Tuesday, April 05, 2011

From the National Fatherhood Initiative:

"You can't be the kind of father you want to be. You can't be the kind of father you wanted to have. You've got to be the kind of father your children need you to be."

-- Roland Warren, President of NFI

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Good Advice for Daughters (or anyone, for that matter)

A former co-worker posted a list he put together of 100 pieces of advice for [his] daughters, copied below as a mirror of good advice. While I don't quite agree 100% with all 100 (I'd swap coffee and clothing in #83), there's a lot of good here.

  1. Practice being a good listener. Nothing will gain you more respect nor teach you more patience than to be an active listener. Look people in the eye and truly listen to them.
  2. When you know more than the other person, don’t let on. It’s better to appear amazed by what they know than to seem like a know-it-all.
  3. Be careful in choosing your friends. Often they will be your greatest source of support, even more than family. Be wary of their advice. Never follow blindly. Question your friends, and if they are truly your friends, they will respect you for doing so.
  4. You do not need a man to validate your worth.
  5. Love is a fickle thing, and I certainly cannot give expert testimony on the subject, but I do know this: honest communication is very important.
  6. Bad things happen to EVERYONE. It’s how we react to them that matters.
  7. Shun drugs of any kind. We should experience life unfiltered.
  8. When you’re right, no one will remember. When you’re wrong, no one will forget. Deal with it.
  9. Be suspicious of the motives of government and organizations. If it has a treasurer, think carefully before joining it. Our government, though manned by many well-intentioned people, is structurally flawed and morally unsound. There’s really little hope to change it. In fact:
  10. Avoid politics. You’ll be happier just living your life and shunning partisan rhetoric.
  11. Exercise regularly and make it a part of your everyday life. When you have nothing, when you feel like you can’t go on, physical exercise can pull you through many problems.
  12. Study hard at two things: writing a coherent sentence and speaking in public. Once you’re in the real world trying to get a job, it’s not what you know that matters, but how well you can communicate.
  13. Learn the rules of grammar so you avoid embarrassing mistakes. People judge us by the way we speak, and proper language is a lost art. Don’t make mistakes concerning “your” and “you’re”, “too” and “to”, and the like. Don’t be THAT person.
  14. Find something that satisfies your creative urges. This is critical to happiness. If you can make a living doing this, all the better.
  15. Refrain from killing any living thing.
  16. When standing in line, let the two people behind you go ahead. Make this a habit.
  17. Wherever you are, however much time you can give: volunteer.
  18. Never fuss over housework. Obsession with cleanliness is a waste of time. We all end up in the same place – covered in dirt.
  19. Don’t ever stay with a man who hits you. Or cheats on you.
  20. Ask old people to tell you their stories.
  21. No rich person has ever built anything. Every thing of wonder ever built by mankind was built by the lower class and working class. The Empire State Building was built by immigrants, the Great Wall of China was built by surfs and soldiers, and the Great Pyramids of Egypt were built by slaves. When possible, gather around the working class and find out how they accomplish amazing things.
  22. Whatever you are spending time thinking about, you are becoming.
  23. Have the courage to go to a movie alone.
  24. Remember that harboring a resentment is like swallowing poison and waiting for the other person to die.
  25. Find a spiritual path that works for you and practice it. I’d suggest it have practical steps and tools that you can apply to your life. Blind faith, without practice, is not a spiritual path.
  26. Happiness comes from inside YOU, not from external factors.
  27. Learn how to do simple household repairs, this will save you lots of time and money, and give you something to with your idle weekends.
  28. Read.
  29. Don’t crack your knuckles or bite your fingernails in public.
  30. Try never to borrow money, but lend it freely if you can afford to never see it again.
  31. Match your belt and shoes.
  32. Avoid caffiene.
  33. Make sure to move away from your hometown at least twice.
  34. If you must drink alcohol, never drink it at a work function.
  35. Listen to the Beatles, Ray Charles, and Johnny Cash.
  36. At their very core, there isn’t a bit of difference between the two major political parties in America.
  37. If you’re entertaining company, don’t allow yourself to be distracted by “gadgets” – turn off your phone and other devices. Be PRESENT with the people you are with.
  38. Learn to iron and enjoy the simplicity of it. You’ll look nice, too.
  39. Surround yourself with people who are funny.
  40. Don’t indulge in sex for just the pleasure of it. Have standards and discriminate.
  41. Read Huckleberry Finn, Robinson Crusoe, and other classics that intrigue you.
  42. When it comes to learning history, don’t worry so much about when and where and who, but learn why events occurred and what it means.
  43. Never accept a job based on money. And don’t marry for it.
  44. Be advised that much of our history is the story of man’s inhumanity to his fellow man. Racial and religious intolerance is a big deal, for example.
  45. Never drive when you can walk.
  46. When it comes to humor, leave people wanting more.
  47. The simplest explanation is often the most likely.
  48. If you become an aunt, be the aunt who always sends a birthday card.
  49. Paying taxes is not patriotic. Neither is waving a flag or wearing a red, white and blue hat.
  50. Speaking of that, symbols are generally bullshit.
  51. Hold hands.
  52. Speak up for yourself, because rarely will anyone else do it for you. But be humble.
  53. The bigger your head is, the easier it is to fill your shoes.
  54. If someone steals the credit, or you fail to get the credit you deserve, don’t mention it. Get over it.
  55. Every once in a while wear pretty bows and ribbons in your hair.
  56. When you kiss, touch a part of the other person’s face with your hand.
  57. Travel as much as you can, especially when you’re young.
  58. Don’t believe in conspiracy theories. They require coordinated effort and disciplined silence that most people don’t possess.
  59. Shun television as much as possible. This will be difficult, but your mind will be better for it.
  60. Learn two or three clean jokes that you can tell if you’re asked to make a speech or toast for any occasion.
  61. In regards to speeches: be brief.
  62. If the dorkiest boy in the class asks you to dance, politely thank him, and then dance with the poor fellow.
  63. Recognize that just because people may have been in jail or prison, if they have paid their dues, they deserve a second chance. We all make mistakes.
  64. Having said that, consult your mother and father before dating a felon.
  65. Be advised that if you ever meet your heroes, you’ll probably be disappointed.
  66. Rarely is anything crucial. When faced with a difficult decision, take time before acting. No harm in giving it another day, week, or month. Sometimes the best action is no action.
  67. When in a serious relationship: commit.
  68. Don’t burn bridges. You never know when you’ll see someone again.
  69. Have the strength to ask for help. This is so important.
  70. Build a reputation of being someone who can be counted on.
  71. As soon as you can, when you start to earn money, have some of it automatically withheld and deposited in an investment account. Do this and you will be astounded by the accumulation of compounded interest.
  72. Be prompt.
  73. Don’t wear a lot of makeup.
  74. Don’t look at people as if they are good or bad. We are all good and bad.
  75. Don’t scream at or hit your children, a parent shouldn’t be feared. A parent should be a safe haven to a child.
  76. Always do these three things for your children: open your home to them, loan them money, tell them the brutal truth.
  77. Make loud sandwiches with crunchy things on them, like potato chips, celery, and fresh onions.
  78. Avoid using the word “um” and other forms of lazy speech.
  79. Speaking of that, there’s nothing wrong with a pause in conversation.
  80. When you act like a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
  81. Don’t play video games.
  82. When it comes to relationships don’t proceed based on arbitrary timelines. If it’s the right chair, it doesn’t take long to get comfortable in it.
  83. Three luxuries it’s okay to spend money on: travel, clothing, and pastry. Three luxuries you shouldn’t spend a lot of money on: cars, gadgets, coffee.
  84. Good: calling your mother and father once a week. Better: sending a handwritten note to your parents for no reason. Best: including your parents in one of your favorite activities.
  85. Write handwritten notes, you’ll be remembered for it because no one else does.
  86. Don’t be one of those people who hates to have your picture taken.
  87. Once you think you’ve got it figured out, you’ve stopped living.
  88. Give compliments – to people you know and to total strangers.
  89. When you’re at a party and confronted with someone you just met, don’t ask “What do you do?” It’s a lazy question. Ask them what their favorite book is, or where they last went swimming, anything but “What do you do?” Avoid answering if someone asks you.
  90. Don’t read beauty and advice magazines. Read the Beatitudes from Jesus, it’s in the Bible.
  91. Love your sisters and brothers, someday they may let you live in their guest bedroom.
  92. Try to make sure you have a few thousand dollars stashed away somewhere for an emergency.
  93. Don’t cover hardwood floors with rugs.
  94. For some stretch of time use public transportation. It teaches patience, reliance on others, and affords you a chance to see some interesting characters.
  95. Apologize swiftly and move on.
  96. If the person who loves you doesn’t have your back, move your back.
  97. Take care of your teeth.
  98. Avoid cliches: in written word, in speech, and in deed.
  99. Be more concerned with your character than your reputation.
  100. Live every day like it’s going to be your last day, because one day you’re going to be right.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Politician Buttons

From an article talking about elevator "door close" buttons and similar things that often do nothing, I found this user comment humorous:

my father calls the "walk" buttons at traffic lights, "politician buttons". I never understood the answer, and thus the joke, as a child... went something like this:

Dad: "why do you always press the politician button?"
Me: "why do you always call it a politician button?"
Dad: "because it does nothing."

Though I'd argue too many analogues of the "politician buttons" still do things -- like give people a "walk" sign while perpendicular vehicular traffic gets a green light.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Capitalist Fortune Cookie?

Yesterday I cracked open a fortune cookie that read:

"A fine is a tax for doing wrong. A tax is a fine for doing well."

Friday, August 14, 2009

Axelrod's Careless Myths Section (or was it?)

Apparently even Huffington Post is jumping on Axelrod for the poorly worded "myths about health insurance reform" section on his email the other day:


Though some of them could also be conceived to be cleverly disguised ways of saying something in a way so as not to say what they really mean. Like this one:

7. You can keep your own insurance: It's myth that reform will force you out of your current insurance plan or force you to change doctors. To the contrary, reform will expand your choices, not eliminate them.

Maybe he really does mean that "You can keep your own insurance" is a myth and that the full explanation would be something more like: "It's myth that reform will force you out of your current insurance plan or force you to change doctors [for the first couple years]. To the contrary, reform will expand your choices [at first], not eliminate them [until a few years down the road].

Or this one:

1. Reform will stop "rationing" -- not increase it: It's a myth that reform will mean a "government takeover" of health care or lead to "rationing." To the contrary, reform will forbid many forms of rationing that are currently being used by insurance companies.

Should the full explanation be: "It's a myth that reform will mean a "government takeover" of health care or lead to "rationing" [because we'll just use different words that mean the same thing to describe it]. To the contrary, reform will forbid many forms of rationing that are currently being used by insurance companies [and put even stronger forms of rationing in their place]."?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

What I Do for a Living

Every now and then people ask me what I do. When I tell them I'm an IT Project Manager, they then want to know what my days are like. Usually something like this comes to mind:

I see somebody else has captured this feeling too:

(from http://www.code-muse.com/blog/?p=27)

Yes, it's been one of those days today...

Friday, July 17, 2009

Turnberry Makes Like Buster Douglas

It was amazing to watch Tiger Woods struggle today in the British Open and miss the cut, something I imagine nobody thought possible just a couple days ago. Watching it reminded me of the night when I was a kid, together with my friends, watching the unstoppable Mike Tyson get knocked out by the unknown Buster Douglas. A couple sports moments that were virtually unpredictable. Hopefully Tiger fares better the rest of his career than Iron Mike did, however.
Ma'am is OK Again

So it appears we're in the clear to resume calling Senator Barbara Boxer ma'am again...compare:




Something tells me it's more than a preference for being called "Senator" rather than "Ma'am", but you make the call.