Staying Relevant by Staying Curious   Leave a comment

All of us should continuously be aware of new developments, trends, competitors and technologies in our fields of expertise. This “career maintenance” is a way to prevent skills obsolescence. Some people may call this a way to demonstrate passion for what they do, taking the time to keep their skills and knowledge well-honed. I call this trait curiosity, and one should enjoy this “extra work” not because it is mandatory or forced, but because it is enjoyable. In other words, one should enjoy the work they do, since work enjoyment benefits the employee as well as the employer.

One of the most memorable public television promotions was “Stay Curious,” a series of spots directed by filmmaker Errol Morris. In one spot, a young girl wakes up before dawn, grabs a flashlight and goes to a chicken coop. She sneaks up to the window and shines the light inside. The rooster wakes up, thinking it’s a new day, and crows. In another spot, another young girl wonders about raising fish. She goes into the kitchen, grabs a jar of caviar, and dumps it into a fish bowl.

Here’s a wildly non-job skill, non-work related example of my curiosity. Earlier this summer, I wanted to know whether or not a bunch of really big, fat, ugly worms in my compost pile were hazardous to garden plants or the compost. I could have smashed them, or I could have just ignored them. But I decided to find out whether or not the grubs were helpful or harmful to my compost. So I typed “big ugly worms in compost” into Google, and found several links to describe what these things are. In case you are curious, the worms are soldier fly (Insecta: Diptera: Stratiomyidae) larva, and are aggressive composters, a good thing.

IMG_0428 kh6wz - worms

 

We should apply this idea of curiosity and fresh excitement to everything we do, including keeping up with the latest trends and technologies in our professional field. In addition, if you can find a way to apply multiple ways of learning to your everyday activities, you will increase your expertise even further.

As you learn something new, patience is the key to success. Since this is learning for pleasure, there is no hurry to get up to speed — the idea is to get to whatever level you want. This is an important point. There are some folks who are satisfied with having as much knowledge as they have right now, and have no need or desire to expand their knowledge. And that’s okay. But consider what can happen to your career if you don’t adapt to new things, and get left behind…

Learning by Teaching Others
Did you know that when you teach others something, it reinforces your knowledge of the topic? When I was a tutor for non-native English speaking (ESL) students, I had to twist my way of thinking to understand what they were talking about. Their questions made me think about various topics in a completely different way, and I had to use my knowledge of the subjects-at-hand to answer their questions. When you have the power of knowledge, you can teach others something new. And their questions will make you think about the topic or topics in new and different angles, reinforcing your knowledge even more. Sometimes a question can confuse you, which is okay. This just means that you have to search for another expert to supply knowledge, and the teacher (you) becomes a student.

Reading and Research
This method isn’t as exciting as some other ways to learn more about industry trends or new technology, but is certainly valid. In fact, with Internet access, there is almost no limit to the information you can find. However, like a lot of things in life, there is nothing like old fashioned, hands-on experience and learning by doing.

Making Mistakes, and Learning from Them
Making mistakes is one aspect of learning. I always say, “I know what not to do in this case. . . ,” since I make mistakes all the time. But the only way to turn mistakes into useful knowledge is to learn the proper way of doing the task. In other words, if we goof, we have to find out why we goofed, fix the goof, and remember the correct way of doing something to prevent the same goof in the future.

The Concept of Continuous Improvement
Continuous improvement is the search for excellence and perfection. And since nothing is “perfect,” we should always be on a quest to improve our skills and knowledge.

Here are some helpful books on networking and job-seeking skills, there are plenty of others. Do some research and find some more good ones.

Ferrazzi, Keith, “Never Eat Alone,” a great story about the networking process

Lathrop, Richard, “Who’s Hiring Who,” an old book from the 1980s, but has some useful information and words of encouragement

Yate, Martin, “Knock ‘Em Dead,” a whole series of books for each part of the job seeker

For more posts like this, visit my LinkedIn Publish page.

 

 

Orange County Brew Ha Ha   Leave a comment

IMG_0381 kh6wz brew ha ha welcome sign

 

Went to a craft beer tasting festival today called the OC Brew Ha Ha. Amazing. According to the Brew Ha Ha website, the event is for a great cause:

“Because our first event was on 9/11/10, we continue our great partnership with the Local 3631 Firefighters Union. Most of our beer is served by off-duty Orange County Firefighters. This event raises thousands of dollars for the Fallen Fire Fighters Relief Fund, a non-profit organization that aids surviving spouses and children of Orange County Firefighters lost in the line-of-duty.”

More than 80 breweries came to Oak Canyon Park in Silverado, CA to display and provide samples to beer fans from all over Orange and LA counties. The warm weather and salty food combined to make a great Saturday afternoon outing.

Of course I had to sample as many brews as possible. Although I did not get to taste every single one of them, I did manage to taste some new beers I never had before.

The event reminded me of a Maker Faire event, but for adults only, and the “made” stuff included carbonated alcoholic beverages.

One comment: I wish the food was better. I tried some tacos and they were so salty they were inedible. I wonder of a Southern California EGGFEST can be combined with this event?

I don’t have too many pictures from this event, I was focused on getting in line for as many beer samples as possible. The Winter edition of the Brew Ha Ha — The Brew Ho-Ho Holiday Ale Festival – is on December 13

Here are some pictures from the OC Brew Ha Ha 2014:

Links to Some of the Breweries

NOTE: You must be 21 to enter these sites. . .

21st Amendment

Ace Hard Cider

Artifex Brewing

Auburn Ale House

Avery Brewing

Backstreet Brewery

Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Bootleggers

Bottle Logic

Boulevard Brewing

Bravery Brewing

The Bruery

Cascade Brewing

Cismontane Brewing

Clown Shoes

Craft Brewing

Drakes Brewing

Eagle Rock Brewing

Einstok

Firemans Brew

Green Flash

Hangar 24

Helm’s Brewing

Hoegaarden

I & I Brewing

Leffe

Monkey Paw Brewing

Mother Earth Brew

Noble Ale Works

North Coast Brewing

Ommegang

Oskar Blues Brewery

Rough Draft

TAP IT

Valiant Brewing

Wicks Brewing

Widmer Bros.

Wiens Brewing

 

 

Posted September 6, 2014 by wayneyoshidakh6wz in Beverages, Local Events

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Urban Workshop Open House – A Hacker Space in Irvine   Leave a comment

I discovered an announcement of this open house the night before the event. The lead came from a Meet Up post from  Make: OC, since I have been displaying at Maker Faire for several years now. It was a very short notice — but I am glad I saw it — especially since the Urban Workshop is less than 5 minutes away from my office.

Steve Trindade is the Founder and CEO of the Urban Workshop.

Urban Workshop is a hacker space, a membership organization where creative and talented people can get together and learn from each other. Urban Workshop provides the tools and support staff to help people build what they imagine.

They have an impressive array of stationary power tools for wood as well as metal, including a laser cutter and CNC mill. They have all types of welding equipment, too. And of course, they have a very expensive-looking 3D printer.

There is a full page of classes on a variety of subjects, including automotive alignments and race car chassis setups, CAD concepts, CNC router programming, electronics soldering basics and Arduino programming, machine tool instruction and more.

The equipment is all high-end, professional gear, and looks brand new.

Click here for more information on Urban Workshop.

Here are some pictures. . . .

Parts Among Potato Salad – The SBMS Summer BBQ at W6DQ   Leave a comment

 

Immediately after the San Bernardino Microwave Society (SBMS) Tune-Up Party at the Fairview Park in Costa Mesa, the annual summer BBQ was held at the QTH of Dennis, W6DQ.

As usual, the food was great, and Dennis did a great job at the BBQ. It is nice to be a guest at a BBQ every now and then….

Probably the best thing I enjoy at these events is catching up with the club members and see what projects they are working on.

 

Herb Crusted Pork Loin on the Big Green Egg   Leave a comment

I am still cleaning out my freezer, so I decided to defrost some pork loins and cook them on the BGE. The recipe comes from Steven Raichlen’s book, How to Grill. This is a great book on barbecuing just about anything. I especially like the sections where Raichlen shows us how to butcher the meats. Excellent dish. I served it with some homemade pickled onions.

 

 

Corn on the Cob on the Big Green Egg   Leave a comment

Summer is here, and this means corn on the cob. A local grocer had a great sale, 6 ears for a dollar, so I bought a dozen. Some people do a lot of prep work when they barbecue corn, I decided a long time ago to just soak ‘em and grill ‘em.

I trim the husks but leave the stems and soak the ears in plain water for a few minutes. No need to remove the silk inside. I do, however, check for worms and other critters inside the husks, just in case anything alive is crawling around inside. Anything inside will die, so there isn’t too much to worry about.

Soaking corn on the cob

Soaking corn on the cob

 

Make the fire in the Big Green Egg. Set up for direct grilling, high heat.

Direct grilling corn on the cob

Direct grilling corn on the cob

 

This takes a while. . .

IMG_0276

 

At some point, the husks will turn brown. This is the fun part, since the husks usually catch fire and burn. If this happens, do not panic. Just grab the ear with your tongs and use the fire to burn off the silk and the husks.

 

When corn husks catch fire - just let it burn off the silk and the husk - saves time later!

When corn husks catch fire – just let it burn off the silk and the husk – saves time later!

Peel the husks down if you want, and roast the kernels directly. This will add some nice grill marks to your corn

Peel the husks down if you want, and roast the kernels directly. This will add some nice grill marks to your corn

 

I like to keep the husks on, this gives the eater something to hold when eating the ear. If I am serving guests, I will use butcher string and tie and lace the husks into a “handle.”

And there you have it — corn on the cob on the Big Green Egg!

Use your imagination for finishing and serving the corn. Other than some freshly ground salt and pepper, I enjoy the corn as-is.

There are some fancy corn dressings out there, here’s one from Steven Raichlen, my BBQ hero: Cambodian Corn

IMG_0284

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Steak, Ham and Pepper Pizza on the BGE   Leave a comment

I had some T-bone steaks in the freezer for a while. So, I cooked all four of them a while ago. I enjoyed one with some fresh tomatoes.

T-Bones and Tomatoes

 

 

I decided to do something different with the meat. I grilled some assorted peppers – Anaheim and parsilla – and made a pizza.

Anaheim and parsilla peppers on the Big Green Egg

Anaheim and parsilla peppers on the Big Green Egg

 

I cheated and used a store-bought crust. I added some diced ham. . .

 

Ham, steak and pepper pizza

Ham, steak and pepper pizza

Here we go – Steak, Ham and Pepper Pizza on the Big Green Egg.

 

Steak, Ham and Pepper Pizza

Steak, Ham and Pepper Pizza

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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