July 2008 Archives

Tired on the First Day

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Senator Obama finished his Middle East & European tour today with a stop in London to discuss the potential direction of United States - United Kingdom relations should Obama become President in November with Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

It seems to me I have yet to hear any news outlets refer to Obama's trip as historic. Of course, the "mainstream" media outlets have been doing their usual handwringing about is there media bias in their coverage of Obama, is he getting a "free pass" by the media and are they "afraid" to say anything critical about him. It seems these days the media does more analyzing about itself then a psychiatrist. Which I guess explains why I have yet to hear what is usually par for the course, given what passes for news these days, the insanely obvious, that Obama's trip is historic. Or at least, again given the news, his trip is historic in terms of any presidential politics from the last half century.[1]

Historic, at least to me, since I don't recall many presidential candidates, presumptive Democratic nominee as the news likes to call him[2], taking a world tour as part of a campaign for office, let alone a war zone. [3] Senator McCain toured Iraq in March, and basically goateed Obama to do the same. So, in reality that is two historic trips in one election.

Which I suppose brings us to the real reason why the press passed on calling Obama's trip historic, not so much because of the concern of bias, well maybe a side-effect and not because McCain already went, but because the junior Senator from Illinois is already a "historic" figure, being the first "electable" African-American candidate for President.  He's already historic; he can't be taking a "historic" world tour as well. There can't be too many historic events relating to Obama already, what will the news cover next year?

Is it bad I feel that I might be in one of those flashback scene in "The West Wing" from before Bartlet becomes President? The ones where we learn how the main characters got to the White House and Bartlet as President?

Yes, my "first day" on the new job as IT Director for the Obama campaign in the state of Minnesota sure has that feel of organized chaos. The main office in St. Paul is just getting off the ground. I have a laptop, but "my" Blackberry has been repurposed by one of the Regional Field Officers, I think.[4]  I had housing, but the supporter who had volunteered room was not answering their phone, so for the moment I'm in a bed of a friend of Maggie's[5] who is out of town. Soon I'll have an email address, if I don't already and of course passwords galore.

Oh and there was that whole six and a half hour drive from Chicago to St. Paul. The last two insane weeks of organizing everything once I accepted the job, the shock and concern in my mother's voice and of course leaving Katie just days before our one year wedding anniversary, not knowing if I'll be able to make it back later in the week for our planned weekend on North Michigan and the annual Judd Goldman Adaptive Sailing benefit. 

Meanwhile I need to relearn Microsoft Office as I sit here working with Office 97 and its "Ribbon" Interface. I suppose Office is the least of my worries given that before I arrived Brian[6] had me expecting everyone working on Vista systems. What, what a nightmare that would have been.

I expected that this job would be a little bit of everything, and so much that's proven to be true, and I didn't even put in a full Saturday given that whole driving thing. Had a little fun trying to figure out some of the florescent lighting in the St. Paul office, tried to track and organize the brain dump Brian give me of what office has or needs what,[7] where everything is[8], what everything is[9], who everyone is[10], when.[11]

It's going to be bumpy from here on out.

[1] Everything in the news is in relation to JFK and the "Baby Boomers". Nothing of note happened before then. Of course more times than not, it seems nothing of note happened even just last year or "Pre-9/11" or.... Then again, IIRC correctly, T. Roosevelt was the first President to leave the US while in office to visit Panama, so I suppose you have to cut them some slack, G. Washington might have been "touring" a "war zone" before "running for President", but it's not like he was touring central Asia. 

[2] I would like to thank the academy; it's an honor simply to be nominated.

[3] Then again nothing happen, for me, before Ronald Regan. Sure I was born while Ford was mopping up for Nixon, but most Baby Boomers where born while either Truman or Eisenhower was in office.

[4] Now that would be West Wing to the "T" what with everyone holding their BlackBerries in hand while walking down some corridor. Oh guess I'll have to make do with my iPhone 3G, which is much hipper. I mean let's face it if they filmed West Wing now everyone would be holding iPhones...

[5] Maggie T., Congressional District 4/Region 4

[6] Brian S., Minnesota Data Manager

[7] St. Paul has cable Internet, but no voice yet which I will be in charge of and is schedule for Tuesday. The Minneapolis and Duluth offices will have DSL that has yet to be installed. Nor do the other two offices have voice either.

[8] St. Paul office 777 Raymond Ave, Minneapolis office 514 Hennepin and who knows where Duluth is.

[9] Windows XP systems, so far most staffers seem to have their own laptops, mostly PCs and a couple of Macs. Xerox printers, which it seems the Chicago IT office was smart enough to standardize on one/two models, makes cartridge ordering/replacing a painless job and can just have one set of printer drivers. Routers and wireless hubs still need to be purchased.

[10] God help me here, Jeff Blodgett, State Director, various support staff, such as myself and of course lots of Field Officers such as Tess Wolterstorff

[11] 24/7 Ok, not really, but it'll be long hours starting Monday 9am.

The Old Switcheroo

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Back in May I outlined a number of changes we here at Zoomshare had planned for everybody's photo albums including a new mid-size view of an image, embed codes for sharing the image on the web and more. One feature we've been developing, that I left out of that initial list, was the capturing of photo uploads for promotion on Zoomshare.com.

Well now after a few weeks of development, testing, customer feedback and reprioritizing we've pulled a little switcheroo. The latest feature for Zoomies being the promotion of their smiling faces, pets, group pictures, favorite art and more (naturally, to be considered, the images must be family friendly) while we tweak and adjust, based in part on user feedback, the master list of new album features.

How do you get an image considered for Zoomshare.com? It is as simple as simple can be, just upload one or more photos to a photo album on your website and tune into Zoomshare.com for daily updates.

Why should you care? Well getting an image with a link to your site on Zoomshare.com, which is currently averaging just over 3,000 visitors per day, will help get your site noticed and bring new visitors to you. It also helps spruce up our home page, allowing us to showcase our terrific online community to potential new users.

It's Win - Win, so Join In!

Nobody Expects The Spanish Inquisition or The Inquisition, Let's Begin, The Inquisition, Look Out Sin

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I know given the last great post it has been at little silent on this blog. Well it's hard to top something as random as SciFi poetry and frankly it is not always fun and games here at Zoomshare. I mean we've been quite busy rolling out a new set of features for our photo album tool and addressing user feedback.

Given that, I want to take a moment to seriously reflect a bit on what's been going on since my last post.

To best reflect I offer samples of two conversations from the past two weeks involving myself and a few others touching a bit on the deeper meanings of life:

sare: back now
pdw: hey I'm back too
peenworm: this is great, everyone's back
pdw: alright!
peenworm: not that i went far, just to the kitchen, and Dexter is inventing traps for ghosts
sare: i am not sure i was ever truly "here" till i joined irc chat.
sare: "do i exist outside of irc channel?", is my existential question of the day...
pdw: Do I exist inside of irc? Or is this some digital bit of a whole me?
pdw: Or, if an IRCbot crashes and no one is around, does it make a sound?
sare: woah. i'm afraid my brain is too mushy to even try to fathom that level of depth.

Or if you're looking for morality in the physical world instead of souls in the virtual one:

Brandon: Oh okay. I was just wondering. Hey if you were in a 7-11 and there was a fire, do you think it would be a dishonest act to take a slice of pizza and eat it?
Me: depends, am I in the 7-11 on July 11th?
Brandon: Ha! Yes.
Me: well then no, its a sign from the Gods of Kobal, and I'd take the pizza and run
Brandon: That's what I would do. It is going to burn up anyways, yet my parents think it would be stealing when I asked them.

Discuss amongst yourselves...

About the Author

Paul is a technologist and all around nice guy for technology oriented organizations and parties. Besides maintaining this blog and website you can follow Paul's particular pontifications on the Life Universe and Everything on Twitter.


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