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Posted in Bits & Pieces

The Geek’s Creed

This is my computer. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My computer is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I master my life. My computer, without me, is useless. Without my computer, I am useless. I must operate my computer true. I must code cleaner than my competition who is trying to eat my lunch. I must out-code him before he out-codes me. I will…. My computer and myself know that what counts in technology is not what it looks like, the marketing hype, nor the claims we make. We know that it is the code that counts. We will code… My computer is human, even as I, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weakness, its strength, its parts, its peripherals, its keyboard and its display. I will keep…

Posted in Family Humanity

Living the Hyperopic Life

About fifteen years ago, in a former life, I worked with Josephine and Josephine had a plan.   She was driven by a single goal which was to work as hard as she could, climb the corporate ladder and make enough money so she and her husband could retire at forty-five and live the rest of their days in relaxed splendor. Jasmine planned to begin working part time about two years ago.   In her mid forties, she felt it time to spend more time with the kids who had, up to this point, been brought up by nannies.   She was considering going freelance and starting her own consulting business.  Her  time would become her own and she’d made enough money that she and her family were pretty well off. Hunter has worked extremely hard for the last several years trying to grow his company and build a solid nest egg.   He…

Posted in Humanity

Happiness Served Here

“It’s ‘The Decade of Discontent’,” I said a few years ago during a conversation about being in your forties.  And it occurred to me this very well could be.   Professionally, people of this vintage are often on the cusp of deciding to chase the money, continue to chase it, stop chasing it or do something completely different in an effort to find that which fulfills them most.  The children are grown, but not all the way so there is still that dependence but independence has crept in so parents aren’t “needed” as much.  The body starts talking back too, asking “what exactly are you doing working me like this and why is coffee not involved?”  And then there’s the big stuff.  Shocking and unexpected news, friends divorcing, cancer and people who have life smoke a curveball they just weren’t expecting or didn’t really deserve. I had a former friend tell…

Posted in Essays

Driving Drunk with Both Hands on the Wheel

I wonder what the woman was thinking as she sat on her motorcycle at a stoplight in suburban Chicago a few weekends ago. She might have been thinking of her kids, where she was headed or maybe nothing at all. No one knows but I bet it wasn’t about the car coming up behind her, at speed, as it plowed in and took her life.

The woman who hit her was putting nail polish on.

Posted in Big Numbers

A Number Beyond Imagination

I am a numbers person. Having studied math in college, I have always found all different manner of numbers, equations and formulas fascinating. There have been a lot of big numbers bandied about lately — usually with dollar signs bolted on to the front — and I got to thinking about how big those numbers are. During all the talk about the $700 billion dollar bailout package, I wrote about how big the number one billion is, what a billion dollars could buy and a few ways you could use to visualize such a number. Half that money has been spent (on what, no one seems to be quite sure) and the rest, $350 billion, is now being distributed with anyone and everyone slithering in to try to get a piece of it. I’m not so sure Gordon Gecko was right in the movie Wall Street. So far, greed has…

Posted in Humanity

I am a Human Tesla Coil

It happens every year. As we descend into shorter days and longer nights. As the earth’s axis tilts the northern hemisphere away from the sun and the light and radiant heat strike the U.S. at a more oblique angle, things change. The air cools, water condenses and when the temperature gets cold enough, it freezes and floats to the ground robbing the air of moisture and humidity. Dryer means more static electricity. And more static electricity means more getting lit up any time I touch a remotely conductive surface. Albert Einstein once posited that if we evolved properly we would eventually exist as pure energy. Imagine that, all of us just blobs of light or sparkling spheres floating around. The fashionistas would certainly figure out a way for us to change our colors and we wouldn’t need to drive any more, we’d just float to where we needed to go….

Posted in Essays

Void the Warranty

I’m not a big fan of branding. I have a tendency to try to remove, cover or otherwise erase the brand names and logos that appear on the things I have, wear, or buy. I’m not a big fan of items that do just one thing either. What if that one thing is something you only do once in a while. That appliance or tool or whatever is just taking up space the rest of the time. Seems a waste to me. So, there are very few items in our kitchen that do just one thing (despite all those infomercials telling me I need this or that that does just this one thing, allegedly, the best and only way it can be done.) I remove the little plastic plate or sticker that has the car dealer’s name on it. I remove the license plate frame the dealer automatically puts on…

Posted in Essays

A Question of Faith

Steve is a boy of six. He is a nice boy by all accounts and isn’t one to get into trouble. I don’t know him. I just know someone who does. But who he is isn’t important. What happened is. It was after school on a typical Spring afternoon. Steve was finishing up his day and getting ready to go. Looking at the clock he realized it was later than he’d thought. He was going to miss his bus, so he darted out of the school toward the bus loop. Just as he arrived, he saw his bus pulling out of the parking lot. Worry stole over him because he knew his mother would be mad if he was late coming home. She might even be mad he’d missed the bus even if it was an honest mistake. His only alternative was to get home on foot and get there…

Posted in Humanity

Sex, Violence, and the Imbalance of It All

You’re watching TV. An attractive couple lies in a bed breathless and obviously happy. They hold each other and whisper sweet nothings. Planting a quick kiss on her lover’s cheek, the woman says she’ll be right back, pulls to comforter to cover her nakedness and slides out of bed. On the way out of the room the comforter slips revealing her bare backside. People are up in arms. Two performers are singing a song with subtle erotic intent. It is a song about a man desiring the woman and promising her they’ll be together before the song finishes. With the final assertion that he’ll have her naked by the end of it, he reaches over and strips away part of her bodice to reveal a bare breast, a star covers her nipple. People lose their freakin’ minds! A man is being chased by the evil doppleganger of a female character….

Posted in Humanity

After 30 Years, I Finally Understand

There are some things in life that you experience young but only fully understand when the wisdom of age has layered enough of it’s dust upon your heart. Over the past decade, there have been more than just a few times which, for me, bear this consideration out. One such instance has to do with newspapers, AT&T, a money changer and a 12-year-old, toe-headed boy who was just not aware enough because he just wasn’t old enough. From the time I sold newspapers at the old AT&T building in downtown Wayne, PA until now in my current self-employment and business ownership, I have only been fired once. And it was from that paper selling job (I wouldn’t call it a paper route because I just stood there and sold papers, no route to follow.) Of the 15-20 positions I have held, I have always kept myself to a standard of…