Category: Real Life

Guess that Coworking space

Names and locations redacted to protect the innocent. I was in another city yesterday, scouting a place to hold a meetup.

Coworking space number 1: Delightfully pretentious little coffee shop with coworking space adjacent. Craft beer is also served. Seems to have a little Reformed Christian vibe going, because those Christians can drink beer with the window shades up, but unfortunately doesn’t seem to have a single room/meeting space that could hold 10 people without some of them having to sit in a hammock or something.

I walked upstairs to what I hoped was a better meeting space, only to find myself more or less awkwardly in the middle of someone else’s stand-up, in a room barely large enough to shoot a self-conscious CCM music video in.

Coworking space number 2: After walking in the front door of the building only to find myself in something that might have been a women’s clothing boutique or a used bookstore, or both, I asked where the coworking space was and was directed by the attractive young woman in the bodysuit to go to the side entrance.

My overwhelming thought on meeting her was to resist taking her hand and running, not because she was an attractive young woman in a bodysuit, but because the neighborhood is roughly that of the Bronx in the 1980s. I mean, I literally had to think hard about exiting my car when I got in the parking lot.

After finding the correct entrance, I met up with a receptionist whose overwhelming thought seemed to be to resist coming right out and asking if I voted for Trump (I didn’t). She reluctantly showed me a meeting room, which would actually work fine for our purposes, if any of our attendees survived getting mugged in the parking lot. She informed me, however, that they generally close at 6 pm.

For extra effect, a police SUV came up behind me while I was stopped at an intersection and lit off their sirens and lights because they needed to get around me. Not, as I initially assumed, to get to a shooting, but to a fender-bender a block over.

iPhone 6S+ – Two Months Later

About two months after getting a new iPhone 6S+, I’ve racked up the following experiences: Read more

Both of my sons licensed this year

As a friend put it so succinctly, I’m getting old…

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It’s so peaceful in the country

TJ (owner of my client Jamersan) has let me use an RV that’s out on his property in Lee County, and I’ve been here a few days doing some work for him and also attending parts of the Auburn Knights Reunion.

I’ve never been much for camping, but that’s okay – staying in an RV that’s permanently connected to electricity and water doesn’t really feel like camping. Except the part about utter and complete quiet.

I do not sleep well in motel rooms. Someone is always banging doors, and there is the 2 a.m. wakey-wakey when the drunks come back from the bars, and then there is the 5:30 a.m. moment when (assuming you don’t have to get up by then anyway), these same people have to go to their road construction job. If Alabama let the bars stay open longer, I don’t think the motel industry would make it.

But back to the RV – I suggested it was utter and complete quiet, but that’s not exactly right. There are humming and buzzing insects, chirping birds, and the occasional train that I seem to have learned to filter out if I’m asleep. But what there isn’t:

  • people yelling down hallways, not in anger but because they just need to talk to someone who’s 50 feet away
  • traffic noise
  • someone else’s music being played, and not at a reasonable volume either

When I was playing more with the Montgomery Symphony – Maestro Tom Hinds would talk about how loud the modern world is compared to the pre-industrialized one. I’m not sure cities have ever been that quiet, but I can appreciate how people who lived on farms did enjoy more moments of actual quiet.

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Why be Social?

Yesterday I talked about getting over some negative feelings about posting. But that doesn’t supply a “why” answer to maintaining a personal website.

I’ve been inconsistent about writing, but I’ve written more than ever in the past few years because of Facebook, which allows you to feel like you’re posting to a smaller group of people who actually know you.  Read more

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Post Like No One’s Reading

I’ve had two or three problems with social media over the years:

  • a feeling that it comes across as narcissistic (yes this is a recurring theme of mine, which caused me to dismiss Twitter once upon a time)
  • I was just too busy
  • I was too self- editing – too concerned that someone might pick up on something I wrote and be offended by it

I’ll probably never get over that last one entirely, but there has been, as they say at healthcare.gov, a change in circumstance.

Not long after I started this blog, I sold the business I was part-owner of and went to work for another company, and always had the feeling that I had a boss (or two) who tended to look at everything I did in public as a possible negative reflection on their company. Which it can be, in fairness, but the long soulful conversations about what I did in the community always seemed to dwell on the possible negative aspects adobe photoshop cs6 for mac.

Even worse, I was a member of a local church which focused on the negative. When my family and I decided to leave, I felt I should give them a reason (this was a mistake, by the way), and that was the reason I gave – that they were focused on the negative and not on “the hope of the gospel” (Colossians 1:23).

My wife still gets their church bulletin by email, and she tells me the minister has doubled down on articles about “the need for negative preaching.”

So that’s been a weight lifted – leaving those two particular situations. I’ll never be one of those who let it fly and run roughshod over people’s privacy, especially my own, but in looking at my blog’s traffic, I’ve decided that there’s no real need to be concerned that I’m going to offend anyone.

So that’s a little of my thinking about “why not do it?” – my next post will be “why do it?”

Blogging and Shoemaker’s Shoes Syndrome

Spent a few minutes just now beginning to renovate the personal blog again. I work around WP and Magento developers all day, and yet I haven’t been keeping up. I have begun to realize that I spend far too much time organizing and not enough time doing.

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Lies, Big Lies, and Time Management Lies

Another game of putting things aside
As if we’ll come back to them some time
A brace of hope a pride of innocence
And you would say something has gone wrong
Something’s Always Wrong – Toad the Wet Sprocket

Note – I started writing this post in April and had to leave it and come back to it. That’s both a meta-commentary and a sign of how painful this topic is to me.

I went through a bit of organizational hell a month or so  several months ago  a year-and-a-half-ago- I converted my Time Management system from its previous mish-mash of Outlook, Google to-do lists, email in-box etc. to a new mish-mash organized by Evernote and inspired by this article from Lifehacker about how to use it with David Allen’s Getting Things Done system.

And it’s sorta working. It’s a big improvement, I think. Outlook’s task list is terrible, Google’s is worse, and I’d been using them to enforce this bifurcation in my work life and personal/side-business life that was tying me in knots. Read more

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My Best Mistake: Taking Someone’s Word on Taking a Job

In the spirit of this series on LinkedIn, I offer you a tale of a five month hiatus from the family business I worked in when I was younger.

For years, a marketing professor who had acted as sort of a mentor to me when I was in school had been encouraging me to apply at a business in the telecom industry where he’d done some consulting work. He told me:

  • the owner had a very hands-on management style (that certainly proved to be true).
  • they valued individuality.
  • they were looking for people who could produce long-term results.

The job was to work on the telephone and e-mail about three weeks per month, and travel all over the country at least one week – increasing volume at existing customers and prospecting for new ones. After an extensive series of interviews, including one with the owner himself, I was hired. The rigorousness of the hiring process, along with the persona recommendation of a friend, made me feel that the job would definitely be a good fit. Read more

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The E-Mail Scam That’s Alive and Well

I hate to admit it, but after ten years in e-commerce I very nearly fell for a message similar to this a few months ago. It’s a slightly slicker variation on the various e-mail schemes that are out there, mainly distinguished by asking for something specific that the company I work for sells (custom imprinted USB drives):

—–Original Message—–
From: [Bogus Company] [mailto:[deleted]@ gmail.com]
Sent: Friday, May 03, 2013 1:42 PM
To: Gary Smith
Subject: Swivel USB Drives

 

Dear Sir/Madam

 

  We wanted to place an order for 1000 Pcs each 4 GB and 8 GB Swivel style USB Drives One color/One location Imprint through your store or suppliers. Please let us know if you can get any of these items including the lead time and your payment methods.

 

We look forward to read from you soon

 

Best Regards

(name)

(phone #)

Read more

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