Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Thoughts upon this evening's stroll

My feet fall upon  pavement. The sound changes to a quiet thud when I leave pavement for grass, earth. My eyes move skyward, this sky lacks light. Save for the stars. Stars glow, brutal furnaces flickering gently, silently. They strangely beckon me, who can not reply. Upon this rock,  far from the center of anything, galaxy-wise, much less regarding the universe. Away, away they sit, gentle blue glowing spots upon the once blue sky. Watching me, calmly. Do they see this once boy, walking under the few remaining wisps of cloud, stretched thinly, not quite hiding the ancient eyes.

Orion's gaze the most familiar. Memories from boyhood, back upon the grass, eyes drinking deep those ever present dots. Staying upon the shapes my parents, their parents, all humanity that's ever been, they've all seen the same shapes. Though they, too, change, their slowness taxes the mind to consider. My life barely a suffer. Humanity's entire experience too recent to register.  Pale blue dreams across the winds of history.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Is Smartphone The Right Term Anymore?

I remember using the term "smartphone" long before the iPhone. Devices like the BlackBerry, Windows Mobile and the Treo: these were the original "smartphones". However, these guys are a league separated from today's devices. As I consider it, the main difference seems to be accessing the web. Today's smartphones interact with the web as well as desktops, or closely so.

The modern devices easily seen mis-named in comparison. I wonder of a new name is justified? Well, who am I to decide? Plus, even if I were to craft the most brilliant name, would it get traction? Would it get adopted?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Changing the World Through Design

A couple of months back I stumbled upon the Design Matters podcast. I'd utilize my commute to explore new and interesting ideas, and this is one that resonated well. Then my FM transmitter (which was how I played my podcast through the Prius' radio [no aux jack in my Prius...a 2005...none...in 2005 <wish I could all-cap 2005 here>...] died. I fell behind while I made my way through the holidays lacking one (I've been told that my propensity to buy stuff I need makes me a hard gift-shopper-for during the holidays. I really do try to be amenable to generosity).

Currently, I've made my way back to November 2013 and have now discovered Dawn Hancock. Her blending of design, sustainability, social entrepreneurship just sings to me. One key thing driven home during my time at Starbucks: the power of these inter-related themes. This is transformative, and a key part of deep innovative thinking.

She was a TEDx Speaker in 2010 (Chicago). Here's the video. Enjoy!


Sunday, February 16, 2014

Depression

Life slowly withers.
Weeks blur into months, years.
Endless, death barely avoided.

Exhaustion claims easily,
More than its due.
Dreams attract more than before
Slumber's taste sweeter, too.

Once I thought it's simply age.
A body grown weary by tasks.
Now I know, this beast consumes
Quietly, chewing my soul

Silently.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Thoughts on PayPal President's Staff "Reaming"

After reading this piece, where the President of PayPal vents about HQ staff refusing to utilize the company's product and tools, I get David Marcus' point. There is a danger, though, with the confrontational leadership statement. Sounding whiny and entitled trends to disconnect you further from your audience, in this case, your employees. Scolding tones need to be used with caution and thoughtfulness.  Undermining your connection or weakening team trust is hard to repair.

Ultimately, it's really hard to gauge the effectiveness of one communication without seeing the larger context. Arm-chair quarterbacking is easier that doing the work.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A Current Look At "Stand By Me"'s Setting

Wil Wheaton posted this video yesterday. This chap videos the locales where famous movie scenes were shot, then integrates the current footage into the movie. And he does it well. It's 15 minutes, and well worth your time.

As a fan of the film, and also having living along the Oregon coast (Astoria), this really hits home. The feeling is a blend of nostalgia, tinged with a little sadness at all the change. Anyway, watch this for yourself.





Stand by Me 1986 ( FILMING LOCATION ) from Herve Attia on Vimeo.

Friday, February 07, 2014

Cycling, Trials Riding, Danny MacAskill and the Power of YouTube

My son & I discovered Danny MacAskill via his film Way Back Home (on Netflix). As a long-time avid mountain biker, I have a particular respect for trials riders. The first rider who impressed the heck out of me was Hans Rey. Anyway, Danny's riding is urban-centric, which really gels with me.

Anyway, below is the YouTube bit that launched Danny. Give it a look. You won't be disappointed.


Where does coffee come from? A journey from bean to cup.

Ok, this infographic does an excellent job showing the "journey" of a coffee bean. It's well worth your time to give it a gander.



Where does coffee come from? A journey from bean to cup.






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Thursday, February 06, 2014

SCAA Event This April 24-27 In Seattle

The SCAA, Specialty Coffee Association of America has pretty cool conventions (for coffee geeks). I haven't been to one of these since I left Starbucks. However, I'm quite tempted to make my way down again. I love coffee and coffee sector. There is still the desire that someone else pay the registration fee, but oh well.

Anyway, here's a little video introducing the SCAA membership to Seattle.


Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Superbowl Parades And Other Joys

Shortly after the momentous win of Superbowl 48 by the Seahawks, I heard of the parade to held in their honor. My first thought: "well, that'll be a mad-house; no thanks". Probably helps in understanding my viewpoint that I'm hardly a sports-fan. I enjoy them from an entertainment perspective, but I'm hardly the uber-fan. Add to that, though, that I first heard expectations of 10s of thousands, then over a hundred thousand. Now we're hearing estimates of up-to 500 thousand. Traffic in the City is a mess. And I'm smugly patting myself on the back to be sitting, where it's warm (current temperature in Marysville is 25 degrees) in front of my computer. Seattle is a bit warmer (ha!).



What I love about this digital age: the ability to view such spectacle from anywhere on the globe. I will be streaming the thing while I keep working away (probably on KING5.com, but we'll see). If you're at the event, enjoy!

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Excitement vs. Boredom: Personal Power & Effectiveness

"Adventure, excitement: a Jedi craves not these things". Wise word from Master Yoda. Have you ever wondered about the roots of this wisdom? Why is this wise?

Craving adventure to cure boredom is this problem, the weakness of personality. Making others responsible for your entertainment externalizes problem solving, makes it harder to solve issues, weakens your personal power.

Interest and excitement can easily be found through exploration, through learning. Boredom's cure is easy. Simply own the results, the process. Make it yours, embrace it deeply. That's the path to a fulfilling and rich life.

Today upon tomorrow, motion

The future comes
Incessant, plodding
With ungainly speed. 
One may hide from 
This relentless motion 
Or cower. 

The future arrives
Soon. 
Prepared 
Or 
no.  

Monday, February 03, 2014

Piano Guys Coming To Seattle

I first stumbled upon the Piano Guys with the video below. I find their work well done and fun. They clearly enjoy performing.

And, lo, I see that they're in town this week (Thursday the 6th) at the Paramont. However, the sticker shock along with the fact I'm already heading to Spam-a-lot this weekend will force this off my plate. However, if you're looking for something to do Thursday night, give them a whirl. I highly recommend them. And enjoy the song below.