The List – 1990 through 1999


  1. Stupidity is inversely proportional to one’s distance from its source.
  2. When the Chief Technologist resigns, there is no longer a need for donuts at the weekly staff meeting.
  3. When all is said and done, there are some who feel obligated to say it once again.
  4. If you have an idea, tell someone before it dies of loneliness.
  5. Just when you think a model is working, someone who has never used the model decides it will never work and must be fixed.


  1. The caretakers always get the credit for successes.
  2. Epiphanies are rare; Sound and Light Shows are quite common.
  3. Micro-management fosters entropy.
  4. Unfortunately, style overcomes substance in most cases.
  5. Mismanagement is better than no management.
  6. No management is better than “Monte Carlo” Management.
  7. One must be careful not to confuse “Matrix Management” with “Maze Management.”
  8. Its extremely difficult to describe the forest to those who are felling the trees as you speak.
  9. When you say the wrong thing, always make sure you say it the right way.
  10. Nothing is important.
  11. When you lie down with swine, you end up on a plate with an apple in your mouth.
  12. It is easier to get forgiveness than it is to get permission.
  13. When its time to find a solution, one must shift from the heights of theory to the gutters of reality.


  1. Conformity impedes creativity.
  2. TQM initiatives succeed, if, and only if, accompanied by TQL.
  3. Never have so many been so confused.
  4. If God had meant for storyboards to document network architecture and design, he would have ensured that engineers knew how to express themselves using clear and lucid English.
  5. When in doubt, sign up another team member.
  6. When really in doubt, put the blame on the team members for all that has left the team.
  7. When you shoot from the hip, you usually end up blowing your own foot off.
  8. Federal Government RFPs without amendments are on the endangered species list.
  9. All good decisions are eventually overturned; all bad decisions are kept forever.
  10. If you write it, they won’t understand it. If they write it, you won’t like it.
  11. Proposal efforts need “benevolent dictators,” not “empowered teams.”
  12. Those who fear failure are experts at revisionist history.


  1. Prior to proposal submission, there are certain things such as the system design that are declared to be “good enough;” and not worthy of additional
    effort. Unfortunately, these things are never quite “good enough” and always have to be redone in 5 days or less during the post-submission effort.
  2. The only things dumber than a box of rocks are the indvidual rocks in the box.
  3. When in doubt, pass out plaques.
  4. Never show an academic a bit error rate calculation.
  5. Never leave two academics alone in the same room to assess the worthiness of anything. They will make all the wrong assumptions, insist that you do the analysis based on these invalid assumptions, state your analysis is flawed, and send you an invoice for services rendered.
  6. Never give an academic your Internet mail address.
  7. The larger the font, the longer the letter.
  8. When the going gets tough, the vague seek advice from the perplexed.
  9. Don’t confuse those who “achieve” with those who “produce.”
  10. Always leap before you look.
  11. Experts are common; expertise is rare.
  12. He doesn’t know what he doesn’t know.
  13. Name droppings have much the same effect on the “dropee” as bird droppings.
  14. If you yearn to be a successful architect, you better make sure you don’t alienate the carpenters.


  1. Greed overcomes indifference.


  1. It isn’t what you know, its what you say you know.
  2. Old yuppies never die – they just buy different German cars.
  3. Most people are educated beyond their means.


  1. I make far too much money to cater to your whims.


  1. If its Tuesday, I must be in Belgium.
  2. Contrary to popular belief, those whose wardrobe consists of dark suits and white shirts also put their pants on one leg at a time.
  3. Frequent flyer miles are like money. The more you have the more you want.
  4. Carry-on luggage really isn’t.
  5. The best English Pubs are operated by Australians.
  6. The real “Year 2000” problem is yet to be defined. Wer won’t know what it really is until we get there.
  7. Using the the term “It’s Year 2000 Compliant” is yet another way of saying “It might work…guess we’ll have to wait and see how this all works out.”


  1. He doesn’t know what he doesn’t know.
  2. We’re not the Team! They are. We’re just equipment. They just depreciate us. (Nick Nolte, Dallas North Forty)
  3. Victims World View – “It’s all your fault.”
  4. Fatherless – Jobless – Remorseless – Hopeless…a resume.
  5. “I don’t know” is sometimes stated as “My thought processes were….”
  6. There really are some pictures that are worth a lot less than a thousand words.
  7. There’s always someone ahead of you in the “Dumb Line.”
  8. When ignorance is bliss, to be wise is a folly.
  9. “That’s what I really meant to convey” is another way of saying: “I wish I would have thought of that!”


  1. If you carry a big stick, make sure you don’t poke yourself in the eye with it.
  2. For some people, you can almost always say: “He brings it on himself” and be right at least 99.9 percent of the time.
  3. Life is a journey, not a guided tour.