Going to be quiet the next few days

Have a lot of work to do – the Philly Future hosting situation needs to be resolved right away – work has been intense – big things happening personally – and the local journalism work group I’m helping to organize is coming along.

Some thoughts:

Since November 1st, I’ve read or sent 1551 emails related to Philly Future. And folks wonder why I don’t post more 🙂

Garret, Bill, and Dave have posted their “Four Things”.

Bill’s RawSugar will be paying maintainers of its top twenty user bookmark pages between $25 and $500 per month.

And last, but not least, well wishes to Zoe.

Four Things

I’ve been tagged! That never happens! Ok Dave… here goes…

Four jobs I’ve had:

  1. Paper boy (me too!)
  2. 7-11 midnight-shift cashier
  3. Telemarketer
  4. Software engineer/Web Developer/Programmer/Database Admin (whatever you want to call it)

Four movies I can watch over and over:

  1. The Princess Bride
  2. The Star Wars Trilogy
  3. The Shawshank Redemption
  4. Scarface/Heathers (a tie)

Four places I’ve lived (this would be a long list if I included them all):

  1. South Philly
  2. on the El (that’s the subway for you non-Philly folks)
  3. Olney Philly
  4. NE Philly

Four TV shows I love:

  1. Star Trek Next Generation and TOS
  2. Battlestar Galactica
  3. Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel (sorry a tie)
  4. Star blazers/The Simpsons/South Park (sorry a tie)

Four places I’ve vacationed:

  1. Carribean cruise (our honeymoon)
  2. Philly
  3. Home
  4. (I uhhh think I’m overdue…)

Four of my favorite dishes:

  1. Broccoli Cheese Casserole (by Richelle’s mom)
  2. Pizza
  3. Cheesteak (Angelo’s – a vendor in Philly)
  4. Filet Mignon, garlic mashed potatos, and string beans

Four sites I visit daily:

  1. Philly Future
  2. Bloglines (126 of my favorite writers/sites/services at a glance)
  3. Memeorandum (doesn’t translate well as a feed)
  4. Yahoo! News/Philly.com/Phillyburbs.com (its a tie)

Four places I would rather be right now (call it a lack of imagination – but considering the things going on in my life – I am happy exactly where I am right now.. so…):

  1. Somewhere in the mountains, fishing on a lake, with a case of beer, and a friend
  2. On any stage with my band
  3. On a vacation with Richelle in Ireland, London, or Rome
  4. Hey… can we do time travel?

Four bloggers I am tagging (the chances of each continuing this, I realize, are remote at best…but why not :)):

  1. Shelley Powers
  2. Dave Rogers
  3. Garret Vreeland
  4. Bill Lazar

What is a friend? Dave and Andrea’s thoughts

Go read both original pieces, I’ve only quoted parts that I relate to, but I’m sure you will find your own.

snooble.dot.com: Friendship:

I’ve noticed that most times in conversation I’ll mention a casual aquaintence and preface their name with “my friend.” But is that person really my friend?

I got rid of my MySpace account months ago when I got annoyed with the fact that there were so many “friends” on my list, and I didn’t even know half of them: bands I’d never see, people I’d never meet. Social networking sites like MySpace give me no feasible way to distinguish between my best friend from high school and the person I met in the bar last week.

And even though flickr differentiates between “friends” and “contacts” there is no middle ground. There are plenty of people on my contacts that I like or respect. They are more than just contacts, but they are not my friends.

Friends know when they are needed, and they also know when to need. They know they can burden you with their problems just as easily as they can lend their shoulders to cry on. They know when to push and when to back off, and they’ll never pressure you for favors. They’ll be there when their presence is most appreciated and never ask for thanks or kudos.

Dave’s WordPress Blog: What is friendship?:

I write a blog, have since the mid 90s or so, and I sometimes write in a personal fashion, and people connect to that, which is fine, but it often creates misunderstandings that, I think, go deeply into how humans evolved, and how that evolution never anticipated a medium where a written word could be heard by so many people without a connection coming back.

This leads to a sense of familiarity, which is expected, but it can also give a sense of intimacy, even friendship, which is wrong, because what’s going on here is not friendship, although inside us many of the feelings that come from being a regular reader of a weblog are the same ones we feel as we are developing a friendship, in the world evolution designed us for. But this is not that world.

And with this comes a tough lesson, and unfortunately it seems, you only learn this by living, television doesn’t teach it, schools don’t teach it, and if you’re above a certain age, our parents didn’t teach it. You have to learn it by living, by thinking of someone as a friend, only to find out they don’t think of you as a friend. It can be devastating, I know, I’ve been there myself. But all the wishing, all the manipulation, all the determination, just serves to push the would-be friend further away. Because friendship is something you choose to do, you don’t do it out of a sense of obligation. To force someone to be a friend is to not have a friend.

…I learned a lot about friends when I got sick in 2002. I learned that a friend is someone I trust to be with me when I am at my weakest and most vulnerable. And they are people who, no matter how painful it is to see, are willing to be with me when I am so helpless and weak. If I would trust my life with you, and vice versa, we are friends. It’s not about whether you are trustworthy, or whether you are friendly, it’s the actual act of trust that is the basis of friendship. If I trust you to be truthful, then you’re a friend. If I find I must be careful how I say things, then it’s something other than friendship.

Friendship is not a state of mind, it’s an act. It’s something you do, it’s not about whether you’re good or not, it’s not a reflection of you, it’s a balanced relationship between people. That doesn’t mean it’s always balanced at every moment. Sometimes you “need a friend” and other times it’s the other way. It’s a trust that’s returned.

A special word to my umm… detractors

*This* blog is a personal blog. Its for my friends, my family, my co-workers, anyone looking to learn a little bit about me, and anyone else who decides to hang out.

If you have constructive criticism – please give it – feedback provides a great opportunity to grow and learn.

However, telling me this blog “sucks”, serves no purpose, or the number of comments shows no one cares, is entirely besides the point:

People who say “blogs should be more like this…” are either selling something, or closed minded. The web is diverse – as is humanity.

You don’t like this blog – don’t come here – don’t link here. Go the fuck away.

Forgiveness and a P-Coat

Great story in the Inquirer of how Kevin Johnson handled meeting one of the attackers who harmed him and put him in a wheelchair. They’re friends now.

You can call me a Catholic, call me a hippie, call me an Idealist ENFP but I know the healing your receive when you forgive someone.

I’m not talking about simply telling someone you forgive them – because that’s just bullshit – I’m talking about those inward absolutions of the heart that let the hate that drags you down go. Letting go of hate is always a good thing.

The world would be a better place if more people tried.

This Christmas Richelle’s dad gave me one of his two remaining P Coat‘s from his time in the Navy during the Vietnam War. They have his serial number and name written on a label stitched inside. The one he gave me had spittle on it’s shoulder from Richelle and Rose from when they were babies.

To most people, this would be a very meaningful, sentimental thing. But to me – let me tell you – it meant everything.

Richelle’s dad and mom didn’t like me so much when they met me. Didn’t like me at all really. I was a kid from the wrong side of Kensington, and they thought I was bad for their daughter – that I was not worthy of her. Richelle’s brother and sister, on the other hand, accepted me almost immediately (well not her brother… that took time), they would become my brother and sister. I love them so very much.

Mom and dad’s rejection had hurt deeply. I was already distrusting and definitely became more so as a reaction. It was a very dark time. They had good reasons – I had lied about living with my parents, I had lied about living in a squat, and wasn’t in High School when I should have been – I just couldn’t see it then.

Over the years, much has happened, and along the way I struggled. They witnessed that struggle – and learned about the man that I want to be – that I still not am. I would earn their respect and trust. Likewise, I was eventually able to see things from their perspective and know why they felt and reacted as they did. They loved their daughter. Sometimes things can be so clear when we put ourselves in other’s shoes.

One day I would ask Richelle’s dad for his daughter’s hand in marriage. The family and I planned my surprise proposal to Richelle – it took place in front of everyone, at a favorite restraunt of their’s, on her Grandfather’s birthday.

Dad is recovering from an operation to deal with his sleep apnea. He’s been on my mind.

If you’re reading this Dad and Mom – I love you, Karl

“A Growing Web of Watchers Builds a Surveillance Society”

NYTimes: A Growing Web of Watchers Builds a Surveillance Society:

It is strangely fitting that President Bush’s no-warrant wiretapping came to light during the season of holiday gift buying, much of which took place online.

As Washington huffed and puffed over a new erosion of privacy, untold millions of us clicked just as fast as our little clickers could click through Google ads and Amazon checkout pages, unwittingly updating our “cookie” ID badges at every new screen. We bought our loved ones cellphones with built-in Global Positioning System and flocked to family gatherings in cars loaded with OnStar and EZ Pass. We paid for mostly everything with credit and debit cards. Out of convenience, we embraced technologies meant to track our every move.

There are important distinctions, of course, between government prying and the emerging web of consumer surveillance. But they share a digital universe that facilitates and rewards watching. Spam, spyware and identity theft are only a taste of how exposed we have all willingly become as we enjoy the benefits of the networked world.

If the American public seems a bit confused about the raging debate of security versus civil liberties – Bush/Cheney versus the A.C.L.U. – it may be because the debate itself has been outpaced by technology. In our post-9/11, protowireless world, democracies and free markets are increasingly saturated with prying eyes from governments, corporations and neighbors. For better and worse, free societies are fast entering the world of total surveillance.