On This Day - 9 years ago

me: “you have to drink the Kool-Aid!” someone else: “and the Kool-Aid tastes great!!”

this was in a conversation about organizational change. a lot of people pay lip service, etc. but if you don’t commit, really commit, it just. ain’t. gonna. happen.

you can commit, and things still don’t work out, but lack REAL commitment and failure is guaranteed.

that. is. all.

Alas, I’ve learned an awful lot since then, including the fact that commitment isn’t nearly enough.

”Science doesn’t really care about your beliefs. And no amount of belief makes something a fact.“ 🧠
– Prof. Richard Feynman

More Science:

If you don’t make mistakes, you’re doing it wrong.

If you don’t correct those mistakes, you’re doing it really wrong.

If you can’t accept that you’re mistaken, you’re not doing it at all.
– Prof. Richard Feynman

What to the Slave is the Fourth of July? - 2020 Version

Amidst the national conversation on racial justice and police reform, this collective of Black artists created this powerful performance based on Frederick Douglass’ “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?”

Meanderings – The Accidental Magazine

Once upon a time, 27 years ago, this guy I know accidentally created an internet magazine called Meanderings, beginning with this article:

The Female Touch:

Before I begin, I should tell you a little story. I was born of the Colored/Negro/Afro American/Black/African-American persuasion (although I’m still, 42 years later, trying to figure out exactly what that means!). However, in 1984 while attending a finance seminar at the University of Michigan, I, along with my seminar mates, filled out a “lifestyles survey,” designed to tell us the risk of various aspects in our lifestyle, like smoking and drinking, killing us before the age of 50. Being only 32 at the time, I was really interested. When I got the survey results back, I was shocked. I didn’t smoke, rarely drank, was an avid runner and tennis player, so I was in excellent shape. Nevertheless, it seems I had a very high risk of dying young. The reason: I was black! We’ve all heard the statistics about young black men having a high risk of violent death at a young age. Well, there you go.

Most of the others attending the class had no such risk, but they were all white. When I asked aloud about the results, the surveyor explained that the sample upon which the survey’s predictions were based contained very few blacks. He also said not to worry: given my occupation, income, lifestyle, excellent health, etc., the survey results really didn’t apply to me. For purposes of reading the results and determining my risk of early death, I was “white.” So, in the future, if I write something you don’t like, please don’t call me an uncle tom, because, I’m really white!

There’s more to the story, so read on.

I chatted with the author recently. He told me he wishes he had better editing back then. Go figure!

Where or When? #song4today! 2/26/2018

I start my journal entries the name of song reverberating in my head that morning. On this particular day, Where or When was cued up, and led to the following entry:

What song do I want to sing?
And when do I want to sing it?
Where or When?

Which pan do I use?
Which door do I choose?
If I snooze, I lose,
And I’m losing.

The love of my life IS
The love of my life.
I’ve now sent it twice,
And I mean it.

No worries for work.
No dance while I Twerk.
Blah blah blah blah blah!

Don’t press too hard,
Stay outta my yard,
Make Carnitas with lard
I beseech you!
– Bill E. Bob

Oh well, can’t blame a creative spirit for trying. Maybe I can redeem myself by suggesting you listen to Sonny Rollin’s version of Where or When which is also my #song4today!:

Political Prognosticating, 2016-style


Stepping out on a limb here. HRC will be the Democratic Party’s nominee. The Bern won’t be felt by enough people. It’s over. Sorry about that!

Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee. Natural, almost inevitable, consequence of the last nine years. Sorry about that too!

Happy to explain my reasoning. Discuss if you must. I’m moving on to stuff that’s still in doubt.


I later provided more context in the comments:

One of the things I loved about my Williams experience was empirical political science. At the time, the Roper Center was located on campus, and I got to use all their polling data to test theories from a statistical point of view. It made it more “real” and less theoretical for me. It also had me using computers which I loved then and now. In this case, I’m just reading the tea leaves, looking at delegates won, upcoming polls, how the delegates get apportioned, etc. and I don’t see how Bernie can win.

In 2008, I closely followed certain reporters, including Chuck Todd and Nate Silver, and came to understand sometime in March that Obama had the nomination locked up. Even though Hillary was contesting, etc. Despite all the talk about the “super delegates,” there was just no way Obama could lose the nomination at a certain point without totally destroying the Democratic Party.

It’s different this year. I just don’t see how either Hillary or Trump can be beaten.

I should also say that in 1992 I drove home from work to vote for Bill Bradley in the Democratic primary even though the polls had already closed in much of the country, and I knew Bill Clinton was going to be the nominee. So definitely don’t mean to suggest we shouldn’t vote for who we think is best. I do wish we had better choices. And I hope the right decision gets made in November, or heaven help us all!

In some other 2016 Facebook post, I wished aloud that Joe Biden was running, proving I was both ahead of – and behind – the curve.

Library Day, February 1, 2019.

I used to observe the first Friday of most months as a #LibraryDay (described below). Here’s a journal entry from two years ago. Maybe I’ll get to do this again later in 2021?

I’m at the library because, yes, it’s #LibraryDay!!! This one is a little different. I brought all the paper and stuff that’s accumulated on my work surfaces over the past month, and I’ve yet to really go through them. I have handled some stuff in my “action” folder, but that’s about it.

What have I been doing? Literally, just getting caught up on things I need to do, have intended to do, and just haven’t done. A whole bunch of them. Mostly in Word, email, Slack, web apps. A lot of “processing” and “editing,” etc. It feels very, very good. And productive.

I need to find more time – especially during working hours – to do. exactly. this. So do we all!

Here’s something else: Don’t you just love epiphanies? Especially the kind about that thing you did that was oh so successful, and now you realize that it wasn’t. Or that it would have been, could have been, so much better if you hadn’t had your head up your arse?

Yeah, it’s #LibraryDay, and I just had yet another one of those!!!

I think that means, among other things, that I’m still here and, hopefully, still learning…

#KeepOnPushing (that’s for John Gaines!)

On this day six years ago, I dropped in on my former bandmates. I had played with them almost every Saturday morning for twenty years before moving to Tacoma. They were playing Cannonball Adderley’s “Exodus.” Nice tune, and hard!

Listening to them wrestle with Exodus helped me realize that I can play hard tunes even when I think I can’t. We can do more than we think we’re capable of.

That’s a lesson I learned again in 2020!