Saturday Musings - Pushing Through Adversity

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This past week I’ve been wrestling with developing a number of graphs in Google Charts. Wrestling is more of a polite way of me thinking a bunch of four letter words combined with hitting my head against a brick wall. It’s been a lesson in frustration while a carrot dangled tantalizingly just out of reach.

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I hate giving up on anything…..it’s one of my strengths and is also one of my weaknesses. I’m like a dog with a bone. I’ll just keep on gnawing away at some problem until it’s fixed or in some cases redefined.

It all started when I decided to build a dashboard for some clients that displayed a few graphs on a webpage. How difficult could that be? After a few 3am working sessions, I figured out how to pull data from a database, convert it to JSON format, push it to Google charts and voila! Out popped a beautiful chart!

There was just one problem….I’m a bit of a stickler when it comes to design, so I wanted to have the right colours. OK, solved that, tick! Then I thought, it would be nice if the clients could scroll through a date range……a few hours later, tick!

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Saturday Musings - Getting Out of Your Financial Mess

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Do you ever feel like everyone seems to be putting their hands into your wallet and helping themselves? Bills and taxes keep on rising and living is more and more expensive each year while your pay continues to shrink in size. There seems to be less left over for you to enjoy life.

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Many years ago I read a fantastic book that I would highly recommend to anyone…..and no, it wasn’t my book, Battleframe (although it isn’t a bad read). The book was “The Richest Man in Babylon” and the author illustrates a number of principles about managing money through stories…..it’s really a compelling read.

The first point he raised was, “Pay Yourself First”. What this means is keep some of the money for yourself……not your bills but for you. If you need to negotiate with creditors and pay them over a period of time then do so but whatever you do pay yourself now. An amazing thing will happen, you will pay off your creditors and also manage your expense line appropriately.

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vanclute
Here is a PDF of the book for free: https://ia800307.us.archive.org/2/items/RichestManInBabylon_650/the_richest_man_in_babylon.pd... Read More
08 July 2017
mgilmour
Thanks for that! It's going to save me a lot of money :-)
09 July 2017
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We Live in Amazing Times

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We are surrounded by the most incredible advances in technology the world has ever seen and yet we can be accused of becoming increasingly complacent about the miraculous.

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Just think about it for a second. Just over 100 years ago the Wright Brothers flew for the first time at Kittyhawk. A few weeks ago, my wife and I soared at 40,000 feet in a chair in the sky while we watched movies. Forget around the world in 80 days, we did it in 28 hours.

I watched my daughter start shaking her mobile phone in frustration because a message her friend had sent hadn’t arrived as yet. I asked her when was it sent. She replied, “A few seconds ago” and as she stormed off she yelled back, “I saw she was typing!” I presume this explained everything.

I first got online back in the 80’s and I remember sending email around the world via the amateur radio network (remember FIDONET?). It was incredible! I could write something on my computer and 2 days later I would get a response…..how fast was that! The other day I was in a skype session and the person I was speaking with sent me an email and I calmly respond a few seconds later with, “Go it.”

I love technology and have been an early adopter of an Oculus Rift VR headset. For those of you that don’t have one…..just pay the money and get one. It will open your mind to so many possibilities. Everything from entertainment through to education will be transformed by VR. If you think domain names will be immune then think again and don’t even get me started on AR.

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Rawgi
I will agree we are in a time of great leaps in technology. I will have to look closely at the new VR stuff. Sounds like " Beam ... Read More
06 July 2017
mgilmour
I remember using log tables to do multiplications of big numbers. I've also kept my grandfathers slide rule for posterity sake.... Read More
06 July 2017
Rawgi
We were using log tables to figure exact payoffs for mortgages and auto loans at that time. On the Hubble, I hope they grind t... Read More
08 July 2017
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Saturday Musings - Working to the MAX!

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Some of you may have noticed that I didn’t do any posts last week. Yes, I’m fine and nothing disastrous has happened in my personal life. I just reached a point of work saturation.

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Have you ever been working so hard that no matter how fast and how diligent you are your in-tray just keeps on mounting up? Well, that was me last week. A number of nights I found myself working until 3:30am and up again at 7:30am because there was just so much going on.

So what’s been happening? Everything from reviewing legal agreements, managing partners, sorting through client issues, working with the ParkLogic team, designing graphics, cleaning up websites, debugging servers, launching new platforms, coding client requests into existing systems and working with spreadsheets that literally take 30 minutes to calculate. The last issue drove me crazy because if I touched my PC during a recalc Excel would just stop! Grrrrrrrrrrr!!!!

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Saturday Musings - Simple Solutions

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I’ve just been trying to debug a pretty complex program. One screen displayed the error logs, another the database changes while yet another the actual code. For some stupid reason, nothing appeared in my browser when I run the application……it’s safe to say that I'm pulling my hair out in frustration!

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It was then that it dawned on me…..you moron! I’d forgotten to save my code. Yep, the most obvious of solutions lay withering on the vine of my single-minded focus. A simple control-S saw everything instantly display as it should and my universe come into alignment….well, almost anyway.

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