The Vaccine is Here Part III

The vaccines are here. We now have 3 in our tool kit and this is great news. The CDC finally gave us some guidance, just today .. a tiny bit confusing, but please allow common sense be your guide.

I do believe there is a “W(h)ither the CDC” article in my future, which will reflect my thoughts. That’s a post for another time.

On Vaccines .. even if you are fully vaccinated you must still be careful. We don’t have data that suggests vaccinated people cannot transmit the virus to others, although we can presume there is less risk, as long as other mitigating steps are taken. We are hopeful that the vaccines will allow vaccinated people to spend time together whereas other folks not yet vaccinated may just want to join in.

Please don’t get me wrong .. vaccines are great news. The more people that get vaccinated coupled with those that wear masks give us the best opportunity to starve out this virus and get back to our semblance of normality. For myself, I am still too young in Georgia to get the vaccine. However I have been very safe, masking everywhere I go and not engaging in what sensible folks would consider as a potentially risky behavior.

I know we’re tired of this. It has been a wild, and isolated year. To be clear: COVID-19 is not done with us of yet. I posted of this in “The Numbers are Good ..“, back in April 2020 (one of many). We need to soldier on and ensure that we give our community, our neighbors, the best opportunity to get back to what we would all consider to be normal.

I am not a pessimist .. I am a pragmatist. I expect I will be wearing a mask, vaccinated or not through the balance of 2021 and I am happy to do so. I encourage you to do the same.

Be smart. Be an adult. Do the right thing. Get the vaccine when it is your turn. In the interim, and once vaccinated, protect yourself and your family.

Sprint and One Million Devices

A kudos to Sprint for helping to address the digital divide in Fortune: “Here’s how Sprint Plans to Help 1 Million Disadvantaged Kids Get Online” ..

.. I’m hoping they’re not the Samsung Galaxy 7.

Cheap shot, I know.

:: ducks ::


When did you realize you were mortal?

For me, and up until this point, well never.

Had a humbling experience with the Arizona Desert yesterday; a walkabout (of which I’ve written of several) resulted in too much heat and too little hydration for me after only three miles.

Granted, I had a big bottle of water and it was a short hike .. but temperatures over 100 and just the right combination of hills .. well, I deserved what I got.

The riot (and the blessing): it hit me after I returned to the hotel (rule of thumb with me: when half the water is gone, replenish or turn back). I climbed four flights of stairs and everything went white.

A few minutes rest, then I walked to the ice machine to fill my hat. Twenty minutes and the rest of my water, I found my way poolside for water and more rest.

So: despite the bike rides and hikes .. I need to keep an eye on myself.

Great lesson learned .. and the opportunity to make better plans going forward.


Be the Hero of your Own Story

It’s time.

In fact, no matter what time it is .. from wherever you may be starting, it’s time for you to be the hero of your own story.

How will you position yourself? Will you be The Anti-Hero who becomes a reformed nemesis, Mister Goody-Two-Shoes, or something else?

Whatever it is, take the right step .. which is the next step .. or the step after that. Write your own path, write your own tale, do something that’s different .. or the same. Find a way, or find the truth. Make a mistake, and make it right. Get dirty, or tidy up. Make a friend of someone new, or resolve an old conflict, just because.

All this said: do the right thing, for the right reason. Pay it backwards and forwards and in-between. Find a way to protect, enhance, communicate, mentor, or grow yourself.

Do something. Do something impactful. Do something right. Do something now.

Write your own story, with yourself as the hero.

It’s Time.

Disruption is only Fun ..

.. when you’re doing it to someone else.


The rest of the time, it’s discovery .. it’s when you find a way to do something with an existing application or workflow that surprises and delights others. Consider:

  • Multiple deletes of emails on a mobile device
  • Workflow process that does ‘something’
  • A ‘wow’ factor (search my blog for those little jewels).

Anything that enhances the experience for the rest of the carbon-based life forms.

The rest of the time, it is ‘by design’. Something a clever product group or a talented developer brought to the fore. Some thoughts:

  • Markets get disrupted when there is critical mass with a group that does something en masse (think Uber).
  • Couples get disrupted when a partner gets there faster (‘there’ may be personal growth, situational recognition or a well-kept goal). Help me, Doctor Phil!
  • People get disrupted when life changes occur .. we have all had these.

Beyond lemons to lemonade, we manage disruption in different ways. It’s more than adaptation .. more than coping. We succeed as CB life forms if we thrive with disruption .. disruption that is a way of life today.

Let’s thrive!

The Journey to ‘Operational’

There is a point at which we all want to ‘do our jobs’.

  • If your job is solely execution, rejoice! Being operational means your prayers are answered. Your goals are clear; you can rock the house, crush your goals and enjoy your Friday nights.
  • For those who fall in the realm of ‘continuous improvement’ .. while noble, it impacts the group above .. but, more so: your life. How much is too much (or too little)? Please think, and plan before you strike. Ask the question: are you operational? Can your team function and succeed?
  • Then, there is those who fall under the definition of ‘visionary’ .. as long as you recognize that you are not trying to manage chaos (in the form of introducing changes for changes’ sake), there may be value. As above: can your team function and succeed?

Note that a visionary without execution is .. well .. not as valuable. Our visionaries need to get their hands dirty now and then; by themselves, or by proxy. Engage a Tiger Team .. a group who can close the loop.

The business goes on, though .. it is critical that we avoid being the bottleneck to others’ success.

Another day in Paradise ..

.. or I guess you could call it that. It was a day in Redmond with the sun shining (after two weeks of fog). Note that  it’s not sunny now, in fact, it’s raining.

Oh: and it’s night.

Two meetings on-campus between which, I prowled the familiar halls of Building 40 .. not that I ever worked in that building .. it’s just they’re all so the same. I drank the coffee (not the Kool-Aid) and caught up with various denizens and nemeses. I showed a lot of slides, bantered, beckoned, baited and bought (time). Then, I had sushi.

All in all, a good day.


Mom passed this year. Complications of several illnesses that ganged up on her.

She was never a good patient in the best of circumstances, but you can imagine that when she felt as poorly as she did .. well …

We had a number of visits during the illness .. far too few, of course:

  • The first, right after diagnosis: high spirits, but physically miserable.
  • Soon after: death warmed over until a day after I arrived, and then bounced back. What the hell?
  • About a month before: she bounced back so much that she was out and about. This visit (with the children) coincided her best-to-date. She’d felt so good she spent half the day prior at Wal-Mart, panicking Marvin and Gini.

This last trip was .. different. She’d been re-admitted for pneumonia a few days prior to Mother’s day .. as an aside, I called her and joked that she didn’t have to check herself into the hospital to avoid a visit from us. I said “she was so fearful the kids would visit  ..”

Bollocks, of course. A few days later, I called her again. Same joke, but her condition had worsened.

A successful surgery the Saturday prior to remove a chunk of highly-infected tissue .. but she didn’t come out of it by any standard of living. By the time I saw her the following Wednesday, she hadn’t eaten since her surgery. She didn’t recognize Marvin, Gini or me. Her body was still alive, but that which was her, was not.

Marvin and Gini had hung in the hospital for days. Every visit, watching, comforting, coaching. Urging her to go on. That her time had come.

She didn’t know they were there.

I got the call the morning before. First from Marvin, then from Gini. It was time. I drove to Kennewick that afternoon.

It would happen that night or shortly thereafter. Her heart rate was at aerobic levels. Her lungs at only a few percent of capacity, her ‘wakings’ (such as they were): delirious.

On the last night, I arrived with Marvin and Gini still there. Mom would wake up now and again that night, agitated and in unbearable pain. Marvin and I spoke with the doctor one last time, arriving at the last, and best course of action. Marvin and Gini had already made their peace.

When they went home, I stayed a few hours longer to make mine. I stayed until they administered the final drip. I comforted her just one last time.

Just before she fell asleep for the last time that I saw her, she repeated an action she’d done over the past week: she tried to sit up. She held her arms out. She called for her mom ..

.. I knew exactly how she felt.

IE9: “Fast is now Beautiful” .. but what’s up with the Address Bar?

The Windows Blog touted “Fast is now Beautiful – IE9 Released” back in March, and like the good netizen I am, I downloaded IE9 straight away and gave it a test drive.

But: what’s up with the Address Bar .. now known as the “Anything Bar”? By default, you get this, really narrow, almost unusable space in which to type URLs or search strings:

IE9 with default Anything Bar

It seems Microsoft decided to devote more screen real estate to the browser window, achieving this by putting tabs and the bar on the same horizontal plane. However I don’t use a home page, opting instead to type my search terms into the bar. The size of the bar is an issue for me: makes it difficult to enter all my terms, or see fully-rendered URLs .. this is a pain when wanting to select a URL for a blog post or email.

Hint: pressing F6 toggles the cursor between the browser window and the Anything Bar .. a decent workaround.

Fortunately, Microsoft left the full-width functionality in place. Simply right-click in the space to the right of the tabs and select “Show tabs on separate row” and you get this bit of beauty:

IE9 with full-width Anything Bar

Much better!

I’ve had this itch ..

.. and I definitely need it scratched!

You notice a new theme and format, and a bunch of content that no longer exists. You’ll also notice that after nearly six months, I am posting to this blog again (note that I didn’t say ‘writing’ .. I’ve been doing TONS of writing .. just not here).

Let’s catch up:

  • This blog is now hosted with my good friends on WordPress .. while .Text served me for five years, I don’t want to maintain the server any longer .. a hosted solution is the right thing for me to do.
  • Old OpsanBlog content is still available (for now). Note that internal link references may break until I re-address them .. working on that over the coming weekend.
  • I am no longer the “Microsoft Pragmatic Evangelist”. I am simply the “Pragmatic Evangelist”. This lets me comment with or without a Microsoft spin; I’ve had a lot of fun testing new devices and programs.
  • I am no longer the “Microsoft” anything .. we parted ways back in April. I’ve had a nice summer (semi-) off.
  • I do not expect to contain my wicked sense of humor.

I am still tinkering with the WordPress themes .. looking for the right bits to complete the brand. Don’t be surprised if icons, colors or content bounce about.

As always, thanks for reading .. I look forward to reconnecting.

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