Demotivators. You'll have to indulge me here. I wo…

Demotivators. You’ll have to indulge me here. I worked in high tech corporations for twenty-five years, and spent my share of time suffering through team-building exercises, employee surveys, and other events designed to inspire me to work harder. And I had to walk past enough of those annoying, saccharine motivational posters. So when I got a catalog in the mail today from Despair, Inc., with their latest demotivational posters, I pored over it—and laughed and laughed.

Runners up:

Indifference: It takes 43 muscles to frown and 17 to smile, but it doesn’t take any to just sit there with a dumb look on your face.

Procrastination: Hard work often pays off after time, but laziness always pays off now.

Demotivation: Sometimes the best solution to morale problems is just to fire all the unhappy people.

Consulting: If you’re not a part of the solution, there’s good money to be made in prolonging the problem.

Idiocy: Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

Mistakes: It could be the purpose of your life is only to serve as a warning to others.

Third place:

Ineptitude: If you can’t learn to do something well, learn to enjoy doing it poorly.

Second Place

Motivation: If a pretty poster and a cute saying are all it takes to motivate you, you probably have a very easy job. The kind robots will be doing soon.

First Place

Meetings: None of us is as dumb as all of us.

Grand prize winner:

Get to Work: You’re not being paid to believe in the power of your dreams.

Road Trip. We'd been wanting to get another look a…

Road Trip. We’d been wanting to get another look at the building where we’ll be holding our feast in two weeks, so Monday morning we piled everyone into the Suburban and drove out to Natural Tunnel State Park. This fall has been especially pleasant, and the driving was cool and sunny, with lots of fall colors to enjoy along the way.

I’m happy we have the Suburban, although I doubt that I’ll ever be fond of it. For someone who has been spoiled by many years of driving small, nimble, and quiet Japanese cars, it is enormous, unwieldy, and loud. Very loud; there’s a low-frequency rumble from the engine that would probably drive me nuts during a long day’s drive. But it is also powerful, comfortable, and spacious, which makes it just the vehicle we need right now.

Oh, it also stinks. The previous owners were smokers, and after a major round of rug-shampooing and surface scrubbing the smell is now barely tolerable. We’re not sure what else can be done at this point.

TV. Last week Chris and I made our first televisio…

TV. Last week Chris and I made our first television appearance. The program is called “Bluegrass in the Mountains”, and it airs weekly on a cable channel in the Norton/Big Stone Gap area, near the Kentucky border. It’s a modest operation, filmed with a video camera much like mine and no fancy sound equipment—the way the Basement Tapes would be done if they were on video.

It’s a half-hour program, and once you subtract time for commercials and other short segments there are about fifteen menutes left for the musical performance. We sang three songs (Kentucky Girl, Since My Sweet Love Ain’t Around, and Girl at the Crossroads Bar), chatted a bit with the host, and the whole thing was done in less than an hour. The second best part was how much the host and the cameraman appeared to enjoy our playing. The best part, at least in Chris’ opinion, was that we ate supper afterwards at a Japanese restaurant that had caught Chris’ eye as we drove into town.

Democracy in action. Mickey Kaus provides some use…

Democracy in action. Mickey Kaus provides some useful numbers:

It seems like only weeks ago that opponents of the California recall were complaining that a successor to Governor Davis could win with only a ‘tiny minority’ of the vote. It’s worth noting that, in the event, not only did successor Arnold Schwarzenegger get more votes (3,744,132) than Davis (3,562,487), he also got more votes than Davis got in November, 2002 (3,469,025) when Davis won reelection. … Almost a million more people (4,416, 280) voted to recall Davis than voted to reelect him last year.

Possibly helpful tip. If you ever need to do a pho…

Possibly helpful tip. If you ever need to do a phone interview, use a speakerphone and set an audio recorder next to it. I recorded a conversation this afternoon, and now I can go back and get direct quotes without wasting the other fellow’s time.

This sounds like a painfully obvious idea, but it didn’t occur to me until just before the interview, and the fellow I interviewed (who does interviews himself) had never thought of it either, so it’s worth passing on,.

New baby. Jeremiah Richard Saenz was born yesterda…

New baby. Jeremiah Richard Saenz was born yesterday, October 2, at 3:11pm. This was our first home birth, and we were surprised and pleased at how natural it seemed, compared to four hospital births that involved various levels of technologically-induced misery. I can’t comment on births that are likely to be complicated, but for uneventful situations home birthing is definitely the way to go.

These pictures were mostly taken at 4pm yesterday, except for the last three which were taken this morning. Debbie will be taking it easy for the next couple of days, but we expect to have returned to a normal routine by Monday.