Buying trees

Problems show up from all sorts of sources. We address them in a variety of ways. I spent part of the day yesterday addressing a problem at a tree farm. It is a problem that has to be solved sooner than later.

Tree farms are interesting places. The folks at the tree farm had setup a very complex irrigation system. I’m sure managing that large of an inventory is an interesting part of the job. We looked at a number of trees yesterday. They were organized by lot. All of them had some type of barcoded tag on them. Some of them were very expensive. Some of them appeared to be on sale. It was a huge tree farm. I racked up over 3,000 steps according to my Fitbit just walking around looking at trees. My new Fitbit Blaze watch has been working well enough. That however is a topic for another time. I will write a full review after owning the device for 30 days.

A tree in the backyard broke in three places during the last major snow storm. It was a very heavy dense snow that accumulated up to 18 inches in one day. The tree simply could not hold the extra weight. It was the type of snowstorm that makes you want to buy a snow blower. That could be something that ends up being acquired this summer.

Figuring out what tree to buy and getting the old tree removed will involve making a few decisions. One decision has already been made. It does not revolve around purchasing a snow blower. At some point this year, I am going to build a new wine rack. The old wine rack is full. That is probably a good indicator that it is time to either build a new larger rack, reduce my collection, or stop acquiring new wine. This will be my first major build something project of 2016.

A broken tree
A broken tree

On Painting

Two things sparked my interesting in painting yesterday. First, John Paul moving rooms means an entire room in the house needs to be painted. That has to happen before the furniture gets delivered. It is always easier to paint an empty room. Second, a painting at American Furniture Warehouse caught my eye. I took a picture of it. It almost inspired me to pick up painting again. I would have painted a wolf instead of a tiger.


Painting an entire room should be relaxing. It is a task with a clear start and a defined finish. It has happened before. It will happen again. During my time at the University of Kansas, I picked up oil painting on small canvasses. I picked up painting as a stress reducer (I called it a hobby) while earning a Master of Public Administration degree. Some of the canvasses from that time period have been painted several times. It was more about the process of oil painting vs. the art that was produced. I enjoyed focusing on controlled brush strokes and the timing it takes to work with oil based paints. Some of those canvasses are in a box in the basement.

Last night we picked up some paint at Home Depot. During the course of painting the room something unexpected became very apparent. It is frustrating to paint a room that was previously not painted properly. All the defects just jump out at you. The room has roller marks on the ceiling all over the place and the trim was a mess. I’m going to have to go to Home Depot today and purchase enough paint for the trim and ceiling. My Amazon Echo speaker played a part throughout the painting process. It played a classic rock playlist that seemed to be pretty eclectic.

Learning to paint does not require that much training. Painting a room and painting a portrait are two completely different tasks. I’m only talking about painting a room. For the most part painting a room it is about being patient and respecting the amount of control any given brush provides. Yesterday, I started off by using a standard 9’ roller to apply a coat to the walls of the room. A two inch wedge cut brush was used to catch the corners, paint the bottom of the wall, and paint the top of the wall. After the first coat of paint was dry, I applied a second coat of paint with the roller.

This morning when the sun comes up we will be able to see if I missed any spots.

Random musings on a Sunday morning after the big game

Did you know that the University of Kansas men’s basketball team will be playing in the NCAA national championship game on Monday night? Who am I kidding — of course you knew about the big game!

I had to ask myself — What’s up with Bill Gates these days? How often do you think Bill Gates checks in on what Steve Ballmer is doing? All I really want to know is when the next edition of Microsoft Office Word will be available. I keep waiting for a skydrive version of MS Word to be announced by Microsoft. I really do use MS Word daily. Like many professionals who spend a significant amount of time writing Word will probably always be a part of my daily life. About ten years ago, I applied to work for Microsoft. Bill Gates never responded. I’m not sure I would have enjoyed living Washington state.

Parenting can be incredibly tiring

One of my resolutions for 2012 included actively blogging/writing every day. The joy of parenthood has dramatically changed my sleep and writing schedules. On a side note, did you know that a baby can squeak? Out of nowhere John Paul on occasion just squeaks… As my new world of eventualities unfolds, I am struggling to find a rhythm between work, personal life, and academic life.

For the last few years, I have worked on different sets of tasking without any real interruption. One of my goals for this weekend is to watch the super bowl and complete my Stanford University classes from the Stanford Center for Professional Development. I have already selected a location in my office for the Stanford University advanced project management certificate.

As part of my journey into the world of project management certification, I recently acquired Rita Mulcahy’s book, “PMP Exam Prep, Seventh Edition: Rita’s Course in a Book for Passing the PMP Exam.” At some point within the next 3 months, I plan on taking the Project Management Institute (PMI) Project Management Professional (PMP) exam. After gain the Stanford Certified Project Manager (SCPM) and PMP credentials, I plan on focusing my attention on earning a few Cisco certifications.