On Saturday (April 27) I participated in an exercise with the local RACES arm of ESCA – the Emergency services organization for which I volunteer my amateur radio “skills”.
The point of this exercise was to simulate a major event that rendered our EOCs (Emergency Operations Centers) inaccessible, and to then pass message traffic from CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) teams that were simulating a damage assessment exercise back to our central EOC. For the Woodinville Crew that meant that we could not enter City Hall, where the local EOC with its radios, laptop and printer were located. Instead, we set up our improvised EOC on a picnic table outside.
A friend gave me an older Kenwood TM-701A mobile unit that had been sitting around unused for many years. I’d been looking for a second unit to leave at home so I wouldn’ t need to swap out my Yaesu from the car as often, and it seemed like a perfect fit.
Worked great, except for one minor detail: as soon as you turn it off it forgot everything. Current settings, programmed channels, everything.
The Charge probably came the closest to a structure that I could identify with for my attempt at self discovery. Of particular value were his thought exercises at the end of each chapter which I frequently used as jumping off points for my own processes. Many books present formulas – take these X steps and you’ll find your answer. That’s not how I work, and I didn’t follow Brendon’s formula either. Rather I cherry-pick from whatever I’m reading that which resonates with me and take it from there. The Charge probably had the most cherries.
This came out of left field; “The Artist’s Way”
is a book specifically
aimed at getting blocked artists unblocked and doing their
art once again. Anyone who’s written any significant
amount of software will agree that there can be true
artistry involved – rare perhaps, but absolutely possible
– and it’s something that I’ve believed for a long time.
This book did two things for me: first, it allowed me, or
reminded me, to apply that artistry mindset to what I do
today, which in turn allows me to value it, and create it,
in a completely different light. Second is that it
introduced me to a couple of practices that I’m finding
surprisingly very valuable; the most valuable being what
the book calls “morning pages” – a daily writing exercise;
as I said writing is one of the best ways I have to work
through my thoughts. Much of the book actually doesn’t
apply – many of the problems it addresses are problems I
simply don’t have (for which I am grateful). However putting
myself in that artist’s mindset was by itself very
valuable. To build on the cherry-picking metaphor, The
Artist’s Way didn’t have as many cherries, but they were
Here’s a rundown of some of the rest of books I spent time with, in no particular order.