Stepdadding: verb.

Stepdadding (sp?) is, without a doubt, one of the most challenging things I have ever taken on in my life. Here’s a part of my stepdad story. An off-the-top-of-my-head inventory of past experiences I draw insights from almost every day in my quest to be a solid stepdad? The list includes experiences like this: Designing…

Perfect is the enemy of good

WARNING – This is a long post. Something Dad used to say came into my mind yesterday, a variation on Voltaire’s wisdom: “Don’t let perfection get in the way of your best!” He used to tell me this especially while I was stymying myself by procrastinating on this or that. His words resonate today, even…

Show up. Do your best.

This is the best advice I’ve ever received. It’s so good and I am so grateful, it is the only advice I ever offer. Not surprisingly, it’s transmitted directly and indirectly by some of the greatest characters in fiction. I offer it to my 5-year-old each day when I drop him at school. He answers…

I didn’t go to university. I learned from Linux instead. 

TOUGH CHOICES When I chose to forego college, preferring instead to join the working world confident that doors would open, there were a lot of the kinds of reactions one might expect. Most asked things like: “what are you thinking?” “why would you do such a thing?” “what are you planning to do instead?” My…

Changing without changing

Many of us make great sacrifice to avoid it. Laws are written and put into place to stymy it. Large, expensive buildings are built to protect against it. Minds are made up against it and reject ideas that even hint at it. Blockades of all sorts are built against potential outcomes that may lead to…

Perspective

The first time I saw this was sometime in May of 2011 while flying across the US inside a Boeing 737. I was commuting back and forth between the Midwest and West Coast on a weekly basis. I was uncertain about a lot of things. Specifically, in addition to my dad’s health failing and wanting…

The unswerving punctuality of chance (Part II)

There are some things that happen, happy accidents, that could not have been planned. Like stumbling on the carpet, catching yourself on the the edge of a shelf where, looking behind a small picture frame there, you find a key you lost seemingly years ago that unlocks that bike lock you have lived without all…

Does empathy bridge art + engineering?

It takes a special something, a combination of unique experience and compatible disposition, to effectively temper hard sciences with soft ones in practice. Everything may very well come back to user experience, not only in the product (the outcome) but also in the process (the story). Empathy is arguably a key component of both hard…

URL

I learned one of the most important lessons from URL, who was about 3 when I first met him. Known mostly for peeing all over the place whenever he first saw you, URL always got too excited to see people he knew or any people, actually, who were willing to give him attention. URL would…

All in the telling

The latest technologies, including cloud, social, anything mobile, Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, analytics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) have and will continue to transform business, especially the customer experience, which still revolves around the story. Storytelling is still the centerpiece. Nothing new there. Storytelling has been the centerpiece since before anyone could even write….

On overcoming adversity

Having gone through a particularly trying time over the past couple of years or so, involving pretty much every type of major life-changing event (moving, career changes, divorce, child-custody battle, loss of parents, etc), I made some time to write down my thoughts about it, to write the whole story from my perspective, what it…

Gratitude is Noticing

It is not easy to notice progress. As a carpenter might build a house, it is not always easy to see construction moving forward. It is only after some time has passed, days and weeks of seemingly endless labor, and only then climbing to the top of a hill in the distance to reach a…

Memorial

Right before you got very ill, Mom, you had already made up your mind. You wanted no funeral. No wake. No trace left behind but the memories you built yourself with each of us. You wrote letters to us to be read after you were gone. You made every consideration to make sure we knew…

Race, Socio-Economics, and being cool with each other

What do I know about diversity? I thought I knew something about race, gender, socio-economics, and my own identity in relationship to something larger than myself. Turns out I knew very little. I learned more from this past year than I ever imagined I did not know and am keeping my eyes and ears open…

Success, Failure, and the Power of the Rebound

I was married to my first wife for 10 years. We were together for 3 before we married. It was a fabulous adventure, a tale to tell, full of ups, downs, and everything in between. We lived all over the place, followed our hearts, made sacrifices to spend time with friends in far-flung parts of…

Honey, it really works, honey.

Since becoming a grown-up, there are many things about childhood I remember fondly but one of them I was happy to forget about forever and wasn’t anticipating having to deal with again: allergies. For my entire adult life I was allergy-free living in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. . In Chicago, I have tried over-the-counter…

MacAskill

We tip our hats to @kdragon87 for the tip on this one: