JS releases TightBrain.com

Long-time friend and technophile, JS, started a new blog TightBrain.com where he bestows his insight and advice on the latest developments in the high-tech arena. I have been telling JS he should start a blog for years. It is great to see he is up and running in a very big way.

Go check him out.

[tags]tightbrain.com, friends, blog[/tags]

New Features: Tags & Tag Cloud

I just upgraded Keith’s Amusing Musings to support tagging and also added a fancy tag cloud for visualizing the tags as they are added to posts.

Check out my new tag cloud by clicking the “Tag Cloud” link under Pages in the navigation bar to the left or just click here.

The categories (to the left) are pretty rigid but handy for grouping broadly related posts. Tagging will provide me more flexibility to attach more detailed keywords to each post. You, my readers, get more flexibility by being able to filter posts that share one or more tags.

You can do this filtering by grouping together tags in the URL using the following syntax:

http://lesia.com/tag/[TAG]

-or-

http://lesia.com/tag/[TAG1]+[Tag2]+…+[TagN]

For example:

  • All posts marked with the Saving tag (view)
  • All posts marked with the Humor tag (view)
  • All posts marked with both the Investing and Retirement tags (view)

You will also notice a few of the recent posts now have “Tags” at the end which you can click on to see related posts.

[tags]tag cloud, tagging, blog update[/tags]

How Nancy Dunnan Changed My Life

TB and I were chatting yesterday and somehow we ended up talking about investing. The crux of the conversation was how so many of our family members view the stock market as a massive Ponzi scheme setup to allow institutions to steal money from small investors. Perhaps this is true, microscopically, yet investing in equities, particularly stock, has been a surefire method of sustained asset growth over the long term. Still, the stock market is viewed by many in our families as something to be feared rather than something to be leveraged.

This fear is real and cannot be summarily dismissed. I wish I could chalk it up to conservatism, yet these same people throw caution to the wind whenever the next get-rich-quick opportunity (aka scheme) comes knocking. Another explanation is complexity. The stock market involves millions of numbers, some with lots of decimal places, others with lots of commas. There are also numerous financial & technical terms resulting in a jargon and shorthand that could scare away just about anyone.

I am sure if you asked the average person to walk you through the process of buying a share of McDonald’s or Starbucks stock, they probably could not tell you. However, they can quickly tell you what comes on a #3 and that they prefer Grande-raspberry-soy-extra-hot-no-whip-mocha lattes. For many people, it is easier to buy from most publicly traded corporations than it is to invest in them.

I could have been one of those people. Statistically, from my upbringing, I probably would have as well if it were not for a book I bought and read one college summer.

Continue reading “How Nancy Dunnan Changed My Life”

What is Really Important

Microsoft Silverlight

Back in early March, I wrote briefly about all the changes taking place at work at that time. One of the first things I mentioned was I had taken on “a great deal more responsibility” in our organization. During the past 6 weeks, that increase in responsibility has resulted in our broader team working tirelessly toward the launch of a new technology, Microsoft® Silverlight™, culminating with last night’s press release and today’s announcement at the National Association of Broadcasters conference in Las Vegas.

With all the buzz building around the Silverlight announcements in the news and blogosphere today, paired with the strides we are positioned to make in this space, these are truly exciting times in the Server & Tools business at Microsoft. It seems all the hard work and long hours and exhausting attention-to-detail and stress and disgruntled spouses and poor eating habits, etc. were indeed well worth it. In this tiny sliver of time, we are part of something rare and that provides vindication and gives a little meaning to why we do what we do.

That was until that other news story about the shootings at Virginia Tech University hit the wire and quickly reminded all of us what is really important. Thirty-three confirmed deaths and counting. Why? No one will ever know.

Technorati Top 10 - April 16, 2007 So what does Silverlight have to do with the VTU killings? Both, everything and nothing.

Many of us take our work very seriously at Microsoft. Some would argue too seriously. At the same time, we joke about what it is we actually do and don’t do in a typical workday and how that maps to our job descriptions. For example, “Human E-mail Filter,” “Meeting Room Chair Warmer,” and “Keyboard and Mouse Stress Tester” are a few I have heard used. Still, we take the good with the bad because what we do for a living impacts the world.

Today, I woke up anxious to see how Silverlight would fare in the news cycle. The announcement was the most important thing on my mind. Many of those VTU students probably woke up thinking about their classes with final exams as the most important thing on their minds. None of us probably gave a passing thought to the real possibility that we would not live to see tomorrow.

The world has a way of reminding each of us what is really important. It is amazing how something like Silverlight, that seemed so big just last night, pales in comparison to the loss of life at VTU today. Silverlight went from being everything to being nothing.

Thankfully, it appears those of us who spend way too much time on computers got the wake-up call…at least briefly. The image to the left shows the top 10 searches on the Technorati blog search engine today. Virginia Tech is (rightfully) at the top. Silverlight is sandwiched between Don Imus and Paris Hilton. Great! :sarcastic: