Thursday, January 27, 2005

Nodding Background

So I'm winging across the United States at 38,000 feet, on my way to work in Las Vegas. Yeah ... work. Work! Figures, eh? I mean, there are 179 other souls on this jet, and I'm probably the only one who is dreading nine-hour days, on my feet, having to explain a client's web site to people who are about as computer-savvy as Wal-Mart is ethical. That is, about none at all.

There was a movie on the flight -- just ended -- some lowly-rated, "let's hope it makes money" flick called "Wimbledon". Kirsten Dunst (who I do not find at all attractive) and some wimpy English "chap" starred in it.

I chose, rather, to listen to some jazz on my headphones and do some reading -- which is interesting after two, quickly back-to-back whisky-and-Coke drinks! Woo-hoo.

Anyhow ... since I wasn't listening to the movie, and only occasionally catching a glimpse of it, I noticed something peculiar: whenever people were in the background of a scene, one or more people who were engaged in the background conversation would nod. Smile and nod. As if "Oh, yes!" where the background to life.

Got me thinking; I wonder how often you see a shake of the head and a "No!" in the background. Probably never. Hollywood and it's "Oh, let's be positive and happy and life is good" crap. No wonder movies fail so often -- they're too unrealistic.

Just once, I'd like to see someone in a movie say "Hang on, I gotta run to the restroom". Just once.

*sigh*

Speaking of which, those whiskys are calling!

All The Best,

-- Don

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Typical Government Gobbledygook

I recently purchased an accessory for my MP3 player via eBay, and the seller sent it via United States Postal Service.

I got a tracking number, and just moments ago I decided to see where it is. Here's what the USPS Tracking page gave me:

Track & Confirm

Current Status


You entered 9101 1288 8230 0129 1591 52


The U.S. Postal Service was electronically notified by the shipper or shipping partner on January 15, 2005 to expect your package for mailing. Information, if available, is updated every evening. Please check again later


What the ... ??? Why, oh why, can't it be something more, I dunno ... human? How about "The package is enroute".

Sheesh. Typical government-speak.

All The Best,

-- Don

Taking It To Heart

Recently, our son (Ian ─ a genius whom your child waits on at Quiznos) was home from The World's Greatest University for four weeks for Christmas Winter Break. During that time, he worked for my company, Xceeda, Inc.. We commuted to a client site together.

(An aside: Xceeda, Inc. has a very informative Business Blog)

After he had returned to college, I learned (from The One Who Corrects Me) that Ian and my daughter (Erika) had discussed my driving habits. Erika agreed with Ian that I'm "scary". Ian told me that I'm "too aggressive".

Fair enough. I can take criticism ... after all, isn't that the gist of being married? *laugh*

So, since then, I've slowed down and become very much not aggressive in my driving. I take my time and no longer care if I'm so-called late for work.

(My friend, Joe Krichten, pointed out that when you work for yourself, "you're never late for work!" Brilliant!)

So ... thanks, kids, for the gentle reminder. I've become more conscience of my driving and have made a concerted effort to improve.

Sometimes, as people, we need our to be alerted to our Blind Spots. Let's all take the time to listen and consider any criticism, and take to heart anything that might be true yet out of our immediate view.

All The Best,

-- Don

Setting Up Outlook for GTD

Here is a link to a website that shows you how to Set Up Outlook for GTD. If you're a "Getting Things Done" zealot (I am becoming one), this is great stuff.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Micro Brew Wednesday!

Wednesday, I'll finally get to open a bottle of my own-made microbrew! I can hardly wait.

Oh ... it's root beer ... the only kind of "beer" I like.

I'll let you know how it goes. In the meantime, check out my 30-second video (Windows Media Player format).

All The Best,

-- Don

Quick Rant

How long is a football field? Do you know?

Apparently, the folks at NPR don't, because a reporter described the wingspan of the new Airbus A380 superjumbo jet as "nearly the length of a football field".

Say what?

The A380's wingspan is a few inches over 261 feet. That's about 73 percent of a football field's length ... hardly what I'd call "nearly".

ARGH!

All The Best,

-- Don

Monday, January 17, 2005

Happy Birthday Patti

Sunday was my dear wife's birthday. I won't mention how many, but she's older than I am *big grin*.

We took a drive to Baltimore and shopped at Whole Foods to get some good chocolate. I'm making truffles.

We then took a leisurely drive up to Hanover then over to her folks' house for dinner.

It was a great Sunday, a nice birthday. She got a Rod Stewart music CD from me.

All The Best,

-- Don

Thursday, January 13, 2005

My New 4x4 !!

This spring, I'll be getting my new 4x4!!! Can hardly wait.

Suggestions welcome.

All The Best,

-- Don

The MacDob Project

People who own a Macintosh are smarter than the rest of us.

It's true. The Mac is the computer of choice; anything else is just playing around.

Check out The MacDob Project for an example of a cool Mac project. So very cool.

All The Best,

-- Don (who will soon be purchasing a Mac Mini)

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Hope He Goes 0-20

Randy Johnson, the newest purchase for the money-led New York Yankees, displayed his arrogance in high fashion on Monday by accosting a photographer.

Arrogant. Pompous. Full of himself. Makes me sick.

I hope he goes 0-20 with a 10.33 ERA.

It was bad enough putting up with Roger Clemens for all those years in New York, now it's Randy "Big Doofus" Johnson.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Guilty Pleasures

Guilty Pleasures. We all have them. Oreo cookies ... 80's music ... trips to New Hampshire (touche, Chris & Erika!).

It's time for me to come clean.

I enjoy chick movies.

Okay ... no ... I love chick movies. We went to see "Spanglish" over the weekend, and loved it. And, yes ... I cried.

Heck, I cried at the end of Free Willy. And when we watch "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" every Sunday night, I cry at the end. Cry like a baby.

Sensitive New Age Man ... yeah ... that's me, I guess.

But I love chick movies. The romance ... the struggles ... the happy endings. I'm just a big teddy bear when it comes to that stuff.

(I DO draw the line, however: I will NOT watch the Lifetime Network -- which I call The Victim Network")

Okay ... I've fessed up.

What's YOUR guilty pleasure.

All The Best,

-- Don

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Favre's Done??

As I type this, I'm watching the final seven minutes of the Vikings-Packers playoff game. At this point, Favre has one touchdown and four interceptions, a 55.1 quarterback rating, and they are trailing 31-17 and the Vikings have the ball.

One has to wonder: are Favre's good days behind him? Is it time for him to hang it up?

A shame. He's been one of the better quarterbacks -- I've always referred to him as "Terry Bradshaw reincarnated". So much fun to watch, so good ...

All The Best,

-- Don

Friday, January 07, 2005

Thursday, January 06, 2005

A Saab (sob) Story



Took my beater to Swedish Motors this morning. A terrible front end shake was getting to the point where the car wasn't drivable. I've been putting this off for too long.

Later, at work, Rich from there called. Six hundred dollars.

Ouch. Then again, the car is paid for. Sure beats payments.

All The Best,

-- Don

Monday, January 03, 2005

Quick! ... Somebody Contact Robert Smigel!

To the rescue ... it's The Ex-Presidents!

2005

Thank God 2004 is over. It was, without a doubt, the worst year of my life. Looking back, it was a step backwards in nearly every area of my life: financially (flirted with Chapter 7 for a while), relationships (don't ask), health (haven't worked out since April), and happiness (depression in autumn). One could say I gained ground spiritually because I started to visit a local church on a semi-regular basis, but those who would say that would be those who make the mistake of relating spirituality with your obedience to a group of people in a building. Big mistake.

But the year ended, I'm still kicking, and I'm slowly gaining confidence. I am strengthening my "I don't care what you think" attitude and learning more and more how to make Don (version 2.0, Three Laws Safe!) more happy.

So bring on 2005!

I don't make New Year resolutions. Instead, I pick a "theme" for the year.

My theme for 2004 was To Not Be As Nice. It was a pretty successful year. I'm learning to become less nice ... less likely to be pushed around ... less likely to be stepped on. It may sound harsh to you, but unless you've been as spineless as I've been for the past 25 years, it won't make sense.

So, for 2005, my "theme" is "Me". It's all about me this year. I am going to make myself happy first. Everyone else comes next. Too bad if that bothers you ... but if I'm not happy, I can't make you happy, eh?

And, for 2005, I did make a resolution:

I'm getting rid of anything and anybody that gets in my way.

2004 was my year of strengthing my defense. For 2005, I'm going on the offense.

Hang on, it promises to be interesting!

All The Best,

-- Don