Should-a, Could-a, Would-a

Banana Cream Pie

It seems that all through my childhood, my siblings and I would ask questions that start with “Can I.. ” and we’d be corrected to ask “May I .. ”

So  the other night, our daughter did it… she asked “Can I have some more dinner?”.  

And so our dinner table conversation turned into a Socratic discussion – not an uncommon event in our household. We embrace the idea of using real world experiences and turning them into talking points from which our children can learn.

So through various navigational aides, we guided the conversation to help them understand the difference between ‘can‘ and ‘may‘.

We helped them understand that ‘can’ has to do with ones ability to do something. “Can I jump up and down?”  You either can or you can’t – it’s ability driven.

While the word ‘may’ implies that you are asking for permission. “May I have a piece of cake?” It’s asking for permission to have a piece, and says nothing about your ability to get the cake.

So we took this “Can I… “ and “May I… “ conversation a step further, and related it to the words, ‘would‘ and ‘could‘.

The kids actually startled me that they were able to see the connection right away – that ‘could‘ relates to ability, and ‘would‘ relates to permission. The correlation isn’t always a direct correlation, but served our conversation fairly well, so that we could see that questions like “Could she eat all that pie?‘ is ability driven, while “Would she like to eat all the pie?” is permission driven.

And through this, we highlighted a very important step that extends upon the idea of ability and permission, and amounts to a very important question that we all ask ourselves each and every time we are deciding to do something, and that is “Should I…?

Should‘ is a very important reflection that makes us self-analyze the decisions we make, and forces us as logical creatures to make decisions on whether or not the decision is right for us.

For instance, if you have a banana cream pie, and you see your dad sitting in the chair snoring, you could have your mom’s permission, and you certainly have the ability, but the real question you have to think about is, are there going to be consequences?

So we may have the ability , and we may even have permission to do something… but the real question is, should we be doing this?

The kids enjoyed the lesson, and it ultimately helped them understand the difference between the two questions, and as a bonus, realized that there’s a third question to consider.  Maybe this will help you with talking points with your kids, or at least understand the difference better yourself  :)


Beetle Bug

I stepped outside my back porch and found this cute little fella on his back with his legs kicking in the air. I figured it was a fair trade to put him right side up, and back into some leaves for a few minutes of a photo op.





Carolina Wren

Finally, after 2 months of searching for this beautiful song bird in our new home in Texas, we found it. We were expecting something a bit larger and gaudy, but it turns out that this humble looking wren is the noisiest bird in the neighborhood.

My wife and I spent a lot of time going through recordings, looking at birds while they were singing, and could never find it. We finally got a glimpse a few weeks ago, but could only tell that it was a smaller bird, which narrowed down our search field.

Well today, I caught one serenading his mate on the fence, and was able to get a few low quality images that gave me enough clues that I could track it down.

So this wonderful bird is the Carolina Wren, and is loud enough that it’s beautiful song penetrates deep into the house every morning to let you know the day has begun. And a step outside into his territory let’s you know that every other bird is alive and well too.

Problem solved, now let’s see what other new critters we can identify :)

Summer Tanager

I feel very blessed to have been serenaded by a Summer Tanager the other night while on a walk with my wife the other night.  It was high up in a tree, and couldn’t get a picture of it, nor a very good look at it, other than it was a bright red, and had a beautiful song. I’m 99% sure this was what we found.

Texas Hornet


I’m not really sure of what kind of hornet or wasp this is, but he was comfortably resting on the beautiful smelling avocado saplings they were selling at the nursery.

Another Theme Update

wordpress addiction

As many of you know, I’m a self described WordPress addict.  I preach it, I live it, I love it! And with that comes the constant need for trying new plugins and themes, just to see what’s new and interesting.

And this week is no different. I’ve changed themes again.

This time, it’s to fit a whole new concept for this blog.  It will no longer focus on technology, but rather, is going to be an personal blog that I can post family pictures on.

It seems that family wants to see more pictures, and I really want better control of the layout, so I decided that this is the best place to do that.

I’ll still post a link to my Facebook profile, but I really like the idea of having more control, and the ability to “change it up” from time to time.

So I’m using the free theme from the repository called Ryu, and it was really close to what I was looking for… it’s not perfect, and I still have my out out for the update to the Manifest theme I was using previously, but he’s a bit behind on delivering… I really wish he’d drop the code in GitHub for others to clone & fork…

Anyhow, let me know your thoughts, and if it’s got any quirks or bugs I didn’t see.  I didn’t test the contact form or comments yet, so they could be broken, but I doubt it… feel free to check em out for me ;)

Welcome Home, Tex!

Welcome To Texas

I got the most wonderful email this morning that said, Welcome Home, Tex!  OK, so it didn’t really call me Tex, but I really did recieve a “welcome home” email.

It’s an email I’ve been anticipating for the last few days, and was an invitation to move to Texas.

Not many knew that I had traveled to Austin, TX just before Thanksgiving for a quick interview, but I took a quick trip with a connecting flight through Dallas.

It wasn’t my first interview, but it is my last.  I took the job.

It was a fun trip to Austin, but it was cold. It was expected to snow when I landed in Dallas.  I never saw any snow in Texas, but they said that flights were cancelling because Dallas isn’t equipped to handle large amounts of plane de-icing.

I figured it was just a warm welcome for a Coloradoan… just wish they understood that I was really more interested in the warmth they had to offer.  :)

The interview was interesting. It was a mixture of friendly and interrogatory at the same time. A lot of calculated questions and answers to vett each other to make sure I was a good fit for them and vice-versa.

The interview was split into two sessions. The first was with management, and was designed to make sure I had a good personality, and would be a good culture fit for the team. Ironically, this was the easy part of the interview, which is usually the really hard part for techies like myself.

The second part was the technical portion. There were four guys that had a series of tests and questions to make sure I would be able to handle things.  And oh boy did they grill me. I passed, but I sure was sweating bullets. They are a challenging group of individuals, and weren’t about to accept just anybody.  I had to prove myself.

So in the coming months and years, I will be writing here about my experiences with this new company, what I do for them, and what they do for businesses.

Oh, and the company that hired me?  Rackspace.

Don’t worry if you’ve not heard of them, I’ll fill you in over time on what they do :)  Just know that they are a great company, are growing by leaps and bounds, and will be taking great care of me.

So for all my Grand Junction friends, colleagues and clients, this is goodbye. I will miss you all dearly, and I’m thankful that the Internet exists, and all the apps and services like Facebook and email to keep us connected, even halfway across the country.

Be safe, and have fun.  I know I will.

PS – As I’m finishing up this article, it’s about to snow something fierce, and is likely the beginning of our cold inversion settling in.  I’ll write up a story about me traveling and snow storms in a future article, but just know that when I travel, the weather has always gotten really active.