Friday, October 3, 2014

Spice up your life

Often times we get so into our routines, that we don't question why we're doing them.  Or we get into so many different activities that are supposed to make us happy and enhance our lives that they actually introduce stress.

I was thinking about this for quite a while and decided to try to reprioritize by using something I invented:  a SPICE scale.

Take your average week and start to categorize your activities, then for each activity rate them on a scale from 0-10 on the following:

S = Stress (0 being no stress at all, 10 meaning you're about to have a freakdown)
P = Payback (0 being no payback at all, 10 meaning you get a very high payback. And it doesn't have to be financial, it can be emotional, physical or mental payback)
I = Importance (0 being almost a complete waste of time, 10 being you can't truly can't survive without it, or it's usefulness to the human race)
C= Challenging (0 being no challenge at all, 10 being extremely challenging)
E = Enjoyment (0 being you hate it, 10 being you LOVE it!)

Then you also consider how many hours per week you do the activity and plug it into a spreadsheet.  The formula I came up with is a work in progress, but it still provides some pretty interesting numbers.

Here's my SPICE chart.

Take a look, and feel free to copy the spreadsheet and plug in your own activities and ratings.  You'll be surprised at how much time you're wasting, and what activities you can do better at that really are important.

The totals, averages, and self-analysis is really interesting.  It takes time to fill this out, but should help figure out what improvements you can make in your life.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Assigning Ctrl + Shift + D to display a value of a variable within Eclipse when debugging

I recently took a fellow developer's version of eclipse which included all the necessary plugins for our project (rather than manually add these plugins myself).  I noticed afterwards that I was no longer able to hit Ctrl + Shift + D to display a value when debugging.

This is easily configurable and can be fixed by:

  1. From your Eclipse menu, select Window -> Preferences 
  2. Under General -> Keys
  3. In the type filter text field at the top enter "Display".  You should see one or two already there.  
  4. Select the first one, and set the When value to "Debugging Java" and make sure the binding is "Ctrl+Shift+D"

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Last night's vision

This morning when I awoke I remembered a dream I had.

I dreamt that I was able to visit an alternate reality.  I found myself suddenly sitting next to Cathi at a funeral. She was sitting next to a skinny guy with long greasy black hair with streaks of grey, and a beard.  Cathi was different.  She was heavier and had much shorter hair.  She looked sad.  Not because of the funeral, but she didn't look happy.  I was able to feel that her life wasn't as fulfilling as the one I know in this reality.

I began to talk to her and she didn't know who I was.  I whispered for her to please come with me into the hall and talk with me for a minute.  I don't know why she trusted me enough to do that, but when in the hall I began to explain to her that she needed to join me in my reality.  That in my reality she had seven young kids, we had a happy and fulfilling life together, that she was an athlete and beautiful mother.

Then I woke up, thanks to our early alarms.  We both were getting up to start our exercise for the day, and I started to share the dream with her.  It really made me so grateful for my blessings.  It made me kind of sentimental all morning during my swim.  I came up with this poem in my mind:

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

State of the States

Last night I could only stomach to watch about 5 minutes of President Obama's state of the union speech.  What is the significance of this speech?  It seemed like a lot of him really stretching to pat his own back.

If I went into a annual job performance review and spent the whole time bragging myself up and talking about my accomplishments it wouldn't be a very effective review.

A company with a good performance review process incorporates a 360 degree feedback process.  The United States is a huge place and for one man to speak for that long and not get a real down to earth report of the state of the union is a waste of airtime.

Here's my idea:

State of the States

Setup:  Every state's governor should meet in his office in his own state capitol with the local TV station with national broadcast affiliations be on hand.  The President also be on hand in the oval office

At the start of the broadcast, the President gives a brief (5 minutes) statement about his role in government and what the states can do to improve the country.

Then out of the 50 states, 10 Governors from the various states are selected randomly to address the state of their state and make a statement or question regarding the federal government's influence (good or bad) on their state's general well-being, or a specific situation.  The Governor should represent the people of their state with their question or comment.  Each Governor has 3 minutes to make their comment, question, or statement.

The President then has 2 minutes to respond, after which the Governor then has 1 minute to make a final response.

This would take a little over an hour and 10 states out of 50 could get to participate in this 360 degree feedback process, all live for the nation to watch.  It could even be interactive where those who tweet with #stateOfTheStates could randomly get their comment posted at the bottom of the screen.

It's this kind of accountability that the president needs, not all this self-congratulatory bullcrap.  Plus it would force him to come up with his own thoughts and not some polished speech writer's propaganda.

In a way I'm envious of the people who live in countries like the Ukraine, where they actually protest their government and get change to take place.  Here in the US, we apparently are satisfied with the status quo.  Look at the last Presidential election.  After all the dissatisfaction that was voiced nationally, prior to the election, what changed?  Practically nothing.  We got the same president, and the same type of Congress.  With all this bickering between Democrats and Republicans, yet we still have a two party system!!!

When will America wake up and people really unite to make change in this country?   Voting matters, and blindly voting for a party should NOT be an option.  That is only making things worse.  I personally will never vote for a single Republican or Democrat again.  We need a system of government that involves more than just two parties ( or no parties).  I may be naive or ignorant, but an effective and non-corrupt government is something that I long for.