Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Hamilton and Election 2016

November 5, 2016 Comments off
Here’s my obligatory political diatribe as we sit mere days from the 2016 election. I don’t care who you vote for, but for goodness sake please do vote – and do it on your research into the various platforms and other facts. There’s too much BS floating around.
Reading (listening to the audio book of) the unabridged edition of Ron Chernow’s Hamilton biography, it’s incredible to see the parallels between today’s political discourse and the climate between the Federalists and proto-Republicans during George Washington’s two terms in as our nation’s first President. While neither side was innocent of hyperbole and politicking, the shear amount of innuendo and outright lies spewed by the Jeffersonian camp, which were then repeated treated as fact even after numerous complete and outright rebuttals in the courts and vindictive investigations in Congress, is outright shocking.
While it gives me hope that our country was able to persevere through that challenging and fractious period – as we hopefully will through the current one as well – it pains me how much we humans will outright lie for political gain. I’d love to see true debates on the prescient issues of our time instead of bullshit slander about meaningless trivialities. I’ve often joked that perhaps the ideal form of government is a benevolent dictatorship where none of this would even be needed or possible; the problem is you can never guarantee said benevolence. 😉
As Trevor Noah intimated yesterday in his talk at Microsoft, perhaps it would be better if our country had more than 2 parties and had more of a parliamentary system that gave an outlet for people of differing ideologies to truly have a voice. Does Trump truly speak for 100% of the beliefs and ideals of 100% of Republicans? Does Clinton offer the same for Democrats? Hardly.
It’s illogical that we have to choose between Sanders’ and Clinton’s visions for America, or between Trump and Ryan camps. All are valid to some people and we should let them all have a voice in our government proportional to their support. To me that would be far more “democratic” than the 2 party fiasco that characterizes every opinion by an extreme left/right taint we are governed by today.
Our leaders, and we as an electorate need need to understand not every idea someone else comes up with is absolutely wrong. Nor should we expect our politicians to hold rock-firm opinions that are intransigent in the face of new facts or points of view. It’s okay to be wrong; it’s not okay to be wrong and never admit it or correct your course. Conversely it’s not okay to never seek compromise either. There’s a grain of truth in all perspectives that must be acknowledged and incorporated in the final outcome – not ignored and shouted down.
Alas those holding the power today are the same ones who would have to agree to change, and it’s not in human nature to give up power voluntarily. It’s frankly amazing that Washington did that 200+ years ago, a precedent that held true, though not always by choice, until FDR in the 1930s and 40s. It will be interesting to see if any progress is made here after this election; and I don’t mean in the next 4 years. What will be the lasting impact of this election season on our youth? Hopefully when today’s middle and high schoolers watching this election in their Civics classes grow up they remember how stupid us adults have been behaving and do something about it (and I don’t mean become apathetic). I have a feeling this election will change this country a great deal, no matter who becomes the 45th President of the United States.
If you’ve got a spare 36 hours and a library card (for free access to both the physical and/or the audio book), I highly recommend investing your time with this well-balanced and thoroughly researched tome. History isn’t just dates to memorize and lists of Presidents to put in the right order; there are deeper lessons to draw from that I fear our country has been overlooking.
If nothing else, this book will raise your vocabulary game tremendously and it inspired Hamilton: An American Musical, so it can’t be all that bad. 🙂
Categories: Uncategorized

Personality test

April 10, 2011 Comments off

My wife just sent me a link to a personality test.  You can take it too:

This is one of the weirdest tests I’ve ever taken – it shows you a bunch of shapes and asks you questions that are not related to those shapes, but your answers are to choose between the shapes.  Sounds bogus, right?  Well, I think it nailed me pretty darn well.  WEIRD!

Here are my results…

Verbally and mentally fluid, you are refreshing and illuminating to those around you. This is occasionally somewhat discounted by the obvious pleasure that you take in exercising your mental acuity. Although generally peaceful you can often take a verbally aggressive tact in relations with the world, which can often be misunderstood by those around you. Innovative in the extreme, you can often think yourself right out of the correct answer to a given problem. Many times you are referred to as your own worst enemy. You tire very quickly of routine and so make poor clerks or administrative help. You also have no respect for authority and little patience for those you regard as inferior, most especially those in charge. Experimentation is your watchword and can occasionally lead to experience for its own sake and shallow decadence. Your thought can sometimes be scattered and disconnected.

Categories: Uncategorized


January 9, 2010 Comments off

Time to reboot my blog.  Again.  Again.

It seems I do this every year or so, but I really do want to get back to writing often on my blog.  There’s something about a long-form blog post that just doesn’t come across with a 140 word Tweet.

Ironically I always used to wish there was a venue for short posts, links to interesting articles, an easy way to share a picture, etc.  I’ve taken to that pretty well with 2600 Tweets so far ( and an active Facebook account too ( – and no, it’s not public, much to Facebook’s chagrin).

I’m hoping to use the blog as a forum for posts about both technology (I’m a gadget geek and an operations engineer for Windows Live Messenger) and my personal life.

Speaking of my personal life, I’m 48 hours away from having knee surgery so I’m going to blog about what’s going on and my recovery process over the coming months.  Months…bleh.

More to come … honestly this time.

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Outlook, please stop

February 4, 2009 Comments off

I’ve heard this is going to be resolved in Outlook 14.  In fact there were huge cheers when we were told this at the Company Meeting in September.  Time will tell…


In the mean time, time will continue to be spent sitting and waiting … and fuming.

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Windows Live Messenger and Windows 7 tip

February 1, 2009 2 comments

I really love Windows 7 and am happily using it on my primary laptop.  The so far the only thing that doesn’t work is my AT&T wireless modem (need to find a driver installer that doesn’t care about the OS version).

One issue that I haven’t liked is the Windows Live Messenger client wants to live in the taskbar with the rest of my running apps instead of the system tray where I’m used to it staying.  But  I just came across a way to make it work like I want and stay over by the clock in the system tray: compatibility mode!

Here’s what to do:

  1. Close/exit Messenger
  2. On your local computer browse to C:\Program Files\Windows Live\Messenger\ (or \Program Files (x86)\ on a 64bit OS install)
  3. Right-click on msnmsgr.exe and choose Properties
  4. On the Compatibility tab click the “Run this program in compatibility mode box and choose Windows Vista.  Click OK at the bottom.
  5. Now you can start Messenger again from the Start Menu.
  6. In the System Tray click on the “Show hidden icons” arrow and then click Customize.
  7. In the Notification Area Icons dialog find Windows Live Messenger and in the dropdown to the right choose “Show icons and notifications”.  Click OK at the bottom.
  8. There you go!  Messenger back in the System Tray!

Credit to for the tip!  Unfortunately they don’t have URL’s directly to their posts.

I’m not dead yet!

December 30, 2008 Comments off

Just wanted to let you all know that I’m still around!  🙂

You may have noticed that I’ve added a couple of links/feeds to the right of this page.  The first one is my Twitter account:  I have actually been quite active over there as I find the 140 character short post syncs up well with my usual desire for blogging: oh that would be a cool thought or quote to share.

The other feed is a “link blog” feed of blog posts and articles that I find interesting to share.  Some good stuff there!

I’m starting to get motivate to write a 2008 year in review post, so stay tuned for that.

For now, it’s off to bed to try to get rid of a head cold.  Joy.

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Funny Pic: The Financial Crisis Piggy Bank

November 30, 2008 2 comments
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Wassup!!! [revisited]

November 9, 2008 1 comment

Just came across this in catching up on TechCrunch posts.  Pretty funny revisiting of characters from the old Budweiser commercials from 1999-2002 … eight years later.

Categories: Uncategorized

Where’s the grocery store?

October 21, 2008 Comments off

A new grocery store is going to open in our town.  Well, reopen under new ownership after the last group went all Chapter 11 on us.  This has led to some considerable discussion on the various email DL’s and other online forums for folks who live in Snoqualmie.

The best post I’ve seen just came in while I was at lunch, and is in response to my beautiful wife pointing out that a newspaper article said people in Snoqualmie were driving half an hour to get to a grocery store.

But then he got a phone call from a retail developer at Snoqualmie Ridge, who said the community’s only supermarket had closed and residents were driving a half hour to shop for food.
Puget Sound Business Journal

What a load of bull the retail landlord fed these people!  There’s a small organic grocery in downtown Snoqualmie (3-5 minutes) as well as a QFC and Safeway 6 miles away in North Bend.  The response?

“Not sure where people would get information line that…”

Thanks Chris!

Categories: Uncategorized

Tough medicine

October 19, 2008 Comments off

I’m not sure a spoonful of sugar will help in these rough times in the economy, but it certainly could at least help you feel better for a short moment.  Catching up on news from this week I came across TechCrunch launching the f@%kedcompany for the new downturn: The TechCrunch Layoff Tracker.

To intro the page the have a great graph that espouses what I’ve been saying for a long time … if your company is having issues or entering tough times cut early, cut ONCE, and cut deep.  I’ve lived through not doing that in the last dotcom bubble burst in 2000-2001.  The company I worked for went through seemingly endless layoff rounds and morale was totally shot.  We were eventually purchased for about half the amount of cash we had on hand … bought with our own money.

Essentially, if you make a deep cut in workforce early in a downturn sure there’s a morale hit, but at the same time the core group of folks who are left know that management is serious about preserving the company – and their jobs.  If management decides to cut a few jobs here and there “so as not to make anyone worry” they’re actually doing the opposite – who knows when you could be next.

So in the last couple weeks we’ve heard of lots of layoffs from companies that are well funded (Zillow for one).  While a lot of folks are viewing this as a sign of the economy tanking (and I don’t disagree there), I think this is more of a sign of CEO’s making the right decisions for the good of the business and the majority of their employees.  Sure it sucks to be the 1 in 4 employees laid off from Zillow, but 3 in 4 now have a good fighting chance of riding through this recession in one piece.

If only my former employers heeded these lessons…

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