I don’t believe in ideas anymore

It’s not that I don’t believe in ideas anymore – that would be like not believing in the sun or the sky. As long as people breathe, they will continue to have ideas. What I really mean is: where are the ideas whose singular purpose is not to line pockets or take advantage of others? Even the ideas that are seemingly well meaning are well meaning with the hope of riches beyond belief.

There was a time when someone bought a home because they wanted to spend their life in it. Now it’s an investment. People started businesses to feed their families, not with an eye on world domination. Over the years our view of the American dream has been distorted to the point where it appears like our image reflected in a funhouse mirror.

The greatest shortage this country seems to have is of people who think beyond their bank account, home value, or 401K balance.

Where are the people whose sole intent is to have a positive impact? Where are there ideas? And how do I meet them?

I’m not cool enough to be a Mac

macvpcFinally Microsoft is running an effective ad campaign. If you haven’t seen it, Lauren (cute redhead too) is given $1,000 to buy a computer. She wants it to have a large monitor and a comfortable keyboard. First she heads to an Apple store and immediately leaves when she realizes that Apple has one computer in that price range – the Macbook with a 13″ screen. She then heads over the Best Buy where she finds an number of machines that fit her price range and leaves with an HP that costs $699.

In this economy…

I have to say that this commercial is smart. If you need to buy a computer, absolutely price is a concern, and considering nothing else, it’s an area that Macs can’t compete in. Of course there are other issues. I’m currently writing this post on my wife’s Sony Vaio laptop which is just a year and a half old. I would have preferred to buy a Mac for her, but a month prior to getting married, the price of a Mac was prohibitive. She needed a computer to get things done, so I got her this computer for $600. It has gotten things done, but there is the “you get what you pay for” issue. Most of the time we’ve owned this machine, this computer has been a pain to use. Vista was horrible. The amount of call trialware on the computer was appalling. Over the year Microsoft has made Vista better, and I’ve done things to make the computer bearable. Honestly most people don’t care that much. They don’t expect much out of their computer which makes a Windows machine perfect for them.

Apple need to do a better job at the low end of the price spectrum. There is absolutely no reason Apple shouldn’t be able to provide a Macbook with a 15″ monitor for under $1,000. As people begin to pay more attention to their budget and bottom line, the extra dollars may be too much for their wallet. Apple needs to be more inclusive.

Dishonoring the badge

Sometimes I am reminded that those that are charged with keeping law and order don’t have the common sense necessary to conduct the job.

Last week a Dallas police officer kept former Eagle Ryan Moats from going into a hospital to be with his mother-in-law, Jonetta Collinsworth, as she died. Quotes from the officer include “I can screw you over” and “I can just take you to jail for running a red light.” Moats, while understandably agitated, remained relatively calm, never said he was an NFL player, complied, but by the time the cop was done, Moats’ mother-in-law had passed. Other police officers, hospital officials implored the officer to allow Moats into the hospital and write the ticket inside to which he responded “I’m almost done.”

This cop is not human, he is an animal. Just as the thugs that run the street deserve scorn, so does this piece of crap. I cannot even begin to imagine what it must feel like to know a family member is dying while an officer is holding you for a minor traffic infraction.

My initial response was that Moats being black had a lot to do with this. While I think this was a factor, now I think it’s simply a fact of a cop being a dick. If the man that got out of the car was George Clooney, this officer still would have been a dick. Maybe not as much of a dick, but a dick none the less. I think nothing short of Angelina Jolie would have stopped him. And she’d probably have to be naked. And have a parent dying.

There’s not even a bit of remorse to take the sting away. Just a defense that he was just doing his job. That sounds a lot like the defense “just following orders” that those convicted of Auschwitz war crimes used. In this economic climate, it’s hard for me to wish for someone to lose their job, but he’d be lucky if that’s the only punishment he received.

My heart goes out to the Moats/Collinsworth family. Those final minutes will likely haunt them forever. Not just because of the fact they weren’t able to spend those final moments with her, but also because in this time of need, someone that should have been counted on to assist in times of need made things worse because of a remarkable lack of compassion.

It goes as a strong statement, that nothing that I’ve seen recently is more disheartening than this.

The following is a news story that includes excerpts from the officer’s dashboard camera.

Layoff 2009: The theme song as provided by Radiohead

I’ve decided I need a theme song for this layoff – my fourth.  This is my fourth layoff and it seems that I’ve been here before. I have a strong desire to zig when others would say I should zag. I think that’s why the song 15 Step (iTunes) by Radiohead appeals to me from the opening lines:

How come I end up where I started
How come I end up where I went wrong
Won’t take my eyes off the ball again
You reel me out and you cut the string.

I haven’t exactly been burning the pavement.  Been working on my other website, Tunes On TV; doing some long needed work around the house. Preparing for an interview (like Larry King, not a job interview).

I’ve been bitten so often that I’m thrice shy.

Day 0: Wow – I’m now a statistic

Today I was laid off.  I wish I could muster up some appropriate emotion, but as it stands I can only feel the immense weight off my shoulders. For a long time I’ve wanted to hit the reset button on my career. Do something I actually want to do. Work with passionate people doing important things.

Or maybe I need a job just pushing the button in front of me. And then when the day is done I simply stop and not think about that button until the next day.

Or maybe I need to hit the lottery? For now I have time to do some things. I’m going to breathe.  I’m going to get some things done. And I’m going to find a job that works for me better than the last one did.

I feel for my co-workers that were taken by surprised and for who this will be a burden. We’re all going to end up in good places – this is just part of the process.

Tomorrow’s a new day and for the first time in a long time, there’s nothing to dread about it.