Journey Forward

Update on my progress – I am literally rebuilding my entire network. This was something I planned, nonetheless, not at this stage. You see, I suffer from ADD, so it is obvious that as usual, I wasn’t paying attention.

It began with a rookie mistake when I violated the “First Rule of Data” which is to always have a backup. The night before, I had finished all my backups, so I started my day as usual.

And what transpired next is a notable example of how quickly your life can unravel…

I sat down at 4:00 am to study. As soon as 8:00 am rolled around I checked in on the network, checked my list on my pad, and proceeded with the plan to rebuild it. I walked away to fill up on my second cup of coffee, and soon as I sat on my desk, I looked at my list.

I had checked it twice so it was time to move on to the next step. With one click of a button, everything, and I mean everything was gone.

As soon as I pressed the easy button it dawned on me that I had not confirmed – although noted on my punch list – if the backup to Google Drive successfully completed as scheduled. Just like that, this is the end, my only friend the end…

ADD is a mofo

Add (pun intended) the fact I am an introvert, socially awkward, with a proclivity to sniff out BS. And forget being two fries short of a happy meal. Just imagine how much fun I am at the dinner table?

That being said, unfortunately, it took me far too long to accept that how I felt and acted wasn’t all due to a physical state. This is because, for most of my life, I was a scrawny kid, who at times wasn’t allowed to play in the SoFlo heat because I suffered from heat-strokes.

But I have plenty of moxie

After all, is that not what society teaches us is all we need? Like too many of us, I as well had convinced myself, much to the dismay of my mental health. That all I needed to do was just “try harder.”

Try harder to fit in, try harder to be normal, and try harder no matter what the circumstances. Sound familiar? And then…

Ultimately life sneaks up on you, especially when it’s no longer just your future at risk. Now it involved my two greatest creations. Additionally, my children’s future is interdependent on my behavior, moreover, my actions based on the same. No pressure at all.

I think we can all agree I’m not the only parent hell-bent on doing everything possible, to ensure our children don’t suffer anywhere near what we may have experienced and/or still are. Quite sure it’s an inherent trait throughout life, with some minor exceptions of course – but Achtung Baby.

When you live most of your life upholding a mantra such as “you have to be tough if you’re going to be dumb.” Consequently, while ignoring the myriad of covariates the equation of life has. Eventually, the computation errors out or does not compute.

Sometimes you have the ability to reboot, sometimes there’s the possibility of complete failure. Leaving you with no choice but to address what you have been ignoring.

In search of solutions, there wasn’t a single solution left, where the sum of equal parts did not include my mental health. So I went on a mental walkabout where the path ultimately leads to a sort of “spiritual awakening” to quote some of the colloquial.

So, who is your Daddy and what does he do?

During the day when I am not pretending to be a Social Media Justice Warrior. I spend much of the time with my head buried in context. Whether it’s political, social, or software development. The context serves as a vehicle for my exit strategy. A strategy I’ve been preparing for since I can remember.

Be that as it may, the current circumstances with the pandemic, fortunately, lends itself to the method of my madness. That being accomplishing what I set out to do. This brings me to one of my last goals on the list. Drumroll, please…

Retirement at the ripe old age of fifty

Absurd, I know, but back in 2010 when I turned forty. I experienced what some would label as a “mid-life crisis.” I know what you are thinking; hold up wait a minute, let us put some boom in it?

Not quite, well survey says; you most likely disagree with the idea and probably think mid-life crisis happens at age 50, but au contraire, life expectancy averages below 80. Simple math tells us, midlife is actually closer to 40 than we’d like to admit.

The fact is, the global life expectancy average from the United Nations in 2019 was at 72.6 yrs., higher than any country in 1950. That’s 4 years after the most successful boom in American history began – the “Baby Boom.” You might know them as the grays constantly pissing in your cheerios.

Back to my goal…

Retire at 50, yes I know, a big hairy audacious goal. Especially for an immigrant with only a high school education. Indeed, I am fully aware that most would say it is a chock-full pipedream. To wit, “the man in the arena.”

As far as I am concerned, twenty-eight years of working full-time should afford some sort of retirement. Disagree? Then I point you to, Led Zeppelin’s song.

I don't know how I'm gonna tell you,
I can't play with you no more,
I don't know how I'm gonna do what mama told me..

Ironically, not the Alanis type – the real irony – is that the very people who enjoyed the most successful boom in American history, are the very same responsible for the myriad of societal woes we are facing today. Absent, their perception of course. More on that later…

If you read my previous post “Background” (shameless plug) I provided a roadmap of what’s to come…

Basically, this October would have marked my 10-year anniversary in the automotive industry. I too rode a wave, which no doubt was attributed to the Obama administration – which included our newly elected POTUS.

But it was Biden, who said it best.

“One role of government is to go where venture capital won’t…”

As such, the “cash for clunkers” helped jump-start the auto industry. Since there are plenty of studies highlighting its efficacy, more importantly, its success I’ll digress on doing the same.

However, I do have first-hand experience of its success because I was hired in September 2010. When some pundits were still claiming the cost outweighed the benefits.

Absent CARS, the federal government invested trillions into the economy, along with relieving our financial institutions of toxic assets with TARP.

Conversely, while our elected officials were busy ensuring corporate America could keep us enslaved in perpetual debt – I mean employed. We the people lost the opportunity as usual for assistance. I note, with zero collective bargaining rights for the umpteenth time.

And just like that, America went to work, the economy recovered, and all is well that ends well right? That’s a negative there Shirley.

You see I had expected a downturn – sheet for most of those around me, I was just a basic Cassandra. Ironic I would be using such a euphemism for an industry whose reputation with trust ranks lower than. Yes, that’s right, politicians.

True story bro

Trust me, I know how profoundly ironic this is for me. Exit an industry that scores low on trust, to a vertical which also scores low on trust. That said, as far as trust goes.

The plethora of societal woes we are facing can be directly correlated to a lack of the same – aka confidence. For the record consumer confidence represents an estimated 70% of gross domestic product according to the Consumer Confidence Index. (CCI)

Therefore, you will often hear me use the term “systemic failure.” Absent the current crisis which has exacerbated the fail rate. Whether it’s the Private or Public sector, society continues to experience systemic failure throughout.

Consequently, the industries have failed the very people they serve. As cogs in the machine, we the people continue to spin the proverbial wheel of systematically failed machinations.

For me, this is courtesy of the intoxication to a pernicious illusion of validity, under the guise of the infamous pursuit of happiness. For us “common folks” what we have come to understand as the rat race. You say tomato, and Dan spells potatoe.

The fact remains that absent the perception of our incessant pursuit of the carrot like a Cwazy Wabbit. Most if not all, don’t realize the carrot “upward-mobility” progressively continues to be out of reach for the working class, aka – in a deep boisterous tone – the MAJORITY OF AMERICANS.

In the addition, the stick of this duality, blow by blow continues to fear us into submission. I’ll digress on entertaining the dichotomy of master and servant. Clearly, Depeche Mode did an excellent job of it in the ’80s

Focus Daniel-san

That said, punch-drunk and in love like a teenager in high school. We entered the Millennia with hope, perseverance, and a reverence rarely seen in history, or was it?

We the people – after rebuilding our country from the bubble, and rebuilding our economy after a terror attack, were once again tasked with the same, after the Too Big to Fail debacle.

United, allegedly we exercised our “collective bargaining rights,” and bailed out the callous and reckless greed espoused by our entire financial institution. We the people knew very well that doors were shut closed on us, but for the greater good of society, we took it on the chin.

We the people, as always resilient, tough, with always a glass-half-full mantra, believed that if we mustered enough moxie it would afford us the wherewithal to materialize a new path forward. Where change and our chance for retribution would soon be among us.

Unfortunately, our efforts were in vain. I say this because there is ample evidence in history that teaches us, we don’t learn from history. Likewise, while one door closes no one wants to admit; that it’s hell in the hallways waiting for the other to open.

So how the hell does this keep happening?

I mean, these damn politicians are always forgetting about John the Plumber, Jesus the farmer, Maria the maid, Paul the mall cop, Matthew McConaughey, Mark Anthony, Luke Perry, and Tony the Tiger…

Well, thankfully science taught us the world isn’t flat. And unequivocally without a doubt; there is absolutely no way two penguins walked across continents seeking shelter on a boat, because of inclement weather.

In a similar fashion, history teaches us, that the answer to our societal woes predates the boomers. For it was Lord Acton who postulated on his #TuesdayThoughts post on Instagram.

Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men…

Mind Blown?

Then you most likely agree with the following vernacular.

  • Don’t hate the player hate the game
  • Don’t judge a book by its cover
  • Play by the rules,
  • Be a law-abiding citizen

Couple that with plenty of moxie, and you too can achieve all of God’s glory and be Insta-famous. That is, of course, always remembering, “many will enter, few ever win.”

When you change the rules of the game you create a disproportionate advantage. During the Great Recession, trillions were added to our debt under the guise of impending financial doom and a promise of checks and balances.

According to pundits, if we did not bail out the banks, society would face bread lines, soup kitchens, and an eventual collapse of all things considered given the circumstances.

Keeping in mind the “systemic failure” was fueled by an incessant “greed never before witnessed in history.” Nevertheless, we were assured by our elected officials, things would be different. More importantly, there would be accountability going forward.

Bullshit, Gesundheit

Society, like the good sheep it is, went to work and buried their heads in the social media quicksand. The Banks were rescued from the miry pits, the automotive industry with their gas-guzzlers behind them, used our money, to sell as many units as effing possible.

Well slap me silly and call me Susan the industries were saved. No bread for you, back to the underemployed line you go.

Being the law-abiding citizens most of society tends to be. We went back to grazing, trying to drown our sorrows not realizing they already knew how to swim. Destroying our health while ignoring our mental health along the way.

And just like As the World Turns returned year after year with no end in sight. America went back to the great way it used to be. Corporate America, our elected officials, and all things considered, well…

they raped the Horses and rode-off on the Women, whose village they had repeatedly pillaged and harassed.”
- Three Amigos not Bad Hombres

Joking aside

Everyone talks about getting back to the basics especially in the information age. Not because of technology, it’s mostly because there’s ample evidence, we the people can’t “multi-task.” That’s a fact, but our glass is always half full, never empty Debbie.  

Thus for decades, Gen-X swallowed the positive affirmation mantra. Accumulating debt for worthless degrees with the likes of Business Administration/Management, Art History, Comparative Religion, et al, to name a few.

They did so because it worked for the boomers and look how well it turned out for them. Absent the 10x price difference in cost to acquire same, minus inflation for earnings. What you see is all there is.

With so many college graduates unemployed and underemployed, the “degree” isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on, let alone a sound investment, but I’ll digress.

So what the frack happened? Honestly, I blame it on Rio, no not really but in a similar salacious context. I blame it on the advent of the internet, coupled of course with the birth of social media. (more on that later...)

Look many of us agree on the same effing principles. However, we the people (society) have allowed – the few I note – unfettered power with access to resources that come at an exponential cost for – we the people.

If you consider the fact that – what you see in your echo-chamber is curated by – none other than the person in the mirror. Can you really say that you are doing your part to inform yourself on all things considered?

I’ll answer it for you. No, you’re effing not. Pre-COVID-19, much of society has been disconnected. It is estimated that depending on demographics, and time most of the people “online” – up to 80% – are classified as lurkers aka voyeurs. And if you don’t know, now you know Nica.

No doubt in the past decade, the convergence of tech in our lives has increased exponentially. That said, in case you ignored that DM, post on the wall, or you don’t watch the news – because no news is good news. I hate to break it to you, but the information age has actually made things worse.

The greatest indignation of society

Social media has made us unsocial, fact-denying, alternative universe, see no evil, hear no evil speak no evil bunch of zombie models pushing Herbalife as the fix-all. Well, don’t fret, because fortunately, we can look back in history and see that homo sapiens are extremely social creatures.

Who, coincidentally like to break bread with loved ones, have dinner with friends, and above all have some libations. Of course, while hash-tagging every possible Kodak moment, so it’s not the end of the world, just yet.

Similarly, much to the perturbation of society. Most if not all, have failed to realize the profound effect false mantras like the catchphrase “fake it till you make it” continue to have on our lives.

You are an aspiring model? Awesome, I am an aspiring billionaire, how about you call your friends, I call my friends, and we can rendezvous at the bar around two, sheet we can be together…

Get the Led out – “Nobody’s fault but mine”

The person in the mirror is responsible for the curation of information that reaches your attention. Sadly, it’s not anything to get excited about, because according to Google and big data.

We make split-second decisions daily. Wait, that’s absurd. Sit down negative Nancy let’s shelve that thought so we don’t get into the weeds.

What does this have to do with the price of Gallo Pinto in Nicaragua?

Excellent question young Padawan. People ask me all the time why I would ever get involved in politics. Fortunately, this is something I have been pontificating for far too long. Therefore, my immediate responses are as follows.

  1. Do you want me to lie to you, or tell you the truth?
  2. Is it safe to assume you don’t think highly of politicians?

I think the majority will agree that a general consensus of concern with the talking-heads is trust. Can we trust that person to be honest, forthcoming, and above all treat others with dignity?

Consequently, modern day society no longer judges actions we judge words.

The second question affords me the ability to segue into an inherent struggle that exist in all of us.

Since the inception of homo Erectus’ night and day conundrum. A dichotomy between halves has wreaked havoc on our existence. This existential threat is borne out of an inherent duality responsible for our behaviors.

Think INXS inside, every single one of us has the…

In addition, as a Gemini, I was often told that we are two-faced. This is par for the course after a few questions on my birthday and month. Voila just like that, after an exhaustive study, an unfounded accusation is hurled. So much for not judging a book by its cover, right?


Sidebar – Pick Up Artist Technique: Boy did I play into this perception to my advantage. An inquisitive look into their eyes with a simple proposition.

Wait, doesn’t everyone have two sides? I bet you can be the best friend in the world, but if someone were to double-cross you, you would flip in rage, a completely different person. OMFG – wow Carlos that was deep – OkStupid.

For the past 20 years, we the people have experienced the growing pains of social media. I’d be remiss to say that we’re not solely responsible for the petulant child social media has become. For we have definitely felt the growing pains.

We were there during puberty, where hormones raged, and dating sites, cheating sites, sex sites, and more porn was being viewed in conservative and evangelical demographics than ever imagined. OMG

Just like a teenager in high school, social media’s petulance reached a level of insubordination that only fueled the fire which fanned the flames responsible for the vitriol we see today.

The one positive thing that I believe we must take from this pandemic. Is the time it’s affording all of us to analyze our behaviors. In order to try and see where we went wrong and what needs to be done, so that we the people can “be the change we want in this world.

So, when people ask me why I want to run, I segue

The information age has so far been the greatest indignation of society. Instead of utilizing the one tool that can help discern the facts, educate, inform, above all end the vitriol. Which coincidentally is in the palm of our hands. We’re using this tool to destroy the world as we know it, worse threatening our future existence.

Entonces chavalo?

The only way forward, especially in our online age is by being transparent. It’s about time we put an end to the destructive mantra responsible for the plethora of societal woes.

Faking it till you make it, is the main culprit behind the issues that plague society and hinder progress.

Without information, we will never be able to discern the facts. Even if we don’t have all the facts, at least you’ll be able to entertain a debate. I remember a time long ago when friends, families, and neighbors were free to discuss their beliefs.

For me, it’s extremely difficult to understand why anyone is being judged on their words when we should be judging them on their actions, or lack thereof when it comes to our elected officials. (Little Marco)

You’ll excuse my ignorance, but when did we get past the point where words mean more than actions? Lastly, if you’re wondering why we the people continue to experience the systemic failures we endure on a daily basis.

Maybe its time we get back to the basics and hold others accountable?

Carpe Diem


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