To Avi Bryant about DabbleDB

dabbledb logoAvi,

Though I want to continue to be a fan, it’s too painful. I wanted to believe that Smalltalk could help things progress. Yet, regardless, DabbleDB is gone. It’s like watching Einstein throw away his papers. Like so many in this world, another child is abandoned and dead from exposure. Frequency does not, however, mitigate tragedy. To see brilliance discarded will always be disheartening — particularly to those who understand what is being cast away. Never mind that I simply can’t do the design work I need to get done. No, there’s no other database system on the planet that can take DabbleDB’s place. I’ve about used them all.

I hope it was worth it. You had other options. I’m deeply sorry you took this path. It appears I am poor judge of many things.

Chip Nowacek

Lee Kubichek Nowacek


Expressing gratitude for Lee is an impossible task really — though she’ll be happy I tried.

There are so many gifts that come from being married to her — many (most?) of which I’m not even aware. Here are a few of which I am conscious (sorry for all the omissions, Love. I’ll be adding over time as awareness lights upon me):

  • Went through considerable trouble bringing three kids into the world.
  • Took me to the Take 6 concert in Cain Park.
  • Buys little stuff at the store that she shouldn’t (chocolate and the like) because I’m on her mind.
  • Washes things mentionable and unmentionable.
  • She likes me.

The Life of a Running Back

“Perfect. All the lines are straight, all the circles are round, everything is all lined up — what could go wrong?”

Troublesome words: “no plan survives contact with the enemy.”

We’re all running backs. The ball goes into motion, we get the hand off, and the plan — usually somebody else’s plan — immediately begins to degenerate. Where does that leave us? Running along the line of scrimmage looking for a hole. That’s it. See the light of day, run through the gap. That’s the formula. We’re going to get plastered, get back up, act like we know what’s going to happen next (we’ve memorized the playbook), and experience chaos all over again.

Love it, concussions and all.

Guilt and Entitlement

As I was walking around Costco shopping for Mother’s Day stuff, these thoughts came back to the surface. I can only touch on them here. They are troublesome, poignant, and arise frequently.

Though I don’t currently have any data (even if they would make any difference), living in America today seems to leave one wondering how to prioritize one’s senses of guilt and entitlement*. With respect to guilt, among many others, the issues of slavery, women’s roles and rights, abundance as compared to the rest of the world, and superpower-hood all vie for a place in the shadows of our self assessment. As for entitlement, it’s probably the same set of issues with different claimants that balance out the dichotomies. Wherever we fall individually on each issue, we come up wanting or come up wanting, here appealing to two different senses of the word.

How do we measure the impact and cost of personal and collective guilt and entitlement on all of us? Maybe we wouldn’t want to know even if we could? I hope we can learn to give it up for Lent or Passover or Ramadan or whatever. It’s an indulgence we cannot afford.

Generally, we deserve to be happier than we think we deserve. We are miserably poor judges of such things — and, consequently feel entitled to feel guilty about being so.

Ah, Costco. A place of dark inspiration.

*the yin to guilt’s yang

Maybe I Should Read More Magazines?

cover from Experience Life March 2011
Magazine taking up space on my floor

As I was getting off the treadmill this morning, I happened to see the cover of the Experience Life magazine on the floor.

GET IT DONE! 6 Strategies to Accomplish More of What Matters. p. 54

I’ve seen hundreds of these leads. I’ve never felt comfortable with them. Why? Why wouldn’t everybody in their right mind, given the words in the lead, pick up this magazine? Wouldn’t I be stupid not to? Is that why I don’t like them? I see the title and I feel stupid? Shouldn’t everyone be reading this article or the thousands like it out there? If they are, why is everyone still feeling so behind? If they haven’t, can they help but feeling stupid? Maybe I’m alone in this dunce feeling.

Maybe I should take the statement a piece at a time.

If I’m not getting “it” done, isn’t it my fault if I haven’t read the article? How is it that Lifetime Fitness has the answers I don’t? Do they have experts on getting it done? Does someone have a degree in get-ology or it-ology or both? More to the point, how do I know what “it” is that I ought to be getting done? Is that clear? Do they know something I don’t?

Does Lifetime Fitness know “what matters” better than I do? Should I take their words seriously? Am I being too literal? Where’s the line? I didn’t know what was behind my sense of discomfort. Without knowing, is anyone else suffering like this? Are articles like this creating the stress they purport to address?

This isn’t going anywhere. Is that why it gives me the creeps? And I feel awful – like after I eat a fast food meal. Maybe I would be happier if I just turned the magazine over next time.