Category Archives: musings

It’s the Conversation, Stupid…

Twitter (and blogs and other social media stuff) is about conversations and relationships. It’s not another megaphone to scream your spam direct marketing information about your products and services.

Biggby Bob (@BiggbyBob) gets it. Frank Ellison (@Comcast Cares) gets it.  Chris Brogan (@ChrisBrogan) gets it. Gary Vaynerchuk (@garyvee) gets it. Zappos CEO Tony (@zappos) gets it. Ashton Kutcher (@aplusk) gets it. Many, many others, too many to list here, get it.

To all of you self-proclaimed “SEO Experts” “Social Media Gurus” “Social Networking Ninjas” Be human. Be You. That’s what it’s all about.

It’s the conversation, stupid.

Chock Full O' Zen

Zen


Shoes First Snow Run…

Snow Shoes

Snow Shoes

Today we had our first real snowfall and the shoes went for their first run in the snow. The tempurature was pleasant compared to the last few days, so I thought a run in the snow would be nice. I went for about 5 miles along my regular route on the trail that runs nearby. The snow was the kind that is wet and heavy and sticks to the tree branches in that really cool way.


Character Flaws…

I don’t watch much TV, more due to lack of time than lack of interest though there is some ambivalence there. There are two shows, though, that have me hooked, Mad Men and Californication. I’m beginning to think I am drawn to characters with flaws.

Jon Hamm

Don Draper (pic from AMC.com)

Don Draper is uber-cool but drinks too much, cheats on his wife and then there is that whole took-the-identity-of-his-dead-commanding-officer thing. But I still think he’s just cool (the metro/girl in me likes his clothes, too).

HANK MOODY

Hank Moody (pic from Showtime.com)

Then there is Hank Moody from Californication who is even more F-ed up than Don Draper. He, too, drinks too much and cheats on his baby-momma but I find him to be cool, too, in a self-hating writer sort of way.

I have assured my wife many times that it’s not because I want to start running around and sleeping with other women. Maybe it’s because they’re both creative and I envy that quality in them.

I don’t know. Weird. Just thought I would share.


Imaginary Productivity…

The Dilbert cartoons from my desk calendar are always funny but today’s really spoke to me. 

Imaginary Productivity

Imaginary Productivity

 Imaginary productivity. It’s how I spend the majority of my day. It’s how a number of people I work with spend their day. This was true, too, of my last project/job. If Scott Adams has published a cartoon on the subject, it isn’t just my industry and work space, it’s a problem everywhere.

 

This made me wonder, how did we, as a country, get to this point? How many people spend hour upon hour at desks or in cubes on imaginary productivity? And, why?

 

The problem, from my humble observances, is two-fold. First is just a general lack of work. In my particular industry, our client has a budget for contractors and must spend that budget, regardless if there is enough work to go around. It’s wasteful; and aggravating for those of us stuck in the situation.

 

The second problem is a lack of trust in others. This was particularly true in my last job. The majority of the tasks were handed to three people on a team of about 30. They were extremely overworked and overtasked but the powers-that-were did not trust the abilities of rest of the team. Again, wasteful and aggravating for those stuck in the situation.

 

This comic is going to be framed and hung on my cube wall. It’s sad, really.

 

Here’s hoping that your productivity is real, not imaginary, and fulfilling.

 

(Dilbert comic strip from Dilbert.com, created by Scott Adams, originally published Dec. 24, 2005 and is thoroughly awesome)


Wash, Rinse, Repeat…

This is my view about people’s reactions during our current financial mess. Instead of accepting the fact there is going to be volatility with big swings up and down, people see ups as problems are over and sing hallelujah. The next day when it all goes away, we’re in the worse depression ever. People’s emotions are as volatile as the markets, maybe even more so.

Wash, Rinse, Repeat

Wash, Rinse, Repeat or Stop Watching Cable News

The guy at the end is repeating something that was actually said to me. I was told that Revelations speaks about all of this. Um, ok.


Fighting the Negative Gorilla…

I use a mug from Life Is Good, the Smiling Jake© folks. Today, while drinking my coffee, the question popped into my head, “Should I put the mug away until my situation changes for the better?” On the back it says, “Do what you like. Like what you do©.” Needless to say, I’m not doing what the mug is telling me to do. The thought was, put the mug away and once things change, pull it back out. But then it hit me. That would be a step backward. The 800-pound negative gorilla would win the day. So, instead of feeling that the mug is mocking me, I will keep using it, let it motivate me and keep hope that things will change for the better.

Take that stupid, negative gorilla. 

(picture courtesy of the “Life is Good” website. Check ’em out. Their stuff is awesome!)


Scream…

This popped in my head the other day. It seemed funny to me,. As they all do.

Scream

Scream


“What I Talk About When I Talk About Running”

I recently finished the book “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running” by Japanese novelist, Haruki Murakami. It is a great read if you are a runner. I have never read Mr. Murakami’s novels but his writing style is very easy to read. It is story-telling as he tells how running has formed who he is a person and how important running is to his success as a novelist.

He speaks repeatedly about training hard but in such a way as not to burn out. This is a skill I have yet to to acquire as I have fallen victim to burnout lately. He calls it “Running blues.”

Here are few points in the book that stood out to me:

“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” Most of the book covers his time training for the 2005 New York Marathon. He says running, especially long distance training and marathons, hurts. It is “an unavoidable reality, but whether or not you can stand anymore is up to the runner himself.”

He talks about how he is very competitive but not so much in that he wants to win races or even other people. He wants to beat a time that he set for himself. I smiled when I read this part. That has driven my running since I started six years ago. I have a goal time I want to meet or beat, usually I want to better my PR for the distance. This is what motivates him and what motivates me and my group of running friends. We all talk about what times we want to meet or beat for a race.

“…having the kind of body that easily puts on weight was perhaps a blessing in disguise.” He says those of us who have to work hard to keep the weight off are actually healthier than those who are naturally thin. Our exercise makes us healthy and our bodies will not weaken as we age because of it. I keep seeing more and more studies that back this assertion.

He talks in one section about how it takes him a few miles for his muscles to warm up, gradually loosen and allow him to run normally. He doesn’t run short distance races much because of this, by the time the race is over he is just getting warmed up. I so identify with this. A couple years ago I was asked to run a 5k with a group I worked with at the time. I hestitated because I told them the same thing, it takes me three miles just get warmed up, that’s just how my legs work. They thought I was poo pooing such a short race when I run marathons, no matter how much I said it was not that at all. My weekend group all says this same thing. We all grumble and moan up until mile three of your weekend runs at which point we are loose and warm and can really take off and enjoy our run.

Finally, he talks about the view by others on runners and their life of constant training and how as soon as we are done with one we are thinking about the next. “Pouring water into an old pan that has a hole in the bottom,” pointless, futile and inefficient. “Whether it’s good for anything or not, cool or totally uncool, in the final analysis what’s more important is what you can’t see but can feel in your heart. But activities that appear fruitless don’t necessarily end up so. That’s the feeling I have, as someone who’s felt this, who’s experienced it.” I absolutely understand what he saying and share the sentiment, as do many runners I have talked with. It is hard to explain, and understan, but it is just a part of us and makes us runners.

If you are a runner, you will enjoy this book.


Look, It Has a New Title!

Yep, I renamed it. Like I said before, “Escape From Career Hell” lost its allure. It was whiny and I have no “plan” or “strategy” for getting out of a hellish career. For that, visit Pam Slim. She is the guru and gives great advice.

My mission for this blog is to showcase my silly little faces and to talk about my non-addictions, running and coffee, while maybe adding my two-cents on any particular subject.  I hope you enjoy what I have to offer…

coffee&running


But Is It Art?

A friend called me an artist over the weekend. It was for creating this drawing for our Ragnar Cumberland to D.C. relay. That really threw me for a loop. I really do not view myself as an artist or what I draw as art. Doodles? Yes. Silly? Very yes. But art?

 

gonuts

What do you think? Is it art?


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