Tuesday, July 20, 2004
(Boy do I ever miss Bangkok).
Dave Pell is an expert. Just take a look at his blog.
I haven't been marketable as an expert lately. Maybe that's my problem. I tend to understand and portray myself as a generalist, but I need to market myself as an expert. To be specific... in general, companies just aren't hiring generalists these days. My expertise is in the realm of critical thinking, analysis and communications. That's why I majored in Philosophy and English Literature. Most people don't realize that my alma mater, the University of Pittsburgh, is one of the top-5 Philosophy departments in the country. Lah-dee-dah.
I'll let you in on a little secret. I took enough English Lit classes to qualify for a double-major cuz I thought they were easy. Read a book and then write a critical paper about its style or some of its themes. Piece of cake.
Just my luck, right as I graduated, the bottom fell out of the Philosophy market and the Big 5 Philosophy firms stopped hiring. It was heart-breaking and things just haven't been the same since, so...
After a brief stint as an employment recruiter, where I learned to be an expert at getting another job, I became an expert in the field of condiments during my years with the H. J. Heinz Company. Then I became an expert in the sales, marketing and distribution of hardware and software products in the Apple Macintosh market. I did pretty well at that for more than 10 years.
In the mid-90's I hunkered-down and became an expert in the field of Digital Asset Management (DAM) or Media Asset Management (MAM) or Digital Media Management (DMM), whichever acronym you prefer. It worked out nicely for me, but have I ever mentioned how much I dislike acronyms. Sure they might be a necessary evil in the fight against verbosity, but I'd gladly sacrifice a bit of brevity if it would eliminate elitist obfuscation and demagoguery. Those Bastards (TB)!
After a quick detour into the fascinating world of the networking sub-specialty, Remote Access Management (RAM) I became an authority on Scalable Content and Multimedia Personalization. That was when I worked with Marc Canter at his company Broadband Mechanics and used some of the early blogging software that was beginning to emerge. We used Dave Winer and UserLand's Frontier and Manila (hey, anybody out there remember Clay Basket?) as a key part of our process. We used blogs to design, discuss, document and manage architecture and construction of web-based multimedia authoring tools. Then we got sucked down in the big Internet flush of 2000. Wheeeeeeee!
So now we're well into 2004 and its time for me to reinvent myself again after having taken a few years off to brood and travel in southeast Asia. My friend Barbara says that life is broken up into 7 year cycles. That would mean that my seventh cycle will be ending next March when I turn 49, but I want to start the new cycle NOW. All good things in all good time. On the other hand, who knows, really?
So I'm becoming an expert in the world of blogs and social networking software. Why not? Stranger things have happened.
I'll be attending the Blog-On 2004 conference this Thursday and Friday at the Haas School of Business across the Bay at UC Berkeley. All of us experts will be there!
Its costing me $149 plus bus and BART fare, unless I can find a ride with someone. That's a small price to pay for the opportunity to jump into the fray, dive in head-first and partake in some balls-out hob-nobbing with the industry (so-called) goober-smoochers. Yippe-ti-yo-ti-yay. Of course I'll bring my camera.
How big is the market? How fast will it grow? What about Michael Eisner and Google and everything? Jeez. I'm hoping they're going to at least try to tackle some of the big issues. Very exciting!
And there you have it. Problem solved. Re-invention underway. Make way for the expert. I guess I better start cramming.
Monday, July 19, 2004
I still have the occasional Coke or cup of tea, because it seems that these forms of caffeine just don't affect me the same way a strong cuppa joe does.
The next thing you know I might even quit smoking cigarettes.
I've certainly cut-down a bit since I've been living in a no-smoking house and have to go outside if I want one. I also noticed, on my recent trip home from Bangkok, that I was easily able to handle not smoking for almost an entire day of air travel.
Friday, July 16, 2004
I've been contacting all my former employers and many co-workers to let them know that I am searching, to affirm that I can expect an excellent reference and to alert them that they should expect reference inquiries as my job-search progresses. It feels good to get in touch with people I've not seen or spoken to for many years and it is certainly very gratifying to know that I can count on them.
I consider myself to be very lucky indeed to have had such an interesting life and a career that has allowed me to learn so much, work with so many fascinating people and travel the world. And it ain't over yet!
Still can't get a handle on the whereabouts or contact information for Norman Fong, who I worked with at FWB. Anybody out there know where Norman Fong is or how to get in touch with him?
The market does seem to be a bit more lively than it was 2 years ago before I set out on my travels in southest Asia, but there is still that lingering sense of conservatism and misplaced values. So many companies are looking to only hire people who attended "top-tier" schools or who have had extensive experience working for their direct competitors. Too bad for them! And so many job-listings written in inscrutable MBA-speak.
Thursday, July 15, 2004
Of course, I went to a famous University to study Philosophy. This article details how the University of Pittsburgh deliberately built up its Philosophy department to be one of the very few best in the the country.
Wednesday, July 14, 2004
Wherever you go, whatever you do, whoever you are... YOU ARE UNDER SURVEILANCE
Because you are a potential criminal, perhaps you secretly doubt the sanctity of corporate property, or the validity of laws made by the rich to govern the poor, or the soundness of capitalism itself - We can't afford to assume you don't. That's why there are video cameras pointed at every cashier and police cars circling every block. Left to itself, a state of disorder and inequity returns to equilibrium. Our job is to perpetuate this one indefinitely. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY - in suspicion we trust.
Politics is a joke in this country. The level of public political discourse is at an all-time low.
What a pathetic mess.
Monday, July 12, 2004
I'm still pulling together various portfolios and hope to soon make a submission to 28mm, an online photography magazine.
I've got LOTS of photos where I appear in some reflective surface, so I'll be making more submissions periodically to The Mirror Project. Fun!
Sunday, July 11, 2004
Saturday, July 10, 2004
Some people's stuff is so consistently great. I just love Heather Champ's photo-blog.
And daily dose of imagery is incredible too.
And of course Satan's Laundromat just blows me away. They all do. I've linked to them before and apparently can't stop... when I visit these sites I want to share them.
Here's a nice one I shot last year of a blind man playing cymbals in a band of legless men in Cambodia near Angkor Wat. I'm not making this up, so don't make me post the photo of the entire band.
On the job-hunting front I'm off to a good start this week:
- updated resume
- reworked cover letters
- posted resume at various online services
- networking like a champ
- sent resumes to apply for 6 jobs
- considered feedback from many friends
- felt depressed
And then I felt sick yesterday and today. As yesterday progressed I felt worse and worse, kind of flu-ish. Today all I have done is sleep and eat. i wake up for meals and then just lay in bed snoozing. Its now 7:15pm and I just woke up again. Time to eat again soon and then hopefully stay awake long enough to watch Stanley Kubrick's Barry Lyndon on DVD.
Friday, July 09, 2004
Birds build nests, beavers build dams, ants build tunnels, bees build hives and humans build houses, office buildings, shopping centers, airports, etc. In my view it is a common mistake to understand man-made things as being somehow "unnatural". Also, it seems to me, that there is a strong value-judgment implicit in this view. The idea that what non-human beings do is harmonious, in-tune with and aligned with nature and that this is a good thing. While conversely, some (I guess it must be some, but not all) human activities are unharmonious, out-of-tune and mis-aligned and therefore they are unnatural and bad.
Are we somehow NOT a part of nature? Are we and our activities somehow opposed to nature? I think not (Au contraire, mon frer). We are very much a part of nature and as such ALL that we think and do (and everything under the sun, as they sing in the song) is and are 100% natural. How could it be otherwise? This does not mean that everything we do is good (whatever good means). Is everything a bird or bee does good? If a bee stings me, I can assure you that I think it is bad, but not unnatural. What could Chris and others mean by "nature" if it excludes humans and the products of their activities?
Chris says that nests and dams and ant tunnels and bee-hives don't have the same deleterious impact that many seemingly analogous human products have and that makes us and our products different and in some sense unnatural. Hogwash I say!
Just because human activities have a somehow less harmonious relationship with and impact on our environment does not mean that they are any less natural. That is unless Chris and others mean something different than what I take to be meant by the word nature.
More on this issue soon...
The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. The religion which based on experience, which refuses dogmatic. If there's any religion that would cope the scientific needs it will be Buddhism....
A human being is a part of a whole, called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest... a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.
-- Albert Einstein
Only a life lived for others is worth living.
-- Albert Einstein
A person starts to live when he can live outside himself.
-- Albert Einstein
Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts.
-- Albert Einstein
The most beautiful experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand wrapped in awe is as good as dead. His eyes are closed.
-- Albert Einstein
Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.
-- Albert Einstein
I never think of the future. It comes soon enough.
-- Albert Einstein
There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.
-- Albert Einstein
Relativity teaches us the connection between the different descriptions of one and the same reality.
-- Albert Einstein
The search for truth is more precious than its possession.
-- Albert Einstein
The pursuit of truth and beauty is a sphere of activity in which we are permitted to remain children all our lives.
-- Albert Einstein
Thursday, July 08, 2004
Wednesday, July 07, 2004
Welp, now I'm in the thick of it. Job-hunting. Arrrggghhhh. It can put you in a foul mood and yesterday that was about the size of it.
Today I kicked some ass, took a few names and scheduled lots of lunches, dinners, schmoozes, pop-ins and of course I left some messages.
I also tweaked my resume.
Dare I say that I'd rather be taking photographs... or even be working at a new job!
Tuesday, July 06, 2004
I'm trying to switch gears from backpacking in SE Asia to being a job-hunter here in America. Somehow the former felt better I think.
Being unemployed - how one must define one's self while looking for work - is not a whole lot of fun. Just consider the gap between what you might want to do and what is available. An even bigger gap if you don’t really know what you want to do in the first place. I never have really, at least not in very definite concrete terms.
[ why yes mister HR person, I have ALWAYS
wanted to manage channel sales for a
company that makes channel sales management
automation software tools... ]
I want to grow a business that melds TV and the web with conventional programming forms on an XML-based hosted services social software networking platform. B2B only, please.
I consider it to be harmful to define my career goals in such a restrictive fashion. What industry? What discipline? Marketing? What kind of marketing? Channel marketing or product marketing? Please... give me a break.
My goals are much more generalized and they always have been. The criteria by which I assess a job are something like this:
- Intellectual challenge, potential for stimulation and engagement
- Growth and learning opportunities and potential
- Customers and partners
- Salary and incentives
- Acceptability of downside/risk/problems/ etc.
And then there are the issues of what value I provide to my employer. Rather than extremely specific and highly specialized skills or relationships in a particular industry, I believe that my value is much more generalized along the lines of:
- Ability to learn quickly and effectively
- Ruthless intellectualism
- Sharp analytic and problem-solving skills
- Ability to articulate, communicate and listen
- A deliberate, methodical, iterative approach
- A positive, helpful, good-humored outlook
- An open-minded, criticism-seeking attitude
- Willingness to take calculated risks
- Management and leadership skills
- Deep and broad experience with building value,
creating advantage and delivering results
My bottom-line is that I'm me. And damn I'm good when I'm faced with big challenges, but boy do I suck at being under-utilized.
Glad I got that off my chest.
Monday, July 05, 2004
Felt kind of ill yesterday. Diarrhea if you must know. Yuck-o.
Today I'm better and the weather is better and its not the 4th of July and everything is copacetic hunky-dory.
I went for a long walk, took a mess-o-photos and ran into many friends.
Sunday, July 04, 2004
Then I had lunch with Michael, Gerladine and Mimi at the Squat and Gobble in the Lower Haight.
After a nice nap I hung-out with Stanley for some 4:20 action.
Cecilia picked me up at about 7:30 and we had a lovely Thai dinner at Neecha Thai.
Finally we went to see Richard Thompson at The Fillmore. Henry Kaiser opened. During Richard Thompson's encore, Donovan came onstage and performed Season of the Witch, Hurdy Gurdy Man and Mellow Yellow. Amazing!
Friday, July 02, 2004
In related and belated news, friends Les and Stacey had a baby yesterday morning, but as yet there are no known photos available of Leah Clara Feldman.
Congrats to all new parents and a big "come on already" to Ross and Robin who are due any day now...
Wednesday, June 30, 2004
Monday, June 28, 2004
Sunday, June 27, 2004
Tuesday, June 22, 2004
I have very little respect for Michael Moore. His books are truly sensationalistic and sophmoric and do little to raise the level of political and social discourse from the third-grade level at which both the Democratic and Republican parties have kept it for many many years now.
And in related news, it turns out (of course) that Bush, Rumsfeld, Ashcroft and the whole gang beleive that they are above the law and that it is OK to ignore the Geneva Convention and abuse prisoners.
Monday, June 21, 2004
Sunday, June 20, 2004
Yesterday I went to a nice outdoor concert at the Yerba Buena Gardens downtown.
Friday night at The Fillmore with Patty Griffin was tremendous. and my buddy David showed-up in his brand new 2005 model year Subaru Outback.
Yippeeee! My friend Chris hooked-me-up to be an usher at the Warfield Theatre next Thursday for the Carlos Santana concert. Ushing is a pretty easy job and about 3-4 songs into the show they "cut-you-loose" from your post and you are free to enjoy the show.
Thursday, June 17, 2004
I say impeach the muthafucker today... think of all the damage he can still do if we wait for an election in November!
Many others seem to agree:
The Four Reasons
Impeach Bush NOW
Vote to Impeach
And then tomorrow night I'm going with my friend David (pictured below in the always cool Kind Veggie Tee-Shirt) to see a fantastic singer/songwriter, Patty Griffin at The Fillmore.
Wednesday, June 16, 2004
Hey, check out my buddy Dave's blog. He's off in Africa shooting a documentary film on volunteers helping refugees in Zambia.
And also stop in at PhatMike's blog. He's heading to Amsterdam for a month in July!
OK, now its 11:11 am and I just woke-up... again.
Here's a shot of my other buddy Dave in a highly inebriated late-night sitar pose.
I recently let him down inadvertently and just found out. Jeeez I feel so bad. Sorry Dave!
We all live in the world of our feelings, yet hardly anybody talks about it except lovers (sometimes), songwriters, poets and other artists. The world can be such a terrible, brutal, horrifying place. No, not all the time, but its out there... and people are worried.
Tuesday, June 15, 2004
Might just do a photo a day at fotolog.net.
I was also admiring some of Mark Hemmings photos this morning.
Some beautiful flowers from India to brighten your day.
Hey, who knew that "Son of Sam", convicted murderer Jeffery Berkowitz has his own blog?
And on an unrelated note, my buddy Bob-O was hanging out with New York's famous Concert Joe at Bonaroo last week.
Wow, Yahoo just increased my mailbox storage to 2 gigs in order to compete with Google's g-mail.
You know I got a new computer last week. Its pretty awesome!
Monday, June 14, 2004
How do I get started? What will I need to do, exactly?
I have a camera, but it isn't professional quality, so I need a new one. And some other stuff too.
Of course, my real value is my eye and sense of appreciation for what makes a good photograph. I don't know what art is, but I know what I like! (Nick Nolte says that in some movie, I forget which) Suffice it to say that I think I have what it takes to succeed.
I have a huge stock of photographs, mostly at lower resolutions, from my recent travels and from the few years before I began traveling. Can I use this stock as the basis for a professional portfolio? Can I start some small income streams by selling this stuff through stock photo houses and by publishing my various image collections in the form of postcards, notecards, greeting cards, posters, calendars, coffe-table books, gallery exhibits, etc?
Despite the goldmine I'm already sitting on (hah!), it'll be what I do now and in the future that will matter most.
What sort of work should I go after? Do I have to specialize? Should I enroll in some courses somewhere?
Its a lot to consider. Kind of overwhelming, but kind of exciting and much more appealing than going back to the kind of jobs I've had in the past.
So I'm sitting here thinking and researching and sorting and sifting through my pile of photographs.
Boy, there sure are a lot of photography magazines out there.
Uh-oh... there are a LOT of photographers out there too!
So much to consider. So much competition. So many risks. So much fun!
Why did I call it philotography? Cuz I was a Philosophy major and I try to get at the truth of the matter whenever I can. Combining philosophy with photography, for me... is philotography, but its not REALLY a word.
I like the list of items the dictionary comes up with as suggestions for philotography ...
Don't you think that pornographer should be on the list as well?
Sunday, June 13, 2004
Lots of people are at the big Bonaroo Festival in Tennessee right now... but those of us who stayed home this weekend are in for a big freaky treat cuz the 27th annual Haight Street Fair is today.
The fair doesn't start until 11:00 am, but I woke up early (again) and, although I had pretty much quit drinking coffee when I was traveling, headed down the street to Cafe Abir for a strong cuppa-joe.
Strong coffee really hits me hard. Just take a look at the shocking before and after photos below:
Quite a difference! Similarly we might look at before and after ganja as well:
Saturday, June 12, 2004
Yet another blog I am trying, testing and toying with.
There's always my photo blog.
Ansd then just a few more I guess...
Mythicaldude on Motime
Mythicaldude at Blogcity
And then there's the one you're reading... this one right here!
Friday, June 11, 2004
There are lots of people selling lots of Buddhist stuff. This guy wants you to be enlightened. Lots of others want to sell you equipment you might need in your quest for enlightenment.com .
I suppose it seems reasonable that you might not reach Nirvana without the right tools, but somehow I sense that this is another sign of the commodification of spirituality. Sigh.
Well, what can you do? I haven't bought much of anything for the past few years. its easier to resist when you keep moving, but as soon as you settle down in one place for awhile there's a definite tendency for things to accumulate.
I meant to check out the San Francisco Zen Center, but I overslept. as my buddy Stanley sez... so zen, it ain't even funny!
Buddhism Resources on the Net:
Access to Insight
Essentials of Buddhism
Zen Buddhism Virtual Library
More to come soon...
And by the way... have you EVER seen a punked-out pig? I ran into one in Nepal of all places:
Cringely had something interesting to say about blogs today.
And Dave Winer almost always does.
Thursday, June 10, 2004
Truer words were never spoken. Damn its been cold and windy!
Its OK though, friends keep me warm... I ran into my friend Ali a few weeks back, and shot a few portraits of him...
I've been hard at work on sorting and sifting through my 50,000+ travel photos. Portraits are my specialty, but I've also ended-up with an amazing collection of Buddah images from the hundreds of Buddhist temples I visited. I definitely have a soft spot in my heart for Buddah, Buddhismk and Buddhists. This oneis from the Dalai Lama's temple in Mcleod Ganj near Dharamsala in Northern India.
Having lunch with Pauline today, and then meeting with some filmakers who are interested in some of my portraits. They are working on a project about gypsies and nomads in the Great Thar Desert in Rajasthan, India.
Saw this poster in the Anarchist's Collective Bookshop on Haight Street. Live for pleasure? What a concept!