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21 May 2009

Is An Accident Really An Accident?

I've lived the majority of my adult life believing the following:

An accident really isn't an accident. It's simply poor planning on your part.
Similar to the saying, "Failure to plan on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine." And while I know this isn't the case 100% of the time. I do think it holds true a lot of the time.

Here are some examples:
  • My son kicked a small (but fairly dense) ball this morning. After one bounce it hit a glass panel on a piece of furniture. I explained the problem to him and he said, "It was an accident."
  • My daughter was jumping on the furniture, slipped off and put her foot right through the bottom of a decorative wooden basket. She said, "It was an accident."
Obviously kids do a lot of things without thinking about the consequences. But does that mean adults are immune? Heck no!

I'll confess I've done some pretty stupid things in my time (as an adult).

Like the time I was trying to get a jammed window open in our basement. It was really stuck so I decided the best tool for the job was the butt end of a hockey stick. I started by "gently" tapping the frame. After a few unsuccessful taps I slipped and tapped the window instead of the frame. We did get the breeze we were looking for, but I had to replace some glass very quickly.

So what's the answer?

In my estimation it is simply this:
Always think before you act. Not just about what you are doing. But predict potential negative outcomes to decrease the likelihood that they will occur.

Cleaning Up After Winter

I have a love hate relationship with the road crew in our area. On the one hand they keep the roads clean and accessible. On the other hand they destroy my lawn every year - even when I put up the idiot sticks!

This year was probably the worst. The idiot sticks were all but gone when a plow took out the first 15 feet of my grass in an apparent attempt to "widen" the cul-de-sac.

So when winter left and the grass started to grow I had the enjoyable task of repairing my lawn. Here's the standard process:

  1. Clean out the mess.
  2. Prep the affected areas.
  3. Reseed the affected areas.
  4. Water like crazy.
Bring It On Back
Our websites (unfortunately) meet the angry snow plow guy on a regular basis. We wake up one morning to find that entire pages are broken, bad or simply irrelevant.

Things like this typically happen when something falls through the cracks of your regular maintenance and quality control procedures. But they do happen so my advice is to follow the standard process:
  1. Clean out the mess: Get rid of the page(s) that is causing the problem. Having a bad page out there is worse than no page.
  2. Prep the affected areas: Figure out what damage was done by removing the page(s). Example: were people familiar with that page? Will they miss it? Come up with a plan for correcting the problem.
  3. Reseed the affected areas: Implement your plan. This might be reviving the same page just with correct information or layout. Or it may be that you redirect people using the same link to completely new functionality.
  4. Water like crazy: Take care of the page(s) this time! Check it regularly to see that it is fresh and relevant.
This year I think I'm going to install reinforced concrete posts along my property so the plow will be the one damaged this winter.

Who me? Bitter?

No way! Okay maybe a little...

19 May 2009

It's Almost Here

So the day finally arrived. This morning it was announced that the Palm Pre will be available in stores (Sprint Stores, Best Buy, Radio Shack and Wal-Mart) on June 6. This after numerous rumors about release dates and the tight-lipped stance taken by those at Palm and Sprint.

I'm not saying I'm going to line up on the 6th and wait for hours to be told that they are out of stock. I'm just glad the day finally arrived. As a long time Sprint advocate I'm glad there is finally a phone worth waiting for. The amazing technology coupled with my insanely low monthly plan will be a marriage made in heaven...

What I Can't Wait For
I'm excited to see how this thing performs. Especially the following:

  • Connected Calendars & Contacts: Pull in contacts from exchange as well as Facebook and other sites to view in one place.
  • Multiple Activities: Apps run in the background with notifications and easy switching between them.
  • Notifications Bar: See when activity is happening on any of your open/running Apps.
  • Universal Search: Just start typing...the Pre will search your phone first and if it can't find anything it will switch to searching with Google.
  • Combined Messaging: See all incoming messages from someone in one place whether it be email, IM, text etc.
  • The "Puck" as I call it: Charging dock that you don't have to connect to the phone. Just set the Pre on the puck and it charges through the phone cover.
  • Complete list here.
I just can't wait to get rid of my Motorola Q9c!

That's about it for now. I'll let you know what I really think at some point in June :)

June Workshops

It's that time again. workshops are being held June 25th and 26th.

There are many options to choose from but those reading this blog would probably be interested in the Less Clutter. Less Noise. workshop which will help you develop a cutting edge Communication Strategy. Come on Day 1 for the meat of it and then stay for Day 2 where you'll get hands on training and work through questions specific to your setting.

Look forward to seeing you there!

12 May 2009

Out of Context

For much of my life I have viewed the phrase "out of context" as a negative thing. I mean only bad can come from taking something out of context right?

Here are a few examples: A preacher takes a verse of the Bible out of context and builds an entire religion based on it - ignoring numerous other verses that say the opposite thing. Or an image is taken out of context and great harm is done to a person when it's spread over the Internet.

But this morning I came to the conclusion that some things taken out of context are not only positive, but can change people's lives for the better.

It's been right under my nose the entire time I've attended Granger Community Church but I never looked at it this way.

At Granger, pop culture is used to illustrate themes and concepts for people that might be attending church for the first time. And it occurred to me today that every time we do this we pull the element out of context. A secular song is played outside of its pop radio station context. A movie clip is outside the overall context of the movie etc.

But it is NOT a bad thing!

In essence, it is the very act of taking it out of context that allows it to impact people the way it does.


Because you have people's undivided attention and the ability to do the following:

  1. Set it up: You can explain a concept and then use the song, drama or clip to illustrate.
  2. Explain it out: You can use the song, drama or clip and then explain the significance after the fact.
Either way, the element tends to have a greater impact that it may have had in it's original context.

The next time you hear someone say, "That was taken out of context." Don't assume it's a bad thing...

08 May 2009

Back For the Attack

Things have been pretty quiet around here. Some friends and I went to Key Largo, FL for some open water SCUBA diving. Our first time in the ocean and hopefully not our last.

Day one was a wake up call. Mr. Ocean said, "Welcome newbies - feel my power." And most of us did by puking our guts out and feeding the fish.

But by day 2 we learned about motion sickness medicine so we were good. In our four days of diving we saw numerous fish, lobster, moray eels, a stingray, giant grouper, etc. No sharks unfortunately, but we'll save that for another day :)

Welcome Home
After being home for a few days my wife packed up and is in Florida for a girls trip of their own. I hope they have as much fun as we did.

I'm back into the swing of things with two big projects at work and two large freelance sites to fill my time. The kids are all in soccer and doing well.

And we haven't even hit summer yet. Can't wait to see what is good!