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Thu, 21 Dec 2006
Five things you didn't know about me

Ok, so Ugo and Joe tagged for this little game:

  1. I like to eat fish eyeballs
  2. I love Mangos
  3. I am scared silly of spiders
  4. I hate talking on the telephone
  5. I didn't have my first glass of wine until sometime after I turned 30

Now for the hard part, who to tag...

Sarah Allen, Patrick Logan, Avi Bryant, Allison Randal, David Hobby (Mr Strobist)

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Mon, 11 Dec 2006
Congratulations to Chris and Ponzi

Congratulations to Chris and Ponzi after their wedding this weekend. Julie has already written a far better congratulations than I could write, and it speaks for our entire family.

Our contribution to the celebration was definitely a family affair. If you've seen some of the other photos floating around, you'll know the part that Julie and the girls played. My part's probably not much of a surprise, and I've started uploading some of the photos that I took to this set on Flickr. There are a ton of photos, and I'm going to spread out the upload over a few days to give people time to digest.

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Sat, 09 Sep 2006
I'm sad

to see that my friend Ducky is having problems with her university.

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Fri, 24 Feb 2006
The tears are practically running down my face.

I was scanning some blog posts during slower moments of Adrian Holovaty's Django presentation at PyCon, when I found this.

My heart goes out to Daniel Steinberg and his family on the loss of his daughter. Daniel is writing about it: Dear Elena.

In case you don’t know Daniel: he’s one of the great guys of the development world—smart and generous. My thoughts and sympathies are with him and his family.

Dan has been a great friend over the years, even though we only get to see each other here and there at conferences.

Count me in for a hug, Dan.

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Fri, 21 Oct 2005
The World is Not Flat

Lee LeFever and his wife Sachi are taking a year off to travel around the world. Unfortunately, he's going to miss Seattle Mind Camp (for unrelated reasons), which is a bummer because Lee is one of the folks that I've been talking to on and off about doing something like this. So it's disappointing that he's going to miss it - hopefully the camp is going to turn into a regular thing. On the bright side, Lee and Sachi have set up a cool site so that we'll be able to follow their travels. It's called The World is Not Flat.

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Mon, 28 Mar 2005
Organic or Mechanic?

Like personality sorters? Try this article from Rands in Repose. I don't think I had seen the Organic/Mechanic distinction before. It also links to another article on Incrementalists and Completionists, which I think is kind of related to Shirky's Radial vs Cartesian.

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Wed, 24 Nov 2004
Hiring Technical People

If you aren't reading Johanna Rothman's Hiring Technical People, you should be. Here's an example:

Hiring Mistake #2: Hiring for the Future, Not the Present

The second biggest hiring mistake I see is to hire for the eventual future -- but not to create the future from the current reality. I see this mostly when hiring managers and senior staff.


Creating a new future is difficult -- possibly the most difficult position a new hire can be in. Hiring managers need to balance the need to create a strategy and act on it, along with the tactical deliverables they already have. Finding someone who can meet the current needs is more important than hiring someone who can only perform the future role. You mguth even need two different people, one now and someone else later. (But maybe you can coach the person into performing the eventual role.) Always make sure you hire the person who can create the future by working in the present.
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Fri, 06 Aug 2004
Dave stopped by
Dave Winer stopped by for lunch yesterday. We had a pleasant conversation about blogging, OSAF/Chandler, open source and various other topics. Julie has the full report, since Dave really came to talk with her. Like Julie, I was impressed by how good he was with the girls.
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Thu, 05 Aug 2004
Hire Ben!
Ben Hyde is looking for a new employer. If you're looking for someone who understands open source, communities, and the internet, you'd be very well served to stop by Ben's blog and leave him a note.
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Wed, 14 Jul 2004
Nope, never did that
Contrary to this report, I have never been employed by "the beast in Redmond"...
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Sun, 18 Apr 2004
DaddyCon: Day 3
Today was a light day on the DaddyCon program. The main events of the day were a trip to the neighborhood park (which got cut short for a potty run) and multimedia presentations courtesy of ABC Sports (the ladies segment of this year's World Figure Skating championships -- with the girls' favorite: Sasha Cohen) and a few of the BloggerCon attendees whose photos included Julie.

By all accounts I think that DaddyCon has been a success. All the signs are there:

  • Kids tired of Dad? Nope.
  • Dad tired of kids? Nope.
  • Kids well fed, clothed, and well rested? Check, check, and check.
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Sat, 17 Apr 2004
DaddyCon: Day 2
The arrangements for a conference excursion can certainly be interesting. Since the attendees at DaddyCon are usually in bed by 8:30, the excursion was planned for this morning. It turns out that today is the new session of the Park Dept. gymnastics programs, which have become a staple of the 18 month - 5 year old stage of each girl's life. Today was Elisabeth's first ever gymnastics (which for 18 month olds consists of free run of a gym full of gymnastics equipment for about 45 minutes), followed 15 minutes later by Michaela's class (Abigail have moved on to bigger and better things). So the challenge was to get all 3 kids to class by 9AM, and figure out how to engage the two children who would not be participating in a particular class. For Elisabeth's class, this was straightforward, since the older two can sit for quite a while given an ample supply of books. For Michaela's class, this was less straightforward because 5 1/2 year old Abigail has to manage 19 month old Elisabeth. One of the instructors was quite skeptical that Abigail would be able to manage Elisabeth, and I have to admit that I wasn't exactly sure how this was going to work. But Abigail was game to try, and this was the only way that the kids were going to gymnastics today, so we went for it. All I can say is that Abigail and Elisabeth demonstrated convincingly that their presence in the class was not a problem. I did walk over to check in on them from time to time, but they pretty much did everything themselves for 45 minutes, while surrounded by older kids doing dancing and various gymnastics maneuvers.

Another issue at conferences is typically the menu, or what is supposed to pass for the menu. Kids have such a different frame of reference from adults on this issue. While I was concerned about variety in the menu, the girls have their priorities set quite straight. The want to make sure that there's enough "veggiebootie". When queried for today's lunch menu, they were unanimous in selecting cheese sticks (yesterday's choice), and every day I've been asked the question, "What day are we eating hot dogs"? (The answer is tomorrow.) If only all conference planners had it so easy.

Like all modern conferences, we had guests joining us via electronic media. This afternoon Julie joined us via the AIM/iChat backchannel from BloggerCon, which resulted in a trio of children climbing on me (imagine monkeys in a tree) as Julie and I IM'ed briefly (during which I did some MoveableType administration). Abigail did a good job of narrating her mother's IM's for her sisters.

We're adhering to a weekend schedule, which basically means as much free time as possible until the kids get bored of activities. Today we were out and about (gymnastics and a trip to Battle Point park) quite a bit. (kids will sleep well). We also did good mileage in the crafts department as well. Abigail constructed a house out of construction paper -- she is quite good at building things out of paper. Perhaps there is an engineering gene that is passed down or something. I'm quite certain that she doesn't know that her daddy is an engineer or what an engineer ever does. It's interesting to examine a child's innate gifts and tendencies. The great challenge is figuring out how to allow them to blossom -- to become a reflection of who they truly are. As a parent, it's easy to have your own notions about what/how your child ought to be, and try to enforce/implement/(some other verb) that in the child's life. It's much harder to try to learn and discover who your child is and then figure out if there is anything that you can or should do to help them to become fully themselves.

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Fri, 16 Apr 2004
DaddyCon: Day 1
DaddyCon is a multitrack conference punctuated by a number of general plenary sessions. There are usually three tracks, but occasionally two of the tracks combine:
  • Track 1: Abigail
  • Track 2: Michaela
  • Track 3: Elisabeth
  • Track 1 and 2: Abigail and Michaela
Today there were five plenary sessions: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and two outdoor playtimes. All week the girls have been querying me about the nature of our diet while Julie is at BloggerCon. I'd given them a number of joking replies ranging from "worms" to "steak and eggs". It turns out that Julie actually did stock the freezer with steak, which I was not astute enough to defrost (perhaps on Sunday, since Michaela is a steak monster). I did succeed in producing a very passable set of scrambled eggs (I used sesame oil to enhance the taste). Lunch and dinner also passed uneventfully (all parties obtained the necessary nutrition, and no candy, pre-cooked, or fast food was involved). Outdoor playtime number 1 went fine. Outdoor playtime number 2 was really fun. The older two girls were taking turns going down a slide in the neighborhood, and I would boost Elisabeth up to them, so she could ride down the slide in one of her sisters' lap. Abigail and Michaela were doing such a good job of getting up the slide, that I was pretty much a human conveyor belt for Elisabeth. Then we moved on to the other playground in the neighborhood, which we had to leave because Abigail took a dive off a milk crate into some wood chips and ended up with some wood induced cuts, which turned out to look worse (due to the blood) than the actually were.

I found the combined track 1 and track 2 particularly enlightening. Elisabeth has a decent sized nap in the afternoon, leaving a large block of time to work with the girls on their schooling activities. Today being Friday, I felt that we should try to stick to a normal weekday schedule, so after lunch we did some more school like activities. Julie and I talk about what the kids are learning and how they are progressing, and of course, when I see Abigail reading a book to her sisters (which she likes to do), it's hard not to miss the progress that she's making. But working with them for an afternoon (not surprisingly) gave me a better picture of what and how they are learning. Actually, it hardly seemed like school at all. As soon as I released Abigail from the lunch table, she was practically begging me to be allowed to work on her workbook. Michaela was also enthusiastic, albeit perhaps not as much as her older sister, to work on her assignment as well.

Earlier this week, Julie had a post titled "The sensual, physical pleasure of caring for young children". I definitely felt that as I spent the day today. The girls were excited to be home alone with me today. They were really cheerful when they woke up in the morning, and Elisabeth was really sweetly cheerful when I got her up from her nap. People have told me that the 3-6 or 7 range is the golden age of having kids, when they are old enough to interact with but not old enough to start rebelling or whatever. I don't know if that's true or not, but a day like today makes me want to grab every day I can with these little people.

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Mon, 15 Mar 2004
Tim Bray shines on Sun
Congratulations to Tim Bray on his new job at Sun. (Much as I was flattered by Brian's post, I knew nothing about this.) I've been a long distance admirer of Tim's writing -- he has a way of turning every post into an engaging read, and his "new job" post is no exception -- makes me wish I had done better one on mine. I hope that he's able to continue on in that tradition. Also, I think kudos are due to Simon for facilitating this. It's definitely a plus for Sun.

I do find it odd that little is being said about this part of Tim's post:

In fact I personally believe that Java’s share of enterprise software will decline, but not in favor of anything from Redmond. I think that dynamic languages (Python and friends), particularly in conjunction with Test-Driven Development, are looking more like winners all the time. They generally are cheaper to program in, run just as fast, and have fewer bugs; what’s not to like? There is one huge niche that the strongly-typed statically-compiled languages are never going to be driven out of, but I’ll save writing about that for later because I’ve got a major skunkworks in mind.
Perhaps we'll be able to get Tim/Sun interested in Groovy...
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Sun, 22 Feb 2004
She said WHAT?
Julie posted about an incident that we had earlier this week. Maybe now Jay will give us a break on the cute-o-meter. But that's reality. Its a fact of life that people do things that hurt each other, and of course, the primary instrument of that hurt is the tongue, or some proxy for the tongue, such as telephone, e-mail, or IM.

And the words did hurt, so what to do? Well, it wasn't good that it took a few days till we could really sit down and talk about what happened, but we know that when we are tired, we tend to make a mess worse rather than better. From where I sat, though, there was also the possibility that what was said was true. I didn't like possibility, but it was there. So I tried to look at myself and what I was doing and see if there was truth in what was said -- because sometimes, the truth does hurt. If it was true, then even if it hurt, how could I really be angry? Wouldn't that undercut what love really is -- wanting to see the best in someone come out?

So we talked and explained and listened and understood and forgave. And at the end, each of us went away with some things to think about, because neither of us are perfect. Accepting the fact of our mutual imperfection allows us to accept, love, and forgive each other. Even when THAT got said.

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Sun, 25 Jan 2004
12 Years Today
Today is our 12 year wedding anniversary, and I'm remembering one of the Bible verses that we used for our wedding:
Place me like a seal over your heart,
like a seal on your arm;
for love is as strong as death,
its jealousy unyielding as the grave.
It burns like blazing fire,
like a mighty flame.
Many waters cannot quench love;
rivers cannot wash it away.
If one were to give
all the wealth of his house for love,
it would be utterly scorned.
When we got married, I understood this passage more from the perspective of passion, and emotion - the powerful feelings of being in love. Today I still understand it this way, perhaps even more than I did then. But the reason is that love has been forged in the fires of life. Through joys and struggles, the good moments between us and the dark moments.

A few nights ago I watched the Quicktime video interview of Howard Dean and his wife. One thing that Dean said really stuck out to me (I'm not particularly a Dean fan):

Howard Dean: She is a huge influence on me. Uh, principally because our marriage is based on respect, and friendship, uh, and those are … I mean, being in love with somebody is a terrific thing, but if you only marry somebody because they're in love … you're in love with them, that's why the divorce rate is 50 percent. And, she's a real life partner, not just a, you know, somebody I fell in love with. She is a friend and I respect her, and that is enormous for me. Plus, she's a lot smarter than I am.
It takes more than being in love. A lot more. It takes friendship, respect, vulnerability, the ability to say "I was wrong", and a whole host of other qualities. So when I look back at the Song of Solomon, I understand that the love being written about is not just the heat and passion of being in love, but it is all those other qualities as well. And that's what the writer means when he says
If one were to give
all the wealth of his house for love,
it would be utterly scorned.
So thank you, Julie for 12 years of sharing joy, happiness, pain, and suffering. I don't think I really understood what I was getting into, and I think I realize now that I still don't fully grasp it, but I'm looking forward to continuing to discover it with you.

Happy Anniversary!

I Love You!

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Sat, 02 Aug 2003
Lao Tzu on leadership
John Porcaro has been raving about the book 5 Patterns of Extraordinary Careers. There was a quote that stood out in one of the excerpts:
A leader is best when people barely know that he exists. He is the teacher who succeeds without taking credit. And, because credit is not taken, credit is received.
-Lao Tzu, 6th Century B.C.
This resonates strongly with my notion of how to "lead", and why/who people will follow. I think it's also related to Sam's notion of planting seeds. It's nice to know we're not alone.
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Wed, 16 Jul 2003
Sam on planting seeds
Sam's posting on the LGPL/Java issue referenced a post of his from last year. As I re-read it today (I think I read it last year), it strikes me that this is a very "Eastern" way of leading / getting things done. It reminds me of how my parents deal with me (they grew up in China, while I grew up here). The "Western" way is very direct, sometimes in your face. Or maybe Sam is right and it's something that comes with age.
[12:22] | [people] | # | TB | F | G | 1 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post

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