31 July 2006


When I haven't seen my kids in a while... I get grouchy.
When my friends are doing well... I get giddy.
When I don't work out for a week... I get gooey.
When the conversation is about boogers... I get gross.
When the air conditioning is too high... I get goosebumps.
When we share a secret... I get giggly.
When my project is going along smoothly, and then it isn't... I get grumpy.

27 July 2006

Shawn Hogan vs. MPAA

Things never get the attention they deserve until someone with money gets bitten on the butt.

Read The Who, What, When Here

Things should get interesting...

25 July 2006

Never hesitate to eat ice cream in the dark

This one goes way back.  I remember once my Mom talking about making choices in life.  She once said I was an ice cream in the dark kind of kid.  What she meant was that if it came down to paying the electric bill or having ice cream, I'd rather sit in the dark with the ice cream.  My momma knows me.

This wasn't about ice cream, or food.  It was about embracing the pleasures around you.  Sometimes people say "It's the journey not the destination" or maybe "Stop and smell the roses".  These are other ways of saying enjoy life.  But of course it is one thing to just say "Enjoy life"; it is quite another to give practical guidance to help with the little decisions we have to make everyday.  If the choice is to stick to the safe habits and the drudgery of stability or to strike out and take risks, to hope for something more…then I choose hope.  I choose faith that tomorrow will come, and God will provide.

Now to be clear, this doesn't address the issue of integrity.  It is in no way a license or support for not paying your bills and being responsible.  It's just that the little details have a way of working themselves out.  Sometimes stretching for the goal and fully committing to the rope; is the only way to climb out of a hole.  Hope lets you do incredible things, but only if you have faith to act like your hope is inexhaustible.

Are you being timid?  Safe? When is the last time you just closed your eyes and fell?

20 July 2006

Just a Shout Out

The other day I had occasion to hang out with a friend I really respect.  Before long the conversation wound around to the quality of work we were able to expect from various resources we've been working with.  As is his fashion he summarized our approach with wit and intellect.
If you can't get the best,
get the best you can get.
For an unexplained reason (ok, I was sleep deprived) I found this to be a wonderful addition to the toolset for better living.  So there you have it.  A new rule.  And absolutely no alcohol involved.

15 July 2006

Dashboard Confessional Concert

The venue is excellent, the concert rocked. The Mesa police suck for the super-tight security. Ben Lee was very excellent. The big change was adding the violinist, which made a really cool addition. Check 'em out when they come to your town. Sorry for the crappy picture.

13 July 2006

Pick-up Lines

Recently I had occasion to be having lunch with some friends when an attractive woman walked by our table.  This prompted a discussion on how to approach someone of the opposite sex. How do you bridge that gap and show interest appropriately?

As I pondered this later that day considering the various perspectives broached in the conversation it occurred to me that some of the basic negotiation principles were expressed in the most agreeable of the ideas presented. Simply put, it became obvious that there are good ways and bad ways to show interest in someone while preserving decorum.

To begin with, let's discuss a less-than-stellar way to broach the subject:
Would you like to go out with me?
This particular phrasing has several negative aspects:
  • You set yourself up for rejection. They might say no.
  • You pass control of the situation to them.  This creates pressure on them to provide a specific response.
  • You imply a formality. This requires an increased level of commitment from them.
  • You have limited the response timeframe.  The implication that an immediate reply is desired gives them less flexibility in how they might respond.
  • You leave the response open to interpretation. If they say "no," it might mean, "No, I don't want to go out with you," or "No, I want to go out with you but I'm busy at that time."
In many cases, these are the exact opposite of the techniques applied for successful negotiation.

Now consider a different way to approach someone:
Let's get together and do something sometime.
In this phrasing, you have a great deal of positive aspects.  You give the impression of a casual meeting.  This is less pressure, and no loss of control.  You transition from a specific object to just friends getting to know each other. There isn't any formality so the responses are unconstrained. However, allowing an unconstrained response doesn't mean you don't get your answer, in fact the opposite is true.  You are often able to more quickly and smoothly get more information.

If they are interested, they will respond in a positive verbal manner.  The words they use, the tone of voice, their body language, and their expressions will all be positive.  If they are very interested or in pursuit of you, they may even lead the conversation to making a specific time to do something or suggest a particular activity. If you get these positive responses, you can either pursue the conversation and arrange the schedule or leave it to a later time for follow up depending on your interest.  Setting plans immediately shows your level of interest in them. It may be that you perceive a high level of interest from them and you would like their anticipation to work for you.  In that case, deferring a specific plan until a later conversation can downplay your level of interest.

If they are not interested, their verbal responses may be explicitly negative or it may be indecisive.  Often times the "sure" or "okay" is designed to be polite or save your feelings, but the tone, facial expressions, or body language indicate a desire to drop the subject.  This will let you know they are not interested.  Simply do not pursue it any further.

Some positive aspects of this phrasing include:
  • You aren't setting yourself up for rejection. You've made a statement, not asked a question.
  • You haven't asked for any specific response, so you aren't adding any pressure to the conversation.
  • The casual nature of the phrase is not implying any commitment from you or them.
  • You find out for certain whether they are interested or not.
  • You are making a statement about yourself, not a question about them. This shows something of yourself and allows them to join into the fun and friendship that is your life.
By thinking about how we attain the positive aspects and avoid the negative aspects we can discover phrases that help us approach other people, and be more successful in our relationships.

Can you think of other ways these principles can apply to other situations in your life?

08 July 2006

02 July 2006

Broken Toe

Over the weekend I spent some time on the beach in beautiful southern California.  While boogie boarding in the growing surf I managed to jam my toe on some rocks.  The surf was really cold and my feet were numb but as I got onto the hot sand I realized how much I had messed up my toe.  So now I'm walking with a limp...