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Alden Coleman is an anagram for Called No Name [userpic]

Thinking of Retirement

October 10th, 2019 (03:34 pm)

Thirty Nine. 

Three years and seven months until the youngest graduates high school.

Together we have a set income of over $40k. If we sold one house and paid off the other, our bills would be down to $24k/year. But Jen isn't done working, and the kids aren't quite done with school. 

I'm just tired of all politics, really. Global, national, local, and work-site related. 

I'm just not sure what I actually want to do anymore. I used to laugh and tell people I didn't know what I wanted to do when I grew up, but now I'm grown up, and I still don't know.

I think it might be time to take a step back and enjoy the last couple of years with the kids at home.

Alden Coleman is an anagram for Called No Name [userpic]


June 6th, 2017 (11:51 am)

I haven't Lj'd in quite a while, I suppose. I haven't had 2AM multiparagraph rants here since I left my job at Google. Oh, I'm getting ahead of myself.

My father passed away this past January. He was 55. He spent a year and a half on dialysis for kidney failure before deciding to not do dialysis anymore. I don't think he wanted to die, but rather he had grown tired of living that way. When he first looked really bad, two years ago, I took a hard look at myself. I was nearly 400 lbs, with high blood pressure, pre-diabetic (what the hell is pre-diabetic...), and miserable. So I quit that job, the best company in the world my ass.

Man. That was a ride. I feel like I should be able to pull up a three page rant on what went down there, but I just don't have it in me. Maybe age has quelled the fire, or maybe the rage simply isn't there now.

I've gone back to college in my mid thirties. Using my GI Bill. My kids are closer in age to my classmates than I am. My daughter is hanging out with two of my EE classmates today while I work.

I was able to find a group of peers in our veteran organization. I spent my second and will be spending part of my third as the Secretary / Director of Communications / Webmaster in the org.

I'm working part time at the school for the art department. It's good work, or so they say. Pay is less than half what I used to make, but more than twice what others going to school make. For me, it isn't the pay that matters, it's getting to work with these young adults, helping them learn the woodshop tools. That and the near unrestricted woodshop access, which I don't make use of near as much as I should.

Another reason I don't LJ as much is taking on the admin role over at the Slorum. I get my rumbly mind out in fewer lines across multiple threads there. It's nice. Sometimes I see why the previous site owner hung up the hat. You can't please everyone, and even pleasing the majority will piss some people right off.

I suppose I'm still out here, on the internet, just not on LJ as much.

To anyone who reads this, hello. Sorry for my youthful burning rage. I'd delete it, but that would be disingenuous. It simply is a reflection of how I had felt at those ages.

Hello, goodbye, hello, goodbye.

Alden Coleman is an anagram for Called No Name [userpic]

Halloween Party

October 2nd, 2015 (07:56 am)

Costumes, families, friends & fellowship. Perhaps a tasty beverage or two. Kid friendly. Potluck: bring a dish and drink to share.

My house, October 31st, 6pm to Midnight

Ping/call/email me for directions.

Alden Coleman is an anagram for Called No Name [userpic]

I stole a lawyer's dog Thursday, and broke into a gated community

May 2nd, 2015 (09:50 pm)

I had an appointment midtown, near 21st and Lewis. As I went inside an older brown male schnauzer barked at me and walked around. I checked and he had a collar. He was friendly, but ran off before I could call his human. So I went to my appointment.

30 minutes later I came out and he was still in the parking lot, running around. This is right off of 21st, and I didn't want to see the dog get hurt. So I called to him and said 'let's go'. He followed me to my van and jumped right on in when I opened the door.
I called the number on the collar and left a message after the robotic voicemail intro. Welp, I don't have anything to do for an hour and a half, and the address is only about 2 miles away, I'll take the dog on home.

I get on down the road and turn in to the neighborhood off of Lewis. Gated community. I browse through the list of names on the buttons, but the dog tag doesn't have a name and the numbers aren't matching the number on the collar.

Just then someone was leaving the neighborhood. I waited until they turned and saw the exit gate was still open. After a half a heartbeat of debate, I let myself in.
This neighborhood was quite swank. All modern houses, decked out. Zillow listed the dog owner's house at $840k, in Oklahoma.

As I parked in front of Hank's house (that wasn't his name, but I already forgot it) he got excited. When I opened the door he ran right on up to the side garage door. He pawed at the door, and you could see his nail marks from years of having done this. But still, no answer at the door, no answer on the phone, and I needed to get to an appointment in little over an hour. I didn't really want to drop him off at a vet or at a shelter.
Then I noticed that his tag had a faintly engraved number on the back. Problem was, one of the numbers could have been a 0 or a 6, couldn't really tell. I went with the 6. No answer, but I left a message.

After a few minutes of uncomfortably waiting in a neighborhood quite a bit out of my league, I tried the front door, the side door, and then the back fence gate, which was unlocked. After opening it Hank ran right on in. So I closed the gate and slid the small cinder block in front.

2 hours later I got a call from a woman who was asking about her dog. I explained what happened and she said oh, well, okay, so he's at home? A few minutes later I get another phone call. Mr. Hank's dad, the lawyer, had brought Hank to work, since Mr. Hank's mom went out of town to visit family. After multiple reassurances that I had left hank at home, he thanked me and said he had to run home anyway for something.

So that's how I wound up temporarily stealing some lawyer's dog one day.

Alden Coleman is an anagram for Called No Name [userpic]

It's not bad, it's that it should be so much better

April 10th, 2015 (02:16 pm)

Taking the internal work survey yesterday was quite depressing. Some of the questions answers came directly out of what I've been thinking lately: The Boss is getting us to do more work for less money.

I'm not even really that against the basics behind that. In a world of Automation, in a Capitalist society, you get more and more profit by getting more work for less.

But let's think that through a bit. Extrapolate to the extremes.

Right now, we're the lucky ones. We're the highly skilled, intelligent people that machines can't replace. But for how long?

A theoretical company buys robots to replace workers. The robots work 24x7, they don't get sick, they may need repair but not that often, and they don't cost that much, really. Take Baxter and Sawyer for example. Baxter costs $22k. Sawyer, $28k. That's a one time cost. Averaged out over a year, $425/wk for one year, or $540 for Sawyer. These brothers will work 24 hours per day, 7 days a week. No vacation, no holidays, not much sick time, at the cost of a bit more electricity.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXOkWuSCkRI (Baxter)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4mULTknb2I (Sawyer)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJJe8PXEUhk EDI (Eddie)

And so I look at the things that we are doing and I keep shouting at myself, why Why WHY are we doing it this way? It seems patently obvious and plain to me that we can track what equipment is going bad and failing based on our ordering and shipping manifests, so why are we re-tracking that same information in redacted? Why are we recording our daily routines in a dozen different software environments? Badging into redacted, android location tracking (gps and wifi), redacted, tickets, bugs, redacted, redacted, redacted, redacted, time sheets, account login-logout, blogs, resumes, redacted, ...

It goes on and on. We spend more time than necessary tracking what we do, when the machine is already tracking everything we do, more efficiently, and with more detail.

So, we have machines that work cheaper than us with better follow through. But they don't think, right? They can't possibly do all the humany things we do?

I'm sure that's what the law degree people of the 90's and 00's were thinking. As computers became more and more efficient the entry level law job "discovery" was phased out in only a handful of years. Want to make good money? Become a Doctor! Oh, wait, IBM's Watson is better at diagnosing cancer than human doctors: http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2013-02/11/ibm-watson-medical-doctor.

There is nothing that we can do that the machine can't do better. And that's what I want to work on. The machine! Making the machine better.

But what will that do for us?

Why have this machinery work more if we weren't to be working less.

Even our boss's boss's boss, all the way at the top, thinks that we should be working less.

"If you really think about the things that you need to make yourself happy—housing, security, opportunities for your kids—anthropologists have been identifying these things. It's not that hard for us to provide those things," he said. "The amount of resources we need to do that, the amount of work that actually needs to go into that is pretty small. I'm guessing less than 1% at the moment. So the idea that everyone needs to work frantically to meet people's needs is just not true. So the idea that everyone needs to work frantically to meet people's needs is just not true." - Larry PAGE.


Now, I'm diagnosed with Adjustment Disorder by the VA. I feel like this topic, alone, is consuming me. It infuriates me to see anything happening that goes in the face of this direction, and it pleases me to help move it along. I want nothing more than to find ways to optimize the processes around here, and free up time.


"Occupational and social impairment with occasional decrease in work efficiency and intermittent periods of inability to perform occupational tasks (although generally functioning satisfactorily, with routine behavior, self-care, and conversation normal), due to such symptoms as: depressed mood, anxiety, suspiciousness, panic attacks (weekly or less often), chronic sleep impairment, mild memory loss (such as forgetting names, directions, recent events)"


I want to find my niche here at Google, but I feel like we are, as a department, moving further and further away from actual optimization and toward frivolous busywork, drudgery, and simply justifying work to get employees.

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