New crew member

…people (and things) come into our lives from a number of unlikely sources.

Today, a pirate came into our lives, he simply parachuted down from somewhere above.

You can see him here — now at rest and ready for his next adventure. But when we found him it was a different story. He was lying on the pavement, with his left foot bent backward, his erstwhile parachuted rendered as useless as an empty sandwich bag. (Hey, it closely resembled an empty sandwich bag!)

We picked him up and tried to find his commanding officer. No such entity emerged (although we stood in front of the building shoting "Josh!" at the top of our lungs for several minutes.) So we took him home.

He’s resting up right now, soon to embark upon another adventure, but not before we give him some grub and some grog, some good advice, and a ride to the next high point from which he can jump. I have confidence that he’ll find his way back to his ship.

Or to some ship.

Or somewhere with water and booty at least.

For the time being, he’s making pals with The Tick, The Thinker, Eugenio the Elephant, and the King of the stuffed camp followers, Pip. Hope he doesn’t get too comfortable.

—v

More free than before

…it started simply. Kristen just said, "Let’s go get that free Denny’s breakfast." Then there was the IHOP day, the free stuff TV show on Fridays, and now the coupon ladies’ blogs.

But what could be better than pursuing the path of free stuff everywhere it’s presented. Mostly only those who don’t need it get the best free perqs. Now it’s time for the industrious, the creative, the resourceful among us to reap the benefits.

We’re getting a lot of free stuff and talking about it here.

And the fun is just beginning.

Playing at the margins

…I’m as socially conscious as the next guy. In fact, I’m socially active and many of you know it — you’ve seen me in action. But lately I find myself stepping away from those who should be my allies. Mostly it’s because the conversation seems to be moving toward the margins of effectiveness.

I’m with folks who want to make a significant difference when it comes to the environment, caring for society, and ensuring education. Where I’m not willing to step forward is when the conversation moves to periphery concerns and results primarily in making the cause seem silly. This simply empowers those who oppose for reasons of convenience, self interest, or simple reflexive thoughtlessness.

A simple example of this is the recent legislation considered in California to regulate the color with which cars can be painted. Certain colors cause the interior of cars to be hotter and harder to cool in the summertime. It’s great to acknowledge this, but outlawing black cars in California is silly and makes precious little practical difference in the environment. More than that, it gives ammunition to the reflexive proponents of pollution by making the cause seem silly and excessively activist. Moreover, there are MUCH more important places for us to work to stem the increase of pollution caused by human activity on the planet. (For instance, a regional transit authority in the Bay Area could reduce administrative costs significantly and make transit a more attractive option.)

There’s more of this marginal silliness…

It’s all free

…we made a clean sweep today, finding things that are free or discounted very heavily.

Free Root Beer Float from A&W. Free smoothie from Orange Julius. Free dog food, Pom tea, and all beef franks from Albertson’s/Lucky Store!

Kristen’s been hitting the free coupon circuit pretty heavily recently and we’ve been getting a lot of stuff for free.

What sort of stuff, Vincent?

Sploder Games

Demon Hunt – a flash game, made with Sploder

I loved the experience of assembling a game with Sploder. This online game construction site is a great place to have kids learn how they can create their own worlds.

This game is simple, but it does have some puzzle and challenge in it. See if you can get your score down under 1:20.

Let me give it a try.

Sorting it out…

…I’m trying to sort out the threads of my participation in the social media platform.

I think I have it mostly worked out.  I have this journal that contains my personal experience of life, then I have a blog about technology “Tech Whine” and I just post in there when I’m being irritable or ecstatic about technology and its quirks.  Then there’s “The Learning Workforce” which speaks about the challenges of training technology workers in their job-related skills.

From reasonably short entries on a regular basis in those venues, I can keep the stuff that crops up in my head from accumulating too deeply.

The rest of what I want to share, I can park at a Google Sites page and point traffic to lead in there.

There’s still more to work out about all this. And Google Wave may change the game considerably. We’ll just have to wait and see.

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