Gordian Knot

I am currently reviewing a very complex EDI system between my company and a customer/supplier. A number of the steps in the process strike me as unnecessary. I went looking for a quote to share with the team to help us all focus on keeping it as simple as possible. I settled on the first one. I snagged the others for personal consumption:

I wouldn't give a fig for the simplicity on this side of complexity; I would give my right arm for the simplicity on the far side of complexity. ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius—and a lot of courage—to move in the opposite direction. ~ E. F. Schumacker

Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity. ~ Charles Mingus

Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say let your affairs be as one, two, three and to a hundred or a thousand… We are happy in proportion to the things we can do without. ~ Henry David Thoreau

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. ~ Leonardo DaVinci

Frugality is one of the most beautiful and joyful words in the English language, and yet one that we are culturally cut off from understanding and enjoying. The consumption society has made us feel that happiness lies in having things, and has failed to teach us the happiness of not having things. ~ Elise Boulding

Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful. ~William Morris

We don't need to increase our goods nearly as much as we need to scale down our wants. Not wanting something is as good as possessing it. ~ Donald Horban

How many things are there which I do not want. ~ Socrates

Who is rich? He who rejoices in his portion. ~ The Talmud


Long Lost Friends

Ran into Bryce at the Golden Spoon. He and his wife are expecting twin boys!

We started last year's Turkey Trot together and only finished one minute apart. At the rate he is currently training he is going to smoke me in '08.

Game changing

It got a Blackberry through work last week...

Granted this is not the latest model off the assembly line but it is FANTASTIC to know instantly when a new message arrives.

My work is split 95/5 between email and phone calls. Since I support Asia and most of their workday occurs outside of my normal work hours, this makes a huge impact.


What are you supposed to do with bread heels? My family goes through almost a loaf of bread per day...yet no one seems to be interested in the heels. I frequently find three bread bags with only heels left in them.

Does anyone have an appealing use for them?

Matta's RIP

If you aren't from Mesa, you won't understand the earth-shaking magnitude of this statement: After 55 years in business, Matta's has closed its Main Street location.

Unbelievable. Shocking. Ridiculous.

Andrew, Ashley, Mom, Becky and I managed to get in for dinner on the final night (after a 2 hour wait). There were people there dressed in all black...mourning. The people at the table next to us drove from two hours away and then waited for two hours just for one final meal there.

It defies explanation. When 19 out of 20 new restaurants fail, why would anyone close down a successful one? Sell the dang thing don't close it!

Granted, I don't even like the food that much (Tia Rosa's has won my heart). It is just that this place has transgenerational significance. Growing up we only went to a "nice restaurant" (i.e., one with a waiter) a few times a year. It was almost always Matta's.

Here's my idea of what they should do...Rosa's (University & Mesa Dr.) should move into the Matta's location. It is a bigger facility and tens of thousands of people are already familiar with going there.

My extended family has been unofficially looking to the Mervyn's on Stapley & Main as the barometer of whether or not Mesa is going to make it as a viable city or descend into an irretrievable ghetto. Matta's closing completely blindsided us.

Home grown

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Savanna -- Thanks for the delicious orange juice!


Study explains how protein keeps hunger at bay

Diets high in protein may be the best way to keep hunger in check, U.S. researchers said on Thursday in a study that offers insight into how diets work.

They found that protein does the best job at keeping a hunger hormone in check, while carbohydrates and fats may well deserve their current nasty reputation.

The study, which will appear in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, looked at the effectiveness of different nutrients at suppressing ghrelin, a hormone secreted by the stomach that stimulates appetite.

"Suppression of ghrelin is one of the ways that you lose your appetite as you begin to eat and become sated," said Dr. David Cummings of the University of Washington in Seattle, who worked on the study.

The researchers gave 16 people three different beverages, each with varying levels of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. They took blood samples before the first beverage, then every 20 minutes for six hours afterward, measuring ghrelin levels in each sample.

"The interesting findings were that fats suppress ghrelin quite poorly," Cummings said in a telephone interview. They fared the poorest overall.

"Proteins were the best suppressor of ghrelin in terms of the combination of the depth and duration of suppression," he said. "That is truly satisfying because high proteins are essentially common to almost all of the popular diets."

They also found that eating carbohydrates resulted in a strong ghrelin suppression at first, but ghrelin levels rebounded with a vengeance, rising to an even higher level.

Basically, the carbohydrates eventually made people even hungrier than before they had eaten.

Cummings said the findings may aid in future research on the effectiveness of different diets.

And the study likely means that nightly bowl of ice cream is out. "That is a bad idea no matter what," he said.

By Julie Steenhuysen; Thu Jan 17, 7:20 PM ET;  REUTERS


The Best of 2007

Favorite Movie: Stranger Than Fiction
Favorite Song: "Casimir Pulaski Day" by Sufjan Stevens
Favorite TV show: Planet Earth
Favorite event: Aspen Grove family reunion
Funniest read: 15 Minute Lunch
Funniest video clip: I feel great!
Best financial move: using a cash budget (aka, envelopes)
Best new gadget: iPod
Favorite audio podcast: Radio Lab
Favorite video podcast: TED talks or Pop Tech (many of the same presenters)
Best purchase: Prius on eBay
Favorite web discovery: Pandora
Favorite person: Becky


One step at a time...a measured year

I've made multiple references in past posts about the fact that I have been wearing a somewhat sophisticated pedometer for a little over 2 years now.

Here are my results for 2007:

Total Steps: 5,108,870
Ave Daily Steps: 13,997
Highest One Day Total: 33,246
Miles Walked: 2,022

Be amazing

“Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man."

--Benjamin Franklin