A Twist Of Fate
December, 2011 Entries
"Fiction writing is great, you can make up almost anything." - Anonymous

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(12/18/11 - 11:26 AM)
What's new and exciting this week?

I actually watched THREE movies this week. I know, even >I'm< shocked.

First, an old favorite from 1986, "F/X". I haven't seen this movie since the early nineties, and it wasn't at all what I remembered it to be. Oh - and I also caught the lead character beating a dude with a rubber rifle. That, or it was REALLY flexible. All in all, a good walk down memory lane, if a bit of a campy and dated one.

Next up: "RED", a star-packed thrill ride that I actually enjoyed. And I'm finicky about movies at the best of times, so that's saying something. It was a little quirky, and a little high on the 'suspension of belief' food chain but, on the whole, I would actually watch it again.

And, finally, "Tron: Legacy", a movie I didn't have high hopes for. And, it would appear, rightly so. The only interesting spot, for me, was Olivia Wilde (Of House fame as '13') as Quorra. It was a departure from the role I'm used to seeing her in, and she pulled off the wide-eyed, curious, bad-ass combination well. Let's just call this movie what it is: A cashing in on a new generation with an old idea, and a re-cashing in on a generation who are still awed by the first film, and it's far-advanced filmmaking techniques. That's really what this is, unfortunately. Which is sad because it felt like it could have been so much more.

I ordered a copy of Suzanne Collins, "The Hunger Games" for Wanda and she managed to devour it in an evening. Apparently, the writing is 'meh', but the story is solid. I'll have to check it out. Right behind the other seventeen books I'm behind on. >SIGH< I miss having the time to read as I once did.

I've been working steadily on the media library, and have been rating hundreds of songs as I go (there are currently over 20k still unrated, so this is a bit of an uphill battle.) Also, I seem to have the whole Trojan Horse scare from last week successfully under control. As we grow this buisness, I'm sorely tempted to switch everything over to Apple products just to avoid crap like that. I really, really am.

Work has been up and down. This has proven to be a blessing to me, time wise, as I get a ton done in the afternoon lull between getting off work, and Wanda coming home. Not that her coming home is a bad thing - dammit, you get the point: Don't be difficult.

A number of friends also purchased new homes this week. Apparently, it's the season for this in my circles. Congratulations all of you - I'm so happy for you all!

Other big news this week: My Digital Ninjas: Guerrilla Marketing blog has gone viral, somewhere. I had one, then three, then eighteen, then twenty-one, and this morning twenty-four Internet followers. I don't know where or when it happened, but the gears are now in motion for me to FINALLY gain a solid, nation- and world-wide following, which I haven't had since the early nineties, and the advent of my once-the-largest-on-the-planet Telecommunications & Computer Acronym Archive. Which is great, because that will help the book along in the spring! Woot!

I made a number of solid business connections this week, and continue to work dilligently to cultivate a presence in the Stateline area. Part of me wants to go out in public and actually meet these folks, but the other part of me enjoys the mystique of being an unknown quantity. It's wrong, I know - and not very modest. But I've worked so hard for so long to create something from nothing that I feel like enjoying the ride for a while longer.

Also, there's been quite the uproar over this:

The Dubai Pepsi Can. I looked at this thing for a full minute and a half, after seeing the vitriolic posts about the thing. And I don't agree. I see a thriving metropolis (Dubai), and a gateway to something better (in our eyes, anyway) than what they (the folks in the areas where this can is being utilized), perhaps, already have. I believe that Pepsi is trying to sell hope and not, as many seem to believe, flip a middle finger at the September 11th, 2001 horror show. I'm apparently in a minority, as I was 'schooled' on FacEBook on how Middle Easterners are, 'Intellectuallly Inferior' to us. I just couldn't let either ridiculous thing go - I should have, but it was so myopic that I just couldn't. And now I've been mildly villified. Meh: I can live with that.

(12/11/11 - 12:47 PM)
Happy Sunday! Wanda is now sick, just as I'm beginning to feel better. It's been a crazy week at work, and I've also done a ton of work for our business at home this week. I've begun the slow process of learning the Serif X5 software for web sites, and now have my first 3/4's of a site complete. The problem? I'm not smart enough to finish it, so I ended up sticking Wanda with it due to my ignorance. I hope, as time goes on, to rectify that ignorance, and refine my skill with this piece of powerful software.

What I like most about the Serif family of software, so far, is the ease of moving from piece to piece within the family. I also like the (mostly) intuitive buttons, drop-downs, and insert tools. The biggest hurdle - for me - is having zero relevant photo editing or desktop publishing experience. I mean - I can clunk around just fine, and make it do low-level stuff. I've always had a knack for that. But when it starts to go beyond the 'hammer' phase and into the more precise tools, I really drop the ball.

Still, I've learned so much over the past months that I feel accomplished, regardless of the ultimate quality that I'm putting out. Thank God Wanda's here to make it look presentable before it has its coming out party.

Speaking of 'coming out': Today is the first official day that the Digital Ninjas: Social Media Trends page is public. We've been growing the page for the past few weeks in a hidden, test phase and it's done very well. I figured with the current climate on FaceBook, now was as good a time as ever to roll the thing out. Hopefully it works well, but I know it's going to take yet more of my time to keep it relevantly stocked with data. The biggest downside is that my personal blog suffers - as you may have noted from week to week of late. I write what I have time for and - sometimes - I'm just too tired to do another thing at the end of an evening, regardless of how interesting my day might have been. Which is sad, because I'm not only letting myself down, I'm also letting my loyal readers down. And for that, let me apologize now. I don't like it but - at the moment - it's a necessary evil in my busy life.

When we structured the company, Wanda was supposed to handle marketing, and my role was sort of a grey area. Out of necessity, and trying not to kill Wanda by overworking, I inadvertantly began to take on the marketing mantle myself. I didn't really even consider that it was happening, until it already had. And - it turns out - I actually LOVE marketing. A great deal, actually. Who knew? I just hope she can forgive me for taking something off of her plate to help, only to fall in love with it. Especially since she's been the primary breadwinner for the company thus far via web site design and modification work.

Through the past couple of weeks, I've been trying to find a voice for Weird Uncle Pete as well. But - like this blog - it's one more outlet that requires content and ends up more often than not as a back-burner item.

On a more positive note, I've been sitting in front of a computer so much that I've gotten a lot more work done on the media library. I've got numerous new seasons of video converted for over-the-home-network watching, as well as rating some of the 14k unrated songs in the MP3 catalog. I just let them run randomly in the background, and rate them once I'm sure about what I'm hearing. As I type this, I realize that I'm multi-tasking on a whole new level. I can't decide if that's awesome, or sad. Maybe a little of both?

The cruise seems to be all taken care of, for the moment. Plane tickets are booked, shore excursions are booked, and the final payment went through. I'm still REALLY nervous about something I have so little control over. I'm putting faith in folks I've never met, who have no compelling reason to look out for me, so it's a little daunting. Hopefully, I'll figure it out as I go, and my fears will be unfounded. Still, it's a niggling feeling.

And - with that - I return to the trenches. I could really use a nap, and would kill for some time to read. Oh well: I knew going into this that it was going to be a huge time-suck for the first year or so.

Oh! I almost forgot! Wanda will officially be working in the offices of the local Republican Party! She was re-tapped, after initially declining, by a party representative. Apparently, he knows what she brings to the table, and really - REALLY - wanted her there. The upside? It will put us in contact with a whole new group of potential clients. The downside? I won't see as much of my wife.

(12/04/11 - 12:47 PM)
Spent all morning writing for the marketing blogs. The entries seem to be becoming more and more article-like. This is probably a good thing, as it will make for an easier transition to book form next year.

The Christmas party last night was pretty fun. It was nice to see most everyone turned out, and I got to sit with some co-workers I don't get to see a whole lot of - especially socially.

The evening was topped off by a mouse running through our entire banquet area. One of my co-workers daughters ended up on a chair, and we were all a little dumbstruck by the whole thing.

Came home early, in lieu of driving out to the Owner's home, because we were both fairly tired. Played some Nintendo, watched a movie, and called it a night.

Now I'm doing... well... THIS. Then it's on to work for the business, in the form of learning more software.

Someday, maybe we'll make some profit on the whole endeavor. Perhaps even next year, if the stars all align, but I'm betting it will be more like two. And that's okay - we're not in a hurry. We want to grow WITH the business by learning new things, and tackling new projects. That, in a nutshell, is what makes it fun.

(12/03/11 - 2:06 PM)
Spent a few hours at work this morning after, strangely, sleeping in really late.

Came home, and did some billing on a mobile web site and some standard web site work Wanda wrapped up, and then paid bills.

Isn't my life exciting?

Now it's nap time, before my company Christmas Party tonight.

(12/02/11 - 10:14 AM)
Dear Friday:

I'm glad you're here. This week has been suck-o-licious.

(12/01/11 - 9:32 PM)
Two things have struck me from the blue at work this week: One employee asked if I had ever heard of "Atlas Shrugged". I thought he was joking, but it turned out that he had seen the first installment of the film. I told him that I really wanted to, but had not yet. I then educated him on the fact that it was a must-read book, and probably one of my favorites. I'm just happy when anyone discovers this gem - even in movie form.

The second encounter came from a second-shift employee whom I don't know nearly as well as I would like. He was musing on the expansion of the Universe, and soon we were completing each other's postulations and sentences. This was the first time someone had asked me (instead of the other way around) where the expanding universe was expanding TO, exactly. This is a question that I puzzle over in awe often, so hearing these words from another soul let me know that I wasn't alone in this cosmic mess when it came to big thoughts like this.

Both were strange happenings from unexpected sources - but not unenjoyable in the least.

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