Monday, January 26, 2009

Do it!

The best way to kill an idea is to spend too much time thinking about it.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Fatal Exception Error

I heard today that Microsoft is announcing lay-offs. Microsoft! That's almost unbelieveable. The giant that ate giants is now eating its own.
A year ago, it would have been unimaginable that Microsoft would ever take a step back. It has always been forward and advance. So what happened?
I think the wrong assumption would be that no one is immune to this economic downturn. It would be also wrong to assume that it is because the TARP fund hasn't take hold of the economy yet. It would, however, be correct to blame Microsoft itself.
To be more specific and in a word- Vista. The program isn't good. It was presumptive for them to assume that no matter what they threw out there, the drones would continue to buy. It was wrong of them to strong arm the hardware companies to force new systems to be loaded with Vista. It was foolish to think they knew better.
Now Microsoft is finding out what happens to corporations that try to dictate to the market what will be bought. Like others are finding out, it is the consumer that makes the market go. It is us, the ones with paychecks to spend that hold the power. It is us, the little people who buy who will save the economy. The companies that know that will survive, the ones who don't should die.
I wonder when it will be that the little man will figure that out and stop looking for the President and congress to save us all.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Well Reasoned Opinions

"It is hard enough to remember my opinions, without also remembering my reasons for them!" -- Friedrich Nietzsche

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Weakness on My Part

Like a moth to the flame, I am drawn to people who not like the rest, the ones who seem to be cut from a different cloth. Misfits, rogues and people who just can't help but to do things in their way all catch my attention. After some study there are some I like and some I do not. the commonality of the ones I like is because they do it because they are hard-wired to do so; not to get attention.

One such person that is the top of my "like list" is Orrin Porter Rockwell.

Porter Rockwell was a legend in his own time. He lived like he wanted, he was fiercely loyal to his friends and greatly feared by his enemies. He had a dead-eye shot, rode as a Federal Marshall, and lived a life full of adventure purportedly killed more outlaws than Wyatt Earp, Doc Holladay, Bart Masterson, and Tom Horn combined...while living as a Mormon in Utah!

He had a taste for whiskey and the ear of Prophets.
He was the friend of pioneers, farmers, and ranchers yet respected by gunslingers, ruffians, and outlaws.

Controversy surrounded the man when he lived in the 1800's and controversy still surrounds him still today, over a hundred years after his death. It is hard for people to get a bead on how he really thought, how he made his judgments, and what made him tick. The lines that separated the good from the bad were very much different in his head and hard to negotiate within our modern day minds and politically correct values. But I sense that he always tried to do what he thought was right. I understand and respect that.

As a soul-searching Mormon, it is hard to find people in our history who are people to which I can relate; someone not blinded by devotion or driven by rebellion. Porter Rockwell was someone, however, who felt a strong sense of loyalty to the faith, but an unwavering desire to blaze a solitary trail. A goal I find refreshing and honorable, and without pious.

Individualism has its price. Even to Porter's last day, there were many who hated him, his faith, and his history. But they could not stop him. They could not kill him. They could not silence him. Porter lived in the face of all who opposed him and no one could ever claim to better him. Even the paper added to his obituary that "the gallows were deprived" of hanging him. Despite it all, Porter's name lives on and those who were against him have disappeared in time.

To those who question whether Porter is worthy of my admiration I would them to one little event and quote. At his funeral, his eulogy was given by yet another Prophet- Joseph F. Smith. His remarks were: "He had his little faults, but Porter's life on Earth, taken altogether, was one worthy of example, and reflected honor upon the church."

That works for me.

He was laid to rest in a beautiful site in Salt Lake City and upon his head stone monument, he even defied them all in his epitaph.

He was brave & loyal to his faith,
true to the prophet Jos. Smith,
a promise made him by the
prophet thro. obedience it was
If you don't understand- you don't know Porter, but it's quite a story.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Porter Rockwell Story

One western bad man stumbled into a saloon on a dark, cold, blustery night.

“I got somebody after me” he told the bartender, “Can you help me?”

“Don’t know” was the laconic reply “Who’s after ya?”

“Port Rockwell” said the desperado.

“Well then, I can help ya” the bartender grinned, “I can notify your next of kin”.

Stolen from the site: The Great American Desert.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Steven W. Starling

On many of my walks through the Medical Facilities on the University of Utah Campus, this little starling is commonly at his morning station, in a tree just outside the window of a trans-building walk way.

The starling is always alone and always in the same pose on nearly the exact same branch each time. He positions himself with his back towards the glass through which I observe him; although sometimes, I do observe him seeking a peek back over his wing at me. Otherwise he makes no indication that my presence is wanted or unwanted, needed or unneeded, or that it even matters in the least bit at all.

No, I sense instead a greater cause pursued by my determined friend. A cause of which I am not aware. A cause very few, feathered or not, are aware. A cause that he, the lone starling in the tree, solely harbors within; a cause whos burden he solely bares.

The large tree in which he perches grows within a campus plaza. It reaches high, achieveing upwards of four or five stories. He perches about even with the third floor, which is the same floor as the walkway, and angles his body up towards the sky. The sky that is made of the small patch of open air visible only through the keyhole five to six stories above the benches and pathways formed by the buildings that encirlce the student open-air square.

The Starling's eyes are concentrated high, way up and above the enclave over which he presides. His eyes are not fixed but are, however, dedicated to the search, to the endevour in which he finds himself engaged. Relentlessness and unyeilding to any outside influence; his eyes remain always peering up.

I wonder, sometimes, what exactly is his endeavor; his cause? What is it that he sees, that he watches, or that he awaits? Is it the breaking of dawn upon the Plaza? I cannot recall ever seeing him outside of the morning hours, just before the golden rays of the sun pierce the cold and dark shadows of the buildings.

Is he watching for food to be found by other birds; waiting for the call of breakfast to sound? His deep pensive stance suggests that his cuase is greater than that and I would think that a bird such as he seemes to be would be well aware of the saying "the early bird gets the worm". Therefore, he would not be just sitting and waiting. Nor does he seem to be the type to depend on the toil of others for his essential needs. He would be more of the type that would help others.

Perhaps he is just waiting for something? Something defined and expected or mabe just the undetermined future and the unknown that it brings with it. I do not know. Whatever he is doing, however, he is intent on doing it.

I don't always stop. I do have things to do myself and contemplating the motives of a starling, as noble as they might be, is not always available or capitvating within the duties of my human world. I do always extend a quiet hello and good bye as I pass by and see Steven W. Starling- as I have come to call him- on his branch. The volume of the greeting absolutely dependent on the presence or lack of presence of others within ear shot, as one could imagine. Regardless, I am just trying to be friendly. I never do anything to try to break his concentration or catch his attention, not that I think he would give it to me anyway.

Steven W. Starling, I believe, is a thinker. Not just in bird terms either, but a real genuine thinker. I think he thinks of the world, of flight, of the purpose of life and perhaps why the sky turns from black to blue with the rising of the sun. Being a bird, I am sure he eventually gives in to the needs and rigors of forging a life, but all in order to resume the next day with self-reflection. It would be foolish to dally upon what all he ponders, but I am convinced he does and he does it a lot. I believe he looks at the sky and he sees the possibilities. He contemplates his qualities and inadequacies, constantly negotiating the two in his head. And he thinks.

I am sure, that like most things in this life, one day Steven will no longer be there. His mystery will become unlocked, his opportunity will be presented and being well prepared, Steven W. Starling will move on to whereever it is that patient avian ponderers go.

I hope that sometime before that happens, he notcied my dedication in passing and noticing him and his efforts, that he appreciated the kind words each moring, and that he hopes the best for me as I do for him.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

In Light of the New Upcoming Presidency

"Democracy means that anyone can grow up to be president, and anyone who doesn't grow up can be vice president." -Johnny Carson

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Hitting Rock Bottom

Just when you think you can't stoop any lower, the opportunity to do so always seems to make itself available.

For Christmas, a Wii entered our home and since that day, there have been plenty of opportunity to play. The low point of which I am impling that I have reached is not due to my play of the games, or due to the regular thumping by the kids that I receive, or even due to my lack of knowledge of the gaming world.

No, my low point is due to the fact that in playing a couple of games of electronic "virtual" sport games- I continue to suffer from sore shoulders and knees the following day!

So it's not enough that I'm over weight and do not exercise properly. Now, I cannot even escape suffering from my lack of "shape" by playing video games too!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Book Smart

Reading the book "Pavlov's Trout" by Paul Quinnett early this morning, I read "A line in the water is a hope extended".

I read that line, that was placed by itself on the page, in between two paragraphs, and I stopped and read it again. I liked it. It rang true, it made the point of the author at the time. It was simple, it was profound, and it was memorable. I have reflected on it over and over today in my head and each time it makes me smile.

I won't try to explain what exactly the author meant, if you're that interested- read the book. Nor will I try to explain more on what it meant to me but just that I just love it when an author gets it right. They bring the message home with the simple correct combination of words. I love it! It makes reading worth reading. We've all had it happened at one time or another. A sentence just makes us go "That was good!" I can't even define what exactly happens other than the wording is...well, just right.

Mark Twain once said that the difference between the right word and almost the right word is like the difference between lighting and a lighting bug.

Likewise, getting the wording right and almost getting the wording right is like...reading a good book or reading a blog.

Present company excepted of course.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Stealing Fame

Ricky Henderson is in the Hall of Fame.

You may not like the man Ricky Henderson, but how anyone could not like the "Baseball Incredibleness" that is Ricky Henderson. He's not just first in Stolen Bases, he stole the record and buried it.

To break the record, Ricky even did it in Ricky style. His record breaking stolen base was not second base- it was third base. When everyone in the stadium was wanting it, looking for it and expecting it- he just did it. And what was the first thing he did? He stole the actual base.

There are pretty weird stories out there about Ricky, but as a watcher of a single man disrupting the team sport of Baseball, I have to say:

Thank you Ricky for the memories, the excitement you brought to the game, and the example that although it's better to be a great person, there is a place for people who are just great at what they do.