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R-Welcome

Welcome to RoderickE.com, my personal website on the Internet. I know, I know...in the age of social media; Facebook, Twitter and all the rest who has a personal site any more? Well, I do because you see I'm not from the age of social media. :-) My first experience with computing came as a teenager back in the early 1980s when my dad bought me a Texas Instruments TI99/4 computer. It even used cassette tapes instead of discs. I would spend hours on that thing trying to "code" (program) games and such but it just didn't have the memory capacity to do what I wanted.

Eventually as computers progressed and began to be networked; first through the government or universities; I connected. The universities had systems to allow students and others to connect to a bulletin board or a BBS (bulletin board system). These were mainly informational text-based. There were no pictures or graphics in those early days. Nothing to "click" on. Everything was keyboard driven. But this network of computers allowed me to interact for the first time, with people from all over the world.

BBSes became popular domestically and now a person could set up a BBS on their computer and host it. Sometimes you had to "dial-up" their actual number to connect to the BBS.
These "personal" BBSes were more exciting than the original college BBS. They often contained simple text-based games. This innovation eventually led to the development of "MOOs" and "MUDs" (Multi-object-oriented environments / Multi-user domains). These environments were situated completely around the social interaction. Perhaps they were the granddaddy of Facebook. While MOOs and MUDs were still completely text-based, people began getting creative with the characters you could make with a keyboard and ASCII art was invented. There is even a site where you can ASCII yourself or any picture you may want. You can go to that site by following this link: http://www.glassgiant.com/ascii/.

I cut my teeth on MOO programming, which is a language similar to C++

Eventually, computers were able to hold more data and images and small audio files started to be used on websites. I dabbled in HTML programming, along with php. I maintained several websites of my own.

Just Stuff

BOOK IDEA
Shhh, I'm working on a book that is so controversial that I dare not even utter the name of it online, via text, and not even during a phone conversation. Truly, this book is more "taboo" than the most socially taboo topic you could think of. I hope to have it complete and published before the winter of 2014. I hope it is not too late. This link gives a hint at the topic: http://rodericke.com/edge-of-anarchy

RSS FEEDS
Next, I have been adding interesting feeds to RoderickE.com's R-Feeds link. The latest one is Upworthy. I'm not certain what to think of the content. While most of Upworthy's stuff is ideologically..."liberal", it is nonetheless interesting. Take a look: http://rodericke.com/aggregator/sources/52

PODCAST
Yes, the Roderick At Random podcast languishes. I'm sorry. I just have little time to devote to it. Maybe in the winter when I'm forced inside during Indiana's hibernation period. See here: http://rodericke.com/forums/r-podcast

EXCEL CONSULTATION
I've been working a bit on the side as an Excel/spreadsheet consultant; making VBA projects that help improve accuracy and efficiency. See here: http://rodericke.com/excel

READ IT
I've read the following books recently:

Dear American Soldier

Whether you are a new recruit, recently deployed, or a veteran I want to ask you a question. Dear American soldier, if and when the United States government (Obama specifically) orders you to shoot on your fellow citizens, will you comply? What? You think the question and notion is outrageous? Well, we just saw what happened in April 2014 in Nevada. A U.S. agency, that oddly is armed as well as the military threatened to shoot men, women and children. This agency isn't even the military or the police and was ready to kill fellow Americans on the orders of agency heads. See video below:

Some Palindrome Poem

some-palindrome-poem

Are we not drawn onward, we few, drawn onward to new era?
Do, O God, no evil deed! Live on! Do good!
Drawn, I sit; serene rest is inward.
Drawn onward.

I’m a fool; aloof am I.
Mad as Adam.
Now I draw an award. I won!
O, stone, be not so.

Before Candy Crush

PC Games

Before games like Candy Crush, Farmville, Angry Birds and such mindless offerings there were games that actually challenged people. Very few people anymore may play PC games like Risk, Age of Empires, and Empire Earth, but these games really challenge the mind. These games are like Chess on steroids. You command your army, build your society and culture and even choose your religion and government system. In fact, if so-called leaders like Barack Obama played some of these games, maybe they would learn a little something. These games are packed with history...but living history that allows you to immerse yourself in it. But maybe that's the point of games like Candy Crush; they are mindless and casual. You can come back to it at any time. You need not immerse yourself into it. You can play a quick game while waiting for something else to happen.

However, I still like to play a good multi-day game of AoE or EE sometime; especially with or against a human player. The problem is, players of such games are becoming less and less. I had taught my daughter to play these games since she was 3 years old. Give it a try.

Interactive Rate Interface System - IRIS

IRIS - Ratesheet/Invoice Interface


Originally designed for use in a transportation logistics environment, the IRIS is offered here, FREE OF CHARGE in multiple versions of increasing complexity. You will also find various tutorials on this page. Everything offered is "as is". While careful testing has been employed, download and use is without warrant or liability. Roderick Edwards can be contacted for further paid consultation or hire. For more details, see this link. While these files are FREE, I am available for hire to modify or setup your Interface/invoice system.

My Excel Experience

I have been working with Microsoft Excel since as early as 1996 when I began using the spreadsheet application to track employee performance at a telephone company where I was the Training Supervisor. Like most people, at first I simply had a spreadsheet with names, numbers and comments but as the data grew, analyzing the data was more important than storing it. With over 1000 employees among 3 call centers, this was going to require more than a simple knowledge of =sum(). I created detailed pivot tables and eventually VBA macros to analyze all the data. This was all self-taught due to the expense of the training at that time.

Since those early days, I've been employed at several businesses where these Excel skills have been needed. This includes years spent at various transportation/logistics companies developing ratesheet calculators, transit time studies, and general reports. I've also spent a fair amount of time doing side jobs for people involved in banking, publishing, appliance manufacturing, and general assembly. All of these things have challenged and grown my skills with Excel.

WHY EXCEL

Sometimes I'm asked why I prefer to develop these tools in Excel rather than Microsoft Access or something more robust like SQL. Well, first most business people are familiar with basic Excel use on a daily basis. Spreadsheets dominate the data and information dissemination process at most companies. Bottom line; it is easy for people to use. There is typically no need to train them on the basic operation. I can create a more functional, behind the scenes macro that will simply interact with tasks the person is already doing with their spreadsheets.

TOKENS

adjective: token
1. done for the sake of appearances or as a symbolic gesture.
"cases like these often bring just token fines from the courts"

While we may refuse to accept it, the world employs many tokens; things that are done for mere appearances whether or not it is legitimate or not. Of all the places where a token is the most offensive and degrading is when people are tokens. What is even worse, is when people willingly participate in being tokens. You could be the token woman in a group. Or the token black person. Or the token homosexual. Look at any local television news broadcast and you will see the epitome of tokenism. They seem to always have the token woman. The token black person. The token "minority" (a detestable term) whom may look Hispanic or middle eastern. And perhaps a token potentially homosexual.

newsateam1 newsteam2 nesteam3


Could you imagine being hired somewhere simply as their token. "We need to hire a black person so we don't look racist." Is this really how you'd want to get a job? It is an insult.

The Not So Cold War

Ukraine

Shortly after the end of World War 2, the mutual distrust between the rising dual superpowers of the United States of America and Russia (then USSR) began what would eventually be called the "Cold War". It was called this because there was no open conflict. There was no fire from the muzzles of guns. Instead, it was like a calculated, quiet chess game with each side moving pieces around on the "board" of earth. Certain events in these "war games" are ingrained into history; such as the so-called Cuban Missile Crisis when the Russians moved nuclear weapons to Cuba, a mere 90 miles from the USA. Another memorable event is the fall of the Berlin Wall in Germany. This was a wall that literally was built down the middle of the city of Berlin after WWII. The Russians wanted to run East Berlin as a Communist city and the USA and its allies wanted to run West Berlin as a "free" city. In 1987, President Ronald Reagan urged the Russians to tear down the wall. International sentiment grew and the people of Germany themselves tore down that wall with no opposition from the Russians.

Between 1989-1991 the USSR went through a virtual bloodless revolution where Communism was abandoned and many former possessions of the USSR were released to independent countries. This leads us to the present topic of what is going on in one of those former possessions; Ukraine.

Edge of Anarchy: Iargalon

Beyond the Sunset

When people talk about freedom, what is meant? Do we mean we want to do whatever we want? Isn't that really anarchy? A lawlessness. That is the setup for this article on the hypothetical nation called Iargalon. What if there was a country with virtually no government, where the people could settle on a piece of land and be left unmolested by laws imposed upon them by others. But how would this be possible? Doesn't every society need order. Without rules, without government with the power to maintain order wouldn't there be chaos?

CONTRACT SOCIETY

Imagine this Iargalon with a minimal government with a main responsibility of merely the national defense of the country. This centralized government would have virtually no ability to tax. No ability to dictate a national agenda. The key to all of this would be a society built on respect for personal contract; Caveat Emptor. -- buyer beware. This would mean that each person is ultimately responsible for making sure the contracts they enter into are for mutual benefit. On this principle, whatever government there was, it would hold people to their contracts. Obviously this would need to be a society where people were noble and honorable. But are humans by nature, noble and honorable? Are we instead, by nature greedy and self-serving? Isn't this why we implement government; so as to impose on other people things that force them to behave noble and honorable...or at least how we interpret noble and honorable?

GOVERNMENT AND DEFENSE

So, you have this Iargalon where the people come together to form a more perfect union. They elect a government of officers from among the people; not career politicians but people who will return to their daily lives as farmers, tradesmen, and business people after they serve their limited terms. There would be no class of people such as politicians. To raise a military, for the common defense of the nation, would require local militias that would be called and rotated at all times for the maintaining of a standing army. This conscription would be necessary, modeled much after the IDF Regular Service, and would require all able-bodied, able-minded persons of a specified age range to serve at rotating and limited time in the military. The idea of career military service should also be resisted in this new nation.

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