Remember Your Manners and Keep it in Perspective

For the past few weeks we receive anywhere from 2-4 calls a day from some politician or some group that supports some other politician with some “important” message. I have also been inundated with email full of “panic” and “need to act right now OR ELSE” messages against this candidate or that candidate. While I avoided them for awhile – I started picking up this week. While some are annoying and I am able to unsubscribe or stop receiving them by opting out – I still get an occasional call that makes me shake my head.

Yesterday I got a call from someone who was spinning a very negative message on someone I respect, will vote for, and have a sign in my front yard supporting (Tammy Duckworth). As they spit out the first few sentences “Did you you..” I interrupted the person talking and said – “yes I did know and I plan to vote for them”. I thought I would get a “well did you know something else” or at the very least “well thanks for your time” – but instead I got dial tone.

People seem to be nastier and more aggressive this year with the election. I know we are all stressed out with everything going on – but let’s try to remember some common courtesy. Perhaps some of us should have watched more Sesame Street as kids to learn manners and right from wrong.

The Year I Really Started to Feel Older…

All throughout my life I have always felt like a kid at heart. I still love the simple things in life, would love to get together with my neighborhood kids to play a game of “mud gutter”, and I still feel like I am the person I was in college….except I am realizing more and more I am not that kid anymore.

This year was a big wake up call.

  • I began enjoying AM radio (something I always got annoyed by when I was younger)
  • I look forward to going to be early
  • I wake up early
  • I have three kids
  • I see some of my “teenage 80s/90s stars” now as parents of high schoolers on TV
  • I have very limited time available for doing things I actually want to do (golf, fishing, etc) and look forward to the day I can do that…ten years from now 😉
  • I remember my grandparents at my parent’s current age

Of course – there are also a lot of pluses about getting older, but for someone who thought they would never “grow up” – it is interesting seeing my perspective on live change.

Anyone else play mud gutter out there as well? I was the bus stop champ!

People's Effort Part 2

Last night we got hit with 4 inches or so of snow. Thankfully either the new gas or my dad cleaning the spark plug over the weekend worked…and the snowblower started up like a champ. As I finished up my driveway I noticed the neighbor that left the small strip of snow next to me the last snowfall – was out shoveling.

I glanced over at him and turned the snowblower the opposite way and did the other neighbor’s entire sidewalk. When I finished with that, I looked at Amy and asked her if she thought I should do the neighbor’s sidewalk on the other side (the one I have issues with) and she nodded yes and we then cleared his sidewalk as well. We got a “thank you” after it was finished, but I will not hold my breath for him to clear the foot or so of my sidewalk next time. Not everyone can sink to the levels of others – thank goodness!

Almost Two Months Out…What's New?

It has almost been two months since I got on a commuter train, worried about having a lunch packed, or making it in to work on time. How has my life changed? I am much more calm and patient. I no longer try to make traffic lights at all costs and I really do not rush anywhere. In fact, I almost feel like I have moved into the southern way of life. Me…yeah, me. I tend to drink more Coke Zero, listen to music louder, and really enjoy what I do 90% of the time (compared to about .05%). I have enjoyed working on numerous projects – big and small, and building new relationships. Thanks to iChat and iSights, I have a weekly conference video chat with some of my old co-workers and IM keeps us in touch as well. My weekly conference calls with old co-workers have become weekly enjoyable conversations about stuff we enjoy instead of what we hate – and I no longer have to worry about what train to catch or where to park. If I teach my kids one thing, it will be that we all have choices. Some will help us, others will hurt us, but ultimately we always have a choice so excuses are out of the question. Life on the outside is good. I finally made the choice to move onto doing something I loved and wanted to do. Now, what the heck took me so long?

Ninja Warrior Marathon

I am not sure if anyone else caught the Ninja Warrior but I was pretty worthless between that and having out of town guest here (who I also made them watch it too). This show contains so many great qualities: impossible obstacles, stories of the competitors and one really excited announcer. I am so happy I found this show!

Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Book

I absolutely love the HBO show Curb Your Enthusiasm so when I recently saw a commercial that showed a new season on the horizon, I got all excited. I just went to the HBO web site to get more information and found out that there is now a book available on the show! If you even slightly enjoyed Seinfeld this is the show for you (and one of my favorites)! After working on insane CSS positioning all day, I am going to sit back, watch some old episodes and have a glass of wine. Thank goodness it is Friday!

Project Management

I recently finished up a web site (using WordPress as a CMS of course) for a client who besides being a client is an amazing writer. He has a best selling project management book (The Art of Project Management) and has another one coming out in the next month. If you have a few minutes, take a look at his web site and read his blog or some of his essays to learn more about design, project management, working with others, and all kinds of smart tips.

First Days Working From Home

Well, the first two days of working at home have gone great. I have gotten more stuff done before 8am than I can usually do by the time 8pm comes around. I am able to get up, spend some time with my son, workout, shower, and then start working all in the time it would usually take me to get to my office. During lunch, Triscuit, Evan, and I go on a nice walk and then come back for some more work. Not to mention, I can now also stop working much earlier and enjoy some time with the family. Good times. Why did I not “retire” (as Dad Muller would say) earlier? All the while, I get to work with interesting clients on really cool projects which forces me to keep building my skill set.

The End of an Era

Yesterday marked an end of an era for me. As of Monday I am going to do web development consulting full time under my company name Sandbox Development and Consulting Inc. As most people can guess or know, I specialize in WordPress content management systems and blogs. I also do a lot of general CSS, XHTML, web standards, and PHP/MySQL development. So – if you ever need any help or are looking for a web development constultant, contact me!