Wonder again…

“Many fail to grasp what’s right in the palm of their hand.”

As children, we’re awestruck by most of life. Everyday events — from the chirp of a cricket to a telephone conversation with faraway relatives — seem nothing less than miraculous to the average three-year-old.

Yet somehow, as we grow into adulthood, that sense of wonder gets drummed out of us. Too many of us sleep-walk through our lives, focusing on trivial matters (“that car took my parking place”) and get locked into narrow ways of thinking (“my way is the right way”).

Heraclitus’ advice is to wake up to the wonders of our existence.

What amazing things do you grasp?

• That the sun rose this morning and you’re alive to enjoy it?

• That plants contain the pigment chlorophyll that allows them to store the sun’s energy?

• That your car brakes work virtually every time you use them?

• That compassion between human beings isn’t all that rare?

• That wind chimes evoke childhood memories of spring rain?

Ask yourself –
– Do you see the magic in your current situation? In your resources?
– What deadens your awareness of things? What heightens it?

Stop… Take deeeep slow breaths for 30 seconds…. Think about nothing… Thank God for all around you… Listen to the small sounds around you… Enjoy being alive… Let the wonder soak in.

Fathers Day 2012

Here’s a photo of 4 generations of Judd Boys. Papa on the right, then Dad, Spencer and Me… and a shot of my 1st “Grand” – Renee at 2 weeks old



Papa – we miss you terribly, but take comfort in knowing we’ll see you again. Thank you for all you taught me, and passing on the traits of being a quiet genius, a loving husband, a caring father, and a having a sneaky yet awesome sense of humor.

Dad – thank you for all you showed me, taught me, and did/doing/will do for me. You’re been a great mentor, father, partner, and friend. You’ve taught me to think for myself, stand up for what I believe, honor my word and commitments, take chances and not stand still, and to above all Honor God. You’ve given me 3 great gifts – Love for Mom, Love for my family, and believing in me… I Thank you!

Spencer – You are a good man, it’s been an honor and privilege to call you son, and raise you best I knew how using the fathers in my life as a guide. You have such a loving spirit, a tenacity that is formidable, and an insatiable curiosity that will take you far in life. This is now your turn at Father’s days… Renee is such an adorable “grand”! Proud of you!

…And to my Grandpa Herbert Bowling, also in heaven – I think of you often and miss you. I find myself remembering lots of fond little moments with you, seeing you smile at us when you didn’t think anyone was watching, showing me how to have great strength under control, and to be respected and loved all at the same time.


Love you all – and HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!!



Thoughts for making 2012 different

I’m sure by now your 2012 plan, budget and professional objectives are baked and ready to go. Ideally, some of those objectives are reflected in your personal goals and New Year Resolutions as well.

But for those still writing goals and resolutions, as well as the rest of you, here are several collected from business leaders and entrepreneurs I most admire. Great for kicking off a New Year, or adopting anytime in 2012.

1. Start the day without checking email

Email, after all, reflects what others want from you – not what you need to do that day or that morning to best achieve your overall goals. What if you started the morning or day by tackling your number one priority instead? New emails are only going to distract you from that more important project anyway.


2. Read the Wall Street Journal every morning

The Journal is still the most important daily publication (online or offline) for business professionals. With just 15 to 20 minutes, you can scan what’s important in politics, world news, financial markets, business and more. Important enough to keep yourself up to speed, but also valuable for daily small talk, passing articles to others in your network, etc.


3. Watch every penny

No matter how carefully you built your budget for 2012, you’re still spending too much. Find the places where you get the same results with less cost.


4. Designate two nights a week for no work

What I mean by this is to go home, put your machines in a separate room and close the door. Do not enter again until the morning. Spend that time with your family, your hobbies, a good book or something else to help you be refreshed, more well-rounded, and ready for the new day tomorrow.


5. Hire slower

Be more thoughtful about candidates you interview, and also think twice about whether you really need that new role in the first place. How directly additive will that new hire be towards your immediate and medium-term objectives?


6. Fire the C players

Doesn’t matter how much you may personally like them or how hard it will be. They are dragging you down. Even if you don’t replace the position, your business will be more successful and more efficient without them.


7. Take more lunch & coffee meetings

Do it for your own sanity, as well as to learn from more of the incredibly smart people around town. Be intentional about picking people you may not know, or who know things you don’t yet know. Be bold and ask people to lunch or coffee that you think might not have time (some will say yes). Accept a few more invitations from people you don’t yet know, who may surprise you with what they can share and help you with.


8. Be a mentor

It doesn’t have to take a lot of time. A few phone calls, maybe a meeting or two, and answering emails. But your expertise and attention could mean a lot to someone who is “you” several years ago. We’re counting on that next generation of business leaders to take over when we’re ready for that folding chair on the beach.


9. Thank your team, partners, customers and advisors more often

Show that you’re paying attention, noticing their hard work and/or loyalty. This doesn’t have to come in the way of gifts or raises or bonuses (at least not every time). More often than not, people just need to hear from you that their contributions are recognized and appreciated.


10. Get up earlier

Just think about what you could do with an extra 30-60 minutes, first-thing in the morning, when nobody else is tugging at your sleeve (literally or figuratively) for attention. Get a cup of coffee, read the paper, get in a vigorous workout. Give yourself a better head start to the day.


11. Eat less processed food

Shop and eat primarily from the perimeter of the supermarket. Hard to do in a fast-paced life, but with a little preparation it’s pretty easy to surround yourself with fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and a lot less preservatives & chemicals.


12. Delegate more

Even if it costs you a little more out of your pocket to have someone else do it, get the non-essential or too-tactical stuff off your plate. Teach someone else a system or process or approach you want to take, and empower them to do 90 percent of the work for you.


13. Automate more

There’s likely a percentage of the things you need to delegate that can be automated instead. Wouldn’t it be worth investing a little time and effort into documenting and automating something now, so you don’t have to think about or execute it manually moving forward?


14. Document more

It’s going to get less and less efficient as you grow to be reactive and/or arbitrary in how you execute the recurring strategic and tactical work all around you. Get in the habit (yourself and your team) of documenting what needs to be done, how to do it, and how to achieve consistent results every time.


15. Take more small risks

Test more ideas. Fire more bullets to validate new premises. Get outside of your comfort zone and find new ways to achieve the same or better results. You’ll fail often by doing this, but you’ll also discover the opportunities for acceleration that otherwise will evade you if you stay with what’s comfortable.



Original Post from Mark Heinz at Heinz Marketing – Thanks Mark!!

Ten Game-Changing IT Technologies

This is taken from – Randy Muller, Global Knowledge Instructor

In the past few years, there has been an explosion of new technologies to hit the marketplace. These technologies have had a huge impact on how we work, how we play and how we communicate. We can keep in touch with others and interact with computers in ways not even thought of a few years ago. Here is a look at some of the most prominent new technologies that have proven to be “Game Changers.”

Tablet/iPad – If there is one device that has the potential to radically change how we perceive the use of computers and computing devices, it would be Apple’s iPad. But before the iPad can lay claim to this title, it must first prove that it has the capacity and viability to replace laptops, net books, and tablets. One of the unique features of the iPad (for now at least) is the use of a touch-screen display. The iPad has the potential to finally advance the acceptance of the multi-touch screen and perhaps even push it ahead of the ubiquitous mouse interface in use for the past few decades.

What the iPad must do is prove that it is not a niche product used only by geeks and those who wish to be technology trend setters. The iPad also must overcome the fact that it lacks many commonly accepted features found on laptops including a physical keyboard, USB ports, and a Webcam. If Apple can do this, then the iPad will truly become an IT game-changing product. For the time being, however, many people see it more as a glorified iPhone or a substitute for Amazon’s Kindle than as a true laptop replacement.

Cloud Computing – In its simplest state, cloud computing is the delivery of hardware and application services over the internet on demand. This is done as an alternative to hosting and maintaining your own servers and application software. In cloud computing, businesses only pay for the resources that they consume; think of your electricity bill, you only pay for what you use. Businesses that host services and applications in the cloud improve overall computer utilization rates, as servers are running at or near full capacity from clients connecting remotely. Cloud computing offers several models:

  1. Software as a Service (SaaS) – Providing an application that clients can access through the internet.
  2. Utility computing – Where storage and server computing power available when required
  3. Web and Platform Services – Providing a platform where developers can create applications that can be accessed by clients through the internet. Instead of using your own server infrastructure, you use these remote servers. Microsoft’s Azure platform provides just such an environment.

Unified Communications – We live in a highly connected world (perhaps too connected at times) with numerous communication technologies all competing for our attention. These disparate communications technologies were all developed and have grown into commonly accepted use separate from one another. In order to use these technologies, we may have had several accounts: one for conferencing, another for email, a third for instant messaging, and yet another for voicemail, and perhaps even other accounts. Each of these systems most likely had separate user names and passwords. In order for users to access them, they would have had to remember them (or write down). Network and telephony administrators had to keep these different systems working, sometimes with limited success and much difficulty.

Unified Communications combines these different systems together into a single communications platform. Now your telephony system can not only handle your voicemail, but send you an email letting you know that you have a voicemail. Conferencing is no more than a click away from a contact in an email. You can see if a colleague is available by checking their on-line presence. You can also receive IM’s from outside clients on your internal IM system. A single communications platform – makes it easier for users to keep in contact with others and easier for administrators to maintain.

Virtualization – Virtualization the art and science of having a single physical server host several virtual server roles. The virtualization of server farms is accelerating as IT managers have to realize the economic benefits derived from having fewer physical boxes (electrical, cooling, deployment, green computing, and software deployment). There are several virtualization products including Microsoft’s Hyper-V and VMware.

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) – Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (or Interface) is another method to provide centralized management and deployment of user virtual desktops. Users will require a constant connection to a network as they will access their own personal desktop remotely. This improves the user’s desktop flexibility, gives IT staff an integrated management and assists with business continuity. Virtualization and cloud computing is where much of the IT infrastructure is headed.

Electronic Readers – Amazon’s Kindle, Barnes and Noble’s Nook, Sony’s Reader, take your pick. They all have ability to store hundreds or even thousands of books and documents. The typical user will mainly use these devices to read books, newspapers or other such periodicals. The electronic readers with larger screens can be readily used for technical references. What makes these such alluring devices and a game changer for 2010 is their capacity, battery life and small footprint. Businesses could pass out electronic readers for meetings in-lieu of paper documents; reference material for a product could be accessed through an electronic reader. While these are not going to herald in the “paper-less office,” it is changing how we read and maintain documents and books.

Smart Phones – There are three smart phone platforms that have the majority of the market share: Apple’s iPhone, the BlackBerry and Google’s Android. Smartphones represent the fastest growing market share for hand-held devices – everyone wants to have a smartphone (whether they actually use most of the features or apps for their smartphone is another matter). What is going to be the deciding factor amongst these smart phones for users is their ease of use, flexibility and apps (applications downloaded and installed on the phone to enhance their functionality and customization). Smart phone deployment and usage in the enterprise environment will be decided by such factors as security, email and messaging simplicity, document management, navigation and web conferencing. The smart phone is evolving and will continue to change how we view mobile communications and connectivity. In many parts of the world, people are dispensing with their landline (if they even had one) and only using a smartphone.

Social Networks and Networking – or the power of the Tweet. It is a serious mistake to underestimate the power of social networks (whether it be IMs, tweets or the “old school” email). Social networks have been used to help free people who have been incarcerated overseas, organize popular social and music events and even keep in touch with family and friends. Social networks have tremendous power and influence – far more than most people realize (and probably want to accept either). The “traditional” workplace is quickly changing – more people are working from home or from other locations and want and even need this contact. This does not mean the real-time interaction of the bricks-and-mortar work place environment have been lost – just changed. If you are curious – tweet a friend and ask.

People keep in contact through Facebook or other social sites, blurring the line between work and social boundaries. The use of Microsoft Office Communicator will allow users to have both business and personal contacts in one IM interface. Business and IT leaders will have to learn to use these as the in order to accelerate the business-decision process and maintain relevance with workers. Customers will expect immediate answers to questions and employees can accomplish more through these communications.

Touch Screen Computing – What comes to mind now when we think of touch-screen computing? The iPad, of course. There will be even more touch screen devices released this year as other manufacturers release products to compete with the iPad. In some cases, a gesture, not a touch or a mouse-click will control computers. New game consoles (Microsoft’s Kinetic, where you are the controller) will be released this fall. They don’t rely on the movement of a hand-held device, but gestures made towards the receiver. This type of technology will aid those with physical challenges as well as make for much smaller physical footprints required for computers.

Solid State Disks – The ubiquitous hard drive (and other storage devices for that matter) is undergoing radical changes these days. The capacity of hard drives is increasing, but the basic technology has not changed; you still have magnetic disks and motors. Solid state drives are reaching a capacity that makes them a viable option for most laptop users. The solid state drive is a large flash memory device that does not have any moving parts. This results in devices that use much less energy, run much cooler and faster, and are much lighter.

STS-132 – Last Launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis

This is a longer than normal post… you can click on pix to see larger views, and there will be links to galleries at the end… grab your favorite hot or cold beverage of choice and hang on for a fun ride!

I had the unique privilege last week to be invited down by NASA to participate in taking tours, meeting with various NASA Staff, and viewing the FINAL launch of the Space Shuttle Atlantis.  It’s been a few days since I got back home, and I still can’t shake the awesomeness of seeing what I saw over the 2 day period @ Kennedy Space Center.

There was a group of 150 of us brought together – Space Geeks and IT Nerds mainly – to participate in a “Tweetup” where we would engage in the “new media” methods and processes to spread in word and pictures the story of this last flight of the Atlantis, and the 1st of the final 3 Shuttle flights ever…

We arrived on L-1 (one day from launch in NASA speak) miles outside the security gates at the press credentials building to pickup our badges and info kits and directions to the next place to go… thru Gate 2, and more miles up the road to the immense VAB (Vehicle Assembly Building) and turn there to the press area for more badge checks and directions to next place…  Once parked and resisting the urge to skip the rest of the way, I stopped and soaked in just where I was and what was going to happen soon… off to the right of me are the press buildings for news outlets like CBS, etc and to the left of me is the countdown clock.  so I walk over to the clock, which is HUGE and touch it.  No alarms go off, no men with guns show up, in fact a few others are doing the same.  We look at each other, smile, make comments, and head to the tent setup for us over the next few days.

Inside the tent, it’s setup with screens surrounding a podium and dozens of tables with a large power strip in the middle of each and 8 wireless access points strapped to the top poles giving us nerds and geeks the power and connectivity we need!  People start gathering at tables, introducing ourselves and forming friendships right away – strangers with so much in common.

The morning kicks off with speakers giving us their points of view on their job and the future of space exploration and what we can do to help… Q&A followed giving us the ability to go past the prepared messages and find out answers to burning questions like “is there room for us to squeeze in the shuttle tomorrow”
We heard from an enjoyable variety of speakers in the morning:
  • Robert “Bobby” Braun – Chief Technologist for NASA, hit a home run with the intro and answers to sometimes challenging questions raised in the kick-off of the event. Touching on the new things in development and consideration for NASA’s next steps post-shuttle.
  • Janice Voss – Astronaut on 5 Shuttle missions, MIT Grad, logged over 49 days in space traveling 18.8 million miles in 779 Earth orbits. wow…  When asked what her favorite memory from being in space was, she quipped “looking down seeing the cities and realizing everyone I love is down there… stuck in traffic!”
  • Stephanie Stilson – Space Shuttle Orbiter Processing Director (Discovery)  She is responsible for the team of over 1,000 people that get the orbiter and parts ready for the next launch after landing.  The shear amount of logistics is staggering.  Many fun “inside stories” shared about the friendly competition and rivalry between the orbiter teams.
  • Jon Cowart – NASA engineer and one of the most engaging speakers, let alone space geeks I’ve heard in a long time… many of us around the room starting a “get Jon to speak to Congress” movement.  Fascinating talk and ability to make common sense of techno-babble…
  • Ron Woods – Equipment Specialist – been with NASA since Apollo days.  He brought actual space suit parts, and had the courage to let them be passed around and handled by us – oh what a trusting man…

We walked over for lunch, next to the VAB – which as I mentioned before is HUGE!!! you cannot grasp the scale of the building in the pictures, it’s one of the worlds largest buildings by volume, and has it’s own weather inside – it can RAIN in there!  While we joked about getting “Space Burgers” and “Rocket Dogs” it was pretty typical cafeteria fair.  Time to walk back, each of us in small groups chattering on about things we’ve heard thus far and what we’re going to do next

We get on some busses, of course throwing rivalry in the mix, making the twitter timeline for a bit flood with “Bus one is the best!”, “Bus 3 is the party bus” and so on… We split up with some of us going to the Saturn V Center and others to the ISS buildings 1st.  In the ISS (International Space Station) building we saw the clean room where they prep the various modules and experiments that will be carried up to the station by the shuttles… a massive complex in it’s own right.  The Saturn V center is where they house a “Live” Saturn V rocket system that was literally being prepared for launch before Congress told NASA to stop it…  they moved the launch room, created some cool movies to put you “there” for a launch, and then open the doors to dump us right UNDER the nozzles of the rocket… goosebumps and cameras… click click click…

Final stop for L-1 events was to head over to Pad 39-A and get as close as you can get to the Shuttle on the pad without being on the gantry crew itself!  The bus caravan pulled into a little “do not cross” taped off area and let us all out, many cameras already clicking away.  The orbiter was still hidden by the service structure used to prep and work on the cargo bay and we were there on time to watch them pull it back out of the way.  Fired off a lot of shots getting the feel for the lens and the best settings to combat the horrid light (very harsh and low on the horizon).  Slowly without much warning the huge structure began to rotate away revealing the Shuttle Atlantis in it’s pre-launch glory…  click click click click…  Still many of us remarking to each other how cool this is to be THIS close.  Florida sun starting to really heat us up as we stand there watching – who cares we’ll shower later!  click click click…

After about 30 mins or so the rotation is complete and we snap off a few group shots with the pad in the background, and board the bus to head back to the tent to gather things up for the day.  They gathered us up in our group, took one of those “Where’s Waldo” shots – I’m kneeling in the front row on the right… big white spot/shirt…

We’re told that the engines are so powerful that their vibrations generate enough force and sound pressure to shatter concrete… OK, so we’ll stay a little farther back tomorrow at launch, I understand…

As the bus starts pulling away, all of us still eyes glued on the Pad, we reach a spot with a perfect back-on shot of the shuttle on the pad… we’re all asking the driver to stop and people are diving for spots near the windows to take that one last “perfect” shot… click click click… then we realize how this must look everyone literally on top of each other like a massive “twister” game, laughing as we untangle and start comparing shots on the tiny little camera screens…  oh what fun!

Get back to the tent, gather the stuff, get final words of instruction for L-0 and head out… Calling it a night…

Could hardly sleep that night, excited like a kid on Christmas Eve trying to sleep…  Get up, grab breakfast with a new tweet-up friend staying in the same hotel (JD Andrews), and we head up the road to KSC for “L-0”.

A lot more people out this morning… lining the roads already as we get closer and closer to the NASA gates.  As we walk to the tent, there are also lots more press around today setting up, dozens of microwave and satellite trucks, the press buildings teaming with people.  The countdown clock locked into the traditional 3 hour hold, and we assemble for another group shot around the clock, NASA photog Paul Alers doing his best to keep us all behaved and still for the shot – like herding cats…  (I’m a few people in from the clock in the back row)

We slowly peel away from the clock and the bustle of activity outside and head into to tent to hear from another fun round of speakers while we await “the moment”

  • Lori Garver – NASA Deputy Director – made the case for moving forward and developing new technologies and innovations that will bring our space program into the next decade.
  • Patrick Barrett – Weather Officer who gave us all the possible weather reasons why a mission would be scrubbed… not a fun topic considering the day, but good times!
  • Chris Meinert -STS-132 Closeout crew – He came over to talk with us right after closing the hatch on the orbiter sealing in the Astronauts.  Gave a very emotional remembrance of the crew of STS-107 Columbia that he was the last one here on earth to see in person.
  • Madi Sengupta – Johnson Space Center Space Station Robotics instructor – trains the ‘nauts on using the arm on the shuttle.
  • and Bobby Braun came back for another round of questions. Yay!

The best-est part of all the speakers, was they genuinely wanted to be there with us, to talk with us – not “at” us… they engaged in conversation, answered questions, and hung out… Astronaut Dave Wolf stopped by and spent a long time chatting and walking around answering questions and giving us lots to tweet about… real deal “Right Stuff”

Part way thru the morning, they announced the Astronauts were loading up into the transport van and were going to stop by outside the VAB for us to wave and wish them luck – a tradition of sorts… so we grab gear and go walking quickly towards the spot… helicopter hovers overhead, Armored security vehicles surrounding the transport, escort cars… and Ta-Da!  Here they are!  Godspeed!!


At L-0, T-Minus 2 minutes, there was not an open patch of grass in the press area or the water’s edge nearby that did not have a person or tripod in it… I had found a small patch of ground to setup in with what I considered a good shot angle, and prepped my iPhone to record audio, put the Camera with 400mm lens on the tripod with the grip head and – once again – told God THANK YOU for what we were about to watch and experience…  T-Minus 30 seconds, click off a couple of test shots to make sure stuff still works, look down to make sure I am not stepping on the iPhone and it’s still recording….  T-minus 16 seconds – this is when launch pad is being flooded with water to protect the shuttle and the pad from the massive amount of acoustical energy from the engines and boosters…

Now T-Minus 10 seconds – OH MY GOSH THIS IS COOL – reframe the shot in the viewfinder for the 1,000th time… finger poised on the shutter release…  Breathe in, breathe out… breathe in, breathe out…   Excitement in the air feels like static electricity…  “BLING!!” Big flash of light at the pad, everyone around me going “WOHOOOO” and mash down the button on the camera with the right hand and releasing the grip head with the left to allow fluid tracking as this spaceship’s engines turn that swimming pool of water into a massive side shot of steam clouds… plumes of smoke and fire are visible now as the craft slowly lifts up and away… BOOM – the sound pressure wave hits… the loudest thing you have heard, crackling, rumbling and rocking to the BONE!!… click click click click click click click…. Sound pressure even where we were is incredible, the ground shakes…  and as fast as the camera could keep up with the shots I was taking and tracking…  The rumbling and feeling lessening as the shuttle gained altitude, but the unforgettable sound still there….  click click click click click click…. leaning the tripod back on 2 legs as I reach the limit of the grip head rotation…. click click click click… bright white exhaust trail on a deep blue cloudless sky, tiny bright yellow spot of the engines getting dimmer and dimmer as the shuttle gets closer and closer to “home” of earth orbit…

Heart pounding… body tingling… hands shaking… eyes getting this strange salty watery discharge welling up in them… walking briskly back to the Tweetup Tent or “Twent” as we called it so I could get these pictures off the camera and into the laptop/twitter-sphere… quickly pick a couple of shots of of the 100s shot in 4 minutes…  Giddy excitement from the guys and gals around the tables nearby as we all were still “in the moment” and watching the large screens scattered around the front of the tent showing the NASA TV shots of the rest that our gear could never pickup…  “THIS IS FREAKING AWESOME!” is heard all over the tent…  While not “Walter Cronkite” kind of reporting, that’s the kind of tweeting and new media verbiage going out…  Traditional news outlets are in the tent now interviewing some of us about what we saw and how we’re “reporting it” – CNN, MSNBC, Local Outlets, etc…

We watch the rest of the flight and initial orbit on the large screens, trading pictures and email addresses, and not wanting this moment to be over…  Finding as many of the NASA folks still in the tent and shaking their hands in thanks… Many plans for things to do after are made among various groups and some even promise to help take down the tent later if they won’t make us go home…  Most decided to hit the Visitor Center to let the massive crowd and traffic out on the roads outside the Cape disperse…  We all kept our badges and credentials on, badge of honor – or nerdness – but it doesn’t matter at this point.  We just watched the Shuttle Launch closer than most people ever will!  There were various after-parties scattered around the area and some even over at Disney World where quite a few ended up staying.  Memories, friendships, experiences and being part of history all made with 150 online strangers via technology, a shared love for space, and a bond that is hard to put into words.  Thank you God! Thank you NASA! (Stephanie, Beth, John, Kelly and so many others!), and thanks to my family for letting me go! <grin>

If you’re not a space-nerd or don’t think the expense of the space program is justified, consider this – NASA is also studying EARTH from space. Our home…  the planet’s environment, atmosphere, weather patterns, and developing and refining technology that will help us to take better care of our planet as good stewards should.

I’m a huge NASA fan and I’ll miss the shuttle program, but after seeing what’s on the horizon, and the unbridled enthusiasm the family at NASA has to get started on new/next things, I can’t wait to see what we come up with next!

There are a lot more pictures, especially of the RSS/Pad-39A and the Liftoff itself… here are some links to more pictures from the event – enjoy!!

© Gallery – STS132 Tweetup Day 1

© Gallery – STS132 Launchpad 39A

© Gallery – STS132 Tweetup Day 2

© Gallery – STS132 – Liftoff

The 10 Commandments of Career Success in the Media World

** This is reposted from PhilCooke.com – Media Guru, Fellow-Believer… enjoy!
February 25, 2010

I spoke to a class of university film students at Biola University in Los Angeles, who asked me to give them some career advice before graduation. A friend, award winning advertising writer David Morgenstern, shared some tips with me for the class that he had given to USC film students a few years ago, and they were so fantastic, I wanted to share them with you:

1) Return every call and e-mail quickly. Show up on time, even if you’re the only one there. Dress like you deserve your salary. Believe me, that will put you ahead of a surprising number of people.

2) Write thank-you notes. Remember birthdays. Remember the assistants, and the secretaries, the coordinators, and the mailroom folks. This is a people business. And people never forget how they are treated.

3) Every day, you are placing a brick in the tower of your reputation. Remember, everything you do, big and small, either adds or subtracts from your reputation.

4) Watch what you say in elevators, in restrooms, on airplanes and in casual conversation. She could be the client’s wife. He could be the boss’s brother. She could be your competitor’s accountant.

5) Don’t care who solves it. Just get it solved.

6) Learn how to tell a story: Every client presentation, every report, every commercial-it’s all about stories. Stories are how human beings make sense of the world. If you want to succeed in this business, be able to tell stories in ways that capture your audience’s attention.

7) When emotions are running high, make sure yours are running low. Life is unfair, so learn to lose with dignity. And, learn to win with dignity. That means no excuses. No crybabies. No bragging. No trashing. Learn how to move on.

8) Proofread. Spell-check.

9) Good enough, isn’t. There is going to be someone out there who will sleep less and work harder, will give up their weekend, and give it one more shot. That is the person that I bet on to win.

10) Think different. Be brave. The world is full of people with conventional ideas who go along with the crowd. It’s the mavericks and the dreamers who move things forward. When you hear an idea that makes you nervous, makes you sweat, occasionally gather your courage, take a stand, take a risk, suck it up and go out on a limb. Hey, you might even be right.

Snow Diary

I copied this post from a friend, Joan Anderson… Too funny!

Keeping in mind my tweet/post from earlier today – “Phil 4:11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” – I have enjoyed thus snow season (thus far)… Still below is something we can all relate to in some way -Ha !!

My thanks to Joan and the original author for the smile I now pass on to you!

December 8 6:00 p.m.
It started to snow. The first snow of the season and the wife and I took our “hot chocolate” and sat for hours by the window watching the huge soft flakes drift down from heaven. It looked like a Grandma Moses print. So romantic we felt like newlyweds again. I love the snow!

December 9
We woke to a beautiful blanket of crystal white snow covering every inch of the landscape. What a fantastic sight! Can there be a more lovely place in the whole world? Moving here was the best idea I’ve ever had! Shovelled for the first time in years and felt like a boy again. I did both our sidewalks. This afternoon the snowplow came along and covered up the sidewalks and closed in the driveway, so I got to shovel again. What a perfect life!

December 12
The sun has melted all our lovely snow. Such a disappointment! My neighbor tells me not to worry — we’ll definitely have a white Christmas. No snow on Christmas would be awful! Bob says we’ll have so much snow by the end of winter, that I’ll never want to see snow again. I don’t think that’s possible. Bob is such a nice man, I’m glad he’s our neighbor.

December 14
Snow, lovely snow! 8 inches last night. The temperature dropped to -20. The cold makes everything sparkle so. The wind took my breath away; but, I warmed up by shovelling the driveway and sidewalks. This is the life! The snowplow came back this afternoon and buried everything again. I didn’t realize I would have to do quite this much shovelling; but, I’ll certainly get back in shape this way. I wish I wouldn’t huff and puff so.

December 15
20 inches forecast. Sold my van and bought a 4×4 Blazer. Bought snow tires for the wife’s car and 2 extra shovels. Stocked the freezer. The wife wants a wood stove in case the electricity goes out. I think that’s silly. We aren’t in Alaska, after all.

December 16
Ice storm this morning. Fell on my rump on the ice in the driveway putting down salt. The wife laughed for an hour, which I think was very cruel.

December 17
Still way below freezing. Roads are too icy to go anywhere. Electricity was off for 5 hours. I had to pile the blankets on to stay warm. Nothing to do but stare at the wife and try not to irritate her. Guess I should’ve bought a wood stove, but won’t admit it to her. Man, I hate it when she’s right. I can’t believe I’m freezing to death in my own living room.

December 20
Electricity’s back on, but had another 14 inches of the darn stuff last night. More shovelling! Took all day. The snowplow came by twice. Tried to find a neighbor kid to shovel, but they said they’re too busy playing hockey. I think they’re lying. Called the only hardware store around to see about buying a snow blower and they’re out. Might have another shipment in March. I think they’re lying. Bob says I have to shovel or the city will have it done and bill me. I think he’s lying.

December 22
Bob was right about a white Christmas because 13 more inches of the white stuff fell today, and it’s so cold, it probably won’t melt till August. Took me 45 minutes to get all dressed up to go out to shovel and then I had to pee. By the time I got undressed, peed, and dressed again, I was too tired to shovel. Tried to hire Bob who has a plow on his truck for the rest of the winter, but he says he’s too busy. I think he’s lying.

December 23
Only 2 inches of snow today. And it warmed up to 0. The wife wanted me to decorate the front of the house this morning What is she, nuts?! Why didn’t she tell me to do that a month ago? She says she did but I think she’s lying.

December 24
6 inches — Snow packed so hard by snowplow, I broke the shovel. Thought I was having a heart attack. If I ever catch the guy who drives that snowplow, I’ll drag him through the snow and beat him to death with my broken shovel. I know he hides around the corner and waits for me to finish shovelling and then he comes down the street at a 100 miles an hour and throws snow all over where I’ve just been! Tonight the wife wanted me to sing Christmas carols with her and open our presents, but I was too busy watching for the darn snowplow.

December 25
Merry Christmas! 20 more inches of the slop tonight — Snowed in. The idea of shovelling makes my blood boil. I hate the snow! Then the snowplow driver came by asking for a donation and I hit him over the head with my shovel. The wife says I have a bad attitude. I think she’s an idiot. If I have to watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” one more time, I’m going to stuff her into the microwave.

December 26
Still snowed in. Why the heck did I ever move here? It was all HER idea. She’s really getting on my nerves.

December 27
Temperature dropped to -30 and the pipes froze; plumber came after 14 hours of waiting for him. He only charged me $1,400 to replace all my pipes.

December 28
Warmed up to above -20. Still snowed in. My WIFE is driving me crazy!!

December 29
10 more inches. Bob says I have to shovel the roof or it could cave in. That’s the silliest thing I ever heard. How dumb does he think I am.?

December 30
Roof caved in. I beat up the snowplow driver, and now he is suing me for a million dollars, not only for the beating I gave him, but also for trying to shove the broken snow shovel up his butt. The wife went home to her mother. Nine more inches predicted.

December 31
I set fire to what’s left of the house. No more shovelling.

January 8
Feel so good. I just love those little white pills they keep giving me. Why am I tied to this bed?

Be a MAN in 2010

I read a post on a site geared for guys (artofmanliness.com), and cut together some stuff there and some other thoughts of mine… on being a man… to “Man Up”… to be in a “band of brothers”

What happens when you’re in the company of initiated men – men who are committed to your growth and theirs, are willing to hold you accountable and be held accountable to a much deeper, trusting relationship – is you begin to get fathered by the other men. Eventually, you become more comfortable in your own skin as you find your place among the men. You also have the opportunity to learn the lessons so you can move forward into manhood.

This may sound a bit cryptic, but the process is quite natural when you’re with men who are tired of the superficial and are willing to admit that they also need help to be better men, fathers and husbands.

It’s with men – having fun, learning about each other, receiving and offering guidance, wisdom, experience and advice – that we can get help to discover how we really feel, and then connect with our passions and our higher purpose.

It’s difficult for most men to believe that what they need to be happier and more successful is the support of other men. After all, most men have never had that kind of support. It wasn’t taken away from us in our lifetimes. In fact, it’s been several generations since men were raised by men, in the company of their uncles, brother and neighbors, and taught what it meant to be a healthy men in their communities.

But once you discover the power of being in a circle of men, you’ll never want to be without it. It’s within that circle where you’ll find your answer, and so much more.

Our strength as men (and I don’t just mean physical strength) is to be used for others – to be better husbands, fathers, and friends.

If you are interested on the topic of this blog post, I highly suggest that you read a book called “Wild At Heart” by John Eldredge. He explains that we were created with passions and sense of adventure deep within us, and he explores how to get your heart back as a man!

Seeing God’s Face

In the last few days various readings and audiobooks have all touched at some point on Moses seeing the back of God instead of His Face… Why did he look at the back and not face-to-face? As the Bible explains it was because Moses could not survive it… And yet even with the fleeting glimpses of God and His Glory from the back, he came down with his own face glowing/shining!

Can people tell that we have the living God shining thru US??

I am reminded of the missions trips I took to Chennai, India a few years ago. I went knowing that God wanted to use my skills and talents to help a Bible school with their technology, but didn’t know how it would impact both sides… I went with a team of folks that had goals of visiting orphanages and schools, setting up medical camps, teaching classes, and so on.

I’ll dig up some journal entries about the trips and post those later, but to the point, as I took some time away from my tasks to help the other teams in medical camps, the non-medical ones (like me) would sit and pray with every person that came thru the camp. For many it was the 1st time they heard the name “Jesus”… what struck me the most, which is what ties the thought back to the title, is that you could SEE by simply looking at a person’s face if they were a believer, a brother/sister in Christ… THEY GLOWED! The others that were not, were solemn, pitiful looking, sad… That “shiney” aspect is dimmed here in America… we’ve got too much vying for our attention… We also have a tendency to reorganize the message of the Church as Christ intended… It is harder to look at another person here and see it as obvious…

Oh, to be that light, to be a “shiney” 🙂

Optical Media – RIP

Here is a link to a decent article on ZD-Net about the death of optical media/drives, or at least the slowing acceptance and use compared to external hard drives and cheap thumb drives….

I stopped using CD/DVD media as a backup method many years ago when I attempted to actually USE them again and read data off, and couldn’t… Many many hours later and trying different drives and cleaning cloths, and tricks like putting a blank label to increase reflectivity, and even lightly ironing – got 90% of the data back…. Turns out the Library of Congress is discovering the same thing… it does not “last” as long as one might think, and certainly not as long as the manufacturers promised (10 years I think was one such “promise”) – this is all referring to the consumer “burned” kind versus the pressed commercial kinds… The reason has to do with the layers and the separation of the actual data layer from the plastic substrate…

Anyway, check out the post here