Thoughts on Effectiveness and Hope 

I’ve long been a devote of Steven Covey. To this day, I try to keep his principles in mind. 

One of the central elements is the importance: urgency grid. 

The upper right grid is the key place: but urgent and important. Urgent and important grab priority, followed by urgent and not important. Not important and not urgent tend to grab our time, too. The realm of time wasting. 

Many people cycle between the urgents and time wasting. The not urgent important gets neglected. 

That’s the realm of Hope. This painful cycle minimizes hope; it doesn’t get fed. 

No wonder we swirl about in anger so much. Why we focus on win-lose, why we’re so afraid. 

We never feed hope. 

Oh, what a weekend 

It’s been quite a dramatic few days for my circle. Saturday, we buried a friend, and supported his family. 

That evening we joined with other friends celebrating Mardi Gras…just a smidge early. 

Sunday found us with my pastor announcing his resignation. It came as a shock, and led to many emotional conversations. 

From that point forward, I felt simply weary. And that’s continued. I guess my best bet is an early bed time and plenty of sleep. 

AutoCAD | zero to 60 in 1 over infinity seconds

One of the great things about a new job: learnings. This one is no different. I love learning new software. Well, AutoCAD really isn’t “new”. But the last time I did any real work in the product was, well, a version for DOS. Yeah, it was on a computer running Windows 95, but still….

Anyway, with another staff change, my need to KNOW AutoCAD shot up immensely. Got to love added stress!

It’s fun, but crazy. No panic…not yet, at least. And I have a strategy, so there.

Wish me luck.

So looking forward to Logan

For many years I read the X-Men religiously. At my life evolved, I’ve not as been much into comics. But I kept abreast of the ebb and flow of the characters.

I’ve enjoyed the X-Men films I’ve seen, but this one looks really well crafted. Makes me brim with excitement.

I concur with what a friend told me: “if this movie sucks, it’ll hurt”.

Anyway, here’s one of the trailers. An amazing sample and use of the song.

 

Thoughts While Crafting A Memorial

I’ve spent the past few hours creating a presentation for a friend’s memorial service. A full range of emotions accompanied.

Professionalism is one of my core values. Approaching even the most difficult things with calm competency is something I strive for.

The pictures, though…his kids…so young. Reminding of my birth-mother’s death when I was 15. Haunting me.

For many of the services I’ve worked, my composure held well. I know, though, this one will be hard. Even though sad weeping and wailing is not what he wanted. I get that. But, you know, my humanity….

Reflecting on opportunity

I remember, immediately after getting out of the Navy, walking around downtown Seattle. Looking at the high-rises, at all the well-dressed office folks going about their business and seeing opportunity everywhere. Buildings filled with business, with people doing things, making stuff, having brilliant ideas and creating amazing, new things.

The mid-90s, the dot-com world was just starting, downtown Seattle was shedding it’s dilapidated, seedy and decayed visage, finally becoming the inspirational beacon of entrepreneurial hope.  And I was there, in the thick of it.

I could feel, I could hear the heartbeat. There I was, in the front seat of change. Watching both the promise revealed, and those left-behind. Hope isn’t perfect, I guess.

An interesting ride it’s been.

Paper vs Digital Notes and Vanishing Information

Today I was thinking today about the past. I worked on at project, in the mid-nineties, for Amazon. They were located in a single building in downtown Seattle, very close to Pike Place Market. Nothing to dramatic, just installed terminals in a new call center. I had fun. My main memory: a guy brought his Corgi to work every day. About once an hour, a ball would be thrown down the hall and the dog would tear after it. For me, that exemplified the kind of place I wanted to work.

Anyway, I was wondering what I could pull together from that. Who did I work with? For? Was I there for a week? A month?

All that info? Gone. Yeah, that was quite some time ago. But I’m a rather meticulous note-taker, so am a bit bothered by the information being simply gone.

Now, that was pre-digital anything, really. Ok, the world wide web was a thing (duh, Amazon), but I didn’t own a cellphone yet. There wasn’t a smartphone of any stripe (it would be several years before Handspring would launch the Treo). So, yeah…gone.

Much is made about the fragility of digital record keeping. But there’s fragility to paper, too. Sure, these notes may still exist in some box in my garage. But, most likely, they were tossed out, left somewhere, or… There’s no such thing as backing up paper “stuff”.

When I think about using tools like Evernote, Gmail and all the grand life in the Cloud, I’m struck by a key thing: syncing. My digital information is available cross-platform, cross-device, cross-everything. It’s easy to share (and, yeah, subpoena). Which, to me, sells digital over paper.

Now, I do have paper notes, and journals and notes and…I just need to remember to scan them in, just for a backup. Because, who knows, in twenty years, I might really be interested in where I was today.

Fan Engagement: Zoe Keating

I’ve been a fan of Zoe Keating for years. Besides enjoying her music greatly, I’ve also been very interested in the way she interacts with her fans. She’s used today’s social media landscape exceptionally well to build her brand, and a career as a musician within a very unique niche.

Her main tools for engagement are:

What’s a bit more surprising to me are the tools she doesn’t use. Her YouTube channel is pretty spare, and not recently updated. Considering how much I’ve heard about video being “the” thing, looks like she’s experimented with it and has moved along. Now, if you search for her music there, you’ll find tons of videos, but that’s mostly uploads from fans, interviews and such. Also, her music has been uploaded to Vimeo, but, again, not by her. So, she’s present in the world of video, but not deeply so.

I’m also surprised she doesn’t have any campaigns on Patreon nor on Kickstarter. Now, her music is available on iTunes, Spotify, and many other online services. So she might not feel the need to have these income streams. Other musicians and artists in similar styles and viewpoints use them quite heavily, like Amanda Palmer.

Considering all that, it’s important to look at which of these avenues is the most profitable to her. As the chart below shows (created by the folks at Business Insider), most of her income comes from iTunes, Bandcamp and Amazon.

Graph of Zoe Keating's income sources
A look at Zoe Keating’s income sources

 

* Some thoughts on Fanbridge: I imagine it’s a great tool, and it is competitively priced. But it’s important to point out that Mailchimp is quite a bit cheaper, at least at the start. I also wonder if it interacts with any specialized CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tools. That would certainly bump up the value of Fanbridge. Mailchimp plays well with several CRM tools. Also, some of the serious competitors, like Constant Contact or Salesforce have those tools fully baked in. With that, I’m unaware of Zoe using any CRM tools. Doesn’t mean she doesn’t, just don’t see anything.

Lastly, Ms. Keating speaks some to these point in the video below. Worth your while.

 

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Visio & Office Versions – Troubleshooting Fun

For some time I’ve been using Visio 2007. It’s worked fine, but it won’t let me import .dwg files (CAD files, if you didn’t know) that have been made recently. So, finally, we buckled down the budget and upgraded to Visio 2016. And, well, things got screwy.

I ended up with this error as I tried to install Vision:

I’ve never dealt with Error Code 30029-39 before. Turns out it was something simple, overlooking a basic issue.

Our version of Office was 2013. Now, I’ve been using Visio 2007 with Office 2013 just fine, no problems. But Office 2016 doesn’t play well with other versions of Office. I should’ve checked Office version compatibility.

So, now I was left with a choice:

  1. Upgrade the rest of Office to 2016 – or –
  2. Find some other way

In the spirit of cheapness, I spent time looking at ways to force Windows 10 to let me have 2 versions of Office. And, well, nope. I did find some ways to use a VM client, like Windows built in Hyper-V, but it started to get to a high butt-pain threshold and I went with option 1).

There are times that being able to get back to work is worth quite a bit.