Tonytown.com - Lots of political parties

The Real Problem In Politics

Tonytown.com - Lots of political partiesYou’ve all heard me say it repeatedly, I’m an equal opportunity hater when it comes to political parties. To date, I haven’t been convinced to re-evaluate this stance, and to be honest I am tired of questioning my own stance for the sake of social and economic concessions.

Let me explain my logic on this. It really all comes down to misrepresentation. In this, I mean the root of problems we all have an opinion on has been consistently compromised to achieve other agendas that happen to be promoted or supported by large(r) voting demographics.

By subscribing to the idea that we can only make a difference if we support the two major political parties here in the U.S., we effectively cripple our opinions and values. This isn’t about whether or not you’re a hardline conservative or liberal…its about your representing your individual values in our government.

At this time, the two major political parties have at one time or another supported or promoted diametrically opposing views, but the majority of the time, subscribing to the perception that these views are in fact the only two options available to voters is incredibly fallacious.

Example: PersonX is just another citizen that has values and opinions, said person feels that abortion needs more regulation, and also feels that the current level of gun control needs deregulation in accordance with their perception of both the bible and their understanding of their constitutional rights. Under the current system of representation, this person has only one ability to make that change directly, their vote.

Due to the current voting powers and the political parties integration into the voting system, PersonX is quite incapable of finding adequate representation in the government. Why? Because currently they are fed the perception that if they do not vote for either Republicans or Democrats, they will achieve neither.

This idea is why we’re essentially socially and economically upside down right now. Right now PersonX can use heir voice, and convince others that his or her opinions are right, but when it comes down to getting all those people PersonX has convinced to align accordingly…PersonX’s vote and that of his subscribers will only be capable of achieving a half win because the only people they are offered to vote for are either Republican or Democrat.

Resolving this issue is complex, because our government is now incredibly intertwined with large business organizations that would also lose their sway if they weren’t capable of influencing votes and legislation to a majority of voters by influencing the two political parties that hold. Thus Big Business will never support the idea that people shouldn’t concede their vote to achieve only a portion of their goals.

Another example: a vast majority of voters do not feel we should be pursuing military agendas all over the globe as if most of the world were at war with us. Yet here we are, constantly pushing our own military into other countries that are most often demanding we not get involved. I am the first person to subscribe to a national defense strategy that permits and promotes our freedoms. This is a very commonly held belief, I ask people, I ask my friends, and I talk with complete strangers…just to see where my own opinions stand against others. While a majority of people are ignorant of our current state of military affairs, those that did show an interest ALL expressed the same sentiment I did. Now if all these voters have expressed this sentiment, why on earth are we fighting all over the world??? I know I voted for a guy that favored trade-building over war and regime changes. But…nothing changed? Where is my representation?

The answer is simple, the two major political parties in the U.S. due to their party affiliation are in fact forced into making concessions that reflect the goals of the party, not the people they represent. By representing the party and not the citizen, the government representative is no longer capable (or willing) to adequately repesent the opinions and beliefs of their constituency. Simply put, the Republicans and Democrats are only capable of serving their own agenda, and not yours. There are rare exceptions to this, but these are exceptions to the norm and unfortunately regularly cause the nation to be completely misrepresented in almost every facet of government, military action, and diplomacy.

If this wasn’t enough for you to understand my point of view, your should then simply take my word for it and research who you’re voting for, you may find that the person you put on such a big pedestal rarely holds the values you thought you were voting for. IMO…the best politicians are the ones that have solutions for limiting government involvement and regulation.

-T



autograt

FLSA exemptions need to be revised.

This has always been something that really pissed me off. Everyone knows I’ve paid my dues in the restaurant industry, but the deliberate exemption of tipped employees from the FLSA has always made my ass twitch.

What most of you dont know is that one of the BIGGEST reasons for the notorious turnover in restaurants is tipped wages always starting at 2.13/hour.

This is by far the easiest way to discourage potential talent…by paying them less than $4k per year for full-time service.

You see the big problem is servers aren’t just serving. 99% of the tie they are also tasked with general labor, maintenance, prep and cleaning. It may not be life endangering but it is in fact one of the most hostile work environments in existence. Between alcohol service, money handling, and the employer passing off losses to the employees…it’s rarely a great job, so when an employer also makes the job completely irresistible by offering only $2.13 an hour…you can understand why so few people are able to work the job, much less do so for extended periods of time.

In the years since this incredibly poor exemption was made legal, restaurant industries all over have opted to make it even harder, by user-paying other positions that ARE NOT TIPPED and guaranteeing them a portion of a tipped employee’s take. Barbacks, Bussers, Expo, Bartenders…I’ve even seen salaried employees decide they deserved a share of the tips.

So nowadays almost all restaurants operate with incredibly low labor costs.

I’ve seen what the take is on busy restaurants and slow ones…in both cases there is honestly no reason to lowball the service.

That said, last I looked there were still a few really good restaurants to work for and learn the skills properly without having to deal with truckloads of crooked owners and managers that think that just because it’s not illegal it’s okay.

If you’re wondering where this little rant started up, John Light over at BillMoyers.com recently published a great article (CLICK HERE TO READ IT) on how exemptions from the FLSA are heavily exploited.

Thanks for the bandwidth, and remember, if you can’t afford to tip, you sure as hell cant afford to be eating at restaurants. Be Smart.

-Tony



overlly_attached_girlfriend_funny

If you’re an ex, you need to read this…

p5rn7vb

…and even if you’re not an ex, you might still something.

Yaknow…I have to start this quick rant by saying…I honestly feel blessed to have been in the relationships I’ve been in, and to have met, called friends and regarded as loved ones some of the most awesome women on the planet. Seriously. You all know who you are and should be smiling ;)

…but every once in a while “people” pop up (by *people* I mean women with a weird obsessive grudge and some sort of creepy need to cyberstalk me) that really make my arse twitch.
(more…)



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