March 8, 2010

A Taste of Triumph

Sometimes, I can't help but brag about myself. According to alexa.com, this very website is something of a national phenonenon. You see, alexa claims that this very website is the 789,915th most popular website in the United States. Take that, live-in-switzerland.com! Take your weak ass crap back to 789,930th place.

I will admit that I had the high 700,000's as my ranking target for sometime now. Some years back, I carefully crafted a plan that centered around infrequent, rambling updates and a complete lack of publicity. Combine those two potent factors with many, many months, and it's easy to see how that translates into a varied and passionate readership.

Sadly, I'm not doing as well worldwide as I am in the US. I am the 1,241,701st most popular site worldwide. I have a hypothesis for the dropoff, too: this site is not very Mandarin friendly. I just tried to copy and paste the Mandarin characters for HELLO, FRIENDS and my text editor blew up, so I think it's destined to stay that way.

My main reason for posting is that I wish to propose a partnership to any other site in the high 700,000's. Let us join forces and storm the lower 700,000's. I will plug your content like a possessed man, until we triumph, we both die, or we forget about this whole thing and go watch Netflix instead. The choice is yours and web glory awaits us.

In other news, my excitement continues to build for The Pacific, the new miniseries from the creators of Band of Brothers. I've been rewatching the original series for maybe the 4th time. Why do I like it so much? I know why: I like to see damage inflicted upon the French countryside. No, not that, I just think the whole thing was incredibly well done.

Also, it's very evocative. I watch it and feel like I'm in a little slice of World War II, except that instead of dodging German snipers, I'm dodging Octopussy as she bats ballpoint pens across the living room floor. Also, my "battlefield" (read "couch") has considerably less shrapnel and quite a bit more turkey sandwiches. Anyway, I hope The Pacific can live up to the standard that Band of Brothers set, as the bar is set quite high.

Posted by Cody at 7:18 PM

March 4, 2010

The Dreadmill

I dislike runners. I don't dislike people who happen to run as a form of exercise, but I dislike people who say, "Oh God, I just feel so alive after a run and I need to do 13 miles a day to just clear my head and now let me tell you all about my special running underwear." I get it: these people like to run. As a human living in the 21st century though, I feel like someone needs to tell these folks how awesome cars are. It's faster than running AND it has air conditioning AND they charge your iPod!

I think I actually dislike runners because we got a treadmill for Christmas and it has quickly become the bane of my existence. Not only do I hate that piece of equipment, but I've grown to hate the entire act of running plus people who do it. The next step in my hatred progression: people who have feet.

Running is great exercise, though, so try to engage in it regularly. With regards to that aspect, running and I are okay. It's the act itself that gets me. I start running and I feel like I'm doing pretty well. I clip along at a high speed for a while and I think, "This is going great. I could be a runner. The time is just flying by on here. Heck, I bet I'm 20 minutes into this thing!" And then I glance at the clock and see I'm actually 27 seconds into it. From there, it all goes downhill. If I do make it to end of my 30 minute run without an asthma attack, I'm a sweaty, cursing maniac who shouldn't be trusted around fragile objects.

The part that makes it all the worse for me is that, even if I do manage to finish a 30 minute run, I don't get a chance to celebrate. It's because I have to get back on the damn treadmill in 2 days and do the whole awful procedure again. I would greatly prefer some radical new form of exercise that's so intense (think battling an adult gorilla), I only have to do it once a month. I'd actually accept the danger of gorilla fighting for a couple of hours if it saved me from getting on the treadmill and hating the world for 30 minutes every other day.

In spite of all of this, I've actually done a decent job at keeping up with the running and shedding the man belly. There is no chance in hell I will ever like it, though. From now until the end of time, the treadmill is known as the dreadmill.

Posted by Cody at 7:20 PM

March 1, 2010

Be Heroic

Big news, Goulashketeers! I have jettisoned the world of gainful employment to do a crazy startup thingee here in Austin. The joint in question is Famigo Games, and you can read a very trivial amount about us at http://www.famigogames.com. The idea, in short, is that we're going to change the ways families interact online. The initial way to do that is via games for the iPhone, but hopefully there'll be a lot more coming. If that whole thing turns out to be a dead end, then we'll go to Plan B: selling counterfeit Bugle Boy jeans.

Why make such a drastic change? Well, I've grown tired of health insurance. I think I can solve most of my own personal medical issues through the the vegetation found in my neighborhood. I feel a similar level of disinterest in large paychecks, paid time off, and retirement plans.

Actually, I don't know if I had a great reason for making such a big change. I loved my job at Grasshopper; I worked with really smart people on software that mattered, and all of us got along famously. I was missing something, though. I feel like if I want to be truly engaged and growing as a person, at least a little part of me needs to be terrified of what I'm doing. After a few years at a typical job, it's hard to find that challenge, even if every other thing is great. In the immortal words of Steve Earle, I ain't ever satisfied.

How do I bring the thrill of challenge back into my life? Simple: go and build this brand new company, where I get to be terrified all day long every day.

As scary as the whole thing is, I'm trying to mitigate the riskiness just a little bit. I was fortunate to meet a few other likeminded lunatics so I don't have to do everything on my own. I am also incredibly lucky to have a wife who's willing to go along with these oft-moronic adventures. Between that group, I'm feeling good about our chances.

One thing I was thinking around December was that I should try to think of 2010 as having a theme. That way, I could look back and say, "Ahh yes, that was the year of X." I've been kicking around a few different ideas for this theme (Like a Boss, anyone?), but ultimately I'm thinking my 2010 theme is Be Heroic. That is to say, pretend to be much braver than I actually am.

End result: I'll be rocking the business and technological world in heroic fashion. Failing that, I shall rock the Assistant Manager position at Church's Chicken in heroic fashion. I think there's roughly equivalent levels of heroism for both.

Posted by Cody at 10:17 PM