They Grow Up So Fast

Ikea had a country kitchen bench that my wife wanted. It was always out of stock, but two weeks ago we found it and I bought it for her. We then found out that it won’t push under our table and therefore it’s too big for our kitchen. I have to take it back to Ikea.

I decided to try to load it in the car by myself. As I started dragging it out to my minivan, Joshua grabbed one end and picked it up. Caleb, who loves to help, grabbed the middle. They actually helped me carry it out to the car. I had to get a picture.

Seems like just yesterday I was handed a screaming bundle of blankets that needed a diaper change. Suddenly, we’re creeping up on 4th and 5th birthdays and they’re helping me carry furniture. Time sure flies. I’m proud of my boys. They Grow Up So Fast

The Benefits of Professional Membership?

The company that I work for pays for one professional membership. Last year, I attended a presentation about the American Society of Naval Engineers, and decided to join using that paid membership.

Yesterday, my department had an In Service day. We were all encouraged to attend. Many of us had a lot of work, but as our Department Head said "Your work will be waiting for you tomorrow."

I paid $10 for the catered lunch and ordered the Chicken Ceaser wrap. What I got wasn't a wrap; it was on a bun. It was decent, but I wonder how it was $10. That's beside the point. During lunch, a presentation about "The benefits of professional society membership" was to be given. I bet it was interesting, but I elected to carry my lunch back to my desk to check email and try to get a little bit of work done.

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Microsoft Can’t Even Code a Web Page, Anybody Trust Office 2010?

I found out about an interesting new program by Microsoft. Apparently, they'll send you a loaner laptop with Office 2010 installed. You use the laptop, report on it, and they use you in their media and advertising. I thought it would be an interesting idea, and maybe just once they could get some real feedback about their office suite.

I spent the time filling out the form, including answering the questions as to why I want to participate and why I should be included. I submitted the survey, and guess what I got?

 Office 2010

What does this mean? "Your response cannot be recorded because the survey has been changed by another user?" To me, it means that Microsoft can't code a web page.

I'm seriously ready to get a Mac. The only thing standing between me and a MacBook is the money. I'm getting tired of going with the lowest common denominator just because the price is lower.  I think the iPhone is like a gateway drug. I sit there getting frustrated at my Windows PCs, then I look at my iPhone and wonder "What if the whole computer was like this?"

The biggest reason I still use Microsoft office is because I was a heavy Outlook user, but since I stopped using Windows Mobile, I've mostly been using Gmail's web client. I hardly use Outlook at all anymore. Maybe it's time to look at OpenOffice again.

Father’s Day Is Tomorrow. Are You Excited?

I’m not. I have a few reasons. I’m sure I’ll get up and find some cards and presents on the table. I like presents. My wife has a habit of throwing cards out as soon as they’re read, which makes me wonder what the point to them is. I normally keep them, but after a while I start to wonder why. I’m trying to reduce some clutter in my life, and I don’t know what to keep anymore and what to toss.

After that, we’ll go to church. I can’t say that I know for sure what the sermon will be. Steve is preaching (Dr. Steve Sikes- a wonderful man and awesome minister) but I don’t know what the topic will be.

We make a huge deal in our culture about motherhood. Mothers are honored. Fathers, it’s sort of another story. On Mother’s Day, we get sermons about some of the great mothers in the Bible. On Father’s Day, we sometimes get to hear about the fathers who are absent or do a horrible job. Sometimes we don’t even get a sermon about fathers.

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Any Indication That This is True: How A Millionaire’s Brain Works?

This is one of those apocryphal stories that pop up from time to time. This time it’s on Fortune Watch, although under a humor and stories set of categories. It’s the famous story of the millionaire who, on his way out of town, borrows $5000 from a bank and uses his Ferrari as collateral. Upon return, he picks up his car and pays approximately $15 in interest. When asked why he would use a $250,000 (although I’ve seen the value of the car vary in retellings) for a $5000 loan, he replies “Where else can I park my car in this city (usually NYC) for $15 and expect it to be there when I get back?”

It’s a nice story, and a nice illustration that most wealthy people get to be wealthy by not making the overpriced mistakes of the “poor” and “middle class”, but does anybody know if this story is actually true?

I’m not a fan of unverifiable illustrations. I don’t like them in sermons, in motivational material, and even in drinking stories. They’re fine in jokes. If this millionaire parking story came from a joke book, that’s fine, but I’m getting worried about it being passed off as unverifiable fact like the “train bridge operator” story. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that sermon illustration about the train bridge operator who brought his son to work with him, and when the train was approaching, he saw his son playing in the gears, and was forced to kill his son to put the bridge down as the express train was fast approaching, and as the train went by, he screamed “Don’t you people know that I just killed my son for you!” followed by a Gospel invitation. Yeah, nice story, but let’s have some names, and dates, and maybe some CPS or DYFS investigations, or some railroad investigations. It sounds more like negligence and parenting failure to me than a comparison to the cross. I’ve probably heard this millionaire parking story more than I’ve heard the idiot train bridge operator kills son for express train sermon illustration. (Yes, I’ve heard that train story from the pulpit in my own church several times, and in podcast sermons, and I’ve probably read it in books.)

I can’t find anything on Snopes, which is my go-to site for any stupid email that I get. Actually, nobody sends them to me anymore. It’s far more likely that I was just taken off distribution lists rather than I convinced people to verify that Bill Gates is in fact testing an email tracking program and will pay you $1000 for every idiot you can spam.

If you can provide any details about this millionaire parking story (or the train-bridge guy story for that matter), please leave them in the comments.

Random: Tim Ferriss and Kevin Rose Discuss Their Top 5 Must-Read Books

I finally got time to watch this. Tim Ferriss of The 4 Hour Work Week and Kevin Rose of Digg (and many other ventures) discussed their top 5 Must-Read Books on an episode of their Random video podcast.

I’m a total book geek, which annoys my wife to no end, and I always enjoy hearing about the books that other people have been influenced by. Books are a great way to capture and spread ideas. I love ideas and information. There are many media for spreading these, but books are the best for larger ideas especially over long periods of time.

Whenever I come across somebody who has met with some success in life, I’m always interested in what books influenced them. What ideas inspired them to achieve? What ideas can carry me further in life?

Dan Miller said that everybody he knows who has been successful has two books in common: Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich” and Dale Carnegie’s “How To Win Friends and Influence People”. Interesting combination. Dan said that he’s never met a successful person who hasn’t read those two books (among many, many others). I have no idea why this is, but I’ve recently dug my copies out and started reading them again. I dismissed them years ago as brainwashing tools of Multi-Level Marketing/Motivating groups, but perhaps they have some utility away from the” big A” MLM group.

What would you consider to be your top 5 books? I might have to start a post on mine.


iPhone 3.0 Bug Report #1

I still really like my iPhone and I'm never going back to Windows Mobile (well, maybe not never, but only under a long chain of favorable events that probably won't happen). I upgraded to the 3.0 software last night. Obviously, whenever software changes, sometimes bugs surface, or features change.

One thing I use my iPhone for the heaviest is to listen to podcasts. Some of those podcasts have sponsors or commercials. I've taken to, in the interest of time, fast-forwarding through those commercials. Yes, I know that's how they make their money, but most run the same commercials over and over and over again. I'll stop and listen to new ones in the interest of fairness. Yes, I actually do that. But I fast-forward through the ones I've heard 100 or more times.

When the iPhone is in standby, and a podcast runs commercials, I pick it up, double-tap the home button to bring up the iPod controls, and hold down the fast forward button.

That's where the bug comes in.

I notice in 3.0, the iPod countrols time out even when I'm holding down the fast-forward button. Yeah, it's a minor annoyance, but still, it worked in 2.2.1.

Anyone know how to submit a bug report to Apple, or do I hope they catch it themselves and fix it in 3.0.1 or whatever comes out next?