Sunday, November 30, 2008

My First Assignment!

Oh how exciting! ;)

Being distant learning, all the communication is done on message boards. So, the first thing is to introduce myself. I figured I'd post what I wrote here too. Don't worry, I won't be posting all my assignments here...just stuff I find interesting and want to keep around.

Here it is:
I am Ryan Kautz and live in Ashburn, VA which is about 20 miles west of Washington, DC.

My first attempt at college for a Computer Science degree at the University of Marylan in the mid-90s met with an unfortunate end (I dropped out). I went on to have a pretty successful software development career as an independent consultant. However, as the time went on I began to notice a growing void in myself that led me to want to do something that was more personally rewarding other than help other people make money. Through a variety of experiences I decided to go for a Psychology degree and open up a private practice as either a Mental Health Consultant or Psychologist. Luckily, I managed to accomplish enough in my first college attempt to fill the general education requirements here so I can basically focus on just the Psychology courses.

I live at home with a cat but have recently become certified to skipper up to 50' sailboats and just can't wait until the Spring comes again. I keep considering selling my house and living on a boat for a year or so but I don't think cats take to water all that well.

Anyway, I am looking forward to the class and learning from everyone.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Continuing Adventures of Mr. Kautz

When I dropped out of college 11 or so years ago I did it for a variety of reasons. Among them was a severe lack of interest in the classes. I am, by most anyones definition, a 'non-traditional' student. So the class part of college and me didn't fit. Everything else fit just fine, thank you very much.

Over the years since I've had a moderately successful career as a software developer. Probably half of that time I've been an independent consultant and that fits my style very well. However, and I'm not sure when this happened, whenever I think about what I want to do when I grow up software development is not it. It just isn't rewarding for my soul. I've had this growing, gnawing emptiness and I think it is time to start addressing that.

I have known for a long time that if I went back to college it wouldn't be for Comp Sci. Well, I am going back to college starting December 1st and it will be for a B.S. in Psychology. The school, Walden University, started in the 70's and is solely a distance learning school. They started with PhDs then started to offer Masters and now do undergrad as well. They are accredited, which is good. And they cater to non-traditional students (such as me) and working adults. Every course is 5 credits and is taken over a 6 week period, two classes back-to-back per quarter, 8 classes (40 credits) a year.

The format is asynchronous, meaning you basically get a deadline and a task and off you go. Discussions take place on a meeting board and lectures, etc are podcastish. Apparently this format has been pretty successful and it is right up my alley as far as how I work well. Six weeks is a pretty short time to squeeze five credits of material so I expect it to be pretty intense.

Luckily, a significant amount of class work transferred over and I am just two years away. 16 courses. And only one of which needs to be general education stuff, everything else is focused on my course of study.

As far as future plans go, I have two goals. First, to be able to be certified in a technique called EMDR (whole other topic). And second, to be able to start a private practice. In order to meet those goals, I need to have (or be working towards) my Masters. At this point I don't care about practicing as a Psychologist. A certification as a Mental Health Counselor will suite me just fine and it will be an easier path to follow.

So, maybe, I'll be able to totally switch careers in three or four years.


Woman in Chains

"Woman in Chains" - Tears for Fears

You better love loving and you better behave
You better love loving and you better behave
Woman in chains, woman in chains

Calls her man the great white hope
Says she's fine, she'll always cope, ooh
Woman in chains, woman in chains

Well, I feel lying and waiting is a poor man's deal (A poor man's deal)
And I feel hopelessly weighed down by your eyes of steel
(Your eyes of steel)
Well, It's a world gone crazy keeps woman in chains, woh woh woh
Woman in chains, woman in chains

Trades her soul as skin and bones
(You better love loving and you better behave)
Sells the only thing she owns
(You better love loving and you better behave) ooh ooh
Woman in chains (the sun and the moon), woman in chains

Men of stone, men of stone, hey baby, no no no, ooh

Well, I feel deep in your heart there are wounds time can't heal
(The time can't heal)
And I feel somebody somewhere is trying to breathe
Well, you know what I mean
It's a world gone crazy keeps woman in chains

It's under my skin but out of my hands
I'll tear it apart (somebody somewhere is trying)
But I won't understand (to breathe)
I will not accept the greatness of man
It's a world gone crazy keeps woman in chains
Gone crazy keeps woman in chains

So free her, so free her, so free her
So free her, so free her (the sun and the moon)
So free (the wind and the rain) her, so free her
So free her, so free her, so free her, so free her
So free her, so free her (the sun and the moon)
So free (the wind and the rain) her, so free her

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Religion != Moral Values

So I keep hearing this when I get into discussion about religion, that religion teaches good values with the implication that without religion, people would be amoral. This has always been something I disagreed with based on personal experience. I am agnostic but have atheist friends. I would not consider any of them amoral. So where do they learn right vs wrong? I've always maintained it is culture, not religion, that teaches morals.

Anyway, I came across this article about religion and 'goodness'. Within the article it talks about surveys of democracies that have a low rate of religiosity. Guess what? They tend to be lower in violent crimes and abortion/teen pregnancy than us over here.

Funny that.

Of course, correlation doesn't equal causation but it is an interesting twist to consider.

And Now, Something Completely Different

This has always been one of my favorite parts:

Monday, November 24, 2008


Anyone else get more dehydrated in the winter than in the summer? I think it is because I drink a lot less fluids when it gets cold out.


Make It Stop

Now they are comparing her to Reagan. I am of two minds about this. On the one hand, I think it would be AWESOME if the Repubs following the Palin wing of the party and allow themselves to be ruled by the crazies. On the other hand, please make it go away. Can't they shoot themselves in private?

Monday, November 17, 2008

6 Sex Myths Explained by SCIENCE

Good read. Some of the results are interesting, particularly the one about the car.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Good Write Up On Cause Of Economy Mess

This is a very good write up on the economy mess and the purpose of the bailout. It talks about how the subprime mess started it but how it really became bad because of the credit default swaps, which is the actual rot at the core of this apple.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Best Game Ever

Super Mario World!

Check out the Bridge to Nowhere in the first level.

That's Level Completion We Can Believe In!

Good times.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Get Your War On

I posted a link to these people with a comic strip not to long ago.


Why is this such a big deal? So he slipped up and said fuck on the air, wah. Look at their faces? Like they are all virgins and he did the most horrible thing evah!

Sad. Grow up people. Focus on the important stuff and leave the virginal attitudes back in grade school where you lost it.

More here.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Yes We Can

"Yes We Can" -

It was a creed written into the founding documents that declared the destiny of a nation.

Yes we can.

It was whispered by slaves and abolitionists as they blazed a trail toward freedom.

Yes we can.

It was sung by immigrants as they struck out from distant shores and pioneers who pushed westward against an unforgiving wilderness.

Yes we can.

It was the call of workers who organized; women who reached for the ballots; a President who chose the moon as our new frontier; and a King who took us to the mountaintop and pointed the way to the Promised Land.

Yes we can to justice and equality.

Yes we can to opportunity and prosperity.

Yes we can heal this nation.

Yes we can repair this world.

Yes we can.

We know the battle ahead will be long, but always remember that no matter what obstacles stand in our way, nothing can stand in the way of the power of millions of voices calling for change.

We have been told we cannot do this by a chorus of cynics...they will only grow louder and more dissonant ........... We've been asked to pause for a reality check. We've been warned against offering the people of this nation false hope.

But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope.

Now the hopes of the little girl who goes to a crumbling school in Dillon are the same as the dreams of the boy who learns on the streets of LA; we will remember that there is something happening in America; that we are not as divided as our politics suggests; that we are one people; we are one nation; and together, we will begin the next great chapter in the American story with three words that will ring from coast to coast; from sea to shining sea --

Yes. We. Can.

Tears, dude.


BarackAsPresident has changed, now that Barack has won.

I like the song.

Here are some photos of people to look at while you listen to the song.

Thursday, November 06, 2008


Turnout was a record 130 million, shattering the 122.3 million record from 2004.

And, the ballots aren't finished being counted yet, so that number will just increase.


Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Just Keep This In Mind As Results Come In

And this: Super Barack!

Stay In Line - Make Sure You Vote

Check out this very entertaining video about voter surpression and then prepare to do battle. Who knows what the lines are going to be like but somewhere, probably a lot of places, there will be longer waits than there has in the past.

Stay in line. Do what you have to. Just vote.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Protect Your Vote

A video courtesy of Obamarama on what to look for and how to protect your vote.

I Love Me Some Comics

Came from here.

Man, that site takes me back to the fear of those two months. Crazy.


This. Fucking. Election.

Apparently, it is chronological. How awesome.

Path To Victory

This link talks about Obama's path to victory. The good part:

That leaves our five states in play. The victory conditions for Obama involving these five states proceed something as follows:

1. Win Pennsylvania and ANY ONE of Colorado, Virginia, Ohio, or Nevada*
2. Win Ohio and EITHER Colorado OR Virginia.
3. Win Colorado AND Virginia AND Nevada.

(* Nevada produces a 269-269 tie, which would probably be resolved for Obama in the House of Represenatives.)

Now, suppose you think that Colorado is already in the bag for Obama because of his large edge in early voting there. We can then simplify the victory conditions as follows:

1. Win Pennsylvania
2. Win Ohio
3. Win Virginia AND Nevada

I've maintained that we will probably know the winner by 10 pm tomorrow night if PA and VA go Obama, which they should unless something funky happens.

Notice what is missing though? Flordia. No one gives a crap about Flordia, it just doesn't play in to the calc. And Ohio is only one of five. Such a welcome change from the past two cycles with only one or two battleground states.

There will be upsets and disappointments, but on the whole this is looking pretty good for those of us on the left.


Palin Punk'd

Apparently, this is real and actually happened.

Good lovin.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

I Like This Picture

I like this picture of me, from sailing.

here is an album with lots of pictures from the sailing trip.

Man, I so want to go again soon.