September 2006 | Main | November 2006

October 23, 2006

The beginning of a second week on my new job

It seems that I have more motivation on a new job to do well. There are many reasons I think for this. Some of them are fear of failure, feeling a need to live up to my perceived expectations, a desire to do really well, a desire to get into the groove as quickly as possible and other reasons. I AM more motivated and it feels good. I want to work hard! I hardly notice the day flying by. Plus, I'm starting to feel more at home now, so I'm getting down to business. I'm not as confused and overwhelmed with new faces, names and locations anymore so I can focus on doing a good job now. Some people get really motivated by new situations. There is a lot of energy that comes out of a new, fresh environment. That's one reason people go away for their vacations instead of sticking around town. Some people really love working temp or contract jobs for this same reason. Everything is fresh and becomes fresh again. My breakthrough really came on Saturday. Friday I was still feeling a little overwhelmed. But on Saturday I went into work and organized myself for monday. I brought some more of my reference books in and reviewed my notes for the week and got an automation program working that I needed for my project. That made me feel more in control and more at home there.
This is how I feel as I begin my second week on my new job. And it feels good!

Posted by carl1236 at 8:35 PM

October 22, 2006

A new Korean textbook

Today was a fun day! It started off with working half of last night on an art project, then getting up and going to the coffee shop to study Hanja with a friend. What a perfect Sunday morning. Then we decided to go to Half-priced books in Highland Park to look at their selection of language materials. They have about 20 or so Korean books and I found one that contained good exercises and reading paragraphs. I needed more reading material at my grade level. Haha, elementary. So today after I got home, I've been studying and reading that. It felt good.

Posted by carl1236 at 8:48 PM

October 21, 2006

My love of Kimchi

I don't know what it is but every time I eat Kimchi, I experience intense pleasure. It's like music to my soul, like an aphrodisiac to my taste buds. I don't eat it very often but a few weeks ago I bought a jar of it to make Kimchi-pa-jon and tonight I was having rice with cashew chicken and remembered that it was in the fridge. It was perfect. I must be reincarnated from a Korean. But then again I could have just discovered what Koreans have known for centuries...Kimchi is really good! Why did it take me so long to discover this?

Posted by carl1236 at 7:24 PM

October 19, 2006

When does Karma take effect?

I believe it's not some ultimate retribution we face, but a little-by-little erosion of our humanity. We do get what we give and we give according to our humanity. When we can no longer love each other, we are essentially blind and empty.

Posted by carl1236 at 8:15 PM

October 17, 2006

Day Two on the new job

Today was tough. I spent today learning how things were done. It's a lot of information to take in at once. Last night and tonight I have been mentally and physically exhausted. Now I'm ready for bed at 8pm! I wonder if I will even realize when it happens that I no longer feel like this. I wonder if I will even recognize the point when I no longer feel like the new person, when I'm deeply involved in projects, trying to solve problems and get things done. It will happen, but probably not in the first week. In the first week I am going to learn. That's it. Next week I will report where I am at with this. right now, I'm going to bed to dream about the good work I'll be doing and speedy learning curves! ;-)
By the way, I added pictures to my entry about trading Artist Trading Cards (ATC's)

Posted by carl1236 at 8:04 PM

October 16, 2006

First Day on a New Job

This weekend someone showed me a small article on how to handle your first day on a new job. Some of the key points were to Focus on getting to know people, getting settled into your new office space, and not being afraid to ask questions. Also they suggested that if you didn't like something about your previous job, imagine that the changes you would make were already changed in your new job and then act like it.
I didn't have many questions because they were very organized and detailed and had handouts for me. There was only one thing left out... how to log into my time sheet, which I did ask about at the end of the day and someone showed me the secret password.
So taking the advice of the article I had a great first day. I tried to get to know people and asked them a lot of questions and told them about myself. It was good. Tomorrow is another day, but somehow I already feel at home. I'm even more excited about my new job now. It's a breath of fresh air.

Posted by carl1236 at 8:25 PM

October 15, 2006

Do you want to trade artwork?

In anticipation of an upcoming trade, I created two new ATC's (Artist Trading Cards). This morning while sitting in the coffee shop I created a color-pencil drawing, then later at home, I cut out two cards from this drawing. I then embellished with pen and paint and colored the edges. Finally I finished them with a brushed coat of clear acrylic and numbered and signed the back.

Now that I have this collection going, Do you want to trade? Make an art card the size of a baseball card and let me know when it's done. Put your name, a title, if you make more than one copy of the same thing number it, and sign it. There is nothing like original artwork to share with your friends! I'm going to host an ATC creation/swap party at a local coffee shop in November. It will be fun and everyone will go home with a small deck of inspiration and new art friends. Sign up here, now. Art is cool. Artists are cool. You know it. You really want to do this. You are creative and fun! (Jedi Mind Tricks).

Posted by carl1236 at 11:09 PM

October 14, 2006

Talking to God

While messing around with the new comment catcher I discovered an old comment that somehow got filtered into the junk folder. I already have a link to Gen's site, but here is the link to the comment she left a LONG time ago that never got posted...

Posted by carl1236 at 8:00 PM

St. Paul Art Crawl

In case you haven't heard, this weekend is the St. Paul Art Crawl where thousands of Artists open their studios to the public. I love this event and today went to visit my friends in the Lower Town Lofts. It was very nice to talk to them and see all of the new artwork they've been working on.
You still have a chance to go. It's free. It's very hip. Sunday, October 15th, noon to 5pm.

Posted by carl1236 at 6:59 PM

Artist Trading Cards

Today I received the second Artist Trading Card (ATC) in exchange for the one's I made last Spring. That was fun. I'm now looking forward to meeting and exchanging ideas with other creative people. I was not disappointed by the creativity in this card. My collection is started, with my four cards, one card I got from someone who I talked to at the Craftstravaganza and one who found my cards through this blog. If anyone else makes these let me know and I'd be happy to trade.
I also have the idea to organize an Artist Trading Card workshop and swap at a local coffee shop, probably in St. Paul, since I live in St. Paul. My friend and I put on several artist workshops where we took over a coffee shop for a half a day and ate, drank coffee and created artwork together with a theme. It was really fun and successful, so I think an Artist Trading Card session would be equally as fun and rewarding for everyone involved. Just smaller artwork. It may even be more accessible for more people given that many people don't really feel comfortable painting.
So what do you think? Would you attend if I organized and held such a workshop? Do you have any creative blood in you? Do you want to make stuff and trade with others? Do you want to meet creative, crafty new people? If this interests you, let me know. I'll set one up sometime this winter.

Posted by carl1236 at 6:47 PM

October 13, 2006

Now that I have "Captcha" installed...

I can now tell the difference between human and 'inhuman.' for instance... Today was my last day of work at my previous company. I turned in my ID badge and said all of my goodbyes.
My boss left early today and as he was going out the door, he spotted me and came over to me. I shook his hand and he told me "good luck on your new job. I wish the best for you." I felt like telling him HE is the reason I'm leaving. He is really clueless I think. OR maybe he feels guilty. Then he gave me hug! I almost withdrew, like backing away from him. A hug? what was that? This is the guy who went out of his way to punish me because I stood up for one of my coworkers.
I hugged him and told him I look forward to a new working relationship with him. I don't know, I just felt he felt sorry for everything but didn't know how to express it. Somehow he felt he needed to hug me. So I did. And he left. I spent the next several hours at work wrapping up my work, packing up my few remaining things and left quietly. no fanfare. Just turned my badge in at the front desk.
Everyone makes mistakes and everyone deserves a chance to change. It doesn't mean I will support abusive behavior, but I can spot a human being when I see one. Now that I have captcha installed I think it's easier. ;-)
And since my blog has been inundated with spam, which I remove almost daily whether I post an entry or not, I'm happy I am entering a new phase in life.
Anger must be replaced with forgiveness and with compassion. At some level I know that I cannot hold a grudge and I cannot hate other human beings for their faults. Otherwise I would hate myself too. So a hug is a good thing.
Regardless of the reason I am leaving my job for another one, I have a new adventure in front of me. And I left an opening to recognize a fellow human being and find a way to love instead of hate. Maybe leaving on these terms will be a catalyst for change.

Posted by carl1236 at 11:11 PM

October 12, 2006

Free Haircut

Just over a year ago I made an offer to cut hair for free with my new Wald Hair Clipper with attachments. Nobody took me up on my offer until tonight! Today someone asked me if I would cut his hair and I did. I finally had the opportunity to make good on my offer! And it turned out ok. He was appreciative and thankful for the haircut.
I also learned a few things. For instance, now I know why barbers/hair stylists like to wash your hair first. It's nearly impossible to get a good even cut when hair is going in all directions, is oily or dirty. I started the haircut but then made him go wash it.
It was fun. Kind of like sculpting, haha. Not only have I saved a lot of money but now I got to save someone else some money. I am amazed that I have now been cutting my own hair for about a year and a half already! very nice.
Haircuts! Haircuts! Haircuts for free! Just send me an email and I'll happily hack it off, with style.

Posted by carl1236 at 10:23 PM

October 10, 2006

Sleepless in St. Paul

This category on my blog is not really about external changes but about internal, personal change. Although, as we know everything changes, especially physical things. Conditions change, so we often have to react to them. For instance, I'm leaving one job on Friday and starting a new one on Monday. That's a major change for me.
I know things will happen in due time, but there are a lot of things left unresolved. I don't know if I can ever resolve them.
In any case, I'm here awake. I tried to sleep but I was too busy thinking about my current job, my boss, what I have to pack up before Friday, my new job, the commute, and so on. It has my mind going full speed. And my body is showing signs of agitation at my hard workout today.
How does this have to do with personal change? One thing we all wish for I think is peace of mind. Wouldn't it be nice to be calm and cool no matter what happens externally? Wouldn't it be nice to let go of worry? These are things that we wish we could change inside, so we can react to changes in the physical world much more easily, with less stress.
For the most part I am a calm, collected rational person. But there is room for change. There is a lot going on right now and the pressure is getting to me, so I'm restless and sleepless at the moment. There is room for change. That's nice to admit. It sounds like an empty spot I need to fill. Like a cup.
So I made a cup of tea and came online to write about changing how I react to stress. I like to have a plan. For instance when I was doing software training, I would stress out about it until I got the outline done. Once I had the outline done I knew I could work my way through the outline and the training would go well. The trouble is it's Wednesday tomorrow and I don't have a plan for my transition to the new company. I don't even know what time I'm supposed to start there on monday. I don't know how I'm going to get all of my stuff moved home from my current office by Friday. There are many other things going on in my life that also need a plan. For instance, until I had a training plan with goals, my workouts were suffering, but this week my training has been great so far.
Here's my plan:
Wednesday -
Call new supervisor. Discuss start time, location, etc. Ask what my new phone number will be so I can give it to the people in my current office.
Meet with HR to discuss some unresolved issues with pay, insurance, unused vacation time, etc.
Get boxes from maintence guy. Pack all of my personal belongings to haul away on Thursday after work. Borrow bike trailer to haul it with.
Email again to the Relay team to find out if I'm in or out (they still have not called me to confirm they want me to race with them). I hope I'm in. If not, go to my mom's house on Friday night and spend two days with her and come back on Sunday.
going away lunch with a whole bunch of people I loved working with.
Friday - Go into work early so I can leave early and get to Duluth early enough to prepare for the Edmund Fitzgerald 105k relay running race.
Saturday -
Run like an idiot. Then relax.
Sunday - go visit my mother who is going for her fourth chimo treatment on Monday.
Monday - set three alarms, get up early, shower and arrive about 15 minutes before my start time. If I don't get an answer on when to be there, arrive at 7am. unpack some of my stuff until my 9am meeting.

See, it's good to have a plan. Now I can go back to bed, read a little and go to sleep. But part of what I might want to change about myself is to learn to recognize when I'm building up stress and deal with it long before bedtime.

Posted by carl1236 at 10:16 PM

October 9, 2006

A new plan - Semper Gumby

Ok, I didn't plan on this originally, but someone sent out an email looking for a replacement runner for the Edmund Fitzgerald 100k relay in Duluth this weekend. I wasn't planning on doing this race until this time next year, but I was excited to do it because it will give me an opportunity to test it out so to speak without having to organize a team myself. Who knows, if it goes well maybe I can join this team next year also. We'll see. So I'm off to Duluth this weekend. Semper Gumby - always flexible.

Posted by carl1236 at 10:39 PM

October 8, 2006

My Next Running Race

As part of my training plan, I am running one race per month over the winter to help motivate me and give me something to work toward. My next race is the Run for the Apples 5 mile run in White Bear Lake on October 21st. Hmmm. Two weeks to prepare. Good! And then about 5 weeks later on Thanksgiving morning I'm running an 8k run (Gobble Gait 8k) haha. I should be ready to eat some turkey after that!

As I wrote before, I made my overall goal, now I've broken it down to specifics, week by week.

Posted by carl1236 at 9:46 PM

October 7, 2006

Three Year Training Plan

Over the past week I've constructed a three year training plan. (I also have non-athletic goals planned) A plan is good. That way I'll have something to work toward. In my early ideas about what I would be willing to do to experience an athlete's lifestyle, I never considered running a marathon. But NOW after having run consistantly for six months, I'm feeling like it would be possible for me to try something like that. That's where the three year plan comes in. I plan on being in good enough shape to do an ironman triathlon AND a marathon in 2009.

Here's the training plan (Do I even know what obstacles I have to reach these goals!?!) It will be challenging:

WINTER 2006-2007
5 or 10k running races - 1 per month starting in November
Running three times per week, including race day.
Swimming at YMCA twice per week, work on swimming technique. Take 6 Total Immersion lessons over winter.
Biking - commute to and from work 3-5 days per week, 13 miles each way.

3 Relay Triathlons including Fat Tire Triathlon
3 Solo Sprint Triathlons
The Edmund Fitzgerald 100k relay AND one half marathon

2007-2008 WINTER
Swimming at YMCA
One 10k running race per month
One longer run per week
Biking - commute to work

3 Relay Triathlons
1 Olympic Triathlon
1 half ironman triathlon
Twin Cities Marathon

2008-2009 WINTER
Longer run training

1 Ironman Triathlon
Twin Cities Marathon

Posted by carl1236 at 9:16 PM

Exercise as part of life

Over the past few weeks I've been struggling with having enough motivation to exercise. Part of the problem was that I was sick with a sinus infection and as the antibiotics started working I started to feel more ambitious and energetic. But also part of me was wandering around aimlessly without a goal to work toward. Since May I've been training really hard for my triathlons in August and September. I accomplished my goal and then was left with no planned events or goals to work toward. So my training kind of took a break. I was just barely maintaining my fitness level with a minimum of workouts per week.
And last year I had the same issue when the bike racing season ended in early Fall. But I'm happy that I started running again and now have swimming to work on. All of this has led me to get a Y membership and use the gym. If it weren't for the Y I probably would have let my exercise drop until I was ready to start working on a goal again. I've been using the equipment at the Y and spinning classes as low-impact, fun activities to exercise and enjoy doing it. It's easier to be motivated if there is little resistance to get going. And last weekend I ran three miles around Lake Phalen. It was absolutely beautiful outside and had company riding along side me on a bike. That was fun.
One of my main goals with starting triathlons was to develop a fit lifestyle. That means that I should not need specific race goals in order to exercise. I should be exercising to stay fit and healthy continuously. But looking ahead I feel better I also have in mind for next season... 3 sprint relays and 3 Half Ironmans plus a 10-miler running race in the Fall. I know how challenging it will be so I'd better get working on it.

Posted by carl1236 at 11:44 AM

October 4, 2006

The progression of a bike repair

Tonight I decided to work on my own bike at the shop. It's been skipping in the gears as I put pressure on the pedals. So it's been a little irritating and I had to take some time to figure out what the problem was and fix it. Especially before winter hits. Here's how it progressed...
Step 1: Check chain with a chain checker to see if it's worn. It's really worn out.
Step 2: Find used chain that is not worn out. Too short. Find another chain. Too short. Splice two chains together. Discover one sprocket has two missing teeth.
Step 3: Hunt around and find an old five-speed freewheel to replace it with.
Step 4: Take off wheel and see that axel is bent also.
Step 5: Find an old 27" steel wheel, which has an appropriate freewheel on it already.
Step 6: Clean it, lube it, put a new rim strip on, and transfer tire from old wheel.
Step 7: Put new wheel on and discover it is a little narrower than my frame, so put a spacer on the inside. Discover derailer now doesn't work properly.
Step 8: Discover cable housing is rusted, replace it.
Step 9: Derailer bolt breaks while tightening the cable.
Step 10: Recycle the derailer and find an appropriate old replacement.
Step 11: Take the chain apart again to thread it through the derailer and reconnect chain.
Step 12: Inflate tire.
Step 13: Adjust derailer to hit all of the gears.
Step 14: Transfer magnets for magnetic lights from old wheel to new wheel.
Step 15: Lubricate chain and derailer.
Step 16: Look at the time and realize just how long all of this took.
Step 17: Ride home on nearly empty streets.

Posted by carl1236 at 11:22 PM

October 2, 2006

The wisdom of a St. Paul Taxi Driver

Today a cab driver tried to turn right while I was to the right of him, leaving me no room to ride. He hit his brakes and yelled through his window, "Darwin is going to get you!" I proceeded ahead and he sped past me. I caught up to him at the light and he again tried to tell me that "Darwin is going to get you!"
I asked him where he got his driver's license and if he knew what the law was concerning passing bicycles. I also told him that it wasn't Darwin that's going to get me, but drivers like him that are willing to risk the lives of other human beings because they are in too much of a hurry.
To prove something to me, he stepped on the gas when the light turned green, and sped on ahead. I rode the rest of the way home in the smog of cab driver wisdom.

Posted by carl1236 at 10:35 PM