"Undermining my electoral viability since 2001."

In the Hive

I'm in NYC for a spell, and have spent the last two days inside a big ol' corporate office once more. The project is actually pretty interesting, and the people I'm working directly with are great, but the whole experience still gave me a healthy dose of The Fear.

My old friend, mentor and colleague Peter Crawford once pointed out to me that Corporate America is a lot like High School. It's an astute observation. Subsequently, I've come to see this as a common thread in most institutional settings, but having been off and running around politics and other scenes, I'd forgotten just how much the corporation creeps me out.

In part its because the modus operandi cuts against my own passionate (and arguably excessive) intermingling of life and work. It just seems like such a limiting thing, being in this big building, in your little cubicle or office, wearing some outfit, eating lunch in a cafeteria, renting away your days to make some other people rich.

It also irks me how corporations (any bureaucracies, really) tend reward ladder-climbing, don't-rock-the-boat, playing-office-politics type behavior rather than real innovation, drive, results, etc. It's a really different set of values than the world I inhabit most of the time. There are lots of rules about who's allowed to access what; a closed-source approach; personal fiefdoms wrapped in red-tape.

Anyway, it's good -- if a bit dispiriting -- to be reminded that this is how most peoples' work-lives really are. Dispiriting because it makes me momentarily pessimistic about humanity's chances ("this is the best we can do?"), and sad for all the squandered human potential. Good though because it reminds me how lucky I am, and also makes me optimistic based on how much progress is possible.

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Overheard at Drupalcon

A few quotes from a an interesting couple of days:

"This [the registration table] is nice: it's all really nerdy guys and really hot girls. I like the future... Let me at this corporate campus." (franz)

robertDouglas: "I was doing so much underpaid work, like 'let me do this whole website that takes six months... for $300' type stuff."
moshe: "I remember those days. You can't even talk to me now for $300."

"I am not able to code everything. There is too much to do." (chx)

"You need that charismatic leader... Chant! Chant! Chant! Drink. Die." (jjeff)

It's been a good time here. Corporate campus and Sunnyvale aren't as much fun as a University campus (more open) and Downtown Vancouver (less driving), but the level of attendance and intensity is up.

It feels like the End of the Beginning. I do believe this is the year that things will tip and change quite a lot.

Also, if you're in college and you want to spend the summer getting paid by Google to write Drupal code, you can apply here this weekend.

...Later on, back at the Zack shack:

Farsheed: So what goes on at these things?
Zack: I imagine drugs, sex, stripping; things like that.
Farsheed: What? That's the opposite of what I thought! I thought it was a bunch of guys sitting around with laptops and pizza!
(everyone confused)
Me: Oh! You're talking about Super Happy Dev House; they're talking about the stripper-party.

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Made It Down

I'm in the Bay, circling the wagons with my work gang. The new office space is actually pretty sweet. It's a good lofty spot right on the new Muni line, pretty classy (nice elevators, good-looking neighbors, etc) and located near some good eats.

The space is still coming together. Tyson, the master tenant, is an architect and interior designer, is building a pretty kick-ass conference room, and has big plans. As with most big plans, it'll take some time, but the room is only a day or two's labor away from fully workable with acreage to grow into.

The aftermath of St. Paddy's day wasn't as bad as it might have been. We started off with some excellent Irish Breakfast, moved on to Guiness and Espresso, and then a delicious Corned Beef dinner with some friends in Town, and then the downtown strip. I enjoy a good turn as the Wild Rover, and got to see some sights -- girls in green and all that -- and carouse the scene.

There's something to be said for ramblin' around with half your forebrain tied behind your back. It gets you down to a level, removes some of that social armor. It made me feel a touch more native, especially going out late on my lonesome after Mark and Zya crashed out. Nice.

On the minus side, someone stole my iPod from my truck, but they didn't steal my bike (which they could have), so I guess I can't complain.

It makes me think. I'm just now starting to feel settled and strong in the HC, but looking at 1000 square feet, I can't help but get the feeling that I should spend more time occupying my share of them. I'm sure this will work itself out, but it's kind of funny. Always on the go, it seems.

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Wanna Work For Me?

We're hiring at work. If you want to work for me, you should apply.

In seriousness though, I'm really hoping we can find a couple people to grow with. Thus far things have been going pretty well, and we're looking at a very good prospective fiscal quarter. Plus, it would be nice to have some dedicated developers in the house.

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Form Up!


This is the best metaphor for how we roll: Voltron. Each individual spaceship/robot tiger is a formidable beast, but when we pull together we become a super ass-kicking machine.

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Beat, Heat, Meat

Last night I went out on a sorta-date to see the eviscerated chinamen exhibit (a.k.a. "Bodies," and I recommend it) and then to make party at the co-working spot where I've been hanging out all week. The shindig was a good medium between networking and debauchery. All this is catching up with me though. I am tired. I am weary. I could sleep for hundred years.

It's 72 degrees here in NYC and I spent the afternoon in shorts sunning myself on a rock in Central Park. We're all gonna die, but we might as well enjoy ourselves in the mean time, oui?

And now I'm here in the Slope. Just had sushi with Danya (a.k.a. the Belle du Mois) who was my squeeze this time last year. She's a catch, that one. Makes me wonder.

Neil Young is playing and I'm at the tea lounge on my old stool in the corner, feeling whistful. I liked this life I had here in many ways. It wasn't working, but it was good. Maybe I'll come back to it one day.

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How I Spent My Winter Vacation

I'm at the bar at Rose City at PDX, loving the free wifi (every airport should do that; they'd see a bump in food/drink sales as a result) and I was just enjoying the scenery across the bar. Portland is a hipster capital, and I have to admit I do love that style on the women.

My "vacation," which has been roughly the past week and will run through the 1st, has been nice. I had big dreams of hitting the Y a lot, getting my body prepped for a higher level in 2007, but I'm more like my mom than I admit -- genetics is a real thing -- and so we spent most days perched across from one another at her high-tables working on our laptops, eating pizza and drinking beer into the night. I wish I had a picture. It was nice, but also sort of the antithesis of getting to the gym and hitting the stationary cycle.

On the upside, I did some good work on Chapter Three's first non-client project -- alpha launch coming in early Jan -- and I also started my open-source community service effort for 2007, the Drupal Dojo:

Drupal Dojo

It's basically a place for up-and-coming developers to rub elbows with more experienced types in a less intimidating setting, to help be a middle-ground in the burgeoning Drupal economy. I launched it about 24 hours ago and already we have more than 100 members. Oh boy.

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You Fear This

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Off To NYC

Got the boys up here safe and had a productive Sunday doing finances -- expect a year-end report -- and some brainstorming for our big upcoming project.

I'm all packed now. Tomorrow we work the day on this stuff, then I get on an overnight flight to Nueva York. Got a lot to look forward to there, and I can't wait to dip my toe back into the swift city water.

Although there is big business on deck -- I'm getting my flight via a potential client -- I'm not bringing the Suit, but I am bringing all my new Humbolt Hipster/Edgy Biz-Cas stuff. I think that will work better for me.

I'm really stoked at how good the Sixto fundraiser is going. Really awesome to see how people are willing to help out, and that this stuff can totally work. I'll write more about why this is so good, maybe even on my work blog.

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Every Speed On Our Knees Is Crawling

It's coming on the turn of the year, a time to draw up to my full height and survey the scene. I've been going around and seeing people I've not seen in a while, which has revealed that I really don't have a good 30-second explanation for myself these days -- you know, the kind of quick encapsulated "elevator pitch" of what's new and exciting in your life. It's not a particularly great or important thing to have in the can or spring on lots of people, but it's usually something I've got down pat, and the absence of this trusty bit of performance is indicative, I think, of the larger ennui with which I grapple.

Intention is a tricky bitch. It's hard line to walk between trying to force yourself upon the world and taking a back-seat role in your own life. One wants to be an active participant, to listen and respond in conversation with the universe, but at some point you've got to pull the trigger; and it sucks being wrong, to gamble and lose. It burns rare and precious soulful fuel taking these shots, runs down some energy reserve that seems to take an aeon to recharge.

I haven't done too well with decisions over the past four years. Most of the big things I've set myself towards doing intentionally -- personally, professionally, creatively -- have ended up going bust. In spite of this, or probably because i've had the good fortune to have so many fine at-bats, I've landed amazingly well: poised on the brink of a the best jobby-job ever; living the neobohemian dream; penetrating the global power-elite seemingly without even trying.

It's an old story. "...And I stumbled to safety" was designated the title of my autobiography years ago.

So I don't lament my lot in life. I am lucky and blessed beyond knowing, and everyone seems convinced that I'm bound for some sort of glory or another, an opinion I don't necessarily dispute even if it can get to be a bit of a weight to carry at times.

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