Saturday, April 21, 2018

Q&A: Workdentity

April 21 - What do you want to say when someone asks "What do you do?"

2014 - At work? I attend meetings.

2015 - I help others be successful in their digital marketing.

2016 - I work for a legendary video game company. - entered June 26

2017 - I'm in marketing. - entered April 27

2018 - I do Email Marketing.

Want do say you did something cool? Buy this book: Q&A A Day: 5 Year Journal

Friday, April 20, 2018

Q&A: @#$@!!@

April 20 - How many times did you curse today?

2014 - None. Happy Easter!

2015 - None!

2016 - None! The desire has been stronger lately, but not today. - entered June 26

2017 - I don't think I cursed today.

2018 - I haven't cursed today. A quiet day at home with my family. - entered April 21

Want to track small aspects of your own life over the next five years? Get this book: Q&A A Day: 5 Year Journal

Feed Sift (04/20/2017)


WWW2.DELOITTE.COM -- The great retail bifurcation


SETHGODIN.TYPEPAD.COM -- Whose meeting is this? A simple checklist


TWOCENTS.LIFEHACKER.COM -- The Death of the Fiduciary Rule Is Bad News for Your Retirement


WEBURBANIST.COM -- Space-Saving Inspiration: 14 Gorgeous Lofts, Nooks and Smart Layouts


BBC.COM -- The Tiny Village Hidden Inside the Grand Canyon

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Q&A: Zombielebrity

April 19 - What famous person would you bring back from the dead to have dinner with?

2014 - On the eve of Easter, the answer is Jesus (except he's already back from the dead and mad that would be intimidating)

2015 - I don't have an answer different from last year.

2016 - Bill Klug if Mary Elise and the kids could be there. - entered June 26

2017 - Elvis was the first name that popped inot my head. But would be be normal or a zombie? - entered April 20

2018 - The first person who came to mind isn't dead just yet. But I'm picturing him showing up and me telling him he's dead and then asking him how hell is. - entered April 21

Get this book, not that it will protect you from Zombies: Q&A A Day: 5 Year Journal

Camera Obscura - James

I don't think this is me, but if so, my apologies. 

Don't be a reactionary

Someone on LinkedIn posted a meme that said
Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.
 I think that statement is nice on the surface, but if you start to think, it's not good enough.

Don't live your life in a reactionary mode hostage to outside forces.

Give yourself time to dream, to think, to plan, to strategize and to execute based on what you believe, what you know, what you've learned.

Don't wait for an external catalyst - be your own motivation.

Yes, I must fully recognize two ironic caveats:
  • This post is a reaction to something. 
  • Now I've told you what to do.  Sorry.

Cross-posted to Linkedin.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Q&A: No problemo

April 18 - Write down a problem you solved today.

2014 - I solved that darned "2048" game. Finally. I don't want to know how much time I spent on it.

2015 - I seem to be recovery well from my kidney stone surgery. (2018 note: *recovering)

2016 - I'm going to get this filter to stop "clacking" when the AC comes on (haven't doe it yet) - entered June 26

2017 - I can't think of any. It was a pretty quiet day. - entered April 20

2018 - I'm not sure I have. It's been a quiet Saturday so far. - entered April 21

Solve the problem of remembering your life? Get this book: Q&A A Day: 5 Year Journal

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Bring Me Problems, Not Solutions (A Work-Related Post)

Often we hear the mantra "Bring me solutions, not problems."  This is great when you feel adequately empowered by your boss, if they have a history of helping you refine your solution and then give you the runway to execute.

Of course, the flip side is the lazy supervisor. They can't be bothered, so if something's wrong, they expect you to have the solution.

But there's another yet option, one that can be completely refreshing at times.  Most often, it's the begging plea of your most technically minded colleagues, especially those in IT:
Bring me problems, not solutions.
In its worst form, this is the mandate from someone who doesn't trust you. You know how it goes.  The condescending look (and possibly an eyeroll), "You can't get your document to print?  Move!" they exclaim as they situate themselves in front of your computer, tapping away.  "Fixed," they proclaim minutes later, expecting you to be in awe of their skill.  Sadly, you're more annoyed at their bedside manner or bewildered at being left in the dark, not knowing what they did, worried that it'll break again and you'll still be clueless to fix and have to once again subject yourself to the abuse.

But, in its best form, this is the rallying cry of someone who wants to partner with you, who wants to come alongside you and contribute to the outcome. They recognize your skillset and they're honored that you asked them participate with them in making magic.

When this happen, it can be fun.  You're going to get more insight, you're going to be able to better stress-test your idea, you're going to be able to solve in the context of the larger picture and in coordination with other efforts going on in your organization.

It takes more time and some people are hesitant to cede control or admit they haven't gotten it all figured out, but when you have the opportunity, be the one who says "I want to help." You'll be amazed at how quickly word gets around that you're someone who should be consulted and who can help get things done.

Cross-posted to LinkedIn.

Q&A: Flaw

April 17 - What do you think is your biggest shortcoming?

2014 - Inability to prioritize, just doing what's easy or take care of what's vying for my time instead of strategizing.

2015 - Not sure. Patience? - entered April 18

2016 - I'd like to be more aggressive, go after what I want. - entered June 26

2017 - I'm not doing so hot with time management these days. - entered April 20

2018 - I am still getting frustrated/angry and not exhibiting patience.

Want to track small aspects of your own life over the next five years? Get this book: Q&A A Day: 5 Year Journal

Monday, April 16, 2018

Q&A: Division

April 16 - What's a political issue that interests you?

2014 - Light rail

2015 - None - entered April 18

2016 - Less than none - entered June 10

2017 - Impeachment

2018 - Impeachment - entered April 16

Want to track small aspects of your own life over the next five years? Get this book: Q&A A Day: 5 Year Journal

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Q&A: Fame

April 15 - Which celebrity would you want to interview?

2014 - Kirsten Dunst. She seems like she must be pretty cool from the movies of hers that I've seen recently.

2015 - I can't think of any...? Not sure I care about the celebrity scene and what makes someone one and me not one.

2016 - I think most celebrities are celebrities for the wrong reasons so not sure - though Dick Van Dyke seems awesome. - entered June 10

2017 - I hate admitting he's a celebrity but Donald Trump. I want to see for myself just how stupid he is. - entered April 16

2018 - I think it would be funny to interview Taylor Swift. I suspect she is rarely around people who don't just fawn over her. I want to ask her why she takes four minutes to sing catchy two-minute-songs. It'd also be funny to see her try to cope with someone who couldn't name one of her songs. I also expect posting the interview on my blog would result in a lot of traffic, even if it wasn't traffic I cared about.

Be famous in your own mind - get this book: Q&A A Day: 5 Year Journal

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Q&A: Instant Skill Download

April 14 - If you could acquire a talent (without any extra effort), what would it be?

2014 - Programming. But that's sort of "re-acquire"

2015 - Alchemy

2016 - Ability to fly - entered June 10

2017 - Flight - entered April 16

2018 - The ability to slow time. - entered April 15

Want to track small aspects of your own life over the next five years? Get this book: Q&A A Day: 5 Year Journal

Friday, April 13, 2018

Feed Sift (04/13/2017)


HBSWK.HBS.EDU -- When a Competitor Abandons the Market, Should You Advance or Retreat?




TWOCENTS.LIFEHACKER.COM -- 401(k)s Aren't 'Bullshit'


ENGADGET.COM -- See all the wild cars and concepts from the Geneva Motor Show


TWISTEDSIFTER.COM -- How Overnight Shipping Works

Q&A: Day1

April 13 - What is your favorite thing to do on a Sunday?

2014 - Start the coffee and iTunes

2015 - Be at church when the service is really rocking!

2016 - Sleep in and go to the second service. - entered June 10

2017 - Coffee and Pandora before everyone else gets up.

2018 - Sitting quietly and drinking coffee.

This is a book, but it sort of works as a calendar, almost: Q&A A Day: 5 Year Journal

Thursday, April 12, 2018


April 12 - Write down a new fact you recently learned.

2014 - Google has a computer that learned all kinds of nounds (and their charactertistics) just from watching YouTube for 3 days straight. - entered April 15

2015 - Not sure...? And that's sad.

2016 - I can commute in L.A. using public transit. - entered June 16

2017 - So much of our country exists not because of laws but because of civility and common sense. - entered April 13

2018 - I just read all about compression rations in gasoline-powered car engines. Useless facts about an outmoded technology.

Did you know you can buy this book on Amazon? Q&A A Day: 5 Year Journal

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Q&A: Whoop Whoop

April 11 - What sound effect are you most like today?

2014 - Something like and airy, something that signifies confidence, success and accomplishment. - entered April 15

2015 - The sound of silence. I crave it.

2016 - Windshimes (tranquility) - entered June 18

2017 - Wah-what Trumpet. (Though not sure why, that's just what came to mind.)

2018 - Dull, throbbing buzz you can feel right behind your eyes. I slept poorly last night. - entered April 12

Flip, flip, flip: Q&A A Day: 5 Year Journal

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Q&A: Neglect

April 10 - A chore you ignored today _________

2014 - Looking at my calendar and preparing for the week - entered April 13

2015 - Probably won't make it out to the yard. Weather is weird. - entered April 11

2016 - The final mow. I just need to do a little more and then give away the mower. - entered June 9

2017 - Most of them! And not just today!

2018 - I just prepared my list. I think there's 10 items too many on the list for today.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it - buy this book: Q&A A Day: 5 Year Journal

Monday, April 09, 2018

M&M Calories: Peanut Butter and Caramel

I couldn't find this information when I was looking for it, so hopefully it's helpful.

A serving of Caramel M&Ms is 42g / 1.5oz / ¼ cup for 200 calories. Using a scale, I weighed out 42g - it was 15 Caramel M&Ms. Therefore, 1 caramel m&m has 13.3 calories.

Some useful measurements:

3 caramel M&Ms have 40 calories.
6 caramel M&Ms have 80 calories.
9 caramel M&Ms have 120 calories.
and so on.

madcitycat / flickr
A serving of Peanut Butter M&Ms is 42g / 1.5oz / ¼ cup for 220 calories. Using a scale, I weighed out 42g - it was 25 Peanut Butter M&Ms. Therefore, 1 peanut butter m&m has 8.8 calories.

Some useful measurements:

5 peanut butter M&Ms have 44 calories.
10 peanut butter M&Ms have 88 calories.
15 peanut butter M&Ms have 132 calories.
and so on.

For all of you who are tracking your calories but still enjoying chocolatey goodness of M&Ms: good for you for choosing moderation.  It will be worth it!!!

Q&A: Homey

April 9 - Where do you feel most at home?

2014 - Our house Saturday morning, or my parent's sunroom at night when everyone's asleep and it's raining

2015 - Yeah, those are still my answer

2016 - Where it's quiet and I can sit and drink coffee. - entered June 5

2017 - Saturday morning at home on couch or back porch with a cup of coffee. - entered Nov. 11

2018 - Saturday or Sunday morning - everyone's just waking up but it's still quiet, Pandora's playing, and I am able to sit down and drink coffee.

Oh, look, a book: Q&A A Day: 5 Year Journal

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Q&A: Redacted

April 8 - What is your secret passion?

2014 - Not sure... how sad is that? I do want to build an awesome shed that looks like a work of art, but not sure that's a passion?

2015 - Still not sure. I'd rather work in my yard than work in an office. Is that a passion?

2016 - I want those around me to be more thoughtful, considerate, loving, kind. Reminds me to be an example of that. Tough. - entered June 9

2017 - Architecture and Urban Planning - entered April 11

2018 - If I posted it here, it wouldn't be a secret anymore, would it? Not sure. Peace and quiet?

Want to track small aspects of your own life over the next five years? Get this book: Q&A A Day: 5 Year Journal

Saturday, April 07, 2018

Q&A: Colors

April 7 - What colors are you wearing?

2014 - White, yellow, blue, brown, black, gray - my Boeing 777 T-Shirt and Homer Simpson "I am so smrt" pants.

2015 - Beige sweater, blue jeans, black socks, black shirt, gray boxers

2016 - Black (shirt), white (socks), tan (shorts), blue (underwear) - entered June 9

2017 - Green, black, gray - entered April 13

2018 - Black, Green, White, Gray+Blue - entered April 8

If you were wearing this book, you'd have to add tan, white, black and gold: Q&A A Day: 5 Year Journal

Friday, April 06, 2018

Feed Sift (04/06/2017)


THEATLANTIC.COM -- The Most Expensive Comment in Internet History?


THEGUARDIAN.COM -- Roads to nowhere: how infrastructure built on American inequality


GRAMMARCHECK.NET -- 20 Clutter Words & Phrases We Use Too Often (Infographic)


WEBURBANIST.COM -- Take it From a Tiny House: 12 Smart Small Space Tricks That Really Work


LIFEHACKER.COM -- What Would a Rich Person Do?

Q&A: Takeaway

April 6 - What was the last take-out meal you ordered?

2014 - Panda Express - orange chicken, chicken with mushrooms and 1/2 chow mein, 1/2 mixed veggies

2015 - Sushi from a new (to us) place. It was ok.

2016 - I think it was from Hotdog-on-a-Stick in Glendale unless Starbucks at LAX counts - entered June 9

2017 - Panda Express - entered April 13

2018 - Little Casear's after church recently. Though mostly lately we've been using Amazon Restaurants. That's if ice cream from CoolHaus doesn't count.

Amazon also delivers books. Here's one: Q&A A Day: 5 Year Journal

Thursday, April 05, 2018

Q&A: Inspiring

April 5 - ________ was inspiring.

2014 - "something" - Not sure. Feel bad about this answer.

2015 - The video at the beginning of the Easter Service. (2018 note: Wish I'd written down more here.)

2016 - I'm not sure. I feel bad about this answer, too. - entered June 8

2017 - That Menchies email. I really need Menchies.

2018 - I think the kids in Parkland, for one. I'm inspired that more and more people are finally pushing back hard against stupidity. I have hope for November.

Hopefully you're more inspired than me. Get inspired, get the book: Q&A A Day: 5 Year Journal

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Q&A: Action

April 4 - If you could wish for one thing to happen today, what would it be?

2014 - Some help with yard would be good. - entered April 5

2015 - Time to slow down so I could get a lot done.

2016 - I wish I felt ready for the move. - entered June 7

2017 - Good night's rest. - entered April 22

2018 - I'm not sure. It's a bit late on the East Coast, but I guess it would still be possible for an arrest warrant to be issued?

I also wish you'd buy this book. Or a boat. Just click on this link so that Amazon gives me credit for the sale. Q&A A Day: 5 Year Journal

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Q&A: Funtastic

April 3 - Did you have fun today? Because?

2014 - Yes. The mood is improving at work and the children were well-behaved this evening.

2015 - It was OK. Worked from home. Cleaned up a bunch in family room.

2016 - I amused myself. I think I'm clever. - entered June 7

2017 - Yes. Played a little Call of Duty. Did horribly, though. Playstation is definitely smoother than Xbox. - entered April 27

2018 - Not yet. It's 7:15. I've only been up 90 minutes and my daughter's being crabby. Otherwise I've mostly just exercised and gotten some responsibilities done.

Have fun, they said. Buy this book, they said. I don't know who "they" are, but they sound wise. Q&A A Day: 5 Year Journal

Monday, April 02, 2018

Q&A: Connectivity

April 2 - Who do you feel closest to?

2014 - Lori - my partner-in-crime and the other leader of this superhero family. - entered April 3

2015 - Lori. No contest.

2016 - Lori. Yep. - entered June 7

2017 - Lori. And the cast of "Republic of Doyle" - been binge-watching for so long now... - April 27

2018 - Lori. (I don't feel close to the cast of the show I'm currently binging.)

Get close to yourself. Get this book: Q&A A Day: 5 Year Journal

Sunday, April 01, 2018

Q&A: April Sloof

April 1 - Who are you fooling?

2014 - Myself? That's always the answer, right? - entered April 3

2015 - No one. I think. Or maybe me.

2016 - No one. Who has the time? - entered June 6

2017 - No one. Except maybe me. - entered April 27

2018 - I'm trying to fool myself when it comes to my diet.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me again, now you're just a jerk. Instead, buy a book: Q&A A Day: 5 Year Journal

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Q&A: Necessity

March 31 - What inventions can you not live without?

2014 - The first thing that comes to mind is cars - they allows us to be in little selfish bubbles instead of in community where you can interact with people. (Later, I've drawn an arrow to this entry and added "Did I missread question?" and yes, I appear to have misspelled misread.)

2015 - Yeah, I read it wrong last year. I need internet to work and communicate with others. - entered April 1

2016 - Internet, electricity. - entered June 6

2017 - Internet. - entered April 23

2018 - Internet. (And now that I think about it, "electricity" isn't so much an invention by a discovery. Yeah, this day is all kinds of messed up.)

You can do better. Get your own copy: Q&A A Day: 5 Year Journal

Friday, March 30, 2018

Q&A: Colors

March 30 - Pick a color for today

2014 - Green - I worked a lot in the yard.

2015 - Green - I just mowed two lawns and thatched. How weird (with an arrow to 2014)

2016 - Orange - It's really hot. June 6.

2017 - Blue - Blue skies over Burbank!

2018 - Purple. Just uploaded some great photos to Flickr.

Taste the rainbow, buy the book: Q&A A Day: 5 Year Journal