2012

Not huge on “year end” or “goal” posts.. or is that goalposts? but last year I did a 2011 and Beyond post, so I figured I would do one this year. Of course it is 2 days late, as I was on the road and kind of disconnected from Dec 23rd until Jan 1st. But here goes.

First…How did I do from last year .. I did some of the things, tried to do some of the things, and failed at some of things, expected.

This year? Well..

  • Spend more time with Emily and Ella
  • Lose weight! Failed at this. I used Fitbit (that is another post) and I want to try to do 10k steps a day this year
  • Brew at least 1 batch of beer a month (And try a Secondary, and our own recipe)
  • Utilize social networks and sites more.
  • Learn to cook (tried last year but the class was cancelled?!?)
  • Complete a few awesome projects at work
  • Hit 1000 blog posts (should be easy, I’m at 991 right now)
  • Hit 3+ conferences and network like crazy
  • Keep adding value to MADPASS
  • Get home to Pierz and Chisholm 3+ times
  • Buy a house
  • Get rid of Windows in my house

And there is so much more. So much to do, it never ends. But we can try, and still have fun. To everyone, have a great year and do things you want to do and have fun doing it!

Thoughts

Try to do right thing.

Lead by example.

Show capabilities of what’s out there.

Get people to think different.

Be open and transparent.

Work as a team.

Help and discuss things like a family.

Always keep learning and changing.

Be the best.

Lose mediocrity.

See wide and deep.

Details are more important than major things.

Always be creating, coming up with ideas.

Always be trying to improve.

Have fun.

1st Quarter Goal Update – 2011

Holding myself accountable here..

where are we at from the Jan 1st goal list?

  • Blog More – have been trying to! Could do more here. (14 in March, 2 in Feb, 3 in Jan)
  • Complain Less – same here.
  • Lose Weight – down 10 lbs, was down 15, want to keep going.
  • Spend more Time with Ella and Emily – been trying to do this, need to do more
  • Learn to Cook (more) – signed up for a class through MATC was supposed to be in March, was cancelled, going to have to look into this one more..
  • Develop a cool application/site/thing and ship it – got a wp7, now just need to “build” something
  • Drink less coffee, and beer – failing at this one 🙂
  • Purge things I don’t use – spring cleaning is coming up, sold stuff on ebay too.
  • Organize things physical and digital – need help on this one, or time
  • Consolidate Services I use – working on it
  • Take more pictures – failing at this one
  • Ride my bike more, maybe start running again – did some running in Jan/Feb (lost weight remember) but have been slacking. Bike riding season is right around the corner.
  • Go camping often – camping season is coming up, hopefully will get out more.

Operating a Computer is like Operating a Car

Old people. Yeah, well, older than me. Not part of the “Nintendo” generation. Computers are “hard”. They didn’t grow up with them. They need to learn how to use them. Now don’t get me wrong, many people in that older generation are actually the pioneers of the computer age (Bill Gates? Steve Jobs?, etc), many are very good and know how to use. But I am talking about.. parents, your average joe’s, etc. They have no clue.

Analogy: Owning the computer, and operating is, is like owning and operating your car.

Giving a computer, especially a Windows machine, to a baby boomer and saying “have fun”, is tantamount to giving the keys for your car to a seven year old, and showing them how to shift and hit the gas. Yea, they will be able to drive it for a little bit, but they are going to crash.

And then you hear “well, I am only checking email and surfing the web”.. and I would say, ok, well just give your seven year old the car and have them drive around your yard. They are still going to crash, just into the tree in your yard instead of the ditch.

You just don’t jump into a car and know how to operate and drive it, you actually need to get training and get a license. Same thing should go for computers. Simple things like, “go to this address” or “run this program”, etc. Knowing how to type in a URL and hit should be like unlocking your car and buckling up. Just common knowledge. If it isn’t, you need training. One other problem? Most boomers that need the training (and probably “want” it) don’t really want to take the time to learn. They just want it to work. They want to get email, surf the web, do eBay, see pictures, and not worry. So, go to days of training, have family members or the geek squad fix your computer over and over and over.

Or just get an iPad.


2011 and Beyond..

As 2010 comes to a close, and everyone is blogging and tweeting their goals and what’s up next for 2011, I figured I would get some out there, as well as make sure I get at least one post in December this year, I have been slacking.

  • Blog More
  • Complain Less
  • Lose Weight
  • Spend more Time with Ella and Emily
  • Learn to Cook (more)
  • Develop a cool application/site/thing and ship it
  • Drink less coffee, and beer
  • Purge things I don’t use
  • Organize things physical and digital
  • Consolidate Services I use
  • Take more pictures
  • Ride my bike more, maybe start running again
  • Go camping often

probably could keep going. Some are quantifiable, some are more broad. Just a small list on things to look at and try to do. When we come back in a year I can look back at this list and see what I did and didn’t do.


Vacationing with the iPhone and iPad

Was just on vacation since Sept 3rd through today.. Drove up to Nisswa to drop the little one off, then down to the Twin Cities for 4 nights, then back up to get the little one in Pierz, then back down to Eau Claire for 2 nights, then back home for 2 nights.. fun time. I didn’t really connect to work (only to extend my holiday by 2 days!) but I was still *connected* to everything I wanted to be.

First, I shut off email/exchange sync to my iPhone/iPad, easy enough in the settings. Turned off the calendars too so I didn’t get any new meeting alerts. Good to go.

How else did I use my devices?

Well beyond the basics (on the iPhone – Phone, SMS, Email (personal), Taking pictures and videos, weather, calculator, maps, maps, maps, maps..)

1. Gowalla/Foursquare – I recently just killed both my accounts and started fresh. I tried to see the usefulness and benefit of these. I like Gowalla better – just prettier. Foursquare tells me what is trending better. I use them both to find things around where I am, and check in to keep track of where I went 🙂

2. Twitter/Facebook – just killed my Facebook account again as well, I think I have 15 close friends on there now, so it is pretty quiet, but nice. Twitter I use to just keep up on the real time stuff going on, track favorites, as usual.

3. Soundhound/Shazam – used these to lookup songs I heard at bars or wherever, it is a given pretty much anywhere.

4. Flixster – used this to find movie theater near by and showtimes. Couldn’t buy tickets at the theater I went to, but I could have with fandango, just not worth the hassle I guess.

5. Yelp/OpenTable/Urban Spoon – more targeted in finding foodie places. OpenTable to reserve.

6. SportTacular – to keep up on the Twins and Vikes 🙂

7. WF (mobile site) – to view my accts and transfer and what not

8. Nice Ride and Train Brain – these are where it gets good. Downtown Minneapolis has these cool bike stations you can rent out a bike (for free for under 30 minutes!) or for a small fee (http://www.niceridemn.org/_ (FYI Trek has a similar offering, called B-cycle). Ride it all over and drop off at another station. We rented two and drove them from Uptown to Downtown. Was pretty awesome. The app shows you the stations and has a timer, it could do much more though 🙂 Train Brain shows you the light rail schedule in town, we took the train from Govt Plaza to Mall of America, and back. Was pretty cool.


9. Scanner – QR codes are all over in Uptown on shops, etc. I used this to scan their codes and open links.

10. Reeder – on the iPhone and iPad – used this to keep up on my Google Reader 🙂

11. iPad – in general used it for mostly news apps, and surfing the web, used it as a “computer” – did you know on maps.google.com on an iDevice, if you click on the icon of a “place” it does much more than the native Maps app on the device? I thought that was cool.

I also used CityPages app on the iPad to look up some things going on.

Saw a Twins game vs the Royals (they won!) and Wicked as well. Got a little sick Wednesday morning through Friday so that was a bummer but overall it was a good vacation


Europe

Last month, I was in Europe for a week on business. Madison to Chicago, To London to Milton Keynes, to Zurich, back to London and then to Chicago and Madison.

Was a real good trip (the business side, and seeing UK and Switzerland), but there were some things that just seemed.. well, weird.

Driving on the other side of the road.. yet using Miles instead of Kilometers in the UK. Also, instead of using “feet” for exits (Exit 1500 feet) they use Yards.. the only thing I know that uses yards is American Football. And that there are 3 feet in a yard.

GBP.. the pound. or lbs or # .. since I don’t have GB English keyboard setup. First off, the exchange rate is crazy, and then, the coins?! It was hard keeping all the denominations straight. 1 pence, 2 pence, 5 pence, 10 pence, 20 pence, 50 pence, 1 lb, 2 lb then 5 lb note and onward. Bills were too big for my wallet too.

The signs. “Give Way”, “Kill your Speed”, “Mind the Gap”. and so forth..

Sandwiches.. what is up with the sandwiches in the UK? Tons of different types and “flavors”. Odd for an American I guess.

Internet: no free wifi. Anywhere. UK or Switzerland. You pay by the hour, or 24 hours. What a rip.

Mobile service. Roming charges are through the roof, data roaming 20$/1MB – wtf! 50 cents an SMS..

Food.. proper english breakfast every day.. and for dinner, random things .. everything is similar to US, but slightly different. Just odd.

Country Pubs – loved these in the UK.. very laid back, my type of place.

Bacon. – wtf? real bacon is called streaky bacon. UK bacon is like, canadian bacon/ham ..kind of. Give me real bacon, any day.



Public transport – trains, the “tube” (subway) and other things, just way more advanced than here. Things are closer together, you can walk.

Roundabouts – there are like 6 in Sun Prairie, about 600 in Milton Keynes.

Beer – usually good beer on tap, no Bud, Miller, Coors, etc, etc. The crappy beer is good beer in the US.

Toilets – I never met one that flushed right, or some at all

TV – in the UK.. BBC 1,2,3 and Sky.. and thats it. In Switzerland, a few more channels, but after 11 PM, every commercial was an ad for .. well.. x rated things. Much different than USA

Zurich airport was the cleanest I have ever seen. Welcoming too.

Easyjet – boarding from the Tarmac

Downtown Zurich – very nice. Tons of bikes and walkers and train riders. Cobblestone walkways, just a good area.

Swiss Francs – worse that GBP. More denominations (1/2 francs?!?) and the conversion rate is horrible, not only that , but inflation rate is horrible. 2 beers for 17 francs? phhhh

Swiss.. most people can talk “baby” words in English.. Hi, Bye, Yes, No, Thanks, etc, etc.. some are real good at english, some have none. Your mileage may vary. If you go to a bar, just as for “Beer” and you might get something good, or bad.

Soccer – world cup was going on. I could hear vuvuzela’s everywhere i went from the TV’s having the games going.

Taxi drivers take credit cards in Zurich.

You can get Kangaroo and Ostrich Fajitas in Zurich..

There is a huge snow dome in Milton Keynes. You can go snowboarding any time of year.


The weather was nice, didn’t rain at all, 70’s.. but learn to convert Celsius to Fahrenheit.. since they all report in Celsius.

The iPad made it from Chicago to London, on the whole time, reading a book, and lost only 40% of the battery.

The trip was awesome, I had a good time, learned a lot about our business in Europe, met some great people, put faces to names, and just all in all had fun. The only downsides were, I missed my family and I wish had more time with each country and group in Europe. Two conflicting things!