This is a great video. I don’t know about you, but amid all the work and distractions, I need a reminder every once in a while about what is truly important. This short video is nice a little proverbial smack upside the head that does just that.

Look Up – A spoken word film for an online generation.

‘Look Up’ is a lesson taught to us through a love story, in a world where we continue to find ways to make it easier for us to connect with one another, but always results in us spending more time alone.

Written, Performed & Directed by Gary Turk.

Transcript also available.

A New Blog for Technical Freelancers

A few years ago I wanted to start sharing things I was learning, as a technical freelancer and self-employed technology services provider.

This is when ITConsultingLessons.com was born. First as a small email list – that grew to over 200 subscribers – and now a blog. If you’re a technical freelancer — current or aspiring, full-timer or moonlighter — I invite you to join us.

ITConsultingLessons.com: A blog about being a self-employed freelancer, consultant, or service provider. Edited by a consulting technologist.

`Everybody is somebody else’s monster.’

Great piece from Greg Knauss, writing on his blog, about the recent response to his publishing of the app Romantimatic:

What I’m talking about here is how addictive the righteousness that comes from that condemnation is, and how we will apparently turn to any source we can find for it — even when that source is not evil or harmful or part of any world we exist in or understand.
 
A few years ago, a photo made the rounds. It was taken from the back, its subject unaware. He was a fat guy wearing a jeans-jacket, and on the back he had stenciled the name of his heavy metal band. It was a sloppy and amateurish job. The photo earned a lot of mocking comments in my circle, including from me. Ha ha, look at the fat guy with the rock-and-roll pretensions. Look at him. Looooook.
 
And then someone said, “I think he’s awesome. He’s found something he loves, and he thinks it’s great enough to share with the world. This guy is a hero.”
 
And… Oh, my God. That’s right. That’s exactly right. Who was I to judge, much less judge publicly? Maybe his music was terrible, but so what? It wasn’t for me. It was for him, and his friends, and his fans. Nobody was seeking my opinion, because it would be ill-informed and emotional, because those are the only opinions I could possibly have.
 
I was just pumping poison into the atmosphere, to feel good about myself, for another hit of self-righteousness. I was what was wrong, because I vomited out disapproval — could only vomit out disapproval — without intent or willingness to even attempt to understand.

My First Visit to Space

My first experience with a shuttle – an open house at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Lompoc, California in November 1984. Fittingly it was also the very first Space Shuttle built.

(Click for full size view) The tall orange jacketed man is my dad and I’m holding my dad’s hand in the blue jacket. All of 4 years old. My mom and younger brother, Joe, only 4 months old, were behind the camera. I have no idea who the guy looking at the camera is.

I’m holding my dads hand in this photo that my mom dug up, looking upward at the Space Shuttle Enterprise. Besides being on tour around this time, it was used to test the shuttle launch pad at VAFB. It’s now in New York and and officially designated as a historic “place” in the National Register of Historic Places.

Sadly, I have no memory of this first-person view, but I was a devoted fan of space exploration and science from my earliest memories not long after that. And even my earliest memories of computers, and inter-connecting them, involved NASA (I remember, specifically, how I thought I could access NASA computers, even before I owned or even knew what a modem was. Not sure why I wanted into their computers, but it made sense at the time.)

The Grand Assertion

We generally are where we are and who we are in life as the result of circumstance. It’s usually not the circumstance themselves that are the cause of our condition—it’s the choices we’ve made and the actions we’ve taken or not taken within the context of those circumstances that have created the “reality in which we live.”

 

I’m not casting blame, nor am I ignoring the fact there are incredible challenges, disadvantages, hardships, and even cruelty in the world. Some of the conditions and situations people of the world have had to endure exceed my capacity to imagine or perhaps even cope. But for most of us, living in relative safety, freedom, and within the confines of civilized societies, there’s more than simply “hope”, there’s the opportunity to create the life we can imagine.

Spike Humer

Pre-Holiday Updates

Re-organized my professional blog and web site this afternoon (this site), and extended the re-design a bit that was rolled out last week. Have some client work to knock out Monday and then intend  to take a bit of a break for a couple days.

Happy holidays everybody!

A Personal Note

A Personal Note

I want to thank those who have been a part of this adventure with me, both those I’ve studied from afar as well as those more directly involved as my clients, colleagues, family, friends, and readers. And that includes those who will come in the future.

If you’re reading this today, you’ve played a role (that you may not even know about).

It means the world to me, and I’m working hard to make sure I’m doing my best work every day.

So thank you.

-jr