EBER Project -- Crossroads

In case you are coming in late to this, the Early to Bed, Early to Rise (EBER) Project is a three-year personal project with the goals of Health, Wealth (really prosperity), and Wisdom for our household. By the way, I reworked the overly long Index page into sub-pages, so you can see all the EBER posts right here.

I haven't blogged about this project in a bit, but that doesn't mean I'm not still working it. After my year end wrap-up I decided that an interim phase was warranted to reset my thinking. This is exactly the sort of thing that works great for really long projects. After all, if you create an initial plan and never look at it again, there's no way you'd be on target at the end. There's just too much chance for change.

I'm kind of at a crossroads in this project (and considering it's length it probably won't be the last one). I have some really good baseline stuff in place, but there are some decisions to make as to how to move on from here…

Robin Hood 2018: Thank Your Local IT Geek

We interrupt our regularly-scheduled posts to bring you a public service message on security.

A wise person once told me to always befriend your company's admins. They basically run the place and suffer under the yoke of having lots of accountability but little authority. Another person at your company you should get to know is your IT person. Because they have useful knowledge that can help keep you safe at home and at work.

Disclaimer, I'm not a security expert nor do I play one on TV. You may disagree with some of these points, however the advice was given to me by people who should know, including my workplace, my bank, etc. Here's a short todo list for those of you don't have as much exposure to or tolerance for IT security:

Call your cell phone carrier TODAY and restrict number port access with some kind of long and hard to crack passcode. There's an exciting new scam going on where someone will steal your phone number by porting it to a different carrier. The…

Sustain-ability: The Dishes of Life

When I was a young woman, I had this theory that I called "the dishes of life." It was a modern take on the Zen "before enlightenment chop wood, carry water...." The idea being that no matter what weirdness or enchantment or, yes, enlightenment was going on in your life, the dishes still had to get done.

It just resonated more with me than chopping wood. And it was also closer to how to be an adult in our modern world. Yes, the dishes "have to" get done, but not because you'll freeze to death or go thirsty without them. It's because being in the world requires a certain amount of ongoing order creation to be manageable. You don't really have to wash the dishes, right? You can use paper plates or get takeout or just scrub the one pot or plate you need when you need it. Doing the dishes is about maintaining order in your life.
After a recent post that talked about my various personal maxims, a dear friend of mine jokingly suggested that I make …

Gentle gentle gentle

Sometimes Mercury retrograde is an annoyance that I barely notice. Sometimes it comes with challenges, but only of a certain flavor (like miscommunication or technological glitches or travel annoyances). Rarely they are very, very hard on a number of different levels. I'm sure that a competent astrologer -- which I am not -- would be able to explain why a particular retro impacts someone a certain way.

I don't know my own planets well enough to give a reason, but this past week has just beat the hell out of me.

Monday the whole household woke up out of sorts: particularly the budding psychonaut who's "why should I care about school when we're going to get nuked soon" attitude is both relatable and annoying. All things electronic were completely unreliable, including the ice maker to our still newish fridge (how a broken ice maker can defrost the entire freezer, I don't know).

The festival of fun continued through the week. I suffered a series of daily mig…

Mind War: Part Eleven -- Making Sense

You didn't think the mind war had ended, did you? (Note: to see parts 1 through 10, go check the Index.)

Reading an article recently I was struck by the English language idiom "make sense." This phrase has three definitions:

make sensea) to have a clear meaning and be easy to understand
Read this and tell me if it makes sense.

b) to be a sensible thing to do / it makes sense (for somebody) to do something
It makes sense to save money while you can.
Would it make sense for the city authorities to further restrict parking?

c) if something makes sense, there seems to be a good reason or explanation for it
Why did she do a thing like that? It doesn’t seem to make sense.

So if something makes sense, it is clear or logical or reasonable, right? "Does that make sense?" is a common followup to an explanation or plan (I will stop by the grocery store on the way home for pasta sauce and you get the pasta started -- does that…

The Big Empty

Those of you who've followed CircleThrice long-term know that I make an annual trip home to the desert in order to see my family. And as challenging as these visits can be, there's usually some useful lesson or perspective that I get from going that end up here. For example:

2015: In the Wilderness
2016: Stars in the Desert
2017: On Age and Time

This year the visit was a little different. Usually, the budding psychonaut and I fly in and out for a week and take some time to have a day-trip adventure. This year we flew in, rented a car, and after our visit drove 2500 miles through AZ, UT, ID, and home again.

I grew up in the desert, but have lived on the West Coast for 11 years now. It's easy to forget just how empty the landscape in the Southwest really is. This is Trump country (for the most part) sparsely populated and with low economic mobility and high independence. Tourism is the primary industry and in this way the area does better than the true fly over states, but n…

Robin Hood 2018: Keep Your Certification Up

As a career PM, I have a certification from the Project Management Institute as a "Professional Project Manager" (PMP).

This is a SERIOUS CERTIFICATION. By that I mean:

I had to have new and old bosses sign off on my work experience to applyI needed 40 hours of trainingIt required passing a brutal 250-question exam with an estimated first time failure rate of 40-50%The certification lapses unless you prove that you are keeping up with your career education over time
It was quite a bit of trouble to get, but it's worth it. Why? Because it has value. Having a PMP attached to my name increases my employability, opens new job opportunities, and improves my salary.

Considering the benefit and what I went through to get the darned thing, there is no way I will ever let it lapse. That means attending conferences, logging mentoring and reading hours, signing up for webinars, and so on.

Turns out that this is true of a whole lot of worthwhile things in this world. Are you unoffici…