Who says that IT has to be complicated?

If there were one, single maxim for the IT industry, it is: "The only constant is change." Surely, anyone who has spent more than a few days in this business could figure that out on their own. However, I have noticed that a lot of the change is due to an inexplicable movement towards increased complexity disguised as innovation. This is -- to put it bluntly -- complete idiocy.

What's with draconian pet adoption people?

Recently, my family was interested in expanding our family/menagerie with one or two dogs. So, we did the responsible thing and asked around about good local dog shelters. We figured that the process would be not too different than what we went through ten and a half years ago when we adopted our current dog. Alas, it was a bit more difficult.

I wish you were still here

Quite a few months ago, I started writing this post to honor my friend, Doug Pitters, who departed from this world far too soon. Unfortunately, I never got around to posting it. Well, today marks the one year anniversary of his death, so here it goes...
In a previous post, I talked about the fact that each of us should cherish every day that we are alive and use it to its fullest. I am such a strong believer in this concept that I regularly toss it into conversation to remind both my audience and myself of its importance.

On the morning of November 19, 2012, I was catching up with an old high school buddy via email. In the course of updating him on  what had been going on in my slice of the world,  I said:
I had to face up to the fact that ... the next day (or even the remainder of the current day) is guaranteed to no one. When I typed those words, I never thought that just a few hours later that I would be reminded that they were not just a statement of opinion, but cold, hard fact.

Don't diss Science

This morning, my wife and I had the displeasure of hearing a school administrator show some disrespect for Science. I admit that we are pretty biased towards STEM: I majored in Computer Science and my wife majored in biochemistry and teaches Physics. But, even in consideration of this, I was alarmed by this person's comment that Science could take somewhat of a back seat to Mathematics and English at the elementary school level.

In my opinion, English language skills are vitally important. If you don't understand language, it makes it pretty darn difficult to communicate. And, in today's world, it pays to know a good bit of Math. At the same time, Science is quite complementary to both of these subjects and brings along a few good tidbits of its own.

Science is a perfect application of mathematics and language skills because doing it properly requires one to weave together both domains. One needs to use math to analyze the data and present it (e.g., charts and graphs) and …

Who's that old guy?

One Saturday afternoon several years ago, I sat at the bar of The Library Ale House in Santa Monica, CA with a good friend of mine. We were sipping our pints and chatting about a whole range of topics. After a while, I started talking smack -- definitely par for the course for a couple of guys gathered at a pub. My friend listened to my babbling for some time and when I paused, he exclaimed, "Hey, look at those two old guys!"

Before I'd even fully realized what he said, I turned to see what he was talking about. Surprisingly, I found myself looking into the mirror behind the bar at our reflections. Damn, who is that old guy?

Before I had a kid, I never really thought too much about getting older. Other than the annual teasing from friends about being one step closer to the grave, time just trudged along. After the kid arrived, however, I felt that I could hardly stop thinking about my age and, more specifically, that I was quickly running out of time. The stress of pa…

Don't believe your hype

In today's world of constant self-promotion, it's pretty easy to fall into the trap of thinking that -- to steal an old saying -- your shit don't stink. For individuals (and startups) trying to get noticed in an ever-crowded landscape, a little overt promotion never hurt. In fact, it is required in order to get access to the air, water, and sunlight the nascent enterprise needs to succeed. The point here is that it's ok to exude confidence or even braggadocio as conditions merit; just don't let things get to the point where you believe your own hype.

Throughout my career, I've been in roles where I was the purveyor of reality. In short, this has meant that I have had to tell people "NO!" or at least tell them that their baby was ugly. I don't enjoy doing this, but it is a necessary evil when people start to drink too much of their own Kool-Aid.

Let's say that there is a startup company that launches a successful product. After a while they end…

I'm blogging this

There is the old saying, "If you can't say something nice, don't say
anything at all." That is the general explanation of how I have felt
about blogging. In my case, however, "nice" means "with useful content
that will move the human race forward."

I have been on the Internet for quite a while (since maybe August
1989) and have definitely played a part in many of the major themes
and memes, but never consistently blogged. I have always considered
myself a fairly decent communicator and everyone that knows me can
testify that I am in no way an introvert. So, why not get up on a
virtual soapbox and scream diatribes at the top of my lungs? Because I
didn't want to be *that* guy.

In geek culture, there's tons of *that* guys and gals. It is a bit
strange that in a group that is known for having lots of introverts
that there is a significant sub-population that is willing to stand up
and give you a 50 point dissertation on why your favorite thin…