Armen Chakmakjian

Archive for July, 2013|Monthly archive page

Another year….in numbers…

In Random on July 28, 2013 at 3:07 am

In about an hour or so it will be my Birthday on the east coast.  49 is a number.  It’s a perfect square.  Funny, at my last perfect square (36) neither Facebook nor twitter nor LinkedIn had been imagined.  I had a 500Mhz Pentium Machine at home and a small 300Mhz laptop.  Youtube did not exist, and the Kindle and the iPhone had not yet been invented.  I did not yet have an iPod though i did have a Palm pilot.  Some other interesting numbers:

1) I’ve got 568 friends on Facebook.  There are at least 150 who are people I only know and interact with on the web.  Meaning, I’ve never met them in person, but we interact pretty often considering.  I’ve got some interesting cyberfriends…several famous podcasters, really famous authors, some famous news celebrities, many social media mavens, a few famous technologists…Woz in fact.  I find out every once in a while where he is eating!  I feel like Sheldon.  I’ve also found many grammar school and high school friends and the reminiscences are great.  It’s wonderful to interact with all of them at whatever level.

2) I’ve got 1300+ followers on twitter.  The other night I just kept scrolling down the list to see who was there at the beginning.  I thought it funny that my 3 sisters were my first 3 twitter followers.  Lots of people I worked with at Intuit.  Lots of writers and publishers.   There is an overlap of many of the 150 Facebook friends I mentioned above.  but 1300 followers? ME????

3) LinkedIn.  I’ve got 908 contacts on LinkedIn.  668 are from the Boston area.  49 are from San Francisco. 177 are from my current company constant contact, 65 from my previous employer, Intuit, and 53 from my last really long gig, Teradyne.  It really is an invaluable tool, and was actually my first social media foray (beside the first real social media tool, email of course, some form of which I’ve used since oh 1980 or so)

4) Just shy of 1300 copies of my book Urtaru have been downloaded on amazon kindles in the world.   1066  (US), 156 (UK), 12(DE), 1 (CA), 2 (ES), 1 (IT).  The one in Italy was sold just as the cardinals were landing in Rome to start the eventual selection of Pope Francis.  Maybe it was him? 🙂  There’s been a few downloads in July since I don’t have the official report, but a transient one.  I haven’t counted them in, for those who are doing the math.

5) I’ve uploaded videos to YouTube since October 20, 2007 when I created my channel.  My overall stats: Videos: 88, Views of my videos: 14200.  My first video was the famous Tuna Casserole Video has 1119 views.  My top 3 videos are my basement cover of Falling in and out of love/Amie with 4,108 views,  my dining room cover of Cool Change with 1782 views, and my kitchen cover of Gimme Three Steps with 1282 views.  I’ve got 12 open mic videos that have been views 582 times total across them.  Now for those who want to make a joke about how many times I’ve watched my own videos, I’ve viewed about 2500 videos total and almost 2000 that are not me replaying my own videos for someone, so even though I’ve looked at my own videos, it doesn’t account for the numbers.

6) 4300 people have viewed the 15 documents I have loaded onto  608 people have looked at my book, Urtaru, on there (or at least excerpts, since you have to buy it to see the whole thing), 477 people read my short story “A Recipe worth the weight” which of all the things I’ve written brings me the most fun when I think about it.  The rest are all in the 200-400 range of reads, and are mostly my Marketing papers and Human Factors research papers I did for my MBA.

7) Up to this point I’ve worked for 8 major employers (in order): McDonald’s (store #580), Boston Concessions (Flipping burgers at Sherwood Island for a summer) , RIT Library and RIT User Computer Center, Digital Equipment, Teradyne, Vision/Lakeview, Intuit, and my current gig at Constant Contact.  My first job was cutting Mr. Romano’s lawn.

8) During my life I’ve owned (myself, not borrowed from my parents) 3 cars.  a 1987 Jetta, a 1995 Nissan Altima, and a 2007 Rav4.  I’m not counting  my wife’s late Sienna and her current Rav4 as they were rightly her cars.  Honestly, I drive them into the ground before getting rid of them.  I would have driven the Jetta a few more years, but it just wasn’t big enough to handle the kids and all their baby stuff at the time, and it was a stick, which no one else could drive.

9) I’ve attended 4 schools for significant periods of time.  Blackham K-8, Fairfield Prep 9-12, RIT for 5 years to get my BSCE ’87, and Bentley for my MBA ’13.  Along the way I’ve taken some classes at MIT and Babson that were associated with work.

10) I’ve lived in 10 different towns in 3 different states over the years.  I’ve officially lived in Arlington (23y) longer than Bridgeport (18y).

11) Finally,  I’ve been married to 1 woman for 23 great years with many more to come, god-willing.  We collaborated during this time to produce and release into the world 2 sons.  They do us proud.

Oh yeah, and blogging, forgot about blogging…maybe I’ll count my posts and readers next year :–) oh and goodreads, Flickr, yahoo, FriendFeed, google+,tumblr…i had to stop someplace.

This may seem like my least emotionally introspective birthday blog post, given its all about numbers.     If you know me well, you probably know how good my memory is (versus my pure analytical skills which are pretty average) and  you’ll understand that each one of those 11 items above conjures up in me all kinds of emotions and memories.  Now I’m not Marilu Henner when it comes to remembering every minute of every day, but I remember about the people with whom i’ve interacted more than most people.   Although she’s gotten used it now, my wife and I would be driving here or there and I suddenly sigh or snicker in a break in the conversation.  “You just remembered something from school”, she’d say in response.  “yeah, it was funny.  When I was at Prep, there was a priest at a football game who got really mad when we chanted ‘Go Home Spanky’ at the St. Joe’s coach.”  Her next question would be “And you remembered this right now why???” I’d usually respond, “Dunno just popped in my head, but the guy really did look like spanky from the little rascals”

49 is a number.  More numbers to come, more memories.

Independence Day Special! Get a Kindle Book for Free starting July 4th

In Random on July 3, 2013 at 3:09 pm



Something independent of Money (aka FREE):

Starting July 4, 2013 at 12:oo AM PDT for 3 days

If you are an Amazon Prime subscriber, you can also borrow Urtaru at any time for free.  See details on the book page.

Bourgeois revolution?

In Business & Finance, career, politics, Religion on July 1, 2013 at 1:40 am

So I was reading more about the protests in Egypt this week, along with some odd things going on in turkey, china, brazil and other places. A lot of talking-heads say that there is a pitched battle between state sponsored fundamentalism (whatever the religions involved) vs secular power.

I kinda disagree.

What we have here is an inverted Marxist revolution.  First lets get a definition out there for it:

Historically, the medieval French word bourgeois denoted the inhabitants of the bourgs (walled market-towns), the craftsmen, artisans,merchants, and others, who constituted “the bourgeoisie”, they were the socio-economic class between the peasants and the landlords, between the workers and the owners of the means of production. As the economic managers of the (raw) materials, the goods, and the services, and thus the capital (money) produced by the feudal economy, the term “bourgeoisie” evolved to also denote the middle class — the businessmen and businesswomen who accumulated, administered, and controlled the capital that made possible the development of the bourgs into cities.[8]

Rather than the “proletariat” the working masses rising up as Marx would predict, what you have is the middle class rising up, the so-called bourgeois claiming that the economic and political compact that they had in their societies have broken down. Educated individuals are most prone to the call of a systematic solution and call to action…that is why the Osama bin laden’s of any society, go after the disaffected middle class youth. They are the recently trained at looking at problems in a systematic way, and being currently disgruntled they will turn what may have been a religiously inspired altruistic streak into a fanaticism for righting a perceived moral wrong.

Once the disaffected educated started protesting, everyone else joins the party.

That’s my theory.   You can’t easily shoot or spend your way out of this. It’ll go up and down for a while.  I have no solution to offer. The best that can be done is to contain it and allow the people on the inside to get tired of it.