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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Super Jayhawk's LiveJournal:

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Monday, January 28th, 2013
12:56 am
We want YOU for Furry Night Live at Texas Furry Fiesta 2013!


Furry Night Live, "The Greatest Show in Fur", returns to Texas Furry Fiesta!

We're going to celebrate and showcase the "Time Traveler's Ball" theme with amazing and epic show coming up soon on February 23, 2013, Saturday evening at the main stage! This will be our ONLY show for 2013, so if you want to see the awesomeness that is Furry Night Live, come see it at Texas Furry Fiesta!

Furry Night Live Lineup
Come join in the fun with our new Master of Ceremonies, The Doctor!
Our FNL stars and cast performers will be back for more action!



A Call for Performers and Acts!

To make a truly great show, we'll need great performers! Want to be in the show? This could be your big break!
We have a number of skits that we're working on that we have open roles for, and if you're interested in putting on your suit and joining us on stage, please let us know! Or if you have a skit you'd like to do or are working on, we'd love to hear from you!

If you'd rather do a video, let us know! We'll be bringing out the FNL video projector for the show too!
And even if you don't have a fursuit but would like to help out, we need ninjas, backstage people and stunt doubles to make this show a blast! If you're interested, please contact us at furrynightlive@gmail.com or @furrynightlive on Twitter!

Players in the show will get a poster like the one shown above in appreciation for their work, and an invite to our FNL Cast Party where we'll be watching the playback of our show!

Not only that, but the audience will be voting for the winning acts, which will receive awards and cash prizes, a long-standing Furry Night Live tradition!!

Furry Night Live will be playing on Saturday, February 23, 2013 one night only, on Main Stage...



and only at Texas Furry Fiesta!


Saturday, June 2nd, 2012
7:15 pm
Furry Night Live Returns to Texas Furry Fiesta 2013 for the Time Traveler's Ball!!

Furry Night Live is thrilled to announce...

The Time Traveller's Ball at Texas Furry Fiesta!

FNL-TTF-poster-website

(thanks to Cooner of Griffin Park Studio for the amazing artwork!)

That's right, folks! We've started work on our big show at Texas Furry Fiesta 2013!

Furry Night Live, "The Greatest Show in Fur", returns to Texas Furry Fiesta for our third show at TFF, and 10th show overall!

Furry Night Live will once again be traveling in time and space to journey to Addison, TX for Texas Furry Fiesta 2013!
We're going to celebrate and showcase the "Time Traveler's Ball" theme with amazing and epic show coming up soon on February 23, 2013, Saturday evening at the main stage!

This will be our ONLY show for 2013, so if you want to see the awesomeness that is Furry Night Live, come see it at Texas Furry Fiesta!

Furry Night Live Lineup

Come join in the fun with our new Master of Ceremonies! Our FNL stars and cast performers will be back for more action!

A Call for Performers and Acts!

To make a truly great show, we'll need great performers! Want to be in the show? This could be your big break!

We have a number of skits that we're working on that we have open roles for, and if you're interested in putting on your suit and joining us on stage, please let us know! Or if you have a skit you'd like to do or are working on, we'd love to hear from you!

If you'd rather do a video, let us know! We'll be bringing out the FNL video projector for the show too! And even if you don't have a fursuit but would like to help out, we need ninjas, backstage people and stunt doubles to make this show a blast! If you're interested, please contact us at furrynightlive@gmail.com or @furrynightlive on Twitter!

Players in the show will get a poster like the one shown above in appreciation for their work, and an invite to our FNL Cast Party where we'll be watching the playback of our show! Not only that, but the audience will be voting for the winning acts, which will receive awards and cash prizes, a long-standing Furry Night Live tradition!!

Furry Night Live will be playing on Saturday, February 23, 2013 one night only, on Main Stage...

and only at Texas Furry Fiesta!



Current Mood: excited
Tuesday, January 31st, 2012
10:12 pm
Furry Night Live 2012 is coming February 25, 9:00pm at Texas Furry Fiesta!

Furry Night Live, "The Greatest Show in Fur", is thrilled to announce our return to Texas Furry Fiesta, February 25 at 9:00pm at the main stage of the Crowne Plaza Hotel North Dallas - Addison!

Beyond Thunderome at Texas Furry Fiesta!

(thanks to Keefur of Phantom Printworks for the amazing artwork!)

Furry Night Live, "The Greatest Show in Fur", Returns to Texas Furry Fiesta!

Furry Night Live hits the road once again to journey to Addison, TX for Texas Furry Fiesta 2012! We're going to celebrate and showcase the "Beyond Thunderdome" apocalyptic theme with amazing and epic show coming up soon on February 25, 2012, Saturday evening at the main stage!

The Furry Night Live Team is excited coming back to Texas and we plan to showcase the coming apocalypse and armageddon!

This will be our ONLY show for 2012, as we won't be playing at Califur, so if you want to see the awesomeness that is Furry Night Live, come see it at Texas Furry Fiesta!

Furry Night Live Lineup

Come join in the fun with our illustrious Master of Ceremonies, Calamity Cougar! With special guest Rhubarb Bear! Also returning for this show will be star performers Yippee Coyote, Furball2K, Kwik Cheetah, Silverwolf, Bucker Fuskyote, Hugg E. Bear, and our very own Wilford Brimley!

A Call for Performers and Acts!

To make a truly great show, we'll need great performers! Want to be in the show? This could be your big break!

We have a number of skits that we're working on that we have open roles for, and if you're interested in putting on your suit and joining us on stage, please let us know! Or if you have a skit you'd like to do or are working on, we'd love to hear from you!

If you'd rather do a video, let us know! We'll be bringing out the FNL video projector for the show too!

And even if you don't have a fursuit but would like to help out, we need ninjas, backstage people and stunt doubles to make this show a blast! If you're interested, please contact us at furrynightlive@gmail.com or @furrynightlive on Twitter!

Players in the show will get a poster like the one shown above in appreciation for their work, and an invite to our FNL Cast Party whe re we'll be watching the playback of our show!

Not only that, but the audience will be voting for the winning acts, which will receive awards and cash prizes, a long-standing Furry Night Live tradition!!

Furry Night Live will be playing on Saturday, February 25, one night only, on Main Stage at 9:00pmand only at Texas Furry Fiesta!

Also come see our show host Calamity Cougar, as he hosts a panel in the Willow Room at 3:00pm Friday called, "Entertain Us" on how to build and perform skits like the ones in the show! FNL Rehearsal will start in the same room at 5:00pm, come see us if you'd like to be in the show!


__________________________________________________________________________________________________



Current Mood: excited
Monday, July 18th, 2011
1:51 am
Furry Night Live at Califur 2011 Vidoes are Online!
Furry Night Live, "The Greatest Show in Fur", returned to Califur on June 4, 2011 on June for a second year to celebrate the con's Post-Apocalypse theme! We had an truly epic show, but we were saddened to find out that lots of people couldn't see the show since we were over capacity at Main Stage, or couldn't make it to the con at all!

Fear not, for now the entire show is online for free on YouTube! Come see Furry Night Live at Califur 2011 and even the previous show in February 2011 at Texas Furry Fiesta on our own YouTube Channel!


Check it out at : http://www.youtube.com/user/FurryNightLive?ob=5#p/u/18/QlNlaWGn_MM or just click the image above!

Thanks to all who helped with the show, from writing, filming, ninja-ing, video editing, performing, pre- and post-production to make the show our best one yet! And thanks to Furball2K and TigerWayne for their awesome video work!
Thursday, May 19th, 2011
6:53 pm
Furry Night Live returns to Califur in TWO WEEKS on June 4, 2011! Call for Acts and Ninjas!



Furry Night Live, "The Greatest Show in Fur", is thrilled to announce our return to Califur 2011, June 4, 2011 at 4:00PM at the main stage of the Irvine Marriott!


Furry Night Live 2011 at Califur - An EPIC show!

Don't miss our upcoming apocalyptic show, featuring our Furry Night Live Rock Stars, including Twilight Bunny, Furball2K, Dusty Kat, SilverWolf, Pachinko, Midwest Cougar, IceAge Jones, Leo the Lion, GroggyFox and many more!

Also our show will feature the return of our illustrious host, SK-1!


Featuring live comedy and rock and roll, horrific nuclear devestation, post-apocalyptic nightmares and furry video movies presented in full 1080p HD, this show will blow you away!


The NEW and HIGHLY coveted Furry Night Live 2011 Poster!



Seating will be limited, so get to the line early! There will (sadly) be NO hotel cable broadcast of the show, or any replay in the video room, and this show is ONE NIGHT ONLY!! Don't go lounging in the pool and miss out on this incredible show!

If you liked Furry Night Live at FC from 2005-2009, you've got to see what FNL's original creators and players have been working all year on for a truly awesome show!

Furry Night Live has joined forces with the Cabaret, as we plan to have both shows help each other out to make Califur an awesome con for furry performance, both on the stage and screen!

Here's the FNL Trailers that are out already showing sneak previews of the show!

Califur Countdown Trailer 2011


Furry Collection Agency Califur Trailer


Furry Night Live Sneak Preview Trailer


A Call for Performers and Acts for Furry Night Live 2011!

We plan to bring back an even bigger and better show this next year to Califur 2011 in June, which has an exciting Post-apocalyptic theme this next con! Our team of creative and talented writers and videographers are already working on stage and video acts to show, and we're always looking for performers interested in being a part of the magic!

We're looking for people that have a passion for fursuit performance, and want to be part of something great!
Want to be in a fursuit Rock n' Roll performance? We've got lots of skits planned already!

Our team is interested in helping everyone in the show be their best!
The time to come talk to us is right now!

Even if you don't have a fursuit but would like to help out, we need people to help out with backstage operations or to join our elite NINJA SQUAD!!
Our elite force of costumed stage ninjas is a fearsome force to be reckoned with! And if you Ninja for us, you keep the costume!

Players, helpers and NINJA! in the show will get the next year's Furry Night Live Poster, like the ones we gave out this last year, in appreciation for their work, and an invite to our FNL 2011 Cast Party where we'll be watching the playback of our show! (With even MORE pizza and drinks!)

And of course the audience will be voting for the winning acts, which will receive awards and cash prizes, a Furry Night Live Tradition!

Furry Night Live is a PG-13 show, but if you have anything you'd like to do that's more adult-oriented or seamy, we're helping out with the Cabaret for the skits we could never show in FNL! So come talk to us, we're already working on Yiffy Lube II for the Cabaret and have some great material to show in the Cabaret Fur le Dance at Califur 2011!

If you're interested, please contact us at furrynightlive@gmail.com or @furrynightlive on Twitter!
Monday, January 10th, 2011
1:47 am
Furry Night Live Room Party at FC 2011, Saturday Night! (January 15)


Furry Night Live, "The Greatest Show in Fur" has had a busy 2010! After an epic show at Califur 2010 and taking the party on the road with awesome FNL Room Parties at Antheria and Midwest Furfest, we're kicking off 2011 with a visit to our old stomping grounds with a FNL Room Party, Saturday night right after the Masquerade at FC 2011!


Heeeere&apos;s Groggy!


We'll to showcase our stage and hallway skits done during our ten years at FC 2000-2009, going all the way back to our early acts in the Masquerade with the Mr. Big and F.N. Huge Projects, and will be talking about our plans for shows this next year!
We hope you'll join us to celebrate and party with us at the Fairmont!

We'll be announcing the room party at the con and on Twitter (@FurryNightLive) and the [info]furrynightlive LJ community, so stay tuned for details!

Also this next year we're thrilled to announce that FNL's original creators will be traveling to Dallas, TX for Texas Furry Fiesta for an awesome show on February 26! That's right, we've joined forces with Furry Fiesta to bring the magic of Furry Night Live and celebrate their awesome theme of "Disco Infurno" and make fun of the 1970's!



Furry Night Live at Texas Furry Fiesta will feature a lineup of some of FNL's most accomplished stars, including DustyKat, SilverWolf, Hugg E. Bear and the incomparable Furball 2K, the world's funniest husky!

And of course, don't miss our Post-Apocalyptic Furry Night Live to end all shows on June 5, 2011 at Califur 2011 where we will have an atomically awesome show that will absolutely blow you away!




If you liked Furry Night Live at FC from 2005-2009, come party with us and see the replay! We're looking for awesome fursuit performers in both shows this next year, as well as stage ninjas, backstage help, and anyone else wanting to join in the magic of FNL! We'll also have posters and flyers to give out for both shows, designed by our amazingly talented FNL Artsits! We've got lots of skits in the works and if you have a suit and want to be in the show, there's lots of roles available!

Come party with the stars!
Wednesday, September 29th, 2010
6:56 pm
Furry Night Live returns to Califur in 2011! Call for Acts and ROOM PARTY AT ANTHERIA OCT 2!



Furry Night Live, "The Greatest Show in Fur", is thrilled to announce our return to Califur 2011,
June 4, 2011 at the Irvine Marriott!


If you liked Furry Night Live at FC from 2005-2009, come down to Califur in Irvine, CA in June 2011 and see FNL's original creators and players put on what they've been working all year on for a truly awesome show!

Furry Night Live 2010 at Califur - An EPIC show!

For those of you that missed our first show as an independent production at Califur 2010, we had a great show with "Rock & Roll Toons" and packed out the audience to a full house in our first year at Califur, including some guests from the KROQ Rock n' Roll event going on at the hotel! Some of our stars even got pictures by Devo!



Heeeere&apos;s Groggy!




KROQ photo album:
http://kroq.radio.com/category/concerts/weenie-roast/
http://kroq.radio.com/2010/06/05/photos-the-califur-furry-convention-is-at-our-hotel/#photo-1


http://www.clubdevo.com/photo/devotee-furrie-at-hotel-convention-1/
http://www.clubdevo.com/photo/devotee-furrie-at-hotel-convention-2/
http://www.clubdevo.com/photo/devotee-furrie-at-hotel-convention-3/
http://www.clubdevo.com/photo/devotee-furrie-at-hotel-convention-4/
http://www.clubdevo.com/photo/devotee-furrie-at-hotel-convention-5/
http://www.clubdevo.com/photo/devotee-furrie-at-hotel-convention-6/
http://www.clubdevo.com/photo/devotee-furrie-at-hotel-convention-7/
http://www.clubdevo.com/photo/devotee-furrie-at-hotel-convention-8/
http://www.clubdevo.com/photo/devotee-furrie-at-hotel-convention-9/
http://www.clubdevo.com/photo/devotee-furrie-at-hotel-convention-10/
http://www.clubdevo.com/photo/devotee-furrie-at-hotel-convention-11/
http://www.clubdevo.com/photo/devotee-furrie-at-hotel-convention-12/
http://www.clubdevo.com/photo/devotee-furrie-at-hotel-convention-13/
http://www.clubdevo.com/photo/devotee-furrie-at-hotel-convention-14/

FNL's Winners!

We had some great skits in Furry Night Live, with the audience voting for the top acts that won the prizes!
Congratulations to the prizewinners and everyone else that helped make our show one for the ages!

      First Prize! - $100 - Bucker Fuskyote - "Fireflies"
      Second Prize! - $50 - Double-0 Fox - Chivalrous Swordfight For the Girl
      Third Prize! - $25 - Lavoris Moose - The Moose Blues
      Honorable Mention! - Zella, "Choo Le Na"




Unfortunately, we couldn't get everyone to look the same direction during the curtain call!




YouTube Clips of Furry Night Live 2010! We plan to add high-res ones soon...



And thanks to our illustrious host, SK-1, for presiding over the festivities! By popular demand, SK-1 plans to return next year for Furry Night Live 2011!

After the show, we celebrated with a Furry Night Live Cast Party for the ages! Lots of pizza, drinks, and watching the playback of FNL's video footage!

And Furry Night Live has joined forces with the Cabaret, as we plan to have both shows help each other out to make Califur an awesome con for furry performance, both on the stage and screen!

A Call for Performers and Acts for Furry Night Live 2011!

We plan to bring back an even bigger and better show this next year to Califur 2011 in June, which has an exciting Post-apocalyptic theme this next con! Our team of creative and talented writers and videographers are already working on stage and video acts to show, and we're always looking for performers interested in being a part of the magic! If you have your own skit in mind but would like our team to help polish it up, our wacky bunch of writers, audio and video editors are ready to help out!

We're looking for people that have a passion for fursuit performance, and want to be part of something great!
   - Want to be in a furry movie? We've got a few in the works!
   - Want to be in a fursuit Rock n' Roll performance? We've got lots of skits planned already!

Our team is interested in helping everyone in the show be their best!
The time to come talk to us is right now!

Even if you don't have a fursuit but would like to help out, we need people to help out with backstage operations or to join our elite NINJA SQUAD!!
Our elite force of costumed stage ninjas is a fearsome force to be reckoned with! And if you Ninja for us, you keep the costume!

Players, helpers and NINJA! in the show will get the next year's Furry Night Live Poster, like the ones we gave out this last year, in appreciation for their work, and an invite to our FNL 2011 Cast Party where we'll be watching the playback of our show! (With even MORE pizza and drinks!)



The HIGHLY coveted Furry Night Live 2010 Poster!"



And of course the audience will be voting for the winning acts, which will receive awards and cash prizes, a Furry Night Live Tradition!

Furry Night Live is a PG-13 show, but if you have anything you'd like to do that's more adult-oriented or seamy, we're helping out with the Cabaret for the skits we could never show in FNL! So come talk to us, we're already working on Yiffy Lube II for the Cabaret and have some great material to show in the Cabaret Fur le Dance at Califur 2011!

Furry Night Live ROOM PARTY AT ANTHERIA 2010!!

We'll be trekking down to Antheria this coming Saturday, October 2, for a Furry Night Live Room Party at the The Best Western Sunrise in Redondo Beach, CA!
If you're interested, please contact us at furrynightlive@gmail.com or @furrynightlive on Twitter!

Come party with the stars and producers of Furry Night Live! We'll be showing sneak previews of the upcoming FNL DVD from our show in June, and talking plans of what we'd like to do this next year! If you have an idea for a skit or would like to help, come see us! We're planning a post-apocalyptic extravaganza for next June that's going to blow you away!

Watch this space for more announcements and details, we'll be hosting Furry Night Live Room Parties at other cons near you!

Current Mood: excited
Saturday, August 7th, 2010
3:38 am
The Hiroshima Club
I've been meaning to post this for several years now, but I keep getting busy or don't have the words to write about it. But this time I need to, for it presages a number of other things that I need to talk about. So here we go.

Friday August 6 was the 65th anniversary of the Hiroshima nuclear bombing, the first nuclear attack on a populated city in human history, and ushering in the frightening nuclear age that we live in now.

Grandmother is no longer with us, so I must tell her story now, as she told it to me over 30 years ago. She always said that the cancer from the Hiroshima bombing would get her, even when I was a kid.

File:Atomic cloud over Hiroshima.jpg

My Grandmother's Story, since she's not here to tell it, I need toCollapse )

Current Mood: melancholy
Tuesday, June 1st, 2010
10:24 pm
Furry Night Live Proudly Presents....

It was twenty years ago today,
Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play
They've been going in and out of style
But they're guaranteed to raise a smile
So may I introduce to you
The act you've known for all these years
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band




(Many thanks to whiteyfawks for the awesome Photoshop edit!)


Come see us at Califur 2010! This show's just gonna ROCK!


Current Mood: excited
Tuesday, May 18th, 2010
8:00 pm
The Official Furry Night Live Poster is UP! We'll be giving these to people in the show at Califur!



Furry Night Live is thrilled to announce...



(thanks to Cooner of Griffin Park Studio for the amazing artwork!)


That's right, folks! Our big show at Califur 2010 is going to be....

Furry Night Live Presents... Rock N' Roll Toons!

The Furry Night Live Team is excited about the comics and cartoons theme in this year's Califur and we've decided to build the show around Rock N' Roll and Toons! We plan to rock the house and have a great show, come see us at Califur!

A Call for Performers and Acts!

To make a truly great show, we'll need great performers!

We have a number of skits that we're working on that we have open roles for, and if you're interested in putting on your suit and joining us on stage, please let us know! Or if you have a skit you'd like to do or are working on, we'd love to hear from you!

And even if you don't have a fursuit but would like to help out, we need ninjas, backstage people and stunt doubles to make this show a blast!

We'll be visiting Irvine and meeting up on Saturday, May 22 at the Irvine Marriott, the same hotel that Califur will be at two weeks later! If you're interested, please contact us at furrynightlive@gmail.com or @furrynightlive on Twitter!

Players in the show will get a poster like the one shown above in appreciation for their work, and an invite to our FNL Cast Party where we'll be watching the playback of our show!

Not only that, but the audience will be voting for the winning acts, which will receive awards and cash prizes, just like Furry Night Live back in the day!

Furry Night Live will be playing one night only, at Saturday 4:00pm before the Cabaret!

No additional tickets (other than your con membership) are required so come see the show and rock out with us!




Current Mood: excited

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010
8:58 pm
Furry Night Live hits the road for Califur 2010!



The people that brought you Furry Night Live (2005-2009) are pleased to announce...


Furry Night Live 2010 at Califur!


After five years of shows in Northern California from 2005-2009, the original creators of Furry Night Live are taking the show on the road down south to Califur 2010!


 

We're excited about the chance to bring our ensemble of skit comedy, music, video and prizes to Califur and to a new audience. We've got a great show planned, and will be looking for players for all the skits we've been developing! If you've always wanted to be in the show, but don't have a skit worked out yet, contact us! And if you have something that you'd like to do, let us know, we love working with performers to make a great show. We plan to make this next Furry Night Live rock the house!


We'll be visiting the Irvine area on May 22 with a rehearsal and audition meeting! A Call for Acts will be coming out shortly, if you need to reach us, mail us at furrynightlive@gmail.com or @furrynightlive on Twitter!


Stay tuned and watch this space for more announcements and details about the upcoming show!

Monday, March 1st, 2010
6:37 pm
Tears in Heaven - For Mom
Would you know my name
If I saw you in heaven?
Would it be the same
If I saw you in heaven?

I must be strong
And carry on,
'Cause I know I don't belong
Here in heaven.

Would you hold my hand
If I saw you in heaven?
Would you help me stand
If I saw you in heaven?

I'll find my way
Through night and day,
'Cause I know I just can't stay
Here in heaven.

Time can bring you down,
Time can bend your knees.
Time can break your heart,
Have you begging please, begging please.

Beyond the door,
There's peace I'm sure,
And I know there'll be no more
Tears in heaven.

Would you know my name
If I saw you in heaven?
Would it be the same
If I saw you in heaven?

I must be strong
And carry on,
'Cause I know I don't belong
Here in heaven.


Current Mood: indescribable
Tuesday, September 15th, 2009
11:21 pm
Why You Shouldn't Work for People That Treat You Bad


"Listen! It's a tough universe! There's all sorts of people and things trying to do you, kill you, rip you off, everything. If you're going to survive out there.... you've really gotta know where your towel is."


- Ford Prefect speaking to Arthur Dent, The Hitchhiker's Guide of the Galaxy



For those of you that know me or have worked with me, I've now arrived at my 18th anniversary in the working world since graduating college back in 1991. That's right, the young'un freshmen arriving at this next school year in the Land of the Jayhawks were born about the time I walked down the Hill. In my journey hopscotching across from Kansas to California, I've had many ups and downs, and many hard lessons, but none so obvious as the one I present tonight.

I've worked in the Tech Biz the whole time and seen many things, but they have been in many different settings-- in everything from telecom to GPS systems to the educational world, to software and hardware companies and little shops installing servers back in the early days of LANs-- but one thing remains the same throughout all of them.

You see, we work in a biz where whatever we work on is going in the trash in a few years. I've installed networks at places and then ripped them out a few years later when they became obsolete. In The Valley, we all work on products that, if you're lucky, end up at Weird Stuff Warehouse. If not, nobody remembers what the hell that stuff even was.

What matters is the people. The relationships you build, the friendships you forge, the technological fire you help stoke to bring the next great thing are what matters. The hardware and software? It all ends up in the junk pile sooner or later. Nobody cares about the balance sheets from twenty years ago or the tech that made them happen. I see the world fly by in sped up Koyaanisqatsi-esque acceleration here in The Valley as I get older, and I've learned that the people last a helluva lot longer than the code and the hardware.

As a consultant slinging cable and hauling servers at all manner of business and shops in Kansas back in the mid-90's, I got to see lots of places. Factory floors, insurance companies, automotive repair shops, art and design places, medical device manufacturers, and all kinds of other places in my travels. Being in Kansas, the weather was terrible and the pay was bad. It was not easy, but I learned some important things.

In my travels I've seen many work environments, many of them meat-grinders. In both Kansas and in Silicon Valley I've seen people get treated badly and had to stand by and watch as I was only the consultant or the SysAdmin. I know because I've watched people spend twenty years at a company and work their entire career there to get dumped in the street, and I was the guy that would have to delete their login and come get their PC. I have watched some particularly nasty pointy-haired bosses do terrible things to their people. I have watched as tech companies got bought by evil and soul-less acquisition corporations only interested in rape and pillage get rid of the very people that made the company what it was, and then wonder why no more products were coming out. I've sat through meetings where the CEO would fire people in front of everyone and then lament why morale was so bad at the company.

I know all too well what working in such places are like, and I know they take years off your life. I have seen co-workers work themselves into sickness and despair. I've had to witness it destroy people when they work under terrible people that are abusive, controlling and nasty, that eventually screw over their people. And I wonder why.

BTW for those of you that understand Scott Adams' humor, the "Dilbert" comic strip is funny because it's true.

So I say unto ye...


Don't work for people that treat you bad. Life is way too short for that.



This may sound like a 'Well, duh!" revelation, but I've seen many people willingly go in and work for places that treated them badly, ragged on them or threatened them, and destroyed their self-esteem, all without paying them what they were worth. You could say it's somewhere between misplaced loyalty and battered-wife syndrome, where the victim defends the abusive husband right up to her own death at his hands. I've seen people willingly go back to such places or work for bosses at new places that treated them badly at the old one.

If you work for people that treat you badly, they probably won't change their mind and treat you better later.

Really.



There are good places to work and I have spent most of my career searching for them, but most of the resignation letters I have written in my career have listed as their first reason that they need to treat their people better, starting now. I have watched places bring in eager and talented people only to screw them over and treat them badly, and then the place collapses and implodes. I've seen it with start-ups, and I've seen it with big corporations in impressive marble buildings. They all crumble sooner or later, and eventually word gets out about such places. Especially with the 'net. The old Chinese adage, "You cannot wrap fire in paper" holds even more true these days.

I realize this may ring hollow for some of you in a recession with a bad economy, but I have personally lived through three Bush Recessions and two economic recoveries from such, and know that these things go in cycles. If you are stuck in a bad place that is grinding you down or messing you up, you and you alone hold the power to someday walk away for a better place. Don't forget that. Sometimes all you can do when you get screwed is pick yourself up and walk away with your dignity, but that's better than staying.</p>

"So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains
And we never even know we have the key
"


               - The Eagles, "Already Gone" (1974)

The same thing holds true for things you do for fun, across any fandom. About ten years ago I actually worked on staff at Renaissance Faires with my friends, and we worked for a tempermental guy with long, flowing hair that was always cranky and irritable. Sometimes he was a great guy, and the rest of the time he was insufferable. For some reason he needed a new staff to work his booth at Faire, and we figured, what the hell, we could get passes if we worked Faire and drink till we passed out. He dicked people over and drove them away before my friends and I walked away a year or two later. As one of them said, "I'd never put up with that sort of crap for my day job! What the hell was I doing putting up for it for free in my spare time?".

If you're doing something for fun and it stops being fun because the people you have to deal with are terrible, is it for fun any more?

If there was any song I could FTP to my younger self when I eagerly walked down the Hill on graduating college 18 years ago about what the future would hold, it would be Kenny Rogers' The Gambler, with the ever-popular refrain that I remember as a kid:

"You've got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em
Know when to walk away, know when to run.
You never count your money when you're sittin' at the table.
There'll be time enough for countin' when the dealin's done."


               - Kenny Rogers, "The Gambler"

My Dad was a research scientist for one of the Big Pharma companies in the Chicago area. In 2003, After 17 years of working there, his company gets bought by an even bigger Pharma company and sells the deal to the shareholders that they can eliminate 20,000 jobs and entire research facilities. My Dad took the retirement buyout and my parents moved out to the West Coast to start a new life when my Mom took a job at a biotech firm that, it turns out, was a particularly dysfunctional and messed-up place to be that, as it turned out, treated her badly. She wanted out, but was stuck there on a contract and a big signing bonus that they bought a big, fancy house with. She spent most of her night stressed out, upset and in tears because of the company, and after she got out of there she went into retirement, three years ago. I was so happy for her getting away from such a place.

Folks, my mother died on August 7, 2009. I hold her ashes now as we plan her funeral and burial, and the big, fancy house that she and my Dad worked so hard for remains empty as he lies a hospital bed. Was all that job-related stress and pain that my mother went through for the fancy house and the perfectly manicured lawn worth it? She taught me the most important lesson of all... life is short. You can either spend it doing things that make you unhappy for people that will use you and treat you terribly, or you can do what makes you happy, for people that will help you chase your dreams... If you're not afraid to go seek them out.

The choice is up to all of you people, in all the paths you choose to follow in all your lives. Think about it, and Go Forth and Decide. For only you have the power to change your situation away from a bad one.

Current Mood: philosophical

Friday, September 4th, 2009
9:42 pm
Written In the Hospital Waiting Room, 11:57 pm
Father O Father
What could I have done
To make you more happy
To be a good son?

You say that I've failed you and wasted my youth
and we've spent too many years fighting
after I left you and went away on my own
now I find you in a hospital bed dying

Once you told me to be tough, you told be to be a man
When all I wanted was some understanding
Why couldn't you just listen, why couldn't you hear
When all I wanted was a hugging?

I never wanted all the battles we fought
I never wanted to leave you and Mom
I flew off into the world and made my own mistakes
And now I wish that things could have been different

And now here we are, with you in a hospital bed
Father O Father what do we do now?
The anguish I carry, I cannot reveal
for I fear it will surely destroy you

What could I have done better, why couldn't we be friends
In a cold insensitive world
Where men must be so terrible to each other
Passing our pain to each generation?

Father O Father why did it have to be this way?
I thought that we might make some peace about this someday
But our time may be shorter than we knew
And I wish that I could have told all this to you.

Current Mood: sorrowful
Tuesday, September 1st, 2009
4:01 pm
One Last Cold Kiss
One Last Cold Kiss
by Gail Collins & Felix Pappalardi

Two island swans mated for life,
And his faithful heart would not consider any other wife.
For three years peaceful joy midst the rushes of the pond,
Proud and gentle was the loving of the last two island swans.

Their love was like a circle, no beginning and no end,
With his lady by his side a treasure and best friend.
And the pond was all so peaceful with the rising of the sun,
Young and free like the island breeze their life was just begun.

'Til a dread day in November when the searing cold did start,
Stalked the hunter with his bow, he put an arrow through her heart.
"Husband, come to my side, let your feathers warm my pain,
For I feel I will not spend another day with you again".

And the cold winds blow,
He was brave but he's laid low.
By her body in the isle of mist,
I saw him give her one last cold kiss,
One last cold kiss.

Of swans the people talk of only one in this days tide,
They brought him twenty ladies he would take no other bride.
They say he will not move from the place where she did fall,
Once so proud he's beaten now, he will not speak at all.

And the cold winds blow,
He was brave but he's laid low.
By her body in the isle of mist,
I saw him give her one last cold kiss,
One last cold kiss

Current Mood: words fail to describe
Tuesday, August 18th, 2009
11:46 pm
The Worst Day of My Life.
Friday before last, August 7, 2009, was the worst day of my life. After a long hard week at work and wanting to come home and relax, I was shocked to find out that my Mom had died and my father was in critical condition in the ICU at the hospital. I called everybody I could, and hastily packed for a flight down to San Diego the next morning, getting only about an hour of sleep.

I met up with my brother at the airport, and we landed in San Diego, trying to find a rental car on a weekend when all the rental car agencies were booked solid. After a two-hour wait at Avis, we blew towards the hospital to find Dad on artificial respirator in the ICU. The doctors gave him almost no chance of waking up, saying the damage to his brain was too great and that even if he did he would be severely impaired. My parents had given me the Power of Attorney to make medical decisions if both of them were incapacitated or dead, but I never thought I'd ever have to make terrible decisions like this.

A few days later, after we were already planning for the worst-case scenario of having to pull the plug, he started improving and actually opened his eyes, but he couldn't talk to us with the respirator. But after a day or two he contracted pneumonia, possibly from being intubated in the ICU, and he's been unconscious ever since with a raging fever and a whole host of health problems. For 11 days now we've come in every day to endure the hospital drama and try to keep him alive, but I know that he would not want me to prolong his suffering if it gets bad enough. It's just that making that call is really, really hard.

So the last week and a half I have had to spend all day talking to doctors, lawyers, funeral directors, coroners, contractors, and everyone else necessary to take care of my parents' affairs since I am the eldest son and was appointed executor of their estate. I brought in eight relatives to help out, and have been going nuts trying to coordinate flights, get them hotel rooms and meals, and drive them around to see Dad. I've pulled off some pretty big projects before, but never anything this complicated.

And with all this tragedy and drama, my 40th birthday is coming up Friday. Talk about a goddam mid-life crisis exploding all over the place. I am so not ready for this.

All I can do now for my mother is to give her the best funeral and burial that I can, and honor her memory. I still fight for my Dad, and will do everything I reasonably can to hang onto him, but he's been diagnosed with ARDS (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome) with pneumonia in both lungs and they've had to crank him up to 100% oxygen last night. Folks, it ain't looking good.

A few weeks ago, my Dad asked me what I wanted for my birthday present. I wasn't sure. Maybe a hard drive, or a set of PC speakers, I wasn't sure. I told him I'd let him know later.

Yesterday, I asked him, even though he was unconscious, to hang on and get better for me, for my birthday present.

I don't want anything else. Really.

If you can, think of my Dad and of me for him. The ICU doctors are doing all they can, and I feel so helpless camping in the waiting room and watching him worsen. My Mom was always able to take care of him in all the times he ended up in the hospital, but she can't help him now. It's been the hardest thing to deal with all this terrible news and tragedy, but if I can help my Dad and get him to stay around, I will at least have gotten to keep my family together. I hang onto hope despite the odds.

Current Mood: Words can't describe
Tuesday, August 11th, 2009
1:09 am
Death Be Not Proud
Death be not proud, though some have callèd thee
Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not so,
For, those, whom thou think'st, thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures bee,
Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee doe goe,
Rest of their bones, and soules deliverie.
Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poyson, warre, and sicknesse dwell,
And poppie, or charmes can make us sleepe as well,
And better than thy stroake; why swell'st thou then;
One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.

From Holy Sonnet X, by John Donne (1572–1631)
Saturday, August 8th, 2009
7:47 pm
Somebody tell me please was I right or wrong
Like a restless leaf in the autumn breeze
Once I was a tumblin weed
Like a rollin stone, cold and all alone
Living for the day my train would come
I never cared for school or any golden rules
Papa used to always say I was a useless fool
So I left my home to show them thay was wrong
And headed out on the road singing my song
Then one sunny day. the man, he looked my way
And everything that I dreamed of, it was real
Money, girls and cars; and big long cigars
And I caught the first plane home so papa would see

When I went home to show em they was wrong
All that I found was two tombstones
Somebody tell me please was I right or wrong
Oh, such a sad song
First I got lost, then I got found
But the ones that I love are in the ground
Papa I only wish you could see me now
Take a listen papa
Whoo, I learnt how to play my guitar
Gonna be a superstar

First I got lost, then I got found
The ones I love are in the ground
Wont you tell me please was I right or wrong

If theres any way you can hear what I say
Papa, I never meant to do you wrong
All the money, girls and cars. and all the words and all the cigars
Papa, I just want you to know they couldnt take your place

When I went home to show em they was wrong
All that I found was two tombstones
Somebody tell me please was I right or wrong
Oh, such a sad song
First I got lost, then I got found
But the ones that I love are in the ground
Somebody tell me please was I right or wrong

Current Mood: indescribable
Thursday, July 30th, 2009
1:17 pm
Kevin & Kell LOL from this last Sunday
From Kevin and Kell, one of my favorite webcomics out there..

Yeah, this is pretty much what happens with my bird feeders in the backyard, I've been battling the squirrels for the last month and a half now since I got back into the game. Love the colors on the birds in this strip!
I wonder how Bill Holbrook knew?

Kevin and Kell

Monday, July 20th, 2009
1:25 pm
Goodbye Mr. Cronkite
Last Friday I was saddened to hear about the passing of Walter Cronkite, the greatest news anchor to ever run the news. He was Mr. Rogers for grown-ups, reassuring an entire nation through the darkest days of the 60's and 70's through all the upheaval, war and turmoil that we all went through.

I wasn't quite in junior high yet when he signed off the air, but I remember seeing him many evenings because back then everybody watched the news in the evening around dinnertime. Especially when there were only three channels and you could only get your news in an hour or two a day, if not from the paper. Walter Cronkite carried himself with a dignified grace and integrity that we'll never see again. His era of the news presenting the facts and honest, thoughtful opinion over sensationalism and talking-point shillery passed over a quarter century ago. This guy literally started the term "Anchor" for the news.



A plain-spoken anchor like Cronkite would never make it in today's manic, sensationalistic news business.
I mean, he wore thick black glasses and had a moustache! But back then it was less about looking good than telling things the way they were. Even if the news was terrible news, he would somehow make you feel that things were going to be OK through it all, with his "And that's the way it is" signoff.

Like Phog Allen in his day, Cronkite was pushed out the door by CBS's mandatory retirement at 65-- and then came the era of Captain Hairdo network news anchors with shiny teeth and little substance. Cronkite stepped down as the last of the old greats, and before long the news became about fast sound bites, know-it-all pretty talking heads, and, with the removal of the FCC's Fairness Doctrine, invective-bloated pundits and screaming newscasts on FOX News. It must have been hard for him to watch all this happen, not to mention the decline and fall of journalism as a profession and an industry.

So here's to you, Mr. Cronkite, I hope you're landing some awesome interviews with history's greats out there in the hereafter. The news media could learn a lot from your example, if they would just listen.
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