Saturday, September 28, 2002

As I'm sure you've noticed, thus far I have chosen to remain more-or-less anonymous on this Blog. This was not an easy decision -- I've always thought that people should be willing to stand behind their viewpoints. But the problem is that this blog is more than just a collection of political or social views. It contains musings of all sorts about my daily life, my job, my coworkers, etc. I don't have a problem with the rest of the Blogosphere reading my little rants, but I'm not too thrilled about the idea of a coworker logging on and discovering that they've just been skewered in full view of everyone on the Internet. And as you may have seen recently, I have some doubts about whether I'll even be in my current job a year from now. I'd rather not broadcast the details of my job-hunting exploits to my boss, at least until I figure out what my real intentions are.

Being anonymous hasn't been the perfect solution, since I've found that I self-censor some things to avoid giving away information that would let people figure out my "true identity." (This is not as difficult as it sounds -- I recently stumbled on an anonymous blog written by someone who I've dealt with professionally, and was able to figure out who was writing it by looking at clues scattered throughout the writing.)

As a compromise, I've decided to post some information about who I am in a very general sense. Loyal readers are unlikely to find anything new or scandalous here, but I figured I'd at least you can confirm your suspicions about what sort of nutcase I really am.

I am a 20-something male, currently living and working in Nashville, Tenn. I grew up just outside of Washington, D.C., and went to college in upstate New York where I majored in English. (I still have a lot of friends in the Northeast, which accounts for some of my intermittent scheming to get out of Nashville, and for the number of frequent-flyer points I've managed to accumulate.) I moved here about 4 1/2 years ago, and work in the technology field for a somewhat recognizable company in the "communications industry."

Off the job, much of my free time right now is spent working toward a Master's degree in Technology Management -- a longterm project that began in January 2001 and will probably conclude sometime late next year. The idea being to prove that someone who spent college reading Foucault and Faulkner can have at least a passing clue about Apache and aggregate database functions. I'm taking classes online from the University of Maryland's University College. I have mixed feelings about the online format. On the one hand, it is definitely a boon for people with unpredictable work hours or travel schedules (I have had classes -- and even done group projects -- with military personnel stationed overseas). On the other hand, since almost all interaction is done via the web, you lose some of the social aspects of a traditional classroom. And you have to be very disciplined to force yourself to do all of the reading and writing.

Politically speaking, I guess I'd probably stake my claim in the Liberal/Progressive camp, although I try to avoid blindly subscribing to any one viewpoint. I honestly believe that Bill Clinton, while admittedly a schmuck in his personal life, was a very good president in terms of domestic policy. (And I thought that wasting millions of taxpayer dollars to essentially prosecute him for gettin' it on in the Oval Office was a travesty.)

Well, that's a start. Perhaps I'll make an effort to reveal more details about myself in the future. I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on the good and bad points of online anonymity...

Friday, September 27, 2002

The Washington Post has a profile of Mike Flugennock, an ultra-liberal poster artist whose work is commonly seen on lamp posts in Washington. Whether or not you agree with his politics, you have to admit that his posters are striking. His website ( includes downloadable versions of most of his posters free for posting by the general public.
I am endlessly amused by the creative ways people can come up with to screw up their computers. Had to do emergency surgery today after an executive secretary discovered that it's actually possible to slide a CD-ROM underneath the CD-ROM drive so that it drops down inside the case. This, my friends, is why they pay me the big bucks.

Thursday, September 26, 2002

Some loyal readers will have read my earlier ambivalent post about applying for a job in another city. Since doing that, I've been alternately depressed about not hearing back from them, and relieved about not hearing back from them. Well, I finally got "the call," and after playing phone tag for a day or two spent an hour on the phone with my potential possible maybe future boss. Not that I've decided to go through with this. Then again...

Anyway, despite my inner turmoil about actually quitting my job and moving, the whole "pre-interview" thing went pretty well. We chatted about all sorts of things, and I got the sense that an actual interview was a definite possibility.

To my mind, the oddest part came up at the end, when he pointed out that the job would involve at least one trip to a small northern-European country well known for its fairy tales. He wanted to know if I was OK with this, given that several applicants had said they would refuse to travel overseas in "today's climate."

My feeling on this is pretty straightforward, and it hasn't changed a whit since September 11: If someone -- anyone -- wants to give me a free trip to Europe, I'm totally down with that. I'll meet you with passport in hand, anytime, anyplace!

That said, I'm still not sure how I feel about the whole job thing...

Monday, September 23, 2002

Spam subject line of the day: "Diplomas from prestigious, non-accredited universities!"

Wow. Not only can I get a diploma from a "prestigious" university, but it's also non-acredited! Isn't the Internet great?