Friday, January 16, 2015



Not mantas.

I come up with a set of mantras at the start of every year.  They tend to cover both work at home.

The big one for me last year was Simplify.  At work, it meant paring down process, simplifying the architecture of the system, and moving to a more service oriented architecture.

At home, it meant getting rid of stuff.

At one point, early in the year, I had a ton of PCs (and a mac)

  • Two media PCs (running XBMC)
  • A backup server running Windows Home Server v1
  • A media server running Windows Server 2008R2
  • A desktop in the office
  • My laptop
  • Robin's laptop
  • Beth's laptop
  • Josh's laptop (though he's now moved out)
  • A mac mini

They all required some form of maintenance, and invariably, there'd be some hardware or software problem that I'd have to deal with.

I got sick of all that and now I have this:

  • 0 media PCs (replaced by ROKUs running Plex to stream media from my server)
  • 0 backup servers (replaced by backing up each PC to the media server, and backing up most of the media server to an external hard disk.  And then backing each of the PCs up to Crashplan.)
  • Kept the media server.
  • Kept the desktop, though it's rarely used.
  • Kept the laptops, which all of us (except Robin) use regularly.
  • Turned off the Mac Mini. Just sucking up power.

It's made my life much simpler.

I had three huge drawers full of old cables that I've kept (and added to over the years.)  I had every cable imaginable, all the way back to parallel printer cables.  Over the holiday break, I spent a couple of hours and whittled it down to one half-full drawer.  I felt great about it, until I needed a stupid USB extension cable.

I also went through my tools, tossed or gave away all of the screwdrivers that had been mangled one way or another (I tend to be hard on tools. Broke my large flat head screwdrivers many years back by accidentally shorting positive and negative on a car battery.)  Tossed a lot of things I rarely used, and now the garage is pretty clean.  It's never been pretty clean.

I went through my boxes of books and gave away all of the ones I'll never read again. That hurt a little.

This year

Here are my mantras for this year:

    • Balance
    • Close loops
    • Multipliers
    • Forward thinking
    • Grow

What these mean for me, at least right now, are:

Balance physical fitness, spiritual fitness and creative fitness. Work out, read more of the bible, Art more.

Close Loops
So many things get lost in the shuffle.  Recurring bills on the credit card for things we don't use, but never turned off.  Getting to finishing the yard lights.

Find ways to make everything more efficient. Simplify things even more so I don't spend garbage time doing unimportant things.

Forward Thinking
Pay more attention to preparing for our future. Robin and I are shortly going to be empty nesters. Let's find a way to do more together.

Always continue to grow. Stagnation stinks.

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42 (NIV)