Thursday, November 25, 2010


According to one of my favorite sources of information, Urban Dictionary...:
CLM: Career Limiting Move
Something that you do at work, that will get you fired, or end your career very soon.

Cut to scene at work this Monday.

CLM #1
Failure to toggle quickly enough out of Lexulous during pre-Thanksgiving Day at the office

CLM #2
Boss: "What games are we gonna pick for this Bowl Game promo?"
Me: "I dunno. We want to go early but what is the "Mountain West" division? The "WAC"? Wha - teams like from SPOKANE or somewhere play in those right? FAIL."

(Boss is from Spokane).

Happy Thanksgiving - here's to a job I not only love, but have! :D

Monday, September 13, 2010

What was it that McNealy said about dog food?

I wrote this post up for a friend who told me he'd pay me $75 for a blog submission.

But I did it before doing any kind of SOW....

Keeping Cash Flow Positive when Contracting

“Full-time, home-based freelancers and independent contractors in the U.S. are expected to increase by 200,000 workers to 11 million by the end of 2009, says Ray Boggs, a vice president of IDC, Framingham, Mass., a market-research firm; he sees another 200,000-worker increase in 2010.”

- “The Five-Second Commute,” The Wall Street Journal, November 29, 2009

The life of a freelancer has its pros and cons. One not often cited, however, is getting paid in a timely fashion. Small businesses often have their invoices put aside or ignored because they do not enjoy the support of legal or collections departments, or (and) service other small clients with their own cash flow problems.

One way to address this is to include very clear deliverables in the Statement of Work (SOW). Clear milestones, and using phases for the work, help clients and providers spread out the work and payments, and be on the same page with respect to deliverables and expectations.

An SOW should list out:
  • Clear work deliverables
  • Milestones/due dates for these work deliverables
  • Process for iterating / accepting the deliverables
  • Payment terms (e.g. hourly, or how much is to be paid for the retainer at which milestone, etc.)
Setting expectations clearly up front not just about the work but about the payment helps you meet your cash flow obligations and build a solid foundation for growing your business.

Monday, August 16, 2010


Don't get me wrong: I LOVE Myers Briggs. And this year got turned on - by my career coach, no less - to the FIRO-B.

But I'm thinking this "Big Five" stuff is more like "Big Fail".....

I'm a O20-C74-E93-A8-N7 Big Five!! in:

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Discern-rential Calculus

Geeks: I love geeks! Consider, for example, the 2002 findings from Scotland academics:

ß =
(An)2 x d(S + 1)

√L x (Vo)2


  • An is the number of servings of alcohol
  • S is the smokiness of the area on a scale of 0 - 10
  • L is the lighting level of the area, measured in candelas per square meter, in which 150 is normal room lightning
  • Vo is Snellen visual acuity, in which 6/6 is normal and 6/12 is the lower limit at which someone is able to drive
  • d is the distance between the observer and the observed, measured in meters [source: BBC News]

The formula works out a "beer goggle" score ranging from 1 to 100+. When ø = 1, the observer is perceiving the same degree of beauty he or she would perceive in a sober state. At 100+, everybody in the room is a perfect 10.

I, too, yearn to deconstruct my desires, sentiments and choices so neatly. For example, I know that my standards in food considerably deteriorate (or shall I just say "change" to stay all copasetic?) when I've just done a spin class...when the options at a certain hour are perhaps I could even assign a relative weighting to X watts exerted, contending with a constraint of Y miles in available edible options and Z minutes of time elapsed since aforesaid watts were exerted....

But would all of this knowledge really change my behavior? I think it would just make the goggles that much more transparent. And transparency often leads to accountability, which typically aspires to some sort of behavior change.

*Behavior change.* Guess I'll be keepin' those goggles on. With my eyes wide open, of course.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

That Thing, that Thing, that iPad Thing

Way back in technohistorical January, The Onion gave us a glimpse of just how insanely amazing the upcoming Thing Apple was preparing to launch would be....

Apple Introduces Revolutionary New Laptop With No Keyboard

My favorite quote: "if it's shiny and from Apple, I want it!"

Now that the infamous iPad has launched - and subsequently skyrocketed - I want it. I want it. I don't know why, but I just KNOWS I wants it!

Of course, there are real business and consumer drivers behind this demand. iMedia Connection did a nice piece on just why the iPad is really a big deal. And I even personally corroborated in the froth by serving as one of the coordinators of an iPad developers' event last month.

But I have yet to really USE an iPad, and yet my knee-jerk reaction to a friend's "Sent by my iPad" signature was nonetheless: I WANTS ONE!

We always knew Steve Jobs was a genius. But many in these parochial Silicon Valley technodigerati circles don't realize that Lauryn Hill got it first:

Friday, May 21, 2010

Learning How To Receive

A few years ago, I underwent one of my most powerful inner transformations while listening to my friend Alice belt out this song.

While the full set of lyrics does best justice to the message, the title does, in fact, do a nice job of summing up the point: "All I Need is Everything." At the risk of diluting the beauty of the song with left-brained analysis, I'll just say that hearing this moved me to surrender the limited set of things I think I want to Everything, which does in fact await me.

As the song notes, part of this process entails "learning how to receive."

Fast forward to today. I was finished teaching spin class and having some quality time with the foam roller to nurse a months'-old butt injury when Darok the Rastafarian Personal Trainer playfully scared me from behind. When he saw how much this threw me out of my happy place, he proceeded to ask me if he could make it up to me. By offering me a personal butt massage.

So I took one more step in learning how to receive. Allll righty then!

Darok needs to practice his skillz, and I need to practice how to receive!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The attraction of Crazy Beasties!

In December 1995 I went camping in Baja, California with two guys. Well, really, it was with Steve, and we corralled another guy into going with us to be an official chaperone.* Anyway, one thing we had to do before embarking was procure a means of transport to get us from San Francisco allllll the way down to the tip: Cabo San Lucas.

Steve - who grew up on a farm fixing cars - settled on a 1975 Chevy Blazer, with great joy because he got to work on it a lot before we left. And a lot during our trip. This labor - and these images - will all help you grasp why it soon became lovingly known to us as The Beast: it was The Beast's very ugliness and unwieldiness that made her so attractive and beloved to us.

Lest you think I exaggerate, you should know that we nearly died in The Beast on one climactic night when Steve and our chaperone got into an altercation. When the argument subsided, we continued down the dicey Mexican "highway" in quiet tension, leading us to nearly snap when an unruly truck careened at us in the opposite direction, leaving us no recourse but to veer off the road. The drama made us appreciate our hobbling, graceless Beast (which somehow kept us whole) on an entirely new level. When I was charged with driving Her home after Steve had to fly back for a business meeting, my love grew all the more as she yawed the entire way back up the 101 (I say this now, of course...15 years later and indelibly marked by Her image every time I in fact hear or use the word "yaw").

To this day, the ugly, unwieldy and beastly still hold a crazy kind of pull for me. Is it because I so want to redeem the beauty that I insist simply *must* lie within...some sort of savior complex?

I dunno. But I still love beasts. Lord help me!

My latest Beast spotting tonight in the Mission: isn't she just *beautiful*??

* this had its own unfortunate end that requires a whole other side story...ahh, if only we blogged back then...

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Self I-Don't-Care

I'm always kind of surprised when I hear people talk about how they need to "take better care" of themselves. That's never been a challenge for me, who finds it second nature to get:
* Lots of endorphins,
* Quality time with people, with deep belly laughs.
* Quality time alone.
* Gourmet dark chocolate.

...all on a regular basis.

And when the external stressors ramp up, so do I. It's during these times that I also get:
* More endorphins (plus some vitamin D on top).
* More time with people...but more selectively.
* More time alone....with deep belly tears.
* More spontaneity.*

I'd like to propose that it was this last thing - you know, that spontaneity which permits us to exercise our entitled sense of freedom - that led me to the 280 instead of the 101 to meet a friend at a restaurant located just off the...101...

After rerouting significantly, I managed to get there about 25 minutes late. You can just blame it on the inherent beauty and pull of the 280....all part of my "self care!"

'Cuz I mean really: selfishness is *so* unenlightened!

* dark chocolate remains a constant

Friday, April 02, 2010

Hierarchy of Holy days

I've always contended (well, since I was about 20) that Easter just blows away Christmas. It's a no-brainer: the Triumph clearly trumps the Entry. But within Easter weekend (thus excepting Palm Sunday the week prior), we have a range of options to contemplate, and within these, Holy Saturday comes out first for me.

Not that the other days - Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday - are chopped livah:
  • Maundy Thursday provides the chance to wonder at how Christ revolutionized the Passover, or deliverance from servitude which, until that point, had most poignantly been instantiated in the Exodus story. By offering Himself as the ultimate sacrifice, He democratized and internalized this redemption for everyone beyond my peeps.
  • Good Friday is an important moment to ponder the gritty, real sacrifice made by Christ. The pain, agony, separation and acute trial He endured purely out of love, wholly undeserved.
  • Easter Sunday is a party: a grand celebration where we can take heart that death has been overcome, the victory sealed, and we simply wait until the full implications of this attained victory fill in.
....but Holy Saturday is beautiful and heartening in its very silence. The unfolding of Thursday and drama of Friday are over, and the closure of Sunday not at all a certainty. Instead, it's a time in the gap...a time of waiting...a time where we must choose to trust and believe, in the midst of no circumstances or actions around us validating that choice.

Thus, Holy Saturday is the most like life as we live it today: we trust and believe that something dramatic and important has happened...and completion WILL happen...but right now, we live in the in-between. The silence. The ambiguity, where we simply must choose to believe despite signals around us which conflict - or simply don't send us anything at all.

For me, the choice to believe is a no-brainer because the alternative - a life without hope, purpose, direction or redemption - is not really a life at all, but an animalistic, nihilistic bumbling about, hoping to attain enough pleasure or numbness to cover up this sad, broken, desolate alternative reality that is so unacceptable ...because it simply is not The Reality. We struggle with it because we weren't made for it.

So I will choose to believe on this Holy Saturday, and in this life, of the in-between. Because I really have no choice.

What does the Speck-ster Bunny think?

Friday, January 29, 2010

good luck with Your Nonsense

In November I got to hear Henry Cho do standup; when querying the audience about current vocational pursuits, he proceeded to wish one member in grad school "good luck with Your Nonsense."

Fast forward to this week: the world was riveted by the climactic launch of Apple's iPad tablet...and a flurry of developments around geolocational services led to l'il ol' me somehow serendipitously talking to a BusinessWeek reporter about why I love to "check in" to places so much....why being "The Mayor" is so addictive and hoarding Virtual Collectibles so satisfying....and other momentous topics of the day.

When my head stopped spinning from the giddiness of it all, I wandered through the various Ferry Building shops, trying to check in to each one, and was paralyzed by the 5-minute limit that Yelp happens to place on checking in to different spots (in contrast to Gowalla which lets you "faux"-walla into as many places you want regardless of when you do so - as long as you are proximate of course yadeyadeya...).

I only regained lucidity when, not knowing what to do with myself because I was unable to check in every second, I meandered over to a bench because it was located next to some sorely-needed power outlets for my Apple products and struck up a conversation with Eddie.

Eddie was enthralled by all of my gadgets. He had no idea why I was (unsuccessfully) trying to log in with a wireless card, why I needed to use my phone and laptop at the same time, and why I needed to sit 3 inches from a power outlet in the first place. This is because Eddie is unwired. And as it turns out, he also happens to be the Real Mayor of the Ferry Building.

Untethered and free. What was all that stuff I was trying to tweet, log in, check in and post to again?