Some Father’s Day thoughts

I really don’t think of Father’s Day as most do. Knowing me you’d understand why. I think of it as a day for thanks giving. For those with child and without, who try and leave in a better state what they’ve came to. For those who take responsibility as a blessing and not as a weight. For those willing to mentor and friend those who need it. Guys like that exist. I didn’t think so as a kid. But in adulthood I found out otherwise and have great examples in my life and my daughter’s. And it is truly fantastic.

I am so thankful to be part of the family I am part of. Love you all and have a great day everyone.

(Note, this was originally posted to Facebook and to my friends and family there, apologies for the double post. On my blog I own my words. I should have posted from here first.)

Happy “Half Way Out of the Dark”

That’s the Doctor describing the protagonist in this year’s Doctor Who Christmas special, “A Christmas Carol”, and an apt description for what many feel is the significance of Christmas Eve (and Winter Solstice for that matter). It was a terrific episode (for an in-depth review check out “Behind the Sofa” a great Doctor Who focused blog). If you’re worried about the time-paradox questions it opens up and possible inconsistencies – well it’s Doctor Who – and there have been many such episodes in the past.

Emma had 3 before this, but this year was really her first Christmas and I feel so blessed to be part of providing it in such a crazy, fragile world. It was a fantastic day that culminated in her Grandparents and Uncle and family stopping over for a great dinner. I hope your holiday was as touched by loved ones as mine.

My thoughts go to those who have lost someone whenever I post something like this. We feel our missing loved ones in a real significant way during the holidays. I miss Mom. And for you especially hurting, my thoughts and prayers go out to you.

Speaking of which, let me pass along Howard’s holiday wish because I can hope for nothing greater:

may all our blessings
sow the seeds of compassion
wherever they’ll grow

(BTW – that’s two of his haikus of his I’ve quoted in two months – get over there subscribe, and maybe buy some of his stuff)

Happy Thanksgiving – What I’m Thankful For

I’m thankful to be husband to my sweetheart Richelle and for being a dad to my awesome daughter Emma. Our anniversary is this weekend. Our 11th!

I’m thankful for a family that has grown over the years, that has faced tremendous challenges and difficulties and has become closer. We’re blessed to have one another. Our story is amazing.

I’m thankful for friends who accept me as I am and cheer me on when I need it. I’m thankful to be able to lend an ear. I’m thankful to go on adventures together whether they be building new things or making music, or just being there for one another. I need to hang out more. I’m working on it 🙂

I’m thankful that I can make connections between people and between things and build bridges. It’s something I’ve realized is part of who I am and I am embracing it. It helps to design systems of software. It helps to empower others. Some call it ‘big picture’ thinking. I call it problem solving. Whatever it is – I am thankful.

I’m thankful I’ve found examples of what great parenthood should look like from Richelle’s parents. I love you Mom and Dad.

I’m thankful for the field I work in, on the teams I work in, in the company I work for and especially the people I work with who are unbelievable. Wow. Just wow. Every once and a while I need to pinch myself.

I’m thankful for the programming craft in so many ways. You’ve given me a career and an outlet for my creativity. Hopefully I provide as good feedback to those I work with as those I’ve learned so much from.

I’m thankful for my guitar and the gift of song. If you weren’t there for me when I needed you I’d be in plenty of trouble today.

I’m thankful for my inspirations – many of which are fellow bridge builders in the large. Scientists, engineers, psychologists, teachers, writers, song writers, designers, activists, doctors, journalists, photographers, public servants that work every day to help or share one another and society.

I’m thankful that I am starting to be comfortable public speaking again. I’ll never get rid of the fear – but I’m not bad and just need to practice. Ignite Philly maybe?

Speaking of that I am thankful for the Philadelphia community that has been built over the last decade that is helping to promote the city through the lifting up of one another. Refresh, BarCamp, Ignite Philly, and now TedXPhilly are some great public examples – but it happens every day in message forums, on Twitter and Facebook, at National Mechanics and Indy Hall, in coffee shops and books stores and random interactions every day we have with one another. I love this town.

And speaking of this town – I am thankful for my neighbors, my friends, and to live on a block where people know and trust one another, where kids play together, where we can have a beer and talk about the game with one another.

I’m thankful for mornings and nights. Sunshine and the the city lights and stars.

I’m thankful for coffee, beer and good food.

Pizza. Deserves a mention all by itself.

I’m thankful for early Metallica and Iron Maiden. For Johnny Cash and John Denver. For songs like “The Drugs Don’t Work” and “Pork and Beans” (by Weezer). “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” too. Thank you.

I’m thankful for Jim Henson and the Muppets. Fred Rogers. Sesame Street. Star Wars. Star Blazers. Doctor Who. STOS and STNG. The Simpsons. The Daily Show. Battlestar Galactica. Spider-Man. Buffy the Vampire Slayer seasons 1,2,3,4, 5 and 6.

I’m thankful for “To Kill a Mockingbird”, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”, “Job” and “Psalms”, the New Testament, “The Last Lecture”, “Fahrenheit 451”, “Animal Farm”, and “All I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten”.

I’m thankful for people who believed in me when I couldn’t find a reason to believe in myself. Joe, Pat, Suresh, Steve, my “Moms” at Sears (Paula, Joan, Mary), you know who you are.

I’m thankful for my 6th grade teacher Mr. Crell.

I’m thankful that I have spent my time wisely over the Web’s birth and initial growth. No, I haven’t made millions. But – I’ve made lifelong friends and hopefully have helped a few people along the way.

I’m thankful for my Mom and my childhood. Most scratch their heads at that the more they know about it, and that’s understandable. But it helped give me a roll with the punches outlook. A belief that people can grow and change. To never judge a book by its cover. That we may not be able to determine what cards we are dealt but we can decide how to play them. Life’s not fair. But we can be fair to one another, and be there for one another. It’s our choice. And speaking of choice…

I’m thankful to live in a time where I can point my phone at the sky and have it inform me what the constellations I am looking at, or to have it help me translate languages from across the globe. Where technology can empower us to connect if we choose to do so (like this) and empower us to make a difference – but it comes down to choice doesn’t it? We need to choose wisely. I am thankful for choice.

And last, but not least, I’m thankful for Xena, my puppy. She’s 7 now. I love how she loves Emma and Richelle and life. She reminds me what’s important every day.

Bless you all and Happy Thanksgiving.

Happy 4th of July!

I hope you are having a great 4th of July weekend. Yesterday was a big one here, hanging out with family and friends. The parade was fantastic, and it was capped by one awesome fireworks display. They were lighting off directly above us. Some days I can’t help but feel like the luckiest person in the world, and yesterday was definitely one. Some great memories to keep, including watching Emma have fun with her friends and watching her smile and laugh light up brighter than the fireworks. I just posted part of the display to YouTube: “86 Seconds: July 3rd Rockledge Fireworks”:

I hope you have a safe and great weekend.

Labor Day links Who are the wealth creators?:

Material production is only one of many activities that enrich a society. Public goods like safety and utilities and infrastructure and parks are part of the wealth that we share in common. So are many private goods that sometimes are best provided by the public, like public education and inexpensive healthcare.

By all means, then, let us celebrate virtuous capital owners and visionary investors as “wealth creators” on Labor Day. And let us celebrate as well as the other creators of private wealth, on the assembly line and in the office cubicle and in the janitorial closet, and the creators of public wealth in the form of roads and subways and parks, and the police officers and soldiers without whom a high level of public and private wealth could neither be created nor preserved. There are criminals and parasites among all classes of society, but most of us are wealth creators, and we deserve to be recognized as such. US families turn to food stamps as wages drop

NYTimes: Surge in Homeless Pupils Strains Schools 5 Things You Absolutely Must Know About Homelessness

True Homeless Stories:

(via Susie Madrak)

Hope you had a good Labor Day!

Hope you had a good Memorial Day

We spent Memorial Day Spring cleaning, Emma, Richelle, and now me, dealing with some nasty sniffles and coughs. As the day wound down, Emma’s Grandparents came by for some hamburgers and hot dogs, and I got the opportunity to tell Emma that the day was a holiday for people like her Granddad who served in the military, serving all of us.

NPR: Memorial Day Miracle At ‘The Wall’

NPR: Keeping The Memory Of World War II Veterans Alive

NPR: Memorial Day: Not Just For Barbecue

Why is it that we don’t hold our elected officials – hold ourselves – to ethical codes (if not similar then complimentary) that we honor our military for? Is it because we don’t permit ourselves to share such burden that we are, as Rafe Colburn says, losing our moral compass?