Michael Doornbos

Let's void some warranties

Michael is the founder of Evadot.com, PR Coordinator at Part Time Scientists, Product Designer at SimplyHome, and the author of the forthcoming book series "A New Kind of Hero". A security consultant, speaker, and podcaster, Michael helps companies find their true role on the fast-changing internet.

Some changes in my first world problems

I've made some changes in the last couple days.

First, I've removed Facebook from my phone. I'm not anti Facebook. I am however concerned about some habits of mine that have crept up around Facebook. I find myself looking at my phone at EVERY stop in the everyday flow of my life. In line at the grocery store, when I'm done with the laundry, while I'm walking to a meeting down the hall, etc.

I have the amazing opportunity to eat lunch with my son EVERY. SINGLE. WEEKDAY. How many parents can say that? He's almost 16. For a very brief moment in our lives he and I get an hour alone every day. We enjoy each others company. He's interesting, intelligent, and like all boys on the cusp of manhood, trying to find his place in the world. So last week when we were at lunch and I caught myself looking at Facebook while he was telling me a story, I realized that I'm really doing it wrong.

I'm not getting rid of Facebook. It HAS been a great tool for connecting with some old friends and family members that I probably would not have any contact with. My change is pretty simple really. I'm just going to use Facebook once a day. My day to day activities go on twitter.  I am able to use Twitter without it being a big distraction.  My photos will go on Flickr.  The amazing service IFTTT.com will then pick up my tweets and photos and post them to Facebook for me so that my friends and family will still see what I'm doing and can continue to interact with me there. Once a day (max) I will check on any responses.

The second thing is TV.

I got my bill from DirectTV the other day and I started thinking about that too. I'm an American. I love TV just as much as everyone else. But two things about TV need to change for me. First is the $130 per month for 500 channels ($1560 per YEAR. Think about THAT).  I watch maybe 10 of those channels regularly.  I'm paying a lot of money for things I don't use.

Second is something I do A LOT that probably a lot of people do. It's that habit where you sit down to "see if something is on". Why do we do that? There are so many things in the world to do, work on and just enjoy that they can never be done in a thousand lifetimes. Why do I need to see if "The Matrix" is on again with 100 commercials?

My TV and entertainment needs to be much more deliberate. There are 10 shows that I really enjoy.  I can get season passes on Amazon or Google Play for $20 per season  (oh and they are commercial free). I gain a couple things here. First is the $1360 in yearly savings without missing any of my shows. Second are the countless hours of my life that can and should be used for something else. Sometimes I forget that going for a walk, sitting on the porch with my wife, or throwing a Frisbee for the dog is DOING SOMETHING MEANINGFUL. 

So we took the plunge. Called DirectTV and cancelled.

Now my challenge to myself is to see how many times my excuse is "I just don't have enough time to workout, start that hobby, go fishing with my dad..." when there isn't 20 hours a week of "The Matrix" and "Die Hard"(again).

A Career of Projects

Somehow, I always thought of my career as a series of projects, not jobs. Projects... things to be invented, funded and shipped. Sometimes they take on a life of their own and last, other times, they flare and fade. But projects, one after the other, mark my career. Lucky for me, the world cooperated and our entire culture shifted from one based on long-term affilitations (you know, ‘jobs’) to projects.

As usual, Seth Godin is right on the money. Here's the rest of his post today.

If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself

Live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart.
Trouble no one about his religion.
Respect others in their views and demand that they respect yours.
Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life.
Seek to make your life long and of service to your people.
Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide.
Always give a word or sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend,
or even a stranger, if in a lonely place.
Show respect to all people, but grovel to none.
When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light,
for your life, for your strength.
Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living.
If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.
Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools
and robs the spirit of its vision.
When your time comes to die,
be not like those whose hearts are filled with fear of death,
so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time
to live their lives over again in a different way.
Sing your death song, and die like a hero going home.

-Tecumseh

McDonald's

It is not a fast food company's responsibility to ensure that you make good choices. Companies sell what their customers want to buy. No one mandated that 25 million people shop at McDonald's today. Change happens through culture, not legislation.

Defiance

I don't know why this never occurred to me before, but "the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night, that the flag was still there" is about defiance. The kind of defiance you need when liberty is paid for with blood. The kind of defiance you need when what you believe is not what the people in charge believe. And then I remembered that the song was originally called "The Defiance of Fort McHenry".

You know how you can learn facts but not understand the lesson? I've been to Fort McHenry a number of times, served my country in the military and am a father. You'd think I would understand. I've been alive over 14000 days and just now I feel like I really get that song.

What prompted it was a couple lines from a book "But the lights of an illuminated American flag were still right there in the front window. They were the lights of a Patriot, and they still shown defiantly, just as if he were still here. Mikey would have liked that."

Something about that made the whole thing click for me.

Seriously CNN?

The CNN Breaking news email just now starts with: "Wow! The U.S. economy suddenly looks a lot perkier in the third quarter". Seriously CNN? Breaking news should not contain the following words or phrases: WOW, Awesome, Super Rad, party on, hipster, selfie, twerking, bofu, wicked, bust a moby, deck, life is like a box of chocolates, game over man, bust your conk, comes on like gangbusters, fraughty issue, yarddog, gnarly, like totally, no duh, take a chill pill, gag me with spoon, Psych!, grody to the max...

Philip Zimmerman on why he wrote PGP

This is actually from 1999 (updated from 1991), but I love this part:

The right to privacy is spread implicitly throughout the Bill of Rights. But when the United States Constitution was framed, the Founding Fathers saw no need to explicitly spell out the right to a private conversation. That would have been silly. Two hundred years ago, all conversations were private. If someone else was within earshot, you could just go out behind the barn and have your conversation there. No one could listen in without your knowledge. The right to a private conversation was a natural right, not just in a philosophical sense, but in a law-of-physics sense, given the technology of the time.

Read the entire piece here.

Thanksgiving 1993

1993 was first thanksgiving in the military and I was in the middle of a 26 week school in Memphis TN.

Hundreds of families in the area volunteered to take in a couple of us at a time. My buddy and I (a Marine obviously) spent the morning volunteering at St. Jude's Children’s hospital and then this guy picked up two strangers and made us a part of their family for 12 hours. Instead of a lonely Thanksgiving, it was warm and festive.

If you have the chance to invite someone who might otherwise be alone tomorrow, please do. A lot of college kids, military, elderly and single people can use a family for a few hours.

Thanksgiving 1993, Millington, TN

Copyright 2013 by Michael Doornbos