Thursday, November 01, 2012

Housecleaning

Every once in a while -- as in just a few moments ago -- I delete all my Pandora stations and start over.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

My son posted the following on Facebook. It's spot on:

If I get promoted in November, I'll need to consider voting for Romney. I mean, screw the "freeloaders" right? I got here all by my damn self with no help from anyone. 

Well, except for public school, public library, state grants for college, state-assisted college, federal subsidized loans, NIH for funding my undergraduate and graduate research, tax breaks for education, public transportation to take me to work, cops to keep me safe, military to employ me as a government employee and teach me things, military to keep me safe, FDIC to protect my investments, roads to ride my bike on, New York State for helping me get health insurance which paid out nearly 30,000 dollars when I was hit by a truck, public parks where I got to run cross country and hang out as a teenager, VA benefits to help out my grandpa in his last days so I could enjoy being around him, social security for the people I love, clean rivers and mountains enforced and cleaned up by the EPA so I can enjoy the great outdoors, food and drug regulation and enforcement (even if it needs improved) so I don't end up with poisonous milk like in China, NIH CDC to stamp out diseases, National Weather Service so I can obsessively check if it's snowing (it's not yet), and subsidized housing so the guy trying to work his way up from nothing can be close to his job. 

But BESIDES ALL THAT, and surely some more, I did it all by myself and am completely self sufficient.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

My Father Has Passed Away

On Sunday, August 26, my dad of 84 years passed away. We were very close. He was as fine a father that one could be.

This I wrote as the closing prayer at his memorial service today:

Just as the sun arcs across the sky, the lives of others arcs across our horizon.

Some are like shooting stars. The appearance is too brief, but so spectacular that you feel blessed having seen it.

Others move so slowly, you forget that they are moving, and you start to expect them to always be there.

Their light helps us to find our way, to see through dark times. Light, warmth, energy.

As we know, the sun eventually sets. It’s out of view. It’s, in a sense, gone.

Not really gone. It is now lighting another part of our existence, a place where we don’t currently stand, a place to which we’ve not yet traveled. The light shines there, instead.

In a similar sense, by Faith we believe that loved ones merely fade from our view, their light gone from our lives, but shining on in another place, a place where we don’t currently stand, a place to which we’ve not yet traveled.

My prayer includes the joy of having lived in the light of my dad, the comfort of knowing he’s shining on just over the horizon, and a bit of a challenge that my light will shine to light the way for others.

May you carry this prayer and contemplation with you and remember it every time you recall my dad.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

I'm a Two-Percenter

My I.Q. is in the top two percent. It can be a curse.

The problem with being very intelligent is that you see mistakes and ignorance all around, and it bothers you. Ignorance truly must be bliss.

The worst combination is ignorance plus arrogance ... which defines Religious Fundamentalists.

I resent being calledl "elite" because I'm well-educated. It's not a coincidence that the well-educated are the more open-minded.

If this post bothers you, you need to examine your own beliefs, intelligence and education. There's no shame in being less intelligent; The problem lies in the pride of not deferring to those with more knowledge.

I realize this post may come across as smug, arrogant or conceited. I also know that many of my friends will agree with me, if only silently. That's fine, I'll say that which is understood yet not spoken.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Thanks, Jason

I've never been a creative person. Artists and designers and inventive engineers always irked me ... everything comes to them so easily.

I'm a computer frickin' programmer. I'm not creative, I just write code to get things done. Meh.

That was what I thought. Until a few years ago, when I had dinner with Jason Fried, founder of 37signals. During the course of our conversation, he insisted that a software developer is creative:

You create code out of thin air. That's creative.

Wow. I never thought about it that way.

A strange transformation happened in that moment: I suddenly saw myself as creative.

Funny thing, since that time, I've been incredibly creative. I come up with brilliant ideas on a very regular basis now, so much that I'm astounded by my ideas. I actually have too many ideas and am in the process of reading a book to learn how to license my ideas.

I can't explain it, but it's exciting and also a bit overwhelming. Now, I see things that don't exist. I see improvements to existing things or processes. It's as though I've been given a special insight.

I have no idea of the origin of the ideas -- "Greater Consciousness", "Universal Intelligence", "Unified Field Theory", "God" -- call it what you want, but I do know that it's actually fun. I feel like a channel, as though I'm simply "tuned in" to the proper frequency and am picking up signals from every source, all the time.

So, thank you, Jason, for triggering a flood of self-confidence and belief that has resulted in a river of ideas.

All The Best,

-- Don

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Why I'm A Better Software Developer Than Most

Their code -- Amateur:





My code -- Professional:





Which would you rather maintain?

This is why I'm a professional. This is only one small reason why I make more than the amateurs.