Aug 12 2011


Jamie Barrows

I’m traveling over the next few days. So any updates will be sporadic.

Aug 9 2011

And now I bring you a picture of a cat

Jamie Barrows

After all the meetings and rushed code fixes today, my brain is not up to writing a long blog post. So what you get is this lovely picture of a cat. It’s about all I have the energy or motivation to put up today. So enjoy the cat.

Aug 8 2011

I really hate our political party system

Jamie Barrows

Some days it seems like the only thing our elected officials are capable of is blaming each other. Neither party is really working to fix anything in our government. This whole debt crisis that we recently went through was one of the worst examples of everything that is wrong with our country.

We, as a nation, have a spending problem. For every dollar our government spends, 40 cents is borrowed. That is not a sustainable long term spending plan. On top of that, we have been doing that for a LONG time. So we have a huge existing debt load. We have to stop spending at the rate we are spending, and we have to start paying off the current debt. That means that both parties are going to have to cut programs and taxes are going to have to go up.

But neither party is willing to do any of the hard things that are necessary. Members of both parties are more interested in making sure that they score political points against the other party. And both are more interested in making sure that they get reelected than in doing what is good for the country.

Republicans and Democrats can’t agree on what programs to cut. But the truth is, all of the programs need to be cut back. We simply can’t afford to keep spending at the rate we are spending. The question that politicians should be asking is how much they need to be cut, rather than bickering about whether the specific program should be cut at all. The longer they wait on making the needed cuts, the more bankrupt this country gets. Eventually we won’t be able to borrow money to run the programs at all.

Republicans and Democrats can’t agree on raising taxes. The Democrats want to tax only the wealthy, and the Republicans refuse to raise taxes at all. Republicans need to realize that even if we cut all of the programs back to the bare minimum, we still won’t have the money to begin paying back the HUGE amount we owe. So taxes will have to be raised. And Democrats need to recognize that raising taxes on the wealthy only, is only going to hurt our nation by encouraging the wealthy to move out of our nation and take their wealth with them. Taxes will need to be raised for everyone and that isn’t going to be popular.

But as we saw in the recent debate, the parties don’t really care about fixing the problem. Both parties have lots of excuses and reasons for why they won’t budge. Democrat voters don’t want the programs that they believe are helping people to get cut back. Republican voters don’t want more money taken from people who need it to pay for what they believe will be more spending increases.

At the end of the day, neither party actually really cares about the Country as a whole. They only care about getting reelected. So they won’t do anything that might make their constituents vote them out of office. Both parties will let our nation fall apart around them while they argue over stupid sound bytes and meaningless legislation that doesn’t fix any of the problems.

Aug 7 2011

The Two Koreas

Jamie Barrows

I was browsing the web this weekend and found a photo blog with recent pictures of North Korea. The pictures were really good and I recommend clicking the link and checking them out for yourself.

It was fascinating to see the differences between the North and the South. The extreme poverty and deprivation that is present in the North is even more shocking when you compare it to the affluent and prosperous South. Especially when you consider that it wasn’t that long ago that both were on equal footing. Both nations were equally devastated by World War 2. And the Korean war that followed left most of the peninsula in even worse shape.

But in the years since 1953 when the Korean War ended, South Korea has become a major world economic and technological power, and North Korea has become a place where starvation is common. No where else in the world is the difference between relatively equal nations, in terms of starting point and resources, so distinct. The effects of the dictatorial government of the North’s policies has been a complete disaster for the nation. Whereas the South’s policies have rebuilt and modernized the nation.

Aug 6 2011

Yard day

Jamie Barrows

Today is a Yard work day.

I didn’t mow my yard last weekend because we were visiting family in Atlanta, and I can’t mow it next weekend because I have a wedding to go to. So unless I want to have a jungle in my yard, I really need to mow it this weekend.

Of course today is supposed to be one of the hottest days we have had all year. So I fully expect to be covered in sweat and be totally worn out by the time I’m done.

There is something really satisfying to me about working on a garden/yard. Maybe it is because I work in an office all week and don’t get to work with my hands all that much. My job consists of writing reports, designing data management screens, and coding SQL statements all day. And I enjoy what I do, but there are times when doing something that is totally different is actually relaxing. So getting out and mowing my grass or weeding my garden is a good way for me to unwind and clear off stress.

Aug 5 2011

No ideas for a post today

Jamie Barrows

So today I have no ideas for a post. But since I’m trying to make sure I post every day for the next 30 days (This is day 3 of that process) I really have to post something. So this is going to be a boring post about my day.

I did read a lot of news today, but there really wasn’t all that much happening. The biggest news was the little war of words between Google and Microsoft over the Nortel Patents. Which really isn’t that exciting.

The only other thing I did was work. I got a lot done, but nothing I was working on was all that exciting. So all in all, it was kind of a boring day. Which I guess isn’t so bad. A normal boring day is kind of relaxing.

Aug 4 2011


Jamie Barrows

It’s summer, and there isn’t all that much on American TV to watch during summer. So I end up hunting through Cable channels to find things to watch. One of the shows I’ve found is called Hoarders.

It’s fascinating to me to watch the way stuff has completely taken over people’s lives. These people have let the collection of things (often worthless things) ruin their homes, families, and livelihoods. And they can’t let the stuff go. They fight the cleaners and organizers over every item that gets thrown away. And most of it is junk.

Apart from the entertainment value of watching them attempt to take back control of the “hoard,” the show has really made me look at how much “stuff” I have. Don’t get me wrong, my house isn’t cluttered or too full of stuff. But if I really took an inventory of all the things in my house, I would have to say that there are a lot of things I haven’t touched in at least a year. And if I haven’t touched it in a year, do I really need it? How many shirts and pairs of pants do I really need? I have pants and shirts I haven’t worn in years and I should just get rid of. I have bookshelves full of books that I have read and probably will never read again.

Even though my stuff hasn’t taken over my house, I really have more things than I need. So I’m going to try to get rid of anything I don’t really need.

Aug 3 2011

The 30 day project

Jamie Barrows

I watched the following video yesterday, and was really inspired by it.
There are lots of things that I really want to do but it seems like I can never manage to set aside the time to start them. And when I do start a project, I never manage to stick with it for very long. The idea of doing something for 30 days straight seems like something I could do. Putting a specific time limit on a task or hobby, makes it easier to keep doing it even when I don’t feel like it or when it is inconvenient.

So what 30 day task am I going to try first?
Your looking at it. I’m going to try to get back into blogging regularly. I used to post to this blog more frequently, but in recent years I’ve kind of slacked off and I’ve always regretted it. So starting with this post, I’m going to try to do 1 blog post every day.
If I’m busy or traveling, the post might be very short. But regardless I’m going to try get a post out every day for the next 30 days.

Feb 7 2011

New little Barrows

Jamie Barrows

I’m happy to announce that I have a new little baby girl. She was born this week on 2/3/2011 and her name is Adrienne Louise Barrows. I’m posting one pic above, but if you want to see more check out our website.


Jan 25 2011

Reading List

Jamie Barrows

If you know me, you know I read a lot of books. Mostly fantasy or science fiction.
Over Christmas, my wife got me the perfect gift. An Amazon kindle.
I’ve been amazed at the battery life, the screen clarity, and the weight. As a replacement for the paperbacks I carry around all the time, it really hits the spot.
I used to take whatever book I was reading with me wherever I went. That way I would always have something to read if I was bored. But I really couldn’t carry more than one book at a time. So if I finished my book I would be stuck without one. With the Kindle, I can carry multiple books without taking any more space. So I’m never stuck without a book now.

Of course, that means all my books are electronic now. Which tweaked my interest in some of the data surrounding my reading habits. So this year I’ve decided to try to keep track of all the books I read. Maybe get an idea of how many per month and how often I finish one.
As part of that project, I am logging all of my reading activity on my home page. You can see it here. I’m including a rating and a short little review of what I thought. Oh, and also a link to the book on Amazon in case you want to check it out for yourself.
I guess I could have done this just as easily with the dead tree books I read last year, but I never really thought about it before.