Welcome my friends to “Just say no to PowerPoint” week.  I’ve been doing some searching on the google and haven’t come up with much.  I’m not sure who’s behind it, but it’s a cool idea.

And I don’t think that the creators were singleing out PowerPoint.  I think that what they really meant was anything with a “deck”.  While a skilled presenter can use the “deck” to his advantage to deliver an entertaining performance.  Most folks rely on it like a crutch.  Is there anything more boring than a presentation where the speaker spends the vast majority of the time reading the slides pretty much verbatim?  Come on, we’ve all had to sit thr0ugh these before.

Am I wrong?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/allenmack/3255521779/

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Cedric came by with cool “The Closer” t-shirts.  The front says ” Everyone has something to confess” and it got me thinking that everyone does have something to confess.  I’ve had something weighing heavily on my heart for some time now, so I’m going to let you in on my secret.

OK, here it comes.

I don’t like shopping at Walmart.  There, I said it.  Man, do I feel better.

Let me be clear.  Walmart is a fine store that sells a lot fine quality merchandise at reasonable prices.  I like saving money as much as the next guy and occasionally make a quick trip into the store to pick up a few things.  But if I stay in the store for more than 20 minutes, I am guaranteed to either have my personal space completely disrespected or even worse, I’ll get hit by something.  I had a streak going back in 2007 where every time I would enter a Walmart, someone would run into me with their shopping cart.

And I don’t think that I’m the only one who experiences this.  My brother was knocked to the ground by a lady in one of those electric rascal scooters.  When I was in physical therapy from the truck wreck, one of my fellow patients was there because of an injury he received at the store.

Maybe I’m being a little paranoid.  Tell me what you think in the comments.  Or better yet, tell me some of your horror stories.

Last night, the house behind the house across the street caught fire.  It sounds like a long way off, but it was clearly visible from our back deck through some trees.  There were at least eight fire trucks, several ambulances, and lots of police.  They had to block off the street so they could run the fire hoses across from the hydrant on the other side.  I drove over and talked to one of the police.  Apparently everyone made it out ok.  From the looks of the fire, the house will probably be a complete loss.

The whole situation gave me the most surreal sensation.  This kind of thing doesn’t happen very often, and I must admit that I was a little unprepared.  My heart really went out to the family.  Could you imagine losing all of your stuff, your memories, your unreplaceables?  I had an urge to help, but there was nothing I could do.  The police were keeping the public at a safe distance.

All we could do was stand on our deck and watch the glow of the fire’s absolute force destroying someone’s life.  Eventually, we would go inside and like spectators, watch the news to see if the fire made it to TV.  As the fire began to smolder, we said a prayer for the family and drifted off to sleep.

According to Ze Frank, you should get your ideas out as soon as possible.  So, I just had a great idea to digitize my work journal.  Maybe it could be an offline browser deal.  I’ll have to give it a shot.

Let me go a little more in depth about my work journalling process.  I’ve based it off of David Allen’s GTD List concept and some note taking pointers that I picked up a few years ago.  Basically, I come into work, fix some oatmeal, get situated and ready for work and then work on my daily list.  I look at my calendar and write down all the tasks that need to be worked on and all the meetings that I have scheduled.  Tasks that need to be worked on are prefaced with square brackets and meeting are prefaced with a pair of carets.  As I accomplish each task, I put a check mark between the carets or brackets.  At the end of the day, I move any unfinished items to the next day’s list.  Here’s an example of a day’s task list:

[   ]  File Project – remove “-” and “/” from generated names
[   ]  File Project – edit xpath filter to exclude old files
^ ^ MOD meeting with Kristen
[   ]  DB – add extra name field

I now have about 2 years worth of journalling which I keep in a three ring binder.  This makes it easy to go back and get a general idea of what I was working on at any given time.  It’s not as tedious as having to enter time into a time tracking database.  It also comes in handy at the end of the year, when you have to do your performance self evaluations.

We fell asleep on the couch again watching tv.  This is becoming a real habit.  I woke up around 3:15 am and just decided not to go back to sleep.  I’ve been pretty productive.  I’ve changed the trash, emptied the dishwasher, straightened up the kitchen, checked on the kids, posted a few blog entries, and did some internet surfing.  Its been great.  I think I’ll leave early for work and try to get home early as well.

Tonight is our family movie night.  I’m not sure what the kids will pick to watch, but we always have a good time, so I’m looking forward to it.

I love Wednesdays because that is my day off.  I decided to use my precious free time between dropping the kids off at preschool and picking them back up to clean out the garage.  Well, not the whole garage, just one corner.

Here’s a little history.  Once apon a time, we decided that we could keep something in that corner, I think it was the weedeater.  Next thing we new there was a leaf blower.  Then a hedge trimmer, then some yard toys, then some paint, etc., etc.  Before we new it, there was a shelving unit.  And like a cancer, it is eating away at our garage space.  It’s getting hard to park the van in there.  Armed with nothing more than a Casio Exilim camera and a mini tripod, I documented the job.  Take a look.

Welcome kiddies!

The world doesn’t need another blog, but I do.  That’s right, I have another blog that is more technical in nature.  It has suffered over the past few months and I’m hoping that this blog will help.  You see, sometimes I want to blog about non-techy stuff that isn’t appropriate for the other blog.  So here it shall go!  David Allen would be so proud.

Hold on to your seats kiddies and join me as we journey through this life together.