May 26 2010

Sometimes that is what it takes

Published by at 6:13 pm
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There comes a time in every leader’s carrier that they need to make a decision for the betterment of the company, that there needs to be large firing of employees. Sometimes that’s because you have a large division of “Eeyores” which are bringing the “Tiggers” down, sometimes it’s just a large group of individuals who are under-performing and affecting the high performer’s performance, and sometimes it’s just a cultural issue where you have a large group of people who have created a cultural subdivision in your organization that makes the culture what you don’t want it to be. It’s interesting that I had this conversation recently with one of my x-bosses about how to deal with people who persistently Eeyores and dragging down the organization. He gave me examples of new CEO’s or other change leaders who tried to change things through good leadership alone, but at some point you have to cut your losses and remove those who aren’t following your leadership.

So after months of work trying to lead cultural change from casual / unsustainable organization to a more performance based / sustainable / great organization, I finally gave up and removed those who were dragging behind and pulling down my change efforts. It wasn’t easy and there were some people that I had a hard time even authorizing their removal, but as discussed with my officers and our core members, it needed to happen. I still have a sense of regret from what had to be done, but I think some quick wins and success post this action will help us all get over the emotions that’s hanging on us after this large the wave of removals.

My hope is that Friday we will make some good positive movement. We’ll see.

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May 24 2010

A man about a horse

Published by at 7:31 pm


Saturday I was in the “Gentleman’s Edge”, which by the way is a fantastic barber shop run by one man and has been doing so for over a decade. Isaac knows how to cut hair like no one else I’ve even seen and frankly I wouldn’t go any place else for a hair cut. On top of that the Gentleman’s Edge is a fun little nostalgic place with old stuff on the walls, sports car, motor bike, and pretty much lots of guy stuff all over the place. He also has something always on the TV in the corner of his shop playing a race, car auction, or something else related to motor sports (sometimes other cool guy programming)…

Plug for my barber aside… he tells me that I should talk with his brother. I call him, leave a message, and figure I might hear back from him. Wow was I underestimating the response I’d receive. He sure did call me back and after an honest candid conversation I think that it’s a good fit. We will be getting together for lunch some time soon (either Tuesday or Wednesday). I have a lot of hard questions to ask him. I want to make sure it’s the right decision.

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May 21 2010

Porta-Bote Puchase

Published by at 4:23 pm


Tomorrow we will be buying a Porta-Bote. Here is the cost breakdown:
http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0AuYGJzSqEk8WdEFqVHZCWVY0MjdlTi1FYnFMTzhnRlE&hl=en#gid=0

I’m sure it’s not everything, there will be little things that I forgot to account for, but overall it seems like it’ll be around 4,000 bucks for the boat, both motors, the battery, charger, fish finder, and all the assorted other junk we need like an anchor, anchor line, etc. Tomorrow we meet with the factory representative in Sherwood and see the boat in person for the first time. If we like what we see, then we’ll be signing the paperwork for the boat ordering it and then buying all the stuff for it over the weekend (check of course prices between Outdoor Outfitters and Fishermans). If all goes well we should be in the boat in around 2 weeks from now.

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May 19 2010

Vacation Report: Astoria Anniversary Vacation

Published by at 6:00 pm
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Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

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May 17 2010

Vacation

Published by at 8:00 am
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Sorry, not able to blog today, this is pre-scheduled post. I’m off in nature away from the internetz.

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May 14 2010

Off on Vacation

Published by at 8:00 am
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This morning we leave for our vacation. Debt free, car packed, ready to go.

We’ll be leaving a little later than planned, but it should be a fun ride and even more fun setting up our tent for the first time in a while. Will not be blogging on Monday, but will be making a large blog post on Wednesday.

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May 12 2010

Planning for Astoria trip

Published by at 8:04 pm
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This weekend we’re going on a trip to Fort Steven’s state park. Camping, fishing, hiking, geocaching, sight-seeing, and of course relaxation. It’ll be a nice chance of pace since half the trip we will be in nature, and half the trip we will be in a luxurious hotel on the pier. To help plan for the trip, tonight I wrote a pretty cool LINQ to XML application which parses GPX files and produces an grid output of cache information which I then copy and paste into excel. I’m pretty excited about it because it’ll make prep work for going geocaching lightning fast. Who knows, maybe I might perfect the application, add more features, and then sell the thing.

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May 10 2010

Consumer Debt Free

Published by at 2:47 pm
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Thanks to a large tax return from getting married, buying a house, making home improvements, and finishing school…

My Mastercard – empty
Kerrie’s Mastercard – empty
Kerrie’s Business Credit – empty
American Express – empty
My prius loan – paid

What’s left? House (5%), windows (home improvement loan to be refinanced and consolidated), Kerrie and my student loans(5-6%), and Kerrie’s Prius (4%) which is at a lower interest than the house. All this right on time for Kerrie and my 1 year anniversary. Oh and I’d like to thank Mark Nortman of Ameriprise and David Bixel of MB Tax Pros for their wonderful financial planning and tax preparation services.

On top of that, my work is finally going to be adjusting me to a REASONABLE rate June 1st (though they still have work to do and they know it) and we have a comfortable amount of money in savings left over from paying off debts. Furthermore, I will be getting several stock vestings this month which is going to allow us to buy a Porta-Bote (www.porta-bote.com). These things are amazing and will not only be fun for us, but will add to my recent re-addiction into mastering the art of fishing. We have a trip planned for next weekend, then the weekend after I plan on going fishing with Dan in central Oregon, then the week after we plan on ordering the boat, beginning of June I’ll be attending a fly fishing class at Blue Lake and from there it’s all gravy.

Good times are ahead of us. I think while this last year was pretty fast paced, stressful, and a roller coaster, I think in the coming years will be good to us and we can focus on doing well at our careers, advancing slowly in the companies that we’re now pretty happy with, and progressing through our list of things we want to enjoy / accomplish together.

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May 07 2010

25man vs 10man

Published by at 8:45 am
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With recent news about Cataclysm’s revamped views on raiding (http://www.wowhead.com/guide=cataclysm&pve#general), there has been questions recently in the guild regarding whether we should continue forward as a 25 man raid guild of stay a small, focused 10 man raid guild.

While in some ways I say getting to 25 man size has been a bit drama inducing, once we get to the 25 man size, there will be significantly less drama than there has been recently. Fact is that much of the drama recently has been due to people not being able to get into raids, either due to only one 10 man running or the logistical nightmare of running dual 10 mans and failing at it.

In 25 mans, you get better loot distribution because generally you have one of every class at the raid. This means there is little to no chance of gear getting sharded and in turn progression is a lot smoother because weeks don’t go by where no one (or very few) get an upgrade. In 25 man, many people get upgrades because everyone can use something. Sure it makes loot distribution more complicated, but if you have a nice loot system like ours (which has turned out very nicely), then loot is distributed fairly with little to no drama.

Another thing too, if we just give up on the idea of doing 25 mans for cataclysm, then I would have been A. lying to all these people I’ve been recruiting recently that I plan on continuing to move the guild forward as a 25 man raid guild B. would be forced to say goodbye to many people who will not be happy in a guild that reserves itself to always being a 10 man guild and C. the guild would have to shrink a lot, to as little as 20-25 people (it’s around 88 right now) before we get to the point where there will be no drama.

Finally, I think that running a small group of 10 people, while that sounds fun… it’s pretty boring after a while. I’m sure that it’s fun for those who are progressing right now and pushing 10 man content with almost the same 10 people every week, but if you did that for an entire expansion… it would just get old. People would crave that 25 man content feeling. I know I would. My class isn’t built for 10 mans. I might as well reserve myself to always being shadow if we decide to give up on 25 mans or switch to Disc instead of Holy.

I feel we should stick with the plan to move to 25 man raiding. It’s definitely a major goal I’ve been striving for as a guild leader.

BLOG NEWS: On a side note, I’m going to try to blog at least Monday / Wednesday / Friday for now.

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May 05 2010

XNA Development Continues

Published by at 8:33 pm
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Game development on our new XNA Xbox 360 game has continued in recent weeks. We’ve been getting together after work on Wednesdays so that’s at least a dedicated day for development and whenever we have spare time in the evening during the week. We also of course brainstorm at lunch about it. So far we’ve re-assembled the team again and it’s got some good steam.

Victor Laurence aka “CyberVic” – Executive Producer / Lead Developer
Victor Hermenzie aka “Voctor” – Executive Creative Director
Kerin Dimeler-Laurence aka “PDXYarnHo” – 2D Vector Artist
Dave aka “DaveUK” – Soundtrack
Robin aka “Hat the Red”- Writer
Aric aka “Baldun” – Developer

Voctor is working on the Game Design Document and doing quite well. He already has all the skills laid out for the classes (something like 144 unique skills) and built out the 3 tech trees for each class in diagram form. I’ve been doing well development wise. Taken the game from a simple fly around and shoot other player ships game to a game where there is dynamic random “spawning’ asteroids that are destructible, enemy ships spawning and attacking nearest player ships with basic fly strait at you attack AI, a shield and hull indicator on the HUD, a current target name/shield/hull indicator on the hud, an experience system, a skill system with togglable active skill with cooldown indicated on the HUD, and finally a reworking of the basic flight / shooting engine with a speed boost system for player ships.

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