Curmudgeons in Mobile

I’m old for what I do.

I started web development early on - developing my first site around 1996. If internet years are like dog years that makes me the web developer equivalent of a guy with a walker, flapping his gums at traffic, wearing a bathrobe all day.

Meritocracy?

In my last class I was teaching people literally half my age (and they weren’t fresh out of school either). If I’m in a room with my peers, it’s very unlikely that I’ll find another parent of teenagers to commiserate with.

While you can (and many do) argue that web development is a meritocracy, where nothing else really matters but your coding skills, there is also a growing awareness that as a discipline web developing and in a broader sense IT aren’t that great at dealing with older workers.

It’s overwhelmingly a young mans game.

Curmudgeons

As I’ve been thinking about this more I started joking about having “curmudgeon meetups” with other developers my age to discuss the topic, how they felt about aging in this career, and what (if anything) they were doing about it.

One of my consistent curmudgeon cohorts is Marcus Neto who lives in Mobile, AL. Marcus runs Bluefish Design Studio, specializes in ExpressionEngine, has three boys (the oldest now a teen) and is an excellent photographer.  We stopped by on our first year on the road, and were happy to repeat that visit.

Family Photos

One important thing we wanted to have done was some professional family photos. We’ve got hundreds of casual photos of ourselves, but the only photos with all of us together in the picture are from begging off strangers at National Parks and Monuments. 

Marcus was kind to offer to do a more planned and professional shoot while we visited.

Haircuts Needed

This, of course, necessitated haircuts.

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Of all of the things about living full-time on the road not much causes more concern, stress and (often) grief than sourcing haircuts. Mainly this is due to us all having curly hair, and most of us wearing it long enough that the curls need to be dealt with.

Marcus was able to recommend the gals at FireFlies in Spanish Fort AL who did an excellent job with the 3 of us who needed attention.

I especially appreciated my initial gal asking for help from a more experienced stylist. I don’t mind it when someone doesn’t know something, but I do mind it when they try to fake it. Especially when it involves my head…  I definitely got one of the best haircuts I’ve had while traveling.

Driving along the Gulf of Mexico on the way to Mobile AL

Driving along the Gulf of Mexico on the way to Mobile AL

MsBoyink loves the sun during our initial setup

MsBoyink loves the sun during our initial setup

Pretty sunset from our campsite

Pretty sunset from our campsite

Race started at 8, I got up at 7:20 and made it work.

Race started at 8, I got up at 7:20 and made it work.

Miranda getting her hair set

Miranda getting her hair set

The boy with a fresh Do

The boy with a fresh Do

Marcus in action

Marcus in action

Marcus in action

Marcus in action

Pretty sunset while we took photos

Pretty sunset while we took photos

Sushi for dinner

Sushi for dinner

A rainy heading to church kind of morning

A rainy heading to church kind of morning

A 5K

We spent a good amount of time with the Neto family over the course of a weekend - Little League practice, dinners out (our kids first sushi), a family photo shoot, and we attended church with them.

I also took the opportunity to run a 5K that was launching out of Meaher State Park where we parked the RV during our visit. I wasn’t well-trained but did OK - better than I expected.

The families connected well, we had long hours of great conversation, and we’ve been able to use the great photos that Marcus got in updating our website.

And we stayed off each others lawns….

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3 Comments Curmudgeons in Mobile

  1. Picture of Marcus NetoMarcus NetoFebruary 27, 2014

    We love you guys. I’m always happy to hang with a fellow 40 something coder so thank you for making time for us on your trip. Safe travels and I’ll catch you on our private social network :)

  2. Picture of PaulaPaulaMarch 02, 2014

    Sounds like we’re thinking the same kinds of things, Mike. Count me in on a virtual curmudgeon meetup :) And beautiful pictures from Marcus!

  3. Picture of BoyinkBoyinkMarch 03, 2014

    Thanks for stopping by Paula - Marcus and I are (slowly, as old guys do) discussing the possibility of a website/community for aging web workers..

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