Awe Thanks

treeI recently enjoyed reading The Healing Power of Nature, an article in the July 14th issue of TIME magazine by Alexandra Sifferlin. One of the points in the piece was that a 2015 study found that people who spent 60 seconds looking up at towering trees were more likely to report feeling awe than those who looked at equally tall buildings.  

Continue reading

Are You Well Connected?

Old tech vs. new techWhen I was a child, there was a sticker on the telephone at the house of an old relative. Yes, I mean the telephone (there was just the one). The official looking AT&T sticker read “wait for dial tone.” When we visited, I’d wait for no one to be looking so I could pick up the phone and listen. Sure enough, there was always a dial tone–the days of waiting for an operator or mechanical switch to connect a circuit were already gone (I’m not that old). Things were connected!

Continue reading

Respecting the Details

brainI had already decided I needed to write about something less technical this time around, and then a 24-year-old writing about the Millennial Retirement Plan in Time magazine caught my eye. If that isn’t funny enough, Jack Dickey (the esteemed author) seeks guidance from a 31-year-old salesperson (oops) retirement planning expert.  Turns out I have some free advice for Jack, too!

Unlike Jack, I find myself just about in the middle of my productive work life: I’ve worked the 24 years of Jack’s entire life and realistically expect to work about that many more. Perhaps that is why Jack made me laugh out loud when he pontificates that “what little employability I have comes from my brain. I’m not going to break down in my mid-60s”.

Continue reading

An Obligation to Improve

From 1983 to 2014I remember when I was fresh out of college, Bill (one of the programmers with many years of experience), tried to teach me a life lesson: “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” I understood his point, but also recognized a danger in that philosophy. In perspective, according to Wikipedia, that saying became popular only in 1977. There is evidence of the counter argument at least 1900 years earlier in a Bible story in which a dude who buries his boss’s assets (the ultimate digging in) is called wicked and lazy because he failed to improve the asset.

Given these opposing pulls, I should not be surprised when I discover a system that is still running the RTM version of SQL 2008 (which should have had Service Pack 3 applied in late 2011). But I am somewhat disappointed. I understand the conflict, but there must be a balance.

Continue reading