It’s all coming together now

I was asked to speak for a small group of people on behalf of my Javascript expertise at a meeting of frontend web developers. Of course I said yes, and started thinking about it. I wanted to use my newly learned lessons from The Art of Hosting. I also told my host I wanted to take a personal approach, and would like to include my own stories. I said I wouldn’t be needing a beamer or flipover. He was very interested and let me go my way.

When we went to the presentation room, I saw a round table. Just big enough to host us all. We were with 9 people, so that created an intimate space.
I started with a check-in and asked each person to tell us who they are, what inspires them, and what they’d expect from the evening.
When the first person started all became engaged, and we listened with interest when each took their turn. Some talked about their professional self, others took a more personal route. Wonderful!
I felt my body relaxed, my mind clear, and was able to truly listen to the others, and get familiar with their faces. Questions were asked from genuine interest.

Finally I told my own story. I was able to be fully at ease and look everybody in the eye. That was a first for me, and I attribute that to the initial check-in round. And the small group as well.
I talked about my personality, my lack in degrees, my initial insecurities because of that, and how I overcame that by reading whatever I could about my area of expertise. About how I got to know myself better, enabling me to become more solid and gain integrity. That I sometimes need to manage my overenthusiasm.
The group responded multiple times by asking questions and recognitions.

In essence I was telling authentic stories, exposing my weaknesses, and how I gained strength by accepting and getting to know them. Their faces told me they were intrigued, sometimes amazed, but all of them were engaged. Some faces started showing minor agitation, which I think was some impatience for my build up, or the mismatch with their expectations.

So to move them towards the topic of the evening (Javascript) I then went on to speak about the moment I fell for Javascript, and who was on my path to inspire me.
I talked about my open source project called backbone-everywhere, and that it was meant to be a demo for a startup. This project involves bleeding edge open source javascript, which is common ground to most of us. So we ended with a discussion about our area of interest, which we all hoped to talk about.

Afterwards I asked them for feedback, what they thought about the format, about my way of hosting.
They all preferred our participatory setup over a regular presentation, and felt energized.
Because I hardly got any critical feedback I kept asking for it.
One person then told me he got a little bit frustrated for not knowing how and where it would go. I thanked him, and explained I am learning to detect such signals in the heat of the moment, so I can ask what is needed.
Some people told me that more structure in the informative section would be nice. I agreed there. The lack of a visual presentation gave them a new experience and engagement, but I realize that I should have some visual structure for stories that involve lots of technical aspects.

When most of the people were gone, I remained with the two intitators of the evening. They were very enthusastic about my approach and we talked setting up a new Javascript course together.
What an energizing and fruitful night! It’s wonderful to see everything come together, and life aspects seeping into work, and vice versa.

 

Iktami Devaux writes amazing stuff

When I met my friend Iktami Devaux for the first time in El Bolsรณn, Argentina, I immediately fell in love with him (no, I am not gay, and he was already a beardy old man in his mid fifties). With his openness, witty outlook, spirituality (yet firmly grounded in reason) and liveliness he was talking directly to my inner self. With his body slowly degrading, like a failing machine grinding to a halt, he saw his sickness (a rare form of arthritis) as his master, pushing him to take his plans with life to another level. And plans he has. To keep his sanity he has to keep writing down his thoughts, in the form of reflections, as well as full blown books.

After having read the first collection of his short stories -“Through the wilderness of love”- I also became a fan of his work. His writings were so much in line with the path I had set out for myself, being in a relationship with my fellow beings and nature, I could not get around it. But in the six years thereafter, I was distracted by my own life and work, and we found ourselves sharing thoughts only once a year sometimes.

Until he translated “El arte de no hacer nada” into “The art of doing nothing”, which I had the pleasure of reading in 2011. It immediately sparked the fire that lay dormant within me, and I asked for more. I also decided I would make him a website to sell his books. Until then he had only been selling them at the fair of El Bolsรณn.

Well, that work is now finally done, and I am proud to present to you his website, which is fully bilingual:

iktami.com

Because I truly believe his writings should reach as wide an audience as possible, I asked him if I could distribute “The art of doing nothing” as a PDF for free. And so he agreed! I quickly converted his rich text document to a pdf, so here’s the link to it on dropbox:

The art of doing nothing – free PDF version.

Please read it and tell him what you think (you can comment on his website). He loves to communicate and communicates love ๐Ÿ™‚
(And if you really like it, you can make a donation on this website.)

Hasta luego senor Fab

That is an actual songtitle (look it up), which is in line with my current state: traveling in Spain. Yes, me and Corine are at it again: three months on our recumbents to get from Malaga (most southward spot we could fly to) back to NL. We are currently close to Barcelona after 5 weeks of cycling. But I will save you the boring details. I am putting up photos and videos as always on my flickr page here, and Corine is blogging in Dutch (tnx so much dear) right here.

For those who really want to know when I’ll be back: the 13th of august if all goes well. But 2 weeks later I will already be flying to Las Vegas to attend the Burning Man festival ;p So I will eventually return to NL the 18th of september. Life is sweet ๐Ÿ™‚

Looking Good, Feeling Fresh

Yesss! I managed to put some time and effort into this blog and made it to my liking. Finally!

There are still some things I have to put up with for now, like the Flickr photo plugin behaving badly. It won’t consistently work with the lightbox module. If you click on one of my random pix it takes you to an HTML version of the gallery. Hmmm, time to override/add some event handlers then.

What constantly needs updating, are my favorite apps and open source section. Go check em out! I even made special sections for my apps:

I’ll try to keep them as updated as possible ๐Ÿ™‚

But what about these rules?

It turns out that helmets are mandatory for cycling in New Zealand. Getting fined will cost you $55,-. Not much for coolness, if you think about it. I could not find out how many fines a day the police are allowed to hand out, however. So we decided to get helmets. But we won’t follow those unwritten rules about wearing stupid ugly cycling helmets, no way!

looking fine Corinelooking hot Maurice

What about these?

If our kitten could come along she’d surely love to have one too.

Under construction?

Btw, did I mention that I am working on this freshly installed/manipulated/upgraded/enhanced WordPress blog of mine? I am in love with her, and that means touching and feeling the lot of it. Don’t bug me about it, I just have to do this. She not only gives me butterflies, but also these delicious plugins that I have to devour. Wow, I can do so much now that I know her. It’s an empowering feeling. I take her as she is, but I have the feeling she will grow on me.

Yes Corine, you are fantastically wonderful too ๐Ÿ™‚ But now I have to test drive this plugin that will geo tag my posts when we travel :p

Lets take her for a spin, honey.

Yes! Me and Corine are going to travel New Zealand per bicycle. We found out that we both liked the idea to do a cycling holiday somewhere on the planet, yoohoo! And not just on ordinary bicycles. No, we will be getting our own recumbents. And I have found just the perfect specimen with the comfiest saddle around! Try this link if your interested. Just what I need to get me going through those thousands of miles. It seems that NZ is a good place to learn to ride it too. Being kinda flat ‘n all. I was already at the store yesterday, so I know what I want. But Corine still has to find a model that suits her as well, so we will be test driving some models this weekend. But after all the investigating I have done, I think she will turn to the Nazca as well ๐Ÿ™‚

How to create a personal RSS feed from my blog.

Install Firefox if you haven’t yet. It is not really necessary, but makes life on the web a lot easier.

Then take a look at all of the orange RSS feed icons you see on this site. They indicate some kind of broadcasting rays. The icon on the top of this site will give you a feed to all my posts. The feed icons next to the categories will only feed you the posts for that category.

Just go ahead, click on the feed icon of your choice.

What happens next is up to your computer. If it has apps installed that can handle RSS feeds, it will ask you with which of these applications you want to register the feed. If you have Firefox installed, you can also add the feed as a ‘live bookmark’. This will add the feed as a bookmark, and if you click it it open, you will see my most recent posts. Really handy if you want quick access to your favourite feeds (like mine :).

For all other feeds that I read I use Google Reader, because I LOVE internet apps. They go wherever I go. My laptop doesn’t :]

Why, why…WHY?

Yes, I started my own blog (finally). And yes, I know, I must have my answer ready when people ask me why they should read my blog. So here it is. No preparation, straight in your face:

You will MISS OUT IF YOU DON’T !!

I am already enjoying this, and I know you will too…soon. When I start posting incredible stuff that’s happening on the net. And in my life, and in real life….and and…

“STOP! Don’t flood your readers boy. Don’t think that the rules of blogging don’t apply to you.”

Wtf? I listened to the voice of the masses, resonating through the forgotten, emptied bodies of dying blogs. It continues:

“Specialise in a subject, please, please DON’T blog about EVERYTHING. We want to know what to expect!”

But I have so many topics to rave about. What do I do?
Hah! So I must create distinct categories for my posts! And use meaningful tags. So people can find what they want!

“Yes boy, filter, FILTER!”

And maybe I could provide RSS feeds for those categories. For my readers’ favourite apps to consume? That way they wouldn’t have to go to my blog and do all that clicka dee click to get what they want.

So off I went…to create a structured tree of my offered interests. If you take a close look at my ‘categories’ section, you will possibly find something of interest. If so, just click on te RSS feed icon next to one, and save the feed. You don’t know what that is or how to do that? No worries, I will tell you how in my next post.

Home

By Corine

No ola and chao anymore, it’s back to hallo and doei. Yesterday, 5 april, we arrived in Holland at 11 in the morning (Argentinan time: 6:00 am). Maurice was picked up by his parents and Marjolein, I got a ride from Rikkert in my old citroneta (which is now his!). Kristin left the house really clean and tidy for me. When she left for Berlin she had problems leaving the cats here ๐Ÿ™‚ Later friends came for beers, Bas cooked for everyone. I thought I would be knock-out by midday, but fel into bed at about 1 o’ clock in the night. At 9:30 this morning I was already drinking coffee with Rikkert. Now I am organizing my house again, doing the mail, taxes etc. I am used to be here again, though it is still strange to hear people talking Dutch on the streets. And in the supermarket my first reaction is still Spanish ๐Ÿ™‚ Our last remembrance of Argentina was the champagne breakfast we had with friends, just before we jumped into the taxi to the airport. I wonder what they are doing now.