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Back on Ubuntu (though the LTS this time)

Unfortunately Fedora really didn’t pan out for me as I couldn’t install the Oracle Java plugin for Firefox (I know it’s very insecure but my employer is insistent on using a Java based VPN). The LTS Ubuntu behaves exactly as it should, and I have no idea why System76 doesn’t just ship LTS installs and skip the others? This would help out Ubuntu’s image since LTSs are designed for production.

Well I’ve decided to give the RPM world a shot! My reasoning is that I don’t want to have to do a ‘recommended’ blank install each time I want to simply move to a different OS upgrade (I’ll probably use LMDE for my future desktop). Though for some reason Fedora 18 to me feels like a sad orphan child that needs to be loved some. I mean, this distribution didn’t even have gcc installed by default! Too bad I have to mess around with CUPS to get networked printing going again but that’s for another day.

Why I sometimes just want to move out of the United States

 If you are in the 18-34 age demographic and this Bloomberg e-card page doesn’t make you angry then you need to learn how to rationally question authority. From bullying to recessions to now just being derided as a freeloader, I am really weary of the U.S. giving me the short end of the stick. To think that most adults would say “you’re supposed to make us rich now we’ll settle on you not making us poor” to young people says a lot about where we are right now. I thought this sort of scapegoating was limited to fascists but apparently I was mistaken. And yes I do have a good job and live out my own thank you!

Between Millenials and Baby Boomers: a Recession Tale

It’s been a while since I’ve posted and all is well out for me out here in Oklahoma (God bless the families in Moore though). However I read an article on CNN that spurred me to write a little mini-rant about Baby Boomers, Millenials and “entitlement”.

Now as a bullying victim I am well aware of the Millenials’ dark side. Some really are “entitled” and think that their way is the only way and that the only true path is to conform to a set of arbitrary social rules. But that’s a different rant. Here I would like to address the common perception that Millenials are selfish brats who don’t know what the real world is like.

Last year I graduated from college and despite graduating a top performing student and completing several research projects (with one co-authored article in the Journal of Climate) I still was rejected from graduate school (in retrospect this is more than likely a blessing). So I was thrust into the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression with very little help. Luckily I had worked in an on-campus internship that allowed me to have the “skills” to make me marketable. However I had to move almost 2000 miles from my original home to even think about not only starting my career but also a sustainable life in general. It’s been almost a year since I walked across the stage at my university and in that year will probably be the most important and best performing in my entire professional career.

Now fast forward to today and I read Reuben Navarette  saying that this years graduating class “needs a cold shower” and somehow we still need a reality check. Note that he is part of the same age group that crashed the stock market, increased the national debt balance to mind-bending levels, and were the folks who said that housing was the best investment. And yet somehow young people such as myself are out of touch. I’ve heard so much of this that my level of insulted-ness keeps dropping with every article. Especially considering our current “stock rally” is fake and could come falling down when the government stops the national money printing press.

So what should people such as myself prove to pundits such as Navarette to show that we’re not “Entitled”? Nothing really, since we would have to go to a level of self-deprecation that is simply unhealthy. I wonder what these “responsible elders” would say if we lowered their social security payments each month to help get the country out of the red? I wonder what these “responsible elders” would do if they had virtually no way to attain “skills” that their employers want and simply be called “lazy” when they fall through the loopholes of society? I have come to the conclusion that yes there are entitled Millenials, but a lot of Boomers are in a class all their own when it comes to “me me me”.

Although I have been ostracized for many years by my younger peers I still can’t stand it when older people state that we either need a reality check or give us a bunch of vapid checklist points that never help in any way. Maybe we are the next “Greatest Generation” that had to deal with terrorists, recessions, corrupt government, social decay due to our consumerist culture, and the possible ruination of our currency. But only future history will ultimately be the judge.

If Friendship was as Easy as Materialism

Today I got an iPad after several months of saving money and it was a very good experience. Everything worked as it should and I even got the C++ programming primer e book that I’ve been wanting for a long time. However after that I got to thinking about the emotional struggles that have haunted me most of my life and continue to echo sometimes today.

Everywhere I go it seems, people my age or mostly just people in general are extremely distant; leaving nothing but an emotional desert in their wake. Now, I understand if something horrible such as family tragedy or violence are the issues, but this obviously cannot be the case for the many people I run into. I especially have a disdain for the “you’re wrong and you know it” ellipses that are place into instant messages to me sometimes. I mean, who are you to judge when you’re cynically depressed and the walls of my apartment have more personality than you. I understand that there has been a huge recession (believe me *I do* understand) but why must you just remain so distant?

Even though where I live now is *an eternity* better that where I was before and moving to Oklahoma is probably one of the best decisions of my life, it’s still America and America has stupid problems when it comes to interpersonal relationships platonic and romantic. Probably the greatest questions of my entire existence on this earth is, what do these people dream about? What is their vision of the universe? Do they even think about it? To be perfectly honest I believe I’m giving them too much credit and their world is just nothing but superficiality and oblivion.

My only resolve left now to find the missing warmth from people my age is to search for it interaction by interaction. No amount of life accomplishments will achieve this goal. So when I go back and think about how I bought my iPad, how I can choose between apps, choose cases, and how I could choose between specs I could only think of one thing. “If only friendship was as easy as materialism in this country”.

Why I have sort of distanced myself from storm chasing over the years

As a meteorologist people probably wonder if I chase tornadoes or severe weather. And to be honest though I have really wanted to in the past and have done some, the fact is that I have sort of drifted away from the “chaser community” the past few years. And the reason, I think, will come as a surprise to most people.

To be honest, a lot of the storm chasers out there really aren’t “the real deal”. Unless a team is government funded, is involved in photojournalism in some official way, or produces articles in scholarly journals (like the medical profession) most of what you see is pure hype like a Billy Mays commercial. The gadgets on a lot of the vehicles are not for collecting real data, or skirt the lines of impersonating emergency responders. I can’t tell you how it infuriates me when I see other people who see some of these goons as hero figures, but the meteorological instrumentation on their vehicles literally serves no purpose other than to impress the uninformed.

Another thing I’ve found out is that chasing these days is mostly just about how much money you throw at a “project”. Strangely it has a weird pseudo-venture capitalist feel about it. So unlike in Twister where it was “in it for the money or the science”, in the real world it’s mostly for the money. Heck I can make a $100K loan and make my ride the most super flashiest on earth and be hailed a pillar of the community; but really I’m not a duplicitous person. My meteorological skills I’ve been truly honing since I was five, it doesn’t matter in that arena.

So why have I drifted from the chasing community you ask? Because, unfortunately it’s now a metaphor of the severe wealth inequality that’s currently plaguing the United States. It has less to do with skill and more about throwing money around, being cutthroat to your colleagues, and trying to get every storm in North America to avoid being perceived as a loser. I do not have the time for this and my creative energy can be better used elsewhere, which is why I have made true meteorology my livelihood that keeps a roof over my head. Though I will sometimes go and see storms and I do support some chasers in what they do, I feel like my strongest chasing fascination ended about sophomore year in college or so. Maybe something will change my opinion, but until then my drive to understand the atmosphere will be used elsewhere.

New saying: Gabe Newell was right

Seriously not even Vista flopped this bad. Even if you’re not a Linux fanboy, how can *one* company play such a big role in causing a decline in an entire industry? Looks like we need some alternative OSs (Linux, OSX, and other UNIX variants) to come into the arena and freshen things up a bit.

Look, I’ll admit I’m a geek, but I repeat you *do not* have to be a geek in order to use a Linux flavor these days. With the rise of Steam on Linux and things such as this; I’m shocked there hasn’t been a useage uptake in the Linux world. Maybe it’s just a romanticized view of corporatism but I’m not sure (there is Red Hat though). If you are a Windows user curious on how to use Linux check this version out: This version of Linux is designed for Windows users, and that OS can in fact change the look of its desktop from a Windows Aero style view to a more “Linux-like” one. I hate to sound like a weenie, but there is no lack of innovation coming out of the PC arena right now. It’s just the majority of the innovation is coming from Open Source folks and not big corporations paralyzed by bureaucracy and largess.

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