Saturday, December 11, 2010

Flying Lotus, "Zodiac Sh*t"

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Advice on Interview Anxiety

When experiencing anxiety while interviewing for a job, remember that you have no control over whether they hire you or not.  The decision is theirs, not yours, you have no control.   Holding the "getting the job" goal will continue to cause anxiety.  Instead internalize your goal, into being friendly, clear and reasonable.  Make your goal an accurate presentation of yourself.  This is within your control.  If you can give up the goals that are outside your control and pick up the ones that are within your control, you will find that your anxiety is replaced by confidence.

In this way each interview is a chance for you to practice reasonable self presentation.  Do this and you've succeeded.  The decision to hire you or not, is someone else's chance to be reasonable.  Wish them the best, knowing you've kicked ass.

(This can of course be applied to other things... but I've been applying it to an extended interview process :-)

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

When a relationship is unequal, the benefiting member becomes a constant salesman or dictator.  The message is controlled and repeated in either case.  No weakness shown, no doubt allowed.  This is the easiest way to know a message is insincere.

The shocking prospect of the public forcing children to learn myth as a replacement for science, shows a fundamental lack of understanding, that there is a difference between them.

This leads to the realization that our best and brightest are not our loudest.  That we are not in a meritocracy but the roles we look at are low level positions available to the most morally malleable.  Point in case, newly elected individuals saying things to the effect of, we want to work together but we won't compromise.  How can they possibly be defining "working together" and "compromise".  Their distance from shore is the best indication that they are driven by winds we don't see, effect or benefit from.

I wish I could admire someone in power, but the system makes sure this is not possible.

This is not a meritocracy.

It's becoming clear that this may not be the best possible solution.

A meritocracy must also prove itself in peace time.  If a society can not be fair in peace time then we should all assume any balancing during war is temporary.

The system works whether or not the candidates are corrupt or not.  It simply does not matter.  Once you are a function of a class you serve the static purpose of that class.

And where do you think that political candiate got the millions they spent running for office?

And why do you, being rational and insightful as you are, think any political candiadte is given millions and millions of dollars to run for office?

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

While I am an American, I don't feel this with the strength that our ancestors seemed to have.  National sentiment was once a strong current that reordered the globe.  It seems to be ebbing away from us now, leaving us on unfamiliar shores waiting for the belonging to return.  Geographical identities no longer fit right, snug where they shouldn't be and baggy everywhere else.  I'm looking for a new social identity to wear, one that fits, one that feels natural and meaningful enough to become a way of life. 

And by the way, I know better than to try and buy a solution.  Real social groups, the ones that matter, don't make anyone rich.  They are not a business.  Fuck your business.  

Saturday, October 16, 2010

I Bought an Iron Chariot on EBay (Just in Case)

Today I learned that Christians who believe the bible to be infallible must also believe that God is powerless to overcome iron chariots.

And the LORD was with Judah; and he drove out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron.  (Judges 1:19 KJV)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Prayer Tactics Learned from Observation

There is an abortion clinic a few blocks from my home.  It is usually a quiet small business, except for a few times a year when Christian groups come out to protest and generally harass and make a nuisance of themselves.   They have signs about prayer and shutting down the legal small business, etc.  What's funny is that their prayers are obviously not working.  Its the fourth or fifth "40 days of prayer" and nothing has changed.  Their prayers are so obviously not effective that its surprising to me that they still come.  But I realize now that they don't actually expect their prayers to be answered.  They are their to be seen.  To embarrass and make it difficult for others to exercise their personal beliefs.  I realized that these people are exhibitionists.  They are their to protest the personal freedoms being exercised by others, in ways they don't agree with.  They are basically bullies.

By watching these Christians I have come up with the following list of prayer tactics:

  • Kneeling makes a prayer more powerful.
  • Prayer power decreases with range, closer to target is better.
  • Prayer power increases when pointed directly at the target.
  • Prayer power is maximized when touching the target.
  • Prayer power is multiplied by the number of people praying for the same thing.
  • Prayer can force others to do things the way the prayer wants them to, and this seems to be a justified use of force.  And is not considered rude or bullying.
  • Prayer cannot be tested, it always works even when it doesn't.
  • Unlike wishes you can pray for more prayer. :-)

The great thing about the singularity (a.k.a. nerd\science\atheist heaven) is that even those that don't believe in it will enjoy it.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Lesson in Towel Usage

-  OK.  I'm ready to get out.

+ Wait.  First, use your hands to whisk the water off your head, now shake your head briskly.

- OK.  Done

+ Now, hand whisk the water from your arms and torso.

- Done.

+ Now, hold one leg in the air and shake it briskly, but carefully, and step out of the bath with that leg first.

- This feels silly.

+ Steady yourself by placing your opposing hand against the tile.

- That’s easier, but no less silly.

+ Now that you have one leg out of the bath, shake the other leg briskly.

- Can't I get my towel first? 

+ No.  Your legs hold a lot of water and the more that you remove the less that is left for the towel to absorb.

- Isn't that the point of the towel?  To absorb?

+ Yes, but it is a tool to absorb what you can't yourself remove or what has not already air dried.  Now, shake your left leg briskly.

- There, done.  And still embarrassing and silly btw.

+ The next step depends on time and modesty constraints.  Optimally, given time and modesty requirements, you would stand still or go about your other bathroom tasks until completely air dried.  The towel is used when you must be clothed faster or share the facilities sooner.  The towel is used to speed a process in which it is not essential.

- The towel is nice though.  Why shouldn't  I just use it right off, it will dry.

+ No matter how soft, the towel will remove essential oils from your skin and will often leave the impression of dryness while leaving areas still wet, leading to you getting dressed too soon, which in turn leads to fungal infections, etc.  Also, the more moisture the towel absorbs the more likely it is to mildew before drying out.  Increasing washing and subsequently replacement requirements.

- Ewww.

+ Yes.  The towel is a useful tool but should be used appropriately and not without necessity.

- It still feels very silly, and what if someone sees me shaking my legs like that. 

+ Early man didn't feel silly shaking their hair about their faces, and staring into the wind coming off the surf.

- Maybe they ran down the beach until they were dry.

+ And maybe when they were very dirty, they would run and fall into the sand rolling until they were covered, before diving back into the water, splashing the day from their bodies.  Swimming into the cool embrace of  the bay.

- And then :-)

+ Then they walk out and sit, each in her favorite spot, on logs surrounding a newly lit fire.  Or standing holding his hands to the fire, noticing the first glimpse of sister moon.  All their hair blown dry by the wind, filling them with the scent of salt and dry wood smoke.

- That sounds nice.

+ Maybe this summer you should camp by the beach and give it a try.  BTW - Are you dry yet?

- Yes, perfectly so.  [Lesson Received]  I admit my skin feels better, more intact, if that makes any sense.

+ It does.  I know exactly what you mean.  When this was first told to me I camped at the beach with friends, and it was the best weekend of the summer.  I met my wife that weekend ;-)

- Thank  you, very well instructed. [Credit exchanged, with honors]

+  My pleasure. [honors accepted]

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Out of the shower
And comfortably in my office
Baby monitor quiet
And waiting for purpose
Leaving me to mine

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Loyalty received
Becomes loyalty owed
And in this way
(along with many others)
I am not debt free

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Amusement helps mental hygene

If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself. What isn't part of ourselves doesn't disturb us.
Herman Hesse

I'm not sure how accurate this statement is and doubt it could be well verified, but it gives me a healthy pause and cause to evaluate my own sentiments towards others.  And any check on the tongue is usually good.

It also comes amusingly to mind when friends and family share their partisan bile with me.  I try to keep from responding instead waiting to change the subject, and think of this quote which provides a little amusement to protect against the bitterness so many loved ones with to share.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Greek proverb quotes

A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.
I worry that our current crop of old men are burning the trees for profit, not worrying about where the following generation will find shade.

Act quickly, think slowly.
I remind myself of this when I get anxious to act but I'm not yet done thinking.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Weaponized Airborne Pathogen

Perspective would be a powerful tool,
If only we could wield it.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Is there another shoe?

The problem is this:
I feel good.
I'm at home,
I'm comfortable, and
this could be sustained

But is this
the right thing?
Shouldn't I be suffering?

I get tense waiting
for authority to discover
my comfort and security
for negative eyes and hearts
to take hold of it
and pull it away.

Will they be waking me up,
doing me a service?
Or will they simply be forcing me
to join them
in their heroic discomfort?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

What am I looking for this morning?

I'm hunting for something.

I feel that pull,
vague and unspecified,
for an unknown satisfaction
of an unnamed need.
I feel the itch,
but my fingers are lost 
and idle.
I've been surfing for hours
looking but not finding
leaving unsatisfied
thinking that I need more discipline.
Maybe I've been too soft;
too easy on myself.
Whatever I'm missing
will take more than surfing,
more than chemicals
and more than love
(and hugs and kisses)
to finally find.
And even though I don't know what I need
I do know that it will take more than tonight;
More than years of tonight.
I will need stamina and vigor.
I will need focus and humility
to find my elusive and unpopular prize
I also know
that I may never find it
but that does not change
the fact that searching
is the closest to finding
I've experienced yet.

Its a relief
to search.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

We Walked Out

Squirrel sits on back porch,
Casual .
Eating last week's bread.
Rotating crust in eager hands.
Munching until its crumbs. He's done.
Back to the table for another.
It’s the garden of Eden for this one.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

On The Job Training

We learn how to be married,
How to be parents, and friends.
We learn how to grow old.

We are constant amateurs.

Monday, June 14, 2010


Interesting article about personal freedom.  It got me thinking about freedom, especially personal freedom.

I was surprised that the interviewer wasn't more of a self-righteous ass-hat.  He wasn't.

The single worst moment of my life... was the moment I was born.


Recently, I had three former CEOs of companies -- perfectly healthy -- who called me up and told me they wish to die.

--Dr. Jack Kevorkian

Friday, June 11, 2010

Onions aren't so bad

She was crying in the kitchen
I ignored this, until I couldn't
Beer reluctantly put down
Slow walk into adjoining room
I asked the required question,
"What's wrong?"
A quick wipe of the eyes
And a, "Nothing"
"Nothing, really"
"Just chopping onions".
Which she was.

But she was not just tearing up
Her eyes were not simply leaking
She was sobbing before I came in
And onions do not do that.
They do not push grown women beyond tears
into muffled sobs and gentle body shakes.
Onions do not do that.

I felt awkward
And unprepared.

"Move over, I'll finish chopping these"
"Onions hardly effect me at all"
She didn't resist
Smiled weakly
But sweetly,
"I'll be right back"
Which she was.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Each new generation will find
a reason to doubt the present
And hope for a future more to their liking

Friday, June 04, 2010

I'm an amateur at this
I'm half way through my life expectancy
And I still don't really know what to expect
Part of me wants the change to stop
Or at least to slow way down
Give us a rest
Let us get some confidence,
Let us bring some professionalism to living
This is the same part of me
That dreams of perfection,
the number one, Infinity,
And one hundred percent.
We must conceive of perfection
We must be able to make use of the ideal
But to believe in it
To measure life against it
To use it as a light
To cast your shadows of purpose with it
Is a dangerous abuse

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

If you can do it when you want to
There is a better chance of doing it when you have to

Sunday, May 30, 2010

You Are One

Who you are at work
Is also
Really who you are
Its not a free zone
Or anything like that
It is really you
Those are really
The choices you have made
Those are really other people
This is you
You are what you do
You are what you have done
And work counts
Its not a free zone or anything
Its not Las Vegas
Its you
Its your life
It all counts
It affects you
And changes you
You are what you do
What you do
During each mundane
Day of your life
That is you
You are what you have done
You are a sum
An amalgam of your
And work
Work is part of your life
Work counts
Its not a free zone
Or anything like that

Saturday, May 29, 2010

If you can't be honest
You aren't really being

Friday, May 28, 2010

Positive Advice

If you're going to hear without listening
You might as well get more comfortable
With silence, its more relaxing that way

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Without questions
answers lose meaning,
context dissolves, and 
they cannot guide us back to questions lost.

Without answers 
questions remain meaningful, 
regain purpose, and 
guide us back to answer forgotten.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Being a dick

When you learn
When you finally grow up
You won't have so many answers
And the few remaining
won't be absolute
You will gain questions
And the ability to question.

You will gain an offensive weapon.

Once you realize that answers
Were never more than shields and walls
meant to defend, meant to maintain
Once you realize that questions
Were always more than query
You will realize that
Answers are a last resort
While questions remain

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Answers have a certain appeal despite the obvious drawbacks

Questions thrive in tended soil
Since stable times
and among peaceful minds,
While answers riot in the wilds
Through uncertain days,
and unexamined ways.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Leaning back in my chair

When I am at the greatest peace
there is music and laughter,
there is food and drink,
there is excess,
and the quiet crawl of moments
spent balanced on the peek
of what was hoped for

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Offensive Weapon

New music playing in the kitchen
Girls laughing in the back of the house
Times are good
Uncertain maybe
But all times are uncertain
To those who know enough to ask questions
To those who are bold enough to let them hang
In the air
Waiting for the wind of quiet mental processes
For the wind of experience and daily living
To blow questions together
into new forms until one
Finally chimes
A quiet chorus for
the birth of a new idea
For what's an idea untried, but a question
An invitation to understand
An opportunity to be changed

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The real conversation doesn't start
until you've run out of things to say.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Good questions make good answers possible

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I just realized I should absolutely dress up as Hunter S. Thompson for this year's Eyore's birthday party.  Now I must find some passable glasses, bucket hat, and cigarette stem thing...  Oh and some type of horrible Hawaiian print shirt.  Then when I'm walking around with five local brewery beers, three held by me and one each by my wife and daughter, as I'm working through these while standing in line for charity food stuffs I'll just be "in character".  When I'm sipping from an empty cup and staring 10 degrees above the horizon of anything interesting I'll be wonderfully and creatively "in character".

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Happiest Holiday

Douglas Adams was wrong by an order of magnitude

Friday, April 16, 2010

Can you imagine what I would do if I could do all I can?
He who knows when he can fight and when he cannot, will be victorious.
Sun Tzu

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Formal Resignation

I resigned from my position as Design Team Lead this week.  I'm looking forward to beginning fresh efforts next month. What are they in detail?  Not sure yet, and that is one of the most exciting parts.  I've never felt more sure of anything this uncertain before.

Planning is always iterative
Never measure more than twice before you cut
You'll always do it better the second time, so get the first one out of the way quickly.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Salary Man Pride

We are the bent tree rooted into a cliff's edge
Scrawny and ugly to the eye, we stand alone.
Our bent backs point the direction of the wind
A witness to what has warped us
                                               Into these survival shapes
We have views the comfy forest trees will never know
We compete with no other trees
We compete with the forces trying to kill us
                                                                               Both within and without
We stand and suffer, bent and austere
We are the proudest of trees
        Our survival is our glory
        Our solitude is our pride

Monday, April 12, 2010


I am a dormant god
in unremarkable circumstance
slumbering through the years
waiting to be called upon
waiting to be roused
while fully aware that waiting
may be all I ever achieve
that my potential may be bled away
in obscure readiness.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Living forever is expensive. Due to the expense, it is also quite complicated.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

I feel wild tonight, frayed and blurring like the cuff that habitually slips under the shoe, undone by habit.

Friday, April 09, 2010

I don't believe in your promises
I won't give away my present
For your corporate lottery ticket
I don't care about your million dollar dreams

You may describe a better future
But it will involve a worse present
All the way up to the moment
I finally realize you've lied to yourself and others
And I won't be able to blame anyone but myself
For believing such obvious bullshit.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

I don't believe in your promises
I won't give away my present
For your corporate lottery ticket
I don't care about your million dollar dreams

You may describe a better future
But it will involve a worse present
All the way up to the moment
I finally realize you've lied to yourself and others
And I won't be able to blame anyone but myself
For believing such obvious bullshit.

The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.
Bertrand Russell

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

What would I do if I was rich.  I would actually enjoy my work.
I would probably work harder and longer
I would probably smile and lose vices, and
some day I would create something
Something that you would want
That society craves from need
Not for puerile gratification or distraction
But for reformation and change
To enable us to suffer less
To make it more obvious why we don't kill ourselves
Freed from my dependence on wages
I would voluntarily labor
And strive
And risk
And enjoy each and every day.

That is the job I hope to land someday.
It is the only one I can imagine allowing
Me to do good work and to practice and perfect
My craft and my skills.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

She will either listen to me or not
That decision is hers not mine
All I can do is speak

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Please, do not speak to me right now.

If I wore a shirt that said, "Please, do not speak to me right now." It would be accurate for the vast majority of people coming into visual proximity. The sad part is that those who read it and don't speak would be more worth while than those who either didn't read it or didn't care and spoke to me anyway. So I'm not wearing the shirt due to concern that I would only really exclude myself from the more valuable parts of the populace.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence
Carl Sagan

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

After being long pursued by events
and run down by responses
I feel a moment of respite
clean air in and out of lungs without hurry
eyes filled with vistas instead of foot steps
a moment of pause
before continuing
as I know I must
a moment reminding me
of why I continue to run.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Occasionally little bursts of energy move through me, like
brief bolts of charge
                     bravely moving through
                                             long dry electrical lines, or
warm blood reanimating long dormant faculties.
In these moments I revive briefly, with
feelings of power fueled optimism
knowledge of what
                      I could do next.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Origin of stories?

The boy drags a stick underneath the bows of a tree grown thick and heavy. A large bird flaps black wings, squawking. The boy looks up at the bird with a scowl, "Why don't the birds trust us? We don't eat them and we don't kill them, yet they flee our approach."

"These birds have never trusted men. ", says his grand mother, carefully picking her steps beside him.


"I'm sure it has something to do with a man taking a woman who was not his to take. That’s how trust is lost among all nature's foolish spawn.", she scowls in turn at the boy's father standing yards ahead guarding the way into denser forest.

The boy watches the bird sink into the thick green canopy across the valley wondering if birds remember ancient wrongs in the same way he is reminded.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Advice for Alice

Impossible is a word
too often used.
Assume its use
in common discourse
to mean highly improbable.
Assume its use
in rational discourse
to mean something beyond
what is commonly known
to be possible.
Further assume
discourse to be without reason
until proven otherwise.

Friday, March 12, 2010

There is only one exit from this room.
The exit is always available, always free
and always within reach.
There is no reason to hurry:
The sale does not end today,
This is not a limited time offer,
Supplies are unlimited, and
The option will not expire.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I stood outside tonight
In the drizzle and wind
And remembered an old job
Standing out side in the dark
Patrolling the dock and the parks
I had a goatee then, same as now
Most everything else though
Has changed

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Tommy On The Shore

The sunrise was the most beautiful thing Tommy had noticed in years. He blinked. He shook his head. His mind cleared and he unclenched his fists. He looked down at a sudden splash and remembered the young man he was drowning. He slowly lowered both arms to his sides, job completed he thought. He watched the new corpse floated away, slowly spinning towards the sea. Tommy looked up and blinked. Tommy stood empty before a full sunrise feeling as if he had forgotten or lost something. Something of value.

Seven years prior Tommy had solved a temporary unemployment problem with a long term employment one. He joined a guild. This guild required seven years of Tommy's life. This guild required extreme training. He learned skills and acquired abilities, until he was called adept. A new adept is sent on a mission unlikely to succeed. The candidate may refuse and return to life outside the guild or they may accept. Acceptance is exile until death or success. Upon success the adept returns to take his place in the role the guild plays in the affairs of the world. The guild which he joined has great influence over the remains of the world.

Tommy remembered the young man's name. He remembered his face, much younger than his own. His name was Byron and he was called adept two years prior. He was a prodigy. Tommy remembered, Byron had been too sweet for the assignment he was given and refused. Tommy had imagined Byron living good, maybe cooking in an inn next to some ancient quarry. Tommy had imagined that all the houses were made from stone, stone left in the nearby quarry. Tommy had dreamed that when he was free to leave the guild he would go work in that quarry. He was large enough and strong enough. He and Byron would drink together again and live simple lives free from training and violence. Tommy stood in front of the sunrise, knelt and bowed his head. He was being foolish he knew, those dreams were floating dead.

Tommy splashed himself with water, washing the blood from his face, hands, and the stubble covering his scalp, gone sticky. Pulling his hand across his scalp, sent water spraying; a sharp halo in the pinkish water around him.

He stood, clean. He checked himself for wounds or visible bruising. He found none. He never knew that refusal meant death, until now. Now he knew. There were rumors, but they were not taken seriously. They were not believed. He had proven those rumors true today. Now, he knew that every adept of his guild had proven the rumor true as well, each and every one of them.

Adepts of this guild often prove rumors to be true. Tommy now had a decision that his masters had not prepared him for, he can return and take a position in the guild or he could continue and find a place out side the guild.  Not in his imagined rock quarry but the world was broad and wide and he had no doubt he could prove useful to other, more generous masters.

Of course, he would be hunted.

Monday, March 01, 2010

We never really know what we are doing
We learn, we get better, we improve
But the goal line keeps moving
There is no finishing this process
We'll never know what we are doing
Not really

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Mission Statements, Handbooks, and Trickle Down Oppression

Its amazing how quickly and vigorously a company can crush personal initiative. Such a hidden eagerness to take and take and reduce until the only reason you are there is that the pay is barely more useful to your life than the job is harmful - such eagerness is psychopathically self damaging. Some people barely care coming into the job but some people care by nature. These people take longer to flatten out and deflate. These people must be beaten and reduced multiple times before they give up, before they are reduced to surviving their days. When the company succeeds in this, as they always do, they have exhibited a broken behavior indicative of corporate governance of its employees.

I can't believe we still work within corporate structures. This is an awful way to govern our efforts.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Him:  "We are forging new traditions here.  Every day the hammer of our collective will beats the iron of our people into a new shape.  We represent that will.  We are the intent behind the blows, and the state is the force reshaping the iron."

Her:  "I thought we were having fun."

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

We are mortal
and our lives are short.

We have too little time
to make enough mistakes
to adequately learn from.
We simply need more time to fail,
more freedom for wrong decisions, and
more trust to waste on pride.
Or we must supplement our lack
by learning from the mistakes of others.
We must study history so our brevity
becomes a bit less redundant,
a bit less pathetic.
We must study our personal histories
so we are not doomed to repeat ourselves.
We must study ancient and modern history
so we are not doomed to repeat others.
We are limited by our brief lives
but we can learn from our own experience
and we can learn even more from the brief lives
stacked up beneath our feet.

We are mortal
and our lives are short
but we need not be
limited by this.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Breathing fresh air
Is like drinking water
Or closing your eyes

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Among those who do not think, the thinking must be careful lest their difference be exposed.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Work life.  I hate that phrase.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Name Unneeded

Certain moments occurring singly on rare days within the brief span of an anonymous life are inexplicably enjoyed.  There is no way to understand them, they conform to no reason, and therefore cannot be anticipated, hoped for, or willfully repeated.  These moments while fleeting leave an impression.  Some with sufficient temerity call this lingering impression happiness.  I do not.  I do not know what to call this impression, but it does not need a name to make the mud of daily life stick less to the boots, reducing the sucking sounds of our little march.