My Journey With Barack Obama

Despite my passions for software, live music and clean technology, which I regularly blog about here, I’m privately a civic minded person.  This post serves as a record of the effort I’ve put in for Senator Barack Obama and concludes with an endorsement of the man as our next President of the United States.  The journey begins over two years ago.

Peering into my Gmail history for the keyword ‘obama,’ I can see the first time I talked about him was in a chat session with my friend Ala on 10/16/06 at 10:35 AM PST:

me: goodmorning
Ala: good morning
me: how are you this morning?
Ala: fine, and you?
me: fine.   obama huh?
Ala: made the cover of Time

And that’s how it started.

In November of 2006, I did phone banking in Portland for the Oregon Democrats, and took to the street like a crazy person, holding up my Vote sign on Burnside. About 11 months later, I was living in Boston, starting work on my MBA at Babson College.  Politics are a little more interesting for Democrats on the East coast and by then I was looking to get a bit closer to the candidate, in an email to my brother on 10/19/07 I wrote:

Continue reading My Journey With Barack Obama

The History of the Video Game Development Process

The modern software development process is sort of out in the open. Any sizeable project like a new version of Microsoft Office or Adobe Photoshop is discussed widely in technology forums and blogs. Although beta testers generally sign NDAs with companies, details or full copies of beta software leaks regularly.

Google’s Android OS is not quite Open Source, but will rely heavily on the Open Source contributions from the public. This past weekend an ARS Technica article about updates to Android acknowledged Google’s creation of a public bug tracking system as a “sign that Google is taking the needs of the Android third-party developer community more seriously.”

Clearly, expectation of visibility into today’s major software projects has increased with the growth of the web. But what about older software? Who is looking into the games and tools that we used on a daily basis 15 years ago?

Know Your Mario History

nintendo power glove is a hardware part of video game historyA new Download Squad article discusses the impending release of a historical documents related to Sega video game development between 1993 and 1994. It claims that a “large community of Sonic fans have been searching for prototypes and lost levels in the games for many years now.” Indeed, you can read the granular details.

The new article says that a community member is planning on releasing “an entire year’s backup of data from the Sega of America offices from 1993-1994.” The article calls the eagerness of the community to review the information as part of a post-modern archeology culture, where people examine the assembly-level code of these game ROMs. Continue reading The History of the Video Game Development Process

Disney Takes A Stronger Position on Health

Walt Disney has become the first Hollywood studio to take smoking out of all of its films.

Smoking Rats Ratatouille MPAA RatingI didn’t notice any smokers in Ratatouille, and I couldn’t see them in a new traditional film from Disney either. But the FT article goes on to state that Bob Iger’s position is that “the company would also ‘discourage’ depictions of smoking in films made by its other studio labels.”

Disney’s owns Bob Weinstein’s Miramax Films which has released a ton of adult-oriented features including Tarantino’s, Pulp Fiction and Resevoir Dogs. Quentin Tarantino makes including cigarettes in his movies a recurrent presence. Iger goes on to say that argueing with filmmakers working under his roof about excluding cigarette smoking is a “confrontation we are certainly willing to have.” Continue reading Disney Takes A Stronger Position on Health

Ordained!

Reverend RobI have been ordained as a minister! Yes! I now am qualified for the following:

  1. Perform Baptisms
  2. Performing Weddings
  3. Performing and Speaking at Funerals
  4. Visiting the sick
  5. Counseling
  6. Establishing New Congregations
  7. Ordaining others

I have already done items two, three, four and five–which leaves baptisms, creating a congregation and ordaining my own clergymen and women.

So, to my friends and those I do not know, please let me sprinkle water on your child. I will say some nice words too. I haven’t decided what to name my church yet, but I expect all of you to show up on Sunday for the prayer and the basket passing.

Most Melodramatic New Years Eve Ever.

Portland Commissioner's Office I’ve had some pretty awesome New Years Eve’s.  Last year I was with close friends at a great house party, the year before we were at Kells.  This year we decided to try out Pioneer Courthouse Square–big mistake!  It sucked.  Someone is to blame! 

Read this article to get a taste of exactly how lame our city commisioner’s office is.  Probably the worst part of the article is the author’s attempt to make it sound like the one arrest from last year justifies canceling the event.

I sent the following letter to the editors of the Portland Tribune, Oregonian and Portland Monthly:

UPDATE 1/ 11/05: The Portland Tribune published my letter in the 1/10/05 edition. 

Continue reading Most Melodramatic New Years Eve Ever.

Portland Santacon 2005 – Cacophony Society Descends Upon Portland

Santa HipAbout ten minutes ago about two hundred santas descended on 23rd avenue on their way to the Gypsy lounge. They’re part of the 2005 Portland Cacophony Society.

According to their official webpage, anyone can join in the herd, so long as you wear a santa suit. Includes “A coat, a hat, a beard, red pants and accessories. Gifts and candy for the kids, cash for bars and strippers.”

At their last stop before hitting the bar, I snagged a video of them chanting, “Santa needs a drink!” at the top of their lungs.

Check out a few pictures of Portland Santacon 2005 on my flickr page.