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Big changes coming

I have a brand new site design up and running at WPEngine. I’m about to change DNS settings for patrickfoley.com to point to the new site, and then I have a big announcement to make … so if you see this in your RSS reader but don’t see the new site by Thursday morning, please send me an email at pf@patrickfoley.com to let me know. Thanks!

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Picture by Plauto Da Silva

It’s a new gymnastics season! Gus’s first meet was last weekend, and he did great – 2nd All Around for Level 5 JrB (full scores). As I always tell him, I’m more proud of the work he put in than the results – if you do the work, the results will come. After last season, he bumped up to 11 hours of practice per week! That’s 5 hours more than last year, and he’s embraced it. He loves the sport – he spins on his mushroom at home constantly, often while watching videos of gymnastics champions.

This year, I’m trying to streamline my video production process, so I’m not assembling everything into one video. Instead, I’m uploading each event separately. So here you go:

As a bonus, one of the other dads, Plauto Da Silva (his son, Patrick, is a wonderful level 6 gymnast) took some incredible photos. When those are back up, I’ll send a link.

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Tribbon time

Hey there – Jody and I launched Tribbon last week, and most of my non-family blogging is going to happen in that context. You can read all about my latest learning (read: failing and continuing) in my launch post.

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How geeky

I’m going to be heading down to South By Southwest in a couple of weeks, and I am stoked … I’m even going to be taking the Startup Bus!

Unfortunately, I’m going to have to miss one of my son’s gymnastics meets. He has ten this year, so making 90% is a decent percentage, but the fact is I HATE missing this.

As I mentioned not too long ago, most problems can be solved with a specific amount of money, and this is such a problem. I could

  • Fly back from the conference for the meet, rent a car (it’s in Detroit) and fly back to the conference. Cost – about $1,200 and it  would cause me to miss 20% of the conference, which is a problem for work.
  • Teach my wife how to use the Flip video camera and have her record everything for me. Cost – nothing.
  • Teach my wife how to set up a laptop with a good video camera and stream the event to me live via Skype. Cost – almost nothing (I might have to borrow a mifi). The real problem here is that I would be expecting my wife to handle A/V issues that I normally handle myself. That’s not going to happen
  • Buy my wife a tablet with a built in video camera so that she can stream the event to me live via Skype. Cost – $300-1000 depending on which tablet I get.
    • I could get a “Windows 8” ready x64 tablet, but that would wind up being a toy for me
    • I could buy Paula an iPad or Android tablet (like the 7” Samsung) – that latter option is pretty tempting
  • I could borrow a tablet. Cost – $0 (plus some sort of favor in return, I suppose)

I’m not exactly sure what I’m going to do at this point. Seeing the video would be cool, but I really want to stream it live.

Next step: checking out the wifi quality at the venue …

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Planning ahead

As life gets more complicated, planning gets more important.

I’ve never been a good planner. I don’t like planning, so I naturally resist it. But as work gets more challenging and my 9-year-old son Gus gets more active, planning is simply unavoidable.

There’s the school of thought that if you want to learn to swim, you jump in the water. That applies to me here. Since my life isn’t going to get simpler, all I can do is make my best effort to plan ahead a bit, because if I don’t, everything falls apart. I’m confronted with the effects of any failures to plan daily. I’m under water, and my arms are flailing.

And wouldn’t you know it – it’s starting to have an effect. I’m beginning to think a couple of moves ahead. I’m beginning to fix process failures as I notice them. I’m recognizing better what’s important to me and what isn’t.

I still make plenty of mistakes, but it’s cool to see myself starting to suck less at something important.

What about you – is there anything you’ve struggled with a long time that you’re starting to get better at? Did you get there by diving in or some other way? Did you get there by … planning ahead?

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Oops!

When you break a streak, the best thing to do is start another one …

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Deadlines

The nice thing about deadlines is that they force you to ship. Your article, your app, your art will never be perfect, so of course you can always make it better tomorrow. Deadlines force you to give that last burst of effort to make something at least “good enough.”

I’m OK at externally imposed deadlines, but I’m not so good at creating deadlines for myself. That’s what a regular project sprint cycle is – it’s an internally imposed deadline to ship every week or two.

Internal deadlines are all about creating a regular rhythm. It’s less about getting something done at a specific time and more about inducing that burst of creative effort in a predictable, reliable way.

Gotta go – I have an article due …

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