24 January 2016

Successes and Failures: Feedback From 2015

Last year I mapped out the 10 Goals and Objectives for 2015. Here are the results of those:

Start Graduate School 

I started my first class on January 12, 2015 and I have 3 more classes to complete my Masters in Communications. I will finish this Summer.

Advance My Career 

I feel like I’m getting much more exposure to the tasks which build upon my skills, so consider this a huge advancement. It helps to let your boss know what your expectations are, even if it is to advance into another field. We can’t all stay rooted in the technical trenches forever.

Outline My Memoir 

I’ve decided I’m not as interesting as I would need to be in order to produce a successful memoir. Therefore, I’m working on becoming more interesting first. We’ll leave this one alone for now. I hope I don't scare off too many people.

Attend a Writing Retreat 

Where the hell did I think I was going to find the time to do this? FAIL.

Attend the Tallahassee Writers Association Conference 

Loved it! Had a blast and plan to attend next year as well.

Attend the Florida Writers Association Conference 

I couldn't attend because it conflicted with travel and prep work for the Marine Corps Marathon in D.C.

Get Back Into Yoga 

Consider this a success because I did get back into Yoga, just didn’t stay consistently going every Sunday. I have other things to do on Sundays. But now that they switched it to Saturdays, I have no more excuses. Oh, wait. School just started back after the holidays!

Take Gourmet Cooking Classes 

I didn't realize how much the classes were and I didn't have anyone to go with me on the days I checked on. Then I realized that I could spend the same amount of money experimenting in my own home and I don’t have to waste the gas to drive all the way out to Publix. Did I mention I also found a nice man willing to sample the surprises I concoct? Sweet!

Finish My GeekSsentials Website

I finished the design only. Now I just have to get some content together. Isn’t this the same problem I have had with doing websites for others? I always complained that they never give me any content. Well, look at me now.

Institute Mom's Night Out 

It never works out as planned. I think spontaneity is better. Just don't pop in on me while I'm cooking up a surprise. You might walk into a disaster area!

Well now, I'm not going to ask you to embarrass yourself by sharing your failed New Year Goals from 2015. Wait, yes I am.

So, spill it! Any failures you want to share?

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16 January 2016

10 Things You Learn When Involved in a High Profile Project

Happy New Year everyone!

So much has been going on in my life these past few weeks that I haven't had the time to scavenge my thoughts long enough to write a post. I also have another class which started last weekend.  The class has been an inspiration to me because it made me reflect on the outcome of a high profile project I had the privilege to be involved with over the past 3 months. High profile to me means anything which can potentially get you fired if you fuck it up.

Because of the success of this project and as a celebration to its closure, I had sent out a survey to 20 people, professionals I know in various businesses, and asked them to provide their answers to the following questions:

What does nobody want to do during a high profile project?
What does everybody want to do during a high profile project?
What types of people want to be involved in a high profile project?
What are some things you've learned when working on a high profile project?

My favorite answers came from several people and I'll share them here. These are the 10 things you learn when involved in a high profile project. Enjoy!

1. Nobody wants to be that person who announces to the entire organization that a project is underway, especially if it's a high profile project.

2. Everybody wants to be the expert, but nobody wants to be the accountable.

3. The persons with the least knowledge are the most helpful (accidentally).

4. The persons with the most knowledge are the least helpful (on purpose).

5. The persons not working on the project are willing to provide feedback. If they like you, the feedback will be positive, and if they don't, the feedback will be negative.

6. While you're learning from your mistakes and growing, those least helpful are stagnating in their own lack of progress.

7. While you're learning from your mistakes and growing, those most helpful are bonding with a team that is grateful for their loyalty.

8. You find out who works best under pressure.

9. You find out how you work under pressure.

After writing down these nine answers, I stumbled upon a quick, closing note for answer number 10!

10. You finally realize who you need on your team and who you don't. I'll take willingness to work over knowledge any day of the week!

I'm a lifetime learner, so I learn something new every day. Just because someone has knowledge doesn't mean they will apply it while working on your team. Boot that mother fucker to the curb and find you some loyalty!  :)

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29 December 2015

A Michael Kors and Hello Kitty Christmas

This Christmas has been one of those firsts, so it's not like I can NOT write about it. It's been my first Christmas without Tim. So without hesitating, I'll share with you my very different spin for this year. It's an odd one. Cameron and Kristina traveled to Roanoke and Chelsey and I stayed here in Tallahassee. The only photos I have to share are from our Christmas Eve together and the title of this post is very reflective of what happened.

No tree this year, but plenty of space in front of the fireplace.


I was sad about not putting up a tree or decorating the house with lights and lawn ornaments, which was something Tim did every year.  Instead, I had a Christmas wreath for my front door, thanks to Charles.

More about Charles another day! Don't ask. ;)

I purchased the normal cookie decorating paraphernalia. Looks the same, right?

The eyeballs are an added decor item.

Okay, so seems that Michael Kors was on both our minds this year. What, what?!

Chelsey's Michael Kors bracelet.

My Michael Kors watch.

Two things that didn't pan out this year were the gingerbread houses we've been decorating each year. Apparently, I shouldn't wait until the last minute when shopping for gingerbread houses. This seems to have become a trend for 2015. They were all sold out!

Left on the shelves, Hello Kitty Sugar cookie houses.

We were up for the challenge. Plus, I prefer Sugar cookies.

Nailed it!!

Chelsey perfected this cake! We skipped the cookies this year.

Beautiful! The cake, too. LOL

Close up of the cake, in case you couldn't see the snow.

Chelsey and I met Tenay at Geo's Pool and Pub.

A friendship so easy to explain with one picture!! lol

One photo we always have to take is a photo of the puppies in front of the fireplace and mantel. They're not puppies anymore, but they are to us!

Loving their Chelsey!

Trying to get Maggie to smile for the camera...not working!

A very Merry Christmas to you and yours! See you next year. :)

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14 December 2015

Tech Tip: Stop Following That Nuisance!

Remember that funny article you read eons ago and then decided, "Hey, why not follow that fun blog so I can get more articles from this blogger to show up in my Blogger feed when they post new content?"

Yeah, me too.

Suddenly, the blog disappears and a new blog shows up in your reader stream and you aren't familiar with the name, but ALL THESE DAMNED POSTS BY NEW BLOGGER ARE SHOWING UP IN YOUR FEED!!!!!!!

Am I upset? Yes I am.

Why? Because I can't find the answer (anywhere) on how the fuck I am supposed to stop following this annoying pest who keeps changing the name of their blog and importing in gazillions of posts at a time which now populate my feed, making it look like they were all posted within the last few minutes and drowning out all the other articles I wish to read instead. When I do find instructions written by some Google expert, they error out because of the many phases of integration and upgrades throughout the years and the evolution of growing widgets that compromise each other.

I don't want my blogger feed spammed with 50 articles asking for me to review movies. Get that shit the fuck off my blogger feed! But how the hell do you do it?

Remember the Google Follower widget from years ago called Google Friend Connect? Do you have one of these on your site?

If you do, you're in luck. Click the Options drop down and select Site Settings.

When your profile opens, click on Sites You've Joined. I'm going to make a suggestion to Google that they change this to Undo Stupid Choices I've Made.

In the graphic below, I've photoshopped out all the blogs I follow so that anyone who gets pissed off at me for showing folks how to unfollow them will not commence to harassing my favorite bloggers out here. Just saying, I look out for my people.

You're welcome.

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09 December 2015

Creative Writing Prompts with a Communications Theme

This came to me from Nancy at Creative Writing Now, but I didn't want to keep it to myself, so I thought you guys in the Blogosphere might want to participate. Pick one of the following prompts, write a short piece, and share it as a link back to your blog through the Simply Linked sign up below. Happy writing!

In case you're looking for writing ideas this week, here are five story prompts that you can use to write fiction of your own.  All of these ideas are related to the theme of communication.

Oui Do, in Venice

On a foreign holiday, your character meets an extremely attractive man or woman.  They don't speak the same language, but they somehow find a way to understand each other, and your character feels a powerful connection that s/he has never felt with anyone before.  Impulsively, your character marries this person after they've only known each other a very short time.  Your character's new husband/wife moves to your character's country and begins to take language classes there.  The better the spouse is able to communicate, the more your character realizes that s/he isn't the person your character had believed...

Break a Leg...Just Kidding

On a first date, your character makes a joke about wanting to kill his/her boss.  But when the boss ends up in the hospital following a brutal attack, your character begins to worry that his/her new boyfriend/girlfriend may have taken the joke too literally...

Hello From Below

Your character runs a small charity.  The charity's most important donor has just died, and the donor’s widow shows no interest in continuing to contribute to the charity.  Your character fears that the charity will not survive the loss of funding.  Then your character learns that the widow regularly visits a psychic -- which gives your character an idea.  Your character will convince the widow that s/he has the ability to speak with the dead, and will pretend to pass on messages from the dead husband urging her to continue with the charitable donations.  But something strange and unexpected begins to happen.  When your character pretends to summon the dead, s/he has a distinct feeling that someone, or something, is actually trying to communicate with him or her...

Calling For Caroline

Every evening, when she goes to the parking garage of her office building, your character finds a new love note tucked under the windshield wipers of her car.  These love notes are very beautiful and fill your character with powerful emotions.  But they are all addressed to "Caroline".  Your character's name is Melissa...

Above the Garden, We Pray

Your character has been kidnapped and locked in an attic.  The attic has a small window overlooking the garden of a neighbor's house, where your character sometimes sees children playing.  Your character doesn't dare shout out the window because the kidnapper might hear.  S/he needs to find a way to signal for help without the kidnapper's discovering what s/he's doing, and without endangering the children...

Sign up below:

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