Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Wacky Science May Get Our Kids Or Grandkids Into Space

I don't quite understand the science involved but this article makes it sound at least possible that an alternative to rocket-propelled space travel may be within our reach in the next 20-50 years.

Still Biking In Late November

I did the bike ride downtown today for a comic (that's right, it was for one comic this week: Lazarus) and that was in 0° C (-4° C with the windchill) weather, recognizing that this may be my last chance before March of next year.  We've already had one big snowfall this month, though warm temperatures over the past weekend and earlier this week took care of all that.  It's still possible I'll get one more ride in next week if it's not too wet, but I'm not holding out much hope that I'll actually make it into December.

Oh well, as it is today's trip was strenuous (and cold) enough that I feel pretty good about being able to get this late into the year at my age. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Creating A Leader-Leader, Rather Than Leader-Follower, Culture Within An Organization

(Hat tip to Mike Cohn for the original link via Twitter): I really like this article about U.S. nuclear sub commander David Marquet and his approach to leadership. While the language used (on board the sub) might be too formal and stilted to work in a software environment, the ideas behind it - ensuring control, competence and clarity - would work perfectly in an Agile development shop.  Or, put another way, the goal is to have everyone on the team able to make good decisions because they understand the mission (including the relative priorities) and are actively engaged in the completion of it.  No one's "just following orders," nobody feels unappreciated, and every member is pulling in the same direction as the team.

Definitely worth a read for anyone out there still doing the 9-to-5.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Another Book Update

Just to show that progress is continuing to happen: I finished my first cut of the third chapter on the new book today.  It needs some work but hopefully by the end of the week it'll be in good enough shape that I can move on to Chapter 4 next week.  For reasons beyond my understanding, the chapters this time around are turning out to be slightly shorter than they've typically been in the past.  I guess that means I'll either have more chapters in the fifth novel or it'll be somewhat lighter than its predecessors, if this trend continues.  You'd think I would know which, but then again you'd probably also think I was working from an outline on this project.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

New Book Project Finally Has Some Steam Behind It

I started it over three months ago, and then completely stalled.  My fifth novel (and eighth book) just wasn't happening for me for awhile, but now it seems to be coming together.  I finished the first chapter, and then wrote the second chapter, all during the four days Vicki was visiting relatives in Baltimore last week.  Since then, Vicki and Tammy have reviewed the chapters and given me edits and feedback, both of which help to motivate me to keep writing.

So there's some cause for optimism that this latest writing project has finally started to take off.  I still expect it's likely going to be an autumn book release in 2015 rather than a spring one, but we'll see.