Friday, June 04, 2010

Tactical Matters

I've got a dilemma. I can't really get too much into detail, but in a nutshell, I'm trying to make a decision on how to proceed from one stage to the next in regard to certain issues. The problem is that the current stage has to be brought to a definitive end point, one way or another. By that I mean I need to figure out how to decisively close out this stage, or find a way to continue the current stage and use that continuation as a means of moving on to the next stage.

Confused yet? Well I am too, but basically there are two ways to approach this thing, and as usual, I'm going back in history to illustrate them.

First is what I'll call the Bayint Naung approach, named after a Burmese king who I had no clue about until a few days ago. I haven't had a lot of time to research the history, but the story goes like this. King Bayint Naung viewed an enemy encampment across the river from his own camp. The enemy outnumbered his own forces 4:1, so he had a decision to make. Take them on in what most likely would be a hopeless cause, or retreat and live to fight another day. Being a 16th century, southeast Asian bad ass, Bayint Naung decided to fight. He took his men across the river and once on the other side, ordered them to burn their boats. Then he gave a rousing action adventure movie type speech (think Braveheart, Independence Day), and proceeded to rout the superior forces of his enemies. The end result was the solidification of the Burmese kingdom and Bayint Naung's greatest victory.

Pretty cool huh?

The second approach is named after the Continental Army. Facing overwhelming odds in the early days of the American Revolution, the leadership of the Continental Army under Gen. George Washington decided to not fight in the officially sanctioned, gentlemanly manner of European armies of the day. You know, nice neat lines of men who marched smartly onto the battlefield and took turns shooting at each other until they were close enough to charge. Instead, they adapted the tactics of the Native Americans; hit and run attacks, tactical retreats, do the unexpected, shoot officers, etc. This approach kept the army intact and essentially achieved victory by not being defeated. The end result was, well, you know the end result. I'm writing from the United States of America after all, so the approach worked.

So there you have it, two distinctly different approaches to basically the same tactical issue of how to deal with overwhelming odds and live to tell about it. What does all of this have to do with me? Well, nothing really. I mean, I'm not facing overwhelming odds in anything. My challenges are not life and death either. I do find historical analogies helpful usually and these two seemed fitting at this time.

Now without my actually having told you anything, what do you think? Are there any analogies or quotations or anything of the sort that you fall back on during times like these? Let me know, I'm interested to hear from you.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Phone Envy - It's A Bad Thing

I'm feeling just a little bit inadequate today. Why,you ask? Well...

Alright here's the deal. I've always been the technology guy in my family. I work in the technology field, teach technology to kids, rebuild computers, etc. I'm the guy you all call when your computer is infected with viruses and malware because you haven't bothered to run a scan for 17 months. Not to mention because you're too cheap (or should I say 'fiscally responsible?') to take your computer in for repair. Got an email issue? Need a new program installed or your operating system upgraded? Can't figure out how to activate the speaker phone on your mobile?

You know what I'm saying, I'm that guy.

But all of that has come into question now because of the technology I carry around on my hip. That's right, that Blackberry Curve I bragged about right after the election is suddenly not so hot anymore. Not with my wife, who's smartphone challenged by the way, rocking a G1 with the Android 1.6 OS. Word on the street is that phone will be upgraded to version 2.0 soon as well, bringing it on par with the Droid and other newer phone models as far as capability.

But that's not the worst of it.

My Mother-In-Law called last night to brag, and I mean BRAG, about her new phone, the HTC HD2. Oh yeah, she let me have it. The same woman who cornered me for hours to work on her computer while I was on vacation in Colorado decided to ruin my evening by running down the features of her new phone with the Windows Mobile OS. "Do you know I can watch TV on this thing?" "It runs Flash, does your Blackberry?" "The screen is so big!" I mean it went on and on an on. I tell you I was dying y'all. My Blackberry started to remind me of an old rotary dial phone attached to the wall. It was that bad. So bad that I actually I started surfing the web to scout out the upgrade. I mean I can't have the lowest tech phone among that group, can I? What about my reputation? I just don't think I can take that hit.

But then a funny thing happened. Her other line rang, she answered, came back on the line and said, "I don't know how it happened but the speaker phone came on and I don't know how to turn it off."

In that moment equilibrium was instantly reestablished and all was right with the world again.

I'm still getting a new phone though.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Friends - How Many Of Us Have Them?

What's up y'all? I'm back for my biannual blog post.

That's right, after a couple of years posting at a furious rate (which happened to coincide with a national election, but that's beside the point), I've been reduced to patting myself on the back for posting for the second time this year.

Talk about lowering your expectations.

Regardless, I'm compelled to post now because I've made a new friend. Well not really new, I've known her for a while. In fact we even dated, got married, and had kids. But we weren't friends until now. That's right, my wife friended me on Facebook. Which is cool. Very cool in fact. But what took so long?

Actually I know the answer to that question, which is she didn't have a Facebook account until a few days ago. Which I set up. Here's the story: She'd been searching high and low for a friend of hers from back in the day to no avail. My suggestion was to look for her on Facebook, which met some initial resistance. But y'all know your boy DP doesn't take a no as no. It just means not right now. So I set up the account, Showed her how to use it, and lo and behold she found her friend within 5 minutes.

Technology, it's amazing.

Anyway, I'm rambling on about all of this to say that I've found a lot of my own friends on Facebook lately too, and keep in better touch with those who aren't long lost. So here's to you Steve, Sheryl, Teresa, Steve, David, Joanie, John, Anissa, Haywood, Glen, Shunte', Tonya, Devin, Cedric, Roz, Mary, Ray, Randy and all of the rest of you who've connected or reconnected over the past few months. Thanks for friending me, and ain't social networking grand?

Stay in Touch!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Cold Enough For Ya?

Almost a foot of snow in Dallas. Three consecutive blizzards in Washington D.C. Coldest winter anyone can remember here in Houston. Snow in 49 of the 50 states at the same time. How about that global warming huh?

Ok, I've obviously been away for a while, and what better way to break the ice than to talk about the weather instead of, say, a political post.

This is NOT a political post.

I think I'm taking a more or less permanent break from that stuff. Not because I'm not interested or don't care, but rather that I'm a little disillusioned by the whole darn process. For the life of me I can't figure out how a political party that controls the presidency and both houses of Congress with substantial majorities can't seem to get anything done. I know, there's another team on the field too, but that team, when in a similar position during the last Presidential administration, were seemingly able to get any and everything that they desired pushed through Congress and into law. What has this group achieved after one year?

Well, basically nothing.

So rather than wallowing in the frustration that defines the healthcare debate, or complaining that we are still fighting the same series of never-ending wars, or the financial crisis, Iran's nukes, or anything else that I'd hoped would be dealt with in a different way with new leadership in Washington, I've decided that snow in the mid-Atlantic is a much more fascinating subject for the time being.

In other words, how's the weather?