The Powerball of Daily Life

Powerball balls. ABC News.
Powerball balls. ABC News.

Last week, I took a little bit of flack on Twitter for asking, “Am I the only person who isn’t so sure I’d quit my job if I were to win the Powerball jackpot? (Not that I play…)”

One person replied, “Holding out for a billion? ;)”

Another, “Job might be more fun if you also had a seat on the board.”

Yet another, “Most likely.”

My $1 Million Idea for Marriott (#74)

Upon embarking into 2013, I resolved to write at least one Blog post each week. So far, I’ve been fulfilling this in my own mind with my weekly Retail & Travel link love post over on the Adobe blogs. But I want to up the game, so here goes. At long last, a new post here at MichaelRHalbrook.com!

I’m a Marriott fanboy. I’m in my third year of Gold status with them, and consistently fall just short of Platinum status. I’ve been loyal to them as long as I can remember, even well before realizing that most of my Adobe coworkers based in Utah are also intensely loyal to them.

But, like anyone else, I’ve had my fair share of minor gripes and complaints about various and properties and experiences over the years. Nothing to raise my voice about too loudly or really alter my relationship with Marriott as a whole, but enough to remember.

This isn’t one of those times. This is just an observation and an idea for a minor improvement that would go miles toward building deeper relationships with those of us constantly on the road and relying on Marriott hotels (or others) to provide us a comfortable night of rest between days of hard work.

2012 – Pray, Produce, & Conserve

The other day, I shared three words that I had chosen as my focus for 2012 with my close friends & family on Facebook.

This morning, I thought that I might also share – and expand upon them – here.

My three words (verbs, or actions, if you will) for 2012 are: Pray, Produce, and Conserve. I hope to focus on doing each of these things well this year, and will measure my success for the year based upon these three actions.

PRAY:
This one is pretty self-explanatory, perhaps. I will add one bit of detail to those less familiar with me, though: One of the best gifts I received this Christmas was a full set of the Liturgy of the Hours from my beautiful wife Suzanne. This will allow me to more easily pray the full set of hours along with the Church, and retire my use of the more abbreviated Christian Prayer. The word means more to me than the mechanics of praying more diligently with the Church’s structured prayer, though. For me, it means a more conscious effort to pray every moment even more this year, and to sanctify as much of each day as I can muster through prayer and through love.

PRODUCE:
To me on January 3, “Produce” means to be more focused on projects when I’m working, whether that means in my day job as an analyst and Adobe consultant, or in my side products in the off-hours. For my professional clients, it means that I want to use my tools and my time to find ways to produce more for you while I’m focused on your work. It also means producing as a more focused dad & father when I’m with my family, producing more in my relationships by being more focused on them, producing more in my garden by learning more and working harder at it, producing more in my home by being more diligent with my to do lists and focusing on learning how to be more handy. Overall, it also means being focused on producing what I should in each part of my day, even including getting better sleep so that I can be more productive during my waking hours.

CONSERVE:
As we start the year, “Conserve” means to me that I can focus on wasting less. I can look to find new uses for extra things around the house, or give them to others who can use them more than I can (in turn, conserving my own space and attention.) I can look to be more thrifty in how we use the produce of our garden and of our grocery trips. I can cook more at home, drive out less for coffee, make each trip out for supplies more focused and productive (and thus conserve energy.)

There you have it – as we’re on the third day of the new calendar year, these aren’t resolutions (I made my sole new year’s resolution on the Church’s new year on the First Sunday of Advent, and I’m doing okay with it), but these are areas of action and focus for me as we flip through this calendar year, and I’m feeling pretty good about them so far.

Hello world!

Ah, the spirit of “Hello world!” That pretty much encapsulates what brings me here, so I’m not even going to change the default title of this very first WordPress post.

I’ve blogged on and off since 1997. I started on a platform I created for myself (complete with “Geekpoints” friends could earn by logging in and interacting, then exchange for cool stuff) for my first site: MikeHalbrook.com [now defunct] (which grew out of my old, old “Mike’s World” on AOL [now defunct].) Later, I would dabble with faith-based writing on brands like BreadAlive [now defunct] and Sirach3 [now defunct], and even on our personal/family blog at Halbrook.net.

Over time, I’ve realized that most of the personal stuff I want to share has a place with a limited audience of friends at Facebook. My professional experiences and thoughts and gathered trinkets deserve their own place. Much of the rest of the world is doing that collecting on sites like Tumblr, but I’m not going to give them my professional content, so that brings us full circle to where we started: Here.

This is going to be where I toss links that interest me or that I just want to remember, a random photo from my travels, or a random thought about some online, marketing, or analysis topic.

I hope you enjoy and find something of value here.

Welcome… and Hello world!