Friday, October 12, 2018

Q&A: word

October 12 - One word for today.

2014 - cold

2015 - sick

2016 - beta

2017 - anxiety - entered Oct. 23

2018 - hackathon

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Thursday, October 11, 2018

Q&A: some kind of wonderful

October 11 - What makes you feel wonderful?

2014 - not working at World Vision

2015 - not working at World Vision

2016 - being inspired by smart people - entered Oct. 12

2017 - being right, knowing I'm right, having my rightness validated and confirmed

2018 - southern California weather - entered Oct. 12

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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Q&A: talk talk

October 10 - Write down the name of someone you had a good conversation with recently.

2014 - Lori, of course. - entered Oct. 15

2015 - Rachel, on the train. - entered Oct. 11

2016 - Gina (boss at Activision) - entered Oct. 12

2017 - Rachel - when Lori was sick and didn't go to church with us

2018 - Ellie (Rachel) - today on the way to school in the car - dating, media consumption - entered Oct. 12

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Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Q&A: want

October 9 - You want a new _____.

2014 - drug. One that won't quit.

2015 - diet. One that won't quit.

2016 - drug. One that won't keep me up all night. - entered Oct. 12

2017 - President.

2018 - bed. I'm tired of crappy sleep. Going on 14 years now.

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Monday, October 08, 2018

Q&A: 🛏😴💤💭

October 8 - What is your biggest dream?

2014 - I'd like to not feel pressured/stressed. - entered Oct. 12

2015 - I'd like to be able to have more 2-way verbal communication with Ben. - entered Nov. 9

2016 - Yeah, that. Want to have conversations with Ben. :)

2017 - Yes! I want to talk to Ben. - entered Oct. 9

2018 - That hasn't changed. Praying God will unlock language. We know there's a lot going on in Ben's mind and that he's frustrated at not being understood.

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Sunday, October 07, 2018

Q&A: ch-ch-choices

October 7 - Are you happy with your choices today?

2014 - Maybe shouldn't have had Panda, but I should be able to be under my calories if I exercise. - entered Oct. 12

2015 - No. I shouldn't have upgraded to El Capitan.

2016 - So far, yes. - entered Oct. 8

2017 - Yes. On track for diet and a reasonable to-do list. - entered Oct. 9

2018 - Mostly. I'm getting back into Remember the Milk after a really long absence. - entered Oct. 8

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Saturday, October 06, 2018

Q&A: I'll be there for you

October 6 - Do you have any new friends?

2014 - Ron. Ron Combs is my new friend. - entered Oct. 14

2015 - Lots of relatively new friends at Activision, AQKA and Salesforce.

2016 - All my Activision peeps, new neighbors and church folks. - entered Oct. 8

2017 - Lots of people at PazNaz! - entered Oct. 9

2018 - My colleagues at Spokeo. - entered Oct. 8

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Friday, October 05, 2018

Q&A: 焦急

October 5 - What question makes you anxious?

2014 - anything that starts with "why are you..." [doing x] - entered Oct. 14

2015 - this one.

2016 - Did you hear about...?

2017 - Can we chat? - entered Oct. 9

2018 - Yeah, going back to "Did you hear about...?" - entered Oct. 9

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Thursday, October 04, 2018

Q&A: <3

October 4 - In 3 words, describe your love life.

2014 - Intellectually Ever After - Oct. 14

2015 - To All Three

2016 - Mostly Date Nights

2017 - Sleepily Surviving Together

2018 - Kids Complicate Things

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Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Q&A: bad movie

October 3 - What's the last bad movie you watched?

2014 - Old Boy. Didn't finish. Too twisted and violent. - entered Oct. 14

2015 - Timelapse. Interesting premise but overall disappointing.

2016 - Infini - entered Oct. 4

2017 - Greenberg starring Ben Stiller. Super boring. - entered Oct. 9

2018 - Embers - society is decimated, no one can retain long-term memory overnight, nothing really happened in before I gave up. - entered Oct. 12

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Thursday, September 27, 2018

Strangers on a Train

A boy, DRACO MALFOY, with slicked back hair and a grimace of an expression appears at the doorway.

Draco: Has anyone seen a toad? A jerk called Neville's lost one and I intend to sell it back to him.

Ron: No.

Draco: Oh, are you doing magic? Let's have a laugh then. Go to it.

Ron: Aghhhemm. Sunshine, daisies, butter mellow, turn this stupid fat rat yellow!

{Zap. Nothing happens. Ron shrugs.}

Draco: Are you daft? That not a real spell, is it? Well, it's not very good? My father has taught me all kinds of spells. Here's a rather stupid one...{Draco goes over and sits across from Harry. He points his hand at Harry's glasses and Harry tenses} Oculus Reparo. {The glasses, which noseband is battered and lense cracked, are repaired. Harry takes them off, amazed.} You're welcome? Cripes, you're Harry Potter. I'm Draco Malfoy.  Avada Kedavra. 

The End

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Super James!

Hi, James -
Thanks for writing. The dreaded coffee spill! I've been there many times. Still, we always forgive and return for more -- such is life! The "Super James" strip you asked about does not appear in either of the two available "James" books -- so I'm attaching a copy to this email. Enjoy!
Warmest regards,

Mark Tonra 

Monday, September 03, 2018

Old Notes: Fixation on Death

captured to my phone on Sunday, June 25, 2017 at 11:15 am (finally posted to my blog on Sept. 2018)

Notes from the sermon. Just taking notes, summarizing, a little commentary, no re-writing or polishing.

A "good death"
- peaceful, in your sleep
- with no loose ends

Do we have a fixation with death in the U.S.? Lots of TV shows about solving crimes, plus the news. And yet we work pretty hard to avoid death (and things that represent or make us think of death or remind us of our own mortality.)

We sequester death. We pursue stuff that makes us think of life + shiny stuff, new stuff, the latest stuff. If we're not careful, we can turn that pursuit into its own gospel: avoiding sin, suffering, despair, pain if we just do the right thing.

And then we start working to protect what we have and keep others at bay. The have-nots, the sufferers, the sinful are to be avoided because they are reminders of what we could become. 

But Jesus, unafraid fo death, goes where we won't, says what we won't say, loves people we avoid. In fact, not only isn't he afraid of death, he chooses it.

Reading the Bible as Western Americans... We read "sin" as "wrong personal choice" and yet that's far too limiting. If it was just choice, that's way too easy.  But it's much deeper - so deep that we must die, we must change everything. (Geeky - We need a whole new operating system?)

Family Man - Nicholas Cage - you can't possess your identity, you can only receive it. 

Jesus recieves his identity from God, spending his life revealing God. 

We no longer have to fear death, but it is a wholesale change, a new identity, a new reality, a new way of living in the world. Success and possession are no longer motivators because we are to dead to that process, to move to receiving and relying on God. 

Now that we don't have to be afraid any more, we can be on mission. Now that what we have is a gift from God, there's no fear in giving it away. None of us are good enough, smart enough, rich enough to escape death. 

So what should we do with what we are given? (And we're not just talking about stuff now.)

Of course, it doesn't mean we can now expect a life free of pain. It doesn't mean we stop planning for the future (we still live in a world which requires house payments). It doesn't mean we are all the same - diversity and variety is clearly part of this world.  It doesn't mean we will never sin again. It doesn't mean that we don't struggle daily to try to cling to our old life. 

We keep reading the Bible through our Western individualist mindset, but we need to remember that we are all interconnected. We admit sin together, we mourn together, we suffer together, we lift each other up, we celebrate together.


We (Christians) should be putting therapists out of business because we should be, in community, lifting each other up, supporting each other, loving each other, serving together.  

Sunday, September 02, 2018

I don't need this kind of negativity. Goodbye, Starbucks, goodbye, Walgreens. #email

I'm not a big fan of points. Offered by retailers and credit cards, they're a way to give you credit towards future purchases in an alternative currency. Earn points! It's fun! It's a game!


While I do love free beverages from Starbucks or free gasoline for buying groceries, what I do not love is expiring points. Or more specifically, emails telling me points are expiring.

When the primary focus of an email is the let a customer know they have expiring points, the sender is hoping that the subscriber will go and spend the points to avoid letting them go to waste, and in the process, spend more real money. They're hoping the Fear of Missing Out (wikipedia) will overshadow the Sunk Cost Fallacy (wikipedia).
We have something of yours and we're taking it away.
But... what the reader is more likely to see is "We have something of yours and we're taking it away." And this in turn may cause them to do exactly the opposite, spend less and perhaps even resent the sender. This is called Reactance (wikipedia).

In other words "I don't need this kind of negativity." So, I'm unsubscribing from these emails. Unsubscribing costs companies money. While it varies from company to company, it's be proven time and again that when you stop appearing in people's inboxes, they stop thinking about you. One website I was looking at said you could do a lazy estimate of $1 per month ongoing for each unsubscribe. Another said each time a subscriber unsubscribed, it was worth $26 to your bottom line. (You should do the math on your own particular list.)
I don't need this kind of negativity. Goodbye.
Take a look at your customer marketing and messaging. Are there any places where you're taking something away that you've previously given to a customer? Do you have to take it away? If so, does your messaging end up ultimately pushing them away?

So, I'm off the Walgreens mailing list. And as such, I'll become less and less mindful of them. And for what? 240 points. Or in US currency, 24 cents.

(Cross-posted to LinkedIn.)

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Q&A: dad

August 25 - What would you like to tell your father?

2014 - You need to be more involved in your grandchildren's lives. - entered Aug. 26

2015 - See above. - entered Aug. 26

2016 - See above.

2017 - I'm saddened you have allowed fear to rule your life and I'm saddened you're missing your grandchildren's lives. - entered Sept. 17

2018 - I'm disappointed that you've chosen a political philosophy over your family and I'm not sure I'll ever understand that. - entered Aug. 29

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Friday, August 24, 2018

Q&A: 🥣

August 24 - Write your recipe for creativity

2014 - Shower, run, walk, any time there's solitude.

2015 - Peace and quiet with something to read and no "to do" list. - entered Aug. 26

2016 - A good challenge and encouragement.

2017 - Challenge + time + quiet. - entered Sept. 23

2018 - Margin. Slow down. Breathe. - entered Aug. 29

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Thursday, August 23, 2018

Q&A: 📅🗺️

August 23 - Yes or no: everyone should have a backup plan.

2014 - No. Make "Plan A" robust but make sure there's margin and reserves.

2015 - Yes. It means not panicking when things don't go according to plan and you have to pivot. - Aug. 26

2016 - Yes. Sometimes you can't plan for every possible problem, but you can plan for how you will respond.

2017 - Yes. At minimum, you should understand your response to stress. If it's negative then you should have a response planned so you can react better. - entered Sept. 17

2018 - No. Be flexible and hold things lightly. Recognize the only constant is change. You'll like some, hate others. Be the change you want to see the the world. And so on. - entered Aug. 29

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Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Q&A: drawing a blank

August 22 - What can't you forget?

2014 - Flirty Lori when we were dating. - entered Aug. 24

2015 - You, when you're gone. - entered Aug. 26

2016 - Grandma Marjorie

2017 - Jamey and Josey and Pete and Bill - all died too soon. - entered Sept. 17

2018 - When good was good and evil was evil, before things got so fuzzy. - entered Aug. 29

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Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Q&A: 🔵🐓

August 21 - In 140 characters or fewer, summarize your day.

2014 - Early Friday, calm @ work, despite tempest. Quiet @ home before long wknd. Happy. - entered 8/28

2015 - Up until 7 am for Microsoft's mister. Back up at 9 am. Crash coming? - entered Aug. 26

2016 - Church, home, chores, tonight a date - dinner and a play. I should shave.

2017 - Just got up, hanging with Ellie, drinking coffee. - entered Sept. 17

2018 - It was an uneventful day, until just now. I also drank coffee. - entered Aug. 29

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Monday, August 20, 2018

Q&A: #hometeam

August 20 - Whose team are you on?

2014 - Team Lamb! - entered Aug. 23

2015 - Team Lamb! - entered Aug. 26

2016 - Team Lamb!

2017 - Team Lamb! - entered Sept. 17

2018 - Team Lamb! - entered Aug. 29

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Sunday, August 19, 2018

Q&A: 🍯

August 19 - _______ really bothered you today.

2014 - The "floaters" in my eye from when Ben hit me.

2015 - Nothing! - entered Aug. 26

2016 - Noise.

2017 - Nothing,

2018 - Nothing! - entered Aug. 29

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Saturday, August 18, 2018

Q&A: 👕

August 18 - What's your favorite piece of clothing?

2014 - My sunglasses - would that be considered clothes? - entered Aug. 24

2015 - Standard black t-shirt - entered Aug. 26

2016 - My black t-shirts (I have many)

2017 - My sunglasses - entered Aug. 19

2018 - I don't think I have a favorite right now. They're just clothes. - entered Aug. 29

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Friday, August 17, 2018

Q&A: 🔒

August 17 - If you had to spend five years in prison, what would you finally have the chance to do?

2014 - Lots of reading and exercise. - entered Aug. 24

2015 - That's still so true!

2016 - See how factually incorrect "Prison Break" was.

2017 - Sleep? Exercise. - Aug. 19

2018 - Exercise. - entered Aug. 29

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Thursday, August 16, 2018

Q&A: ❓❓

August 16 - What question (or questions) do you love to answer?

2014 - "How" or "Why" to stuff I know well. - entered Aug. 19

2015 - Yeah, same answer. - entered Aug. 17

2016 - Would you like some ice cream?

2017 - Can I buy you a cup of coffee? - Aug. 19

2018 - Tell me about your kids. (Ok, I didn't phrase as a question. Sue me.) - entered Aug. 29

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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Q&A: Not too sexy for my shirt #dadbod

August 15 - What do you like best about your body today?

2014 - Close to my weight loss goal. - entered Aug. 19

2015 - I feel healthy and alert despite poor sleep. - entered Aug. 17

2016 - I like my hair. - entered Aug. 16

2017 - I'm mostly pain-free. - entered Aug. 19

2018 - I guess my hair…? - entered Aug. 29

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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Q&A: 💯

August 14 - Did you complete your to-do list for the day?

2014 - On vacation. No much on the list. - entered Aug. 19

2015 - No, haven't even looked at it in way too long.

2016 - No way. Who has time?

2017 - No. I haven't looked at it. But that's OK, spending the day at home w/ my family. - entered Aug. 19

2018 - No. Got a lot done at work and hopefully get the most important stuff done at home, but haven't really spent much focus on the to-do list during the week these days. - entered Aug. 29

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I Have a Sign

for my car...

Monday, August 13, 2018

Q&A: S-a-t-u-r-d-a-y morning

August 13 - What is your favorite thing to do on a Saturday morning?

2014 - Sit in the living room, look out the window, read, drink coffee. Bonuses: rain and everyone else asleep. - entered Aug. 16

2015 - See above! - entered Aug. 17

2016 - Well, no more rain, but all of the rest plus "Saturday Morning Coffee" playlist on Pandora. - entered Aug. 16

2017 - Playing Skylanders with Rachel/Ellie has been fun. - entered Sept. 17

2018 - Since Ellie's grown bored with Skylanders, I guess it's back to coffee by myself, out on the patio. Though I don't make it out to the patio enough. - entered Aug. 29

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Sunday, August 12, 2018

Q&A: Resolution

August 12 - What is your resolution for tomorrow?

2014 - Calm and patience - entered Aug. 19

2015 - Get more household responsibilities done.

2016 - Work on development goals. - entered Aug. 16

2017 - Focus on important things at home and work - entered Sept. 17

2018 - I'm not really sure. Maybe just to enjoy life. - entered Aug. 29

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