Cover photo
Jon Porobil (Jon Eric)
Attended Kenyon College
Lives in Pittsburgh, PA
3,076 followers|2,120,533 views


Jon Porobil (Jon Eric)

General Discussion  - 
Hey now, that's more like it!

(Also, could a mod please add a Nintendo Switch category?)
Jason Walters's profile photoJon Porobil (Jon Eric)'s profile photo
Yeah. I've been going back and forth on it.

For my part, I am unambiguously enthusiastic! I skipped the Wii U completely, so I'm looking forward to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and any other Wii U ported cartridges they feel like making. I got my pre-order in the morning after the announcement, and I can't wait for the thing to arrive at my doorstep.

I'm cautiously optimistic that Nintendo has balanced the system properly to maintain the interest of 3rd party developers, without whom the new console won't have a robust launch. And these devs have an incentive to develop even their older titles (i.e. Skyrim) for the Switch because of the value-add that portability provides! These all bode well.

I do remain concerned that they overloaded the hardware with unnecessary bells & whistles, which probably inched the cost of the base system and peripherals up, which may hurt them down the line. And I'm not necessarily balking about that (although I'm 90% sure I could have lived without that IR reader on the right Joycon), but I do know that Nintendo needed this to be not just a smash success, but one that vindicated them after the Wii U's failure, and I'm concerned that these price elements might be a roadblock to THAT goal.

See also Arlo's take on it:

Still, they're playing this console launch remarkably well so far, and I'm optimistic that they're ready to take on the market again. The rest is up to the third-party devs and the consumers.
Add a comment...

Jon Porobil (Jon Eric)

Shared publicly  - 
I'm pretty sure I won't be posting a full set of Top 10 posts, but I am in the process of compiling a list of my favorite albums of the year. It's been a pretty busy year, culturally-speaking, and as usual, there were a lot of albums high on my list that didn't even seem to be on anyone else's radar. Here are the picks I ended up cutting from the list - i.e. numbers 12-19 (my Top Ten always includes a spot for "Honorable Mention," or #11).

The Avalanches - Wildflower
Highlight - "Because I'm Me"

American Authors - What We Live For
Highlight - "Right Here, Right Now"

Coleman Hell - Summerland
Highlight - "Summerland"

A Tribe Called Quest - We Got It from Here... Thank You 4 Your Service
Highlight - "Solid Wall of Sound" (ft. Elton John, Busta Rhymes, and Jack White)

David Bowie - Blackstar
Highlight - "Lazarus"

The Wind and the Wave - Happiness is Not a Place
Highlight - "Skin and Bones"

De La Soul and the Anonymous Nobody
Highlight - "Snoopies" (ft. David Byrne)

Mitski - Puberty 2
Highlight - "Happy"

I'll probably write up a sentence or two on my top eleven sometime in the next week or so.

Le Manda “Bespectacled” Fancy Pants's profile photoJon Porobil (Jon Eric)'s profile photo
That whole album was pretty mind blowing, but that track in particular seemed like the obvious stand-out. 
Add a comment...

Jon Porobil (Jon Eric)

Shared publicly  - 
I still haven't found a satisfactory replacement, but this seals it for me - I'm leaving +Evernote​. I was better off manually syncing my text across multiple sources before I ever learned Evernote existed.

I wasn't a paying customer anyway, but I hope this change hits their bottom line, hard.
Evernote, the popular note-saving platform that has gone through some major changes in recent years, like most recently limiting basic accounts and raising prices, issued a privacy policy update this week that is rightfully raising some eyebrows. In the newly minted privacy policy, Evernote admits that if you use its service, its employees have the …
Gord Wait's profile photoTejas Richard's profile photoCaroline Lobban's profile photoJayme Hancock's profile photo
Well, that being the case, I need to go delete my stuff, because I was previously using it for some moderately sensitive information. 
Add a comment...

Jon Porobil (Jon Eric)

Shared publicly  - 
On Respecting The Donald

TIME Magazine has selected their Person of the Year. Unsurprisingly, it's President-Elect Donald J. Trump. Had he lost the election - as was widely predicted by just about everyone from professional statisticians and pollsters to me and all of my friends - I doubt he'd have even made the shortlist. But won he did, from a disadvantaged position, against all expectations, and I doubt American politics will ever return to the way it was before Trump came along.

During the primary and campaign season, I not only disagreed with most of his policy positions and strategies, but I disdained the man himself. I thought he was being stupid and ruining his brand by associating it with American politics and the worst impulses of the far right wing. I thought he was doing everything wrong, and that on Election Day, he would lose by a humiliating margin. And yet, even though he lost the popular vote, he still garnered enough support to win key states (including the one I now live in, which I had believed with all my soul wasn't up for grabs this year) and secure the highest office in the world.

In retrospect, most of the things he said and did that made him look foolish turned out to be the same things that made him appealing to his base. His gaffes and, even more importantly, the way he stood his ground instead of doing the "normal politician" thing of issuing an insincere apology, stirred up the opposition and made Trump more sympathetic to his base. His focus on battleground states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin turned out to be instrumental to his win. It seems like all the strategic decisions his campaign made that seemed stupid at the time were in fact calculated risks, which paid off.

Example: His decision not to self-finance, even though he was severely underfunded compared to his opponent. Turns out that it took a multimillionaire to convince the world that money doesn't matter in politics as much as we thought. Clinton had Trump outfunded almost 10 to 1. He just didn't need as much. Early in the campaign, in a private conversation with my brother, I described the campaign as "Political Moneyball." But at the time I wasn't giving Trump and his people much credit, and I thought maybe it was a strategy they had stumbled upon by accident, if they even realized at all what they were doing. In light of his victory, it seems apparent that Trump and his campaign team gambled that they could find unproductive campaign expenditure then cut it ruthlessly enough to be competitive against a political Goliath. And they were right.

Example: His lack of preparation for the debates, and consequent shellacking in them. Even conservative-leaning publications had to admit that Trump's debate performance was lackluster. It seemed like almost everyone agreed: Clinton won all three debates, and it wasn't even close. But Trump and his campaign staff recognized the growing role of partisan identity in voting, which meant that debate performance wasn't all that important, especially when the debates were done with so much time left in the election. Trump and his team gambled that the debates had stopped mattering in a 24-hour news cycle political culture. And they were right.

The list goes on. And, just like Billy Beane and the Oakland A's, now that he's done this and brought a seemingly-shambolic operation to victory, everyone is going to want to adopt his method. And, oddly, I'm not so sure this is a bad thing. Before this year, each election season for the last five cycles had been the most expensive in history. In 2012, I was deeply uncomfortable about the $7 billion spent on the presidential election. That's a lot of money just to preserve a stalemate. Trump's campaign disrupted that industry.

Let me take this opportunity to state unequivocally - I didn't vote for Trump. I don't like the fact that he's going to be our president. I will continue to argue and fight with as much force and eloquence as I can muster against his offensive policies and proposals. But I'm coming back around to respecting him. I didn't respect him during the campaign because I thought he was running a buffoonish, misguided crusade. Now that all of his gambles and tactics have paid off for him, it's hard to hold onto the high ground there. I hate his politics, but (as difficult as this is to admit after two years of saying the opposite) I respect the man. If I were on the TIME editorial board, I'd have picked Trump for Person of the Year too. He earned it.

President Donald Trump will be a formidable opponent for the next four years. Now let's get ready to do the hard work of defending our lives and institutions against him.

Jon Porobil (Jon Eric)'s profile photoVita's profile photoA. Miles Davis's profile photoKarla Cordero paredes's profile photo
Add a comment...

Jon Porobil (Jon Eric)

Shared publicly  - 
Today I had a really first-world-y First World Problem. I commute to work via rail, and I usually use my smart phone to listen to music during my commute. I connect a pair of wireless bluetooth earbuds to my phone, because I also carry my todder son, who would unplug the cord constantly if there were one. As it's December in Pittsburgh, I'm wearing a fairly heavy leather coat to keep warm. And finally, I also wear a smart watch, so I can see notifications without pulling the phone out of my pocket, and so it can track my steps and movement throughout the day.

So what's the First World Problem?

My nice leather jacket kept accidentally activating my watch and pausing the music on my phone. It was infuriating! But also, I mean, c'mon.
Jayme Hancock's profile photo
That would drive me nuts too! But yeah, that's about as first-worldy as it gets. 😊
Add a comment...

Jon Porobil (Jon Eric)

Shared publicly  - 
I'm at my in-laws' house, watching my wife sort through old boxes of artifacts from her youth. She's not nearly old enough to have lived through the Kennedy administration, but she has this holographic campaign button from 1960. Pretty cool!
Sheila Nagig's profile photoJon Porobil (Jon Eric)'s profile photo
I'm not 100% on the history, but I assume the technique was still pretty new back in 1960, right? 
Add a comment...

Jon Porobil (Jon Eric)

Shared publicly  - 
The kiddo woke me up at 5am, and I went back to sleep because I genuinely thought it was Saturday. When my alarm went off at 5:30, I awoke again with surprise and disappointment. Later, I remarked to my wife that this was the second consecutive Wednesday I'd woken up in this manner.

It's Tuesday. Gonna be long week. I'd like to dedicate this song to the man who will be sworn in as President of the United States at the end of it. 
Jayme Hancock's profile photo
Appropriate song.
Add a comment...

Jon Porobil (Jon Eric)

Shared publicly  - 
It's time for the annual year-end questionnaire!

1. What did you do in 2016 that you'd never done before?
Quite a few things! Enrolled a child in day care. Used public transportation to commute to work. Bought snow boots. Sledded. Shoveled snow. Cleared out my Gmail inboxes.

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Last year I was very cagey about this question when I filled out the questionnaire. That was because we were already planning the move to Pittsburgh, but hadn't announced it publicly yet. We relocated successfully, found a house we love and new jobs. It was financially very costly, but we prepared, and that preparation paid off. For this year, I'm going to make three resolutions, one about my profession, one about my passion, and one about my personal life. 1.) I have an industry certification that is almost expired. I will renew it in January, and by the end of the year I'll earn another one. 2.) I will participate in more music community events like the Pittsburgh Songwriters' Circle, and try to play some shows. 3.) I will make consistent efforts to keep in touch with distant friends.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Not this year.

4. Did anyone close to you die? 

5. What countries did you visit?
I didn't visit any foreign countries, but I did completely relocate from Austin, TX to Pittsburgh, PA.

6. What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016?
A full-time permanent non-contract job.

7. What date from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
November 8th, obvious reasons. Next question please?

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Moving long-distance.

9. What was your biggest failure?
I'm really dissatisfied with how little music I made in 2016.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I had some mystery illness that kept me out of work for about three weeks in the fall. The doctors never figured out what it was. At first they said it was pneumonia, then they took it back, but never came to any real conclusions.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
An old-but-still-functional Hammond drawbar organ, from Goodwill, for $30.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My whole family.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
No one I know personally, so let's go with Donald Trump. (This answer is unlikely to change for the next four years.)

14. Where did most of your money go?

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

16. What song will always remind you of 2016?
The Avalanches - Because I'm Me -

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder?
I think happier. I'm a little overwhelmed with work and home duties, and looking into ways to make the work of daily life a bit more manageable. But tired is not the same as miserable.

ii. thinner or fatter?
Thinner. Living in a big city, working downtown, and taking public transportation all afford me the opportunity (and in some cases the obligation) to walk a lot. Often while carrying my ever-growing son. I get way more physical activity than I used to.

iii. richer or poorer?
Depends. We're making good money this year, but our expenses are higher because we live in a bigger house and we're actually trying to take care of our student loans. And we knocked out most of our savings on the move.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
I feel like I say the same two things every year, but this is no exception... Making music. Spending face-to-face time with my friends.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Political speculation on social media. Following the election in general. It's good to be informed, to a point, but I wasted a lot of brainspace on minutia that didn't matter.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
Hanging out with my family, opening presents, watching Xmas specials on TV. For boxing day

22. Did you fall in love in 2016? 

23. How many one-night stands?

24. What was your favorite TV program?
The Good Place.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Nobody I can think of. Hate is a big ugly word, I don't use it lightly.

26. What was the best book you read?
The Brief Curious Life of Oscar Wao, by Junot Diaz.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Swet Shop Boys.

28. What did you want and get?
I got to move with my family to a new location, and I got not one but two new jobs.

29. What did you want and not get?
More hours in the day.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?
I didn't get to the theater at all this year. I caught a few movies after they hit home video/streaming services. I liked Captain America: Civil War, so let's go with that.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I went to work. I met my wife at my son's day care, and we all drove home together. We ate a nice roast for dinner. I was 31.

32.What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
A job with better benefits.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016
I like winter clothes.

34. What kept you sane?
My family.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
You know what, I'm going to risk breaching decorum and just skip this one.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Skipping this one too. Sorry.

37. Who did you miss?
My old college friends. I'm still kind of in touch with some of them, but it's very superficial, and I've had to acknowledge that I'm just not that great at reaching out or staying in touch. Even though I seem to want and need it from others. I guess I'm a little hypocritical about it.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
My neighbors. I love our new house and neighborhood.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016:
There is danger is being too sure of anything.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
Instinct and discipline
Like taking your medicine
You've got to push through the unpleasantness
-Steven Page, "There's a Melody II."
Jon Porobil (Jon Eric)'s profile photoVita's profile photo
33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016
I like winter clothes.

YES. mine too.
Add a comment...

Jon Porobil (Jon Eric)

Shared publicly  - 
Morning commute with my son. 💞
Roger Sherman's profile photoJon Porobil (Jon Eric)'s profile photo
Light rail. I hang onto the bar for balance, and the kiddo has learned by imitation.
Add a comment...

Jon Porobil (Jon Eric)

Shared publicly  - 
Uhh... Thanks for warning me, Google? 
Darian Harder's profile photo
Really descriptive +Google 
Add a comment...

Jon Porobil (Jon Eric)

Shared publicly  - 
A little under two months ago, I had about 5,700 unlabeled email messages still sitting in my inbox (about 200 of them still marked unread), dating back about eleven years. I started digging through that long-neglected mess by deleting the spam and applying appropriate labels to everything else. Today, I achieved my goal. Zero messages in the Inbox - everything else labeled and archived.

It's a small thing, but I feel accomplished.
Caroline Lobban's profile photoDan Thompson's profile photo
Add a comment...

Jon Porobil (Jon Eric)

Shared publicly  - 
Facebook monitors your behavior on other sites when you're logged into Facebook. The solution? Log out of Facebook when you're not using it, and don't allow it to "Stay logged in."

But... what if the menu with the "Log Out" button, for some reason, has trouble loading? Then I guess you can't log out. ¯\(ツ)

Pretty sneaky, Zuck.
Kai TechnoLust's profile photo
That should be handled with cookies. Just delete any Facebook cookies and you should be ok.
Add a comment...
Jon's Collections
Computer nerd by day, music nerd by night
Computer technician. Cruciverbalist. Minesweeper addict. Home recording artist. Keyboardist and solo artist.

When I consume, I try to do so thoughtfully. When I promote, I try to do so politely. When I disagree, I try to do so reasonably. I'm here for the discussions, for the sharing, and to see what's on everyone else's mind.

Twice I ran a Google+ based project between 2011 and 2013, called The iPod Experiment (#ipodexperiment). I formatted my mp3 player and filled it up with unfamiliar music, most of it suggested by other people right here on Google+. Other than that, I just try to start discussions by sharing things that I think are entertaining or important. I'll post about new music when I have it, too. Hope you enjoy.

Si, soy un gringo. No puedo escribir bien en Espanol, pero puedo intender y leer. Y mas importante, me gusta apprender nuevas perspectivas. Lo siento no escribo nada en Espanol, y no espero tu Circlar me si no quierres. (Puedo decir Circlar para "to circle"? No se. Soy un gringo.)
Bragging rights
Gainfully employed despite having a B.A. in English.
  • Kenyon College
    English/Anthropology, 2004 - 2008
Basic Information
November 22
Hardware and software troubleshooting, Linux, soft skills
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Pittsburgh, PA
Austin, TX - Gambier, OH - New Orleans, LA - Metairie, LA - Cleveland, OH - El Paraíso, Honduras
Ran into some trouble checking in, and the room smelled like mildew, but the shower was one of the best I've ever used in a hotel, and that makes up for a lot.
Public - 8 months ago
reviewed 8 months ago
No king size beds. Other than that, fine.
Public - 8 months ago
reviewed 8 months ago
Great room for the price, but our shower didn't drain very well. Free breakfast was nice.
Public - 9 months ago
reviewed 9 months ago
Hands-down, the best wireless store I've ever shopped at, and the best service from a carrier I've ever gotten. They helped me figure out which plan would work best for me, then they helped me switch over from AT&T. Later on, they helped us switch the primary contact on our account. Later still, I needed some repair work on a phone I'd bought at this location. The rep there referred me to a local repair shop, and when that store refused to take the job, the T-Mobile rep rushed out a warranty replacement and comped the cost. That's customer-centric problem solving!
• • •
Public - 3 years ago
reviewed 3 years ago
17 reviews
We got a huge room with a king size bed for a really low price. Parking was a little expensive. Room service was great.
Public - 9 months ago
reviewed 9 months ago
The house we stayed in was nice and roomy, but there were bright lights outside that shone in through the windows at night. I would recommend bringing some kind of eye mask before staying here. Also, I tried to use the onsite laundry, but the coin-op washing machine in the basement was broken. The owner offered to let me use the machine in the house next door, but I had to walk six blocks to get more quarters. And that machine didn't drain its water properly, so I had to wring the clothes out by hand and run the dryer twice. On checkout, the owner remunerated me with a full roll of quarters, but I would still rather have not gone through the whole ordeal. My stay would have been wonderful if I'd brought a sleep mask and hadn't needed to do laundry.
• • •
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
The agent at my T-Mobile store referred me to All Wireless Repair when I needed a repair that the warranty didn't cover. The guy behind the counter spent all of thirty seconds looking at my phone before he straight-up refused to service my device. The repair was not extensive (there was something stuck in the headphone jack; otherwise it was fine), and he told me that the low cost of the repair would not be worth the risk of damage to the phone. So I asked what the cost to repair would be if the headphone jack were permanently damaged anyway. He replied that they simply would not even attempt to fix my phone. "We're at the top of the food chain for Austin phone repair, and when you're at the top, you have to worry about your reputation," he told me. But I don't think you get to stay on top by refusing service for a job you don't like. Especially when your business has the word "All" in its name. By the way, I told the guy at my T-Mobile store what happened. His reaction? "Well, I guess we're not sending any business to them anymore."
• • •
Public - 3 years ago
reviewed 3 years ago