Saturday, July 09, 2005

Media: Steve Jobs' Commencement Speech at Stanford

Transcript of Commencement Speech at Stanford given by Steve Jobs: "Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward. You can only connect them looking backwards, so you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something--your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever--because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well-worn path, and that will make all the difference."

(One of Silicon Valley's most complex and seminal executives, Steve Jobs has been notoriously reticent to share from his personal life until this most revealing and evocative address on June 14, 2005.)

Email: Interpreting dreams [MA]

I don't know what to make of dreams exactly. I don't want to give them too much credence but they do connect with us in sometimes significant ways I think. My basic notion is that they are the mind playing with the emotional and intellectual (psychological) puzzle pieces of the day, working to make sense by bringing it all together, settling out the cognitive dissonance and making peace with the questions and issues that remain. Our subconscious plays a role in storing, toying with and resolving the active memories of the day and sometimes our conscious mind can play a role in riffling through our dreams as we sleep. Sometimes I have practiced or experienced lucid dreaming, where I've had disturbing dreams [but] decided "I don't like this dream; I'm going to change it" and done so.

It seems we only remember dreams if we awaken before the end of our sleep cycle. Did you know that we have 90-minute sleep cycles? Someone told me that this year and since then I realized that my sleep times are always divisible by 90 minutes: 4.5 or 6 or 7.5 hours. Crazy.

I know and love Calvin [& Hobbes]! He's my favorite cartoon character of all! I have most of his large-format books (and The Far Side and Doonesbury).

Email: Humility is... [DB]

Humility is admitting who you really are before God, not denying it. And anyway I was agreeing with you, wasn't I...? ;-)

Email: Christians and allegories [SD]

Christians sure love allegories don't they? :-) No one can say we aren't a connect-the-dots [or draw-between-the-lines] kind of people.

Email: When men use women [JB]

A big part of what ticks me off about other men is their regular cheapening and using of women. Any woman I meet (it seems) is going to have been hurt or used by another man 2-3 or more times before we ever connect and have a decent, kind, caring, devoted relationship. This is why I want to minister to singles and divorced people about how to recognize the shape of love and to build better, authentic relationships. Macho men are slowly poisoning our society and we have to turn the tide, or it won't matter how much we preach the Lord. Having a stable father and husband image is essential to society.

I have also survived with no (or recently very little) emotional support or affirmation from anyone; faith in me and perseverance have been all I've had to keep from melting into a puddle of nothing all my life.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Whimsy: Baseball scores

NY Bloggers 6
Boston Hackers 3

Bay Area VCs 4
Utah Linux 1

Seattle Mojo 2
Palo Alto Cellulars 0

Whimsy: Billboards with bite

Baseball stadium billboards

Actual: Dodge Ram. Grab life by the horns
Fictional: Dodge Ram. Grab life by the bulls

Actual: For that special moment, Cialis
Fictional: For a good time, see Alice

Email: Gatorade Corporate HQ

Your TV commercials with the athletes disintegrating into chunks of debris is disturbing to watch and should be discontinued. Surely you can be graphic without being offensive to human sensibilities.

Email: Spontaneity [Sz]

I like serenading serendipity.

Email: Singles ministry [JB]

I think [most] churches don't minister to singles well or at all. (Most singles ministers, speakers and book authors recognize this too.) That's part of what I'd like to help change. I'm glad you're in a good church. You can probably find another church that does reach out to singles. When searching for a congregation, I avoided mid-sized churches that only had ministries to their own members (women's guild, men's club, scouts etc.) and chose a church that has ministries to the larger community (homeless, respite care, AA, coffeehouse etc.).

Email: Retroactive prayer and birthdays [JB]

I believe God answers prayers retroactively; if we didn't know of a need in time, we pray anyway and he (being Lord of all time and space) considers our plea regarding the original situation.

As CC says, "Keep celebrating your birthday until the last card arrives!"

Proverbs: That's the rub but the nub too

That's the hard part but that's what must be done.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Neologisms: rattify [conflation]

To approve a measure, but begrudgingly and with massive political histrionics or dirty tricks.

Proverbs: "Keep quiet and trust us" never works out

Musings: I'm a little OC?

I am reasonably healthy and well-adjusted, according to the Personality Disorder Test at


-- Personality Disorder Test --
-- Personality Disorder Information --

Media: Fools for terrorism at CNN

After unfortunate months of blah-blah-blather on Michael Jackson and Natalee Holloway, to the great neglect of actual new stories, today's marathon coverage of the terrorist bombings in London carries CNN's freneticism to a new pitch.

I'm unsure yet whether it is in part creating or merely reflecting the national mood, but Soledad O'Brien's racing, stuttering jumble of words is a sorry excuse for journalism and sounds more as if she'd just escaped from the tube with her life. Similarly, the rampant chatter and questions for transit authorities nationwide sounds an alarmist tone that smacks of sensationalism and cedes the agenda to the terrorists.

I would be much more pleased if Pres. Bush had not merely called citizens to be "extra vigilant" (as if bombs were somehow slated to break out in American cities nationwide) but had said, "We call on citizens to do what we've always asked them to do: Go on with your lives, but be vigilant against suspicious activities such as unattended packages. Together with our law enforcement and transit authorities, we can and will prevail for freedom and the American way."

Email: Virtue as reward [AM]

I think we all have more going for us than most of us believe. (OK a few people exaggerate their good qualities but you get my drift.) The important thing is to be realistic and abstain from being self-centered; then we can truly notice if we cheat more or less than others on their taxes, time slips or whatever. Virtue is its own reward, but generally without any recognition other than the face we see each morning in the mirror and need to live with each day and night.

Time flies but that's OK because it heals all wounds right?

If we are looking for "that one in a million," do you know how long that would take? Even one in 10,000! So maybe one in a thousand doesn't sound so bad.

Once when I was on the writing team of The Adcetera Group, I had the notion that I'd love it if my future spouse knew what a bilabial fricative was.

Email: Hot enough for ya? [SC]

Listen, my mother won't come to Texas during the summer either! I'm fairly adaptable but AC [air conditioning] is our friend for a reason. :-) I think it's funny that people in the south would often never want to live in the cold (north) and people in the north often live there because (as with me) they never realize that "cold is an option." I love the cold and miss the fall and winter in Minnesota; on the other hand, I'm pleased to go outdoors in short sleeves and sandals almost year-round.

You don't know humidity until you have been on the Gulf or East coast. All this week [and summer] here we [basically] have a high of 97 which with humidity is a heat index (feels like) [of] 110 (picture a greenhouse and you've got it) plus it will be thunderstorming through next week. It's beautiful in its way though. At least a tropical setting feels more like paradise than pine and oak trees.

[Being self-employed] I have a great deal of flexibility [with work hours] but you also make agreements [that are quite challenging] and keep them; so work becomes a communal hallucination of sorts. ;-)

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Quotes: "You shall know the truth ..." (Flannery O'Connor)

"You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you odd." -- Flannery O'Connor

Proverbs: Happiness exists but it cannot be analyzed (or argued into existence)

Email: Spouse searching [AM]

I really want an intelligent partner, please oh please Lord... (he prepares to whimper)

Sometimes I think we shouldn't have to wonder if we're "picky" because we don't want a rude spouse, a control-freak spouse, a serial-killer spouse... You know? If it's the contradiction of a loving, trusting relationship, I don't think we should have to put negative definitions into the positive definition. Whatever.

As Michael Johnson sang, "It's the time you waste for them that makes a friend a friend, unique in all the world until the end."

Weblogs: Doonesbury slams bloggers

(see the Doonesbury strip in question)

I wrote a master's thesis on Doonesbury 20 years ago ("Zonker as Eiron: The Use of Satire and Irony in G.B. Trudeau's Doonesbury"). I even have a rare handwritten postcard from G.B. Trudeau.

Garry Trudeau is not above taking cheap shots at any side of an issue; that's part of his appeal. In fact, he really likes to stir things up -- a quality I greatly admire. (It's not always so important what side you take in a debate, but that you have a debate -- full-out, open and honest.) In this case, I think he's supporting traditional journalism (in which Trudeau and his wife Jane Pauley have a great investment).

I think journalists secretly fear the democratization of news and opinion coverage, just as typesetters rightly feared the democratization of the printing press.

Email: Separation, divorce and dating [Gr]

One challenge to dating anyone is your legal separation; you need to be divorced to remarry of course. I'm sure you have quite a story there but don't feel obligated to tell anyone the gory details until it's resolved and behind you. Also one thing I've learned is that it's wise in the long view for a man to court a woman who has completed her divorce and been single for some time (2-3 years or more). You need time to resolve your legal and emotional entanglements (and the same goes for men who are too eager to jump back into marriage without assessing their lessons). In the meantime, you may date men and learn from your experience, but you will know when you feel ready for a serious relationship.

Do you have any awareness what sort of ministry the Lord would have for you? Because passively accepting whatever a human pastor assigns you is not part of the faith [strictly]. Baptists may shuffle forward like sheep better than some, but I hope a Baptist with a doctorate uses her mind as well as her heart to help discern God’s will for her.

Email: Wolves in the workplace [JB]

The guy should get fired for sexual harrassment. Almost any store would can his ass for creating a "hostile workplace." You need to tell the manager that he's hitting on customers sexually. That's so brazen, it's something deviants do.

Humor: The Onion - Horoscopes

The Onion | Horoscopes: "Libra: (Sept. 23-Oct. 23)
There are many possible fates in store for you this week, but they all seem to involve you standing rain-drenched and shoeless at the side of a major interstate highway, cursing single men everywhere."

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Proverbs: Happiness is a choice

Proverbs: Stop trying to be happy, and be happy

(With apologies to The Matrix: Free your mind...)

Monday, July 04, 2005

Email: Wolves in shepherd's clothing [JB]

Thank God (in a way) these men are so unimaginative in their come-ons. The trouble with people who have no boundaries is that they have no awareness of their lack of boundaries (and resultant rudeness).

Email: Wolves in shepherd's clothing [JB]

The guy may have asked if you were adventurous because he was hoped to lead you into a sexual discussion. I've heard it happen many times anyway. I'm sorry the conversation turned out to give you nightmares. Pastor indeed! This is one reason why I avoid nondenominational churches which tend to have self-appointed pastors. I've seen weird things happen at many smaller nonaffiliated churches -- power plays and meltdowns -- but do attendees figure out that this is because theirs is a smaller nonaffiliated church, which will tend to draw the bottom of the pastoral barrel? I'm glad you saw him for the wolf he is. I think you should report this guy's manipulations on Christian Mingle and Eharmony to management so they can be on guard against him.

Email: Written in stone [KO]

One never knows the future until it is written in stone (diamond).

Email: Cling-free relationships [JB]

You're right that both men and women can be needy (clingy) in their own ways. (You have experience with the men, I don't.) It's a sign of codependence or insecurity (according to the experts) when someone seeks to fill a need more than to contribute a strength, I think. We all have needs, of course, but the basis of a healthy (two-way) relationship is giving more than receiving.

Email: Straitlaced vs. fun [JB]

Little yappy dogs are not fun because peckishness in a pet probably means they haven't been trained well. Molley came to me so well-mannered, I am blessed. She is very sweet and a suck-up for affection.

Being consistent in values and spontaneous in humor or activities are not opposites. Consistent means not switching horses in moral midstream as far as reasons, rationales or behaviors. I know how to be spontaneous and creative when it comes to having fun. Try me. :-)

Email: Dating flimflammery [JB]

[Is] my expressiveness with words attract[ive]? (Call me evocative.)

I'll admit that most of the women I've spoken with are divorced, and emotionally flimflammed at that. However I didn't say "most" [women]; I stated the two extremes. There will always be a middle ground, but to me it's helpful to know the bounds of whatever we're talking about. Even in the workplace, I'll often pin down someone who is rambling with a question like "So are you saying we should do this or drop it?" I find that understanding the shape and then the weight of a problem helps solve it better in specific instances and real lives.

Still just that you talk about how your friend is "waiting for God to send her a man" and how "dating is a game" tells me you're having the same experiences. Wolves means wolves: hunters, liars, loners in this context. I say break the "rules" of the game; it shouldn't and needn't be a game. You just have to avoid those who are making it one and find those who are being truthful and authentic about themselves.

Email: Sex in marriage [JB]

I liked the show Sex and the City because they addressed so many issues (even if they didn't resolve them all). In one episode, the girls say "You can't have good sex without a good relationship! You can't have a good relationship without good sex!" To me, a marriage without good sex is a crime, because it's the one thing in a marriage that you're not supposed to find elsewhere.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Email: Dating questions [KO]

I suppose men who are seriously or intently looking for a partner ask multiple questions. Certainly not all. I would think the lazy ones would ask one or two questions. The crude ones just ask one rude question, unprefaced by niceties. Of course this is all hearsay from most women I know; I have no direct experience in that area (whew!).

I like it that women often include children in their questions, or mine might not come up when considering a dating relationship. (Since they are not going with me on any dates, they don't pertain; it's women who think beyond dating to the big picture of marriage that introduce the topic, and rightfully so.) For most men, their primary concerns are their work (provision) and their needs (relationship or lack of one).

My children are the most important persons in my life, but men just don't volunteer to start gabbing about their kids. (Even the word: Women gush and gab, men kibitz and hobnob. Women emote, men contain their feelings.) I will bring my children up in the course of conversation (esp. when asked about them) but not write an entire dating profile as a love paean to my children; women who do this may be saying I AM A MOM but little else about themselves either as a potential partner or of interest to same.

So you're saying civility and having a good heart will keep a couple together? Yes I agree. However I am coming to see that this occasionally requires a studied forgetfulness; an intentional amnesia about certain wrongs in favor of maintaining the greater good of the marriage.

I think it is right for you or me to deal our my own issues privately (or in counseling when necessary). Only you can decide if you are ready for dating and marriage. It is not my place to tell you not to date! I suggest reading Pia Mellody's The Intimacy Factor; I think boundaries work can be wonderfully helpful for most divorced people.

Email: Traveling light [KO]

Maybe I impute judgment too readily to others'comments because others have quickly judged me in the past. I hope we can find a happy middle as we get to know each other. So long as you can avoid comments like "That's OK I'm sure I'm not that interesting anyway." If you can't stand up for yourself, who will? Thanks for acknowledging my interest in you by contributing one half of the conversation (even if it wasn't everything you'd hoped for).

Email: Houston [DJ]

Oh I think Houston is purgatory, believe me! [At a steady 98 for most of the summer now, s]o do many others here (or worse). At least it's not 117 as it was in Baghdad recently. [But it's a dry heat, with 20 percent chance of bullets.]

Email: Communication and dating [MA]

Hm I never thought of it in that way: that wanting to be understood 100% of the time made me unusual. To tell the truth, I wish the rest of the world was like me that way.

It seems like most men prefer the Barbie look, the semi-model look, the high cheekbones look and finely coiffed hair. Well I prefer the girl-next-door look, the writer/academic look, the intelligent look. I'm a sucker for the 1960s wire-rim and granny glasses -- plus the 1990s severe and half-height hornrims. I would have nothing to talk about with the cuties and beauties. I find much more attractive a beauty that doesn't need hours of primping and preparation in order to attain. (Have you seen that photo of Cameron Diaz without makeup? Yikes!)

I think most men are perfunctory in the online dating department. I believe they do have lists of qualities and whoever meets that taxonomy is "in." They have no interest in you as a unique person with a mind and heart and opinions. With this crowd, it is about their needs. Just for the record, I don't run with that crowd. In fact, I attend the rival school of thought. Don't play their game; define the game the way you want it to be. Anyone who doesn't play your game the right way is perfectly welcome to take his "bat" and go home alone.

Chemistry and an initial decision for compatibility can definitely only come in a face-to-face meeting. Just remember, the ones who are "trolling" for a "catch" are unfortunately interested in only one thing. Like a sand sieve, let the shallow ones slip through your fingers; you lose nothing if they don't want to meet you. It doesn't matter if a hundred men walk by you uninterested. As I often say to single men and women who are dating, "You just need one!"

Words: crunk [UD]

The democratically written Urban Dictionary has dozens of definitions for crunk, which basically means "stoned and drunk" or "cranked up" (as in "Let's get this party crunk!").

Email: Two extremes [Sz]

I'm just looking for a compatible partner -- somewhere between "whatever you say, dear" and "die, you sonofabitch!"

Email: aesthetic [Ka]

You explain aesthetic very well! You're right that those who can't spell it, don't get it. (Add an n and you get anesthetic.)

Email: Practice makes perfect [SD]

Franklin is good to be saying that your choices determine your outcome (free will and all) and you should do what I call "see what is really going on"... but like many preachers he sounds formulaic, as in "Do A then B and you will achieve result C" (what I call one-size-fits-all, vending machine or assembly line faith). However, God has left so much more room for freedom, intuition and creativity in life than most preachers seem willing to admit (probably because they see freedom as an occasion to sin more than an occasion to bless). His message, "Practice makes permanent," encourages creating good habits because that's the most efficient way to keep people toeing the line, but the conventional wisdom, "Practice makes perfect," is geared beyond avoiding errors or encouraging mediocrity but to cultivating excellence.

Email: Initiative in dating [JB]

I think it is good that you are doing something, such as getting on Eharmony and Christian Mingle. Then at least you are "out there" a bit. I would like to see society allow men and women to treat each other like equals when dating, but that's apparently not going to happen; women want to give up their initiative in order to be "chased" (which at best means waiting around until someone notices them and at worst means being sitting prey for wolves) and men are too cantankerous about cooperating with women about their schedule (though to be fair, women can be entirely too clingy or insistent on their preferences instead of letting a dating relationship evolve organically -- if the man is capable of this).

Neologisms: feckles

Opposite of scruples.

Words: feckless [MW]

Main Entry: feck·less
Pronunciation: 'fek-l&s
Function: adjective
Etymology: Scots, from feck effect, majority, from Middle English (Sc) fek, alteration of Middle English effect

Email: Beware the couch [SD]

How many times do I have to say this...? D-o-on't ge-e-et on the co-o-o-uch...! The couch is e-e-e-vi-i-il...! I've done this for a year or two; trust me, I know. Just go to bed! You'll be better off for it. Don't push beyond your preset times or limits.

Email: What denomination am I? [lt]

I'll bet ChristianMingle was smaller before and yes, many men seem to be trolling (or just plain trolls). Technology is only as good as the people who use it. Using it truthfully is kind of the whole point. [using it abusively esp. on a Christian site is all the more reprehensible.]

I have been Episcopalian for several years now. I don't believe Jesus was any particular denomination, so I keep an open mind; I just wanted a denomination that ordains married men and women and [i]s progressive, not "let's roll the clock back to the 1850s."

I long for the life of having couple-friends and hosting dinner parties, I tell you.

Email: Aging and denominations [ltt]

I know what you mean about the need to take greater care about how we look as we age, but only because I know this is important to most people, for reasons other than mine. When I was but a callow youth, I so feared the literal "wilting" of my future mate's nubile beauty that for several years, in my ascetic idealism, I couldn't consider marriage. A parallel development occurred that saved me, however: The ability to increasingly better see the beauty that is already in any person -- any person -- so that seeing what I or society wants to see is no longer important.

In fact, in this age of plastic surgery and Hollywood, where you can hardly find any women who have not altered their hair color or face or body nowadays, you will sometimes find a casting director who admits that the Barbie look is what "sells," but it is the face that has been through challenge and growth and shows it that makes a good actor. In fact, it is our lines, creases, imperfections and imbalances that not only show our character, but our unique identity. Our crinkles make us who we are (and vice versa). No, I don't regret looking my age (or slightly more gray than others my age [though relatively unlined]) and I never will. (I have been a card-carrying member of the Clean Pate Club for 20 years now, thank you very much.) It's not the years, it's not the mileage; it's the experiences and lessons we've gathered through our journeys that count.

I have never let my age affect my will and desire to do anything. Yes, gravity hangs on my coattails (or thereabouts), but wisdom and experience are improving my odds every day. I feel smarter and better every day and even every minute; I don't plan to get worse unless catastrophe strikes (God forfend).

Integrity means a moral consistency and social sensitivity across the board. Sometimes even exceptional people will snap after enduring skewed situations over many years, but all things being equal, integrity is indeed the bedrock of society, of commerce and of platonic or romantic relationships.

Many men or women seem to want honesty only insofar as it benefits them. I suggest it is better to seek a mate who shows integrity over the whole spectrum of motivations, behaviors and choices. Of course, this only makes sense if this same searcher shares a similar depth and breadth of moral sensibility.

The Catholic church puts faith in men because Christ did also. Revelation and guidance doesn't come out of a vacuum; it appears within the minds, hearts and bodies of men; even though subject to error and at times failure, God accompanies it and redeems it in the end.

Conservative SBCers have been lobbying for language that amounts to "keep women barefoot and pregnant" (OK, "women shall shut up in church and obey men as their head in Christ") which the Texas convention has opposed, if I recall. Nothing [ha]s "burned me on the Baptists"; Tallowood in Houston is my favorite congregation. I object to drawing or commanding people onto bandwagons is all. Another danger sign: One-sided views of one's own or others' denominations or practices, in particular the inability to see or admit to the validity of others' points about your own predilections. Christ wasn't a Catholic or a Baptist and he didn't carry the King James Bible, so everything after the apostles is subject to human interpretation and error.

Yes, theology and governance are the main reasons we have so many denominations: differences in how we define God and church rule. Congregationalists are democratic (every member has a vote), Baptists are oligarchic (every pastor has a vote) and so on. People gravitate to what makes them feel comfortable (by their own temperament or an authority's teaching) and that's how the world works outside the kingdom of heaven.