Who Am I?

Not Posting Much

Posted: July 10th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Personal | 3 Comments »

The few of you who check this blog regularly have probably noticed I haven’t been writing much. It’s not because I have nothing to say. In fact, I have a swirl of many thoughts on celiac, faith, and other matters swirling around my head. It’s more that life has intervened and even on those occasions when I’ve wanted to translate thought to written word, I’ve not had the time.

First, and foremost, the son of a friend of mine was murdered while they were on vacation and because of my change in job/organization at work, I didn’t even hear about it until after the funeral. I first met Dino, Jr. when he was a preschooler. And his father and I have always been the two at work with a lot of kids of roughly similar age ranges. We’ve talked about our kids and their lives for years now. This one hit me hard. I want to write about evil and the way it permeates everything around us. I want to write about the randomness with which it can strike. I want to write about pain. I want to write about a lot of things, but every time I try I see Dino’s face (both father and son) and I’m struck dumb. Sometimes there simply are no words.

Then, a week ago, we had to put our beloved older Yorkie, Chip, down. It wasn’t exactly a surprise. He would have been 16 next month and that’s quite old for any dog, much less his breed. But I haven’t had any pets since I was a child and the last dog I considered “mine” died in my arms when I was fifteen (before I became an expecting father) from strychnine poisoning. Chip was blind, mostly deaf, and had had very slow growing cancer for many months. We knew it was just a matter of time. But on 6/30 he turned anorexic — eating and drinking nothing. By Monday, when nothing had changed, we knew it was time. He was still walking around, but clearly uncomfortable. And since he couldn’t eat or drink, we couldn’t even get any pain medicine in him. It was extremely hard, but we took him to the vet and spared him those last few days of increasing pain and a gradual, lingering death. But it has left a gaping hole in our lives and our younger Yorkie (four years old) has been lost. Yes, all dogs go to heaven.

Chip's Paw Print

My father-in-law has also had a number of health issues this past month which have kept my wife busy. Since work has also been extremely hectic, that hasn’t left much time for writing.

I will be writing again, but for now, if you pray, please pray for us. And even more for Dino and his family.

Saturday Evening Blog Post – June Edition

Posted: July 8th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Misc | Comments Off on Saturday Evening Blog Post – June Edition

In this month’s edition of the Saturday Evening Blog Post, hosted by Elizabeth Esther, I chose to share something different from what I usually do and add the link to my post on The Psychological Side of Celiac. The SEBP is a fun opportunity to share something you’ve written and read posts that others have written. Hop over to it and take a look.

Weekend Update 07-07-2012

Posted: July 7th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Weekend Update | Comments Off on Weekend Update 07-07-2012

Let’s start with this week’s most exciting news! My son, the physics major, texted me about the impending Higgs boson discovery announcement before I saw it anywhere else. This article includes the tidbit about Stephen Hawking losing a $100 bet as a result. Well, okay. Perhaps it’s less exciting to those who have not found quantum physics and mathematics fascinating practically their whole lives. But it really is a big deal. Why? Well, here’s a really good, brief lay summary with an analogy that most of us can grasp from Fermilab.


Mitt Romney and the New Gilded Age. Robert Reich an the absurd point we’ve reached.

Fr. Orthoduck “rants” about the impact of neglecting our infrastructure for the past thirty years and the widespread denial and delusion preventing us from making any progress today. Well worth reading.

Parents already know or should know that all the peer-reviewed and substantiated science shows that “normal” corporal punishment of children (spanking) can have long-term negative effects. And yet they live in denial, even asserting among many religious groups that “god” (whatever god it is they worship) demands that parents hit their children. However, it’s hardly limited to religious groups. Rather 90% of Americans, religious or not, still spank their kids today. Sometimes it seems hopeless.

While actually proving any linkage between individual weather events and overall climate is much more difficult than many people appreciate, the increase in extreme heat-related weather events is consistent with the predictions of climate science.

I like this post primarily because it again exposes the very bad metaphor comparing a country to a business. Among other things, no company (other than perhaps Amway) sells 80% of its products and/or services to its own employees. Bad metaphors lead to bad conclusions and worse actions. Krugman makes essentially the same point in his column.

Robert Reich on patriotism. Read it. ‘Nuff said.

Cringely on IT class warfare. Good stuff. And it’s true. IT is creative knowledge-based work. I have a friend who says he isn’t paid for what he does; he’s paid for what he knows. (Of course, from that knowledge you accomplish a lot. But it’s the knowledge and the ability to apply it that’s key.) This quote caught my eye. “Toward the top end of IT the value of individual contributors becomes extreme. There are many IT organizations where certain critical functions are dependent on a single worker. These are complex or arcane tasks being done by unique individuals.” If this isn’t an area where you work, that can be hard to understand. It’s also not necessarily a highly paid or broadly recognized individual. Right now, in my organization of a 100,000 people over more than 700 sites, there are key aspects of our infrastructure that depend on me for all practical purposes. It’s been that way in different arenas for the past couple of decades, but most people don’t know who I am and I’m not unusually compensated. I like it that way. If you get to a certain depth with a given type of problem or issue, you’ll end up being directed to me. And I’ll make things work (or tell you why what you think you want isn’t possible and help you find an alternative approach). There are a handful of other people like me in other areas and by and large we either know each other or we know who to ask to find each other. It’s just the way things are.