Forget what you know

Software development is a field of constant change.  Just because you know how to do something one day doesn't mean that way will always work, or that there won't ever be a better way. So, go ahead.  Throw it all out.  Toss aside everything you think you know.  Well, maybe not all of it.  Just the pieces that are holding you back and preventing you from learning new things.

We sometimes get stuck in doing something that works just because it works and that's the way it's always been done.  I recently saw a comic depicting a teenage girl stranded on a desert island and in the caption she lamented that she was never going to get off the island because she ran out of rocks before she could complete a message of distress on the beach.  She stared, distraught, at the incomplete message at her feet:  #HEL.

It was good for a laugh, but it also illustrates something that happens to all of us.  This poor girl had been taught by example and experience that printed communication…

Dear Mom

Tomorrow is Mother's Day.  Well, for at least some people.  Ever since I served a mission in Mexico I've been trying to promote the concept of Mother's Day on May 10th every year instead of the second Sunday, but so far no luck.  So, for now, we'll celebrate tomorrow.

I've always found the phrase "words cannot describe" to be a little odd.  When you think about it, words are all we really have to describe something.  But in writing about my Mom and what she means to me, I can appreciate the sentiment.  Words alone do not seem adequate, but since they're all I've got I'll try to use some.
First, I'll borrow some words from Joseph Smith:
"We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely,…

What if there were no rhetorical questions?

Take a second and think about the following question.  What if there were no rhetorical questions?  This would then mean that the question itself merits an answer.  It would mean our brains would need to engage in an activity to which most of our brains are not accustomed.  We would need to answer all questions, regardless of how inane or pointless they may seem.  It would certainly challenge the popular belief that there are no stupid questions.  We only say that because we don't believe that all questions deserve an answer, so we can dismiss some of them without any further thought.

So what would happen if every question was meant to be answered?  What would happen if we had to pause and think and come up with an answer?  Play along with me as we go through some of the most famous rhetorical questions to see what would change if we dispensed with the rhetorical.

Q:  What was he thinking?
A:  This is one of my favorite questions that I have always believed is in no way rhetorical.…

When it's okay to have no goals

It's a new year.  I guess that means it's time to set some goals and resolutions for my life.  Or at least for the next couple of weeks, which is how long most of us remember said goals.  Either way it seemed appropriate to share some things that have been on my mind when it comes to goals.

I've never been incredibly skilled at setting goals.  I tend to either set them impossibly high, which defeats the purpose, or unnecessarily low, which also defeats the purpose.  I realize the potential of goals to help us stretch ourselves to grow and improve, I'm just really bad at finding the right balance between shooting for the moon and hitting the cowpie right in front of me.  So I've done some pondering thinking about what it means to have goals.

I think in it's simplest form a goal is something we want; a desired outcome that carries with it an set of actions necessary to be acheived.  Most of us are really good at defining the outcome but really bad at figuring out…

Dear Meghan Trainor

On my way home from work today the song "Dear Future Husband" by Meghan Trainor came on the radio.  As a nearly 40-year-old man I'm not normally one to like teenage pop music.  In fact, I only happened to catch it because I was channel surfing during the commercial break on the sports talk radio show I normally listen to, but I  stopped to listen because I liked the sound.  It reminded me a lot of the Mavelette's classic "Please Mr. Postman".  But then I heard the lyrics.

My first thought was that the song should really have been called "Dear Future Ex-husband".  As I listened to the demands she was making of any man wishing to earn her love I was convinced that anyone brave/foolish enough to try and have a meaningful relationship that was so obviously one-sided would eventually (likely fairly quickly) buckle under the pressure and run for the hills.

     Don't forget the flowers every anniversary

     After every fight just apologize.....even i…

Tunnels - The light at the end and the darkness within

Even as I sit down to write I'm not sure what I want to say.  I've gone back and forth about how I want to describe my life over the past few weeks and what angle I want to show.  This blog is about living your life every day and finding the connections to the gospel and spiritual things but I've really struggled putting my thoughts together on this one.  In part it's because I'm still in the middle of the things I'll describe later and I don't have a happy ending a wrapped up in a neat little moral-of-the-story, but it's also because I'm not sure how much of what's happened I'm ready to share with the Internet.  So I'm just going to start writing and we'll see where this thing goes.

Let's rewind the tape to a couple of weeks ago.  It was a day like most others, only this one somehow turned out different.  It started like most other days-wake up, eat breakfast with my daughter, watch cartoons while getting ready for work/school. …

Mike Pargeter, My Hero

I hope Mike is okay with me using his name in my blog.  I don't really have a way to confirm because I've never actually met Mike.  I don't know what he looks like, where he lives, or his favorite color.  I don't know really anything about him other than the fact that he saved my life, in a very figurative sense.  Mike, just like me was a guy with a problem.  The particulars of the problem are not important.  What matters is that Mike was somehow able to solve his problem and what makes Mike my hero is that he posted his solution in his blog on the Internet.  (Those interested in the gory details of my issue can visit Mike's blog.  Don't say I didn't warn you though).

This is not an uncommon situation for computer nerds.  Often when we run into a problem the first place we turn is Google.  I've often told people who ask me what I do for work that I'm a professional Googler.  The amount of information at our fingertips is amazing and between Google a…