Cover Song - Should I Stay or Should I Go performed by The Cooltrane Quartet

May 14, 2018

It's been too long since we had a cover track around here, so here's a great Cool Jazz rendition of a classic track from The Clash called Should I Stay Or Should I Go.

One of my many and wide-ranging musical influences in my life growing up was punk and The Clash were at the rock end of the punk spectrum. I loved many of their tracks and perhaps this one the most.

So, here's to all of my spikey-haired punk friends from back in the 1980's!

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Teaching Your Grandmother to Suck Eggs

May 4, 2018

Having grown up in a very rural area, my mother used a number of interesting phrases and one of them was about "not teaching your grandmother to suck eggs". For the record, I have no idea whether any of my grandmothers actually could suck eggs, but I can assure you that this phrase meant that it never occured to me to offer them any advice in that life skill.

I thought it was a highly localized saying, but on a whim, I recently searched for the phrase and Wikipedia came to the rescue. They have a page on this exact phrase: Teaching grandmother to suck eggs. Who knew? Most of the opinions I found on the Internet believed that the phrase originated during the 1700's, with a few believing that it may have been even as far back as the 1400's. There is also a good discussion on the origin of the phrase over at the English Language section of Stack Exchange.

As for the meaning, it means to offer advice to one who knows perfectly well what they are doing and who likely knows more than you do on the matter at hand.

English is such an interesting language!

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Programmers Might as Well be Evil

April 30, 2018

I decided to work at the local coffee shop this morning as my father-in-law is visiting and his bedroom is my office while he's here. I'm ordering my bottomless cup of coffee and trying really hard to ignore the pecan sandies that are calling my name when the young lady taking my order started peering at the Apple iPad they use as a sales terminal in a really strange fashion. She notices me noticing her expression and explains that their software was updated over the weekend and now it was harder to use. She was particularly upset about the smaller buttons on the screen.

I felt obliged to apologize on behalf of every computer programmer in the entire world for the difficulties that this update brought. I joked that we're all evil and we like making people's lives more difficult. And then it occurred to me that just based upon the evidence my server had available to her, programmers might as well be evil. We push updates that pass (hopefully) all manner of internal reviews including User Experience, but then when an actual user uses it, it is found to be worse.

Let me say that again:

"based upon the evidence my server had available to her, programmers might as well be evil."

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Quote: Heinlein - Political Tags

April 28, 2018

Mr. Heinlein, as well as being a gifted and prolific writer, was also a keen observer of the human condition.

Political tags — such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth — are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. The latter are surly curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort.

Robert A. Heinlein (Science Fiction Writer, 1907 - 1988)

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Life Principle - Maintain Stability

April 27, 2018

Whenever possible keep the amount of change in your life to a minimum. Life goes better with orderly, planned changes. Sometimes expressed as "Only change one thing at a time".

I spoke with a member of my congregation early this morning who wanted some advice on a matter. No names or details, but I did give them some advice and shared the life principle that it was based upon. And now I'd like to share that same principle here because I think that it's a good one.

I love principles because they eliminate needless memorization (always good if you have a bad memory like I do). If you've heard me preach then there's a good chance you already knew this about me. I have always seen the bible as a book of principles more than a list of do's and don'ts and I try to take the same approach with my general life advice.

I don't have a specific quote for this principle, but it's simple enough that I don't think it'll hurt to not have one.

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