On Working Remotely

For the last 23 years, I’ve worked in a corporate environment in either an office or cubicle.  Working in Information Technology, it’s important to be in close contact with your customers, the people that use the technology you deploy to perform their day to day jobs.  Occasionally, when I needed some heads-down time, I would work at home to limit interruptions or to focus on a particular project.  These days were highly productive and I was always glad that my employer gave me the opportunity to do this from time to time.

In August of 2014, I needed to move half-way across the country and my employer was gracious enough to allow me to keep my job and work from home full time.  I was really looking forward to the ability to have that same level of focus and productivity all the time.  As someone who has been striving for ways to reduce expenses in my personal life, I was sure this was the best thing for me.  An opportunity to work in an environment of ultimate productivity and save an immense amount of money by eliminating my daily commute.  But things weren’t as awesome as I had hoped.

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Pluralsight, Training for Serious Learners

Pluralsight is an online training web site offering courses in just about any kind of technology you can think of at all different experience levels.  These courses are made by leaders in the community.  Names that you’d recognize from popular commercial and open source development houses.  They contain high quality content about technologies that are relevant today.  So many new courses are added each week that I find I’m adding new courses faster than I can watch everything in my to do list.  It’s a good problem to have.

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Nested Drop Down Lists in NetSuite

Data accuracy should be a top priority in any system-related project and preventing users from entering data that doesn’t make sense will make designing processes and reports much easier.  When categorizing objects in many applications, it’s common to use drop down lists for fields such as Category and Sub-Category to help identify objects in reports.  By using nested drop down lists, you can ensure that the selected Sub-Categories are relevant to the selected Category.  Nested drop down fields can be easily created in NetSuite…it’s just not immediately obvious because you’ll need to use custom records rather than custom lists.

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Budgeting … Simplified

I don’t claim to be a financial genius. I’ve had my struggles in the past, but now there’s a new-found hope for how I manage my money and it all started with a simple little piece of software called You Need A Budget or YNAB for short. It only does one thing, but it does it really well. They’ve taken the concept of budgeting, with which many people struggle, and they’ve made it embarrassingly easy. In the end, it wasn’t the software that helped me turn a corner, but the YNAB Method. The software helps to keep YNAB’s four simple thoughts front and center in my mind and that has helped me rethink the way that I manage my money.

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What’s in the Morning Sky?

I go for a walk every morning at 5am.  It gives me time to think and get my mind straight for the upcoming day.  Ever since I was a child, I’ve been fascinated with astronomy so it’s no surprise to me that I love to check out night sky during my walks, looking for the few constellations that I can identify.  Sometime last week I noticed an especially bright star almost due south just below the half moon.  It was always the last star to wink out when the sun came up so it I used an awesome little iPhone application called Planets to confirm that it wasn’t actually a star, but Saturn, the sixth planet out from our sun.

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