As 2014 nears its (welcomed) and inevitable end there are a few housekeeping things to consider…

Next week I am going to resume picture blogs. I am trying to balance my backlog of blog topics. I have two different picture topics. Pictures we’ve taken over the years (mixed in with places i have traveled to) and old photos either Barb took or my father, and now adding in Joan Ralstin’s old photographs.

Beyond that I want to get back into my Kickstarter and Indiegogo projects. I am adding a new concept of projects I wonder about. Not good wonder but projects that I think have missed their market or worse have identified the wrong market. I will continue to post projects that I am excited about and also adding now ones that make me nervous (promise too much or promise something that just doesn’t feel right.).

Then there are the occasional family event posts that I need to get back to doing and my reviews. I have a number of reviews that I have considered writing that were never posted. I am open to suggestions and additions

Last year in review blog for 2014 is coming next week probably new years eve or at least around that time. This has been an interesting year and frankly I am happy to nearly see 2014 in the rear view mirror.

To all my readers I wish a happy holidays and the best possible start to the new year coming. To everyone that commented and provided email feedback I thank you as well – your comments, emails and phone conversations are why I blog!

scott andersen
IASA Fellow

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night

I had the fortune (or misfortune) of being born 4 days before christmas so sometimes the whirlwind that is this time of year passes me by far to quickly.

This year is also tough, it is the first year without my dad.

Mom was always the one that loved Christmas. Mom and dad got married 4 days before Christmas and frankly mom always made Christmas a huge family event.

This year was no different.

We gathered together and celebrated the day as a family. It was a magical day that was filled with laughter and memories.

My grandfather loved Christmas (as did my Grandmother Johnston). They always had a beautiful (perfect) tree to celebrate. Wisconsin always had snow at Christmas, the ground white with the perfection.

Years ago we would follow the routine of one gift opened Christmas Eve and the rest opened on Christmas day. There are fewer pictures of the older years but since the digital world I’ve taken pictures of videos of the entire process.

As a parent I can say you derive great joy from watching your children open the gifts that have been picked for them.

scott andersen
iasa fellow

Its time travlerer…

I don’t get some people. Seriously. If you are telling me something that is supposed to help me, isn’t it important that I believe that is an issue? It really is a communications style although I am really not sure if it is a pattern or an anti-pattern yet. The intention is to help the person you are connecting with but you are only approaching them from your perspective. So in effect this the foxhole issue. You are so wrapped around your specific foxhole that you cannot see where I am only where you are.

Just something I’ve been thinking about.

It scared me a bit yesterday how easily I was able to “reconnect” with my inner traveler. I was in line and rolling along within 10 seconds or so. In the end you just have to wonder. You can take the boy out of the airplane but you cannot take the process out of the boy.

The other problem is of course I’ve been up since 4 am CDT. Oh well. I am home tonight. Although there are no guarantees I am home tonight. Friday night back in the heavy traveling days was always the worst day it seemed for travel. Partially I suspect because I had been gone for a week or two weeks at that point and I was struggling to get home on a Friday. But it always felt like everything conspired against me on Friday’s. At some point it’s a balance. You want to get home but you also have to understand that the airline professionals are doing their jobs. I guess as you deal with travel its important to get out of your foxhole, look around and then determine if there is a problem that needs to be solved.

Time to get rolling.

Scott Andersen

How to improve productivity

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I was thinking about productivity  improvement last night. From the broad perspective of what are the core goals of product ivy improvement (get more done with less time and effort in theory). Based on that I started thinking about the things I use to do my job and I realized that I am more effective today than I was as recently as 10 months ago.

  • decrease the stress around you
  • come to work with a smile
  • Tablet computing

First of all 8 months ago if you had asked me I would have said that working with the customer I was lucky enough to work with I went to work every day with a smile. The stress at the customer site was small. The internal stress of working at MS was pretty high. Taking that away helped me become more productive. The other side of productivity is leaving the monolithic world of Microsoft technologies.

Disclaimer, I like my windows tablet a lot. I use it every day. It is however, not the best tablet I use.

  • The Ipad makes you more productive.
  • The Kindle or Nook devices make you more productive – while increasing the amount of offline information you have.

Those two changed the way I read and used information both online and offline. They make it easier to consume information and reuse that information effectively. 10 months ago I never would have known the missing pieces of the Windows Tablet story. Now I realize that the holes aren’t just in the windows platform they are pervasive throughout the stack.

Time to get rolling.


A dive into politics, sorry

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I went for a walk yesterday. Amazing how your body adjusts to not walking in 10 days. (ok it was more like 15 days but 10 sounds better). My legs are stiff and tired this morning. At least the hacking cough is gone. Now I just have a headache all the time. I heard from some co-workers that the worst part of this disease is the relapse so I am hoping I miss that part.

I don’t often detail my personal political opinions on this blog (figure about once ever 100 or so blogs.)but I have to today.

  • If you seek to represent me ask me what I need.
  • If you tell me how bad the other person is, make sure they aren’t saying the same thing about you.
  • Show me loyalty.
  • Show me that you know the difference between right and wrong.

The world is a tough place. I have traveled over a million miles in my IT career and during that time I have found there is only one thing that makes the world a better place, open your heart and tell people how you can help them. THEN DO IT.

It is such a small world we live in. What once took weeks now takes hours. You can talk to your friends in the U.K. via so many different methods it is amazing. You can talk to friends to Oz, the same exact ways. The world is small place now.

So tell me how you can help me. And then do it. Don’t talk about it like a book and put it back on a shelf to be used again later. At some point I will walk away from that. Tell me what I have to hear. Help me understand what is wrong. Then work with all of us to fix it.


Numbers day at the OK Homestead

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Numbers day, why? I am starting the taxes and realizing that I have less money now than I did before I started the taxes.

2.5  million steps. The illness cost me cracking 2.6 million steps this week. I do feel better today but not enough to get out for a long walk. I may try and take a turn around the block however just to get the blood moving again.

I think I may pursue the “Cloud Whisperer” concept for my next book. I am noodling a couple of podcasts to kick that process off and will post here when I post them there.

The unification of design – Apple remains magic at that simple and easy concept. Hardware and software that fit easily together and in the end work well together. I got an apple wireless keyboard and frankly was amazed at how much easier it is to set that up than all the Logitech keyboards I have used over the years. Plus it just looks nice on your desk.

Carbonite on-line backup moved up to 48% total. I am backing up all my family videos and pictures so in the end it is quite a large amount of data to move (over 200 gigs). So far the application is chugging along. I may even have a 50% celebration.

Now, back to taxes.


Over being sick

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I am struggling this am. Last night was hard. My back was killing me and the disease was in full control. I feel a little better this morning but overall it wasn’t the best possible night. The alternating cold and hot thing isn’t very fun.

I will miss my fitbit goal this week. I suspect I will end up around 60000 steps for the week. You know the system they have developed works because even though I was sick I feel guilty about missing my goal.

I suspect today will be another rest of hopefully begin to recuperate day. I am officially over being sick.