Monday, February 28, 2011

My Lazy Theory

image I’ve been toying with this one for a while.  I’m too lazy to keep notes when thoughts occur to me so now I’ve just decided to write it without notes.  Or, with apologies ahead of time, off the top of my head.

I work in the software business.  I find there are two categories of people (well three, but I’m going to skip the completely inept ones for today).  The two categories we will discuss are the diligent hard workers and the lazy people.

If I were to start a software company today, part of my interview process would be to find the lazy (but not inept) ones.  As long as you are intelligent and have a knack with computers you have potential.  Just keep the hard working attitude to a minimum.  Be lazy.  Hard working software people write lots of bad code.  They excel at it.

Hard working people work.  Lazy people try to think of ways to get out of work.  When you are writing software, it’s best to keep it simple.  Part of keeping it simple is keeping it easy.  Lazy people excel at keeping things easy.

Another way of looking at it is that lazy people think before they work.  They don’t want to start work immediately because odds are they can think of an easier way.  If you tell a hard working person to get the water out of a plugged tub, he will immediately start being productive with whatever is at hand (perhaps even using his hands to scoop out the water).  A lazy person will look around, think about it, then probably run to the store to buy some equipment or perhaps find a hose and figure out how to siphon the water.

image Let’s take a look through history.  Back in the prehistoric times, man hunted and killed with his hands.  Eventually a lazy hunter was born and he said, “This if for the birds.  Wouldn’t it be easier if we used sticks and rocks to make weapons?”

Probably my favorite lazy person was Alexander imageGraham Bell.  He was so lazy he  didn’t want to walk across the road to his neighbor’s house to chat so he invented the telephone so that he wouldn’t have to.

imageHow many inventions that we use today were invented by hard working folks?  I personally have difficulty naming one.  There was the guy who was too lazy to imagesaddle a horse, so he invented the car.  There was the guy who was too lazy to write with a pen so he invented the typewriter.  Thomas Edison got tired of filling the lamp with oil and lighting the wick so he created the light bulb.  You just switch it on and off.  Nearly no work required.

If it weren’t for lazy smart people we’d be nowhere.  Smart lazy people make life easier.  Hard working people aren’t bad in most situations.  Once the smart lazy people makes things as easy as they are intelligently capable, the hard working people can be that much more productive.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Self Evaluation – A Personal Touch

image I went on a cruise in December.  Then, I went on another cruise in February.  This has lead many of my followers to question my love of the “cruise experience”.

I did some soul searching to see if I could perhaps come up with a reasonable explanation for my madness.  I believe I have.  And it’s all about the relaxation.

If you could take a step into the mind of Gar, you’d discover that I’m not nearly as calm and go lucky as my outward appearances might lead you to believe.  I’m a pretty tightly wound individual.

My day to day activities are like playing an intense game of chess.  Every move I make, I’m trying to plan 20 moves in advance.  If I do ‘A’, then he’ll do this, then they might do this, then I might break my arm and end up in the hospital.  If I do ‘B’, then he’ll be out of the equation, but then they may tell me this and I’ll be forced to do this which may take up too much time and interfere with this.  Add a strong sense of empathy and a conscience easily made to feel guilty and you can see the beginnings of the dilemma.

When I talk to people I do the same thing.  I have a hard time listening in conversations because I’m always planning on what I’m going to say next.  I kid you not.  I’ve been to counseling to try and alleviate my fear of being wrong.  I have to plan well ahead for my next statement to prevent any possible errors.  This plays hell with my ability to listen.

When people, including my children, harass me about my apparent, “love for cruises”, this is the best answer I can come up with.  My mind is so pressured with all the “what ifs” and  “maybes” of day to day life that it needs to relax.  And, to date, a cruise is the closest I’ve ever come to complete relaxation.image

They put a card under my cabin door every morning telling me all the activities that are planned for the day.  My biggest decision is choosing whether to have lobster or steak for dinner.    And, to a lesser extent, whether I want the raspberry or strawberry daiquiri.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sheep Go To Heaven

I was once asked, in verbiage almost completely not like this, "Do you think the Libertarian Party will ever make it as one of the major parties in the USA?  Explain your reasoning."

My mind doesn't work like normal people.  I said, "No, because of religion."  We have too many zealots in the good old USA.  Okay, here's the original answer (yes, I was a guest blogger once).

In my continuing random thought patterns, I heard this song today (not for the first time).  But, for some reason today I listened a bit more.  It is a catchy tune.  It occurred to me that this song kind of explains what I was trying to say back on my political rant.  I've since calmed down my political meanderings.

Although I still plan to run for President one day.  I'm hoping to run on the Sarah ticket.  Then, once her 8 years are up, I'll take over.

Oh wait, back to my post.  Here's a song by Cake explaining why the Libertarian party will never make it in the good old USA.  You can fast forward to the last 30 seconds once you get bored.  I'll admit it's a stretch, but if you are creatively random enough, you might just make it.

And I was joking about the President thing.  There's no way Sarah will last 8 years.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Sis Boom Bah

I haven’t written in this thing in over a week.  I was testing out the volume of complaints.  There weren’t any.  Someone did tell me I needed to tell the whole story.  I don’t like talking about other people in my stories because of accidental trouble which it may cause.  I’m going to try to tell mostly the whole story without incriminating anyone.

As many of you know, I went on a cruise to the Bahamas over the weekend.  I actually left last Thursday morning and arrived home Monday evening (for the detail minded folks).

They should allow a different font for useless details.  It would make reading blogs a lot easier.  Of course, there may be several blogs that wouldn’t even get read that way.

My cruise to the Bahamas left out of Jacksonville, Florida.  I had enough “SkyMiles” with Delta that my flight was free.  Delta is affiliated with Alitalia (the Italian airline) so I had lots of miles.  However, Delta goes through Atlanta and Carnival recommends you book your flights to arrive before noon.  My flight was scheduled to leave Dallas at 5:45.

I was up at 3:15 and had a cab reserved to pick me up at 4.  Yellowcab in Dallas is officially on my sh*t list.  I reserved the cab Wednesday evening.  I called at 3:45 Thursday morning and was told that one hadn’t been allotted yet.  Whatever that means.  At 4, this cab driver called and said, “I just got a request to pick you up and I’m about 25 minutes away.”  He proceeded to quiz me on my promise that I’d wait on him if he continued his drive to my house.  I declined the offer to make promises and secured other arrangements.

Everything went well up until the flight from Atlanta to Jacksonville.  The attendant kept saying that the flight was going to be “very full”.  I had to harass him mercilessly.  How can something be “very full”; it’s either full or not.  It can be almost full.  It can even be nearly full.  But how can it be very full?  He was persistent though that the flight was very full.  They still let me on to sit down and occupy space on the very full plane.

The only cruises I’ve taken up until now have been out of Galveston.  For some reason the embarkation process in Jacksonville is much simpler than the embarkation process out of Galveston.  About the same sized ship.  About the same number of people.  I have no idea why the difference.  I’ve spent over an hour trying to get through the embarkation process in Galveston.  I think it may have taken 10 minutes in Jacksonville.

 image In fact, I got onboard so fast that my room wasn’t ready yet.  This encouraged me to go sit out on the Lido deck where my Serbian bartender, Sanja, proceeded to fill my cup with the drink of the day.  Then Eka came by and got me a 4 pack of beer for $2 off.  Ignore my sunglasses.  I don’t know why they weren’t covering my eyes.  Maybe someone hot was taking the picture and I needed a better view?  I also don’t know why I wasn’t offered a picture with Sanja.  She was much better looking than Eka.  By the time the beer was gone, the room was ready.

When the room was ready (at 2 PM), I had already been up for almost 12 hours.  Jacksonville is an hour ahead.  My partying, happy, motivational energy reserves were already starting to dwindle.  I had to be at dinner at 6.

For dinner I had a table with Lisa, Terry and Cathy.  Interestingly enough, Lisa’s birthday was the 11th, mine was the 14th, and Cathy’s was on the 15th.  Three Aquarians and one Cancer all at the same table.  All I remember was a heated discussion about football and trying to utilize enough of my meager football knowledge to fan the flames.  Because that’s what I do.  I fan.  The flames.

On Friday we were in Freeport.  Since it was Lisa’s birthday I agreed to show her around Freeport.  I had obviously never been there before, so I just found the first little rundown BahamaBar I could find and made friends with the Bartenders.  It was the best day of the cruise.  I dubbed my bartender the Queen of the Bahamas and she was quite proud of her title (she’s the one with the camera – she wouldn’t let me take a picture so I had to sneak it).  They turned up the stereo and did happy birthday wishes.  It was called Seaman’s Rest which I thought was an odd name for a bar, but funny in more ways than not.

When we left the bar, I saw this sign in the middle of the grass.  I also found the sign rather amusing.  I don’t know that it is quite as amusing now, but it might be.  It said, “Stay on pavement.  Avoid uneven surface.”  Was it a warning for the bar patrons?  Was it a warning for old people with their walkers?  Now I kind of wished I would have walked across it.  I probably would have broken an ankle.    Why do I obey signs?  I think it’s a curse.

Interestingly, once back onboard the ship, the entire “Lido Deck” had turned into a party zone.  At one point I was innocently sitting at the bar when I decided to go procure a towel.  I left to go get a towel and when I got back there were shots sitting at the bar purchased by someone calling himself one of the five.  There were women in bikinis playing motorboat games.  I decided right then and there that I should have left to procure the towel hours ago.  I was allowed to take pictures, but I’m not comfortable posting them.  I’ll post a couple of the more innocent ones.  Here you can see one of the five brothers ordering two players to drink their shots…
And in this next photo you can see one of the players in action along with one of the five with a sh*t eating encouraging grin.  I might have to put a paypal link for people wanting to see the other photos.  There might be serious money in this.  This is just a small taste of the insanity on the Lido deck on day 2 of the cruise.
And all because I took the time to go get a towel.  It’s like they missed me and were trying to get me to come back.

Day 3 was in Nassau.  It wasn’t nearly as much fun as Day 2.  When we first left, Nassau was supposed to be sunny and 80 degrees.  I think some front came in faster or slower than expected and it turned cloudy and windy.  It still may have hit 72, but I’m not sure.  I just roamed around mindlessly for a bit, had lunch, and went back to the ship.

I did manage to grab a picture of the local McDonald’s.  It’s become something I do.  I don’t know why.  It started in Milan because I thought that McDonald’s had such a unique location.

Day 4 was a “fun day at sea”.  When you sail out of Galveston you always get two days at sea.  From Jacksonville there was only one.  I enjoy the days at sea which is why I’m thinking of taking a 16 day Transatlantic cruise in October.  That’ll be a lot of days at sea.

I met Noel on Day 4.  He and I shared the same birthday.  Both of us being unfortunate enough to be born on Valentine’s day.  I harassed him a bit about being born on Valentine’s day and being named after Christmas.  He said at least he wasn’t Valentino which is what my dad wanted to name me as well so I could see his point.  But then Val might be cooler than Gar.

The debarkation process in Jacksonville is another mystery that must be solved.  When I debark in Galveston, there are about 2000 passengers, 10 department of homeland security officers to check documents and welcome you back in the USA and it takes about 2 hours minimum.

When I debarked in Jacksonville, there were about 2000 passengers, 2 department of homeland security officers to gather the claims documents and it took about 5 minutes.  I kid you not.  I’m still curious how this level of efficiency missed Galveston.

It may have been because it was my birthday.  Maybe that was a gift to me because I was dreading standing in the torturous line of getting my passport and claim form checked.

I ended up having to stay at the Jacksonville airport for 8 hours because of their efficiency (I booked my flight at 5 because of the SkyMiles bit and to allow enough time to get off the boat).  But, I found a little bar and had some breakfast, some lunch and some birthday beer.  A guy down the bar from me shared the same birthday so we discussed how we celebrate our birthdays on the 14th and Valentine’s day on the 15th.  This has the added bonus of allowing us to buy clearance items on the evening of the 14th for those special gluttons for punishment in our lives.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

On Thursday I Cruise

I’ll be going out to cruise the Bahamas on Thursday.  I need to get away from this wacky weather we are having in North Texas.  The Bahamas should be a most pleasant respite.
Tomorrow (that’d be Wednesday), we are supposed to be getting hit by another arctic blast (new codename for “the suck”).  My driveway finally thawed from last week’s 4 days of the suck.  I received a nice little email today with a graph of my cold weather happy dance. 
Actually, it’s not all that accurate.  I’m never as happy as the first picture.  Well, except when I finally get on the cruise ship.

I don’t know where the original came from, but it’s quite clever.  It made me giggle.  Just because I remember sitting at my house last Thursday thinking, “What’s all that noise?  Is the snow caving in my roof?”  I also called a colleague of mine on Wednesday asking if he’d pick me up for work because I couldn’t get out of my driveway.  I don’t remember Friday.
I keep getting these offers (okay, only two), where some strange person will send me an email wanting to ask me a question about a particular post.  I respond back saying, “Ask away!”.  Then they come back with something like, “Yeah, if you’ll modify the paragraph that reads…, and add this line…, with a link to this site…, we’ll give you $10.  Are you interested?  Looking forward to hearing from you!”  I doubt it’s because my blog has suddenly become so popular because it hasn’t.  It must be some sort of new scam.  If one of my previous posts suddenly becomes modified with some random unGarlike verbiage with a strange link, you’ll know I be experimenting with the scammers.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Stir Crazy

My last blogging was on Monday and involved the purchase of a used vehicle for my daughter.

I haven’t blogged since then for 2 reasons:

  1. I’m lazy and uninspired.
  2. It’s freaking cold and everyone and their Durango is talking about it.

imageI haven’t been to work since Monday.  I have everything conveniently setup to work from home.  Ironically, or perhaps coincidentally, or maybe both, the President of the division I work for said a couple of weeks ago that he could not allow anyone to work from home.  “We’re such a small group that we need everyone here.”  It makes sense what he said, but it’s also rather funny.  If I wasn’t setup for working from home, I’d be getting lots of TV watching done instead.  I’m sure he’s more happy that I’m making progress.  I don’t drive in this crap.

However, I don’t particularly like working from home in these circumstances.  This will be the fourth day of being stuck at the house.  Had I know we were going to get half a foot of snow today, I would have skated to the store yesterday.  I’m down to my last box of noodles.  I’m going to suggest everyone in the D/FW Metromess go out and start up their vehicles and let them idle.  Hopefully we can produce some of that global warming that Al Gore promised us.  The meathead.

I’ve lived in Texas for over 40 years and I can’t remember it ever being this bad for this long.  Tomorrow it’s supposed to get above freezing.  Then, on Monday they are predicting another “wintry mix”.  If we all start our engines now, perhaps we can stave off next week’s nasty forecast.

I’ve also decided that God must have no love for Jerry Jones, the tyrannical madman in charge of building that great big ugly eyesore in the middle of Arlington when there is plenty of wide open beautiful farmland within 20 miles.  The mean spirited part of me was kind of hoping the ultra cold prolonged temperatures would play hell with some part of the construction of the stadium that the engineers didn’t plan for.  That would have been cool.

All the poor businesses in the Metromess who were looking forward to all the tourists coming down here and spending money are instead closed down.  That’s got to hurt.  All of Jerry’s boastful record breaking talk may not go to total waste.  It’ll probably be the least amount of money a city has earned from the Super Bowl in like 50 years.

Maybe I should open up a driving service.  Charge people like $1000 bucks to drive them from their hotel in Arlington to Sundance Square in Fort Worth.  If I could find an open store I could probably get some chains for my tires.  Do cabs operate in this mess or do you have people stuck in their hotel rooms?  Room service probably sucks as well. 

I’m done now.  I should probably get started on some work (that I’m not supposed to do from home).