IT Pilgrimage

A Journey From IT to Freedom

Archive for July, 2008

Hypermiling Skills: Defend Your Lane

Posted by IT Pilgrim on July 31, 2008

Today’s hypermiling skill, defending against someone trying to pass you. It seems that most people would prefer to tailgate you than bothering to see if there is actually traffic in front of you. Sometime you just cant go any faster, but you don’t want the turkey behind you to jump in front and ruin your carefully planned out spacing. A view of open road encourages the other driver to pass you. A view of deadlocked traffic, not so much.

So, to encourage the driver behind you not to pass, simply move over a little in your lane to the inside of traffic. By riding the left line of your lane, assuming you are in the right lane, you block the driver’s view of the traffic ahead of you. By blocking their view, they cannot judge if passing you is of benefit to them or not, unless their vehicle is big enough to see over yours. This is usually enough to get the person to stay in place. It also implies aggression and tells the person you don’t intend to let them cut you off. This works if you are in the right or middle lanes. If you are in the left lane, then you move right, rather than left, or if you happen to be in almost any country other than the US, just reverse it.

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Posted in Cars, Frugal Living, Travel | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Who’s It Going to Be?

Posted by IT Pilgrim on July 30, 2008

US Flag

Today I am wondering, who’s it going to be. I am the first to admit, I can be a little slow on picking up the currents of the “big two” in our little duopoly system. However, as a realist, I know that we are probably stuck with the big two for a while yet, though their days are clearly numbers. Feel free to disagree with me, I know how worked up some people get about their chosen political affiliations. I think the time has long come for a viable third party to pull itself up out of the rubble the other two are creating. Just for the sake of making sure we all understand, we have a couple of parties, true, we have the Republican party, the Democratic party, the Green party, and the Libertarian party.

So, yes, admittedly, we do have a couple more parties out there than anyone seems to notice, or even to know about. How many people, I wonder, blindly vote a straight party ticket? While, I will try to reserve judgment on others, I could never do such a thing. To assume that each person within a party has the same ideals seems at best, uninformed. Take, for example, Ron Paul, who was (is?) running as a Republican, when at the same time we have John McCain, running on the same time, at the same time, and just how different are their ideals? They might as well be night and day, and yet, they are both members of the Republican party. Then we have Barak Obama, all I can say is, he needs to pick a stance and stay with it.

So, ladies and gentlemen, who are all the likelies going to pick for their running mates, and more than that, to the other two parties, when are you going to step up to the plate. One has to wonder if the other two parties will have to become more conformist to ever become more viable, or if we, as the American people will grow past the current levels of conformity and political correctness. So without further Adieu, John McCain, Barak Obama, who’s it going to be?

For the Libertarians, it appears that Bob Barr has picked Wayne Allen Root, and for the Green party, Cynthia McKinney has picked Rosa Clemente as her running mate. I have to say, an all female ticket for them, that is decidedly bold, however doomed to failure it may be, though good for them for trying. I do think that it is kind of funny, that the Libertarian party is trying to pick up the baton that the other parties dropped a long time ago, but yet, hold themselves up by saying things that people don’t like to hear. We have to fight the trends towards socialism, my friends, we deserve better than this. And while we’re at it, do we really need to put up our candidate stickers and posters in our cubicles at work? Just a thought.

Photo Credit via Flickr: Soul Pusher.

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Labels, Labels Everywhere

Posted by IT Pilgrim on July 29, 2008

As a people, as humans, we love to label everything. We love to earmark it our minds as good, bad, ugly or indifferent. To some extent, I think that is probably just the way our minds work, categorizing, sorting and storing. Someone pointed out the other day an article on wikipedia about social identity, and I found it fitting.

Lately I have been struggling against labels, at least politically speaking. Need we always fit into a neat little group? Republican, Democrat, Liberal, whatever. A friend of mine labeled me as an Anarchist, but I think that label too is far to narrow. Now, before everyone sends me a bunch of hate mail about how anarchists are evil, and gives me the two hour dissertation on how their chosen political leaning is better, just take a moment, and think, is it really? That kind of behavior is exactly what I am talking about. You see, when we label, we judge, and I have to ask, what gives you the right?

Labels are limitations my friends, why limit yourself? Belief is all about experiences and perception. No one sees that tree exactly the same way. Why must someone be defined by their skin, or weight, or sex or religion, or political party? For years people have lamented the evils of racism, or sexism, or more lately, ageism, but I say that those are not the problem. The problem is labels and how we use them to define ourselves. Yet, people purposely label themselves all the time, be it with words, clothes, or other possessions, or sometimes by claiming associations.

I say it is time to free ourselves from the labels. Don’t refer to people by these generic names that give such a narrow view of who and what they are. We are all so much more than that. So next time someone says to me that I should be a Democrat or Republican, or whatever, I’m just gonna smile and tell them that their prejudices are showing.

Photo by Wm Jas via Flickr

Posted in Politics | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Monday Traffic Mini-Rant

Posted by IT Pilgrim on July 28, 2008

Monday morning, I drive around an hour and 15 to an hour and 30 each way to work each day. The other day, for grins, I decided to track the number of times people actually signal before they cut you off and slam on their brakes. The answer is 5. 5 people signaled in an hour or more of traffic. So here’s my little monday morning mini-rant:

Not signaling to save on electricity, and thus gas, does not count as Hypermiling!

Enough said.

Photo via Flickr by Burning Image

Posted in Cars, Travel | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

One Knot at a Time

Posted by IT Pilgrim on July 25, 2008

Goodbye Cruel World!

Goodbye Cruel World!

Finally, the decision is made. I can’t take it anymore, being here, sitting in this desk, in this dungeon anymore. I don’t want to sit alone in my fabric cage anymore. I got into IT after one day realizing that is where the money and opportunity is, at least in this town. It never had anything to do with a vocation or love of technology or such things. In fact, I don’t even like computers much anymore, its not all tragedy and horror, sometimes its nice to get to play with toys worth more money than you will most likely ever make in a lifetime. Its time to call it though. Not too long ago, a manager asked my (a perpetual job-hopper) what my loyalty to the position was. Believe it or not, I somehow managed to not laugh in his face. Loyalty? After they laid off some of my co-workers, my friends? I had one of my few moments of lucidity and was able to give an answer that has suddenly changed my outlook on life. I said, “I won’t be looking for another IT job in the months and years to come.”

Now, I am a bit of a weird cat in this day and age in that I don’t believe in sugar-coating anything, ever. i also refuse to do anything that I consider even borderline under the table. My company asked me for inside information on a client at who’s site I was working a while back, and I told them no. Flat out, No! I still remember the look I got, that flabbergasted, utter disbelief that someone would just say no. Admittedly, I have developed a bit of a reputation around town, anyone who wants a real straight answer comes right to me, and you either love it or hate it. So when I gave that answer, I meant it wholeheartedly, I just didn’t know it yet.

So now, those words have been haunting me for a while now. I realized that I had turned a corner, and finally figured out what I need to do. I never intended my journey to be a physical one, I have tied myself down a little too effectively to even think about it. Its time to start untying those knots. I refuse to just lay down and die here. If you give up all your dreams, you have already died, and I woke up to realize that I have let them all die, every single one. So now its time to start digging myself out.

I realize that a lot of people in this situation might just walk away from it all, forget the darn mortgage, etc but I cannot be that person. I know that it is a bit old fashioned but who do you know anymore that is truly governed by what is right? I must be ruled by what is right, by what is good and just in this world. So instead, I will free myself one knot at a time. Its time to pay off all those debts, sell all that crap that at one point was important to me and blow this joint. Somehow I will figure out a ticker, or some such, so I can setup a monetary countdown to freedom, I’ll post it when I figure it out. Now only one major hurdle to this planning process … telling the family.

BTW: That sheep is a piece of artwork, not a real sheep plummeting to its death.

Photo Via Flickr by ecatoncheires

Posted in Career, Life in IT, Travel | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »