Friday, September 30, 2011

For Tomorrow We Dine

on cake.

I spent forever on this and it's ok.  It's not great.  I think next year I should just donate plasma and then pay Lori to make her own cake.  She makes awesome cakes and then for her own birthday, she gets this.

The shiny part between "Birthday" and "Lori" should disappear - it's where I did some patching with warmed frosting.  I used a tool as a guide for the letters, but I pressed too hard and it pressed into the cake.  Though, sadly, to look at the letters, you might wonder if I really did use a guide.  But this was my first time piping small letters and one of my only times smoothing frosting, so I guess it's not all bad.  I know the cake is good, I used Lori's cake-smoother-majiggy.  It's a taught wire connected to two legs with rubber tips.  There's a handle and you hold the thing in place while you move the cake around underneath it on parchment paper and it slices off the top of the cake so that you get a flatter cake.  Which we ate with frosting.  Frosting Lori made herself.

I probably spent almost 2 hours on it.  And this is why I don't like trying new stuff because I'm a perfectionist and this isn't perfect.  But it's still a labor of love and did I mention it's going to taste great?

Happy Birthday, babe.  I love you.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

500 to 300

I've crossed the 100 mark on day 51.  Cool.  When I was only trying to get to 100 before, it took me 56 days.  

So I'm at 102 miles (20.4%) after 51 days (17%).   I am still averaging 2 miles a day, but it's been tough.  I am ahead of the game, but it's a challenge.  There's the weather, a busy schedule at home and my legs have been hurting a little bit.  It usually goes away after the first mile, but it's been making running less attractive.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Sift 261-265

The Sift 261: Education, Brain, People and Thought Leadership
  • "I'm your singer..."
  • For True Happiness and Mental Health, Challenge the Myth of the Grass Being Greener on the Other Side
  • The warning signs of defending the status quo
  • Talent or Vendor: Which are you hiring?
  • Stanley McChrystal: Listen, learn ... then lead (TED.COM; 15:39)

The Sift 262: Energy, Environment and Science
  • Brown Goes Green: UPS Purchases 100 EV Delivery Trucks for Its Next-Gen California Fleet
  • Swiss Research Team Creates Rain By Firing Laser Beams Into the Sky
  • Shutting Down America’s Dirtiest Coal Plants Will Not Affect Our Power Supply
  • US State Department Approves the Keystone XL Pipeline
  • Greenpeace Uses Adorable Animals to Encourage Painting Roofs White

Monday, September 26, 2011

What's this?

What's this? What's this? There's coffee everywhere.  What's this? There's happiness everywhere. What's this? I can't believe my eyes. I must be dreaming. Wake up, James, this is rare. What's this?

Look what Lori brought home for me from Safeway. :)

And it's not even my birthday.  

(Not only did it also spit out a $5 gift card, but each empty bag can be returned to Starbucks for a tall drip.)

Sunday, September 25, 2011


I was awakened this morning at 4:30 by the blinds slamming into the window frame.  I got up and looked outside.  Wild wind was howling through the neighborhood.  And then the rain started.  I closed the window and then I grabbed my pillow and headed downstairs. We usually had a fan running in our room, so if I wanted to hear the wind and rain, I had to head to the basement where the comfy leather couch is.  I threw that window open.  It was glorious.  For a few seconds and then I passed out again, the rain and the wind just knocking me out.

I was tired this morning, but I'm excited for the return of the rain.

Not so much for the coming darkness that means I'm driving to and from work in the dark.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Sift 256-260

The Sift 256: Google
  • MotoGoogle
  • Google Related: New Toolbar Offers Other Sites You Might Like
  • Google+ Begins Verification Badge Program
  • How to Try Google's Cleaner Interface
  • An accessibility survey for blind users

The Sift 257: Yahoo!
  • How Not to Run Yahoo!
  • Carol Bartz: Yahoo’s Board 'F***ed Me Over'
  • Editorial: Why Carol Bartz Was Fired as CEO of Yahoo
  • Yahoo Forms 'Executive Leadership Council' to Replace Carol Bartz
  • Carol Bartz’s Memo to All Employees: I’ve Just Been Fired

Friday, September 23, 2011

I'd Like to Buy a Consonant, Pat

Words with Friends hates me.

If you ever play Words with Friends against me, you will never get any vowels.  Why?  Because I collect them.  It's all part of my strategy.  The rest of my strategy is to only use words that have four or fewer letters.

I never said it was a good strategy.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Warning Signs

Ok, now we've had a chuckle at MSNBC's expense.  But the list is still worth reading, especially if you take Lori's interpretation that the last one means performing Google searches and stuff.

The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-TALK and they're available 24/7 if you feel like anything on the list above might describe you and you feel like you want to reach out to someone for help.  Don't suffer through anything alone.

(You can call me and I'll pray with you, but I'm not trained like these other people are.)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Running out of steam

At day 42, I'm 14% done... a long ways to go.  As far as the running goal itself, I'm nearly 17% done - slightly ahead of schedule, but oh, how quickly that can fall again. So, currently, 416.6 miles to go - 83.4 miles in at a point where I need to be at least 70 in.  The problem is, that this is not necessarily feeling like a hobby or even something I necessarily enjoy.  I do, but I'm now greeted with pain several times a day.  I do enjoy the time to think or to just let my mind wander (I am still listening to music) but we're getting into the rainy season where it gets dark before I start out and I find myself having to run further and further away to find some place interesting that I'm not tired of.  With each run clocking in at 45-60 minutes plus shower, something's giving and I suspect it's time reading books.

I might have to take a break after this and maybe work on pushups and situps or something.  Maybe also a good reading challenge for myself.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Stupid FedEx is Stupid

Stupid FedEx takes far too long to deliver a stupid package with even if you pay for stupid expedited shipping and then try to deliver the stupid package during the tiny window when no one's available to pick it and and then takes 3 stupid hours to update their stupid website which defaults to stupid mobile which doesn't have the stupid option for stupid in-store pickup and then you click over to their stupid full-size website and it forgets your stupid tracking information and you have to start all over again.

FedEx is stupid.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Sift 251-255

The Sift 251: Dropbox
  • Dropbox Accidentally Unlocked All Accounts for 4 Hours
  • Free Up Disk Space by Deleting Files in the Hidden Dropbox Cache Folder
  • URL Droplet Downloads Files from a Web Address Straight to Your Dropbox
  • FileStork Lets Your Friends Share Files Directly to Your Dropbox

The Sift 252: Entertainment, Technology, Fun and Games
  • Losing the HP Way
  • Star Wars Operation lets you get to the bottom of the R2-D2 booster rocket debate
  • How Lego makes its bricks
  • Zynga's Pioneer Trail is like The Oregon Trail without the typhoid
  • Can Google+ Challenge Facebook for Social Gaming Dominance?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Picture This

The top 10 photos from our Flickr pool.  (Not counting a few obscure ones, mostly work-related.) 

Handy Manny
Stuffed Animals

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Lazy Saturday

Ok, time for some more stream of consciousness... we're currently watching "The Secret Circle," the latest small-town supernatural show on the CW with a young pouty teenaged girl whose parents are dead.  And of course, it's located in Washington State.  (Good thing Mystic Falls isn't in Washington - the state couldn't handle them all in the same state.)  Lori thought it sounded interesting and DVR'd it.

It was a nice lazy day today.  I started by driving to a friends' house where they handed me a Starbucks and then it was off the airport to drop them off.  Then I took their car home and drove my car home.  It was raining so I proposed to Rachel that we delay our planned walk to Starbucks, especially since I had just finished off a Starbucks as I headed into the house.  We ended up not going, there was lots of rain and Rachel wasn't feeling well.

Played with the kids today and did some other chores around the house.  Brewed some coffee at home around 3 and we had a snack plate for dinner while we had family movie night.  (The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.)

It was a really welcome relief, a marked contrast from last week.  Last week was a blur, work was non-stop.  Stressful but also exciting, challenging but fun.  So today was, yeah, so vastly different.  Amazing.  Calm.  And I assume tomorrow will be more of the same.

I'm just bummed the rain is making the remaining branches in the back yard waterlogged.   That will make it more difficult to get them cut up and into the greens bin.

Friday, September 16, 2011

My *WHAT*, now?

This does not make sense.  Now, I know from time-to-time Facebook does something that misjudges how people will respond.  But rarely is it overly confusing from a User Experience point of view.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Sift 246-250

The Sift 246: Food, Health, Exercise and Medicine
  • Enjoy Fresh Salads All Week with a Vacuum Sealer and Mason Jars
  • Health Graph API Enters Public Beta -- now open to ALL developers!
  • Glucose sensor skin implant glows when blood sugar spikes
  • Warming Up Before Exercise May Hone the Mind, but Not the Body
  • "I'm under a lot of pressure..."

The Sift 247: Google
  • Scholarships for aspiring journalists from Google, the AP and ONA
  • Street View goes to the Amazon
  • Google Chrome Adds Support for Native Client Apps
  • Teaching computers to "see" an image
  • Audio Pronunciation in Google Search

The Sift 248: Infographics
  • Buyer Beware: BBB Highlights Top 10 Online Scams
  • Computer Vision Syndrome: Do Your Eyes Have It? Here’s Help
  • The Rise of the Mobile Workforce
  • 5 Years of YouTube Politics
  • How Are People Using Twitter?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Day 36 - 12% of the way there.  I should have completed 60 miles by now, but I've actually completed 67.57. I've settled on a rhythm lately of every other day. Had a longer break recently due to a mini-vacation.  But, hey, still ahead of the game and that's good.  It might be difficult running tomorrow and Friday due to my schedule.

I do need to step it up, though.  My per day average (1.9) now barely exceeds what I need (1.67) to stay on target.  If I can't run tomorrow or Friday, I need to surely run a decent amount Saturday and Sunday.  And I do need to consider starting to run again at lunch.  Lately I've been working through lunch

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Do Not Taunt Happy Mini Bar

I had a hard time getting a good shot of this, but this is the sign on the mini bar at the Grand Hyatt Seattle.  Essentially, if you remove an item from the fridge, it immediately charges your room.  If you put anything else in the fridge, they'll charge you a $10 "cleaning fee."

So,  in other words, pretty much guaranteed most people will never open it.  Pity the fool who does, everything in there will be stale.

If you want a refrigerator in your room (even if you've been upgraded to an "Executive Suite" on the second-to-the-top floor), you have to call and ask them to bring you one.  Now, granted, it's only $5, but don't know where they would have put it.  That entire hotel room would have fit in our dining room.

Of course, one wonders how many $5 refrigerators they'd bring you.

Monday, September 12, 2011

What the Book of Revelation is About

Click over to the YouVersion entry.  (Please be sure to click "Like" on that site if you like it.)

What the Book of Revelation is About
Message #9 of "NT70: 70 Days through the New Testament" by Pastor Jeff MacLurg -- Our Savior's Baptist Church, Federal Way, Wash. -- - Sunday, September 4, 2011 (I pray these notes will be helpful for you.)

--- The Book of Revelation ---

There's a lot of people that think they've worked it out. Predictions about when, predictions about who the Antichrist is, etc. But that's not it. If that's your goal, you're missing the point.

Written in about AD95 by the disciple John who'd been exciled to the island of Patmos. Christians were dying for their faith, persecuted heavily by the Roman empire and local governments. This book was written to tell the people then to hang in there. It was written for us today to tell us to hang in there. It was for people yet to come telling them to hang in in there. It also is written to help us know what is coming in the future. But, it's also written to give us hope in a world terribly damaged by war, sin, problems, a real mess.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Lori and I were able to get away for a short vacation, in no small part to Lori's mom. We wanted to spend some time alone for our anniversary, but that can be difficult with two little ones, both with, to some degree, difficulties that require extraordinary care. Lori's mom had agreed to watch the little ones for us but then also surprised us with a gift certificate to Ruth's Chris Steak House in Seattle that allow us to order whatever we wanted without worrying about the cost. (Minus the tip, but still, if all you're doing is tipping, that's a much less expensive meal.) So we ended up booking at room at the Grand Hyatt Seattle for two reasons - all the Hilton Hotels in town were booked solid (at least for points stays) and that's where the restaurant was.

So we left about 1 pm yesterday and headed first to Pike Place Market where we were able to have a leisurely stroll, look at a lot of stuff. It was really nice, but there's lots more we didn't see, including the climb down to the water and the original (sort of) Starbucks location. (There was a line out the door, tourists, I guess.) Anyhow, yeah, it was a beautiful day and we had a nice walk. No strollers, no children being carried or having to watch for in big crowds. We had a few samples, bought a few gifts (some of which melted, so we'll have to eat them and buy new gifts on a return trip) and then it was off to the hotel. There's definitely something wrong with my car -- too much play in the steering. Not looking forward to taking it in.

We got upgraded at the hotel to the 29th. floor (out of 30). We were placed next to a family with small children who were crying and fussing when we checked in. And the view, while much of Seattle, was facing away from the water. They called it an executive suite, and while it had some nice touches and a really large bathroom seemed like it was ready for an upgrade. Also at one point during the night I heard what sounded like little bits of plaster or rock falling down inside the wall. I don't know what it really was, but it was an odd sound, especially after watching a little bit of "It Could Happen Tomorrow" on the Weather Channel about what would happen in an earthquake in Seattle. There was also a caked on sliver of soap in the shower that housekeeping missed from a past guest. I slept ok.

The meal was amazing. If all beef tasted like that, I would eat a lot more beef. I added the bleu cheese crust to the top of my filet along with the shrimp, but the shrimp was unnecessary overkill. The bleu cheese crust, however - they should make you eat some and then sign something if you're really sure you don't want it. I also had the gazpacho soup with crab meat. Not sure if I'd ever had it before (had flashbacks to Red Dwarf) but it was amazing. We had three sides: the asparagus with hollandaise sauce (ok), fingerlings with bacon and some kind of sauce I don't remember now (that is, potato wedges) - (very tasty) and sweet potato pie - might as well be a dessert. Oh, and when we first showed up, they immediately showed us to our table. There was colored confetti on the table including some that said "happy anniversary" in cut-out letters. They offered us complimentary champagne but we declined. And at the end they let us choose any desert we wanted from the menu, so we went with the chocolate explosion - a rather large cake to share with a gooey melty chocolate center and really exquisite vanilla ice cream on top. They had scripted "Happy Anniversary" with chocolate on the plate. And our waiter Troy kept us situated with diet cokes with grenadine all night long.

This morning we went to Starbucks for breakfast - she tried the Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate and Vanilla Bean Scones and I tried the Salted Caramel Mocha with a Pumpkin Scone. The drink smelled really cool but I think I prefer the Caramel Macchiato. We sat in our room to eat because that Starbucks is unattractive and weirdly laid out and our room had lots of view.

Then it was off to Mars Hill for church. I was blown away. There's no mistaking that as a church after God's heart. Worship was led by a rock band named Ghostship which made us immediately think of Andy Dwyer and MouseRat. The music was really rocking, but they put the words up at the top of the screen so it was easy to follow along, though some of it was words that my parents and their parents would also know by heart, complete with "Thees" and "Thys" They had a back-projection system for the worship parts that was cool and they took communion (complete with dipping cups clearly labeled "wine" and "juice") and took offering and even had a few baptisms. The message itself was delivered on video as they usually are and was really emotional. Amazingly, it was message #89 on their study of the book of Luke. People were friendly and afterwards we bought a book from their bookstore that caught Lori's eye. I know that the Warehouse folks were talking about this church way back in 2004 when I was at Lake Avenue Church. I've wondered about the church because of some of the things we've heard about it. But as we prepared and pondered whether to attend it or not, I thought of the people I knew who attend the Federal Way branch and I thought of what happens when something is successful for Jesus - people try to tear it down and discredit it. So either we were heading into a cult or we were heading into something that was really successful at introducing people to Jesus and I'm fully convinced it's the latter. Lori did wonder if anyone had seen the movie "Ghost Ship" - apparently it's gruesome and has nudity. Perhaps that was a silly name for their band and they hadn't seen the movie.

Then we decided to get into the car and drive until we found a restaurant with a water view. We ended up at Ray's Boathouse in Ballard - reminds me of the Boatshed in Bremerton. I liked it. My salmon burger was a little boring, but that can often be the salmon's fault. Good service, great weather.

And then it was on back home. Well, with one last stop at Menchies.

And then home to our children.

And then after they went to bed, I ran five miles and took apart and reassembled (where'd those two extra screws come from?) the exercise bike - Lori says it works now and then did 30 minutes of freestep and that concludes our weekend.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Sift 241-245

The Sift 241: Education, Brain, People and Thought Leadership
  • Is your anger killing your art?
  • How to Use the Power of Silence to Be Heard
  • How Decision Fatigue Zaps Your Willpower (and What You Can Do About It)
  • Ambition Becomes Counter-Productive When You Expect Things to Go As Planned
  • Stefan Sagmeister: 7 rules for making more happiness

The Sift 242: Email
  • Keep Emails Brief, Organized, and On Topic to Get Responses from Busy People
  • Gmail's Newest/Oldest Pagination Features
  • How to Email as Many Photos as You Want from Your iPhone
  • PowerInbox Runs Facebook, Twitter & Groupon Inside Email
  • Why using a no-reply email address is a no-no

The Sift 243: Apple
  • Steve Jobs Resigns as CEO of Apple
  • Apple in Talks to Bring iPhone to China Mobile
  • TouchPad Is the iPad’s First Victim, But Likely Not The Last
  • Starbucks Now Offering Free iPhone Apps With Your Purchase
  • Why is LTE equipment being installed in an Apple Store?

The Sift 244: Energy, Environment and Science
  • Solar Systems Increase The Value Of Homes By $5.50 Per Watt Installed
  • Massive 550 Megawatt Solar Project Cleared for Construction in the California Desert
  • The New Energy Storage Device That Could Charge EVs In A Minute
  • Urban Farming Movement Sweeps Across Havana, Cuba Providing 50% of Fresh Food
  • 13-Year-Old Makes Solar Power Breakthrough by Harnessing the Fibonacci Sequence

The Sift 245: Finances, Banking, Business and Acquisition
  • HP May Spin Off Consumer PC Business & Make $10B Software Acquisition
  • Twitter Acquires Social Analytics Company BackType
  • Deposit Checks with Your Phone
  • Facebook, Google & Apple Not Trusted in Mobile Payments
  • Is Mobile Banking the End of Cash?

Friday, September 09, 2011

Endless Mode (A Work-Related Post)

You know those games where you encounter wave upon wave of enemies that you must take care of?  And they come at you faster and faster and more and more?  Eventually either something has to give -- you detonate a super-bomb or you get overrun and "Game Over."

Wow, it kinda felt like that this week.  Except not with enemies.

The new role continues to excite and challenge, but -- as the team that stayed with me worried -- wow, it can be time-consuming.   It's been fun, but it's been a lot of work.  A lot of meetings.  I've tried to come up with a good analogy, and I think it has something to do with a deck of cards being thrown in the air.  Maybe I need to shoot all the ones with spades or something.  I'm not sure.

But, yeah, the rules were changed, but there was no stopping the onslaught of incoming work.  If anything, it's gotten crazier.  We had some good breakthroughs in the past few days and I think we're a lot clearer on a few important pieces, more people on the same page, some good synergy and cooperation, but it's also exposed some serious issues that are out of our control that may really hamper things.

I am optimistic, though, to the point that I can't wait to get back to work, can't wait to get back into it, can't wait to get more of this solved.  I'm really thriving.

That said, this week is about taking it easy, far moreso than even a normal weekend.  So, I will do my best to not think of work.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Busy, Busy, Busy

Will it ever slow down?  Been so busy lately it's even been hard to find time to write.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Goes to 500

Tonight marks day 29 of 300 - just under 10%.  By now, I need to be at just more than 48 miles but I'm actually just over 58 miles tonight.  Lately I've been running every other night but if I keep that up, I need to run a little more each night.  It's been harder doing longer runs now that the children are back in school and we're all getting to bed earlier.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

The Sift 236-240

The Sift 236: Amazon
  • Amazon rolls out textbook rentals for Kindle, promises discounts up to 80 percent
  • Amazon snatches up Kindle related domains, Kindle Air rumors start circulating
  • Kindle Cloud Reader Brings Ebooks to Your Browser, Offline Reading Included
  • Amazon CEO Bezos' $10 million gift to Seattle Museum
  • Amazon Web Services' GovCloud puts federal data behind remote lock and key

The Sift 237: Apple
  • Are WiTricity and Apple In Cahoots to Wirelessly Charge Everything Using Your Computer?
  • Apple faces infringement lawsuit over fast booting patent once owned by LG
  • Detailed Renderings Revealed: Apple’s Flying Saucer HQ
  • iPhone 5 To Arrive in Early October, Says AT&T Exec
  • Apple Cracks Down on Knockoffs in New York

The Sift 238: Art, Architecture, Design, Fashion and Style
  • Move Over, Sistine? 15 Stunning Modern Ceiling Designs
  • Microcosmic Art: Famous Paintings from Tiny Drawings
  • 6 Ways Kate Middleton Could Use Her Popularity to Boost British Ethical Fashion
  • Surrey Crowdsources Inspiration For New $30 Million Green Library on Facebook
  • Michael Pawlyn: Using nature's genius in architecture

The Sift 239: Cars
  • Fisker Launching Crossover, Convertible, and Miniature Versions of Its Karma Sedan
  • Scaled Composites’ BiPod Flying Car Is The Chevy Volt of the Skies
  • Waze Accelerates Passes 5 Million Drivers in the Community!
  • Connected Cars: Why Your Next Vehicle Will Do More Than Just Drive
  • Goodyear's self-inflating tires could improve gas mileage

The Sift 240: Sales, Commerce and Customer Service
  • Starbucks Fans Compete To Bring Pumpkin Spice Lattes to Their Cities First
  • 4 Top Customer Service Tips For Small Business
  • The Fastest Way to Lose Customers
  • FastCustomer Skips Waiting on Hold, Connects You to a Real Person in One Tap
  • Superhero customer service: Save a customer’s day

Monday, September 05, 2011

Long Weekend

Coming up to the end of a nice weekend.  It's kind of funny, because it's been really quiet on the work front.  My phone was really quiet - usually there's a lot more work-related emails.  But I've been excited.  I was initially bummed that it was a long weekend because I'm excited about my new role and I'm ready to get started.

Saturday we had lunch at The Old Spaghetti Factory in Tukwilla.  It's a pretty new one -- not really "old" except in name.  This is the first one I've been to where you can sit at a table and see "Layne Bryant" and "Panera Bread" out the window.  Most usually either don't have a lot of windows or they look out on an older part of town.  It was my grandma's birthday and it was a wonderful time with her, my mom and dad, Lori, Rachel, Ben, Jeff, Hilary, Andrew, Nathan, Jan, Corey, Gilda and Zeke.  Then we just kind of hung out for the afternoon after that.  A long run that night put me up on a hill in Tacoma where I realized my only way out was straight back down.  A nice neighborhood, but very remote.  I think I can get some great cues for making our home more welcoming, especially after dark, by returning to this neighborhood and taking notes.

Sunday was church and then we had lunch at The Commons.  Afterwards, another more casual day.  All in all, it was a weekend that was hard to get motivated to do much.  Eventually I went and removed the rest of the branches I wanted to remove from the big tree out back.  Little did I know our new neighbors were simultaneously installing a new bright security light for their backyard.  Guess curtains (we have blinds) will be in our future.

I had trouble sleeping overnight and then there was a power-outage early in the morning.  That meant things beeping and clicking and whirring to a stop.  That was enough to keep me up for a little bit.   When I finally did get up (after the power had returned) coffee and an incredibly slow start to the day.  We finally got out the door, off to Panda and that took forever.  And then quickly through Lowes, nothing there of interest.  And then over to Home Depot for some paint samples and a few other things.  And then back home.  Quickly taped up a portion of the wall in the entry bathroom and painted two coats of pure white in preparation for sample color painting tomorrow.  (The master bath is Swiss Coffee, which is either a more sophisticated white or dingy white, depending the light.)  And then dinner, a run and here we are.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

What the Book of Hebrews is About

Click here to view the YouVersion copy.

What the Book of Hebrews is About
Message #8 from "NT70 - 70 Days through the New Testament" by Pastor Jeff MacLurg; Our Savior's Baptist Church, Federal Way, Wash. (; notes are mine from the 10:45 am service on Sunday, Aug. 28, 2011 - I pray they will be useful to you.

--- Hebrews is About ---

The BRILLIANCE of the Son. (Hebrews 1:1-3)
Running WELL toward the SON JESUS (Hebrews 12:1-3)

--- Who is this Son, Jesus? ---

God's tried all these different ways to get our attention - prophets, miracles, revelations - all leading up to God's final word. Even if you've never read the Old Testament, if you've never studied the Bible, when you come to know Jesus, you're coming to understand the final piece of God's plan.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Friday, September 02, 2011

Top Viewed Posts in August 2011

In case you missed anything, here's the most read articles last month.

Nasty People (A Work-Related Post)
I look at ways to deal with people are just disrespectful and make the workplace unpleasant.  And how trying to overcome with a good example and excellent customer service just doesn't work.

Odds and Ends 95
I do not know why this old post is still receiving traffic.  I think those weird spammers are visiting it as they keep posting spam comments for some reason.  This was before I launched The Sift.

Facebook Messaging (A Work-Related Post)
An early examination of what the Facebook messaging system means for email marketers.

How To: Fix a "TE Error" on an LG-WM2277HW
The washing machine broke and my wife convinced me that I could fix it myself.  So I took pictures as I did.  Apparently this has helped quite a few people.  Yay.  :)

Reader's Digest -- August 2011
The articles that I found interesting in that issue.

All-time top posts:

Hmm.... I guess I should write about work.  Interesting.

The Sift 231-235

The Sift 231: WOW Videos
  • Flottille unfolding origami is anti-nanotechnology, pro-chilaxing
  • Mechanized Logging on I-5 - looks like fun
  • iPod Magic - Deceptions
  • Massive Jump
  • Manhattan Timelapse

The Sift 232: Social Media
  • Facebook Updates Your News Feed: Introducing Topic Groups
  • London Riots: Social Media Mobilizes Riot Cleanup
  • Federal Judge: Students’ Raunchy Facebook Photos Are Protected by First Amendment
  • Facebook, RIM To Meet With UK Government Over Proposed Social Media Ban
  • Hacker Group Anonymous Aims To Destroy Facebook on Nov. 5

The Sift 233: Space
  • NASA Successfully Tests Autonomous Lander
  • How the Private Space Race Has Taken Off
  • Italian Scientist Proposes Craft to Clean Up Space Junk
  • NASA's solar-powered Juno mission heads to Jupiter, Orbiter finds water on Mars?
  • Space Shuttle Time-Lapse

The Sift 234: Google (The Motorola Edition)
  • Why the Google-Motorola Deal Is About More Than Mobile Phones
  • Editorial: Engadget on Google's Motorola Mobility acquisition
  • Supercharging Android: Google to Acquire Motorola Mobility
  • Google acquiring Motorola Mobility
  • Nokia & RIM Shares Jump Following Google’s Motorola Mobility Acquisition

The Sift 235: Advertising, Marketing, News and Media
  • Are your customers walking around town with your billboard on their arm?
  • AOL’s Ad Revenue Grows for the First Time Since 2008
  • 64% of Small Businesses Think Social Media Is Unnecessary - 64% of clueless and destined to a short life
  • Bundle Products Together for a Quick Sale
  • Google: Click-Through Rates Fell in 2010

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Reorg (A Work-Related Post)

We embarked on a large reorganization at work today.  Earlier this summer we brought a bunch of groups together and then a lot of people did a lot of work to determine what we were going to look like.  That was creating new departments and programs, moving people around.  There was a lot of thought (and prayer) put into this.  No small feat.

And in the end, I was impacted as well.  Until today, I ran two teams - a web team and an email team.  We had different web teams for different kinds of work.  The problem was that each team was small, so it was hard to find time to learn new skills, especially if you knew you weren't going to have many opportunities to use it.

But by folding my team into the two other teams, it made both teams larger, meant both teams could now do what my team did and would allow everyone to cross-train.  I think everyone got that pretty quickly, even as it felt bittersweet, it was cool seeing the team excited.

The email team had a few dedicated members and a few that split their time between email and web.  They still split their time, but now that both teams don't report to me, that will be interesting to see how it plays out.

Without the web team to oversee, I was freed up for a new role.  They created a new group to place a bigger emphasis on supporting our customers, but within our group and within the org.  My new job has a weird working title I don't remember at the moment but I'm essentially a lot closer to the requests when they come in. It will allow me to help people who have a problem they don't know how to solve, it'll allow me to help with analysis on requests come in that need help, stuff like that.  I think it will give me a good chance to help more with strategy.

Pretty exciting.