Would you say that to my face?

Wow.

“Moron”  “Libtard”  “Bwahahahah you ignorant noob” “Dirty fuckin loser Red Sucks Fan”

in the span of two days, I’ve been called some names.  Some for comments I made on a blog, some for a response to a political question, some for just being a Red Sox fan and saying that the Yankees have an amazingly talented team.  Yeah, I also tagged on that I hate certain players like Nick Swisher and A-Fraud, but that’s besides the point.  I think most Yankee fans will agree with the A-Clod comment tho.

Why the attack?  Why the senseless name calling and rudeness?  Why is that all necessary?

Here’s the real question.  If we were sitting at a table, and not on opposite ends of the world connected by the internet, would you actually say that shit to my face?  Would you call me a moron to my face? [Granted, I know there are several Yankee fans would would definitely say yes, but that’s a Red Sox/Yankee fan thing :)]

Are we not allowed to disagree respectfully, or at  least without name calling?  I think that the underlying problem is something that my roommate at JMU covered in his Masters Degree.  Not sure exactly the exact subject thesis, but it had to do with the Effect of Communication over Electronic Media.  Granted, at the time, it was all text based chats and forums and *gasp* dialup Bulletin Boards, but still…

What is it going to cost me to insult the guy for not agreeing with me?  If I’m a thousand miles away or around the corner, if I”m MrAnonymous on the forum, who’s going to come after me?  Even on places like facebook, it’s similar.  Sure, you know who’s calling you a moron or a libtard, but if you friend them, will they friend you back?  What’s the worst you can do?  Put up a Facebook status message with “Person X is closeminded and called me a fucktard, don’t friend them, shun them, make them not exist”.  How much effect would that have?  Unless you’re someone with 10k friends, not much, and even then, why would anyone care?

The issue is with the internet, social media, and other forms of non face-to-face communication.  First of all, it removes you from the social graces that you would normally adhere to if you were standing next to the person.  If you don’t have to worry about Mr. X punching you in the face, go ahead and call him an asshole.  What’s he gonna do?  I think it also gives people an unrealistic outlet for some of their more caustic opinions.  The thing I have noticed, and I’m not espousing keeping all of your caustic opinions to yourself, is that people are more ready to be rude, obnoxious, quick to judge, and downright mean in some cases and not care about the consequences because you can’t touch them.

Do I really give a flying fuck about the people who insulted me?  I did initially when it happened, but it truly made me think about the whole situation, so in a way, it’s a good thing.  But the main thing I’m trying to say is how is all of this – because you know you’re all involved in some sort of social media-  affecting (or effecting?) the way you deal with people?  Is it making you more quick to put out your two cents not only in social media, but it personal social situations?  For me, I’m glad for the opportunity to write it out because I can’t argue well, getting tongue tied and my points all jumbled in my head.   I write fairly okay, and usually after several rewrites get my opinion in a readable format, but I have to reword and rework things so it comes out the way I want it to come out.  So in that sense, having a buffer between me and someone else is good because I can get the point across the way I want to.

The problem with that is I don’t think people take enough time to really read what they’re writing, nor do they think of how it will affect other people.  Truthfully, I don’t give a flying fuck about the guy who called me a loser because I put up a message about the Red Sox.  The Moron and Libtard comments actually made me think about never posting anything political ever again because I come across as a coolaid drinking democrat.

I guess what I’m asking is, do you think that social media – facebook, myspace, forums, blogs – are good for communication, or do you think they’re making people lose their social filters? And if the latter, is that a good or a bad thing?

oh, and since this is my blog – GO SAWKS!!!

Do I smell Girl Scout Cookies?

Oh dude, please.  Not again.

My daughter is about to turn 10.  TEN!!  That’s not the part that wigs me out, it’s the “I’m going to set my goal this year at 300 boxes!!!  YAY!”

Shoot me.  No, I’m serious, shoot me.  I’m going to be the one dragging my ass around our neighborhood selling these things with her, and delivering them with her?  Can someone PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE buy 300 boxes from me right now and put me out of my misery?

In all seriousness, I’m proud of her.  We were fairly dragging her around the ‘hood last year, MAKING her sell them since she had set her goal.  When the last box was finally delivered, and yeah, it took several weeks, I sat her down and told her – no more.  We’d talk about the goal for next year, next year, possibly set it lower, I was not going to MAKE her sell them, or drag her around so she got the goal she wanted.  I’m being realistic, not defeatist.  I’m more than willing and happy to help, but I’m not gonna do it for her.  That’s nuts.

She told me, “I’m sorry Dad, I’ll do better next year” to which I responded, “I don’t want you to do better, I want  you to set your goal, and have the right attitude.  Doing it this way is Mom and I MAKING you do it.  If you don’t want to sell this many boxes, that’s FINE.  You’re still selling more than I thought possible.”

So we just got the forms and she grabbed them and the phone immediately and started calling relatives.  Actual selling doesn’t start until Oct 1. so she’s holding off going out into the neighborhood until then.  I asked her about the goal of 300, and she assured me that if I would help her deliver them, and walk around WHEN SHE ASKED ME TO, that she’d handle it all.

They’re 4$ a box.  Who wants 300 boxes?  😉

I’m actually excited for this year because we’re going into it with a different attitude.  She’s set her goal already at 300, and she’s eager to do it herself – that’s the important part.  Stay tuned for updates.  Hopefully the attitude will continue.  If it does, this’ll be her 3rd year of 300+ boxes.

What you will do for your children

I’ve always been afraid of heights.  Well, not always, I think I might have developed it after a weird series of falling dreams I had in my 20’s, mostly involving bridges.  I don’t have any problem being on a cliff and looking down, hell, I used to jump off rocks that were almost 20-30 feet in the air when I was a kid into lakes and the ocean.  I think it’s the possibility of a bridge or a tower just collapsing that’s screwed me around these things.

this coming from a guy who has to go over the Tappan Zee Bridge to work every single day.

So, we went to Dorney Park in PA this weekend, and let me tell you, I was psyched.  Not only that, but it was EMPTY!!!  Think it was a combo of the cold weather and the jewish holiday.  Anyway, the kids and I were running right onto several of the better rides, at least the one that Gilli could ride – she’s only 49 inches and some of them are 52 & 56 inches minimum.  There was a cool one that Aidan and his friend wanted to go on, that we realized was too tall for Gillian, so I told her we could go ride anything she wanted to go while the boys went on the ride they ran onto.

She chose the Dominator.  A 200 foot tower that brings you all the way up to the top, slowly of course, and has this huge release of pressure once you’re there, FREAKING you out that something just broke.  I am trying not to let it get to me, but every atom of my being is about this >< close to ripping off the harness and jumping because that’ll be safer.  On the outside, I’m talking to Gillian, asking her how exciting she thinks this is, how much fun it’s going to be when it drooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooops.

Dude.

Thank god that’s over.  This ride is one of the things that freaks me to no end.  And you know what?  My daughter will never know, nor could she tell because I’m a big fat faker and told her how much I loved it.  I went on a ride that absolutely petrifies me because my daughter wanted to.

Again…Thank god that’s over.  Man, the things we do for our kids.

ATWT:Hamsterballs for everyone

(I know it’s a day late Jen, but I couldn’t resist)

Towards the end of August, my brother & sister took all of the cousins up to a Lake in PA called Otter Lake.  I had to work, but I went up on Sunday and stayed over.  Beautiful place, thinking of going back next year.  I left around 5:30am on Monday and went to work and then went and got the kids on Wednesday night.

One of the things they did was this hamster ball thing on the lake.  Looks like a whole lot of fun.

AidanHamsterball
Aidan, having a Ball. Get it??
GillianHamsterball
She's about to do a serious faceplant, but they didn't get it on film.

Cheaper Than Therapy

Sucks to be me…

Okay, it’s 2:40am as I begin writing this.  Why am I awake?  I’m a notoriously light sleeper and tonight was worse than normal.  I think if anyone farted in China I would have woken up.  So I am awake, resentful that everyone else is out cold, and I’m sitting here worried about finances, the future, my job, school for the kids, how I’m going to be able to go to Kendo in about 15 hours.  You know, the usual stuff.

I can usually fall asleep REALLY easily.  The issue is, when I do fall asleep, if I wake up, it’s SO hard to go back to sleep.  So my wife, wanting to spoon, instead of warm and loving, woke me up, and not only do I have trouble falling back to sleep, I”m fuckin ornery.  So I’m resenting that she’s now out cold, and I can’t even take a tylenol PM because I’ll sleep right through the alarm.  So here I sit, contemplating what will happen in a few hours when it struck me that I can get about 4 hours of work done, get the kids off to school, and then crash for a few hours.  Yeah, that’s what I’m going to do.  And I’ll take 2 Tylenol PM in about 18 hours and crash like a mofo 🙂

Problem is, until then, is going to royally blow.

Where were you when…

It’s the anniversary of 9/11 and Mike at Unraveling Mysteries posted his, so I’m going to post mine.

I was downstairs, and like Mike, I was a victim of the tech bubble burst.  Unlike him, I was not enjoying it.  At that point, I had already secured a temp-to-perm job at Educational Testing Services (yes, the SAT people), but another recruiter had been able to get me in to see the NBA.  Yes, the National Basketball Association.  Their IT department was expanding and looking for a person who knew Powerbuilder to learn Java and rewrite all of their apps.  Picture perfect job for me, even if I do hate Bball.  So I had a final interview with the CIO in Secaucus that morning and I was getting ready for it.  I had pushed back my start date at ETS so I could get this interview – more money, cooler benefits, etc.

“MATT!!!!” she yelled from upstairs.  I forget where the kids were, they must have been around because Gilli would only have been a month shy of 2, which means Aidan was probably home as well.

“What’s up, I have to get ready to leave”

“Someone just flew a plane into the Twin Towers”  At this point, I thought it was just a plane crash.  I ran upstairs and watched in horror as I saw smoke pouring out of the building.  I was calling my recruiter when the second plane slammed into the other tower.  He picked up, said they were evacuating, and hung up.

We sat there and watched the coverage on TV for hours, getting a little more insight from my brother who is a Volunteer Fireman on the North Shore of Long Island.  He wanted to run into the city, but his company had to cover a much larger area of Nassau County, Brooklyn & Queens because B&Q depts all went into Manhattan.  He and his buddies were chomping at the bit to get in, but were under strict orders to stay put.  I am very thankful that he couldn’t go in because of all of the problems both mental and physical that the surviving fire fighters are going through right now.

To see all of that and realize that it all happened less than 30-45 min from my house brought a different and horrifying reality down around us all.  It was SO close.  Hearing about the other two planes in DC and PA was just another shot in the arm.

I remember for months afterwards, NY’ers (and that includes the tri-state area of NY, NJ and CT) were all changed.  For a while there, everyone was nice, they went out of their way to help, to see what they could do, to make a difference.  I just wish it had lasted more than a few months.  It’d be nice for people to go through that kind of transformation for no reason but to be good, decent and nice to one another.

Mike mentioned that our Grandparents had a where were you moment for WWII ending, our parents for JFK being shot.  Ours is this.  Lets hope that there isn’t one for our kids generation.

Feels like Monday

Went to Kendo for the first time in over a month and thankfully it wasn’t a full class, just kata – more walking through forms than strapping on armor and beating the crap out of each other.  Refreshed my memory with some stuff we had learned in Kendo Camp and got a chance to see everyone again, it was cool.  The biggest cool thing was that we brought in Aidan’s armor and he got sized and thank GOD everything is usable (ie not too small/big).  The only thing that might be an issue is his helmet, but with padding, he’ll be fine.

So, today feels like Monday because I woke up and it was gray, and I didn’t feel great, and nothing is working right with the code I’m writing.  Plus:

  • the same moron cut me off twice, about 50 miles apart – go figure.  Maybe he was following me.  My personal monday fairy.
  • the guy in the bathroom didn’t courtesy flush.  Total Fail.  I hate when they don’t, and then they leave you to take the blame for not courtesy flushing.  Hey, it’s my blog, I can write about what I want 🙂
  • the guy in the building that is about 1000 years old who HAS to do everything for himself.  He got pissed at me for holding the door for him.  I understand where he’s at, but you know what, FU dude, I was being polite.
  • the 47 people who didn’t realize that the left lane is for passing.  You are hereby notified that you suck ass.

A few things that make it feel NOT like Monday:

  • my boss being cool as hell
  • one of the guys I work with asking me if I want the last three dumplings he ordered for lunch from the chinese place
  • having a place to bitch about my day/week/month/year/life

Feel free to share what’s making your day shitty/great.

Looking for work (not fulltime thank goodness)

No, my job is fine, this is an offer to do side work for people and businesses.  With everything that’s going on financially in the US, we’re finding ourselves trimming back on everything but the essentials and I find myself wanting to get creative again.  Since this is my blog, I’m going to put forth a shameless plug:)

Want a blog?  Need a bunch of scripts written?  Trying to update that tacky old website?  Working for a company that needs contracting work, but you don’t know anyone in the tech field you can trust?  YO!  OVER HERE!!!! 🙂

matt

I’ve been programming since 1997 when my son was born.  What started out on Geocities free websites as a way to share pictures with my family in NY turned into my own hosted website, which turned into doing a website for the company my brother in law works for (http://www.carfaro.com), some touchups to friends sites here and there, and even a Blog-Move for a friend in Highschool, Beth Beyrer who wanted to get away from Typepad and host her own.  I currently work as the Web Applications Developer for a company in White Plains, we run the operations for nursing homes in the South, mostly FL, GA, and LA.  All the stuff I do at work is all C# applications built in Iron Speed Designer (a code generator) and Visual Studio.  I also have learned quite a LOT about WordPress, how it works, and how you can use it to your best advantage.

I’m big into SQL and will be beginning some huge forays into Business Intelligence(BI) pretty soon, dashboarding a lot of our current data into manageable reporting tools for our Execs.

I’ve done work around the corner, across the country, even wrote some PHP scripts for a dude in New Zealand.  If you’ve got something you’ve been thinking of, or you know someone who needs some tech work done, shoot me an email or drop a comment in below.  Just lookin to make ends meet a little more comfortably.

Geek Alert: How to get Week Ending in SSRS

I was having some issues trying to find the friday date on a report in SSRS (Sql Server Reporting Services). A bunch of our reports needed to be labeled with the following friday of the day it was run. Here’s how I got it.

=”Week Ending: ” + dateadd(“D”,6-Weekday(today()),today())

the “Week Ending:” is so it would look like
Week Ending: 09/05/09

Nasal Wash + Sinus Infection?

Dude, serious ick. I’ve been using a nasal wash – yeah, pretty much a squirt bottle with some saline in it that you shove up your nose and squirt – for a while now and it has saved me from getting sick a few times.  I try to use it regularly, but doesn’t always happen.  Helps my sinuses most of the time because it cleans out the particles and other crap that hides in your sinuses and makes you sick.

The problem is, when you start using it once your sick, not everything drains out.  Yeah, no fun.  I’ve been sick the last few days and everytime I bend down for something, even tho it’s been hours, I have liquid leaking out of my nose.  Yes, I’m carrying tissues, but dude, this is nasty.  And it’s not even clear, yes, I’ll leave it at that.

Just thought I’d share.  What’s the most embarassing thing that’s happened to you when you’re sick?