tag:phoneboy.info,2013:/posts PhoneBoy Says 2014-06-07T11:50:23Z Dameon Welch-Abernathy tag:phoneboy.info,2013:Post/691686 2014-05-15T18:21:56Z 2014-05-15T18:21:56Z Cassidy's Pizza My dad had always been a musician as long as I known, anyway--at least until he couldn't play guitar anymore because of his hands. That and smoking were two things I most strongly associate with my dad.

When I was very young, I remembered going with my dad to Cassidy's Pizza in Salinas where he would perform on-stage. I even performed with him one time and made my first dollar there, which hung on the wall of my bedroom in a frame with some sort of certificate. I also got my first taste of pinball and video games there as well, which of course were very different back in the mid-1970s.

When my sister sent me this photo she recovered from my father's stuff recently, it brought back a lot of very early memories.

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Dameon Welch-Abernathy
tag:phoneboy.info,2013:Post/677937 2014-04-16T04:19:53Z 2014-04-26T00:52:02Z Does This Describe Me Professionally? I'm going to give a talk at West Sound Technology Association in the near future, and I have to write one of those dreaded "about the presenter" blurbs. Here's what I came up with, I'd love to get your feedback.

Dameon D. Welch-Abernathy, better known to some as PhoneBoy, has been in Information Security for nearly twenty years. Starting as a systems administrator for several small companies and then moving into a technical support role for Nokia's Security Appliance Business, Dameon has helped numerous IT professionals secure their organizations networks. Now working for Check Point Software Technologies, Dameon brings a blend of business acumen, product expertise, and technical know-how to solve customers business and security challenges.

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Dameon Welch-Abernathy
tag:phoneboy.info,2013:Post/643260 2014-01-18T08:03:52Z 2014-01-18T08:03:52Z Living in Enemy Territory I have been a life-long 49ers fan. It probably has something to do with growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area during the beginning of their Superbowl run during the 1980s. It's the kind of thing that something like moving will not change, and based on the number of displaced 49ers fans out there, I'm not the only one!

Check out this map made by Facebook of Seahawks vs 49ers fans based on "likes" that proves my point:

Clearly I'm living in Seahawk Country, which means showing my true Red and Gold colors is not always appreciated. Even so, I only have two pieces of 49ers swag: a hoodie my wife bought me, and a iPhone 5s case I bought a couple weeks ago and just arrived today!

I wear my 49ers hoodie fairly regularly during the chilly months except for weeks that the 49ers are playing the Seahawks. Not because I don't want to represent, but because I don't necessarily want to draw undue attention to myself on game weeks. 

This, however, is no ordinary game week. This is the week of the NFC Championship and the pundits and fans have been waiting for this game all year. The rhetoric from both fan bases has cranked up to ridiculous levels, with stats flying from both sides saying why their team will win, copious amounts of trash talk, Seattle bars banning 49ers fans from coming in, and worse.

In short, it's the kind of thing you'd expect from any sort of rivalry, however the 49ers Seahawks one is relatively new in the pantheon of NFL rivalries. The 49ers and Seahawks were not division rivals until 2002. Seattle had several appearances in the playoffs during that time--including winning NFC title game in 2005--but did not win a Super Bowl. The 49ers, meanwhile, were unable to make the playoffs for 8 straight years starting in the 2003 season. 

Then, as they say, shit got real. The 49ers made it to the NFC Championship game in 2012, only to lose to the New York Giants in overtime. In 2013, they made it to the Super Bowl, only to lose to the Baltimore Ravens. And, for the third straight year, the 49ers are in the NFC Championship game. Meanwhile, the Seahawks have made it to the playoffs 3 of the last 4 seasons, losing in the Divisional Round the previous two times, but winning the NFC West in 2013.

When you add in the rivalry that Jim Harbaugh and Pete Carroll brought with them from the Pac-12 (Stanford vs USC), the fact both teams operate and are built a similar way, the fact the 49ers have won their last 4 post-season games on the road, the Seahawks being hungry for Super Bowl rings, and a 15-15 tie in the overall series between the 49ers and Seahawks, and you have the makings for a NFC Championship Grudge Match that only the best scriptwriters could come up with.

My experience with Seahawks fans is they are generally respectful. Same with 49ers fans. A little good-natured ribbing can and does occur. However, there are the 1% of fans who are not and, ultimately, ruin it for everyone else.

Since you never know when you'll encounter that 1%, it's sometimes best to hide in plain sight. And since I can appreciate good football--even when it's played by a rival team--it's actually not too hard to do. That said, to those 49ers fans living in the Seattle area, know that your fellow 49er faithful are out there.

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Dameon Welch-Abernathy
tag:phoneboy.info,2013:Post/637599 2014-01-04T10:41:30Z 2014-01-04T10:41:30Z Tom Merritt's Daily Tech News Show Not wasting any time after leaving TWiT, Podcaster Tom Merritt has already started a Daily Tech News Show. You could say it's another iteration of the Buzz Out Loud or Tech News Today format: top headlines with some in-depth analysis and discussion with guests, audience participation, and a snappy theme.

Both Tom's new podcast and his former podcast, Tech News Today, are undergoing a public beta of sorts during their respective (re)launches. They both have their rough edges, but it's clear Tom has been doing this for years as DTNS, aside from a few technical glitches during the two shows he's done, sounds very crisp. Mike Elgan, who just took over for Tom on TNT, is still finding his sea legs, it seems like. 

I can't tell you how happy I am to be able to listen to Tom Merritt doing the tech news again without feeling like I'm supporting TWiT because y'all know my feelings on TWiT. And with the relaunch of Current Geek, we get a TWiT-less weekly roundtable discussion show, too.

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Dameon Welch-Abernathy
tag:phoneboy.info,2013:Post/632232 2013-12-18T23:55:19Z 2013-12-18T23:55:19Z Lessons from The Breakfast Club Earlier today, I recorded a "podcast" about this:

If you want to subscribe to this podcast--it's more "personal" and less technical in nature, put this in your RSS feed: http://chimp.li/u/phoneboy/a.rss

Anyway, while I kinda rambled here, the main message of the movie "The Breakfast Club" is that we all have more in common than we might think. If five kids from different backgrounds can find common ground, surely we all can, right?

Also, Except Sometimes, the jazz album from Molly Ringwald? Awesome! I had no idea she could sing so well!

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Dameon Welch-Abernathy
tag:phoneboy.info,2013:Post/631747 2013-12-18T01:13:06Z 2013-12-18T01:13:06Z Merrittless TWiT From the Inside TWiT Blog:

I've known Tom Merritt for more than a decade - since the grand old days at TechTV. He's a trusted colleague and I consider him a dear friend. When Tom moved to LA last year we agreed to try having him anchor his shows from Southern California via Skype. We've been mostly happy with the result, but I've always felt that TWiT had lost something by not having Tom's leadership in the studio with us.

After some soul searching, I've decided that we do need an in-studio anchor for Tech News Today, and a News Director who can help us build the kind of organization you can count on for authoritative tech news and information.

So it's with a heavy heart that I'm announcing that we're not going to renew Tom's contract as host of TNT. His last show will be at the end of the month.

Tom Merritt is every bit the professional broadcaster Leo Laporte is, but without the associated personal douchebaggery. Meanwhile, Tom will be doing a show with Scott Johnson starting in January and likely some other stuff as yet announced. 

On the plus side, it'll be possible for me to listen to Tom Merritt do daily tech news again. That idea has some merit.

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Dameon Welch-Abernathy
tag:phoneboy.info,2013:Post/612266 2013-10-24T05:53:35Z 2013-10-24T05:53:36Z One Good Draw Two Deserves Another Undoubtedly, you've played Uno (or the less commercial variant Crazy Eights) at some point in your life. It's quite unlikely that you've ever played Hot Death Uno, though, unless you happen to have stumbled across this game on the early Internet, downloaded it to your Windows PC, and played it.

It's basically like playing Uno but there are some extra special cards (and rules) that make it a bit more fun than regular Uno. So, of course, in college, I took the rules from this game, wrote them down, and made a real version of the game out of real Uno cards. And played it with my friends. For hours on end.

I'm almost certain I still have my deck somewhere. Meanwhile, I put my Hot Death Uno website back online in case you want to download the original Visual Basic 1.0 program, check out the rules, or make your own deck!

I'm not the only person touched by this game, based on the fact I can find a few pages dedicated to this wonderful game, including a couple of attempts at recreating the source code so it runs on modern computers and doesn't crash incessantly like the old Visual Basic version did. Someone even built it for Android (and released the source)!

Meanwhile, for old times sake, I fired up the game in WINE--a Windows emulator on Linux that runs Windows binaries in an environment that emulates the Windows APIs without running the whole Windows OS too. It actually worked well enough to play without crashing, though as is usually the case with WINE, there were a couple of visual glitches. And the game runs really really FAST on modern hardware! 

I didn't exactly lose against my computer opponents, but I didn't win either. That said, it brought back a few memories.

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Dameon Welch-Abernathy
tag:phoneboy.info,2013:Post/610581 2013-10-19T07:49:35Z 2013-10-19T07:49:35Z Shoeboxes Leading to Jaiku I was looking at the page views for some of the posts I've put up on this blog and the one where my wife brought back a shoebox full of memories from Hawaii to me seems unusually popular. Quite honestly, I'm not sure why since it really wasn't intended to be something I expected a large number of people to be interested in.

It does seem strange condensing a whole chunk of memories into something the size of a shoebox. Or even stranger that now that shoebox can live as an archive of digital files.

One of these archives I had a reason to run across recently was the archive of photos I uploaded to the now defunct Share on Ovi service that Nokia used to operate. 

While preparing PhoneBoy Speaks Ep 306, I had reason to go back through a couple of older posts of mine, some of which linked to photos that were posted on this service. I noticed that it wasn't a whole ton of posts that needed fixing and figured I might as well clean them up.

One of the posts was actually my review of my favorite Nokia handset, the Nokia E71. More specifically, I reviewed the North America edition of the Nokia E71. This post had screenshots, as you might expect, but one in particular caught my attention:

Most of you may not know, or even remember this service, but that green J icon was for the Jaiku app on my home screen. Jaiku was a mobile-first social app for Symbian devices developed by a couple of Finns.

The service eventually got bought, and neglected, by Google, much to the dismay of fans like myself. But I met a lot of really interesting people on Jaiku, and had a lot of excellent conversations and am "still friends" with many people from Jaiku.

I can see echoes of that experience today on app.net (where I'm @phoneboy) but I never really made that connection until just now.

Amazing what memories a (virtual) shoebox brings up!


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Dameon Welch-Abernathy
tag:phoneboy.info,2013:Post/605959 2013-10-03T05:22:24Z 2013-10-08T17:30:56Z Fifty Nine and Ninety Nine If my mother and grandmother were alive today, that's how old they'd be. Because, you see, they shared a birthday. Just like my dad and I shared one.

I'm not sure when or exactly where in Hawaii this photo was taken but it was clearly taken while my grandma was still able to get around a bit.

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Dameon Welch-Abernathy
tag:phoneboy.info,2013:Post/605280 2013-09-30T03:56:35Z 2013-10-08T17:30:47Z Making Lemonade There were a lot of photos in that shoebox my wife brought back from Hawaii. Including an entire album full of photos from my high school graduation. Like this photo with my mom:

In many ways, this graduation was an accomplishment for both of us. Obviously, I had to do all the academic work involved. For my mom, the accomplishment was making the money to pay for it. 

Because, you see, I went to a private school. In Hawaii. It was either that or I'd be bored and beat up in Hawaii's public schools.

Granted, because of my mom's financial situation, we were able to get some level of financial aid. As I remember, she ended up having to pay about half the tuition, which ended up being around $25,000 for four years. For someone of my mom's means, that was quite a lot of money, especially back then.

My mom never graduated college. I won't say my mom's life was rough but she had some pretty sour lemons to make lemonade from. She wanted to make sure the lemonade I made with my life lemons was better. 

No doubt, this got me on the right foot. I was able to get into a good college that I ultimately graduated from and started towards the career and family I have now. All made possible by the sacrifices my mom made.

Every day, I count my blessings, thankful my lemons were just a little sweeter, thankful I found a better recipe. 

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Dameon Welch-Abernathy
tag:phoneboy.info,2013:Post/604894 2013-09-28T08:31:20Z 2013-10-08T17:30:42Z I Was Skinny! Looking through a lot of the old photographs my mom had has certainly been entertaining and quite a walk down memory lane. Some weren't really memories since some of the photos were from when I was a baby, though I can recognize the house I first lived in in those photos.

Some of the photos make me look famous. Some of the photos themselves look like famous photos. That's one thing mother was good at--taking photos and lots of them.

And for all the photos she had of me growing up, one thing continually struck me: I was skinny. Like beanpole skinny. And hyper as hell.

Then I got to junior high school and I started having issues with my weight. I was a little overweight then all the way through high school and college, but it was nothing like it is now.

So many things changed since then it's hard to say exactly what it was that triggered my gradual weight gain. Of course, things like diet and exercise I'm sure aren't helping, but even when I make the almost superhuman effort, I am able to take weight off. When I hit the inevitable weight loss plateau, I am thoroughly discouraged and I fatten up again.

Not quite sure how to get back to that skinny little boy I once was. Well, I'll never be a little boy anymore, but to be that skinny...

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Dameon Welch-Abernathy
tag:phoneboy.info,2013:Post/604684 2013-09-27T07:36:56Z 2013-10-08T17:30:40Z A Shoebox Of Memories My wife just got back from Hawaii.

No, it wasn't a pleasure trip. I would hardly call going through my dead mother's house to find paperwork and a few personal mementos pleasurable. Especially when you consider the amount of stuff my mother had and the general state of her house. 

While my wife brought back stories of some of the things she found, she also brought back some photos. In a musty shoebox.

Because, you see, my mom took photos. Lots of them. At a time when taking photos meant getting actual film developed.

What did my wife bring back? Pictures of me. From various times in my life. With my mother. With my grandma who past away in 2001. With other family members. With people I don't know. And pictures of me that, quite frankly, don't look like me.

Also, there are pictures of my mother from various times in her life. Including recent ones that, quite frankly, don't look like her. Or at least how I remember her.

And while it's going to take me a while to unpack the memories that go with each photo, I figure I might as well start by talking about this one:

Another thing my mom did when I was very young was paint on canvas. She did a couple of paintings of Sesame Street characters, such as this one of Bert and Ernie.

Looking at this photo now reminds me of something I forgot long ago--that there was a time when I "pretended" my mom and I were Bert and Ernie. I was Ernie, she was Bert. She played along for a while. I can't remember why she stopped but it really doesn't matter now.

What is amazing is that this painting was still hanging in my mother's house after she past away. However, like many of the things in my mother's house, it went to a good home.

Except for the memories, obviously, which I still carry with me.


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Dameon Welch-Abernathy
tag:phoneboy.info,2013:Post/603335 2013-09-22T07:37:10Z 2013-10-08T17:30:24Z A Tale of Two Mothers When I was growing up, I only knew one mother. I had a step-mother also, but that's not what I'm talking about here. I'm talking about the second person inside my mother--a person I didn't "see" too much growing up, but became more apparently as I graduated college and started my own life.

At first, I didn't know what to think. I was, quite frankly, in denial that this person I had grown up with and loved was also someone that had serious issues. It took other people to help me see this--namely the person who is now my wife but was not at the time. 

That "other mother" came out when my mother was drinking. Which she did when I was growing up, sometimes to excess, but not often.

Clearly something changed after I graduated from college. Her marriage to the person I call my step-father, who my mother was with for many years but did not marry until after I graduated, clearly was not going well. There were definitely some financial difficulties, which certainly did not help matters.

Her relationship with me also soured. When my mother was visiting me and, apparently, drinking, she was telling me some downright crazy things. Despite my lack of interest, she kept going on and on, telling things I was pretty certain were false. I can't remember exactly what I told her, but it was something along the lines of "shut up, you're full of crap." 

Then the demons of hell unleashed from her mouth. She demanded I take her back to the airport RIGHT NOW (her flight home was the next morning) and continued to verbally berate me as I drove her to the airport.

A few years later, after I was married and the first child was born, my mother started calling me again. She had apparently started going to AA and was trying to make amends. She tried for a while but it became clear she was still drinking and before too long, started talking crazy.

The stress of not knowing which version of my mother I might be speaking with at any given time was just too much for me. I did not want to expose my children to this. I told my mother, in no uncertain terms, I wasn't going to speak to her again.

That was some time ago, and I think she ultimately accepted my decision. Now that she has passed on, she can cause no more drama in my life.

Meanwhile, stories about my mother are surfacing that remind me she was, in fact, a person some thought fondly of. She had her redeeming qualities, at least when she was sober, and I will not forget the things she did for me growing up.

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Dameon Welch-Abernathy
tag:phoneboy.info,2013:Post/593971 2013-08-10T08:09:55Z 2013-10-08T17:28:22Z My #AudioMo Posts for July 2013 AudioMo is a regular challenge to get people to post audio to the Internet, posting with the hashtag #audiomo. This year, it happened during the month of July. 

Since I participated this year, and I already produce a regular daily podcast called PhoneBoy Speaks, I produced entries specific for AudioMo using the ADN app Chimp, which actually makes it really easy to record and post audio in one go. It even gives you an RSS feed!

Meanwhile, for those of you who missed those audio bits, here are all 31 #audiomo posts I recorded.

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Dameon Welch-Abernathy
tag:phoneboy.info,2013:Post/590644 2013-07-25T22:15:23Z 2013-10-08T17:27:41Z I Used To Support This When I first started supporting Check Point FireWall-1--which is what the product was back in 1996, this is what the User Interface looked like.

A lot has changed in those days. For one, it doesn't run on SunOS or Solaris anymore. Management still runs on Solaris, but not in R75.40VS or R76 and above. And even then, this ancient GUI called fwui doesn't run on it and hasn't for some time.

I remember those days fondly.

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Dameon Welch-Abernathy
tag:phoneboy.info,2013:Post/590383 2013-07-24T06:00:47Z 2013-10-08T17:27:38Z Half-Remembered Days They say that you remember only the good things as time goes on. I suppose it depends on who or what it is you are remembering things about.

I have been thinking about my parents. Given recent events, that's an entirely natural thing, I suppose.

The times I remember with my mom are many. Some of them happy, some of them not. As I got older and started living my own life, the happier memories pretty much became things of the past. 

A thought that has persisted for many years is that my mom held it together long enough for me to leave the nest. Once I left and was truly on my own--after college--that's when I noticed the biggest change in my mom. That's when--especially looking back--I can see her going down the long road to whatever brand of crazy she was.

Obviously, I wanted no part of that. And I don't blame myself for this. She made the choice to medicate with alcohol when she wasn't medicating with pot. While I don't know what killed her, it wouldn't surprise me if she drank herself to death. 

On the other side, there was my dad. Whom, honestly, I struggle to find too many memories of, good or bad. Most of the good ones involve him playing his guitar--a guitar that my sister now has. As you can hear from these recordings in 1983, he was pretty good, too. 

The bad ones? They involve him smoking and how I smelt after going back to my mom's after staying with him. Smoking ended up killing him. 

But as I get older, those memories--good or bad--become less remembered. 

The feelings, however, are still there. The good ones, and the bad ones. While I think I've come to terms with most of it, I'm still a little raw from recent events. 

This too, shall pass and become another half-remembered day.

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Dameon Welch-Abernathy
tag:phoneboy.info,2013:Post/589872 2013-07-21T03:28:59Z 2013-10-08T17:27:31Z A Strange Sort of Symmetry

I honestly can't remember when this picture was taken. Had to have been 20 years ago. Really doesn't matter now. On the left, my mother. On the right, my step-father Richard.

What I do know is that I will never see my mother again. Not in the flesh, anyway.

As I mentioned in other places, I received a call from my aunt a few days ago informing me that my mother was found dead in her house in Hawaii. One I had never been to. Not by Richard, whom she separated with some time ago. Not by anyone that I know anyway.

I had long since come to terms with the fact I wasn't going to see my mother again. She was going down a dark path--one I didn't realize she was going down, but looking back on it now, was clear as day. My wife (who wasn't at the time) helped me see that.

My mother actually cut off ties with me before I had gotten married. She eventually decided to get in contact with me again, but it did not take me long to realize that I could not have a healthy relationship with her. I had no interest in exposing the child I had by that point to her.

So I told her what I needed to tell her and I cut my ties with her. That was in 2001 or 2002, I think, and I've long since come to terms with it.

I had continued to hear about her occasionally from my aunt, whom she still remained in contact with. I would hear things get better, then get worse. Then I stopped hearing anything. Meanwhile, everyone else in the family had come to the same conclusion I had.

Then, I heard she died. At the age of 59.

59. Just like my dad 3 years ago. Who died on his birthday--a birthday him and I shared.

And while I do not have an exact time of death for my mother, since I got the information second hand and the police in Hawaii hadn't done an autopsy at that point, I have every reason to believe she died on my birthday, too, or close enough to it that it might as well be.

And you know what? As utterly morbid as that fact is, I'm quite ok with it. It has a strange sort of symmetry to it.

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Dameon Welch-Abernathy
tag:phoneboy.info,2013:Post/579700 2013-05-19T07:18:14Z 2013-10-08T17:25:30Z Why Doesn't MTV Play Music Videos Anymore?
 
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Dameon Welch-Abernathy
tag:phoneboy.info,2013:Post/579697 2013-05-19T06:46:17Z 2013-10-08T17:25:30Z We're Living in an Ayn Rand Economy I agree with the title of this article in Salon, but the writer clearly doesn't understand Ayn Rand's philosophy or what's really happening in the world. 

Ayn Rand’s novel “Atlas Shrugged” fantasizes a world in which anti-government citizens reject taxes and regulations, and “stop the motor” by withdrawing themselves from the system of production. In a perverse twist on the writer’s theme the prediction is coming true. But instead of productive people rejecting taxes, rejected taxes are shutting down productive people.

Most people I know don't enjoy paying taxes. In fact, Ayn Rand herself said that "In a fully free society, taxation—or, to be exact, payment for governmental services—would be voluntary." You can argue that her position is untenable, but it illustrates the point that taxes are, in fact, mandatory.

This author only looks at the fact people and corporations are avoiding paying their taxes in various ways. Which is true: Apple parks a ton of their profits offshore because of the 35% repatriation tax--money already taxed in another country. Individuals with a lot of income can hide their money in similar ways to large, multinational corporations. And the middle class? They don't like taxes either. Middle class people are moving out of California in droves for that exact reason--the taxes are too damn high.

So it's pretty clear, no one likes taxes, or at least not the kinds of taxes that some would have to pay if they were being completely above board. And what do those tax dollars pay for? Unwinnable wars in other countries, bailing out rich people who made bad financial decisions, and putting people in jail who choose to take substances the government has said are illegal. 

So how do those expenditures help people, exactly? What infrastructure does that build or maintain for the common good? From what I can see those that are paying taxes are funding a whole lot of activities that, at the end of the day, do not actually do them any good.

Compulsory taxes are a forced redistribution of wealth. What's worse is that the redistribution is not from the rich to the poor, but from the poor to the rich. Because who controls the people that make the laws? The rich, who can afford to bribe the lawmakers to make more favorable laws for their pet projects and get a tax break to boot.

And you know what? That sounds an awful lot like what Ayn Rand foretold in Atlas Shrugged. Who is John Galt, indeed.

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Dameon Welch-Abernathy
tag:phoneboy.info,2013:Post/579564 2013-05-18T04:55:28Z 2013-10-08T17:25:28Z Monopoly in Style Many years ago, my wife bought me a really fancy Monopoly set. It doesn't get used all that often but it's quite the set!

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Dameon Welch-Abernathy
tag:phoneboy.info,2013:Post/443163 2013-04-22T06:12:01Z 2013-10-08T16:56:31Z Mary Wanna Work. Even When She's Stoned. Weird 1972 Experiment in Marijuana Use:

In the winter of 1972, 20 young women took part in one of the weirdest scientific experiments in this country’s history.

For 98 days in a downtown Toronto hospital, their brains, hearts, kidneys, livers, blood and urine were rigorously tested and analyzed.  A team of nurses kept round-the-clock records of their behaviour, logged at half-hour intervals.

Just how was marijuana affecting the 10 who had to smoke it every day?

The results of this study basically showed that the one thing people didn't lose while smoking pot was motivation to do what they felt they needed to do. In other words, the traditional "stoner" would probably be a slacker even if he stopped smoking the wacky weed. Normal people would more or less continue to live their lives, do their jobs, and so on.

Eventually the countries of the world will get over this "marijuana is bad" trip.
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Dameon Welch-Abernathy
tag:phoneboy.info,2013:Post/436160 2013-04-21T21:36:49Z 2013-10-08T16:55:01Z False Flags Still Don't Fly Aside from No Agenda, I also am a regular listener to the Corbett Report, which provides another data point in my quest to find out the truth of what's actually happening in the world. 

In 2010, James Corbett recorded this piece on False Flags, which started making the rounds again shortly after the explosions in Boston last week. Corbett highlighted this piece on Corbett Report Episode 266 where he also made the point that the concept of False Flags are clearly entering the consciousness of enough people that the mainstream media made a point to discredit the idea it was a False Flag event. 

Meanwhile, ask yourself why we're not seeing more on the fertilizer explosion that occurred a few days later in West, Texas--a disaster that caused a lot more damage and deaths than the explosions in Boston. Or the explosions that occurred in Iraq earlier that day killing far more than the people in either Boston or West, Texas. 

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Dameon Welch-Abernathy
tag:phoneboy.info,2013:Post/402925 2013-04-16T05:32:22Z 2013-10-08T16:48:36Z More Than A Feeling I have a lot of thoughts about what happened today in Boston. Unfortunately, none of them are going to be particularly popular. 

While it is certainly a tragedy that people needlessly lost their lives today in the bombings that occurred, the real tragedy is only just beginning.

When I first heard about this event, my thought was: false flag. No facts. No research. Just my gut reaction.

Maybe I've spent too many hours listening to No Agenda. But clearly I wasn't the only one thinking this:


It turns out the guy that asked this question was a guy from InfoWars, a mainstream "alternative" news source that, quite frankly, rubs me the wrong way the same way that traditional mainstream news media does, just with a different point of view. 

And surely the media people at this press conference knew who this guy was and let him ask his crackpot question, purely for the purpose of discrediting the idea that maybe--just maybe--there's more here than meets the eye.

Who did it? Who cares. Because whoever the news media ultimately reports as the parties responsible, they are but pawns in a much larger game.

In the last decade or so, I've noticed a series of tragic events followed by a public outcry by the public to "do something" followed by measures that, ultimately, restrict our freedom in the name of making the population feel more secure.

I feel safer with freedom than I do with thugs in charge of keeping me safe. Because at the end of the day, the thugs are only looking out for themselves, not me. 

Who's behind it? It really doesn't matter. All I know is I feel like a crab in a pot with water and the water is heating up.
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Dameon Welch-Abernathy
tag:phoneboy.info,2013:Post/397867 2013-04-15T04:50:10Z 2013-10-08T16:47:32Z Done Editing I've gotten out of the habit of writing blog posts.

It's actually really hard to write something coherent that doesn't take me an eon to churn out. That's certainly a lesson I learned with my books that I wrote more than a decade ago.

I should have learned that lesson back in 2007. Maybe I did and I forgot, though.

Or maybe I just don't care as much now as I did back then. Maybe I know how to write better and so I need less editing.

Whatever. Now that I have a way to record my thoughts from anywhere and make them available on the Internet pretty easily, why do I need to write anything at all? 

But speaking is a lot harder, at least for me. Mostly because you only get one shot at it. At least in person.

When I do a podcast, I've gotten to the point I do one of two things: leave it as is or re-record it. I may occasionally edit something but that is getting rarer and rarer.

Meanwhile, until I hit the "create post" button, the entire stream of consciousness I am typing is here just waiting to be edited.

Or not. Even though I edit a lot in my mind before I type, I'm getting to the point now where I'm done editing. I am who I am. I'm going to say what I'm going to say. You're either going to like it or think I'm full of shit.

Or maybe you'll like it even though I'm full of shit. Whatever floats your boat.

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Dameon Welch-Abernathy
tag:phoneboy.info,2013:Post/395838 2013-04-14T06:41:44Z 2013-10-08T16:47:10Z Meet the New Blog, Same As The Old Blog I kinda did a post earlier today, but now that I have everything hooked into IFTTT (at least until Posthaven adds its own support for posting on Social Networks on new posts), I guess I should "reintroduce" my personal blog to the world.

Of course, now that I think about this, it seems like an awfully douchy thing to do. I mean, who gives a crap? I'm barely going to write here. You're barely going to read it. So I guess we're even :)

But since you came here, look at the cool, shiny Posthaven-hosted blog. I can't do much to it right now, but I know that the Posthaven guys are hard at work They at least got a flawless import of my old Posterous sites. That's something.

Anyway, this is my personal blog. For things that don't fit into either phoneboy.com or phoneboy.net. And a little to long for app.net or Twitter. :)

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Dameon Welch-Abernathy
tag:phoneboy.info,2013:Post/394602 2013-04-13T23:40:08Z 2013-10-08T16:46:55Z Together Again... Again I've decided to move this blog over to Posthaven. Who better to "preserve" stuff from an old Posterous blog than the people who originally wrote Posterous in the first place?

This is this blog's 3rd move in the last year. I hope this is the last time I have to do this.

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Dameon Welch-Abernathy
tag:phoneboy.info,2013:Post/394600 2013-03-10T12:00:00Z 2013-10-08T16:46:55Z To Be Heard... There’s this text box. A text box that begs to be filled with the internal chattering, giving it a sort of physical manifestation.

What does the chattering say right now? That it’s bedtime and I should sleep. It also says I want to be heard.

About what, exactly? I don’t know. It really doesn’t matter. I just want to be heard. I guess that’s why we’re online creating content, in the ways we do, right? We just want to be heard.

But the harsh truth is, no one gives a fuck. That and there’s too much other shit out there on the Internet for other people to do. Or read. Or listen to.

I’m lucky in that I started on this Internet thing way early–before it hit the mainstream. I have somewhat of a following. Not a big one, mind you, but I have one.

But I also know the likelihood that anyone will say “hey, I like what you do.” Or even acknowledge that I’m doing something.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter all that much. What I said. Or that you acknowledged it. I’m either going to continue doing what I do or I won’t.

That said, a nice note to someone who created something goes a long way. Its lets them know they’ve been heard.

Even if you don’t do it for my little narcissistic blog posting, do it for someone else. Let them know they have been heard.

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Dameon Welch-Abernathy
tag:phoneboy.info,2013:Post/394601 2013-02-24T12:00:00Z 2013-10-08T16:46:55Z I Was Going To Write Something... But I really don’t know what I want to write.

There was a time in my life where I could write for hours on end. Granted, I edited. A lot. But I could do it.

Now I feel like it is a struggle to string words together on a page: real or virtual. Surely, I can put them down on a page, but to string them together in a coherent manner in way that conveys whatever it is I am trying to convey.

What was I trying to convey again? See, that’s the other problem: as soon as I try to take the idea out of my mind and put it into a form that others can see, the idea is gone.

Maybe in the dead of night, I can put a few words together on this blog app thingie that a nice chap from app.net put together. Maybe it will make some sort of sense.

Maybe I’ve spent too much time on Twitter and Facebook, but I actually find character limits to be a useful thing. I can strip away all the nonsense and get to the point. Sometimes it takes a while to craft those 140 characters–255 characters on app.net–but I can usually do it.

Whereas a blog post like this has no limit. Well, I see a character count at the bottom of this blog-app.net thingie I am using to compose this blog, so maybe I can’t prattle on forever. But still, there’s a huge difference between 140 characters and 5000.

Maybe this is why I’ve started podcasting. I know my word choice is not perfect. Some cleanup can be done with editing, but I can’t obsess over an audio waveform the same way I can obsess over words on a page.

The end result: nearly 70 episodes (to date), one per day. None of them perfect, but they get the ideas across and out there in a way I’ve always wanted to: on the radio.

Well, it’s not terrestrial radio, which I did briefly in 1997, but it’s Internet radio. My podcast does appear on the No Agenda Stream. In addition to the fact you can listen to it on phoneboyspeaks.phoneboy.comsubscribe in iTunes, etc.

So maybe it’s not so bad. I can still communicate. I can still participate in the conversation going on in the world.

But sometimes, it’s nice to not have to communicate. To not be putting ideas into the world. To just listen. Sometimes to others ideas. Sometimes to my inner dialogue. Sometimes, to silence.

That said, I wish I were heard sometimes. Truly heard. Because if I’m not being heard and making an impact on the world around me, why am I bothering to communicate with you all.

I’m very tired. I am finishing this at 2am. I hope it will make sense what I’m trying to say.

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Dameon Welch-Abernathy
tag:phoneboy.info,2013:Post/394766 2012-10-30T12:00:00Z 2013-10-08T16:46:57Z Taxes and the Science of Compassion From The Science of Compassion:

Why, in a country that consumes 25% of the world's resources (the U.S.), is there an epidemic of loneliness, depression, and anxiety? Why do so many in the West who have all of their basic needs met still feel impoverished? While some politicians might answer, "It's the economy, stupid," Based on scientific evidence, a better answer is, "It's the lack compassion, stupid."
I have no problem with Compassion. Aside from the good feeling I get when I choose to be compassionate, I recognize that it is in my rational self-interest to be compassionate for many of the reasons listed in this article.

To be clear, I am not opposed to giving to those less fortunate. I am against being given no choice in the matter about it, which is essentially the way our current welfare and similar aid system works. They are funded by taxpayer dollars, which unless I suddenly develop a desire for orange jumpers, three hots and a cot, and living in a 10x10 cell, I have to pay.

Governments have been proven to be horribly wasteful at spending money. And this is by no means a new phenomenon, either. According to Ronald Reagan's "A Time of Choosing" speech (where he was stumping for Barry Goldwater in 1964):
We are spending $45 billion on welfare. Now, do a little arithmetic, and you will find that if we divided the $45 billion up equally among those 9 million poor families [making less than $3,000 a year], we would be able to give each family $4,600 a year, and this added to their present income should eliminate poverty! Direct aid to the poor, however, is running only about $600 per family. It would seem that someplace there must be some overhead. 
The government is compelling me to give them money, which they are turning around and wasting, depriving me of any joy that I might get from those compassionate actions. Furthermore, they are significantly lessening the resources I have remaining, thus depriving me the resources to make my own independent choice to be compassionate.

Maybe if the rent weren't too damn high, more of us could actually afford to be compassionate, much less make the choice to be compassionate--and have the opportunity to feel good about it, to boot.]]>
Dameon Welch-Abernathy
tag:phoneboy.info,2013:Post/395765 2012-09-03T12:00:00Z 2014-06-07T11:50:23Z Podcasts I Don't Love From People I Don't Trust I've been a fan of TWiT since Leo Laporte got the idea to start a podcast sometime after the demise of TechTV. Seven years later, it has grown into a podcast network of 20+ shows with a huge studio in downtown Petaluma, CA.

Unfortunately, Leo has done some things recently that, quite honestly, are not the kinds of things I wish to support. As a result, I've decided to stop listening to any TWiT-produced podcasts.

What are my reasons? Glad you asked.

The Leo Laporte Affair and Erik Lanigan

This is somewhat old news. I expressed my thoughts on this last year and they haven't changed, at least with respect to his personal relationship with his now-estranged wife, which he has claimed numerous times on-air is still good.

What does bother me is the fact that, right around the time this event broke, a particularly talented post-production editor and up-and-coming talent on his network was suddenly persona-non-grata at TWiT. Erik Lanigan was editing the video that ultimately exposed his "affair," which was picked by Gawker.


When asked about Erik's firing on his recent Reddit AmA:


It doesn't take a genius to figure out why Erik Lanigan was fired.

Adam Curry and the Man Who Was (Not) On The Moon

Last week, Adam Curry was a guest on TWiT and the topic of Neil Armstrong's death was discussed. Leo had asked Adam if he believed that he walked on the moon, to which he replied very honestly, "no." A very respectful discussion occurred about this on the show. That, along with the later discussion about the display advertising model, makes it one of the best TWiTs I've heard in a long time.

Meanwhile, Leo's fans were not happy about this and took to blasting him on Twitter. That didn't bother me. What did bother me was Leo's response, like this one:


First off, Adam Curry disputes that "Adam was booked earlier in the week" in his version of the events that he described inDaily Source Code 866--he was actually booked the day before the episode (which was after Neil Armstrong passed away). Second, he's had Adam on before, knows all about No Agenda and that his views on a great many things are, well, different. Or even "crackpot."

Leo also represented Adam's views:


And finally, on his This Week in TWiT show, he continues to throw Adam under the bus, even mentioning banning Adam from the show!

Leo's free to have whoever he wants on his network. It's his to do that with. However, to say he had no idea that things could go this way was at best disingenuous, at worst an outright lie.

The TWiT Army

I've also had my own interactions with the TWiT army via their IRC channel, which is moderated by some of the strictest moderators known to man. Anything even remotely challenging to either the hosts worldview, the moderators, controversial points of view, or anything that could be construed as sexual will result in being kicked from the chatroom immediately.

Based on the comments Leo continues to receive on Twitter related to Adam Curry's views, I can only conclude the majority of the TWiT army is perfectly happy to not question authority or to even entertain differing points of view.

Sorry, folks, that's not me.

Conclusion

I realize that me not listening to Leo Laporte and the TWiT network is probably not going to be noticed by anyone but me. I also don't think I'm necessarily going to sway anyone to come to the same conclusion I did. That said, I am building a handy page explaining alternatives to TWiT podcasts to help anyone who is.

Update 16 Oct 2012Leo's sexts get caught on the air again. Honestly I don't care that he gets sexts--good for him--but as many times as he has inadvertently "exposed" himself on-air, you'd think the self-proclaimed "Tech Guy" would take a few more precautions.]]>
Dameon Welch-Abernathy