Fuck Facebook

I’ve been holding off for what seems like years now.

Every day I’m reminded.
Every day I resist.

At this point I don’t even know why I ever cared so much in the first place.

But now the pressure has got the best of me and I have to throw in the towel.

I am joining Facebook.

Of course for most people this would be no big deal at all. The rest of the world has been on there for what seems like forever. It’s just a stupid website that takes about 7 seconds to sign up for. It provides a great place for people to find out what all of their friends, family and acquaintances are up to and it’s totally free. Sounds like a no-brainer really.

But in my own trademark fashion I’ve refused to have any part of it. When facebook first became popular with my small social circle I thought it was the dumbest fad ever. At that point I already had about 3 myspace pages and was baffled that people would want to be part of a closed system like facebook. I also did not see any reason to connect with people that I haven’t seen in ten years since there’s usually a reason why I don’t talk to them in the first place. Nostalgia has never really turned me on either.

At least myspace had a point to it. I was looking to promote my music and it seemed that all the kids were on it so it would be a great platform. Of course I’m notorious for starting things and then losing interest a few weeks later so I never really paid much attention to my myspace but that’s not important right now. In the eyes of the world facebook took off and myspace ended up being a place for child predators and geocities-esque web design. Plus nobody there paid attention to me anyway so they can go fuck themselves.

I sure know how to pick a winner.

I even went as far as making it a point that I would NEVER join facebook. I told all who would listen that there was no way I’m signing up and that you would have better luck convincing me to go to a Good Charlotte concert. I was just waiting for the next thing to come out that everyone would jump on. After all, nobody uses friendster, linkedin or myspace anymore. Once the kids found something new they’d rush right to it and leave facebook in the forgotten realm of internet fads along with lolcats and polite conversation. But that hasn’t happened yet.

The moment for me when I realised that all of this facebook hate was getting me nowhere was when I noticed that no one ever invited me to anything. It could just be because I’m a prick and nobody likes me but I’d rather not think like that otherwise I might have to take responsibility for myself and improve the way I treat people. The better answer of course was that nobody even thought of me because I wasn’t on that stupid fucking site. There are multiple ways to get a hold of me normally but everyone just seemed to get lazy with this social networking. I have multiple email addresses, a twitter account and a cell phone and nobody seems aware of any of them.

Rule 1049 of the Internet: If you’re not on facebook, you do not exist.

So here it is. You won. I’m signing up. Just don’t expect me to like it or participate in anything at all. Don’t poke me, don’t send me a bunch of shitty applications and don’t tag me in photos. In fact it probably would be best if you just left me alone. I like to call this “anti-social networking”. I’m working on my own site where people can do this but until that happens(never) I’m forced to abandon my principles and follow everyone else.

The irony of all this is that I know that once I join everyone else will leave since something better will have come along. I’m used to it really.

I’m not listening either

I’m trying to think about the last time I actually listened to music. I tend to hear it everywhere and get at least 3 hours a day worth of “iPod Time” but for the life of me I don’t remember listening to any of it. Sure I’ve heard a few songs but it’s mostly just background noise to me.

An informal poll of the voices in the head tells me that most people treat music in the same way. The whole act of actually listening to music is usually accompanied by something else. I guess the logic is that hearing something doesn’t take your full attention and while listening to something you can do other things as well like talk, read or post dumb things on the internet about your listening habits.

Maybe I just don’t care anymore but I do recall a point in my life where all I did in my spare time was listen. I really paid attention to music; I would hear every nuance in a track and get upset if someone distracted me. I would’ve found it impossible to do anything else while listening. It would drive me mad if someone was in the room since I saw it as such a personal experience and having someone else around made me feel obligated to react or talk to them or something else uncomfortable.

But now I’m too busy. I can find time to write stupid shit like this but not to actually sit down and listen to a full Zappa album without having something else going on as well. My attention span has gone into negative values because of the internet and I’m really sick of it. In fact I promise that today I will not click on anything at all. I’m going to sit at my desk and stare at my computer screen(just so I look kinda busy) and listen to an entire album from start to finish. Even if there’s a fire I won’t give up and I will allow nothing more to distract me. I just wish I had some better headphones here since I’m to cheap to buy another pair.

Actually there’s no real point in listening to music on shitty headphones since the whole time I’ll be distracted at how crummy the experience is. So I’m going to ignore my previous promise since it didn’t make any sense in the first place and like most things I wasn’t going to follow through on it anyway. Best to just stay angry and watch videos of cats on fire.

Meet the new job, same as the old but with less running around

So I am no longer the boss. In fact I’m at the bottom of my current department. I get the jobs no one else wants to do and then I wait until someone gives me something else. It’s a wonderful feeling. The only person I’m responsible for is myself. On top of it all I still get to tell the guys in the last department I was in what to do!

And yet I know that I will soon grow to hate it. It may seem as if I’m unappreciative of the generous heaping of good luck that I have experienced in my working life. Every job I’ve wanted has just fallen into my lap even though I’ve been unqualified in almost every respect. In fact I’m never been hired for a job where I didn’t know someone on the inside first. But I still refuse to be satisfied with the lot I’ve been assigned.

I’m still with the same company and that alone is enough for me to be upset about. Someone of greater character than my own would have stormed out by now and switched careers. My problems with the company however are not really specific to this job. No matter what I know that I will never really fit into any company which is not run by myself . Whine whine whine bitch bitch rant rave.

I’m glad I’m a fast learner or else I’d be screwed here. After two and a half years I knew my last position inside and out and now I know almost nothing. I have found no better way to learn than to just throw myself into a situation and try to keep up without falling flat on my perfectly shaped nose. It makes the day go by much faster.

I really can’t understand why someone would want to stay at the same job for 20 years. I guess they’re just not as smart as me. This post sucks.

You didn’t just try to sell me a CD did you?

(I like the idea of following up a post on laziness by not updating in almost two months. I haven’t given up on this blog yet but I’m damn close.)

I like CDs. They may not have the nostalgic value of vinyl or the awesome portability of cassettes but they sound really good. Nowadays like most people I listen to almost all of my music in some kind of digital audio format. Most of my stuff is high quality VBR-encoded mp3’s, FLAC or Apple Lossless. The majority of this was ripped from the CDs in my own library. Every new CD I buy will immediately be taken home, ripped to my hard drive and tossed onto my iPod. After this is done the disc generally gets thrown into a large bin with the rest of my CDs never to be seen again. You’d think that someone such as myself really has no need for CDs and that I should just go ahead and buy all of my tracks as digital downloads saving all of that wasted plastic.

You’d be wrong.

I think digital downloads are a great idea. The problem is that I refuse to pay cash for compressed audio. I figure that if I’m paying money for a recording then it should be the best copy possible. Something which is exactly what the engineer wanted me to hear. Admittedly CDs have their shortfalls in that they’re limited in their bit depth as well the sample rate(16 bits, 44.1 kHz). Also the world didn’t end with the invention of stereo; multi-channel sound would be nice to hear once in a while. Despite this I still prefer CDs.

This brings me to my actual point. The other day I was looking around HMV, not for anything in particular I just like browsing music stores. I came across an album in the “Folk” section. This in itself was odd since I don’t believe I’ve ever bought anything that could be called “Folk”. It was by an independent Canadian artist that I had heard previously on the CBC and really liked so I decided to lay down my $17 and let this small purchase bring some joy into my life.

After the usual looking through the liner notes on the streetcar ride home I was excited to finally be able to listen at home. I toss the CD into my iBook and get ready for the good ol’ rip and encode. Immediately there’s a problem in that iTunes doesn’t recognize the CD. Since my laptop has been rather wonky lately I assumed there was something wrong with my hardware. I tried looking at the actual files in finder and couldn’t see anything.

After a couple of reboots and about 10 more minutes of troubleshooting I started to get worried. Maybe the CD was broken. I tried other CDs of mine and they worked fine. Then it dawned on me. I picked up the jewel case and to my disgust there was no compact disc logo on it.

I bought a copy protected CD!

I’d heard about them before but I thought they were an urban legend. Surely it could never happen to me. After all old CD protection schemes only worked on windows. A mac would laugh at any attempt at restricting access. I was furious. Right away I thought about returning the CD to the store making a big stink to the manager about how they falsely tried to sell me a CD when it was in fact just an optical disk that would play in most CD players.

But I’m much too lazy to do any of that. Luckily I have a linux box that my wife uses. I popped the cursed media in and it instantly offered to rip and encode it for me. This is one of my few experiences where a free product ended up serving me better than one I had to pay for. I’d like the thank all the unshaven basement-dwellers working their asses off to write free software for me. You’ve done the world a great service.

So in the end I got what I wanted. Although it caused me much more trouble than I intended. This whole experience hasn’t put me off of buying CDs but you can bet that next time I go shopping I’ll definitely be looking for that wonderful logo.

I Wish I Were a Writer

I wish I had a flair for words. I wish my grammar was better. I would jump at the chance of learning how to use such foreign punctuation as the semicolon. If only my mind were a thesaurus that could produce infinite synonyms for the word “nice”. I wish that my head could retain the correct spelling of words which I use daily.

Part of this I like to blame on the terrible, soul-sucking entity better known as the public school system. The last grammar lesson I received was in grade 3. You would think that the 10 years of english classes I attended after that would give me a few more pointers but you would be more wrong than Al Gore is about climate change. What I recall from english was reading dry novels while being asked to interpret them in the exact way the teacher wanted them to be interpreted. All symbolism had to be pre-approved by the local board of education in order for it to warrant a small checkmark in the margin of my hand-written(!), double-spaced book report.

Of course back then I didn’t care for grammar, writing or any of that faggy, new-age bullshit. I was going to be an engineer or a politician and neither of those professions requires writing ability beyond that of a 6 year-old. Leave writing to those who couldn’t do math. It wasn’t until after I graduated and got out into “the real world” that I realised how ill-prepared I was to converse with intelligent adults.(Pro-Tip: Spelling and grammar checkers don’t help when your talking to someone at a party.) Of course in the decade since high-school I have done nothing that would actually solve any of the problems I’m whining about right now. Sure I’m more aware of how shitty my writing is but I really just can’t be bothered to learn the right way.

I have not abandoned hope just yet, I’m not that old. Perhaps when(if) I start university(again) my writing will improve due to the sheer volume of work that will be forced upon me. Or maybe the standards have fallen so low that the kind of garbage I spew will be considered acceptable in which case I fear my own complacency. Either way I hope to release more words from my brain no matter how mundane and idiotic those words happen to be.

I should probably work on my typing as well.

The Boss’ Dilemma

I’m not meant for management.

I don’t mean that in the sense that I don’t like telling people what to do because really the opposite is true. I’d love nothing more than to have an entire army of minions who’s lives would be given to me freely as an homage to my greatness. Unfortunately that kind of help costs quite a bit and I’d probably have include dental and a decent pension so for now I’m stuck.

My biggest problem with a management position is the inherent hypocrisy. I’m forced to tell people to do things that I wouldn’t want to do myself. Of course if those working under me don’t do their job properly then I’m the one who gets to hear about it from above. I’m either hated by those I’m in charge of or seen as ineffective by my own managers. I will never understand those who actively seek this type of work.

Of course when I discuss management I must add the disclaimer that I’m not actually a manager by title. I’m more of a supervisor although officially I’m a “Team Lead”. This shining example of corporate speak is neither descriptive nor flattering. Those who’s charge I am entrusted with could never be referred to as a “team”. They’re just poor shmucks who needed some money and actually thought that this position was a gateway into the exciting world of IT. Each has their own interests and goals in mind the second they step through the door(and presumably when they leave as well, I just don’t have to deal with them then).

The second folly related to my title is the inclusion of “lead”. Those I work with don’t follow what I do in the slightest. My position is better described as “the guy who’s here all the time and who kinda knows what’s going on since he’s been here the longest since he’s too lazy to go elsewhere”. Of course I still am technically in charge here but they don’t seem to notice anyway. There are only so many times I can correct someone until I just give up and let them continue making mistakes as I browse around for some smurf porn that I haven’t already seen a million times before.

To make a long post even longer I’m pretty sure the only reason they don’t want to call me supervisor is that supervisor sounds like it should pay more. I asked for the official reason and they claimed that supervisor is a harsh word which is associated with authority and oppression. Team Lead is more friendly and helpful. People would be happy if their Team Lead asked them to mop up the water spill on the floor! These are the kind of answers that make me not want to ask anything ever again.

Will someone please teach me how to fish?