Saturday, September 14, 2013

Isolate Yourself By Doing Data in the Hills - Like Me

Isolate Yourself By Doing Data in the Hills

... or, What I Do and Where I live

I am a Data Scientist

I've been a data-loving scientist most all of my life. Only now though is it a sexy career choice. Yeah for me!

I developed a model for data intelligence for the U.S. Army and other U.S. government military intelligence agencies about ten years ago when I was hired to organize and merge all their myriad Military Intel software programs into a unified Graphical User Interface (GUI) to be moved off big computers onto field laptops for easy field agent use.

The model I developed was a simple, intuitive and natural categorizing for all their existing software breaking down all intelligence steps into a three-fold process: Capture data, Analyze it into Information, and then Present it as Intelligence. I used the C.A.P. of these verbs to term it the CAP Model of Intelligence.

Bureaucracies Complicate Elegance  

As best I can tell, the U.S. Army intelligence model I developed morphed into something more to their suiting and less comprehensible. So, to this day the CAP Model, though really just the natural flow of phenomena belonging to nature itself - gather/digest/expend, is by copyright law (till they dispute otherwise) owned by me, as the original concept author.

I Work Today in Business Intelligence 

That means I write code, manage data warehouse infrastructures, supply and trouble-shoot data for reporting, and administer, use, or help others use various BI tools. These things mostly fall into the "C" side of the CAP Model.

Recently I did an objective survey of my job skills and found that though I make reasonable enough money to live how I live doing my present job, I despairingly fall into the bottom two percentile bracket of pay for who I am and what the market says I'm worth.

Up till now, I've been very happy doing what I've been doing over the last ten years of so since I worked doing military intelligence software stuff. It's a friendly environment with good people. I'm able to work from home 90% plus of the time. (The work is global and people are scattered so my physical location via remote computer is really irrelevant.) And it's a good company all in all to work for. Also, it's given me the freedom over the last two years to design and build my own own.


I Live in a Small Cabin 

My Small Cabin - Wife, I, and Her Father Built Also
...on five acres with my wife and two dogs on the Blanco River in the heart of Texas, known as The Hill Country. I am very isolated, bordering vast non-populated areas, and have lots of interesting wildlife to keep me constantly entertained.
The Narrows, five miles upriver - middle of nowhere

Eventually it became time to build a larger house to entice my own children to come visit me, provide larger space for friends and family, and to give us all a little elbow room. I've almost completed the new house.

Being a natural scientist (one who continually explores, postulates, discovers and synthesizes information - yes, the natural CAP model), I've been content with my head down enjoying the work of studying, managing, and trying to control, build and present data. With the latest evolution of things in this field, I think the simple job I've been doing and will likely continue doing is becoming much more recognized as a science that business is willing and anxious to utilize.

I think I will continue doing what I naturally do and expand my skills in this field into some of the latest technologies and hopefully find a good place to live.

It will probably be as a Data Scientist in that house on five acres out here among the wildlife in the beautiful Texas Hill Country. With my wife and two dogs. And anybody else that wants to come by.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Good Marriage Therapy: Read Atlas Shrugged Together

My wife and I for the first time are reading the same book. After 35 years of marriage and hundreds of books we've each read and read independently, we finally purchased a copy of Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand and are each reading it. I recommend it to all married couple to try at least once.

The problem is of course when she's reading it I can't. And visa-versa. So of course it's good that it's a 1,000 page plus classic.

That's all.

I recommend the book absolutely for all human beings. And I recommend reading a book at the same time as your spouse. It provides entertainment, thought, and conversation fodder. Not that we needed it really, but what the heck, I think it's good marriage therapy.


Monday, September 2, 2013

Be A Builder. Make A Home. Find Primal Satisfaction.

There's nothing cooler than building your home.

I've had two homes built for me - where I picked out the plans and details and had someone else build them for me. I've taken one old house where I and my father-in-law rebuilt the interior and attic and made a home. (I was 21 and getting a wife.) I've built one cabin on my own (with my wife's and her dad's help when I was poor) from dilapidated lumber of an abandoned cabin.

My present efforts are the first time I have designed from scratch, and then proceeded to find the money and either build a house myself or find and pay someone to do aspects for me - things like pouring a 2,000 square foot slab or working out the architectural details on paper. And with the help of my wife and friends who have lent me tractors and tool-pouches and ladders and labor, I have done most everything else. Everything from pulling stumps to installing the electrical wiring - to floors, paint, plumbing, appliances and ceilings. (Framing though was done by Juan Manual Ponce, a genius and an angel.)

Achieve doing this once in your life. It is a requirement for fundamental satisfaction. It can be done. And I've been doing it. No other satisfaction has come close to this. Nor maybe ever will.

Most animals build their own homes. Modern man tends to hire other men to build it for them. It has not always been that way in history. See what it's like to to build your home and live in it.

There is primal satisfaction in doing so. Man was meant to build. And to build a home is mysteriously fitting for a man's search for the pride of who he is meant to be. Try it and find out yourself.



I experiment all the time and nearly in all things: fishing, body movement, musical instruments--everything! That's what makes life interesting and full of possibilities. I am always assuming that the one great truth or break-through is simple and right before our eyes. I am convinced that we can't see it due to the blindness of culture, past events, and generally just being locked into "the way it's always done" illusion. The power to create is damned because we close our eyes and minds and take fruit handed to us.

Stretch your body in different ways; eat more, less, different; drive a different route; fish with different lures, make your own lure, or put it on backwards; think weird thoughts; walk backwards; invent things, if they don't' work - oh, well!

Stop assuming everything's been figured out already, or someone else already knows the best answer.

I am convinced that the simple fishhook (angles-bent, barbs, etc.) has yet to evolve to its highest form. And once it does, it will (only after the fact) seem intuitive, simple, and obvious. This same level of technical superiority has yet to be found in many, if not all aspects of living. And it can only be discovered by ordinary people experimenting.

Chinese medicine with acupuncture developed over centuries by experimentation. There was no knowledge of the Chi meridian paths till they were found by experimenting. Who would've thought? Needles!? Invisible energy!?

The weed-whacker, yoga, dog breeds, continents and worlds are all discovered by experimenting. Test the water. Don't look to someone else! Try something! Anything! There are no experts - only discoveries to be made!

Mitch Sanders
April 19th, 2002

Sunday, September 1, 2013

All of Life's Important Questions Can Be Asked Once You Know Your History

Without a sense of history, you don't even know how you got to where you are....


This provides context. Who are you? How did you get here? You can't start to answer until you have a sense of the flow of the people that came before, and the people that came before them and on and on.

Whether one's cosmology is creation or evolution, recorded history of man began in the Mesopotamia valley about 6,000 years ago. From there, civilization and recorded history began. Women begat children, and those children had children, and on , until you were born. Who were these people? What did they think? How did they feel? What circumstances did they endure? And what skills, attitudes, and faith did they carry in their genes that allowed them to survive to the point where you were born? You carry those same genes and heritage.

And what of the countless family lines that have died out? What mindsets, circumstances, and fate decided the doom of some over the perpetuation of another? You and I came from the survivors. Will these elements that carried people in history carry the future? And what affect will we have had once our lives are history and future people either survive or die?

Having a grasp of the flow of the causes and effects that have occurred up until your lifetime provides a context for understanding in which all life's important questions can them be asked and the answers pursued.

Mitch Sanders
March 14th, 2002