28 June 2009


The other night, I happened to be channel-surfing, looking for something worth watching. When you only have broadcast television, and it's summer re-run season, this can prove to be a difficult thing to do. Fortunately for me, there was a documentary on PBS entitled "Disconnected".

I caught it only after about 10 minutes had elapsed, but it drew me in quickly. The basic premise of the documentary was to show the effects of giving up computers on the lives of three Carleton College students who agreed to try it for three weeks.

As someone who works online for a living, I knew it would be a tough job for a college student to go cold turkey. Not only is the use of a computer a given for doing assignments and research, college students really don't have a memory of not being able to do things online. When I think that most college freshmen today probably were born in the 1990s, my blood runs cold.

The funniest thing in the film was watching two of the students work together to figure out how to work one of the library's typewriters in order to get a paper done. A close second was seeing the face of one of the students when he realized there was no "delete" key.

The lone female of the trio actually ended up doing well. She realized some of the negative effects of being online so much. The quality of her papers went up as she really had to plan out exactly how she wanted to say something rather than cut and paste large chunks and move them around on the screen. She realized that most of the email messages she exchanged with her friends were not very important and could be replaced quite easily with more face-to-face time and longer conversations.

All in all, a good show. I definitely enjoyed it. I would recommend it highly. Check it out at disconnecteddocumentary.com.

26 April 2009

Who I Resemble

I tried this cool feature from MyHeritage where you can upload a photo and then be told what celebrities you most resemble. Interesting results...

10 April 2009

An "Office Space" Day

Most meetings are downright awful. I happened to have an entire day filled with them today. At the end of the day, I couldn't help but think of this great clip from "Office Space." (Sorry that Hulu makes you log in, but rest assured that there is no foul language in this clip.)

I'm not saying that my workplace is like this. But I'm not not saying it either.

25 March 2009

Obvious? Apparently not

This came from the Kentucky-Notre Dame NIT game recap from the AP wire:

Asked about how he feels about all the judgment he's facing after posing a 40-27 record in two seasons at Kentucky, Gillispie said: ''There's only one judgment I'll ever be concerned about, and I hope I pass that judgment. That's the only one I'll ever be concerned about, and I'm really proud that that's the only judgment that will ever have a real affect on me, and I hope I pass that one with flying colors.'' Gillispie declined to answer when asked whose judgment he was referring to, saying it was obvious, apparently referring to Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart.

Apparently it isn't "obvious" to this AP writer. It was to me.

03 February 2009

A High Degree of Awesomeness

Isn't this awesome?

(And, no, this isn't Erik. Although it kind of looks like him. Maybe that's what makes it even funnier for me.)

13 July 2008

Hulu? Hulu!

I have a new current obsession: Hulu.com.

For the uninitiated, Hulu is a Web site that shows full-length TV shows and movies-- for free. The only catch is that you have to watch the occasional commercial. No biggie there.

The great thing is the selection. There are tons of current and "vintage" shows out there. For example, I'm going through the first season of Picket Fences, and I am having a blast. I didn't really appreciate the quality of the show like I do now.

In a world that has way too many reality shows and game shows, I really enjoy seeing some of these old favorites. It's nice to go back to a time when networks actually had scripted shows with originality and well-developed characters.

26 May 2008

My Current Obsession

Music always has been a big part of my life. I remember learning all of the album names for the songs and groups that I was into during my teenage years. (Obviously, using the word "albums" dates me.) I used to think that I would go into the music industry somehow. Of course, not knowing how to sing and having only a two-year orchestra stint on cello on my musical resume most likely would have relegated me to a behind-the-scenes role.

Of course, none of that worked out. As often happens with our early idea of our life's ideal, things get added, dropped, and refined along the way. Even though I'm not in the music industry, I still have a strong appreciation for music.

I was listening to mashups a few weeks back when I discovered the very excellent "Every Car You Chase" by Party Ben, which combines the 80s classic "Every Breath You Take" by The Police with the modern-day "Chasing Cars" by Snow Patrol. And since I've heard that song, I can't get it out of my head. But in a good way.

I didn't even know they had used the original Snow Patrol version on "Gray's Anatomy", especially since I've seen about 15 minutes total of that show. But I do admire that show's taste.

If I lay here/If I just lay here/Would you lie with me and just forget the world?

20 May 2008

Happy 1/2 Birthday Mike

I have two wonderful little boys. (Well, maybe "little" isn't the right word, since they both are way about average in size.) Today was the 1/2 birthday of the younger one, Mike.

Happy Birthday, Mikey! You're growing up so fast; I now understand why my parents used to say that about me and my siblings.

In honor of the "Little Guy," check out his rendition of the popular local chant "Go Pack Go!" Of course, as with everything, he is accompanied by Erik.

(I only hope Mike continues to grow up quickly, so that his voice changes soon.)

Long-Term Thinking

This past weekend, I worked both Saturday and Sunday for a total of about 22 hours or so. The project that I'm working on is behind schedule, so the natural response is to put more hours against it.

But is that really the best way? Why is the willingness to work longer hours seen as a desireable trait? I don't really understand that rewarding someone for being ineffective and planning poorly is done so consistently in our work society.

Don't get me wrong-- I'm not trying to get out of doing my job. Actually, I'm doing more than that. I'm trying to get out of doing my job poorly and inefficiently. I would think that, as an employer that is struggling to turn a profit in our current economy, my company would embrace my opinion and ask how we can do things better. But that's not happening.

It seems like this is yet another case when the necessity of the short-term goal (completing this project by a certain date) drives out any hope of addressing a long-term goal (how do we prevent this type of occurance from happening again?). But why should I be surprised? Isn't that the way our society works these days?

Look at our personal savings rates. Look at the current mortgage crisis. Look at what our politicians do and say while campaigning in a particular state right before its primary. Look at how our schools chase after any fad in the hope that it will "fix" our education system.

The Law of Unintended Consequences has proven true in situations too numerous to count. Yet we still continue to live in such a short-sighted way.

12 May 2008

Yes, This is Lame

I've noticed that my postings on this blog have really taken a hit. Not that I was ever Stephen King or anything, but I had planned to write more than I have. I promise to do better, so watch out! At least this is a start, even though it is rather lame.