Friday, November 9, 2012


Today is a great day to tell some one that you appreciate them.  Spend a moment to recognize someone who has made  a difference, small or large, in your life.  As the cliche goes, the life you change, may be your own.

I was brought to tears today by a WWII veteran handing out flag pins and collecting donations for Veterans Day weekend.  It was such a small gesture, but receiving that pin from someone who fought for our freedom and our country was so inspiring.
  • Say Thank You
  • Write a note
  • Recognize a good deed
  • Give a gift
You won't be disappointed that you did.

Friday, October 19, 2012


I’m presenting at a local high school next week about how companies use Agile Processes to develop iPad applications, and discuss Computer Science careers. And I wanted to say something about entrepreneurial culture to "inspire" 15-16 year olds. Here is what I have so far…
• Have a Vision
• Be Creative
• Fail Quickly
• Deliver Value
I see this culture of innovation and spirit in my successful agile teams. They share a common vision, come up with amazing ideas, and enjoy their work to build quickly, to show the customer value and then iterate and make it even more valuable. I hope my passion on this topic can help them find theirs.
Please comment if you have other thoughts....Thanks-MD

Monday, September 17, 2012

Dear Family and Friends,

I recently created an online fund and I'd like you to consider donating to it.

Check out more detail at:

Dad's Memorial Page

Whatever you can give will be appreciated, and everything helps. 

Thank you for your support.

Mark D.

Friday, June 8, 2012

What Would Jesus Doodie?

While running with my dog Claymore on the first mile of a two mile loop around my neighborhood, Clay felt the call of duty, and dumped on the easement side of a sidewalk.  Ever vigilant, I had a waste bag at the ready and quickly scooped up the poop, a relatively speaking small #2 for my 86 pound White German Shepherd.

Having just past the closest public garbage can about a half-mile back, I estimated that the next opportunity to drop the bag would be at the park, almost 1.5 miles away.  Luckily, Wednesday was garbage day, and there were a few empty cans at the end of the townhouse driveways at 7:40 on this warm Thursday evening.

Seizing the opportunity, I took a quick left turn towards the closest big plastic green receptacle with the top flipped open, determined to make what turned out to be a very obvious deposit into the bottom of a surprisingly clean bin.  As I approached the drop zone I noticed that on the other side of the cul de sac there were a few townhouse owners outside relaxing on chairs;  a sight that might have drawn a yell from a 1980's horn bus declaring "Porch People on the Left!"   Or perhaps even the rhetorical question "Are you the Mayor?".

Moving quickly, I flung the poop pouch into the bin, and with my payload dropped I veered back on course to continue my run with Claymore (now a few ounces lighter) leading the way.  I heard a bit of a ruckus coming from the general area of "Mayor's" office.  "Hey!", then muffled yelling, "Jag-Off!", more inaudible yelling....then I was up the hill and resuming my 9:30 minute per mile pace.  I stared to focus back on my breathing and did a quick check of my running form to make sure I was maximizing my effort.

Once over the hill and heading towards the next left turn, I was taken by surprise when a SUV pulled up very close along side of me, slowing down to match my stride.  A bald headed man with a red face looked at me and said "Hey", and then that I noticed in his left hand, arm extended out his window, was my neatly tied bag with Clay's poop inside.  Showing a shit-eating-smirk of satisfaction on his face, the guy yelled "That is not your garbage can!", and he extended his arm further out the window to pass me the poop.

This guy had acted fast, dumpster diving in someone else's garbage for the bag, getting into his car, speeding up the hill and finally positioning his vehicle to triumphantly return "Claymore's Mine" to me.  With a laugh and matching grin on my face, "Thanks" was all I could muster as I reach for and collected the crap; my mid-run lungs being taxed enough to stunt me from creating full sentences.  In hindsight, I would have loved to run a few blocks with him holding the bag before retrieving it, or done the flea flicker back into his car, or even stopped for a few moments to mock the Golden-Brown Retriever Man, but to my credit, somehow my cooler head prevailed.

I will admit that having a "Neighborhood Watch" type confrontation suddenly happen to you does bring out a flood of emotions.  Conceding that it is rude to leave a bagged dump in someone else's bin, I don't think that the risk of chasing someone down on the street and confronting them is worth the price of having poop-free garbage can.  I'd be interested to hear your comments...

What would YOU Doodie?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

If you are interested in supporting me with a video for the marathon, you can cheer me on at via @ASICSamerica.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Sprint the Hills

I saw an interesting article about the Kenyans and why they dominate long distance running.  One of the techniques that use in training is to sprint up the hills.  When asked why they sprint the hills, their reply was that it is an "Opportunity" that they would not even imaging missing.

Often in our lives we see daunting challenges that seem too big to tackle.  I love this unique way of seeing an impediment and rushing into the storm rather than avoiding or trying to detour away from it.  It has served the Kenyans well, and can be a good technique for dealing with some of our tough problems as well.

So, the next time you get to a big hill, instead of slowing down, try seizing the opportunity and Sprint The Hill.  It might make the obstacle go by faster and give you a more rewarding outcome.

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