30 December 2008

Finding your inner demon of lack of productivity

As soon as I find my inner demon and begin the extraction process I begin to have an inner turmoil.

The first stage is 'yeah lets go for it.'
The second stage is 'see you can be different.'
The third stage is 'well you've put off those things you "need" to do long enough we need to get them done.'
The fourth stage is I return to the exact same behaviors and way of life I had.

So today I'm going to change the approach.  I'm not going to "go for it."
I'm not going to make a commitment.
I'm not going to solicite advise.
I'm going to instead focus on my visions and focus on them.

Right now is my time and I want nothing more than to accomplish my goals.

15 December 2008

WTF, over!?!?

 heard one of my co-workers use this line the other day and it made me laugh. 

But I didn't realize how often this can used. On Saturday we got notice of a lien being put on our house. Apparently the builder hadn't paid someone that needed payment and this person put a lien on the house.  

Our response to our agent, escro person, seller's agent, and seller is:


LOL - it communicates so much in so little. 

I see a potential F1337 Command product being born.

11 December 2008

F1337 Command gets a first customer

Well so my idea for F1337 Command has been making some progress and I thought I'd share some of it here as a way of keeping track of it as well as communicating with you my beloved internet audience.

Basically I have continued to noodle the ideas surrounding the products of this company as well as my concepts on the business organization. What has come out is that the most obvious start for this business which will serve multiple purposes is an online Apparel company.

Purposes served:
1. Bring to life the basic underlying principles of the company.
2. Bring about a way of sharing what the business is and how it works through concrete implemented elements.
3. Create a tool for market research.
4. Begin the process of refining the marketing elements and product ideas.
5. Allow for the initial community to form virtually which will establish a wider reaching area than a single gift shop could create.
6. Allow for the initial relationships with full-fillment organizations to be established and customer communication norms to be created and established.
7. Design and implement critical customer service processes.
8. Design and implement critical product development processes.
9. Establish the business structure of F1337 Command.
10. Create a vehicle to attract investment capital.

To begin the juices flowing and start on this path i have a 3 pronged strategy that I'm implementing now:
1. Create some basic product ideas.
2. Identify potential fullfillment partner organizations here Washington state.
3. Document the full business plan in a non-traditional manor.

If you are interested in some of the early product ideas I have created a cafepress.com shop to try out some ideas.

Here are some of the ideas inspired so far:

Some aditional ideas in development are a number of T-Shirt ideas along the lines of the current shop products;

F1337 Command
WTS Used Space Suit

F1337 Command
Schrödinger's Cat Needs Food Badly

F1337 Command
Creat your own Cherenkov radiation

06 November 2008

President Elect

I began to write a long winded post about how I am inspired by the election of Barack Obama.

However, I am having trouble putting it all into words without digressing so far into my own personal past as to lose my main point. So here is a Haiku.

Obama lead us
There ain't no red vs blue states
All one under  God

I was born poor white
Came in and learned raciscm
I am free from it

Poor kids without hope
Stand up, reach out, find someone
You are special too

It was not only in the last eight years that America has been earning a bad reputation and its not just African-Americans who haven't been getting a fair stake. The American Indian has been in this country much longer than anyone and they are still somehow kept separate but equal.

I don't know how to heal this division in our country. Barack I hope you can find a way.

Welcome our President Elect. If there is a way that I can serve just call on me.

29 October 2008

F1337 Command comes to life

F1337 Command is the working name of a retail company I am making to provide quality products to geeks. The goal of this company is to create a brand that people like me can identify with and for that brand to give them a conduit to top quality products and services that they find interesting and desireable. 

This idea comes from several dissapointing experiences I've had with products targeted to geeks. Specifically clothing products. The quality of the products I've found is very low. My goal is to provide products that don't suck and are cool.

Over the next few months I'm going to focus some energy each week to the further development of this product. For now I'm working on the following three things:

1. Review of the working name.
2. Creation of a logo.
3. Create a black high quality light jacket which displays the company name and logo along with a high quality artistic science fiction inspired graphic.

If you know anyone who is interested in this project (in a real way) please give them my email address.

If you or anyone you know is interested in a top quality jacket with a cool image and a cool company name please let me know. I'm interested in your ideas and feedback.

28 October 2008

Can Windows 7 please be the last version

To Microsoft: will you admit that your outdated model of platforms for application development and delivery should be put to bed? By keeping the entire world dependent upon Windows you avoid the major revolution that everyone can see coming except for you guys.

If you don't figure it out Google will and then we'll have a light weight OS sitting ontop of a robust opensource kernel that will kick your asses. Figure it out guys or risk losing it all.

If you leave it to Google and they do it anything like Chrome I'll convert all my computers over to it and go with applications that run on it before you can blink an eye.

Pull your heads out Microsoft. Stop shipping yet another version of Windows and build an OS people actually want or let your competition do it and pay the price.

24 October 2008

Project Management Tools

Project management tools don't get work done.

My company like so many companies I've worked for is trying to get the tools the team needs to get their work done. My friend John Moren has said many times that the most common problem he's run into in his career is the lack of tools. Specifically the lack of a company to invest in tools to automate important tasks for him.

The other side of this coin is that simply rolling out a tool for people to use doesn't get them to use it. Some say we need to train them, some say we need to motivate them, some say we need to provide process for using the tools. They are all right of course. Unfortunately they are also completely wrong.

Training, motivating, and providing written process will not actually result in anyone doing anything. They are only fascilitations. They are important fascilitations. The truely impactful management technique that will make things get done is "putting the rubber to the road."

Getting something actually done. So the true measure of a Project management tool is the ability for it to serve three purposes:

1. Organize the work into bite size measurable chunks that when completed can be checked off.
2. Provide a common repository for work artifacts so that the measurable bite size chunks of work can be seen, reviewed, and utilized.
3. Provide a way to compile, agregate, or deploy the work products that have been created.

Unfortunately none of the worlds Project management tools do all three. Most do the first item ok. A few expensive ones do the second item. But because of the lack of integration to systems like AGILE, software build systems, or other development and deployment systems there is a serious lack of true project tracking to the end deliverable. 

This means that progress reporting cannot be automated against the actual work. Instead people have to report on their progress.  Whenever you have a system where people are reporting instead of the work speaking for itself you are going to have inaccurate reports. 

The common sources of inaccuracy are: 
1. Miscalculations
2. Missunderstanding
3. False reports

The problem is that often by the time you determine that inaccuracy in the reporting you are in trouble. 

Oh i can go on and on. 

But I'll just summerize:

Project management tools don't get work done.

23 October 2008

Being a geek is such a cool thing

I LOVE Being a Geek!!!

I don't know how but i ended up looking at LED watches. Thinking that might be kind of cool. 

OMG i had no idea how cool.

Here is one example of an LED watch that I thought was pretty neat.

This one was a little to hardcore for me personally but I loved it non-the-less:

But I think my favorite one is this one:

I do love being a geek.

Therapy and such

I've been blogging a lot using Therapy Speak. 

Its probably because right now I'm going through a big transition in my therapy process.

A few other things going on in my life.

1. I am installing window coverings in the new house.
2. I am putting together the remaining furniture.
3. I am researching 40"-46"LCD TVs.
4. I am trying to decide if I'll do a wiring project myself or pay the 400 for labor to have it done.
5. I need to start working on cleaning out the garrage.
6. I need to let the movers know they can come get the boxes.
7. I need to make a list of other stuff I need to do. :)

I love having a new house. 

Hooked for a day

hooked for a day, hooked for a life time.

The belief that I am justified in my anger, sadness, or fear is a story I tell myself to stay miserable. Now that isn't my intent but its the effect. The intent is actually to preserve my own ego state. Its a self protection developed to keep me safe from thoughts of self doubt. The thoughts of a critical nature that are flags for a low self-esteem that we are in trouble. The belief that people will not like me or avoid me if my worst fears and judgements about myself are true.

So when someone slights me I can so easily slip into being a victim of their actions and create a story in my head of how I was wronged and will continue to be wronged. Its amazing to me the ability of my mind to create a reality so convincing that I can find no flaw in it yet mostly serves as a construct to support an ego state developed in my child hood. 

Now I don't want you all thinking I've lost my marbles. I'm not saying that I'm going to let people walk on me, treat me badly, or be rude to me. Its just that I can be self protective and honor my own needs without reverting to defensiveness, rationalizations, justifications, or judgements.

Setting boundaries and being honest are clear thinking tools that support me in being healthy in my interactions.

Holding on to anger, building resentments, gossip, and projection are ways I stay stuck in my dysfunction

Today I'll chose the former rather than the later.

21 October 2008

Opt in and live life

I so often think of opting out of things. Email lists, party invites, work assignments, activities that need someone to do some "dirty work."

I think I'll opt in to something that doesn't sound fun. Who knows perhaps I'll learn, grow, or get some recoginition for it. 

In any case it'll be an experience of living and not avoiding living.

16 October 2008

Childish Fear

I have often believed that my thoughts defined my reality. Especially feelings of loneliness (sadness and fear) an impending sense of abandonment (fear) and ritious anger (anger). While I could intelectualize all I wanted about the lack of reality these thoughts really conveyed it did little to change my emotional reaction to people, places, and things. 

My behaviors remained mostly unchanged when it came to matters that mattered to my perceived needs. 

What I have learned this last year is that these feelings most often stem from one place. An enmeshed sense of self. An ego state that believes that it will die if seperated, alone, or abandoned.

This began in my childhood when I was abandoned in many ways by parents. However, in my adult life this belief is totally unsupportive of me. It creates a clinging energy that drives healthy people away and leaves me most often with people who will in fact do the same. Even if they will not physcally abandon me they will by happenstance be incapable to staying connected to me. The disfunction in me matching in a symbiotic way to them.

This is the matter of the last six years of my life. To change my internal state machine to react from a new framework and sense of being.

While this is a life long goal of mine and will undoubtadly be part of my continuous transition. I believe I have achieved this to a large degree over this six years of therapy. 

I am grateful to all who have supported me in this process. Even as I move on from one therapy program to other self improvement activities I can reflect back with satisfaction at my movement.

Thank you to Karuna Poole and Vince Horan

A cold wind blows

A cold wind blows from a top the mountain's highest peak.
A warm hearth stays the chill and loss of life.
The leaves fall and color the turf.

A cold wind blows through my mind and to make things ever bleak
A warm hearth keeps the love of god in my heart and to help me avoid strife.
The leaves fall and show me that life does come and go like the surf.

A cold wind blows across the sky.
A warm hearth heats the house.
The leaves fall rott and nurture the soil, plants and animals.

15 October 2008

Attachment to outcome

I am attached to outcomes I have no control over.

Oh that felt good to say. Its so easy for me in my job as a leader and delivery boy to focus on the outcomes of the project and associate my own success with those outcomes. After all if the project is not successful isn't it the responsibility of the Project Manager? Well yes and no. 

When I step back I'm always impressed with the ability of any group of people to organize to meet the measurable statics that are being reviewed by their bosses and customers. What I find, is that its my own ability to mesh into these groups that is in conflict. I am in conflict when others within a team or group are over committing, ineffectively working, and prolonging the project with unnecessary work tasks.

The basis of my conflict resides deep within my childhood psychological model.

I am not good enough because I am not an adult.
The world hurts and punishes children for being incompetent and not fixing the situations around them.
Therefore I take on responsibility for issues and objectives outside of my own control in attempt to fix problems and situations I have no control over

This is common childhood response to being raised by incompetent adults. Its not to say that our parents didn't love us and try their best its only to say that they themselves may have been operating under this same childhood psychological model and that they passed this along unconsciously

So for today I will revisit my emotional reactions to situations and my level of attachment to outcomes. I will disengage from situations outside my control and not respond to issues that are not directly brought to my attention for my resolution. I will work on the tasks I have assigned to me and let the aspects of the project outside of my direct control go where they will.

Writing on the book

As some know I'm working on writing my first fiction novel. 

Its been a labor of love and I mostly enjoy it. However, recently I sent out a draft of the first seven chapters. Its interesting when expressing your creativity. You fear most the negative feedback of others but for most of us we need no feedback at all to create an opportunity to worry and convince ourself that "its not good enough." 

I am realizing more and more the power of my own mind to create my reality. I no longer believe that my reality is something that is happening outside myself. My perceptions and reactions are a strong force for the creation of my reality. In some ways they are far stronger than any other force in my life. 

So instead of worry and doubt about my writing I will focus on my capabilities and excitement. I will use my mind to create the reality I desire instead of the one I fear.

Today, I will keep a possitive attitude and remind myself of my accomplishments. If I am filled with doubt or second guessing I will halt that particular thinking and gestault with myself. In the gestault I will remind myself:
1. I am human and therefore do not need to be perfect
2. I am capable of this achievement
3. I desire to express myself and create things
4. I am aware that writing this book will take hardwork on my part
5. I am not resistant to hard work in accomplishing my goals
6. Having work hard at something doesn't make me stupid it makes me industrious

Also a truth that exists in my new reality is: 

I cannot stop myself from writing this book, only delay it. How long will I delay it?

14 October 2008

Working from America

Working in America for an Indian software development company.

I thought what an interesting perspective it was if I consider the true nature of the relationship I have with my company's Indian development partner. Most of the people in these kinds of relationships use the model of "them working for us." This is the common frame of outsourcing. 

But like almost every manager employee relationship, the true power to effect the concrete and tangible work products that we charge money for is in the hands of the workers. 

So I offer the following observations of working for an Indian outsource development company:

1. They are indeed full of desire to produce and deliver great work products.
2. They work in an evironment much like and yet unlike similiar US companies.
3. They understand better than anyone would expect the nature of the problems that they are being asked to solve but my own arrogance often doesn't give them the credit they deserve with regard to this understanding.
4. Their opinions are offered only in limited ways and so you must listen for them and pay attention since typcially you get these insights only once.
5. They are frustrated when they dont' think they are being heard.
6. Just like many software engineers in the US they do not know how to communicate in a way that makes things crystal clear and this leads to many misscommunications.
7. They need me to do more of the writing since they don't send a lot of written information.
8. They often speak english better than I do.
9. They are clear and concise without sounding arogant. Do not mistake their lack of arogance on the phone with a true willingness to do whatever you tell them no matter how stupid you are.
10. Believe in them and work hard to make everything crystal clear for them and you'll do well by them.