Friday, February 27, 2009
How are things in The big city? I hope that this letter finds you in good health. I should be back home in about three months. I will call you when I return. We'll have some drinks and talk.
I've spoken to mother and she said that, as of late, you have been too busy to stop by. You should go and see her. Please check in on her at least once every two weeks.
As for me, I am in the Mexican state of Chihuahua visiting an archeological site called Paquime' it is more commonly known as Casas Grandes. It was one of the largest precolumbian trading centers in North America for hundreds of years.
The people here are extremely friendly and hospitable. I went to a local shamen woman who cleansed me by blowing smoke over my body and whipping me with a clutch of leafy branches. She sang some incantations and lit some candles. Strangely, I felt better afterward.
The travel journal will be pleased with my discoveries. I hope to earn my next trip with some interesting material. The photo I sent was taken by our photography intern Allison. She is a sweety.
I miss you Smedley. tell mother I miss her too. I'll be writing again soon. Wish you could be here with me.
Your loving brother,
I love Mason but he doesn't realize that he is a writer and I'm just an IT guy. He always makes me feel so guilty about my poor communication skills. This blog is an exercise in communication for me. I can only hope that I get better.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Today has been a long one. It looks like Bill and Ed are going to stick around. That makes it even easier for me to skip out. I can tell that they have allot on their minds. None of this doomsday talk bothers me because I know that it is entirely out of my hands. Why worry about things that are out of your control. One must simply roll with the punches and carry on.
My brother Mason has written me a letter. I can't wait to read it. He is a travel writer and all around adventure type. I love reading his letters and e-mails. I adventure vicariously through his correspondence.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
On the way back from Margret's distress call I decided that I'd drop by Shlomo's cube. He's a mathematician posing as an accountant in the payroll department. He is absolutely mad. I mean insane; like, clinically insane, but somehow he is strangely prophetic and I enjoy his rants. I think that he enjoys having people listen to his rants too, but I'm afraid that he doesn't get too many visitors for that purpose.
"Hey Shlomo" I said.
"Smedley, long time no see"
"Are you kidding? I saw you two days ago."
"Yeah, I guess you're right. You are one of my only personal visitors."
"Have you heard about the companies problems?"
" Ah, don't get me started. They are doomed. Things are going to change around here."
"You don't say?"
"You understand, The whole world is experiencing something of an unrecognized realization of long held economic beliefs. Do you recall & ? The fathers of communism, right? Well if you've ever read anything about communism then you know that they believed that after their dictatorship, they would gradually move into a socialist utopia and there would be no use for a dictator. Well, there is a capitalist version of that same belief. The thing is that capitalists haven't thought this whole thing through.
What happens when the capitalist system is so dominant that it no longer challenges itself? (pause) What happens when the people borrow more money than exists in all of the world? What happens when the banks foreclose on all of the worlds accumulated debt? (pause) I'll tell you what happens. (pause) Banks don't know what to do so they freeze. The world has a finite amount of commerce and money. When the worlds Money value exceeds the value of goods that exist, then there is a giant crash or a deflation of the entire system. This has happened in the past but this one is special. This time there is no relief. This time the banks will be left holding all of the money and all of the debt. at the same time. What that means is that the worlds economy transforms into a capitalist paradise. I know what you're thinking. Your thinking, this guy's crazy, but a capitalist paradise is something different than a socialist paradise and that may not mean paradise for us. It may mean trouble.
You see the principals of capitalism have already been compromised and that was the plan all along. Private citizens don't really own anything do they? Almost everyone who owns anything owes money to a bank. What that means, is that the government props up the frozen banks and is then reliant on them to finance everything. then changes into a pure quangocracy or a government controlled by an unelected coalition of organizations. In this case it would be the banking system. It will be entirely up to the banks to determine how wealth is distributed. It's a scary scenario."
He went on to show me some mathematical algorithms that helped illustrate his crazy talk. It was interesting and a tiny bit scary but I doubt that anything like that is actually possible. Not here. Nothing bad could ever happen here, right?
Friday, February 20, 2009
I have to admit, Ed's little speech had me a bit worried. We all felt the same I think. Ed went to the workshop and began catching up on updating hardware. Bill returned to his cube to work on a project that he's been developing. He's writing a program for monitoring private messages on a popular social networking site. He's such a voyeur.
I picked the short straw and had to go on a call. Lovely.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
We walked back to Ed's office and he sat us down. He seemed a little concerned and didn't start talking right away. Bill broke the silence and asked Ed what was bothering him.
"I brought you guys in here to let you know what the word is. I mean, we have to stick together, right?
You've heard, as we all have, the talk about the economy, and how it's; well, how it's in a bit of a tailspin right now. I've got to tell you, even though we are part of one of the nations top financial firms our company is not immune to the vacillations of the economy. Financial firms that have been involved in certain transactions such as credit default swaps and risky lending practices are in particular peril. You may not know this but our firm is one of the institutions at risk. I just got back from a meeting with the other directors and the accounting executive vice president suggested that we are scraping by for now, but if things get any worse there may be some layoffs. I'm pretty confident that we in IT are relatively safe. I mean, how could they pink slip us? Who would reformat their hard drives after they open a suspicious attachment or clean their laptops of all the spyware that they pick up surfing nefarious websites."
After listening to Ed, I was certain that things had to be pretty bad. The other directors never invited Ed to anything. It's not because Ed is not intelligent, or is incompetent. They don't invite him to many meetings because he's IT (irrelevant) and, well, he's kind of a nerd; a nerd like us.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Disposing of obsolete hardware is my favorite part of the job. Bill and I sneak off to the 23rd floor that has been closed for renovation and dump the hardware down the unused elevator shaft. Crash! We could just dispose of them properly but what fun would that be. Circuit board darts, hard drive disk toss and laptop swords are just a few of the games that we play. All in good fun.
Ed knows all about our little misadventures. He doesn't mind, just as long as we don't get in any trouble. If he has to hear about us he gets cross. He doesn't often get upset though. Bill and I keep a low profile. It is unusual for him to come in and gather us up for a meeting though.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Ah, lunch. Our cafeteria has a good selection of foods. Bill usually has a sandwich. I'm more of the salad type. I'm not too keen on the meats. Bill and I have to dispose of some obsolete hardware this afternoon. After that I'll probably cut out a bit early.
Friday, February 13, 2009
Bill is a good guy. He's easy going and has a good sense of humor. I'm fortunate to have a workmate like him. He's also extremely good at his job. that dude knows technology. I dare say that he is better than me. I think that he would be building computers, whether he was getting paid or not. I think I'll invite him to go to lunch with me today. I'll send him a tweet.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Living in the city is usually pretty tame. People tend to mind their own business and are pretty civil. Sometimes one runs across a ruffian. I find that a confident, stern look tends to send them the message, "back off buster. You've bitten off more than you can chew with me. Arrrg!" I've never failed with that one.
Bill and I get along well. We do enjoy playing little tricks on each other and sometimes it gets a little out of hand. But in my three years here we've only had one hospital visit. One each.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
I don't know if I'm ready to go to work today. The worst part of my job is the fact that there is no positive feedback. We only ever hear from anyone if something has gone wrong and then it is usually something that could simply be fixed by rebooting the pc, but I digress. We are the untouchables of the company.
I suppose that I should be grateful though. My day is usually task free. I have to set up a laptop or two sometimes, but that usually takes all of about 15 minutes. The rest of my day is spent online and tinkering with little personal projects. My supervisor Ed comes in about three times a week for an hour or two and then he's off. If the company only knew how much we skate they would fire the bunch of us I'm sure.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Smedley. I'm a 25 year old urban dweller. I'm an IT specialist at a large financial company. Life is good, but a bit solitary right now. I may be in a rut. My routine has become a mesmerizing drone and there are no surprises. I see the same dull people day in and day out.
The only exception is my commute to work on the train, but train etiquette requires that one simply ignore everyone else around them. One is expected to stare into the distance, into an imaginary horizon. I am always wearing my headphones. I've got my I-phone and my I-tunes and my e-mail to keep me busy on the train. Sometimes I read on the train too. It's a good time to settle into a book.
I've got some hobbies and some interests that keep me busy. I still play keyboard in a band that I've been in since high school. We have an 80's retro sound and a loyal following. My band mates have been more and more distant lately. One of them just got married and Joe, my best mate and our drummer, just had a baby. You just can't play a show without a drummer. So, things have taken a bit of a turn lately and I think that they will continue to change. Who knows what the future holds, right?