Halloween Email

Within an hour this morning, every restaurant chain with my address sent me “No Tricks, Just Treats” emails.

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WTF FedEx?

So in the chronicles of the LG G2 taking a dump: as if having to send it back to the factory for repairs one week after I got it back from repairs didn’t suck enough. I wanted them to just give me a new one, they refused. They did give me a prepaid shipping label for FedEx, which I packaged up over the weekend and dropped in the FedEx box downtown on Sunday. I have been sweating for the last 24 hours how the tracking information wasn’t there. Turns out the box didn’t get checked until Tuesday. WTF FedEx? This whole phone fiasco remains painful at every point I deal with any aspect of it, across three corporations now.

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Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for October 16 2014 – Just Saying Goodbye

In this episode, I spend a long time talking about the casual cruelty imbedded in the way people use the word “just” as in “just don’t work there”; I mention the video that made me stop eating regularly at Jimmy Johns; I talk about PG Holyfield’s memorial service weekend and publicly mourn him and Thomas Peake; I finish by talking a little about Tiny Tiny RSS and why finding RSS feeds to follow was surprisingly difficult for me.

Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, October 16 2014

Links mentioned in this episode:

You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

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Horrors

Look for my next short story, “The Poot that Wasn’t: An Underwear Horror Story” in better magazines near you.

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Last Chance

LG G2 Teardown

OK, LG G2. You’ve been to the repair facility in Fort Worth and back. You disappointed me immediately out of the envelope and then kept your nose clean for days trying to lull me into a sense of security. I’m giving you the benefit of a doubt, setting you back up and using you normally. But I swear the very next time you lock up or reboot without provocation, I will call customer support again and this time not hang up until they promise to melt you down and give me a new phone.

Are we clear?

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Nerdist in Kansas

Nerdist 573

In this Nerdist episode where Chris Hardwick talks solo with Robert Patrick, towards the end they talk about driving alone across the country. Patrick is talking about doing it on motorcycles, and Hardwick mentions a drive where he found lots of great little towns like … Hays, Kansas.

This is not news to any of my high school friends, some chunk of whom went to Fort Hays State University. It is a cool little college town. I think of it as a big city, due to the relative size of the small towns I grew up in. When I look up the data, its population in 2010 was around 20,000 people. The town I live in now, which I think of as a small town has a population of 16,000.

Hays is where my mom went back to college to get her teaching degree. In the summer of 1980 my brother and I lived on campus with her, and had a great time of it. We rode bikes all over the campus, we found the stores with the best comic books and went to the summer film series at one of the theaters where we saw Steve Reeves Hercules movies and various Ray Harryhausen swashbuckler films.

The whole reason I know it is 1980 is because I remember watching David Letterman’s morning show in that little married student housing apartment. One of our neighbors was a psychology student and I remember her administering the gifted test multiple times as she tried practiced giving it. I suggest that one reason I always score high on those kinds of tests is regardless of what natural aptitude might be there, I have more experience taking them then most people.

Hays is a nice little town, and western Kansas still holds a warm place in my heart. Also a cold place in my heart, is it is both the hottest and coldest place I’ve ever been. I was glad I went back to Norton for my 25th high school reunion a few years ago. Kansas gets a lot of guff when people talk about driving cross country. True, it is a wide state, most of the width of Texas, and will take a day to get across. If you do drive through, you could do a lot worse then spend some time in Norton or Hays or both.

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Goodbye to Absent Friends

PG Holyfield and Thomas Peake

Last weekend I drove to Charlotte to attend the memorial service for the late great Patrick “PG” Holyfield. It was a nice time and I’m glad I went, as nice as it could be for an event I wish with all my heart didn’t exist. I saw friends and met Kimberly, PG’s “special lady friend” for the first time. I listened to the eulogies and sniffled. I played tickly banjo with Patrick McLean’s son and ate chips with pesto. Later I hanged out with the remaining friends and ate Vietnamese food and generally soaked in the presence of people I enjoy.

I freely admit that of everyone in that room, I had the loosest personal connection to PG. He was a guy I always liked, enjoyed talking to every time I saw him and never had a bad time in his presence. I know and could always have told you that my life would benefit from having more of him in it, but it didn’t and now it won’t. I drove to Charlotte primarily to say goodbye to a guy I wish I knew better and to support the people who helped him as he died. Goodbye, Patrick.

Right around the same time, we noted the sad occasion of five years since the passing of Thomas Peake. He died in 2009 while hiking in the Grand Canyon, just shy of his 40th birthday. After a several year hiatus, Chris Campbell and I began preparing new episodes of the Peakecast. We knew him from college radio and he left behind a lot of tapes of him doing that brilliantly, so we put those back out into the world. For all I see podcasters interested in gaining traction, I put a lot of time in a podcast primarily aimed at 50 to 100 people, his friends and family who want to hear a little more of him.

I miss both of these guys and wish like hell I could talk to them again. I wish I didn’t meet both of their significant others for the first time at their memorial services. I didn’t keep up with either as well as I should have. I will try going forward but I will fail. The next person I lose I will feel the same way. I am sorry if it is you. Give me a call sometime, okay?

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Fie on the Olympics

One of the upshots of living in Atlanta in the early 1990s during the run up to the Olympics is that I no longer care anything about them. It is an out of control, decadent celebration for plutocrats with limited access by the people paying for it. The price tags climb ever higher, and the burden shouldered by the ordinary citizens of the host regions climbs with it.

This article about the troubles the IOC is having finding a host city for the 2022 Winter Olympics seems about right to me. I like that the whole word seems to have suddenly woken up and understood that hosting an Olympics isn’t necessarily a gift. I learned from Atlanta that the best day in the whole process is the one when the winning bid is announced. That’s the last fun one before the bullshit begins.

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Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for October 3, 2014 – Stacks and Heavyweights

In this episode, I talk about systemic failure in life; I talk about the POSSE system that I am using to post and receive activity from my blog to social networks and back; I discuss adding Piwik stats to my websites; I talk about migrating vs starting things fresh; I mention GTD, Evernote and The Secret Weapon method of using them together; I close with a discussion of Extreme Programming, Agile, and heavyweight processes.

Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, October 3, 2014

Links mentioned in this episode:

You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

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