Month: November 2012

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Just the other day, we sat down next to the fireplace so that we could think about things past and work it all out. There was still much to deal with, but people were a bit afraid to confront things and be honest about it. Let's all work on it, we told each other. Not that we hoped it was possible, but what the heck.

Young and innocent with all kinds of wonderful ideas to change the world. That's how we were back then. Today we look in the mirror and are confronted with the differences between back then and now. Keep on going and see what happens.

At first we fell silent and there was not much to say. We could all feel it inside, but resisted the temptation. Who would like to start? Not me. Just get started and see what happens, could be interesting.

Let's be polite and see what happens. There is a whole evening ahead, so there is no need to rush things. Or even better, be honest and confrontational, just to get things moving a bit. Back in the old days we would drink and get high, but not any more we are too old for that.

Looking at the fireplace again. The flames took the precedence and pretty much dictated what we were expected to tell each other. Not a nice picture, painful to say the least, but that is the way things go sometimes. Sometimes at least.

When the evening was over, we felt like we had accomplished a lot but not quite enough. Next time we would organize things better, if that is possible. Stop looking at things past and live now.

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And when she says "it's time for him to do something,
Maybe talk to his old friends who gave it up."
He just pours himself another tall one
Closes his eyes and says "that's enough"

She loves him so ...
She does what she needs to

-- Neil Young, Ramada Inn

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Since I officially work thirty-six hours a week, every two weeks I get a day off, the so-called ADV day which is short for Arbeidsduurverkorting.

This morning at nine-thirty I had my first appointment with the haptonomist. I already had my speech prepared. After I introduced myself and sat down, I told her that my mind and body had gotten out of sync resulting in a number of physical problems, namely stiffness, tenseness, a sore back and a lack of energy.

She stared back at me for almost a minute without saying anything. I thought that she was going to tell me to go see a shrink, but instead she asked me what kind of work I had and how many hours a week I am in the office. Officially thirty-six hours a week according to my contract, but actually more like fifty hours a week it turned out when we added up all the times through the week.

She asked me a number of additional questions and after thinking a bit and bobbing her head side to side, she came up with a simple exercise that I could perform while sitting in my chair.

Basically, the idea is to get more in touch with your body, which is the receptacle in which your mind resides. Starting with your right foot, you feel it touching the ground, your five toes reaching into the earth's soul with deep roots, then you feel your leg, thigh, hands and fingers, shoulders, back across to the other shoulder (skipping the head), down the left arm to the hand and fingers, thigh, left leg and foot, back down into the earth's soul with deep roots, and then back around again to the roots going up to the right foot, until the circuit is complete.

After practising this with her, it became easier as my body learned to feel the flow. I especially liked the part where all unhealthy feelings and negative thoughts get flushed down the roots way down deep into the Earth, replenished by the sunlight and fresh air around me. Kind of like a plant but backwards.

I can do this at work, while sitting behind my desk, at the table during a meeting, or in another quiet room with a nice view of Rembrandt's Park and the blue sky. I will give it a good try for the next two weeks and see if it helps.

What is Haptonomy?

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Kiffin-Stanford-1975-small.jpg
Stanford, 1975

So who is this guy and what is he trying to prove? He may give you the impression that he has everything under control, but he doesn't. At least not back then. There is still a lot to learn in life, many more years ahead to experience new and interesting things. Pretty naive and unwilling to accept responsibility, things will change shortly. As if you've got the whole world in your hands, the decision is yours, and then you discover that you don't have much control at all. Time to recover your balance and re-think how things should have become. It's never too late to recover from past mistakes. Better now then never.

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So you're in the middle of having a terrible argument with someone. You are absolutely convinced that you are right, and the other person's story doesn't make sense at all. You wonder how he cannot see your point of view. You've posed your views a number of times perfectly clearly and beyond a shadow of a doubt.

This is when you have to move from certainty to curiosity. In order to come to understand better the other person's side of the argument, you need to be curious and ask yourself how they can possible think that way. Put yourself in their shoes, understand their background and where he is coming from.

There's some kind of information that the other person has of which you are not aware. So rather than focussing on how irrational and crazy this person is, get curious and try to figure out what could possibly be the reason that their view can make any sense.

Certainty means hitting our head against the wall in hopeless and frustrating repetition. Curiosity opens the door and let's us enter into the other person's story.

The goal anyway is not so much attaining absolute certainty as getting closer to a mutual understanding that makes all parties involved feeling better.

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In practice integrated problem solving means that:

  • Understanding the problem and solving the problem happen at the same time, not sequentially.
  • Preliminary information is released early; information flow is not delayed until complete information is available.
  • Information is transmitted frequently in small batches, not all at once in a large batch.
  • Information flows in two directions not just one.
  • The preferred media for transmitting information is face-to-face communication as opposed to documents.

Lean Software Development: An Agile Toolkit by Mary and Tom Poppendieck

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Information

This personal weblog was started way back on July 21, 2001 which means that it is 7-21-2001 old.

So far this blog contains no less than 2291 entries and as many as 1876 comments.

Important events

Graduated from Stanford 6-5-1979 ago.

Kiffin Rockwell was shot down and killed 9-23-1916 ago.

Believe it or not but I am 10-11-1957 young.

Began well-balanced and healthy life style 1-8-2013 ago.

My father passed away 10-20-2000 ago.

First met Thea in Balestrand, Norway 6-14-1980 ago.