• I scanned some of the older shots from my Sprocket Rocket, now that I know a better way to adjust them. I just love the weirdness of this camera.

    A photo of a neon sign that reads “You are enough”.A photo of a deciduous tree on top of a mountain in New Hampshire, US.  Several deciduous trees on top of a mountain in New Hampshire, US.Two people walking on a path that leads to an old abandoned fort on the coast of Maine, US.

    Tuesday May 9, 2023
  • Lomography Sprocket Rocket pics… Now with me knowing the proper way to digitize lol.

    Monday May 8, 2023
  • New experiment for the week… immediately close any website with any popup whatsoever. Might just help increase JOMO.

    Sunday May 7, 2023
  • Yesterday it was 70 degrees and lovely. Yesterday morning & again today, I realized one of the things that affects my mood in the winter is the lack of birdsong. I’m happier throughout the day if I “tune into” the morning chorus for just a few minutes before the day really starts.

    Sunday May 7, 2023
  • My sprocket rocket camera is busted. There’s a yellow/orange tint on the negatives, which gives the positives a blue tint. I’ve tried different films and development labs. So I’m not sure what to do.

    Here’s some weird (too blue) pics. A couple color corrected as best I could.

    I color corrected this one to the best of my current ability.
    Saturday May 6, 2023
  • I have a horse named Mayo. Sometimes, Mayonnaise.

    Friday May 5, 2023
  • Art

    I am pretty excited to join the Spark art course & community. I’ll be posting some of my work here.

    Friday April 28, 2023
  • Animation

    Three calming breaths

    Breathing exercises are the foundation of meditation. Deep focused breathing, weather you call it meditation or not, helps get oxygen into your blood and can change your emotional state. I do these short breathing exercises before or after stressful meetings, or really anytime I can safely close my eyes and spend 30 seconds paying attention to my breathing.

    Tuesday April 25, 2023
  • Animation


    An anxiety reducing exercise that engages all senses.

    I picked up this exercise from my former therapist. When I’m really anxious and shutting down, this helps me a lot. Apparently stress and anxiety overwhelm your big part of your brain. The prefrontal cortex. That’s where we strategize and plan.

    When it shuts down, the “lizard brain”, the small brain takes over. It’s responsible for fight or flight or freeze. These days, thankfully for most of us it doesn’t mean fleeing from or punching a tiger. But it can make us prone to distractions and give into our basic instincts, which may not be helpful at any given moment.

    This exercise is fast and easy to do. It can actually be fun, as your lizard brain goes back to rest, and your big brain gets to come back alive.

    Tuesday April 25, 2023
  • Sketchnotes

    Agile Day 2023

    Once a year my work holds an "Agile Day". It's a day long internal conference with topics presented on Agile and related topics. Agile is a mindset for software development, and other forms of creating business value. If you're interested the Agile Manifesto is the place to start.

    I made some sketchnotes of some of the talks I attended.

    Sunday April 2, 2023
  • Here's a short story about poor storytelling.

    Here's a short story about poor storytelling.

    I used to think the frameworks of storytelling were prescriptive. The Hero’s journey, the three act structure, Harmon’s story circle, etc. I thought things should be happening according to the formula.

    I learned that I had it all backwards.

    The job as a storyteller is to show a character struggling, and changing. To build empathy.

    If you can do that, typically things will align with a format. Not the format dictating the character emotions and actions. Insert mind blown gif here.

    Thursday July 28, 2022
  • The Second Arrow

    There’s a line of thinking from Buddhism called The Second Arrow. It has to do with externally caused suffering and self imposed suffering. They way I heard it is something like this:

    Let’s say you’re walking through the woods, and out of no where you get shot with an arrow in your leg. Then another. Would the second hurt as much as the first?

    It’s said that we can’t always control the first arrow, metaphorically speaking. Sometimes life launches an arrow at you. Often, we react to the first external arrow with negative self-talk. Or a glance at our limiting beliefs. The second arrow is our self-imposed reaction to the first. We shoot and hit ourselves with the Second Arrow.

    You miss a deadline. You ‘fail’ at something. You can’t get your ducks in a row.

    Are you asking yourself things like:

    • why can’t I focus?
    • why can’t I find the time?
    • what’s wrong with me?

    Maybe you see a mess around the house that your kids made. First Arrow. Then maybe you think, how do they not know to clean up after themselves - where’d I go wrong as a parent? This is the Second Arrow.

    Pain is unavoidable. Sometimes you miss a deadline, sometimes there’s a mess from someone else you have to clean up. But suffering is optional.

    The Buddhists recommend sitting with these feelings. Observing how they make you feel in your body. Exploring those emotions.

    The Modern Stoics will say you can’t control the outside world (First Arrow). You can only control your reaction to it (Second Arrow).

    There’s a lot to unpack here. Maybe we have work to do to understand it more, and that’s OK. Let’s not shoot ourselves with an arrow because “we suck at the Second Arrow”.

    Saturday July 16, 2022
  • Animation


    Some years ago I learned a fun exercise geared toward helping novice improv performers “shake off the day” and get into a good mindset to begin improv class. My teacher, Tara, stated that this exercise was also good for moments when you weren’t feeling so great.

    It’s physical, you have to stand up. It starts with something easy, then adds in a bit more complex part that kinda kick-starts your brain. But it’s really simple, easy, and silly.

    I’ve used this over the years for when I’m a little anxious and want to refocus, or to generally bust out of a low energy or low motivation time. Or when I’m just overwhelmed. When I’m in a funk. Hence I’m calling it “The Funkbuster”.

    Tara never named this, so I’m taking a liberty here. Thanks for teaching me this Tara. I hope you don’t mind The Funkbuster name, but it’s better than “the crazy arm thing Tara taught me” which I was calling this in my head.

    Thursday July 14, 2022
  • Sacrifices

    Man sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. Then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future;

    He lives as though he is never going to die and dies never really having lived.

    - Dalai Lama

    This is a quote I like to reread every couple of months to check-in with myself. What am I sacrificing? Am I living in the now?

    Wednesday July 13, 2022
  • Boats

    A rising tide lifts all boats

    What a nice thought. I’ve said it myself when teaching. And when expressing how sharing and helping other people helps us all. It conjures a mind movie of all people, together. Enjoying the bay, and sailing out to the sunrise.

    The start of a wonderful adventure, that we all get to experience. We’re all masters of the sea and our own journeys.

    But a rising tide does not lift all boats.

    Holes and driftwood

    What if your boat has a hole in it? Or is somehow unsound. Leaky. What if you’re floating on a piece of wreckage from a previous adventure?

    Or you never had a boat at all. And you’re clinging to some driftwood?

    That rising tide would conjure a very different mind movie.

    How can I stay afloat? What lies beneath these waters? What dangers live in these depths? Monsters!

    Seas and Storms

    At the start of the Covid 19 Pandemic people were expressing that “we’re all in the same boat”. Meaning this terrible thing is affecting us all the same way. I read or overheard a response to that that changed my thinking on the Rising Tide Lifts All Boats quote.

    That response was that yes, we’re sailing the same seas. Yes we’re in the same storm. But we’re all in very different boats.

    I cant remember where I heard or read this, apologies for my leaky memory.


    In this mind movie, let’s cut back at the Marina, where we reflect on our journeys. What if we all took a moment to look at our boats cargo and larder. Thought about what we each needed for our journeys, and shared the rest.

    Then, the rising tide could lift all boats.

    Friday February 4, 2022
  • 15 minutes and 5 whys

    Create 15 minutes where you can be alone and all is quiet.

    Turn off all your devices.

    Consider the thing(s) you want to bring into the world.

    What holds you back?

    Ask why that is.

    Think about the answer, and ask why that is.

    Ask Why five times. You’ll likely get the shape of the things that limit you. The things that scare you.

    Does this make you see those frightening things in a new light?

    Friday November 19, 2021
  • Imagine

    Imagine all that could be. How much more connection we’d have. If we all stopped searching for the “perfect pen”, grabbed the one closest to us

    And started writing…

    Saturday October 16, 2021
  • Five minutes ago

    You are under no obligation to be the same person you were 5 minutes ago.

    A quote from Alan Watts.

    What a simple and powerful idea. This is the growth mindset. It’s why it’s OK to “flip-flop” and change your stance on something. What did you learn in the last five minutes that makes you rethink what you think? How does one keep themselves open to this line of thinking?

    We learn something new, and adjust. It’s part of the process. Continuous growth. We used to think the brain stops learning and growing once we hit adulthood. We now know this isn’t true.

    I’m challenging myself to keep this top of mind.

  • A single drop of water on the stone

    One drop of water landing upon a stone doesn’t do much to erode the stone. One drop of water, landing every minute of the day, for 100 years does. Building our single drops into repeatable process and practices is a challenge. How does one muster and sustain the self-motivation? Or avoid the guilt of missing a drop or a series of drops?

    It’s not about “not breaking the chain” as much as it is awerness and patience. And forgiving ourselves. Figuring out our own detractors from, and attractors to the process.

    Too often the charlatans or the mislead of the world want to sell us things to increase the amount of drops, or additives to make the drops more powerful. Or things we can do in addition to the dropping of water to make the stone weaker. Does any of that ever work?

    I’ve abandoned the practices of dropping the water on the stones for about a month. It has affected my physical and mental health. Consider this post my next single drop of water on the stone.

    Thursday November 5, 2020
  • Energy

    The definition we tell ourselves of Introvert is “I do not like being around people”. And an Extravert is self-defined as “I do like being around people”.

    Maybe a deeper explanation is warranted.

    Introverts have their energy drained by being around other people. And it’s replenished by solitude.

    Extraverts have their energy replenished by being around other people. Their energy is drained in solitude.

    Digging even deeper, this energy expenditure and replenishment can vary based on the kinds of people one is around. Friends, family, your chess club, open office cube space. Working from home, alone.

    Have you considered how your energy is expended and replenished with the lens of the different kinds of groups you participate in?

    Wednesday September 2, 2020
  • Monkey Mind on the Mountain

    I’ve been skiing three or four times in my life until this year. The previous attempts didn’t end well due to my own self doubt, and my lack of training. I kinda just jumped into skiing previously, without lessons or instruction. When I was 15 it was to impress a girl, and later it was to spend time with my wife and kids who already knew how to ski.

    This year I committed to taking lessons. I’ve taken two of four planned lessons. This weekend, I spent some time out of the lessons, and on the learners hill. I spent some time on the “bunny hill” going over my lessons and trying to make progress, in terms of figuring out how to turn, and stop. Also battling the monkey mind who was chastising me for being too old, too this and too that, and not enough of yet another thing to even try skiing at 47 years old.

    Focusing on the skis, the snow, and the mountain underneath my feet helped me quiet the monkey mind. I was encouraged by my wife to go up the lift to the bigger bunny hill. I reminded myself to focus, and took three calming breaths on the ski lift. The first couple runs were slow, and somewhat steady. I was lucky to have my immediate family with me and I took much joy in skiing with them.

    We went our separate ways after a couple runs. I stayed on that part of the mountain, and made the run on the big bunny hill 20 or more times. Somewhere around the 3rd or 4th time, my lessons clicked, and my monkey mind stopped chattering.

    I’m not ever going to be in the Olympics or a racing team, but I now can get around on skis in a way that is safe and really fun. It’s not the speed of the hill that is appealing to me (although that’s fun). It’s the oneness with self and terrain and weather. Plus hanging out with family and friends on the mountain and in the lodge. I’m grateful that I have the means and opportunity to ski a couple times a season, and that I have people close to me to share it with.

    I’m grateful that my monkey mind wants me to be safe and not take risks, there’s wisdom in that, in some contexts. I just wish the monkey mind was kinder to me. Perhaps the more I stretch the comfort zone, the nicer it’ll be, or I’ll be able to ease it’s chattering in better ways.

    Saturday February 29, 2020
  • 100 years

    In 1992 or so, I took my first photography class at a community college in south Florida. My teacher at the time taught me two things that have stuck with me for a long time. The conflict between the two things she taught me (or my own processing of the concepts into conflict) has quite possibly set me up in my career path, and conversely, contributed to my feelings of being a fraud.

    Don’t ignore 100 years of innovation.

    When I was first learning the 35mm camera, I was hyper focused on the details and tried to understand every setting, and how they related to each other. I thought by mastering the technical details early, I could then be able to take a well crafted photo. I thought that art would come after the science, so to speak.

    My teacher (I wish I could remember her name) told me to focus on the composition, colors, lighting and all the other artistic aspects that make a good photo before worrying too much about the details of the tech.

    I asked something along the lines of “isn’t important to master your tools and techniques”? And she replied yes, but after you learn what makes a good photograph, artistically.

    She said that there is 100 years of innovation and technology in that camera you holding. Created by dozens, maybe hundreds of people across that time. It’s OK to set it and forget it to learn the art first. Once your more comfortable with the basics you can go in and finesse the technology.

    Substance before style


    I came around to her line of thinking. I studied the aesthetics and put my trust in the tech in ‘auto’ modes. I was making good progress. But then the next week she showed me photoshop. Talk about technical things to learn!

    I’ve always been in this space between technology and art. It’s served me well career wise. I was a Technical Art Director in the video game business for a long time. That job role had me sitting between artist and programmers, to facilitate communication and eventually grew to making tools for Artists. That grew to studying User Experience. Simultaneously I was managing people and projects. All this lead me to project management in the software and experience design fields. That’s where I am today.

    I’ve had doubts all along about my abilities in any one of those areas though. I wasn’t a “good enough” artists or programmer. So I was frustrated. I didn’t realize until later that I was good at sitting between the artists and programmers, empathizing and helping them help each other.

    I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want to do when I grow up (I’m almost 45, I should figure that shit out asap). This reflection is what lead me all the way back to that humid classroom and the likely source of the conflict that has propelled me all along.

    Thursday July 13, 2017
  • Premortem

    The premise of the premortem is this: Right before you begin a project, have a meeting with your team and pretend it’s near the end of that project. It’s is a complete disaster. An epic failure. Embarrassing. The Worst Project Ever. Ask everyone to write down some potential reasons why. Read them aloud, one by one. Make plans to burn down those risks.

    But this is more than Risk Analysis. It’s a chance for everyone to be heard, and for discovery that wouldn’t be possible otherwise. It moves up the things no one wants to say from the end, where it’s too late, and there’s a lot of friction.

    Check out Daniel Kahneman’s talk.

    Thursday August 11, 2016
  • Bones

    “I don’t have a creative bone in my body”, he said.

    Sure you do, everyone does, maybe you just haven’t been cut deep enough or broken the right bones to find them. I quickly thought.

    Then I paused and reflected on my thoughts. They were poorly constructed.

    We don’t go around showing our emotional scars too often. They do manifest in behavior of course. But we tend not to outright say what’s happened to us.

    Who am I to judge anyway.

    To be creative, you have to be connected to your world through your experiences, and filter all that through your unique expression. Connect concepts to make new things.

    Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional

    We all experience pain in one way shape or form. Suffering is quick responses to that pain. Putting distance between stimulus and reaction is the heart of stoicism, I think.

    The next time someone says “I don’t have a creative bone in my body”, I‘ll take a beat.

    Are they suffering from the pain of a limiting belief?

    Am I rushing to judge?

    Thursday June 23, 2016
  • My Leaf blower doesn’t have bluetooth

    The best way to simplify is to reduce. I’ve been trying to keep the thought in the front of my mind lately. I was feeling anxious Friday night and Saturday morning. It was the typical anxiety loop, work, house, finances, parenting, when am I going to be able to finally go see The Martian? All the great concerns.

    Anyway, those leaves needed to get taken care of so, I went out to deal with them. I got out there and after a few minutes, I thought to myself I can go grab my bluetooth headphones and listen to a podcast while I do this. I mentally reviewed my playlist and nothing jumped out at me as a “must listen to”. I thought about what was in the playlist further and decided to grab the headphones just to listen to something.

    Were my headphones charged? They’d probably be half charged at best as I used them to listen to music at work yesterday. Where were they? Ah, yes in my drawer next to the keys. Then the simplification by reduction thought popped into my head. Is this what I wanted to be doing or thinking about right now? When was the last time I did something without any input. Can I be content just raking the leaves with an empty mind?

    Turns out, I can. I spent 2 or 3 hours out there (including a trip to the hardware store) just by myself with only my own voice in my head. It was refreshing. I felt much better, the anxiety I was feeling is under the surface at least, if not totally gone.

    The monkey mind is always chattering away in everyone. And at times the monkey mind’s chatter isn’t so nice. Why do we say such mean and terrible things to ourselves? Things we’d likely never say to anyone else.

    Raking the leaves without other input that would wash over my monkey mind let me focus. Just being out there on the chilly and windy but sunny day let me put my attention on what I wanted, and in this case it was on nothing. I dumped out all the crap in my head I could and most of the monkey mind too.

    It was meditative. I was paying attention to being mindful of the leaves and the dirt. Anyway, the wind blew the piles around a lot. Instead of falling into my anger cycle I just watched the wind take the leaves where it would with a calm ease. Then I raked them up again. No big deal.

    Saturday October 24, 2015