Web Toys

I continue to enjoy playing with the latest and greatest web toys and producing more fluff for the internet. Animoto  allows you to upload images and select songs and then creates a video for you. You can then post it anywhere you would like. I sent these off to YouTube as well as posting them on my Facebook page. Not bad for a couple minutes of playing around while I was waiting for some other files to upload to a site for work.

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/zSIhSN0W3b4" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /][kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/QBlgwCtzJuo" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /][kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/MkbyBUuNgus" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

Civic Duty

I showed up at the Oakland County courthouse today to serve as a juror. In the summons I received, it said to arrive by 8:30 am. So I skipped my morning coffee (to be replaced by a poor excuse for coffee from a vendor in the courthouse) and rode my bike around the lake to the building.

Once there, I was herded into a room with approximately 80 other residents of Alameda County. We waited until 9:15 when we were told that the first group of 35 or so would be selected randomly at 9:30 to go into the courtroom and the second group would have to come back at 1pm for the afternoon session. We waited. The wait was made worse by the fact that the wireless was $6.00/hour (so I didn’t pay) and I had forgotten my book so I was distracted by the TVs blaring Good Morning America in my ear.

I watched the clock move on to 10, then 11 then 11:45, we finally were told that the courtroom was ready for prospective jurors and they were going to assign people to their groups. They would assign both groups at once and those that weren’t assigned were done for the year and could go. I ended up not being assigned and left around 12:00.

I went through a series of feelings and reactions about this whole event. First, when I got the jury summons, I was annoyed about how this was disruptive to my life, and how as a sole proprietor, that if I am not at work, I receive no income…blah…blah.

Then I became excited about being a part of the justice system and actually went to the ccourthouse kind of hoping I would get picked and be able to be a contributing factor in the justice system and help the world be a better place. Maybe bring some logic and good common sense to the proceedings.

Then I was waiting in the jury room past 11 and still didn’t know what was happening. I was feeling like I was wasting my time, I felt anger towards the bureaucracy that leads to such inefficiencies.

Now, looking back, I feel a little guilty for not ever having truly served my community by being a juror. Maybe next year…

Have you ever served on a jury? What have been your experiences? What part do we all play in our civic consciousness? Do most people end up feeling resistance and annoyance when they receive their jury summons? How many people have applied to be a Grand Juror?

Lifetime Learning

One of the greatest things about starting this new career, is that I now spend a good part of my free time learning about human computer interaction, user experience, design, information architecture and the latest news about how information is stored, organized and retrieved in business applications, social media and educational environments.

These topics have always intrigued me and I have always enjoyed learning. Now I get to do what I love as my career, instead of sneaking it in when I get a chance.

Here’s to doing what you love and never having to work another day in my life!

Lots to Share

Although I have not posted alot lately, I have been busy. There is certainly quite a few items I wanted to share. Not the least of which is that TED starts this week (Feb 27-Mar 1).

I have found their site to be the most inspiring source of information on the web and highly recommend you bookmarking it AND visiting it everyday.

This week they get together again in Monterrey as well as in Aspen and the lineup looks great as usual.

This year they are tackling some far-reaching topics;

Who are we?
What is our place in the universe?
What is life?
Is beauty truth?
Will evil prevail?
How can we change the world?
How do we create?
What’s out there?
What will tomorrow bring?
What stirs us?
How dare we be optimistic?
And the point?

I know I’ve spent some time on each of those….Got an answer? check on the site to see what the greatest minds of our time have to say.

I got really excited thinking that I could head down to Monterrey and rub elbows with these people…but the price tag was $6,000.00 (before they sold out). Now they are selling on eBay for well over $30,000.00 a pop. That is when I found out about BIL which will be from Saturday to Sunday (March 1-2).

It’s free, on the beach, during the weekend, anybody can come and share and listen AND some of the speakers from TED will be stopping by.

I think it might be worth the time to go check it out.