7 years old today!

Seven years ago today I published the very first post on this blog. Since then I’ve become a full-time professional writer working at various times as a journalist and a PR flack. These days I publish most of my stuff through Google Plus because I have a bigger audience over there.

Fortunately Google doesn’t mind users pulling their data out so I use Daniel Treadwell’s Google+ plugin for WordPress to automatically pull all of the content from G+ and cross-post it here. It’s been a fun ride and I’ll continue to use this venue to share my random thoughts for the foreseeable future.

I really expect better from David Kiley, but I guess in the current environment of…

I really expect better from David Kiley, but I guess in the current environment of AOL/Huffpo I should know better.

I'm not going to support what they have done today with a link, but I fail to see the point of running a post with an embedded video from Fox News featuring a woman with an absurdly large surgically enhanced chest. The woman who ran her car into a tree while not wearing a seatbelt claims to have been saved by her silicone.

To top it off, Kiley has posted the story over on that other social network under the status update "We are ashamed, Yes"

Sorry Dave but if you are so ashamed, you should not have run the story in the first place.

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Driving the Tesla Roadster 2

Last week I finally got my chance to get behind the wheel of the amazing Tesla Roadster. The Roadster is an all electric sports car with some amazing performance. I was lucky enough to be the only online auto writer to get invited to drive the car in it’s near production spec. Check out the whole story at ABG. I also have an alternative telling of the story at my day job at GreenFuelsForecast. Let me know which version you prefer. I love my job!

Opportunity knocks… 4

There’s a tap on the door, the phone rings, a message in your in-box, you bump into someone you haven’t seen for a while. Who knows how it will happen, it just does. For whatever reason sometimes you don’t feel like getting out your comfy chair, other times you respond. Sometimes you’re looking for it, other times it looks for you. In the fall of 1991, I called about a job that I wasn’t sure I really wanted, sixteen years later I’m still there, but not for much longer. In the fall of 1993 I responded to a message and ended up meeting the love of my life.

Over the years I’ve gotten many, many calls from recruiters and none ever felt right. When the company that I worked for decided to unilaterally cut the pay and benefits of many of their best people while at the same time continually increasing the compensation of those at the top, I began to express my thoughts here on this forum. This place became my soap-box, a place to just spout off on whatever I felt like, the good, the bad, the obscene. This little corner that I carved out for myself allowed me to find another part of myself, to use the knowledge I had gathered over the years and to find my voice.

As it happens it also allowed others who otherwise wouldn’t to hear that same voice. Some liked what they heard, others carried on about their lives. After the incident that prompted my set up corner here, another opportunity arose that I meant to pursue, but my response to the message somehow fell through the cracks. A few months later it thankfully popped up again in a slightly different form and I went after it with a vengeance. It worked and my name began to appear on another nascent site related to cars. I began to make some contacts and not long after that opportunity presented itself yet again. My colleague Alex was busy and I was on vacation from the day job. A quick day trip to New York and back introduced me to a remarkable new car and a lot of very interesting people. That quickly ballooned as I talked to those people on a regular basis.

During one of those events I encountered a pair of gentlemen who would soon reappear. In the fall of 2007, barely a year after I stumbled into automotive journalism, the message appeared in my in-box. I called back. We talked and eventually the deal was struck. A new phase of my life and career would begin. I wish to express my gratitude to the clumsy, ham-handed HR department without whose bumbling, this may not have happened. Thanks to Sebastian and John for plugging in the amplifier that allowed my voice to spread to a wider audience. I look forward to continuing to work with you guys for a long time to come. To John, Rob and Scott for giving me a chance to make a left turn against the prevailing traffic. And most of all to Jules, Sofia and Max for supporting me so much as I make this momentous non-trivial change. Sometimes when opportunity knocks you need to respond in the affirmative.

Politics and writing 4

Lately, I haven’t written much about politics at least in part because I have not been paying as close attention to politics as I had previously.  The past six years have been particularly painful for me from a political perspective, and I just needed a mental health break from it.  After the November elections it became pretty clear, that the democrats were not going to aggressively pursue impeachment, which means that we were looking at two more years of the village idiot in charge.

Fortunately, my other writing tasks have been giving me an increasing amount of satisfaction and sense of accomplishment.  That’s something sadly lacking from the day gig as my real income has steadily declined in the past five years while at the same time, the CEO was making more and more.  So without really consciosly thinking about it, I have withdrawn somewhat from politics for a while.  I’m staying involved in school stuff with the school board podcast, and the tech committee, things that I can actually make a difference with.  Bigger stuff is so aggravating that I just need to turn away for awhile to keep from exploding or losing hope.  In the same way, I’ve been meeting people who read my ramblings on ABG and feel like I might just be having a little bit of impact in the area of alternative fuels and transportation.  So I guess want to focus on the areas where I can have some positive impact.   It’s a lot easier to feel motivated when I can see some results of my efforts.