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Mark Atwood
It's really annoying to be so aware of a non-rational mental block in my own head, know it's origin, understand what it's trying to protect me from, know how and why it's counter-productive, and have that piece of non-rational pattern of thought also be the very thing that is stopping me from letting go of it.

This entry was originally posted at http://fallenpegasus.dreamwidth.org/848959.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Current Location: Home, Capitol Hill, Seattle WA

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I just went on a half-hour binge reading about pertussis, as a result of reading that WA state has an epidemic outbreak that the public health agencies are struggling to stop.



Reading people's first hand accounts of having it will cross your eyes in empathized pain. One person described that she has given birth, has suffered a compound fracture of a leg, has passed a kidney stone, and has had whopping cough. Only one of them made her wish for death. It's been described as feeling like an asthma attack while someone is punching you in the ribs. Oh, and most all cough medicines do pretty much nothing for it.



You, reading this. You. Right now, pick up your phone, and call your doctor's clinic. Ask them if you're up to date, and if you're not, go get your freaking DTaP shot. You can get one at Walgreen's for less than the cost of a high-end Starbucks drink. You owe it to yourself, you owe it to public health, you owe it to your friends and coworkers, and you owe it to every pregnant woman, every newborn, and every immunocompromised person you share this biosphere with.



This entry was originally posted at http://fallenpegasus.dreamwidth.org/848789.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Current Location: Capitol Hill neighborhood, Seattle WA

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If you found this personal blog from some link about my work on open source and open standards work, my work on OpenShift, on Drizzle, or my speaking at and participating at some technology conference, or so forth, you probably want my tech blog over at Machines Plus Minds.

This personal blog is entirely for stuff about my personal life, and if you don't know me personally, you will probably find it utterly uninteresting.

This entry was originally posted at http://fallenpegasus.dreamwidth.org/848424.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Current Location: Home, Capitol Hill, Seattle WA
Current Music: (Joey Fehrenbach) Beltenebros

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The daffodils are blooming again.

It's now been three years since I wrote Love Stinks, and a year since I wrote Love Stinks, Two Years Later

I read them, feel the scars again, and muse. Any fundamental change? Not really.


I do not retract a word of it. But my outlook has become more nuanced.

Some of that nuance is even more bitter, some of it more gentle.

I understand more. Understanding does bring peace. Or, at least, it moderates ineffective action.

Things that use to hurt all the time, now only have the occational pang.

I've gotten better at keeping my teeth together, and my tongue still.

I have gotten better at knowing how and how much to trust people.

Some people are selected out from my life.
Some people have drifted into my sphere.
Some people have drifted out.

With some, there has been rapprochement, and a friendship again.

Some old acquaintances, have become new friends.
Some old friends, have become new friends.

And there have been some pleasant surprises, and some new adventures.

I still don't trust "love", but friendship and affection are nice, and I try to enjoy what of it I have, from where and when it is offered.

This entry was originally posted at http://fallenpegasus.dreamwidth.org/848130.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

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Current Mood: thoughtful thoughtful

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Comparing the crowd at Denver International Airport with my recent post about the crowd on the Metro bus in Seattle.

The racial mix is significantly more white. The people are generally taller and more stocky. There are a lot of people with tanned skin. Many of those tans are leathery. Faces, hands, arms, and necks, everywhere I look I see signs of significant long-term sun damage and other weathering, almost as bad as what I saw in Los Angeles. Their clothes are just as layered as in Seattle, but significantly more warm, and in darker colors. Lots of heavy wool full jackets, and lots of heavy weather coats. A lot of blue denim jeans. Lots of waterproof shoes and boots with high-traction soles, and showing a lot of water, salt, and snow damage. What "flair" there is, if any, is of a southwest and/or cowboy theme.

This entry was originally posted at http://fallenpegasus.dreamwidth.org/848038.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

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Current Location: Denver International Airport (DIA), Denver CO

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My fellow passengers:

A large black woman, her hair short dreads. Wearing black t-shirt layered with green vest with jenin jacket. Brown socks with sandals. She's reading a technical manual.

An elderly woman with pixie haircut, sky blue northface coat, open, with two layers of thin sweaters, over a bloase. And a hand knit scarf. Yoga pants. Brightly colored knit socks with sandels. Her eyes look at nothing.

A muscular white man in his late 20s, tightly stretched blue t-shirt with ironic text, blue jeans with rolled and ironed cuffs, scuffed leather ankle boots.

And so on. About 2 dozen people, a mix of white, hispanic, asian, native, and black.

All wearing relaxed layers, mostly in subdoed earth tones, water resistant sport wear, comfortable shoes. Lots of dyed hair in subdued colors, crazy tights, nose rings on office workers, and hoodies. There is not a bit sunlight tanned skin in sight.

If I didn't already know I was in Seattle, inside the city proper, one look at this crowd would tell me where I was.

This entry was originally posted at http://fallenpegasus.dreamwidth.org/847866.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

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Current Location: Capitol Hill neighborhood, Seattle WA
Current Music: (JES) Like A Waterfall (Flipside Ambient Remix)

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It's getting to be that time of the year again, and I like sending cards for the holidays. So here is the deal: tell me your postal address, and you will probably get a card around the end of the year.

This entry was originally posted at http://fallenpegasus.dreamwidth.org/847449.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Current Location: Home, Capitol Hill, Seattle WA

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Today, while waiting in line for an ATM at my credit union, I got to witness two interesting customer service interactions.

The first customer was dealing with the aftermath of an all-to-common PayPal issue. Her account had been emptied via PayPal charges and/or chargebacks. The BECU agent said they see that sort of thing all the time. He had the information on hand to report a fraud to PayPal if her account had been compromised, or how to start fighting with PayPal to get her money back if PP themselves were grabbing her money. He also had a process in place to set up a "valve" account keep PayPal at arms length from one's money.

After she left, the next customer sat down. He was a trim white-haired guy, a prototypical small businessman. He was holding a big stack of envelopes branded with the blue Chase logo. The BECU agent asked him what he needed, his response was a blunt "I'm tired of these fuckers, what can you do for me?"

And then it came to be my turn at the ATM.

This entry was originally posted at http://fallenpegasus.dreamwidth.org/847356.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
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A few days ago I was interviewed by a Georgia Tech student about my job and career, and what advice I may have for students of computer science and programming.


  • Take on as little student loan debt as possible. And if someone will not pay you to get a post-grad degree, don't waste the debt and the time. Keep out of debt. You never want to feel stuck somewhere so to make rent and pay bills.

  • Learn to write. You learn to write by writing. Take writing classes, read about good writing, and practice writing. It doesn't matter what kind of job you get or life path you take, you need to know how to write.

  • Get involved in some open source projects, and make real contributions to them. The Google Summer of Code is a good thing to get involved in. A portfolio of demonstrated contributions to open source projects is more impressive than a GPA on a new resume.

  • Get involved. Find your local makerspaces, hackerspaces, and barcamps. Volunteer and participate. Go to Ignite. Speak at Ignite.

  • Always be fluent in at least two programming languages, and practice learning new ones. Languages and frameworks come and go, learning new ones is forever.

  • When getting a job, beware of the non-compete and copyright assignment clauses in the employment contract. Push back on them. If they are non-negotiable, too onerous, are enforceable, beware and be careful of taking that job. Keep your list of "personal and outside projects" ready to attach as an appendix.



This entry was originally posted at http://fallenpegasus.dreamwidth.org/847100.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

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Current Location: Home, Capitol Hill, Seattle WA

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The tech rumor mill has been churning for a few days about "Amazon launching a Netflix for books". While a neat concept, I'm a bit disappointed that it is for ebooks. This plays to Amazon's strengths, but is not what I have been wanting for years.

For years I have been wishing for a "Netflix for Books", for physical books.

Here is how I envision it working:

A large municipal library, or a consortium of them working together, set up a site and paid service very similar to Netflix, only for books.

I, as a user, select how many books at a time I want to rent. There would be different monthly payment levels, just like Netflix.

Books in my queue get checked out from the library or via inter library loan. They get mailed to me, along with a return mailer. Postage would be book rate, of course. Unless I am willing to pay extra for Priority or Express mail.

I read the book, keep it for as long as I want (maybe with a one year maximum), and then either return it with the return mailer or by dropping it off at the library like a regular book.

I could keep using my muni library "for free", or use this service for the convenience factor. It could even be a source of much needed funding for the amazing public library system that we all too often take for granted, and do not use enough.

This entry was originally posted at http://fallenpegasus.dreamwidth.org/846786.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Current Location: Home, Capitol Hill, Seattle WA

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