carbon neutral since 1975

Month: March 2006

An Englishman Next Door

There’s this Englishman adjacent to my new cubicle. I could sit and listen to him all day long…umm wait…I do. Anyway, in the last 30 seconds he used both “Cheers!” and “Shite!” about which of course, I simply had to tell someone. So far he hasn’t used “bollocks,” but he has used “ever so much.” (Apologies to MG and CM for repeating this but…you know.)

George Mitchell Investigation

It seems Bud Selig has hired George Mitchell to conduct investigations into steroid abuse by baseball players. This leads us to believe that Bud wasn’t satiated by the recent Senate hearings, and is hungry for more narcissism, grandstanding, and jackassery. We hope this will sastisfy him. We also hope this will solve baseball’s problems, but we are left in doubt.


Nice to see that we continue to lose the language. Overnight, “illegal alien” has become “undocumented immigrant,” which certainly makes the political debate clearer.

Doing or not Doing the Right Thing

Today, I heard on the news that a man I’ve known of for fifteen years — but never knew — is dead. If you’re from my area, you also may know of this man. He only had one leg and was known for riding his tricycle around town. I’ve been driving by him on hwy. 91 ever since I received my driver’s license. Of course there were the rumours about why he was without a leg and why you could consistently see him sitting in the 1984 Chevrolet parked in front of his house; this morning, however, it dawned on me that I don’t know of anyone, starting with myself, that ever took the time in the name of Jesus to find out his real story or share with him a loaf of bread. Furthermore, I don’t know of anyone, starting with myself, that ever took the time in the name of Jesus to give him a ride to his destination. Perhaps “someone” could have prevented him being hit by a van 5 years ago, or being killed by a car yesterday. I guess we all had some place to get to.

Update (3/2008):  I have heard first-hand accounts of some who stopped to give the man a ride  and offer him a drink and a morsel.


C and I were blessed to be able to spend the weekend at Milwaukee and take part in some tolerably interesting occurances (Thanks to mom and dad for watching the boys).

We drove thither in the Xterra around noon on Saturday and the Xterra turned out to be a better highway vehicle than I thought she’d be. When you say “giddyup,” she gets up and goes; and bumps aren’t as noticable as they could be. Furthermore, the cupholders have a little slot for your mug’s handle.

We ate lunch at the Milwaukee Ale House in the “Historic Third Ward.” The food was below average. C had a rueben whose beef was thick sliced, which would probably make for a fantastic rueben if the beef wasn’t too rubbery to chew. Apparently my hamburger was of the “Certified Angus Beef” brand. It tasted fine I guess but its cylindrical shape and “Certified Angus Beef” brand made me believe it was ground and formed in Chicago or Fargo or Cody and then shipped frozen to Milwaukee.

We spent the afternoon strolling the “Historic Third Ward,” visiting sundry shops, looking at paper, art, furniture, and what not. I found the histories of the buildings interesting.

That evening, we enjoyed the Milwaukee Bucks’ win over the Portland Trail Blazers, great seats compliments of Oracular. Michael Redd scored 27 in the first half but the Bucks came out flat in the third quarter. Anyway, they pulled it together in the fourth quarter and Redd led them to a close win.

More to come…

The Google Evangelist

Google have created a fine search engine. It works. It’s lovely. Recently, however, Google have started releasing other software — e.g. gmail and Google Earth — and created a new creature. This man is the Google evangelist. In fact, he is your friend, but you avoid him because you don’t want to hear one more time how wonderful gmail is because Google chat is integrated with gmail and you can save your chats to gmail and you can use Google maps to find your city and zoom in and out and scroll left and right and type “restaurants” to show thumbtacks for all the Kentucky Fried Chicken stores in your area.

Yes, the Google evangelist sits in the room with you right now. Alas, he has converted you. He saith, “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel of Google to every user, baptizing them in the waters of gmail, and teaching them to use Google Earth and Maps and Desktop after whatsoever manner I have taught you. And lo Google shall be with you always, even unto the ends of the Google Earth.”

Managing Expectations

An episode at work has reminded me of the importance of managing people’s expectations. The software we are developing was sadly, painfully, embarassingly slow; so the powers that be ordained a concentrated effort to make things workable. Even after we had sped things up by 75%, we didn’t let on that things were going well. We said we’d wait and see how things went. When the users got the software, they were tickled pink because they got much improvement they weren’t expecting.

So for me, managing expectations mainly means not promising anything until it’s as good as delivered. Calvin may have illustrated it best.

Calvin and Hobbes: Calvin on expectations

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