Archive for the ‘People’ Category


Social Media Exposure Positive for Valve CEO

June 3, 2010

I was lurking around Reddit this evening to find something interesting to read while trying not to hyperventilate and crumble after my second run in over a month (I’m weak). This headline got my attention (Warning, NSFW comments in the thread): What happens when you email the CEO of Valve Software more than once?

Here’s the email chain that comprises the post, and I think you will agree that it is very positive press for Gabe Newell with his target audience (buyers of his software) and all he did was reply to a couple of emails.

sockpuppet wrote:

Hey Gabe when people email the AT&T CEO more than once they’re sent a cease and desist letter. What happens if I email you more than once?

On Thu, Jun 3, 2010 at 11:23 AM, Gabe Newell wrote:

Don’t know. Let’s find out.

My response:

I should warn you my attorney is Saul Goodman. I will vigorously defend myself against your legal threats if required, I hope it doesn’t come to that.

His response:

from Gabe Newell

to sockpuppet date Thu, Jun 3, 2010 at 12:27 PM

I am looking out the windows of my 10th floor office (the office is the entire 10th floor, if that wasn’t clear, as it needs to be large enough to contain all of my awesomeness). It appears that the hounds have been released, as well as the ninjas (with some of the smaller and more agile ninjas riding on hounds), but no cease and desist letters, so you’re good on that front.


What went right here isn’t that the Redditor with the “sockpuppet” email put this online; he was so happy to get such a response from Gabe that he will definitely be one of those “tell three” people…even though sockpuppet told at least 1,117 (the amount of Redditors who bothered to push the ‘upvote’ button on the post). What Gabe did right was engage in like manner with ‘sockpuppet;’ clearly the two emails to Gabe were in good fun and Gabe responded in kind. Had the emails been about business, I trust Gabe’s response would have been…well, businessy.

That ‘sockpuppet’ posted the email chain is free targeted advertising for Gabe, especially when you consider the large population of videogamers like me who read Reddit. Here’s one:

If you’re serious, Gabe is seriously the coolest motherf*&er in the games industry.


Dennis Blair the Intel HR Mistake

May 24, 2010

“Blair arrived at a DNI that was bloated, with a staff of several thousand, that had already calcified, institutionally, and lacked support and authority. It proved too difficult for him to break apart firewalls.  Certain things did not make sense…”

This is from Thursday’s article in The Atlantic about Admiral (Ret.) Dennis Blair’s resignation as Director of ODNI. While it’s tempting to slam bureaucratic systems for behaving like bureaucracies, my interest in the Blair story is it highlights the recurring problem of selecting folks for jobs just because they were successful at any number of other jobs, setting them (and their organizations perhaps) up for failure.

Ret. Admiral Blair

From what I read in the news and hear from the IC, it sounds like Blair made fateful political mistakes that could have been avoided with better preparation for the job. But it’s not like new government leaders are given in-briefs on how to play nice with Rahm Emanuel. Blair’s mistakes could also easily be blamed on “the system.” But which system, exactly, is at fault?

Blair is a decorated sailor and respected former leader of countless organizations. The phrase I quoted above probably didn’t surprise Blair on his first day when he arrived at NCTC; one can assume that he saw being its director as a fresh challenge he wanted to blow out of the water. But instead he couldn’t make find his way and so quit, something that might be his career first and probably one of the toughest decisions he’s made as a civilian. So I don’t blame him for failing to bring his kid gloves to the CIA and White House.

It is apparent to me that there is some HR lever that allows for the hiring non-bureaucratic bureaucrats, non-political figures to politic. Was it just an inaccurate position description that lured Blair in? Or another decision maker’s bad hiring judgment? More importantly, will it be flipped off now so that the wrong guy isn’t selected for the job again? As a taxpayer and someone interested in the success of the next ODNI, I would like to know who is responsible and what they are doing about the issue of the government system still (consistently, in my mind) not selecting the right people for jobs.

But the Washington Post’s own editorial is titled “Blair’s Replacement has Problems to Solve,” and rehashes some of the big problems Blair wasn’t able to solve during his tenure before he quit/was asked to leave. But show me one organization anywhere that doesn’t have problems. Without problems, we wouldn’t need leaders! The WaPo editor at least notes that Blair had “poor management” and  “was the product of personal as well as institutional failings.” But how about putting that under the headline “OPM, NCTC Still Searching for Capable Leader.” That’s what I wish these taxpaying, government-dissing journalists would chew on for a while.


Obama Commencement Speech Right On

May 9, 2010

I’ve copied and pasted the following from this AFP news release. What I like about it is that Obama is noting to the graduating class of Hampton College seniors in Virginia that their education enhances their ability as a responsible citizen to think critically about actionable information in a time of information overload.

Obama argued that from the days of the pioneer politicians who founded the United States, until the modern day, education and knowledge had been the key to progress and US democracy.

He drew a line between Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, and today’s challenges.

“What Jefferson recognized… that in the long run, their improbable experiment — called America — wouldn’t work if its citizens were uninformed, if its citizens were apathetic, if its citizens checked out, and left democracy to those who didn’t have the best interests of all the people at heart.

“It could only work if each of us stayed informed and engaged, if we held our government accountable, if we fulfilled the obligations of citizenship.”


Weekend Wrap-Up

May 5, 2010

I may as well start on Friday, when I was duped by a friend into running 3.2 miles under the flag of the Crystal City Friday 5k. I did not know how far 5k is until finishing at around 31 minutes. I walked several times and near the end walked right up to and past a cameraman. I have no pride when it comes to competing in endurance sports.

Within the last mile, a girl came jogging up behind me and tapped my arm and gave me a smile for moral support. She said “Let’s go catch the girl in the pink shorts” (about 10 yards ahead of us). I was so ashamed about not having an excuse to just be slow that I sprinted past the herd as she and others groaned “Oh, come on! Really?!” I walked a couple more times, but never long enough for those masochists to catch up.

On Saturday Michael and I rolled out of bed and up to the roof to catch some rays. I also caught up on my statistics. When we got hungry, we headed to our favorite sandwich place in Clarendon, Earl’s. We used Michael’s iPhone to “check in” on Yelp and enjoyed a Cuban and Italian in the out-door seating on Wilson Blvd.

Shaky due to us moving with the music!

I met up with my mom to catch 70s-inspired rock jam band My Morning Jacket at the Merriweather Post Pavillion with center seat tickets courtesy of a work pal who couldn’t use them. If you think we look alike, you’re wrong.

Sunday was a blur of sleeping in, shopping for kayaking schtuff at REI, Vietnamese fare at Eden Center followed by a food coma, then a couple of episodes of my new favorite show available on Netflix “Lie to Me.” Check it out!


What’s Funny on the Internet: Chubbles

April 27, 2010

I really hate to do this, but I LOL’d and now feel obligated to spread my shame of cruel humor felt from this Internet meme. For those of you who spend more time sleeping than on the Internet, an “Internet meme” is something – usually ‘annoyingly inane’ – that for some reason or another has caught on with hard-core Web surfers.Meet Chubbles. She’s chubby. She’s running. She’s holding bubbles. And she’s been ‘Photoshopped’ into all sorts of exciting scenes.

Here she is detonating a bomb.

Running from hungry bears.

And here’s Chubbles bonding with the Jurassic Park gang.

Know your memes. Go to


Fw: Favorite New Jobs Created by Healthcare Bill

April 12, 2010

1. Grant program for consumer assistance offices (Section 1002, p. 37)
2. Grant program for states to monitor premium increases (Section 1003, p. 42)
3. Committee to review administrative simplification standards (Section 1104, p. 71)
4. Demonstration program for state wellness programs (Section 1201, p. 93)
5. Grant program to establish state Exchanges (Section 1311(a), p. 130)
6. State American Health Benefit Exchanges (Section 1311(b), p. 131)
7. Exchange grants to establish consumer navigator programs (Section 1311(I), p. 150)
8. Grant program for state cooperatives (Section 1322, p. 169)
9. Advisory board for state cooperatives (Section 1322(b)(3), p. 173)
10. Private purchasing council for state cooperatives (Section 1322(d), p. 177)
11. State basic health plan programs (Section 1331, p. 201)
12. State-based reinsurance program (Section 1341, p. 226)
13. Program of risk corridors for individual and small group markets (Section 1342, p. 233)
14. Program to determine eligibility for Exchange participation (Section 1411, p. 267)
15. Program for advance determination of tax credit eligibility (Section 1412, p. 288)
16. Grant program to implement health IT enrollment standards (Section 1561, p. 370)
17. Federal Coordinated Health Care Office for dual eligible beneficiaries (Section 2602, p. 512)
18. Medicaid quality measurement program (Section 2701, p. 518)
19. Medicaid health home program for people with chronic conditions, and grants for planning same (Section 2703, p. 524)
20. Medicaid demonstration project to evaluate bundled payments (Section 2704, p. 532)
21. Medicaid demonstration project for global payment system (Section 2705, p. 536)
22. Medicaid demonstration project for accountable care organizations (Section 2706, p. 538)
23. Medicaid demonstration project for emergency psychiatric care (Section 2707, p. 540)
24. Grant program for delivery of services to individuals with postpartum depression (Section 2952(b), p. 591)
25. State allotments for grants to promote personal responsibility education programs (Section 2953, p. 596)
26. Medicare value-based purchasing program (Section 3001(a), p. 613)
27. Medicare value-based purchasing demonstration program for critical access hospitals (Section 3001(b), p. 637)
28. Medicare value-based purchasing program for skilled nursing facilities (Section 3006(a), p. 666)
29. Medicare value-based purchasing program for home health agencies (Section 3006(b), p. 668)
30. Interagency Working Group on Health Care Quality (Section 3012, p. 688)
31. Grant program to develop health care quality measures (Section 3013, p. 693)
32. Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (Section 3021, p. 712)
33. Medicare shared savings program (Section 3022, p. 728)
34. Medicare pilot program on payment bundling (Section 3023, p. 739)
35. Independence at home medical practice demonstration program (Section 3024, p. 752)
36. Program for use of patient safety organizations to reduce hospital readmission rates (Section 3025(b), p. 775)
37. Community-based care transitions program (Section 3026, p. 776)
38. Demonstration project for payment of complex diagnostic laboratory tests (Section 3113, p. 800)
39. Medicare hospice concurrent care demonstration project (Section 3140, p. 850)
40. Independent Payment Advisory Board (Section 3403, p. 982)
41. Consumer Advisory Council for Independent Payment Advisory Board (Section 3403, p. 1027)
42. Grant program for technical assistance to providers implementing health quality practices (Section 3501, p. 1043)
43. Grant program to establish interdisciplinary health teams (Section 3502, p. 1048)
44. Grant program to implement medication therapy management (Section 3503, p. 1055)
45. Grant program to support emergency care pilot programs (Section 3504, p. 1061)
46. Grant program to promote universal access to trauma services (Section 3505(b), p. 1081)
47. Grant program to develop and promote shared decision-making aids (Section 3506, p. 1088)
48. Grant program to support implementation of shared decision-making (Section 3506, p. 1091)
49. Grant program to integrate quality improvement in clinical education (Section 3508, p. 1095)
50. Health and Human Services Coordinating Committee on Women’s Health (Section 3509(a), p. 1098)
51. Centers for Disease Control Office of Women’s Health (Section 3509(b), p. 1102)
52. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Office of Women’s Health (Section 3509(e), p. 1105)
53. Health Resources and Services Administration Office of Women’s Health (Section 3509(f), p. 1106)
54. Food and Drug Administration Office of Women’s Health (Section 3509(g), p. 1109)
55. National Prevention, Health Promotion, and Public Health Council (Section 4001, p. 1114)
56. Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health (Section 4001(f), p. 1117)
57. Prevention and Public Health Fund (Section 4002, p. 1121)
58. Community Preventive Services Task Force (Section 4003(b), p. 1126)
59. Grant program to support school-based health centers (Section 4101, p. 1135)
60. Grant program to promote research-based dental caries disease management (Section 4102, p. 1147)
61. Grant program for States to prevent chronic disease in Medicaid beneficiaries (Section 4108, p. 1174)
62. Community transformation grants (Section 4201, p. 1182)
63. Grant program to provide public health interventions (Section 4202, p. 1188)
64. Demonstration program of grants to improve child immunization rates (Section 4204(b), p. 1200)
65. Pilot program for risk-factor assessments provided through community health centers (Section 4206, p. 1215)
66. Grant program to increase epidemiology and laboratory capacity (Section 4304, p. 1233)
67. Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee (Section 4305, p. 1238)
68. National Health Care Workforce Commission (Section 5101, p. 1256)
69. Grant program to plan health care workforce development activities (Section 5102(c), p. 1275)
70. Grant program to implement health care workforce development activities (Section 5102(d), p. 1279)
71. Pediatric specialty loan repayment program (Section 5203, p. 1295)
72. Public Health Workforce Loan Repayment Program (Section 5204, p. 1300)
73. Allied Health Loan Forgiveness Program (Section 5205, p. 1305)
74. Grant program to provide mid-career training for health professionals (Section 5206, p. 1307)
75. Grant program to fund nurse-managed health clinics (Section 5208, p. 1310)
76. Grant program to support primary care training programs (Section 5301, p. 1315)
77. Grant program to fund training for direct care workers (Section 5302, p. 1322)
78. Grant program to develop dental training programs (Section 5303, p. 1325)
79. Demonstration program to increase access to dental health care in underserved communities (Section 5304, p. 1331)
80. Grant program to promote geriatric education centers (Section 5305, p. 1334)
81. Grant program to promote health professionals entering geriatrics (Section 5305, p. 1339)
82. Grant program to promote training in mental and behavioral health (Section 5306, p. 1344)
83. Grant program to promote nurse retention programs (Section 5309, p. 1354)
84. Student loan forgiveness for nursing school faculty (Section 5311(b), p. 1360)
85. Grant program to promote positive health behaviors and outcomes (Section 5313, p. 1364)
86. Public Health Sciences Track for medical students (Section 5315, p. 1372)
87. Primary Care Extension Program to educate providers (Section 5405, p. 1404)
88. Grant program for demonstration projects to address health workforce shortage needs (Section 5507, p. 1442)
89. Grant program for demonstration projects to develop training programs for home health aides (Section 5507, p. 1447)
90. Grant program to establish new primary care residency programs (Section 5508(a), p. 1458)
91. Program of payments to teaching health centers that sponsor medical residency training (Section 5508(c), p. 1462)
92. Graduate nurse education demonstration program (Section 5509, p. 1472)
93. Grant program to establish demonstration projects for community-based mental health settings (Section 5604, p. 1486)
94. Commission on Key National Indicators (Section 5605, p. 1489)
95. Quality assurance and performance improvement program for skilled nursing facilities (Section 6102, p. 1554)
96. Special focus facility program for skilled nursing facilities (Section 6103(a)(3), p. 1561)
97. Special focus facility program for nursing facilities (Section 6103(b)(3), p. 1568)
98. National independent monitor pilot program for skilled nursing facilities and nursing facilities (Section 6112, p. 1589)
99. Demonstration projects for nursing facilities involved in the culture change movement (Section 6114, p. 1597)
100. Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (Section 6301, p. 1619)
101. Standing methodology committee for Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (Section 6301, p. 1629)
102. Board of Governors for Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (Section 6301, p. 1638)
103. Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Trust Fund (Section 6301(e), p. 1656)
104. Elder Justice Coordinating Council (Section 6703, p. 1773)
105. Advisory Board on Elder Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation (Section 6703, p. 1776)
106. Grant program to create elder abuse forensic centers (Section 6703, p. 1783)
107. Grant program to promote continuing education for long-term care staffers (Section 6703, p. 1787)
108. Grant program to improve management practices and training (Section 6703, p. 1788)
109. Grant program to subsidize costs of electronic health records (Section 6703, p. 1791)
110. Grant program to promote adult protective services (Section 6703, p. 1796)
111. Grant program to conduct elder abuse detection and prevention (Section 6703, p. 1798)
112. Grant program to support long-term care ombudsmen (Section 6703, p. 1800)
113. National Training Institute for long-term care surveyors (Section 6703, p. 1806)
114. Grant program to fund State surveys of long-term care residences (Section 6703, p. 1809)
115. CLASS Independence Fund (Section 8002, p. 1926)
116. CLASS Independence Fund Board of Trustees (Section 8002, p. 1927)
117. CLASS Independence Advisory Council (Section 8002, p. 1931)
118. Personal Care Attendants Workforce Advisory Panel (Section 8002(c), p. 1938)
119. Multi-state health plans offered by Office of Personnel Management (Section 10104(p), p. 2086)
120. Advisory board for multi-state health plans (Section 10104(p), p. 2094)
121. Pregnancy Assistance Fund (Section 10212, p. 2164)
122. Value-based purchasing program for ambulatory surgical centers (Section 10301, p. 2176)
123. Demonstration project for payment adjustments to home health services (Section 10315, p. 2200)
124. Pilot program for care of individuals in environmental emergency declaration areas (Section 10323, p. 2223)
125. Grant program to screen at-risk individuals for environmental health conditions (Section 10323(b), p. 2231)
126. Pilot programs to implement value-based purchasing (Section 10326, p. 2242)
127. Grant program to support community-based collaborative care networks (Section 10333, p. 2265)
128. Centers for Disease Control Office of Minority Health (Section 10334, p. 2272)
129. Health Resources and Services Administration Office of Minority Health (Section 10334, p. 2272)
130. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Office of Minority Health (Section 10334, p. 2272)
131. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Office of Minority Health (Section 10334, p. 2272)
132. Food and Drug Administration Office of Minority Health (Section 10334, p. 2272)
133. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Office of Minority Health (Section 10334, p. 2272)
134. Grant program to promote small business wellness programs (Section 10408, p. 2285)
135. Cures Acceleration Network (Section 10409, p. 2289)
136. Cures Acceleration Network Review Board (Section 10409, p. 2291)
137. Grant program for Cures Acceleration Network (Section 10409, p. 2297)
138. Grant program to promote centers of excellence for depression (Section 10410, p. 2304)
139. Advisory committee for young women’s breast health awareness education campaign (Section 10413, p. 2322)
140. Grant program to provide assistance to provide information to young women with breast cancer (Section 10413, p. 2326)
141. Interagency Access to Health Care in Alaska Task Force (Section 10501, p. 2329)
142. Grant program to train nurse practitioners as primary care providers (Section 10501(e), p. 2332)
143. Grant program for community-based diabetes prevention (Section 10501(g), p. 2337)
144. Grant program for providers who treat a high percentage of medically underserved populations (Section 10501(k), p. 2343)
145. Grant program to recruit students to practice in underserved communities (Section 10501(l), p. 2344)
146. Community Health Center Fund (Section 10503, p. 2355)
147. Demonstration project to provide access to health care for the uninsured at reduced fees (Section 10504, p. 2357)
148. Demonstration program to explore alternatives to tort litigation (Section 10607, p. 2369)
149. Indian Health demonstration program for chronic shortages of health professionals (S. 1790, Section 112, p. 24)*
150. Office of Indian Men’s Health (S. 1790, Section 136, p. 71)*
151. Indian Country modular component facilities demonstration program (S. 1790, Section 146, p. 108)*
152. Indian mobile health stations demonstration program (S. 1790, Section 147, p. 111)*
153. Office of Direct Service Tribes (S. 1790, Section 172, p. 151)*
154. Indian Health Service mental health technician training program (S. 1790, Section 181, p. 173)*
155. Indian Health Service program for treatment of child sexual abuse victims (S. 1790, Section 181, p. 192)*
156. Indian Health Service program for treatment of domestic violence and sexual abuse (S. 1790, Section 181, p. 194)*
157. Indian youth telemental health demonstration project (S. 1790, Section 181, p. 204)*
158. Indian youth life skills demonstration project (S. 1790, Section 181, p. 220)*
159. Indian Health Service Director of HIV/AIDS Prevention and Treatment (S. 1790, Section 199B, p. 258)*

*Section 10221, page 2173 of H.R. 3590 deems that S. 1790 shall be deemed as passed with certain amendments.


News from the Lakehouse

April 3, 2010

Today my mother took a break from managing the development of her new home to ride her Honda Aquatrax jetski around Lake Murray. She capsized along with her passenger, her builder, who lost his wallet and phone. Next time she rides, she plans to use the waterproof on-board storage.