Archive for October, 2014

I was in ninth grade an excited teenager, I was hanging on every word of the physical science teacher. He was explaining to us the importance of science and why it matters to us. He was explaining to us the scientific method. The scientific method is a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge.

While acquiring the new knowledge, correcting and integrating previous knowledge, it is important for the scientist to always use the same techniques. The teacher was explaining this to us when he demonstrated parallax error.  Parallax error is an apparent change in the direction of an object, caused by a change in observational position that provides a new line of sight. This is why we should measure all liquids with our line of sight being parallel to meniscus of a substance.

Yesterday my blog post was about the difference in a set of instructions and real life. Science has steps and procedures but life is not science life is life. Fixing a washer is not a science, making coffee in my house is however a science. I try to make the coffee every morning for my girlfriend and I so I can say that in this house that in my experience good coffee is a science. A certain amount of water mixed with a certain amount of coffee grinds, makes for a great coffee! Be sure to use cold water.



I have had moments in making the coffee in which I experienced parallax error.  The error has caused the coffee to come out to strong or weak. It seems my physical science teacher was correct, science does matter to us. Life is not science but science is part of life.

Albert Einstein was one of the most brilliant scientist ever! His work was admired and ground breaking. As such he was on the road for much of his life, his time on the road made for stress on his marriage. With a doomed marriage Einstein began an affair with a cousin on his mothers side and later divorced his wife. See science is part of life but not life itself. I am not sure but if Einstein were to have kept this in mind he may or may not have suffered his divorce.

Life is like a multifaceted diamond, there are parts and sides and one piece without the other makes the diamond strangely shaped and imperfect. It is paramount that a man or a woman not allow their obsessions to take over their lives. Making coffee is a science, but it doesn’t keep me up at night.





Ok, do you know what a washing machines bellow is? On a front loading washing machine a bellow is the rubber gasket seal on a front loading washer. The bellow on our washer machine was torn and began to leak. I purchased a new one from the appliance store and went to you tube. There was a wonderful video showing step by step instructions for replacing the bellow.

The video let me know that the job would take 40 minutes, the video lied. I am thinking that the video assumed I would know more about the process of replacing a washer seal. I didn’t know what the seal was named. It took me about an hour and a half to do this. I followed the directions step by step and see the thing was the video and the steps were a good starting point but The washer machine model I was replacing was not exactly the same one as the washer machine in the video.

Instructional texts and videos are great in theory but to execute a theory you have to be flexible and realize that everything will not be exactly the same as the text or video. I was able though to understand how and why things were where they were and then I learned on my hour long journey all the nuances that made our washer different than the one in the video.

When reading about something you are preparing to do or watching a video about the event it can be easy to assume that this event will be a picture perfect boiler plate experience but it is wise to keep in mind that every experience a is a little different.




It was a while ago but I blogged about the opening moves in chess. I am so blown away by this figure that I feel it is worth repeating.


The number of possible ways of playing the first four moves per side in a game of Chess is 318,979,564,000.

Hard to imagine isn’t it? Of course it is this what seems to be endless, amount of moves, that keeps me playing despite strings of losses I experience I am now at less than a 50 % win rate. My elo is abysmal and I will not put it here however I hover at about 50 %. So any chess geeks can figure out my Elo. For non chess geeks, Elo rating system is a method for calculating the relative skill levels of players in competitor-versus-competitor games such as chess. It is named after its creator Arpad Elo, a Hungarian-born American physics professor (and so should not be written in all caps).

Now I really enjoy playing chess, I also enjoy star gazing. Because of my kind of busy schedule I am unable to spend as much time as I would like looking at the stars but I do read a lot about space and there was a recent article that spoke of how the hubble telescope was pointed in a different direction and captured the images of 10,000 galaxies

I want to go over briefly exactly what a galaxy is. I am not posting this definition to insult anyones intelligence I am doing this to demonstrate how massive space is.  A galaxy is a system of millions or billions of stars, together with gas and dust, held together by gravitational attraction.

So the sun is a star in the Milky Way galaxy. This shot of 10,000 galaxies is one very small corner of space. Is there life on a planet other than earth? I would say it is highly likely. As the hubble telescope moves through space all kinds of images come back to us here on earth.

We can often feel like our lives are providing us with some unanswerable questions. Tough calls, or no win situations I compel you to do as I do and think about chess and space. You may need to “move your telescope around” or look at the board from a different angle but I  really think there is no such thing as a no win situation.




Life is not fair

Posted: October 28, 2014 in Uncategorized
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My mom was and is still an amazing teacher. She has four children and we will just say a lot of grand children. With all these blessings, mom has had no choice but to be a teacher. One lesson learned by my sisters and I, from our mom was that, life is not fair.

This morning I was in the waiting room watching for the first time in 3 years the Today Show. On the Today Show, a video taken in a psych study was shown. The video shows two caged monkeys. One of the monkeys accepts and eats a grape the other throws back a cucumber at the student and expresses some anger. The video is hilarious and part of a study. The study is really incredible in that, it demonstrates how a sense of fairness is something that may be ingrained into man and animals DNA.

Now just because fairness is instinctual, does not mean it takes place in life or nature. Understanding and realizing that life is not fair has helped me cope with unfair situations.

Let me be clear, I am in no way a victim. I am a very lucky man! I really feel like I am living a charmed life, but there are times when I can feel slighted and like I am treated unfairly and then I remember my mom.

Life is not fair the sooner this is realized the quicker we can develop gratitude for things we feel we are entitled to. The realization that life is n. ot fair will bring us closer to developing a good work ethic and a strong sense of civic duty. Because life is not fair man has to work to help themselves as well as the helpless.

Life is not fair and on its surface this maxim can seem foreboding. Mom taught us that life is not fair but she also taught us that, if we put our minds to it that, we could do anything. I love reading about man kinds achievements and I am inclined to believe that mom was also correct about men and women’s ability.

Life is not fair but it is a magnificent gift and it is exactly what we make of it.





Our habits

Posted: October 27, 2014 in Uncategorized
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Last week I read an article. The article was written by James Clear. James is n entrepreneur, weightlifter, and travel photographer in 20 countries. He knows how to succeed at his passions. Isn’t that something we all kind of dream off every once in a while?

Wouldn’t you love to be working in your passion today? My grandfather and father spent many years working hard to make a living for their families. They did some pretty labor intensive work and my grandfather would do his best to point out to an adolescent John all the professions and people working the professions who did not have to perform laborious acts to bring home the bacon. I may be visiting my grandparents house during a news broadcast and I would hear my grandpa tell me all about how the weather man didn’t have to work hard. The weather man didn’t even need to get it right! That was a great job!

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Laborious work is rewarding but it is laborious and hard to sustain. A job in a coal mine is less of a career and more of a job, unless of course we find new ways of extracting coal or even powering and  heating our homes. Than an energy job becomes more than a job. The coal mining job becomes a career in energy.

Changing our jobs to careers and especially careers in a job we are passionate in will take a habit. Habits are routines and behaviors that are repeated regularly. A good habit will result in good things.

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle

We develop habits by doing good things. This Monday and all week I encourage you to do good things.




hey it’s Jim

Posted: October 24, 2014 in Uncategorized

Life moves at a quick pace. Life can feel fast and full of changes.

“The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change -”


In case you have not read the story Heraclitus was a philosopher from the city of Ephesus, and before the time of Socrates. So a life full of change and an ever changing universe is nothing new.

I am right in the middle of a huge career change for me. In the next week I will be starting new employment. Yesterday I was busy trying to get some information for my new employer concerning employment I was involved in about 10 years ago. My quest had me making phone calls and speaking with people I hadn’t spoke with in years.

One of the people I spoke with was an ex manager of mine named Jim. He was more of a mentor. Jim was retired and we talked about our children his retirement and everything under the sun. Jim is a good person, and talking with good people, even if you haven’t spoke for years, is easy. There is no pressure with people who do not judge to quickly, ae honest and have genuine concern for the people they are speaking too (see those are some very important traits of good people). Good people do not make idle chit chat about the weather they ask questions about and listen to things that are important to the person they are speaking with.

Jim taught me much about my profession. We sat together for hours trying to solve problems in the office but he taught me much more about being a good person.

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My dad and mom were not social animals while I was growing up. They didn’t throw huge parties for lots of people, but family was always welcome at their house and they did a lot to help more than just my sisters and I, with any and everything. Mom and dad are good people to. I like to think it is because they are good people that it is so easy to speak with them.  I have tried my entire life so far to emulate folks like Mom dad and Jim and many other good people.

I think the other great thing about good people is this. Good people tend to face life with an attitude of gratitude and that is a huge difference maker.  I think Jim was happy to get my call yesterday even though I interrupted his retirement for, like 10 minutes.



That bag

Posted: October 23, 2014 in Uncategorized

Yesterday morning I looked at it and decided I didn’t need anything that was in it. I left it next to the bed and rolled out. I got to work and realized on my way to the first meeting that I did not have my notebook with me. I was wrong I needed it.

My messenger bag has held so much and bringing it into work is a habit of mine. A good habit, a habit that would have kept me from lacking the tools I needed. This morning I grabbed the bag and realized I after arriving at work that I didn’t have a meeting and more than likely would not need anything in my bag but you know what? I may run across something somewhere that requires something out of the bag and grabbing that bag only takes a second.


I like this website (it is really a store), it is called everyday carry.  On the site they show the bags from people in different professions, what is inside them and of course you can purchase anything.  When I snatched up my everyday carry bag I thought first about a Ludacriss song called “Roll Out (My Business)”.  

Here is a cool excerpt from that song

“You’s a superstar boy, why you still up in the hood?
What in the world is in that BAG, what you got in that BAG?”

Of course Ludacriss had guns and drugs in his bag. Not me. My everyday carry is inane and almost benevolent. What is your everyday carry?

What does our everyday carry say about us? I am not sure. But I know when I forget my everyday carry I said much about myself and my forgetfulness.