Wednesday, January 31

Inanity T.V.

This recent appetite for broadcasting all things "YOU" has exploded online and on-screen in a sort of visual diarrhea. Little is sacred, including any nobility of man. Wannabes, absurdities and vagaries abound. Profanity, nudity, and depravity ply their trade to you . . . and your kids and grandkids.

This is MySpace on crack, for sure.

So if you want to waste an hour, visit and start browsing some innocuous category. See what you wished you'd missed.

Saturday, January 27

Expert Error

I was happy to hear the little pitter-patter of raindrops falling on the roof this morning before dawn. Just a sprinkling, but enough to keep January from going into the record books a "The driest January ever." It won't lose any weathermen their jobs, but maybe some pay cuts are in order!

We all goof things up at work. The perfect employee has yet to be hired by any company we ever worked for. Enormous amounts of bottom line cash are lost every day due to this imperfection, and business spends millions of dollars trying to prevent it. Quality control, Process Improvement, Total Quality Management, The Deming Philosophy, and the ever-famous craze, ISO 9001 (2000 edition) are samples of a plethora of jargon-filled attempts to achieve the impossible: Eliminating human error.

I led a team of various department representatives in the early 90's that focused on improving our work ticket process. Too many errors were being made when the job was written up. We collected the data from 'process customers' in the shop; we analyzed the data; we identified the culprit areas; we brainstormed improving the process; then we implemented our suggested changes. A 24% error rate was reduced to about 2% to 4% within a short period of time. We were ecstatic; corporate was ecstatic; things were changing!

We enjoyed other process improvement team successes. We reported them to corporate. We got raises. Corporate started pushing for all facilities to become ISO compliant, starting with the largest in Seattle. That was over 10 years ago! We're still on the waiting list for completion here. Someone has been dropping the ball while dealing with the red numbers in the past few years.

Seriously, even with the certification, employees will do things the way they always have unless management is standing there with a clipboard in hand. If there aren't dire consequences for breaking the 'rules' people could care less. The idiot philosophy that everyone wants to do the best job they can is nonsense. Some employees just don't care if they make mistakes. And they certainly won't go the extra mile to communicate, help, and look out for one another.

And do you try to weed these people out? Now we're talking about management! And that's a totally different and unmentionable story.

Friday, January 26

Where's the Rain?

We've set a record here: No rain in the month of January. There are a few more days to go, but the paid experts nix any hope that's floating around out there.

No rain emphasizes the low temperatures. Rain = warmer weather! It's a simple equation that I've never appreciated much before this year.

I took this picture this evening as rain skirts the California coast but refuses to venture inland. These are the frilly edges of this needed storm.

Winter continues.

Sunday, January 14

Cake 28

Yes, it's another birthday for our only favorite and wonderful daughter, Elizabeth. Happy Birthday, sweetheart, but I'm afraid you're not making me feel any younger.

The years are starting to flash by with increased speed as my Bonneville Salt Flats racer passes the 400 mile an hour mark. Still plenty of G-force left to take me to the finish line not too far down this blurring white lake bed.

Sunday, January 7

Life's Greatest Aversion

There's nothing people hate to discuss, admit or even think about more than their own dirty laundry. There are entire people groups that don't even have a word for it. In English, old and new, it is spelled S-I-N, pronounced sin and defined as 'sin'.

Hated or not, it is a really important issue. A life-or-death issue, actually. My understanding of what it is and how it affects me is crucial to my existence. Whatever I may think of its importance or unimportance, I need to know the truth about it and base my opinions accordingly.

Most opinions center on the 'don't-do' list, like don't murder, don't steal, don't lie. But those are only outward symptoms of the disease. There is a far-reaching, deeply rooted core of sin called 'attitude' that is labeled as bad or worse than the outward act of pulling the trigger.

This linked message is almost 50 years old, written in London by a doctor/pastor, D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. He deals with this subject humbly, honestly and boldly.

The Exceeding Sinfulness of Sin

Friday, January 5

Let's Face It

The local children's museum provides the paint and brushes. Imagination plays its part as faces are transformed into all sorts of animals, insects and birds. My generation missed this rather recent phenomenon, having to wait until Halloween or a school play before redesigning our faces. Our 21st century America thinks this (and removable tattoos) should be a regular event and fashion for everyone under the age of 10.

So where am I going with this? Art appreciation? Self-centeredness? Poor self-image? Peer pressure? Love for Grandpa?

Yeah, must be the last one.