Sunday, April 28, 2013


Perhaps the most important thing about having personal goals is being able to admitting that you failing and that you need to start over.  I was so effective the first two and a half months of this year, that I think I got a little cocky, over sure.  I stopped putting in the effort.


Ok.  So I pretty much sucked the entire month of April.  I have gained weight, ate like crap, learned nothing, and continued to not put my best foot forward.  So after hitting bottom last night (when I feasted on chips and beer then somehow managed to top it off with a bowl of ice cream), I get to start anew.

Starting this morning, after breakfast which also was no so good. I am picking it back up.

I am back on the wagon!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

I am an impulse buyer just waiting to happen.  So I just re-re-re-re-re-re-upgraded the account to a full website and I will re-re-re-re-re-re-re-commit myself to developing the page and turning it into a profitable endeavor.

I had a solid conversation/bitch-fest with a great friend the other day, and after hearing myself speak I think this is the best way to ensure I continue developing professionally and personally.  I have been complaining for sometime that I needed a hobby beyond getting older.  Well hobby, here you go.

Plus, this fits in with the whole YOE concept well.  Nothing better than committing yourself to being a better person and blasting that commitment to the planet.  Like an open invitation to a sink or swim event.

So... the next question is what should this little project focus on.  I guess to be fair to myself and my legions of fans, I should focus on me and what I deal with daily.  With that said here are the agenda items for version 2.0 (its more like 18.0 but I really don't count the other 17 attempts at this).

  1. Parenting, after all it is the majority of my free time
  2. Work, or at least the things I can talk about as part of work
  3. My never ending struggle to be fit, there is a topic I can always fall back on
  4. Professional development, namely HTML and Data skills I wanted to develop anyway
  5. Life as a 36 year old personally satisfied, professionally stagnated, dude
I think that should cover this nicely.  Wish me luck!

- Eric

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Phase 2 - YOE

Happy Tuesday.

Well yesterday, I kicked off phase 2 of the year of Eric.  I basically took the second half of March and first half of April off.  One too many beers, one too many bowls of ice cream.  I did a whole lot of work and I weigh 2 pounds more than when I stopped in mid-March.

Unlike the first round where my focus was really on losing the poundage, this is more of an overall fitness goal, so I am not going to restrict my diet as much.  Instead I will focus on eating the right foods and the right amount of them while trying to push the workouts just a little harder.  This time of year offers the bonus of the great weather which always helps at "dinner" when instead of eating a second plate, we are running outside to play in the grass.

As previously planned, I will keep taking before and after shots.  Hopefully by late September I will be proud enough to actually display them.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


I was looking through this site and couldn’t help notice that I really don’t have a BIO.  How can this be my personal branding piece if I really don’t explain who I am, or at least my perception of who I am?


So, here are the things that make me… ME!


I am a husband and father of four.  That gets listed first because for the last few years, especially the last two (our twins are two years old), this has been the majority of my life when I am not at work or asleep.  The kids (all boys) are 2, 2, 5, and 6.  They have personalities as different as complete strangers yet striking similarities.  The oldest two, often get assumed to be twins even though Carson is a good 6 inches taller than Beckham.  Carson is a sweet, sweet kid but brave and tough.  Becks is rough tough kid, but gentle and shy.  The twins are, well… twins.  We don’t know if they are identical but man they sure look it.  They each have little quirks that make them unique but their actions can be so freakishly similar at times.


I am trying to become a better “homeowner” and develop my fixing skills.  We have a 20 year old house which has 20 year old house issues and I am learning on the fly.  I find it incredibly satisfying when I fix or make something (like the kids play set).  It’s a feeling that work rarely duplicates.


I work in pharmaceuticals and have for the past 13 years now (since I graduated in 1999).  I like to think of myself as a Project Manager first and foremost although my current job title is Account Manager, many of the same tools and techniques are used.  I hold two graduate degrees (MS and MBA) which I am very proud of and a couple professional certifications (PMP and SSBB) and I am always looking for something more to learn.  I am very well versed in Office applications and possess some database skills which I am trying to grow as “Big Data” becomes a possible career track for me in the future.


I love football, the Bengals own my Sundays in the fall.  My kids love watching Daddy freak out while watching the game.  I like food but I am not a foodie, I like working out but I am not a gym rat.  I love technology but I am not a nerd/geek (or whatever the cool term for that is nowadays).   I love movies much more than TV shows, I like to get the whole story in one sitting.  I am proud of my iPod music collection but I rarely turn my radio off of NPR (what a nerd!).   A great weekend for me involves pizza and beers with a movie on Saturday night followed by football and home improvement projects on Sunday.


I am proud of what I have accomplished thus far in my life, I am genuinely very happy with the first 36 years.  I look forward to the next challenge and the opportunities that come with it.




-          Eric


Monday, April 15, 2013

Update to the YOE

So far so good on the YOE (Year of Eric).  My original list of ten items to work on this year has really been consolidated down to 5.  With fairly good results after the first 100 days of the year.


Goal 1 was to get in shape for personal and professional reasons.  I have done pretty well, in that I managed to lose 20 pounds in about a month and a half, but then the loss slowed and now it has basically stopped.  I just finished my “break” from dieting, so now it’s time to get back on the horse and eat like grown man not a pubescent Tasmanian devil.  I have a great work out plan and schedule.  And I have stated that I will post some pics, but not until I get a little more work done.  J


Goal 2 is to find some time to focus on this blog and my internet presence both for professional and personal reasons.  I have done a fairly good job of updating the past few weeks, and I have updated the look by adding a few sweet tools to link up FB, Twitter, and YouTube.  As a side note, I finally passed $100 in rewards from Google (which operates the blog) so I will get a check in the next month.  The check, goes straight to the boys college fund is hopefully the first of a few more.


Goal 3 is to work on my personal and professional image, my brand if you will.  I let that suffer a little bit in the last couple of years.  Goals 1 and 2 play heavily into it, but they aren’t the whole ball of wax.  I way too often dress like a homeless man, and I know I have to clean that up.  I am in favor of the “uniform” fashion strategy, so all summer you will see me in polos and khakis instead of sweats and hoodies.


Goal 4 is to update my professional skill set through continued education.  I was looking into Spanish and HTML, but after some reading and thought, I am shifting to Bid Data and Data Analytics, primarily because its FREE!  I have always enjoyed that kind of work and from what I gather it’s the next “big wave”.  I plan to dedicate 1 – 2 hours per week (i.e. like going to class) for the rest of the year.  I created a page and will post the certificates as I attain them.


Goal 5 is to be more outgoing and social, to do more things outside of the home and just as important to go on some “dates” with the wife.  Admittedly this is the hardest piece because it’s the only one on this list that is somewhat out of my control.  I am a little down financially due to the pending new A/C which will crush me financially and spiritually (sooooo expensive).  But I must and I will do better.


Today is the “Refresh” day, where I take inventory and start over.  Important in my process, its kind of like hitting restart.  Wish me luck or at least wish me focus on the next 100 days (the best 100 days of the year)!


-          Eric

Spring Break

There was a time in my life, many years ago where Spring Break meant sleeping in a 2 bed hotel room with 7 other guys, unless you were fortunate enough to find another place to stay.  Spring Break was awesome, I went 6 times (high school, 4 times in undergrad, and once in grad school), the last time I felt like a creepy old man only there to hit on young girls.  I knew it was time to stop going, when I found myself concerned over the safety and well being of these kids.  Still it was a pretty good ride, and one I will happily tell my kids to take.

Fast forward 15 years, and Spring Break is about a completely different thing.  We just finished our first family break (see tweets and FB pics).  It was great, we did the Zoo, Aquariam, Putt-Putt, and a couple Parks.  We played in the yard, we cooked out, we played toys, all that and I only took an extra day and half off work.  Nice Clark, Real  Nice!

I can't wait till Summer break!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Stupid Wagon

Yesterday, I had clients in to discuss some items for some projects we are working on.  So... I put on some nice pants, at least I tried to put on some nice pants.  I don't know what I did the last time I went shopping or if every ounce I lost came out of my waist and ass, but none of these pants fit.  They are all a size too big in the middle and two sizes too long (I know I didn't shrink).

Now I am going to have to go blow up Macy's over the weekend and by some new pants.  Part of my year of me, was to improve the wardrobe so its still part of the plan.  I was just hoping to do the shopping later in the summer after I have had a chance to knock off a few more pounds.  But, lately the scale is moving in the wrong direction so now is as good a time as any.

The new "uniform" will be dark slacks (yeah... I said slacks), solid color polo, nice shoes, and maybe a pimp challis.

But my fashion choices aside this seems to happen to me once every two years.  I lose weight or gain weight, have to buy new clothes then 6 months later, the clothes don't fit because that I fell off the stupid wagon again.  Perhaps this time, in the year of Eric, I can keep it up.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Play Ball!

I don't know if you have ever been to a 5-6 year old t-ball/baseball game, but I HIGHLY recommend it sometime.  From the moment you arrive at the field it is pure hilarity.

So the boys had their first game last weekend.  I did not get them into sports earlier than this because I just assumed it to be a waste of time and effort.  3-year old soccer is just silly.  So this really was their first experience and on top of it all, they only had 2 practices to date.  They had spent a grand total of 2 hours learning about baseball and were now going to try to play a game.

I will readily admit that I have not hammered sports into their heads, I don't want to be "that Dad", but if you know me you would know I like my sports, I like competition, and I want my kids to be good at it.  So there is a bit of pain watching your kids dig in the dirt while playing third base, standing completely still when a ball is hit at them.  They stare at it like the ball had koodies.

Enough with the generalities, lets talk about the specifics.  First of all, I was beaming with pride as BOTH of my boys hit from the pitching machine in their second at bat.  Both made contact.  It was amazing.  Carson actually had a pretty good hit to boot.  The true joy came after contact.  When Carson  hit, he hit it right back to the pitcher and it was a good enough hit that she scooped it.  Both kids (Carson with bat in hand, her with ball in glove) stood there, still as stone, while 70 parents screamed directions at them.  I was over by 3rd base and as Carson found me he had this priceless expression of "now what"!  The kid playing pitcher didn't want to tag him and  he didn't want to run her over so they stood there, slow dancing.  I don't think I have ever laughed so hard.

Becks experience was just as awesome, my favorite moment being his running from second straight to home after a hit by another kid.  After all he did exactly what we told him, he just skipped a step.  Both boys were so proud of themselves and I was so proud of them.  It was an awesome moment for me and I hope for them.  Bumpa was there and got some pics and I think a video of the action.  I will post it as soon as I can get it from him.

We have another game in two weeks.  Now, I just have to teach them to play!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


I have had a revelation these last couple of days.  Maybe its the spring, thawing the crust of winter off my face.  Or maybe its the 20 pounds I lost (boom!).  Either way, I have decided that if I am going to make anything of myself, this work, my "real work", or anything for that matter, I am going to do it MY WAY.

I am done trying to fit into a mold which clearly does not fit me.  I am done trying to shape myself into something that I am not.  I am not Jack Donaghy, and I am done trying to convince myself that I am.  All that stuff I said just two weeks ago about shifting my focus, well shift that stuff right back.

This is going to be a work about me, who I am, and what I want to be.  This is going to be a work, to capture what legacy I have and one day my kids will be able to look at this, edit this, watch this, and see what kind of person their father was in the middle of his mid-life crisis ;)

Enjoy the work... I will!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Big Data University

So, I think I have discovered my next project for both personal and professional development.  I am going to start taking courses through IBM's Big Data University.  Its mostly free (which is nice said the guy with too much college debt), and it helps to introduce me to new data concepts which has always been a interest for me (I know... that is weird).

I plan to start this weekend and will try to finish courses as fast as practically possible.  Completion of courses will come with certificates of completion, which I will post here and on my CV page.

Wish me luck!

- Eric

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Project Management

As a certified PMP, I am admittedly a little biased when it comes to project management.  I think organizations that don't use Project Management, with a true project leader role (one responsible for all aspects of a given project) are ultimately only harming their own productivity  and profitability (at least in the long run).

A strong project manager will focus not only on project deliverables, but scope, budget, and quality as well.  It is this singular role which leads all facets of the project which most directly leads to a given projects success or failure.  If no one person is accountable, then no one is accountable (you can always point to the other hand).

I like to think of each project as its own little company.  There is a budget, a resource model, a business plan, a quality plan, SOPs, risk plans, communication plans, etc... Would you run a company without a President/CEO type role?  Of course not.  Would you have a team without a coach?  Why have a project without a project manager?

Treat each project as its own entity and structure it that way and success becomes much easier to quantify.


I need to start working on teaching myself Spanish again.  5 years in school and about the only thing I can do is order a beer.

Spanish is on the YOE, list of things to do.  So...

Vamanos amigos.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Happy Easter/End of Phase 1

Here is the Year of Eric update for Phase 1.

First three months are in the book.  I lost 20 pounds, and one pant size (one and a half really).  I am not doing so well on some of my "other" yearly goals, so that stuff is getting a refresh starting today.

April is going to be my transition month.  I will double-down on the workout/weight loss stuff.  I need to get to a happy place so I can go update my wardrobe.  I thought I had a flat ass before, but it looks terrible in jeans that are a size too big.

My next big goal is to really refocus on writing and getting my sites back out of "storage".  What is the point of having all this awesomeness, if I don't share it.

Wish my luck in Phase 2.