Vale, Sayyad

Yesterday an old friend passed away.  Sayyad was too young to suffer a heart attack, but he did.

Sayyad and I had only seen each other a few times over the last couple of years, mostly at friend functions.  However, once upon a time we spent time together daily.  We went to the same high school and lived in the same suburb about 15 minutes from the school.  We were somewhat isolated from the rest of the Gap State High School community.

So we built a friendship.  We both had a love for fantasy novels (think JRR Tolkien: The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings), computer games and music.  Not the same music mind you, Sayyad was heavy into Van Halen and I just couldn’t bring myself to listen to it, something about Eddie’s face just turned me off.  He never seemed to pick up on the grunge I was into, nor wear the gothic black I was into.

We went to the same university, Queensland University of Technology.  He did Engineering, and I did Computer Science.  We’d catch up, but not as regularly.  Mostly it was when I’d get a guernsey for drinks with the Engineers at the Campus Club.  I’d not usually hang out with the computer geeks – they weren’t my people.

I can remember one particular night at the Campus Club where Sayyad invited me along to join his mates.  It was the end of the year and exams were all over.  Sayyad and I were in a great mood, and three jugs later (each!!) things got a little hazy, in fact next thing I know I was on the receiving end of some well deserved abuse because my girlfriend and I we were supposed to go out for dinner with another couple.  Whatever, I’d not take back that night at the club.

One of my lasting memories of Sayyad was during schoolies.  We were with our schoolies group at the beach having a swim.  We were out deep, catching the waves on a sand bar.  This sand bar started to disappear.  A sweep was coming through and soon enough we were stranded out deep in a current.  We had to swim back.  Sayyad was struggling (never quite the athlete, Sayyad), so I got him to hold my shoulders and we slowly dog paddled the couple of hundred metres into shore.  It felt like it took half an hour, but we got back, exhausted but alive.  Two minutes later, barely escaping death, Sayyad is cracking jokes.  I don’t think he ever forgot that moment.

Sayyad was always quick with a quip.  Happy to put you in your place, to help you to see yourself how you really are.  Sayyad was a firm but loving father, a devoted husband and one of those friends who you can lose contact with, and when you meet again that time disappears.

I still don’t think I’ve digested this.  I think the usual about how young he was, how his kids will grow up, how his wife and family must be feeling.  I’m not sure how I feel.

I’m still thinking that we’ll meet again, and all lost time will disappear.

Vale, Sayyad

Assumption, Accusation and Being Wrong

Kids Can Be Nasty

My youngest has recently turned nine.  Aside from that meaning I’m getting very old, it also means the usual extended days of birthday celebrations.  For him it went like this:

Friday

  • Wake up at 6am for presents, general back slapping on surviving nine years (mostly for the parents)
  • Go to Aquapark with friends for celebration
  • Back home for swim and play with friends
  • At night off to the cricket

Saturday

  • Morning tea with friends and family for birthday
  • Cricket in the front yard
  • More sweets, presents and play than a kid can handle
  • Receive birthday card with cartoon of your sister’s death

I’m not making this shit up:

Birthday card with cartoon of my daugter being dead

Birthday Death Card

Drive Straight Into Overreaction Town, Then Turn Left

This lovely card was signed by the person who wrote it, on the back.  It just so happens that their name is the same name as my niece, and I’m blown away.  I’m feeling a little sick that any child can wish another child dead on a card, let alone her.  She’s the sweetest and gentlest child on the planet.

Have I got It Wrong?

Is there something going on there that I haven’t picked up on, and that my brother hasn’t told me about?  What do I do?  Whoever’s child has written that must have their parents brought into the conversation.  I’m thinking that if my child were to write that I’d want to know.  I would need the chance to have chat with my daemon spawn, letting them know that wishing another person dead is for psychopaths, and I’d rather not raise psychopaths.

So I text my brother the photo.

Long conversation short there’s no way that it was from his side.  My deductive skills, until now in hibernation, spring into action.  Cross-examination of my kids show that there’s another person in the picture with the same name as my niece, and that’s where it came from!!

Continue On Confusion Boulevard, Take Right Onto Wrong Road

So I’m a schmuck.  Or am I?  Now I’m sure my brother thinks I’ve accused his sweet daughter of being the reapers apprentice, this will not do.

It gets me to thinking about making presumptions without the fact, about accusation without a conversation.  What do people accuse me of without talking to me first?  Sometimes I look confused or angry when all I’m doing is concentrating or thinking.  I’ve heard this from my friends and work colleagues Even in social situations I can easily look angry or confused when I’m anything but.  I have RAF – Resting Angry Face.  Doesn’t mean I am angry, I’m probably frowning now as I write, it’s nothing personal.  It turns out that image below is rubbish, some of the time:

Facial Expressions

If we were avoid presuming or accusing before we have a chance to talk with someone, perhaps we’d all get along a lot better.

Talk to me, I don’t bite.

I Don’t Want To Write So I’m FreeWriting

I’m doing a 30 day 500 word following the email sequence given by Jeff Goins at http://goinswriter.com/my500words/, and it’s going kinda well.  I’m at day four, and for that lst three days I’ve been just writing about some stuff which I want to put onto my blog.  I’ve  beeni writing late at night, and have been good so far but on day three he said taht I shouldswtich to start writing in the mornings, before the family gets up and the day begins.  The thing is that I* am going to start that tomorrow and it’s late in the night tonight and I’m tried.  I’m really tired.  I’

m so tired that I don’t want to think , I just want to fulfull the commitment that Im mad eto write the 5400 words, without having to this about it too much.

 

The other work that I have been doing has been a bit though out, that is it’s going to be the sutff that I want to be yupo there whjich can be used ful for the audience that one day I hope to have to my site, but toniht I’m not at that point, I’m just at the point that I want to get the 4500 words out of the way so that I can go and get some sleep./

 

Tomorrow moringikn at 6am when Iwake up I hope that Imn going to feel a little more inspired to get something down on paper, perhaps something that can be turned into an asset that I can use to entice people to give me theit most valuable asset -0 their emali address, but tonight I am going to fulfill the commitemn and n more.

 

SO Freewriting is the thing that I;m doing now.  No grammatical changes, no editing, no puntuation change or any of that, just a stream on consciousneww cfrom my head and onto the page. That this point I’m not even typing with my eyes open, and hwho knows that it’s going to look like once I am done.

I’ll get throh this.

I know that I can punch out 5090 words in pretty sort order and then the wonderfuol queen sized mattress uptsairs is waiting for me to crash in a heap.

I’ve got nothing to watch on TV.

I finished House of cards season four,m and I am now waiting on season five.  Ther’es no game of thrones to watch either – not until June.  So I’m going to have a look at a show calle Scorpion,which is based on a real life guy who’s super smnart but has difficultly getting along with people, as smart people ar want to do. He learned by observation how to be better as a people person.  HIt didn’t come natuarlly, he just decided one day that to be successful he had to get along with people.  So he learnt.

I guess that can be applied to any skill that you really ewant to know.

If he was stupid though, he’d never have thought to change his bechaviour in the first place.  Funny, stupid poeple don’t know they are, and smart people things they’re stupid.  or above average.  But smart people rarely tinink that they6 are smart.  So if I don’t think that Im smart, does that mean that I am smart?

Whoa – 5900 words already, but I thnink that I was getting on a roll with all of that smart/dumb talk back up there.  Perahps that’s something that I can explore a little and put into some page for the site?  How about title it “You think you’re smart, so I reckon yuou’re probably Dumb…”{.  Nice.  I can work with that.  Perhaps if that were to be one of he first things that I ask pepl.e, it could give me a gaugea of the kind of person that they really are, and where they sit on the idiometer.  My eyes are still clossed.  I bet ther are typpos all over the place.

 

400 words.

 

Boom/.

 

I got there – nmow it’s time for a sleep.

Finding Time For Yourself With A Young Family Is Bullsh*t

Today Is All About Me!

I’m Disheartened

Today I sat down full of enthusiasm as I was going to put together a plan which would guarantee that I could realise my business, physical and personal goals.  I was going to become a great writer by starting with 500 words a day, while leaning down to 10% body fat, increase my explosive speed for the football pitch, work on my dribbling skills, start work on my new side hustle business while being an awesome husband and father.  Oh, and I have a mate who I’ve committed to writing some software for at about eight hours a week on top of my normal job.

It’s bullshit.

There’s no way I can see that I’m going to be able to do all of the things I need to do, without becoming completely selfish, or a monk, or both!

Time to Wake Up Early

Bullshit!  Early my son is already out of bed hence sees a great opportunity for us to spend some time together.  He’s right of course, but I was going to do some pilates/writing/squats/meditation.  Can’t he see that?  So selfish…

Time to Work After the Kids Are In Bed

Bullshit!  After I get home from a work day, have had/made dinner, got the kids to bed for 8:30 I’m a washout.  Now is not the perfect time for me to get started with exercise or writing or whatever else.  I want to see my wife.  Perhaps I can even relax a bit with a glass of wine or perhaps an indulgent episode of House of Cards.  The point being that my enthusiasm starts in the morning, and is gone by the evening.

Losing My Sh1t

In the middle of writing this I had to go upstairs to mediate a fight between my youngest and my eldest.  They were screaming at each other.  He wouldn’t leave her room, she wouldn’t tell him why she wanted him to.  He was leaving slowly to annoy her, she asked him to leave again and again.  Finally screamed at him.  That’s when super dad goes upstairs and yells so loudly at him, that she starts to cry.  I tell her that I only yelled as loud as him.  I’m a role model.

I feel a little emptier inside afterwards, a sadness that I’m so bad at this I can’t even manage that simple situation.

Finally

Well, there’s my boy calling to me to come and have a swim.  I don’t want to any more but I guess I should.

At least today I managed to scratch out 500 words.  Tick.  I’m awesome.

The Day I Started A Blog

That day is today.

I read a lot of blogs, and a lot of books.  Content which interests me centers around getting the most out of the time we have on the planet.  Currently I’m reading Jon Acuffs great book Start and Seth Godins All Marketers are Liars and Linchpin, and I’ll consume anything written by David Allen.  I love the idea that I can put my thoughts out on the internets and that if I’m lucky people may read it and choose to interact with it.

So today I have started to write…it’s time to get started.

Who am I?

Pleasure to meet you, my name is Tony Jay and I am a:

  • 40 year old
  • happily married man
  • father of two kids
  • software developer with 20 years of experience (do you know what an integration software developer is?)
  • cyclist
  • overworked
  • looking to reduce my workload while increasing my output

What you can expect

Expect to be dazzled.  That’s all I can say.  I mean, this is my first shot at working on the digisphere so it’s almost guaranteed to be incredible.  There are many things going on in my life which I’ll be writing about here, such as:

  • the pain of being a software developer
  • why outsourcing doesn’t work and how it’s destroying the IT industry
  • maximising output – this is what 2015 is all about for me
  • parenting two young kids, juggling that with a fulltime job and working on a side hustle at the same time
  • watching The Wolf of Wall Street far too many times

Maximising output

So this site is called reductee, and in short that means we strip away all of the excess that slows us down so that we can focus on the 80/20 of life.  Maximising output is about working on the things which produce the outcomes.  I’m not just talking about in business either, it’s about all parts of life.  I’m personally guilty of:

  • not sleeping enough
  • drinking too much
  • watching too much tv (dang, but Wolf of Wall Street is awesome!)
  • reading the wrong things
  • eating the wrong things
  • focusing on the wrong things

Maximising output is about reducing those things.  This is what I’m all about, ’cause I don’t want to wake up in 40 years time having an extensive knowledge of Jordan Belfort but no real story to tell of myself.

That’s all folks

You people have been great!  Honestly I couldn’t have hoped to talk at a better bunch.

Things are only going to get better from here (could they get worse?).  If you’d like to keep in touch, sign up via the links below, follow me on Twitter with the handle @reductee, or just email me at tony@reductee.com.

Thanks for listening.