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Interface Fail!

Interface Fail!So, a friend of mine just got married.  Another just started a relationship!  Wow, this is amazing.  Wait a minute…  She’s been married for years, even has kids!  He’s been dating her for months now (ok, it got a bit rocky there, but…).

So what am I talking about?  Facebook of course.  They have been around for years now.  They have millions of users.  They even have millions of new users.  But they can’t tell the difference between, “I am married,” and “I got married!”

This is an example of a broken, but funny interface.  You filled out your profile on day one with the least possible information that would let you join.  Two months later, you realize it says you are single!  So you fix that.  The next morning some joker, probably your best man or something, offers his congrats!

It’s ok to make a checkbox for married on your bank’s site, but really, this is a social networking site.  They should actually get this simple  stuff right.

Send me your examples of “broken”!


Posted in Business, Rant.

Plenty of politics here, so how about some religion!?

As a spiritual buddhist at heart, I find myself very leery of organized religion and the legislation of actions between consenting adults.  With that said, I agree that a large percentage of Americans (US Citizens too) define the United States as a christian country.  Christian or otherwise, I consider freedom of religion and separation of church and state to be the single thing that has allowed our country to survive for more than 200 years.  What do I really mean by that?  Our legal system identifies morality, separate from religion.  This is what allows two people from differing religious viewpoints to be in the same courtroom.

In the US, many christians have felt the need to equate religion and morality.  The two are overlapping circles on a vin diagram at best though.  Many religions, christianity, judaism and islam especialy, commit incredible acts of oppression in the name of god, yet still feel the right to imply that I am not a moral being because I don’t embrace an organized religion.

When they equate religion and morality, people are abdicating their moral responsibilities to a “higher power”, or worse yet, to a religious entity.  Deaths and atrocities seem to follow.  I just read, “The Places in Between” about a trek from Herat to Kabul undertaken on foot by a single Scottish guy three months after 9/11.  One of the things that stands out the most is the death in the name of islam by people who haven’t ever read the Koran (it can’t really be translated out of Arabic) nor questioned it.

Morality is a complex and layered thing, and religion is about “faith”, often in impossible things (miracles).  Wonderful and Terrible things are and have been done in the name of gods, but few deeply moral solutions to human suffering seem to have come about.  Morality is about loading the scales of justice and using logic, while religion is about the aforementioned miracles and divine intervention.

In many cases, religion may be a great way to become a moral being, but religion and morality take opposing roads regularly (birth control comes to mind quickly as lack of birth control is a direct cause of overpopulation and death by hunger).  People are judged not by who and what they espouse to follow, but by the intentions and results of their actions.

So you can think of the US as a christian nation if it gives you comfort, and I’ll fight for your right to live that way.  But only with the assumption that you will fight for my right to view it as a secular government.  AND, I’ll fight for the right of anyone to have their own religion, as long as it never compels anyone else to join or live under it!


Posted in Business.

Short and Sweet!

Alex (don’t know Alex) got his twitter just to the required 140 characters!

I’d be protesting taxes too if I had a third-grade civics education, a crappy job, and an undying allegiance to a failed political platform.
Short and Sweet!


Posted in Politics.

Some advice for those AIG Execs…

So Mike Rowe has some advice on a “Prison” workout.  Were you a CEO at AIG?  Bernie Maddof, are you reading this?  Did you invent some new esoteric financial product about 15 years ago?  Perfect.  Here’s some advice on staying fit in prison!

Mike Rowe’s Prison Workout

Actually, I’m just kidding.  If you were one of those people, you’re going to get yours pretty darn quick in prison would be my guess.  But enjoy your time while you still have it!

Posted in Business.

Obligatory, sorry it’s been so long post…

Okay, here it is.  I’m sorry it has been so long since I posted.  Life get’s in the way.  Seriously, it does!  I’d like to say that I just haven’t seen anything interesting to post on, but we all know that isn’t true.  First of all, I have an opinion about everything.  Second I’m not shy.

A better excuse is something that I read in the NY Times.  It was in an interview with Greg Brenneman, chairman of CCMP Capital.  An interesting guy who is at least partially responsible for a few turnarounds; Continental Airlines and Burger King to name a couple.

To paraphrase, he likes a great old quote, “I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.”  Let me repeat that, but on my own behalf…  “I didn’t have time to write a short post, so I was going to have write a long one instead.”

I didn’t have the time or energy to write something simple and elegant, so I didn’t!  I’ve been too busy to write something short and incitefull.  In the end though, that’s my incitefull commentary, stolen from the NY Times none-the-less.

Maybe that’s enough for today.

Posted in Buddhism, Business, Contemplative.

Very exciting news from Oregon…

We are expecting.  September 18th is the predicted day and we couldn’t be more excited!  Right now, at about 8 weeks, the baby is about 1.5 cm long (tall?) and the heart is beating at about 150 beats per minute.  Feeling lucky is an understatement!

This is our baby, at about 8 weeks...

This is our baby, at about 8 weeks...

Posted in Family.

A little light thinking for lunch…

Tom Peter’s blog has a great post from Steve Yarrow today.  One that comes to mind every time I hear a the “Across the Board” statement.  Basically, he is saying that any time you hear, Across the Board Cuts, you should be leary and call the person out.

While I’m not sure it is always a good career move to call your boss (or her boss’s boss) out, the thought is spot on.  What you should be doing, just like in good times, is taking a hard look at ops and expenses throughout the organization.  Across the Board should refer to the look, not the cuts.

Maybe you can’t afford an expensive gamble project right now.  Maybe however you have a new team looking at making an investment to save you 10%.  That team probably shouldn’t get cut right now!  Not to be too heavy on Tom today, but Tom posted another one today about Warren Buffet and his investment rule about understanding every company in which he invests.  Same thing here.

You have to understand something to invest in it, internally or externally, and you had better understand things before you cut them!  Just a thought!

Posted in Business.

Just a quick shout out for Fred!

Fred has been having a bit of fun with Youtube, even building a bit of a following.

I hear a ton of Willie Nelson in this, but I just heard something else of his (or rather he is one of them) on here that made me think Beatles…

Posted in Family.

A new look, a new platform…

So I finally made the jump to a “real” blog. As a resident geek, this has taken me forever to do. I thought about rolling my own (doesn’t everyone?), I though about staying on blogger, and I decided to go with MoveableType. That is until I went through the install on my Vista 64 box. PERL? CGI? I run Apache on here and if you can believe it, Perl and Mysql don’t play nice on Vista 64.

Well, that meant WordPress and I’m VERY happy with my new clothes. Although old permalinks aren’t going to be perfect, they should at least get you to the right month, and it isn’t as though I’m that prolific.

So, tell me what you think?

Posted in Geek.

Writing code, thinking about the next small idea…

Is it possible to find a few small ideas to work on in between the big ideas?  Can I keep my brain interested in the small ideas?  This blog is a small idea.  Maybe someday, if I keep writing, it will have actual traffic.

As friends and family know (ok, also the two people who follow this blog), I’ve been actually writing code for 7 months now.  I haven’t been building infrastructure or fixing business strategy, or even really selling.  Instead, I’ve been building a pretty big software product.  Give it another few months and hopefully I’ll have a satisfied client on my hands.

Along the way though, I am beginning to work on a few small projects that over time might develop into a sideline or two.  Basically, I am enjoying the peace of working from home, cooking more, and flying around the country a lot less too.  My goal is to find myself a few things that can contribute to a decent extra income without a huge time requirement on my part.  Maybe this internet thing isn’t so bad after all!

I promise not to do this by becoming someone who writes about how to make money blogging for a living, for a living.  Get that?  This blog will NOT be about how to make money blogging.  Nor Twittering!!!

Still, if you want to know what I’m up to on a more regular basis, check out my twitter feed !

Posted in Business, Small Ideas.