff there (this is a regular thing) and the woman seems incredibly familiar, or maybe it’s the other voice yelling inside my head “GET HER NUMBER YOU MORON!” …there’s no doubt – she’s cute, outgoing and I place her at around 30(ish).

Still **something** stops me…it was totally subconscious. No rings, no ring marks, no indications that she’s an axe murderer…so why am I not engaging the conversation?!

She gets through with her purchases and the internal conflict in my subconscious is totally becoming audible to me.

I get through with my purchases just as she reaches the door and I am STILL not pulling the trigger. This simply isn’t me. I may not always make a move or engage someone that is interested, but it’s always a pretty conscious choice…yet still here I am and I can already tell. I’m not going to talk to her.

It turns into slow motion. She’s stopped at her car and is just leaning against it now smiling. I smile at her, she smiles back…

…and I get into my car and start driving away.

Yup. Not only did I not take advantage of the chance…I am getting the distinct impression I just totally choked…and THAT is not how it works in TonyTown. I may be a big dork, but striking up conversation isn’t usually a problem.

…I drive about ten feet forward. What the hell?! Am I turning into THAT guy?! The one that can’t approach someone on a dime? It’s not like I’m Don Juan or anything, but approaching and talking…lol…I’ve been doing that since I was born! She had a great personality and I am obviously interested…why not ask?!

At this point my brain does its thing and I manage to rummage through a gazillion years of memories to find the few that my subconscious had access to that apparently weren’t connecting with me.

That attractive and compelling woman and I had met before…and now I know why I was holding back. She was an ex of one of my oldest friends and undeniably one of the centerpoints of absolute psychotic behavior I and a number of my friends had ever encountered. She was the center of a number of trashed friendships and for a couple of those friends the crux of trashed relationships.

Now it was clear. Man…it’d been 10 maybe 15 years…I honestly don’t know if she’s still the same person. I just remember the windfall of crazy shit that happened to me at her hands.

I stopped the car for a sec and looked back her direction. Yup…there she was.

I move on and remember that my brain is incredibly functional and will sometimes look out for me even when I might be thinking about (or with) something else.

Yep. Just another day. ;)

-Tony



Good people…

Sometimes I really love where I live…I mean geographically of course.

Okay I love it a LOT of the time.

I almost didn’t write about it because it wasn’t earth-shattering ranting news I usually gravitate to when writing.

I have been moving, and it’s been slow because I’ve been moving in multiple directions and maintaining the business at the same time has been a little chaotic.

Anyhow, while I was running errands yesterday, the car in front of me had turned their hazard lights on and the guy driving had jumped out to push his car because it was in a bad spot and would have caused a bit of a jam.

Now, I like top help people as a practice. Some people don’t, but I consider it almost a moral obligation to help where situations present themselves. I don’t really slant others for not feeling the same way, but my sense of priorities doesn’t tell me I cant help someone out because I might miss a hockey game or miss a meal. My hopes are that I can only lead by example and that someday everyone feels that same sense of obligation I do in cases like this.

I’m not mental about it, but I can hope, ya know?

So I pull into the parking lot nearby and run over to help the guy (who is now having a very hard time trying to push his truck up an incline to get it out of traffic. I ask if he minds if I help him out, and of course he’s appreciative. I am not really paying attention to anything except moving a truck up this incline because it’s not a small truck and it’s not a small incline…but the truck IS moving and we don’t have too far to go.

Within like 30 seconds, two more people park their cars next to mine, run over next to me and start helping push…at which point the truck is no longer very hard to push and we get it safely out into the parking lot. I don’t know why, but immediately afterward I asked if everyone there was from The Colony…sure enough, everyone was local. I kind of grin and state to no one in particular how much I love this area, check with the driver of the down truck to see if he needs a ride or more help and he declines but thanks me for offering (he had already called for a can of gas…he was out).

Now, I’ve done this sort of thing a lot, I mean so many times I couldn’t count. The reason this event stood out for me so much was that two other people pulled over to help! Honestly, that doesnt happen. People are honestly just too preoccupied with whatever they’re doing normally. But here, I wasn’t the only guy getting out to help push.

I just think thats one of the coolest things. I like it here. ;)



No More Overtime?! Really?!

tonytow tony hunt gets angsty

Some things just absolutely tick me off.

So today an interesting string of articles came up on my radar: an initiative to abolish overtime pay for hourly laborers. I know a lot of you are like “WHAAAT?!”

Initially, I was even like “OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!!!!”

Why? Because that money I like to have when I’ve been working for over 40 hours a week.

That was my initial line of thinking because as an individual, overtime pay has helped me through a lot of rough spots. It allowed me to avoid having to get a second job more often than not. But now that I am running my own company, I see immediately where the government (de)regulation here will remove an absolutely HUGE burden on many many employers here in the U.S. and allow a LOT of staffing opportunities to occur.

This type of legislation will definitely rock the boat, but not necessarily in a bad way. At first I was skeptical because of the impact it has on workers that rely on overtime. Then I realized that this only applied to employees who actually get to work over 40 hours a week (with a few exceptions). Those hit the worst on this type of legislation are union workers, whose inflated salaries are a HUGE drain on employers. Followed up by contractors used to gouging on time over 40. After that…well…it’s not actually that bad.

Here’s the kicker though. This potentially saves employers a TON of money. The reason companies dont like overtime in their service process is because it literally throws profitability in the shitter. Work-related accidents happen more often to employees working over 40 hours per week than those that dont. This affects disability, and workmans comp insurance. Immediate affects are seen in shared tax and compensation responsibilities. Essentially, businesses that dont have to pay overtime are far more likely to be able to employ their staff more, or allow for more staffers based on this (de)regulation.

Dont get me wrong, I love overtime, but to be honest it causes more pain to employers that it’s worth to the employees getting the extra pay, and allows companies to staff better.

Are there arenas where this may be a catalyst to working overworked people even more? Absolutely, but this tactic is already used and a TON of companies already dodge the overtime bullet by deliberately misrepresenting positions as exempt job types when they are nothing of the sort.

Anyhow, I am really curious if this is just another smokescreen platform to get us riled up while something else is pushed through or if it’s like SOPA/CISPA.

Article from the Daily KOS
Opposition Article from PoliticusUSA
HR 1119



Stop Cancelling Sci Fi and Fantasy TV Shows Please !!!!

Is it odd that I wish I had a very in-depth knowledge of how the inner workings and decision-making in which tv shows aired? I am just seeing some incredibly poor decision making.

I think SciFi appeals to most of us who work in IT. In addition, this crowd (and then some) are among the most wired-in people on the planet. The first to watch tv, the first ones in the theater. Yes…I am talking about those of us that freak out because they feel guilty about missing the midnight showing of opening movies.

That is US.

Now the big question…why the &^%$ do the networks continue to treat our demographic as if we don’t count.

We’re the first ones to run out and buy the sports car we don’t need.
We’re the first ones to jump on the bus for almost any tech you find at CES.
Even more importantly…it’s usually our demographic that continues to develop technologies you use to market your franchises better.

…and you cancel our shows constantly.

I will be honest, this started for me with a tv show a lot of you probably never heard of called Crusade. It was a spin-off from Babylon 5. One of the most successful Sci-Fi dramas ever that wasn’t shut down because of its popularity, it was shut down because the primary audience watching it didn’t watch anything else from TNT. Tell me that isn’t some seriously ass-backwards thinking.

“Hey we have this INCREDIBLE show that has successfully run for five seasons, had TWO movies run on it. But we have to cancel it…these nutjobs that like this show dont like all of our other (lower-rating / less-popular) programming.”

A few years later…they cancel Firefly why? Because ratings were low and the last dying breath of all Star Trek series was ready to debut and they (Fox) couldn’t find another slot for it. HINT…ALL SCI FI TV SHOWS START OUT WITH LOW RATINGS…THEN IN A YEAR THEY MAGICALLY HAVE 4MILLION VIEWERS PER EPISODE.

Yep…this is me being angry. Why? Because in the last few years they cancelled Heroes, Terra Nova, Alphas, Dollhouse, Stargate Universe, Eureka, Sanctuary, The Secret Circle, Terminator The Sarah Connor Chronicles, The 4400, Jericho, Jeremiah, Brimstone, Dark Skies, Farscape, Millenium, Moonlight, The Pretender, Roswell, Space: Above and Beyond, Threshold, Touching Evil, Dark Angel, V (the reboot), Caprica, Flash Forward, The Event, Defying Gravity…

That is the SHORT list.

Anyhow, I saw a comparison…the productions costs are next to nothing to do reality shows, versus the production costs for sci-fi…even though SANCTUARY was almost 100% cgi…making the funding relatively easy…they got so popular that they got picked up for tv…and then TV shut them down.

Lame, very lame.

I guess my real point is that you guys making all those big decisions should remember a couple things…the biggest sellers of all time are ALL sci fi and fantasy. And that genre’s primary audience and demographic are the very same people you WANT to engage and keep happy. They are the tech head, the geeks, the Engineers, and the Kids that grow into the greatest Imaginations on the planet. Give us some brain food and entertain us. Give us a reason to be loyal viewers, and quit making us feel like you’re still under the sorely mistaken impression the world still thinks the geeks of today are content to only eat what little crap you’re feeding us.

If you want to see a really depressing list…go HERE.

Yes. Tony is a dork. But I am a dork that loves his sci fiction and fantasy…and hates to see good plots get thrown away…

-Tony



Getting faked out by Google people who aren’t really Google.

tonytown tony hunt gets angsty about google people that arent google

Some things just absolutely tick me off.

So this really cool-sounding woman calls me and when introducing herself implies that she is with Google. I manage a large number of Google Profiles so this doesn’t really surprise me that they are calling as I get a couple from them a month regarding ad campaigns n such.

But she was talking about a new feature program that would place MY company in the top position in local searches for web design and small business IT solutions. Of course I was getting all puffed up because I was being led to believe my online profile was giving me a nice rep.

As it happens, they went so far as to ask if I was going to be able to handle the new influx of business beforehand so that I wouldn’t lose the ratings I get from my clients online. Again…ego gets even more inflated because I’m set up to accommodate any amount of business very quickly and this kind of trend could net me crazy income in just a short time.

I manage to finally chime in, I am surprised to hear about this program from Google, wouldn’t this come under severe scrutiny? She says, “no it’s always been a part of the system, the business benefiting from it never advertise that their getting the service because that would defeat the purpose.”

No I am just mystified. I actually do SEO and SEM. I know how page-ranking and back-linking works and the formulas necessary to get a top-rated searchable profile on the net…it normally takes years unless you spend a SERIOUS amount of cash monthly in content building and linking. So of course I am like, “Please sign me up I am all about this.”

She tells me to hold on as she’s going to get me over to one of the techs to get some details on the profile.

A moment later a guy gets on the phone and he’s like, “Umm. Mr. Hunt it shows here your a web designer.” I answer, “Well I do a ton more than that but yes.” He then asks me if I do SEO, and I answer Yes to that. Then he asks me why I’m interested in paying his company to to do SEO for my own company.

There it was. These guys weren’t Google, they fast-talked with a good voice so confidently that I was led to assume that’s who they were.

These guys are going around selling leaving the impression with businesses that they are with Google and they aren’t. They’re just people offering to do SEO and SEM.

Ugh.

If you’re wondering which company it was, they are called Hot Spot SEM, you’ll see I wasn’t the only guy that was given the impression he was getting a call from Google directly. Normally I wouldn’t have posted such a rant publicly, but this was absolutely misrepresentation and the fact that I was given the impression they were Google tells me this was deliberate.

If you’re doing SEO or SEM the process always works, there is absolutely ZERO need to portray yourselves as Google. I see the intent in garnering more clients, but it’s a shit tactic…thus you get my post here on my blog.

http://m.mrnumber.com/1-949-268-1067 <-Notice I wasnt the only person that felt this way.



Why I cancelled my Spotify Premium Account…

tonytow tony hunt gets angsty

Some things just absolutely tick me off.

Unfortunately I too have cancelled my Premium subscription to Spotify for lack of support of the Windows 8 Mobile product.

Here are relevant reasons for my cancellation and outstanding request for more development on the product:

  • I work closely with a lot of incredibly talented mobile developers, and happen to know at least 3 mobile app teams that could have produced a working product for spotify in only a few months and it wouldn’t have cost as much as you’d think.
  • The W8P api was available to companies like Spotify for almost a year prior to the OS release.
  • WP7 had a functional app. Again with no word from the dev or Spotify on why it’s n longer in play, more importantly, I’ve already been told that the WP7 app actually worked on the Dev releases of W8P, but dont have confirmation yet.
  • While I did get a response from Spotify confirming that no W8P product was available at this time, that was all I got, nothing to even remotely try to keep me on as a paying customer.
  • The W8 phone operate on the same essential kernel that the W8 OS runs on. With a very complete api library this makes creating a quality app a no-brainer for anyone with a decent amount of C#/.NET/WinOS background to get done…and get done quickly.

In all the lack of the W8P version of the Spotify app was a big dropping of the ball. I still hope Spotify comes out with an app soon, but once I get engaged with XBox Music I will not likely be quick to switch again.

/endrant

-Tony Hunt



How the Mighty Are Falling-Is our IQ really falling?

Seriously…are we getting dumber? Our kid’s IQ is worse?!

Just thought about something, our IQ’s and education…

The Roman Empire survived well over a thousand years by reinventing themselves as the center of civilization, and in it’s venerable years, the center of control for the Catholic Church, which in its later years was actually for more powerful than the empire itself. I mean we’re talking like 1700 years. that’s 3 times longer than almost every other government in history (that we have real documentation of). They were among the most educated people on the planet for their time. Many many great thinkers were a part of the empire and contributed to it’s success. The idea

Now the U.S., we’re just a little over 200 years in and barely cohesive. UK isn’t much further and isn’t much better off. I see countries that invested heavily in their education system may have lived a little poorer, but are now completely showing us up. What’s worse is I feel like we’re ignoring it. We have these half-assed programs that are supposed to have a huge impact on our educational system when we’re completely ignoring the fact that we haven’t been adequately educating for decades.

What does it take to get people to see the problem here?


The article above is saying that for the first time in our existence, the average IQ of next generation in the US will not be smarter than the previous generation. How the hell does that happen? Is our education system so poor or entrenched that we cant reverse this trend? How is it that people in charge of our education system didn’t see this coming?

TonyTown - Hold No Virtue - IQ - Education in Finland might be getting it rightThis scares me. I mean, what happens in 20 years when it’s our kids in charge? I mean personally I haven’t actually seen examples of this per se, but wow how does this pan out?

By the same token, I’ve been reading about the “Flynn Effect” where our IQ’s are showing an increase, but because the generation gap is statistically affected by relative age this notion is less severe than the media it portraying. The problem in this is that most of the statistics are showing that we are not keeping up with systems in play throughout the rest of the world. However this same idea would also depict our great grandparents as being mentally retarded by today’s standards of intellectualism. So is the beauty of the increase is in the eye of the beholder? Do we have to stay competitive with other nations or continue on our path to creating a huge division in our population intellectually?

On that note, I REALLY love what has been done in Finland. They have made education a positive part of their society rather than a problematic half successful tax on their population. I put some links below if you’re interested in reading them.

/rant over.

LINKS
Great Article on where we are educationally from the ETC blog.
Article about the Flynn Effect and details on this from Smithsonian.com
Why are Finland’s schools so successful?
Heavy Details on why Finland’s education system works so well.
Another article on differences in Finland’s Education System



What Social Media can’t do…

I’ve been reflecting on Social Media’s role in our personal relationships most of the night.

It’s an oddity that LinkedIn is even more adept than Facebook at suggesting people I never want to have anything to do with again as friends. But it’s even more disheartening when I am on the receiving end of the same apprehension there. Sometimes, you simply can’t make up for past mistakes, and I get that – there are limits to forgiveness.

We all make mistakes, we all develop bad habits and sometimes…sometimes we even unlearn them, and anyone that says they’ve never lost a friend out of neglect or disrespect is a liar, or too stupid or stubborn to admit it.

So a couple weeks ago, I removed over 300 people from my friends lists on Facebook as a first run of cleaning house. There were a few mistakes in there, and luckily they let me know and it’s been pretty copacetic since..except for one thing that bugs me. Why would I dump all those friends? Well, mainly because most of them weren’t friends..they were mainly acquaintances or people that I interacted with at some point or another…but friends? Not really.

After I was done it was pretty nice, I could post on my FB feed with a clear opinion and purpose and not be worried that the words would be taken out of context or reflect upon my business or work ethic. You see that is what it’s come down to. Social Media has limits. The boundaries that people have in associating themselves publicly may not in fact be the same boundaries they have with friends, loved ones, or other personal interests. But these same familial associations are of great value to Social Media, and so we have a thousand different methods of sharing out lives with the world, and thus presenting this user with a small social dilemma…

What do I do with all the people I feel obligated to keep on my friends list that might have “time-served” as a friend at some point but aren’t actually the friends I value? No, that sounds incredibly selfish. What about those friends and loved ones of mine, and what of those who still care for me? Worse still, those friends and acquaintances I still have that are “on the fence” about our friendship for some reason…I simply don’t know what to do with them. They don’t care for me so much that they aren’t given to speak to me unless cornered into it, but they like keeping tabs on what I do or talk about…

Yeah those guys. I guess that sort of makes them more fans and general interest than friends, eh?

Those people that can’t grow a pair and sever ties when it is blatantly obvious they should…those ones. I recently offered to throw a little work to someone I had heard lost his job in passing. Not because he was a friend but because it was the right thing to do, and even though he declined, I still honestly felt like the dude simply had no interest.

Yep…you guessed it. Removed him tonight….and others. Not because he declined my help, but because I had the impression that he’d have said no on principle even if he needed the hell out of it. I get it…you don’t have any respect for me. You certainly aren’t alone. At this point his actual perspective on this doesn’t matter anymore because my first impression on this is always going to make me not want to actually put forth the effort, when it isn’t going to prove I’ve changed. There are others, some that I still care for quite a bit, but unfortunately have become complacent with never speaking to me and rely on my newsfeed…which is specifically opposite of what I want from Facebook (family and friends).

So I come to the real reason for this post.

We’ve become so reliant on social media for our relationships that it’s bleeding into our social needs. Social Media doesn’t augment relationships, it exposes them, leaving us to make assumptions and decisions on relationships that unfortunately deserve a far more personal touch. I think that a number of these relationships are salvageable in person, but not so much via IM or Twitter or Facebook messages and posts.

I don’t know, I just seem to think there are better things to do than allow myself to dedicate so much time in my life to maintaining friendships online that should obviously be handled off the offline, because Social Media doesn’t replace a good heart-to-heart talk with your friends.

-T



Black Ink Revenge

by Automatic Loveletter

When I heard this it was a start reminder of how far I could let my imagination ruin great relationships, great friends, and promising futures. A gazillion years later, I wonder if I can stay humble and pray I never have to live in those moments again. -Tony

I wanted this
I wanted you
I wanted it to last but you fell through
Now east coast boys, don’t you see
That here on the west we follow our dreams,
Why don’t I know you anymore
The color of your lips are red and I swear I never wear lipstick
Ohh my god I drank too much,
Laughing while I’m crying, don’t you let them know your dying,

Dying, dying to break out dying to get that skin out,
Through the window of the upstairs, click my heels but I am stuck here,
I’m pledging and this is how, I’m swearing to you now,
The whole world will hear me shout out,

This is the last time, this is the last line,
Sunset to sunrise morning to midnight
This is my goodbye
Blow out the candle, The bottle is dry
And if pages learned to think
You’re not even worth my black ink revenge
I guarantee guarantee you’ll miss me
I can’t stomach this
I think I’m going to be sick
My heart’s made of wick, and you put the fire out of it
With the kerosene, shocked my feet
She smiled at me and closed the door
But not to sleep

This isn’t making any sense
I was worse the night before it
The smell of your sheets is the remnants of the
Breaking of my heart
You’re breaking it so hard
The whole world will hear me shout out

This is the last time, this is the last fight,
Sunset to sunrise morning to midnight
This is my goodbye
Blow out the candle
The bottle is dry
And if pages learned to think
You’re not even worth my black ink revenge

I guarantee guarantee you’ll miss me
And so I’m writing you out of my dreams
You’ll miss me I swear when I leave
Yeah I’m writing you out of my dreams
You’ll miss me I swear
Cuz I’m writing you out, I’m crossing my T’s
I want back the necklace I said you could keep
You miscomprehended and I scorn you till death
My words are as strong as my last gasp of breath
Leave nothing behind not a trace or a crumb
No clues to unlock, how painful this was

So I’m writing you out of my dreams,
You’ll miss me I swear when I
This is the last time, this is the last line,
Sunset to sunrise morning to midnight
This is my goodbye
Blow out the candle
The bottle is dry
And if pages learned to think
And if pages learned to think
You’re not even worth my black ink revenge



Everything in extremes…

Everything was awesome today…but extreme acts in other places make much it harder to feel good about.

After what was nothing short of an extremely awesome day for me today, I was so busy that I didn’t pay attention to the news…and then once I did, I obviously found it drastically disheartening to hear about the tragedy in Aurora last night.

Of course every political machine on the continent is now using this tragedy as a platform, and it makes me think.

It’s as if we’re given the impression that our sense of security is an illusion.
It’s as if we’re given the clear means with which to feel secure.
We hear about upcoming laws and acts that will take these away.
We’re pummeled with the idea that our rights can and will be taken away.

But when it comes down do it…it just seems like everyone has been programmed to react to this instead of actually choosing.

I would like to point something out…the minute you allow another person to determine your rights, you’ve forfeited them already. With the uncertainty and revelation of having such a level of self-autonomy, the real effects of social responsibility and accountability shines clearly.

Every living being knows the difference between right and wrong. Every single one. Unfortunately, the power of the human mind is such that it can muddy moral waters so much that convincing ourselves to commit horrible acts is only one violent movie away from tragedy.

Do I think the movie was involved with it? Hell yes.
Do I think the movie caused it? Hell no.

To hold blameless the obvious relationship is definitely ignoring part of the problem, but not in the context that “the movie did it”. That’s just stupid.

But then how do we “fix” the problem? The deranged lunatic could have just as easily used a far more insidious and indefensible means…so regulating the weapons isn’t going to work. Regulating the movies will not work, as the movie companies will simply make the ratings even less useful, and the theaters will not enforce them anyhow.

I honestly think that the only method in reacting to this type of problem proactively is in education. Where we not only teach but believe in them, an idea or value prevails. We already have all the laws in place we need, I think now it’s time people we taught to value those boundaries. If we’re going to be a society of gun-toting self-autonomy fanatics…we must impress upon ourselves values that will give us the mental fortitude not to walk into a building full of defenseless people and take life indiscriminately.

Why do I phrase it like that?…because not clarifying that there are situations where defending one’s self and loved ones is entirely appropriate.

We praise an industry that glamorizes the violent and immoral.
…and place blame on the individual that succumbs to it.
We render judgement on the mind that no longer knows better.
…and hold blameless the society that fostered the mind.
We dispute the tools of war we all now lovingly bear…
…pray continually that we all are lucky enough to never have to use them.

To me, this is living in fear. I do honestly uphold everyone’s right to keep and bear arms, but do not feel that everyone has the moral and mental fortitude to keep and bear them responsibly. In their gambit to glamorize violence, the film industry now teaches children the basics of stealing cars, the basic rules of stealing without getting caught, the idea that what happens in those movies is not only possible, but probable or certain.

We’re talking about a guy that planned all this. His apartment was wired with so much explosives that the news implied it could have taken out several of the apartment buildings. Why did he chose that venue? More importantly…what happened that he felt this was necessary?

This tragedy makes me wish I knew more about and had greater faith in people, because then I might be aware of and maybe stop whatever it was that caused that guy to feel this was necessary…

-T