Dvorak Frustration

I absolutely underestimated my level of frustration from not being able to get my ideas out of my head.

Kickstarter is Throwing Away Your Money

When you back a project on Kickstarter, you might as well think of it as throwing your money away. With the latest chatter about Pressgram, which ink spilled elsewhere is sufficient, one simplistic summary is some folks expected one thing and the end result delivered another.

I’m a Kickstarter fan. I’ve backed numerous projects (though, not Pressgram as I’m just not a guy who cares about filters on pictures and I don’t own an iPhone). I’ve had projects I’ve backed just to support the dream of the person behind the project, ones where I liked the spirit of the project and the end result, ones where I just want to get the end product as soon as it is released.

That said, Kickstarter is a gamble. Yes, you won’t cough up your money unless everyone else does too, but even when things are funded, there is no guarantee that the project will succeed, if the project will ship anywhere close to on time, that the project creator won’t turn you off before the product ships or if what ships at the end is what you thought it would be.

It’s only a step above having someone swing by your house, ask you to buy something off of a hand-drawn sketch, take your money, and promise to drop it off in the nearish future.

I’m not knocking Kickstarter, the projects, or those that back them. I do think, though, it is easy to forget the gamble involved. Many of the projects are awesome things that ship on time flawlessly—almost as easy as buying a book on Amazon. Even when things run a bit screwy—like a project I backed that realized the timetable was unrealistic and pushed it back a year—supporting independent projects is a great thing.

We should support independent projects, dreams, ideas, and the spirit behind Kickstarter. We should just remember it isn’t an online store. While it is laudable to open dialogue with the project creator when things aren’t going the way we’d expect or suggest, we can’t expect anything from them. We aren’t buying things. We aren’t investing, since no stake in the company is given to us in consideration of our pledge. We are giving money to something we think is worthy.

Occupy Austin

Last night, around 11 p.m., the Austin Police Department proceeded in an enforcement action of new policies established by the City of Austin concerning usage of the public areas of City Hall. In layterms, they evicted the protest.

photocredit: flickr/aaabbbccc8d

I’m torn on this issue. The first amendment freedom of assembly is extremely important. We, as citizenry, have the right to protest peacefully and that is an absolute cornerstone of the American democratic process.

But, I’m a pragmatist. A protest designed to be indefinite, seeking vague goal (“end corporate greed”) with an unclear reason to protest at City Hall seems silly to me. After reading their own brochure, I don’t understand what, specifically, they’re trying to protest. Read More

SCOTUS Justice Sotomayor: Soft on Crime! (Satire)

With my Senatorial posts this week serving their purpose in my rant department, I’m offering to you a parody reaction to a Sesame Street skit aired on Wednesday.

<satire type=”political judicial”>

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor appeared as a guest star on an episode during the current, 42nd season of Sesame Street. I’m not a follower of Supreme Court activities, but if she is portraying to America’s true her true views, I am in shock!

photocredit: flickr//donkeyhotey

While Justice Sotomayor was having coffee with her friend, Maria, when Baby Bear interrupts with a civil complaint. Goldilocks, allegedly, had entered his home uninvited and damaged a chair. Neither the plaintiff nor the defendant give Justice Sotomayor information concerning any criminal charges levied and the judge did not seek additional information, as this appears to be a prima facie criminal offense.

Goldilocks defense included self-testimony that damaging the chair was an accident. No explanation of why she was in the plaintiff’s home uninvited. Read More

Respect for the Office

I’m calling an audible and changing up my schedule for the week. Tomorrow’s post is a follow up that focuses on my thoughts on leadership as demonstrated in what happened in today’s post.

Leadership is a privilege. We are all called to some form of leadership: in our homes, workplaces and the civic and church communities. However, positions of leadership are something to be earned and carry a great responsibility.

The present reality in our political system amazes me. If we believe the media and the pundits, “the American people” each fall into a distinct category. We are either liberal or conservative. We are either Democrat or Republican, except for those crazy third-party people to whom no one pays attention.

Our politicians should know better. I know many self-identified Republicans who disagree with the Republican Party on certain platform policies. I know plenty of self-identified Democrats who disagree with their party.

Our politicians, by virtue of representing us before the nation and the world, should strive to be above the mud. I’ll grant that their campaigns are waged by underlings, but the politicians themselves should strive to be the model of decorum and respectful, productive disagreement.

Before I show the example that got me fired up last week, this is not a single-party issue. Both sides have this problem. While I’m about to call out a Republican, I could just as easily done it with a Democrat.

The Honorable John Cornyn, U.S. Senator from Texas, is an outspoken critic of President Obama. His right to be, and truthfully, his duty when he believes his constituents would not be well-served by a policy of the President. Read More

Saturday Rant: Dublin Dr Pepper

I’ve loved Dr Pepper my entire life. When I was young, around 6, my sister, Laura, would show off one of my tricks—I’d go to the restaurant that she worked at with her while she was off work, when asked what I wanted to drink, my response would be “What the doctor ordered!”.

For most of my life, Dr Pepper or, in more recent time, one of the off-shoots, would be my soda of choice.

News articles are still, days later, being published around the quick death of one of the most beloved variants of Dr Pepper: Dublin Dr Pepper.

For those out of the loop and under a rock, so-called “Dublin Dr Pepper” is the same Dr Pepper made everywhere else, except using pure Imperial sugar instead of the now-default high-fructose corn syrup. In the 1980s or so, when the rest of the beverage world switched over to HFCS, the first Dr Pepper bottling company in little Dublin, TX decided to continue making the product with real sugar. Read More