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Everything listed under: Observations

  • Being good at what you do can be a pain

    Loser by Hugh Macleod

    This just makes me laugh every time I look at it. The sentiment in this is just so true. Being successful at something is supprisingly hard - not because it's hard to be good at anything but hard because suddenly you have to do more of it, or more often. I run a business that does it's job very well and as a result I work almost around the clock. Yes, I'm in control and could change that but lets be clear that I'm not complaining here - far from it, I love my life and working hard.

    I dont think anyone who sets out to do something like run a business realises just how much of a pain in the butt it can be when you are doing well. I certainly didn't, and neither did the business friends of mine. I keep telling people that the great thing about having your own business is being able to work whenever I want. If I only want to work 2 hours today - so be it. The reality is that I have all the time in the world, to work every waking hour I have hahaha. If you've been in business you will know what I mean.

    The observation made in this image just makes me laugh because I think most business people have thought this as some point. I dont always feel like I'm succsessful and over loaded with people wanting Leftfield Interactive to do work for them. But on the good days, when I finish work at 4am (like today) I do wonder about the benefit of being good at what I do.

    This image comes from http://gapingvoid.com/ (14 June). It's from the very funny Hugh MacLeod.

  • iPod Nano - from the things that wont die file

    Technology gets a bit of a hard time with me. I don't tend to look after technology with to much care. Not because I don't value it. I figure technology should be there to make life a little more fun, so that means I should be able to take it running, swimming, hunting, playing sort etc. Obviously it needs to fit the purpose.

    My iPod goes everywhere with me. When I leave the house I do a mental check list and make sure I have four things: Keys, wallet, phone, iPod. I feel naked without any of those four things.

    I lost my iPod recently and I was most distressed. I even cleaned my room to find it which is a major job if you've ever seen my room. I normally only clean my room when my family or a girl I like is coming over. It took a long time to find my iPod. I looked high and low then after about a week I was getting ready for rugby practice and found my iPod in shorts.

    Finding my iPod in my shorts was a very exciting moment. I hugged and kissed it and told it I never want it to leave me again and that I was sorry for all the mean things I had said about it. I'm sure the iPod was happy to be back in my hands again.

    It was then that I thought about where my rugby shorts had been. As I'm sure you can imagine, rugby gear gets a hard life. Rugby practice isn't a gentle activity. I soak all my rugby gear after practice and games. I make up a big rubbish bin full of soaker and hot water, then bury my gear for a few days. My iPod had been soaked for a day or two, then put in the wash (possibly twice if the gear was really muddy) then into the dryer.

    That poor iPod has been through a lot with me. For all my best efforts, it just wont die. Apart from the regular rough treatment I give things, this iPod has been through the washing machine and dryer (On hot, not just warm), I've rolled over it with my desk chair, dropped it in the sink, dropped it in food, left it on top of the heater. I've sat on it, slept on it, stood on it.

    The other thing that I to that iPod is plug in the Nike+ unit and throw it in my boot bag then run to rugby practice. My boot bag is a dusty, dirty place. My iPod ends up covered in dust, dirt, and grass twice a week and it still goes strong. I know it's not the best way to treat technology but I'm not overly protective or worried about it breaking.

    When I plugged the iPod into my MacBook I thought about the product review I was likely to write about it.  Apple products are known for being expensive and I wonder if they are worth it. I guess this has proven the worth of iPods to me.

  • MacBook, Coffee, Cell phone, Wireless mouse, and pen tablet - the tools of my trade

    I think it's funny the things that we consider essential to do our jobs. I got thinking about the things that I consider essential to do my job and it made me laugh a bit so I thought I'd share my work with you. You obviously don't have to read this or care and here it is all the same.

    MacBook

    MacBook std 15"

    I'm happy to admit that I'm a bit of a geek and enjoy playing around with computers and making them cooler, better, faster but my MacBook is such a joy and works so blinking well that I don't need to do anything to it.

    It may seem obvious, but I'll say it anway - my MacBook is where my business really exists. All my work is on my laptop (and backed up a few places) and also in my head. I don't have an office, I have a MacBook. I work from where ever this little puppy is and I find it very hard to do much without it.

    They say the difference between a PC user and a Mac user is that PC users just USE their computers, where as Mac users LOVE their computers. I'm sad/proud to say that I'm one of those. I love my MacBook. It's the best toy I have.

    Coffee

    My favorite Coffee pot

    A friend of mine was telling me about a situation he had at work a while back. His job is a Database Admin which means he looks after huge super computers and massive technical systems. When something goes wrong on one of his systems, tens or thousands of people can't do their jobs. He was telling me about a major problem that happened late at night and his boss called him in. By they time he got to the office just before midnight, his boss and a couple of others were there waiting and anxious. They couldn't fix the problem so they called my friend. When he got in they asked "Is there anything we can do for you to help you get this done?" my friend just said "Keep the coffee coming - strong and hot". I laughed hard when I heard that because it's exactly what I would have said. Ahhh coffee makes my world go round.

    Coffee is the magical substance that doesn't really keep me up but makes me feel safe and happy all the same. I can drink it and then fall asleep straight away and I love drinking it anytime of the day or night. I can drink 9 cups and not get the shakes. I'm not totally sure what place coffee plays in my work but it's always good to have a hot cup and I'm sure it makes me more productive.


    Cell phone
    My phone is my best friend... nearly. Actually I hate the current model I have. But my phone has nearly all my life on it. All my contacts, appointments, and other important stuff that keeps my day to day life running live on my phone.

    I sync my phone with my computer and Gmail a lot which keeps everything...well... synchronised (strange that). Recently I was changing a couple of configurations around and I accidentally deleted EVERYTHING off my phone - it was a bad day. Well it was bad till I got home and could sync everything back up again but none the less, it was a bad day because I had no idea who was calling or txting me. I couldn't call any clients because I didn't have their numbers, I missed meetings because my phone normally reminds me. It was a tough day I tell's ya'

    My phone is my Personal Assistant, I like what my phone does for me even if I hate the current model I have.

    Pen tablet

    Wacom Bamboo Pen Tablet

    Ahhhh now this is my most favourite toy at the moment. I bought a Wacom Bamboo pen tablet. These suckers are like drawing pads for your computer. Plug it in and you can use the pen to control the mouse pointer. It gives you all the precise control of a pen and you can draw sooo much better with it. I love this gadget so much that it travels around with me more than my MacBook does. I take this to every computer I use because it's so cool.

    I find my little pen tablet is much faster than a mouse and more acurate. I can work faster, smoother, and better with it. Well that's what I keep telling myselft anyway. I've never tried to prove this.


    Wireless mouse

    Apple Might Mouse

    The old mouse is fast becoming something I never use but this specific model of mouse is awesome. First, it's wireless and the batteries last for about six months which is a long time by the way I use them. And second, the scroll ball is brilliant because it goes both left to right and up and down. I know there are other mice out there that do this but nothing is as smooth and easy to use as a wireless mighty house. Oh yay to you lovely mighty mouse.

    Well there you have it, the tools of my trade. This is a bit of a strange post I know but I thought I would share it with you all the same.

    What are the tools of your trade?
  • The King in my family - Ben Sanders

    I have a King in my family and I don't think he knows who he is. The King in my family is my brother Ben. He is a King David just waiting to be discovered and  called but I don't think he knows it yet.

    I've been thinking about the story of the Prophet Samuel going to anoint David as King in 1 Samuel 16. Jesse gets asked to bring his sons and present them in front of the Prophet. Then Samuel goes through each son looking for the King. When he doesn't find him, Samuel asks Jesse if he has any more sons. Jesse calls in David from the fields and the rest is history.

    The interesting thing is the points of view both Jesse and Samuel come at this. Jesse is looking at a bunch of sons but the Prophet Samuel is looking for a King. Jesse couldn't see what he had right there with him. The Prophet did.

    So how do you see your family? When you look at your Mum, Dad, siblings, Kids - how do you see them? What do you see in them? What do you perceive in them? Do you see Kings and Queens? Davids' and Esters', Joshuas' and Rehabs?  

    Over the last couple of days I've been thinking about my family and how great they are. I've realised I have a brother who is a King. My younger brother Ben is a King like you probably wouldn't realise. Ben is set apart and called by God, I can tell.  He's not just a cool guy that people like - although he is that. He's not a King like all Christians are. I can see a call on Ben's life that I don't understand or really comprehend but it's there.

    God probably hasn't said it to Ben yet, or maybe he has and Ben hasn't told us. I don't know if Mum and Dad have thought about it. I can't put words to it other than I think Ben is a King that will lead and bring people through incredible struggles and trials. Like King David, I think Ben is a man after God's heart

    Ben, you are the King in the Sanders family and you have an awe inspiring story coming your way. Take hold of it and enjoy the ride. You have the blessing and calling of God that will take you places Kate and I will never go. Be the King God has made you to be.

    Oh and by the way, I won't sell you into slavery, I promise...sort of. So long as you don't annoy me haha.

  • A 'random' way to get yourself in trouble with email signatures in Entourage 2004

    In my line of work I come across some strange user interfaces. I found this one today and thought I would share it with you. It comes from Microsoft Entourage 2004.

    When I write a new email to someone and I want to put a signature block on the bottom with my contact details, I have to choose which email signature I would like to add. This is handy if you have multiple jobs, are managing a group inbox or inbox for someone else etc.

    entourage-random-email-sig-feature

    I noticed a neat little feature called 'random' signature. This seems strange, great, odd, and fun all at the same time. I wonder what sort of 'random' signature it would make for me? Maybe one time I would be Barack Obama, then another time I would be Mickey Mouse. Perhaps I might be a competitors email signature block. You could have all sorts of fun with this!

    I'm not sure what the developer was thinking when they put this feature in but it's funny all the same. Yay for people just doing what they are told and adding functionality.

    Ok but to seriously think about what this would be used for, lets say I have a few different email addresses and each has it's own signature relevant to the email. I would be able to set up multiple signature blocks and pick which one to put on the email I was sending.

    Lets say the 'random' function picks one of my email signatures and adds it to my email. How the heck does that help? If I'm writing a business email and it adds my personal email signature with the inappropriate for business tag line of 'Graciously sent from Lord Sanders'  (which is just a silly line for a laugh) how would that go down? The CEO gets my pitch document with some stupid signature? I'm sure that will go over well.

    So how the heck does the 'random' signature function work? Beats me hahaha but it's great all the same. I'm yet to use it for anything.