Saturday, December 30, 2006

Sadam Hussein has finally paid the price for crimes against humanity

I just heard that phrase on the news (I heard about his hanging last night, but that phrase caught my ear).

Actually, I think he's just beginning to pay the price. The hanging was the beginning. He will continue to pay the price forever.

I think there's something significant that he was hanged in the same week that Gerald Ford died. It's that "compare and contrast" thing you hated so much in high school. Gerald Ford, who pardoned Nixon, did something that was extremely un-popular, but now most historians feel it was the right thing to do. It closed the book on one of the ugliest periods in American history. Somehow, Saddam's death now closes the book (or maybe starts the closing) on another ugly period (the Iraq war).

My sincere belief is that Saddam needed to be removed from office. I'm not sure if this was the right way, but I'm also not sure if there was another way. I'm not sure his death will help bring the war to a close, but I hope it turns the page, ends the chapter and all that's left is the epilogue.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Gerald Ford dies

When Gerald Ford became president, I was 14 years old. I was still in high school when he left the presidency. I wasn't involved in (or even caring about) politics at the time. I wasn't allowed to vote for or against him. So I really don't recall much about him.

I do recall the Mayaguez incident, a ship that supposedly was not a spy ship (wink, wink) that was taken be a group. I recalled that during Ford's presidency he sent troops in to rescue hostages. I recall it being successful. Recently, I had to research this incident for some other reasons (can't even recall why) and it looks like my memories weren't as good as I thought they were. The incident seems to have been not as much of a success as I thought. I may have to do more research.

Ford is most remembered for pardoning Richard Nixon. Contrary to his own admissions, Nixon was a crook. He was paranoid. Whether he was involved in the original Watergate break in or not, he was involved in the cover-up. He also was a phony. Having church services in the White House, then having an attitude that showed no reverence for the religion he used. Had congress been allowed to continue investigating him, it would have tied up the country for months. Maybe pardoning Nixon wasn't the best option, but it quickly put the issue to rest. I agree with Ford that the pardon was a quick solution. I don't believe America could have handled more months of post-Watergate investigation.

But it cost Ford his re-election. Surely Ford knew this was likely. Surely he knew the cost BEFORE he issued the pardon. He made a concious decision to do what he thought was best for the country, despite what it meant for him personally. For that, I respect him.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas

Somehow things never work the way we intended. We hope for something that doesn't come. We plan and plan and work to make sure everyone is happy. But somehow, something just falls through the cracks.

This seems to happen most often at Christmas. We plan all year for this one holiday and somehow, it doesn't live up to our expectations.

Several years ago, I realized that I fell into this trap. I've since realized that maybe it's better to just "go with the flow". Some folks will get stressed and lose their cool. Others will be disappointed. I can't change what they feel. I can only change how I feel. And I choose not to be stressed....

Merry Christmas to all...

Friday, December 22, 2006

Writing a blog

Typically, I don't quote things here, except to use as a jumping point for my own text. On my home page I have a "quote of the day". Today's seemed more important than anything I could say myself.

"Writing gives you the illusion of control, and then you realize it's just an illusion, that people are going to bring their own stuff into it." - David Sedaris

Thursday, December 21, 2006

As long as the message stays the same

Regarding churches that try to be "seeker sensitive". Some folks don't like it. Does that mean they want to be seeker insensitive? Others say it's ok as long as the message stays the same.

Here's the theory. A lot of 20-somethings and 30-somethings (and even some 40-somethings) are seeking answers, but don't want to go to a traditional church. For whatever reason, they were burned out on church at some point in the past. They don't want pews and stale music. Instead they want worship and praise. Sermons that don't accuse (remind) them of sin. Walk in wearing whatever is comfortable, greet everyone with a smile, drink a cup of coffee or even cappachino. Sing a few songs, here a message that's easy on the ears and walk out with a smile on the face. Ready to take on the world.

As long as the message stays the same.

I choose to disagree. Maybe we need to change the message. Maybe the reason these folks are seeking is that they are seeking the Truth. We spend too much time focusing on sin and listing them out (thou shalt not drink, thou shalt not have sex, thou shalt not have fun) and too little time focusing on the sinner. As Conservative Christians (I count myself in that group), we focus on the other person's sin. Maybe we should be reminded that when Paul pointed out that homosexuals and prostitutes wouldn't inherit the kingdom of heaven, he also pointed out that we were no better than that. Our past is just as dirty.

How many of us remember that? How often do we think of that? Didn't Jesus warn us against praying with words like "I'm glad I'm not like that guy over there"?

We aren't better than those other guys. Maybe we DO need to change our message.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Coffee pots and ironing boards

Sitting in my hotel room, drinking a cup of freshly made coffee. I wonder, who was the first person to suggest selling coffee pots to hotels? This place has probably about 300 rooms. Salesman walks in the door and asks for the manager. "Boy have I got an idea for you!!" Right. He probably got thrown out of more hotels than a $25 prostitute.

This pot is made by Mr. Coffee. It's relatively cheapley made. I'm guessing it would sell (in large numbers) for about $5. When they first came out, they were more expensive, competition drove the price down. So say $10 originally. That means the hotel would spend $3,000. Not a lot of money, but hotel margins aren't that high and why would they do it?

"Well, Mr. Manager, I was just visiting the hotel across the street and they are going to buy them. Do you want to be the only hotel in town without coffee pots?"

No, I'm not really a sales-person. But then, in a way we all are sales people. Some of us a little less direct.

One of my favorite stories growing up was The Man Who Sold the Moon, by Robert Heinlein. This guy arranges for companies to sponsor him in building a space ship. Sci-Fi sales. Very cool.

I think I'll go iron my shirt before my presentation....

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


I flew to Jacksonville Florida today. First flight was just under an hour. A real sweet young lady sat beside me. We chatted, turns out she knows my cousin. We talked about her company, my company, things to do in San Diego (she's headed there), etc. Very pleasant.

Next leg of the trip was very late taking off. They loaded 7 or 8 people on by wheel chair. We were probably 30 minutes late leaving. Finally boarded and sat next to a young man from Sweden. He had very good English (probably better than mine) and was very literate. He's a student, studying geography. Now that to me doesn't sound like a major, more like a single course. But he figures he will teach geography at the college.

He was traveling with his family (5 of them). Very nice young man. We talked about different countries he's visited. Maybe I should go see Europe....

It's beginning to sound a lot like Christmas

Why? All of the fighting. Well, not really fighting, but fussing. One wants to have Christmas in the morning. One wants it in the afternoon. Well, more people can be there in the morning. But I've been planning for this all year. On and on.

Having 4 adult children with their own lives, it's difficult to get them all together. We've known for a long time this was coming. This year, I decided to sit out all the negotiations over when to do these things. Instead, I give them my calendar and tell them the reuirements and let them decide. I delegate the responsibility. Sometimes, they need some insight on ways to solve the problem (maybe we can share presents on a different day). Sometimes they need some encouragement (CALL YOUR SISTER!).

Christmas will likely be different this year. But it's already sounding like Christmas day.

Monday, December 18, 2006

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas

This weekend I had the opportunity to meet with family for our Christmas get together. I think this is the first time we have ever gotten together BEFORE Christmas, typically it's afterwards. As one of 6 kids, it's hard to get us all together.

My mom has 9 grandchildren. Five of the grandchildren were there, with spouses. All 3 of her great-grandchildren were there.

Afterwards, I went to see my daughter and her husband sing in their church christmas musical. It was very light, but included a chance for us all to sing along. I feel for the ladies that sat in front of me, I hope I didn't overpower the choir in their ears. I really enjoyed the singing and of couse, I could easily pick out my little girl's voice among the 140 or so people that were backing her up. In all honesty, I think she was the ONLY one that did not have a music book, she had memorize all of the music. She really showed joy in her face. It made me proud.

It was a good family time.

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Blog, blog, blog

I found out earlier this week that you can use google search blogs. Gonna give blogging another try...

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Head-on - Apply directly to the forehead

I haven't blogged in a while. No one cares.

There's a new product out, called Head-On. The commercial says "Head-on - Apply directly to the forehead". It repeats this about 3 times. Maybe more. Never tells what the product is for or anything else.

Wikipedia says the primary ingredient is wax and the active ingredients are too diluted to do any good.

Now there is a follow-on product named Knee-on (apply directly to the knee) and there is a new commercial that effectively bashes the initial commercial (but says the product is good).

In marketing, this is Brand Awareness. After watching the commercial, you are aware of it. The new product is a step towards product development, one of four growth strategies.

You could also call this the Interest step. Awareness leads to interest. By watching the commercial, you are aware of it, next time you're at the CVS you'll look for it (interest). You may even have a desire for it, then you'll purchase it (action).

And this commercial came out while I'm taking a marketing class.....

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Pluses and minuses

Sometimes when you add something new to life, you have to take something away. Sometimes you think you can add something new and still keep everything you had. But later you realize you have to take something away.

It shouldn't be that way. You should be able to add something, without losing the things you had. But when you do, you have to choose what to loose. You work hard to make sure that the things you loose understand. You work hard to keep them.

But if you have to loose something, you loose it. And then it doesn't matter any more.

I've not given up yet, I think I can keep the old and the new. I just hope the old realizes, someday, what I did and why I did it.

Pluses and minuses

Sometimes when you add something new to life, you have to take something away. Sometimes you think you can add something new and still keep everything you had. But later you realize you have to take something away.

It shouldn't be that way. You should be able to add something, without losing the things you had. But when you do, you have to choose what to loose. You work hard to make sure that the things you loose understand. You work hard to keep them.

But if you have to loose something, you loose it. And then it doesn't matter any more.

I've not given up yet, I think I can keep the old and the new. I just hope the old realizes, someday, what I did and why I did it.

Pluses and minuses

Sometimes when you add something new to life, you have to take something away. Sometimes you think you can add something new and still keep everything you had. But later you realize you have to take something away.

It shouldn't be that way. You should be able to add something, without losing the things you had. But when you do, you have to choose what to loose. You work hard to make sure that the things you loose understand. You work hard to keep them.

But if you have to loose something, you loose it. And then it doesn't matter any more.

I've not given up yet, I think I can keep the old and the new. I just hope the old realizes, someday, what I did and why I did it.

home again, home again, jiggity jig

When the kids were little, I would quote this line. As I pulled into the driveway after a long trip, I would say "home again, home again, jiggity jig." Eventually, I would just say "home again, home again" and they would finish "jiggity jig".

A few months ago, I did this again, "home again, home again" and my daughter finished "jiggity jig" without even thinking about it.

Internally, I smiled. I hope they continue this little ditty with their kids.

It's good to be home again.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Starting again

I took a sabbatical for a few months, now I'm trying to start again. I'm out of town (again), as usual a short trip. I'll be back in my own bed tomorrow. One more week, then I get vacation. I need it this time, sometimes it's just fun. But it seems like now I can't get away from work. Even on my days off, the phone rings and it's work. I do get time off on "work" days, so I guess it balances out.

If you read this, let me know. Comments or emails are appreciated..

Thursday, April 20, 2006


He was a good man. He got me interested in computers, oh so many years ago. I had to do a report for an Algebra class. he gave me a tour of a computer room. I took home a computer punch card and a strip of magnetic tape. I stapled these to a report and turned it in. I think I got an A.

Whenever the family needed anything, he was quick to help. The question was not why, but was how much. He would have gladly given the shirt off of his back, and then brought you another one the second day.

Life was hard for him. I certainly don't know all of the reasons. He had struggles he could not overcome. They pulled him down daily. He wouldn't ask for help, that wasn't his way. I feel like his struggles caused distance between him and those that should have been close to him. Just my impression. I know that I've seen that with folks around me. The struggles caused a distance, a gap or a chasm. Eventually, I learned that the struggles weren't mine and I could get close anyway.

Life's no longer hard for him. Rest easy.

Sunday, April 02, 2006


Back in November (I think) I blogged about Anna. Now it's Anthony's turn. Coming into the world on 3/30 weighing in at 5 pounds 10 ounces, he's an amazing little thing. I've never held a baby that small (the twins were smaller). Even so, he is a force to be reckoned with. Lungs as powerful as an adult. Stuff that comes out is as strong as anyones.

I always said that babies were a sign from God that he intended for the world to continue. A miracle from God, babies teach us so much. Anthony has the ability to teach his parents, his grand-parents, aunts and uncles. Or to be used by God to teach them.

Here's to Anthony and all that he brings into the world...

Monday, March 27, 2006


A few days ago, I blogged (is that a verb?) about travel. That was a four day trip, now I'm off on a short one-night stand. Wait that sounds bad, let's call it a short one night STAY.

Anyway, because I'm away from home so much, I'm a Hilton Gold VIP. Whoop-de-do. They welcome me back and congratulate me on achieving Gold VIP status. I get to stay on the executive floor (if rooms are availalble) which means I have to use my room key card to get the elevator to work. I guess that also means no non-executives could visit me without me going to get them. But no one ever visits me anyway. I get a nice robe to wear around the room. It's not terry cloth like those ones that weigh 50 pounds, but it's nice. Of course, I can walk around the room any way I want, so that doesn't mean much. Coffee in the room is standard. There's a nice lobby area on the executive floor that has continental breakfast and hor's devours (which I don't know how to spell). I'll skip breakfast today as I'm meeting someone, but it's typically good.

When I checked in, they gave me room 666. Now I'm not into numerology, and numbers don't usually bother me. I've stayed in rooms ended in 13. I've stayed on the 13th floor. But this bothered me a little. I looked at it originally and didn't get the significance. I saw it as 6th floor, room 66. But then I thought about it...

I got to the room and it was nice. King size bed and a pull out couch. Which was half-way pulled out. In front of it should have been a coffee table. Instead, the coffee table was turned on it's side, standing in the corner. There were two adjoining rooms. Adjoing rooms don't bother me, there's two sets of doors so no one can get through (at least not honest people). But I've never seen two of them.

I fixed the couch as it bothered me. Then I fixed the coffee table. I could have left all of that, but somehow it bothered me. I've never been accused of being a neat freak, but this bothered me. I picked up the card that described Free High-Speed internet connection, then put it down and decided to go to the bathroom. Before I did, I heard a knock on the door. Realizing that these mythical visitors that I spoke of earlier could get to me on the executive floor, I knew it was someone associated with the hotel. Probably congratulating me again on my achieving Gold VIP status.

I opened the door and Doogie Howser explained that he was the manager and that the front desk had put me in the wrong room. Seems housekeeping had inspected the room and notice some problems which hadn't been fixed yet. And they didn't want to put me in a defective room. I think that's code words for they had higher paying guest. I honestly did see someone from housekeeping walking down the hall when I was looking for my room.

Anyway, I no longer had to worry about 666...

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Tomorrow is here now

Yesterday was the day for procrastinating. What does that mean today is for? Doing the things that I procrastinated yesterday? How does one manage procrastinations, can you roll them over like an short term CD. What interest rate is applied? Or is it more like a credit card, where you keep rolling it over and paying higher and higher interest rates?

Have you noticed that when you procrastinate, you not only put off the one big thing you are avoiding, you put off a lot of smaller less important things. If you did the small things and continued to avoid the big thing, would it be less procrastinating, somehow, less sinful? I'm not sure.

Are there degrees of procrastination and if so, how are they measured? Is it based on how long you procrastinate or how many re-procrastinations you perform, or based on the size of the thing you procrastinate or maybe the impact that will be felt if it doesn't get done on time?

And looking at the last paragraph, can you procrastinate a thing? or is it just procrastination in general? Is it possible to re-procrastinate or is it just a one time thing (I know I've procrastinated the same thing multiple times - so I may have broken two english rules at once).

Final set of questions, what is the opposite of procrastinate? Concrastinate doesn't sound right, I like a simpe crastinate. "We will crastinate no task before it's time." I like the sound of that. I think I'll make that my new motto. I wonder if I can get a servicemark (SM) applied to that phrase. All the companies are doing that now, sorta like a trademark for a phrase. This would be my phrase. Everytime someone said it, they would have to send me $1. I wouldn't want to charge more, no one would use it. If I charged less, it wouldn't be worth the hassle. Maybe I could even sell the phrase on e-bay...

Friday, March 24, 2006


Wikipedia says procrastination is the deferment or avoidence of an action or task which requires completion by focusing on some other action or task.

It also says that the word itself comes from the Latin word procrastinatus: pro- (forward) and crastinus (of tomorrow).

So does the word procrastinating mean that I am pro-tomorrow? I think so. It means I look forward to tomorrow and doing that which I defer today. Think about it, who would not want to be pro-tomorrow? Would you vote for someone who was not pro-tomorrow? Would you hire that person?

Right now, I could be working on my test. Instead I think I'll be pro-tomorrow...

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


This is a week of travel. Two short hops to Richmond, Va, two nights in the Hilton Garden Inn, an hour drive to Fredericksburg, Va, one night at the Holiday Inn, another hour drive to DC, followed by another flight back.

Travel sounds glorious to a lot of folks, to me it's just part of the job. The hotels are nice, food is ok, but there's nothing glorious. I don't hate the travel, I tolerate it. Planes don't scare me, when my time comes, God will take me home whether it's from a plane, a car or my own bed at home. I don't like to be away from home, but for short periods it's not bad.

So travel is just a part of life.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


Why is it, some people escalate everything into a crisis? They will delay working on something right up to a deadline, then when it doesn't work, it's a crisis. If they had only started earlier.

Then they point fingers at other people. The goal becomes to point the finger at someone else instead of the fix the problem.


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Blogless in Seattle

I started blogging because others were doing it and I was challenged to do it also. Now the ones that challenged me have stopped blogging. One quite for job reasons, another's last entry was in December and a third seems to have gotten hijcacked sometime in December, came back for one day in February and disappeard again.

To blog or not to blog, that is the question. It's a lot of work, for little return...

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


OK, I'm taking classes towards my MBA. I'm the oldest person in the program (soon to be 47) and that disturbs me a little. Most of the folks are in their late 20's or early 30's. Very few are managers or if they are it's in an unrelated field. So I get little or no networking benefits. I won't get an automatic raise out of it or a promotion. So why do I do it? Because it's there..

Actually, it's for the sheer learning experience. See I'm bored with my job. The next computer will be faster, but it will pretty much do the same thing the current computers do. A new operating system may come out, but it will be a lot like the current systems. This industry is evolutionary. Only the marketing folks like to call it revolutionary.

So I have two classes I'm taking now, Corporate Finance and Business Negotiations and four more to go. This summer I take an HR class. Then there's a marketing class, that I've heard is hard. I could take it in the summer or wait until fall. The last class is Managerial Policy, sort of a little of everything. And one more elective. I've looked at the tentative schedule and there are no good electives scheduled. So I may invent my own and get approval. I'm thinking some along the lines of Sociology.

Any ideas out there?

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

OK, so I skipped a few days

No one wants to read about my recovery. I'm back at work and at school. Enough said.

Who knows the value of "e"? It's 2.71828.... That means it just keeps going. Tonight, in my MBA class we studied how to calculate it. I learned this in high school. Or maye college. Anyone with a calculator or PC can get it easily, why should we care?

Coretta Scott King was buried. Why was her funeral turned into a political fight? From reports I've read, Clinton and Carter both made it political. Same thing for Lowrey who was former head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which Martin Luther King helped found in 1957.

Why make it political?

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Day plus two

The day after the day after is usually the hardest. Or at least that's what people say. Today has been harder than yesterday. First, it was boring. Everyone is worried about me trying to do too much. I fiddled with some computers. Walked up the street and back (about 1/4 mile) and a little more stuff like that. Nothing exciting at all.


Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Day plus one

Surgery was yesterday. After a four hour delay, I got in. Minor changes, they kept me awake and talking, which was ok. I think I had my eyes closed.

I got to my room around 6pm. Due to all the changes, I lost the option to go home early. I slept off and on through the evening, but never more than about 2 hours at a time. Around 5am, I walked down the hall and around the corner. It was only a few hundred feet, but it felt wonderful. For the first time in two months, the pain doesn't get progressively worse as I walk. I can stand for minutes at a time without pain.

What a difference a day makes.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

T minus 1 days and counting

Ok, I should have said "and counting" not "in counting" on my last post. I can blame it on the drugs.

I keep wondering, if they are going to do a laminectomy, does that mean they are laminating my back? Or is it that my back was already laminated, and they are taking off the lamina?

Early tomorrow morning, I go in and take a nice little nap. Everyone says it will be like the 60's. Then I will wake up with tubes coming out of various parts of my body and I get to see if I'm better. If I feel like it, I can come home same day. Or I can spend the night. I do have a private room and my wife is going to stay, it'll be like a hotel room.

Probably no posts for a couple days. They tell me I can get up and move around, do email etc. the first few days. So maybe not too long.

See you on the other side!

Saturday, January 28, 2006

T minus 2 days in counting

My left leg and hip has been hurting for about two months. In reality, some of the pains started long before that. I've had an MRI and it confirms that I have a bluging disc in my L4/L5 vertebrae touching the S1 nerve. What this means it the problem is in my back, even though my leg hurts.

I'm now scheduled for a laminectomy on Monday. I'm looking forward to it. I've read a lot about it and think it is the best option towards me returning to normal (or as normal as I've ever been). Wish me luck!!