Month: January 2012

How not to be a doofus with a camera

The one thing that marred the visit to Merced was that I ran into a couple of doofuses. Here’s a quick guide on how not to be a doofus with a camera (or binoculars). The “Area Beyond This Sign Closed” sign evidently didn’t apply to this couple, who entered the refuge shortly after I did and headed back into tour area ahead of me. The car is significantly beyond the “do not enter” sign, and they are significantly beyond that. What you don’t see or hear here were the three or four coyotes that were actively making a lot of noise somewhere off to the left of this scene but between me and them. Sorry, but “it’s okay if the ranger doesn’t catch us” doesn’t sit well with me. I guess it’s also okay if the coyotes decide not to catch them, too. These two seemed to be fairly knowledgable birders and at first glance their gear seemed to be of the “okay, they’re serious about this” quality. Not “take out a mortgage” glass, but “we’ve upgraded once or twice” glass. One would hope that serious birders would know to stick to the rules and not do things that impact the birds. Unfortunately, for some birders, “getting the bird” is most important, even to the detriment of the bird. In fact, this is a minor transgression. They’re on a...

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Onward into 2012….

I’m not a huge fan of resolutions. It’s too easy to decide to start something, and then the first time you miss it or get it wrong or wake up without motivation, the resolution is broken — and that gives you permission to say “I tried, oh well” and give up. You’re setting yourself up to not succeed by making it easy and painless to fail. The change of the calendar is a convenient time to remind yourself to step back and consider, take stock, and draw lines on the map that leads to tomorrow and align the ship to follow those lines. Even if you aren’t sure you know what the destination is, it never hurts to think about it and make sure your course is bringing you closer. What I try to do is identify what commitments I have, and what interests me — and then prioritize to see where my time needs to go. A huge part of this is deciding what NOT to do. I don’t know about your life, but in my life, there are many things I’d love to do — from picking up my clarinet again to restarting my needlepoint — but I don’t, because I’ve found if I start doing too many things, I end up doing none of them well. One of the challenges here is keeping the list short...

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Changing of the Guard (and letting it down at the same time)

I want to wish a happy, healthy and prosperous 2012 to you all. 2011 was one of those years where the more I try to explain it, the less it seems to make sense. The early part of the year was challenging and full of potential; the latter half of the year a roller coaster of stress and futility. What I can talk about now that the dust has all settled is that 2011 started with me actively interviewing, after some rather unfruitful discussions with HP about role and salary. I was, in fact, in discussions with one of the big silicon valley companies that build things you probably have in your data center about coming on board to architect their social media policies when HP did an unusually smart thing and hire Richard Kerris. Richard and I sat down, and he outlined his plans for DevRel and where my role mattered, and he promised to fix as many of my issues as he could, and asked for time to try. He impressed me enough, and the product and team were important enough to me, that I pulled out of my interviews and dug back in for yet another round with the forces of webOS chaos. For the record, he did solve most of them, except for the employee publishing rules and the salary. And he tried on both of...

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