Sunday, December 31, 2006

Great teamwork

Most of the time, I don't put too much about my work on my blog. However, I thought I'd say just a little about the leadership exhibited by one of the people on my team as she led an amazingly complex project to a successful conclusion this month.

What I observed (and, in fact encouraged) was the simplification of the project by doing a couple of things. One, was to stay focused on the end result -- eye on the prize, so to speak. Second, was to work the naysayers either into the game, or out of the way. One would be amazed at how much damage negative thoughts can do to project work. When people use words like "fail" or phrases like "there's no way we'll finish on time" it is debilitating.

Positive affirmations about the desired outcome aren't delusional and they're not just wishful thinking. They are very empowering and tend to send the team in the right direction.

It was also interesting to see how much emotion came into play. When folks get tired or frustrated, they often feel the bottom drop out from underneath them, or the wind die down in their sails. However, it's amazing how much resilience we have available once we know how to tap into it.

I saw my project manager keep the team focused, tap into their creativity, work toward a positive outcome, manage the naysayers, and at the end of the story have a happy ending -- the desired outcome.

It reminds me of a saying I heard from one of my colleagues: "You may believe you can, or you may believe you can't. Either way, you're right."

Friday, December 29, 2006

Air Travel

Recently, I went to London on vacation. Naturally (in this day and age) it involved air travel. The flight originated from RDU on 12/16, heading to Chicago for a connection to Heathrow. There was about a five-hour layover in Chicago, so there was plenty of buffer for things to not work right.

Anyone who travels by plane more than once a year is aware of the difficulties encountered in air travel. There is always something new and exciting to deal with. For example, you have to pack any carry on liquids into a transparent bag, and the containers must all be smaller than 3.5 fluid ounces of content.

Our flight from RDU to ORD was delayed, due to weather in Chicago. It was not delayed a little, but delayed a lot -- something greater than two hours. While this was not an issue for us, it put pressure on other folks who had connecting flights. Now, different people deal with travel stress in different manners. As one example, I was flying with a colleague and her family who were en route to India for three weeks vacation. They missed the connecting flight to Delhi, but the weren't freaking out.

Another example of someone on the plane is one where the situation wasn't handled well. This young lady engaged in a cell phone conversation from the plane while we were waiting to leave RDU (you know, one of those conversations that really should be held in private, not in front of 115 people on a plane). This lady spent about 20 minutes yelling at her significant other about how it was his fault that the plane was delayed, and how this was so disruptive to her life. The other 19 minutes were variations on the same theme, with the interrogative "do you understand me?" punctuating each cadence. This was clearly an example of someone who doesn't have a more global view about things.

I have the benefit of practicing yoga, and in generally I keep a pretty cool head about things, although I do understand the stress that can occur with travel as my most challenging trip was to Bangalore

The question naturally arises: "Is it worth it to get all worked up about travel?" We have to understand there are things out of our control, and we have to go with the flow. Contingency planning is valuable. However, for me, the answer was revealed based upon the following.

We boarded the flight for Heathrow, which was leaving late due to accumulated delays in Chicago. Other folks had to hurry to make this flight, some trying to return home to London. One such family was a man, his wife, and daughter who were returning from a week-long cruise. I was seated by the aisle and I often watch the other passengers boarding. This gentleman, probably in his 60's, was carrying a computer bag. I thought is was a little odd that he was hunched over just a bit.

The line was moving slowly, and this fellow made it to a place in the aisle just beside my seat back. I noticed that the man started falling backwards. I reached out to grab his right arm and try to stabilize him as I thought he's just lost his balance. The weight into his arm kept increasing as the fellow kept going back toward to floor. As his face came into view, I saw that this man was in serious trouble, most likely already dead. There is a vacant look in the eyes which communicate the absence of life, the exodus of the spirit.

Very quickly, we formed a team to do what we could to help this man. Fortuitously, the man sitting behind me was a medic, the lady sitting across the aisle one row back was a doctor. The flight attendants quickly brought oxygen and a ventilating bag, but they didn't have a defibrillator, which was a surprise. We worked with this man on the aisle floor beside my seat until the medics came. Unfortunately, he had no vitals. The medics took him to the jetway and tried to help him, but to no avail.

This man's wife and daughter stood in the aisle and saw their husband, their father pass away. I felt their grief, and could empathize.

In the aftermath, it turns out that this family had to make a dash across the airport to make their flight. While there is no evidence suggesting the stress of trying to make a flight can cause a heart attack (which is almost certainly what happened to this man) I do believe that stress can cause your body to weaken and leaves you vulnerable.

While this for me was a serious life lesson in why you shouldn't "kill yourself" to get to a flight, others missed the point. Helping this man caused a further delay in the flight, and other passengers were angry and stressed because of the further delay. Some people just don't get it, and that's sad.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

It's Been a Long Time

I realize that I haven't posted on my blog in ages. It's not for lack of content, but more for lack of time. I've also been doing a daily journal as part of my yoga teacher training and as nice as it would be to just post highlights, some of the material isn't really ready for prime time.

As I try to catch up with the key events of the last few months, I'll share the trip to London and the story about Frank. I'll talk about the rally of some key people to make a tremendously complex project come to fruition. I'll talk some about preparing for the upcoming yoga class that I'm supposed to teach, and I'll also need to do a little sharing of pride in the key accomplishments of my daughter.

Ok, I won't wait for the latter. Straight A's and dean's list in the first semster at NWU! Not surprising, but still amazing!

I'll be back soon...

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Yoga and Anatomy

I had most enlightening experience yesterday as we studied anatomy in our yoga class. It appears that there are two key inhibitors to poses that are very revealing. These are compression and tension.

Compression describes where two bones come together in the context of a posture, and create a physical limit to movement. Tension describes where a muscle, tendon, or tissue grouping is tight and restrains further movement into a posture. While compression doesn't have a rememdy, tightness can be addressed by moving more deeply, and carefully, into a posture over time.

Consideration of compression versus tension as limiting factors in a posture is most enabling from both a personal and from a teaching level. While there are some movements that can be made by the body which will demonstrate compression in a manner which is visible (e.g. raising the arm forward, and watching for the shoulder rotation) there are many occasions where there is verbal feedback required. A student can tell you where they feel the posture, and this will describe whether there is compression or tension.

Interestingly, the downward facing dog is a pose where most joints are involved and provides one general posture to discover compression in joints, and for tension in the hamstrings. I learned that it is hamstring tension in my down dog that is the limiting factor in this pose for me. When a teacher wants the heels on the floor, my hamstrings hold me back. It's not compression in my ankles because I can do a squat with completely flat feet.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Yoga Teacher Weekend

I'm totally psyched as this weekend is my yoga teacher training weekend. I'm over in the condo and getting ready for the all day Saturday and Sunday class. This has been on my mind since I left class one month ago, and I'm thrilled to be going to class in the morning. It will be great to see everyone, hear how they've progressed with their assignments, and just to enjoy the company in this great learning experience.

Jenn is going to see Stephen Colbert tonight as part of the Northwestern homecoming activities. The 42 year-old Colbert is a graduate of NU, and I'm sure Jenn is going to do all she can to move in close. I know that Jenn is skilled in such matters as she easily got backstage passes for my at the Tower of Power concert at the Carter Barron theater in Washington, D.C. I know that I'll hear all about this tomorrow. If my cell phone rings in the middle of the night with a call from Jenn, I'll be sure to answer -- it may be her calling to give me a direct connection to truthiness.

And, if you have a taste for something exotic, try the Dagoba Lavendar. I think I got a head rush after the first bite as the interesting flavors sent all kinds of sensory messages to the brain.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Back Home

It was so nice to see Jenn over the weekend. We took her to one of her favorite spots -- the grocery store! She was delirious with ecstasy, shopping and buying things she loves like pita and hummus, interesting mixes of fruits and nuts, cereal, and tupperware to store things in the room. She is doing well and making lots of friends. From what I can see, she will be a leader among the pack. I can tell that she has emotional maturity that is ahead of many of the freshman.

I'm both surprised and not surprised at the drinking on campus. I attended a keg and egg party, and I suppose it's perfectly natural to drink beer at 9:30 in the morning before a football game. Maybe because the team at NU isn't that good, the alcohol makes the game more interesting? I just think the drinking is part of the scene.

In years gone by, I have consumed a more than modest quantity of alcohol. These days, I rarely drink because it tends to slow me down a bit. I'm not a teetotaller, and I'm not on a crusade to stop people from drinking. But, even I was not one to drink in the morning. And, I would have thought that the urge to binge would have passed along with high school, but not everyone has gotten this out of their system.

Overall, it was fabulous to see Jenn, and I'm very happy that she loves what she's doing now, and where she's doing it.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Back in Chicago

We came up to Chicago to visit Jenn for parent's weekend. It is just fabulous to see Jenn and know how well she is doing with school and in her new social setting. Even though the dorm is prone to partying, which does not set the stage for slumber, Jenn does seem to find a nice mix of both. It's great to see that she has a lot of friends, and to know that she's having fun an achieving in her academics as well.

We went to the Northwestern/Purdue football game today. I expererienced first-hand a keg and egg party. The marching band for Northwestern was quite good. The football team is now 2-5 for the year.

I found a few minutes in the Apple store, and keep eyeing the new iMac. The notebooks are really nice, and the pros with the 30" screen are also incredible. But I think my intro Mac could be the 17" iMac. I believe it comes with Garage Band 3, and this would keep me intrigued for many months. This would be in addition to just playing around with the computer and learning about the capabilities of the Mac.

There is an amazing shop in Old Orchard, L'Occitane (de Provence), which has the most incredible collection of products that smell wonderful. It is a French version of Bath and Body Works. I was drawn into the store by this incredible honey incense, which was buring outside and detectible about 150' from the store entrance.

Tonight, Saturday night, is not going to be a big night on the town. Jenn came out to my sister-in-law's house with use and will get a peaceful night's rest. I promised that I wouldn't stay up all night raising heck until 5:30 in the morning.

I finished reading Meditations from the Mat on Thursday. It's a really enjoyable book with 365 chapters (one for each day of the year). The book is divided into eight sections, corresponding to the eight limbs of Yoga. Each day opens with a quote from a rich variety of sources (including yoga students of the author, Rolf Gates). Gates then follows the quote with a short writing from his own experiences. I would recommend the book just for the bibliography, with the quotes and writings being a wonderful bonus.

The Windy City was supposedly named for the movement of air by the politicians, but in Evanston the wind is legitimate. I'll look forward to returning home, but will miss Jenn all over again.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

October, Already

It's been quite a while since I've written. Studying for the Yoga has kept me busy. In order to be prepared for the class later this month, I've created a set of things that I must do each day to accomplish the work. In addition, French class resumed and I took the time to read The Namesake for our book club. I also resumed some piano practice, so overall I'm quite busy.

One of the Yoga assignments is to read the book, Meditations from the Mat which is an excellent book by Rolf Gates. It examines the eight limb path of Yoga by dividing into sections, and providing a daily reading for each day of one year. We're reading the book in a month, but that's okay.

I hear from Jenn frequently, and am very happy that she is doing so well in school. While I miss seeing her on a daily basis, I realize that she's doing the best thing she could be doing for herself right now. Jenn is taking advantage of the opportunity to learn and grow, and I'm very pleased that she is engaging in this wonderful experience.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Yoga Teacher Training

I began my training this weekend, and it was truly fabulous. There are 15 students in the class and our instructor, making a sweet 16 of the group. One of the many things I've always liked about Yoga is that it attracts interesting people with a lot of positive attributes. Everyone in this class is interesting and contributes to the institutional learning base that makes this experience valuable.

After a 12-hour session on Saturday and a seven-hour session on Sunday, I have already noticed a change in my approach to Yoga. In class tonight, a flow class, I found myself looking around the room in the beginning of class. I found myself scanning the people in the room, observing how they were sitting and their initial posture. My thoughts raced back to reference the material I'd learned over the weekend and I started thinking about the things I might say or do to help the students be more comfortable in class.

It became more difficult to observe my classmates as we began our movements. Rebecca continues to bring new and refreshing "dances" to the class. Some of the postures are advanced, and I found a new internal thought process occuring as I explored both sides of my edge. I am more thoughtful of moving into the postures carefully and am starting to become more aware of the movements and the involvement of the body. (I have to do a deep analysis of 35 postures by next month, so it's really important to be aware of the muscles and joints, how they work, and which way they move to support the movements and postures.)

Having been away for several weeks, I haven't taken this class for a while. It was joyful to see Rebecca demonstrate the postures and to lead the practice. While in Chicago, I took classes with three teachers, and all were very good. I spent the weekend with 15 others who are thoughtful and diligent in their practice. Rebecca has a special way of taking the poses and moving between them, and she will always serve as a role model for doing a truly beautiful Yoga.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Milton, WV

Currently driving through Milton, WV on the way home. We have about 323 miles to go, which if driven straight through gets us home about 12:30. If we continue, it will have been a straight through drive from Chicago. We've been through heavy rain and heavy sunshine along the way.

Jenn called and is busy at school. She said it's noisy in the dorm, but suspects that this will settle once folks start their studies -- which begin in earnest next week.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Jenn's in School

We got Jenn settled into her dorm today. She was so excited about moving in that she didn't sleep much last night. Her room is nice and she and her roomate quickly created a home for themselves.

I have officially started missing Jenn today, but I'm not worried because I know that she's going to have an amazing time at school.

Bears Pitch a Shutout in Green Bay

Huh? This was the front page headline in the Chicago Tribune today.

I tried to find the online article to post, but I think this one has been edited hence.

And in tennis, I did watch the U.S. Open men's final with Andy Roddick's second cousin, a nice young lady who is a friend of my niece.

Monday, September 11, 2006


I did not get to do the double-header at the gym today due to timing. My daughter explained that the mat pilates class would probably blow my abs and leave me without the support needed for Yoga class. She is very wise, and I'm sure this was a good call -- although my abs are in very good shape after training for the last 3 1/2 years.

The Yoga class was spectacular with a most interesting, talented and unique teacher. Karolina provides a fresh approach to vinyasa, including a Nia opening dance. I haven't done a dance opening to Yoga for a while, and this was a fun way to warm up. The class ended with shavasana accompanied by a story which provided a connection from our current state, our desires, and a path to a desired outcome. This might sound a little off the normal course, but I assure you that it's most effective.

The studio has mirrors on three walls. While many Yoga teachers suggest looking past the mirrors, I find it helpful for alignment and adjustment of poses. The visual cues are very powerful. In addition, I have been practicing some tall mountain poses and working toward doing them with my eyes closed. Anyone who has tried a balance pose with their eyes closed knows that this adds an additional challenge. The thought crossed my mind that the feedback one receives from visual cues may be faster than than the feedback received from our inner ears. I believe that with practice that the balance poses with closed eyes can improve, and this probably makes the same poses with eyes open even easier.

Tomorrow, we take Jenn to campus. I'll miss seeing her everyday, but I will take comfort that she's close to family and that she is very sensible. We agreed to stay in touch by phone, and it's only about a month before we'll be back for parent's weekend.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Hooked on 24

One of the nice things about vacation is that you have a few extra moments to do things that you normally wouldn't do. The show, 24 is most interesting and, yes, addictive. We're watching the show on DVD which allows one to traverse the 24 hours without the 20 minutes or so of commercials. Using the DVD is probably the best way to watch a series -- sort of like a long movie. The last time I did this was on the series Sports Night. And this was also on a vacation.

I'm going to try not to sweat a few idle hours. In fact, I'll do a double session tomorrow with this most fabulous instructor. The first session is mat pilates for 50 minutes, which I've never done before. This is followed by a 25 minute break then a 75-minute Yoga session with the same instructor.


I wasn't really familiar with the original suicide, but I'm told there was no revelation in this film. It seems that the investigations in the past that didn't reveal anything are not likely to be enhanced via screenplay.

The characters were interesting and well-portrayed, but the pacing was a little slow. I also found the ending uninspired, although I am not going to talk about that here -- just in case.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

The Windy Suburb

The weather here in the Chicago 'burbs has been incredible this week. Temps in the low 70's, clear with blue skies. With my bio clock still on EDT, I've been waking up around 5:30 in the morning here. There's only so long that you can lie in bed and think happy thoughts, so I found my way out to enjoy the sunrise with a book.

Today, the winds are picking up and the blue is turning to gray. That's okay. As I'm not necessarily and outdoor person, the weather is mostly the domain of the forecasters (and some of my customers who predict the weather with powerful computers).

Speaking of work, I did have the opportunity to release some tension of those who aren't on vacation. Swooping in on the occasional conference call with a clear head allows for quickly identifying the missing pieces and helping the team stay focused on the true objectives (which should never be the escalation of interpersonal conflict over silly stuff). The vacation mindset is a great one to keep. But, like sleep, you can't make deposits and withdrawals from the tolerance bank.

Friday, September 08, 2006

More Yoga

I had a great Yoga class today. The teacher, a young woman from Poland who descended from a family of gymnists, guided the class through a very interesting series of vinyasas. She offered a joyful and light-hearted approach to the class, and finished the session with the gentle distribution of spearmint/eucalyptus oil along the forehead and temples.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Yoga in Chicago

In addition to being a visiting "expert geek" and helping with electronic esoterica, I enjoyed doing a 45-minute meditation class followed by a 75-minute Yoga session. This was my first formal meditation class, which included a warm-up followed by 30 minutes solid. It was pretty intense sitting still for the half-hour, although I was entirely willing to release the layers of work, travel, and the chaotic nature of being away from home (and staying with family).

The weather here is really wonderful. Clear, dry, and low 70's.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Mobile Blogging

Riding through Columbus, Ohio, and blogging along I-70!

The wireless adapter doesn't connect real easily while moving, but once the connection is established it holds up pretty well.

There is broadband in Columbus and the download rate is up to 1MBb/s.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

New Gizmo

I picked up a Verizon broadband adapter for the computer today. With the forthcoming trip to the midwest, I wanted to try this on the road. While I don't expect to get broadband the entire way, I'm curious to see if I can do internet on the highway. I expect to be able to connect while stopped, but the true test will be connectivity while moving.

Earth Wind and Fire

On Friday, we went to Charlotte to see EW&F. I had listened to a lot of their music in the mid- to late-70's and always enjoyed their groove. Seeing them live was a real treat, and the band was definitely cooking. They were a little less "cosmic" than they were in the 70's, except for Verdeen White. He came out in a tight, pink outfit with frills at the ends of the sleeves. His long hair flowed down both in front of and behind his shoulders. This man was totally grooving and clearly gave his all with each breath.

The opening act was Chris Botti. I was concerned that I would be listening to smooth jazz for an hour, but was pleasantly surprised. Chris played a wonderful set of incredibly musical numbers which, unfortunately, was mostly lost on the crowd. (I have never been able to figure out why people shell out to listen to music and then talk on top of it.) In Chris' band, Mark Whitfield played guitar and did some truly incredible solos. He went to another place while playing. While much of the crowd realized that something special happened, I suspect few would realize how in music there is a transcendence.

We enjoyed a lovely picnic in Davidson on a beautiful day Saturday, and then headed back home.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Ready for Non-Quiet

I've been flying solo at the house since Wednesday. Even thought my working days have been extended, as well as very exciting given the new organization stuff, I'm ready for "my people" to come home! They will be home this afternoon, given the following contigency courtesy of my dear departed grandmother: "Good Lord willin', and the crik don't rise."

Next week is the last week that J will be home. We're going to the Earth Wind and Fire concert next Friday, and that should be a blast. J will finish her local work on Thursday. The reality of her departure to school is in full view. It is my most sincere wish that next week is special and that the final pages of this chapter in her life read happily. If I do what dads do best, I'll take the pen (keyboard) and help with the verse.

Between posts to the blog, I finished Anne Lamott's Plan B which was a truly soulful read. Ms. Lamott writes effectively, writes from the heart, and effectively reached my heart. Few people I know can so effectively bare their soul and expose the very essence of the insanity of humanity. She has found her's and through her ability to describe her inner sanctum so very well, Ms. Lamott is able to ulitmately maintain the upper hand. (Just how many people reside inside us, anyway?)

The Fenders are coming to dinner tonight. With the contingent returning from the beach, I'll prepare dinner for all. It's the least that I can do since I've been absent for their sojourn in the states thusfar.

And, since the last post, the Yoga teacher training class came together! I'm so happy about this and the opportunity to go deep into and develop my personal practice, as well as learning more about enabling others who are so inclined. I helped my second classmate learn to do a handstand (sharing the technique I learned from Sage) and she was so elated with the accomplishment that I had no choice but to feel rewarded. Enabling others to achieve, excel, learn, grow, do their best, accomplish, and so forth is most certainly a part of who I truly am.

Saturday, August 19, 2006


So far, I've written about the early travel logistics that slowed down my progress as well as challenged my patience. I haven't written much about the country.

Amazingly, I arrived in Bangalore around 4 in the morning on Wednesday, the 9th of August. It is fortunate that a representative from the hotel was waiting for me and escorted me to the car which would take me to the hotel. The airport in Bangalore is not like airports you would find in the US -- complete with signs leading you to the various venues where you'd find customs, baggage, ground transportation, rental cars, shuttle buses and the like. The airport basically exits to the street, which was alive and happening even at this early hour.

The driver was very enthusiastic about showing me around in a little pre-dawn tour of the city. I could see remnants of the British Empire, which conjured up images of the aristocracy cushioned in a relatively plush existence compared to the lifestyle of the majority. I kept looking for the shimmering oasis that Thomas Friedman wrote about, but I never saw it. (I was informed by one of my customers after returning that EC1 and EC2 are outside of the metropolitan area, and about a 45-minute shuttle bus ride from town.)

In one of the travel books that I scanned before travel, I read about how the locals would enjoy talking about family, politics and values. Not being informed about current Indian politics, I stuck to the things I could talk about. The driver was delighted to tell me about his two children and wife, and how they are practicing Catholics. At the end of the ride, I offered him 200 INR (about $4.30 US) and he offered to be my driver to any destination I desired.

I was very happy to find the hotel, Le Meridien, to be a most suitable facility (quite pricey at $290 US/night and most certainly over-priced). It was good to get a couple of hours to settle in, check e-mail, etc. before meeting with my colleague at 8:00.

Short nights and long days were the norm for this trip, which I will continue to describe in subsequent posts.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The Visa

Part of the travel dilemma centered around receipt of the visa. I executed on a recovery plan after realizing that the visa would not arrive on the 5th as expected. I phoned the agency when they opened on Monday and explained that I needed to travel that afternoon. The agency, which is used to performing rush jobs, quickly got on the ball and sent my visa via AA freight. I was to pick up the package at 2:19pm at RDU. Simple enough as I was scheduled on a 4:50 flight to Logan, and then out of the country heading toward Bangalore.

Dutifully, I arrived a 2:15 at the AA freight terminal which is just past terminal C and to the right (just in case you ever need to know). I was feeling pretty good about my recovery plan until the clerk greeted me. They were expecting the expedited parcel and had driven out to the plane expecting to receive this. The team informed me that my package was not on the plane.

Naturally, this started us on a network of activities. Call the shipper, call the UPS Sonic desk, call AA tracing, and so forth. The weather started getting bad at RDU, but the freight handler took another ride out to double-check the plane. Still no package.

The AA freight handler at Dulles remembered the parcel and was certain that this was on the flight. Normal procedure indicates that the package, if not on the first flight, would default to the next available flight. Since that plane hadn't left yet we sought assistance to inspect the baggage carts at the freight area. Still no luck.

The lighting strikes increased at RDU. This disrupted the ground operations at the airport, effectively shutting down the airport for several hours. I believe the ruling is no strikes within 10 miles for 10 minutes to resume gate ops.

About 5:15 the storm cleared. The freight attendant went to the plane once more. About 5:40, he returned with my visa in hand. I said very little as I then sought to catch up with my 4:50 flight which had been delayed.

And this is where we'll resume the story next time.

Monday, August 14, 2006


Just a quick update. I made it to and from India, although the trip was frought with complications. At the end of the story, business was good.

I'll try to tell the stories as time permits.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Waiting for FedEx

Due to a bit of negligence, which ultimately I bear the responsibility for, I'm waiting for the FedEx truck to deliver my visa for the trip to India. In early July, I dutifully had my visa photos made, put this with my letter of invitation, surrendered my passport to my colleague's admin. It made sense to "batch" the submission, and I (thought) I had agreement to do this. Last week, my admin showed up with the package and asked for my DL for submission. She rescued the package from the other admin, where it would otherwise still be sitting. In the scurry to get the package to the agency, we didn't include the requisite application for visa. This discovery was Tuesday, and we quickly filled out the paperwork and submitted.

The paperwork was with the agency on Wed. We checked daily. Friday, the plan was to pick up the visa at the consul, and overnight to me for Saturday delivery. I should have received an e-mail confirming this event. I neither received the e-mail nor my visa.

I'm supposed to fly Monday afternoon, but won't know anything more until the agency opens 8:30 Monday. Will have to plan from there forward.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Odds and Ends

Maintaining the course has kept me busy for the past week. Actually, the structure of events is something that I keep fairly constant, but inside the structure there is a lot of diversity. For example, I find that I still study French first thing in the morning. Rather than doing just grammar, I'll read part of Le Figaro online. Or, rather than just doing the dynamic flow class, I've done the intro to Ashtanga class a few times. I'll read at night, and am slowing working through three different books -- one on business, one on Yoga, and one on plain old soulfulness (Anne Lamott, Plan B).

I've had no coffee nor caffeine for what seems to be over a month. No major reason for doing this other than curiousity. One of my fellow Yogis suggested that not having caffeine led to a more regular and consistent energy level during the day. I'm not sure that I can claim that. I can claim that I don't get crazy about things as much. It's easier to stay on an even keel, even if the night was short.

One observation that I've made is that there is a draining factor associated with hyper-stimulation. At work, may days have been back to back activity, fairly intense subjects, and no real breaks to speak of. As work crept from day into night, I discovered myself still fairly cranked up around the time I'd normally go to sleep. At this point, I realized that I'd missed any opportunity to assimilate the events and counteract the driving by pulling off to the rest area.

I'm pleased that the flow of ideas has a steady current. Inspiration remains within reach, and the ability to muster natural enthusiasm is intact.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


The trip to India has been postponed until August. Instead of New Dehli and Bangalore, looks like we're just going to Bangalore for a few days. I hope the trip makes just so I can get some payback for the two shots in each arm I received to protect my body from third-world maladies.

I'm inching my way through several books now. One of them brought me to the blog just so I could share a quote. Anne Lamott, in Plan B, writes about organizing a Sunday school class. She described a need for help with the children. The quote has to deal with the volunteers who came to help:

"One of the immutable laws of being human is that the people who show up are the right people."

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Some Fun

We joined our friends last night to see the movie Wordplay and hit the tapas bar for a post-movie snack. Wordplay was an interesting study in the people and processes that go into making and solving crossword puzzles. I'd never really thought before about the time component in working crossword puzzles. It seemed more of a leisurely endeavor. For the competitors in crossword puzzle contests, speed and accuracy are both key components.

The tapas bar was sort of funky, decorated in a 70's version of 60's style -- dark, primary colors, paintings that could be LSD-inspired (like the cartoonish pig that seemed to have an electric receptacle at the end of his nose). The upside was the food and friendly service. The downside was the smoking. Fortunately, the folks lighting up didn't do so until we were about ready to leave but it did prompt us for a hasty departure.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

This Week

I see that I've been away for a while. What's been happening?

We had a fun ad hoc 4th party on Tuesday, where the main objective was to reduce the inventory of beer. Over the past several events, we've managed to accumulate quite a bit of beer. (People must be drinking wine -- not [yellow tail], but I'm curious after reading about it in Blue Ocean Strategy.

Wednesday through Friday was fairly uneventful at work as many folks took advantage of the holidays on Monday and Tuesday to create a long week off, surrounded by two weekends! It's really a good deal when you think about nine days off and only claiming three days vacation!

In preparation for the still tentative trip to India, I received all of the necessary shots -- two per arm. The nurse was quite knowledgeable about travel and provided a robust package of material for the various actions one should take before traveling to a third-world country (in spite of what Thomas Friedman implies).

Today, as RD is off for the month, I went to the Ashtanga class that I once frequented. There is a new teacher for this class, but even she was more drill sergeant than Yogic. I was glad to learn that I could still endure the practice, and that I still don't know how to perform some of the moves. There is an intro to Ashtanga on Sunday with a "yogic" instructor, so this might be the opportunity to learn and practice some of the moves.

We're going to meet friends tonight to see Wordplay. It will be interesting to see John Stewart as the intellectual rather than the informed, yet cynical comic.

The Tour de France has given me a lot of new content in French to read and is helpful in expanding my sports vocabulary. The World Cup is also providing a spike in French sports reading.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Holiday Weekend

We spent a nice couple of days over in Davidson. While it was quite hot, the pool offered relief as did the quality air conditioning of a very nice movie theatre. We saw Superman and also saw The Devil Wears Prada. The superhero movie was a bit far-fetched -- even beyond flying. Glenn Close came from the Antarctic to play an icy executive in the competitive world of fashion and the political corporate role. The Wicked Witch of the West looked like Mother Theresa by comparison.

I learned that there is a huge difference between Mooresville and Huntersville, NC. Yes, they're both "villes." But where the "big box stores" conquered Mooresville, Huntersville was graced by Birkdale Village. I'm motivated to head back to Davidson just to sample the cuisine in a number of most interesting restaurants. At the top of the list is the Zyng Asian Grill where out front they unabashedly scribed in chalk a customer quote, "I used to dine at PF Chang." Those dining outdoors unknowingly put on display some very appealing plates.

There's been discussion about getting a boat. While I'm not real bullish on this idea, I do think the boat should be yellow and white.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Tour de Farce 2006

Today is the first day of the Tour de France. Even though this event may be partially overshadowed by the World Cup, it's still a fairly signficant athletic event of world interest. Or so I've been led to believe.

As I've spent part of my time this year learning French and continue to do so, it's exciting to read about this race in French. There are number of web sites that provide varying degrees of information.

Much of the information today is about the "dopage" of some high profile contestants. Without trial, conviction, and anything much more than circumstantial evidence, nine racers where evicted from the race. Some type of investigation in Spain led to this conclusion -- one operation "puerco."

I'm left wondering if the investigation is somehow politically motivated. Is it at all possible that doping is so abhorrent in the context of bicycle racing that it leads to such intense efforts to week out people who take more than aspirin? To me, the integrity of the sport is not impugned by the racers' personal chemistry.

What bothers me is that I can't get any type of live coverage of the race. All the web sites are very happy to flash the six-digit access codes for long-distance dialing in France. The TV shows, which are predominantly loops of talking heads spewing endless dribble with commercials showing how jets turn into cars. Any links to live cameras don't connect. No live radio to hear the race. Everything I seem to have touched led to companies trying to sell me something.

If I were a newbie to the Internet, and I had just bought my first computer yesterday it would be fair to laugh at me (with me). But I have actually found the computer to be a useful tool and generally get useful information by finding and connecting to sites with quality content. Not so for the le Tour this year.

I'm led to believe that somewhere in the world today, in Strassbourg, there are men riding bicycles. I have nothing but circumstantial evidence (posted times) to convince me that this is really happening. I'd really like to see these guys riding on bikes, or at least hear someone describing this as it happens. No such luck today.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Happy Thursday

I don't know the origin of the expression, "don't have a good day; make it a good day" but I do know who told me. My close colleague at work is a source of inspiration. He always finds the high road, even when bearing the weight of the other folks who aren't as willing to move along with the business. In the face of problems would debilitate others, he seems to gather more strength. His moral fiber is strong as a steel cable.

I remember the people in my life who have lent influence to me and been role models. People often come and go in our lives, so our role models aren't always with us. Today, happy Thursday, I can celebrate that I have at least one active role model with whom I can share part of my day.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Write and Think

If you write every day, does that mean that you think every day? Maybe. I'm fairly certain that Anne Lamott would be an advocate of journalling in a blog (don't think that blogs were hot when she wrote Bird by Bird.)

It's probably easier to write about the most interesting thing that happened during the day, although it may be more challenging to write about the most boring event. There's always the "Seinfeld" approach to the days non-events. Such as what is the protocol for discussion in the restroom. Side by side, over the dividers okay? Respect the sanctity of the stall?

Well, at least in this exercise I've learned that you put televsion shows in quotes, and movie titles in italics. Maybe there is something to writing each day even if the idea level is down to the "time to buy more" window.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Workout Double-Header

I had the rare opportunity today to enjoy a double-header. My favorite spinning teacher sub'd for one of the "yellers." I'm so much more comfortable in a cardio workout where there is a constant stream of encouragement and instruction on form and purpose. I think it proves you don't have to be a jock in the brain to be a jock in the body.

The spinning class was followed by the usual Saturday flow-ga class. The routine was different today with the requisite new challenge pose at the apex. When Yoga goes well, which is most sessions, I leave refreshed and restored both in body and mind.

The July trip to India is still somewhat of a mystery. I know the plan is to go to New Dehli and Bangalore, and that it's about one week near the end of July. I do hope to get better resolution next week before I go get pumped up with a broad assortment of shots and start working on a visa. I did hear the Taj Mahal is one of the most spectacular sites on the planet. Best is to stay nearby and awaken for the sunrise as it shines on the decorative inlays in the stone. Second best is to hire a driver and tour.

Word is that driving is not advised in India. You're likely to find, as my friend put it, elephants, people cooking, bicycles, and every imaginable obstacle -- which is a challenge atop driving on the left side of the road.

This weekend, I'll look to get caught up on some desk work, read, and relax.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

What's New

Not too much. I've been busy working through some work issues. Career transition times can be tough, but much of the tough part is "my interpretation of events." All of the best advice I could rationally give myself is hard to reconcile when emotion takes over, driven partly by frustration and partly by fear. (Yes, fear. Such an interesting concept.) I was able to get my head together for the most part over a three-day weekend. A very affirming meeting on Monday with a senior exec left me reassured, and put my fear (needlessly felt) to rest.

I learned a strong lesson today. In a conversation with a supplier/partner, I referred to my company as a "computer company." The supplier said I "burst his bubble" as he'd been viewing us as a solution company. He went on and on about trade press, and statements the CEO made, and so forth. I'd used the expression when I was describing relative contributions of multiple companies and disciplines in a collaborative nature, so maybe this guy is just a jerk. However, the point he made really hit home, and gave me the pause to reflect.

I took a really great Yoga class on Sunday, "stretch and restore" and for me it was very much about restore. Not sleeping (on top of mental distractions) and worry (yes, me worry) takes it's toll. I told the teacher, who was new to me, that I was seeking the restoration of spirit. With my intent and very good guidance, the restoration occured. I slept Sunday night and was able to get recentered and put many items into perspective.

The feelings I experienced and the way I ultimately managed them was both a reminder of my humanity as well as a lesson in how to deal with it.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Comic Relief

After going through a rather stressful week at work, which led to taking today off, I had the opportunity to spend some time with my daughter. This was an uptick in the week, as spending time with her is desirable since she goes away to college in September.

I don't know exactly how it happened, but as we were entering the supermarket I grabbed a shopping cart. I looked at the child's seat, then looked at Jenn. I recognized that she wouldn't fit into the child's seat, so I pushed the seat back which maximized the area inside the cart. Jenn was surpised because the next thing she realized was that she had been airlifted into the shopping cart. We both started laughing.

It wasn't enough to simply position this way at the entrance to the store. I pushed the cart with her in it into the store. It didn't take long to start getting the looks. Two ladies started the dialogue. "How old are you?" she said with a grin. Eighteen was the answer. The other lady looked at me and said, "Is this your baby?" I grinned and answered affirmatively. They said, "Have fun!" which of course, we overachieved in for the next few minutes.

The story goes just a few more sections -- past the blueberries and strawberries, and heading toward the salad bar. Jenn started reaching toward the serving spoons. We then concluded it was time to return to normal -- which was far less fun, drew far less attention, and made us laugh far less.

It is a great memory, which did elicit our laughter later in the afternoon as we recalled the silliness.

I will save for another time the rap song that I created spontaneously on the ride home, which I did as an overlay to some Kanye West that we were listening to.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Flowing Thoughts

Just like the melody of a song, or like the movements in a Yoga flow, our thoughts should flow -- smoothly, evenly, freely.

Many times we have those troubling thoughts that stall our mind. We get caught in that one thought and, with awareness, can feel how that one thought brings us down. It may be that we stop breathing during this thought and our body collapses without oxygen. It may be that the one thought is the only thought that we allow to be in our mind at that time. Also, it is possible that the one thought gets us stuck because we don't have a resolution to whatever issue or problem this thought presents.

Much like you would not want to hear music where there is stuttering or stopping along the way, you wouldn't want your thinking mind playing the song of your life moving erratically. There is no reason why our thoughts shouldn't continue to flow. Maybe they move with our breath, or maybe they have another carrier that needs to keep them moving along. I'm not sure, but as I remember the importance of being able to take the role of the observer of self, the master of all the thoughts, I'll be looking to see how the thoughts flow and how they often stutter or stop.

Even in writing, we find ourselves hearing the silence of no keys being depressed on the keyboard. These moments may either reflect the collection of thought, or the absence of the next flowing thought. Either way, it is important to understand how we move our thoughts along -- breath or linking one thought to another -- and to practice to movement of thought just like we might practice the movement of music or the movement of body.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Graduation Day

On Saturday, I attended my daughter's high school graduation. It came as no surprise that the cermony was a little slow. We heard messages from the young and from the experienced that either refected or created varying degrees of inspiration. In between the speakers, the students bounced beach balls in the air, which occasionally knocked the graduation caps askew. It was amuzing to see the disciplinarians in suits making one last attempt at maintaining order for within the hour their positional power would evaporate.

It was wonderful to see the graduates line up and cross the stage to receive their diplomas and to discover where in this crowd of several thousand where their family, friends and supporters were seated. One student was treated to a short air horn solo, played with some virtuosity. And when the enthusiasm in the crowd brought out the ham in the graduate, we were treated to various inflections of "I acknowledge you, my fans, but it's really about me."

During a morning reflective walk, I considered the amount of time and effort that went into school and academics (yes, they are not completely one and the same) over the last 14 years. I know a great deal about the activities in our home, and to a some extent what happened in the homes of classmates. Yet, it created a very powerful sensation when I consdered that the effort over the years when multiplied by well over 400 represents an enourmous amount of human energy. It was easy to feel and be a part of the collective pride that should natually be elicited from the orderly procession of a fine group of young people dressed tidily in cap and gown.

In our home, the 14 years went by quickly, as it always happens with time gone by. I reflect on Jenn's graceful execution of both the curricular and extracurricular activities. Of course there were some challenges along the way -- obstacles to either remove or circumnavigate. And, without these challenges the journey would have arguably been unnecessary. Jenn developed the skills to deal with the intellectual as well as the interpersonal challenges. The accretion of knowledge and skill will serve her well as she starts another leg of the adventure this fall.

While I feel pride for the many, I am proud of the one. Jenn, congratulations!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Yoga and World Peace

One of the Yoga teachers that I learned from would ask at the beginning of class if there were any requests. Innocently, I would often ask for world peace. Here is an article that may show the path for my request to come true.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Recent Events

When I first started the blog, it was really easy to make entries every day. Now, nothing has really changed too much regarding my activities but it seems a little more difficult to write daily. I wouldn't declare writer's blog [sic] but it may just reflect that I'm a little busier -- probably with work.

Speaking of, I've had the wonderful opportunity to spend morning and evening on calls with a supplier in Taiwan. It has been challenging both to get them to resolve our technical problem and to do so with a sense of urgency. It is difficult to understand their difficulty in this matter. Probably a combination of skill gap and motivation. Regardless, they stand in the way of business and it's harmful to other relationships.

Between calls, I went out to dinner with my French class. Our teacher, who is kind enough to teach the seven of us in her home, suggested that we join for dinner as our last meeting of the summer. In a previous session of the class, we couldn't converge on a decision to meet at a French restaurant (tres cher) so we met at the Chinese buffet. It was really nice to go out as a group. I thanked our teacher for helping us learn the language as I have found it personally empowering to understand and be able to speak some French. I occasionally work with colleagues and customers in France, and it's nice to be able to read and understand the e-mail that is written in French. It's also nice to speak at least a little with customers in their native language as they always seem appreciative.

I have not played any piano since I went to Italy. My interest is waning somewhat, and my teacher is now on a summer schedule. I have found it is easiest to make progress on projects with regular and routine activities. This coming year will be the last year my teacher will be in this area before returning to Eastman and doing his PhD and teaching. I'm deliberating whether to finish this coming year with him, or make the transition to a jazz piano instructor. It may be that I should just take a little break and not worry about it, but I know that not playing regularly will not only preclude progress but that skill might erode.

This weekend at home will be great fun. Family and friends will come celebrate my daughter's HS graduation. My focus should be on how much I can help here enjoy the weekend, how much I can help facilitate the events, and how much fun I can have in the process.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The Silent Treatment

I just read one of the most insightful articles about the silent treatment. In The Daily Om a wonderful explanation was given for this harmful and self-defeating behavior. While considering the points made, I reflected upon my own experiences.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Working in the USA

It was nice to see all my many colleagues at the office today after being away last week. I was happy to see that folks took turns putting a little spin on the flywheel to assure the momentum continued.

I also found another area that maintained consistency, and that is the arrival of new opportunities to excel. The daily challenge is alive and well -- and actively multiplying. One person close to me reminded me that the goal is not to have a nice day, but to make it a nice day.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Italy -- Partial Trip Report

On the way from the hotel to the airport, estimated as a 70-minute car ride, my colleague and I were treated to a very expensive amusement ride via a chartered car. The driver, who operated a Mercedes passenger van, demonstrated multi-tasking to the max.

The first thing we noticed in the car was the television station playing on the front dashboard. There was a daytime talk show playing (in Italian, of course). As we settled in and buckled up, we quickly sped onto the nearest road. Even though today is a national holiday, it took very little time to be cut off by a motorcycle, much to the dismay of our driver.

After speeding through the little towns, traffic circles, etc., we found the straightaway. Here is where the driver demonstrated his skill. As if watching television while driving isn't interesting enough, the driver maintained a stream of phone conversations which arrived on not one, but two cell phones. In addition, he was operating a PDA while steering the van.

I couldn't help but noticing how quickly we seemed to be passing other vehicles, how little time it took to arrive within a few meters of the next "blocking" car, and how little time it took for the car in front to realize it was in their best interest to quickly pull over and get the hell out of the way. Only one car passed us, a BMW 3-series, and this was an anomaly on this venture. The other drivers we passed generally ignored us as we sped by, with very few looking back in annoyance (having been forced out of the way).

It seemed like we were going about 85-90 MPH, but I asked my colleague if he could see the speedometer. The reported max velocity was 170km/h (106 mph). We both kept our nerves, but with accelerated heart rates. My colleague suggested that if the driver "lost it" people would not visit us in the hospital. I suggested we'd receive flowers.

As we approached the toll booth, I wondered just how fast this guy would try to drive through the speed pass lane. 100 km/h? That very strange sensation from four non-moving wheels lasted only for a moment as the driver patiently waited for a magnetic card to be processed and the crossing arm to retract. As the gate opened, we resumed the race, speeding quickly onto the highway, and cutting a sharp right to left diagonal across six lanes of traffic.

Our 70-minute planned trip ended in 45 minutes with us arriving safely at Malpensa airport. If only the security lines moved as fast as our ride to the airport!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Off to Milan

I'm on a quick trip to Milan for business. Things seem to be going pretty smoothly so far, but you really need you track shoes at JFK. You walk and walk and walk and walk. And then, you walk some more, get on a train, then more walking. Normally, I'm delighted to walk except that I usually travel with the few things I need in tow, and it does get a little heavy.

I'll share anything interesting from Milan, but for now it's planes, trains and taxis.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

en plus tard

I normally keep a pretty cool head about things. It's generally easy to sort of go with the flow. Things aren't quite right? No problem -- don't worry, be happy.

BUT, I get so aggravated when I make an appointment and I end up having to wait. Five minutes, not a problem. Maybe even ten. But 35 minutes late just irritates me! (Depending on what I have to do next, 15 minutes can push me over the edge.)

It's not that I get irritated. I get moody. I don't want to engage in chat. I don't want to small talk. Why do I behave this way? No freakin' clue. I know this is not my normal behavior. Is it the loss of time? Is it the lost opportunity of doing something else? Do I feel slighted? No clue.

As cool a head as I normally keep, it's disturbing to me that I get so torqued about late appointments. In the grand scheme of things, it's not a big deal. I believe that I over-react. It's troubling.

So, I'll be taking a look at why I get upset when I make an appointment and I have to wait around. The answer ought to be most interesting.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Catchup (and mustard)

I did get to do a little light reading between conference calls tonight (and a brief nap). My stress keyword hit brought back the consistent set of "fight or flight" articles. Best quote was something like spending $10 in energy on a $.10 problem as a bad investment. The stress articles generally describe how you should evaluate your reaction to events and come to an independent determination as to the appropriateness of your response.

Many of the articles seem to try to measure how much stress is healthy (the added edge) vs. the level of stress that is unhealthy (over-cortisol?). Many articles cited a recent study correlating stress to socio-economic status, with consistently eating breakfast as a health indicator.

Rest is viewed as another indicator of good health practices. So is regular exercise. This week, I had half of these covered. Time for catchup. Goodnight :)

Another Late Night

Just finished up with the crisis du jour from work. It will still be a crisis when I wake up a few hours from now. I love my job -- so much opportunity!

Today was sort of globally weird. It's full moon lunacy, without the full moon. So many people I came across had this nervous tension; an anxiety that's hard to describe other than edgy. Actually, I think it's coming up on New Moon. I don't track this accurately, but I usually feel a little on the lower side during this phase. (I've decided not to be on the low side this time, though -- three day weekend, and all!)

Speaking of the weekend, I plan on some down time, quiet time, assimilation "phase" activities. It's also time to find a jazz piano instructor. Need to ask Dennis (don't forget).

But for now, sleep because I must; sleep, I hope I'm able...

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Rattling Around the Attic

It's been a while since I've rattled around the attic in the middle of the night. Over the past few days, I've been working a little bit later than usual at home, having technical discussions and talking really slowly with people halfway around the globe. At the end of this excitement, I find it difficult to just simply crash out. There's always more work, so I do some of that. But it's always interesting to see what is in the attic.

I did stash away a good title for another article or book: "Yoga, and Adventures in Male Mentalpause." I found a truckload of unread RSS headlines. There are some bills to attend to and an unread book. I also have about a week of unread Google searches.

It also looks like I'll be taking a day trip to Milan next week. Seems a little crazy, but it's a biz trip.

My piano teacher is winding down for the summer. Even though I know next year is his last year in this area, I have been thinking about a new teacher for helping me with jazz. I'm concerned that breaking the routine of the weekly lesson that I'll lose focus on piano -- which is already happening with my arguably overflowing plate.

Okay, down from the attic and off to sleep.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Morning After

It was a great time last night hosting J's 18th b'day party. Everybody had a lot of fun and we didn't trash the house in the process. I feel a tiny bit hungover, which is odd since I didn't have anything to drink. There must be a slight touch of "low" that follows a big night of fun and excitement.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Why So Late?

This has been a very busy week for me with the expected set of challenges -- even though they came in the form of surprises. The only challenge that wasn't a surprise was the (unfortunate) case that not everybody has stepped up yet. It also does not come as a surprise the people are very willing to deflect personal responsibility, even at the expense of blaming others. I realize that ultimately there is one set of facts, and this is why I am careful to document important activity accurately. I also seek to reconcile opinion with others in case there is any question.

I received the info from The Bodhi Tree, and it looks like the 200-hour course for En Yoga Teacher Training and Cert is very doable. It's a weekend class, one weekend per month, for 10 months. 9a to 9p on Saturday, and 9a to 4p on Sunday. There is homework and other related activities. Looks like a winner!

One of the requirements is 20 hours of student teaching of basic Hatha classes. I'm sure I could find a local studio to support me in this task.

I should find out in the coming week about travel to Italy at the end of the month. While travel brings its own set of challenges, the opportunity is to arrange and lead the customer presentations with the WW team. This will be a good experience, but will demand some serious prep time and effort.

I'm looking forward to Jenn's b'day party this weekend and the dance recital Sunday.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Remember The Guidelines

I found myself today several times in a situation where I really didn't get what I was looking for from some other folks. Now, this is really not like me to feel this way because I'm usually pretty much a go-with-the-flow, tolerant, understanding person. But, on three different occasions (at least) people didn't respond as I would have liked.

Rather than go into the details aloud, I'm more interested in how I got left with this sensation. In one case, I don't think I asked the right questions and even though I did get good feedback, it was done in a somewhat distracted manner. In another case, there was a miscommunication. Plans had been made and broke down at the time of execution. It bothered me. In one case, the situation was out of everyone's control.

There was one other irritating event. Again, sparing the details, someone at work did something really irresponsible, and then sought to blame others. Ok, one detail. A response on a bid was due and the person responsible for delivering was one minute late. Since it was for a state agency, the timestamp at one minute past the deadline led to a dismissal of the response. One of the execs sent a note to me, which included the finger-pointing. The exec asked me about lessons learned. I said, "Leave the office earlier with the response so it can be delivered on time." It seemed an obvious enough lesson learned to me, but the exec responded that he didn't understand. There is no light at the end of this tunnel :)

Ok, my ten minutes of pissing and moaning are now officially over. I'm going to rest so I can find the opportunity that I'm certain will be in my path on Tuesday.

Page two.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

As Luck Would Have It

While reading through my Google daily search report on Yoga, I read a most interesting article about how a Haryana minister suggests yoga to eradicate corruption. Nestled in this article was a link to The Bodhi Tree, wich is advertising a 200-hour, 10 month, one weekend/month Basic Hatha Yoga Teacher Training & Certification program. This school is in Charlotte, and with our condo in Davidson where I could stay over the weekend, I could just possibly advance my practice and gain the skills needed to share Yoga with others.

I've responded to the school and await further information about the class, shich starts in September. The practice of Yoga is something that I love so this just might be the next best step for me as I seek to broaden my skills and impact.

There's More than what I'm Doing

I was looking at one of the Yoga studio sites this morning and saw where a co-owner of the studio was engaged in "general-purpose" business activities outside the studio. It made me stop and think about the ability to do something that you really love, something that contributes to peace in the world, and operate a seemingly viable business proposition at the same time.

I do enjoy what I'm doing, and I really get a lot out of it. If I wrote more about my work (and read the same) I might be more aware of the broader impact. But, as I see how other talented folks have diversified their interests and found ways to combine the aesthetic an profitable, it gives me cause to reflect. And now, the pause for the cause...

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Random Craziness

It's come to my attention that I haven't been writing much to my blog. (I took this up with myself.) Rather than wait for some grand inspiration, I'm following the lead of another blogger who just lets it go.

Why are the little, round chocolate chip cookies -- bite size -- so addictive? I found a bag of these in the house and find myself compelled to refill the "handful" before emptying the hand. There's nothing special about these little, round, crunchy cookies. That doesn't stop them from being ever so compelling.

I've downloaded some fabulous new music. Taylor Eigsti is a brilliant jazz pianist who has a lot of technique, a great sound and fresh ideas. Curandero is a small group with flamenco guitar, tablas, bass, and a lot of cook! Bobby Watson has a release called Horizon Reassembled. Very good tunes, but I was a tiny bit disappointed with the tinny sound of an electronic grand piano. The notes were right but the sound was just a little bit Casio.

The first prize for exciting new sounds (to me) is Beady Belle. This is a Norwegian singer and bassist who have composed songs with interesting lyrics, very interesting compositions, great arrangements and an excellent recording (yes, with REAL piano). The genre is electronica, but the music is jazz to me. The songs are predominantly modal in scope with long melodies over single, interesting chords with tasteful progressions.

All the rest is progressing: Yoga, Piano, French, Work, Exercise. Well, the XML has slowed down a bit, but that's probably because I got enough structure and coding done to get great utility out of my notes.

Come to think of it, lots of stuff is going on! I was worried when my writing slowed a bit. No need to worry; just need to write!

Friday, May 05, 2006

The Dancer

The dancer, the dance, the sound and light
With beauty, poise and grace sensations are created
Intent from the stage, sentiment in the crowd.

We watch in stillness, our only movement being awe
While the dancer moves from here, to there, and back again
Never the same way twice.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Accessing your personal resource

Every now and then, when I stop to reflect, I can see the many threads that run through my life. There is the physical thread in body, the ideas, the creativity, personal experience, relationships, music, art, and on and on. Tracing each thread back to the origin is fascinating. From one thread going backwards, it fans out into many areas, then back in again to the origin.

What does this mean? It means that if you trace the thread you can gain understanding about yourself, the way you relate, your knowledge and skill base, and so much more.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

The Many Benefits of Yoga

Yes, and so it seems that Yoga is believed by some to enhance fertility. Nicollette Sheridan seeks to improve the odds.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

The Observer

Once you become the observer of your thoughts, you can become the conductor of the orchestra of life.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Tough Duty

I've been working on my professional development at work for quite some time now. Things aren't advancing for me at a pace that helps me maintain my interest, passion and, well, patience. The good news is that I am doing fabulous things for my team in terms of creating growth opportunities. It I let myself, I may start breeding ill-will. Certainly, this is not a good path.

In relative terms, I do have things very good. I don't have to look far to find those in need of something -- improved health, love in their life, even something as simple as a problem solved. It is good to reach out and help others. However, like they say on the airplane, "Put on your oxygen mask first, and then aid others."

All will work out, and will work out well. That's not being delusional. Things will work out because I'll see that they do :)

Saturday, April 22, 2006


My name is Courtney, and it's been seven days since I last wrote to my blog. The past several weeks have given me the opportunity to lose my balance in life as I have been spending disproportionate time and effort in some areas and not others. In my frenzy of activity, I have lost sight of my fundamentals, my rudiments, and those tenets which -- when followed -- have served me well.

I forgot about the benefits of rest, and lost briefly my emotional balance.

I forgot about letting those troubling items wait until the most appropriate time to solve them. It is generally not 3:30 in the morning. I forgot that, too.

I forgot about focusing on those things where I could affect the outcome favorably.

I forgot about the need to do different things, not just one or two.

I did remember one thing, however. I remembered that I'm human. And, I think I remembered before it's too late.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Let Go of the Bone

My father once made the observation of the dog who continues to chew on the old bone, on and on, refusing to ever let it go. Recently, I've been chewing on a bone and refusing to let it go. There's not much to that bone, now -- I've gnawed it into meal and then proceeded to work on my teeth. Not a good idea.

The issue I'm working is far less interesting than the concept of letting go. You can plug in your own problem, which would be the one locked into your mind that you refuse to release. The same problem that keeps you awake at night. The same problem that inhibits you from doing other useful things. The same problem that exists in a place between you and your happiness. Yes, that problem.

For the sake of sanity (and my teeth) I found several ways to release this problem. The first was to preoccupy my mind working on a task. My choice was to make a music mix for a friend, scouring my collection, putting the mix together with careful and thoughtful arrangement of ths songs. Focusing on doing something nice for someone else is a great way to move on.

There is also Yoga, which is a consistent way to allow your mind to break out of an endless loop. The focus on breathing followed by the active integration of movement serves as a great release. By the way, anytime you're just not feeling right about whatever, take the 10 minutes to just sit and breathe deeply.

And, another great release is writing to this blog. It's always helpful to put into writing the things that are important to us.

Finally, reading this blog to see how I dealt with things in the past. I found a posting where I convinced myself that I should only spend time working on a problem when I am in the context to deal with it, which may include other people with whom I need to interact. It makes no sense to work the endless loop when you're not in a position to influence the outcome.

Along with these ways to let go of the bone, there is always just opening your mouth, dropping to bone, turning away and sniff around for something more interesting. I don't think my Dad observed the next steps the dog took. However, I do think he'd go along with my plan.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Evening in Suburbia

When I came home from Yoga, I did one of my normal Monday evening activities -- took the trash to the street. As I wheeled the large forrest green container downhill to the street, steering with one hand and finishing a cell phone call in the other, I noticed one of my neighbors coming up the street. Susan is one of my buddies and a Seinfeld fan. Seeing as how I was perfectly attired, still in Yoga garb, the next move was the "Elaine Company Party Dance." I recognize that I lack talent in dancing, and realize that dancing badly on purpose is actually good dancing.

Susan came over to congratulate me on Jenn's acceptance at NW, she being an alumni and all. I was happy to know that Jenn was instructed how to peform the secret handshake.

I then learned that I was not the only person outside on this fairly cool, early spring evening. And, I was not the only person talking on my phone. Susan shared the interesting conversation fragments collected along her walk -- much like one might pick flowers from the garden if the separated themselves from the plant and jumped uninvited into your basket. Somebody was writing a novel. Another, trouble at work. Yet another, trouble at home. My call was about none of these things.

She is one of the few people who truly gets "the way it works" at work from an HR perspective. Dilbertesque is well-known; the art of recognizing it is mastered, in fact. When I shared my turnaround situation at work, I was informed that dysfunctional teams of people are quite common across Business in America. In general, it was nice to collaborate with someone outside my business and industry with this level of understanding.

I didn't get to share on pearl of wisdom which emerged today, which was the "need to take the complex problem and the complicated people, and simplify the work by applying the well-established practices and disciplines that accompany outstanding project management." I could go back out to the front yard, and call Susan to share this. Maybe tomorrow night, in suburbia.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Plowing Away

Not a lot new to report. Mostly, I've continued to move ahead on my running projects. I'm learning some new Debussey, and also looking (rather, listening) for some new music. French class is fun, and we'll have this Thursday night off (Spring Break?) Still working my XML stuff and I went through the first monthly report pull. It highlighted the need for some additional categories and REALLY highlighted the need for intermediate summaries. Still, the capture of data is really helpful and I've already been able to organize a ton of data and information.

Training and Yoga have been going well. I always enjoy working to improve my Yoga, and have found the training helps me focus on the muscles and core strength that are very enabling. I wish I had the freedom and skill to connect music and movement in something one might call dance.

My work will keep me busy this week. There is an abundance of opportunity to do so much good. It's really going to be a great week to make a big difference!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Legal in NC?

I wonder if Hot Nude Yoga would be considered legal in North Carolina .

Then, there is Yoga in Bed -- a legitimate reason to stay in bed an extra 10 minutes.

And, if all this leaves you worn out there is Shabbat Yoga for the day of rest.

These guys must have been reading my blog. (Actually, they're practicing laughter Yoga.)

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Notes and Observations

It seems that I've been away from my own blog for a while. It's not that I'm not doing anything -- in fact, quite the contrary. I will admit that I'm holding back a little bit, though. For example, I'm not quite as driven at this time toward piano. It's hard to tell if it's energy level or interest. Regardless, I'll look to rebalance and see if I'm allocating enough of the right time to the right activities.

The Yoga has been a priority for me as I feel like I'm on a good learning curve right now. The classes that I'm in are very positive with a nice group of people and excellent instruction. I'm still dedicated to my floor training, but I'm still getting used to the new time. I try to hit French first thing in the morning. Work still gets the majority of my time and I still find each day simultaneously filled with challenge and reward.

I found an article that I read the other night somewhat disturbing. It described the use of Yoga for traning of Indian troops who guard the Pakistani border. While the virtues of Yoga for physical training were highlighted, the existence of Yoga as part of a military training regimine didn't converge fittingly. Rather than be at war with Pakistan, invite the troops together to mutually benefit from the practice of Yoga and agree to put the differences aside.

As it's been said, good things sometimes spring from adversity. I'm lead to the notion of Yoga as a leadership model for peace. It's difficult to imagine inherent malice existing in a person who is dedicated to practicing Yoga. And, with this, what of the people who teach Yoga? One who teaches Yoga has gone even further in the principals and practices of leading others in the journey to hightened awareness and inner peace through the physical practice.

Sunday, April 02, 2006


Looks like splendid weather for a relaxing Sunday. I'm thinking sunset at Mapleview over a coffee and toasted almond.

On the tech front, I had some integration issues with the dbxml. In the interim, PHP5 has a lot of XML capabilities. I will work on learning and using these to start getting the information to the screen. The db integration may take a little more time.

French is coming along and I'll probably start learning something new on piano this week -- an endurance piece with a constant stream of funny little fast notes.

I was disappointed for Jenn that Harvard, Yale and Columbia could not accommodate her this year. She is thrilled about going to Northwestern, and with family in the Chicago area she'll be in a very good way.

In Yoga this weekend, I was able to extend a little my capability. Sage had taught the handstand some time back and shared the easy way to kick up. On Saturday, I was able to balance in a handstand in space for just a little bit (although I stayed by the wall for security).

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Yeah, Jenn!

Accepted at Northwestern! 2/2 on the schools we've heard from. More news due this week...

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Bigtime Geek Weekend

Ok, so I did some serious hacking this weekend. Most people probably wouldn't think of me as a geek, but I definitely had a busy geekend.

I got the PHP to work after installing Apache (local only) and the phpMyAdmin worked flawlessly with mySQL. What I discovered was that the Berkeley DB XML is a database that will natively store "lots" of XML documents. That then begs the question of why try to use a relational database when I can go native (XML).

As with so many computer projects, the nested subtasks run deep. I found it difficult to get anything with dbxml working other than the command line -- which worked great, and very quickly highlighted the potential. I struggled to get the PHP to work, even installed the MS C++ compiler to try to do the build. Even caved and wrote to tech support, well after I'd exceeded my "30-minute rule." They didn't really help.

So, plan L. Use the debian distro under VMware player and build dbxml from source. If this works, then I'll have to look very seriously at running the database, web server, etc., under Linux.

As if hacking was enough, I also did some serious reading about computers (ok, also hacking.) I started a thread on Cray's new architecture, which tends to amalgamate SIMD, parallel, distributed, and multithreaded. They cited a new intelligent compiler and parallel programming model called Chapel. Looks like it's supposed to understand the hodgepodge of hardware -- seemingly hierarchical -- and then enable the user to be more productive in writing code.

Even though I'm deep in Linux Clusters, I came across some things I'd never heard of before. UPC (unified parallel C), PGAS (partitioned global address space), CAF (co-array FORTRAN), and a problem that makes this all pertinent -- the Buffon-Laplace needle problem. I have a little light recreational reading to do while I wait fot the dbxml to compile. Wait -- it's done! Back to hacking...

Friday, March 24, 2006

21 Hours -- What Timing

Up at 4:15, back home to bed at 1:15 next morning. Short trip to Boulder in between. News later...

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Day Trip to Boulder

I'm looking forward to a 21-hour day on Thursday to go to Boulder and back. Crazy? Most likely!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Time Flies

The only thing that goes by faster than a two-day weekend is a three-day weekend. I did get to do all the things that I wanted to do, and feel pretty well-rested. Well, mostly.

I took a side trip from the XML study which took me to mySQL, which went very smoothly for an install. Also took a trip into PHP, which didn't go quite so well. The PHP is way too complicated, although I'm sure it's quite powerful. I really only wanted the front end to mySQL that a PHP tool is offering, but I couldn't get the "client side" of PHP to work.

In hindsight, that makes sense as you really don't want your browser to have the ability to run local executables for security purposes. So, I suppose that's why the architecture takes us to server side tools.

I discovered something fairly important on Friday. In the spirit of props (learned in Yoga) I stumbled across the notion of something to remind me to hold posture in piano. As much as possible, I try to capture the position that my body is in when my playing stumbles. Often, I find that I'm starting to slouch forward.

When the yardstick that I found in the house -- all 27" of it -- wasn't long enough, I scurried over to the hardware store where I discovered that wooden yardsticks are a thing of the past. So I found a 36" x 2" piece of balsa that (and don't laugh) I can slide down my shirt and position against an elongated spine. It requires engagement of the core muscles and a renewed focus on breathing. (By the way, I know I've never mastered breathing and playing with the exception being when I sing what I'm playing.)

The reminder to keep the core engaged enabled a number of other things to happen in my playing. It provided good posture for reading from the music desk. It allowed better connection between hands, shoulders and back. While I wouldn't want to start a recital by sticking a long piece of wood down my shirt, I was excited by the discovery of the benefits of this practice technique. The final note on this is that the wood is not a brace, so it takes active engagement of the core and a mental check to remember that the spine should be mostly flat against the wood.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Word for Today

Phytosanitary. Did you know that you can take an interactive course on the WTO's agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures? Other interesting discourse on this topic at their web site.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

There Is Hope!

I was so happy to read the following article, where a group of 8th grade students demonstrated higher order critical thinking skills than an adult who took a position that demonstrated a view so narrow that barely a beam of light could pass through. The retort to Ms. Carlin's editorial brought forth the open-mindedness of the youth.

In my original post:
The Power of Searching I highlighted how one voice could be amplified disproportionately to the value of content. There is hope in that the voice of reason can be equally heard.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The Need for Active Breaks

Recently, I've found myself doing marathon tasks at work. The back to back sessions are usually pretty intense and require a lot of focus. The deep technical stuff requires even more focus, and tends to be dry as it's usually presented. Nevertheless, it is possible to stay with the program, but not without breaks.

Going for an extended session is okay in the morning when fresh, but by midday it has taken the toll. I'll wonder off in search of calories, and then find it challenging to resume. It's as though I've gone through an intellectual anaerobic exercise and all I'm left with is a fresh supply of lactic acid. (Yeah, I'm sure it doesn't work quite like this.)

One of the techniques that I've learned in Yoga is relax by breathing and assimilate (the practice) in savasana. At home, it's easy to take a brief savasana in between tasks. I find this very refreshing while working on piano. At work, I have plenty of room to walk around and things to do, but there isn't an easy mental escape as I'm sure to come across "additional opportunity" in the hallway.

With that, I remind myself to remember the importance of the active break, taking the time to assimilate the learning and content from the previous event, and to arrive at each new session fresh, open and receptive.

Monday, March 13, 2006


There's not a lot of new things happening, but plenty of the same. And, that's okay. If anything, I may be just a tad overloaded. This is an easy conclusion to come to when, on Monday, I've already decided to take Friday off.

Work continues to be a challenge. I'm glad that I've worked on my personal organization stuff with the XML project. It doesn't stop the work from coming in fast, but it does help with the downstream flow -- or, so goes the theory :)

I think I'm going to see if getting a little extra rest helps. Good night!

Saturday, March 11, 2006


I'm glad that I found my way to the weekend. During the week, it became clear that long hours of focused concentration, deskwork, phone calls, and general intensity was pulling on me. I managed to forget the lessons about frequent breaks, and taking the time to assimilate the event I'd just been through. It is a little tough when running back to back to take that pause to reflect on what just happened.

Our book club on Friday night was okay. The book we discussed was "The Time Traveler's Wife" which I enjoyed reading several months ago, albeit a somewhat long book. There was a good bit of discussion about whether the book was or wasn't science fiction, which branched off into a discussion about what qualifies a book for science fiction. One of the people did a survey into the history of time travel in literature, which was informative. Our next book to discuss is "The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America" by Erik Larsen. Haven't read it, and don't know anything about it yet.

I did enjoy my activities today, including French, Yoga, Piano, and advancing my XML skills. Also watched part of the UNC game, and went to Lowe's to buy light bulbs. (yawn!)

We also got the Miata fired up and the battery seems to be holding a charge.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

New Stuff

I finished learning the third part of Ravel's Sonatine, and got a fairly good review from my teacher tonight. My sound is really good, he said, and if I wanted to drill and prepare for performance that "it would be convincing." Since I don't have a performance planned, I'll take what I learned going through these three movements -- which has been quite a bit -- and move on to some Schubert.

French class resumes "a Jeudi" and I'm looking forward to resuming the study. I have been regularly listening to the news in French (podcast of national news) and to the FrenchPodClass. I have been reading the Bourse RSS feed (business news) but haven't been back to the book or to reading the Google News in French.

My non-work activity is getting a little dense: Yoga, Training, Piano, French, XML, Reading. Well, to be honest, my work activity is dense, too (You know it's hard out here for a pimp). That's okay, because I like all the things that I'm doing and learning about.

Busy Week

All weeks are busy, but for some reason this week seems even more so. I have found work to be a little more demanding than usual, but certainly very interesting. There has been a wave of minor respiratory illness circulating and I may be using some energy defending against this -- that I'm a little tired and don't know why feeling.

I'm very happy about the progress with the XML project. I have found a pretty consistent structure to my activities that I document and the tagging to put the document into form. The neat part is that I'm starting to get some facility with XSLT -- the transformation capabilities -- where I can take my tagged document, apply transformation rules, and yield XHTML. This sounds a little like gobbledygook, but with and XSLT style sheet I can turn my structured document into a formatted document for a web browser. The real power is that I can extract and sort sections of the document.

For example, if I have 15 "events" in my document, all on one customer, I can write the generalized transform to sort all the customers and group the 15 events into a single view while ignoring the balance of the document. You might have guessed that I spent the last couple of days working on this rather than blogging.

Time to go to work and start capturing more structured text!

Sunday, March 05, 2006

The Power of Searching

Today, the ability of the individual to easily access information is arguably unprecedented. Similarly, the potential for the individual to disseminate ideas follows suit. I bring these two concepts together with an example.

Using Google, I have a set of predefined searches which execute daily and the result is dutifully sent to my email. One of my searches is quite simple, and contains the lone term "Yoga." Even though this is a relatively recent search that I've dispatched, I've received a number of interesting hits. For example, I've learned how Britney Spears is seeking Yoga as a means to manage her body weight.

The article I read this morning was one that surprised me. I had never really thought of Yoga as a controversial subject -- if anything, quite the opposite. An opinion printed by a resident of Milford, Ma., found a way to justify why Yoga doesn't belong in [the] classroom. Her research led her to believe that Yoga is a religious practice and, therefore, shouldn't be practiced during school.

I won't take the time to counter with my opinion in this matter, although I may mentally prepare in case Ms. Carlin moves to Chapel Hill and takes issue with Yoga at CHHS.

So, in 2006, I can easily discover in the large world the small minds. From the broadest perspective I can find the narrowest point of view. And, for what it's worth, I have the same potential audience for my opinion as Ms. Carlin has for her's.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Inspiration -- Pass it On!

One of the things that I've learned to look forward to is the upside surprise of Friday afternoon. For a number of weeks, I have found that good things have surfaced on Friday. (Note: it may make sense to start expecting good things to happen every day, and then to start looking for them!) This Friday was no exception and I'm glad the trend is still intact.

I found myself "pushing" pretty hard this week, which really isn't as effective as "flowing" through the week. I suppose that one sprints at the finish, but I'm not really in a race right now. In my sprint, I finished "Good to Great" this week. I started my next book, "Seeing What's Next" which is my third Clayton M. Christensen book. In addition, I'm making good progress with my XML project. I've learned the basics of CSS, XPath, and have a reasonable data structure that may lead me to a database format. I also learned the idiosyncrasies of MS Word (the double quote is not a real double quote) and I saw the black diamond with a question mark in it on the N&O RSS feed. In case you're interested, that's the display of the "special character" in XML, the apostrophe. If you want an apostrophe in XML, you type '. I've now given up on using contractions!

Even with my accomplishments this week, the Friday afternoon upside started with the most glowing report from a customer on the work that one of my team performed. It wasn't just "thank you for doing a good job," but "thank you for sending somone with exceptional talent...I will remember many of the lessons taught for a long time." Wow. It wasn't just a job done, but changes were made driven by outstanding leadership.

I read on Sage's blog that she found a bountiful music source for her podcast and that she is revelling in the production of her third podcast. I'm very happy to know this is working for her.

And, I enjoyed seeing Jenn honored at the school board meeting last night for being a National Merit Finalist.

This was a long and arduous week, but it has really endidly splendidly.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Where Have I Been?

I've been working on a number of projects. The XML project is coming along pretty nicely. I have been experimenting with tagging my work notes and working on displaying them with CSS (cascading style sheets). I've learned that you need an XML editor because there is a lot of opportunity for tagging errors, which preclude a well-formed document. I also learned that there is no error reporting on CSS syntax errors, so debugging is a visual task. I do think I'm making progress on the "data structures" needed, but it's going to take a while to smooth this out.

If I reflect on my education in computer science, I might be taken aback by my approach to develop this system somewhat interactively (although iterative design is generally acceptable). The classes that I took would take me to 80% design, 20% implementation. Yet, as I reflect on my experience, developing this system by construction is okay. What ultimately matters are the results -- my improved handling of the information I work with. Initial trend is positive in this direction.

I did an interesting exercise mix tonight. I did half my floor workout, a 45-minute spinning class, then the other half of my floor work. I definitely felt "worked out" tonight. A better outcome would have been to feel energized, or revitalized. It may be getting near time to take a day off.

My piano lesson was moved from Wednesday to Saturday. This is good because I'll get an extra few days to drill on Ravel, and the Saturday lesson will be in the afternoon rather than the evening.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

National Merit Finalist

Yeah, Jenn! (see the CHCCS web site)


PYB: Post Yoga Bliss. This is the feeling that you get after completing a meaningful session of Yoga. You are rewarded with this sensation after you've surrendered gratitude for your practice and rested. This, after you've allowed yourself engage your physical self in ways that you might not have thought possible.

As the wise one, Sage, proclaims: it's about allowing yourself access to the capability (muscles) you already have. Rebecca has found the way to ask for that capability to be brought forward in the practice. I am the beneficiary of the knowledge proffered in both lessons.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Bureaucracy, at it's finest

I do try to maintain an even keel, not getting emotional, thinking through the issues, deep breathing, and all that jazz. However I'm running up against the limits where even my patience is thinning. The solution: take Friday off!

The breakthrough concept for the week is the realization that there is value in collecting the information and storing it, but no value in manually reformatting it and distributing it. Amazingly enough, there is technology that will search, format, sort, display and much more with the data that we come up with. I'm totally psyched with the collect once, use many times model.