Happy Independence Day America

The 4th of July is happening outside right now. The public commons seems to be working. A couple hundred people are hanging out and waiting for the fireworks just down the street. John Paul was pretty excited that the petty zoo had a goat. Public parks and opens spaces are all over Colorado. The Broomfield open spaces were one of the reasons we purchased our house. Most of them are pretty nice. Weather forecasts are suggesting it might rain at dusk. I’m hopeful that we will still get to see the fireworks. The Public Broadcasting Service presentation of “A Capital Fourth” has been set to DVR just in case.

Staying hungry

About once a year I watch or read the 2005 Stanford University commencement address from Steve Jobs. The final thought delivered during the speech involved an invocation for the audience to, “Stay hungry. Stay foolish.” The speech is pretty powerful. The message is clear. The path to action is well defined. It probably effects different people in different ways. At a very personal level it reminds me to strive to be better. To work harder. To build a legacy. Ultimately it reminds me to endeavor to make a dent in the universe.

To that end, everyday I ask myself if I was not here, “What things am I doing today would people continue to do?” People steal great ideas. If the things I’m doing today are not great, then nobody will steal them. It takes a lot to get people to run with your ideas in perpetuity. A legacy is built by enriching the human experience.

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Here we go again

In order to prepare for the mud run, I dramatically raised the incline level during my morning treadmill time this week. The inclne level change made a huge difference. 3 miles become more of a struggle than before. All this time at the gym has not improved my golf game. That could be a problem. Joni and I booked a tee time to play golf this summer. My work schedule mixed with working out this summer has devastated my golf game.

The United States world cup soccer team will be playing today at 2:00 pm mountain time. I’m probably going to watch the game. For a game time snacks I may need to pick up some vegetarian wings.

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Almost July

I’m not sure how it happened, but summer is here. Winter is just a memory at this point. In just about half a month the mud run will occur. Yeah — a 5k mud run. Training for the mud run has been going well enough. Even James seems to be training now. The team might just make it. My weekday morning workout plan has been effective. Apparently, the key is leaving the house with my gym clothes on. That pretty much locks me into the cycle. My workout routine is no secret. The cycle is simple: running, rowing, and weights. People have asked me why I don’t run outdoors now that the weather is nicer. The routine has to remain the same. Running outdoors just will not work. I need a combination of weights and cardiovascular work.

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Lime Tree Musings

My Fitbit Flex dashboard has reported that I’m not sleeping very well. That is not all that surprising. The fate of current employer hangs in the balance. The final details should be out next week. In honor of the last three years, I’m planning on buying a lime tree (or some type of plant). Yeah — I’m on the hunt for a nice lime tree. Apparently, you can grow limes inside your house. I’m still researching growing citrus indoors. My initial research suggests that the exceedingly low humidity in Colorado might be a deal breaker.

Giving up on McAfee Antivirus

Throughout the last decade I have used the McAfee antivirus product. I strayed to Norton for a little bit, but McAfee has always been my go to product. Every Microsoft powered computer I have owned had it installed. Yesterday, I gave up on using McAfee antivirus. I’m not going to renew my subscription this year. Every bit of McAfee software has been uninstalled and replaced with Webroot SecureAnywhere. The complete McAfee security suite was slowing down my My HP ENVY x2 11t-g000. Today is the first full day of my Webroot trial. Everything seems to be going fine. Before making the switch I consulted experts and read a ton of reviews. The internet is full of opinions about what antivirus software works best. I’m going to give it a 15 day trial and see where I end up.

Reading academic journals

During flights I like to read academic journals cover to cover. Some of those moments of quiet reflection influenced the way I see the world. My interest in the field of public administration was sparked by a stack of Public Administration Review issues (PAR). They were sitting in the University of Kansas public administration department student lounge. My thesis advisor Elaine had told me if I did not enjoy reading journals from the field I may not have enough passion for graduate work. Students these days get so focused on drilling down into specific research areas. They sometimes cannot see the tallest trees in the forest. Mastery of a subject requires general understanding of the entire subject area.

Digital copies of journal articles have become ubiquitous. Some of them include the entire issue, but some of them are piecemeal. Single serving versions of what was a wider journey into the field. Students that only search databases may never venture beyond the edges of a targeted search. A world of knowledge becomes reduced to a limited frame. I think of it like going to an art gallery and only looking at the frames and ignoring the paintings.

Our native capacity to weave concepts together helped us build the intellectual walls of the academy. I fear that modern approaches are degrading our capacity to build new sections of the academy. We stand at a crossroads where derivative work is outpacing innovation. Now is the time to take action. The need for change is real.

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Getting back in the habit

Writers write. This year I have been getting back in the habit. My early morning workout routine provides me with 45 minutes to write. I was really out of practice. I could not manage to complete a 45 minute steam of consciousness writing session. I used to be able to do that. However, that just does not seem likely anymore. I can write for 45 continuous minute each morning on a specific topic. That is a step in the right direction. I’m on track to knock out 5 chapters a week during the month of June.

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Daily Technology

The 2014 Denver Comic Con happened this weekend. I did manage to get an epic photograph taken with Bruce Campbell, but that is now what this post is about. The convention got me thinking about what technology I use on a daily basis. Based on the journal I kept, I used the following technological devices with software (I have not included any technology used by others on my behalf):

  1. HTC One Mac Smartphone running Android 4.4.2 KitKat
  2. Jawbone Jambox mini Bluetooth speaker
  3. My custom 64bit x86 computer rig with dual monitors
  4. HP envy x2 11-g010nr (general computing)
  5. HP Elitebook (work computer)
  6. Fitbit Flex
  7. Sony Bravia Television
  8. Comcast X1 cable box
  9. Honda Pilot

Honestly, I figured more devices would end up on the list. I’m going to keep working on the list throughout the week.