Category Archives: Life

Posts on general living.

Been a While

I’ve been thinking about how over the years I haven’t lived up to so many promises about posting here. I should change that by deciding on the type of things I post. In the past (say, 2004-or-so) I was at least partially opinionated about politics, social issues, and technology. My posts were sometimes rants and other times contributions to a larger conversation. The problem with those kinds of posts is that no one gives a crap about what I think; I’m not that influential. In recent years I don’t very much care about politics (they’re all full of shit) or television (they’re all full of shit, too). I am simply not passionate anymore concerning the popular.
What I have done for the past ten years is talk about, study, toy with, and teach technology. Being a full-time instructor, I’ve become even more fond lately of creating tutorials with screenshots and screencasts. For the last few months I’ve had a daily reminder on my calendar to write a post here, and every day when I look at it I have nothing to contribute. This evening I came across the weblog of a fellow IT worker, Jeffrey B. Murphy, who appears to write simple yet concise how-to’s and tech notes that help him through his days as a system administrator. This, as I see it, does two things: it provides him with some sort of searchable knowledge base he can reference and it offers the World Wide Web some sensible and usable information. I’ve done a few posts for similar reasons, and they happen to be among the more popular here.
I’ve been hesitant to write a post if it’s not very long; all the SEO folks say it’s bad to publish fewer than 300 words. From now on I won’t care how long the post is – if I can share accurate and helpful information, so be it. I’ll post even the simplest things in hoping that it may start a conversation. That’s what this thing is for, right?

Wait – did I get down to my point? I had one when I started writing…

Either way, here it is in fewer words: I plan on posting helpful how-to articles and tutorial-type screencast videos here. As often as I can. I’ve been writing here for just over ten years and it’s high time I made more use of it.

Getting it Done

>= 1 Mile per Day

I’ve tried to commit to crazy things, like reading all of my unread books in a short time and cycling every morning.  However, I just got some motivation.

The Beer Runner has been running at least one mile and drinking at least one beer every day for 846 days now.  Yesterday he woke up after having been discovered by the influenza virus and apparently had a time with it.

Given the condition he described, he still ran that mile and drank a beer.  I should be ashamed of myself having my own commitments interrupted by late nights with sick kids, traveling, studying, and the timeless cases of the “I just don’t feel like it” syndrome.

Famous last words of a commitment: Starting tomorrow…

Starting tomorrow I will run at least one mile every day.  I’m not too crazy about the idea of having to drink a beer every day too (it gets expensive), but the daily minimum-mile I can and should do without fail.

Every morning presents the opportunity.  If I get up late, I run in the afternoon.  It’s only a mile.  If it’s raining, storming, or just too late in the day, I have a treadmill and won’t be ashamed to use it.  While I have every excuse not to run, there is a way around or through that excuse.

I’d like to say I’ll keep this blog updated with my runs and experiences, but I’m not going that far.  A mile a day is enough for now.  Follow @42flows on Twitter for the Runtastic posts made when I finish each run.

And wish me luck.

Better Dressed

Beth read something to me out of a book she’s reading about the first day of school (as a teacher) and how to set yourself up for a successful year.  It read:

As you are dressed, so shall you be percieved. And as you are percieved, so shall you be treated.
It is not what is, but what is percieved that counts.
Always dress better than your students. If you do not care about yourself, why should the students care about you?

Which is probably why I need to start dressing better as a college instructor.

So noted…

State of the Program

I came to quite a harsh realization today: I will never have the best IT training program in the country, and the reason is very easy to understand but difficult to accept.

The majority of the students would not make it through a program as rigorous as I wish to have it. The point of the college, it seems, is to say that graduates have been trained and to push out as many as they can. I believe this to be monetarily driven.

So while I’m not going to fight it, I will supplement the mediocre materials and provide as much relevant knowledge as possible. In addition, I want to drive the following unoriginal ideas throughout my instruction:

1. Your level of confidence is directly proportional to the limits of your ability. If you don’t think you can do something, you will not.

2. Overconfidence without backing knowledge is dangerous.

3. If you don’t know something, readily admit it and accept the fact.

4. Then work your ass off to learn it.

Tomato Lab

I had a tomato last week that had been ripening on the windowsill and looked pretty good.  When I cut it I discovered that some of the seeds inside had sprouted, and it triggered a thought!  I tried to sprout apple seeds a couple of years ago and it didn’t work.  Since these had begun to grow already, I took a slice of tomato and put it in a beer glass with water.

Here we are about four days later:

STS-129 Launch

Just watched this with Braden this morning. He’d gotten his toy shuttle out and was playing “Blast-off!,” so I took him to YouTube and found this. He giggled as I held up his space shuttle to the computer and he recognized the similarity between his toy and what he saw on the video.

I bet all the engineers at NASA cry with joy every time a shuttle launches. They built the whole thing with their hands, or with the machines they built with their hands. And it went to space – and came back. Such a monumental achievement shouldn’t go unnoticed.

Anything is possible with enough thought, planning, and work.