Working with vendors

Understanding the quotes you get back from vendors in a thread from Reddit on why you wouldn’t tell vendors your budget for a project:

The goal is to accurately and narrowly define scope and requirements. Without disclosing budget to the vendors, as the “quality” (accuracy + detail) of your request increases, there should be less of an overall variance between vendors. For a very well written request, vendor quotes should come back in a tight cluster. Assuming your request is accurate, if this cluster of pricing is well below your budget, it suggests that you over-budgeted for the project. On the other hand, if the cluster is above budget, you under-budgeted and will probably have to sacrifice some of your requirements to get the price down. Outliers might suggest vendors who are trying to underbid their competition, or trying to overcharge you. Large variance (no cluster) or a large number of vendors going over budget suggests a broadly defined scope or vague requirements. Giving vendors a budget allows them to easily tweak the quotes to fit within your expectations while not knowing anything more about your scope or requirements. Proceeding with a quote scope that lacks the proper parameters and/or missing requirements is a recipe for disaster…

Quotes from Redeployment


Redeployment by Phil Klay was a little rough and raw but showed many perspectives for modern veterans. I started reading it, coincidentally, after seeing American Sniper and it held much of the same tone.


Pg 11

“We took my combat pay and did a lot of shopping. Which is how America fights back against the terrorists.

Pg 76

Instead I will remember that our HMMWV had 5 PX. That the SITREP was 2 KIA, 3 WIA. That KIA means that they gave everything. That WIA means I didn’t.

Pg 191

“That’s not why I joined the Army,” I said.

“So why did you?”

I laughed. “‘Be All That You Can Be’?” I said. “I don’t know. That was the slogan for me, growing up. And then it was ‘Army of One,’ which I never understood, and then it was ‘Army Strong,’ which is about as good a slogan as ‘Fire Hot’ or ‘Snickers Tasty’ or ‘Herpes Bad.’ A better slogan would be, ‘You Can’t Afford College Without Us.'”

The Sibling Effect

From the book The Sibling Effect – What the bonds among brothers and sisters reveal about us by Jeffrey Kluger

Page 7:

From the time we’re born, our brothers and sisters are our collaborators and co-conspirators, our role models and our cautionary tales. They are our scolds, protectors, goads, tormentors, playmates, counselors, sources of envy, objects of pride. They help us learn how to resolve conflicts and how not to; how to conduct friendships and when to walk away from them. Sisters teach brothers about the mysteries of girls; brothers teach sisters about the puzzle of boys. Bigger sibs learn to nurture by mentoring little ones; little sibs learn about wisdom by heeding the older ones. Our spouses and children arrive comparatively late in our lives; our parents leave us too early. “Our brothers and sisters,” says family sociologist Katherine Conger of the University of California, Davis, “are with us for the whole journey.”

I ended up skimming the book after I got stuck in one of the early chapters. The book is full of interesting different statistics and related stories but was ultimately very academic and couldn’t pull me into the topic beyond the slight interest I had that led to me picking up the book.

Irregardless, it’s really a mute point…

I hole-hardedly agree, but allow me to play doubles advocate here for a moment. For all intensive purposes I think you are wrong. In an age where false morals are a diamond dozen, true virtues are a blessing in the skies. We often put our false morality on a petal stool like a bunch of pre-Madonnas, but you all seem to be taking something very valuable for granite. So I ask of you to mustard up all the strength you can because it is a doggy dog world out there. Although there is some merit to what you are saying it seems like you have a huge ship on your shoulder. In your argument you seem to throw everything in but the kids Nsync, and even though you are having a feel day with this I am here to bring you back into reality. I have a sick sense when it comes to these types of things. It is almost spooky, because I cannot turn a blonde eye to these glaring flaws in your rhetoric. I have zero taller ants when it comes to people spouting out hate in the name of moral righteousness. You just need to remember what comes around is all around, and when supply and command fails you will be the first to go. Make my words, when you get down to brass stacks it doesn’t take rocket appliances to get two birds stoned at once. It’s clear who makes the pants in this relationship, and sometimes you just have to swallow your prize and accept the facts. You might have to come to this conclusion through denial and error but I swear on my mother’s mating name that when you put the petal to the medal you will pass with flying carpets like it’s a peach of cake.