Employee of the Year

The temperatures have started cooling down and I’m really digging it. I’ve had a fire in my fire pit twice in the past week and it was actually cool enough to warrant huddling up next to it for warmth. It actually got down to 37F while I was in South Dakota last weekend. I make a habit of not complaining too much about winter weather… except the 37’ of snow I had to shovel last year; primarily because I actually enjoy the colder temperatures. That said, it is not nearly as appealing to play beach volleyball when it is below freezing, snow really puts a damper on playing in bare feet and makes one think twice about diving for a ball. It has been really nice this past week but it is a reminder that I still have not bought a snow blower yet.

As I was driving into Wyoming last weekend we passed a sign that said “Port Authority Next Exit.” I found this a little strange but did not think too much about it until we passed another sign, one of those digital temporary construction signs that said “All boats must exit.” I was puzzled but grew even more so once I saw a third sign that proclaimed “All boats must exit this exit and check in at the Port Authority.” Let me clarify just a little bit, I passed these signs while driving a car along the interstate in a completely landlocked state, one that has very few navigable rivers, none of which were anywhere remotely close to my location at the time I spotted these signs.

This past week I was asked to participate in a number of interviews for candidates for my current role (we’re hiring more PMs, I’m not moving on). I had a pretty good idea of the screening questions I wanted to ask but Friday morning as I was getting ready to walk into the first interview I decided to grab my favorite coffee mug and I filled it with the beverage of my choice, water. I made sure that the front of my mug was facing each candidate as I sipped my water throughout the interview. It is worth noting that this coffee mug is one that I salvaged from a conference room. I took it to the kitchen and scrubbed out four month old coffee and then took it to my boss and told him I got it for him to give to me.   It’s a good mug, I feel honored to have been presented with it.Mug

One of the guys I spent the weekend with last weekend turned me on to a children’s music artist who creates songs for Scripture memory that don’t wind up sounding tremendously repetitive and as a result don’t wind up getting on your nerves (too much) once you’ve listened to it approximately 37,000 times on repeat. When I got home I found the artist but the only readily available stuff I could find online (for free) was from his album titled “Slugs & Bugs & Lullabies.” Fortunately I decided to listen to this album while Jack was in the room; it became immediately apparent that my son has excellent tastes in music. I may make a Weird Al fan of him yet. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzgsqp_6Xlk

The last three years have caused me to develop a certain appreciation for writers who publish a daily or every other day editorial. I have seen first-hand the struggle to come up with new material every week; I cannot even imagine having to do it every day. It requires a certain discipline to sit down and think about what to write. Some weeks are easy, some weeks I even have enough to fill up two newsletters (which I have done), but many more are the weeks where I stare at a blank screen wondering how I am ever going to come up with a page and a half of material. Then some weeks I simply blow through my self-imposed deadline without having ever written a sentence, these are the weeks I typically end up not publishing anything at all. I suppose it would be slightly different if I was making a living out of it, if I was devoting a certain portion of each day to writing. My problem now is that I simply do not have as many hours free to write as I used to. The flip side of that is that people who do this for a living churn out several times as much material as I do each week and I simply do not think I have that much in me. I’ve considered writing a novel before, I’ve come up with several ideas I think would make great fiction but I always falter before the daunting task of actually filling hundreds of pages with a cohesive storyline. All this to say, authors of daily material, I salute you. I admire the amount of effort and the creativity that is required to put out that much material on a regular basis. Oh look, I’ve filled just enough space to meet my self-imposed quota… isn’t that convenient.

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