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