Sunday, September 9, 2007

Progress... and work...

Short weekend and lots of work. A relative has been in the hospital and needed some work done on his van and truck so my cousin's husband and I put his van back together and changed the water pump on his pickup. Was kind of nice getting greasy again... it's been a while.

We have a Finance Director at work now so I really expect to get back to the Information Systems duties and out of finance which should equate to more energy at home and more Mustang work.

The patio cover is done and all the concrete poured so I just need to some guttering and that project is done.

I did get two post holes dug for another cover I am building between some storage sheds to keep the weather off some things. For some reason that was something I REALLY didn't want to do but it only took about 30 minutes... .

Off to another week.. this one much longer than last...

Monday, March 26, 2007

Who wants more work!!

Apparently I do, I do!

With the resignation of my boss Becky Cragin, (I can't blame her at all) I have been asked to step into part of the duties of the position as an interim. I will be filling in for the Finance Director portion of the City Treasurer/Finance Director position while existing Deputy Treasurer Rhonda Masquat will fill the Treasurer position of this blended job.

Becky Cragin was a wonderful boss to work for having both the resolve and patience to work through many issues in her tenure. I always felt listened too even if the final decision was not exactly as I had proposed. I have plenty of experience in some areas of the Finance Director position having worked through Municipal budgets in the 90's and close with previous Finance Directors at my current position building most of the numbers through online code I've developed. There will be many new things to learn however, and more accounting than I might care for but so it will be. I hopefully will be a learning experience that will be used in some future endeavor I will encounter.

Go work!... lol

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Sucky sucks more...

Well it has been a sucky couple weeks for sure and it just got "suckier"... at work at least. After losing a close friend at work due to a horrible car accident, I find out today that my excellent boss is calling it quits against the 'funny farm' people on our City Commission. She started in late 2004 just after my Father passed away and has been an ardant supporter of me and my department from the beginning.

I do not blame her as all since there are a couple commission members that have been out to get her since the beginning, one that doesn't know what is going on, and one that appears to be in the same Anti-City-Staff crowd. It might be different if there were actually staff that didn't know what they were doing but it is the other way around. A building maintenance/janitor trying to tell a City Manager and Finance Director how to run the City... get real.

It is going to be much harder to do things the right way without the support I had in the past. Time will tell where this all goes...

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Another Day another BDay

Just another birthday.. not exactly the nicest one of late nor one I want to remember.

Having to attend a friend/co-workers funeral (see previous post) is not the best way I can think of spending one's birthday but such is life sometimes I guess. My wife Karen attended with me and she had to attend a 7 year old student of her's funeral in the morning. Not a nice day. It WAS nice getting cards, hugs, and help from Karen and our son Austin today though.

I'm ready for the day to be over.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Good, Bad and Why?

Wow.. good and bad happenings here and questions as to why.

The good rolls from the point that an individual at work that, although admired by higher ups and the public as a great resource, continued to be a thorn in the sides of most, if not all, of the other departments. Although intelligent the woman was extremely vengeful and over bearing attempting to dictate other departmental operations and constantly disrupting operations and efforts. She is gone, hopefully for good as she moves on to others to disrupt and 'get back at' as she has stated.

The bad comes from work as well as a good friend and coworker died in a chain-reaction car accident Friday night. Tommi Bierd, the acting Personnel Director and a wonderful lady was taken from use as she returned from a trip that evening. Tommi will sorely be missed as she was one of my greatest personal supporters in our work environment and always there to listen and help as she could. Her husband worked directly for the vengeful woman mentioned above and has been handed the job of cleaning up the aftermath. Things were going to be tough enough as it was and now he has to do this without his supporting wife. God bless him and his family.

The why, oh why? There never is an answer to that but the question remains. It always seems like the good are taken before the scornful in this world. Will we ever know the answer?

Thursday, March 8, 2007

GTD on my Domain

Still plugging away at getting GTD into my life. So far it feels pretty good and honestly has helped me sleep better at night knowing I think I have everything out of my head and in a tickler file, a list or filed away.

To help make it easier to track my personal list I developed my own tracking system that I can access from my home computers or from my PocketPC phone from anywhere. I hope to use this more instead of writing things down or using the Tasks side of Outlook to avoid re-duplicating the input. BUT I want to insure I do not decide I'll wait until I can input since I'll likely forget about it up front.

The list is simple but effective with Context, Next Action, Project, and a few other fields I will change as needed. Like all code I've written one can click on the heading to sort up/down and can click on the Context value to filter by that value. Clicking on the Action edits the project/action item.

I hope to use this while at home and away via the PocketPC phone to view, filter and act on my Next Action items in the context I am currently in where ever it might be.

Monday, March 5, 2007

GTD! - This is lots of work...

Wow.. getting organized and getting everything out of your head is a lot of work! Especially when you've piled up years worth of 'stuff' that is not organized at all. I've been waging this GTD process war on both fronts... home and at work, and so far so good.

I quickly figured out why I wasn't putting things where they should be, i.e. filing paperwork, media, notes, etc. It was because I did't have a place to put it to begin with. After cleaning out my local hot file folder at work and moving all the old but needed items to an archive filing cabinet I now have a tickler file, general index file, and someday/maybe folders at the ready. I also have an indexed file set by the WO# in our IT work order system I developed to track out outstanding instances. This just makes it easier to find the paperwork associated with an incident instead of some alpha system.

I actually spent most of the weekend working through the home mess instead of working on My Car.. but the 'build list' is next for a revamp into Next Actions!


Thursday, March 1, 2007

GTD Overwhelmed

Still hammering away trying to review how to get life under control. Based on the book on GTD, you should take care of ALL your open loops in one major undertaking... I can't see how anyone can do that myself.

In any manner I'm chipping away at things little by little. I have a new general filing system setup at work to put things in based on the concept and have kept my email box at zero. I have changed our work order / incident web app at work to track NEXT ACTION and future actions that flow out as the next action is completed. I hope to tackle the paper monster tomorrow and get my desk and work area cleaned up. Unfortuately this has to occur between meetings and new equipment arriving so I may likely have to make a whole new sweep of things over a weekend or something. Better than the way it is to me though.

Next is getting a handle on my 69 Mustang Project and the GoMo machine... it'll get there.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Inbox to Zero

One of the first steps to GTD is to get control of your 'InBoxes'. My most overlooked inbox was my email at work with literally thousands of messages left hanging around in the main inbox area. Today I took the inbox down to zero using these tips... and it WORKED!

No I didn't read every single message and reply to everything that needed action. But I did basically scan each subject line and/or from field and made a quick executive decision to either categorize each one (or groups of them actually) into some sub folders or use my new best friend the DELETE key. The structure I chose for filing included folders called !Archive, !CreateProjects, !Respond and a future reference called !NeedtoRead (not that I plan on really reading each one, I plan on sorting them by date and deleting anything older than 90 days or so) but that gets them all in one area to sort/delete.

It does feel MUCH better knowing there aren't critical emails lurking in the midst of the thousands of other junk messages. I did indeed find serveral "I should have already (done that, replied to that, fixed that, etc) messages that I can now get into my master project list and tag a next action for.

Now I only have my personal email, physical inbox, and home mail to catch up on.. yikes!

Monday, February 26, 2007


I'm sure most of you have heard of GTD.. or Getting Things Done.

Although I had heard of it, I hadn't really understood much about the concept until a couple weeks ago and oddly enough the timing of the knowledge is interesting. After having fought battle after battle managing 200 to 300 outstanding projects/tasks, an over flowing paper inbox and thousands of messages in my email inboxes I was feeling totally overwhelmed. Several critical items have fallen through the cracks and were turning into 'issues' for the Information Technology department that I run.

Not exactly sure where to turn I was ready to throw everything out and start over but after reading the first chapter or two of the book Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity I believe there is hope afterall. Weird how the intro and first of the book pretty much explained my current feelings about work and life in general.

I'm still reading but am trying to at least apply the first area about

The book is good but the online additions and explaination and Hacks are even better... lots of good info and tips all around.

Will following the GTD concepts fix the world for me? Doubtful but I really think it will be a great help. Tune back in later and let's find out.