Monday, December 31, 2012


I love Fred Meyer. Round trip to car, buying two boxes of oatmeal and paying with a credit card using self-checkout. They even had the bags pulled open on the carousel. That was a nice touch.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Digital Simplification

Feeling frustrated earlier today about how much of a failure my theme of "Simplify" had been overall for the year, I decided to do something about that today.

* Deleted 32 apps from my iPhone.
* Deleted 10 apps from my iPad.
* Closed MyPoints account.
* Closed Sunrise account.
* Requested deletion of my Earndit account, after donating my points (immunize 4 children in India from Polio, provided 1 month of health care for 500 kids in Guatemala - both dependent on them hitting their goals)
* Reduced volume of Pinterest emails
* Reduced volume of Twitter emails
* Reduced volume of Google+ emails
* Unsubscribed from Manhattan Declaration
* Unsubscribed from Food Network
* Disconnected Sigfig, removed all subscriptions and requested cancelation
* Unsubscribed from All Star Ford
* Unsubscribed from Socl and deleted account
* Unsubscribed from ResumUP
* Reduced volume of MyAutismTeam emails
* Unsubcribed from 15 feeds in Google Reader
* Not today, but recently trimmed my Facebook friends of people who I don't interact with or who don't interact with me. Of course, not like I have time for Facebook or Twitter these days.

A few more to probably kill soon like e-rewards and epinions and probably more app deauthorizing to do in Facebook and Twitter.

Oh, and a trick that's been helping the past few months. At the end of each month, I create a new folder. And then I tell gmail to deliver all email (except Lori's) into that folder. That way, the number of emails on my iPhone directly relate to the number of work emails + Lori (minus any work ones that also skip the inbox). That way, I'm always only dealing with what's most recent, even when I go into that folder in gmail. Has really helped me keep my email closer to tame.

Two-Thousand Twelve

In 2011, I had the goal of a post every day. I didn't share that goal with anyone, just in case I decided to change my mind, there'd be no witnesses. I was successful and actually logged 380 posts in 2011, up from 375 in 2010. In 2012, I decided I wouldn't have any specific plans to post and, well, it showed, with an anemic, pathetic 171 total posts.

Is that pathetic? I think so. I think I had more to say, there were times where there was something nagging at me, but I never got around to writing.

One thing that was different was that I traded regular laptop use for iPad. That definitely changed behavior - I became much more about consumption versus creation. I feel that's a bit sad, especially if it's a trend and not just my experience. How much are we missing when people consume without contributing?

I will try to do better in 2013. Not for any sort of vanity or pride, but because I felt like I left a lot unsaid in 2012. And boy was it ever a year, from our trip to the ER and resulting hospital stay to the numerous power outages and all the things that made for a rather frustrating year.

Without further ado, a look back at what I *did* write about in 2012.

January 2012: Things (7 total posts)

As with all new years, it provides the opportunity for new starts, new beginnings, new attempts to better ourselves (yes, you know where I'm going with this), new goals for oneself, the dreaded new year's resolutions. [...] I have too many things. Phsyical, mental, it's all clutter. So, for this year, I'm going to have a simple motto: SIMPLIFY.

I feel like I failed miserably and I'll dive into that in a separate post or series of posts in the near future.

Also in January: I canceled or suspended a few blogs, trimmed my Google Reader list and complained that Google wasn't following its own advice. Also, cheered for Ben for a big success at school. On to January's posts...

February 2012: One Little Word (5 total posts)

I regretted it the minute I said it. One little word I wish I hadn't said. I stammered an apology and moved on. It was out there, I couldn't take it back and I hoped that it wouldn't cause the listener to discount everything my boss and I had said in the past hour, trying to make our case.

Also in February:

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Where's my water?

It's odd to me that one of the sinks at work isn't hands-free when the other two are. I could have sworn at one point it was also, but maybe it broke and it was easier to just to replace with a standard one?

I wonder if they giggle when they think of people like me walking up, holding out my hands and wondering why there's no water.

Reminds me of the episode of Better Off Ted where they have to hire white people to follow black people around the building because the new automatic lights don't seem to work right. It sounds racist, but it was actually well done and very funny. I miss that show.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Sure... Why Not? #JanBlogADay

I've been invited to join the Anti-Boring January Project* or "January Blog A Day" (inconsistent marketing, ladies!).  And by invited I mean I was tagged in a Facebook post.  Well, no, a Facebook comment Lindsey made on her own Facebook post.  Way, way, way down on the list.  Like hmmmm-there-must-be-more-people-I-can-tag down on the list.  But why not?  I'd like to post more.  Now I'll have a way to make myself look really bad when I fail to keep up.  Or maybe I'll keep up.  Or write them all out ahead of time and schedule them.  Hmm... that's an idea.  (*I only skimmed it.  It was really long.)

Anyhow, so here's the deal - 31 topics words or phrases.  Do with them what you want on the assigned day.  Beyond that, they don't care (and you know I don't).  But hey, it could be fun.  And no, I'm not sure why "favourite" is spelled so colonially when one of the authors used to live in Seattle and now lives in Minnesota and the other used to live in Seattle and now lives in New Zealand (where, yes, I know they spell it that way, but she hasn't lived there that long).  And why does Google Chrome claim Zealand is spelled wrong?  Zealand.  (Suggests "Zeal and" or "Zeal-and" or "Dreamland".)

So here you go, Lindsey and Katrina - I'm in. Sure.  Why not?  Wait... what...? Shoes?  Really? I should have read this thing more closely first.

Post a comment below if you're in.  Link to your blog entry on the subject if you want.  Not sure this blog warrants a visit from the likes of "Latrina" (don't ask) but I'm still curious and maybe just maybe they'll stop by and see how no one's taken me up on the offer and this post has the same average number of comments (zero) as all my other blog posts.

The whole list:

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas with Flair

My team got together and got me "The Office Space Kit"* for Christmas.

It has a little mini red stapler, the Innitech mug, a piece of flair, cover sheets for my TPS Reports and more. Such fun. :)

I work with some neat people.

*This is an Amazon link. That's two in two days. I'll try not to make a regular habit of it - I mean, I'm not posting this just so you'll buy something. On the other hand, feel free to click the link and then go buy stuff. Every time you buy a million dollar's worth of products from, they give me a shiny nickel.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Stupid Country Air

This company (possibly also called "Country Aire TE" - but it shows up on our caller ID as "Country Air") calls multiple times every night. It was getting old. Our awesome Panasonic Cordless Phone with Call Blocking* does an awesome job of blocking most of their calls but they keep changing phone numbers. Just tonight they called with 253-302-4465 and 253-302-4461 and 253-267-5056 and 253-503-1484. Those ones are the most common, but then there was also one from 253-302-4233

17 of the last 50 calls received on our landline is from this company. And that's with all the health issues and medical appointments we've been dealing with lately.

I found another website which listed some more numbers for them, such as 253-203-9000. You can't call any of them, you get that "Out of Service" error alert if you try.

But then I struck gold: 253-472-8300. A guy picked up after two rings, I told him I wanted them to stop calling, he asked how many calls we'd received and when the last one was. He asked for my name and I said I didn't want to give it and he went on to the next question, asking for the number that they'd called. I gave it to him, he said he'd take care of it. He was polite, so I stayed polite.

Hopefully that does the trick because any additional calls are gonna get DNC'd.

*This is an Amazon affiliate link. Clicking it on your way to Amazon helps keep me caffeinated.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Free Christmas Music

Garritan, volume 9 is now available. It seems like it was a little late this year, but it will surely be worth it.

Garritan produces "virtual music instruments" - software for reproducing the sounds of musical instruments without the musical instrument. I'm doing a poor job of describing it, but it allows you to create music without physical instruments. I suspect this is mostly for the entertainment industry, for cases where you might want a soundtrack but not hire an entire orchestra.

Anyhow, each year, they put together a Christmas album of music created with their software and then they give it away. You can download this year's music here. (It's mostly instrumental, but in the past few years some artists have added vocals as well.)

Sunday, December 23, 2012


So a new conspiracy has arisen - that Sandy Hook was orchestrated by the government (or a governmental organization) as a way to garner support for a UN Small Arms treaty. A mentally ill 20-year-old was conscripted to shoot children and then kill himself.

That's even more ludicrous than the idea of 19 Saudi Arabian citizens being hired by the United States government (or a defense contractor) to hijack and crash airliners into skyscrapers in downtown New York and the Pentagon.

Where do people come up with this stuff?

I mean, seriously, anyone who believes this bunk ought to have their heads examined. The very same government that can't balance its books is supposed to be able to pull of these elaborate acts? The funding, the planning, the necessary secrecy?

Even when our government tries to keep the truth from us (Benghazi), the truth doesn't stay silent. Even when our government officials try to sneak around (Clinton, Petraeus), the truth comes out.

So anyone who wants to accuse the government of anything as elaborate as a cover-up is simply giving the government far too much credit. Trying to make anything fit into a conspiracy makes me wonder what agenda the conspiracy theorists have, trying to make the government look smarter and more effective than it actually is. That smells of conspiracy itself.

Occam's Razor, people.

Though I am still curious about Vince Foster.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Worth Repeating: Ernesto Sirolli

Want to help someone? Shut up and listen! When most well-intentioned aid workers hear of a problem they think they can fix, they go to work. This, Ernesto Sirolli suggests, is naïve. In this funny and impassioned talk, he proposes that the first step is to listen to the people you're trying to help, and tap into their own entrepreneurial spirit. His advice on what works will help any entrepreneur. More at

Monday, December 17, 2012

Dang It

So Andy Sernovitz is one of only two thought-leaders I follow in Google Reader. He's often got something interesting or insightful to say, and they're typically bite-sized, easy to consume.

Unfortunately, as much as they often resonate with me, I forward them to my friends and colleagues far less than I'd like.

Why? Because of his URL... (as in "Damn, I Wish I'd Thought of That! Unusually Useful Ideas for Smart Marketers)

Recently, I screen-grabbed an article from his website and sent it on to someone much higher than me at work. I usually like to provide links to stuff I send online. Either to give credit or to allow people to see the article for themselves. (And also because if I've forwarded something, they might want to read other stuff by the same author.)

I hate not giving people credit, so I wrote him a quick note and suggested maybe he could also reserve and just post to both blogs.

He posted my comment but didn't like the idea and offered a few lessons learned, but even though he veered close, I think he missed one. Not a new idea, but one I wished he'd stated more clearly.

Branding Lesson #3: When you choose your audience (see #2), take time to think about the potential audience you are not choosing. Make sure it's an acceptable, measured cost.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


It's an entertaining book so far, but dang that's a lot of tree. I could read longer each night but just holding this book up wears me out. 817 pages. So far I've been introduced to people in 1776 and 1980. It was recommended by EW and I've been striking out a lot lately with their suggestions, but I like this one so far. Writer has a casual easy-to-read nature.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Worth Repeating: Janine Shepherd

Cross-country skier Janine Shepherd hoped for an Olympic medal -- until she was hit by a truck during a training bike ride. She shares a powerful story about the human potential for recovery. Her message: you are not your body, and giving up old dreams can allow new ones to soar. More at

Monday, December 03, 2012


Tuxederalls - Because it's after 6 pm *and* you are a farmer.

Lori and I were talking tonight about how Ben hates pants and how we'd solve everything if we just bought him a bunch of overalls.  Which made us think of that line from 30 Rock.

Liz: "Why are you wearing a tux?"
Jack: "It's after 6.  What am I, a farmer?"

And thus it was born: Tuxederalls - It's overalls in the theme of a tuxedo.  We both thought it had one of those great "Is it real, or is it fake?" names like Fishkin or Mockolate or Fishtachios.

So this is our poor Man's Patent: tuxederalls. As of 8:49 pm pst on 2012-12-03, there is absolutely no search results on Google for "tuxederalls" or "tuxedarals" or "tuxederals" or "tuxedaralls"  I'm surprised by that.