Category Archives: Snipes

Snips: Wager. Think. Data. Face Book.


I bet that homeless people don’t sit in a circle in the back lane trying to define poverty before they can go seek shelter and a sandwich.



When we talk of the marginalized, we marginalize them even further.



Data points at signals and combines together into patterns that often defy our assumptions. Data is not truth. It cannot generalize the human condition or human potential. As soon as data becomes our religion, it becomes false hope at best or worse a restraint used to deny innovation its possibilities and impact.



Face Book’s feature that displays what you posted on Face Book one, two, three years ago from “today” hardly ever offers me anything to re-post.

I did get a message once, however, that offered: Nothing again. Get a life.


Tales of Sofa Land and Wally Mart

Saturday our new sectional sofa was delivered from none other than, ta da, Sofa Land. It is quite wonderful and so huge both of us can lie down and not have our feet touch our respective arms at the end of our respective reclining seats – yes, that’s right. It has two seats that recline, electronically, with unlimited positions. Not only that I can plug my iPhone into the sofa’s phone charger. Yup. I can just sit on my ass with a constantly charged phone and do things like… err.. write important posts to Face Book.

On Face Book, I mentioned going to Walmart. I asked for prayers, but apparently I am not worthy of such support. My friend Tammy just commented, “Don’t do that.” I didn’t notice her words of encouragement until I came home. Another friend, Kate, suggested :good things happen in even the most unlikely places..”  I think perhaps she was drunk when she wrote that. My longtime buddy, Leo, asked for my location so he could send a rescue team (but I noticed he didn’t offer to be on that team). And a few other friends Liked that post. Not really sure what a Like on a post that reads “I am going to Walmart. Pray for me” is supposed to denote or even connote (yes I do know the difference). Did they like it I was going to Walmart or that I was seeking prayer? I imagine one of those two is more probable than the other, but you figure that out.

Anyway. We went for a couple of those TV stands we can eat on. Yeh, I know that sounds so 1960s, but here’s the thing. That incredible sofa is so damn big we have to move our small dining room table down in the basement. It appears now if we have anyone over for dinner, we will need 6 to 8 TV trays for our guests. No lie. Or clear off our wonderful oak work tables we situated off the kitchen in another former eating area (but only for really special guests, I imagine).

As usual, we left Wally World with more than we set out to accumulate: three laundry baskets (on sale of course, had to get them), two very soft and comfy deep purple throws so we can hide under the covers when watching a scary show (like reruns of Murder She Wrote), some Easter bunny stuff for the grand kids, and then we said that thing we always say. “Let’s pick up a couple of things for dinner.” What started out as chicken and a loaf of bread ended up being a cart full of great deals.

In our travels around WalIy Land, I noticed that some Walmart staff were wearing a new smock which said on the back in very large typeface, “Happy to Help.” I approached one but before I could ask anything she turned to face me. Apparently the correct facial expression for “happy to help” is a grimace and a look of terror in the eye that offers, “Oh crap here comes another one.”

I just kept walking. Once we got home (and unloaded all of our great finds), Ronda took a nap and I sat on our gigantic sofa, my phone plugged in, and wrote a bunch of dribble and posted in on Face Book, which is what all us do on Face Book from time to time, right?

That Damn Rogers Guy

I talked to the Rogers guy today. Usually I just say no thanks as soon as I know it’s a marketing call, but I was open to a bit of sport.

I listened to him review my account, telling me all that I have which of course I am aware of. Then, he offers me 9 GB of data for only $15 more a month.

It’s a great deal, he said.

I currently have 6 GB. I said, I don’t think I ever go over 6 GIG.

He checked. You are right, he said. You have 6 Gig.

You didn’t need to check, I said. I know what I have.

Oh, not a problem at all, he said cheerfully – not really getting my point.

I said, Paying 15 more a month for something I don’t need doesn’t sound like a great deal for me.

There was a pause.

I agree, he said.

Well, I said, had you looked at my account to see that before you called me, you wouldn’t have needed to try to sell me what I don’t need, right?

This is when callers go back to the script I guess. He said, Mark is there anything else I can do for you today?

Huh? I said

Anything else I can help you with?

I thought this is crazy. I said. You didn’t help me at all. You tried to sell me something I don’t need.

He didn’t say anything.

Then I said, Wait. There is something.

He sounded cheerful once again andsaid, What is it, Mark?

Take me off your call list, I said. I would like that very much.


What’s Different About Me?

I saw a colleague at a meeting. He said, “Something is different about you.”

I shrugged. I had no clue.

He kept looking at me.

“Hey,” I said. “You’re staring at me.”

He laughed.

I laughed.

We joined others for our meeting.

Half way through, he leaned over, grinned, and said, “I just realized what’s different about you.”

“Okay,” I said. ” I’ll bite.”

“It’s your hair,” he said.

“My hair?”

“Yep,” he said. “It’s combed.”