To climb doesn’t mean to fall…
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We get to see 1/2 the family this weekend which is very exciting.

There is a great quote from “The great one Wayne Gretzky” that covers a lot of business and technical situations very well. He said “Skate to where the puck is going to be.” I watch technologists as they try to do that – seeking to find the path to India and the great reward of being the first to get to the spices and return them.

The landscape changes but we only have blue so unless we are painting by the seashore every product we see is going to be blue.

I gave a talk at a high school a couple of years ago. I said “There is a ladder we all climb” it was a metaphor for moving along your career and life path. I also mentioned that “everyone falls off the ladder.” Sometimes we fall really hard and have to start all over at the bottom. Sometimes we are lucky enough to fall onto another ladder that goes higher, faster than the ladder we were on.

The one thing that matters most though is that you tell those you are with that you care about them, love them in some cases. That the fact that they are climbing with you makes the climb easier and the destination that much better.

You can’t fall if you don’t climb.

Not by the way that climbing is the constant advance of your career. Or the addition of certifications and degrees to your resume. Its about the people you meet along the way.

You can’t love if you don’t love.



Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

Simple doesn’t equal quality…
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Oh for the boundless energy of youth.

I realized last night, after picking up the boys and then coming home that I am no longer young. The past two nights (after long weekends of unpacking) I have sat down on the couch for a 5 minute pre- unpacking break only to fall asleep.

I used to be able to run on 4 hours of sleep and catch up on the occasional lazy weekend. Now, I am exhausted mentally during the week and physically by the end of the weekend.

Oh for the boundless energy of youth.

The boys are entering (not gracefully) the silent rebellion of their teen years. The transition from their parents being smarter has begun. Now they are smarter (just ask them). So they tacit or silent agree to do things with a forced “OK” and then of course being smarter realize that the things they have been asked to do are not really needed so they don’t do them.

As Bill Cosby said “All children have brain damage.” The corollary to that is they have brain damage until suddenly they don’t. That “don’t usually” occurs sometime around the first time they can’t pay rent or when they have their first child. Either way it goes away eventually.

If you haven’t had a chance to read the biography of Steve Jobs, I highly recommend it. Growing up during that time period I found a number of points of connection with where he was at various times. It mirrors nicely the concepts argued in the book “Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance.” Simple doesn’t equal quality but quality shouldn’t be hard.


Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow
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the faces float above you

the eyes glaring at you

each one accusing you of



that when asked

they shrug

and point fingers

declaring open war

and cutting the corner

they wave

out the back window

as if

that is enough

I am free

you hear them shout

as they burst

into the steam

but the dam slows all

and eventually

you pass them again

eating McDonald’s muffins

and swilling coffee

looking sheepish

for their wolfish behavior

hard to do when you

are swilling coffee.

So you leave them behind

turning right for two or more hours

turning right

turning right

turn damn you


We are the sheep of the mechanical herd

we live in boxes

swill McDonalds coffee

and smile


knowing the

last one

wasn’t the last one.


Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

Monday, oops Tuesday what day is it?
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We have moved two times in two years and each time to a slightly smaller house. This time the house is laid out better for our family but it is smaller than the last two houses by roughly 900 square feet or more. That doesn’t seem like much but when you consider two teenage boys that is a lot of space they can intrude on Smile.

Being in the DC area Memorial Day is a big deal. There are all sorts of events held around the area commemorating those who served. I really enjoyed watching the ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  It says something about our country that we remember those who have fallen and we can’t identity them as we do those who fell and we knew who they were. In either case, and for those who returned thank you again for your service.

Quite a few boxes unpacked yesterday. Not as many as projected but if you wanted to play a game of pool, we could play a 1/2 game. Except for the stereo components on the pool table, and the fact that you can’t get to the cue’s as they are over in the other corner that isn’t unpacked yet.

Nick said yesterday “No offence dad” which is always his way of saying something really offensive but pretending his goal wasn’t to offend “your office is messier now than it was.”  Gee kid, thanks for the support.

Congrats to the Spurs. They showed what maturity means and frankly what team means in basketball.


Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

The fragile creatures that are memories…
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Another memory fragment…

Its out the back door of my grandparents house (from my early childhood) in Cambridge Wisconsin. The yard is green, large trees between me and the lake. There is a hill to the right of the door, that leads to the cottage my grandfather and great-grandfather built. Down the slope the other way is the lake. The lake shore itself holds two memories, the sand my grandfather put as a beach there for us to play on and the pier. Bobbing by the pier were three row boats and the power boat. The row boats were for the cottages behind the main house, but before I was allowed to take out the speedboat I was allowed to wear a life jacket and row the row boats out a little bit away from shore.

Macgregor our collie was with us at the lake one time, I must have been 9 or maybe 10 years old. I remember the adults sitting at the tables that were off the stone porch. There was a picnic table and a few other chairs. I remember my grandmother sitting in one of the chairs. She still smoked back then which when I think about it now seems odd and out of place. My mother’s hair was black – none of the gray hairs I would cause had appeared yet.

Lynne and I were arguing over the captains hat. I think that started when I was 4 and she was 2. We both wanted to wear Grandpa’s hat. The memory fades to black with me carrying a bucket, a can of worms and a fishing pole down to the lake. In the end, despite all my tries, I never really caught enough for dinner. Although, I suspect when I was 9 or 10 I wouldn’t have eaten the fish, anyway.

End of memory…

Memories are interesting beasts. The one above represents a happy time. I have many memories well fragments of Cambridge. I remember the table my grandmother set for Thanksgiving one year. I remember the year we were leaving for Thailand. Lynne and I both talked about the fact that we would get to celebrate Christmas twice that year. Once at home, and then once in Cambridge before boarding a flight for Bangkok via Paris. It would take us three weeks that year to make it to Thailand. A week in Shannon Ireland (well nearly a week) than roughly 8 days in Paris. I dragged my poor mother everywhere in Paris, as I was a huge Napoleon buff at that age.

They come and go, memories sometimes they bring a tear to the corner of your eye. Sometimes they crinkly you mouth with a smile. They are interesting creatures…


Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

Rambling holiday Sunday…
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Thank you to the Chicago Cubs organization for starting the June swoon early this year. It frees me up from having to watch baseball games in June. Actually the team looks better this year than last. They still need a couple of strong 6 or 7 inning pitchers to get them through a few more games without relaying on their bullpen so much. A couple more years and they could be pretty solid. (That is the mantra of a Cubs fan).

A friend posted a great copy and paste this on Facebook message yesterday.  It was a copy and paste this just because it asks you to copy and paste. The sad message was if you don’t copy and paste you hate bacon and puppies. I love bacon and puppies so I had to repost it. When did the social platform become the social justice platform? There are any number of “copy and paste” movements on Facebook and each contains a horrible and dire consequence if you choose to ignore it.

This month’s Indiegogo cool thing:

Scanadu Scout™ is designed to be a medical grade Tricorder using your smartphone and Bluetooth LE to emulate an Emergency Room in your pocket.

I acknowledge that I am a star trek geek. when it first came on as a rerun in 1975 I ran home from school every day to watch it. (sadly before there were VCR’s and DVR’s were were bound to the schedule the TV station wanted us to follow). This particular device is very intriguing because it offers a number of interesting things you can find out about yourself. Of course it is nearly a year from shipping but its pretty cool overall.

Its also the first really amazing project I’ve found on Indiegogo. There are a couple of other cool projects but I am looking for game changers on the two sites currently. This could be a game changer.


Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

Good morning Sunshine…
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The sun has returned to Maryland. Not sure why it decided recently that it was allowed to take off a week or so. In fact its been like Bangkok Thailand lately – raining every day at 8 am and 5 pm. During rainy season in the tropics you can always tell when it is going to rain (4 pm every day). The sky opens up, water falls out at an every increasing rate, stops and the sky clears up).

Its nice to see the sun again. The Labs are lounging in the sunshine right now, trying to convince me that I should stop using the computer (ie no more blogging) and start taking them on a walk.

Lots to unpack today, however, before there is a walk, guys.

I am 0 for my last two favorite Kickstarter projects. Both the Gostacked (ending today) and the DXB—Walkie-Talkie won’t get funded. I find that to be amazing, but I guess I don’t really understand the principles of consumer buying habits yet.

The boys and I walked to their next year school yesterday afternoon. It was about 3/4 of a mile from the house to their school so they are cutting their commute by a 1/2 mile each way. We walked about the way around the school – Dylan was quiet happy. He loves going on walks with everyone. Its his hobby. Other than supervising his humans, which he may argue is his job.


Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

Cyber Bullying–huge and growing problem…
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The concept of cyber bullying really concerns me. Cyber bullying represents more than the traditional bullying does. It includes cyber exclusion (specifically blocking someone from doing something) and cyber destruction (making it impossible for the person to use their Facebook, Twitter or other account) and of course the sad and traditional using the Internet to make someone feel very uncomfortable.

I have a rule on my blog that I don’t use names except for family birthdays etc.

I didn’t post that to now come up with an exception, I simply wanted to clarify why I don’t use names of people on my blogs, regardless of their status unless it is a specific exceptional thing that they have done. I believe presenting one side of an argument could be construed as cyber bullying or at least the initial phase of that.

Over the past few years (and the past few days) I have talked with friends suffering from this problem. It doesn’t by the way, just happen to high school kids as the media paints it. It happens to a lot of people. when someone threatens, or uses abusive language towards you online it is a form of cyber bullying.  I never post comments on my blog that are personally offensive and personally debasing. If you wish to type such things, go ahead, but frankly it just goes into the giant trash bin of my “I don’t care” department.

This cyber bullying problem continues to get worse and worse. So why not throw out the topic and see what sticks.

Forms of Cyber bullying:

  • Modifying, logging into or in anyway altering someone’s personal social media account.
  • Posting destructive, insulting or demeaning photos of the person on their social media accounts or on yours.
  • Posting nasty comments to them personally.
  • Posting nasty comments about them publically.
  • Having others attempt to clog, block or alter someone’s social media account

I am sure there are more – post them as comments and I will recompile the blog eventually with the new ones added.


Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

From the corners of my mind…
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I was listening to a recording of amazing grace yesterday afternoon while unpacking some boxes in the kitchen.  It is a great song more so when you know the history of the song’s creation.

Which brought me to thinking about what caused some of the songs I love to come into the world.

For me, I write poetry. The first thing that comes to me is the image. It isn’t consistent (I don’t see one every day) but sometimes sitting on the train to DC, or stuck in traffic, or in my office I get an image.

That image rattles around my head for a bit. Sometimes only 3 or 4 days, or it comes back many times and within a week I have a poem. Sometimes the poem’s take forever, weeks, months and even years.

Many of them I publish for me, not for anyone else. Every once in awhile I pull a bunch together and post them on Amazon as a kindle book. I will say however having sold a few poem’s to professional magazines, and various other publications, the total sum of money made from poetry wouldn’t do me very well at a nice restaurant (I suspect I could get a glass of water and a salad and then quietly leave).

I suspect poet’s and songwriters have a lot in common. I doubt many songwriters set out to write down the current top ten hit. Once they are established and known, that may be the case. But in the beginning? Like poets its about the rhythm of the creation. That is what interests me. The rhythm of the creation process.

Where do songs come from?

Is it from the back of the mind of that person, slowly leaking around the corners of their mind until they are free. Or are they more butterflies (which is what I think poems are in my case) crawling inside your mind as an image then slowly creating the chrysalis and then emerging as a full flung song?


Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

global warming…and the sadness in Oklahoma…
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The reality of global warming? More energy in the atmosphere that has to go somewhere. To the people of the various cities and small burgs hurt by the storms in Oklahoma I send my hope, thoughts and prayers. 

A few years ago we had a heated family discussion on the concept of global warming. I was arguing that science had pretty much shown that global warming was a reality. The others were arguing that global warming was made up. It bothered me for a long time. Why? Well first off Global Warming is the wrong term or phrase to use when describing the problem. We are taking about the world wide temperature of the entire planet going up one or two possibly three degrees overall. Moving a large number is much harder than moving a small number.

It is a hard argument to have and an even harder one to win. In the end it ended badly partially because of family dynamics and partially because I refuse to ever lose an argument that in the end is a 3 or 4 on one argument.

The real reason for this blog however has to do with the creation of energy that is represented by a 1 degree rise in the overall temperature of the planet. Unfortunately if you live in Oklahoma, or were in the path of Super storm Sandy, you understand the reality of that energy. In the end mother nature will get you, if you believe, or if you don’t believe.

Number of reputable scientists who argue global warming isn’t real – none.


Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow