The Logical Philosopher

Monday, August 28, 2006

My first threesome

She had her eyes closed, pretending to sleep, but after nine years I knew her too well for that. Just to check, I kissed her softly on the lips to see if she was really asleep, but the slight response told me no. Her eyes stayed closed as we continued to kiss, but her arms moved up to pull me in.

There was a crash in the background, followed by the squeaking as the door at the bottom of the stairs slowly opened. We stopped, mid kiss, as from past experiences we knew the slightest sound would give our location away.

A few moments later the stairs began to squeak as we heard our newly awake guest ascending towards our room. We pulled the covers over our head, hoping she would pass us over. No luck. As the pitter patter sound of feet grew nearer a small blond mop of tossled hair popped up above the mound of pillows on the mattress and squealed with delight "Mommee! Daddeee! Uppie! Uppie!"

With that, we froze, hoping if we appeared asleep she would go back downstairs to see if her brother was up to play yet. Unfortunately that was not the case this morning...

Next we heard the sounds of a 1 year old struggling to mount the bed, which she did swiftly considering it was at chin height for her. Once mounted she quickly climbed over my wife, briefly looked at both of us and then planted a wet, open mouth kiss, complete with a smack sound, on each of our cheeks. Satisfied she had bought her entry into our bed with her cuteness she slid under the covers, directly between the two, of us and let out a big satisfying sigh.

I rolled back over to my side of the bed and slowly spoke to the two girls in my bed: "Somehow I imagined my first threesome to be..." I paused to think before I continued on, "What's the word I'm looking for? More fulfilling? Less indifferent to the company? I'm not sure of the word, but this just isn't the feeling I thought it would be."

My wife looked over at the two of us and quipped, "well, look on the bright side - at least it happened with a cute blond and hot brunette."

As if on cue our youngest lifted the covers back from the 3 of us and let out a gargantuan giggle.

Parenting: the reason we don't need cable TV for entertainment.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Accession of Knowledge: Part II

It has been over a year, but I finally have posted part II. See here for Part I.

If you recall I postulated, in the context of our knowledge economy in the information age, why we are too busy working to get any work done. Why? With RSS aggregators email and other technologies to pass us information the instant is it written, there is becoming too much information to filter out. We can spend all day working, filtering information and passing it to others, but in the end we have not moved forward to our end goals. No closer to finishing that business proposal, strategic planning article or personnel reviews.

So I asked: What is the balance between knowledge & forward progress?
To answer this we consider the Urgent vs. Important 2x2 matrix. I suggest a third dimension of Growth is what we need to introduce in order to understand the balance of forward progress and "just getting things done". I refer to this as the "Opportunity Cost Matrix" (see figure below)

In order to determine how we can get more done, and what to focus our priorities on, we need to understand that with this 3D matrix, as we move from working on High Urgency, High Important tasks that will offer our company (or project) high growth rates, there exists a problem when we move to working on other tasks. What is the second more important task? Something that is high urgency and low importance but offers high growth? Or something that is high urgency and high importance, but won't offer much long term growth to the project.
That problem is what I want to consider here.

Research Question:

How does our firms Growth Rate impact our priortization of tasks?

What is the opportunity cost of doing movment based activities over progressive activities?

When should we focus on “Low Urgency” progressive tasks over “High Urgency” movement tasks?

Movement = nominal firm growth; target existing sales, general business tasks; status quo.
Progressive = agressive firm growth; target increasing sales, business development & implementation.
Progress factor = opportunity cost (or growth rate) of doing ‘movement’ activities over ‘progressive’ activities.

Now we need to break this down into how we should prioritize things - and I will do so as an example. I will use “progressive” tasks give a 50% firm growth rate over donig “movement” oritented tasks (10 points allocated across matrix). This gives:

This shows the priority of getting work done is as follows:
1) Progressive based High Urgency, High Importance tasks
2) Movement based High Urgency, High Importance tasks
3) Progressive based Low Urgency, High Importance tasks etc...

Plotting this we see:
  • If (Progressive Growth Factor) Less Than 67%, focus on movement of high urgency items over progress of low urgency items.
  • If (Progressive Growth Factor) Greater Than 67%, focus on progress of low urgency items over movement of high urgency items
What does this mean? The Key Success Factor for high growth startups or projects is to focus on the “Progressive” tasks. In other words if you work for a mature company, your time is actually well spent by doing the boring monthly report for your CEO instead of the more fun, blue sky strategy planning that you do in a startup.

Next steps:
How does a different task point allocation alter the model?
How do we actually calculate the progress factor?

Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Day I Ran to the Middle of Nowhere

Today I found the Middle of Nowhere.

Last week Jason Kottke referenced enRoute Magazine's August issue. Jason said he found his "Middle of Nowhere" during a recent trip to Minneapolis at the Mill City Museum.

Middle of Nowhere isn't a physical location. not anymore. In this era, when we have Google Mapped every corner of the earth (and some other planets), almost no place is so remote it's truly nowhere.

No, we think the Middle of Nowhere is a state of mind. It's the satisfied pleasure-tinged-with-insider's-delight that you feel when you discover something pretty great in a place where you didn't know it thrived. So that when you experience this thing, whether it's in the middle of a major city or a cornfield, you think, This? Is here? I had no idea!
Today I found my Middle of Nowhere.

thump thump. Out for a run I reached my usual return marker, but my body kept moving.
thump thump thump. Pushing up the hill, across the road and down the path.
thump thump. Bursting through the trees and onto the trail I increased my pace.
thump thump thump. Flying around the bird watchers and over the rooted path.
thump thump. Cresting a hill and plunging back down into a valley.
thump thump thump. Accelerating past another marker, plunging deeper into the forest.
thump thump. Reaching my lactic acid threshold, I approached a small clearing and then, a slowing of the pace.

thump. Stopping at the fork in the path, I stood, sheltered from the mid-day sun under the canopy of trees.

thump. I rested and listened, my heart beating loudly. The silence screamed, only shattered by the occasional sound of nature. Birds calling to each other; Soft wind whistling through the tree branches; Scotch Broom plants popping in concert with it all.

I feel like I'm in the middle of nowhere, I thought. I've grown up around here, traveled through these park trails thousands of times but never to this spot. For a moment in time I had that satisfied pleasure-tinged-with-insider's-delight that as I rediscovered a new place I always new existed, but never visited.

thump. With my heart rate lowered I reset my watch and stood for my return trip. Once I got home I checked to see if I could find the distance I went, but the trail wasn't even on Google Maps. My route is safe from the spying eyes of the internet.

I shall run there again somtime soon. And when that time comes, and I have my shoes laced up to head out the door if my anyone asks where I'm going running I'll probably say "Nowhere", because it will be true.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Nice Coccyx

Did you ever have one of those moments you never thought would happen to you, until it happened? And then you agonized if you should tell anyone? Well, this was one of those moments and thank goodness I have the anonymity of a blog to share the story...

"So how does it feel?" I inquired to my physiotherapist as he probed my lower back around my painful areas. Pings of pain, feelings of strain and inability to bike too far - all in a days feeling for me.

Ever since I lived to experience the Difference of a Second, I've been working with my Physiotherapist to get back into Ironman worthy shape. I still have a long way to go...
"Hmm, just a second," he replied as he moved down and started to adjust my tailbone with the palms of his hands. It's a funny feeling, having ones tailbone adjusted that is. Usually there are creaks and pops as he pokes and pushes down on my butt with the palms of his hands. From a pure observers view I'm sure it looks like one guy massaging another guys ass. However, when medical necessity is involved, I would hope more latitude is given... at least that's what I'll tell myself if anyone walks in on us. I could just see all the Brokeback Physiotherapist comments coming out of that.

"Ahhhhh, ok" I heard him exhale as he finished and moved his hands slightly outwards to check the rest of my muscle reflexes on my buttocks and hips. "You know, all considering you're feeling pretty good to me." At that exact moment he had his hands on my ass. Not just on my ass, but rubbing my ass.
Mental note: Must see a sexy lady physiotherapist for next time I feel the need to ask that question.
What is my lesson for the post? Never say never, because when medical visits are involved, never really means it will happen - probably when you least expect it.

Monday, August 14, 2006

*@#(! Computer

Arrrgg! No posts this week, a virus ate my computer, along with the 2 draft posts I had typed up. I think I got most of my data off before it went down in flames, but not sure... And my backup laptop went down with a different virus at the same time.

I guess that teaches me my lesson - don't piggypack off my neighbours WiFi when my router happens to be turned off because I'm too lazy to go upstairs and reset it.

See you in a few days, pending a new Windows install.


Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The day a Pride Parade saved my blog post

The clock was blinking after midnight. It was well past the time I should have gone to bed yet I was up, blogging. With my brain trying to focus and my fingers barely typing another coherent post, I was trying desperately not to disappoint. It had been four days since my last post and with my blog hits rising, it was time for another new, riveting post.

Have I become a slave to the blog? Or is it still being created for it's original purpose, I thought. At that moment it felt like I was the slave.

Inspiration. You never know when it will hit, or in what form.
Then, I got my MSN nudge. Ping Ping! Ping Ping! And with the last ping, a dancing cow popped up. It was Sandritia, of guest post fame. With a flurry of fingers we both proceeded to play the instant message conversation game - one of us 3 or 4 lines ahead in the conversation, with the other trying to catchup in their responses.

With the time going well into the early morning, Sandritia readied to sign off. With one last ping of a dancing cow, she did add another line to her signoff... and thus I was hit wit my blogging inspiration. Pride Parade. Rainbow Speedo. Breakfast. Like a fat kid on a smartie, I was all over this for a posting.

I honestly tried to rewrite the conversation, but after many tries I kept coming back to the original text. After reading I am sure you will understand why. Like fine literature, some text is best appreciated in it's original form.

Sandritia says: ok gotta go get me some sleep...
Sandritia says: as should you
Sandritia says: i'm at the pride parade tomorrow

Logical Philo says: Ok. Was up doing a blog post, so need to get back to it.

Sandritia says: always fun

Logical Philo says: Woah, what? Pride parade? Did you switch teams when I wasn't looking?

Sandritia says: we'll play the count the bare breasts game
Sandritia says: always good for a free frapuccino

I sat and looked at that last line thinking, hmmm, last time I counted bare breasts I didn't get a free frapuccino. In fact, I had to pay for the round of beers. Maybe she has some tips I should get from her...

Logical Philo says: I'm sensing blogging material... ready up a guest post for me!

Sandritia says: ah yes... will bring a notebook just in case

Logical Philo says: Ok. later.

At this point I was ready to go, but Sandritia was apparently not. She started to type so fast, her messages were coming out in small, rapid fire portions. I was, in response to her lines of text on the floor laughing.

Sandritia says: too bad you weren't here
Sandritia says: i remember last year
Sandritia says: having breakfast on davie street the morning after pride

Logical Philo says: too bad I wasn't there because you miss me in general, or because you'd miss me at the pride parade?
Logical Philo says: I'm copying this text for the blog...

Sandritia says: and there was a guy outside the window in a rainbow speedo
Sandritia says: and nothing else
Sandritia says: and I felt compelled to yell from
Sandritia says: my table inside the restaurant....
Sandritia says: pride is OVER!!!
Sandritia says: you just can't get away with that the day after pride
Sandritia says: i think you would enjoy the parade

Logical Philo says: let me know how the yelling turns out this year.

Sandritia says: 10-4

Logical Philo says: Oh, that was yelling at breakfast, not the breast counting game.

Freed from the slavery of having to write without inspiration, I rewrote my post. This post. Now I am content.

Inspiration. Coming from the most unlikely sources, it reminds me of why I started blogging. Thank goodness for library visits, bus rides, family and friends, otherwise I really wouldn't have much to write about. Funny things happen in all of our lives, I just happen to write them down...

Thursday, August 03, 2006

More tourists

Another unexpected part 2...but in a different direction this time.

I sat in solace. Beautiful view and although sunny it was cold. The tourists huddled inside, away from the salty spray that was misting into the wind.

Then it happened all over again - the mad rush, as a result of an announcement: "Attention passengers, this is the first officer speaking. A pod of killer whales is surfacing on the port side."

Within seconds my solo view of the water from the port side of the boat was obscured by about 80 tourists, chattering excitedly and pointing to whales, not 50 meters from where I sat.

An old, sun wrinkled man plunked down next to me and pulled out his cell phone. He squinted at the number pad, looked up at the pod of killer whales, then looked back down as if he was making a decision to call somebody or not. Slowly punching in the numbers I heard the dial tone turn to a ringing. That seems loud, I thought to myself.... until I realized he was calling using his speaker phone function.

"Hey sunshine, it's grandpa!" he yelled into the phone.

"Hey grandpa, where are you?" a young sounding girl shouted into the phone, or out of the speaker for all of us to hear.

"I'm on a ferry, in Canada. Isn't that exciting?" he exclaimed, with a slowness which could have been either him, or for his granddaughter.


"And there are whales up here! Isn't that exciting!"

"Oh, whales!" she shrieked.

Right about now I was hoping a pause in the conversation would come up for me to jump in. Oh, excuse me sir, I'm going to throw your phone to the whales, isn't that exciting for all of us around you?

"Yes, lots of whales. I think it is so exciting, don't you!"

"For sure grandpa!"

"Yes, I'm glad the cell phone works up here. I wasn't sure if it would or not. Now I know I can call you anytime! Isn't that exciting!"

The conversation went back and forth for another 10 minutes, with another 8 or 9 "Isn't that exciting!"

Tourists. Speaker phones. Excitable grandparents. I think they need to split the ferry routes into tourist and non-tourist... now wouldn't that be exciting?