Showing posts from June, 2016

Sustain-ability: Putting By

This past weekend a booth at the farmers market had a sale on berries. Six pints for $10. I bought a dozen pints of huge juicy Boysenberries and took them home.

I have a deep love for berries that, looking back, may actually be responsible for me living in the Pacific Northwest. Growing up in Southern New Mexico (spitting distance from the future site of Trump's wall -- lol!) we had copious amounts of corn, chilies, tomatoes, and even strawberries. But other berries (blue, black, ras, boysen, marion) would not grow. And they were always shockingly expensive in the stores, which meant that growing up I rarely had any.

(Back in the day, kids, when not every place had every single thing every month of the year)

So now I live in Northwest, where berries are copious (and in some cases considered invasive species). But however fresh, 12 pints of boysenberries is not going to last very long. So that meant I had some work ahead of me.

I have a love-hate relationship with preserving. On th…

Whether the Weather

I've never understood that people think astrology is a way of telling the future. It's not. Astrology doesn't tell you what's going to happen. It doesn't even tell you what will happen if you do x, y, or z. No, astrology tells you when the right times for doing things are. Which is why I love the term "space weather." Astrology is a weather forecast. Whether you go out without a coat is your business.

So one of the very first posts I ever made (no, not here, on a long ago blog) was about "The Gambler." Yes, the song, stay with me here. See, "The Gambler" is a bardic-style ballad about an initiatory experience, and a passing of knowledge from one magician to the next (yes it is, go read all the lyrics). And the wisdom in the song is that you have to keep an eye on the weather. You have to know when the best times for doing things are and you need to do things during those times.

Back in ye olden days TM, it was critical for many profess…

Sustain-ability: Worst Case Scenario Planning

There are times when I realize how my experience as a PM really colors the way I interpret things. A recent, very visible, example was the situation at the Cincinnati zoo that resulted in the death of an endangered gorilla. I doubt there's anyone who hasn't seen the news coverage (and resulting social media frenzy) so I won't belabor the basic facts. I should say, however, that I do not live in Cincinnati, I was not at the zoo that day, and I have no more information than most of us did -- the shaky camera phone video and news footage.

Now most people reacted to the story in one of two ways a) they shouldn't have shot the gorilla, the parents are to blame b) they had to shoot the gorilla, this was a terrible accident. Social media mayhem ensues.

I, on the other hand, saw the story and thought: I wonder if this was covered in the zoo's risk management planning?

Because if I ran the zoo, the first thing I'd want to do as part of the incident post mortem (unfortun…

Review: The Chaos Protocols

I'm overdue for a review of Gordon's other book. Since getting my preordered copy, I've read it twice through, revisited particular sections, and have tried several of the magical rituals and ideas. But I'm finding this is a much harder review to write than the one for Star.Ships. Because for me, The Chaos Protocols is very much preaching to the choir. It's not that I didn't learn anything new. Far from it. But because our worldviews are much in alignment, I have to avoid just gushing about the book and try instead to put myself in the shoes of a reader for whom this territory is not so familiar.

First of all, fair warning: this is not a coherent system of magic or religion. It is unashamedly a chaos magic book and doesn't purport to teach or instruct to much as inspire and share. That said, the working part of the book is a survey of useful techniques that are all informed by the same coherent philosophy. And it's this, covered in the first chapters, t…

PMPM - The Work you are Called to Do

I had an amazing experience yesterday. For the first time, I applied my corporate skills in a professional way outside the corporate world. Or that is to say, I had my first PMPM consulting session. I've long been an informal consultant for some of my friends (who know better than to call when they need sympathy, but do call when they need advice on implementing projects or reaching goals). And of course I do this sort of thing all the time at work.

But this is the first time I've had this opportunity to help someone directly in a more formal way. It's actually really exciting. I've accumulated tons of tools over the years, but only a small subset are the best ones for any particular situation. Having been at my job for a shockingly long amount of time (four years, but that's like ages in my industry) there are lots of things I don't get to use. But this is a new situation and different tools are suggested. In addition, while I always view my job as helping peo…

PMPM: Qualitative Analysis

Projects (whether magical or mundane) are usually, in the end, about solving a problem. And there are several common types of problems that people try to solve.

Reaching a Goal: Frequently, projects are launched when a large goal has been set. So you want to get your MBA, develop a new phone app to help people walk their dogs, or start a coven? You know your goal and you know, roughly, the steps to get there. Your problem is making sure you get there on time and on budget -- you have to make it happen. And you have to combine flexibility with discipline as you go. The tools of traditional project management work well for this situation.

Finding the Path: Another type of project happens when you have a goal, but you don't know the steps you need to get there. Lose weight, be happier, increase sales. These are all projects where you might have an end in mind, but aren't sure what will work to get you there. Your problem is figuring out the path from here to there (note, you should…