Things change, and I couldn’t have said it better. How to be honorable. Thank you, Seth Godin.
Things change, and I couldn’t have said it better. How to be honorable. Thank you, Seth Godin.
My 12 year old son doesn’t realize what the message behind a video he recently sent me really is. And we need to have a conversation about all the reasons why this is terrible.
This video he sent is about chicken tenders (still a favorite food of his) that he found really funny. It’s a poem about someone professing love for tenders.
It’s illustrated/animated and stars pepe the frog. In one scene the character is literally wearing a SS uniform. I am disgusted about this and terrified of what other propaganda he is seeing online. I am thankful that I’ll use this shitty thing as a catalyst to have a conversation about what is important in life.
Any other Gentleman Bastard Sequence fans here? It’s my favorite series, and the first book just got optioned for film by a production company. I hope they do a tv series on HBO/Amazon/whomever. There’s so much story to tell.
Crooked Warden, please let them do this production justice.
Overheard (at a Design Agency):
Design used to be all magic and photoshop, now it’s bullshit and Sketch.
I’ve been thinking of an appropriate format for my personal weekly retrospective. That’s a meeting I have with myself on Sunday or Early Monday mornings to review the previous week.
My new plan, which I’ll enact this coming Sunday is to use a FLAP chart. Here’s a brief and good overview of the concept.
At work, I tend to like this technique for groups when time is short. Usually a full retrospective has more time, details, and ritual. The FLAP system is good for getting to the point quickly, if time is short. Since it’s just me on this “project” I’ll try the FLAP system to see how it goes.
I’ve purposely limited myself to three goals this week, as anything more than that is untenable for me. Three is the magic number. After the retro, I’ll know if the three goal planning and my overall process is sound.
My initial thought was to write this down in my notebook under my weekly tracker but there’s not enough room. Next I thought of a dedicated “spread” in the notebook, but iteration is key for this activity. So I’m either going to use a whiteboard and stickies / dry erase or a sheet of paper and a sharpie. First messy and quick iterations, then reflection to turn the results into learnings and goals for next week.
The more tech I use the more I realize a pen and paper or dry erase and a whiteboard are fantastic tools to problem solve. Dan Roam, author of Back of the Napkin says he’s teaching people to “Solve any Problem with a Simple Picture”. That’s really resonating with me recently.
My colleague James runs the Sustainable UX conference. If you’re interested in climate change and how designers can make a positive impact, check this out.
Minimalism is different for each person, I think. I’m not a single person living out of a backpack and coding my way across exotic locales. Many people think that’s what minimalism is. Maybe that’s what it is for you, but that’s not it for me. That’s not what this post is about.
I recently attended a funeral. Naturally it makes one think of their own mortality. The following day, I was ruminating on my commute to work about what would happen if I was no longer among the living.
I was thinking tactically. My family would have to clean up some of my physical objects. The Stuff in the basement, my closet, etc.
Maybe there’s a grieving and healing process that happens when you are responsible for taking care of a departed loved ones stuff. I’m lucky to not have had that happen yet.
I was imagining my family having to open boxes and otherwise examine the stuff we have. Some of it cherished, and worthy of keeping. Much of it not. Things like the old computers, and other electronic devices. Old toys from when my kids were younger, long forgotten. None of that stuff is useful to us at this point. Maybe someone else will value it. Why do we keep these things? I don’t want to fill up landfills any more than I have to, but these things take up physical and mental space.
I’m learning to control inputs and outputs of “stuff”.
The primary goal is to stop in incoming flow of stuff.
Stop buying things I don’t need
There’s a great rule of thumb that I’ve been working with. Once I have the impulse to purchase something new, I stop myself and see if I want it tomorrow or two weeks from now. That time delayed is based on price. A new 3$ pen (tomorrow) versus a new iPad for example (wait a week at least).
I’m also tracking my spending in my notebook this month. Seeing the data does reinforce the habit, in my experience.
Figure out a way to keep junk mail from even entering the house
We don’t have a rigid routine on checking mail in our house. Whomever grabs it brings it in, and lays it in a particular place. The adults in the house sort it frequently and dump more than half of it into the recycle bin. What a waste of paper.
I don’t know how to get off the mailing lists, so I’d like to do that sorting before it comes into the house to completely remove that input.
I’ll have to take on the mail retrieval and sorting or teach my kids to do so. I like the later option. Teach my kids good habits while they’re still young.
This way it’s never in the house to begin with.
What do I do with all this stuff?
Keep, donate, trash
The technique we use is to open a drawer, closet or room, clear it out and place everything into three piles.
But I’m looking for another technique as this one is flawed. Many things that wind up in the donate pile need further sorting. General donation or passed on to a specific friend/family member as hand-me-downs. So it’s possible that we end up with multiple “sub-piles”.
Same is true for the trash pile. The sub piles being Shred, Recycle or Trash.
All these layers cause mental overload and makes the task of reducing more stressful. This should be a joyous thing. We’re helping ourselves and perhaps others.
I’d like to commit to a “One Sunday a month jam”. To go through a room or closet and eventually the sleeping giant, the basement.
But first I need to think more of the processes of inputs and outputs. Perhaps a sweep through the space and only look for trash, in its sub piles. Deal with that, then go back through the same space, this time looking for the items to Donate. A more iterative process. An Agile Sparking of Joy?
I have to order food for small to large sized groups a lot at work. Clients visiting for meetings, that kind of thing. I write an email to a certain person each time, and it’s basically the same format, but with variations (number of people, allergies, preferences, office location, etc).
So I had to do this again today, and thought that there’s a better way than hand typing the same (basic) thing over again. I thought about saving the text into a separate file, and opening that, copying to the email client, and adjusting the specifics. That’s better but not great.
I was playing around with textExpander last week to get textExpander to make me a markdown formated link to the website I am on, so that I could blog about it, and make some notes. Hit me up if that’s gibberish to you. Markdown is pretty versatile once you get used to it. Anyway.
Turns out that there are some forms you can create in an expansion. Let me explain a bit…
;foodorderanywhere on my Mac (works on PC too)
So I’m opening a new email, and doing those steps above. Then I edit the content, if needed, address the email appropriately and hit send.
Here’s the form:
So this saves me a couple minutes over the course of the month, it’s not that big of a deal. But it takes the minutia out of the work, and lets me get back to the harder problems faster. That’s priceless, imho.
On the first Thursday of each month, there’s an open Jam. It’s a great way to see and practice Improv for people of all levels. For example, I’m a newbie. I completed the 101 level course in the fall, and this was my fourth or fifth Jam. There are cast members from Stranger Than Fiction (the fine folks who run classes and jams in New Hampshire & Southern Maine) who have been acting for years, maybe decades. As well as some people who never have done Improv before. It’s a great mix.
There were 28 people in attendance, this is easily twice as many as the previous jams. Maybe it’s a sign of growth in Improv across the region. Maybe it’s people working on doing something in regard to new years resolutions. Either way it was crazy and great to have that many people. We worked together in a large group for some exercises, and broke out into two smaller groups for others.
I’m not the first one to notice this, but falling out of a rhythm takes it’s toll. I certainly regressed. I asked some questions (you’re not supposed to ask questions in some games), and I wasn’t 100% mindful of being in the moment. Looking forward to practicing and taking the 201 when it opens up in the late winter.
I’d like to see if there’s a small group of people who would want to practice more, but finding people and a space may be difficult. I’ll ask around at the courses/jams. I think I might know of a space.
And I’m going back to one notebook for both “life” and “work” versus having a separate one for each. Insert funny picture of flip-flops.
I don’t like to get on a soapbox and tell people what they should or shouldn’t do. That said, I think the world would be a better place if everyone occasionally went to their local Asian market, got some Gochujang sauce, and put it on just about everything they ate.
I just let a tiny hand-held computer scan my face, so that I could read a message from the robot vacuum that is cleaning my floor. Amazing? Terrifying? Yes to both.
Does anyone have any tricks to get TextExpander to play well with clipboard tools? (I use flycut to copy multiple items). The goal being to copy article url, and title, and have the expansion wrap both items in the clipboard to make a markdown link.
99 Good News Stories You Probably Didn’t Hear About in 2018. Just skimmed this article this morning. Worth a longer read later.
Goal for today: Remove one source of distraction.
I was working on a somewhat complex personal task the other day, while on a day off from work. In my efforts to be more mindful in general, I noticed that whenever I finished a small part of the task, I prompted myself to look away. Pop over to twitter, micro.blog or my RSS feeds. To see what was happening in the wider world. I’m grateful I was mindful enough to notice. But I was very frustrated with myself.
I focused and completed the task, as a whole. Afterwards, I spoke to my wife about the level of distraction I was facing. Why was I sabotaging myself?
Oh my God, it’s a mirage. I’m tellin’ y’all, it’s a sabotage
My days off on the holiday were great. I was able to focus on family. Maybe this is why I was more mindful while performing that particular task. Back at work, I’ve been turning off everything that could distract me. I’ve kept the apps closed. I shut it all down. I’m using one app at a time, to single-task as much as possible. To keep focus and avoid the mental break-ins disrupting my attention.
I can’t stand it, I know you planned it. I’m gonna set it straight, this Watergate
It is like I am breaking into my own headquarters, and trying to cover it all up.
Happy New Year! Here’s to a great 2019.
We estimate that we can sell 80% of a users visual field before inducing seizures.
It’s just a silly movie but that terrible line makes a lot of sense for where we are, imho.
When nothing seems to help, I go and look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that last blow that did it—but all that had gone before.
Nice day at the beach. 45 degrees in December is nice 😀
Just reconfigured my notebook for 2019, the month of January, and the first week of the year. That was the easy part, now to further plan my directions, focus areas and things I want to accomplish.
For my thinking and planning for the new year, I’m strongly considering The Long Game as a theme for the year. Applying these thoughts and the concept of compound interest to finances, health, family, work, interactions, etc. Reminding myself to remember the Long Game for day-to-day choices, of any kind.