More tales from Liberty Hill, Texas

Hollis Baker, my good friend who tells a story better than anyone I know, has spun another good yarn over at his blog. He needs to compile these stories into a book. It would be a best seller. Do yourself a favor and read his latest, “Way up Morgan Creek“. It’s a beautiful story that captures the Hill Country in the way it deserves.

Update: I was clicking around Hollis’ website and found a couple links to a good interview he did. He had some good things to say on working and being successful:

When I ask Hollis what he’d tell the room full of young people if he had a chance to give them one special kernel of wisdom, he reacts instantly, relating it to his experience in the sign business:

“I’d tell them a story about the sign shop. I’d tell them that in the early days when we were painting signs, we might have a sign on the side of the wall that was, you know, 8 by 16 feet and it was covered with letters and you had to stand on the ladder and dip the brush in the paint and smear it on there. And the propensity of the painters, when they would want to say something to the other guy – they’d stop, turn around (turning his body in the chair) and tell the guy some cockamamie story. Well, it was important that I keep the guys on the task. So, I’d say, ‘Hey guys, talk all you want to, but face the sign while you’re doing it.’ And that became the catch-phrase in the shop. “Face the sign.” And that’s what I’m telling these kids. That whatever their task is – face it. Do it (pointing his finger). Do it to the best of your ability. Be honest with it, but always face the sign. And if you’ll do it, one of these days you can retire and sit on the front porch and watch the grass grow (laughing). That’s what I’d tell ‘em.”

The Real Fleury Blog

My friend Phillip recently recommended the blog of Marc and Nathalie Fleury. Marc is the former CEO of JBoss, which was acquired by Redhat. Both Fleury’s are entertaining bloggers with a matched sharp sense of humor. Maybe it’s a French thing. Many of Marc’s entries are delightfully over the top like Fake Steve Jobs, but with the added bonus that it’s the real Marc Fleury. For example:

From Remember, I don’t give a shit:

And, while you’re at it, please address me as Doctor Fleury, and no, that’s not my DJ name. I didn’t suffer through ten years of differential equations to be talking on a first name basis with some random honky.

From Life After Marc Fleury:

And then I wonder, maybe Cameron is on to something. Could it be that all the ballsy visionaries are in one place and all the pontificating windbags are in another? Is it possible that Cameron is very happy at Oracle, just as it is apparent that Shaun is happier at Red Hat and I am only happy when I call the shots?

Good stuff.

One billion dollars for you

Here’s a philosophical question: if you had 1 billion dollars (enough money to never worry about anything), what would you do? In other words, if you could live your life any way you wanted what would you like to do and what would you actually do?

Good pizza, good people

My mom was in town yesterday and Jody and I had a chance to take her to dinner. I didn’t know any good places to eat near her hotel, so we drove down the road to one of our favorite places in Dallas, Sal’s Pizza. We end up eating Sal’s pizza once or twice a week because it’s very good and inexpensive and we can get it delivered to the house quickly. It’s perfect for those nights when you don’t feel like cooking or going out. Anyway, we had a good conversation with Sal and talked about travel to Italy and our respective family backgrounds. As we were finishing up the waitress came over and said everything was on the house per Sal. Sal is a class act. He’s one of those people who knows that business, like life, is all about people and relationships. If you’re ever in Dallas, I highly recommend the food there.

Life, Love & Marriage

It seems like everyone I know is getting married. Today, on Breen’s blog I read a post written in typically terse Breen fashion: “Sarah is now my fiancé [sic].” That is great news for Sarah and Breen. They are a great for each other. Having known him before and after Sarah, it is obvious that she makes him very happy. Maybe some day soon little Breens will make their debut. That would kick ass. Congratulations and good luck to you guys.

I forgot to mention a coupla things

Number one: A good friend of mine, James Stewart, is getting married this summer in Shreveport to his lovely fiancee Melissa. They are actually living a hop, skip, and jump from where we’re living in Dallas. James asked me to be one of his groomsmen, and I am quite honored. Looks like we’ll be headed to Shreveport in June. Maybe Jody and I can do some gambling or head down to N’awlins or something. I’m looking forward to it. I like seeing people get hitched.

Number two: I bought a used Blackberry off Ebay. I am now a road warrior. If I had Blackberry Enterprise Server with Exchange email it would be even better. Then I could sync my calendar, task list, and address book to the device. When I was at Jiffy Lube the other day I foisted myself on a fellow Blackberry user and found out he works for Fedex in sales. He actually knows a lot of the people I used to work with over there. It seems like they have a sweet deal in sales. Apparently, Fedex provides a stipend for their sales people to have a new car. You’re not even allowed to drive anything older than five years. That makes sense obviously, since you would not want a sales person showing up in a beater. That doesn’t exactly promote the right image.

McRib Challenge

It’s back for a limited time, McRib that is. That means it’s time again for the McRib challenge. This time starring Casey Thorpe who has vowed to eat ten McRib Sandwiches in the span of one hour. I don’t think it’s possible, but I’ll be there for the spectacle trying to take photos.

Not Casey Thorpe

Rewiring the brain

I played basketball with some guys from work yesterday afternoon over at Anderson High School. See, normally I would decline such an invitation because I’m both anti-social and bad at basketball, but right now I’m trying to do the opposite of what my first inclination is since my normal way of doing things is not working for me. I’m trying to push the Chris envelope and do more things I find difficult.

It was a positive experience: good time with work friends and good cardio-vascular exercise. I had that deep chest ache you get when you’ve been breathing and working your body hard. It’s something I hope to do more of since I would like to improve my game and general fitness.

My brain spent all last night rewiring the basketball-related parts of my brain. I know this because I woke myself up several times during dreams where I would go for a shot or pass and then I would hit the wall with my hand or leg and wake myself up. It happened at least three times that I can remember.

Kudos, George

George Kelly, of, got a nice mention in a Wired News article on SXSW Interactive, Austin Is the Place for Netheads, this past Friday:

“It’s one of the places where people you’ve been reading for months and months … show up,” said George Kelly, a blogger and contributor to the website Negrophile. Kelly, a third-year SXSW vet, is speaking on a panel called Blogging While Black.

The conference “is about the technology but it’s also about the face-to-face contact,” Kelly said.

I had the pleasure of hanging out with George two years ago as he blew through Austin. He even DJ’ed from his iPod or laptop, while we rode to Starseeds. George is the kind of person whose true charm is expressed best in person due to his personal warmth and eloquence, so if you have a chance be sure to hang out with him while he is in town.

Kitten love up in this piece

Sarah and Breen have some cute new kittens they’ve named Boris and Boomer. Normally, Breen refers to all cats as “Mister Kitty” and all dogs as “Fat Dog”. I guess he couldn’t do that since he had two kitties to name. If I adopted two kittens I would name them Tango and Cash after the Academy award winning movie by the same name. Here is one of my cats, Clancey. My other cat, Sarah, is out killing stuff or hanging out with her best friend, the lady next door who works at St. Ed’s.