Random Musings from Randal

Don't dream it. Link it.
Fri Jul 20

Nomad extended

I’m on the final day of a 60-day experiment: the longest I’ve been away from what I consider “home base” in my lifetime, and specifically the longest time I’ve ever been away from Oregon (seven weeks, previous record 4 weeks).

Since I haven’t actually arrived, I can’t give you the final pieces of this (I’ll blog later about that if it’s significant), but in the past 8.5 weeks, I’ve packed and unpacked 14 times.  I’ve been on a cruise ship, slept in 4 different states, and 3 countries. All with the same set of ScottEVest clothing I left with at the beginning, and whatever I pulled for electronics from my boxes at “home”.

It was easier than I thought it might be, but if it means anything, my schedule through the rest of the year includes at least one “Portland Run” every 4 weekends. I’m clear that I’m capable of this and more, but I think it’s also a bit stressful.

On the other hand, I may get to Bill’s place (my current “residence”) tonight, and realize that sleeping there is no different from any of the 14 places on this trip. I don’t know.

But the experiment continues…

Life is good otherwise… I’ve got a steady stream of income, and friends wherever I go. My health is decent, although some arthritis flare-ups in my ankles and knees are causing some trouble.

More later.

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Fri Feb 17

The utilities are off - I’m officially really homeless this time

Those of you following my “nomad” story over the past 18 months or so already know the backstory to this.  In brief, for the rest of you, I’ve basically downsized my existance to where everything I own fit in a 10x10 storage bin in Beaverton, the back seat of my car, and my two carryon bags, and a spare room at the apartment of my longtime friend Bill. Part of this is in response to me finding a lot more work in Southern California than in Oregon. Part of this is because the bank wants me to make payments on a house that is overleveraged (and likely to get further that way), and I don’t think that’s smart.

Five months ago, I moved out of the house at 2385 SW 178th (the one with the great stained glass). At the time, I believed that the bank hadn’t gotten around to foreclosing on me only because they were still hoping I’d restart paying my highly-underwater loan, and they were dealing with a lot of other bad property at the same time.  So, I moved the remainder of my stuff out, and moved a couple of college kids into the home so that the house would at least be occupied, all while waiting for the next notice from the bank about status.

This week, Bill informs me that the bank had already foreclosed on me last August, but hadn’t bothered notifying me.  Thus, when I took those last pictures, I was already a “squatter” in a sense. Since there’s no chance of getting the house back at this point, I’ve cancelled the remaining utilities. And as the college kids have no right to be in the house (never did, actually, heh), they’re moved out as well.

Homeowner: 1987 to 2011.  Now: nomad.

The journey begins.

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Wed Nov 23

Mobile Malware Development Continues To Rise, Android Leads The Way

What happens when anyone can develop and publish an application to the Android Market? A 472% increase in Android malware samples since July 2011. These days, it seems all you need is a developer account, that is relatively easy to anonymize, pay $25 and you can post your applications.  With no upfront review process, no one checking to see that your application does what it says, just the world’s largest majority of smartphone users skimming past your application’s description page with whatever description of the application the developer chooses to include. Sure, your application can be removed after the fact—if someone discovers that it is actually malicious and reports it.  But, how many unsuspecting people are going to download it before it is identified as malicious and removed?  This is precisely what is playing out in the mind of mobile malware developers today.

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Tue Nov 8

Comic Sands

Client: “The layout is pretty spot on, but the hooky letters—”

Me: “The font, you mean?”

Client: “Yes, the font. It’s too snooty. It’s not any fun.”

Me: “I think it makes everything look quite professional.”

Client: “It’s too cold… What’s that sand one I like? With the sand letters.

Me: “I have no idea. I mean, I vaguely recall something called sand, but—”

Client: “Comic sands! That’s it. The Comic sands is the one I want.”

Another great blog tipped to me by friends.

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Fri Oct 21
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