Finances are Important, Motley Fool Answers Makes it Fun!

Motley Fool Answers

I listen to a variety of podcasts. Everything form deep metaphysical discussions on meaning and life eternal to politics. Money is a super important subject that my generation hasn’t been doing the best at making work for them. The Motley Fool Answers podcast makes question and answers about money fun and interesting to listen to.

A recent good episode: Family Inc.

I have been a subscriber to Motley Fool’s Stock Advisor for a number of years. It has given us a really good diverse and successful portfolio. My RothIRA is doing super well (ie… made more than I’ve invested!) and my kids custodial accounts are on the road to making them financially free earlier in life due to following the advice and guidance given in the Stock Advisor.

Adding the podcast fun to the already screaming performance of the Stock Advisor makes fool.com a well rounded asset for me.

Getting Organized at Work

Incline Peak before the sun comes up

I have a pretty large and diverse workload. I work with 50+ clients throughout the year and some days I feel like I am pinged by all of them for one thing or another. Most of them are urgent (!), but the others are really gracious about my time. I try and deliver in a timely fashion and not let projects stall on my-side due to a workload issue.

There is a lot of talk about work life balance and how to achieve this to not go insane. I have this pretty well worked out. Three hours a week we are given “wellness” time. This time is really beneficial to my performance as I can escape the computer and lift some weights, ride my bike, go for a run or whatever I have on the schedule for that day. However, there isn’t as much talk about work work balance… Maybe I am just not “searching” for the right keywords?

I use the office suite, Outlook Mail, OneNote etc… It works pretty well, so maybe a reorganization of how I keep my data in that “system” is all that is needed. The large influx of chat messages and email makes it hard to track it all. Pointing clients at a tracking system has been in my thoughts… but then I need to remind them where, how, upkeep the system, etc… Thinking out loud here…

Any advice or thoughts? Please enlighten me to be more organized and therefor responsive and productive.

Dry February

sticky hands beer

Man, after the holidays, I needed a break from “having a beer” or “having a drink,” so we are doing dry February.  It’s not as bad as you might think! I love having a beer after a good ski / ride with friends or just hanging out chatting, but after the first few days of saying to myself: “i’m going to grab a beer” and then remembering the dry February commitment, it’s been pretty smooth. I was really hoping I’d feel this amazing weight loss or clarity in vision or the like, but really, nothing besides thinking about and having a beer in my hand has changed…

I know this is really hard for some, so I am not at all discounting that, and that was part of why I did this… to really see if I was somewhat dependent on it for feeling different, relaxing, conversation, hanging out or being “ok” in a group setting without a drink (not that we do that often…). Overall, I am happy we are doing it. It is good to fast in different ways.

SO! choose a month, and make it dry from something you consume that you “think about” when consuming it… Be it Candy, Alcohol, Bread, Coffee… whatever, fasting like this can be beneficial in many ways spiritually, physically and mentally.

Islands

Islands in the Sky

I love how flying above low clouds in winter looks. There is the top of the mountains just pushing through the weighty look like a strong string of words of encouragement to my kids or wife… Or maybe from a good friend enlightening your understanding of a deep question.

Mountains in the clouds

First Rain of Fall in Southern Oregon

Southern Oregon Sunset

On the second day of Autumn, we got a little rain.

Last night I was helping my kids fall asleep by massaging their feet and faces. It’s a ritual I try and do more often than not… I think people really benefit from loving touch, especially my family members. As we were quiet we began to hear the rain fall on the metal roof on our house. We began to smell the moist air and feel the cooler breeze. The kids sat up immediately and got excited about the rain, the smell, the new season…

He gives rain on the earth and sends water on the fields… Job 5:10

Winter is on its way!

Getting Back into the Swing of Things

During the holiday season, Thanksgiving through New Years that is, my fitness and focus on fitness tend to decline (unless there is a lot of snow “powdayz!”). I am seeing a pattern here 🙂 I think I am going to just go with it. For about 1 month out of a year I am going to take a break and NOT WORRY ABOUT IT. That’s hard for me… I love to feel like I am staying in shape, more than that, I love to be in shape… ready to tackle most anything with my buddies or, sadly, possibly in an emergency situation. It’s all about being prepared. Always training.

It’s a metaphor for more possibly. Maybe it’s a time of fasting and resting. There wasn’t a single prophet in the Bible that didn’t fast at some point. Ok, yea, Its a time of fasting from exercising. I feel better about this already.

January is here though. The fast is done and it’s time to get ON IT! I was looking on Ultra Sign Up last night for races and events around my area here. There are some great runs coming up…. signing up… see you out there!

2016 Design UX/UI Predictions Short List

Cyan Mountains CIANDESIGN DEVIANT ART

I was dwelling on what 2016 will be like in the UX / UI worlds. My predictions are:

  • Flatish
  • Long Drop Shadows
  • Simplify (overall designs)
  • Easier Flow (internet design based feng shui?)
    • Better “don’t make the user think”
    • More data, less fluff
  • More refining of larger frameworks like bootstrap, material, foundation etc…
  • Accessibility and Web Standards will refine designs across the board for all devices and persons

I’ll see how these predictions happen in 2017!

*Cool Image from CianDesign

Ride Your Bike.

SB95 Auburn Trails

I find my desk job to be, at times, very hard. Hard physically. I am exploding with energy some days. You wouldn’t think that could be completely possible, but it is. I could explode.

So I get out early and ride.

I ride my mountain bike as fast and hard as I can (most days) for an hour on my local trails. I shoot for 3 days a week, but don’t always make my goal, especially this time of year with minimum sunlight hours. Days are getting longer now though… so I’ll buck up!

On the days I do make it out, I arrive back at the office feeling more confident and I perform better. I find I am more patient, more alert, more focused and not so squirmy in that chair.

Ride your bike.