Thursday, July 24, 2008


Here at my new job I've been introduced to Pandora Radio. I find it very interesting, especially with its ties to the Music Genome Project. It is very nice to have something to listen to at work, especially with the variety of music available.

The timing of this find matched up with the new iPhone update which brought the new 3rd-party apps. I haven't really used the iPhone app much, but it seems to work pretty well even over the EDGE network. But the coincidence of timing piqued my interest in the service.

I really like the idea of finding new music by matching qualities with songs or artists which you like. I rarely listen to traditional radio because they play so much junk that I don't enjoy (and that's not to even start talking about commercials). But on Pandora I can control the experience enough to get music that I like.

Of course, playing music that I own on my iPod trumps Pandora overall because I have full control. But then I'm not finding new music.

Now I just need a way to find / review movies and games in a similar way. It's a little bit like what you see on online stores: "People who bought what you bought also bought these things you might like." But the power here is that you aren't just limited to one (well, maybe a few) variables to compare against.

It makes me wonder what kind of algorithms they use to create the playlists...

Thursday, July 10, 2008


I am feeling pretty isolated these days. As I've indicated in my previous posts, things have been changing a lot over the last few weeks. But one change that I did not expect was a drop-off in my level of communication, especially with friends.

Changing jobs seems to be the crux of the matter. I had made friends with people I worked with at my last job, but now I'm not seeing them every day. I like the guys I'm working with now, but we don't have that established relationship.

But the biggest difference is my lack of online presence via instant messenger. Like a psychic cut off from his power, I feel incomplete without my ethereal connection to my friends. I used to sense the presence of my friends and I could communicate with them at will. But now it's gone.

The policy at my new job discourages the use of instant messengers and the like, but our department has been cut some slack. For now however, I don't feel like installing one would be the wisest choice I could make. I've got to get to know my place a little better first.

I've only recently become aware of how this is affecting me, and I'm interested to see how widespread the symptoms and changes will be. I'm wondering how I will adjust to the changes, but perhaps the more interesting question is whether I've been unconsciously adjusting already.

A corollary I find of interest is how people adjust to communication technology in general. I often think that my sister-in-law doesn't need to be so obsessed with her phone. We joke that it would have to be surgically removed. But now I start to wonder if without her phone she feels cut off as I now do?

So for my friends out there who are missing me on your contact lists, if you felt like someone was crying out and then was suddenly silenced, it was me.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Back In The Saddle Again

Over the last few weeks my life has been turned upside down, stirred up, and basically changed completely. But now things seem to be settling down pretty well, so I figured I'd giddy-up for big post #50.

(Speaking of posting #50, since it's been just about exactly one year, this means I've averaged almost a post per week. Not too bad, says I.)

Married life is excellent. The biggest adjustment I'm finding seems to be related to how I spend my time. It used to be that I scheduled my time around when I could be with my fiancé. Now we're always together and I'm having to figure out new ways to schedule my time. It feels like I haven't spent nearly as much time playing games over the last few weeks. I actually get to bed at a decent hour now!

I'm also settling into my new job. Two weeks after being laid off from my old job I had a new job offer. I felt pretty good about it, so I accepted. Now I'm getting to know the people, learning about the existing code I'm working with, and basically finding my place. I feel like I have to ask a lot of questions, but they are all related to how things work here. So I think that's pretty good.

Another interesting thing that has found its way into my week is Dungeons & Dragons! My friends recently expressed interest in playing again, and we've scheduled time to play once a week. I've taken on the role of DM and we're continuing the campaign I started about two years ago.

Thus overall things are going really well for me right now. The dust from the major life events is clearing, and I feel like things have turned out really well.