Monday, December 21, 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!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

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

Thursday, December 10, 2009

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'.

Friday, December 04, 2009


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.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Great Song

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

Great stuff.

Monday, November 09, 2009

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.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Best sport that is unknown by most Americans: Cricket.

It's exciting, civilized and world-wide.

All The Best,

-- Don

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


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 idea what they're talking about. It's really weird and kind of cool.

We got a TV in 1994 when two things intersected: the emergence of good videos for home-schooling, and the Winter Olympics.

Nothing wrong with TV; In fact, I could watch PBS, FoodTV, ESPN or NHL any time. But ditching the tube for nine-plus years was good for our family.

All The Best,

-- Don

Friday, October 23, 2009

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.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


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




Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Fail, Failure

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

I need to find SOMETHING at which I can succeed.

Thursday, October 08, 2009


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

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

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

Friday, October 02, 2009


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 (pretty much all of them)
Medical Services and Medications That Were Created or Derived From Any Government
Grant or Research Funding (again, pretty much all of them)
Socialist Byproducts of Government Investment Such as Duct Tape and Velcro (Nazi-NASA Inventions)
Use of the Internets, email, and networked computers, as the DoD's ARPANET was the basis for subsequent computer networking
Foodstuffs, Meats, Produce and Crops That Were Grown With, Fed With, Raised With or That Contain Inputs From Crops Grown With Government Subsidies
Clothing Made from Crops (e.g. cotton) That Were Grown With or That Contain Inputs From Government Subsidies
VA Benefits (if a Veteran)

Read more at:

Thursday, September 24, 2009

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

Friday, August 28, 2009

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 all if he picks up that magazine he's going to be a skirt-chasing womanizer."

The old man waited anxiously, and soon heard his son's foot-steps as he entered the house whistling and heading for his room. The boy tossed his books on the bed, and as he turned to leave the room he spotted the objects on the table. With curiosity in his eye, he walked over to inspect them.

Finally, he picked up the Bible and placed it under his arm. He picked up the silver dollar and dropped into his pocket. He uncorked the bottle and took a big drink, while he admired the magazine's centerfold.

"Lord have mercy," the old preacher disgustedly whispered. "He's gonna run for Congress..."

Monday, August 17, 2009

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

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


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.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

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.

Friday, June 19, 2009

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?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

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

Thursday, May 28, 2009


The Nazis called it "verscharfte vernehmung".

The English translation? "Enhanced interrogation".

Sound familiar, Mr. Cheney???

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

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.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

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...

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

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?

Thursday, April 09, 2009

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.

Friday, March 27, 2009

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 hipsters by having a label for the music I like. I told the young lady at Food Lion that she looks like Feist and she had no idea what I was talking about. What is it with young people who aren't in touch with pop culture. HELLO??!!! I'M ALMOST 50 YEARS OLD and I know about Feist and "nuking the 'fridge" and all that schtuff.

I really need a vacation. Couples Swept Away, here we come again!!!

My stock portfolio is up 72 percent since the beginning of the year. Am I lucky, or good. And does it matter.

I'm rambling.

All The Best,

-- Don

York in One Picture

In the foreground Rebel wannabe.

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

Juxtaposition defined.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

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

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

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

Saturday, March 14, 2009


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.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


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!!

Monday, March 09, 2009

Thursday, March 05, 2009

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

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Friday, February 27, 2009

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 round table with the large pot of stew which made the Holy man's mouth water. The people were equipped with the same long-handled spoons, but here the people were well nourished and plump, laughing and talking. The Holy man said, "I don't understand."

"It is simple," said the Lord. "It requires but one skill. You see they have learned to feed each other, while the greedy think only of themselves."

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 a thing" - I won't worry!
"'Cause every little thing gonna be all right."

Singin': "Don't worry about a thing,
'Cause every little thing gonna be all right" - I won't worry!
Singin': "Don't worry about a thing,
'Cause every little thing gonna be all right."
Singin': "Don't worry about a thing, oh no!
'Cause every little thing gonna be all right!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

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:


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

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.

Monday, February 23, 2009

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.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

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.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

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??!!!

Monday, February 09, 2009


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.

Friday, January 30, 2009

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

Thursday, January 29, 2009

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

Friday, January 23, 2009

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Sunday, January 18, 2009

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

Saturday, January 17, 2009


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

Saturday, January 03, 2009

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.

  1. Guerrilla Marketing For Free, Jay Conrad Levinson.
  2. The Power Of Now, Eckhart Tolle.
  3. A History Of God, Karen Armstrong.
  4. No More Mr. Nice Guy, Dr. Robert A. Glover (I've read this twice already).
  5. Living Your Best Life, Laura Berman Fortgang.
  6. The IsoCaloric "No Diet" Fat Burning Handbook, Next Nutrition.
  7. Getting Real, 37signals (My copy is autographed by Jason, Ryan and DHH).
  8. The 4-Hour Workweek, Timothy Ferriss (I've read this once already).
  9. Maximum Achievement, Brian Tracy.
  10. Life Makeovers, Cheryl Richardson.
  11. The Art Of Happiness, His Holiness The Dalai Lama.
  12. Beyond Brawn, Stuart McRobert.
  13. To Our Children's Children, Bob Greene & D. G. Fulford.
  14. Zen For Christians, Kim Boykin (I've read this once already).
  15. Og Mandino's University Of Success, Og Mandino.
  16. Beyond Booked Solid, Michael Porter.
  17. The Omnivore's Dilemma, Michael Pollan (Almost finished).
  18. The Ten-Day MBA, Steven Silbiger.
  19. Simple Steps, Lisa Lelas, Linda McClintock, Beverly Zingarella, and Lu Ann Cahn.
  20. Grow Younger, Live Longer, Deepak Chopra.
  21. Great Tastes Made Simple, Andrea Immer.
  22. Great Wine Made Simple, Andrea Immer.
  23. Waking the Dead, John Eldredge.
  24. The Spectrum, Dr. Dean Ornish.
  25. Dude, Where's My Country?, Michael Moore (Almost finished).
  26. The Assertiveness Workbook, Randy J. Peterson, Ph.D.
I read the Holy Bible, King James 1611 Edition, on a regular basis; That's why it's not listed above. Neither did I list as-needed technical books, cook books, et cetera.

All The Best,

-- Don


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

Thursday, January 01, 2009

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:

  1. Spent a week in Kitty Hawk, got some surfing in.
  2. Smoked many, many really great cigars.
  3. Drank some awesome scotch, bourbon and gin (Bluecoat!)
  4. Spent a lot of time in the pool.
  5. Worked at home on a regular basis (haven't totaled it up yet, but I'm guessing over 50 times)
  6. 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.
  7. 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).
  8. Made it to my 30th year of marriage. I really deserve some sort of reward. Patti's pretty and all, but she's just SOOOOO mean!! Make the bed? Pick up my socks? You cannot be serious.
  9. I adopted some personal catchphrases: "Knock yourself out", "Cut it out!" and "You cannot be serious!" are three. The last one is said in the best John McEnroe tone and is the perfect way to whine without actually whining.
  10. Learned to cook more awesomer. I am a good cook! I like that.
  11. Did a better job of reading more; this year I have an organized plan to read 26 books. Sweet.
  12. Got back into our church Growth Group after a one year hiatus (woo-hoo!! FIRST day of the year and I already got "hiatus" of my "words to use in 2009" list) to take care of Sam, the wonderfulist grandson on this planet.
  13. Decided to actually join a local church, something I was certain I'd never do after my experiences in the dark depths of fundamentalism. Love it at Living Word.
  14. Made it through an entire calendar year without buying a new car! Wait ... is that good???
  15. On-the-cheap remodeled our kitchen. Looks fab.
  16. Spent a lot of quality time with my dad, whom I love dearly. Spent quality time with my children, too. I have the most wonderful children in the world and couldn't be prouder. Their both successful in every sense of the word, kind, compassionate, intelligent, good-looking (they thank their mom for that all the time), determined, ethical, etc etc.
  17. Got on this here innerwebs thingie (I'm tellin' ya, it's just a fad!) and found out what the fuss is about Facebook. I've reconnected with some good people from my past, some happy for me, some sad, but it's all good.
  18. Learned that the good and the bad work together to make the Mandala complete.
  19. "Tweaked" my Christian beliefs to include some Zen (good book: Zen For Christians) while keeping it Christian. Tweaked my Christian beliefs to -- get this -- include Christ's actual teachings and not just "Start with Paul" and whatever some loud Baptist from Georgia says.
  20. At the same time, I've been able to once again enjoy good, hard, Baptist preaching from time to time. We don't all have to agree, but we can benefit from one another.
  21. Switched from Republican to Democrat, moved to the left politically and voted for Barack Obama, in whom I see the same leadership qualities that framed our last great President (in my opinion), Ronald Reagan.
  22. Did a lot of really great landscaping and hardscaping. That includes installing some nice lighting in the front of the house. The Schenck Mansion is looking good. Now, on to building my underground lair...
  23. Got a new roof installed on the mansion. Paid a lot, but I'm worth it!
  24. Got a new garage door. Again, top shelf but worth it. Tip: We got windows in the garage door, a great decision!
  25. Finally went to Chicago to meet/visit Jason Fried and Sarah Hatter. I had a fantastic time and really enjoyed our dinner together at Club Lucky. Thanks, you two, for your kindness. Jason's an inspiration to me, if I could just come up with an idea I'm sure I could be even more successful than he is. I mean ... come on ... it's ME, after all! Sheesh.
  26. Played my guitar not often enough. Played my harmonica not often enough. Both of those will change in 2009.
  27. Spent too little time with Krichten; that will change in '09.
  28. Learned how to speak Mandarin Chinese.
  29. Okay, number 28 is a lie. But I did eat some Chinese food, so...
  30. Learned how to cook hog maw. Oh yeah, guess what's on my list of "things to cook every month" now!
  31. Took over the responsibilities for menu planning, shopping and cook in the house. I love doing this! I make the menu and print it up real fancy-like, then frame that and put it up in the kitchen. I wear my iPod and that makes shopping something to look forward to, since I love music. And cooking ... well, cooking is just sooooo sensual and fun...
  32. Spent five days in Las Vegas, came back with an extra $2,000.
  33. Connected with Dave Lovely, who was my best teacher at Bible School and a very compassionate guy. Dave's not understood by many, but he and I understand each other and bring out the best in each other. That's cool.
  34. Got our Square Foot Garden going.
  35. Did a full cycle of Body For Life with my wife. Results? Meh.
  36. Switched from Hank Hill's favorite fuel to charcoal and don't think I'll ever go back.
  37. Proudly watched my Pittsburgh Penguins have a fantastic season.
  38. Discovered and fell in love with Laughing Cow cheese. Bagel, Laughing Cow, every morning.
  39. Lost a friend ... and ...
  40. ... found myself. Seriously. I've never been more comfortable with who I am, and that's a great feeling.
And some other stuff that I can't remember right now.

Know what's missing? I need to do some volunteer work, something for other people. That's going near the top of my list of goals for 2009.

How about you?

All The Best,

-- Don