Monday, June 30, 2008

Business Stress

Many moons ago, I vaguely discussed some things I was doing for my new business on my blog and one of our advisers (a local Angel Investor). Quickly came back to us and said no one can breathe a word about your company until you launch! (He'd set up a Google Alert on the name of the company.) Since then I've been pretty close mouthed. Mostly talking about the affects of working 10-12 hours a day six days a week, rather than what's causing me to work 10-12 hours. Unfortunately I'm still basically under a gag order, so I won't be getting into any specifics even today, that said here's what's going on.

We got some really good news recently. Something which could turn out to be the best opportunity for the business we've had yet. The problem is that, as you can imagine with great opportunity comes great cost. To counter balance that we've reached a "good place" with our fund-raising, the problem is that we really expected to reach this specific "good place" six to eight months ago, which means that it's almost too late for it to be good news anymore... When you combine all these factor's we're basically balanced on a knife's edge. On the one hand things could very easily go incredibly well, better than we thought. On the other hand the risk of the smoke clearing and having nothing to show for my time but a mountain of debt is also high (or in any case a lot higher than I would like, i.e. > 0).

The idea of finding your raison d'etre, of chasing your dreams, of daring big so that you can win big is a relatively recent phenomenon I think. At least in the arena of your career. Oh sure, it was not entirely unknown, but certainly this concept that everyone should be able to chase their dreams did not exist during the Great Depression or the World Wars, in fact it is probably something which only started gaining traction in the 80's. Of course I am a child of the 80's, so this idea has a particular hold in my psyche. But I'm a realist and I understand that not all dreams come true, and so the question of how deep I should dig myself is something I'm acutely aware of. Do I throw everything I have at the business, to adapt a phrase by George Bernard Shaw, does a true entrepreneur let his wife starve, his children go barefoot, his mother drudge for his living at seventy, sooner than work at anything but his business?

Or do I pick a point and say I won't risk everything? If I get to the point where I start running a balance on my credit cards that's too much? Obviously a substantial majority of people think nothing of carrying a credit card balance, so I would think that my ambitions or worth at least that much risk. So, yeah, I suspect that the point is somewhere between those two extremes, but if anything that makes it more difficult. Because it means in addition to everything else I have to continue thinking about that question, and as long as I don't know the answer how am I going to know when I'm past the point? Any wisdom would be appreciated...

How soon can I put my kids to work in the local factory?

Friday, June 27, 2008

New Blizzard Title

Not sure how many Blizzard fans I have out there, but they've announced that this weekend they're going to be announcing a new title. Given how colossal all of their previous titles have been (Perhaps you've heard of a little title called World of Warcraft). This is definitely newsworthy. Word on the street is that it will be Diablo III. Given how much I enjoyed I and II, I'd definitely be exited if a Diablo III was in the works. But as I think about it, I think if it were entirely up to me my first choice would be some completely new IP, not Diablo, not Starcraft, not Warcraft, something wholly new. I think of all the potential announcements that's the least likely, but I'm not giving up hope until I see something official on the Blizzard site. Diablo III would be my second choice, some kind of MMO would be third choice, either a "World of Starcraft" or a "World of Diablo". Some kind of re-announcement of Starcraft Ghost would be last place and frankly piss me off.

I'm tough but fair

Thursday, June 26, 2008


So obviously one of the big worries when I quit the normal 9-5 existence was where I would get healthcare. I wasn't too worried because my partners have another company and that company has healthcare through a Professional Employer Organization. Basically an business that aggregates a bunch of small businesses together and takes care of their payroll, healthcare, etc. and makes money off the economy of scale. But of course trying to make money off healthcare is fraught with peril and so the PEO has all sorts of rules to mitigate their risk. One of the rules is that you have to be employed for 90 days before they'll start your health coverage. So the question was what to do for those 90 days. I could do COBRA at $1000+ a month or they offered a transitional health care company I could take advantage of called SelectHealth.

The idea of transitional healthcare is interesting. Essentially they say we're only going to cover you for a maximum of six months, and since our exposure is relatively low (assuming you're not already dying of cancer or something like that). We can give you a really good rate. I think we ended up paying just shy of $300 a month, obviously a much better deal than COBRA. So the plan was to start the coverage on the 15th of the month and end it on the 15th of the month so that I had some overlap between the end of my old insurance and the start of the new insurance (which was set to begin on the 1st of June).

They were happy to bill me for a half a month and get me started on the 15th, but when it came time to cancel on the 15th they pointed to the fine print which said that you can only cancel at the end of the month. So in other words they were happy to take my money for only half a month but giving it back for a half a month was something they wouldn't do. What's also interesting is that they also say that they won't cover you if you have another insurance. So since my other insurance started on the 1st they're technically charging me for doing nothing.

I talked to four different people and I think that, initially at least I was firm, but polite. However when talking to the last person, someone in accounting, who told me that maybe she could find someone to help me "understand things better" I snapped. I told her that I understood just fine that they were taking my money without giving me anything for it, and that they were fine pro-rating things when I was giving them money, but somehow were completely unable to do it when the situation was reversed. I ended by saying that she could "take my money and choke on it", then I hung up.

Later I felt bad for the "choke on it" remark. And there's some part of me that wants to continue to pursue things. But the amount of money is small enough that it's probably not a good use of my time, which may be the most galling thing of all. But anyway, so it goes.

Peter Hook is a criminally under-rated bassist

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Late Night

You ever have one of those situations where you say to yourself, "I'll definitely finish this on Monday." And then of course then you say, "Well I didn't finish it on Monday, but I'll definitely wrap it up on Tuesday." And then of course it's 2 am Wednesday morning and you're still trying to finish it, under the rationalization that it's not Wednesday until you go to bed. Well that's what happened last night. Fortunately I got it all done, which as you well know, it really doesn't matter how late you stay up as long as you finish the job.

Of course part of the problem with working really hard on one day, is that on the day after not only are you to tired to really work, but you feel like you need a break after working so hard the previous day. So that's sort of the state I'm in. We'll see how much I actually get done.

Burning both ends of the rainbow

Monday, June 23, 2008


Yesterday we were driving home from my parents house in Ogden. We could see driving up that the traffic going the other direction was bad, but it seemed the worst right around my parents house. You can see the freeway from the house (they live up on the hill) and it looked pretty good, so we decided to risk it rather than go the long way around. Well traffic was pretty good, so good that we figured whatever it was must have been past. Not so... It had just somehow moved much farther south. Other than the time a couple of weeks ago where we weren't moving at all (but were fortunately very close to the front) this was the worst traffic jam I'd ever been in.

As bad as it was I figured that the freeway eventually had to drop down to a single lane. And I kept waiting for the lanes to closed but we drove forever without losing a lane, expecting to finally see what was causing the problems around every corner. Finally after being stuck going 5 miles an hour for about 45 minutes we arrived at the problem. It was a hole. An incredibly large hole by the standards of potholes, but quite small by the standards of construction. I wanna say it was about a 15 foot square, and it basically just took up the middle lane. There was quite a bit of construction equipment in the area, so it was obviously part of some ongoing work, though there were no workmen around. Farther down the freeway there was some more construction and at that site there were actually some people working.

So here's what really annoys me. It seems that with something that small that they could have figured out some way to let people drive over it. Something that would have taken a fraction of the time that people wasted being stuck in traffic having to drive around it. Now I realize that comparing man-hours spent on construction vs. man hours wasted driving around constructions is often pointless, but in this particular case the scale of the comparison seems so egregious that I positive something could have been done... If 10,000 people (and that's really on the low side) wasted the same amount of time we did that's 7,500 hours. Even if you assume an outrageous conversion factor of 100 to 1 (that it's worth paying the construction people for an hour if it can save 100 hours for a commuter). That's 75 hours which basically means a 10 man crew working an entire day. But looking at it, I doubt it would have taken even that much. Ridiculous...

As you might be able to tell I'm still mad

Friday, June 20, 2008


I haven't been quite as good with Wii Fit recently. Which is to say that I skipped it yesterday (though I still did a body test) and a couple of times I've only done 20 minutes of exercise (which is supposedly the minimum time to get a benefit) rather than 30. Which means, and I'm sure you're all surprised by this, that even WiiFit requires some effort to use regularly. I certainly haven't given up, and I'm going to keep at it, so I'll keep you posted.

In other Wii news apparently you're going to be able to use your wiimotes to have lightsaber duels in a new Star Wars game. Now that has the potential to be very cool.

Short and sweet

Thursday, June 19, 2008


For those in my family GSL stands for "Great Salt Lake Minerals and Chemicals Corporation" (they only used the first three words in the acronym). It's a solar pond mining operation that my dad and later my sister worked for. But in this post GSL stands for Game System License, the replacement to the OGL associated with 4E. The OGL was what allowed to exist. So before you whine about another D&D post remember that this topic is precisely what the blog's original purpose was. Plus this isn't so much of a D&D post, but rather a legal post with some marketing analysis thrown in. I know that doesn't actually increase it's palatability, but whatcha gonna do?

There's lots of argument back and forth about whether the GSL is a reasonable license for a third party who wants to publish 4E books. And rather than try to examine the totality of the license I'm just going to look at one section:

11.4 Injunctive Relief. Licensee acknowledges and agrees that noncompliance with the terms of this License may cause irreparable injury to Wizards for which Wizards will not have an adequate remedy at law, and that Wizards will therefore be entitled to apply to a court for extraordinary relief, including temporary restraining orders, preliminary injunctions, permanent injunctions, or decrees of specific performance, without necessity of posting bond or security. The existence of these rights will not preclude Wizards from pursuing any other rights and remedies at law or in equity that Wizards may have, including recovery of damages, and each and every remedy will be cumulative and in addition to every other remedy provided hereunder or available at law or in equity. Licensee will be responsible for all legal costs, including Wizards’ attorneys’ fees, associated with any action required by Wizards to enforce the terms of this License.

Okay I realize that's just a big glob of legal text. But the important bit is the last sentence. When someone says that one party is responsible for ALL LEGAL COSTS including the opposite parties attorney fees that's a pretty big red flag. A red flag without even considering the other parts under extraordinary relief (decree of specific performance? Without posting a bond?) Now if the rest of the contract was clear and left no room for ambiguity then perhaps it would still be okay. But there's clauses on Content Standards (excessively graphic violence and gore) a Right of Review, a weird backward conversion clause, etc. The point being that if Wizards/Hasbro wanted to initiate legal action there's all sorts of open ended clauses in the contract which would allow them to do it pretty easily, and then get the licensee to pay all their legal costs.

What this means is that any larger companies which are profitable without 4E are probably not going to go anywhere near it, because they've just left themselves fairly wide open to being put out of business should Hasbro decide to be a jerk. Which leaves smaller companies which have nothing to lose as the major target for the GSL. I guess that's kind of good if you're just starting out that you're not going to have to compete with Necromancer or Green Ronin, but it doesn't make much sense from the perspective of Wizards. I always thought one of the great things about D20 and the OGL is that you had all this material which fed the core D&D line. Now I do think that the OGL was perhaps to open (from Wizards perspective) since I doubt that True20 and Spycraft and Iron Heroes and the Pathfinder System are quite what they had in mind, but under the current system they're basically encouraging all of the larger companies to compete with them. In fact they've made it so onerous that they've probably actively pissed some of their competitors off.

Another effect of having only smaller companies sign-on is that they risk having only low quality stuff, which is another thing that doesn't seem to help Wizards very much. It's to a point where I honestly wonder if they realized that the wording of the GSL would have the effect of making it so only really small, single person level operations signed on. Of course maybe it won't, I haven't heard anything specific about which company is jumping on board. I think all the current players are still evaluating things, but this is my prediction, we'll have to see if it comes to pass.

Oh, and would not have been possible under the GSL

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


The other day I was talking to a friend of mine about Polyphasic Sleep, which has always intrigued me. I'm pretty sure that I couldn't do the hard-core 45 minutes of sleep every four hours like some people. But the idea of sleeping less at night and then taking a siesta everyday definitely appeals to me. And now that I'm working for myself I could actually do it. Though I realized this morning as I was thinking about it that it will be even easier to do once school starts since beginning this year all of the kids will be in school (afternoon kindergarten for the youngest).

One of the questions is whether I should just nap at the office or whether I should go home. Home is only a few minutes away so it's not like it's a big trip, but I do find that if I can lay down the instant I recognize that I'm getting sleepy that I can fall right to sleep, and I do have a pad and a pillow here (though to be fair they could be more comfortable...)

Anyway I'll let you know how it goes. I'm not completely convinced that I'm going to do it, I think I have to figure out the logistics of it first, and of course talk to the wife about it. But if Winston Churchill swore by it then I think that's good enough for me.

I could use a nap right now in fact

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


I liked seeing the nice round number so I let it sit at 400 for awhile, but I'm back. Other than it finally getting hot, not much has happened. The Netherlands advanced to the quarterfinals today with a win over Romania (they were going to advance regardless, but the win over Romania gives them the best record of the group stage.) In other sporting news Columbia announced that they are going to be title sponser for the former High Road team. I had heard of the High Road Team because that's who Hincapie is riding for these days, but I didn't know anything else. Well it turns out that they're the old T-Mobile team.

It's interesting that they're going to the Tour and Astana isn't. This is even more proof that the Tour is punishing the sponsers (a really bone-headed move IMHO) since if anything T-Mobile's doping problems are just as recent. And there's still riders, management, etc. left over from that team, whereas the same could not be said of Astana... But whatever, it will be nice to have Hincapie and Michael Rogers at the tour.

I've mentioned before how much I dislike the heat. This afternoon, though, though seemed particularly bad. I was wearing a wool suit because I had a wedding to go to. And I think we're out of freon in the van because the AC just wasn't that cold. I guess I'll have to get it in. The heat also means that I need to start watering my lawn. I know I should have started a week ago if not more, but despite my suv-driving, damn the environment exterior, I really don't like wasting water...

I was hot and I was hungry...

Friday, June 13, 2008

400th Post

I was going to post yesterday, but when I looked and discovered that it was my 400th post on Blogger, and I didn't have anything really spectacular to write about I decided that I'd better wait. It's good that I did because all sorts of interesting things have happened. I don't consider myself much of a sports guy. I certainly think that even if you add in the hours I spend watching the Tour that I'm still significantly below average in terms of hours of sports watched per year for your average male. Still I enjoy a good game, and I have a few teams that I like to do well (or poorly).

One of those teams is certainly the Dutch National Football team. And I'm happy to report that beating Italy was not a fluke that they crushed France 4-1 earlier today. Which means they definitely advance out of their group regardless of what happens, and probably have to be considered the team to watch in the elimination rounds. And if you don't watch Soccer you don't know what you're missing, I've only seen the highlights, but if they're anything to go by it was a beautiful game.

I'm sure that, like me, with Euro 2008 going that you have a hard time remember that there's this little thing called the NBA Finals going on. The Lakers went into the series heavy favorites, that combined with the fact that they're one of the teams I like to lose made me an instant Celtics fan. I checked the score at the half last night and the Celtics were getting creamed. Of course since I didn't decide to watch it, they staged the biggest rally in the post-shot clock era and won it. Which means the series is 3-1, with two of the three remaining games in Boston. Doesn't look good for Kobe. You can imagine how broken up I am.

And of course last but not least the Cubs are doing amazing as well. They've got the best record in the major league, and even though we haven't even hit the All Star break yet, it seems hard to imagine that they won't make the playoffs. I guess after 100 years they had to get it right eventually. There's a long way to go, and I think most Cubs fans don't even dare hope for a World Series victory. but if it doesn't happen this year it's hard to imagine when they'll have a better shot at it.

Finally, on a more somber note, Tim Russert died today at the age of 58. I guess when you watch someone every Sunday Morning year after year you can't help but start to consider him at least a passing acquaintance if not a friend. A friend with occasionally misguided opinions, but still... And 58 is just too young. It's going to be weird without him. I'm trying to think if I ever saw "Meet the Press" with a guest moderator during Russert's tenure. I must have, but I can't remember it. Hopefully this isn't too early to ask the question, who are they going to replace him with? The only person who comes to mind is Chris Wallace (who did it once before), but he's got a pretty sweet setup over on Fox, he may not take the job even if they offered it.

Now if only Levi could win the Dauphine

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


One of the great things about the kids being out of school and me having a more flexible schedule is that we can do things at of peak times. So today for example we went and saw the 12:20 showing of "Prince Caspian". It was pretty good, though I'll tell you that going in I wasn't that excited. (To be candid I really wanted to see Kung Fu Panda.) I'm not sure why precisely. Perhaps because I already knew the story? Perhaps having gone so long without any good fantasy movies now that I have them I don't know what to do with them?

In any case it was solid, and had some surprisingly emotional bits, but like I said it didn't really overwhelm me. I am glad to see that it did well enough at the box office that they'll almost certainly keep making them. There are many books which shouldn't be made into movies which nevertheless are and many books which should be made into movies that aren't. It's good to see the occasional adaptation that's deserved.

Other than that the day was pretty boring. Just lots of work, which I'd better get back to.

Mea navis aëricumbens anguillis abundat

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


My wife actually got after me for posting about Soccer when I haven't said anything about Cycling yet this year. Well the cycling season is in full swing, the Dauphine Libre is going on right now, and the great American cyclist, George Hincapie, won today's stage. Alberto Contador, winner of the Tour de France last year, won the Giro. If you haven't been following things you may wonder why the heck someone hoping to compete strongly in the Tour would even race the Giro. Well Team Astana, the team that Contador (and Leipheimer and Bruyneel) moved to after Tailwind disbanded (i.e. the Discovery Team and before that US Postal), was banned from the Tour for the "damage caused by this team to the Tour de France and cycling in general, both in 2006 and 2007".

I got to tell you, not having Contador or Leipheimer there has cooled my ardor for the Tour. Not enough that I won't watch it, but it has taken some of the shine off of it. Particularly since the decision by the Tour seems kind of weird? Here's what Bruyneel said:

We have done everything to change the dynamics of the team. New management, new riders, new philosophy. Only the name of the sponsor remained. We are spending €460,000 or $671,000 on internal anti-doping efforts for 2008. What more can we do?

Assuming that's true, and I assume it is, since all of those claims (with the exception perhaps of "new philosophy") are pretty easy to check. Then the decision would almost be viewed as punishing the sponsors. Which seems like the last thing you'd want to do in Cycling. As far as I can tell, the sponsors are so far removed from the team operation and the individual cyclists that they're very unlikely to be in any way complicit in the doping. And without sponsorships cycling just doesn't work as a sport. Which means you've punished the people who are the least likely to have been involved in damaging the sport and most likely to keep it alive...

I guess the silver lining in all this is that Contador did win the Giro, and he plans on racing the Vuelta which means he could join the really elite club of cyclists who've won all three grand tours... Even Armstrong can't say that. With Contador and some other favorites out of the running Cadel Evans is the favorite. I wouldn't mind seeing him win. I've liked him ever since I saw him in his breakthrough performance in the Giro.

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Euro 2008

Last night I was at an event and someone said, well we have to get home to see the game. And the first thing I thought was that the Germany-Poland match had to be over already, so what game could they be talking about... Well obviously they were talking about the NBA Finals, and I'm happy to say that the Celtics are up two games to none Yes, I know I'm closer geographically to the Lakers, but I'm not even sure what a Laker is, while on the other hand I definitely know what a Celt is, and I'm positive I've quite a bit of that in me. Anyway enough about the NBA finals on to Euro 2008.

Well given the fact that I lived there for two years the obvious choice for me to root for is The Netherlands. Going in, it was looking a little bit dicey for them, despite the fact that they're always one of the best teams in the world. They have a lot of amazing players, but they apparently just weren't quite gelling as a team. Plus they were in the "Group of Death" with Italy and France (and Romania, but I think it was those three that made it the "Group of Death"). Fortunately this morning France and Romania drew and while I've been writing this, Netherlands just scored a third goal to go up 3-0 against Italy with less than five minutes left (in other words it's over). So instead of having problems with the group after the first day they're comfortably on top having racked up a ton of goals and vanquished one of the other two competitors. At this point if they can beat Romania they'll almost certainly make it through to the next round.

What's interesting about this particular European Cup is that the birthplace of the game, England, didn't make it. Besides the fact that this is pretty unprecedented, it leaves the English needing someone to cheer for. As it turns out they also picked The Netherlands. Perhaps it was the additional boost of getting the English "Football Hooligans" on their side that really pushed them over the top in the crucial first game. Hopefully that will take them all the way to the championship. Now that would be pretty cool.

Hup Holland! Oranje Boven - Ole, Ole, Ole!

Friday, June 06, 2008

Crime and D&D

So I went down to the FLGS for the midnight release. I waited until 11:30 to go down and that was still probably too early. It was a handful of desultory regulars. Not much of a "party" but so it goes. When I first walked in one of the customers was having an in depth discussion with the owner about the history behind Vampire the Masquerade. (A live action role-playing game where you take on the role of a Vampire. I don't go anywhere near it.) They were discussing how many antediluvians there were (13 if you're curious) and whether they were Cain's grandsons or great-grandsons. Fascinating stuff, to be sure.

Still it was good I went down otherwise I would have missed the excitement. There were a couple of young kids there (say between 19-21, and yes it makes me feel old that that's where the "young kid" mark is for me now). Well of course being shiftless gaming geeks they didn't have a car so they had to take TRAX home, but the last TRAX train came at 11:41 which meant that they'd either have to walk home, convince the shopkeeper to let them take the books 20 minutes early or go without. Well they actually jokingly said that they were going to grab a copy and make a run for it. I guess I should correct that, I thought they were joking, but they weren't. So when the time came where they had to leave they grabbed a boxed set and took off.

I should mention that they had pre-paid for this boxed set, so it wasn't theft in the classic sense. But you wouldn't know that to look at the owner. He went ape-shit. (excuse my french) He sent one of the other regulars who was a security guard (a 300 lb security guard, but I try not to judge...) after them. The dude actually squealed his tires... Well he caught up with them at the TRAX stop, and managed to get the books back. When he returned, he relayed that the kids wanted their money back. The whole time this was going on the Owner was ranting about how much trouble he could get into if the books left his store before Midnight, and how it was stealing and he could call the police.

Now I think the kids could have been smoother about it, and the store owner claimed that, maybe, if they had talked to him... (A claim I doubt.) He might have figured something out. But by the end, to be honest I was kind of on the kid's side. If the owner thinks the Wizards would really care that the books left his store at 11:40 rather than 12:00 or that anyone would care, I think he's delusional. There is a certain sub-species of nerd that gets really worked up about strict obedience to the law. I'm not quite sure of the process for how it happens, or why it should afflict geeks disproportionately, but I've met a lot of them who are just absolutely inflexible on the tiniest rules.

Anyway I don't know, I mean obviously it was a bone-headed move to just grab the books and run. But I think the cops would have been very amused or very annoyed had they actually been called in on it.

Still reading, I'll give you my capsule review later

Thursday, June 05, 2008


I first heard that they were coming out with a new edition of D&D back at GenCon in August (if history is any guide it was probably on my wedding anniversary). Since then it's been nearly 10 months of anticipation. But tonight is the night. The FLGS is having a midnight release party and I'm going to be there. Today was the kids last day of school, so I don't have to get up early. Which means I may stay up late reading the books. I often say that's what I'm going to do, but in reality I'm old and I get tired pretty easy. I'll probably end up just coming straight home as soon as I have the books and going to bed. But we'll see. I'm trying to remember what I did when the last Harry Potter came out. I'm pretty sure I didn't start reading it until the next day, but in that situation there's not a huge benefit from reading only part of the book, the same can not be said of the D&D books.

Two days ago my sister called me up. She mentioned that she and her husband were planning on going out for their anniversary on Wednesday but that they couldn't find a baby sitter. So they'd called my wife and she'd told them that she would be at a rehearsal, but that she was welcome to call me. So she did. I figured, well I'm going to be home anyway with my kids, so I guess I might as well take two more... Of course I forgot that she had just had a baby, so it was actually three. I almost backed out when she corrected my mistake, but I'd already sort of mentally made the commitment, so I went ahead with it.

I grew up in a family with 7 kids, and let me tell you even so I didn't realize how much of a pain it is to be the lone adult with 7 kids 11 and under... The big problem is that the baby doesn't like women. I know, weird. So as soon as I left the room to order some pizza (that was the big concession I got out of my sister, that they would pay for pizza) and left her alone with my wife she started crying. Once she started she basically didn't stop. There were a couple of times when she was mostly calm, but they didn't last that long. I guess once she was spooked she wasn't going to easily calm down. The real trial was getting everyone dinner. Even without a sad baby the logistics of getting everyone set up with everything they needed for dinner. My oldest daughter wasn't home yet, which actually made it more difficult since she could have helped me with all the young kids. In any case I met my stated goal of not having to take any of the kids to the hospital so I feel good.

Increasingly glad I stopped at 4

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Back from SF

Sorry for the gap in the blog postings. I left last Thursday to go see my friend Ed get ordained as a Catholic Priest (in the Dominican Order). I got back Monday afternoon, but I ended up spending most of the remaining time with my family, and yesterday was completely consumed with trying to get back on top of all the things I had fallen behind on. The ordination was very interesting, particularly since I'm not Catholic. I asked a ton of questions. I was particularly curious about the different garments, so much so that that subject was eventually ruled off limits for further questions. ("You know where there's some great info, Wikipedia... Now stop asking!")

I turns out that a reasonably large percentage of people who start the path towards becoming a priest eventually decide it's not for them. Fourteen people started at the same time as Ed and only 6 made it all the way to the end (it does take 8 years). One of the guys who'd dropped out (at year four) was back to see his former classmates get ordained, and I hung out with him quite a bit. It turns out that even if you drop out, if you later decide that you made a mistake you can come back, and that in fact there was one guy who had done it twice. Somehow this whole idea translated into the subconscious idea that it was easy to join and leave the program. As a result I had something of a nightmare while I was there.

I dreamed that I had joined the program, but I intended to only join it for a week, but I was still married, with kids, and I was still not Catholic. But no one seemed to understand that I only intended to be there for a week, and they were asking me to do all these things I had no idea how to do. The nightmare part was this feeling of "Crap, what have I done! What ever made me thing this was a good idea. My wife is going to kill me." And thoughts of those nature.

Anyway I met a lot of really cool people. I had a good time. It was all very interesting, but I am glad to be back.

I particularly like the "Sign of Peace" portion of the liturgy, but I'm glad that they don't kiss anymore.