Thursday, May 07, 2009

How to be awesome like me

-- a whimsical manual, in blog format
I've been toying around with this idea for a while now of a sort of self-help book.  It will mix the ideas of how to succeed as nonconformist in the corporate world without making people hate you, which I have gotten really good at over the years, and how to write pragmatic code, non-buggy code in the shortest time possible, which I have also gotten pretty good at.  I have no real direction of where the book should go, or if I should write it at all, or if I should turn it into a blog that I'll update whenever the mood strikes me and play the rest by ear.  I'm not sure yet if I'm going to actually start the blog or not, because, well, it's pretentious. Even by my standards.
Here's a sample paragraph from what would have been the first entry, where I'm introducing the concept of the proper way to object to things to improve your position.  The concept is, like many of my thoughts on life, stolen directly from a movie.  In this case, Kevin Pollak tells us to "object once to get it on the record" in "A Few Good Men" (the one with Tom Cruise, not the gay porno, which Wikipedia assures me exists, but with which I am otherwise unfamiliar - in this case, I could not handle the truth, not at all).  Anyway, here is said paragraph:

In no instance is throwing a big fit useful to anyone, least of all yourself.  Through life you will constantly be exposed to setbacks, and affected by bad decisions other people make.  Whether you just lose your cool and behave harsher than you would if you were calm, or if you do it deliberately to try to browbeat people into doing what you want, or maybe just because you like being an ass or making people afraid of you, no matter what reason, it's the wrong thing to do.  It's wrong not because it's not flowery and happy and can't-we-just-get-along, it's wrong because it's sub-optimal.
A lot of what I have to say so far in the book/blog centers on the idea of improving your "position" and the optimal way to do that in different situations.  It's a cute idea that, after much reflection, seems to have merit, but it remains to be seen if the idea makes a good enough meme to make me famous or start my own Hubbard-esque religion.
In other news, the whole affair with Scout's daycare has added a lot of stress to her parents, but I'm finding it remarkably freeing.  I've disciplined myself to not splurge at lunch like I always do, and I've rolled $13.50 in pennies over the last couple weeks, reducing my change jar to 39 cents.  I've cut back on caffeine, like I try to do from time to time, and we're eating together as a family more.  Most importantly, I've refrained from feeling deserving or entitled because of the money I'm forking over, a win in my constant battle with hubris and snobbery.
Stacey's soccer team just had their first tie yesterday, giving us an even record of 3-3-1 with three games left in the season.  All of our forwards were playing kind of wild, which I think we can correct with a little pregame strategy session.  Also, I think all our wins correspond to warmer weather.  I think we should change our mascot from "The Inferno" to something with a more reptilian theme.  The Sleestack, perhaps.
Lastly, my library reservation for the audiobook version of Malcolm Gladwell's "Outliers" finally came in!  I've been listening to that in the car for the last couple of days, and it is both awesome and shocking. It gives me pause when I think about publishing a guide on how to succeed at anything, because I think I may be coming at it from the wrong angle


  1. Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

  2. Hey thanks, anonymous. Most of your comments are pretty spammy, but this was good.