I finished all the house painting about 10 days ago. Since then there have been a few small chores on the punch list – finishing with de-clutter, rearranging and reorganizing stuff, usual things. But these tasks have not occupied me daylight to dark the way the painting did.

I have applied for three jobs. A small feat for some of you out there that are job seeking juggernauts, but a pretty good rate for me. I even had one interview already. I did not get that job, but it was awesome to seek a job and get an interview. That has actually never happened to me ever in my life. So – progress. These have all been local prospects, which is not what I really want, but only one is a full-time gig and ya gotta start somewhere.

As always, there are some things stirring with RAI, and as always, i ain’t gonna talk to y’all about deals that have not been signed, but there is some potential in that direction.

With the manual labor completed and having a nicer and much quieter place to work, i am now situated to dedicate much more of my time to the job hunt process. Many things i am interested in will be a bit uncertain until at least Nov 7, if not until 2013, but there are loads of things i can do to be ready when opportunities become viable/reliable. Revamping my online files with the US gov and private sector Aid sites i use for job hunting as well as a few of the companies that work in areas that interest me, and research, and apply apply apply.

That is what’s on the table for me now. It is liberating and daunting this go round, the Job Hunt, doing this without having to consider my canine dependents. I can go anywhere! There are a few international opportunities i am looking into, but i really want to move to California. Whenever i tell someone that they always ask, “Where?” The answer for me is easy – anywhere that allows me to easily spend time in the Sierras. I am not generally a fan of clothing as a gift, but i got a fantastic shirt from my folks that expresses what i mean to the letter.

"The Mountains are Calling and I must Go." John Muir
“The Mountains are Calling and I must Go.” John Muir

If you are curious, my resume is available online to read and/or download. And if you are hiring, i have done and can do almost everything. Thus ends shameless self-promotion.

In the meantime, i got out to golf 6 times this Fall: twice with random folks at my local course, once with Vance and a neighbor at the local, twice with Vance at my favorite course in the area, and once with Vance at the annual NGEF tournament on the MINDS team. These were my first six outings in a year and i/we broke 100 four of those times – one 98 at the local with my dad, a 98 and a 95 at my favorite (and more difficult) course with my dad. We were 1 under par at the tournament. Not great for the format, but the first time any team i have played on broke par. I think it is too late in the season to do much more work this year, but i was on a good track putting my game back together, my swing is doing awesome, and i am adding a few utility shots that are helping me bring the scores down. If i have time and money to play, i expect to be shooting in the 80s next season.

It has been a long time since i stopped running, but i have restarted with my stretching and floor exercise routine. So far, i have only been doing it once a day, in the mornings, but i hope to add an evening session in soon. I am holding off entropy and maintaining 185 or less. With the second session, i should be able to get even less jiggly.

Oh, i joined LYP last December and was very active for about a month, before moving back to AZ to help Jake with some personal stuff. I am reengaging with them, attended another mixer, and volunteered at a fundraising event to support housing for moms and kids Nov 2nd. I like the LYP folks i have met so far, but i have not met too many as i am less interested in the social events. Some of these are called networking mixers, but the potential to meet with employers or decision makers has been nil. However, the group has grown and things could be different now. I will have to try out a few more social events. I do like volunteering and appreciate the outlet for doing good locally.

There is another tech related update in the works and still the JMT!

Be well.

Quick Update

The Tech series is coming along nicely. I am through all the back story and working on the capabilities of new tech and how to use them and the view to “the future”. I expect to finish it this weekend and begin releasing an episode a day on Monday, maybe sooner if i have enough time to write and edit. If you ever wonder what tech guys do, or why they think that watching videos of conferences and reading articles should qualify as paid work time, or what the heck a CIO/CTO does – you are about to find out!

The dogs are all doing well. The training continues and with few set backs, everyone is developing nicely. Last night we had another successful three dog romp on the beach and a leash free walk home for all three boys. They did super.

We have a slight delay on the Man Box Vocal booth project, but nothing can defeat the unified force of The Schmied and the Fro.

Lucas and I are preparing for a quick trip to PA to see my folks, acquire some fall appropriate clothing, collect my golf clubs to help me get in shape for a tournament on the 26th, and handle some life admin stuff like driver’s license renewal and fun letters from the IRS.

I hope you all are well and enjoy the break in the rain today!


Today, I am recovering from the thanksgiving trip: laundry, general office admin, back-up the “new” digital Billie Holiday, catch up on some correspondence and article reading.  I need to implement the resume changes i have made mentally into the actual world, but i am a bit drained today.  In order to stay productive, i thought it would be a good day to activate my self-hosted WordPress blog.

I re-read all the instructions from a few sources as well as a few user testimonial/tutorial/feedback articles.  The process was easy and simple – up to a point.

I did not like the idea of having to create a new user to activate and complete the install of WordPress and access my blog.  I already have a user account.  I know that technically these are two separate things and they have no way to talk to each other directly, but it still bugs my brain.  And, i know that i can set-up the “new user” the exact same way as the “old user” and not really feel any difference.  But like i say – it just bugged me.

Of course, it does not look like my blog once i do finish the install, it looks like a brand new blog template – duh, i have not uploaded any of my content yet – but i take a little tour, and the horrors begin.

Ok, these are actually small on the scale of “horrors”, but in terms of little digital bastards i now have to fight – they are pretty big to me.  The horror is two pronged: I think it involves a (probably simple) issue with the php admin file (and I don’t really know anything about php, so I do not know how to find any errors) – and I do not know the right words to use to describe the rest of the problem appropriately so that google will tell me what to do next.

The short version: my admin page is all fracked up.  Instead of the standard view I am used to from using the WordPress hosted blog, there is no header/title bar with drop down menus, there is no narrow nav bar on the left with two “content pane columns” in the middle and on the right.  What I have is a giant ball of text.  It is not exactly like reading code, but it is close.  The GUI is all munged up so that all the “weeee” is gone and I am left with just the “goo”.

When you read this mangled mass of words, you do see that it seems that the key nav structure is still sort of present, but it is very different.  And, when you do click on anything like “Posts” or “Themes”, the “new” information comes down at the bottom of this long jumbled list of words, and that too is jumbled and difficult to read and use.

So, I am frustrated.  I did a little bit of searching for terms like “wordpress install admin panel problem” – adding/changing with “self hosted, dashboard, godaddy, php” – none of these lead me towards anything like my issue – so far.

One site I forgot to bookmark during research (grrr) referenced something about (paraphrase) “when you change the php admin page make sure not to do X, Y, and Z, and if your page does not display correctly there is probably space before this initial set of symbols or after this set of final symbols”.

I did nothing but what I was instructed when I edited my php page, but I did read all the stuff there and noted that the initial and final sets of symbols were not the same or mirror images of one another as I would expect.  But I can’t find that page and again, I don’t have the proper vocabulary to describe this stuff well enough (especially when I am frustrated).

So, I did get this blog exported and imported, and I thought I might as well go ahead and slap the right theme on, but there was again thwarted by the nearly impossible to use flawed admin panel.

I gave up and went to practice some golf.  That started off well.  I was hitting my 9 iron straight (mostly) and pretty near the pin.  Then with about 6 balls left, I switched to the driver.  On my second ball, the shaft broke where it meets the club-head and my club-head went about 75 yards down the range.

I tried to shake it off and went to do short chips around the putting green.  That went better and after 120 short chips (good results), I packed it in and came home to write, eat, do something else and start again tomorrow.

I have to, have to, have to, do resume work first thing tomorrow morning once i “clock-in”.  But, when I do get back to the blog issues, I will first do a re-download, unzip, and upload of the WordPress files.  If that don’t work, I will try another search for sample php pages (today’s searches did not lead me to the opening and closing symbols section) or just general php writing info.  I will probably re-do the php page in question and see where that leaves me.

Or – I will discover that some smart person has replied to this entry and told me the magic answers!!??!

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Protected: My 36th Birthday – or The Golf Clubs From India!

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A little bit of random for you (or welcome to my head)

I am still here, still doing ok, and still committed to writing in this blog.  I have not run for several days, but i have stayed on the abstinence plan.  I celebrated 4 weeks of cleansing on the 4th with a nice bottle of tap water!  Without thinking about the larger context, i ate a chocolate covered coffee bean in Giant.  It was awesome, but after 4 weeks with no caffeine or coffee – it took about 3 seconds before i REALLY wanted a smoke.

I am currently working on a few different, hopefully brief, personal writing projects offline that i will bring here when they are a little more advanced. {Current difficulties with the running/exercise, why i hate the holidays, the general anxiety/dread/discomfort i feel related to impending life changes, the golf basics project, and a political mash-up (voting, the state of public discourse, the “discussion” about health care reform, taxes, government spending, and more!) that will take a while to untangle into manageable chunks.}

I also still have a lot of my least favorite kind of  writing to do for work (corporate re-branding) involving my least favorite professional subject matter and format (me, my career, the resume, and the short form narrative bio).

Redesigning schematics at midnight

I have made some good progress, but i need a few more hours of dedicated but undirected writing to get more of the broad strokes down.  I will also need another brainstorming session and review of my notes and emails to jog my memory and capture some critical past events and projects.  (For example, i forgot all about developing a TV show in India, and writing and doing the voice-overs for commercials/promotional videos in Doha and India until a short work session this morning.)  Then i have to craft that mess into sections and sift and evaluate.  What should go on the website to describe capability?  What should go into the projects archive? And the challenge for long-winded bastards like me, The One Pagers!!  What gets cut from the narrative bio?  How to mash all this crap into something attractive for a resume?

Sorting out the Tents

I will get there – but i hate this.  The last time i was even asked to submit a resume to get a job was at Borders in 1998 (maybe 99 – i am no good at historical time-lines), so this is not a simple update.  It is really hard to figure out how truthful to be also.  I don’t mean “should i embellish”? I mean “should i leave most of this out”?  Will people hire a dude who has been largely self-employed for 11 years, who founded/or co-founded six companies on three continents, who is still the CEO of three of those, and a Senior Partner in another? But who only has a BA (technically three, but no one really cares about that) and is not in a higher ed program currently?

Enough.  I gotta do some head clearing with the books or the tube for a bit and sleep.

I did golf today.  The first time i played 18 holes in a long while.  I did many things that i have been working on quite well, but i could not put it/keep it all together to avoid a few of the big numbers.  After 7 holes, i was feeling good and thought, “i will break 90 again today”.  But i carded a 101/98 (there was no one out there and i played 2 balls on two holes). My best score ever is still an 82, and i did not think i would beat that, but i feel like i should be breaking 90 much more often.

More practice required…


I did make it out to run today.  Two days of slack (kinda) turned into three days of no running.  Yesterday we had a memorial service for one of my neighbors.  I really liked this man and he was among the first people in the neighborhood to be nice to me.  And, Guthrey loved him even though he always called Guthrey “Gunther”.  Guthrey did not like a huge amount of people, so it meant something that he liked this man.  It was a very nice service.  He loved golf and the course pro let us hold the ceremony on the (under repair) 14th green.   He sang in barbershop quartets and other choirs most of his life, and a great a cappella men’s choir sang three beautiful songs.  The family said words as well as some of his friends, his ashes were scattered on the course, and then we had a get together at the family’s home.  Maybe it sounds weird to say, but it was the best funeral i have ever attended.

My dad and i had to go back to the mall because the boots we bought for him yesterday were slightly defective.   We have a replacement pair coming to the house by mail this week.  Some days, i look around and say, “Wow it is only three o’clock!” Some days i turn around and say, “Holy Crackers!  How did it get to be 8 o’clock!”  Yesterday was a Holy Crackers kind of day.  {Trivia question – without using reference materials, who knows any of the etymology of “o’clock” (any small piece will do)?  I have one very simple, specific, short answer in mind, but will be pleased to check out whatever you come up with.}

I wanted to get back on track by jumping out of bed this morning and walking with Lucas and then going for a run.  I was foiled by circumstance (and laziness).  Lucas and i both slept in until 7.  I forgot that my mom was playing the Offertory at both services at her church today and that my dad was going to go and stay with her.  I don’t like to leave Lucas alone for any reason, and certainly not while he is still recovering from surgery.  His mouth seems fine and he seems totally fine, except you can tell his stitches are bothering him on his right shoulder and he will try to scratch them if no one is watching.  So, we busied ourselves with other things.  Lucas and i did our walk, had breakfast, cranked up some RPG, vacuumed, cleaned the bathroom, did 4 loads of laundry, worked on both mom and dad’s computers with updates, backups and file maintenance, replaced the “waist cinch cord” in one of their winter jackets, failed some online trivia quizzes, spread some e-cheer, and then i went running.

Ran 1.43  Pace 9’05” – despite the time off, i ran a decent pace and i made it to the top of that hill again, then i just walked it on home.

No floor exercises so far.  I may get motivated and knock them out, or i may do double duty tomorrow.

After i finally had lunch post run (about 4:30) Vance and i went to the putting green to sneak in a little practice and competition before dark.  We just did an 18 hole challenge this time, and we did a running total of skins instead of canceling each others skins out.  I came out of the gate very nicely, but lost the touch between 13-15.  I rallied a bit the final three.  Vance won, two holes up and 10 skins to 8.  I did chip one in from off the green (after rocketing past the hole on the first chip) in order to not go down another hole.  It was fun and hopefully we will do this with more regularity.  It really helps both your feel for and confidence with the shorter chips around the green.  There are so many cases now where i will chip over the fringe instead of putting through it.  Hopefully i will finish the golf basics intro soon and do some more posting on golf as well.

I will try to think up a good prize, or a longer gaming structure for a better prize…

A little victory

I made it up the hill again!

Ran 1.41  – Pace 9’03” – I felt good.  My legs felt good.  My breathing was pretty good.  My head was good.  I was rarely even thinking about the run and i did not obsessively look at the watch thingy to see how i was doing.  I found a good pace and tried to stick with it and thought about other stuff.  I was feeling it when i got to the top of the hill and i did walk for the next .2 or so, then ran .2, then walked it in.  It is reasonably level from the top of this hill back to my house.  I think that a few more times reaching the top of the hill at a good pace and i should be strong enough to still run the remaining .6.  It will take as long as it takes, but it was nice to make some progress.

40 of the new crunches/10 of the bicycle twisty crunches (i was better at these today, but it is still an odd motion)/25 leg lifts/ 10 push-ups.

Yesterday i did a good stretch routine around noon, and an even more in-depth stretch session before bed.  Using the information from many sources and then the videos on Runner’s World has really helped.  The dynamic stretches are great as well as the IT Band stretches (thanks Abby).  I am beginning to see flexibility progress after just about 3 weeks of doing this regularly.  I have had the most and the quickest progress from the dynamic stretches.  I am doing 5 leg related dynamic stretches.  3 of them were difficult for me to even do and maintain my balance when i started them a week or two ago.  Now I am raising my knees up to smack my chest.  Doing the hacky-sack stretch i am kicking my hand almost nipple high.  And the swinging leg thingy i can do well with my right leg and better than before with my left (there is no falling or danger of falling anymore).   I did not do my traditional floor exercises yesterday, but in addition to two stretching sessions, i practiced golf for about 3 hours.  I will get more into the golf stories a little later.  I am keeping a bit of an offline golf journal for now because i am not done writing the intro to golf that i want to throw on the site for those who may be interested to read, but don’t know anything about golf.  That is coming along and i hope to have that done, some golf stories posted, and incorporate regular golf entries by the end of November.

I am not just a crazy person or a slacker with my 3 hours of golf, i took my dad. It was good for him to be out there again.  He helped me with a few things on the driving range, and then we both had short chip and putt practice and then 2 – 18 hole rounds of chip and putt competition.  Not only was it fun and informative for us both, as well as great practice, it is another layer of motivation for my dad to keep at the recovery process and to follow the schedule.  He doesn’t have trouble doing that, but i don’t think you can have too much incentive to help you do the right thing.

and repeat continued…

I did play golf yesterday.  I walked the full 18, but it was so slow that it was full dark by 17 tee.   One thing worried me, aside from very inconsistent play, my knee was bothering me by the 14th hole.  It didn’t really hurt, it just didn’t feel solid.  This made me very concerned about my pending run.  After golf, i did a full series of stretches, including lots of floor work, and then went for it.  My knee felt better after the stretches and actually felt better after the run than it did before i started.  After cool-down and more stretching and some floor exercises,  i did some research on runner’s websites like this one.  One of the cool things i discovered, in addition to more kinds of stretches and helpful videos of dynamic stretching, is that knee pain can frequently be overcome by strengthening your core and your quads.  I also found in black and white what i had figured out through trial and error, a shorter stride puts less stress on a bum knee.  This is all very good to discover because i would like to be able to increase my physical activity and not have to limit it due to injury or pain.

A quick word on running and writing about running.  I am running for a lot of reasons; to get healthy, to feel better, to lose a little weight and keep it off, to strengthen my core to improve my golf game, to help my lungs and heart heal  from years of bad behavior.  I am not doing this for vanity.  I don’t care about the weight aside from the health issues.  I don’t really care how i look.  Half my family is overweight, diabetic, inactive, and not in great health.  Also, getting rid of extra weight is one of the better things you can do for your knees.  Even though i was young (12, 13?) and healed quickly, i did break my knee and that never really goes away.  There is also a very practical reason.  I hate shopping and i don’t want to have to buy new pants.  There is some insight into why i run.  Why do i write about running?

I know many people out there in situations similar to mine.  We have had great adventures, but definitely made some choices that were not the best for the long-term care of our bodies.  Our awesome young adult metabolisms went on permanent vacation without even giving two-weeks notice.  It can be very difficult to change your patterns and routines and do something new or stop doing something old and ingrained.  I know how much it inspires me to read about one of my friends making a change and trying to feel better about themselves, to do better things for themselves, to break old patterns that clearly were not working and look for something else.  I hope that my struggle might help someone out there choose to take positive action in their own life, or find affirmation with choices they have already made.  None of this is about results, it is about the journey.  That is why i put my numbers up in my blog.  I am only running about 1 mile these days.  I am doing less than 50 crunches.  I have not made it to 10 push-ups yet.  But the small-scale of my accomplishments might help someone else feel better about their own.  Your numbers don’t matter (mine either).  Consistency matters.  Run a quarter-mile.  Do that every day that you can.  In no time you won’t be able to stop your self from running a half mile.  It builds…

and repeat

more later, but to get it down before i forget – yesterday i ran 1.1 miles again, did 40 crunches, 25 leg lifts and 5 push-ups.  Not too bad after walking 18 holes of golf…

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