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Feb 18 2014

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About Steven Feldman at Nonprofit Technology Resources
  • Other Philadelphia, PA
  • Both a Buyer and a Seller
  • Prefers to trade with Americas.
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Jan 01 2011

2010 review, 2011 resolutions

2010 was a complex year for me, sometimes wonderful and sometimes disappointing:

  • Anne & I continue to have a wonderful life together.  I even managed to trick her into wearing a ring!
  • I’ve not made significant progress with any of my 2010 resolutions 8-(
  • We’ve mostly completed renovating our kitchen.  We’re both quite pleased with the result.
  • School has fallen by the wayside
  • I’m still, on average, quite satisfied with my job.  My professional abilities have grown considerably and 2011 is on track to be another interesting year.  My E.D. & I have a working relationship that, while not perfect, is the best I’ve had with any boss.
  • Budget issues and individual personnel issues have cut my organization’s staff nearly in half.  Similarly, we’ve had to make do with about 1/3 of our previous complement of volunteers, work clients, and interns.
  • I’ve had a wonderful net-gain of quality in friendships this year
  • I had my most prolific year bicycling yet, especially because of (or despite) a wonderful but occasionally problematic custom-built bicycle.
  • In January 2010, I ended my experiment with vegetarianism.  However, it wasn’t until Christmas morning 2010 that I stopped pretending to myself or others that I was still a vegetarian.

My resolutions for 2011:

  • Engage in weekly learning.  This can include school, certifications, workshops, study, experimentation, or other forms of improving my knowledge.  My short and long-term memory abilities are declining slowly, but noticeably.
  • Tackle one small or half of one medium home maintenance or upgrade project per month.  To the extent possible, I want to do at least some of the work.  However I should not let that deter me - I’d rather hire someone and enjoy the completed addition than coast on an unimproved house.  Some I have in mind (in no particular order, and not to the exclusion of others):
    • Completely rebuild the interior of the master bedroom’s small closet
    • Replace the shelf & hanger bar in the guest bedroom’s closet
    • Tile the kitchen backsplash
    • Repair or complete the electric work in the kitchen
    • Install the front storm door and repair or replace the front main door.  After this is done, make sure a suitable handful of people have keys to our home
    • Wire the office (see below)
  • Hard-wire the office computers together & to the internet.  Up to 5 devices are wirelessly connecting to the router downstairs (including the server), while the router has at most the TV computer wired (currently not present).  The best solution would be to run the cable modem & router from the basement closet (with the server too), and run cat6 (compatible with gigabit and upcoming 10gb) up to the living room & office respectively.  Alternatively, I’d be ok just dropping cat6 from the office to the living room.  As a last-ditch, inexpensive resort, I’m willing to have the co-ax run to the office and run the router from there (with PCs added to that switch) but wireless coverage will suffer in portions of the house.
  • Stop the parade of computers in the house and set up a functional system.  At the moment we’re pretty well set with sufficiently modern computers: windows, & mac PCs upstairs, a lightweight mobile device each for anne & I, two laptops (either of which can be used as a TV PC, depending on the tv we have), and my linux server.  Going forward: resist incremental or non-necessary upgrades and make full use of the server.
  • Pack (or make at work) lunch on average 4 times/week.  Cook dinner on average twice/week, making leftovers whenever possible.
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Jul 10 2010
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Apr 27 2010

I’m somewhat stuck making up my mind

  • Keep my current job at NTR
    Highly uncertain job security, a hectic and chaotic environment in nonprofit, often long but sometimes flexible hours, but doing work that I mostly love and for good purpose.  I have broad authority and the job is prestigious on a resume.  The commute is a short bike ride just on the other side of downtown, but is right by CCP (where I’m currently going) and an easy 1-sub ride in bad weather.  Eating good and cheap lunch around here can be sometimes challenging, but I can sneak in a beer on lunch sometimes if I’m careful.  I can wear nearly whatever I want.  Somewhat higher base salary.
  • Accept a new job offer
    Near-certain job security in a growing & successful corporate environment, very stable hours, doing work that I enjoy but can be somewhat uninspiring and for a comparatively uninspiring purpose.  The commute is a slightly shorter bike ride in the middle of town, but a 2 bus or 1 sub/ 5 block walk.  Eating will be a lot more interesting and bountiful, especially with Trader Joe’s nearby.  No more occasional beers on lunch though (at least early on).  I’ll have to wear pants & polos every day.  Somewhat lower base hourly, but better benefits and opportunities for overtime pay.

(the link from facebook is hidden from my current coworkers)

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    Dec 31 2009

    2009 redux, 2010 aspirations

    I’m pleased to look back and think about how 2009 was a banner year for me:

    • Anne & I have had a wonderful life together in ‘09
    • I think my personal growth has left me in an improved place compared to a year ago
    • I’m enjoying the most challenging and rewarding job I’ve ever had
    • I’ve successfully tackled my primary 2009 resolutions
      • Matt & I have a much-improved relationship
      • I’ve completed my first semester at school
      • The house moving along quite nicely, and at an affordable pace
      • We haven’t yet networked the house, but the office is essentially completed in the manner I imagined
      • I am generally sometimes playing fewer video games
      • other technical details have been advanced, more or less
    • It’s amazing to be writing this from our rental’s balcony on the western side of Kona, HI.  Overlooking the pristine Pacific is quite marvelous.

    As for 2010:


    • Improve my study habits.  Dramatically.
    • Honestly challenge myself to spend time in meaningful (yet still enjoyable) manners, by default.  There are still far too many timesinks in my life that do not return any more enjoyment than the things I truly wish to do.
    • In keeping up with the above resolution:  be mindful to acquire new skills or knowledge as opportunities arise.
    • Maintain my momentum with career and/or school
    Comments (View)
    Oct 28 2009 humor that will fly by too quickly due to a woot-off

    Oh, You’d Be All About This If They Were Two Chicks

    iPods. Sansas. They’re okay. They have their place. But the Coby 2GB Media Player is a different sort of player. Can’t it have a place in the world too? Can’t it find… someone special?

    “Hey, Trisha! There’s a concert in my pants and you’re invited!”


    “No? Okay, well, Polly? Concert in my pants? You’re invited?

    Grow up, Stewart

    “What? I’m just trying to- Janet! Janet! Have you heard about the concert in my pants?”

    “Whoa, whoa, Stewart! What’s going on!”

    “Aw, Bobby, I’m trying to tell people all about the Coby 2GB Media Player. Look at this, it’s so tiny, but the speakers are built right in for better sound!”

    “Hey, they swivel out! That is cool!”

    “Yeah, and you can play music and movies and there’s a built-in FM radio and everything! I’ve got about eight hours of video on there right now, which is perfect, because now I’ve got-”

    ”-a concert in your pants. Got it, Stewart. But you know, women don’t always see things the same way us guys do. You can’t talk to them in crude and frank manner. Unless you’ve got muscles and a cool car. Which, let’s face it, you don’t.”

    “What? That’s crazy! Then women are stupid! And I hate them!”

    “I’m very glad you think so, Stewart. Because I’m really interested in that concert.”

    “Really? You want to know more about the concert saved on my Coby 2GB Media Player?”

    “No, Stewart. I’m talking about the one in your pants.”

    “Bobby, I… I never noticed until right now how beautiful your eyes were…”

    “Come on, Stewart. Let’s drive up to Vermont and destroy the institution of marriage… together.”

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    May 16 2009

    Black bean soup at the adobe cafe

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    May 04 2009

    Why I’m keeping my PhillyCarShare membership

    Some aspects have not been disputed from all I spoke with:

    • PCS has been agressivley mis-managed - including its finances, customer service, gas-card scandal, & last-minute stealthy membership change
    • PCS has strayed from its mission (perhaps unwittingly)
    • The loss of PCS leaves Philadelphia with a single carshare provider
    • Folks who rent once/month or less will pay more under the new pricing

    So, those things leave me the following questions:

    1. Might there be opportunities to get PCS restructured for transparency & competency?
    2. Can PCS sustain a business model capable of funding its operations through times of lean grant & foundation funding?
    3. How bad could it be in a zipcar-only city?
    4. Does careshare represent a good value for me?

    (my) Answers, in order

    1. Yes - I believe there will be extremely vocal minorities among both the group that stays and the crowd that leaves (but might come back under the right circumstances).  The thing the public has in its corner is PCS’s focus on one market - if they don’t serve it well enough they’ll be increasingly marginalized.  A couple of brave board members can suitably shake things up with well-timed exposure.  Finally, I believe Philadelphia hungers for a successful PCS, even given it’s righteous anger over the current debacle.
    2. Absolutely.  With unemployment so high, the future of american automakers uncertain, credit scarce, and all of the more ordinary reasons car ownership is only questionably worthwhile - there is certainly money to be made.  Anything including a renegotiation or re-bidding of their current insurance contracts, on-vehicle advertising, aggressive marketing for fleet-replacement, etc - could tighten up the business model.  I think profits from organizational fleet replacement contracts could subsidize accessible monthly rates for low-income residents in a limited fashion; fundraising development might restore full accessibility or grant programs in the futre.
    3. Fuckin’ lousy.  Their “philly wheels” plan has a built-in expiration date of PCS’s bankruptcy or acquisition.  Further, Philadelphia is merely one of many markets that will be served in a profitable rather than blanket manner.  I feel Zipcar has a place here - visitors should have a carshare option while in town, and frequent travelers shouldn’t have to buy two memberships.  But as a working-class town with strong non-profit & DIY communities, we owe it to ourselves to maintain a homegrown non-profit solution.  If PCS is allowed to fail, it’ll be extremely difficult for something else to rise anew if it has to face an established national competitor.
    4. Sometimes.  I don’t own a car anymore and don’t plan that changing soon.  Bicycle, septa, carpooling with driving friends, and some walking are my M.O.  I also like a taxi regularly enough, it’s perfectly spontaneous for one-way trips about town.  AND, for the times I need a car rental it’s sometimes better to rent from a chain.  All that said, the ladie & I have been using cars a little more often than once/month between the two of us.  It’s a useful option when I need to make or combine short spontaneous trips.  Further, PCS has a little-advertised option to pay $125 for a year of membership instead of $15/month.  That comes out to a little over $10/month, a significant difference.  It makes that one trip/month cost about $20, which is still cheaper that what it’d usually cost for the round-trip taxi.

    I understand folks who don’t want to take the gamble on a year membership and/or are rightly angry at PCS for dropping the ball.  I hope PCS gets strong enough to regain your business, and keep mine.

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    Apr 17 2009


    SAT practice question—
    laying pipe : fleshlight :: enjoying cilantro : this
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    Apr 16 2009



    “The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.”

    - John Kenneth Galbraith

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