Thursday, December 11, 2008

Two Fishermen

Forwarded to me by a co-worker:

Two men went fishing. One man was an experienced fisherman, the other wasn't. Every time the experienced fisherman caught a big fish, he put it in his ice chest to keep it fresh. Whenever the inexperienced fisherman caught a big fish, he threw it back.

The experienced fisherman watched this go on all day and finally got tired of seeing this man waste good fish. "Why do you keep throwing back all the fish you catch?" he asked.

The inexperienced fisherman replied, "I only have a small frying pan."

It's good to dream big sometimes. Even if you can't go buy a new frying pan.... you can still cut up the fish and fry it a bit at a time.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


Today, I was at the largest Obama rally ever... 100,000 people showed up in St. Louis, today, to hear Obama speak.  Wow.

Here's what 100,000 people under the Arch looks like:

From 2008-10

And here's Barack Obama looks like!
From 2008-10

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Mathematical Reflexes

One of the blogs I read regularly posted a reference to a Nature article about a correlation between a kind of mental reflex and mathematical acuity.

I got 14 out of 15 just like the blog author.  
How about you?

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Midnight Conversations

[Actually 1:30 AM Conversations...]

"Daddy?  Woody missing his arm."
"But they can sew it back on."
"Daddy?  Ellie's arm."
"Does it need a kiss?"
"Yes Daddy... Thank you Daddy."

Ugly Taste

[Unrelated forward: I've always found phrases like that, "ugly taste," -- phrases that mix sensory adjectives with a differen sense -- interesting.  I'm reading (via audible during my commute) Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series.  He does an outstanding job of this in a lot of different places.  In particular, there's one character who has the ability to communicate with wolves, but the wolves think in images and senses rather than distinct ideas, and senses that are different than human ones.  So, it's interesting to read.  There was a Star Trek episode kind of like that, too, where an alien race spoke in metaphor and allusion rather than with the same kind of "logical" sentence structures that we use in most human languages.]

I was watching Giuliani and Palin on the RNC tonight.  As Giuliani stood, back dropped by a twin-tower absent skyline of New York and spewed ridicule after ridule of Obama, the DNC, and anyone idiot enough to support him, I couldn't picture anything more than a school yard bully.  His language was ugly.  Admitedly I come from a different value-perspective, but some of his "jokes" didn't make any sense to me.  For instance, why is it so funny to the entire hall gathered there that Obama was a community organizer.  I guess I come from such a different place.  According to wikipedia, McCain stood up for other guys getting bullied at the Naval Academy.  Sure hope he stands up for Obama against Giuliani!  It nearly made me sick to my stomach that all the people at the RNC were laughing their heads off... not just cheering the superiority of their candidate, but laughing at the seemingly ridiculousness of the democratic candidate.  Wow.  How ugly.  Even if they believe someone isn't suited for a job, what kind of people make fun of that other person and laugh at their expense.  It made me sick.  Sick.

I don't have any respect for that kind of behavior.

I admit I want to go back and watch the DNC speaches.  I want to make sure I'm be fair in my emotional reaction.  It doesn't seem, in my memory, that the democratic speakers ridiculed and made fun of McCain, though.  They said "he is wrong about what we need to do."  They afforded McCain some decency.  Giuliani, and Palin to some less extent, just plowed into Obama and poked fun at him like his was only 1/2 human.  And everyone gathered laughed and laughed.

As I write, it makes me not just want to vomit, but want to go shake Giuliani.  That kind of bullying behavior actually makes me want to be violent.  ARG!

I hope there aren't too many people out there that think that kind of behavior is acceptable.  If McCain does get elected, I hope that the behavior of his party's strongest supporters doesn't rub off on him and that his a protector of the bullied.  

There's a Christian value question: "Do you put down and laugh at people who you believe to be at a disadvantage, or do you respect them for their contributions, their courage, and their potential?"

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Still no pig

"Alas. No prob this end."
"We have cheese."
"Still no pig."

Crack me up! Sarahlynn discovered the "drafts" folder full of unsent text messages on her phone. These were the last four message that she hadn't ever sent. Something makes me think thank her T9 didn't guess quite right on that second to last message.

I think this is almost as good as the infamous Lester-family game of Balderdash where Ben Jett defined "mopoke" as something like "what a red neck says when asking for a second helping of bbq, as in the quote: I said, mo' pork!"

Monday, August 04, 2008

That Time Again

You'll notice a new feature on my sidebar - the read-out from

It's that time again. I don't know what we'll do in this house with the debate and election season. The last two presidential election cycles were pretty dramatic for us:

In 2000, we were on the last night of our honeymoon, on a magical Disney cruise in the middle of the Caribbean, trying to learn if we should ask the captain if he would drop us off in a different country or if we could return to the States. We spent the evening at a dinner table with some very un-likeminded guests, and all took turns heading out to the lounge to see where things were on the TV. Sarahlynn stayed up all night; I gave up in the wee hours. As we all remember, the results were still unclear the next morning when we docked. So, we disembarked anyway.

In 2004, we rented a huge 52" rear-projection TV that looked like a martian ship in the middle of our little living room; and we hosted debate parties. We had to rent the TV for at least a month, so we decided to host an election night party as well. Everyone was required to bring a food item that was either red or blue -- lots of interesting concoctions showed up. We all remember where that election went as well.

So, here we are in 2008. Seems like we're on the cusp of change. I sure hope so.

Sunday, August 03, 2008


As most who know me would probably expect... I'm an INTP.
My team at work has a couple of challenges. First, 80% of the people in the department we're part of have been there for less than a year. Second, people don't understand much about what we do. The department is only 3 years old.

So, there's a lack of trust between people, a lot of inefficiency in process, not a lot of camaraderie sometimes. Since other managers in my department were complaining about things not getting done well and people not working together effectively, I decided to try to fix some of those issues, with join team meetings.

This latest meeting was a lot of fun. Everyone participated in a simple "Meyers-Briggs for programmers" personality inventory.

I'm an INTP:
E=2 Extraversion
I=9 Introversion

S=7 Sensing
N=13 iNtuition

T=12 Thinking
F=7 Feeling

J=9 Judging
P=10 Perceiving

INTP - Physicists, chemists, biologists, photographers, strategic planners, mathematicians, university professors, computer programmers, computer animators, technical writers, engineers, lawyers, forensic researchers, writers, artists, psychologists, social scientists, systems analysts, researchers, surveyors. Highly analytical, they can discover connections between two seemingly unrelated things, and work best when allowed to use their imagination and critical thinking.

What I found really interesting was that the largest majority of people in the room were in a category with career notes including "mob boss."

I do think those team meetings have been effective!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Duct Tape

Yes... I am an engineer.

WD40 (from my last post) is second in value to duct tape.

Two years ago, I was looking for a Christmas present for my uncle. I decided that he needed a duct tape wallet and a book to go with it: Ductigami. I found a great deal on a duct tape wallet - only $6 including shipping. Wow! When the box arrived... it was a case of 20 duct tape wallets!! And they only charged me $6.

What does one do with 20 duct tape wallets?!

Over the course of the past 2 years, I've given all but one for me away to friends and coworkers. Including a friend over in Iraq for 18 months. He still uses it today. I expect mine to last a while longer, yet, too.

Testing again. Hope...

Testing again. Hope it works this time. Who knows. listen

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Silent Victories

I'm a bit of an introvert... or at least I claim to be.

One of my pet peeves is squeaky swing sets. Having two young children who LOVE to swing means that I keep a can of WD40 in the minivan at all times... just in case. Every time I get to the park, I take the WD40, just in case, and oil every squeaky swing I can find.

Sometimes the other parents (including my wife) don't like that I spray WD40 over the kids heads while they're swinging. As they say on the website: "we can't tell you what it contains, but we can tell you that it contains no known cancer-causing agents" !

Monday, July 14, 2008

New PC(USA) Blog

After some discussion and waiting for discernment to guide the way, some friends and I have started a new Presbyterian Church (USA) community blog: PC(USA) Bloggers. Share. Contribute. Think. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 06, 2008


I like making memories with my family...

And it's a lot of fun to look back and think about them from time to time, too.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

I Heart Huckabees

We just finished watching our latest NetFlix movie, I Heart Huckabees.

Great cast.

Weird movie.

Felt sorry for Jude Law at the end.

Sort of reminiscent of Being John Malkovich, except with some twists.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

My Next Career...

...will not be as an accountant! Sarahlynn and I just spent the last 2+ hours going through our Quicken register to double-check the classification of expenses and income. We had to start with June 1, 2007 -- yes, not a typo: 2007. We haven't really been paying detailed attention to our finances for about a year.

Needless to say, there are some things we could be doing better on this front.

New resolution:
No Starbucks without a gift card.
No more than once / week eating out lunch.

Here goes! Wish me luck.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Breaking my car... and my fasts

Sarahlynn posted about the car being broken.

I think she's already posted about the new car, too.

And maybe she even posted about me being sick.

But I'll be the first one to post the fact that I've broken my 3 month fast from blogging!! (And my several day fast, except bread and gatorade, from being sick.)

Don't think this means I'll be blogging regularly, though!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Zoo Keeper

Turns out that my Zoo Keeper friend and I have something in common...

Remember my job title - "Manager of Business Intelligence Architecture" - means that I have 7 "architects" and 18 "programmers" reporting to me.

Out of Minority Report

Remember back to the Minority Report, a Tom Cruise movie about some super-evolved humans that could predict the future and the police used this to pre-arrest criminals. This post has nothing to do with the plot of that movie, only one tiny piece of technology. In the movie, the police used a huge invisible screen that responded to some special gloves that Tom Cruise wore to control what appeared on the screen.... Not so futuristic anymore:

This video shows off two amazing technologies. The first is a project called Photosynth, from Microsoft labs, that takes a deck of images and stiches them together into a 3D landscape. One of their examples is to pull public images of Notre Dame off the web and build those into a pretty good 3D model. The second is the amazing touchless screen from Ubiq LM3Labs.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Proud of My Minister

Today, the minister of our PCUSA church preached a sermon about tolerance. It started out with some horrifying statistics about what the American culture, age 16-29, thinks about Christians:

1. Anti-Homosexual – this is toward the person not the deed – 96%
2. Judgmental – 87%
3. Hypocritical – 81%
4. Sheltered
5. Politically Motivated
6. Insecure

So, our minister preached about what it means to the future growth of the church that the "golden demographic" thinks Christians are so intolerant. I was proud to hear him raise this issue in our church of the frozen chosen. I believe that the vast majority of members of our particular congregation are open-minded, but we very much keep it to ourselves. I'm not sure that silent tolerance is a whole lot better than intolerance.

Throughout the sermon, I couldn't stop thinking about Matthew Shepard. He's the Wyoming college student that was tied to a fence and beaten to death in 1998. He was also one of my best friends from grade school to high school. I still get sick to my stomach and ferociously angry whenever I think about him being killed.

I'm proud of my parents' church in they consistently conservative state of Wyoming. For a while, they hosted the local PFLAG meetings, despite threats of violence and property damage. I'm also proud of the city of Casper, where they live, for electing an openly homosexual mayor in 2005 - another high school friend of mine, Guy Padgett.

I can also say that I'm a little more proud of my church now, too.

What Year Do You Belong In?

My wife was 1983... I'm not sure (being younger than she) how I ended up here:

You Belong in 1956

You're fun loving, romantic, and more than a little innocent. See you at the drive in!