Whorled View

May 19, 2014

And … we’re back.

Filed under: Uncategorized — lullabyman @ 4:32 pm

It’s been 5 years since my last post.  I have a few things to say.  Stay tuned.

… bah! I changed my mind.  MYOB … for now.


February 2, 2009

It’s been real

Filed under: Uncategorized — lullabyman @ 1:24 pm

A dozen years ago I worked for Hyundai Semiconductor America (now Hynix) as a Process Integration Engineer.  I was the token American in our department of 4, put in charge of Parametric Testing in a brand new facility in Oregon where I managed all the equipment installation, programming, and the day-to-day operations and troubleshooting for the testing of the company’s product.  Another guy in our department managed the product introduction (although I did all the training though for the new operators for the factory).  I have no idea what the other 2 guys did except for stare at excel spreadsheets to look busy.  It was an interesting experience, on many levels.  The company was run as a Korean company, so there were a tremendous number of nuances within the business that were completely new to me.

It was a challenge.  It was a challenge for all of the Americans engineers there.  When I started (as the facility was being built) I made many friends both American and Korean but after 4 years nearly all of the Americans had left (except in the QA department, who was run by an American woman, which was so potentially litigious and personally frightening for them that they bent over backwards to make it worth her while to stay).  I kept on far longer than most of my fellow-countrymen hoping that the management be true to their word and Americanize, but it was not to be.  In the end I ended up also leaving a company that started out with 60% American engineering and management, and ended up with around 20% American participation in those roles due solely to attrition.

As a sign off I sent out an email to many people I knew there, which I regret a little bit now in retrospect because it was perhaps unnecessary and because there there was a few who still believed the dream … that one day you could advance in that company without having to participate in some of the Korean traditions which were incompatible with my personal values and are just plain bad for business.  But it was an honest message coming from one who’d made a huge contribution and who felt very dissatisfied with the reaction.  It really burned me out and I started my next job exhausted, very disillusioned and quite unhappy with my career.  I sent this:

“It’s been real, and it’s been fun …. and well, you know the rest”

The traditional adage, of course, is “It’s been real, and it’s been fun … but it hasn’t been real fun”.

That’s kind of how my blog has been.  It started out many years ago as an effort to express some ideas in a more cogent manner than speaking with friends and family who couldn’t care less or might be offended by an opinion different than their own, that perhaps it might find an audience that could build on those ideas or at least appreciate some part of them.

That’s different than what most blogs tend to be today, and that’s okay.  I really didn’t intend this blog to be a reflection on me … rather just a very small collection of some of my observations, but as I’ve come to learn ’tis human to classify others, and as a result perhaps this effort has made me even less understood by my peers though I don’t really know.

I like what blogs have become though … no longer someone’s effort to forward or support some political, social or scientific ideas, but rather a means for family members and close friends to interact about their personal lives.  It evolution has allowed me to participate more in some way with the lives of my family and friends from far away, or nearby.

I still also like to read the blogs that strive to be a lone voice speaking up against an unending torrent of heavily biased popular media with it’s all-too-simplistic and predictable portrayal of world events.  I guess I’m just a little tired of doing it myself and with the mass proliferation of blogs now such an effort almost seems completely wasted and ignored unless combined with the efforts of other bloggers into something with a daily punch.  It wasn’t always that way.

I, in fact deeply respect and applaud those who use their blog for such purposes.  We humans are after-all far more than just a collections of cliques floating through space sharing all the gooey goodness that makes our unique clique so good and comfortable, while ignoring the inter-clique problems or letting others with other visions or ideals shape the future of our own world.  Blogs that try to understand and solve the bigger picture problems tell me that the author is totally sincere about their own life and that they’re honestly concerned about their fellowman and the world around them, regardless of what their actual opinion is.

I hope they carry on the torch … and especially those who don’t tout the party line of the mainstream media since we live in such a lopsided world today.  I thought the internet was supposed to fix that.  Well, it hasn’t and in some ways has made it worse … the commercialization of the net has drowned out those voices with big money and powerful news and opinion oriented portals, increasingly visited by gullible net-surfers who are  increasingly lazy with their news gathering efforts, while the movement of dissenting opinions from traditional news sources have left those sources bereft of any sense of balance.

That said, if I did do another blog entry I’d call it Faux Hunting, exploring how popular it has become to foolishly deride and despise the only professional dissenting voice among public media despite what you might think about it (or maybe I’d call it “shooting the messenger”), with the very president of our United States stooping to new lows of immaturity and insecurity to become one of the worst offenders in this arena.  Whatever happened to the good-natured adage past presidents had of their detractors when they said “Thank heavens for free speech”?  Instead our executive government is rallying up an invisible force of anonymous supporters to make a list of critics under the misleading banner of “identifying misinformation” … a euphemistically put tactic employed by community activists to dignify their otherwise dubious credentials while debasing their detractors.  But I’ll leave that issue for others to tackle.  I’m disgusted and I’m done until I can figure out a more effective way to dissent.

Maybe someday I’ll join the corps of dissenting voices again, though I doubt it any time soon.  Or … maybe I’ll start up another blog at some time with a different audience in mind … like my family and personal friends, sharing stuff I really value on a very personal level but that would probably be password protected.

Thanks so much to those who’ve commented and taken the time to let my blatherings bounce off you.  You’ve been too kind.

For more blogging goodness, please check out my wife’s excellent blog: Sunshiney Soul (which is geared more toward our family which friends and family will enjoy more anyway) or the fantastic blog done by her and my sisters: Bossy.


December 1, 2008

The Dalai Lama: At odds with marriage & family

I read somethings today that the Dalai Lama said that really highlighted what a clueless mindset comes from living like a hermit-king.  I’m not quite sure why the Dalai Lama is regarded as a great sage of wisdom but I wonder if another reason the media worships him (while disparaging the original pacifist, Jesus Christ) is because of his anti-marriage and anti-family message.

The only people I know who honestly think [celibacy] is “better” than marriage because marriage involves sex, are embittered losers who have a purely self-gratifying interpretation of human sexuality.

Similarly, only self-absorbed people who are clueless about human intimacy would think that “[attachment] towards your children, towards your partner,” is “one of the obstacle or hindrance of peace of mind”.

The Dalai Lama said both of these things though … and nonetheless it seems he gets more respect and reverence today than any other religious leader dead or alive.

Now, I’ll admit when you have kids that seem to be doing everything you’ve taught them not to do, including screaming and crying over practically nothing while in your face is anything but peaceful, but “peaceful surroundings” is entirely different than “peace of mind”.

For example, the times I had the least peace of mind were times when I was most detached from commitments and relationships around me like when I was nearly 30, still single, and trying to figure out where I fit in the world.  What’s more, I’ve never felt more peace of mind than when in a committed interdependent relationship with whom I could share everything, despite the fact that I was overwhelmed with far more commitments than I’d ever had.  Peaceful surroundings is not peace of mind.

At first glance, this wouldn’t seem like an issue worth tackling: the fact that the Dalai Lama says marriages and family attachments prevent peace of mind, as I’m happy to leave people to believe anything so long as it leads them to do good (Matt 7:16), but I’m convinced this idea forwarded by the Dalai Lama is one of the most destructive ideas ever.

The mere idea that the family unit is bad, or at least the idea that it has some harmful effects for society, especially with regard to peace is ludicrous and should be loudly repudiated.

What’s even more disturbing to me is that this idea seems to be one of the fastest growing doctrines of men today.  It’s growing quickly and becoming wildly popular to deride the traditional family unit and family oriented policies.

Calling family commitments the enemy to peace of mind and contributing elements to murder and suicide (both assertions of the Dalai Lama) is remarkably clueless.  It’s akin to calling religion the root of all the atrocities of mankind.

You’ve heard that, we all have, that religion is bad because terrorists kill in the name of God, or that the “Holy Wars” were done in the name of Christianity.  The argument is so absurd as to mock reason, and yet seemingly intelligent people make it, completely disregarding the fact that murder and violence is almost unanimously condemned in all mainstream religions, and that hypocrisy is a reflection on the soul of the hypocrite, not the religion which is corrupted in the process, and that people will justify the same atrocities by any vehicle they can find be it a tradition, political philosophy, or just plain old prejudice.

Now we see those same kinds of irrational arguments being promoted by the media to disparage traditional families and traditional marriage, with the Dalai Lama as thier prophet.

November 8, 2008

Christians owe Obama a Debt of Gratitude?

At least in this one thing … the jury’s still out for what he may do in the future.

Thanks for my awesome cousin for nailing this one on the head … I just had to agree with her:  There were far more powerful forces at work in defending traditional marriage in California than the simple 2% of the population comprised by Mormons.  It seems we should be thanking the 70% of African Americans who voted this time for Prop 8 , 40% more than voted in 2004.

If you believe in the sanctity of marriage … that it’s far more than a social tool, but a sacred institution … and that it’s the only sacred institution that is and should continue to be promoted by the government of our nation, then you owe Obama a debt of gratitude.

Ironically, you can thank Slate (liberal rag) for originally pointing this out.

While violent same-sex proponents target LDS people and LDS buildings for hate speech and vandalism, LDS people only make up 2% of California, while 70% of all African Americans voted for the proposition.  Slate does a bad job of showing just how much a difference Obama made so let me make it more clear:  The black community swung the Prop 8 vote by 7% (10% of the vote was African American * 70% voted yes), 40% of that swing came from additional black voters over 2004 numbers as they were energized by Obama.  That means Obama personally swung the vote by at least 2.8% (7% * 40%), or by 5.6 points (2.8% *2).

In other words, if Obama had not run for president and if he had not stood against same-sex marriage conservative estimates are that Prop 8 would have lost by a 1.6 point margin (4-5.6=1.6) if not more.  Why do I say “if not more”?  Because we don’t know how many of the other 60% of black voters were influenced by Barrack making a stand against same-sex marriage.  The above number assumes that his position had no effect on the African Americans who voted in 2004, but it’s likely that it did.  Say if only 30% were influenced by his anti-same-sex position that would have swung the vote by at least another 2 points (0.3*5.6/0.4).

And yet gay activists disparage and vandalize the property of LDS people and the LDS church who only make up 2% of the entirely California population.  What’s more, there were quite a few LDS people against Prop 8 (our home-teacher, who used to be a bishop and is still a prominent authority in the church is one of them).  In otherwords, all the LDS who voted for it would not have sufficiently swung the election.

I don’t know if it has anything to do with the fact that the Gay community seems to focus more on liberal arts than in math and science, but it seems these criminals can’t do math when they decide whom they’ll attack to show their disatisfaction with democracy.

October 8, 2008

Tagged by Robin

Filed under: Uncategorized — lullabyman @ 9:55 pm

My beautiful sister Robin tagged me.  She’s amazing.  She and I used to take turns getting into the food closet to eat all the canned peaches at night, and then blaming Kristen when the empty jar was discovered the next day.   Mom knew it was either Robin or me anyway and would just give us a guilt trip until one of us would confess.

We pretty much did everything together until I became gross – which happened when I was about 7 years old.  As I understand it all boys become gross around 7 years old, especially to older sisters when they get around 9 years old.  As a teenager she was the big sister with all the beautiful girl friends who would have been way out of my league if I was their age, and was nice to me anyway.  In front of other people too!

Anyway I’ve been tagged so…

Ten years ago I:
1) Told Melissa I was finally ready for kids (she was ready from day one).
2) Started my 4th engineering job within 7 years.
3) Went on a grueling 18 mi moutain bike trip in the Rockies
4) Found a new renter for our house in Utah which was STILL on the market after 3 years and would remain so for another 3 years.
5) Called as EQ president, after which I went through 5 counselors in the 1st year.

Things on my ToDo list:
1) Make a ToDo list of things I actually want to do
2) Get rid of that junker in the driveway
3) Finally put the wallboard molding I bought 6 years ago and found last week.
4) Fix Melissa’s 9 month old B-day present (an ipod car stereo) that worked right only once
5) Buy a new motor for the lawnmower … again.

Snacks I enjoy:
1) Chex mix.
2) Mixed nuts.
3) Deep Fried dough. “Fry me some dough, man!”
4) Green olives
5) pretty much anything with lots of sodium and nitrates.  My goal is to pickle myself before I die of old age.

Things I would do if I were a Millionaire:

1) Buy everything in Home Depot.
2) Buy everything at Circuit City.
3) Pay someone to assemble and install all the above things
4) Buy a Tesla Roadster.
5) Buy a big Yacht with a short bald skipper who’d let me pat him on the head, who’d sail me and my family around the world as we’d create our own GPS based interactive tour guide of the best places in the world which we’d then turn around and sell the keep that money coming and coming.

Places I have lived:
1) Almost everywhere I ever wanted to live.
2) Dozens of places in Idaho – some of the most beautiful in fact.
3) Western States: Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado
4) non-western states: Maryland, Michigan, Delaware
5) overseas: Berlin Germany, Seoul Korea

Jobs I have had:
1) As a kid: Paper route, selling candles door to door, assembling hot-tub eye-ball jets one summer for Grandpa S, assembling titrator instruments one summer for Grandpa A
2) Interns: Statistical analysis at a Molybdenum Mine in the middle of the Idaho Sawtooths, Heat transfer analysis at an Engineering firm in Spokane WA
3) Semiconductor Engineer: Micron, Nat. Semi., Hyundai, Atmel
4) Solar PV manufacturing: Astropower, Newark DE
5) Self Employment: Kionetics Interactive Solutions, SolarNow Consulting

Which brings me to who I want to tag.  Someone who’s patiently borne the brunt of my insatiable need for career evolution: my wife, Melissa.

Line art of the most beautiful, patient, kind, thoughtful, generous and smart woman in the world.

September 18, 2008

In 2030 Japan will have the most powerful WMD, and in Space

I’ve previously posted about space based Solar Power, which converts sunlight into ludicrous-power lasers that are beamed back to earth.  We’ll, Japan is serious about doing it:


Now, of course, this is intended to be a technology to save the planet (it’s solar power for heaven’s sake), but will require little to no effort to instantly start using it to selectrively fry whole neighborhoods without any warning and with breathtaking accuracy.

It seems this is a technology we should be working on – if only to safegaurd ourselves against others with this ability.  Remember Japan is still the only country which attacked us on our soil in the 20th century.  They’re utterly peaceful now, but that’s not stopping them from building the world’s first Star Wars technology death ray.

Here’s the amazing thing … by thier own admission it will cost much more per MW than conventional earth-based Solar plans so is there an alterior motivation here?  Let’s just hope that Iran doesn’t start building one of these.

There is one good thing about having a geostationary death-ray, though.  They are easy to shoot down (provided that you send enough bombs it’s way to make the death-ray too weak to defend itself).

July 14, 2008

9 Troops Killed – How many soldiers is that?!

Check out the definition of a Troop:


Notice something strange?  With 14 possible definitions, every single definition indicates that a troop is more than one person.  So how many people died when 9 troops are killed?  Well, let see if the minimum for a troop is 2 soldiers (and more likely 4 to 50), then with 9 troops killed that’s at least 18 soldiers, or more likely 36 to 450 soldiers … right?


Apparently when you’re the one who gets to create the news you can redefine words at your whim and fancy to mislead, confuse, and persuade.  In this case, whenever the mainstream media talks about “troops” being killed, it seems that according to the media a troop is one soldier.  That’s right.  One soldier.  So apparently if you’re in the news corp you can refer to Private Smith as Troop Smith (kind of like Trooper Smith except that “Trooper” sounds like only one person, and that’s not really what the media is going for).  Now, Troop Smith, is in my meager understanding a Troop of multiple Smiths, but then I’m just a regular guy who just reads dictionaries.  What do I know?  I’m not the all-knowing media.

Also when you own the media you’re allowed to ignore existing and more suitable words that the ones you redefine or make up, especially if they don’t serve your purpose.  You can, for example, ignore the word “Soldier” which, like “Trooper”, sounds like only one person.  That’s not good if you want 9 Soldiers to sound like even more than what they already are.

Someone correct me if I’m wrong – but 9 soldier deaths (as horrible as they are), is mathematically far far less than 18 soldier deaths , or (what fits the definition more closely) anywhere from 36 to 450 soldier deaths, which has a lot of shock value.

Just something to think about next time you read X-many troops killed.  Don’t be fooled by the mainstream media.  Instead, just get out your dictionary and a pen and write in there after definition number 14:

15) troop – what the msm likes to call one soldier when they want the number to sound really large.

July 7, 2008

Tagged – part 2

Filed under: Uncategorized — lullabyman @ 6:42 pm

4) I married way above myself.

5) Just because I don’t blog about something doesn’t mean it isn’t important to me. Case in point: my kids are at the core of my life.  Don’t let my blog fool you … I started this blog a few years ago simply to satisfy my social and political conscience, doing so under the obnoxious presumption that a bunch of people who don’t even know me (and couldn’t care less about my kids) would want to read it.  It seemed a better idea than wasting time arguing in forums connected to opinion pieces where nobody gets any respect.  The world would probably be a better place if I just stayed quiet, but I can’t.

That said, I do however love to read blogs from friends and family about them and their kids.  Melissa, my wife, does that at sunshineysoul.blogspot.com, and does an awesome job, as do most of my family members (see the links at www.lindasnook.com).  In fact, with my widely disparate interests I’ve thought about doing several different blogs – one on www.beliefnet.com , another on www.popsci.com or sciencenews.org, another on www.treehugger.com, and another on www.townhall.org and maybe a private one which I’d make available to family and close friends.  Yeah, right … like I have the time.

6)  If I’m not allowed to develop creative solutions on a regular basis I get very restless and dissatisfied with whatever it is that I’m doing. I see this as a weakness rather than as a strength, and I greatly admire those who have the discipline to stick with important but mundane details (like honing in a process, making sales calls, or doing accounting) even though it’s mind-crushingly boring and often seems hopelessly futile.  Staying interested in something and having the discipline to completing an important yet boring task or project are skills I’m currently working on and it’s a daily struggle for me.  Fortunately owning my own business gives me the option to branch out to new areas when this happens, but I find myself missing out on some opportunities simply because I don’t find them interesting – and that’s something I regret.

7) I’m loathe to either buy replacement things or pay someone to repair stuff for me, and as a result I try to fix everything. Melissa has been kind enough to say I can fix anything, but the truth is I fix only about half of the things I try to fix, and I ruin the other half.  Those things I fix I often spend far more time on it than the time-value equation justifies.  That said, I do love fixing something that either ends up saving me lots of money in the long run, or provides us with a better product than what any amount of money can buy.  Stay tuned for my “pimp my push mower” post to see what I mean.

8 ) For long-sleeve shirts I wear Perry Ellis “Portfolio” exclusively. I don’t know why shirt manufacturers think this but they seem to be of the conclusion that if your neck size isn’t that big (I have about a 16 neck) then your shoulders are pretty much non-existent.  I’m not sure why they make that assumption, but it just makes being a pencil-necked geek that much more emasculating.  I think their logic must go something like this: small neck = completely shoulder-less wimp.  Anyway, Perry Ellis Portfolio shirts are roomier in the shoulders, which is great when you’re an otherwise pencil-neck geek like me.

So there it is … 8 things that will make absolutely no difference in your life.  I can now be satisfied that I’ve permanently embedded this largely useless info in some of your precious brain cells that could have otherwise solved life’s most perplexing questions.  Your welcome! 🙂

July 2, 2008

I’ve been tagged – part 1

Filed under: Uncategorized — lullabyman @ 12:54 pm

Apparently this means I have to tell you 8 things about myself.  I don’t have time to do 8 all in one sitting … so here’s three for now:

1) FACT:  I pretty much know everything.  No, not just in the sense that I act like a know-it-all … In fact I do the opposite. I act like an imbecile so people won’t be afraid that I really know everything.  It’s puts them at ease.  Of course that has the negative side effect of everyone thinking I’m a complete moron [insert pic here of me looking like I always do].  So if you thought I was an imbecile … now you know the truth: it’s all an act.

Truth be known, I really just know “most everything” (instead of “everything”), but I round it up to “everything” since it’s so close.  At least I really think that I know everything, as opposed to those know-it-all posers who just pretend that they know everything in order to mask some deep-seated insecurities.

I probably shouldn’t admit this, because from now-on whenever I’m acting like I don’t know something you’ll naturally conclude that I’m really just playing my own little sick private joke as I condescend to all you “know-it-less” people.

But like I said I’m just trying to put you at ease, out of the kindness of my heart.  You know … trying to be nice to all stupid people who don’t really know everything, but just know lots of things.  People like Plank, Einstein, Ken Jennings you know … all those other supposedly “smart people”.  That’s why sometimes I misspell things and use poor sentence constructs … it’s just to put you at ease and think, “Hey … he’s a normal guy with weaknesses too, just like the rest of us”.  In truth I’m not.  It’s just that I want to put all you “know-it-less” people at ease.

2) I procrastinate. I’ve been meaning to tell you about this for some time now.

3) I have scars of stupidity all over my body. Some of them have faded over the years, but they’re still there.  Like the time I missed that piece of wood with that ax at my childhood friend’s house, and embedded the ax head into my leg.

Okay “embedded” might be an embellishment, but it hurt.  It hurt a lot.  Then there was the time I was showing off for some girl who’s family was visiting ours … I jumped from the mid-way landing to our downstairs landing – hitting my head on the ceiling edge and ended up with a dozen stitches.  She was not impressed.

Then there was the time I decided to make a wooden knife with my pocket knife.  I don’t know why some kids do this, but they do.  I mean … here’s a steel bladed knife  that’s capable of taking down a bear, but instead they use it to make a dull wooden knife that’s about as sharp as a spoon.  Why?  Anyway, I practically cut my thumb off.  That was 32 years ago and I still have a scar that goes halfway around my thumb.

Then there was that time I was using my dad’s off-limits table saw in order build a rocket-ship to go to the moon … you guessed it – I jammed the end of my thumb into the spinning flesh-hungry blade.  That hurt too.  A lot.  Lot’s of stitches.

There were other scars I received in those 2 years, but the point is that I still do it – the table saw incident I repeated a couple years ago.  Same thumb, same type of saw, different project.  That thumb is now about 1/4 shorter now.

January 15, 2008

Iraq … 2018 and we’re still there?

Filed under: Uncategorized — lullabyman @ 7:11 pm

In my last blog entry I said that if we hope to leave a country that won’t implode into a terrorist state then we need to give Iraq as long as we had to create and ratify a constitution. The year I gave was 2016, based solely on how long it took our Founding Fathers to do the same thing, but under much more amenable circumstances.

Today the New York Times is running a story where Iraq also is saying that they will need help until at least 2018. At least with the borders. They will be able to completely take over the internal security by 2012, which is where most of our efforts are currently.

The truth is that border security will be a nice walk in the park compared to what we’re doing now. I know there are a lot of people who think until 2012 is outrageous, but what’s truly outrageous is that we thought we could get away with anything less when we walked into this hornet’s nest to stir things up.

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