Month: December 2008

Tumbleweeds rolling through the office

tumbleweedAs much as loud conversations next to my cube drive me nuts when I’m writing, I’m finding the silence of an almost empty office more than a tad unnerving. Not sure what it is – you’d think the quiet would be conducive to serious focus and pumping out some good work but I’m having a difficult time concentrating. There are quiet, distant conversations here and there, but it almost feels like we’re at a wake. Given the layoffs a couple of weeks ago, maybe that’s not too far off.

Maybe it’s such a beautiful day outside. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m off the rest of the week and I’m only a few hours from a kick-ass 5 day weekend. Hell, maybe it’s the fact I just can’t seem to get into what I’m writing right now. Try coming up with engaging, creative copy for an Application Programming Interface and see just how well your juices flow. Ug.

A great lady that used to work here had a process that was both very weird and very cool – she wrote a Haiku every day. Seriously. Each day she began by sitting down and putting together three lines about whatever was on her mind. Since James Clavell’s Shogun has been in my Top Ten books list since I first read it in High School and those tiny, perfect, and precise poems have always had a warm place in my heart, it’s no surprise Val’s daily ritual has always been something I’m fond of. 

So, as a quiet shout-out to Val, and a nod to the work I’m supposed to be doing, I give you an A.P.I. Haiku.  

Freedom from structure
Limitless and infinite
Developer’s bliss

photo by Aperte

A bit more about Twitter

My wife’s cousin, Crystal, is one remarkable lady. She’s funny, talented, arrogant as hell, and sharp as a tack. In other words  just the kind of person I like hanging out with. She’s also a playwright with multiple productions under her belt. If you get the opportunity to see her work, you’d do well to take the time to check it out.

During the time betwenn visits, both Sarah and I try and keep up with what she’s doing through one of her blogs. You can find them here and here. It’s a comment thread on the first that has me writing this post.

Like many, many people, Crystal is aware of Twitter, has checked it out, and has come away with a furrowed brow and a What the hell’s the point running through her mind. She’s not alone. I’ve written about Twitter before, and God knows there’s a mountain of articles detailing the many different ways you can use the application. So I’m not going to reinvent the wheel. Instead, I’ll just say this:

If not for Twittter, chances are I wouldn’t have stumbled on cool videos like the ones below.

A brief hiatus

It’s now Christmas eve, and all through the house, I’mlosing my mind  packing 8 tons of presents, clothing, Ellie’s bedding, and so much this and that I’m fairly certain our Saturn wouldn’t pass a weigh-station test.

At any rate, I’ll be well away from anything resembling a connection for the next four or five days so I wish you and yours a very Happy Christmas. Take care.

Blogroll, part one

If you take a look to the right, you’ll see a listing of other Blogs I highly recommend. Below you’ll find a brief summary of each in case you’d like to check them out. Lots of great writers out there – take advantage of them!

37 Days: Authored by a great writer named Patti Digh, this Blog’s tagline reads, “What would you be doing today if you only had 37 days to live?” It’s a question worth asking now and again, and Patti’s answers never fail to make you think.

Bargain Jack: This isn’t a Blog so much as it is a great way to find, well, bargains. Each day you’ll discover great deals on a wealth of merchandise. In some ways I’m a bit sad how well this site is doing because it means a wonderful old co-worker named Sharon just won’t be coming back.  

Dooce: Not quite sure how to summarize this Blog. Most posts, generally, center on family and life in general or are letters to her daughter. I realize this isn’t a stunning endorsement, but consider this – the author is more often than not laugh out loud funny. The writing is both smart and funny and who can’t use a bit more of that in their day?

Egghead Marketing: Authored by a kind, wicked-smart marketer, Egghead Marketing is at its best when the author, Russ, takes everyday examples and gleans relevant marketing lessons. Which is often.  

Hoover’s Business Blog: Writer, editor, and historian Tim Walker keeps us up-to-date and informed about Corporate American, business in general, and how to stretch, grow, and challenge ourselves in our personal, professional lives.

Dealing with change, addendum

friendship

After going back and reading yesterday’s entry I’ve come to the conclusion that writing a post and monitoring a Webinar at the same time makes for some fairly odd leaps in thinking. My apologies. It’s almost like those times when you’ve had too much to drink, too much to smoke, or just far too much time between some decent shut-eye and you write what you’re sure is a brilliant idea, only to look at it later after you’ve slept or come down and ask yourself, “What the hell does ‘blovey-driven-pernaphadits’ mean?”

 At any rate, what was really on my mind was this:

First, the family-kind of relationships you develop in the military are, by the nature of your oath, many times long-term. In fact, I talk with one of my buddies from that time just about every week. Second, those types of long-term relationship are something that I’m comfortable with. Next, relationships in Corporate America are, well, different. But, in spite of those differences, I’ve made friendships I truly value. Finally, layoffs and downsizing, while a basic reality in business, screw with my “family.”

And it blows. 

So, my questions: what kind of relationships do you develop at work, and how has our economy impacted them? 

photo by tinou bao

The apathetic security detail

or, Waiting for the other shoe to drop

shoesOkay, so it was only a shoe. Or a pair of shoes, actually. I get it. But.

Could there have been something in them? Yes. Could there have been something sticking out from one of them? Yes. Could there have been something, anything, dangerous about those shoes? Absolutely.

Now, anyone who knows me knows I’m not a fan of our President. But folks, he’s still our President, and some nutjob cameraman from Baghdad had the time to throw a shoe, pause, then throw another at him. And call him a “Dog.” It was degrading. It was disrespectful. But that’s not the scariest thing.

Where the hell was the Secret Service?

photo by Daveybot