My first article for Revzilla’s new online magazine just went live! It’s 7 things I wish someone had told me as a new rider and marks my first time being published writing on something other than technology so I’m all smiles. I’ve mentioned Revzilla before as a great company that really understands Social and the new internet economy and so I’m proud to have my writing featured there.
I’ve been looking to buy a house here in Oakland and the whole experience is a bit surreal. I’ll save you the blow by blow, but looking at home values, school rankings, and the OPD’s crime map; a few things jump out at me.
Firstly, people talk a lot about crime in Oakland but looking at that map there’s crime almost everywhere (except Albany apparently – it’s a big blank spot on the crime map. Either criminals avoid Albany like Kryptonite or they just don’t report their crime statistics).
Secondly, the quality of education a child receives in California varies even within a city. This is not terribly surprising – lower income students whose parents are working two jobs to survive lack the support at home that wealthier kids get and are more likely to require extra resources to thrive. What is surprising is not that there is disparity, but the degree of the disparity.
To put it bluntly, it is a crime that there are ANY 1-star public schools. Continue reading
Today is Ride to Work day so I wanted to share the story of how I started riding a motorcycle.
I have always loved motorcycles and I’ve never felt really comfortable on 4 wheels. I rode a bicycle everywhere through my teens and most of my 20’s and didn’t really start driving a car until I was 26. I also tend to let my thoughts wander and get easily distracted by music, passengers, etc. Let’s just say I’ve never been the best driver. Knowing that about myself, I always figured I was better off to stick to a car since at least I had a seatbelt, airbags, etc to protect me. So despite being an avid bike-watcher from a young age, I’ve only recently started riding. Continue reading
I’ve done a lot of writing over the years but the form has shifted. I wrote hundreds of songs and poems throughout my 20’s, then a bunch of technical writing and blogging on the tech industry for work starting in 2010, and now I find myself writing a lot of short stories for practice setting scenes while I work on my novel. Up until recently though, this site has been almost exclusively tech industry blogging. I think it’s about time that changed.
Starting this Friday at 9am I’m going to post a short story every week. Some no more than a few lines, some much longer. The first set of stories all deal with family and looking for meaning but don’t be surprised when I start adding other subject matter as well. At some point I’ll probably post scenes from the novel I’m working on, we’ll see how it goes.
I have the next 5 weeks all written and scheduled to go and will try to keep up the 1 a week schedule as long as I can – and as long as people keep reading! I’ll post reminders on Twitter every time a new story goes up with the hashtag #FictionFriday, if you like what you see please share and retweet. And if you’re not already following me on Twitter, what are you waiting for? I’m @JedWheeler – why not say hello?
I’ve recently found myself single for the first time in almost a decade (I’ll skip the back story if it’s all the same to you), and it’s taken some getting used to. There’s good and bad both but, on reflection, I don’t think I want to stay single long term. The bad news is that the percent of the population that is unmarried and has no children starts shrinking rapidly at age 26 and I’m already 7 years past that. I’d like to believe that somewhere on the edge of the bell curve is the woman for me, but that still leaves the question of where and how to meet her.
Some days it’s hard to get up for all the sad. But maybe pain can be a learning experience, yeah?
I love my motorcycles – the roar, the lean, the sense of freedom, and the way lanesplitting across the San Francisco Bay Bridge every morning forces me to focus on NOW instead of thinking about everything I have to get done during the day. Commuting on two wheels turns my morning into an adventure and I love it. The only thing I don’t love about it, in fact, is that even though my bike is sipping a lot less fuel then a car, it’s still ultimately dependent on a fossil fuel infrastructure that’s completely and irredeemably unsustainable in the long term. The real question isn’t if we’re going going to stop using petroleum it’s when.
I’m kind of a radical. I say “kind of” because I’m fairly sure that at 32 my days of living in treesits and getting teargassed at endless pointless protests that don’t change anything are pretty much over. But I learned a lot along the way and these days I tend to see those lessons or principles as the most valuable part of the ethos. The old lefty idea of a messianic revolution that will solve all our problems is pretty much completely discredited. The good news is that there hundreds of mini revolution happening around us all the time. And the more experience I get in the business world the more strongly I believe that horizontally organized peer groups are more efficient and productive then the standard top-down management structure that typifies governments and most businesses.
The tech startup world, as anyone who’s spent time in it knows, is a weird place. It’s a strange little bubble universe that’s absolutely awash in cash while the rest of the economy struggles and stumbles along, but the people you might expect to be raking in the cash usually aren’t. Case in point – the people who’ve benefited the most from the tech boom in SF over the last decade are arguably the city’s landlords. There’s a city full of people with 6-figure incomes who each spend half – or more – of their take home pay on insanely overpriced tiny apartments. According to some studies I’ve seen recently (sorry, I can’t find the link atm, will try to add it in an edit later) rents across most of the city have doubled in the past year. And they weren’t exactly cheap to start with! Continue reading
The issue of whether Marriage is a civic institution which should be available to all consenting adult or a religious institution with theological restrictions is one of those debates that just won’t go away, no matter how bizarre it might seem. It’s been a major source of stress in my family and in many others. For me, it’s never even been a question which side of the debate I’m on. Continue reading