Category: Current Events
This is fairly unprecedented – my two-car garage has two of my cars in it. I pride myself on keeping the garage reasonably neat – it’s not the suburban clutter-fest some engage in – but even if emptied out entirely a “two-car garage” holds two mid-sized sedans more or less the same way a glove holds 4 fingers and a thumb.
And it’s all because the forecasts call for hail today. We’ll see. Hail is kind of like tornados. You may get nothing, your neighbor two blocks away may get softballs.
Names and locations redacted to protect the innocent. I was in another city yesterday, scouting a place to hold a meetup.
Coworking space number 1: Delightfully pretentious little coffee shop with coworking space adjacent. Craft beer is also served. Seems to have a little Reformed Christian vibe going, because those Christians can drink beer with the window shades up, but unfortunately doesn’t seem to have a single room/meeting space that could hold 10 people without some of them having to sit in a hammock or something.
I walked upstairs to what I hoped was a better meeting space, only to find myself more or less awkwardly in the middle of someone else’s stand-up, in a room barely large enough to shoot a self-conscious CCM music video in.
Coworking space number 2: After walking in the front door of the building only to find myself in something that might have been a women’s clothing boutique or a used bookstore, or both, I asked where the coworking space was and was directed by the attractive young woman in the bodysuit to go to the side entrance.
My overwhelming thought on meeting her was to resist taking her hand and running, not because she was an attractive young woman in a bodysuit, but because the neighborhood is roughly that of the Bronx in the 1980s. I mean, I literally had to think hard about exiting my car when I got in the parking lot.
After finding the correct entrance, I met up with a receptionist whose overwhelming thought seemed to be to resist coming right out and asking if I voted for Trump (I didn’t). She reluctantly showed me a meeting room, which would actually work fine for our purposes, if any of our attendees survived getting mugged in the parking lot. She informed me, however, that they generally close at 6 pm.
For extra effect, a police SUV came up behind me while I was stopped at an intersection and lit off their sirens and lights because they needed to get around me. Not, as I initially assumed, to get to a shooting, but to a fender-bender a block over.
I don’t frequently get political, but it seems about every year (or less?) we have to get activated about Congress trying to pass legislation without understanding the technical implications. I’m very pro law-enforcement, and have a close friend who works for DoJ – he’s told me in the past that getting a search warrant is not that much of a barrier when conducting an investigation.
CISPA, or the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, is a law that would allow the government to extract your private information from the internet without a warrant. It’s the online equivalent of allowing a police officer to enter your home and start rummaging through your personal files without the permission of a court. The politicians who introduced this law pretend it will protect you but what it really does is circumvent your Fourth Amendment rights. CISPA also prevents you from suing companies when they illegally use your information.
Luckily there are numerous privacy advocates out there already fighting against CISPA such as the Internet Defense League, Fight for the Future, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Now it’s time for us to do our part.
Anonymous has asked numerous companies to participate in an internet blackout on Monday, April 22. But, regardless of what these companies choose to do, individuals like ourselves can still help spread awareness of this threat. Below is a link to an image that promotes the hashtag #StopCISPA on Twitter. Make it your profile image all day Monday. Leave it up as long as you want.
#StopCISPA Profile Picture: http://i.imgur.com/Vr8XQQp.png
It may not be as effective or possible for you to stop talking all day, so we’ve provided some information below so that you can help get the word out instead:
If CISPA becomes law, the government can spy on you without a warrant: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/
If CISPA becomes law, when the gov’t downloads your private information, you’ll never even know: http://sunlightfoundation.com/
If CISPA becomes law, it makes it so companies can’t be sued when they do illegal things with your data: https://www.eff.org/
Remember, there are more of us than there are of them. If we stick together we can stop CISPA once and for all.
So many of the things I’m into have dedicated social media platforms now. It seems like a different world than the one in which I started this blog. Goodreads for books, twitter for pointless updates to people I don’t know, Facebook for pointless updates for those I do.
Blogging was always this geeky thing that tech weirdos did. Now everyone’s doing it with Facebook.
Monday I spent three hours at the Autauga County courthouse waiting to go onto a jury duty panel. Judge Sibley Reynolds told us that the jury selection process used to be “ten old men” who were selected to pick jury panels, and they placed names of potential jurors in a washing machine box.
Unfortunately, the slips of paper “were never fluffed up” or purged of old names, so they frequently had the same people in the panels.
- the number of people who were called who either had excuses, were not qualified, or who were no-shows. If I recall correctly, 200 jurors were summoned and 89 were there and qualified.
- the number of lawyers milling around the courtroom that I knew.
- the number of people in the jury pool I knew.
I guess I’ve lived in Prattville a long time. I was selected for a panel on Thursday, so on that morning I find out if I will be placed on a jury.
The Prattville Chamber is sponsoring a seminar by Tony Rubleski TODAY, and there are seats available, last I heard. What’s funny is he is able to do this seminar (at this price) because he’s already in town doing a (much more expensive) seminar for another group, and THAT seminar is sold out. Granted, this is going to be a shorter session, but it’s not often you get to see (and given the size of this venue, probably talk to if you like) a nationally recognized marketing guru for $35.
The chamber’s number is at the bottom; they’re open at 8 a.m. this morning. Call them if you want to go.
“Capturing the Mind of your Customer: How to Win More Business in a Challenging Economy”
Speaker: Tony Rubleski
Thursday, February 12th
1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
at the Prattville Area Chamber of Commerce
131 North Court Street, Prattville
Cost: $20 for Chamber Members; $35 for Non-members
For more information, please contact us at 334-365-7392.
I contributed a review of The Dark Knight to Auburncomics.com – read it here. 🙂
The Auburn Knights will have their annual reunion this weekend. Montgomery Advertiser story.
I like to think that in some parallel universe I got to play with the Auburn Knights as a regular band member, but truthfully I went to AUM and anyway I was probably never that good. However, I was asked to play in the ’30s reunion band some years ago by Charlie Higgins, known to the Auburn faithful as both the irresistable force AND the immovable object behind the AKAA reunion. Starting last year, I was fortunate enough to be asked to play in the ’90s reunion band. My spot in the ’90s band is provisional, year to year, and dependent on my continuing to pay those alumni bari sax players to stay away whether or not alumni want to participate, but they know I’ll always jump at the chance.
This is what I get for twittering snarky things about the new Birmingham logo. A friend at al.com challenged me to critique the new design. First, let me say for the record I have no opinion about the name change, the wisdom of changing the name, etc. In my business, of course, change is good. 🙂
Here is a link to the graphic in question. The caption mentions that the Mayor of Birmingham, Larry Langford, designed it. Read more