Saturday, October 26, 2013

Bagels can do no wrong

Nobody can make a bad decision while eating a bagel.  When you eat a bagel, life just isn't as complicated.  When you go to a bagel shop, you relax and unwind.  You can calmly think and come to good decisions.

Has anyone ever gone to get a bagel on a bad day and come out more upset?  No.
Has anyone ever plotted a kidnapping while choosing a smear?  No.
Has anyone ever gone online while eating an everything bagel with chive cream cheese to buy assault rifles, shotguns, and a thousand rounds of ammo?  I think not.

I'll be heading to get a bagel soon.  Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

IT Dress Code

The official IT Department Dress Code is as follows:
  • Medium blue button down dress shirt.
    • Lighter shades will be tolerated as "fancy".
  • Khaki or black pants .
  • A belt recommended, but not required.
  • No one in IT will look at your shoes though.
The Architects will be codifying this policy on the wiki shortly.  Metrics will be developed and monitors implemented.  A report will be generated at noon on Fridays for Senior Management and nastygrams about violations will be sent the Monday morning.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Is religion just applied philosophy?

Last night I was discussing something about Judaism with my future father-in-law and he asked something about if something was theology or philosophy.  It was mostly a segue into a different topic, but the connection between those two terms has festered.

Both theology (or religion) and philosophy try to answer questions about life, the universe, and everything.  How to best live your life; how be a good person; how to live in the world; are we alone; why are we here?  I don't know all that much about philosophy (or religion, besides a bit about my own), but that's a lot of overlap.  Just like there are many schools of philosophical thought, couldn't you just consider religions as others?

Philosophy asks "how should I live my life."  Religion answers that.
Philosophy asks "are we alone".  Religions answer that.
Philosophy asks how should we interact with others?  Should we rely on ourselves or others?  Does charity start at home or should we spread the wealth?  Religion answers all of these.

Are religion and philosophy just different sides of the same coin?  Is one a subset of the other (and which way)?
Let me know what you think!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Things I've learned about Judaism that just take up space in my brain

We all know that all religions have some random rules.  I'm not saying Judaism has more than others, but here's a list of some of the more random ones I've learned about relatively recently.
In no particular order.

    1. Once a year, we stab challah with a key dozens of times.
    2. It's crucially important that the letter shin on the outside of a mezuzah scroll faces the correct direction.
    3. Some women, in an attempt to be modest, cover their hair with a wig (ie, different hair).  This commonly looks better than their own hair.
    4. There's 18 and 72 minutes of wiggle room at the beginning and end of Shabbat.
    5. It's polite to ask someone else to bless the wine in case your own blessing isn't good enough.
    6. For some things, simply being Bar Mitzvah'ed isn't enough.  You must be observant, but that's not really defined.
    7. It's true - everyone has their own rules for keeping kosher.
    8. Not all horseradish is created equal.  Some is good enough for Passover, but not good enough for the seder plate.
    9. Not all matzah is created equal either.
    10. Speaking of matzah, there are guidelines for minimum amounts required to eat at seder.  I freely (but quietly and politely) disregard these.
    11. Three rabbis can have four answers to the same question.  Okay, I already knew that one.
    12. Not a rule, but Reform Jews and Orthodox Jews have equally wrong opinions of each other.
    13. A youth group has become the national standard for Grace after meals.
    14. Occasionally toilet paper needs to be pre-torn.
    15. Don't answer the door to talk to a neighbor between washing your hands and saying Ha'motzi because someone'll get stuck being silent for a while.
    16.  After getting ritually cleaned, it's vitally important to take a shower to get actually cleaned.  The same goes for dishes.
    17. If you un-kosher something by doing something cold, it doesn't need to be re-koshered.
    18. If you wear red (particularly if you are a woman), you cannot frame a picture of yourself and hang it in the living room.  Word is still out on what if it is unframed or in a different room.
    It's been an interesting learning experience.

    19. If you need to temporarily make a knife kosher, you can stab it in dirt 10 times.  I swear, you can't make this stuff up.

      Tuesday, February 5, 2013

      Apparently lots of people CAN keep a secret

      In the excitement of getting engaged last weekend, I realized an oddity: the number of people who know before your girlfriend does.

      You'd think it is:
      1. Me.
      2. Her dad.
      3. Her.
      In reality though, it's:
      1. Me, of course.
      2. My brother.
        1. My sister-in-law
      3. Google.
      4. Almost a dozen jewelers.
      5. Her second mom of sorts, before she passed away.
      6. Her friend for ring recon.
      7. My parents.
      8. My good friend.
      9. My insurance guy.
      10. Her dad.
        1. Her mom.
      11. Two coworkers, accidently.
      12. Her.
      Plus several friends who basically knew without it being confirmed.


      Monday, January 14, 2013

      Reposted - Further evidence God hates the rowing team

      I was recently reminded of this Facebook Note from October 2007 and thought it'd be fun to share again with the world.  I was on the University of Missouri Rowing team and we went to Indianapolis for a regatta.  Hilarity did not ensure.
      The original is here.

      To Indy:

      So there we are, going down the highway. Most of us are together, James is nowhere to be seen - typical. Oh shit, the tire on the trailer's going to explode. Do we have a spare? Of course not, it's sitting at South Farm. Which is fine, because we don't have a jack either. So we stop at a tire store that'll sell us a tire, but not a rim to put it on. We add air to the tire, and press on. So far, so good.

      We get to Butler.

      Thompson's car shows up later - nice of them to join us.

      To the lake:

      Jacqueline (the person who knows where we're going) leaves before the truck does. The truck gets lost. In a residential neighborhood. (Please note: 8's are approximately 50-60 feet long. A commercial semi-trailer is approximately 50-60 feet long. And we're in a residential neighborhood) This means narrow streets, dead ends, and tight turns. And apparently speed bumps too.

      The truck hits a speed bump.

      The trailer falls off the truck.

      The trailer falls off the truck. Thankfully we have strong chains - chains that are strong enough to drag the trailer 100 yards while I get out of Pye's car and run along the truck yelling at Jane to stop.

      The crank jack's completely bent, but we use it anyways, cranking the trailer high enough to fit Cindy the cinder block and her friends under.

      Some clubs go to Venture Out for team-building-overcoming-obstacles experience. We put our trailer back on the truck, and proceed to the lake.

      We get to the lake, an hour and a half after we left.

      Coming home:

      Suprise, surprise, Pye's car is the only one by the trailer because everyone went ahead of it.

      We're going down I-70 just out of town, and I turn to Pye and comment that a strap seems to be flapping around. Is it just the slack was poorly tied? No - one of the gunwales of our 4 wasn't on the rack anymore - it was just hanging in midair. We pull up next to the truck, and gesture franticly for them to pull over.

      We restrap down the 4. We check all the other straps and tighten them as needed. We use athletic tape to fix the bar on the trailer that's not attached.

      You'd think almost having a boat fall of the trailer would be about the worst point in this trip, but if it was, this note wouldn't be titled "Further proof God hates the rowing team."

      We stop for gas in Terra Haute, IN. Par for the course, we get 8 MPG. We make a wrong turn getting back on the highway. Again, par for the course with this team. We try turning around. Please note the word 'try.' We hit another speed bump.

      The trailer falls off the truck.


      We're at a long-term camping RV park, so some people come to help us. They're doing a good job of not laughing at us, but we know they're laughing on the inside. The jack's destroyed, so Pye and I go to Walmart to buy a jack. Somehow they get the trailer reattached and turned around w/o us and we go to the gas station we just left.

      Plan: detach the trailer, put th right size all on the hitch.

      We try jacking up the trailer. Again, please note the word 'try.' The jack's not strong enough.

      We all laugh uncontrollably for a couple minutes, because if we don't, we're all going to cry.

      Pye, myself, and now Carp go back to Walmart. We say hi to the same clerk we'd just seen. We get a better jack, and the right size ball.

      Back to the gas station, jack up the trailer, take the hitch off the truck, and go back to Walmart.

      We split up. Pye returns the first jack. I find jack stands. Carp goes to have the auto center put the new ball on the hitch.

      They won't put it on for us. We find the right wrench for the bolt, but can't find one for the ball. We're told to go the Merards 15 minutes away.

      We go to check out, and chat w/ our clerk for a bit. He pulls over a coworker, and him and Carp go devise some system that will work. We keep talking to our clerk.

      Carp comes back, we pay for all this shit.

      Pye and the guy exchange PS3 gamer tags. We've made a friend.

      We return to the trailer.

      We put on the new ball, hook up the trailer. It fits much better. We re-ducttape the trailer's light adapter contraption to the truck.

      We leave Indiana several hours after we should have.

      We drive. And drive. And drive.

      Every time we stop, we laugh uncontrollably.

      We stop for dinner at Burger King. The guy at the table next to us is snoring.


      When leaving, Carp decides to be Carp. Somehow he ended up flat on the ground in the parking lot.

      We get home. After midnight.

      Most people would go home and crash at this point. We say "fuck normal."

      After a trip like this, we drink. Until 3AM on a Monday morning, when we're all tired to begin with.

      Pye passes out quickly. Too much beer? Too little sleep? Doesn't matter.
      Putting the trailer back on - the first time.
      Putting the trailer back on - the second time.