Archive for January 2015

To Some, Blog is still a four letter word

For this week’s “This Blogger Life” our ChicagoNow leader, Jimmy Greenfield, asked us to write about our writing processes. “Write about your process, your worries, the joy you feel when you write something wonderful, the pain you feel when you publish something that you know isn’t very good.Write about where you write, when you write,... Read more »

7 awful cliches and what they really mean

<strong>1) You have to pay your dues</strong>
This stereotype has been around since the dawn of time. The iconic trope being someone fetching coffee and picking up the boss's dry cleaning. This term comes from literally  "paying one's dues" such as union or trade memberships but is now used in the more figurative sense. It means that you have put in the work necessary to deserve a reward or promotion. For example, a beat cop might make Detective after 10 years of patrol duty. In this case, the officer <em>paid his dues</em> to become detective.
<strong><em>What it really means:</em></strong>
You are going to do a lot of <a href="" target="_blank">meaningless, mind-numbingly boring</a> and perhaps even pointless things for a long time. You should expect to have to pay your dues. You shouldn't have to expect to jump through pointless hoops for no reason other than your higher-ups had to, then yeah it’s not always exactly laser precise advice.  If you're not learning anything or advancing, it's time to look at yourself and figure out what actually sucks: the job or you. If after a reasonable amount of time -- your first review or one year, whichever comes first -- you have not been given any "substantive assignments" it's time to re-evaluate the situation.
There are a lot of cliches out there that are meant to provide short nuggets of wisdom. Platitudes and hackneyed phrases like Things Are Not Always as They Seem or It’s Not Always About You. Well Chester it is always about you and I’m here to tell you exactly why things are always like they... Read more »

Fixing a broken fence gate on the cheap

This gate was starting to rot and would not open or close easily
The back gate that leads to the alley was in need of some repair. While the wood itself was still serviceable, the gate had somehow shifted and it was hard to open and close.  There was also some wood rot and structural disintegration that prevented me from simply patching it with a few new boards.... Read more »

I want to break up with the gym

This is an experience I had trying to quit my gym a few years ago before I had a blog, which meant I  “blogged” by sending my “posts” through e-mail to friends or posted in the Notes Section of Facebook.   I’m sure most people just deleted the e-mails without reading them.  Rather than re-work the... Read more »

STOP saying you are busy!

In Corporate America there is an animal called the IMSOBUSY. The IMSOBUSY is too busy to stop in the hallway and say hello or make friendly banter, but always has time to tell you how busy she is. What to grab some lunch? Lunch is for losers. How was your weekend? Cannot talk now, I... Read more »