Category Archives: Personal

That…

That first cup of coffee brewed from a french press that is fresh out of the dishwasher. Bad coffee is bad coffee, but a completely clean press can turn an okay grind into a surprisingly good one.

That wonderful diminishing effect holiday weeks have on the traffic in which I almost inevitably find myself along my fifty-mile commute. I actually have time to post something this morning.

That mix of both hope and dread at the remaining weeks of a semester when almost of the final assignments have been released, and the true scope work needed to be done in the next (less than) four weeks has been revealed.

That sense of calm that comes from finding out that others are in the exact same situation in their own words.

“When a wave comes, go deep.”

Another great one from the aforementioned site:

“If you could give one piece of advice to a large group of people, what would it be?”

“When a wave comes, go deep.”

“I think I’m going to need an explanation for that one.”

“There’s three things you can do when life sends a wave at you. You can run from it, but then it’s going to catch up and knock you down. You can also fall back on your ego and try to stand your ground, but then it’s still going to clobber you. Or you can use it as an opportunity to go deep, and transform yourself to match the circumstances. And that’s how you get through the wave.”
Humans of New York.

Parenting and Pinball

“It’s amazing how little ability we have to shape the lives of our children. You do what you can, but their personalities are predominantly formed by the times they live in, their friends, and other influences. Parenting is sort of like pulling back the lever of a pinball machine, and just letting the ball fly.”
Humans of New York.

There is a lot of great stuff on this page to read, but that quote really struck me as being very true.1


  1. I would offer a direct link to the quote and accompanying photo, but it appears this is a tumblr blog, which is requiring I set up an account to do so. Um, no? Great job undermining the spirit of the WWW, guys. UPDATE: Whoops. It appears that if the quote is clicked the browser goes to a dedicated page. If the “REBLOG THIS” link is clicked, then tumblr kicks in. Still, that smacks me as being bad UI/UX. This being a tumblr site is not obvious to me as a non-user of tumblr. I now see the “+ Follow Me” button, but that looks like Facebook and I don’t use that enough to make my clicking it to be useful. But, that’s just me, I guess.

Don’t break it.

You don’t like a particular policy or a particular president? Then argue for your position. Go out there and win an election. Push to change it. But don’t break it. Don’t break what our predecessors spent over two centuries building. That’s not being faithful to what this country’s about.
Transcript: President Obama’s Oct. 17 remarks on the budget deal

Exactly. And this applies to everyone. I’ve said it before and I will keep saying it: To even so much as suggest, much less allow, the government to shut down is a complete and total failure of our representatives in doing their jobs, regardless of party allegiance. This entire exercise over the past month is simply wasteful and inexcusable.

BBC: US shutdown severs a lifeline for dying children

“I really don’t care who is at fault. I don’t care who did what, all I care about is letting the scientists get back to work, letting them work on a life-saving cure for my children and children with a disease like theirs,” says Mr Grube.
BBC: US shutdown severs a lifeline for dying children

Yet another reason why suggesting—and allowing—the shutting down of the government is wrong. Close down all the national parks you want, but do not interfere with people’s lives when it is their actual life at stake. Ungovernable indeed.

Why the Health Care Law Scares the G.O.P.

In 1994, when President Bill Clinton took an earlier stab at a health care overhaul, the conservative thinker William Kristol published a manifesto about why Republicans had to stop it.

“Passage of the Clinton health plan in any form would be disastrous,” Mr. Kristol wrote, italicizing for emphasis. “It would guarantee an unprecedented federal intrusion into the American economy. Its success would signal the rebirth of centralized welfare-state policy at the moment that such policy is being perceived as a failure in other areas.”

Two decades after Mr. Clinton’s ultimately failed attempt, Obamacare poses the same sort of threat.
Why the Health Care Law Scares the G.O.P.

That makes sense. But, still, shutting down the entire government over one part of one law is just a dick move. Surely, there must have been a better way to handle this? Couldn’t the Democrats have conceded on that one bit to get the rest? Ungovernable, indeed.

Also, part of my problem with all of the new coverage is that everyone calls the law by its nickname—”Obamacare”—and not by its real name: The Affordable Care Act. Papers like the N.Y. Times didn’t call former president George W. Bush “Dubya” in standard news articles, so why the switch now? Calling the law by its real name is important and calling it anything else undermines the value of the article in which it is mentioned.

Enough is enough

The trouble is, the shutdown is a symptom of a deeper problem: the federal lawmaking process is so polarised that it has become paralysed.
The Economist: America’s government shutdown—No way to run a country (subscription likely required)

As I often say to my kids: “I don’t care who started it. Knock it off.” To even so much as suggest, much less allow, the government to shut down is a complete and total failure of our representatives in doing their jobs, regardless of party allegiance. I think this entire two-party, bi-partisan system of government has played itself out. I do not want to imply that I have a specific answer to such a over-arching problem, but it seems to me a detailed review of performance is required of all participants in the hopes of finding a suitable addition or alternative.

The Land of the Free is starting to look ungovernable. Enough is enough.

Exactly. I don’t often delve into politics publicly but this current situation really has me rankled. Shutting down the government was as much bullshit today as it was 17 years ago. What a bunch of jackasses.

I actually emailed them about the price once, particularly the $2 guac. Essentially, it came down to two things: the guac is entirely hand-made which takes time, and they give you an amount of guac that is roughly equal to a whole avocado. Put those two together et voila. $2. Then they said, “But what are you going to do? Go to Qdoba? Bwa-ha-ha-haaaaa!” I was okay until that last bit that they didn’t actually put in the email, but I could easily imagine them saying to themselves as they hit “Send.” What was interesting, though, is that when they emailed me back, there were six people copied on the email. So, I took the opportunity to ask them to consider offering shaved carrot as a veg, because that would bring their food one *big* step closer to SoCal-style mexican, and they said they would look into it, but that was almost a year ago and they still don’t have it. I don’t know who’s the bigger idiot now: Me for still paying $2 for an avocado or Chipotle for not offering carrots as a side.
Me, commenting on a friend’s post that said simply “Holy Chipotle, that’s an expensive burrito!”