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Why I'm Not Woke

This has been on my mind for a few years now and I haven't had a good answer to "Are you woke?"

I'm not.

I strive to be. I aspire to be. Woke, to the best of my understanding, is not a destination but a continual process. It's not a badge you can win and then it's yours for good and you don't have to think or do anything related to it anymore. I make a conscious effort to treat people well, to not say or do things that will serve to perpetuate racism (either systemic or individual) or racial stereotypes*. I screw up sometimes, and sometimes I screw up when I get called out on it. I try to be better when that does happen, but I don't and can't ever feel like I've achieved a state where I'm no longer problematic.

That is not a bad thing. We should always be working to better ourselves as people and as members of our communities, resting on laurels and plaudits is a recipe for regression. I don't want to ever feel like "Oh, I'm woke now." because that's when attention slides, when laziness and cultural indoctrination slip back in and it all goes downhill.

I will never know what it's like to have grown up or to live in this world as black, or latino, or asian, or gay, or female, or trans and I would never presume to understand it to ...

What is the answer to the Question of U?

I don't ask a lot of questions. Socially, that is. I ask way too many professionally. Hanging out with friends, going to events, and back when I was dating and/or aspiring to date in particular I think this has been a real impediment to connecting with people. My thinking has always been "I don't want to pry too much, people like their privacy, if they want me to know about something they'll tell me." Never did it enter my mind back in my 20's or 30's that maybe people wouldn't feel comfortable just coming out and bringing up something for a plethora of reasons ranging from anxiety to social mores to a perception that I wasn't interested because I didn't ask anything personal of anyone. My position in most things in life has been to strive to not offend or upset people on a personal level unnecessarily (politically I'm perfectly happy to offend people). So now I need to develop better social skills to navigate communicating and connecting while still minimizing the cases in which I upset people. Learn every day.

Time for you to upgrade

Moving to django 1.8 and postgres from 1.6.4 and mysql on web faction

First and foremost I know it looks like crap on mobile, I was shooting for an iterative upgrade, responsive css will be later this week.


Environment setup was pretty simple, I do everything in virtual environments so I can use the python version I want and install site-packages. I set up a VM on my computer with CentOS 6 to mimic the production environment as best I could to make deployments smooth.

  • Set up a WSGI/Python3 app in the web faction control panel
  • cd webapps/rev
  • virtualenv .
  • source bin/activate
  • pip install django
  • django-admin startproject rev
  • vi apache2/conf/httpd.conf
    this is the only part that involves much effort, and it's just adding the paths to the webapp and site-packages to WSGIPythonPath and a script alias to the file.
  • deploy my files to the rev project folder, static files to a static app in the webfaction admin that maps to [url]/static
  • . apache2/bin/restart

Modifying django

Most of my custom code is fairly straightforward, all variations on a blog format really. Blog, Projects, Reviews, and the much simpler Quotes, I didn’t have to change anything for the code to work as I'd moved to class-based views during my last upgrade. I will probably do some refactoring to take advantage of the updated Model ._meta API and maybe play with Jinja2 now that the heavy lifting of the upgrade is done. I will probably ...

Time keeps on ticking

I spent over a decade as a federal IT contractor, and another decade in various companies before that. I estimate that the amount of time wasted on meetings is in the range of 22-30 thousand hours, or around 45-55% of my career. It is a major reason that I hated working in an office, the time wasted. We each have but a finite amount of time in this life and if I must spend some of that time at work I'd rather it be useful time spent, rather than just watch it pointlessly drift away. The tedium was oppressive. Half day and full day meetings, sometimes several hour meetings where each person only has 5-10 minutes relevant to them. It was deeply depressing and demoralizing. Fortunately I'm now in a job where that doesn't happen. There are meetings, but they are small and productive and don't run longer than necessary. I now spend less than 10% of my time in meetings. That seems a reasonable level.

The time I spend with my kids, my love, my friends, my family, I cherish each and every moment. Not only because I might never see them again, but because even if I live to 105 there is not enough time, there is never enough time. I hate wasting it. As Henry Rollins noted "When you waste my time, you are KILLING ME! Just a tiny bit, but you are killing me."

Let go of the little distractionsHold close to the ones that you ...

It's easy to breath only air where life should be

I’ve always been an avid reader. I got teased a lot in school for reading so much, and frequently got in trouble in class for reading instead of paying attention. I devoured all that I could with little concern for the appropriateness of the content, spy novels and Mack Bolan and the more adult targeted sci-fi all had plenty in them that weren’t perhaps intended for 12 year olds though that didn’t even slow me down. I was begrudgingly granted access beyond the kids section at our local branch library before I hit fifth grade and with equal aplomb I picked and chose from the variety of books my elder siblings had (mostly sci-fi, though I was not averse to reading texts on Elements of Logic or college history books in my mid teens). My grandfather ensured that I had a solid grounding in The Classics by assigning me things like Last of the Mohicans along with turn of the century juveniles like The Dare Boys as well as works by Wodehouse, Bierce, Benchley, et al.

My grandfathers' house was the greatest place on earth in my eyes. Every room overflowed with books. Shelves above doorways, stacks in front of stacks, several whole rooms of library style shelving all mostly organized. Many of the books were quite old simply because he’d been collecting books for so long, he subscribed to various book clubs as his interest wasn’t in the financial worth of the books ...

You can't build a reputation on what you are going to do.
- Henry Ford


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