Monthly Archives: August 2004

Where did August go?

Like many others in the blogsphere, my excuse for the lack of posts is a standard one–too busy writing cool software!

So, much has happened around me during the past several weeks. Where do I start?

  • Athens pulled off a great Olympic summer games. I was reminded that I’m getting old on a daily if not hourly basis watching the world’s finest athletes and sportsmen perform. We all wondered about security at the games, and yet there were no security incidents. Me’s basketball got a (much needed!) wake-up call (ref. [1] and [2]). At least they showed some pride in playing well in the bronze medal game. We Americans seem to be fixated on speed. Why is it that the faster the athlete the more likely that arrogance–different than confidence–will be present, often in glaring fashion (e.g. Gary Hall, swimming; various, track & field)? Def. class (n): Michael Phelps gave his relay spot to Ian Crocker so that he could have another chance to win gold, and he then cheered his heart out from the bleachers toward his teammates as they captured the gold medal.
  • Microsoft released Windows XP Service Pack 2. Works for me! Now I can understand Don Box’s HTTP.SYS post (continued) in full color…
  • Microsoft announced some significant changes to its next client operating system known as Longhorn. Others have already commented on the reaction to this news; I’ll simply add that I think these changes are necessary and fortunate for those building on the Windows platform. WinFS is a significant advance that must be done right and not done rushed. Also, there’s no compelling reason to hold up the other pillars, nor is there good reason not to increase their target market. (See also [1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6], [7], [8], [9], [10], [11], [12] and [13].) I agree with Robert Scoble’s observation about how news today propagates using this Microsoft news as a case in point: By the time the first article gets written the story is already being told to thousands of people through these word-of-mouth networks [i.e. blogs].
  • BEA continued to see its executive ranks depart (i.e. Adam Bosworth, Scott Dietzen and Tod Nielsen). (They must be a world of hurt!)
  • I picked up a few new feeds. My blog roll and my OPML file are up-to-date.

More to come…next month! ;-)

Every second counts

It was great to see Lance Armstrong win his sixth Tour last month!

Recently my wife picked up Lance’s second book, Every Second Counts. I’ve read his first book, It’s Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life
, and enjoyed it–felt like I got to know the person not just the sports icon. All told round trip I had a half day to kill in the air traveling to Nashua, NH this week–plus my wife recommended her purchase to me; so, I read Every Second Counts at 34,000 feet. It’s a fairly easy, relatively quick read during which the following points are noted:

  • What it [the Tour de France] teaches is this: pain is temporary. Quitting is forever. Later in the book, Lance details this sentiment in a bit more detail: The real reward for pain is this: self-knowledge. If I quit, however, it would have lasted forever, that surrender, even that smallest act of giving up, would have stayed with me for the duration [of the final mountain stage of the 2000 Tour]. When you feel like quitting, you had to ask yourself which you would rather live with.
  • My illness [cancer] was also my antidote: it cured me of laziness.
  • Cancer survivor Sally Reed: My house is burned down but I can see the sky.
  • Lee Walker: Schedule is how we make out intentions manifest in the world.
  • How you behave in those moments [of loss] can perhaps be more self-defining than winning could ever be. Sometimes losing shows you for who you really are. I also appreciated Kik Armstrong’s perspective on the example a parent sets to his child during a loss–how incredibly important and honorable setting the right example of handling failure graciously is.
  • Kik’s following remark to Lance reminded me that it all too easy for me to get wrapped up in my thing forgetting that my wife has her thing too: Wherever my strength comes from [i.e. Catholic faith], you should be happy for it. Because you rely on me a lot, so you rely on that strength.
  • Spanish: Miramos, esperamos, decidimos, atacamos. English: Let’s see, let’s wait, let’s decide, and then attack.
  • If you want to do something great, you need a strong will and [sustained, focused] attention to detail.
  • A far more difficult test of endurance than a bike race is how you handle the smaller, common circumstances of your days, the more mundane difficulty of trying to make your life work.
  • If you truly invest yourself [i.e. make a longer-term commitment that’s not shallow or ephemeral] in a team, you guarantee yourself a [long-term] return on your investment, and that’s a big competitive advantage over other less-committed teams [i.e. ones that spend themselves rather than investing themselves].
  • The definition of a team is a group of people who share the share aim, experience and values.
  • Anyone who imagines they can work alone winds up surrounded by nothing but rivals, without companions. The fact is, no one ascends alone.

Update 12/1/2008: For more of my book reviews and to see what else is in my book library (i.e. just the business-related or software-related non-fiction therein), please visit my Books page.