Friday, June 10, 2011

toyz for them

  Last evening, i was looking over the shoulder of my son, who was playing some new campaign on a Lego Star Wars site. And by doing this i honestly recognize that i was attracted by the dynamics of the games, the well chosen colors of the bits and pieces that composed the actors and scenery of the game, and ultimately by the subliminal attraction that was poured to the gamer either visual or audio. Now don't get me wrong. I wasn't payed by Lego or other subsidiary to write this post.
   At the moment i watched my son playing the game and after that hearing his desperate cravings for the toys themselves, i was amazed by the way the toy industry changed and evolved through the years. In my youth, we had only three colors for the bikes we could purchase, red, yellow and blue. And they were available in two or three dimensions and sizes. Now you can even paint your own bike as you please or, if you are lazy, you can order a custom paint job to be done for you. Of course we had some sort of lego like toys but the pieces that composed them were several times bigger and made out of wood. And the builds were limited to houses or square figures.
  As far as i remember, there were no negative idols in any game we had. In fact to be politically correct, we had negative persons in the books we read at that time, with the shapes of gargoyles or witches, but they always were killed until the story ended. The details about these kind of evil characters were scarce. No clear description was made and all of their evilness was summarized in a few words like ugly, bad, with deformities. Compared with the bio's and detailed profiles of the current evil characters, wow, that's a change. You can even start loving those characters, despite the fact that their role is to be bad.
  In my youth, the leading character was filled with good qualities, he or she were beautiful, with a sharp mind, with good behavior.  Now Leading characters can be ugly, have evil thoughts and plans to destroy or rule a world or a galaxy, can have bad habits like farting or other otherwise inappropriate behavior. The world of characters evolved with the passage of time and now we have also evil heroes on the menu.
   And the cars. Wow! now you can have one ranging from a simple tractor painted exactly like their real counterparts from CATERPILLAR, with moving elements, sliding windows, to fancy top Porsche like copies with the same accessories available. Compared with the communist impersonation of the "citty citty bang bang " like car we had, painted only blue, on which the only moving parts were the wheels and the pedals we used to power the car, the current toy cars are amazing. Even i would like to have one.
  I don't know if i like this change. From my point of view, it's ok for my son to distinguish from playing the bad and the good. It's ok for him to have a choice over which hero he want's to be. But i do not think i like very much to have bad guys on the same menu presented or trowed into his face. Surprisingly enough, my son likes very much Anakin Skywalker and implicitly Darth Vader. And when i asked him why does he likes a good person turned bad he simply said:
Because, i feel for sure that Darth Vader will be good again. It's written in his heart. And at some point he will figure this out and stop doing evil. He was lured into this unfortunate chain of events that turned him bad.But, i can almost feel it, he will be back to the good side someday.
PS: After the last Lego Star Wars game, in secret i promised to my son that i will put some cash aside to buy two helmets from Star Wars. I will be a Clone Warrior and he will be Anakin - DarthVader. We will play in the back yard with our already bought light-sabers. I like the stories he makes with and about adventures between the stars.Why? Because in his stories, the good guys always win.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

40's or something crysis

  Well, today i wasn't planning to write at this early hour my regular post on the blog because i was planning to do this from the silence and peace of my home in the afternoon, and for another subject. But someone decided to stir a wound which didn't have the chance yet to heal and i felt old.
  I have to think very hard on this issue of oldness, maybe i have to make plans for my funerals already. I probably have to talk with my wife, kids, attorney, partner, customers, colleagues, and tell them that i am close to death and they should be aware of this and advise me on the necessary steps to make in order to leave this world with all my issues closed or settled. Sh**! I'm already thinking of this... It's like a slow moving poison, traveling through my veins, and with each minute it passes i am closer to the fatal finish! How will i look after my death? i will have wings or tail? I will have a red face or blue? I will spill poison or drink amber?!
  Come On! This is bullshit. Of course i will die someday but not now. Now i am still alive and kicking and i will kick this guy hard. Well he doesn't carry all the blame for this issue of oldness but what the hell, he's close, he's here, he soiled my ego and i can throw him a punch or two, in words of course.
  So let me introduce you to the issue because i think i babbled enough about my ego and other sh**. Some online poetry and sf writing campaign is started by this site . After reading the emotional intro on the homepage who basically say's that all the writers are called to this contest and anybody that can write should try participate, because at least they have a chance to be read and appreciated or not, if you go to the contest rules you will find actually that there is a limit to the age of the writer and that is 40 years old. So basically any writer with the age between 0 and 40 can register and submit SF stories or poetry but the ones over this age cannot. No Sh**?! Why? At my 40 or something i am not good anymore to write? Somehow after this age my imagination has gone, my poetical licenses are scarce and my stories sound like the moaning of a buffalo in heat?
  OK, ok, maybe you do not know my poems and most probably they are so bad that when you read them you do not pass over the first two verses. But what the hell, i should at least have the chance to make a fool of myself from the readers and the community not from a stupid rule. Because that what this rule , in my humble opinion, says: If you are over 40 you are not fit for this.
  Just like another "Smart Guy" from an Irish recruiting company who said to me a few days ago with a discrete tone " You know sir... i am sorry to say to you but your age is a little impediment in your application. We want vigorous young programmers  with talent and experience... Of course you are super qualified for the application but the age factor...". Ha! The age factor. How the F*** experience is built? by working and accumulating over the years. Now the "Smart Guy" wants young experienced programmers in the field of payment systems. Honestly this is a contradiction of terms. In the niche industry i work, experienced specialists are scarce and not easy to find. Not that i am saying that i am the best of breed. There are many others more advanced and experienced but, guess what, we have almost the same age. Somehow in the twisted minds of these kind of "Smart guys" has entered a rule that after 40 you are not fitted to create, compose, develop and most probably live.
  We should be banned from tweeting also? Should Facebook redirect us upon registration to a special social network for us the ones over 40 called "heavenorhellbook" depending on the bio ? And when a youngster would try to access this network an ACCESS DENIED message should be displayed stating " Private network. This is a network designed for those closer to death. Your age allows you to go and play so do that. Leave these old rubbish alone to extinction".
  We, according to their view, should use old windows versions because the newer ones are for the young and experienced ones, we should not desire smart-phones and we should use only mobiles with large display and three functional keys "Call home, Call Ambulance and Call St. Peter", this should be enough for us no? We should never approach new emerging Object Oriented languages simply because they are too hard to understand for a fossil, we should not even go hiking in the mountains because the altitude could impact over our health...
  Enough with this. If someone does not like my age, it's ok. But i still believe that i can be and i am creative,i can work hard both at my work or with my writings. If my poems does not appeal to you, close my blog and switch to another one. It's easy. At least you have made an opinion based on what i wrote not my age. So if i made you curious or disgusted by my opinion, you have two options: for the fist case, read my blogs; for the second one, there is a small X icon attached to the frame in which you are reading this words.Come's easy to find. Click on it. Bye.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Politics looks like malicious software

  Sometimes, when i arrive back home and i look over the entire day that just passed, i am amazed by the quantity of bad political decisions i ingested over the day. From the new laws and regulations i see at the morning news, to the whispers of " bad days coming " distributed by mass mailing or cleverly dissimulated in political declarations ingested through the airwaves sent to my car radio. Every channel, newspaper, radio station, struggles to bring the latest breaking novelty gossip, fight, that happens o the political stage of this small country. Hazardous predictions, economical falls, famine, disease, unemployment, are all debated retracted, argued, commented over the every information channel possible, in order to attract our attention, and increase some ratings. As i know very well this kind of staging, i am convinced that what is now a gossip will be a reality, what now is presented as an achievement will be in fact a disaster hidden in glorious words.
  Everything like this distracts me and many others from the day to day struggle to live. Makes us react and become less interested in what we do, and become more disappointed about the life we are living. Just like a malicious piece of software, once present on the system, these kind of novelty takes control and diverts some of us to think of what bad news the next day will bring, or what will we do when this will strike? Instead of concentrating to create, build, manufacture, we are constantly trying to find ways to solve ways to beat the bad news delivered to us.
  Of course you will say, i can no longer watch the news, i can tune the car radio to a music station and i can avoid to read newspapers. Yes i can. But this will not take away the cruel reality of the breaking news, it will simply delay the time when the fact will reach my family, my pocket and my life. I can filter anything i want, i can shut myself out from the news stream but the reality will always come and byte me with a new "We cut your salary with 2% for something" rule.
  So because the bad politics and malicious software are similar in behavior, they spread the same through media channels, they affect the functionality of the system like their software counterparts, can i get a "Malicious Political Removal TOOL?" ? Maybe with the database updated to include the latest corruption malware, chair-stick detection and removal tools, evasionist and theft heuristic detection, phantom company detection and control,etc. It can be Oen Source but we can settle even for a commercial version. We will gladly pay for it in order to start living.       

Monday, June 6, 2011

Ultimately they serve

  There are many names we are giving to them, "White Heads", "Turkeys",etc, but we always try to reach their help when we are in danger. They are present in our lives day by day, struggling like the rest of us for a decent life, for a foreseeable future, for the kids at home. And now we are, again, making a mockery out of their paychecks. Because our " Smart leaders" are cutting again their salary. It is not enough that they are understaffed, poorly equipped for what they do, unappreciated and badly seen by almost anybody, and now they have to suffer another cut in salary.
  I honestly wonder if anyone of us, whom are the beneficiaries of their work, could sit a whole day in a crowded intersection at rush hour, and steer the raging traffic and in the mean time inhaling tons of poisonous gasses, supporting hundreds of decibels but remaining cam under heavy stress. I tell you i couldn't do it.
  Or how about the situation where they are standing between two gangs fighting for their territory, armed just with the well known baton and a pepper spray? Could you do that and be then home just in time for dinner? No you couldn't. They are courageous people, with a great will to serve and protect, with an unbeatable wish to be present when they are needed in order to defend innocence or life itself. But they are just like me and you.
  Of course they are going to office at crazy hours, just when your kids managed to fall asleep after a good day of joy they are starting their shift, You see them in the middle of the night patrolling the streets in their old and outdated cars in order for you to be safe at home. They are putting their lives on the line helping you to drive safely on the bumpy roads of the country, they are present when a robbery took place in order to return the stolen property as quickly as possible.
  And now what will happen wit their lives? What they will do in order to keep coming to the streets and protect you? How they can protect when they leave home hungry because their credits and loans  took all of their paycheck? How they can jump and salvage somebody in distress when they cannot save even their own family? How they can continue to sit in the middle of the road either in freezing winter or hot summer days, filling their lungs with the gases your car dejects when they cannot even afford to go to a decent doctor anymore?
  I watched them protesting. Fewer than i thought they will be because many of them are thinking that if they come and protest into the open they will be fired. I sympathize with them, i am with them, i support them in their quest to fight for a decent life because, independent of the jobs we have, this is our day to day business here. We struggle for a decent life not for a better one, we fight for a living a little over poverty and we struggle to come back home alive and in some cases even smiling.
  I wrote this in their appreciation and i hope that they will gain a little more support from the "average Joe" like me, who is one of the beneficiaries of their services.I wrote this in the hope that another one just like me, will pickup from where i left this and spread the word about the struggle and the needs of these amazing guys and girls in blue costumes, watching over us.
  I saw a few of them when i made my trip to the office this morning. I couldn't tell if they were mad or angry or preoccupied by the protests or by their needs. They were at their jobs and they had to be there a hundred percent. Because they ultimately serve us.  

We should be proud...

   Well, we should be... As long as "The most powerful Man on Earth" had awarded prizes to our smartest and brightest people...but i wonder where these guys were educated? I sincerely admire them if they could manage to get an education in schools where water pours from the ceiling in case of rain but they have brand new sports facilities, or in schools where in winter time, the same temperature from outside is in the classrooms but "luckily" these schools were just renovated with state of the art sanitation facilities. And on top of all things, how the hell these guys get educated when the teachers are hard to find, they actually left the country to work as nannies, cleaners,plumbers and other jobs fitted for a person with high education. You will say that they were educated according tho the new law of education with hundreds of "alternative manuals" from certified educational editors, actually obscure editors hired to conceive a mediocre manual just good enough to be published by a printing company owned of course by a government official or an acolyte of such a person.
  You will say that these guys and girls are hard workers. And you are right. They are. They struggled to be on top of a society that considers educated people as paria, because our leaders need manipulable masses intoxicated with poisonous commercials when elections begin, they do not need smart people unless they are "dirty" and they can also be manipulated at will. They probably learned complex mathematics at candlelight, thermodynamics and physics in freezing school conditions,just to be closer to reality i think, and language and literature in the time they were craving for a piece of bread to eat. Honestly, i thought Ceausescu-s time was over but what is happening today in the educational system of our beloved country is simply incomprehensible.
  And on top of everything, instead of fleeing to other more suitable countries for them to develop, grow and perform, they are coming back or stay here, living a poor life. In their dreams they see themselves as leaders, teachers, rulers and they crave for the opportunity to share their knowledge for the well being of their fellow countrymen. But, our political leaders are ruling again against these kind of dreamers. The new law of education is still in fierce debate and honestly it is incomplete and flaky in the most important parts of it, the payment for a honest educator is a few times lower than a paycheck of a school janitor from US, and the schools are still in horrible shape. And despite all of these horrible conditions, these people are still here and try to make a living from what they know. A hard life.
   So, as i said before, we should be proud of them. Because they are the best of breed from a poor country, a country that treats them like hell, a country that pays poor but ultimately a country they love and want to serve. And if the big guy from White House gives them a hand and congratulates them for their achievements along with other prestigious international figures, please be so kind and be proud of them. Because what they achieved is their own achievement and merit. Our leaders does not deserve even to be mentioned or seen or even take credit for this. The only merit of this country is that they were born here. They passed through hell on the road to glory and now they are coming back to hell. I am proud of them. you should be too...