Studying hard… and loving it!

T  T (minus) 9 days and I’m having fun studying.
As I take practice full length exams, my scores are stable.
This peaceful approach to a major test is new: I am enjoying it.

Shows a keyboard, mouse, a computer tablet, some paper and a pencil
Some Study Tools on my desk right now

A view from the top of the Himalayas of the Valley of Flowers

Why did Prabu cross the Road Less Travelled*?

It could be that (that) Road was Traveled Less

‘Cause strewn with dashed hopes and low (no) pay, its a mess

(But) I’ve inner feelings to address

Without which there may be regre(t)s

In my new nonprofit role

Love, peace - maybe it’s all hyperbole

I’ll be working towards my new lofty goal

Seeking Connections that make us whole

With gratitude to my friends, my head is bent

With love and best wishes on your own journey, this note is sent

I’m taking this step with full intent

Rest easy, I’m content.

*”The Road Not Taken” is my favorite poem by Robert Frost.

I sent this poem as a note to my colleagues and friends in the business world, as I transitioned to be an Encore Fellow, to work full time with the nonprofit sector.


Anticipation! Embarking on the (altMBA) journey

[This is a cross post from the altMBA site.  Original can be found here].

In anticipation of a race the next morning, Running gear laid out. Shows layers of clothing - running shorts, t-shirts with race bib pinned on to the running clothes.

All set for the race!

This happens to me the night before each race…. I lay out my gear, double check that the bib (or decal, the runner number) is pinned on so that I can take off layers of my clothes along the route without losing the bib and so on…. Anticipation!

Right now, I’m going into the “Resources” section of the altMBA5 guide, resetting my forgotten password on Disqus, uploading my photos on to Gravatar and the Bio Book…. generally getting ready for the journey of ruckus.

Anticipation – the (good kind of) nervous energy. It fuels the positive vibes that then carry into the race.  Investing today in this prep work will be well worth the time as we begin this mad dash, this 30-day sprint in which we produce (“ship”) 12 projects.  Yes, I knew that when signing up for the altMBA workshop and am actually looking forward to this sprint.

It was an honor to be selected for this altMBA cohort #5.  As always, there is a cost to doing anything (doing nothing costs more).  The time, the money, the sleep, the juggling of priorities.

So, why am I doing this?  Primarily to get off my seat and get my mojo back.  Second, to invite new doers and ideas into my life.  Third, the wonder: to simply see where this journey will take me.  It’s definitely different from my other projects… and hey, Seth Godin – yes, the Seth Godin – is invested in this.  For these 30 days at least, we have a shared project – Ain’t that something!

Already, I have learned.  Of my Christmas day in April, I’ve devoured these three:  Steal Like an Artist by Austin KleonThe War of Art by Steven Pressfield and The Art of Possibility by Rosamund and Benjamin Zander.  Here are the rest:

A photograph of all the books in the suggested reading package of altMBA cohort 5 that the blog post author is anticipating reading.

Books R Us

The journey is where the fun is, I know.  But this getting ready part, this anticipation – there’s a special joy here.

OK, back to the suggested reading. Book #4 is calling me…


I opened a package from Santa (he forgot that it was only April) and out poured a veritable cornucopia of gifts.  To say that I’m excited is an understatement, as this video will show.

The Turkeys are here – Its officially Springtime!

Turkey full pose open train

All set to impress

On this rainy Sunday, the turkeys visited us from the wilderness across the street.  The male was trying very hard with

Turkey DSC_1320

He’s crying for attention: “Look at me! I’m so colorful and handsome!”

his colorful and fully open train,  to impress his female friends, who seemed more interested in feeding on the fresh green grass.

Turkey DSC_1310

She’s more interested in eating the new grass than in him

Cherry Blossoms in our backyard

Cherry Blossoms in our backyarss.

Fireplace 20160313 DSC_1341

Cheery fireplace on this cold rainy Sunday

With the rains, the turkeys, flowers in bloom and the Daylight Savings Time, no doubt, Spring is here!


For the first time in our new home, we have a lively fire roaring in the fireplace.  No place to go, nothing to do but enjoy each other’s conversation and silence.  So thankful for this abundance.

The Why in YMCA

This evening, we invested one of the best hours of this week in checking out the local Y.

Why the Y?

Mostly because I find that when it comes to exercise, I do enjoy working in a group, learning new skills and working toward measurable goals.  While the (ongoing) training toward a run/walk Marathon builds several muscle groups, core and strength training need work. Back when we were in Texas, this meant going to the gym plus the early morning Boot Camp sessions.  (Yes, I got to a stage where I enjoyed working out in the parking lot at 5 AM on cold days – no accounting for taste).

Over the past several months, core and strength training got relegated to the back burner.  I have access to the facilities at work, but figured I need the motivation of the group.  Plus, if its a shared experience with L, its a lot more fun.

Rachel, the enthusiastic Y employee that gave us a tour sold us on it when she actually logged into her own account and worked out on one for the exercise machines.  At the local Y, we found a combination of the old: lots of exercise gadgets + heated pool + classes (all 109 of them!) along with some intriguing new classes.

Early tomorrow, I’ll be riding a (stationary) bike along some interesting roads.  Looking forward to it.

[Yes, its a big expense, but we’re investing in our health, that’s priceless. Plus, its a non-profit, so supporting the Y has a halo effect].


Photo Credit:

Lochoaymca YMCA_logo

Revisiting old tools

Photo by Peter Martin Hall via Flickr

Photo by Peter Martin Hall via Flickr

For some of my current and upcoming projects, I need to use tools that I’d left on the shelf for quite a bit. So, I (re)-installed them and found many changes in the interfaces since I last used these tools. I found very simple videos on the Microsoft Support website on using MS Project and MS Access. In fact, quite a refresher – as well quite refreshing! Both sets of videos are broken into five parts: well-produced, to the point and got the job done. In fact, the video on the basics of Relational Database design – I wish I had that many moons ago when I was learning those concepts. Well done, support team! (yes, the videos are a few years old, but hey, they helped me today and the team deserves a pat on the back).

Link to Microsoft Support Video

Photo Credit:
Peter Martin Hall
Via Flickr

(Re) Formatting a Hard Drive to work with a MacBook

You may have purchased a hard disk that is not correctly setup for use (i.e. formatted) for use with a Mac. In these cases, it is easy to set it up properly. Just follow these 9 steps (Step 10 is optional). Click on the picture and it will become readable and show you the 10 steps.

Be very careful to select the correct External Hard Drive in Finder!

A non-technical explanation – For those that are curious:

If Macs and MacBooks were humans, you could say that they speak a different language from Windows machines. This is the Operating System (OS). Macs run on what is called OS X (or later), while Windows (“PC) machines run the Windows OS. Other machines run on Linux or other dialects of Unix.

Mac OS X requires that the hard disk is set up (“formatted”) using a particular pattern, called “Mac OS X Extended (Journaled)”. The hard drive that you purchased probably was patterned as NTFS or FAT, so it did not work with your Mac or MacBook.

What you did when you followed the ten steps is to “re-format” the Hard Drive to work with your Mac or MacBook.

Now you know!

Click on the picture and it will become readable:

10 steps to format your new external hard drive for use with a Mac or Macbook (for example, to use as a backup Time Machine).

Change… its moving time!

As I read the first entry on this well-written blog, I felt proud and touched. Sneha writes so well – (of course I’m biased!) of change. She is filled with the optimism and clear-eyed resolution that marked the beginning of most of my Summers in college… except, in this case, I know that there will be positive follow through, and I watch with interest.

Today, movers will carry away what we ruthlessly pared down from nearly twenty years of accumulated stuff. I’ve enjoyed this downsizing as much as I’d enjoyed training for the Marathon. There are many metaphors hidden here, many feelings, many lessons that I’m processing.

In all this, I’m filled with gratitude – for the love of this affirming, nurturing family, the many many friends we’ve grown to love, the sheer magnitude of change that this great community fostered in us, for what we’ve experienced first hand as the land of opportunity, for the many colleagues who taught me, for all my students, for Louie and Ollie…. I’m content. I’m also ready for the changes ahead.

I’m moderating a webinar on gamification this Thursday

This should be fun… moderating this webinar with Rajat Paharia and Phaedra Boinodiris, experts in gamification. More details and registration information at:

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