Saturday, May 10, 2014

May 10, 2014 ... Seven Months & Ten Days

Nothing Else Matters
A few years ago, probably seven years ago, I'd reached my life quota of commuter driving.  When our children were young it seemed there were many reasons to drive rather than take the bus.  Dropoffs and pickups at daycare, school events, sport practices, etc. were all logical reasons that one  might have to get up and go.  There was a brief time when that all ended that taking the bus seemed logical and I was about to do that.  My mother's living situation and increasing challenges with things like the thermostat in her apartment, questions over received mail and requests to stop by kept me in the commuter car.  Adding good music helped but I found that I would listen to the same CD or half-dozen CDs for months at a time.  Once in a while I'd think that knowing a half-dozen CDs very well would be good if I was ever thrown into a prison in a foreign country.  A car change led to Sirius Radio which provided more stations than I can imagine.  I settled into about six that kept me sane for the last few years of the commute.  Of course sane means listening only to the Pearl Jam channel for the past 2.5 years.

One of my co-workers could be enticed to ride with me if I had adequate music and for a period of time so I added Metallica because "Nothing Else Matters."  

This evening as I avoided serious work...writing...I fell to a new low and found myself listening to Miley Cyrus on Oprah HQ.  Clearly I need a job, or at least more focus and less distraction.  My excuse for the Miley/Oprah experience was running through every Joan Jett clip on youtube.

Challenge-Knowledge Project
I have this rather abstract project centered on knowledge sharing in the commercial construction IT space.  IT groups in even large commercial construction firms tend to be small and the challenges of technology and investment are huge.  It's widely acknowledged that commercial construction is very poor at IT investment and innovation and process improvement.  Every firm makes the same knowledge mistakes.  There is little advantage to early adopters.  The opportunity is for all companies to share and not make the same mistakes.

I was part of a local group and perhaps one of the founders of a metro area group that met a few times per year and shared experience, ideas, innovation, problems, etc.  We have a LinkedIn group and there is a certain level of activity there.  It's been my plan to take that local experience and role it into a national knowledge sharing venue.  So far even the local group has indicated that there are other organizations doing the same thing.  Having looked at those I find them lame.  There are more than enough reasons to drop this idea but that's how a lot of good ideas die.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Seven Months More or Less ... April Fool's Day +30

Time Constraints...

Today I believe I have about 60 minutes that is not booked.  This was the day I going to meet w/ my LHH coach but I'm going to switch that to next week.  I've been talking to a number of professional services contacts and have some ideas for project work.  LHH has some good resources for online learning and credentialing and I want to take advantage of that over the next few months.

The small business is consuming a lot of time.  That's good and that's bad.  We now have an online presence.  The product's labelled Marianne's Kitchen are ours.  This is a simpler approach than the Amazon store route I was going to go.  We'll see how it works out.

Legacy Life Activities...

Starting FRI afternoon I'm embarking on a spring weekend known to a very small group as "Bees and Trees" weekend.  This includes planting about 250 trees and driving two hundred and fifty miles round-trip to get some new bees and then hive them.  I could drive two miles down the road from my home to pick up bees but the guy is so unpleasant I'd rather waste a day than half an hour.  Perhaps I should tell him that.  So between FRI at 1:00 PM and MON at 11:30 AM I'm booked non-stop and will, as my son tells me they do in Denmark, rely on an ongoing combination of caffeine and alcohol.


This evening I'm getting together for dinner with a colleague from my former gig.  I'm looking forward to an evening of not talking or thinking about my former gig with a former gig guy.  While setting this up he asked how I was doing.  "I'm 63 years old with no hope of getting a job like I had, have no income at the moment and am transitioning from a position of executive control and authority to I don't know what.  Sure I'm fine.  Read my blog and you'll see my focus and accomplishments.  I cannot even tell a joke this week.


During the last 30 minutes I received three telemarketing calls.  For a bit of a retro experience I'm using my father-in-law's Princess phone which is at least forty years old.  The first call started with "Hello senior..."  I hung up.  The second call asked for my wife.  "She died yesterday" was my response.  The third was pitching the Pioneer Press.  "The Pioneer Press is such a worthless rag of a paper, both in print and online, that you could not pay me to take it."  "We have a special promotional offer that includes..."  I know that telemarketing workstations do not have phones, just headsets and scripts on a screen.  It's apparent that some of them must also block out responses from the receipient.