Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Christmas

This December 26 will mark five years since my mother passed away.

Everyone -- without exception -- that met my mother loved her. Likewise, she loved/enjoyed/appreciated everyone she met. It's because of her influence that I'm NOT a racist, NOT class-conscious, NOT hateful.

Mom loved Christmas. I mean, she LOVED it. It was a "big deal". Christmas Eve at mom's was wonderful. And it was always an "open door" affair. I cannot begin to list the people that she'd invite, or would just show up, at her place on Christmas Eve. If she thought you'd be there, she bought you a gift. Without exception. The woman was the most Christ-like person I've ever met, while NEVER coming across as pious or self-righteous.

Since she has passed, my own Christmas' have been ... terrific! The other day, my dear wife (of 32 years TODAY!) asked why I'm not sad at Christmas.

"Are you kidding? As much as mom loved Christmas, how can I NOT love Christmas?! I get excited in her stead!"

Love you and miss you, Mom ... but I'm carrying on as you would. And that, my friends, is the best tribute I can give to her. She lives on in my heart.

All The Best,

-- Don

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Spoiled by a Mac

You don't realize how painful Windows is until you own a Mac. Then, you're ruined for life.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Music

Diggin' some Stone Poneys this morning.

Out Of Hell

Out of Hell, into the Unknown.
 
My last day in Corporate Hell is ... TODAY! Monday, I start at a small, more-laid-back gig in York. I'll save EIGHT HOURS a week in driving time. I can dress more casually. I can listen to Pandora at my desk. My desk in an office with a window, NOT A CUBICLE.
 
I am being paid 25 percent more, and I'll have an opportunity to earn equity in a growing company.
 
I feel good. This is a relief.

Music

Starting my Friday with some Jethro Tull!

Google Reader

I don't like Google Reader. Not at all.
 
Can you recommend a good online RSS feed reader??

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Great quote; I'd love to say this in a fundamental church!

"I have three things I'd like to say today. First, while you were sleeping last night, 30,000 kids died of starvation or diseases related to malnutrition. Second, most of you don't give a shit. What's worse is that you're more upset with the fact that I said shit than the fact that 30,000 kids died last night."
 
-- Tony Campolo

Bored

Work so boring, I have to struggle to stay awake.

KMFDM

Listening to KMFDM right now because I'm feeling a lot of angst. Grrrrrr...

Monday, September 20, 2010

All I Want Is You

"If you were a wink, I'd be a nod
If you were a seed, I'd be a pod.
If you were the floor, I'd wanna be the rug
And if you were a kiss, I know I'd be a hug"

Will Code at Home

I have a really nice -- REALLY nice -- office in my home. I can work there very efficiently, much more so than in a Corporate Hell-Cubible setting.
 
I want to find work where I can work at my office, with trips to The Site as needed. I can do .NET development -- tons of experience -- or Ruby on Rails.
 
I'm not expecting a lot of money; $50/hour would be fantastic.
 
HOW can I advertise my services? What do you suggest? I thought about placing Craigslist ads in, say, New York City, Philadelphia, Baltmore, DC, etc. ... places within three hours by car or train.
 
Any suggestions?

Ry Cooder

I cannot say often enough how great Ry Cooder is. I'm listening to his album "I, Flathead", and it is incredible.

Green Iced Tea

I'm becoming addicted to Lipton Diet Citrus Green Tea.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Things I Love

In no particular order:
 
Food. Specifically, cooking.
 
Music. I'm way more into music than you are. WAY more. You. Have. No. Idea.
 
H.O. scale slot cars. Yeah.
 
Good scotch, good bourbon, good wine.
 
People. Everyone has a story. Everyone has a dream. Take an interest and you, yourself, will grow tremendously.
 
Surfing. Not the Internet, I mean actual paddle-and-catch-a-wave-in-the-ocean surfing. Once you catch your first wave, you are hooked. For life.
 
Driving a sports car. Don't even have to go fast, but accelerating, braking and corner are a blast.
 
Cars.
 
Watching dirt track sprint cars.
 
Lifting weights. I especially like doing squats, mostly because I've always had strong legs.
 
Creating software. Yeah, I love doing that. It's the "working for other people" stuff I can't stand. I REALLY need to get off my assets and get Jazzr.com up and running. Then, on to DraZING.com.
 
Anything -- movies, mostly -- related to time travel.
 
When my wife hugs me.
 
When my children are around me. They bring out the best in me, they always encourage me. They believe in me, even though they know I'm mostly flawed. That's cool.
 
Pandora.com. Thank G-d for Pandora.com. I often listen to it while driving; a poor man's XM radio.
 
Solar energy stuff. Don't listen to the naysayers, it's real, it works, and I'm doing it. I'll post pictures of my solar water heater when I remember.
 
Sitting around a fire with a really good cigar, an adult beverage, and friends. I don't think there's much better in life.
 
The fact that I know how to throw a knuckle ball. Thank you, Mark Wolfgang, for teaching me that. It's just the coolest pitch ever.
 
Baseball on a summer evening. Baseball in October, too.
 
Finally; I remodeled our master bath a few years ago, and I have two lights. One is a slower-starting florescent light over the sinks. The other is a light over the shower. When I enter the bathroom, I'll turn on the florescent light first, then hit the switch for the incandescent light about a half second later. I hit the one switch first, but the second light comes on first. Kind of like backwards time. I love that.
 
All The Best,
 
-- Don

Quote

"If you don't have enough time, stop watching TV."

ADD Comedy

So, I found a web site with 50 tips for people with ADD (here!).
 
Funny thing is, I read the first three and got distracted. HA HA ...Hyper Multitasking!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Supertramp

Listening to some Supertramp today. Wow ... forgot how much I liked this music. Been a  l-o-n-g  time...

Jimmy Buffet said it best

"Indecision may or may not be my problem."

Short Skirt, Long Jacket

"I want a girl with a mind like a diamond,
I want a girl who knows what's best..."

Question: How to store elapsed time?

How do I store elapsed time?
 
I'm thinking lowest needed increment, i.e. "minutes" in this case.
 
I can transform minutes to hh:mm or 99.9 hours at the GUI level, right?
 
The application, by the way, is a timesheet application, where the largest entry would be 23:59 and the smallest could -- I guess -- be one minute (probably 15 minutes).
 
Sound right to you?

Read This Every Day

http://www.elementsofstyleblog.com/2010/09/read-this-everyday.html

How Low

I just hit a new low. How low can I go? How far can I fall until I hit rock bottom and bounce back up? Will things ever get better??

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Blogline

I'm going to miss Bloglines. Their interface is light years ahead of Google Reader.
 
I'd use a desktop reader, but I'm often using a client's PC and can't put software there.

Adult ADHD

Holy SHIT, this has me NAILED!:

 


Monday, September 13, 2010

Music

Now playing on my iPod:
 
"One Toke Over the Line" by Brewer & Shipley.
 
Great song.

Drinking

I just figured it out; the guy who invented alcohol for human consumption MUST have worked in a cubicle for a lifeless, careless, humanless corporation. Like, say, where I am right now!

Cubicle Life

I cannot use terms strong enough to describe how deeply I hate working in a cubicle. I'm beginning to think it's just not worth it.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Technology, Creativity

I can create software for the web. I can create software for Windows. For the Mac. For Linux. For the Windows phone. For the iPhone. For the iPad. For any other phone.
 
Technology isn't the challenge. The challenge is in The Idea. You -- *I* -- will never "make it big" because we're able to write an application for, say, the iPad. The degree to which we "hit the big time" is directly related to coming up with A Great Idea.
 
Give me an idea, and I'll make my millions. Until then, I might as well throw mashmallows at a brick wall.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Meat Free Monday

Okay, so I'm a little late to the party ... but I'm going to join Paul McCartney's Meat Free Monday movement.

Commuting

I will never be convinced that a software developer must be on site every day.
 
I waste -- not "spend", but WASTE -- at least ten hours a week commuting to a client site. If I'm awake 112 hours a week, that means I'm wasting nine percent of my life.
 
Wow. Now that I put it that way, I'm REALLY hating my commute.

Ruby on Rails

I sent my resume and a cover email to a company in the Boston area last night for a Ruby on Rails position. Not sure if it's full time or part time or contract work, but I sure hope it works out.
 
Wish me luck.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Cynic, Optimist, Do-er

It's too easy to be a cynic.
 
Having hope and optimism is challenging.
 
Creating meaningful change is nearly impossible.
 
Which do you think is the most rewarding? Which describes you?

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Thank You, Steve

Dear Steve Jobs --

Thank you for inventing the iPod. It makes cubicle life bearable.

Design Tip

Forms, database columns, etc; It's not "sex", it's "gender".

Cubicle Life Understood

I now know why people like corporate jobs in a cubicle. They don't have to do a damn thing!
 
Well, other than talk about last night's golf league results and work on the fantasy football draft.
 
(sigh)

Baseball

Went to a York Revolution minor league baseball game last night with three buddies from high school.
 
Had a great time. Minor league baseball is really fun, yet the talent level is still high enough to see some good competition. Even saw a former New York Yankee pitching for York.
 
York won, by the way, 7-5 over the Long Island Ducks.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Work

I work for one, and only one, reason: Money.
 
I don't want people mistakenly thinking that I enjoy work or work for some altruistic reason.
 
For $50 an hour, I'll push a broom.
 
Unless I can get paid for public speaking, it all pretty much sucks.

System Design, Clients, Correctness

What do you do when a client is designing a system incorrectly, you point out the incorrectness, and they ignore your CORRECT analysis?
"Make it work" doesn't apply when, in fact, it WILL NOT work. Primary Key violations aren't something you can just IGNORE.
 
ARGH!!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Pretzel

I could eat a Sigmund soft pretzel right now.

Music

I really, REALLY enjoy Pink Martini.

My Ship Coming In?

Turns out, my ship is never coming in. I have to row.

Moon River

"Moon River", by Henry Mancini, just came on my Pandora radio. I can't help but think of the lovely Audrey Hepburn and the opening scene of Breakfast At Tiffanys.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Can't Find My Way Home

by Eric Clapton

Great song ... Steve Winwood performed it last week at the concert in Connecticut where I saw him. Winwood is great beyond recognition.

Steve Winwood. Jeff Beck. Ry Cooder.

Why is it that the truly great ones aren't household names??

Come down off your throne
And leave your body alone
Somebody must change
You are the reason
I've been waiting so long
Somebody holds the key
Well, I'm near the end and I just ain't got the time
Well, I'm wasted and I can't find my way home


Come down on your own
And leave your money at home
Somebody must change
You are the reason
I've been waiting all these years
Somebody holds the key
I'm near the end, and I just ain't got the time
Oh, and I'm wasted, and I can't find my way home


But I can't find my way home
But I can't find my way home
But I can't find my way home
But I can't find my way home
Still, I can't find my way home
And, I ain't done nothing wrong
But, I can't find my way home

Sunday, July 04, 2010

July 4th ... Freedom!

So today is the day I celebrate my freedom. Awesome. I'm so thankful.

Hmmm ... think I'll build a pavilion in my back yard and invite some ... oh ... wait ... that's illegal without a permit.

Okay, well, we'll just get some fireworks and ... what's that? Oh yeah ... they're illegal.

I'll just jump in my car, put the windows down, and blast patriotic music around town ... just make sure it's not too loud ... you know, local ordinance and all that.

I know! I'll just head down the local bar -- make sure you fasten your seatbelt, don't want to get a ticket! -- and watch some sports on TV and enjoy a cigar. Dammit ... that's right, smoking in a bar is illegal.

I'll just grab a beer and walk up the street to talk to my neighbors about our hard-won freedoms. Well, on second thought, carrying an open beer is illegal, so ...

I think I'll sit in front of the TV and watch PBS specials all day about the Revolutionary War and how men purchased our freedoms with their lives.

*sigh*

All The Best,

-- Don

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The President

He signed a bill that gave amnesty to undocumented immigrants. He grew the size of the federal government and the budget, added a whole new cabinet level agency and added tens of thousands of government workers to the federal payroll. He tripled the deficit. He bailed out and expanded social security with a big fat tax increase. He raised corporate taxes by hundreds of billions of dollars. He raised taxes on gasoline. He, in fact, signed into law the largest tax increase in history. He supported federal handgun control. He called for a world without nuclear weapons.



Name That President.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Self-Humiliation

I've heard that one of the better ways to motivate yourself is to make a public statement while also being willing to humiliate yourself.

My goal is to get back to "six-pack abs" by the end of summer (that's September 22 for those who are astronomically challenged).

No drugs. No special diets. My plan is to light heavy weights (squat, deadlift, bench, repeat) every other day as well as watch my caloric intake (1,900 calories a day) and macro nutrients.

I can't believe I've let myself go like this. It's disgusting. But it's temporary!

So ... here goes. Here -- go ahead and laugh and say "yuck" and such-like -- is my BEFORE picture, as of June 9, 2010:



All The Best,

-- Don

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Older and Grumpier

Why is it that older people, who are retired and pretty much have nothing else to do, are the ones who complain the most about waiting in the doctor's lobby? What, are they missing The Price Is Right or something?? And, they have to complain out loud, making sure everyone hears them so they can make us all miserable. ARGH!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Importance of Solitude

Don't forget Solitude

We are, by nature I believe, social creatures. Quite frankly, most of us enjoy being seen. The popularity of coffee shops, for example, is that one can "be alone with other people". Social and visible.

In our (American) day-to-day lives, we are constantly on the go and surrounded by -- or interacting with -- scores of people. While this may help us develop and refine our social skills, it can also serve to dial up the stress levels to an unhealthy level.

To counteract this, we resort to such things as MP3 players and ear buds. However, one oft-overlooked solution to "Social Overload" is Solitude.

Solitude is temporary withdrawal. Isolation. A "coming apart" from the crowd to set oneself alone, with no distractions, no responsibilities and -- ideally -- minimal noise.

Solitude doesn't not necessarily mean sitting alone in a cabin in the woods and contemplating The Meaning Of Life. At the same time, simply sitting in a coffee shop with ear buds in, listening to Vangelis while writing blog entries is not solitude. I believe there's the necessity of physical separation involved in true solitude. What you choose to do during that time, I believe, is not nearly as important as the physical isolation.

Recently, for example, I enjoyed a day of solitude while working on a software project. I sat alone in an apartment in New York City, listening to enjoyable music (Gotan Project -- great stuff!) and sipping rum while working. Not only was I able to work at twice my normal pace, but the solitude enabled me to relax while still working. This helped me get into "Flow", yet stay connected with my realization that I was enjoying what I was doing but could quit at any time. At no time did I need to concern myself with the thoughts or actions of others. It was spiritual.

Solitude may be for only a few hours; It need not be a weekend (that would be terrific, and keeping in line with a new tradition I am starting for myself, that of a regular "retreat" to Solitude). Solitude need not be in a monastic setting; My own was in Alphabet City, sirens and music included.

Solitude must -- as obvious as it may sound -- involve only self. While that may seem selfish to some, let me remind you that you cannot pour a cool drink from an empty vessel.

All The Best,

-- Don

Saturday, May 08, 2010

George Rekers

George Rekers has made quite a splash in the news lately. If you're not familiar with the so-called scandal, quickly:

This guy is huge in the "you can become NOT gay through therapy/religion" movement.

So, he was photographed returning from a 10-day trip to Europe with a male escort. The escort can be hired through a website that rents gay escorts.

The buzz, especially from the political left, is that this Rekers bashes gays and wants to limit their rights and yet it turns out he, himself, is gay.

Rekers has defended his actions by saying he hired the guy to help him with his luggage while traveling, and that he (Rekers) used the opportunity to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the escort.

The liberal media has jumped all over Rekers' apparent hypocrisy.

Disclaimer: Politically, I'm mostly liberal (with exceptions, mostly the 2nd Amendment, because -- like it or not -- it's the Constitution).

Anyhow, here's the thing: Rekers MAY be telling the truth, and I think it's unfair to ASSUME the scandal. Here's what may very well have happened:

Through is network of contacts, Rekers learned of a very contentious "gay guy" who could help him. Rekers then asked the guy to help him, knowing that he'd have 10 days to show true Christian love and explain the gospel.

And so he did.

After they returned, a photograph was taken at the airport where Rekers was tending to the luggage, "proving" that Rekers didn't need help because of surgery. In fact, when the photograph was taken, Rekers was not carrying anything and he very well could have been looking for documents (passport?) in his carryon luggage.

Later, the "scandal" breaks. The escort, now learning who Rekers is, sees the opportunity to "slam" this gay-basher and tells the press of a gay trist in Europe.

We don't know the fact, and never will. Do we really want to assume that Rekers is a hypocrit? Is that the kind of society we want to be? Do we want to assume the worst?

Given a lack of evidence, I suggest this story be ignored and just go away. With the Gulf of Mexico being destroyed by a huge oil spill and our government's efforts to reign in an unchecked Wall Street, don't we have bigger fish to fry?

All The Best,

-- Don

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Physician, Heal Thyself [Design]

Years ago I read a terrific book -- I very strongly recommend it -- by Duane Elgin called "Voluntary Simplicity".

The second edition is out, and I think someone missed the gist. Check out the original cover (white) as compared to the second edition.

Simplicity??



Tuesday, January 05, 2010

My 2010 Book List

Books I will read in 2010. But for a few slight changes, it's identical to my 2009 list. Last year was a bad year for me, and I think the lack of reading reflects that.

This year will be better.

  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. Getting Real, 37signals (My copy is autographed by Jason, Ryan and DHH).
  7. The 4-Hour Workweek, Timothy Ferriss (I've read this once already).
  8. Maximum Achievement, Brian Tracy.
  9. Life Makeovers, Cheryl Richardson.
  10. The Art Of Happiness, His Holiness The Dalai Lama.
  11. To Our Children's Children, Bob Greene & D. G. Fulford.
  12. Og Mandino's University Of Success, Og Mandino.
  13. Beyond Booked Solid, Michael Porter.
  14. The Omnivore's Dilemma, Michael Pollan (Almost finished).
  15. The Ten-Day MBA, Steven Silbiger.
  16. Simple Steps, Lisa Lelas, Linda McClintock, Beverly Zingarella, and Lu Ann Cahn.
  17. Grow Younger, Live Longer, Deepak Chopra.
  18. Great Tastes Made Simple, Andrea Immer.
  19. Great Wine Made Simple, Andrea Immer.
  20. Waking the Dead, John Eldredge.
  21. The Spectrum, Dr. Dean Ornish.
  22. The Assertiveness Workbook, Randy J. Peterson, Ph.D.

All The Best,

-- Don