Showing posts from 2009

A Perfect Match

Jackson Browne's song, "The Pretender" is a perfect description of my wasted life.


A woman telling a man to stop looking like a slob and dress up. Awesome!

A man telling a woman to stop looking like a slob and take care of herself. Sexist!

Saying that men should stop hooking up with women. Awesome!

Saying that women should stop sleeping around. Sexist!

Saying that men should get off the couch and go to work. Awesome!

Saying that a woman should be nurturing with kids. Sexist!

Saying that men should take the initiative in relationships. Awesome!

Saying that a woman should let the man lead (ever!). Sexist!

My Life Pretty Much Sucks

Things are spiraling down at an increasing rate. My income has dropped by 55 percent since the beginning of '09, I've burned through my savings and stocks, and after early January I have zero prospects of work/income. How long I can hold of creditors waits to be seen. Something's got to give.

In the meantime, I'm trying to follow the advice of Tony Bennett:

Smile though your heart is aching
Smile even though it's breaking
When there are clouds in the sky, you'll get by
If you smile through your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You'll see the sun come shining through for you

Light up your face with gladness
Hide every trace of sadness
Although a tear may be ever so near
That's the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what's the use of crying?
You'll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just smile

That's the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what's the use of crying?
You'll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just smile

Peace Prize?

Sign of the times, I guess.

How weird/stupid is it that our "War President" gets the Nobel Peace Prize??

President Obama -- who I support -- had his chance, and instead fell in line with the Military-Industrial Complex, protecting American business interests ahead of the American people.

Change You Can Believe In? Puh-leeze ... it's the Same Ol' Same Ol'.


AT&T should allow me to go to their web site and send and receive SMS for those times (such as my current client) when I'm stuck in the basement of a large building with no mobile phone reception.

Great Song

One of my favorite songs is "Evening Gown", by Mick Jagger, from his solo album "Wandering Spirit".

Great stuff.

Sullenberger's Flight into the Hudson: An animation

WOW. This is MUST-see stuff.


Kalashnikov turns 90

What's cool is that I've met this guy.

Tough Times

Unemployment at over 10 percent ... mortgage rates over 13 percent ... government spending at record deficits ...

Yup ... heading into this third year, Ronald Reagan sure was a failure.

Obama haters: Get a fucking clue.

Pure, utter brilliance!

Spot on!


Wow. Wow. Wow.

The Color of Jazz?

When you think of Jazz, as in music, what color comes to mind?


Best sport that is unknown by most Americans: Cricket.

It's exciting, civilized and world-wide.

All The Best,

-- Don


I recently had a mini-conversation with a guy via Twitter. He had just gotten rid of his TV and was asking what to expect.

We went about nine years without a television, from 1984 to 1994. Our children were four and two years old, and we wanted to raise them with values that were not congruent with pop culture.

In short, we succeeded. Greatly.

Some interesting things about going without a TV:

When you don't have a TV, you cannot image having one. First, you cannot image how people have the time to watch TV. You're so busy, doing things such as reading to the children, playing games, hiking in the woods, visiting an arboretum, making toys in the basement woodshop, playing badmitten, building fires outside, etc etc. Who has time to watch TV???

Another unexpected result of not having a TV is that you lose touch with popular culture. For example, someone will mentions "the Monopoly game at McDonald's", and -- because you're not watching TV ads -- you'll have no id…

What Changed?

Monday: "You're the leading candidate for the contract position."

Today: "We went with someone else."

Okay, fine ... save a few bucks. You get what you pay for.

I need to find a company in a large city -- New York, Chicago, L.A. -- that needs some great .NET development help on a contract basis.

Help Chicago High School Students

A friend, Sarah, is trying to help Chicago-area High School students.

Click here and do your part.

All The Best,

-- Don

Auto engine swap IN 32 SECONDS!!!


And I thought my brother (with some help from me) was amazing for swapping my VW Beetle's engine in 30 minutes.


Worst car?

SMART car.

Why? WHY?! WHO would buy such a thing? It's not the best mileage auto, not even in it's price range.

SMART car = STUPID consumer.

Feel-Good Story

Bernie Madoff's fall.

He should get along fine with the mob boss.

Stupid hype




Fail, Failure

When does failing over and over and over equal Being A Failure?

I need to find SOMETHING at which I can succeed.


If you have a soul...

If you have any sense of compassion...

If you have any connection with life...

Watch this.

All The Best,

-- Don

National Tournament this weekend?

This weekend I'm participating in the Pan Am Tang Soo Do Federation's National Tournament.

I'm sparring, performing Pyung Ahn Cho Dan, and breaking.

I'm breaking two boards with a side kick, three boards with my elbow, and four boards with a hammer fist.

I'm really looking forward to it.

All The Best,

-- Don


In order to stop Socialism in its tracks, please abstain from all of the following:

Social Security
State Children’s Health Insurance Programs (SCHIP)
Police, Fire, and Emergency Services
US Postal Service
Roads and Highways
Air Travel (regulated by the socialist FAA)
The US Railway System
Public Subways and Metro Systems
Public Bus and Lightrail Systems
Rest Areas on Highways
All Government-Funded Local/State Projects (e.g., see Iowa 2009 federal senate appropriations--
Public Water and Sewer Services
Public and State Universities and Colleges
Public Primary and Secondary Schools
Sesame Street
Publicly Funded Anti-Drug Use Education for Children
Public Museums
Public Monuments
Public Parks and Beaches
State and National Parks
Public Zoos
Unemployment Insurance
Municipal Garbage and Recycling Services
Treatment at Any Hospital or Clinic That Ever Received Funding From Local, State or
Federal Government (prett…

Disney's Multiplane Camera

Walt Disney was a genius who hired other geniuses.

Check out the Multiplane Camera that they invented. Brilliant.

Innovation at its best.

All The Best,

-- Don

Kaleb Eulls, Today's "Best Person In The World"

Joke Time

An old country preacher had a teenage son, and it was getting time the boy should give some thought to choosing a profession. Like many young men his age, the boy didn't really know what he wanted to do, and he didn't seem too concerned about it. One day, while the boy was away at school, his father decided to try an experiment. He went into the boy's room and placed on his study table four objects:

1. A Bible.

2. A silver dollar.

3. A bottle of whiskey.

4. A Playboy magazine.

'I'll just hide behind the door," the old preacher said to himself.
"When he comes home from school today, I'll see which object he picks up.

"If it's the Bible, he's going to be a preacher like me, and what a blessing that would be!

"If he picks up the dollar, he's going to be a business man, and that would be okay, too.

"But if he picks up the bottle, he's going to be a no-good drunken bum, and Lord, what a shame that would be.

"And worst of…

The Economy, The Future...

The economy will most likely go through some recovery in the next 12 months. Many experts predict the recovery will be mild. You know, the same experts what whiffed on predicting the recession.

Somewhere, somehow, there's going to be a huge opportunity for income in all this. I have no idea where it is, but it will be there. My goal, your goal, is to be creative and find that niche.

There's always an upside.

All The Best,

-- Don


Live your best life NOW! You have no guarantees of the future. If there's something you want to accomplish, GET STARTED. NOW. RIGHT NOW.

Keeping A Good Attitude

When everything's going wrong and there seems to be ZERO relief in sight, that's when it's most important to be Positive, Grateful ... keep a Good Attitude.

Obviously, it's easy to be "up" when things are going your way.

It's when there appears to be no hope that you must have Faith. It is then that you must stop your mind, catching negative thoughts, and turn them into positive motivation.

Limbaugh: Racist?!

Rush Limbaugh repeatedly refers to President Obama as a "man-child".

Rush, why don't you just come right out and call him "boy" and get it over with?

President Obama's response to the election in Iran

President Obama has distanced himself from getting directly involved with the result of the election in Iran.

I agree with his wise decision. Getting involved would only fan the anti-America flames of the parties involved, and allow the current regime to claim that we are, in fact, interfering in their sovereign right as a nation.

Stand back, let things play out, and let the people of Iran do the heavy lifting. We can spot them and, if possible (later), open a door of dialog.

Here's hoping that Iran moves peaceably and morally.

All The Best,

-- Don


The Nazis called it "verscharfte vernehmung".

The English translation? "Enhanced interrogation".

Sound familiar, Mr. Cheney???

Christian Crusades, Part Duex

So, Donald Rumsfeld played Bush like the simpleton Xian that he is and -- in fact -- used the Iraq war as a Crusade ... or what one, in another religion, might call a Jihad!

Great ... just great.

Maslow's Pyramid

I've reached the top of Maslow's triangle/pyramid. It occurs to me that I live nearly all the time in a state of self-actualization, with multiple and regular Peak Experiences.

Wow. How fortunate I am.

Now to figure out how to spread that around...

Life Purpose

My Life Purpose/Mission Statement:

My Life Purpose is to help others realize their full potential as a result of my own personal growth.

Along with that, I've developed the following:

Everything that I do to help myself now carries with it the responsibility to use it to help others.

Do you have a Life Purpose Statement?

For My GOP Friends...

Clipped from Wikipedia:

On December 10, 1948 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Article 5 states, "No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment."[6] Since that time a number of other international treaties have been adopted to prevent the use of torture. Two of these are the United Nations Convention Against Torture and for international conflicts the Geneva Conventions III and IV.

Our Favorite Musical Genre Has A Name!!

Last Fall, during the run-up to Christmas ... ARGH ... who invented the stupid phrase "the run-up to..." ... some political hack or news media talking head.

Last Fall, during the four weeks prior to Christmas, my dear wife and I followed her OH SO BRILLIANT idea of stripping the wallpaper in the kitchen and repainting the walls. Oh yeah, and let's paint the cabinets, too. Heck, why not just build a frickin' addition, add a hot tub, how about a putting green ...

I digress. Sorry.

ANYHOO ... where was I? Oh yeah ... the kitchen. I like to cook. It's fun, creative ... WAIT! STOP, DON! THAT's not what this post is about.

(stinkin' A.D.D. ...)

Okay okay ... we were fixing up the kitchen. We listened to Pandora while working, and "seeded" our station with Feist. Turns out, we love that type of music.

So while driving to work today, I learned -- from the good folks at WXPN ( that the music we like is called "Neo Folk".

So now, I can wow the …

York in One Picture

In the foreground Rebel wannabe.

In the background, a young black girl walks to school.

Juxtaposition defined.

We Need Higher Gasoline Taxes

The Federal government should put a big tax on gasoline, along the lines of one or two dollars. Then, combine that with a graduated Tax Credit under a certain income amount.

Me? I'd end up paying more. Yeah, but I'd either purchase a more fuel-efficient vehicle or drive less.

Google "Amory Lovins winning the oil end game" and read it. NOW. If you don't, then don't bother commenting on this post. Amory Lovins -- whom I have called a GENIUS for over 25 years -- OWNS the whole energy issue.

All The Best,

-- Don

At Peace With Finances

I logged on to my broker's web site this morning, and this pie chart represents my portfolio.

I've achieved Peace with the world of finance!

All The Best,

-- Don

I Love This Picture


I'm Pretty Talented!

You know what? I'm a pretty talented software developer.

When you design systems as well as I do, it's easy to improve, extend and upgrade the system. I just added one View in my database, a simple view, and now I have all the data I need.

Sometimes ... MANY times ... Keep It Simple, Stupid is THE BEST WAY.

IMPORTANT: It's NOT about "the tools" ... it's about the person at the keyboard. GET THAT, and you'll be MONEY.

I'm loving my talent right now.

All The Best,

-- Don Schenck


March 14; About 48 degrees outside, so Patti and I took advantage of the nicer weather and worked in the garden.

I repaired some of our raised beds and trimmed back some decorative plants, while Patti prepared the soil. The peas go in right away.

Waterboarding OK, Shoe Throwing Not

This is unbelievable. Three years?????


Just seconds ago read the word "hero" used as a verb.

... and it really hero's the brand ...

Stop. STOP. STOP IT! Stop verbing words!

Indian Candy That Jews Probably Don't Buy

It's a sacred Hindu shape. But I don't see it selling well in, say, Tel Aviv.

Finally, Candy We Can Believe In

Could it get any better? Butterfinger! Caffeine!!

Big, HUGE, Surprise!

XP, what ever are you doing?

I'm sitting at my hard drive. I'm not touching the keyboard. Yet, the hard drive is churning like an Amish woman at a Butter Social.

XP, lemme axe you a question: WHAT ARE YOU DOING??


Are You Serious???

I mean ... this ... really?

Places To Visit

The darling wife and I are a composing list of places we'd like to visit. Your input is wanted.

When making a suggestion, assume:

1. The trip will be a week to 10 days.
2. Unlimited budget, with the exception of one of those crazy trips to outer space for $200,000 each.

The list will be pared down and prioritized later.

So far ...

Places we'd like to visit

New England
Las Vegas
Pacific Northwest
Nova Scotia
Maryland Brookside Gardens
Niagara Falls
New York City (visit Ian)
Finger Lakes Region

Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary. -- Cecil Beaton


Patti beat me by four measly points last night. ARGH!

Old Guys Rule

This is my type of stuff, since I'll be joining AARP in May!

Failure: The Key To Success

Story Of My Life: White And Nerdy

This video pretty much sums up my miserable existence on this planet.

Inspirational Dance

This is one of the more inspirational things I've ever seen. Enough to make anyone stop complaining and get to "doing". Enjoy.

A Very Timely Parable

A Parable for Today

A Holy man was having a conversation with the Lord one day and said,
"Lord, I would like to know what Heaven and Hell are like."

The Lord led the Holy man to two doors. He opened one of the doors and the Holy man looked in. In the middle of the room was a large round table. In the middle of the table was a large pot of stew, which smelled delicious and made the Holy man's mouth water. The people sitting around the table were thin and sickly. They appeared to be famished. They were holding spoons with very long handles that were strapped to their arms and each found it possible to reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful. But because the handle was longer than their arms, they could not get the spoons back into their mouths.

The Holy man shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering.

The Lord said, "You have seen Hell."

They went to the next room and opened the door. It was exactly the same as the first one. There was the large roun…

Three Little Birds

"Don't worry about a thing,
'Cause every little thing gonna be all right.
Singin': "Don't worry about a thing,
'Cause every little thing gonna be all right!"

Rise up this mornin',
Smiled with the risin' sun,
Three little birds
Pitch by my doorstep
Singin' sweet songs
Of melodies pure and true,
Sayin', ("This is my message to you-ou-ou:")

Singin': "Don't worry 'bout a thing,
'Cause every little thing gonna be all right."
Singin': "Don't worry (don't worry) 'bout a thing,
'Cause every little thing gonna be all right!"

Rise up this mornin',
Smiled with the risin' sun,
Three little birds
Pitch by my doorstep
Singin' sweet songs
Of melodies pure and true,
Sayin', "This is my message to you-ou-ou:"

Singin': "Don't worry about a thing, worry about a thing, oh!
Every little thing gonna be all right. Don't worry!"
Singin': "Don't worry about …

Ten Songs I Cannot Live Without

"Three Little Birds", by Bob Marley.

"Love Is My Religion" by Ziggy Marley.

The Doxology

"Silver Bells", song by Perry Como.

"It's Only Rock 'n' Roll", by The Rolling Stones.

"MMMBop", by Hanson (story behind this one).

"Muskrat Love", by Captain & Tennille.

The Brandenburg Concertos, by J. S. Bach

"Ohio", by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

"You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Loves You", by Dean Martin.

Numbers 11 thru infinity is anything by the Rat Pack.

Doctor Has Me On New Medication

A new mood medication is out, and my doctor has me on it.

Here's a short news item about it:


Is Life Just A Giant Computer Simulation?

If so, just hope this is not running in Windows. :-)

Oscar Smoscar

Sorry, but the late Heath Ledger can't hold a candle to Cesar Romero!!


The One Thing

Since starting, I've become a fanatic!

What is it?

If I could suggest one thing to improve your life, it would be this: Morning meditation.

I can't explain exactly why. Can't put my finger on it. But since starting morning meditation, my quality of life has improved. Even when depression hits (which is a physical thing), I snap out of it in a matter of minutes! It hit me yesterday and an hour later I was doing great.

Am I connecting with my Creator? Am I drawing from my subconscious? Am I connecting with the Universe and all that is?

I don't know for sure. I only know it's been life-changing.

Go. Buy. Read ... The Artist's Way.

All The Best,

-- Don


This is one of the best things I've seen in a long time.

Kudos to the iron workers.

When Coding Gets Fun

You get your framework all worked out and you get into this sort of flow where you can add stuff to the database and/or classes and GUI really fast and POW ... coding is fun now!


I'm just ... not ... caring that much right now.

I'm sure it will pass. But after work sleep work sleep work sleep for 30+ years you start to just not care too much. You just get tired.

Gitmo Guard Speaks Out


Best Chips

These potato chips, which I'm munching on right now, are the official snack of Air Force One!

On The Beach in Jamaica

They would stroll up and down the beach, playing for tips.

Everything about our Winter Vacation 2009 was just perfect.

House Menu

On Sundays, I make up our menu for the week prior to going grocery shopping. I love to cook and love to shop for food. Love it.

We then print up the menu in a nice typeface, frame it, and place it on the island in the kitchen. Makes it special.

T-shirt for Sam

During our Winter Vacation 2009, we got this for our grandson!!

What I Received For Valentine's Day!

*whispering* I bought it for myself.

Delicious sipping


Looking to buy a home rowing machine

I'm tired of a sore butt from riding the exercise bike. I thought about getting a recumbent, but truth be told I love rowing.

I'm ready to "pull the trigger" and get the Concept2 Model D home rower.

Have any suggestions or comments?

I found one nearby on Craigslist; they're asking $675, I'll offer $500 and we'll go from there.

Fortune Cookie Tells The Truth!

Rather obvious, isn't it? ... That someone at the fortune cookie factory knows me.

Jus' sayin'.

Amazing Grace

I'm listening to Amazing Grace.

I cannot listen to that wonderful old hymn without getting teary-eyed.

To Have A Great Pizza...

Image need this:

Jail Time!

Someone needs to go to jail for a long time for this inhuman decision.

How can someone be so callous and greedy? What ... does he think he's a Wall Street banker??

I Want My Fence!

I want my fence along the U.S.-Mexico border!

Where's my fence??!!!


Here's a list of the teams that have won six Super Bowls:

Pittsburgh Steelers

That's it! That's the list!!

Great advice from Brother Greg

A pastor I studied under, Greg Estep, once gave the following great advice:

Ninety percent of your problems can be solved by a good night's sleep!

So true. Great advice.

And I Like This Picture


Patti Likes This Picture

She took this as I was coming back from a swim. She likes it -- I hate it.

Our Patio

The patio of our cottage in Jamaica. Spent every morning here, having Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee, fresh fruit and yogurt. Did some reading and enjoyed a few cigars here as well.

Notice the wooden blinds on the left. The room "walls" we made up of these blinds, with no windows -- only screens. Made for a wonderful, almost open-air environment.

I'm Lovin' The Garden Environment...

... at Couples Swept Away in Negril, Jamaica. Can hardly wait to go back, first week of February, 2010.

Jamaica does a couple good!


Left vs. Right

I will expand on this later, but for now:

The Left sees our Constitution as a foundation upon which we can add things to improve our country.

The Right sees our Constitution as a box, inside which government must be kept in order to secure freedom.

I thought this up on my own, and I will expand on it soon. But I think it's pretty good.

All The Best,

-- Don

Another Great Quote

We confess our little faults to persuade people that we have no large ones.

- Francois de La Rochefoucauld

Most Excellent Quote

With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.

- Steven Weinberg

django, Rails


From the song "Thrills" by Cake

Man is born, man lives, and man dies
And it's all vanity.


Literal version here. Some semi-mature content.

No Child Left Behind

Click here to see one man's opinion.

All The Best,

-- Don

My Menu for the Week

Marinated Flank Steak
Sweet Potato Fries
Red Wine

Shepherd’s Pie
Red Wine

Stuffed Peppers
Red Wine

Chili with Rice

Enchilada Lasagna
Red Wine

Dining Out


Can you remember the last time you've been so excited about a new President?

The Obama inauguration brings hope and optimism. The last time I was this excited about a new leader was 1980 and the greatest President (so far) in my lifetime, Ronald Reagan. There was a leader.

Obama brings the same optimism, vision and leadership. For those who are more to the right of the political spectrum: Set aside your political differences for a moment and simply observe the historical significance of this new President. Notice the excitement and confidence being displayed by those of us who voted for, and hope for, this man. This is truly an opportunity for the United States to make a bold move forward, both internally and on the international scene. Again, just as in 1980.

"Charity hopeth all things", so wrote the Apostle Paul. Let's hope for continued success, both at home and around the globe.

All The Best,

-- Don

Something To Make Me Feel Old

I just realized today:

When I was born, the United States had 49 states.

Whoa. That makes me feel old.

In Case You Missed Star Wars


Heading here very soon!

Bring Back the 70's!!

This really makes me miss the 70's. Good times...

And, Why Not ...

... some Elvis!

Click here.

I'm Feeling Better, so ...

... it's time from some Robert Palmer!

Click here.


Annie Lennox is great.

My 2009 Book List

Books I will read in 2009. This list is not sorted ... I'm not sure of the order yet, other than Beyond Brawn will be first.

Guerrilla Marketing For Free, Jay Conrad Levinson.
The Power Of Now, Eckhart Tolle.
A History Of God, Karen Armstrong.
No More Mr. Nice Guy, Dr. Robert A. Glover (I've read this twice already).
Living Your Best Life, Laura Berman Fortgang.
The IsoCaloric "No Diet" Fat Burning Handbook, Next Nutrition.
Getting Real, 37signals (My copy is autographed by Jason, Ryan and DHH).
The 4-Hour Workweek, Timothy Ferriss (I've read this once already).
Maximum Achievement, Brian Tracy.
Life Makeovers, Cheryl Richardson.
The Art Of Happiness, His Holiness The Dalai Lama.
Beyond Brawn, Stuart McRobert.
To Our Children's Children, Bob Greene & D. G. Fulford.
Zen For Christians, Kim Boykin (I've read this once already).
Og Mandino's University Of Success, Og Mandino.
Beyond Booked Solid, Michael Porter.
The Omnivore's Dilemma, Michael Pollan (Almost fini…


So I got this bright idea this morning: I'll grow my own saffron!

After reading about how to grow and harvest it, forget it! Sheesh.

Need to harvest at only three specific times a year, use tweezers to harvest them, dry them, blah blah no way.

There's a reason saffron is so expensive. I'll be better off to write code for 20 minutes and use that effort to buy some saffron.

Check it out! I'm already making wise financial decisions to start 2009.

All The Best,

-- Don

Quote Of The Day

Love this.

A cynic is not merely one who reads bitter lessons from the past, he is one who is prematurely disappointed in the future.
- Sidney J. Harris

Obligatory New Year Post

Well, 2008 ended on about the worst horrible note here. A dear friend, who was like a son to my parents, whom I've known over 40 years, past away last Friday (December 26). That's just no way to end a year.

Figures, because otherwise the year ended up pretty well. In no particular order:

Spent a week in Kitty Hawk, got some surfing in.
Smoked many, many really great cigars.
Drank some awesome scotch, bourbon and gin (Bluecoat!)
Spent a lot of time in the pool.
Worked at home on a regular basis (haven't totaled it up yet, but I'm guessing over 50 times)
Started a fantastic workout regime, complete with personal trainer and nutritionist, with a goal of competing in a bodybuilding contest next summer after I turn 50.
Entered my 50th year on this planet (the previous 35,000 on a distant planet were starting to bore me. Trust me, superhuman strength on a distant planet is overrated).
Made it to my 30th year of marriage. I really deserve some sort of reward. Patti's pretty and al…