“I Got it to Work”

I have a number of stories, anecdotes, sayings, analogies, etc. to which I often return in my work as an IT management person. This is the way my brain operates, but I think they’re at least usually insightful, or I wouldn’t bother. Sometimes I’m told that they make sense, or even that someone else wants to borrow one for their own use. Perhaps I should label myself a Thought Leader and start charging admission.

Here’s a favorite, and it’s free:

“I got it to work” sounds like a good thing, but it isn’t. To me, “I got it to work” also means:

  • I don’t really know how it’s working.
  • I don’t really know that it will keep working.
  • I don’t really know what to do if it stops working.
Image of Duct Tape
By Evan-Amos - Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11293743

As with most things, this is just as true of Not-Computers as it is true of Computers.

I believe we can know why a thing is designed to work as it does, understand the inherent and assumed concepts involved, develop a thoughtful and meaningful approach for how the thing can provide utility, and purposefully create the conditions where that utility can be delivered in an efficient and sustainable way. Thought Leadership.

OK. But I live in the real world, and I understand this as well:

So, perhaps a compromise: “I got it to work, but this is a documented workaround. We’ll have to dig into it more before we depend on this going forward.”

But until that time (if it ever comes), there is risk, and it’s wise to acknowledge and own it. It might be better to take the time now to really understand what’s going on.

Winter Safety Tips

It’s been a few days of snow and ice here in Memphis, Tennessee. I’d like to offer some Winter Safety Tips that I’ve found helpful as I’ve negotiated our recent winter wonderland.

The Prime Directive: Exhibit patience towards yourself, your schedule, and your fellow humans. (This is good even when there is no winter wonderland.)

When walking on snowy, icy walkways:

  • No Airpods. Yes, the walk will be unbearably quiet and you’ll start making a mental list of Winter Safety Tips. Here’s the deal: Your momma told you to wear a hat when it’s cold outside, and your hat will mess with your Airpods. If one falls out, you will never find it because they are tiny and white. 1
  • Step down, not out.
  • Don’t lift Foot #1 until Foot #2 is solid. Think about your foot placement like astronauts think about their tether.
  • Put your 15 year old formerly hip messenger bag across your shoulder, and make sure it’s directly in the small of your back. Improved center of gravity, less swing to make you imbalanced, and if you fall, all the unnecessary crap you carry in there might save you a broken hip.
  • Emulate my superior balance and jungle cat reflexes and you’ll be fine. Years of marching band would have helped here.

Bonus tip for driving:

  • Your absurdly large SUV and/or truck can unquestionably start moving on icy roads. Your absurdly large SUV and/or truck has questionable ability to stop moving on icy roads, especially when you are behind me or in the lane next to me. Slow down. (See “The Prime Directive.”)

This is Relaxing?

If you had told half-my-age-ago me that I would:

  1. Voluntarily sit down at a keyboard
  2. Turn on a metronome
  3. Play fingering exercises up and down an octave
  4. Progressing chromatically
  5. With both hands
  6. BECAUSE IT IS RELAXING

That guy would have had a hard time believing it.

Yet, it happens and it is awesome.

Simon Fresh

Simon and I have a lot of fun with GarageBand, because music should be fun and not a lot of fussy work.

Here’s a track we made last month. Simon’s freestyle is liquid fire. So proud.

Production note: I apologize for my clipped hollering at the beginning, which both sounds bad and is absurd. This was a failed level test, but The Talent thinks it’s funny and wants it to stay in the mix.