My Dad (In-Law)

Posted in Just Day to Day Schtuff on December 23, 2018 by KAHNSoft

Over the years, I’ve heard a lot of In-Law jokes; usually negative. Horror stories about Mother-In-Laws or what have you mostly. I’ve never had any of those. 26 years ago, my bride to be’s parents accepted me into their family with open arms.

When I asked my soon to be Father-In-Law for his daughter’s hand, he accepted right away. He shared two pieces of wisdom with me at that time, “she could do worse, and has”, and “there will be times when you want to put her through a wall…. don’t”.

That good man, passed away today.

He was a Marine, a Veteran, a Father and a Husband. He embodied the Marine Corp mascot (the bulldog) in a lot of ways; but, to me, he was a guy who accepted me into his home, and his family in a way that made it clear that I was one of his own.

We did not have a lot in common, but I had a great deal of respect for him. He worked hard. He embodied a work ethic that earned the respect of those around him and a healthy amount of fear from any that opposed him.

When I met Roger, he was the shop steward at the Post Office where I worked. We were on opposite sides of one of those imaginary lines that unions are so fond of. He was the steward for the mail handlers union. I was not only a clerk, but a “casual clerk” or temporary help (a scab in the semi-official parlance). I was constantly in trouble with him because I was tasked with doing a job that was normally a mail handlers job. In addition to that I had a bad habit of hauling cages of mail across the building when they were full. A task that was definitely outside my bailiwick. I can still see him in my mind storming down the middle of the building to talk to my boss.

It was some time later that I would meet the girl that would one day make me a father. It would be even longer before I discovered that the two of them were related.

The day I first went to my then girlfriend’s house to pick her up for our “first date” (we had been friends at work for some time before that), her father met me at the door carrying a rifle. Only later would I discover that he had been cleaning them when I showed up.

When we went back to DC to go through the DC temple, Danielle’s parents went with us. We spent some time visiting the monuments while we were there. The day we were scheduled to visit the Vietnam Memorial Wall, I was initially going to wear a tie-dyed t-shirt. I wondered if it would be seen as disrespectful by some because of its association with the hippies of the 60’s. I asked him about it and his response has always stuck with me. “We did what we did, so you could do what you want.” I didn’t end up wearing the shirt, but I appreciated his response and that he took the question seriously enough to respond.

When my daughter was born and my Bride and I were going to school and working, Roger would babysit. When we asked him not to talk “baby-talk” to her, he was immediately grateful and would sit and read fishing magazines to her. It was not a wonder that one of her first words was “fish”.

A good man has left this world. It was a long and painful trip, but he has returned home and is beyond pain. He will be missed. I will miss him.


Posted in Just Day to Day Schtuff on September 19, 2018 by KAHNSoft

So I’ve discovered a fundamental difference in the way some people perceive time.  Some people seem to view time as a linear experience.  Basically… a line marked with space to be filled with all of the things they need to accomplish in a given period.

Other people seem to experience time as a void wherein the universe has thrown random numbers just to annoy them.  They have no concept of continuity or schedule.  Just “Ihaveallthesethingstoaccomplishrightnow”.

The problem is when one type of person tries to align their “schedule” with the other person’s “day”.

How do you translate… I must do this, then this, then this then this… to Ihavetodoallofthisrightnow.

Both sides end up being angry and frustrated.  Welcome my friends to my morning.  I hope you are having a good “day”.


Posted in Just Day to Day Schtuff on February 22, 2017 by KAHNSoft


I saw this today on Facebook, but I thought it really spoke to me so I figured I’d share it here too.

So I love the smell and feel of books. I like having them around and for me, walking into a library or a book store is akin to walking into a church. That said, I can’t read books. I just can’t carry them around with me. I’ll carry hundreds of stories on my kindle and have even bought books that I saw in the library on my kindle while I stood there in the racks. It’s a bit of a paradox, I know but that’s just me.

That said, I still love to walk into Barnes and Noble and sit with a book or just troll the racks looking at books; occasionally picking them up and thumbing through them.  I even feel a little guilty about it sometimes because I know that except on very rare occasions, I’m not going to buy them in paper form even though I’d love to have them on a shelf at home, but if/when I read them, I’m going to do it in electronic format.


Posted in Just Day to Day Schtuff on July 16, 2016 by KAHNSoft

So after years of saying just how much I didn’t need an iPad, I inherited one from the girls.  They have both earned two tablets each from Girl Scouts by selling over 2500 cookies a piece.  So I got an iPad 4th Gen and I started playing with it.  Initially, I couldn’t think of anything that I could do with the iPad that I couldn’t do with my other machines.  I’ve got a Kindle Fire HDX and an RCA Cambio(running Win10).  Between the two, I can do a lot of stuff both professionally and personally.  What I discovered with the iPad, was that I could do most if not all of the same things, only with a bigger screen that was very sharp.  The Amazon software doesn’t integrate quite as nice as it does on my Fire Phone or my HDX, but it works very well.  The Microsoft Office software works very nearly the same as it does on the Windows machine.  Admittedly, I don’t have Visual Studio on the iPad but I do have software that can work with it and provide a second screen for some of the functionality (including logging and some of the output).  The iPad can also provide a second monitor for the Win10 machine using Duet which is a groovy little app created by some former Apple engineers.

All in all, I’m pretty stoked about the thing.  I’m becoming a convert.  It’s still a tablet with a lot of the limitations that come with a tablet, but …  It’s a pretty amazing tablet.

My Girls

Posted in Uncategorized on September 21, 2015 by KAHNSoft

A friend of mine told me about his new daughter today.  It reminded me of the early days of my two (late nights of walking the floor and singing off key) and then I thought about the fact that both of my daughters still seem to like me.  I’ve often been accused of not having a good work home balance, or doing a lot for my girls (as if it were a bad thing), but my youngest just spent a fair portion of her weekend cuddled up next to Dad watching tv and relaxing.  Win for me.  I certainly do love my girls a lot and I’m grateful for the time I get to spend with them.  I hope I’m able to maintain that relationship with them into their adulthood.


Posted in Uncategorized on September 11, 2015 by KAHNSoft

I recently responded to a Facebook post regarding our response to our middle eastern neighbors, post 9/11 in comparison to America’s response to Japanese Americans in WWI.  I thought it was worth sharing here…

While I can very much appreciate your comments, in today’s world unlike the world of the past, the government doesn’t have to lock up people who look the same as those who have wronged us. Post 9/11, laws were changed and liberties were taken so that the need to keep people in a camp to monitor them was completely unnecessary. With previously illegal wire taps and previously illegal surveillance, the government continues to monitor and detain Americans of all ethnic variations under the guise of “keeping America safe”. We as American’s have a responsibility to each other to stand together and fight not only the injustices committed against us from outside our boarders but also those that are imposed on us from the inside under the misleading guise of security. “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” I’m grateful that we’ve learned from our mistakes. Unfortunately, we continue to make new ones. I’m also grateful for the very patient and wonderful people I’ve met who “look like” the men who committed the crimes of 9/11; who’ve taken the time to be human to me and help me learn a little bit about their many and varied cultures so that we were able to make a meaningful connection and I was able to become a little less ignorant.

Damn I feel old

Posted in Uncategorized on March 24, 2015 by KAHNSoft

So it’s been a while since I posted anything in this space.  I really haven’t felt much like writing.  Honestly, I haven’t felt much like anything.  I wake, I work, I sleep.  Besides the occasional dip into my few remaining hobbies, that’s about it.  I’ve been thinking a bit of late about my daughter.  She’s 16.  Wow!  How the hell did that happen.  You know, there was only ever one time in my life that I ever really contemplated having a child beyond the day mine was first introduced to me.  Beyond that brief period, I never really imagined myself as a family man.  I got married at a relatively early age and my wife wanted children so I thought, ok.  It was never really… real.  Then when we were told that we couldn’t have any, it didn’t really vex me.  My wife’s pain bothered me of course, but the idea that I wasn’t going to be a dad didn’t.

Of course, that all changed when they showed me that first ultra-sound.  It was amazing.  I’d looked at probably hundreds of those silly pictures and I always felt a bit like I do when I look at those supposedly 3-d pictures that you’re supposed to squint to see the actual picture?.?.  I have never seen anything in those either; but, people would show me an ultrasound and I would hmmm and haaaa and they’d tell me how beautiful the baby was and I’d think it looks like you need to tune it in a bit better.  Never the less when I saw Jenne-Lee on the ultrasound, I saw the most beautiful little tadpole I’d ever seen.  I was instantly hooked.

Later she and I would spend nights together watching Star Wars (or rather sleeping through it) after she’d eaten at Mom’s and had her pants changed.  I’d walk the floor with her a bit and then I’d crash on my recliner and turn on the TV.  Soon we were both out.

Now here we are sixteen years later and she’s got a boy friend.  She’s going on dates and sneaking around so that I don’t abuse him.  I get it of course.  I understand; though, while I’ve teased her a bit about the concept of boys, I’ve never really meant it.  I’m just not sure how I feel about the whole concept beyond the fact that I feel really old at the moment.  The grey in my beard looks all the more grey and the creak in my knees seems just a little louder.

I miss my baby.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m incredibly proud of the young woman she’s become.  She’s amazing.  She’s incredibly smart and talented.  She sings beautifully and she would have no trouble outsmarting the best and brightest.  She has big dreams and wants to change the world for the better.  She’s confident and frightened and comfortable in her own skin and yet self conscious at the same time.  She truly is the next generation.  Better than her parents in so many ways and yet so naive about how it all turns out in the end.

I look forward to each day with her in it as she explores the next steps to adulthood and I panic about what she might do next.

I guess I’m a parent.  It seems silly to say I don’t know how that happened, but…

The History of Hacking

Posted in Just Day to Day Schtuff on January 29, 2014 by KAHNSoft

So I’m watching The Fifth Estate and enjoying it immensely, but I wonder as I watch it how much of the technology people understand.  Over the years, there have been a number of tech centric movies put out into the general rotation and each has been peppered with some techno-babble.  Most of it has had some basis in reality and I wonder as I watch these how much people remember/know about.  As the characters in FE IRC chat back and forth and discuss bots that have been setup using anonymous mailing systems; I`m struck by how familiar (if somewhat antiquated) it all sounds.  That was the net before Google.  Before everyone and their dog was online.  Back when the term console cowboy was recognized and even respected.  It’s a good movie.  I’m enjoying it a great deal, and I really love watching Bennedict Comberbatch work.  He really is a fun actor to watch.


Posted in Uncategorized on January 27, 2013 by KAHNSoft

In Heathrow airport, there is a place where pretty girls will walk up to you and just give you Scotch.  All while a very friendly guy in full regelia plays the bagpipes in the background. 

It was the perfect end to a very nice trip to London.  That trip also included seeing Spamalot and getting to sing Always Look On The Bright Side of Life with the cast in West End. 

The show was great.  The Whiskey was good.

What could be better?


Posted in Just Day to Day Schtuff on December 14, 2012 by KAHNSoft

Today, a man went into a school in Connecticut and shot a lot of people. I don’t know why; I can’t imagine what would motivate someone to do that sort of thing.  Don’t get me wrong, I get why people kill other people sometimes, but this…

Anyway, we may never know what caused this man to feel the need to kill the most innocent of our society.  Sadly, he too was found dead, so not only can we not punish him for this horrible crime, but we cannot find out that most basic answer to the question on so many peoples minds… why?

I ache for the families who’s children or parents were so cruelly snatched away from them today.  I cannot begin to imagine what that is like.  I’ve been blessed with beautiful children but I cannot imagine something like this happening to them.

All of that said, there is something that happens in the aftermath of an event like this.  Many people, after assessing blame, will attempt to find preventative measures.  I understand that.  In a world that’s so out of control, the need to feel like you are doing something to control it can be a powerful one.

The problem is that you can’t control the world.  You can’t control people.  We keep trying but the best and worst of us always find ways to buck that control.  We cannot be “broken” and why would we want to be.  The moment the human animal is contained, we truly are dead as a species.

My daughters school has a rule against them taking their backpacks with them to class.  I can only assume that post Columbine, this seemed like a good way to keep weapons out of classrooms.  Except the kids with the guns weren’t carrying them to class in backpacks.   The entered the school with them.  Some schools use metal detectors to attempt to block kids from bringing weapons to school and while that’s certainly more effective than the back pack ban, it too can be circumvented (no, I’m not going to tell you how).

The answer is not to ban guns.

I’m not a gun nut.  I don’t own any.  That doesn’t mean that I object to them, it simply means that when I have money to spend, the first thing that comes to mind is something that will bring me joy, or at the very least a moments distraction.  The distraction gained from a gun is fleeting at best.  I go to a range, I fire off a few rounds… I get little satisfaction from doing it.  On the flip side, I’ll use the Kindle I got every day, the iPod too.

Now, some of you will say that neither the Kindle or the iPod will defend my family and yes, I cannot argue that in certain situations, if someone broke into my house, shooting them may be a good way to keep my family safe.  Unfortunately, I fear that I would be far more likely to shoot the the cat in a moment of frustration or more likely my self on a bad day.  A gun makes that sort of thing easier than just about any other tool available to me.

That said, if you want a gun, I feel like you have every right to have one.

Now, while I do believe it is every American’s right to own a gun, there are some people who should not have one.  I don’t think it’s the governments job to keep it from happening, I just think it’s a bad idea.  The scenario that people paint for me is the movie theater shooting that happened a while back.  If someone in the audience had been armed, they could have shot back.  The problem is that with my luck, the guy shooting back would be the nimrod behind me that can’t figure out how to keep his soda off the floor and when he took that shot, guess who’d be between him and Batman?

I’ll get off that soapbox.  Today something terrible happened.  A guy did something desperate and stupid.  I don’t know why.  Until we do, we cannot do anything about it.  Regulating book bags and tightening gun legislation is not the answer.  Neither would have prevented this.  The prevention is in looking at why the guy felt the need to take that action.  We may never know but it’s worth a look.

My thoughts, my prayers, my dearest hopes for peace go out to the families of those who’s lives have been shattered today.  Nothing can bring those souls back and there is no retribution that will ease the pain.  May whatever greater power you hold dear give you comfort in this time and if you have no faith, then my hope is that you will find comfort elsewhere.  Turn to your community or just rant on a blog.  Sometimes people suck, but sometimes they can be amazing too.