Adulthood isn’t abandonment of dreams

So, I’m 40. That’s not particularly old. But I am fully an adult. I have a 21 year old stepson, and 11 year old daughter, a wife, I used to have a mortgage and I have life and car insurance etc. Young Entrepeneurs constantly portray the mindset of…

So, I’m 40. That’s not particularly old. But I am fully an adult. I have a 21 year old stepson, and 11 year old daughter, a wife, I used to have a mortgage and I have life and car insurance etc.
Young Entrepreneurs constantly portray the mindset of older folks (adults) as having abandoned their dreams.

My take on it is that it comes down to your perspective of the future. As you age, the future becomes less abstract. It arrives, as it were, as it is. In the future you could have been the next Hemingway, except you’re not. You’re a 40 yr old serial entrepreneurial technologist with 2 kids.

In the future you could have invented Instagram and earned a billion in shaky Facebook stock. But you’re not. You still keep track of your hours and you usually invoice some one for Travel expenses and you pay attention to when the reimbursement check is scheduled to come.

So being an adult isn’t about abandoning your dreams. dreams just have shorter shelf life. There isn’t an opportunity to wait 5 years to be the next you. It’s today.

Dreams cost more because they last less long. And they mature into market value sooner. If I dream of being In band at 42. I pretty much need to learn to play guitar today. If I dream of running a marathon. I need to enter a 5k run for next month. If I dream of owning a home, I need to put away 15% of my next check towards a down payment.

So adults haven’t abandoned their dreams, they just have to work harder to have a dream, because tomorrow is today and dreams don’t come cheap. They live or die on what you did this morning.

Mountain Lion killed my apache, fixed

So, Mountain Lion upgrade generally went fine, but had some real problems with my MAMP stack (Mac, Apache, Mysql, Php). I program in a lot of languages in and keeping my stacks working with current development machine is usually no problem, but I …

So, Mountain Lion upgrade generally went fine, but had some real problems with my MAMP stack (Mac, Apache, Mysql, Php).  I program in a lot of languages in and keeping my stacks working with current development machine is usually no problem, but I ran into about 3 hours of confusion with Mac Mountain Lion and Apache.

 

Thanks to Neil Gee and this very idiot proof walk thru, I got it fixed up in a few minutes once I started looking for help.  Mysql,php,phpmyadmin on OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion

photo via

http://www.cultofmac.com/146957/mountain-lion-kills-os-x-support-for-a-number…

Quit while you are behind

This is in response to a recent post by OM Malik http://om.co/2012/03/20/entrepreneur-lesson-1-from-mark-pincus-stay-with-it/ Basically it’s that Stick With It advice you hear so often. I usually agree with most of his insights but this one just r…

This is in response to a recent post by OM Malik

http://om.co/2012/03/20/entrepreneur-lesson-1-from-mark-pincus-stay-with-it/

Basically it’s that Stick With It advice you hear so often.  I usually agree with most of his insights but this one just rubbed me the wrong way.

FACT => Most startups fail
CONJECTURE => Many go down in flames with debt, unpaid salaries, legal liabilities, broken promises, divorces, friendships ended etc

CONCLUSION => Most startups fail too late.


In my experience startup Entrepeneurs have by definition already got the stick with it gene. They wouldn’t be doing a startup of they didn’t. In fact I would say too many of them have a delusional sense that of they just keep trying to hang on, somehow it will all work out allright.

In fact the best piece of advice I can give is this: When you find yourself with a shovel, deep in a hole, STOP DIGGING.

Practically what this means is that it’s better to retreat when the writing is CLEARLY on the wall, regroup, maybe take a temp job, and come at it again a bit later when you’ve digested what went wrong how your luck worked against you.

So stick with it by all means, but don’t believe the fantasy that if you stick with something that isn’t working, all you need is persaverence.

Suits Versus Nerds

I’ve been working for a while on trying to develop a toolbox for the Suits I meet to understand the Geeks I work with. One of the most common process problems I’ve encountered in a mangement culture is a complete and total misunderstanding of how …

I’ve been working for a while on trying to develop a toolbox for the Suits I meet to understand the Geeks I work with.  One of the most common process problems I’ve encountered in a mangement culture is a complete and total misunderstanding of how tech works, what motivates technical people, and the value that technical teams bring.  The reverese is also completely true.

Ask any developer what the non-technical people in their organization do, and usually you’ll get an answer like:  

“There are non-technical people here?”

“The have meetings?”

or “I have no frigging clue.”

I’m designing a series of surveys (non-scientific) to suss out the nature of the most common problems and possible solutions.  If you’re a Geek, a tech person, a designer (still on the technical side of Suits versus Nerds) please help me out and take the survey.

Nerds Click Here

If you’re ALL Business, please help by taking the Survey for Suits!

Suits Click Here

Bucket List

I’ve had a long running mental list of things I want to eventually do, but I thought it might be fun to post a few examples. This is only an “includes but is not limited to” sample, my list is pretty much endless, No order of priority implied: Lea…

I’ve had a long running mental list of things I want to eventually do, but I thought it might be fun to post a few examples.  This is only an “includes but is not limited to” sample, my list is pretty much endless, No order of priority implied:

  • Learn to fly a plane
  • Get reasonably good at Parkour
  • Visit Antarctica
  • Vist Tibet
  • Go flying in a wingsuit
  • Become competively good at Chess
  • Get a Phd in Physics
  • Go on a non-religuous service mission
  • Release a Musical Album that sells at least 1000 copies
  • Publish a fiction novel that sells at least 10,000 copies
  • Visit the great wall of China
  • Perform a life saving feat in a medical emergency
  • Learn to Wind Surf
  • Go Skydiving
  • Free Climb a 100 feet vertically (just enough to be life-threatening)
  • Learn how to do Yoga Breakdancing.

XML, Violence, Nokogiri and Xpath

I love Xpath. It makes XML easy to use and easy to query. Gone are the days of parsing things with a SaxParser unless you’re really hard up for control of you text. Also, I love the Ruby Nokogiri Gem. XML is like violence – if it doesn’t solve you…

I love Xpath.

 It makes XML easy to use and easy to query.  Gone are the days of parsing things with a SaxParser unless you’re really hard up for control of you text.

 

Also, I love the Ruby Nokogiri Gem.  

XML is like violence – if it doesn’t solve your problems, you are not using enough of it.

– Nokogiri docs

But I do have to say that there is a lack of good examples and documentation for anything particularly advanced.  I found a working solution to my issue, but thought I’d paste here what I wanted to do versus what I ended up doing.

Given the following XML, 

 

https://gist.github.com/1577136

 

I’d like to grab two elements that include “Cover” in the tag, and then operate on each of them.

Nokogiri’s use of Xpath easily allows the first query expression like so: price_xml = doc_xml.xpath('Container/Set/*[contains(name(), "Cover")]')

I’ve selected all the elements (using *) in Set, and then used an Xpath Expression function:

contains, in order to specify that Adult must be in the name.  This returns two Nokogiri XML Nodes in Nodeset.

 

What I wanted to do was then select one of these elements based on a pattern in the tagname use my favorite tool, Xpath.

But I just couldn’t get Nokogiri to give it to me, and several solutions ending up selecting way more than the 1 element I wanted. (Because the nodes in the Nodeset still contain relationships with their parents)

https://gist.github.com/1579343

 

I’m cross posting this on StackOverflow as a question, just in case any Nokogiri Xpath enthusiasts want to recommend a solution that doesn’t resort to find()

 

 

Rails Rake tips

This is the Hay Magnum-Hay CCM-8 Max Wheel Rake. Now you might think it should have a name like: Hay Magnumator 8000 but it doesn’t. It doesn’t take long playing with Rake before you starting thinking of it like the Hay Magnumator 8000. By Rake, I…

longviewcart
rake tasks

Here’s a tip:
If some of these tasks are actually “private” tasks that only get called by other Rake tasks,
leave off the “desc” line in the task definition.  And Voila, your rake -T list will get a lot cleaner.

 

Thanks to Erik Debill for his nice post on Rake and some Advanced Tips for using it.