Showing posts from July, 2012

On Steve Jobs (NSFW)

I work in technology.  I'm writing this on a second generation Macbook Air.  My family owns or has owned: 2 ipod classics, 3 ipod nano's, 1 Intel iMac, 3 iPhones (1 3G, 1 iphone 4, 1 4s).  I'm not a fanboi, but I'm in the neighborhood.

That disclosed, let me be very clear in my position:  Fuck Steve Jobs.

Not because of what he did--he did great things (Apple, NeXT, Pixar, Apple...again), nor for his tyrannical management.  I raise the cyber middle finger to Jobs because people conflate the two.  They conclude that to do great things, you must be a tyrant, and that's just wrong.  In fact, the collateral damage of Jobs may take more than a decade to undo, just because people misunderstand who he was.

I find little to respect in Jobs the man or Jobs the leader.  He bred fear and distrust in his subordinates.  He surrounded himself with people afraid of him, and destroyed people for fun.  He was an awful father, the …

A Sick Sunday: Gross, with Lots of TV

After a great date night last night--long, in-depth conversations and understanding--I awoke this morning feeling like crap.

I'll spare you the details, but the quote of the morning was, "Great.  You apparently have Cholera."  Given the symptoms, I couldn't disagree.

So, I slept 'til about noon, with Whitney insisting I stay hydrated, then I watched a few episodes of 'Glee' on Amazon Prime (okay, the first 6 eps of the first season).

The girls went out to Evans Orchard for the late afternoon.  Naturally, amid our drought, today was a day for spotty downpours, so they didn't get to have much fun, but the did return with three movies: "Happy Feet 2," "Ghostrider 2," and "This Means War."

Happy Feet 2 was a plotless mess.

This Means War surprised in its punchy simplicity and appeal to both male and female audiences :-)  We both liked it.  Honestly, it's the only time I've seen Chelsea Handler in a still or moving i…

Stomachaches, headaches, and stress

Just wanted to jot down a few notes so I'd remember this week:

Sunday I heard a great sermon at church, then took Maria and Grace down to see Mom & Dad.  We had a nice little visit, then drove back through 1 hour of solid downpour.  It didn't rain at all in Georgetown, though.Monday I had a quasi-regular day at work and then spent 2.5 hours with my pastor thereafter.Tuesday I had a somewhat regular day at work, though my "Driving Change" group--Dave Ellison and Patricia Ritchie--were back in town so we had some practice and preliminary work to do.Wednesday was Driving Change, all day, and a webchat with Cebu from 7->7:30 am.  I was late showing up for the first presentation and was behind most of the day.  At lunchtime, we got to sit with our CEO Paul Rooke and my Division Vice President, Marty Canning, to discuss how to move change through Lexmark.Thursday was the big presentation day.  I woke up nauseated and threw up twice...couldn't tell if it was nerve…

Real life -v- Fake life: Ecclesiastes

In Ecclesiastes 6:3-7, we read:
3If a manfathers a hundred children and livesmanyyears, however manythey be, but his soul is not satisfied with goodthings and he does not evenhave a proper burial, then I say, "Betterthe miscarriagethan he, 4 for it comes in futility and goes into obscurity ; and its name is covered in obscurity. 5 "It neversees the sun and it neverknows anything; it is better off than he. 6 "Even if the other man lives a thousandyearstwice and does not enjoygoodthings -do not allgo to oneplace ?" 7All a man'slabor is for his mouth and yet the appetite is not satisfied.  
My pastor told me a story last night:
I once had a trusted colleague, a Christian, who held me accountable when I was young in Christ.  Like me, he was a lawyer, but he seemed to have that work/life balance thing figured out.  I asked him how he did it.

"You know," the man said, "it's funny. I'd go to work and have all these accomplishmen…


Two months into our new house, amid the Drought of 1988 (redux).

What's gone wrong:

Mold.  Pervasive mold on every floor, especially in the basement.  At the moment, my wife refuses to go down there for any length of time.HVAC.  Turns out the mold on the top floor was caused by the 23-year-old HVAC unit that was listed as '7 years old' on the disclosure form.  In reality, the AC coil was leaking, and the drip pan was rusted out, so whenever it ran, it ran moisture down into the drywall in my girls' room.  New HVAC system installed upstairs, on credit. #facepalmTV reception.  Despite my current efforts (the booster we had on our old house) the Jerry-rigged (asshole was named 'Jerry') coax from the attic VHF/UHF antenna won't pull in our local PBS affiliate after 8am.Dishwasher leaks on the lower left front corner.Plumbing fun: Slow drain in the downstairs bath, indifferent water pressure (cold or hot) in downstairs bath, leaky trap O-ring under the kitchen si…

A Year as an "Architect," looking back.

As of June 23rd last year, I was "promoted" to the title of Architect within my organization, reporting directly to a Third line manager.  I was taken off of regular, day-to-day delivery activities and basically given freedom to involve myself wherever I thought best, or wherever my boss needed me.

At the time, I was given the following commentary and advice:

"Welcome to being the bitch.""So, are they going to let you code anymore?""You're going to have to get used to being very broad, and very shallow.  You have to know alot and have a high-level understanding of almost everything, but not get mired in the day-to-day.""You're more of an advisor than an architect.  Your job is to advise those making decisions and help do technical mediation for those teams." Those quotes came from the first week.  At some time or another in the past year, they've all been true.
Some awesome things about my job in the past year: I get exposed …

Review: John Carter

Ah yes, John Carter, aka "John Carter of Mars," aka "A Princess of Mars."  You single handedly assured that Andrew Stanton of Pixar will never, ever be granted final cut again.  You lost something like a quarter of a billion dollars for your parent company, Disney.

You know I've seen many bad films in my life (current nadir being "Tristan and Isolde"), and John Carter isn't one of them.

It isn't a great film.  Comparison to other alien epics like Cameron's Avatar inevitably come, and Carter does poorly.  We don't truly care about our hero until well into the second act.  Worse, the framework of the story--that John Carter has died suddenly on earth and his nephew Edgar Rice Burroughs (get it?) is reading his fantastic account of his Barsoon Exploits--just feels like faux epic claptrap right up to the end.

Further, there's much to laugh at:  Plenty of deus ex machina, from a magic potion that is "The Voice of Mars" to actu…