Cover Letter Work in Progress

Per always, cover letter editing follows a tight deadline. I’m going to do my best to get updated versions up at https://pad.riseup.net/p/coverletter, but I figure posting the current text here won’t hurt.

I write to apply for the Business/Systems Analyst 2 position. As a former Systems Engineer at Epic, and having a master’s degree focusing on Systems Analysis, I have the education and experience to excel in this role.

Project-based work is where I succeed. On top of my long history of coaching, and event planning, I have implemented multiple technical projects. While working for UNC’s School of Medicine, I implemented a video microscopy system. Later, I spent a semester in graduate school implementing an inventory system for the Communications Department. At Epic, I had multiple projects, but the one where I most lead the project was in developing an internal Linux laptop program. More than other projects, this project had multiple stakeholders. I had active engagement from my boss (and my boss’ boss), the team members I supervised, and the individuals getting the laptops. While subordinates are not always considered stakeholders, in this particular case they were very important stakeholders. As principal developer, I needed to implement a system that they understood well enough to support.

While most of my database experience is with MySQL, I have also used Oracle solutions for certain Red Hat implementations. Structured Query Language is the basis of most database systems, even those that come with the NoSQL tag (which often actually means non-relational). Oracle’s main competitive advantage has long been their implementation of a procedural language. I have used C#, Javascript, Java, MUMPS, Perl, Python, and R, which all have procedural language aspects. Of course, many of these languages are also used for scripting.

I went to law school to understand copyright and patent law as it related to technology. However, certain business opportunities arose which I felt I could not turn down. Of course, I continue maintain my development skills through business web sites.

resume

I can’t remember if the reason for coming to the blog initially was to post my resume or some administrative things on the blog, but I definitely do need to post my resume. Done.

blocSonic and stuff

I don’t know that I should really post here more often than I do. I don’t think people really read it. Of course, if I posted more, it would probably get more attention. I don’t really need people reading this. I’d prefer people going to and supporting www.musicmanumit.com and http://sportazine.com.

And, even though I have nothing to do with content, I’d rather people check out my new venture, http://blocsonic.com. blocSonic isn’t why I came here to write, but if I am going to write, I might as well mention it.

Anyway, I’ve been pretty stressed out about the move to Minneapolis (of there’s another announcement). There’s also not very much online that says I work at www.opie.com, so there’s that. I don’t think I’d have wanted to work at an established restaurant. Perhaps a coffee shop. In fact, I applied to Coffee Emporium. Anyway, O Pie O is new, and I figured I’d learn a bit about starting a restaurant, and a business in general. Wendy and I have long talked about starting a restaurant. I have a concept in mind. I’m pretty sure it could work in Boston, and maybe the Bay Area, but I’m not sure where else. We’d need a big space too, which is dangerous for a first restaurant venture. Anyway, the idea would be that you have a sports bar in the basement, “fine” dining on a floor, and then a study area on a floor. I think sports bar in basement is solid, but I’m not sure about the restaurant and study area (which I guess really is a coffee shop, but I hate it when coffee shops are loud, so I’d really want it to be a space for working. No music, but maybe allow the employees to wear headphones or something…maybe there is an app that alerts then that someone needs them. They also have eyes, unless they are blind, in which case I guess headphones are out).

I had thought if we ended up in Indianapolis maybe I’d see about opening up an O Pie O branch. Cincy is close enough that there will be some word of mouth. Of course, being in Ohio or along the Ohio River would make the name more appealing. Maybe the name gets changed to India-pie-hole, or something, although that kinda makes it sound like it’s an Indian restaurant. Wendy thinks it’s worth talking about if I want to do that in Minneapolis, but I just think the extra distance means extra marketing work.

Anyway, it turns out none of this is why I came here to write, other than the “stressed out” bit, but it’s time for bed. I doubt I’ll feel less stressed out tomorrow. I have to take Wendy’s car to get fixed and I have to go to Sprint for her…mostly because she doesn’t know how to ask for checks. Why is that my job? Why do we always have to get desert? I don’t know, the woman really has a time management problem.

I guess eventually I’ll actually get to look for jobs in Minneapolis.

I am now working part-time for Ampslam.com

I suppose it is a testament to how busy I have been that I am just now posting this. I actually started working in July.

Ampslam.com is dedicated to independent music. If you have any question, comments, or suggestions about the site, please contact me at info@ampslam.com, in the comments here, or basically anywhere where you can find me!

Continuing the long tradition of throwing it over the wall…

I do speak a little meta in the block quote below, but I should say that my reason for dumping this here is that Sportazine is moving to be football (soccer) only. This article didn’t really seem to fit. There are some thoughts that are worth sharing though. The reason it stayed unpublished for so long is that it is unfinished, but let’s be honest, I’m never going to get around to finishing it, unless I end up going back and getting a PhD (which, if I did get a PhD, it’d be on the information required for making licensing decisions…so this particular piece of Internet culture would need to wait until post-doc)

This is one of the first posts I started at Sportazine, back in March of 2010. I last edited it on May 22, 2013. I started thinking about the topic for a couple of reasons. First, the guys on Linux Outlaws enjoy and occasionally discuss at least of a couple of sports (Dan is a LFC supporter and Fab is a hockey fan). Second, our lineage comes out of geekazine.com.

On top of that, I have a degree in Information Science and spent a decade working in IT. My roommate when I started Sportazine is a full-time software developer, but was a division I college athlete and currently competes in triathlons. I never would have thought of my roommate as a geek. He loves all the traditional American sports. For him, being a software developer is like being an accountant (my words). He’s not interested in tinkering. He never came to any of our Linux User Group meetings in Madison (which I ran).

So, what does it mean to be a geek these days? Some people seem to think that if you are an Apple fan-boy you are a geek. I guess I don’t really know what it means to be a geek. That’s one reason why I’ve struggled for so long to finish this article. The question lies at the heart of what Sportazine is, and thus I keep coming back to it.

1) What does it mean to be a sports fan?

2) What does it mean to be a geek?

The second question is a question for another place. Certainly the Internet and mainstream comic movies have changed the answer to the second, but let’s focus on the first.

Punctuated Equilibrium vs. Gradualism: New Orleans (NOLA) Edition

To understand why I gravitated towards evolutionary concepts, you have to understand I have a biology degree and that my first job after graduating was in an E.coli chemotaxis lab. I felt that worth a mention since it’s not something many people associate with me today. Regardless, you need not understand the biology concepts to understand this post.

It’s well known that stepping away from a project, even for minutes (apparently 17 is good), can give fresh perspective to a project. We think of sleeping on it. We even think of summers abroad or summers at camp. On an even longer scale, we call this wisdom. For the purposes of my metaphor, I’m going to call this gradualism.

There is, arguably, competing conventional wisdom: necessity is the mother of all invention. This is is something like punctuated equilibrium (which I guess turns my metaphor into a simile…simiphor, perhaps). I actually think punctuated equilibrium is a better model for what I am talking about than necessity, though in survival of the fittest, there is some sort of necessity built in. Maybe it’s just all those legal writing classes, but “necessity” is not exactly what I’m talking about here.

Last night a trip to New Orleans became a hot topic. Basically, some of Wendy’s plans fell through and she wanted me to fill in on the trip. It turns out that flights to New Orleans in October are expensive. I’m not sure what it is about October. Maybe they are always expensive. Hotels are also much more expensive than when I went to New Orleans almost five years ago.

The price, along with the abrupt change of plans, temporarily spring me into action. I contacted my friend Edy in New Orleans to see what was going on in town. I contact other people I knew in Mississippi and Louisiana, thinking some of them might be close. I proposed I take the train down, since that’s much cheaper than flying (it turns out that isn’t true for Delta, but was true for the other places Wendy was looking for flights).

I thought about ways to get money quickly, but reasonably. If I *needed* to go to New Orleans, I could do it (I have no credit card debt, for example). Having a goal – and a deadline – is what moved me into action, but there are other deadlines and other goals. I could try a Go Fund Me campaign. I still could, but I feel like crowdfunding my legal writing, or my work in free culture sportsmusic, and/or tech is more important.

The reality is that funding those things long-term will require sustained effort. It’s not a one-time thing like the trip to New Orleans. Thus, it’s not an open-and-shut case. Still, I feel like I need some additional motivation. Maybe the NOLA LUG would like me to speak on copyright and patent issues. Maybe I could pass out Creative Commons literature to NOLA musicians. Certainly printing to literature pass out would require some money. After New Orleans, perhaps I could make a bit of a tour. Perhaps I could arrange talks to speak to musicians about copyright. The spark becomes the fire. The short becomes the long.

The thinking about money did get me thinking about the long-term stuff too. In the past I’ve gotten good support money for conferences. I’ve been hesitant to ask previous funders because I wanted to make sure when I asked the money was needed and it was the right fit. It’s been 7 years (minus a couple of weeks) since Chapel Hill’s Software Freedom Day 2007. Despite a couple of events since then, I haven’t been in the sponsor game. I think it might be time to give it another go. At least on the Music Manumit side, I will need to speak with my co-host, but if it’s something you’d like to talk about, let me know.

Well, I guess I have work to do…

What Netizen Empowerment Federation (NEF) and its Constituent Sites Need

I guess this would fit better in some ways at www.netizenfed.org but I don’t really like our interface there and, more importantly, I’d like to keep things there more thought out and official. This is probably going to be rambly.

I. Sportazine

  1. writers and podcasters for all sports. We currently don’t have near the output to compete with the big sites. You might think we never will, but that won’t keep us from trying! If you want to write/podcast about a single team or event, that is fine.
  2. Free Culture Sports Show Guest Scheduler. Currently this is one of my duties, but doing it keeps me from writing for the site.
  3. Videographer. Sportazine started working on a documentary project two years ago. Once we finalize some details, we’ll have a ton of positions for this. We’ll need cinematographers, editors, sound engineers – everything. Our original director doesn’t have time right now to go through the funding process. I’d like to do the funding without him in the hopes that he will come back. Otherwise, I’ll direct the project (I do have a BA in the subject), though I would like to be free to do the producer stuff instead of the director stuff. 

II. Cyberunions

Stephen wants everyone to join mayfirst.org. I know it’s a reasonably large ($100/year) financial commitment, but it’s the first way to show Stephen you are serious about the labor movement. If you aren’t able to afford that, they may be willing to work with you if you are passionate about the cause. If you are passionate about the labor movement, but don’t know anything about tech, then I don’t know if Cyberunions is the right place for you. We’d be happy to have other labor sites join us though!

III. Music Manumit Punkcast

Some people like genre-specific shows. This show was a bit of a companion to the Music Manumit Music Only Show (when that existed). I’d be happy for someone to take over the show. I’ve not officially closed the Punkcast like we did the Music Only Show, but the reality is I don’t have any roadmap for it coming back.

If punk isn’t your thing, but you’d be interested in doing a genre-specific show, or a general music show, we might be able to bring something under the Music Manumit name. Let me know!

IV. Music Manumit Lawcast

Writers or podcasters. This is another project for which there are really no plans to bring back. Unlike the Punkcast though, this is one where only a small subset of people is qualified. I really want to bring this back, since I’m one of those people. Once I do bring back the Lawcast, I will have some other ways you can help contribute.

V. Music Manumit

Probably the best way to help is to post the show links on social media. We’ve tried to bring people in to Music Manumit in the past, but considering Tom’s commitments to job, family, and Lorenzo’s Music, the extra layer of coordination didn’t really work out.

That said:

  1. Notetaker. Currently, this is my job, but I would love some help. I can give you access to our show notes directory.
  2. Scheduler. Really, if you think you can help with scheduling, you should probably take my spot on Ryno’s show, but if you want to work with me/Music Manumit instead of Ryno for some reason, we can talk about how you can help.
  3. Free Music Archive curator. Now that we don’t have a music only show, our curation will be a little different than it has been in the past. I think adding our closing tracks would be good though. We pick the artists, and then the artists pick the tracks (generally), so there are a couple of layers of curation, which is perfect for the FMA.

VI. Open Source Playground

  1. Recruiter. Our SysAdmin (not me) needs to find full-time employment. If you want to post any jobs in the southern midwest or SoCal, please do so.
  2. Writers/podcasters. This is another site that I don’t see myself contributing to for some time. Like the Lawcast, I do hope to contribute more eventually.

VII. RynoTheBearded

The first of our new additions. Ryno finally licensed his podcasts under CC BY.

  1. podcasters/DJs for his 24/7 stream.
  2. scheduler. Currently this is a job I do and I’m not planning on quitting, but if we can find someone else to do it, that will free me up to do other things.

VIII. Amateur Zen

The second of our two new additions! Alex hasn’t told me what he wants, if anything. The footer on his site says to share his music, site, and shows though, so that’s a good place to start!

IX. NEF Command

As an organization, NEF needs many things.

  1. Accountant. This is a job I plan on doing at some point, but it’d be great if we found someone that actually knows something about accounting, rather than me just figuring it out as we go.
  2. Social Media person. Right now, as an organization, we have basically no social media presence. All of the people involved are too busy working on their member projects.
  3. Other topical sites. There’s obviously a lot of the world we don’t cover right now. Food, business, comics, law (other than as it related to music, sports, and tech), politics, journalism (who watches the watchers?), medicine/health/safety, travel, cars, fashion, movies, TV, board games, anime, education, science, math, and engineering all immediately come to mind. The one thing that you must do to join is release under a free culture license.
  4. Whip. Between scheduling for Ryno, Music Manumit, and Sportazine, I write a lot of messages about showing up for things. Sometimes I burn out about it. For whatever reason, there seem to be some number of people in NEF that refuse to use a calendar system, or use one and simply ignore it. We’ve had a ton of no-shows to meetings. I don’t have time for that. I could definitely use some help corralling people.
  5. Comic Book Project Manager. For a variety of reasons, we have moved our comic project back to November 2015. We could theoretically get started sooner, or you could start working with NEF now, learn how we do business, and be ready to lead a successful comic book project. We already have an artist. We have some connections in the industry as well. We need someone to manage the project – make sure deadlines are met, meetings are attended, etc.