Ketchup on Rusty

Spring has hit Seattle like a damp blanket. It's better than the 30-days-of-rain from January though, and people are finally getting the moss scraped off their backs. The days are actually light for over 12 hours now, the grass is growing (I've mowed thrice!), and all manner of creatures great and small are crawling and flying.

At the onset of every winter, I say to myself, "This winter I am going to use my gloomy days off and dark week nights to ________," and by this time every year I have done none of it and wonder where the winter went.

One winter a few years ago, I was going to get abs that I could see. That didn't, and still hasn't, happened, although I am in fair shape. Every winter for the past 10 years I've determined that I was going to pass the Microsoft certification exams. I don't even remember why I wanted to do it in the first place, but I've intended to do it for so long now that it is something that just has to get done (I hope that will put it to rest even though MS changes the certification levels every three years).

Two winters ago my wife and I started a business. We did the business plan, created the website, filed the forms, and did some advertising. And you know what? Not even a single call! It was depressing. Since then, we've pretty much shelved the business, but the website is still out there. I have gotten a few calls, and it has actually picked up a bit lately. In fact, I'm working on my second $300 gig - woot - or I would be if I wasn't posting this (actually, I should say retyping this since the first time I posted this my browser crashed and didn't save anything).

At my day job my morale is pretty high. Even though I'm about 5 rungs too low on the corporate ladder to merit an office with a door, I've managed to negotiate my way into one. It's a tiny room between the men's room and the women's locker room in a narrow hallway with no exterior windows. The walls are like a fun house - none are 90 degrees, so the desk doesn't really fit in there. There's also this fan in the ceiling that I worry is the exhaust from the intake over the men's toilettes next door. But it's quiet and no one bothers me!

At work, I've also started a community collaboration site for developers in my region to contribute code, do book reviews, and discuss lessons learned. So far, I'm about the only one contributing anything though. My leadership style subscribes to the idiom of "Lead by example," but so far, that's not working. What have you done to motivate peers?

There's one guy who I asked to participate in the book club, and he agreed. Then later he said he wouldn't do it because he had two young children. I asked him what I could do to make it easier for him, and he told me to come read them to sleep at night :) So, I bought him a copy of Cat in the Hat on VHS and a copy of the book out of my own pocket and he was appreciative and said he'd participate. But, he still hasn't contributed.

That's the news from Lake Washington. Good night, and good luck.