--- BLOG ---

November 2005

November 3, 2005 R #

Plugged back into Existence

I have the internet again. I've gone a month without my home connection to the universe, and I'm ready to be back.
I can even send email again!!!

I dropped back into my office this afternoon to pick up where I had been interrupted with my programming, and realized that my screen was sort of busy looking. I have two 21" monitors maxed out at 3840 x 1440  pixels... and it's great!!! I could still use another two (or four) for the desktop space, but what I have is sufficient for now. So this is what I've spent most my time doing for the last long time... drawing logical pictures.

How to Live Life

I was driving home today and saw a car with several bumper stickers giving advice on how to live life. Maybe I'm a snob, but I tend to question the credibility of advice on life when it's coming from the back of an old rusty Ford Taurus driven by a middle aged guy who doesn't seem to be too happy. Maybe it's just me, but I think the guy might be better off if he spent more time taking advice instead of giving advice. Or maybe he's been taking the wrong advice all along, and just doesn't realize it yet. But when it comes down to it, does anybody ever really "get" life?  

November 9, 2005 W #

Towel Algorithm

I have matching towels in my bathroom. They're dark brown, with a little gold symbol embroidered in the corner. 
I finally took two minutes to figure out my algorithm for which towel to use each day so I can always hang the wet side out, use both sides of both towels evenly, and not have to remember which towel I used the day before.

Sub Towel Select ()

     If Towel embroideries match Then
     choose left towel
     choose right towel
     End If
     Use inside of towel for drying
     When Dry = True
          Hang  Towel with wet side out

End Sub

It works. I'm not joking. Try it for yourself. Now you can have even usage of your towels, always have optimal drying conditions, and you'll never have to remember the morning before.

November 11, 2005 F #


My book isn't even published and it's already been quoted. Today we had this huge meeting on everything happening with our company (our collection of buildings), and our Site Director quoted my book in front of the whole company.

"This problem that has come back from AMSU should have been caught earlier. The channel passed testing specifications, but it clearly wasn't working.
I want to borrow a concept from Bryan's book, where he says Be an Engineer!!! Think about how the product is working, not just if it passes requirements."

That was pretty cool. Not so much the "in front of the whole company" thing, but the fact that our Site Director was able to grab at least one concept, and communicate his message using those words. I used Derek Wright fixing his half-working first project  to illustrate the concept in the book. He was the shining example of how to Be an Engineer!!! I also reference Mike Mamanakis with the same concept. I guess their examples worked. I knew I had smart friends. Exemplary engineers, fit to show the industry how it's done.

New Wood

A laboriously drawn out GMAT study question on wood usage in a community reminded me of an encounter from a little over a year ago. I rode my bike to work from Huntington Beach (an epic story in itself... 120 miles after getting lost, turned around, flat tire, etc), and on my way home I saw an old beat up truck pull to the side of the road with a whole slew of wood dangling off the side, barely saved from scattering all over the road. Just as I rolled up, the driver stepped out of the truck and was walking around back to check out the load. Stepping off my bike, I thought I'd show off my little bit of Spanish fluency. "Ayuda?" He nodded to me (I think I asked if I could help him), and we started looking at the best way to rearrange the load. He loosened some knots while I helped guide the wood gently to the ground, and then we started piling the wood along the sidewalk so we could reload it onto the truck.

While loading it back up, he patted his hand on a few of the 2x4's:
"New wood. This... new wood."
"Oh yeah? What are you building?"
"An Addition. This is good new wood... for an addition."

Writing this doesn't do it justice, but there was pride in his demeanor pointing out that he had new wood. This wasn't regular, run of the mill, shoddy old used wood; this was new wood... and he was building an addition with it. He said it with the same pride that one of our PhD's spoke of our Calcium Fluoride windows and Sapphire scene plates for testing our infrared satellites. This mexican was using top of the line materials for his work, and he was proud of it. People who take pride in their work, in their craftsmanship, and their ability to produce a quality product... these are the people I want living in this world. These are the people who I remember, and strive to be like. I want to live with the same pride in my projects as this mexican carries in his projects, and I want to live with others who likewise earn that pride in their projects. People who know how to build with used wood, but look forward to the opportunity to build an addition with new wood.

We finished loading his new wood, tied it on securely, and went our ways.

November 17, 2005 R #

First Girlfriend

Karen Breffle was my first girlfriend way back when we were fourteen. She went to Bear Creek and I went to Chatfield, and we only saw each other a few times. I picked up on her at a dance. I don't think we ever really broke up. We didn't see each other enough to make it worth breaking up. It was hardly a relationship by reasonable standards, but at the time, the label seemed to fit. I always thought of her as very quiet, shy, and mildly self conscious, but with this happiness in her eyes that just made her... cute. We've probably only run into each other on three year intervals since our "relationship". The last time I saw her was three years ago, and and we only got to chat long enough for her to be totally unimpressed with my plans to go to Wall St. She had finished beauty school and was enjoying working at a salon in Highlands Ranch.

So life goes on, I'm down here in LA, and find out that Karen is living here going to film school. The male instinct never fails to encourage contacting a girl who was pretty, even though there may not have been the strongest social connection. I get her number and give her a call.

She was so surprised to hear from me that she sounded totally rude. "Bryan Gardner? You're the last person I expected to be calling... well, maybe not the last, but definitely on the bottom ten."

Seeing Karen was a blast. We never really knew each other enough to know that we didn't know each other. She has so much more energy and curiosity than I ever remember sensing. She always seemed happy inside, but now that happiness is much more freely expressed. She is so different from what I remember (and apparently she remembers me differently), but our minds totally share a common wavelength. We get along so naturally that you'd think we had always been good friends. Karen summed it up about half way through Sunday evening:
"I can't believe we never met until now." 

And now Karen is back in Colorado. We connected just in time for her to leave, but my place was conveniently located for her to stop on her way out, so we got to run around a little more and have a good time after I finished the GMAT. The next day when I came home from work, she had written a very sincere note, wrapping it up with the best good bye I've ever read.

"I hope this is a beginning, but if it ends up being an ending, at least it's a happy one. : )"

Has there ever been a more graceful and appreciative way to say good bye?
There are few things like finding a good friend you never knew you had.

November 28, 2005 M #

Be an Editor!!!

"If you despise suites, a shit and tie will be acceptable."

See anything wrong with that? That sentence was recently changed in my book. Of all the words to receive an innocent typo, it had to be "shirt". The kicker is that this manuscript got a full review from six different people before Ben Todd, an Electrical Engineer out of BYU, finally caught the mistake. It's reassuring that the majority of people would probably miss it, but it would still be a terrible embarrassment.  

You gotta love a sport when a guy trying to make a shot gets clocked upside the head, and he doesn't complain. No excuses and whining to the ref. He just gets back up on his feet, and tries to get another shot.

This has got to be the coolest outdoor dyno I've ever run into.

I don't know how to make videos play, so check out this overhead of Diego throwing the move.
Just for reference, notice the length, start to finish, is from his feet almost to his shoulder.

We made some new climbing friends; Jesse and Kate.

... and Jesse has exceptional talent with a camera.

Thanksgiving was fun. My family is spread all over creation; Greg and Erica in Missouri, Justin in Mississippi, Brandon in Mexico, and  my Dad recently transferred to be a captain on the A-320 so his low seniority put him in the air... so we didn't even try to get home.

Jessica was cooking, so  I joined her and her friends from every range of lifestyle.  We took a post thanksgiving dinner roll down to the beach. Greg, with the bike, comes out of Compton, is working in financial services, and is one of the funniest guys I've ever run into.





November 2005