Happy 40th Richelle!

It’s a shame that the world has no idea who Ludwig van Beethoven wrote this letter of love letter to. ludwigletterBut it did give a perfect expression of the kind of love we share. One that has endured much, so many stormy and calm days in the great sea, and one focused on the truly important, in the here and now, expanding my heart at the awesomeness of it all. Emma and me are so blessed to be part of the family we are part of. She loves you as deeply as I do, and her bond is even more powerful. You wonder why we sometimes get these cocky grins on our faces? It’s because we know something that the rest of the world doesn’t get. Maybe like old Ludwig did. But we want the world to know. I love you Richelle. 

My ever thine. May you ever be mine. And the life we live ever ours.

(Note, this was originally posted to my private Facebook account and upon reflection, realize it really should be here)

For more on the letter, check out Letters of Note’s post on “Immortal Beloved“.

Dancing with Cinderella

Our family dentist, a father, saw me yesterday for a cavity. Earlier this week he had given my daughter a checkup. I told him about a dance night at her school that I was getting ready for. He suggested dancing to a song which I had never heard. I just listened to it and yeah, I’m sitting here crying while writing this.

So here is the song on YouTube, by Steven Curtis Chapman, “Cinderella”:

Life Lessons from Programming: Check your assumptions

Jon Udell wrote a short piece that resonated with me on taking a principle from software engineering and applying it to discourse and relationships: “Check your assumptions”.

He takes the idea that when debugging, you should:

Focus on understanding why the program is doing what it’s doing, rather than why it’s not doing what you wanted it to.

And translating that to:

Focus on understanding why your spouse or child or friend or political adversary is doing what he or she is doing, rather than why he or she is not doing what you wanted him or her to.

That flips your behavior from one that is trying to modify someone else’s behavior to someone that is listening actively.

Pretty profound.

What other examples of this to think about?

New Year, New Beginnings

We’re almost at the start of a new year and saying it is a great time to reflect is such a cliche. But cliches have a great deal of truth to them, that’s why they persist.

I wanted to post the following for those entering the new year, and might be wondering, what’s next, what should I do, or what is my place.

Rahul Bijlani: “You Are Not Running Out of Time or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Began Enjoying Infinity”:

Ironically, when I started to cross some of my own personal benchmarks, I discovered that something was very wrong – I kept moving the goalposts.

I think I have the ultimate business plan, and nobody is running out of time any time soon.

Bill Watterson: “Kenyon College Commencement”:

Creating a life that reflects your values and satisfies your soul is a rare achievement. In a culture that relentlessly promotes avarice and excess as the good life, a person happy doing his own work is usually considered an eccentric, if not a subversive.

Roz Duffy: “here and now”:

So if I said the other day to just show up, today I’m suggesting (mostly to myself), enjoy the present moment. Take it all in, look at it, laugh at it, and just be all up in it.

NYTimes: Tara Parker-Poke: “Laws of Physics Can’t Trump the Bonds of Love”:

“There is something a lot greater than energy. There’s something a lot greater than entropy. What’s the greatest thing?”

YouTube: zefrank: “An Invocation for Beginnings”:

Greg Laden: “Is Python The New Basic?”

Greg Laden recently posted some thoughts about “Python for Kids”, a book by Jason Briggs. Recently I discovered the turtle module, which is heavily used in the book, is included in the standard Python distribution when I tripped upon a tutorial at the Open Book Project. I’m going to have to buy the book and give it a try with Emma.

New Book: “Super Scratch Programming Adventure!”

I recently read about no starch press’s “Super Scratch Programming Adventure!” from a post at boingboing and had to purchase a copy. The book looks as terrific in person as it does in the discussion at boingboing. My daughter was happy to see the book when it came in the mail. I’m looking forward to starting to read it with her and try some of its projects. Check it out.

David Remnick’s profile of Springsteen at sixty-two a meditation on age and passion

New Yorker: David Remnick: We Are Alive: Bruce Springsteen at sixty-two:

“You are isolated, yet you desire to talk to somebody,” Springsteen said. “You are very disempowered, so you seek impact, recognition that you are alive and that you exist. We hope to send people out of the building we play in with a slightly more enhanced sense of what their options might be, emotionally, maybe communally. You empower them a little bit, they empower you. It’s all a battle against the futility and the existential loneliness! It may be that we are all huddled together around the fire and trying to fight off that sense of the inevitable. That’s what we do for one another.”

Dawn Sanders Jordan: “Everything will be completely up from here”

Daniel Rubin wrote about Dawn Sanders Jordan last week and I wanted to leave a post here, because someday I’m going to have to meet or write her. Go Dawn, Go!.

Katherine Goldstein “fell in love with a computer nerd and ended up marrying a rock star”

I loved reading Katherine Goldstein’s story at Salon about her marriage to Travis Morrison, and the surprise different world she became part of:

As a kid, I imagined many things for my life. Marrying a rock star was not one of them. I appreciate and enjoy music, but have no passionate or fanatical interest in it. I don’t know any obscure bands and can’t talk knowledgeably about any artist’s “catalog.” I don’t particularly like going to see live music that much—it’s too loud, and I get too tired….

I started dating Travis Morrison, a computer programmer who worked at my company in early 2010. We got to know each other through chatting at the lunch table. We were the only people in our small office who regularly brought in food from home. I had the vaguest recollection that I had heard from a colleague he had been in some kind of famous band, but I didn’t really know the details..

Make sure to read the rest of the story.

There is little in the world that can compare

There is little in the world that can compare to hearing the voice of my daughter and wife in the next room singing some Taylor Swift while blowing hair dry.