Category: Personal

December 26, 2012

Holiday Season

Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 2:36 pm

A most pleasant holiday season this year. Time with family. Good food. I saw a movie in a movie theater which I have not done for years. And there are good leftovers in the fridge.

November 12, 2012

Obama had better software

Filed under: Personal,Politics — Les Bain @ 9:23 pm

To GOTV (Get out the Vote), both the Obama campaign and the Romney campaign used a high tech centralized system to get out the vote.  The Obama campaign used Gordon.  The Romney campaign used ORCA.  Gordon worked, ORCA did not, in fact ORCA crashed in the afternoon of November 6th.   It pays to get good software.

October 13, 2012


Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 11:56 am

I am pleased to be able to watch wine making in progress.  I am not watching every step, but it taking place close to me,  and I am paying attention.  It is a fascinating process.

October 1, 2012

Summer BBQ

Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 11:56 am

There was a BBQ here yesterday.  I was feeling under the weather, so did not want to attend and infect anyone.  But the food was delivered to my door by my caring family, and it was delicious.  I have enough left overs to hold me for a couple of days, so I am feeling blessed.

September 30, 2012

Low Energy

Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 12:49 pm

Some days are low energy days.  I am as productive as I can be with low energy.  They are good days to explore new ideas, to plan, to think, and to be grateful.

September 28, 2012

Blog Action Day

Filed under: Blogging,Personal — Les Bain @ 11:04 am

I signed up for Blog Action Day.

“Founded in 2007, Blog Action Day brings together bloggers from different countries, interests and languages to blog about one important global topic on the same day. Past topics have included water, climate change, poverty and food with thousands of blogs, big and small, taking part.”

I have participated the last several years.

September 27, 2012

How Your Vibration Impacts Your Path

Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 7:51 am

A great post by Erin Pavlina.

How Your Vibration Impacts Your Path

Posted on September 27, 2012 by Erin Pavlina

What’s your dominant emotional state? Are you usually chipper, happy, and in a place of joy? Or are you depressed, sad, upset or anxious a lot?

“Your emotional state has a huge impact on your life path. Have you noticed that when you’re excited and happy you feel unstoppable? Things just fall into place. It’s like money drops from the sky. Relationships get better. Things start going better at work. You’re in the flow. Everything you think about manifests. Everything you want just drops right into your lap.
What’s happening is that your vibrational state is having a direct impact on your life path.
When you are happy and at a high vibration, you attract positive experiences. Life just gets better. You’re totally in the flow. Your boat is sailing along with the current and you don’t even have to paddle.”

Great post.

September 26, 2012

3D Printers

Filed under: Personal,Technology — Les Bain @ 8:40 am

My daughter gave me a good book to read called Makers by Cory Doctorow.  The people in the book worked with 3D printers, so I got interested in 3D printers.

It has been fascinating to read about them and to learn about them.  I am still looking for the “killer app” that will make them go mainstream.

September 24, 2012

Be Happy

Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 10:13 am

Some feel the sequence is Work > Become Successful > Be Happy

I am thinking the sequence is Be Happy > Work > Be Successful

Being happy means working smarter, being in the grove, working toward one’s passion.

September 14, 2012

Good Projects

Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 8:12 am

I am working on some good projects for clients that I like.  I am waking up full of ideas of what I can do next.  Sometimes I am even waking up and not being able to go back to sleep.  Typically,  I just get up and start to work.  Feels good.

September 12, 2012


Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 10:03 am

Read an interesting article about Sherpas in the Mount Everest area.

Because of global warning, mountain lakes are bursting, overflowing,  and causing damage and death.  The Sherpas are upset at all the warnings.

“Instead of having to fear death like that again and again, we would rather die once if the lake really bursts out one day.”

I feel that way sometimes.  I would rather die once, then live in fear everyday.

September 8, 2012

Son’s Wedding

Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 10:10 am

My son got married today.  They were married on San Bruno Mountain State Park.  Then lunch was served in a fine restaurant in San Francisco.  It was a terrific day.

The food was gourmet.  The attitude was warm and loving.  The day was crisp and cold.  (I still got a sunburn)

I love my new daughter-in-law.  A very happy day.

September 6, 2012

Birthday Dinner with my Daughter

Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 10:07 am

I took my daughter out to dinner for her birthday.  We went to Red Lobster.  It was a favorite “birthday restaurant” when she was younger.  Dinner was delicious.  The staff sang Happy Birthday.  A good evening.

September 3, 2012

Spirit Rock – Jack Kornfield

Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 8:04 pm

Jack Kornfield does a a class on Monday night.  It is now being live streamed.

I listened and watched tonight.  He is so calming.

Jack teaches meditation and mindful living.

The class is held at Spirit Rock.

September 2, 2012

Lunch with my daughter

Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 2:12 pm

Yesterday was lunch with my daughter.  It is our weekly time together.  We run errands together, shop together, and have lunch.

  • We visited the new Whole Foods store in the neighborhood and both stocked up.
  • She got a bus pass for the month.
  • We got some things at the drug store.

Lunch was not elegant.  We stopped at McDonalds on the way home to get take out.  It was perfect.

September 1, 2012

Paying the Bills

Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 2:03 pm

First of the month.  Checks start to arrive.  I bill many of my clients at the end of the month and then the checks arrive close to the first of the month.

The checks come.  They are quickly turned into cash and money orders that are sent to people that I owe money to.  The activity we call “paying the bills”.

Then we all start to automate the process, with automatic deposit and automatic bill pay.  The money moves around on its own.

It is all strangely satisfying.

August 31, 2012

Sharing PHP

Filed under: Business,Personal — Les Bain @ 2:05 pm

My son has a new job.   We are now using the same technology.  We are both using PHP.  It is so much fun to talk “shop” with my son about very specific technologies.

As a solopreneur, I do not often have the opportunity to talk about specifics of the technologies I use.

The conversations have inspired me to use the technologies in a more sophisticated way.


August 30, 2012

Dancing with Source Satsang

Filed under: Business,Personal — Les Bain @ 10:20 am

I have a client – Ashley with Dancing with Source.  Every month she records a Satsang Recording.  Satsang (sat means true, sanga means company) describes an East Indian philosophy (1) the company of the Highest Truth (2) the company of a guru or teacher, or (3) company with an assembly of persons who listen to, talk about, and assimilate the truth.

Each month I put the Satsang recording on the website and listen to it to make sure it is loaded correctly.  Each month it gives me a blessing.

August 29, 2012

Satisfied Clients

Filed under: Business,Personal — Les Bain @ 7:10 am

It is so satisfying to do a good job for a client.  Create something that they want.  Make the  changes that they need.


  • a client who was not ranked on Google is now ranked very well.
  • a client who is doing an event how has an event website up and running

It always feels so good to be able to have satisfied clients.

I think I will try for some more today.

August 28, 2012

My networking group

Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 4:48 pm

Like many entrepreneurs,  I belong to a networking group.  I have been in several over the years.   This one has been terrific.

It is the Pleasant Hill Chapter of the ABRA networking group.

  • I get good referrals and lots of business
  • I have good close contacts with the people
  • I get positive reinforcement
  • I just enjoy being with the group
  • I help them, and they help me.

A fine group.

August 27, 2012

Another Lesson on not Procrastinating

Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 2:05 pm

It is easy for me to procrastinate when I have something to do that I find onerous.  Usually I find it onerous only because it is late, or because I am doing the task for a client that is angry or upset.  What I do not remember from time to time, is how satisfying it is to finally tackle the task and get it done.

I often put off doing the task for hours, before finally working on it.  It consumes time best spent elsewhere.  Meditation helps.  Exercise helps.  Sleep helps.

Yesterday, I learned again how wonderful it feels to finally take on the task and get it done.  The next time I want to do it without all the procrastination and putting things off.

But it does make for a clean place to live, as that is what I usually do when putting off the critical task.

It sure feels good to tackle the task and get it done.

August 26, 2012

Lunch with my daughter

Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 9:06 am

Because of the change in my circumstances, I am having lunch with my daughter each week.

Well, we call it lunch, but it is a time to get together, get some work done as required, talk about anything and everything, and in general just try to help and encourage each other.

Now that she has started school, we are doing it on Saturday – so yesterday we met for lunch.  It is such a treat to have that time with her.

We have been setting goals for things to accomplish together, and we are working through some significant items.  We have marked some significant items as completed.  It is a special time each week.

August 25, 2012

Rubik Cube

Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 8:46 am

Many years ago someone gave me a Rubik’s Cube.  It was before there was a  World Wide Web.

I solved it after spending lots of effort.  I had to figure it all out by myself.  I created my own style and own algorithms.

I saw a Rubik’s Cube in the dollar store the other day and got it.   This time I went to the World Wide Web to see some techniques for solving it, but that was just no fun, and I had a hard time understanding the instructions.

So with memory and some muscle memory, I worked on the cube enough to remember how to solve it.  I apparently taught myself a way that is different from what I see on the World Wide Web.  I am not very fast, but I do like changing the cube from chaos to order.   And doing it my way.

August 24, 2012

Reiki Sessions

Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 11:16 am

On Thursdays, I get a Reiki session.  I have felt much better since I started these Reiki sessions.

I do not care to analyse why.  I am more than happy to believe it is magic, energetic healing, or a placebo.  It makes no difference to me.  I just feel better.

My Reiki Master just got back from an intense Reiki weekend, and I have benefited by getting very powerful sessions.

August 23, 2012

Master Mind Meeting

Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 9:33 pm

On Thursdays, I have a regular meeting.  It has some qualities of a Master Mind meeting.  It also has some other very interesting goals.

It is a treat every Thursday to meet with the group and engage in some serious discussions about solutions, and not so much about problems.  We do projects that are beneficial.  It is a good group.

Today’s meeting was particularly animated and productive.  I am grateful for the group and their support.

August 22, 2012

Holidays with Family

Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 1:02 pm

It is going to work out for me to live in my son’s in-law apartment through the holidays.

And for my family, that includes two birthdays, thanksgiving, and the eclectic end of year festivities.  I am very excited about getting to know my children as adults, and this will certainly be a wonderful way to experience that.

It will also let me focus on my business, as opposed to moving again.  I am delighted.

August 21, 2012

A great dinner

Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 9:09 am

Had a great dinner last night with Alex and Tala.  The meal was delicious – pork, butternut squash, and greens.

The conversation was stimulating and wide ranging.

I love my family, and I also just really like them.

August 20, 2012

First, Be Happy

Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 10:35 am

I watched an inspiring video on Ted.  The description of the video is  “We believe that we should work to be happy, but could that be backwards? In this fast-moving and entertaining talk, psychologist Shawn Achor argues that actually happiness inspires productivity.”

If you want to be successful, first be happy.

  • Happiness leads to success; not the other way around.
  • There are practical guidelines to achieve happiness, one of which is to:  “Take two minutes to describe in a journal the most meaningful experience of the past 24 hours.”

March 5, 2012

Astral Sex: The Ecstasy of Out of Body Pleasure

Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 6:48 pm

I have never experienced this, but I found it fascinating.

“You’re probably already familiar with what it’s like to have sex as a physical human being, but did you know that you can also engage in sexual liaisons outside of your physical body? Yes, it’s true. You’re not limited to the physical. There’s a whole other world of sex, pleasure, and unbridled passion awaiting you outside of your physical shell. “

February 22, 2012

If a mugging was treated the same way as a rape.

Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 7:15 pm


September 3, 2011

Business Coaching as Paid Nagging

Filed under: Management,Personal — Les Bain @ 10:40 am

There is a certain school of business coaching, where the process seems to be this.

The Interview: This is where the business coach asks the client about goals, intentions, mission and all the tasks and activities to reach those goals.

The Sell: This is where the business coach says to the client  that you can meet your goals by following a process, and my process says do these first set of tasks.

The Process: The business coach talks to the client on a regular basis and nags the client about completing tasks to meet the goals.  This is supposed to motivate the client to do the tasks so the client does not get nagged.

But I do not need the process because I have people that will nag me for free.  Please do not tell any of my free naggers that they should be charging me big bucks.

July 5, 2011

Doctor Who Companions

Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 6:21 pm

Doctor Who Companions
Research and design by the Online Dating Site

April 28, 2011

BBC – Day in Pictures

Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 1:12 pm

This is one of my favorite Internet visits during the day.  It is striking images from around the world.

The reason I like it so much is that it reminds me every day not to be insular.  There are pictures of people from all over the world.  Most of the time they are dressed in ways that I never see in my day to day activity.

Many times they are engaging in activity that I have never seen.  Or celebrating a festival that is unknown to me.  Or recovering from a tragedy or disaster that I had not read about.

The site reminds me of the great diversity on our planet.

October 15, 2010

Blog action day – Water.

Filed under: Personal,Politics — Les Bain @ 1:47 pm

Facts about water:

  • Unsafe drinking water and lack of sanitation kills more people every year than all forms of violence, including war.
  • More people have access to a cell phone than to a toilet.
  • Every day, women and children in Africa walk a combined total of 109 million hours to get water.
  • The average American uses 159 gallons of water every day – more than 15 times the average person in the developing world.

October 4, 2010

My Long Beard

Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 2:21 pm

My beard is very long. I spend most of my time working from home, so I do not feel the need to keep it neat and trim like I used to.

People treat me differently now.

  • People smile at me.
  • Call me Santa Claus.
  • People ask me how long it took to grow.
  • Other men with beards tell me stories of their beards.
  • People yell over that they like the beard.

I need to get a more professional look, but it is fun for a while.  But I am not sure I can stand all the Santa references around the Holidays.

September 28, 2010

Snail Mail

Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 3:39 pm

The US post office was always a given. The mail just got through. Now and again something was lost, but it was rare. That is how I always felt.

But now it is different. I have not been receiving all of my mail. Clients send me mail that I do not receive. There are about a half dozen times in the last few months where I did not receive a piece of mail I was watching for. I do not know how many times I did not receive something I was not looking for.

I finally gave up and got a Post Office Box.

August 2, 2010

Pogonotrophy – I have a full beard.

Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 8:57 pm

July 13, 2010

I feel great today

Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 11:43 am

I feel damn good today.  It is a wonderful day.  No good reason, just a good night’s sleep and a deep meditation to start the day.

April 26, 2010

Boobquake Day

Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 12:24 pm

Today is Boobquake day.  See .  This is the sort of fun the Internet supports so well.  I will be watching to see if there are more earthquakes today.

April 12, 2010

Do one thing at a time

Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 11:51 pm

Starting to feel overwhelmed again.  That is going to be my mantra.  Do one thing at a time.  Do it to completion.

March 19, 2010

Back to the Basics

Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 1:49 pm

The last couple of days have not been very productive.  Time for “back to the basics”.

  • Establish the list of things to be done.
  • Put them in priority.
  • Work on one thing at a time.
  • Celebrate each completed task.

It is easy to say, harder to do.

February 24, 2010

Took a walk

Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 10:40 am

Today I woke up with the feeling there was too much to do in too little time.  Instead of jumping up and getting to work, I took a walk.

  • Some trees are in bloom with beautiful white flowers.
  • The birds were singing.
  • I stopped for coffee.

I still have a lot to do – but I certainly feel better.

September 24, 2009

Capturing and Organizing Information

Filed under: Personal,Technology — Les Bain @ 2:33 pm

I like to stay informed on various topics:  Some examples are RSS and Website planning, design, construction, promotion, and maintenance.

These are the steps I use.

I create a Blog to hold the information for each topic.  I have a blog for

  • RSS
  • Website Planning
  • Website Design
  • Website Construction
  • Website Promotion
  • Website Maintenance
  • I use Blogger because I like to use certain tools, but most blog services have comparable tools.
  • I do not write the blogs, these are where I store references.  They are link blogs.

I subscribe to information sources about the topics.

  • Google Alerts
  • RSS Feeds
  • Twitter

When I read the sources and want to remember a source, I add the source to the appropriate blog.

  • I use the Google Toolbar “Send to Blogger”
  • I add my comments
  • It is immediately added to the appropriate blog.
  • I think about it as creating index cards for a term paper in the days before we used the Internet.
  • It captures the link, a summary, and my comments.
  • It takes the same amount of effort as bookmarking, but it has more benefits.

Periodically, I go through the blogs, summarize the information, and update my website.

Some side benefits

  • The Blogs have RSS Feeds that I send to twitter which sometimes elicits comments
  • I put Adsense on the blogs and make a little bit of money.
  • I add a custom Google search so I can search all the blogs when I am trying to find something.

May 2, 2009

Introducing 3E Communications

Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 2:39 pm

My colleague Karen Frank has re-branded her business to 3E (Elegant, Easy & Effective) Communications with some grand opening deals.

From her announcement:

“So (may I have a drum roll please) announcing 3 E communications! Elegant, Easy, Effective business communications for the entrepreneur.

And while the new look and logo etc. is still in development, my new website is up and my new email works .

And what would a grand opening be without a grand opening sale?”

Karen can help with your business communication.  Check it out now for some grand opening deals.

April 29, 2009

Happy Birthday Dave Winer

Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 9:25 am

Who is Dave Winer?  This is from Dave’s blog.

Dave Winer, 53, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master’s in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor’s in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.

I do not know whether he bumped up the age yet or not, but it is his birthday.

I read Dave’s blog.  I follow him on Twitter.  I listen to his podcasts. I am smarter for doing so.

Sometimes when I talk to people I share Dave’s ideas.  Usually I give him credit.   Sometimes I don’t.   Thanks Dave.

I met Dave Winer once.  Shook his hand.  Said thanks for all his contributions to the Internet.  And I am pleased to add my good wishes today on his birthday.

October 15, 2008


Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 8:46 am

Today is Blog Action Day.  The topic is Poverty.

I try to relate to poverty.  I remember trivial things in my life.

  • Selling books at the used book store to get money for food, but I drove to the book store.
  • Sleeping in my car at a rest stop for 3 nights, but only because I was waiting on my new apartment to be available, and I did not want to spend the money.
  • Hitchhiking with little money and accepting change from a generous person, but I used the change to buy cigarettes.
  • I lived below the supposed poverty line as defined by the government when I was in the service, but we had lots of benefits.

I have never known poverty in my life.  I always had the capability to earn money.  I had friends with money.  My family always welcomed me.  I have been “short”.  I have had “cash flow problems”.  I have never known poverty.

But especially in this nation of abundance, people should not have to live without the necessities of life.

It seems in this country we are Socialist when it comes to big business, Capitalist when it comes to poor people.  I think we should rescue the poor and not wall street.

I add my blog today to the all the blogs that want an end to poverty.

October 1, 2008

Conversations about Politics

Filed under: Personal,Politics — Les Bain @ 5:05 pm

I read more about politics than I discuss politics.  I read blogs and comments, so I read individual voices, but I do not discuss much.  When I am with people, we are more likely to be discussing business.

Today I was in a conversation that turned to politics.  Even though we were all in essential agreement, the conversation quickly turned emotional, and I heard profanities from this group for the first time.

It was actually interesting to see the heat that it generated.  I have been reading George Lakoff, so I was mentally applying what I have been learning to the conversation.

All in all, I enjoyed it.

August 28, 2008

I am tired

Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 10:53 am

A very unprofessional post today.  I am tired.

Every morning at 7:30 the construction crews arrive and begin work in the area.  It has been going on for 3 weeks.

I know many get up earlier than that each morning, but I am a night owl and often work past midnight coding and designing.

I need to make some sort of adjustment.

I am tired.

August 5, 2008

Posting Regularly

Filed under: Blogging,Personal — Les Bain @ 11:50 am

If I do not post on the blog regularly, I do not know what to write about.   There are too many things backed up and I do not know where to start.

Seems that is the way with many things.  If you exercise everyday it is a pattern and it generates energy to keep it up.  Getting started again after a period of no exercise is difficult.

It is the difference in a smooth running stream of water versus one that is jammed up or backed up with debris.  Getting the debris out the way is required to get it running smoothly again.

July 13, 2008

Filed under: Personal,Technology — Les Bain @ 10:19 am

I use  I find it to be a good service. I have no financial interest in the service, although as I write this I think I should sign up and be an affiliate.

I have a desktop and a laptop.  Many are getting away from that combination and just working with a laptop, but I still have both.

When I go out on the road, I take my laptop.  If I am working on the Internet, I just connect directly.  But sometimes I want to access a program that is only on my desktop, like Photoshop.

Then I connect to the internet, sign on to, and then link up with the desktop.  I can use all the desktop products.

I am certainly aware that there are multiple products and services that do this, but logmein is my favorite, and for what I described, it is free.

The reason that it came to mind today is that the video card on my desktop died.  I will put a new one in soon, but in the interim, I started the desktop and the laptop, and I am accessing the desktop through the Internet.

So I am sitting here using the desktop monitor and keyboard, but running through the Internet using the laptop.  The laptop and the desktop are a few feet away, but I am sending the packets over the Internet.

Now I know of course there are other ways to connect, but this way was already set up, and so it was the most expedient to do.

It is surprisingly quick.

Banks and Your Money

Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 9:40 am

Today, in an article in the San Francisco Chronicle, Gail Hillebrand, a senior attorney is quoted as follows “You think when you open a bank account that the money belongs to you.  That’s not the way the bank sees it and it’s not the way the law sees it.”

I learned this lesson the hard way.  It is a long painful story, but I know now that money in a bank account is not always under my control. I argued with a bank long and hard about this point, but I lost.

The article tells the stories of various people that also learned the lesson.  They were all shocked as I was.  A most painful lesson.

July 6, 2008

Client Work

Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 10:10 am

I have had more client work recently.  I like to do client work for lots of different reasons.

  • Clients always push me in a different direction.  They want something done differently than I have done in the past.  They want a feature that I have not used before.
  • I work too much on my own.  It is good to get out and work with clients.
  • Many of the clients I work with are out of town and I work with them using telephone and email.  Recent clients have been local and I have had face time.  I had to get a hair cut.

Got to go.  Client work to do.

June 23, 2008

Hot days, cool nights

Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 9:15 am

I live in the San Francisco area, East Bay.  In the summer, we get hot days and cool nights.  I understand it is because the humidity is low.  When humidity is high, it holds the heat after the sun goes down.

Yesterday during the day was in the 90’s.  Last night is was so cool I turned on the electric blanket for a while to warm up the bed.  This morning the window is open and it is cool.  I have a light jacket on while working at the desk.

The weather forecast is for the low 80’s today.

In this part of the East Bay, it is regularly hot, so there is Air Conditioning everywhere.  It is always a question of when to turn the Air Conditioning on, and when to turn it off.

And I know when I blog about the weather, it is because I am worrying about things I do not want to discuss.  I suppose it is like making conversation about the weather during ackward moments.  I hope you have pleasant weather today where ever you are.

June 20, 2008


Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 12:00 am

Opiophobia is the unreasonable fear of prescribing opiates by both the medical professions and the public.

Opiophobia is responsible for the current situation where people on pain medications suffer difficulties from medical professionals, friends, and family.

I want to know where Opiophobia got started. I am doing research which I am capturing on a blog called History of Opiophobia.

I have identied several papers and books on the history of OpioPhobia, but they are either vary expensive or behind a firewall.   I am continuing to reasearch.

June 19, 2008

Aparment File

Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 11:40 pm

There was a fire in our apartment complex.  We are fine.  It did get our attention.

Apartment Complex Fire

June 10, 2008

Writing Code

Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 12:08 pm

I am writing PHP code for a project that I am working on. There is good news and bad news.

The good news is that I really enjoy writing the code. But, I enjoy the coding so much that I keep wanting to do the code. I keep putting off more urgent and important tasks. That will end today – today is urgent and important tasks only. The code is important but not urgent.

I wake up thinking about the code and ways to improve it. Maybe it is just an excuse to stay in bed for a few more minutes working out the next routine to be coded.

It is certainly a type of system that I have written before, but as always, things change over time. So I bring some experience, but there are always new things to learn.

OK, I will set a goal for tasks to complete. If I complete all the tasks, I will take some time to code.

June 8, 2008

What to blog about?

Filed under: Blogging,Personal — Les Bain @ 4:58 pm

When I find myself wondering what to blog about on a particular day, it usually means that what is on my mind is not something I want to blog about.

It is like running into an acquaintance who asks how you are doing and answering “I am doing fine”. There is no reason to speak of the fears, the failures, the problems, and the disappointments.

I sometimes think that I should start another blog – an anonymous blog – so that I can speak about what is really doing on.

One of the things that stops me is that I am not sure what makes it truly anonymous. Seems like one can penetrate the IP address of posts and identify people pretty quickly.

Maybe I can look up Mini-Microsoft and see how he or she did it.

June 7, 2008

Aids Lifecycle closing ceremonies

Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 3:32 pm

It is hard to focus on work because my mind keeps going to the Aids Lifecycle.  The closing ceremonies should be going on as I write this post.  My son rode this year.

My son is a cyclist, and I thought he was riding because of pure altruistic motives – to raise money for Aids.

Eventually I found out about the demographics of the riders.

  • Lots of gay men
  • Lots of older straight men.
  • Lots of young straight women.
  • Very few young straight men.

My son is a young straight guy.  He is meeting lots of fit, young, engaged straight women.  Just another benefit of doing a good thing I suppose.

For whatever the reason he rode, I am very proud of him.

June 6, 2008


Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 7:02 pm

Tracy Kidder wrote a book called “The Soul of a New Machine” about a computer design team.

One engineer, Josh Rosen, who burned out fighting nanosecond-level timing bugs was seduced by the attraction of commune living and left to live in the country. His resignation note declared, “I’m going to a commune in Vermont and will deal with no unit of time shorter than a season.”

I was thinking of that quote today. I have been dealing with units of time no longer than an hour, or a least a few hours.

  • Is Twitter up or down?
  • Is Senator Obama or Senator Clinton or Senator McCain going to give a speech?
  • What is the latest on CNN or MSNBC?
  • Work on critical client updates.
  • Watch a scheduled webinar.

I am going to take some time this weekend and meditate and read a book.  Think about something longer than an hour.

June 3, 2008

Time is flying by

Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 12:07 pm

Adding just a few things to my daily schedule has made my day very full.  Time seems to race by.

  • Bird sitting for a couple of cute parakeets
  • Watching the Aids LifeCycle news because my son is riding in the event
  • Paying attention to the Democratic Party nominating process
  • Voting in the California primary today.  Yes, the California primary was split and we voted for candidates early, but the other part of the primary is today.
  • Along with the client and business work.

Adding just a few items seems to make the day very busy, but it could be because some of the items have an emotional charge.

June 1, 2008

Aids LifeCycle

Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 10:37 am

Today is the start of the Aids LifeCycle. It is a bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles to raise money for Aids.

My son is riding along with 2500 other riders. I am a typical parent and I am both very proud and a little concerned.

Aids LifeCycle Blog

The 2500 riders will raise more than 11 million dollars for Aids. It is quite a story and quite an adventure.

It feels a little strange sitting at my desk today while my son rides 80 miles on a bicycle. Maybe I will do a walk today.

May 31, 2008

Democratic National Committee

Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 2:55 pm

Today, I am watching the Democratic National Committee Rules and Bylaws Committee.

Some observations:

  • I am so happy I am not a Democrat (I am not a Republican either).
  • Will Rogers was right when he said, “I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat.”
  • Supposedly, the Republicans are taping angry members of the Democratic party saying they will vote for Senator McCain before they will vote for the “other” Democrat. It will be a coming attraction on YouTube.
  • DNC Meeting Protest “DissNfranChise?” is already up on YouTube. The background music is Linda Ronstadt’s “When Will I Be Loved”.
    • I’ve been cheated
    • Been mistreated
    • When will I be loved

There will be no party unity after this meeting. Bet on McCain.

Content and Nontent

Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 3:19 am

Content is king on the Internet. So they say.

Nontent is lack of content. is for sale. Maybe nontent is the court jester to the king.

There is a certain amount of real content. That content is then re-used, re-purposed, and re-blogged.

Yahoo kills a billion pieces of spam a day. Content killers.

How much of content is someone (like me) expressing their opinions of the content of the day.

May 28, 2008

Curse of the Golden Flower

Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 1:23 pm

As I was finishing my work day yesterday, the movie Curse of the Golden Flower came on TV. I watched it from start to finish.

It was a visual feast. A stunning collage of colors, ritual, martial arts, family intrigue and grand opera themes.

I do not normally check to see what reviewers write about movies, but I did read a sampling of reviews about this movie. It was so magnificent visually that I wanted to read other’s reactions.

Almost every review remarked on the incredible visuals.

And every review discussed the plot that was a stew of intrigue, betrayal, murder, poisoning, and stepmother-stepson, and stepbrother-stepsister passion.

It was a remarkable movie.

May 27, 2008


Filed under: Personal,Technology — Les Bain @ 7:03 pm

Twitter has been a great source of amusement and amazement.

  • Some blog posts discuss why the writer will not go on Twitter
  • Others bloggers post reasons why they cannot live without Twitter
  • When Twitter goes down, some people act like the Internet is down.
  • The Gillmor gang would have to shut down without Twitter to discuss.
  • Dave Winer uses Twitter as an example of how to develop software which is fascinating
  • Twitter will be the poster child for scaling issues for many months.
  • Twitter is used as an lesson for centralization vs. decentralization.
  • One comment about Twitter: Twitter is Facebook for those that do not have Facebook.
  • Some want Twitter to charge super users to raise money to fix it.

And Twitter is free.

May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 10:38 am

Today is Memorial Day – the last Monday of May. Today we remember those that died while in the military service of the United States in any war or military action.

It was originally called Decoration Day, because on this day the dead were honored by decorating their graves.

I remember as a young man getting dressed up and going to the cemetery at this day. There were flowers everywhere. People decorated graves of relatives whether they had died in the military or not.

When you went to the cemetery, there were veterans in uniform giving out poppies and requesting donations for some veterans fund. Usually, we all got a poppy.

It was an obligation of the day, and people dealt with it in the normal way

  • Some got up early and took care of the obligation early.
  • Some procrastinated and went later in the day.

Our family went early in the day. We had moved a good deal, so there were no relatives buried in the vicinity, so we paid our respects to the relatives of friends of the family.

The decorating of graves seems out of step with life today.

  • First, we are rarely in the same place as the graves of our family members that have passed.
  • Second, we acknowledge the family members that died by addressing their spirits or memories.

I will take a moment today to remember my Mother and Father. Their graves are too far away to decorate, so I will remember them and smile.

May 25, 2008

My new Treo and the sounds

Filed under: Personal,Technology — Les Bain @ 7:55 am

The next function I am going to learn about my new Treo is all the sounds, beeps, rings, alerts, and alarms.

I learned about

  • how to set different ring tones
  • how to turn off the phone
  • how to turn down the phone ringer

but ….

I still get alerts, etc. Some of them go off early in the morning.

I need to find the way to turn off all sounds so

  • my sleep is not interrupted
  • and it is not beeping during a meeting.

May 22, 2008

Write every day

Filed under: Blogging,Personal — Les Bain @ 11:56 am

That is the advice given to aspiring writers. Write every day.

I am blogging every day. It is starting to effect my writing. I am starting to think more about word choice and sentence structure.

I did not start blogging that way. I started by just trying to get some thoughts into sentences and hitting the “publish” button. Check. That task done.

I was an English major and an aspiring writer at one time. I discovered it was not for me. But I certainly would like to be able to write better.

I read some blogs that are written well. They are captivating and engaging. When I read good writing I find myself reading more intently and staying with the writing longer.

I would not mind if my readers had the same experience.

May 21, 2008

Blog every day

Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 4:23 am

I try and blog every day.  Blogging is therapeutic.  It is like motivation and hygiene.  It needs to be done every day to be effective.

There are times when blogging comes easily.  There are times blogging is difficult.

When blogging is difficult, it is usually because what is on my mind is not something I want to discuss.

  • Sometimes it is too personal.
  • Sometimes it is just embarrassing.
  • Sometimes it is not clear.

I am going back to reading about the Law of Attraction.  Get my mind right.

May 20, 2008

Content Ads

Filed under: Blogging,Personal — Les Bain @ 12:06 pm

I added Google Adsense ads to this blog. I was interested in the results.

  • Lots of ads for computer backups. Yep. I investigated, changed, and monitored new backup systems. That makes sense.
  • Ads for blogs and blogging software. Yep. I talk about blogging in this blog.
  • Ads for UPS systems. Hmmmm. I guess so. Backups are part of disaster preparedness.

It is like an instant summary of what I have been blogging.

May 19, 2008


Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 9:23 pm

The California Supreme Court ruled that the law prohibiting same sex marriage is unconstitutional.  Same sex marriages will probably begin in California 30 days from the ruling.  There will be a constitutional amendment on the ballet in November so the people can vote to change the constitution if they wish.

The entire issue resolves around the fact that the state gave special considerations to married couples.  If the state gives special rights to one group, it cannot withhold those rights from another group.

Let us step back and consider.  What if the state did not consider marriage in any of the laws, taxes, or benefits.

People could create civil unions to protect jointly shared property and share benefits.  The IRS could give special consideration to civil unions if that is the law.  Social Security benefits could be defined by civil union.

It is not a far stretch to go from corporations to civil unions.  We form groups that are treated as entities by the state.  This would be another one of those entities.

Marriage should just be a issue for the church.  The state should be prohibited from even asking about one’s marital status.  It should be as unimportant to the state as someone’s baptismal or communion status.

If marriage is a religious institution, it would take place in the church as do baptisms, communion, confirmations, and other religions rites.

I do not have a problem if the Muslims have up to 4 wifes.  I do not have a problem if the Latter Day Saints have multiple wives.  I do not care if churches practice infant or adult baptisms.  I do not care who prays to what God.  Those are matters left in the Church.

There would be no marriage license, unless the church issues one.

The state can provide another kind of legal entity called a civil union with tax and benefit laws.  The state should get out of the marriage business entirely.

PHP Code

Filed under: Personal,Technology — Les Bain @ 1:26 am

I am writing some PHP code. It is for a project that I am have been working on. It is the most elaborate code that I have written for a good while. Just about everything that I am coding is something I have not coded before.

The coding process, however, is most familiar. I use a combination of “top down development” and “step wise progression”. We used to have signs that said “programmers do it top down”. That was before we were engineers.

But the system could have great promise.

I will see.

May 18, 2008

Blogging the same thing twice

Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 6:51 pm

Sometimes I start to blog about something, and it seems I have blogged on the same topic before.  It is not a problem to blog on the same topic of course, but I do not want to write the same blog post more than once.

On the other hand, I am not sure anyone including myself, would notice … or care.  If the thought comes up again, perhaps the best thing to do is just to write it down again.

I could do a search and try and discover if it is in the archives, but I am not sure I want to do that.  Perhaps it will be different enough this time not to matter.  If it is what is on my mind today, why not just write it.

So that is what I am going to do.

Ah … Sunday

Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 2:06 pm

If you have a Monday to Friday work or school week, Saturday and Sunday are the weekend.

Sunday is the classic touchstone for optimism versus pessimism. It is either a wonderful full day of no work or school, or a depressing end to the weekend.

Now some of us work every day, so it is a moot point, but it is fascinating to see how people react.

I work on Sunday, but I get very few client calls or emails that need to be answered, so it is a different sort of day. I schedule a project each weekend to take advantage of the uninterrupted time.

May 17, 2008

Heat Wave

Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 7:19 pm

It is the weekend. It feels wonderful.

  • I am watching the Tweets as my son rides 100 miles today getting ready for the Aids Lifecycle.  The last tweet was at 80 miles.
  • I am helping my family move Ethernet wire around the apartment so they can find the coolest spot to work.  I will go out later to get a switch and some more Ethernet to make it all work smoother.
  • I am watching Book TV and it is always good to watch people discuss ideas.  I remember the adage that little minds discuss people, average minds discuss things, and big minds discuss ideas.  On book TV, at least some of the time they discuss ideas.
  • I consolidated my task lists so there are fewer tasks and a clearer priority.

All is well.

May 15, 2008


Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 10:19 pm

I was up late last night coding PHP to add functionality to my website.  If the functionality works well, I will use it on other websites.  It is so consuming to program.

Today, I am doing all the other business with the understanding that when all my business tasks are done, then I am rewarded by being able to code.  You would think that after being a programmer for 40 years, it would get old, but it does not.

I was a manager for part of that time, but I always seemed to find some code to write.

May 12, 2008

Aids Lifecycle

Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 6:23 pm

My son is getting ready to ride in the Aids Lifecycle. It is a bike ride that will take place June 1-7, 2008, as cyclists and volunteers will travel 545 miles through beautiful California from San Francisco to Los Angeles. My son will be one of 2500 cyclists riding in the event.

It is the official cycling event of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center.

The event will raise close to 11 million dollars.

We are enormously proud of him of course. It is a wonderful event for a good cause.

May 9, 2008

Parental Controls

Filed under: Notes,Personal,Politics,Technology — Les Bain @ 3:08 am

When my children were young, we did not restrict their Internet access. We talked about the dangers openly, asked them what they knew about the dangers from their readings, and asked them what rules they followed. We agreed on the rules.

  • Do not give out your name or address
  • Do not agree to meet anyone

When they were in elementary school, the computers were in a public area of the house.

That was just about it.

I am not saying that was wise, it is just our style. Having a frank talk about the dangers allowed them to set their own limits. I knew they were going to visit porn sites and other sites, but I was much happier that they did it without having to try and hide it.

When my son was a Freshman in high school, he told me if I ever wanted to go to a porn site, he had account and password hacks.

When I set up computers for parents now, I am often instructed to put on the parental controls. I of course do it, and I always think back about how it was when my children were small.

I do not have any regrets. I still think we were right. But it is definitely worse now on the Internet, so I do wonder if I would put on parental controls now. Probably not.

May 5, 2008


Filed under: Personal,Technology — Les Bain @ 5:56 pm

I use Outlook for Email.

I have been working to reduce Spam and undesired email.  The results are starting to show.

The Junk email folder is now full everyday.  I review it but I will not be doing that much longer.  I will change the rules to delete the spam without checking.  I am just using the Outlook processing for now, and it seems to be working ok.

I make a distinction between mail boxes and mail folders.

  • Mail folders is where I store email I want to save
  • Mail boxes is where I receive email.  Email is sorted into a dozen or so mail boxes.
  • Everything that does not get sorted into a mail box ends up in the Inbox.

When all works well, there are very few if any emails in my inbox.

If email shows up in my inbox, one of the following happens:

  • If it is spam, the keystrokes Alt-A-J-B send it to the junk email folder.
  • If it is mail that I expect to get more off, I create a rule and sort it into a mail box.
  • If it is a subscription, I cancel the subscription.  No email subscriptions; only RSS.
  • If it is a one-off email, I process it or store it in a mail folder.

My overall time on email is being greatly reduced.  I am trying to use that time looking at my RSS feeds without flying through them.  More considered reading.

I am enjoying both the process and the results.

May 3, 2008

Shut Down? No way.

Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 8:27 pm

Today was shut down day. Time to turn off the computer for a day. I did not do it. I worked on the computer all day.

There were financial reports to do, client websites to tweak, email to answer, and now, a blog post. There were things to look up on the Internet, blog posts to read, and IM’s to answer.

But there was no Twitter to respond to: I am not doing Twitter.

And there was no FriendFeed to read: I am not doing FriendFeed either.

And I found out that

  • My son biked 70 miles including a climb of Mt. Diablo
  • Microsoft is not buying Yahoo
  • My new Treo has many more features than I first imagined

May 2, 2008

Upgrade WordPress

Filed under: Blogging,Personal,Technology — Les Bain @ 9:43 pm

I needed to upgrade WordPress. Today is the day.

I decided to download and try the WordPress Automatic Upgrade plugin.

It worked very well. I downloaded it, installed the plugin, and ran it to get a successful upgrade. I am now at the latest version of WordPress.

I ran the plugin in automatic mode, and it went through the steps quickly and successfully. I am most pleased.

April 30, 2008

Online Fax

Filed under: Personal,Technology — Les Bain @ 8:21 pm

We moved from a fax machine to online fax.  It was more difficult than I had imagined it was going to be.

I used to do online fax years ago, but I forgot that was the time we accessed online using a modem.  Fax was built in.

It is not possible to just move to email with attachments.  Most government, health insurance, and businesses want actual faxes.  That is the way they are used to doing business.  It required an online to fax machine process.

I picked out a fax service that is available both online and with a client frontend.

  • Faxit Nice is the Web Service
  • Faxtastic is the client piece

The difficult part was to get the scan process working effectively. We have an HP All-in-One machine and it is only a few years old, but the drivers had to be downloaded and upgraded.  Some of the software would not work with IE 7 of all things.

At the end of the process I scanned in 14 pages, tweaked them so they looked sharp, and prepared them to be sent off using a nice client package.

That means we get rid of the land line.


April 29, 2008

Jeremiah Wright

Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 2:07 pm

I am watching the situation with Jeremiah Wright and the presidential campaign with interest as are many Americans. I thought Jeremiah Wright’s performance in front of the Press Club was incredible theater.

In all the talk about Jeremiah Wright and Barack Obama there is one thing that amuses me, and that is the assumption that Senator Obama had to have known about the fiery sermons in question even though he was not there, because people would have discussed them.

What? People would have discussed a sermon or even remembered it 5 minutes after it was over. How unusual.

My father was a minister, he was fond of asking people during the week if they could remember any of the points of last Sunday’s sermon. People could not. Even if it was incendiary.

I listened to my father’s sermons for many years, and the only part I remember clearly is when he was telling sons to respect their fathers and turned around to the choir where I was sitting and pointed directly at me.  That got my attention.  But I did not discuss it with anyone even though I worked with people who were there that day.  No one that I knew discussed sermons.

Eliminating Email

Filed under: Personal,Technology — Les Bain @ 1:40 pm

I am working on reducing my email. I am unsubscribing from any email that I can. I am doing all I can to enhance my spam filter.

It is interesting to see the varied processes to unsubscribe from an email subscription.

  • Some of them are an easy one-click process that takes you to a screen that says you are now unsubscribed. Terrific.
  • Some take you to a screen that asks if you are sure, and asks why. Usually that is a check box and a submit. That is ok.
  • Some want you to log on using your member name and password and update your subscriptions. At this point, I have usually forgotten my password, so that is another step. Then I log on, change the password, update my profile to cancel subscriptions and leave. Then I get another email that thanks me for visiting. Hmmmmm.

When I am asked the reason, I say I am moving to RSS which puts me in control.

April 27, 2008

External Drive Failed

Filed under: Personal,Technology — Les Bain @ 3:00 pm

My external hard drive has failed several times now. It does not give any errors, it is just no longer available.

It started when I moved it to the new desktop. It happened several times right away. I had it tucked between two other items, so I moved it because I thought it might be getting hot. It went several days without a failure.

Yesterday when it failed, I lost my Outlook pst file completely. It was just gone. I had a backup, but I lost the email of the day.

Today I am trying on a different USB port. It is an external drive holder, so the next thing is to take out the hard drive and install it into the computer. I did not want to do that because now I can move it to the laptop with little effort.

I will wait and see.

April 25, 2008

Computer Games

Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 9:36 am

I do not care for computer games that required a high degree of eye-hand coordination. That is just not me.

But I do like the strategy games. I like most of the card games. I like FreeCell and Spider Solitaire.

My favorite is Reversi or Othello. It has strategy. It goes quickly. There is little eye-hand coordination.

My favorite strategy game on the Nintendo was Lolo. After I wrote that I looked it up and found an online version of the game. I tried it of course. It is still challenging and interesting, but it certainly takes longer to play than I remembered. And it requires a bit more eye-hand coordination than I remembered. But it is just as addictive.

That will be a reward when certain tasks get finished.

April 24, 2008

One thing at a time

Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 8:49 pm

I heard a story about Lance Armstrong, the famous cyclist.  I have no way of knowing whether it is true.  Lance was asked how he was able to bike up the alps.  Lance responded that to think about biking up the alps was too much, that what he did was look ahead and see a tree or bush and focus on biking to that tree or bush.  Then he found another target and biked to that target.

That is what we should all do when things get difficult.  Find a milestone, and get to that milestone.  Then pick another milestone and get to that milestone.  Do not worry about biking up the alps, it is just too much sometimes.  Just get to the next milestone.

It is a lesson that I need to learn and re-learn.  I am focusing on that lesson again, trying to focus on one set of objectives and not getting distracted by all the things on the horizon.  So far so good.

April 23, 2008

No more ezines or email newsletters

Filed under: Internet,Personal — Les Bain @ 10:00 am

I am unsubscribing from all my ezines and email newsletters. I am only going to subscribe to RSS feeds from now on. If they ask for a reason, the comment is “RSS or nothing”.

There might be a newsletter that I enjoy so much that I will not unsubscribe, but so far I have unsubscribed as each one has arrived. Sometimes I have immediately subscribed to the same material using RSS.

People think differently about clicking on the unsubscribe link in a newsletter.

  • One school of thought assumes that if there is a unsubscribe link, then the sender is following the rules and the email is probably not spam.
  • Another school of thought says that it is just another way to encourage one to click on a link that either downloads malware or validates the email.

I am examining the ezine, going to the site, signing in, and unsubscribing to avoid any danger. It will take weeks to get through them all because many are monthly, but each time I unsubscribe I feel better.

Then I suppose I will have to go through my RSS feeds and trim them.

April 22, 2008

My son got mugged

Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 12:50 pm

My son got mugged yesterday. He was knocked to the ground by four males who demanded money. He was on the ground with one attacker drawing back his fist over this face.

A plain clothes officer happened to be driving by. The officer stopped his car in the center lane, jumped out of his car, left the door open blocking traffic, and drove off the attackers. The officer arrived in time to prevent any robbery or battery from taking place.

Of course the attackers threw my son down on his right shoulder where he had broken his collar bone several weeks ago. He was on his way to the Doctors to have his collarbone X-rayed and checked. The X-rays showed no new damage.

As is often the case, it was good news and bad news. The good news

  • The police officer foiled the robbery before any serious damage was done
  • It happened on the way to the Doctor so the collar bone could be checked right away.

And for me, the good news was that we were going to meet that day anyway so I was there to offer whatever moral support I could.

I got a Treo

Filed under: Personal,Technology — Les Bain @ 12:36 pm

I got a Treo™ 700p smartphone. It is used. It was a gift. Thank You.

I have always used Palm products and I like the Palm OS. This is probably the last gasp of that OS, but that is ok with me.

It is part of the process of sharpening the ax this month.

  • Upgraded Desktop
  • Recently formatted Laptop
  • New Treo that replaces both my cell phone and my palm pilot.

Now I just need to get busy chopping wood.

April 20, 2008

Chinua Achebe

Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 4:38 pm

I am watching Book TV today as I work.  Chinua Achebe is the featured author now.  He wrote a novel called  “Things Fall Apart”  about British colonialism in Nigeria.  According to Wikipedia it is “the most widely-read book in modern African literature”.

Mr. Achebe was announced as the novelist who had a great influence on all the literature of Africa.  He influenced a whole continent.  I had not heard of him.

Mr. Achebe tells a moving story about being raised in a rich oral tradition, but reading a book about Africa where the longest sentence uttered by an African was 8 words long.  He decided to write novels about Africa in part to counteract that.

Computer Setup: Complete

Filed under: Personal,Technology — Les Bain @ 4:30 pm

The new desktop and the revitalized laptop are all set up. It is wonderful to have it done. I feel like I have “sharpened my ax” to quote Steven Covey. I already feel more productive.

Part of the process is getting rid of many of the programs that clogged up the old computer. I try out different programs, and I do not do a good job of getting rid of them after I evaluate them. I resolve to do that better.

I also did not load many of the little utilities that did one small thing. I am going to wait and see how much I miss them. If I miss them, then I will load them.

April 18, 2008

Priority Task List

Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 11:08 am

One of the techniques I like to us is to make sure I understand the top 3 or 4 priority items for the day.

  • Write them down the night before,
  • and work to that priority.

Today I had a day long meeting with a client that was canceled, so I do not have a list.  It was like waking up to a holiday.  I had to take a deep breath, look at the outstanding work, and then create my list.  But the initial feeling was wonderful.

April 17, 2008

Blogging every day

Filed under: Personal,Technology — Les Bain @ 7:30 pm

I am not being rigid about it, but I am trying to blog every day. It gives me a chance to reflect on the day, the accomplishments, the objectives, and the problems.

Then I blog about something that happened during the day. It is therapeutic.

I find myself blogging about the thorniest tech issue I had during the day. I suppose because that is where the intense energy goes.

Setting up a new computer gives plenty of thorny tech issues. As much as I work to keep all downloads saved in an organized way, there always seems to be utilities that I cannot find.

Today it was installing on the Financial systems including Quickbooks. That worked very well.

Tomorrow will have its own challenges I am sure.

To Do Lists

Filed under: Management,Personal — Les Bain @ 7:23 pm

I have been working on my to do lists.  I am exploring some new directions, and the plans have generated a number of tasks.  I also want to clear up some outstanding personal business.

Sometimes at the end of the day, I am like everyone else and wonder where the day went.  When I am working on the task list, I can go and see what tasks were completed for the day.

It also gives me the opportunity to go to the task list, select the priority task, and focus on that task.  It is always a helpful productivity technique.

April 13, 2008

A bit of humor

Filed under: Blogging,Personal — Les Bain @ 2:10 pm

It has been a bit of a rough time, so I took a humor break today.
One of my favorites is Blaugh, the unofficial comic of the Blogosphere.

Where is the Secret of Life?

April 11, 2008

A New Computer

Filed under: Personal,Technology — Les Bain @ 3:57 pm

I have a new computer.  It is not actually a new retail computer, but I installed a new mother board and power supply from someone who upgraded.  It is much faster and newer than what I was using.

It is always so nice to have a faster computer.  It feels so productive.

But like many people, I am a program collector.  I am going to try and work with fewer programs so I can keep this computer cleaner, but swearing off all the little utilities that make my life easier or more fun will be difficult.

I am also going to consider using more server products and fewer client products.

But for now, I am just enjoying the speed of this new computer.

April 9, 2008

Directory of RSS Resources

Filed under: Personal,Technology — Les Bain @ 1:29 pm

I am considering creating a Directory of RSS Resources to support the RSS Tutorial. I have looked at various products and decided to test out phpLD – the PHP Link Directory.  It looks like a reasonable product to me.  I like PHP / MySQL products and it fits that bill.  There is a free version to start with.  There is a paid version if it checks out.

I am going to try and seed the directory by doing some extracts and loads.  Extract from DMOZ and other sources and load into the Directory of RSS Resources.   The issue is what to use for title and description.  I would like to extract title and description from the HTML so that there is no copyright issue.

Then to maintain the Directory of RSS Resources, I will open the directory for submissions.  I expect it to take a while to get it set up, but it will be a nice complement to the RSS Tutorial.

April 8, 2008

Digging through the paperwork

Filed under: Personal,Technology — Les Bain @ 12:23 pm

Paperwork – a fine word that means dealing with the paper that we all still get. All the paperless office did was add email, rss, and IMs to all the paper we deal with. Today it is dealing with paper.

  • Look at each piece of paper
  • If I am lucky, throw it away
  • If it is for reference, file it
  • But usually, it means considering, deciding, and spending more time than seems reasonable.

Paperwork these days usually means bills or taxes, so it is not fun.

Email is sounding good today.

April 3, 2008

Satan or Whore? Which is worse?

Filed under: Personal,Politics — Les Bain @ 8:31 pm

What if you called someone Satan? What if you called someone a whore? Apparently, whore is much worse.

Don Imus regularly calls Senator Hillary Clinton Satan with no repercussions. Randi Rhodes on Air America called Senator Hillary Clinton a whore and was suspended.

I am in favor of more civil discourse in politics so I do not care for either, but I do find the comparison interesting. Is not Satan the epitome of evil?

During this presidential campaign, we are examining our feelings on sex and race, so right now it appears that it is worse to be sexist or racist.

So which would you find the most offensive?

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