Thursday, December 25, 2008

"Christians" and racism

I posted this on my Facebook page:

I find it odd, and very sad, that SO-CALLED "Christians" will make racial jokes and emphasize racial stereotypes. This is especially common now that Barack Obama has been elected as our next President.

There's really no excuse for this. This display of very UN-Christlike behavior is not only damaging, but must call into question their very confessions of being followers of Jesus Christ.

There is no room -- none -- for this type of easily-avoided behavior. This is not a man being tempted by a dark maiden. This is not a glutton being tempted by a delicious meal. This is a person purposely seeking the most base nature.

What's almost as bad, perhaps on the same level, is that other "Christians" refuse to raise their voices in protest. Quiet acceptance is acceptance nonetheless.

I will not keep quiet. I hear you, and say loudly with a calm confidence that is given to His followers when they know they are right: "Stop. That is not Christian".

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday, December 05, 2008

It Happened Again!

Oh this is so nice!

Recently, an attractive young woman told me I was "very handsome".

OH YEAH!! Take THAT, Fried!!!

Twitter??

Can someone please explain Twitter to me?

I get it that you post small bits of information. I get it that you can track others' postings.

What I don't get is: WHY would you want to do such a thing??

Seriously ... anyone? Can you explain this to me?? Who wants to know what I'm doing?

(Oh ... snap! ... that's the problem; no one cares what I'm doing!)

-- Don

Want

This is the object of my lust!

*sigh*

Need

I need a breakthrough. I need to burst through some limiting beliefs that I have, and I don't even know (yet) what those limiting beliefs are!!

Time for some introspection.

I need to find a software business idea. A web site that people will pay to use; my friend, Jason, at www.37signals.com is a perfect example.

The challenge is, of course, coming up with an idea. I don't need to make a ton of money -- heck, $100 a month would be fine -- just need to get something up and running. I can build on that small success, of that I'm sure.

Should I learn XAML, Expression Blend and Silverlight??

Ruby? RoR?

Python? (I doubt that; seems like a small niche)

I'm thinking RoR ... seems to be the technology du jour.

Finally, I'm listening to "Call Me" by Blondie right now; great music, eh??

All The Best,

-- Don

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Talented. Beautiful.

With a wonderfully great song.

Ladies and gentlemen, Ingrid Michaelson:

Don't Do That

Driving with your fog lights on when it's not foggy:

Just stop it!

DON'T DO THAT!

Reticular Activating System

The reticular activating system, or RAS, is a part of the brain that, in simple terms, "notices stuff".

Check out this great example:

Click here to view

Voluntary Simplicity

Great book. I read it many years ago and it still resonates with me.

So, I'm getting rid of a lot of stuff. And I've found a solution:

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Frightening

My best days are behind me. The future looks bleak.

Frightening. I'm scared. I don't have much optimism for the future.

Yikes.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Oldie But Goodie

Remember this from high school? Great song.

Kentucky.

This just feeds the stereotypes.

Sheesh.

No. Wait. THIS is the BEST. SONG. EVAH!!

This guy, James Rebel O'Leary, was from my hometown of York, PA. I remember him riding around town in his red Dodge van, with a rebel flag painted on it. "Country Music Legend" was painted on it. You'd see him and his family around town all the time.

Sadly, he passed away in -- I believe -- 2006. He was eccentric, to be sure, but I had occasion to see him in his dealings and he was a kind, compassionate man.

Best Song In The History Of The Universe!!!111!

At the 2:52 mark, the woman in blue does her best Austin Powers dance move!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Sarcasm of the Day

I'm sooooo glad I purchased some Ford stock last month at $2.41 a share ... yeah ... SOOOO glad.

:(

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Right Now

I'm really hungry!

Jus' sayin'.

Resiliency

Life has ups and downs, to be sure. No matter how good things are, they can go south in a hurry.

Likewise, bad times can become good times by a simple turn -- usually an infusion of large amounts of cash :) -- and you're on top again.

It's easy to enjoy the good times ... well, duh.

But "enjoying" the bad times is a Zen-like discipline. It requires you to view your life as a whole, as a journey, and with a yet-untold future story.

Don't get discouraged; better times may come. Or, you may be forced to look on today's "bad" times as, in fact, the best of times.

In any event, keep your chin up, smile, and hope for the best. A positive attitude, an expectation of the best and an intention to do well has a way of bringing things your way.

All The Best,

-- Don

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Clever Logo

Check out the logo for Baskin Robbins.

Very clever how they incorporated the 31 flavors into their logo. Kudos.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Exactly 11 weeks until Christmas!

Contacts

Two weeks ago, I got my first-ever pair of contact lenses. I LOVE 'EM!!!

This morning, at work and out of the blue, a woman told me "You look handsome with your new contacts".

YEAH, BABY!!

Made. My. Day.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Surfing

In preparation for an upcoming week-long surfing vacation in the Outer Banks, I watched The Endless Summer last night. Best surfing flick ever. Forgot how funny it was.

I'm amped.

All The Best,

-- Don

Bodybuilding Update

Going fantastic so far!

I'm riding the bike four mornings a week: Two 45-minute rides in the middle zone (heart rate between 118-139); one 65 minute ride (mostly low zone); and one intense 35-minute ride.

The extra weight is starting to come off already. My face is tighter, my pants are looser (is that even a word?), I feel great.

The lifting's going well. I'm slowly working back up to some reasonable level of strength. Did squats at 225 on Monday, felt pretty good. Back and arms are noticeably improved already.

Diet is very clean and on schedule. Been eating three meals, three snacks, and avoiding the bad stuff. I'm even allowed a small glass of red wine with dinner -- which is good for the health.

I am keeping focused on my goal.

Negatives: rotator cuff is acting up, tennis elbow in the left arm. Seeing the doc soon 'bout that stuff. But I'll adapt and overcome.

I need to get out of bed earlier. 6:30 is way too late; I'm shooting for 5:00 a.m. as a target.

All The Best,

-- Don

Quote Of The Day

From the movie "Billy Madison":

What you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Work

I work for money. Not for fun.

The more I do my work, the less I like it.

*sigh*

All The Best,

-- Don

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Diet and Exercise

Met with the nutritionist yesterday to get my diet dialed in.

I admit I'm shocked; it's 51 percent carbs, 29 percent protein and 20 percent fat. I thought it'd be more protein.

My daily caloric intake is about 2,200 calories, spread across three meals and three snacks (I just finished some cottage cheese and corn chips for a snack).

The challenge, now, is to search the thousands (literally!) of recipes I have at home and find those that fit into my nutritional guidelines. Yes, I did get a menu -- complete with a shopping list -- but the menus are ... well ... let's say they're geared toward a bodybuilder and not a Foodie. I can find and/or adapt existing recipes that will meet my needs while still appealing to the gourmet in me. Actually, this sounds like fun to me.

My exercise plan, right now, is four days of cardio and three days of weight lifting.

The cardio is managed by a computerized system that includes a wristwatch (Polar -- Warning: website has sound) that monitors my workouts to make sure I stay in the correct zone while biking.

Four cardio workouts: Normal, Short, Normal, Long ... in that order. The Normal workouts are 45 minutes in the middle zone. Short is 25 in the middle zone and 10 at high intensity. Long is 50 minutes in the low zone and 15 in the middle.

The Normal ride takes me about an hour, since it takes a while to get my heart rate up to the 119-135 zone. I guess I'm in decent shape!

The data on the watch is downloaded to a computer system every three weeks, which creates a feedback loop to tweak my diet. Pretty cool, eh?

My lifting is controlled by a web engine -- ActivTrax -- which is pretty slick. I print out a workout, do the lifting, and enter my workout. It will progressively get more difficult (i.e. heavier) as I go along.

That's for two lifting sessions a week. The third session, I'm at the mercy of my personal trainer, Jon ... who I call "SATAN!". His goal is to push me past my own mental limits. I hate him for those 30 minutes.

Heavy weights (for me) ... intense ... brief. Very effective for me.

I should start "looking the part" by year's end. At that point, and no sooner (!!!!), I'll post some "Before" and "In Progress" pictures. Too embarrassing right now.

All The Best,

-- Don

Friday, August 22, 2008

Evaluation

Yesterday, at the gym, I got my evaluation. Some strength testing, stress test, VO2 max, bodyfat.

We forgot to test my (non-existant) flexibility. I'll do that Monday.

In short, I'm in decent shape for my age (49).

I've "built up" before, so I have the muscle memory, the knowledge, the diet habits, etc etc.

I am going to do this. Next June and July there are two local contests. We're setting our sights on them.

I've never been so focused on a goal before in my life. I'm already visualizing myself on stage, five percent bodyfat, going through my poses.

What's you goal?

All The Best,

-- Don

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Bodybuilding Goal Update

Today, I joined a gym, got a personal trainer and a bodybuilding coach. The coach is a 47-year old former Mr. Pennsylvania. He and I are both psyched.

I'm gonna do this. I will be on stage in 2009, after my 50th birthday.

Oh, and just for fun ... I'm going to make a video of me doing 50 one-armed pushups on my 50th birthday and post it on YouTube.

All The Best,

-- Don

Monday, August 18, 2008

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Taking a big breath...

... and ... okay, they say to reach a goal you should make it public.

My goal is to compete in a bodybuilding contest by end of 2009. My next goal is to win a trophy in a contest. Knowing my physique, I'd say I have a good chance at Best Legs.

So, I'm making it public.

This should be interesting.

All The Best,

-- Don

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Paris Puts Smackdown On McCain

No, not the city ... the celebrity!

Way too funny!

See more Paris Hilton videos at Funny or Die


All The Best,

-- Don

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Sesame Mashup

What do you get when you combine a cultural icon TV show with a hip song that was made popular by an Apple ad?

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Monday, June 23, 2008

What's Wrong With This Picture?

I got an email today with this subject line:

Donald, Final Hours to save on All FREE Products!



Hmmmm ...

Friday, May 23, 2008

Hoax

Fox News reported about this as if it were real.

Dear God ... folks, if you can't see that this is a hoax or "performance art", then you're ... well ... you're crazy.

There is no tunnel beneath the Atlantic Ocean. Sheesh.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Madam, I'm Adam

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Music

How can you not love Huey Lewis And The News??

Rory Gallagher was great.

The Rolling Stones are the best ever and my favorite.

Ry Cooder is the best individual artist and writer. Great stuff.

If you've never seen Don Giovanni, you don't know what you're missing.

Dean Martin had perhaps the smoothest voice ever. Mel Torme -- the "Velvet Fog" -- is maybe better.

My son says The Beatles are lousy. "They're the first Boy Band!".

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Great Quote

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.


-- MLK

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

That's Not My Name

Oh how I LOVE this song:

Is Null Nothing?

Oh dear ... now this is too funny!

All The Best,

-- Don

Backscatter Spam

I just spent two days fighting the NDR demons. Tried applying SPF protection for MIME: FROM values from my own domain ... Imagine ...

Finally got a Backscatter Spam patch from GFI on Monday, applied it Monday night and everything seems to be humming now.

Nothing like 11,000+ emails in the PreSubmissionQueue (and climbing steadily) to cause some stress.

Damn Spammers. Punch one for me. Until unconscious.

All The Best,

-- Don

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

You Can't Categorize Me!

I sit here, listening to soft gospel music while smoking a great cigar.

At least I'm in good company.

All The Best,

-- Don

Son Update

My son got accepted into a lab. Now, his PhD work is pretty much set for the next four or five years! Woo-hoo ... I'm excited about the future Dr. Schenck!

Focus Focus Focus

Happy or Sad. Up or Down. Excited or Depressed.

What makes one pick one over the other? How is it that we can be depressed on a Monday and "Up" on a Tuesday (ignoring the fact that Monday is ... well ... a "Monday")??

Recently, I got to thinking about a difficulty in my life and spent a day under the cloud of Depression. It was No Fun. I moped about, feeling not "sorry for myself", but rather angry and disappointed at myself for making poor decisions.

In

The

Past!

Glory! The next day I remembered that my poor decisions were BEHIND me (Hmmm ... "Get thee BEHIND me, Satan"??) and today was a chance to make better decisions.

But something else happened, too. I change my focus.

Instead of thinking about ... okay, OBSESSING about ... my problems, I focused on what I'm doing RIGHT. And what a difference!

My simply changing my focus, by concentrating on the Good, by encouraging myself for what I am doing right, I was able to remove the cloud and replace it with a ray of hope ... of light ... and incredible lightness. Peace flooded my soul as I gave thanks for what I have, what I am, and what lies ahead.

You can choose. You CAN choose. Decide, today, to focus on what's good ... what you are doing well and right ... and commit to improving. DO WHAT YOU CAN and let the rest go; after all, do you really have any other choice???

All The Best,

-- Don

Friday, April 11, 2008

Spam for an entire week

As promised, I let my Gmail Spam folder alone for a week.

I'm disappointed; only 242 Spam emails in a week.

I need to get my email address around the internet. One thousand would be a nice goal, then on to 10,000 a week!

(Yes, I'm weird. But I eat well, so...)

-- Don

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Walking Circumspectly?

If you're going to put a "JESUS" license plate on the front of your SUV, at least don't tailgate me when I'm doing the speed limit. For Christ's sake.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Gmail Spam

It's 9:50 PM, Thursday, April 3, 2008. My Gmail spam folder is empty.

For fun, I'm going to let it go a week and see how many spams I get.

Food

Mmmm ... food.

I love food. Mexican is my favorite. No ... wait ... make that Indian. Or Thai. Italian, French, Mediterranean ... German's good!

Truth is, who can decide?

The problem is not food, per se. The problem is the tendency to eat too much. And not even too much as in "I just finished a whole package of Oreos!" (Just occurred to me: I haven't enjoyed an Oreo in years!).

No ... too much as in portion size. You see, it's easy to have, say, the 14-ounce sirloin at Outback instead of ordering the 9-ounce filet and eating only half of it.

It's way too easy to grab just one more big scoop of Turkey Hill ice cream, another handful of Martin's Barbeque Waffles, or pour another bourbon.

(Damn ... I'm getting really hungry just writing about this...)

I have found that when I eat more slowly, I'm more able to control my portions. Yeah ... I know ... no brainer.

But the biggest help to me is eating six meals a day. Noooo ... not six Thanksgiving dinner-size repasts ... but six small meals. And I use the word "meal" loosely ... since, today's 10:30 A.M. "meal" consisted of a quarter cup of cottage cheese, two tablespoons of salsa and a dozen corn chips.

Also; I plan my meals every night. Before I go to bed, I know what I'm eating the next day. I also keep a food diary, so yes ... I can tell you what I ate, and when, on, say January 17th ... March 2 ... February 9.

Sunday is my Free Day, when I don't need to plan and can enjoy what I want. I often have the aforementioned bourbon or three ... but I am finding that I don't go as hog wild as you would think. The healthy eating habits are starting to become ... well ... a habit.

All The Best,

-- Don

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Thoughts, Actions, Habits...

It's obvious, once you really think about it, that everything originates from Thought. That iPod you listen to? It was an idea at some moment.

Thoughts are what precede Action. Actions lead to Habits ... which form our Destiny. Nothing new here.

But it occurs to me that we do things -- Actions -- based on a hoped-for outcome. I get up and go to work with the expectation -- the hope -- that I will be paid for what I do. That money is used, then, in exchange for things such as a home, cars, hobbies, savings (another Action with a hoped-for result), etc etc. You know the drill.

We also need to make sure we have Actions with long-term results. For example, when I exercise in the morning, it's not for that day, but rather for a future day ("days", to be more accurate). I'm "banking" my fitness so that I may draw on it later.

Day-to-day actions are easy. They can, however, lead to being in a rut ... they can get boring, mundane. It's difficult to stay motivated and excited about day-to-day actions.

That is why long-term goals -- and their associated Actions -- are so important. That is what fuels us for success in life, however we choose to define success.

What long-term goals do you have? What Actions are you taking towards those goals?

All The Best,

-- Don

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Pirates!

In first!

Undefeated!

Lead the league in offense!

This is the year!

All The Best,

-- Don

Monday, March 31, 2008

"Play Ball!"

The 2008 World Champion Pittsburgh Pirates open their season today!

Last year I predicted good things for the Pirates. They didn't deliver.

However, they did very well after the All-Star break.

They are now positioned to be the biggest surprise in sports this year. I expect the Pirates to win it all, in grand fashion.

So here's hoping your team at least doesn't get too embarrassed by the Pirates!

All The Best,

-- Don

Easter Outfit

After church on Easter Sunday, I donned this outfit to work in the yard.

Yeah ... my neighbors think I'm crazy. Do I look as if I care???

All The Best,

-- Don

P.S. It's a KILT!

That Wonderful Sound

There is not a more beautiful sound on this planet than the sound of my wife laughing.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Inspiration At Work

One of my customers is a pharmaceutical giant. I put this on my monitor to remind me of my impact:



All The Best,

-- Don

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Quick Note About Obama's Speech

Today, we witnessed an historic speech that was delivered by a man who is, in my opinion, ready to lead this country.

I was moved, literally to tears, as Barack Obama courageously addressed an issue that is carefully ignored, or spoken of in hushed tones and cautious language.

He has earned my vote. I could not be more excited about his ascension to the Presidency.

All The Best,

-- Don

The Journey Continues, Uphill Both Ways!

I'm currently studying two "Ways": The Purpose Driven Life and the 81 verses of the Tao Te Ching.

It's amazing to me how the two seem to dovetail together so well. I could go on about that, but I'll not right now.

The Purpose Driven Life (grammar check: shouldn't that be Purpose-Driven Life?) is more of a set of instructions or requirements: The Bible says this or that, your duty is such-and-such. Not in a bad or brow-beating way.

The Tao Te Ching is more of a contemplative look: Think about this, contemplate that, etc etc.

Between the two, personal and spiritual growth is almost guaranteed.

It's not easy; it's as though I'm walking uphill both ways. The rewards, however, are worth it.

All The Best,

-- Don

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Industrial Disease

The song "Industrial Disease" by Dire Straits is One Of The Best Ever.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Responsibility

I am still basking in the wonderfulness that is Dr. Dyer's "The Power Of Intention". It's moving, life-changing and deeply thought-provoking.

Recently, I web surfed over to Amazon to read some reviews of Dr. Dyer's audiobook -- after the fact, if you will.

One reviewer pointed out that the book is not for the whole world, but rather only applicable to, say, we Americans who have it so good. How can a person born into slavery, for example, possibly be blamed for having the wrong intentions?

(Okay, not the best example on my part, but humor me.)

It got me to thinking -- I do that sometimes.

Let's say this Law Of Attraction, Power Of Intention, etc. etc. "stuff" does only "work" for already-set people. Face it; Americans have it pretty good, even the poorest (by world standards). It's easy for us to buy into Positive Thinking, Affirmations, and all that New Age stuff, because we generally have unlimited opportunity in this great country.

But what struck me is this: Since we have this advantage, and others do not, isn't it our responsibility to work, give and act so that they, too, can enjoy the abundance that is The Universe?

For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.
-- Luke 12:48

It's not enough to do well for yourself. It's not enough to pay your taxes. It's not enough to give money. If we really believe in success, we need to act, pray and give intention to those with less opportunity. It's hard to be self-centered when you consider how much is outside of your control. It's difficult to not care when you realize how much you are cared for.

I'm committing to do more. To act in a responsible way, with Intention. To pray. To give. To actually care.

Will you join me?

All The Best,

-- Don

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

2008 Well Underway

2008 is starting out quite well. Well ... I had the flu and still have a lingering cough ... but other than that, it's lookin' pretty good.

Visited Chicago in January, met Jason Fried and had dinner with him and Sarah Hatter. Jason and I have been in contact for about nine years, but only through the internet. We had never met. So that was nice. And Sarah is a lovely woman whom you can't help but love.

Spent six days in Vegas in early February (came home with the flu) and did well. Worked at the SHOT Show, had some Maker's Mark, some cigars, and came back almost $3,000 ahead. Cha-ching!

We -- Patti and I -- have been working out six days a week since early January. I've dropped over an inch off my waist and am getting stronger. She's looking great (as usual). We lift weights three days and ride the bike the other three. Sunday is our "Free Day" when we can have an adult beverage and potato chips. :)

Our diet has been excellent. We plan our meals for the week on Sunday, and plan our days -- including meals -- every night.

Sunday evenings we set our Five Goals For The Week and hold each other accountable. That's working quite well.

I just finished listening to the audiobook The Power Of Intention by Dr. Wayne Dyer. Very inspiring and encouraging.

Now, I'm revisiting several other self-improvement audiobooks that I have, all with the intention of becoming the person I know I can be ... the person I was before "LIFE" knocked me off balance.

I've also been throwing away a lot of stuff. I'm making a very real effort to de-clutter my life and simplify. By "very real" I mean I'm throwing stuff away. No more "But I might need this if ..." ... if it's not relevant, it's gone.

So far, so good. I'm liking this.

So ... uh ... how're YOU doing?

All The Best,

-- Don

Found It

Found my thumb drive. It was in the pocket of my wool coat.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Politics

On Monday, I held my nose and changed my political party registration from Republican to Democrat. Never thought I'd do that.

(An aside: My personal politics are very libertarian, and Ron Paul is My Man this time around.)

Why did I do this?

As a rule, I vote my conscience. But I am SO determined to make sure Hillary DOES NOT get the nomination that I switched to the Democrat party so I could vote for Barack Obama in the Pennsylvania primary.

In fact, this was all my wife's idea -- she did the same thing.

Come November ... dunno ... I might sit this one out. McCain vs. Obama excites me about as much as 'paper or plastic'.

All The Best,

-- Don

Panic

I've misplaced my thumb drive!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Pandora!

Pandora is a wonderful thing.

During the past few minutes, I've enjoyed:

"Making Flippy Floppy" by Talking Heads
"I Ran" by A Flock Of Seagulls
"Hungry Like The Wolf" by Duran Duran
"Shock The Monkey" by Peter Gabriel
"Hello Again" by The Cars
"Burning Down The House" by Talking Heads



Wow ... grrrrr-eat stuff!

All The Best,

-- Don

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Best Mission Statement, Ever

Five Guys.

Warren, I Miss You

September 7, 2003 might not mean much to you ... but does to me. That's the day we lost one of the most entertaining and gifted singer/songerwriters ever.

Just listening to "Excitable Boy" right now.

All The Best,

-- Don

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Foreign Policy Success

Glad to see we are having such a positive effect in Afghanistan.

The Wisdom Of Jimmy Buffett

From "Changes In Latitudes, Changes In Attitudes":

"Good times and riches and son of a bitches, I've seen more than I can recall."

Another:

"Oh, yesterday's over my shoulder, so I can't look back for too long.
There's just too much to see waitin' in front of me, and I know that I just can't go wrong."

All The Best,

-- Don

Anagram Of The Day

One of my all-time favorite movies is October Sky. It's based on the book Rocket Boys.

I just learned -- this is cool -- that if you rearrange the letters in r-o-c-k-e-t b-o-y-s, you get O-c-t-o-b-e-r S-k-y!

I love that kind of stuff.

All The Best,

-- Don

buzzzzzz

youknowwhat'sgoodputespressoinyourcolait'sreallygoodnoI'mnotjittery

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Damn Congress!

Congress ... the epitome of do-nothing.

Except now, in an election year, they're falling over themselves to quickly pass some sort of economic stimulus package.

#&!@#^&*@&!!!

These bastards will drag their feet when it comes to an energy policy or health care, but when it comes to re-election "BAM I'M ON IT!"

I can't write how angry it makes me.

All The Best,

-- Don

Monday, January 21, 2008

Sunday, January 20, 2008

3 ... 2 ... 1 ... "And we're back ..."

Just returned from SEED in Chicago. I went there not so much to learn, but rather to be inspired.

And to meet my long-time friend, Jason Fried, founder of the very successful 37 Signals.

Jason and I have corresponded via email and blog entries (at his company's blog called Signal vs Noise) but we'd never actually met face-to-face (or "IRL" as online hipsters are apt to type). So I jumped at the chance to jet to Chicago, see some sites, finally meet Jason and get inspired.

Jet to Chicago I did. See sites ... uh ... it was about zero degrees on Saturday. The only site I saw was Hubbard State Cigar Shop, which was about six blocks from the Sheraton where I stayed. I can brave two below and high winds for a good cigar, but I'm not about to go site-seeing in that weather.

But Saturday evening I met Jason and Sarah Hatter (she handles customer support for 37 Signals and is just a fantastic person) at Club Lucky for some good Italian cuisine and great conversation.

Jason is successful by every definition of the word, but still amazingly down-to-earth and humble. You'd never guess that he manages the helm of a web company that has Yahoo and Google drooling to buy him out (I asked; he won't).

I was inspired. Nothing new to learn at the conference, and since Jason and I are kindred spirits, nothing surprised me or moved me. But just being around young, successful, passionate people who are committed to elegance (I'm all that except young ... I'll never be young again) was just the juice I needed to get me thinking. I spent my Saturday, all day Sunday while traveling, and on through this coming week thinking about what *I* want to do with my skills. Web company? Sell something via the web? Both?

I'm not sure, but I do know I won't be content to sit back and rely solely on software development as my sole source of income.

Thanks, Jason (and Jim Coudal) ... you got me thinking. And that, alone, was worth the price of admission.

All The Best,

-- Don