Best. Secret Santa. Ever.

Best. Secret Santa. Ever.

If you’ve never heard of Reddit’s annual Secret Santa program, here’s the skinny: every December, participants join together to create a record-breaking Secret Santa program. You draw a name, and mail them a gift. You answer a few questions about what you like, and you get a gift. It’s that simple. And it gives you a chance to meet some nice people.   This year was the first year in which I participated (being relatively late to the Reddit scene). I was matched up to a great individual, a very active redditor, and did my best to live up to the hype (and, honestly, thought I did a pretty great job). Then, my Secret Santa‘s gifts started arriving, and I realized that I was an amateur. A package arrived before Christmas, which was...

Operation: 2014

Operation: 2014

I’ve taken a leaf out of Sarah’s book and decided that New Year’s resolutions are to be decided by the end of the month of January. After all, if you’re really going to commit to something, you should give the idea time to marinate (and Lord knows you don’t have time to let anything marinate between the end of November and the first week of January). By the end of the month, you’ve theoretically weeded out the impulse resolutions and are left with what you really want. Anyway, here are mine. I tend to make two kinds of goals: specific, SMART objectives (“Concrete” resolutions) and general things I’d like to keep in mind (“Trajectory” resolutions).   Concrete   Stick to the 30-day rule In...

Affordable Care Act sample exchange notice

Affordable Care Act sample exchange notice

As you’re (hopefully) aware, the deadline is looming to get the PPACA exchange notices distributed to your employees. I decided to send the notice out last week in order to avoid missing the October 1st date. However, sending the notice out of the blue would be (to put it gently) abrupt. There’s still a lot of fear, uncertainty, and doubt around the ACA, so I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to provide context to the issue in concrete, understandable, and concise terms. Not wanting to spend my time re-inventing the wheel, I decided to search the web for sample exchange notice communication to use as a template. There were plenty of articles reinforcing employer requirements and links to the DoL’s sample notices. There were even...

How to topple a Republic

How to topple a Republic

After finishing a 15 hour audiobook on the fall of the Roman Republic, I am taking away the following information. Digest it how you will.   What do historians consider to be “the causes of death” for the Roman Republic? Wealth disparity grew to out-of-control levels. This led to political unrest and, eventually, violence. The new merchant class, quickly becoming wealthy as Rome opened up new frontiers, began being a power unto themselves. They challenged the legitimacy of the legislature as a governing body, regulating it instead of being regulated by it. Corruption in the legislature. Due to many years of prosperity, massive amounts of money flooded the empire. Much of this wealth was eventually funnelled into the political system, ultimately...

On Facebook posts and Sensitivity and Sealing Wax

On Facebook posts and Sensitivity and Sealing Wax

I received a lot of comments (both on- and off-line) about the above picture that I shared on Facebook. I didn’t mean for things to get so real. I tend to just post things that are amusing or thought-provoking. Facebook isn’t really the venue for deep discussions – most things that need to be said require more than a few lines to be precise. And asynchronous communication (read – the internet) punishes imprecision without mercy, especially when rhetorical devices like hyperbole or generalizations are used for effect. Before I get into the meat of what I have to say, here are my disclaimers: I’m sorry that some of my shares and re-posts have offended. Part of this is due to the inherent flaws of the medium – when I share things...

It’s November again?

It’s November again?

Already? Well, looks like I’m starting NaNoWriMo a few days late this year. Wish me luck! Share:ShareLike this:Like...

Fun side project

Fun side project

So on Tuesday, I get an email from Kyle, wondering if I could make a brief video about Romania for a class he’s auditing. Heck yeah, I can! Man, did making these take me back! I’d forgotten how much I love teaching (and all I did was outline). Share:ShareLike this:Like...

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