I idolized Rick Astley. Well, not really, but I did actually enjoy his tunes, especially when they would pop up on MTV.

If I had to have an idol, which I can’t say I really did, it would probably have been the King of Pop himself, Micheal Jackson.

The 80s and 90s were some of the years it was good to be a fan of MJ, from Beat It, to Thriller, to the Moonwalker anthology, life was good if you loved pop.

Teen Age Idol

Who did you idolize as a teenager? Did you go crazy for the Beatles? Ga-ga over Duran Duran? In love with Justin Bieber? Did you think Elvis was the livin’ end?

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”   – Confucius

I think I’ve already started doing it a bit, but, in order to not run out of ideas of things to post o my blog on a daily basis, I’m going to get serious about making a note of anything I find interesting.

Normally, I let random ideas just kind of float away, shortly after they spark my attention. No more, I say! I will retain more, by being more mindful. That way, I can’t kick myself for not remembering even small, inconsequential things.

Hopefully, that also means that things I’m working on learning (like Japanese) will not seem so daunting in their vastness of information.

This was inspired by a post I stumbled upon when searching for prompts, but has been on my mind for a while.

I’m posting, this, in a bunch of places, in the hopes that somebody will nudge me if they see me lapsing. No promises of high quality, but I’ll try my best not to write about every little mundane thing.


It’s day 10. The final day. It’s time to reflect upon how things went, and lessons learned.

For me, that starts with looking at a basic question: how did I do on each day? My very analytical mind kicks in. Here’s how I did:

Day 1: Just Hit Publish

Ready, Set, Done

I did some free-writing to kick things off. I literally set a timer for 10 minutes, and just spewed. A bit of my views on work-related things slipped in there since I’m a bit of a workaholic.

Day 2: Why do I write?

Why I Blog

This post is one that I will revisit, over time, to both flesh out the reasons I write and to make sure to prune any that aren’t valid for me.

Day 3: Thoughts on the optimal writing environment

Where I Write: Part 1

This was just a start. I will also be posting more about my quest for the good writing environment.

Day 4: Rest

A quick breather.

Day 5: Patterns?

Spent time pruning the list of categories. I also combined some categories and tags and even converted some categories to tags. It’s not super lean yet, but is getting there. Spring cleaning started early.

Day 6: About Page

Went ahead and further refined my about page. I think it’s good for now.

Day 7: Analytics

An easy one, since I’m already using Google Analytics. I double-checked it’s working, but somehow didn’t get around to posting. I should remind my self better when there’s a deadline looming for the blog, just like for things like work and social engagements. Lesson (re)learned.

A brief, unavoidable intermission took place at this point. It delayed posting for a bit over a day since this site’s database server was down.

Day 8: Goals

I set a few goals. I think they’re challenging, but doable. The basics are laid out.

Day 9: Open Day

“Just write”

That’s what I did, sort of. I wrote about a writing tool, the fountain pen. It used a prompt from another great resource, the Daily Post Blog. That’s brings me to…

Day 10: Reflections

Today’s activity is simply this: I’d love for you to reflect on the last 10 days and write about how you feel completing the 10 day workshop. Naturally, some of you will also introspect a bit, asking yourself some of the “meatier” questions about where you’ll take it from here, how this has changed your perspective on writing and blogging, and why you feel the way you do.

Done! I think I’ve made improvements, and they will continue.

Here’s the complete challenge: 10 Days to a Better Blog!

Software engineers should write

This appeared on my dashboard a few days ago, and I finally got around to taking a peek at it.

Code and essays have a lot more in common. Both begin as a blank slate and an idea, then end as a discrete product for an intended audience.

Good writing skill, much like well structured and commented code increases the value of the person doing the writing and coding as well as making communicating  ideas and software maintenance easier for not only the original, but also future maintainers of a piece of code.

Thinking clearly is such an underrated skill. I also agree that good writing takes time (and some focused effort.) I totally had a particular writer/developer in mind as I read that post.

If you’re a code poet that happens to also write non-code on a regular basis, then that’s a good thing.

Dealing with strange customer behavior? Just ask them ‘why?’

If you take one thing away from this, I hope it’s a reminder to ask why. Particularly when customers do or say things you don’t understand. You might be surprised when you find out their true motivations.

Belle Beth Cooper, formerly of Buffer, has written a bit of insight that I’m letting churn in my head for a bit.

It does seem, at time, that customers sometimes can help you realize areas that could use improvement, or even just repair, if you take a bit of time to coax a bit more information about the problem they’re having. This is as simple as a needed clarification to a wiki article on how to carry out a common task, all the way to bringing light to an unseen system bug (since no software is ever bug free).

Very interesting is how taking a technique that seems well-suited to self-inspection (the linked-to summing up of ‘The Five Whys’) seems to also be adaptable to helping customers solve their problems as well. It seems to boil down to finding out what type of habit, when repeated, does not have the desired outcome, for a several cases.

Once that’s found, then the real work begins of finding the true cause of the issue, namely, “why” the non-working habit was done, and then dealing with that cause. As noted in both places, it’s possible for the reason to be different from what the surface issue suggests.

While I’m mulling this over, I’m hoping to see more good posts from Belle and the crew over at the Crew blog, so I subscribed to their newsletter.


I’ve thought, as I sometimes do when a bit of insomnia hits me, that I should set some goals for my self, and the timing of this bout seems a bit coincidental with  (as of when this post begins) the last day of the year. That’s right, it’s time to groan inwardly with me. I’m going to publish my resolutions for the new year. Continue reading