Archive for October, 2016

This Election

I don’t think too many people would say they are enjoying this election cycle. It’s been too long, too full of bad choices and just terrible all around. I will be glad when it’s over.

I don’t particularly like Hillary and I don’t like Trump either. I won’t be voting for either. I wish it wasn’t something that divided us on a daily basis and something that takes up valuable brain processing power. I see posts and memes daily about one candidate or the other. Then, friends or family of the poster immediately assume that person is voting for the other candidate and a nasty debate ensues. It’s terrible.

I think elections are a way for people to try and voice their opinions on a particular pet topic and voice their frustrations with certain aspects of their lives. They want their person to win. Nobody really discusses whether or not their candidate (or the office of the presidency) even has the authority or mandate to make any change that will affect their lives. Fear-mongers will say they do, but what has history shown us? More often than not, they can’t. Read On…

Toastmasters

I went to our Toastmasters club meeting last night and had a great time. It’s always something I still feel a little bit of hesitation attending, but always have a great time and learn a lot.

Our club is thriving with new members signing up at every meeting. Last night, our club president gave a moving speech about a loss in the family and then how he became an ordained buddhist monk. It was a touching story that I couldn’t have heard anywhere else.

Our table topics (that’s the impromptu portion where everybody gets to speak) was the little sayings that appear at the top of a teabag, aka banal platitudes.

Mine was “An attitude of gratitude brings opportunity.” I agreed with this notion and spoke about how we are working on learning about gratitude with my son. Read On…

It’s Null Until You Ship It

I saw this on a t-shirt and I’ve needed to get it out of my head ever since. I love this phrase. It was on the shirt of a software developer, but the meaning holds true for me and everyone else who don’t write software.

It means, whatever you’re working on, until you call it done and present it to others, it might as well not exist.

Another way to put it, any ideas you have are worthless if they aren’t implemented.

Another way, put yourself out there! Do the work and be exposed! That’s the only way you learn, grow, fail, try again and succeed.

Always. Be. Shipping. Get something on paper. Get a draft out there. Get a minimum viable product in your hands.

Be vulnerable. Make mistakes. Learn from them and start over.

Get into the details. Do the hard stuff.

It Just Takes Time

Everything worth accomplishing takes repeated, consistent, small efforts piled up over time.

It’s tough to realize that, but it’s true.

Want to lose a bunch of weight? Eat less than you normally do for months, maybe even a year. It comes off slowly, but it will come off. Read On…

Every Season is New

I had this realization yesterday when I was thinking about our great weekend up north in the fall colors. Sully got to enjoy the colors last year as a 1 year old, but he didn’t run and jump and play outside yet. Now, he can, but Cece can’t.

I think forward to next summer, but I project their current states into those seasons. The reality is that Sully will be bigger, talking more and a much different person by summer. Cece might be sitting up and playing in the sand a little bit at the beach. They are in such a state of constant change, it’s hard for me to realize that they are going to be very different, very quickly. Read On…

Perfect Day

I love days like yesterday. We got up and got a lot done at the cottage, enough so that we could feel good about it. I finally raked all that junk off the roof and Jess got the Florida room cleaned up and ready for winter.

The rest of the day was seeing the beautiful fall colors at lumberman’s monument, cooking some delicious dishes and an apple crisp, watching football and enjoying the mild fall weather. Read On…

1 Car Family

We are now a one car family. It is my attempt at reducing our liabilities, freeing up some capital and having a more minimalist life. It will be an adventure, but it won’t be as difficult as it would have been 5-10 years ago, thanks to Uber, Lyft and everything being available by delivery.

It’s going to take some coordination between Jess and I, but I’m glad to be able to have more space, more money and less monthly insurance obligation.

Freedom to Explore

When it’s nice out, we usually play outside, in the front yard (instead of the back, not sure why). My son loves to just wander and I usually let him. He has learned a lot while wandering, specifically about checking for cars before crossing, that running downhill causes you to fall sometimes and there’s always more to see and more to do.

His recent obsession is to cross the street in front of our house and explore the neighborhood there. He points and says “no car” which to him means, let’s cross that street, because we always look for no cars before crossing.

We wander through neighbors front lawns, test out benches, tiptoe along parking blocks and smell flowers. On Tuesday, we even found a little library (a standalone book repository that looks almost like a fancy mailbox) with kids books inside. Sully looked through them and chose one to borrow. Read On…

Make Lists, Not War

This is the mantra of Workflowy, which I’ve previously written about here – Make Lists, Not War. I don’t know anybody that works for Workflowy so I’m not speaking for them.

I interpret this in many ways. The first, is that most things can be broken down easily into smaller steps, or into a list. This has a calming effect because it’s progress towards a goal or task, sometimes a large one. The war here is in your mind. Don’t stress about a future task that seems daunting, put it on a list. If that’s not enough, take 5 minutes and write down all the steps that need to occur to get that task completed. Guaranteed mood improvement. Read On…

Selling a Car

I’m currently selling my car. Ever since I switched jobs, I’ve taken the bus to work and my car has sat in the garage, unused. I used it often enough to think it was worth keeping, for awhile. After we thought about it though, all of the times I needed the car, Jess didn’t.

So one car would be plenty for our family.

We spend $80+ per month on insuring this car and regular maintenance makes keeping this car a nontrivial expense.  Read On…