Bill Gates last CES Keynote address

I first encountered Microsoft in terms of buying their products in about 1981. I bought a game for my Apple II- Adventure (aka “Colossal Cave”, the original Crowther and Woods text based adventure) from them. I followed Bill Gates’ career from about that time, and always felt like, in a weird way, he and I were twins separated at birth… even though he’s older than me and I’m far, far sexier.

In about 1990, I had a beer (several, actually- I think it was a post-training course social thing) with a fellow in Seattle who told me I looked just like Bill. He then proceeded to tell me how his family used to have a summer cottage near the Gates’ clan when Bill was a kid. He described summers sharing BBQs and swimming with the Gates’ family, and turning down a job offer from Bill in the early 1980’s. My momentary pride at being described as “like Bill Gates” was quashed when the guy described the young Bill Gates as a pain in the neck smartass geek, and how he once nearly drowned Bill while swimming because he was so irritating.

In later life, I realized that the “pain in the neck smartass” was a lot more like me than I was probably willing to admit.

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Happy Birthday to Me!

I’m 44 years old today. I can’t complain about the day so far: my lovely wife gave me two (2!) XBox games for my annual “I’m older but still alive” celebration- Mass Effect and the Half Life 2 Orange Box collection, both of which were at the top of my list of “want” games. How cool is it to be married to someone who will give you games this good for your birthday? And my Mom gave me a very snazzy shirt as a gift- I’m feeling pretty spoiled.

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Why I don’t like social network sites like Facebook…or “free” email services like GMail

I have l a problem with social networking sites. Services like Facebook, Twitter, and so on all encourage me to trust them with all of the data regarding myself and my friends/associates. In return, they provide a service to me for “free”.

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I cleaned out my clothes hole…

First, I should explain the above reference. Moe, the bartender in the Simpsons, once referred to Homer as being “fancy” for calling his garage a … garage. When asked what it should be called, Moe responded “A car hole”. My closet has been the place I throw clothes I’m not currently wearing for the last several years, so calling it a “clothes hole” seemed appropriate.

The basic organization of my side of the closet hasn’t changed since we moved from Alberta. To be honest, there really wasn’t much organization to begin with: one small section for “work” clothes, one section for sweaters and shirts, and one section for “other”. Unfortunately, much of the space in this closet had become cluttered, confused, and generally unhelpful for the purpose of actually locating anything to wear. Golf shirts that I wear at work were mixed in on the shelf with T-Shirts I wear at home and not hanging on hangers where they belonged, because the hangers were all occupied by pants that hadn’t been worn in years. It was like someone had taken all the clothes from a Salvation Army drop box and thrown them willy-nilly onto various hangers, and then pushed me into the room and said “get dressed- you’ll look marvelous”.

There was one other set of factors that led me to the conclusion something needed to be done: much of the clothing in my closet was no longer something I would wear. “Stuff I wouldn’t wear” fell into two basic categories:

  • pants with waist sizes that mocked my now portly midsection
  • other clothes that I was keeping more because of fond memories than out of any expectation I was going to wear the item again

It was time to take action.

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