I Have To Say That Things Are Going Rather Well

Things are good.  Not great, but good.  Certainly good enough to take a moment and reflect without regret.

The job goes well, although it eats up all of my energy.  I’m in a challenging but rewarding spot, with the promise of a position I have wanted for a long time.  I currently work long shifts in a command center so cold that my fingers go numb.  Well, it beats the heat and humidity outside.  It’s a grueling job, between the rapid-fire pace of many things and the need to keep an eye on the slow-moving items that go dormant if you let them.  High expectations and too many bosses, but it’s a stable situation answered to the best of our organizational capacity.  And that is what we are building as quickly as possible — organizational capacity.

you don’t get in from out — you get in from in

The position I aspire to is full-time Knowledge Manager, which is just about what I have always sought — I just never knew what it was called.  I’ve been fortunate in finding my way into things, with the key being that you don’t get in from out — you get in from in.  That’s a handy bit of knowledge to manage right there.  Organizations know things, and while there are different taxonomies for the layers and scopes of knowledge, I find Rumsfeld’s pithy statement about knowns and unknowns very helpful.  We are all painfully aware of our known unknowns, and must avoid pride in our known knowns.

A Knowledge Manager seeks to map out the unknown knowns, hunting down the hidden knowledge trapped in pockets throughout the organization, and making it accessible.  Grand structure comes later, while individual structures are important at first.  You can’t organize a million unknown knowns with a top-down structure — that’s how they got unknown in the first place.  They escaped the structure.  So you have to help the people who know things to capture that knowledge in a way that is useful to them, or they won’t do it.  I’m too busy to do this job right, right now, despite how much everybody wants the products of my challenge, but I should get a change of pace in a month or so.  So while this “side job” is not one I can succeed at presently, there’s a lot of groundwork in place.  I just have to be careful not to count this vaporware (a “mind deal” in sales parlance) as an actual success for the time being.

an iron core, skeptical and resolute

The family is good.  My son is doing well in school, is growing up true and strong, and I guess I can’t ask for much more than that.  He has a good home and a powerful sense of self.  He’s arrogant at times, which is a survival skill for the jungle of the teen-age years, and if he solves problems in a different fashion than I did when I was his age — well, that’s probably to his credit.  He has an iron core, skeptical and resolute.  Like mine was, but I think he uses it to better advantage.  I learn much about myself and, remarkably, about my father, by watching him.

My wife is working her butt off, which is her comfort zone (certainly not mine), and she solves problem in her own way just as our son does.  She runs him around to a variety of things, from karate practice and meeting with his friends to a post-graduate seminar in Tokyo which he is auditing — at age fourteen.  This is all her doing.  She pushes this sort of thing, and makes it happen, while I stick to work and sleep.  Her job is challenging in a different way from mine, but it is a difficulty I have faced before.  So I admire her ability to just press on.  Japanese are famous for their perseverance, and her dedication makes the redoubtable Kamikaze look like a bunch of pansies.

lost forty pounds on a ketogenic diet

My health is pretty good.  I have lost forty pounds on a ketogenic diet, which I think should become a feature of this blog.  I failed the last physical fitness test because I prioritized weight loss over all else, and I am happy — I accept the results.  I was fat, and now I am not.  I went from 227 pounds on May fifth, wearing an extra-large, to 188 today, wearing a medium.  I don’t have a weight goal — I have a gut goal, which is easily two-thirds accomplished.

In general, I am taking weight-loss “dives” of about ten pounds at a time, although the first one I pressed for twenty and made it in twenty days, and I alternate these dives with plateau periods.  So the plateaux are where I schedule my days out with the boys for beer and a somewhat looser menu than when on a dive.  There is an essential truth — you cannot lose weight while drinking alcohol, but you can maintain it.  More on that sort of thing later.

checked e-mail for the first time in months

So things are going rather well.  I’m tired and my eyesight is is getting worse, my future remains up in the air (which I must confess is just the way I like it) and I am not getting many things done which I want to.  But I checked e-mail for the first time in months today.  I’m not feeling brave enough to actually open any of those mails, knowing what some of them contain, but I whacked my inbox from over 800 just exactly 29, so I know a little more about the problems I must face than I did earlier today.  I know that some things have gone stale, as one of my more damnable habits is letting things go until it’s too late, which then removes from me any burden of decisions or action — then I just have to accept the consequences, which has been a “strong” point of mine.  People want me to fight back and change things, and get ahead of other things, and not let this sort of thing happen again, and I’m just tired.

But it’s getting better.  It’s not so bad.  In fact, it’s pretty good.

Well, that’s about it for now.  I shall vacate this seat at the Starbucks, as my son has returned from karate practice, and we will go home and play World of Tanks.  I used to tell him where to go and how to fight in that game.  Now he chides me for my silliness in getting blown up all the time.  He’s a regular Mack the Knife.

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