Share it forward

I was asked today why I am not blogging about technology so much anymore. I guess it has a lot to do with what is occupying my time, and what is interesting me. I love solving problems, learning a new skill, meeting a challenge and then moving on to the next problem. Many of the current challenges at work have little to do with technology; they are related instead to financial analysis, organization design and change management, none of which is appropriate content to be blogging about. For me technology is a tool, it solves problems, it is a means to an end and not something which in isolation holds my interest long. So whilst waiting for the next technology challenge to come along and absorb me, I have thrown myself into kayaking. Our family’s cabin on the lake has provided a literal platform to launch my enthusiasm. This summer we bought the girls their own Kayaks, J found a kayak that she loves and I was given a fabulous rolling kayak for my 40th birthday by my parents which complements the Explorer that J bought me. Having a family of paddlers simply adds to the excitement of being afloat. This summer we taught the girls the basics, how to safely wet exit when upside down, to turn quickly, to brace to save themselves from a dunking, to stop and reverse. We paddled up rivers, under docks, chased ducks, scared turtles, swam, and had picnics – I am not sure it gets much better than this as a parent does it? I didn’t have to ask the girls to go paddling, they asked me. Another compelling aspect of kayaking is the Greenland rolling culture that I discovered last winter at the ISK pool sessions. Teaching rolling, passing on the skills that have been developed by the generations of Inuit who use them to hunt for their subsistence living is integral to the culture that is being maintained by the enthusiasts who I have met across the US. Whether it is Ron the sculptor who makes paddles, or Jeff the musician who builds SOF kayaks for his family, or Helen who won the 2008 rolling championship in Greenland, everyone I have met has been a coach and a mentor to me. Their behavior is infectious, last winter I helped along with Ron to teach Peggy how to perform her first roll. Last Sunday it was only natural to jump into the pool and help her begin to work on her off-side roll. There is no expectation of quid pro quo amongst these paddlers; it just seems to come from a desire to see people perform these maneuvers, to help people learn how to be safe, and to keep the traditional skills alive – to share it forward.

Speaking of challenges reminds me that this weekend opened my eyes to a new challenge, bending my (early) middle-aged body in new directions. Several of the rolls I want to learn are going to require considerably more flexibility than I currently have in order to be performed with any semblance of grace. Fortunately I have found a series of stretching and yoga exercises recommended to develop the flexibility necessary to roll well so now I have another challenge to occupy myself with in the mornings.

So will I blog about technology again? Absolutely, I anticipate soon being challenged at work in new ways, to solve new problems, many of which will require I learn new technologies, and when I do I will share what I learn.

Just to satisfy Susan who commented today about the absence of techno blog posts I thought I would finish this post by commenting on an email newsletter Virtualization Review: Hyper-V’s 3 Big Problems, which I received today. So I quote: “Every time it’s necessary to patch the parent OS, it is also necessary to take down all the VMs.”. Okay so I presume he has not heard of Live Migration, one of the major enhancements in Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 (which he was reviewing), he clearly does not realize that every administrator has this problem in every virtual server environment and that live migration enables you to move the VM workload off to other physical hosts bring down or patch the server and migrate the workload back with zero down time? Apparently not. To suggest that this is one of Hyper V’s Big 3 problems is just wrong…. Maybe the researcher should read this link. The news should have been that Hyper V has now plugged one of the big functional gaps it had. Note to the Microsoft product team: Live Storage Migration next please.

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