Thursday, September 11, 2014

What I need to accomplish before the next vernal equinox (more than saying "I told you so")

I want to take another checkpoint today on my plans.

To become “successful”, I will need to produce an interrelated media in several formats.  These items include some piano music (especially a big Sonata, mostly composed in 1962), some 
 “autobiographical” and “reflective” video, at least one major screenplay (essentially a shooting script, with some annotations on a database), and one major sci-fi novel, “Angel’s Brother”.

Technically, the easiest items to make progress on quickly are the novel (which I have already started in work on the “final format) and screenplay (where I have a script but an honing in on some character and detailed plot connections before returning to the script). 

For the music and video, I may need important improvements in my MacBook environment, which might include upgrading the operating system (right now just 10.6.8 from 2008), partly because most security packages seem to require 10.7 (2010).  I may have to go from Avid Sibelius 7.0 to 7.5, partly to ease in social media interactions.  (That works on 10.6.8 but probably begrudgingly.) 

The “autobiographical” video will examine some questions about the “ethics” of my own brand of personal sovereignty, backtracking to questions like, how to live if “the system” fails, either because of natural hazards (solar storms are a good one), terrorism or targeted crime.  It also looks at how my view of “personal responsibility” has evolved since I wrote my first book, or how I would have to work if the legal environment (like on downstream liability – including Section 230 – were compromised).  It would even look at why others saw my “interests” as their business, leading to a curious paradox that helps us understand what makes some “bad actors” tick today. The work can be done in pieces, with the aid of PowerPoint pages, as well as outdoor scenery, all of which can be used to make some good introductory video with very simple digital handheld cameras with little editing.  But in time, I’ll need to learn to use FinalCut, probably in an up-to-date environment that can be secured and that can upload easily.

This is ambitious, and it’s important that all the pieces get done.  But it is like any project in the workplace, because it lends itself to time management and project planning.  The plans would require about 17 days “on the road” (about 5 nights away, mainly in Florida, where you can “go to England” and “go to Mars” at Universal and Disney in about three days with about $300 in tickets).  They would require about 3 work-months (based on 40-hour weeks) at home of text content.  Entering the music and creating the video would each take about 1 month each (assuming a 40-hour workweek). And I would like to have this body of material ready for others to work with (most of all the music) by late March of 2015 (maybe before going to Europe). 
Given all that, I do have a time problem.  For one thing, it won’t be possible to create as many blog posts as in the past, just to keep traffic refreshed.  I expect stories to continue on tech issues and legal problems (like Section 230), on operating system hangups, and on security – the things I encounter.  Probably less on issues like retirement and gay rights, as not as much is happening – until the gay marriage cases get heard by the Supreme Court.  But there could be a lot on national security, which can be risky.  One could possibly become a target merely by writing about it, although that hasn’t happened to me.  Media reviews may not be as common as I have to spend more time on creating my own.  I do take great pride in having so many films indexed and cross-referenced my own way, on Blogger and other sites.  But there may be less time for that. I may not be able to post to Blogger every day (as I have since March 2008); posting time is already split with WordPress. And I may not have entries in every blog every month, as I have since 2008.  
Time is everything right now.  When I have an appointment, that’s several hours, including travel time, with a balky Metro (which is a little better now with the Silver Line adding frequency).   Yes, it would be easier if I were in a secure modern downtown highrise apartment, rather than a house.  But it is what it is.  I “inherited” some of this and didn’t earn all of it, so there is a karma question. Since I currently work alone, the buck stops with me.  I bear the disruptions from storms, infrastructure problems, travel delays, outages, and especially inadequate customer service from vendors, which has become a serious problem in recent years a few times. I don’t have much leverage to get companies to do what they should (Oh, yes, there is Angie’s List and Yelp, I know).

On the customer service angle, I want to add a particular comment;  I simply don't have time to "beta test" new versions of products and risk instability.  So I tend to wait before going to new operating systems.  In August, I got badly burned going from Windows 8.0 to Windows 8.1 on a Toshiba laptop, which burned the mother board in the process, resulting in need for purchasing something else despite extended warranty coverage from Geek Squad.  The unit is still waiting parts, I am told.  I also don't have time to do maintenance that manufacturers could do.  Why does HP want us to create factory recovery disk when it could just include it (as Dell does, or at least did).  I don't have employees or an "IT department" with systems programmers to maintain operating systems the way corporations do.  
I also have a problem with disruptive behavior from others.  I realize that “people like me” have made life more difficult for heavily socialized people who expect to make a living (and support families) by manipulating others into buying things.  The telemarketing robocalls keep coming, and there is a certain belligerence, and desperation, to marketer behavior today.  (At least one door-to-door visitor in early 2013 made a threat, “what if you had to start over, too?”)  Imagine the insult of dedicating one’s social media presence to agenting “life insurance” or tax or financial planning.  No, if I didn’t have kids, I can’t take care of “your” life and I won’t pretend that I can.  There’s a paradox in this, in that the logical conclusion is that I don’t “care” about “you”.  But that turns out to be another deception.
I actually am interesting in working with others on certain kinds of media efforts, and have started making contacts.  Obviously, the progress on some of these would have to be confidential.  But the range of collaborations that would make sense is rather narrow.  I can’t sing up or “pimp” someone else’s cause at the cost of my own “objectivity”.  People do find me aloof and unresponsive to emotional appeals – which in recent years have become all the more gratuitous in the media.  But I have led the life I have led (a tautology).  I don’t imply others should do what I do.  I don’t set an example of how to live.  I “believe” in a sense – because science and physics really do drive me to a certain experience of “faith” and the Afterlife seems very real – but I don’t think that the sugarcoated version of “heaven” or “eternal family” can work for me.  End of life during old age is not controversial by itself – we all will leave this world because of something.  Maybe the ultimate moral hooker is something like this:  any of us can suddenly become needy or wind up in a shelter, sometimes because of what others do out of indignation or out of pure psychopathy or evil.  Any of us can wind up supporting others, regardless of whether we ever “risked” procreation personally.  If I had to do that, I can see how I would have to pimp things to feed other mouths.  The days of pride would come to an end.  

First picture: Harpers Ferry, W Va;. looking into the Maryland Heights trail. second, Richmond, VA, Third, Virginia Beach.  I have my own reasons for using these locations today

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