I am a Fixer. An Optimizer.

Last Friday I posted the Peter Drucker quote:

"There is nothing quite so useless, as doing with great efficiency, something that should not be done at all."

I was trying to look up the exact wording for this quote (there seem to be several versions of it, he either said it multiple ways, or has been misquoted, – I liked the version I posted best). In the process I found several other quotes that resonated with me, and deemed the results to be worthy of their own post.

If I have to do a task once, I can usually just leave it at that. But if it's something that I find interesting, or I have to do it multiple times, I begin looking for inefficiencies – and ways to eliminate them. It seems logical, and it amazes me that this isn't a trait embodied by more people.

It's incredibly satisfying to eliminate busy-work or to speed up a process significantly, but that can't compare to the feeling of accomplishment when an optimization involves changing something upstream and eliminating the process entirely.

When you have a habit of "fixing" or "making things better" you run into some odd resistance though. People are oddly set in their ways, they become attached to processes and actions. It's far too common for a "this will cut your time required to do this in half" to be met with hostility. It seems that, for the most part, people care less about how to do things better than they do about "this is how we've always done it".

The attachment to process is bizarre. To me, most things can be treated like programming functions/methods/API calls: you give a system input, it does something, it gives you output. The input and output are all that really matter, if you have code that takes 1 second to "do something" and code that takes 10 seconds and both give the correct answer, you go with the most efficient algorithm (in most cases). Done. … but even in that example you could run into resistance from programmer/s that are emotionally tied to the less efficient code.

I would encourage anyone reading this to look at your daily processes, assume they are stupidly inefficient, and look for ways to improve them. We all become attached to actions that we repeat regularly, and it's hard to see things for what they are.

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My favorite quotes by Peter Drucker

"There is nothing quite so useless, as doing with great efficiency, something that should not be done at all."

"People who don't take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year. People who do take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year."

"The best way to predict your future is to create it."

"Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window. "

"The problem in my life and other people's lives is not the absence of knowing what to do but the absence of doing it."

"Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes; but no plans."

"Efficiency is doing the thing right. Effectiveness is doing the right thing."

"When a subject becomes totally obsolete we make it a required course."

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Beeturia – the thricening

Yesterday spudart asked where the third beeturia post was. There wasn't one. There wasn't one planned.

Here it is.

Last night I cooked up the three beets I received last Thursday. I ate two and left the third for my roommate.

Last night's dinner was a salad with the following layers (starting at the bottom layer):

  • 1 sliced beet
  • Steamed beet greens and steamed kohlrabi greens (I do not like kohlrabi greens, I need to stop trying to eat these)
  • 1 tomato
  • Mozzarella
  • 1 sliced beet
  • Parmesan cheese, bacon bits, and pistachios

I took a picture (before the cheese/bacon/pistachios went on) because I thought it looked pretty:
Beet salad

By the time I was at the bottom of the bowl, the mozzarella that was left had been dyed a vibrant purple.

It was good.
The effect of two beets seems to be identical to the three I ate before.

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How to be persuasive at work

spudart's latest post offers suggestions for being more persuasive at work.

His suggestions are great, building trust and all…


If that doesn't work for you (it should, but if it doesn't) you could try going in the complete opposite direction: intimidation.

More specifically, intimidation via costume.

Can't get people to listen to you? Dress up and act like:

  • A Viking
  • A Barbarian
  • The alien from "Alien"
  • A Klingon
  • A cowboy/outlaw
  • A medieval warrior
  • etc!

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Beeturia – part deux

As a follow up to yesterday's post –
apparently it takes about two days for me to fully process that amount of beets.

Just in case I'm risking some sort of "beet withdrawal" or something, tonight I'm frying up a pan of summer squash, garlic, basil, parsley, scallions and BEET GREENS.

Beets. Go figure.

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Beeturia? For reals?

So, since I'm not a big "beet eater" I didn't know this was a thing.
Beeturia [wikipedia link]

On a few occassions in my life I've eaten small amounts of beets. I like them, but no one in my family made them, and thus I've had no need to go out and purchase and cook my own. But, the joys of being a CSA member, I'm getting vegetables I have no idea what to do with.

Yesterday morning I cooked up the 3 beets that I had gotten the week before. Baked and peeled (what a mess), sliced (even more of a mess).. and then what?

I had three beets all sliced up and no plan for a dish. I started piling them into a bowl, and after a layer it came to me:
Some parmesan cheese, some ripped parsley and basil, another layer of beets, another layer of parmesan and herbs, and a drizzle of olive oil. Oh, and some bacon bits to top that all off.


So… yeah. I've come to the conclusion that my body doesn't break down the beet pigment at all. I'd go into more details here, but no, I'll just say that everything has been very… colorful.


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Friday cop-out post

Following last Friday's post – and almost creating a trend (maybe the streak will end here) – here is a post just for the sake of being able to check off another day.
This will make TWO full weeks of daily postings.

I'd like to thank the people that have encouraged me to start posting again – and hope I can keep up the (possibly chemically induced) desire to post on a daily basis.

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