You can find out what I'm up to in near real-time via: Twitter (@sholden) or Facebook (sholden). I also recommend checking out my AztecMedia.net produced sites: Chvrches Fan Podcast (@chvrchespodcast), Tech News Radio (@technewsradio), Air Gapped Networks (@airgapnet), Jersey Boys Podcast, and Veteran Stories. [Updated: Nov. 20, 2018]
- I hope your Christmas was wonderful. We had a good time with friends and family. All of our time was spent in San Diego, so we didn't have any travel woes.
- I love putting up Christmas lights. I have decided that the three pronged power cord is the enemy of good electrical distribution. I am moving to 6 or more outlets on every power cord in 2020.
- I had a good number of Christmas beers (both brewed for the Holidays or gifts) this year. Here are three of the more recent ones:
I need to do this more, but alternating COLD with HEAT on sore muscles has proven to me over and over again that I need to make the time to do this. SO HARD TO DO! But worth the time.
I have been experimenting since the beginning of November with intermittent fasting. Basically I only eat between 12 noon and 8 p.m. It has really worked well for me from a couple of standpoints: (1) no negative impacts; (2) I feel better overall; and (3) I think the long-term benefits are promising. The one interesting thing that I can't really explain is that even though I'm eating less I did before intermittent fasting that I have not lost any weight. My weight has stayed steady. More info about the topic:
All is basically good with my Bulged Disc. My solution - daily Pilates-based stretching, using a roller (legs, back, & shoulders), heat then cold, and alternating workouts (run, swim, bike, repeat).
TECHNOLOGY AND TIPS
My Zoom audio recorder was having a screen issue (the LCD was getting blurry and hard to read). I contacted their tech support and they replaced the unit for $165 since it was out of warranty. I thought that was a fair transaction.
FUTURE STUFF THAT I AM EXCITED ABOUT
- Happy New Year 2020! Don't forget that 2019 was the "future" year of Blade Runner.
- Christy and I are heading to Yuma at the end of January to see one of my favorite 80's cover bands - Checker'd Past.
- Family vacation planning for 2020.
QUOTE I'M THINKING ABOUT
"People do not decide their futures, they decide their habits and their habits decide their futures" - F.M. Alexander
Let's say you just read David Allen's Getting Things Done (GTD) book and you wanted a good summary of the overall methodology.
Or maybe you read the book a while back and you want a refresher.
Here is my recommendation -- listen to the following podcasts (in English) from GTD Nordic in the following order:
(1) What is GTD and how will you benefit from it? (23m49s)
(2) Step 1 in GTD: Capture (23m00s)
(3) Step 2 in GTD: Clarify (27m43s)
(4) Step 3 in GTD: Organize (25m11s)
(5) Step 4 in GTD: Reflect (29m11s)
(6) Step 5 in GTD: Engage (24m32s)
- The 2019 Baseball Playoffs in October were awesome. Congrats to Washington Nationals for winning the World Series.
- October 31 was a very sad day for me and my family. It was one year ago that my Mom passed away. I really miss her a lot.
- Christy had a teacher's conference in Palm Spring the weekend before Thanksgiving and I was able to tag along. It was very relaxing and we had some great food.
- Thanksgiving this year was excellent. It rained a lot so we did not play our annual Thanksgiving Two-Hand Touch game. Hopefully we will get to play on Christmas.
My favorite band was in town in early November. It was a great concert. Some thoughts on the show at CHVRCHES FAN PODCAST.
TECHNOLOGY AND TIPS
Two big conferences I have attended in 2019 -- GTD Summit & M Conference -- have stressed the need for quite and solitude in our daily lives. Doing so increases effectiveness and productivity. This article on "Solitude and Leadership" is definitely worth reading or listening to the audio version.
Some other tips:
FUTURE STUFF THAT I AM EXCITED ABOUT
QUOTE I'M THINKING ABOUT
"No man steps in the same river twice" - Heraclitus
While flying back from Germany this summer, this picture was in the Lufthansa magazine:
This article from Recode by Kara Swisher called "Former Trump economic adviser Gary Cohn’s next move: investing in a phone secure enough for the president: In a Recode Decode interview, he explains why he’s working to launch a new secure mobile phone aimed at government and corporate customers" got me wondering where the state of the possible was right now on secure phones.
I am pretty much following the recommendations for how to bring a phone to DEF CON -- like this one. I use to bring a burner phone, but I've found it less and less practical for me. DEF CON is in theory about as hostile of a Cyber environment as you can summit yourself, but getting targeted by a dedicated adversary is probably worse.
Some links I looked into:
- Who is Hector Hoyos via Tech Crunch
- Hovos Integrity main site
- Hovos Integrity phone site
- Green Hills Integrity Real Time OS (RTOS)
- Green Hills Integrity 179 safety-critical RTOS
- Samsung's Business Security pages
- A list of "secure phones" (not sure how accurate this is but it seems detailed)
- Blackberry's offerings on secure phones
- Cipher phone
I think the notes speak for themselves. This was an amazingly effective use of my time.
I will be getting a return on investment throughout the rest of my professional career, and then probably even more once I retire.
I didn't take enough photos, but here are what I got via Google Photos.
Back in the day the David Allen Company would sell physical products like planners, file folder systems, inboxes, etc. One of the last things I bought from them before they stopped selling physical products was their ORANGE mesh travel folder system.
- IN - Your mobile inbox just like in your office at home and work.
- TO OFFICE - Items that need to get back to your office.
- TO HOME - Items that need to get back to your home.
- ACTION SUPPORT - Anything that you currently physically need to complete PROJECTS or NEXT ACTIONS.
- WAITING FOR SUPPORT - Physical items or reminder notes of items you are waiting for someone else to complete.
- READ/REVIEW - Items you want to read or review while being mobile.
Based on my needs, I have added two additional folders:
- REFERENCES - Key references I want to have with me while mobile. For instance physical copies of the GTD Mastering Workflow Series Methodology Guides.
- CALENDARS/CONTRACTS - Print out of key yearly work and family/school calendars. And then a select list of phone numbers and emails I might need to reference if I don't have my phone.
These could be duplicated today with a good label printer and quality plastic file folders.
This site (recommended by Daniel Suarez) is a pretty good view of the status of fires burning in the State of California:
I'm going to add this to my list of sites that are being cycled through on my two ambient displays (one at home and one at work).
I am recommending the extension Revolver - Tabs on Chrome as the method to move through tabs every 60 seconds.
I recently attended for work the Manager Tools M Conference from October 9-10, 2019 in Dallas, TX.
I made a deliberate decision to not check my work email from just before the beginning of the conference on Wednesday, Oct. 9 until I got to the airport on the evening of Thursday, Oct. 10.
My main motivation for this decision was because I wanted to stay as focused as possible on the conference content, and the people at the conference.
I should also point out that before walking into the conference on Wednesday morning my work email Inbox was empty.
In addition, I would also like to say my only motivation for writing this blog post is to validate that getting your Email Inbox to Zero can happen.
If you read through the whole post, I didn't get every email with a Next Action or Project done. All I did in David Allen's Getting Things Done (GTD) terms is (1) Capture, (2) Clarify, and (3) Organize.
Once at the airport: I VPN'd into work; downloaded all my email on the server to my "Clarify" folder in Outlook; and went into airplane/off-line mode.
During the first two hours on the plane on my way back to San Diego I cleared my Inbox.
I had 213 emails to process: ten were calendar invites; 24 were quick email replies (less than 2 minutes), 51 turned into Next Actions (three of which started new Projects), 23 were Reference, and the rest were Trash.
After I sync'd up email the next day (Friday morning) I had 28 new messages. Four of them were calendar invites, and four of them I had to Read (less than 2 minutes) and then Trash as they weren't worth keeping for Reference. The rest I just Trashed after reading the email title and first line of the message. No new Next Actions or Projects.
So, it is doable. It takes practice and making it a habit. Here is a link for more information on GTD coaching and teaching.
Things are going pretty darn good. Not back to 100% but I'm not sure that is totally possible. Just did a Sprint Triathlon on Sunday, Sept. 29 (500m swim, 17K bike, & 5K run). I was slower than I wanted, but I finished, didn't get hurt, and didn't finish last in my age group!
Several things going on related to #gtd:
- I taught two GTD classed in DC (#12, #13) in September 2019. It was a lot of fun, but I'm not going to try to teach two back-to-back classes in the future.
- David Allen recently released a new "workbook" for GTD -- I highly recommend it if you are new to GTD, or maybe you need some help in getting GTD to work for you. I especially like the extra video content.
- I recently recorded a guided weekly review and posted the audio.
Technology & Tips
I have had a "free" version of Plex Server running on the home network to serve up digital movies, photos, and music for several years. The free version is a solid product. But recently I upgraded to a version that enables access to our family's collection of media remotely while not on our home network. Wow! Very nice! Especially when you are on travel. No more copying down files before going on a trip. Just get what you want, when you need it, while on travel.
If you get to New Orleans, then I highly recommend you visit the World War II / D-Day Museum:
I am definitely ready for the 2019 Baseball Playoffs. It should be a great October.
Quote I'm Thinking About
“I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.” - Winston Churchill