Dave (Personal)

  • What I’m doing now

    As my role in Allpar is dropping down to that of moderator and sometime contributor, you may ask, what am I doing now? Since my old job at Rustler is no longer available, I’ve given some much-needed attention to my long-standing toolpack.info (organizational change and improvement) and acarplace.com (automotive) sites, but given their limited long-term growth potential, I’m also looking at part-time editing jobs. I still have to devote some time to expanding macstats.org, particularly the tests of free statistical software, especially since a mildly embarrassing interlude when I realized I couldn’t figure out how to do a simple curve-fitting scatterplot in most of the programs. There are some long-term projects I’d like to attack, including the wonderful world of…

  • You can learn from experience, but you don’t have to!

    In olden times, so I’ve been told, older people were considered wiser. The young ’uns deferred to the elderly for their accumulated wisdom. Keep in mind, of course, that the old folk were probably in their forties or fifties. People live a lot longer now than they used to, in most of the world, since we’ve figured out how to avoid dying from various plagues. Still, there is often much to be learned from older people. Except… Except that not everyone gains wisdom with age. You can learn from experience, but you don’t have to. You can just have experience and fit it into whatever mental molds you have sitting around. The mind is very good at chucking out things…

  • The lingering shadow

    Most people who have recovered from cancer, strokes, or heart attacks are happy to still be here; and there’s not much we can do, usually, other than shrug and go along with it, taking whatever drugs, doing whatever exercises, diets, or surgery, we are told to take or do. That makes it easy to have a “good attitude,” at least to other people. Still, there are some things you don’t see from the outside, and I doubt I’m alone in this. “Before.” I gave up an adrenal gland, kidney, and spleen, and one other organ, but in the end, I drink more water and less alcohol, and that’s pretty much the impact of the surgeries. There are other problems, though, which…

  • Getting back to normal
    dave with another Valiant

    I’ve now passed the three-year anniversary of my surgery, which means I’m likely to live long enough to die of something else. Why is three years a key milestone? Around 80% of people in my situation die within three years. If it shows up again within six months, doctors advise against even trying to stop it; it’s time to get your affairs in order and, perhaps, get it over with on your own terms while you still can. (Or not; there’s always a chance.) Over the last few months, I’ve had to change my mind-set again, from “I’ve got a definite time limit” to “I might just make it out of this alive.” Well, long enough to die from my…

  • What and who you know

    When I was first starting out as an organizational development consultant, I went to various career seminars given by experienced professionals. One thing that kept coming up was, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” It’s cynical advice, but it’s largely true. You can set up shop and be the very best in the world at what you do, but unless you can “schmooze,” or network, it doesn’t matter. What’s often not mentioned is that this includes keeping track of the people you work with. Volunteers working together and getting to know each other at an event unrelated to consulting… because I needed a photo for the story. Whether you work with other people as part of a consulting firm, or…

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