Day 6, getting to the meat

Couple of things before getting into the homework, Magic and jobs.

So this weekend was the “big” local magic  tournament. I started out strong undefeated in the Swiss even though i had to fight the mirror (aka the same deck more or less) and 3 of my worse match ups (Mono red agro).  Took everyone down, if i had to go to the game in many of the matches. Cut to the top eight and got paired up to the person i beat in the first round. It is very hard to beat the same person a second time in the same tournament statistically anyway. Out of so many game each person should win so many games and if you won the first time around the odd shift back to the other person. But that is not how i lost. Once again i lost to the top of my deck game one (mull to 5 with 2 lands keep, drew a 3rd land on turn 9ish… ). Now game two we got to play magic, think i made the wrong call when i could make her discard and it bit me. I hear she, yeah i took off i was running on 1/2 a banana i ate 6 hours ago, lost in the finals to a counter spell. Bad beats all around.

As for the job. I was at my sister-in-law’s yesterday and we were all talking and she told me that the local post office was looking for help. The post office was on my on again off again list as a place i wanted to work. I remember back in grade school going on a field trip to the post office and really wanting to be a mail man. Somewhere along the lines i lost that. So i checked that out this morning and while the current posting it is not ideal job as it is a rural as needed posting but when i called this morning i was told that there was about to be an city delivery position opening up and that sounds amazing. Seeing about getting my foot in the door. And like my wife was saying i could do this as needed thing for awhile while i work on getting on at Turbine.

 

Okay time for homework.

6.1, Do i understand the areas of my competence?

Hmm, yeah? I am a good to fair programmer, i have seen great programmers and i am not in that league but i can follow and work with them. I am great at debugging and fixing things. I am creative, entertaining, clear headed and really great at planing out workflows and tweaking them to be more efficient.

6.2, Do i feel trapped b/c of current/past work experience?

I do feel a little trapped. I more or less took the first programming job out of school and it was great for a long time. But now i am a “php guy.” But a “legacy” php guy. I was the one that not only wrote the new stuff but had to keep all the old stuff working. Then somewhere in the last few years style of programming changed for the better but i had all this legacy code to keep up and major projects i was in the middle of when i looked up and everything was different. It was like i was being boiled alive and the water in the pot was slowly getting hotter so slowly for so long i feel cooked.

6.3, Do i realize how easily my skills/abilities might transfer?

To some degree sure. Once you understand the ideas behind programming; other languages are mostly syntax changes. Mostly…. Being able to work solo or in a team is easy to transfer and these rough learned skills like planing the LDAP structure and creating the interface tools are fairly easy to port.

My main issue is most of my work was done on a private/internal only server and only a small part of my programs are accessible via the public web and those are mostly behind private accounts as well. Being ambushed like i was caught me with my pants down and i have 0 of my code base at home. Most people want to see a portfolio…

6.4, Can i see value in thing i may have done as a volunteer though church or community?

Sure, my writings and castings have value. My ability to entertain is worth wild to the right people. Question is how do i cash in on that? Also my writing has to have improved, right?

6.5, Is there skills or training i NEED for the work i want to do?

Depends, lets say I get one of the Q/A jobs at Turbine, i need to get up to speed on C#, working on it btw Turbine guys… or it is on the list anyway.

If i am going to deliver mail, i just need to get into better shape, also working on it. Cleaning up some of the exercise equipment after lunch and i will be starting some kind of regiment.

6.6a, Has God giving me abilities that do not match my desires?

I am sure there are. I am fairly good at things. Not the best at everything but who is? And there are things i can do that i don’t enjoy there has to be… Just because i can’t think of anything right this moment….

6.6b, If so how can i reconcile those?

Well i need to identify them at first. Then start to evaluate them on a one by one basis, i mean how good at something am i that i don’t enjoy. Other then kids… I am scary good with kids, young ones until about 12 then they become monsters that i am only okay with…

 

Okay all need to go. I want to that everyone that left comments this last few weeks. They all helped. But now i need to clean some stuff, get a workout in and take a gov test i guess.

<3s

Week 1 Unemployed, review/thoughts

This week has been a strange one, as you know i have been reading and working through this really great book 48 days Until the Work You Love, and i have been really debating on what i want to do and for whom. And a few really clear thoughts have come to me.

First i want to be in entertainment as my vocation. Not that i want to be an entertainer directly, although if i could make enough money podcasting or twitch streaming that wouldn’t be the worse thing ever.

Second, all these ideas for books have been popping into my head. All kinds of books from little kids books to very much not for little kids books. And i think i will be working on some of these ideas in the future regardless of where i get a steady paycheck.

Third, a cover letter keeps entering my mind, a very specific letter to the people at Turbine… Part of the 48 day process is to open up and be completely true to yourself and find the thing/place where you will be happy to get up go to work and that drive allows you to excel. I have joked about working at Turbine before and i have even applied for and got fairly high in the interview process. I can’t help but wonder if now is my time? I will try, i have nothing to lose and everything to gain so that is a no brainier.

In other areas, this week has been a good one migraine wise, makes me wonder if that office setup was a big trigger. I am not pain free, but i have only had one flare up over what i would call level 6 and that is a great week! I still haven’t slept much but i feel fine wonder if there is another crash in my future?

Okay, i need to take care of some things and i want to try and get some ddo time in today before heading to the shop for FNM see you all on Monday if not sooner.

<3s

Day 5 and more homework

It is once again time for homework then i think i will do another post just talking about stuff and things.

 

5.1, What settings am I most comfortable?

I can talk, lolz, so my first reaction that is not at home is anyplace where i can talk. Which is weird because i can go a long time with out talking but i enjoy talking.

5.2, How do i respond to management?

It depends on the management in question… well you know it doesn’t, I am always respectful and calm when talking with members of management. Only when i am having personal time with friends or family have i ever “unloaded” about a manager i might have had a fantasy or two about returning fire in kind but not often only with one person. Maybe i have been lucky with most of my managers in the past but most of them use the golden rule even when having to manage someone.

5.3, How would I manage people?

Ii have been a manager in the past and other then one time when i was 17 (this encounter stands out in my mind as i regret how i handled it to this day) i have always handled my employees with respect and honestly. Ask me sometime about this one time and i will tell the story.

5.4, People, things or ideas; what am i best at working with?

I think i am good with most people, i might be a little rough around the edges sometimes unintentionally but for the most part it is hard to talk to things or ideas. That said the idea is the real thing isn’t it? If i am writing/coding/poding about a thing it is that idea i am really interacting with. People are the secondary part of the equation. That said people are very important to how i work.

5.5, Am i more analytic/detailed/logical or am i more of a big picture guy and respond with emotion and enthusiasm?

Again i walk the line depending on need, but if i had to use any of these words to make an answer i would say the logical big picture guy… It is not that i don’t have a lot of enthusiasm (although i tend to not show it well) or that i am not into the details but making the logical call to shape the big picture is kinda the role i tend to take. Some people say i am the devil’s advocate a little to easily and quickly.

5.6, Am i predictable or do i seek variety and new challenges?

I loves me a new challenge!

5.7, Am i verbal and persuasive, or am i the caring/empathetic listener?

This is a trick question. You can’t be the first without being the later. You have to both listen and hear to be persuasive…

5.8, What strengths have others noticed in you?

I am going to make my own list and if you can please leave a comment and list my strengths from your point of view.

  • Honest
  • Entertaining
  • Willing to fight for what i believe is right
  • Confident
  • Bold
  • Knowledgeable but willing to ask for help when i don’t know something
  • Willingness to learn what i don’t know???

5.9, List 5 words or phrases that describe me?

Again i am going to ask for your input here…

  • Honest
  • Creative
  • Funny
  • Family man
  • Independent

5.10, What would i want people to remember about me if i were to write my own epitaph?

As most of you know i have had a lot of highs and lows in my life, and i don’t want to say i have seriously thought about taking my own life but i have wondered how others in my world would handle my not being around. To that end i have thought about keeping a video eulogy for grievers. I have not done such a thing yet, other then my migraines my health is good and i don’t expect to die anytime soon. But i think i could channel some of that thought process into the best hits epitaph.

To start i would want to be known as a good father/husband/friend, those should be a given. Then i would want to be know for being funny/smart and handsome! Then honestly it would be nice to be remembered for leaving a mark on something that is bigger then myself and will last beyond my passing, a legacy of sorts.  Hmmm, i never really thought about a legacy beyond my son and his future children….

 

Okay all I am going to post this then knock out a quick week in the life  and toil a bit on some resume action. I am not there in the book yet but… well you can read about that in the next post.

 

<3s

Day 4, Chap 4 (Thinking Goals)

Think i am going to just jump to today’s homework….

4.1, Am i a goal setter? Do i normally set goals at the start of the year? If not, why?

Yes and no. I have written many times about getting goals and working towards making them happen in my personal life, but work goals?? Only when i needed them to help motivate me for a given task. Think that might be the point of this chapter…

4.2, How would i describe my current focus at work?

Right this moment, i want to say none. But that is not a fair answer. Think i want to say i am working at finding the next job that is more then just a job.

4.3, What are my hobbies, other skills and interests?

Finally a question i have been waiting for. DDo, MtG, Podcasting, writing, humor, gardening, comics?, other things…. Assuming other skills are those that i didn’t list on the first section i would have to put all the different web programming things in a pile, including the different languages and libraries i used to use. Interests??? I am the interest bard, i like to know about everything but that means i am not always the most versed in each topic.

4.4, What is my community involvement?

If you think of community as my ddo and online community then i am simi active, i am back on the trying to keep up on things. If you mean physical community then I am back to physical tournaments and seeing/hanging out with people again vs you know just their twitter/Facebook feeds. But if you mean church or charity kind of things… not so much. I might need to do something about that…

4.5, What was my parents attitude towards work and how has that affected me?

Think i touched on that some yesterday, but my dad was a MAN, all in caps. He worked a job he hated for years to keep things going for his family. I remember him telling me how he hated it and how i needed to use my head so as to not have to do the same kind of things for my family that he had to. A few weeks ago i gave my son a very similar talk. I remember thinking it was ironic at the time, now even more so…

 

It is funny, yesterday i was feeling great, charged up even. I wrote something, so far feed back is good, by the way. Also I will have a game related post for you all soon but i am in the funk this morning. I HAD to make myself read this last chapter. Every other day so far i was chomping at the bit to get started.

Hmmm

Maybe i should just get writing and see if that gets the blood flowing. If not maybe some of the dreaded exercise…

<3s

Day 3, Chapt 3 (Realizations)

Today has been particularly moving one, first of all i watched the best documentary ever, Unhung Hero. Really go and check it out. Totally worth the watch. Second of all today’s chapter hit me right where i am at the moment.

So lets jump to the home work, lots of good questions today:

3.1, It is realistic to expect a job to provide more then just a paycheck?

Using the definition of job in this chapter (and i think it is a good one) i want to say not really but after some thought and writing the rest of this explanation maybe?  In this chapter a job is defined as a task you do for money. Or that is at least how i took it. Because it will be needed below a Career is a work path, a track to follow… Think that makes sense. And a Vocation is an the overarching  big picture thing.  This is a made up example but say; I want to be an entertainer (vocation), I am a programmer (career), and i work for Turbine as a dev (job).  Now by working at Turbine in this example fulfill the top level (vocation) need but if i replaced the Job with i mop the floors at Turbine am i still fulfilling my vocation needs? Maybe?

3.2, Have you had a sense of calling in your life? How did you “hear” that calling” ?

Yes, I think, maybe? So decisive today. I want to say i was called to write this blog, back when it was at my.ddo. I just needed to. I have had days (well nights really) where this story just flows into my head and i feel like i should let it out. But i haven’t done much about that but i am about to!

3.3, Does God call only a few people?

No, i think he/she/it calls us all it is the matter of do we “hear.” I had a line right here about not wanting to be too preachy but you know what fuck it! Maybe i need to be a little more faith on my sleeve…

3.4, Is it reasonable to expect our work to be part of the fulfillment of our calling?

I want to think so. I remember talking to Karla one day, she was my boss’ boss. And she said one the most profound things i think i have ever heard. She said,  There are more people in the world out there that are unhappy in there jobs then those that are and life is too short. Find a way to get happy here or find someplace where you are happy. But know that most of us don’t have that luxury because we have kids and bills. And before that i would have thought she was one of the people that was living her dream. Maybe i should have moved that to the 3.2 also?

3.5, Do you currently have a job, career, or vocation?

I am going to pretend that this is last week and say i have a job. I liked many aspects of it and it might have been a career of sorts and fulfilled many of my needs but it was not “my vocation.”

3.6, What does “success” mean for you this year?

I think it will be finding my path and it would be wonderful if i could find a job that hits all my needs.

3.7, Are you where you thought you would be at the stage of life?

Idk… I think we are what our parents made us, sure there are some desires and talents to take into account, but i remember watching my father go to his job everyday and be miserable. His life was boiled down to keeping a roof over my head and food in my belly. And it was hard for him.  So for awhile now when i was unhappy in my job i choked things down for my son. So in that regard yes i was exactly where i thought i would be.

I need to kiss my wife. She is really taking care of things and has been for a long time. She needs a little more love for that….

3.8, Do you go home at night with a sense of meaning/purpose/accomplishment?

There were days. Like when i got a new assignment or just completed one. But on a daily level? Not so much. I know there are people out there that have that feeling everyday and i will be one too.

3.9, If i want different results next year, what will you do to change in what you are doing?

Well i am busted out of my rut already so that is good. I am also going to take some of these ideas i have float into my head and get them out. Once i finish here i am going to start lunch and a load of laundry and then i will be back at my desk working on that book. I might even start getting up when the inspiration hits me and write.  Also i will keep reading and looking at my other goals, I think i do want to help create ddo maybe other some other place where i can check that box on my life that says entertainer/storyteller…

Day 2 Chapt 2

So for the first time since Friday I slept for more then 3-4 hours. I don’t remember dreaming about working, catching myself dreaming about working and then wakening up because I don’t need to me working in my sleep anymore. And yet some how i am still exhausted… Man this is just weird. So long in my go to work, come home, die repeat rut; things are strange not doing that.

Okay read today’s chapter, good stuff. Time to get sappy with 6 or so questions and answers.

2.1, Respond to “All progress requires change, but not all change is progress.”

Sounds fairly right. It would be hard to move forward if you are always standing still, but it is also hard to move forward if you are doing the chicken dance.

2.2, Describe your career path in one statement.
For some reason i keep wanting to make this one word replies, so i am going to just list those thoughts: Halted, Varied, Unforeseen.

I am not sure what that means? Am i still in a morning stage?

2.3, How has company change affected you? How did i feel about said change?
We hired Jordan, a fellow php dev, and he was a great help. I felt a lot of relief that there wasn’t as much on my shoulders alone. But at the same time i felt that there was a challenge to keep up with the new guy bringing new tools and new ideas. I think he helped bust me out of my work rut and motivated me to work beyond my go to tool set.

2.4, Have i had any failure in my career? What did said failure lead to?

I have to say i feel like this is a fail right now. In the words of a friend of a friend “the company got me, i didn’t get the company” meaning i was asked to leave not left them wanting more. I knew that my boss was looking for the right excuse or the last one to push things over the top. I could have/should have beaten him to the punch. Thing is i am super loyal to places i have worked. My favorite fast food is still from the place i worked in high school, my favorite radio station is the one i worked at when i was going to college. Had i not needed to move on with my life, school/marriage/financial responsibilities i would be happy working at those places today. Same with GP, sure there where things i didn’t like at all those places but not enough to make me want to leave.

2.5, What were my childhood goals/ambitions? Which ones have i achieved?

I wanted to be a pilot so bad. When i had the chance i went to flight school and learned i loved to fly but hated the requirements and cost to becoming a pilot for hire. I didn’t want to be a flight instructor (which is more or less the only way to get the hours to even thing about being a pro-pilot). I remember wanting to be a oceanographer. lolz! But think that was mostly a Kansas boy wanting to be away from fields and cattle. Other then that all i remember was wanting to be away from home at all costs.

2.5, Name 2 or 3 people that have seemed to accomplished their dreams? What do i know about their accomplishments?

This one is kind of easy. People like Jerry, Tolero and Glin aka Eric seem to have found the magic. They are “living the dream” and making fantasy come to life. I know they all have had different hardships. Think i said on the live from GenCon Cocktail Hour that Glin was the most interesting person i have ever known (think he told me he was turned down for basically his current job the year before he got it). And Jerry’s struggles are simi-well known, but if you don’t know he also worked in radio aka the dying media… And yet they kept at it because that is where they wanted to be.

2.6 What do you think retirement will be like?

Can i just laugh and call this one done? No? I don’t know. Want i want right now more then anything is to sell everything get an RV and take off do what i need to as i need to when it becomes time to fill the tank or start that little farm someplace where it is fairly nice year round and can live mostly off grid. I would still need internet access, i am not a stone statue… But do i really think it will be like? I just don’t know. Maybe that commune will happen?

 

Okay all i want to skim at tomorrows reading, check on the chickens and greenhouse, maybe do some cooking and i want to do a ddo related update.

 

Hope to see you all real soon,

<3s

Day 2, Chap 1

I have just finished reading chapter 1 of 48 days and as promised i will be doing the assignments here for the world to see for accountability and content. 🙂

1, Ask yourself what work has meant so far: Looking back at all the jobs i have had over the years i think that everyone has started out as fun and challenging, like new content in ddo, then as i master the tasks i become tired and then ultimately i am grinding away for the end reward that is a paycheck.

2, What was i born to do: I saw this question when i was doing the overview on Friday and have been thinking on it all weekend. And i think the answer is story teller… Is that an option? Not a writer but someone that just tells stories. Think that is why i love pod casting or Dming or tring to stumble through this blog thing. I just want to tell stories and have people laugh or cry or anything really. On the other hand i am a natural Devil’s Advocate and/or teacher. Not real sure how those things go together…

3, Has my work and what i was born to do matched? Sometimes.. At my last place of work, as a web dev i often got to craft tools to do a task or allow others to manage a task. I see that as a way to tell a story every part order or warranty claim is like a mini-story… Designing a web tool for me is like building a quest or adventure, then allowing the user to complete the quest in the smoothest way possible. It takes research and planing and then the doing… I am good at the doing, but i enjoying the planing. Wonder if there is a planner job out there???

Eight more here stay with me.

1.1, My first job… The neighbors down the road gave me my first job, cleaning out their goat barn, think i made 20 or 30$…

1.2, What has been the greatest value or worth in my work life? If i am looking at financially i would have to say the system i put in place at Great Plains to handle parts orders. I know that they easily can handle 13 million in parts orders a day in part due to the ease of my part order system. If i am talking about to myself i think i would say the warranty claim system i built. There was no real frame work for that one, it was all in my head and i brought it to life totally by myself…. Is this what Jerry means when he says “system engineer”? I don’t know…

1.3, If you job changes does your purpose change? Yes, new challenges always allows new growth and purpose. Mountains must be climbed, right?

1.4, Will your current job exist 5 years from now? If by current you mean unemployed, then yes. If you mean web dev, then also yes. If anything more and more tasks will be moving to the web, just look at the US’ health care exchanges… Maybe that wasn’t a great example…

1.5, What are the ideal characteristics of a job/career? Challenge, Change, Quality People and measurable meaning. That last one is a little strange but in a nut shell i like being able to say i did this and it saves/makes X dollars a year or this saves person Y this much time per task… That is a great feeling.

1.6, When i daydream what am i doing? I dream about a lot of things. Right now i think my main fantasy is a small farm but that was when i felt oppressed or trapped at work. For the longest time i wanted nothing more then to work on DDo, not on its web site but on the game itself. Is it sad to say i want to fix bugs? Maybe i am just tired of so many bugs in my game? But if i could just do anything? I want to talk and just tell stories. Can you be a pro-Dm?

1.7, What are the happiest moments of my life? Okay lets start with the 2 clear winners, my wedding day and my son’s birth. Just thinking about how those days made me feel is making me tear up like a little bitch.. Stupid feeling. Those two days aside, i think taping a few of the DDoCocktailHours have been real highlights, the one and only live show i got to do on air was real fun even if my 3/4 dyslexia made repeating phone numbers real hard. But i also remember many late nights Dming at the pizza hut and the real joy i had watching Warranty Claims start to roll in when dealers could finally start to enter claims online. Those were all good days.

1.8, If nothing changed in my life in the next 5 years would that be okay? Hmm, no. Daddy needs a paycheck. Ask me that a week ago and i would have said sure, but meant mostly. The job was never my problem. Although i was a little behind on current skills but i was working on that. No my main issue was a boss that had decided and told me “you made my life hard for a while, now i am going to make your life hard.” I don’t want to get into that again but really all of my stress at work was due to him and my pay. Funny thing was when i got my last pre-firing paycheck i looked at the amount on the check and my bills and found a happy place with my salary…

That is all the questions for today. I think the idea was to get me to think about what overall makes me happy as a person and how i might take that and find something that calls to me?

Anyone out there that needs a storytelling programmer that is mostly is needed to plan things out or teach others things feel free to share this blog with the HR department.

As always,