September 27, 2007

People Herding

I hope my blog readers are enjoying the break from the writings that have no effect on the world.

I'm learning how to lead people. They tell me sometimes you have to talk to them. It'll never work, me talking to people, why even bother? I think we have to learn a new way of leading, where all feedback, instructions, delegation, etc, etc, is done thru e-mail and instant messages. Please don't make me start talking to people. Please.

Leadership should be left to people persons, and that is not me. I'll be in charge of keeping Dogs happy, okay.

September 20, 2007

Victim of The Force

I know I promised to give both my loyal readers a break, but I just had to share this.

I don't play video games. It's not because I don't enjoy the games. Back in the day, I was seriously addicted to Pac-Man and Joust (no jabs allowed about showing my age, I'm already too aware of that fact). I just don't have the time to play video games, watch TV, or go to movies, because I enjoy being active while I still can (I said no age-related jokes!)

You know that popular Windows versus Mac commercial. I found this video comparing Sony PS3 to Nintendo Wii in that style (Lets see if you straight guys can only watch it only once):

Now I want a Wii, I don't even know why, but it MUST be fun. Must buy Wii.

Speaking of effective commercials, have you seen the new PETA viddy? This one with Alicia Silverstone? Just watching her gives me more energy and makes me "feel so much more better". You?



September 19, 2007

You deserve a break today.........

The posting will be very light for the next month. Some of us like to keep busy, so we can fool people into believing we have some sort of life.

This weekend, and next, I will be running around the state finding new places to run and hike.

Next week I will be in a "Leadership Development" class. Scary, isn't it. To think I will be managing people (again). Danger Danger Will Robinson.

Then, the week after that I will be traveling to an exotic paradise to visit my daughter and grandaughters. If you guys behave, I will try to post pictures. As you guys can tell, I'm not into the whole pics and viddy thing, but I'm sure the daughter will take a picture or two.

Yes, I have been trying to pay attention to the news, but they are trying to distract us with that OJ crap. Who cares! Sally Fields and Kathy Griffin have just earned more respect from me. If you can offend, it's worth lots of free publicity. I will be thinking up lots of ways to offend people during my blog break.


September 18, 2007

Clickety Click

V o t e * f o r * n i C k

Don't forget to Vote for niCk in the "What Evil Spock Means To Me" poll.

This is the Last week. Take action. Remember, you can vote once a day.

I'm keeping this conceited attempt for attention on top for the next week. My regular posts will be posted below until next weekend. Thanks to all that have inflated my ego thus far.

September 16, 2007

Sunday, Happy Sunday

The last two mornings have been WONDERFUL!

Finally, the sizzling, steamy southern summer heat is making way for some tolerable temperatures. The last two mornings I have risen early, 3:00 AM, to be sure to take advantage of the comfortable air for some long training runs. Saturday morning it was 69, that's still warm to me, but compared to this past summer, with hot summer nights and absurd summer days, 69 felt great.

This morning it was 58. What a wonderful way to start the day, so pleasant.

I started the runs at 5:00 AM to be sure to catch the sunrise, the birds singing the praises of a new day, and not having to worry about the traffic. I had the whole road to myself, except for an occasional driver and the newspaper deliverers. Possums, raccoons, turtles, and an occasional stray cat are standing on the sidelines for this one man show. The air is crisp and clear, the stars are bright. It doesn't get any better than this.

My suburban neighborhood is a mixture of young families and older retired people. A few of the older neighbors are out with me, walking, jogging, or just collecting the morning paper. It is surprising how much activity is occurring at 5 AM on a Sunday morning.

I have no great philosophical or moral intent for today's post. I just wanted to share the high I was feeling.

The only thing that would make this day better would be a pint of Guinness. Yes, I think I'll do that, then take a nap. Perfect Day.


September 12, 2007

The Aftermath

Six years, the world has changed.

I'm more afraid of U.S. politicians and security, than Islamic extremists.

I'd rather deal with the threats of violence, than the security gestapo at the airports. Shouldn't the airlines be the ones in charge of security on their flights?

How can a country spread freedom, and talk of liberty, by taking those ideals away from it's own citizens and the countries they occupy?

U.S. Citizens are easily misled. It's easier to blame someone else for our problems than to educate yourself to raise above the problems or to solve the problems. Blaming someone else is a profitable venture.

The terrorists win by providing excuses for our executive leaders to spread fear, exactly what they were hoping to do.

How much longer will the vengeance last? How much more blood will be spattered? More than one hundred innocent lives have been taken for each life taken on 9/11. That is not justice, it is evil, evil hatred.

Why are we at war, what are we trying to win? Safety? The "wars" have accomplished the exact opposite. When we are the ones spreading immoral and unethical behavior, who is the enemy?

I'd like to list all the positive things that have happened because of the 9/11 attacks, but I can't think of a single one. Someone help me out here.


September 11, 2007


Tuesday, September 11, 2001

Last year, I maintained "Silent Respect" for this day. Today, I do some therapy.

UH-OH! That was my first reaction six years ago as I saw smoke billowing from one of the World Trade Towers. The time was 7:55 AM CST.

I didn't realize how much of an understatement that "Uh-Oh" would turn out to be.

The day started as many do, without much going on, nice day, the mornings were starting to get a little cooler, which I would enjoy for my morning runs. I headed out to drive to work at around 6:45 AM to get to there by seven.

At 7 AM I was checking e-mails, surfing the news sites, and doing a few of the morning tasks I accomplish everyday. Work has been slowing down, as the project I was working on had been "restructured" and I was one of few that had survived the downsizing, the mornings were much quieter than a week ago. I was enjoying the lull in my usual hectic day.

At 7:30 AM, Sheila, the other programmer from my team who had survived the cuts, arrived. I quickly went over what I was planning to do that day, mainly trying to save and backup the work that had already been done, just in case the pointy-hair guys change their minds again.

About 7:50 we headed down to the second floor cafeteria to get some coffee and breakfast. I only got coffee and was at the cashier when I looked up and saw a crowd around the TV in the dining area. I said "Uh-Oh!" The cashier looked and shrugged her shoulders and made a face one makes when they don't know what's going on. I could barely see the TV, and I said something about a building on fire. I walk over to the crowd and see that it is one of the WTC towers.

My first thought was that another terrorist attack had taken place at the WTC, but I was thinking a bomb had gone off. I remember hearing past warnings from intelligence analysts and news opinionators that the towers would be a target again. As I got closer to the TV and had a clearer view of the picture I heard that a plane had crashed into the building. Now I thought it was a tragic random accident. I looked at my watch, it was almost 8:00 AM. I wanted to get to my desk so I could read the news about this "accident" on the Internet news sites, but I was waiting for Sheila who was probably getting some breakfast with her coffee.

Sheila walked up a few minutes later and she had said someone had told her about a plane hitting the World Trade Center. We watched the live news coverage from the helicopter cameras that were covering this news. I had also thought at the time that it had just been a small private plane that hit the tower, even though the smoke billowing from the damage should have told me that it was not.

Then the TV news camera started following another plane near the WTC. Again, I didn't think the worse, I was thinking that it was some pilot trying to get a closer look at burning tower.

Then we saw the second plane hit the tower. We saw it live and were stunned, waiting for the news to say something, but there was silence. I couldn't believe what I just saw, it was clearly a passenger airline. Everyone was quiet for what seemed like many minutes. The news finally came back and said something along the lines of "Did we just see what I think we saw....." . They were just as shocked as everyone else. I turned to Sheila and I clearly remember saying "That was the most disturbing thing I have ever witnessed". We all realized then, this was no accident.

Little did we know then the level of horror the next hours would bring, how much more disturbing that day would become.

Sheila was taking it well, I thought. Then, even before she had her breakfast, she told our manager exactly everything she thought was wrong with our project, how incompetent he is, and what he needed to do to fix it. Within an hour, she would be let go, leaving me as the sole person responsible for this portion of our project. I wanted to run.


The Pentagon was hit. I knew people there. I worked there from 1993-1996. Now it was getting personal. Oh, Shit.

My manager came by to see me and wanted to talk about having to let Sheila go, I didn't want to talk now, maybe tomorrow, I can't think right now. He didn't even know what was going on, and when I told him, it was like he didn't believe me, like I was passing on exaggerated gossip. I can't blame him, I would have had the same reaction if someone had told me all this shit was happening. He needed me to focus on the project not jump the ship because all the other programmers were gone, blah, blah, blah, yeah, yeah, yeah. No, I'm not running (yet).

I ran down to the cafeteria, where a packed crowd had made it standing room only in front of the TV, I could barely see. Someone had told me that one of the towers had completely collapsed, and a section of the Pentagon, also. OKay, I'm going home!

I should have just left without telling anyone. When I told the secretary, she had said that our managers called a mandatory meeting to develop project goals. I knew what they were doing, trying to keep people at work and get their minds off of the events in New York and DC. They opened the meeting and told us how important our work was to our customers and that we were needed at work to keep things going, after all, we were the phone company (I was working at BellSouth). I couldn't focus on what they were saying at the meeting, I just wanted to leave.

I ended up going home at the regular time. The gas stations and stores I passed on the way home were packed. I just wanted to get somewhere quiet, to talk to my family. It seems nothing had been going right in my life for the past year and a half. Everything was turning to shit, and it felt like it was my fault. I left the military, left my family, and this is what happens, the whole world turns goes crazy. I'm a very modest man, I know I don't have much effect in the world, these thoughts were very unusual for me.


September 10, 2007

The Day Before

September 10, 2001

I remember discussing the news with someone in the office where I worked, people were saying they were afraid to go to the beach. The big news distraction was all the shark attacks that summer, with a couple of fatalities at the local gulf coast beaches. I was trying to convince them that the beach was safer than driving to work, or driving to the beach, where 25 people were dying from car accidents every weekend in the same areas as the shark attacks at the Alabama and Florida gulf beaches. The shark attacks would not deter me from going into the water, either.

I remember making this point: "Do you cower in fear every time a thunderstorm passes?" Maybe you should, hundreds of people are struck by lightning every year, in their houses, where they think they are safe. If it's going to happen, you can't stop it, so I go outside during the storms and watch the light show, I love it, and I do not fear it, because I know it is outside my control. Same goes with getting attacked by something from the sea when you're at the beach. The shark attacks are news because the media was hyping it up. It was a slow news year, and the media needed something to get people hyped up, they love to spread fear.

That time was stressful for me because we had just been through a downsizing where I worked, five co-workers had been let go in the past week (just in my department, about 50 total were let go total on the project), the economy was struggling, the Internet financial bubble had burst (my investments were hit hard). I remember thinking the newly elected President was going to be a loser and bad news (it turned out even worse than I thought). I got bad vibes every time I saw Bush speak, thinking how phony he is when making a speech, like a greedy used car salesman.

One year earlier, I had been through a divorce, one that I initiated. I was having deep, deep regrets about the divorce, major depression and mood swings because of it. I was thinking that I ruined my life, there wasn't much reason to live, if only I could salvage the relationship I was having after the divorce, maybe this dark mood would go away. The harder I tried to make something happen, the worse and more complicated it became. I was on Prozac for one month, but that made the relationship worse, because I didn't care, and still wanted hurt myself (but take out others with me). I stopped the Prozac because all I wanted to do was work, I didn't want to have any social activities. When I was at work, I kept fantasizing about doing some great violent blood soaked rampage at work, or in some other public place, like during a crowded church service.

The thoughts went away after I stopped the Prozac.

The day I stopped, was six years ago tomorrow, my problems became so small.


September 7, 2007

The Right Stuff

YES, Allison, let us focus on what is right in the world - good advice.

My own spawn has to remind me to focus on the positive, and ignore the negative, and I totally agree. I'm becoming too much like the people I complain about.

So what's right in the world?

How about this bit of wonderful news (Thanks Ray):

A Guinness a Day

Prost! To your Health. Literally.

September 6, 2007

La La La La La La La

I'm being lazy and I can't get motivated about anything, but running.

The news is a boring, canned, bland bunch of propaganda.

Politics is turned into a public relations campaign for high-ranking government officials.

American culture is unstimulating, ugly mix of gread and conceit.

The landscape of shopping and restaurants is like a bad nightmare. The entertainment industry doesn't entertain. The food industry tries to make everything taste good to everyone, but it makes everything just taste the same, no flavor. These things won’t be fixed, it just keeps getting more and more dull and insipid.

We keep demanding more and more, we take more and more, we destroy the planet and are insulted when asked to be less intrusive. We keep taking without giving back or helping. We are so self-centered we can’t see past the end of our huge rotund pot bellies and over-bloated self-image. Even the religious-based groups are too proud of their own image to accept or participate in being the tolerant and nonjudgmental groups on which their image is based.

And I am a positive thinking optimist.

Thank Darwin, at least I got beer!

“Who says nothing is impossible? Some people do it every day!”

September 5, 2007

Spiritual Apatheism

If you look to the written words of man to define morality, you will not find it.

Morality, the goodness inherent in all animals, is not acquired by the promise of reward or the threat of punishment.

Grow up. You don't need someone to tell you wrong from right.

Santa will bring you what you want if you're good, but your evil step-brother will take it away because he broke all his stuff, so give him all your stuff and he won't have anything to take from you. Moral: Material world is temporary and brings much dissappointment.

Everyone needs to relax about religion. It's not important.

Organized religion is the worst thing that has ever happened to the world!

Your immortality is created by your influence of others, it is the only thing that has any lasting value.

It doesn't matter how the earth came to be as it is now, what matters is what we do today for the future of earth and the life that exists within it's atmosphere.

We spend too much energy arguing about something (creation) that no one will ever know. I think that energy should be spent making the world better and treating all life as precious gifts from an unknown source.

Theist religions are a creation of humans, for their own conceit and comfort. It is selfish, egocentric and blames the troubles humans have created on something out of their control. It is a way for humans to shift the blame for their faults and weaknesses.

Who cares, does it really matter?

I'm not looking to change your beliefs. I respect people who have faith, please respect my view.

These are written words of a man - Fallible Words.

Everyone is an atheist. What kind of atheist are you?

Do you believe in all the gods ever created in the minds of men?

Do you know for certain that none exist?

I don't care what you think.

Will you get me another beer while you're up? (Smithwicks or Guinness, please)


September 4, 2007

"Folly of Human Conceits"

Carl Sagan, astronomer and science writer:

"We succeeded in taking that picture [from deep space], and, if you look at it, you see a dot.

That’s here. That’s home. That’s us.

On it, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever lived, lived out their lives.

The aggregate of
all our joys and sufferings,
thousands of confident religions,
ideologies and economic doctrines,
every hunter and forager,
every hero and coward,
every creator and destroyer of civilizations,
every king and peasant,
every young couple in love,
every hopeful child,
every mother and father,
every inventor and explorer,
every teacher of morals,
every corrupt politician,
every superstar,
every supreme leader,
every saint and sinner in the history of our species,
lived there on a mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam.

The earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena.

Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and in triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of the dot on scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner of the dot. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity — in all this vastness — there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us. It’s been said that astronomy is a humbling, and I might add, a character-building experience.

To my mind, there is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world.

To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly and compassionately with one another and to preserve and cherish that pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”

. <---- (That period looks the same as earth in the picture above. We are just a pixel on the desktop of the universe)