Some of my favorite Audiobooks

October 1, 2015

Recently I’ve spent a lot of time listening to Audiobook via Audible while driving.  I look forward to my drive time because it’s usually the only time I’ll listen to them.  (I hate taking conference calls or making phone calls on the road so this is a great way to pass the time.)

If you like intelligent science fiction, documentaries/memoirs, or dogs… I think you’ll find yourself aligned with a lot of my preferences as well.  Check out some of these great audiobooks.


You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost): A MemoirFelicia Day, Joss Whedon – foreword
In the tradition of #Girlboss and Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? – a funny, quirky, and inspiring memoir from online entertainment mogul, actress, and “queen of the geeks” Felicia Day about her unusual upbringing, her rise to Internet stardom, and embracing her individuality to find success in Hollywood.


So That Happened: A MemoirJon Cryer
If it can happen in show business, it’s happened to Jon Cryer. Now he’s opening up for the first time and sharing his behind-the-scenes stories in a warmly endearing, sharply observed, and frankly funny look at life in Hollywood.


Armada: A Novel – Written by: Ernest Cline, Narrated by: Wil Wheaton

It’s just another day of high school for Zack Lightman. He’s daydreaming through another boring math class, with just one more month to go until graduation and freedom – if he can make it that long without getting suspended again. Then he glances out his classroom window and spots the flying saucer.


The EggWritten by: Andy Weir
You were on your way home when you died.It was a car accident. Nothing particularly remarkable, but fatal nonetheless. You left behind a wife and two children. It was a painless death. The EMTs tried their best to save you, but to no avail. Your body was so utterly shattered you were better off, trust me.And that’s when you met me.” A short story about the universe.


The Decline and Fall of IBM: End of an American Icon? – Written by: Robert Cringely
IBM is in serious trouble. Big Blue, as the company is known, tends to rely for its success on magical thinking but that magic ran out a long time ago. The company got in trouble back in the 1990s and had to hire for the first time an outside CEO, Lou Gerstner, to save the day. Gerstner pushed IBM into services with spectacular results but this hurt the company, too. As services have became commoditized IBM could only compete by offshoring the work and quality suffered.


As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride – Written by: Cary Elwes, Joe Layden, Rob Reiner (foreword) Narrated by: Cary Elwes, Christopher Guest, Carol Kane, Norman Lear, Rob Reiner, Wallace Shawn, Robin Wright, Billy Crystal
From actor Cary Elwes, who played the iconic role of Westley in The Princess Bride, comes a first-person account and behind-the-scenes look at the making of the cult classic film filled with never-before-told stories, exclusive photographs, and interviews with costars Robin Wright, Wallace Shawn, Billy Crystal, Christopher Guest, and Mandy Patinkin, as well as author and screenwriter William Goldman, producer Norman Lear, and director Rob Reiner.


The Martian – Written by: Andy Weir
Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive – and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plainold “human error” are much more likely to kill him first.


Illegal Procedure: A Sports Agent Comes Clean on the Dirty Business of College Football – Written by: Josh Luchs, James Dale

For 15 years, sports agent Josh Luchs made illegal deals with numerous college athletes, from top-tier, nationally recognized phenoms to late-round draft picks. Then, in October 2010, Luchs wrote a confessional article in Sports Illustrated, telling the truth about what he did and didn’t do. Since then, he has taken on a new role: whistle-blowing, truth-telling reformer. In telling his own story, Luchs here pulls back the curtain on the real economy – and the broken system – of college football.


The Art of Racing in the Rain – Written by: Garth Stein
Why we think it’s a great listen: If you’ve ever loved a dog – or even patted a dog – this book, told from the perspective of man’s best friend, will tug at your heartstrings…and won’t let go until long after Welch performs the last word. Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively and by listening very closely to the words of his master.


Ready Player OneWritten by: Ernest Cline Narrated by: Wil Wheaton

At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, Ready Player One is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.


Home Game: An Accidental Guide to FatherhoodWritten by: Michael Lewis
When he became a father, Michael Lewis found himself expected to feel things that he didn’t feel, and to do things that he couldn’t see the point of doing. At first, this made him feel guilty, until he realized that all around him fathers were pretending to do one thing, to feel one way, when in fact they felt and did all sorts of things, then engaged in what amounted to an extended cover-up.


American on Purpose: The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely PatriotWritten by: Craig Ferguson
In American on Purpose, Craig Ferguson delivers a moving and achingly funny memoir of living the American dream as he journeys from the mean streets of Glasgow, Scotland, to the comedic promised land of Hollywood. Along the way he stumbles through several attempts to make his mark – as a punk rock musician, a construction worker, a bouncer, and, tragically, a modern dancer.


The War for Late NightWritten by: Bill Carter
When NBC decided to move Jay Leno into prime time to make room for Conan O’Brien to host the Tonight show – a job he had been promised five years earlier – skeptics anticipated a train wreck for the ages. It took, in fact, only a few months for the dire predictions to come true. Leno’s show, panned by critics, dragged down the ratings – and the profits – of NBC’s affiliates, while ratings for Conan’s new Tonight show plummeted to the lowest levels in history.


August 24, 2015

Um.  Seriously.  Got Windows 10?  Wow.

“No, It’s Not Your Opinion. You’re Just Wrong”

July 24, 2015

imageThis is gospel.  I have heard this uttered by so many of our fresh-out-of-college hires, it’s headshaking.  It’s like it became en vogue for self-important, arrogant MBA-types to pull this “It’s my opinion…” line out when they can’t defend their opinion with fact: Only “the way they feel”.

Hey kids:  Facts matter.  Misaligned conjecture doesn’t.

I have had so many conversations or email exchanges with students in the last few years wherein I anger them by indicating that simply saying, “This is my opinion” does not preclude a connected statement from being dead wrong. It still baffles me that some feel those four words somehow give them carte blanche to spout batshit oratory or prose. And it really scares me that some of those students think education that challenges their ideas is equivalent to an attack on their beliefs.

-Mick Cullen

Read the whole article here:

On Combs & Alosi

July 6, 2015

Saw this on a board.  Posted to share with some specific folks.  Please ignore otherwise.

“Both seem to be pretty good people, but not sensitive to the other’s perspective. First off, Daddy Diddy should be the subject of discussion. He went crazy over a small issue his son could have easily absorbed or dealt with.

But the reports are now that Alosi was very hard on Combs and there were two tipping points. He went to the NBA All-Star game with his dad instead of attending a voluntary workout (that others missed.) When he returned, Alosi had a screen shot of him at he game in good seats with his dad and made him work out with others who missed practice while the rest watched and were encouraged to hiss and boo. The screen shot was projected onto a screen or TV during this incident. He called out Combs by calling him worthless, and said he was only there because of his rich daddy and why doesn’t he just quit.

The other tipping point was similar where the day of or before the assault, Alosi went off on Combs in a similar manner and Combs finally said something, which got him kicked out of practice.

I think Alosi was likely trying to motivate Combs, but did so in the exact wrong way. Where he assumed he needed motivation to work, what he really needed was to be treated normally and fit in aside from his father.

I think Combs disregarded the tough love as hate and his Dad went psycho without having a chance to settle down.

The only part where Alosi really looks bad is if he was actually riding him to the point where Alosi clearly wanted him to quit. If he cannot stand people because they are successful, then that is a strange form of reverse discrimination. It reminds me in a sense of how everyone loves for a high first round pick to fail so they can call him a bust, but a seventh rounder everyone roots for.

re: Voluntary Workouts… I heard was that some guys work out on their own and the lesser guys are thrown into this camp. These are called optional in part because there are groups of players who do their own regiment, usually prescribed, but not attended to, by Alosi. The guys who are not the best players are thrown into a big pile and this is that pile. It is like they are the lowest ranks of the military and the others are officers.

They are also optional because the NCAA sets limits on mandatory workouts. Some players study, while others do not. Some guys have tutors for certain classes, others do not.”

Ask your Senator to support our troops and the brave animals that serve alongside them.

May 28, 2015

Taken from the Best Friends mailer from Memorial Day:

National alertDear Members and Friends:

Memorial Day is the time for us all to give thanks to the brave men and women who serve our country. Our service members risk their lives every day to protect the land they love, the family members and friends who love them, and the animals they care for. And standing right beside these warriors are the military animals who are helping to protect our country at home and overseas.

The military puts these animals to use in a variety of ways, but whatever the job, they all serve their country with dignity and pride. That’s why we think it’s so important to honor these veterans both during their working lives and later, when it’s time to retire. Just like the men and women in uniform, these veterans deserve every chance to have peaceful and enjoyable post-service lives, and they deserve our support.

The 2016 fiscal year military appropriations bill recently passed the House of Representatives and included a provision that mandates that all suitable military animals be made available for adoption. It also says that each animal’s handler – the person who these veterans most trust and rely on – shall be given priority when it’s time to adopt. We can’t think of any better way to say thank you to our human service members or the animals that serve alongside them.

The bill is making its way to the Senate and we want to let Washington lawmakers know that we think this special provision should stay in the final version. I’m asking you to help us right now. We’ve made it easy for you to ask your U.S. senators to support section 594. We all know that politics isn’t a spectator sport, so now is the time for us to stand up for our service members (human and animal alike) and show that we’re behind them.

I know that you’ll help us in this effort like you’ve helped so many times before. Please click here to take action. With your continued support and effort we will truly be able to Save Them All®.

Thank you,

Gregory Castle, CEO

Best Friends Animal Society

This is what computers are made for.

May 5, 2015

Wanna see a picture of sheer joy?

Derby the dog: Running on 3D Printed Prosthetics

As found at:

Google automatically inserts tracking IDs into PDF documents you download

April 30, 2015

imageAre you a Google Docs user?  Do you create PDFs of your content?  Hope you like spyware. 

When you create a PDF from Google Docs, all links in the document will be automatically changed – without notifying you – to include a Google tracking ID.

Now Google will undoubtedly feign ignorance, disable this at some point later in the future, & promise to never do it again….

  • Just as Google did when they were caught stealing & aggregating the public’s Wifi passwords…
  • Just as Google did after the Entertainment industry filed suit again them for turning a blind eye & allowing stolen IP to be posted to YouTube…
  • Just as Google did after being caught indexing every student & teachers documents…
  • Just as Google is doing now after being caught giving their properties preferential treatment in their search engine as a monopoly…

This is Google, folks. ‪



Link Tracking Warning!
This document was first authored in Google Docs, then Downloaded as a PDF. So, Google has thoughtfully (ha!) added “tracking” redirections to all of the links here. (I have no idea why, but that’s Google.) If that bothers you, simply copy the text of the link into your browser’s URL field.


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