When making a mistake can cement your status.

I hang out a lot on the Boardgamegeek.com forums. An interesting situation came up which made me think about expertise and authority in relationship to mistakes.

I recently had a forum conversation with a member that I used to hold in high regard. He was a very distinctive personality but I always deferred to his opinion on games. In this situation he came in and dropped an authoritative line with little explanation. When questioned, he threw off a couple trite cryptic responses. When directly challenged, he went silent.

I get the sense he wants to be respected for his ability to analyze games at their core. But in this case the best move for him would have been to just admit he made a mistake and explain how the mistake came about. We are all human, mistakes and misunderstandings happen. Even though we want to be right all the the time, we all know that just isn’t going to happen, especially in the free flowing and often confusing conversational environment that exists on the forums.

While its not easy to admit you made a mistake, the paradox is that such a moment is the perfect opportunity to cement your authority as expert. Obviously, you must be right most of the time to be considered an expert, but that’s the easy stuff. The rare moments of error are the times when you can prove you are truly secure in your expertise. This is when you prove your desire to always get the right answer over being “always right.” This is when respect is earned.

But instead, I now see this guy in a new light. I’ve always assumed his distinctive personality was a consequence of his logical approach to games, but now I wonder if its there to mask some insecurity, trying to preemptively keep people from challenging him. The internet lets you be whoever you want to be because the means of interaction are so constrained. Unfortunately we all know this, so missteps are given more weight by those around you. You can hide for only so long, who you are will leak out by your actions and inactions. You can try to maintain a facade, but we’ll wonder what’s behind the that edifice.

Pork Chops, Thanksgiving, and a 35mm f/1.8 AF-S

Well it turns out that if you have an autofocus lens and a bounce flash you can make decent food porn.

Thanksgiving had a duck, cheesecake, mashed potatoes and minestrone soup.

Saturday had porkchops with apples and portobello mushrooms. The recipe came from Mark Bittman’s Basics – which is really a nicely structured book – with a couple modifications, instead of onions I used mushrooms and in lieu of wine I just used apple juice. I was surprised how all these came out. Maybe I’ll be getting into cooking or something now. I think Jing would appreciate it!

pork chops

pork chop porn

breakfast

lunch

thanksgiving!

2 out of 3…any way to shift the paradigm for house hunting?

It seems that our house hunt has been a balancing act of Price, House (lot and building), and Neighborhood (schools, etc).

Its hard enough to get 2 out of 3, but seemingly impossible to get all three. This conundrum seems to be common, as an architect the saying is price, quality, speed. And for my health care management friends its affordability, quality, accessibility.

I wonder how we can break out of this slump.

Democracy in action

The other day we went to the planning commission public meeting because one of our clients had a variance request. It was a long tedious affair…and yet insanely interesting. I’m not sure its something I would do on any basis other than as required for items that directly affect me or my clients, but its certainly interesting to have a window in the lives of those around us. From adding a liquor section to walmart to a guy who got caught building without permits there were little glimpses everywhere you looked.

http://www5.lasvegasnevada.gov/sirepub/mtgviewer.aspx?meetid=1342&doctype=Agenda

A wedding coda

Just coincidentally, I sent off my thank you notes and paid off my credit card bill, today.  We had a very simple wedding, so fortunately we won’t be eating interest on the extravaganza, it just happened to be the lag time between reception transaction and final bank autopay withdrawal   But wow.  If you ever want advice on having a relatively cheap but decent wedding in Las Vegas we’d love to help.  Cause even a simple wedding gets expensive fast!

Aside from that, just thanks to everyone.  Everyone who came and everyone who wished us well.  And to our parents.  Cheers!

Checking in after half a year.

Well not much and yet a lot has changed.  I’d say that Badger’s passing was certainly the most momentous thing that happened at the end of 2012, but really that might not be true.  Because right before the year closed out the heater in our apartment in 1407 Missouri died, but only after burning out and spewing toxic plastic fumes into the place.  The maintenance team was unable to fix it and ownership was unwilling to do the right thing and just replace the damn system.  So we got let out of our lease.

The lease would have ended in May, so most likely we would have considered moving back to Las Vegas then, but everything got pushed up.  And so by the end of January we had quit our jobs and on Valentines Day 2013, we were on the road.  We had a lovely, lovely meal sitting on the parking lot of Bucees between Houston and San Antonio (this gas stop did not have any benches to eat at, so I mean literally sitting on the parking lot pavement).  Aside from a blown tire in Houston and another in Phoenix, we had a safe and relatively uneventful trip landing in Las Vegas a few days later.

And not a month later I got a job with Craig Palacios.  Which was also quite a series of fortunate events.  I had been hooked up with an interview in Downtown Las Vegas because of a contractor in Vegas and while in Downtown I wandered around.  One of my now coworkers dug my vibe, gave me their contact, maybe dropped a good word for me (though never having met me before) and my period of unemployment lasted a total of 39 days.

Oh and we got married.  May 11, 2013.  Whee!

May 11, 2013
May 11, 2013