Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Check out this interview with Joel Spolsky on software development etc. Here's the money quote:

Basically a small company has a flavor to it, whereas a big company is sort of like checking into the Bellagio in Las Vegas. It's a nice hotel but it has 5,000 rooms, so don't expect anybody to remember your name. A small company is more like a bed and breakfast. You're going to have a great time because you get along with people and it's a much friendlier experience. You don't really mind that the bathroom is down the hall because the people made a special vegetarian meal for you and then showed you around town. On the other hand, you might be at a bed and breakfast where they have weird leather implements and lots of cats.
Having worked at both large and small companies, I think this is a pretty good summary.
Phew, what a relief! :-) Actually this is a pretty neat quiz.

You scored as Roman Catholic, You are Roman Catholic. Church tradition and ecclesial authority are hugely important, and the most important part of worship for you is mass. As the Mother of God, Mary is important in your theology, and as the communion of saints includes the living and the dead, you can also ask the saints to intercede for you.

Roman Catholic


Neo orthodox


Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan






Classical Liberal


Modern Liberal


Reformed Evangelical




created with

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Yay! I just got my tickets for the UA-BYU game next Saturday (game + tailgate party). I'm really looking forward to a little road trip! I'm hoping to get out of town midday Friday (although I have a hell of a lot of work to do, so maybe a bit dicey); drive to Boise or so Friday, then the rest of the way to Provo Saturday a.m. to get there by 1 p.m.

Sunday I'm hoping to go to Mass at the Cathedral in Salt Lake -- it's supposed to be beautiful; followed by skating on one of the Olympic size rinks there, then start heading home at a more leisurely pace. Should be fun and I hope to take lots of pictures!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

A couple of articles worth noting ... first, a rather length article on Mother Teresa's Crisis of Faith. Apparently Blessed Teresa went through a very protracted and painful period of aridity. It's not surprising, I suppose, that people view this so differently. People of faith see it as a testament that she was able to be faithful in spite of such pain and hardship, and people of no faith see it as some kind of self-delusion.

For myself I'm in the first camp. I think God probably did this to keep her from becoming proud and arrogant. It reminds me of St. Teresa of Avila's lament about how God treats his friends.

The second article is Astronomers puzzled by cosmic black hole[sic]. It's not really a black hole (i.e. a gravitational singularity), rather it's a vast expanse of... nothing. Fascinating stuff, really.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Just a quick update.... last week my dad and stepmom were visiting, so we had some time to hang out etc., including dinner with my aunt and cousin and her daughter. It was fun.

I decided to go ahead and use some of my more-available time to join the choir here at work (yes, Intel is so large there's a choir at the Jones Farm campus!). Went to my first rehearsal last Wed., it was not bad. Rehearsals are just for 1.5 hours at lunchtime on Wednesdays.

Today was my first day back at Pilates. I had dropped it for the summer since I was swamped doing sabbatical coverage for one of my coworkers, but now that that's over I was back.... wow, am I out of shape! I'm sore. Due to choir practice (see above) I'm only going to be able to go 2x a week. It will have to do.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Like a lot of people, I suppose, I've been reading a lot of coverage of the I-35W bridge collapse. I was struck by how a lot of chances made the impact far better than it otherwise might have been. For example:
  • It took place in daylight. Can you imagine how much worse it would have been in the dark? Rescuers would not have been able to see, people would have been more scared, there would have been huge panic.
  • It took place in the summertime. If it had been winter how many people would have survived the freezing cold water, not to mention if the bridge surface had been slick from ice?
  • Some lanes of the bridge were closed. That meant that there were fewer cars on the bridge than there otherwise would have been, and that they were going far slower.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

I've been watching some of the coverage of the horrific bridge collapse in the Twin Cities. It's truly horrible. I remember going over that bridge on one of my visits.

I have to say in looking at the damage that it's hard to image it not being some kind of deliberate act considering the fact that more than one span fell. On the other hand if it were Al Quaeda et al I'm sure a) they'd have taken credit already and b) it would have been a bit flashier. Hard to say.

Update: Actually, after looking at some film again, I think what happened is that the center span fell, and then the two towers were unbalanced (it was a cantilevered structure), and so without the weight of the center span the other spans fell in.
Hey, this is cool! There's now a podcast of the daily Mass readings! Check it out.