May. 16th, 2006

savage25: (HappyBirthday)
It's Kevin's ([livejournal.com profile] labelsdc) birthday today! Whoo hoo... party like there's no tomorrow buddy!

Happy Birthday! you fabulous fashionista and world traveler you
:)
savage25: (Contemplative)
I voted at lunch today...

Once again, felt all weird going to vote... thinking things like "why am I doing this?"... Honestly, I don't feel empowered when I vote... I don't feel like I'm really making a difference. It's probably the biggest hurdle to convincing [young] people to vote: making them feel like they actually are making a difference... but even when you know the theory that "every vote counts", it still just feels like a drop in the bucket. (But, yes, the bucket would never get full if it didn't have all the drops going in.)

It's such a weird experience voting in a "small town" like this (I've never voted in a "big town" though, so I wonder if it's really any different)... they have you sign a book next to your name -- and the signature they have on file for me is still the one from my original driver's license back 15 years ago -- I DON'T SIGN MY NAME THAT WAY ANYMORE... I don't know how many times I've requested that they update it... but I have no idea how to get them to do it. It looks so silly when I see my old signature and then put my quick scribble next to it now.

Also, my neighbor was a volunteer at the polling place... that was a bit weird because I don't remember her name -- I confuse her with her sister... I hate that, I need to remember which is which... but I digress, that's not the weird part... the weird part was having her there, while all of them are shouting between each other "he's a Democrat" and such. I mean, I thought it was a bit odd. Plus, I was standing there with my PA-GALA flier (the gay and lesbian endorsements)... why do I get so hung-up and nervous about what others think??!

So finally... the exciting NEW thing was the new computerized voting machines -- touch screen... SO much easier to read and understand what and who I was voting for... and made me much more confident that I wasn't forgetting to vote for someone or something (like the questions that I missed a couple years ago). They put a nice summary up on the screen before you complete your entry. Although it was a little odd that I felt like I wasn't actually "voting" because I didn't move anything "physical" (no tabs or levers, etc)... I mean, now it would be even easier for someone to rig the system and change the numbers, right? There's no physical trace? Oh well... I honestly can't wait until we can just vote via the internet -- how much better would that be?! I wouldn't feel pressured to vote and could take my time looking over the endorsements while voting... and that weird, old guy wouldn't be looking over my shoulder as I voted.

Oh well... I did my civic duty for the day... I voted... and I feel confident that I voted because of the endorsements I followed when voting... I'm glad there's an organization like PA-GALA to give me a list of who to vote for. I would never judge a candidate based solely on those stupid placards and ads and mailings they bombard everyone with... those are just stupid and a waste of money... and they only tell you what that candidate wants you to hear.

I even did a write-in... I mean, why the heck are there write-ins? Didn't these people get their names in on time? Or didn't they have the money to get on the ballot? or what? If it's the first one (not on time), well, then they shouldn't be a good candidate if they can't even run properly. If it's the second (not enough funds), well, then that's just terrible -- because it shouldn't cost anything to run for a position... that's just empowering the rich. But, regardless, I did the write-in as directed by PA-GALA.

I feel good that I voted... I feel good that I voted in a way that will support gay/lesbians... but I don't feel that I actually had any real input in the government... I feel like I'm just a pawn in a big political game. That's what I don't like about voting day... it makes me feel small and stupid... and honestly not empowering at all.
savage25: (Contemplative)
Volunteered as an usher at the iXchange again this year. It's an award presentation by Ben Franklin Technology Partners where they award entrepreneurs and technological advancements in Northeastern PA. They bring in a really good speaker each year. This year was Daniel Burrus -- an internationally recognized technology forecaster.

He had some really good points... mainly about looking forward to foresee problems before they happen. Use hard-trends (not soft-trends) to base your predictions on. Realizing that everything is a both/and situation (like there will be both paper and paperless ways of doing things forever... it is not "only paper", it's both). And, integrating different technologies for the largest gain (like bringing together miracle-ear with a phone company for a sound-enhancing-phone-ear-plug).

One other analogy he said that I really liked was how we are all juggling several balls -- work, family, friends, etc. And we're all juggling the exact amount of balls that we can... every new thing that is thrown at us means that another ball needs to be taken out of the juggling act... or else... or else they will all fall -- I mean, when a juggler is thrown new balls until he can't take anymore, what happens... he doesn't usually just miss one ball, all of them suddenly come crashing down. And the other thing he added to this analogy is that work is a rubber ball -- you can drop it and it'll bounce back (IOW there's always another job that you can get)... but that all the other balls are made of various thicknesses of glass... but you don't really know how thick that glass is until you drop it and test it... sometimes you'll be able to pick it back up... sometimes it will just shatter and never be able to use again.

I thought that was a really cool analogy... I just love analogies.

PS: Saw several "connections" that I've made through the years being involved in the NET here. Networking connections get thinner and thinner with non-use... It's nice to know that I have a web to fall into if needed... but I'm just not sure how strong it will be if/when I do ever need it. I think I need to spend a little more time maintaining my professional network.

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Paul

January 2009

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