This morning during my quiet / devotion / reflection time, I came across
this Bible devotional. The focal point was a bible verse, Hebrews
that simply says: "remember to be good and share with others".
It's such a simple concept and yet...
I like to post things like this to help me remember. Sometimes it's just
a postit note, or sometimes it's a framed calligraphy, but this time I
wanted to make a desktop and iPhone wallpaper and like the verse says,
The font I used was Tablet Gothic Compressed from Typekit.
Here's the desktop version. Click to get the hi res version.
Here's the iPhone version:
Every year my family and extended family and friends take a trip up to
the North Georgia Mountains. I thought I'd share some photos from our
trip. The weather was beautiful!
Helton Creek Falls
Helton Creek is back a ways off Hwy 129 and it takes a little while to
get to, but the ride is really nice. It's not much of a hike (just a few
stairs) but worth the trip.
Drive through a few streams to get there!
You can see the falls from the road.
You have to hold on to this guy to keep him out of the water!
The Sorghum Festival is an annual event held in Blairsville, GA each
year. They actually make sorghum at the event!
There's fun stuff for the kids to do too!
Hiking the Appliciation Trail
We had the kids, so Patty and I didn't end up going too far...
But the views were great!
Hiking around Vogel State Park
Vogel is one of my favorite parks in Georgia. There's a lot of great
hiking leaving from the park.
Gotta have hiking sticks!
Georgia Mountain Fair
Lots of crafts and food, and of course...toys for the kids.
A bit of history (glad I don't have to mow the grass with that)
Lots of demos on soap making, blacksmithing, broom making, moonshine,
and even a real sawmill...
Recently I've been working on a new product for my company and I decided
it was a good fit for Ember. I'm just now learning Ember so it's a
new endeavor for me.
I got about 60% of the way through the project and hit somewhat of a
wall. I've gone about as far as the introduction tutorials I've found
I've been pretty comfortable in my role as a senior or advanced rails
developer for some time now. Not that I don't struggle or work on hard
problems, but rails as a framework isn't getting in my way or slowing me
down. I'm able to focus on my problems and not focus on the framework.
Now that I'm learning ember, I'm reminded of back when I was learning
rails and how difficult and frustrating it can be to learn something new.
To solve a simple problem, it requires a lot of digging and learning. But
that's the price you pay for learning a framework. In a recent talk I
gave about learning rails, I explained that it was difficult to learn
rails (or any framework for that matter), but that the investment was
well worth it.
I spent about 10-15 minutes live coding with them went through doing a
quick prototype of their website. I saw some pretty impressed smiles
from the crowd when they saw rails work it's magic.
I struggle with this upfront cost, but have to take some of my own
medicine every now and then remember that it's worth it in the long run.
A few weeks ago, I took a blogging challenge and I failed in my
goal of writing for 30 straight business days. I started on 9/1 and did
pretty good for 3 straight weeks, writing 15 blog posts in total. My
downfall was 2 weeks. My goal at the beginning of the challenge was to
write at least 1 case study / white page on a recent project we'd
completed. I figured it would take me about the same amount of writing 3
blog posts, so I set aside 3 days to complete it.
I did start it and I did write for those three days, but there was just
too much to it all. I wanted to chronicle the step by step process we
took in redesigning the www.montlick.com
website. I had a lot of photos, screen shots, notes and sketches to pour
I'm still in the process of writing it and hope to publish it soon.
Couple of lessons learned...
Consistancy is hard
Doing anything consistently is hard. If you really want to do something
consistently, you have to be truly dedicated to it...whether you're
exercising, dieting, working, or blogging.
Long term goals are more difficult to achieve
When I was blogging daily, it was easier to publish something. The goal
was clear, the end result was within grasp. I did fall behind once or
twice, but I didn't want to miss a day so I always caught up. By
contrast, the 3 days I spent writing the white paper was more ambiguous.
I wasn't sure how much I needed to complete each day. Also, the goal of
three days was not set in stone.
I liken this small example to working on creative projects, which are
notorious for being late and over budget. If an overall project deadline
is not set with milestones along the way, then there's usually a good
chance the project will drag on and on. I learned this early on in my
business. I'd have 2-3 larger projects to work on but also daily small
tasks on existing projects. It's so easy to take care of the small tasks
and forgo the dedication it takes to working on something due 3 months
Good habits are hard to form. Starting small and committing to be
consistant are key.
On Friday's while Patty is at CrossFit, I usually take a break from work
and watch Nate for a few hours. This morning I asked him what he wanted
to do and he said, "I want to see a train". Ok, that's a random one, how
do I fulfil that request?
Well, while out cycling the other day, I just happened to ride by a CSX
station in a town nearby, so we hopped in the car and drove out to it.
It was an old building with no windows or glass in the door, but I
knocked and when no one answered I just went in. It was a very non
public place with lockers and years old flooring and walls. Once inside
though, I bumped into a man just said, "hi, we'd like to see a train,
are there any out in the yard we can look at?"
To our surprise, he was very accommodating and took us out in the yard
and showed us all kinds of stuff: tracks, cars, engines, a
choo-choo-truck; he even blew the train horn! It's amazing what people
are willing to share with you if you just ask!
I've done this quite a few times, with fire stations, police stations,
etc. We have a small local airport that I took the kids to once. We
walked into the mechanics shop, and struck up a conversation with the
first person we saw. It turned out he was the owner of one of the planes
in the shop and invited the kids up into the plane and answered all kids
of random questions from the kids. The owner of the shop even ended up
giving the kids some wooden model airplanes. Another time we saw a hot
air baloon land near by. We drove over, started up conversation with the
folks, and winded up getting a ride.
I was chatting with a business assiciate the other day and we were
talking about this concept of asking. Whether you're thinking of
asking for a sale, for the job, for an investment, or for the
promotion...just don't be afraid to ask. I typically find people are
much more willing to entertain the idea than you think they might be.
Even if they're not, it may open the doors to something else. Besides,
the worst thing that can happen is you get a No, and that's not a bad
risk to reward ratio!