The Ultimate Poof Collection

Ok, so a few of the guys at work have been a bit goofier than normal, and they’ve been creating all manner of silly shorts using their cell phone cams and then posting them to Vine. Vine is apparently a twitter for videos, which is a rather neat concept!

Below, I’ve included as comprehensive a collection of these stupid videos as I’m able to muster. We’re definitely a productive bunch! Enjoy!

Poof Collection: << MEEE!!

Nerf Collection:

Misc! Collection:

Let’s Talk about Bosses

I’d like to take a moment to tell a tale of two bosses that I’ve had. I don’t really have a motive in telling this, no great feelings weighing on my heart or anything. Just wanna share and compare, and maybe someone somewhere will find something insightful.

I had a boss once who was the senior-most staff member on our team. He held his position due to this seniority and was expected to fulfill certain functions. For example, he was responsible for filling in for other staff if they were absent very suddenly, like on sick leave or something like that. He was a supervisor for the other staff and was expected to set the pace of the office, and he was responsible to the “director” of the office.

You might notice that I’m being a bit vague. This is intentional, since I want to maintain a veneer of professionalism for those I talk about. I also want to protect the privacy of those I talk about.

Anyway, despite the role that he was supposed to play, this head-staff member (quite honestly) tended to shirk his responsibilities wherever possible. The best example I can think of is when another staff member had to leave or was absent for the day, and when he was asked to fill their role for the day he quite violently argued with the Director and refused to do so. He had other, better things to do in his off-time — he was quite active with out of work activities like Jiu Jitsu and stuff. The altercations would last, maybe, five minutes, and then he would storm out of the office leaving the Director standing there flat footed with no one will fill the role that needed filling.

And, of course, she would end up turning to me to work extra hours in the day, and seeing that I’m just ever so compliant….


But I think probably the best example that I can think of is with regards to my vacation time. It was March, and I had plans to take an extended vacation later in the year in November. I had approached the Director asking for a very certain set of dates off, nice and early, and while I did say that it wasn’t a certain thing yet, she penciled me into the calendar with the understanding that I would later confirm my reservation of these days when I knew for sure whether I would take the vacation time.

Now let’s fast forward several months. I’ve just returned from an unrelated trip to Egypt to visit my dad, and I’ve already purchased my tickets for November. I have all the confidence in the world that I still retain my reservation of my requested time off in November, but on a whim I go in to check and see if I still have them. And, true to Murphy’s Law, guess who had reserved his name over mine? The head-staff member, my senior, my guide and team lead. No consultations to me at all.

Now, I contested this, but it wasn’t really any good. It turned out like this.

1) The head-staff member had seniority and a higher claim to what days off he wanted to have. He was attending a big jiu-jitsu conference in Brazil that couldn’t be postponed or anything like that. I was attending a convention that couldn’t be postponed either, but seniority ruled the day on that point.

2) I had made my intentions ambiguous and had not confirmed them with the Director, and since I had only been penciled onto the calendar those days were still free to grab by someone with much clearer plans, even if they were laid later than my own. He had requested his time off in June, when I had requested it in March.

3) Despite making clear that I was unhappy about the situation, my concerns were implicitly dismissed as a waste of time. “You can’t always get what you want, Jesse.” “I don’t have time for this.”

And that is what I remember most of this boss. Denying his duties, putting himself before his subordinates.


Now let’s talk about the second boss! She was officially a supervisor, and was primarily responsible for handling exceptional issues and pushing paper (time sheets, vacation time, discipline, and meetings). But, more than most bosses that I’ve had, she grew very relaxed and supportive of my work. And more than most bosses, she was fun to talk to and make laugh!

In my six month evaluation: “You don’t know how valuable you are.”

And when I was promoted: “I’m mad, because they’re taking one of my best agents.”

Any time I had a difficult task in front of me, she had my back. Had a special task, and she’d assign it to me to take care of. I wasn’t a senior agent by any stretch, but I would be given the perks of a senior agent anyway.

And whenever I had a particularly difficult situation, I could always turn to her and tell her what was going on and have her help me with getting it resolved. Any time that I needed something done, she would facilitate it for me and have it done in the end.


Now, I suppose that this doesn’t make for a very good direct comparison. I’m finding that it’s more difficult to talk about what I consider a good boss versus what I consider to have been a very bad boss. But I’ll say this much. Where I work right now, I have learned a lot about leadership and a lot about leading by example.

I think that I can safely say that I can see the value in that just looking at how my various bosses have deigned to treat me in the past. It is exceedingly important for bosses to support their staff, get their back when it’s tough, and be willing to take the lead in getting a task done. I feel really blessed to be in an institution where this is the leadership philosophy. It is such a wonderful environment to grow up in.

Let’s Talk about Friends

So, tonight I  want to spend some time on friends. I’m not here to complain about my friends – or anyone for that matter – but I do want to talk about the concept of “Friends” as it has obtained meaning to me. What’s this? Jesse’s not talking about his server tonight? MADNESS you might think! I haven’t really had anything to add to my server progress lately, seeing as my work on the Lizard Cam has allowed it to become more and more stable and I haven’t added any new services to the system.

So I’m instead going to talk about something that carries a lot of weight with me and my view of the world.

Believe it or not, I’m one of those guys who was never very outgoing growing up. Or rather, I was overwhelmingly outgoing, naive, and sensitive as a child and learned through a few bad experiences to put up a wall and be insular for most of the rest of my younger years. I didn’t make friends easily, and when I did I tended to keep only one really close friend while closing off everyone else.

This is actually how I handled my social life until very recently. I would latch onto one person that I considered a reliable and safe friend, and ignore almost everyone else. As you can imagine, this never really ended well. Put all your eggs in one basket? Yeah… And I had a bad tendency to latch onto folks that didn’t really care for me all that much. Not THAT much, anyway. Have you ever been in a spot like that? Had someone that you really really cared for who didn’t care for you anywhere near as much? Yeah, I’ve been there many times. I call it the “Like Level Effect,” where you can like someone at level 10, while they only like you at level 5. You have no idea how much drama comes out of something like this. Or maybe you do if you think about it hard enough. 😉 It’s where insecurity comes from.

Okay! So anyway, let’s talk about what it was like to live in South Korea. Did you know that I lived in South Korea? I did! I lived there for two years from early 2009 to early 2011, and I taught English as a second language to young Korean children. Even though I was living in Seoul, I didn’t find it very easy to make friends, and all of the people that I knew and cared to talk with were in the States, so I didn’t have much of a chance to talk with them. It wasn’t a very pleasant time. But this was a time that I began to confront myself on my clingy and unhealthy friendship habits.

I started to realize what it was that really made a friend something special. And I realized that many of the people I considered intimately close friends through the years were not what I wanted them to be and never really could be. At the time I was very depressed, so finally being able to admit and recognize this was a huge step forward in overcoming that. At the same time, I recognized a few people on the edge of my social circle who showed care and concern in a far subtler — yet more genuine — way than anyone that I wanted to call a “close” friend.

So began a transition. I finally recognized who I should be calling my friends. Those people are those who return the love that you give. Those are the ones that you like at level 10, and they like you back at level 10 because you liked them in the first place. You know? And because you like each other so much, you can say things to one another and not have to feel hurt, because you know that they don’t want to hurt you and couldn’t hurt you.

I guess that all of this is really just a bunch of ranty soul baring. Some of you might get it, and others might not get it quite so much. I guess the long and short of it is that I recognized that I should only really truly care about those who care for me back, at least when it comes to intimate friendship. And I can continue to like people more than they like me, but I shouldn’t have to feel angry or upset because they don’t like me as much as I like them. That just means that I can stay patient and love lots without feeling hurt if it’s not returned.

In the mean time, as far as making friends is concerned, I am very selective and only make those friends that I really feel would be worth while. I’m sure that makes some feel that I don’t give them a chance, and I’ll be honest that I really don’t sometimes. But that’s the way it rolls with me these days. I’m selective for a reason, and a lot of it has to do with all of the bad experiences I had and the lessons I took from it.

I’ll end it with this, cuz this is the simplest that I can put it. The Like Levels have to be equal. Those who don’t like me back as much as I like them, I’m patient and can wait. Those I like less than they like me… they’re allowed to. But those I like as the same level they like me; those are the best friendships and the ones I count the closest.


So… yeah? This is a first for me. A first blog post that is.

I guess I’ll start with a progress report for the server. I didn’t do much server side configuration tonight, aside from a very minor security change for the WordPress script. Mostly, I’ve been tinkering with WordPress itself to get things differentiated into different pages, getting this blog page up and working properly, and so forth. Compared to the past few nights, you could even say that this is a bit boring.

But nah, I’m sure that things will pick up in time! Just need to figure out some more things to do with the server. Perhaps I’ll install some other CMS scripts and play with them? Or perhaps I’ll opt for something more practical and install chat software, since I love to do that so much.


Oh! I did buy a new domain name tonight, and I got all of the stuff server side configured to work with the new domain. Previously, this site was online as, but I decided that was much easier to remember and type. XD Go practicality!