I haven't been too busy to blog; I've been out of the office. 

This is a very small a sample of the 3000 or so photos from this trip. 

This is a very small a sample of the 3000 or so photos from this trip. 

Truth is, after I got done with my work at the orgnaization that I shall not discuss publically (hereafter refered to as the OTISHDP), I took a vacation with my family.

We did that thing. You did it with your familiy. I did it with mine when I was little. Now Gaia's done it with hers. We drove to Devil's Tower and back.

It was a crazy trip. And I'm busy writing about it. I love traveling with my family. I have stories and pictures and drawings. But in the itnerim, here's some great videos that Google Photos made automatically.

Becuase, as much as I rage against robots, sometimes they do cool things for you.

I'll post a few more to hold you over while I write my travelogue.

Conversations with Phil.

Hey, everybody. Gabe here. I just wanted to start this piece off with an important note. This post has nothing to do with "Conversations with Phil," the incredible podcast made by my old buddy Phil Gerbyshak.
Phil Gerbyshak is a human being that I know, and he is entertaining and thoughtful. This post is about my ongoing passive-aggressive battle with robots.

I am currently "on the market" for jobs, so to speak. And as a result, I get a lot of email from recruiters. But one particular recruiter is very special to me. And I want to tell you more about him. 

Meet Phil. 

On Feb. 24, Phil, who is a recruiter with a primary placement agency sent me a job so new that not many people had applied for it yet. I dutifully clicked on the link, and sadly, the job was so new that there was no job there at all, just an ugly 404 Page Not Found error.

So I shot Phil back a message. "Hey Phil, your Robot sent me a garbage link."

Phil replied almost immediately. "Thanks so much for reaching out. Here are a billion links, none of which respond to your message. But feel free to call or write support."

"Talk Soon!" Phil wrote. Seriously. The email message says "Talk Soon!" Phil, whose email signature implies he's located in Santa Monica, Californa, thinks that he and I are going to "talk." And "soon."

"Phil, your robot wasn't super helpful," I said.

Phill did not reply. It would not be the first time I would be disappointed in my conversations with Phil.

Feb. 27th.

Phil writes to let me know that "he wanted to reach out" and let me know that he's aware of a job I applied for and that there are other jobs that are kind-of vaguely like that one, and if I click the 1-click apply button he'll go ahead and submit my application. That's super thoughtful Phil. Thanks, buddy.

And the tone of this email is so different than his previous emails. He might actually be a person.

I decided I had better ask..

Phil does not respond.

March 11th.

Phill writes again. I get a lot of email from Phil. I've received 27 emails from Phil in the past 25 days. This email, though, This email is different. This email is to an obviously scammy multi-level marketing company that has little to nothing to do with the kind of jobs I would consider.

I've had it. I'm sorry, Phil. But I have to say something. "Stop sending me multi-level marketing jobs. We both know you're a better recruiter than that, Phil."

Now I feel bad; I don't mean to chastise Phil. He's probably a real person; he's got a quota to meet. "Send me your picture,"]I add. See! I'm not a jerk. I should add more. "Are you human? Let's be friends."

Phil responds almost immediately. I've seen it all before. Blah blah blah, "Talk Soon."


Talk soon, buddy.


March 14

Phill found a job that he thinks lines up with my resume. "It's new, so they don't have many candidates yet..." I can't take it anymore. I know Phil is a human being, in my heart, I know this. But as I man of science, I must know for sure. I MUST DETERMINE FOR ONCE AND FOR ALL! ARE YOU A MAN OR A MACHINE, PHIL? WHICH IS IT?

That message was sent 38 minutes ago. And Phil has not yet responded.

Have I gone too far? Did my casual application of the Liars Paradox break the Phil robot? Have I killed him? Phil? Are you still out there buddy?

Oh god.

What have I done?

"The Game" finally got me. I have lost the game.

There is a particularly terrible episode of Star Trek the Next Generation titled: "The Game"

If you haven't seen it, it doesn't matter. You can watch this trailer and try not to cringe yourself to death.

Turns out, after years and years and years of searching, I have finally found my game.

You need to stop what you're doing and play Dino Polo Club's Mini Metro. It's described as "a minimalist subway route layout game. But I call it the greatest timesuck that man has ever invented.

It has that special thing, you know? Where you look down at your phone and trace a quick line between a circle and a triangle and the next thing you know nine hours have gone by and you've crashed your car into that house at the bottom of Water Tower Hill. (Not the one by the barrier, the one next to it. Great job!)

Seriouslly, though. I am in love with this little game. It's so soothing to watch the little trains running around, taking the little dots, squares, triangles and even stars to and from one location to the other. And I imagine all the cool stuff that is happening to those little dots, squares and triangles and even stars as they travel around real world cities. They cross bridges and move from imaginary downtowns to imaginary suburbs and take transfers betweent the blue and green line to get over to the tunnel that takes them to that one record store they like.

Look, I'm making it too complicated.

Look at these screenshots of my little railines instead. They are beautiful little works of urban art.

We liked it so much, we bought it on IOS, too. So now my whole family just sits around looking at little tiny metros thinking about all the cool ways to get the triangle people back to their little triangle stops.

Gotta go, there's congestion at one of the squares downtown. Seems the football people can't' figure it out.