Archive for January, 2010

Well, duh.


I used to explain back-end processes to non-technical or the merely uninterested as “programagical”. And look, Google is keeping that dream alive.

Something New for Your Feed Reader

My friend Tammy and I have decided to stretch ourselves artistically: we’ve started a team photo blog. It started with this post and after some hemming, hawwing, direction changing and good ole fashioned procrastination we have it up! And there are posts posted!!

We chose “Two Sides to Every Story” because our original idea was to have a post theme and have our two takes on it. Tammy generated 25 random words for us to use. That proved too hard for the newly initiated photo bloggers, so we’re going with things that are interesting to us in some way. My goal is not to focus on family pictures, you can get enough of that here. I also hope to learn to use my camera better, enough to warrant a new lens in 2010.

Two Sides to Every Story

Cognitive Dissonance

One afternoon of graduate school I was sitting outside the student union taking in the sunshine. I’m sure I had a stack of books. I do remember I was waiting on a friend. Two younger students, clearly freshman, approached and asked if they could ask me some questions – they were doing a survey. I said sure. It’s very common for psych classes to send out their students to do informal polling for papers, etc.

They ask about life goals – did I have any?

Sure, I am *in* grad school after all. I ask which class they’re polling for.

They deflect.

They ask if I feel like I am able to achieve my goals.

Sure, I keep coming back. I ask which class they’re polling for.

They answer: not a class.

They ask another question.

I ask what they’re doing.

They were recruiting for a Christian organization on campus. Okay. I wish they had been upfront about that to begin with – would have made the conversation more fun from the start. Once we were all aware of everyone’s agenda things got interesting.

Them: how can you achieve your life’s goals without Jesus in your life?

Me: Why do I need Jesus? I can have faith and religion without Jesus.

Them: Huh?

Me: Not everyone needs to go through Jesus to get to God.

Them: Yes you do, if you do not accept Jesus … you go to hell.

Me: Really? All the God fearing Jews that died during the Holocaust went to hell?

Them: No. They accepted Jesus.

Me: Huh?

Me: Uhm.

Me: What?

Then there was a part where I gently explained that not knowing anything about the competition before trying to sell their product was a fail (I was, after all, in business school).

They stood their ground. (Was I now a challenge?)

Me: so, a man who rapes his wife and beats his children can have salvation if, on his death bed, he asks Jesus for forgiveness?

Them: Yes.

Me: And a man that cares for his family and his community and never harms a fly but hasn’t accepted Jesus as his personal savior goes to hell?

Them: Yes.

Me: And you’re okay with that?

The girl cried some more. They slowly walked away. I watched where they went, wanting to see who the would target next. Instead they just left. Maybe they went to the library to read about comparative religion. Heh.

The hypocrisy of main stream religion is baffling to me. I cannot wrap my brain around it. I do not understand how people who claim to be Christians think they have the right to condemn other people. My brain cannot process how Pat Robertson has followers. He says that the Haitians made a pact with the devil. Does he think that because they practice Voodoo? Anything that’s not his brand of Christianity is devil-worship? How do all those people with strong faith, with belief in the golden rule, with a love for their neighbor regardless of their views let this man represent him? Where did all those people wearing the WWJD bracelets go? Do they honestly believe that Jesus would look the other way and let people suffer? If their god is a benevolent one, he would not. And if their god is malicious, how can they have faith in him?


I am a geek.

Not just any geek because I spent actual time today trying to decide which analogy I prefer to describe my work habits: LIFO/FIFO or stack/queue. For those that haven’t had to sit through a year of accounting, LIFO is last in, first out and FIFO is first in, first out – both are inventory tracking methods. Stack is that new things get put on the top and handled first (same as LIFO) and queue is new things go to the end of the line (FIFO). So, now that everyone is caught up with the voices in my head, let’s move on.

I was thinking about whether my work habits are queue based or stack based. Do I make a list and add new things to the end, handling the list from 1 to N? Or do I take on new things and put them on the top of the list? I think, that in reality, I do neither exclusively. I apply some sort of priority algorithm to the task and then decide what to do. So, what is that? Modified queue?

Yes, this is what the inside of my head sounds like.

What’s your responsibility handling paradigm? How do you take on new obligations/opportunities? Do you give something else up or do you squeeze more into your life? I take on more until I need to take to my bed. I’m not sure that’s entirely healthy. It takes other forms sometimes. Sometimes I ignore the impending thing I need to do and then act like my lack of planning was me being all easy-breezy-lemon-squeezy. When in fact I’m so far past freaked out that I just sort of shut down. I try not to be such an over-doer.

Today my application to graduate school was completed and it’s somewhat intimidating. I expected to be relieved that it was complete. I’ve been working toward this day for seven months. Instead? I’m sort of freaking out. I’m becoming more concerned that I will get accepted than that I won’t (although, in reality I should be concerned about not being accepted – they take 20 people per year. Statistically, my chances are slim.). Also, sometimes? I worry about the wrong things. Which is where the stream of consciousness becomes helpful – it distracts me … so I wonder: do I stack or queue?

Welcome to twenty ten people. What changes are afoot in your neck of the woods?