Goldfish in the creek

We have a creek in front of the house. It’s a nice creek, it moves quickly. It has multiple sources, and we know of other springs that feed the creek. At least some of the water comes from mine run-off, and so except for some native crayfish, there is very little that lives there.

Just below the wooden footbridge that we use to get to the creek, there is a relatively deep and slow-moving section of water. Just goofing around with the kids, we started talking about how we might get to have some fish in it. We got some old clay pipes and set them up in the creek, parallel with the bridge, and perpendicular to the current. Then we went to the local pet shop and bought a few goldfish.

Many (if not all) of them survived a pretty good rain and an overnight, so we went and bought about another 20. (These were the “feeders,” which are at the pet store just for the purpose of being sold as turtle food. So we have given them some hope).

We had some excitement, as two of them got caught up in the current and were washed downstream. But we followed them down, got our soup strainer, and managed to get them both.

So stay tuned, I’ll let you know how the make out.

Took a few days off

Part of the “inner gyroscope” thing. I know, the search for work should be full-time work, and I’m up for that. Monday I mailed the first 30 from my Dun & Bradstreet list ( of Pittsburgh area software firms. No bites on that yet — one returned — but I’ve also created a series of documents so that I can phone and otherwise follow-up with each individual that I write to. The process of direct mail and follow-up is one I intend to farm over the next several weeks, as a way of building up a current network of contacts, perhaps gaining such project work as is available out there, and even leading to a full-time position.

An Assessment

a little help from your friends
a little help from your friends

At the time I was let go, I was totally focused on doing my own job — my thought was that the company itself would be my vehicle to success, and in the words of Carnegie, “put all your eggs in one basket, and then watch that basket.”

Well, I had done that, to the exclusion of having joined any networking groups, or having met any people in the (local software industry) outside of the industry.

I haven’t posted for a few days — and I’m not normally one to “take a few days off,” especially in a situation like this one. But you have to recharge yourself. You have to take time and give your “inner gyroscope” time to right itself. That’s what I’ve been doing, and here, in my unique (or not-so-unique) situation, I’ve taken that time, done an assessment of myself (in general terms, I guess, but as it leads to a plan of action), and I’m ready to move forward.

Nourish your inner gyroscope

maintaining balance
maintaining balance in turbulent times

The Tom Peters Company is using this gyroscope graphic on its website, under the header, “future shape of the winner.” Of this gyroscope, he (or someone in his organization) says, it is “a navigation system that finds dynamic balance and sets direction in a constantly changing operating context.”

Of course, their hope is that the Tom Peters Company will provide you with a consulting service that will enable you to balance seven different elements, as follows: … Ambition … Architecture … Brand … Execution … Experience … Performance … Talent ….

That’s all well and good; a company needs to be able to respond like a gyroscope to changes in the market. In fact, that’s quite an intricate balancing act. (And I have a story to tell about HyperActive in that respect). But the individuals in question will also have inner gyroscopes (or not), and that’s the key to the whole process, I think.