“Shelter In Place”, Day 2

Wednesday, 03/18/2020: Just a couple days ago we heard the news that six of the counties in the San Francisco Bay Area, are directed by public order to “shelter in place” for the next three weeks. Put simply, that means stay home, take care of your family, do what work you can (if any) from home, and stay healthy. That’s it.   So two days on, I can report: Nice to get a little more sleep, and be more leisurely to start the day; the pace quite steady, easy does it. I’ve: monitored work email, as instructed; Completed our family’s entries for the 2020 Census; Tested a conference bridge we used for a Lions club board meeting concall we be had last night (maintaining the prime directive to uphold “social distancing”); Finished the agenda for said meeting; revised said meeting; updated an addendum document we’ll be presenting for the same; Monitored a nine year old, seven year old, and six year old, as they meander through this strange beginning to this quasi-break / change of schedule, pace, expectation; Walked to the park to get some fresh air; saved to a couple neighbors from a safe distance; Had that Lions board meeting concall; it went pretty well for the first time; What else to report? It’s been odd, relaxing, a little stressful, bumpy, and left me feeling unsettled for sure, as we five (together with my wife, also home), figure out how to co-exist during times we’d usually be doing other things, at school, at work. I’ve said it over and over in various conversations the last week, and especially the last couple days as this COVID-19 circumstance develops: take it easy, take it hour by hour, day by day, allow yourself more patience, lower expectations, adapt, adjust, stay healthy. All easier said than done, turns out. No surprise. That’s life. In the midst of it all, let’s make it GOOD. Together. By…? Giving each other more space, time, slack. Yep. GOOD.

Smack Down

Learning can be very challenging. VERY CHALLENGING.

Sometimes you find yourself in the mud, the thick, and it sucks. You make repeated mistakes, same issues, and it’s confounding, really…troubleshooting, reviewing your process, trying to understand why the errors are happening.

It can feel like a smack down. A SMACK DOWN.

It’s abrupt; it gives one pause. It strikes at self-confidence, belief in one’s own thinking and awareness, and capabilities too.

The way forward?

Deep breaths. DEEP BREATHS. A few seconds pause; maybe even a few minutes. Reset. RESET.

You may even find when you climb out of the mire, you may even discover that things aren’t exactly as you perceived them. Maybe other factors were at play. Maybe it wasn’t even entirely your fault.

WHEW. And if it was entirely your fault? Same process, of course. And WHEW anyway.


Onward. ONWARD.

First-World, Any-World: Trials and Joy

Often things don’t go as planned; and certainly, they don’t always go as we’d like. That’s a common theme in life.

A few First-World samples below that teach Any-World lessons.

1/ Adapt and overcome obstacles at work (and anywhere); don’t get frazzled. Pause, take a deep breath, take the next step.

2/ If your path to where you want to go gets bogged down, even to the extreme of Route Closed…don’t give up; find another way.

3/ Find joy with those that matter most. Find it in the simplest things, like music, like a little play time, like a welcome pause to the day.

The “Blue Screen of Death” always gives the user pause.
Not the usual, not most direct route home from work.

Then we get a simple joy we should always celebrate (if you’re a parent) – a little quality time with our kid. Then, especially then, be reminded.

Listening to a little Pokemon during bath time.

Let the joy, not the schedule, win the day.

My Office Today & a Little Lemonade from Lemons

Saw it coming if I was paying attention. Very runny nose, increasingly frequent cough, growing crankiness (for him and me), and BOOM, my son got sick. Aren’t they always sick this time of year, little kids?

Never mind.

He’s gotta stay home sick, and today ok for me to work from home (Thankful!), so here I am cranking away.

My son’s asleep for now, so ticking off task after task.

Sip tea, stretch, keep going.

Drink water, another spreadsheet, another stretch, a couple emails, what’s next?

More good, making the best out of the lemons of the day, that’s the trick, that’s the schtick, that’s my game.

In that way, I got game. And lemonade.

And the glass is Half Full.

Standing Desk.
Energy Hydration Station


There are lots of benefits to an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system in a manufacturing environment. One of the more fundamental ways I’ve experienced it being helpful to is with reporting.

Massive amounts of data exist when a company runs their processes and related data through an ERP system. It follows then that business people in various disciplines within the organization can use the data to (hopefully) optimize their work efforts for the good of the business.

“BATCHUSR” is the generic, automated entity within the system that generates reports that have been set up.

There’s the rub.

If the report is set-up properly, it can be a super-big help. If the report isn’t set-up properly, or of the data capture parameters are forgotten or otherwise of no use any longer, it’s just another data set.

Garbage In, Garbage Out.

What data you put in, the validity and thoroughness of said information, that reflects on the value of the reporting you’re able to generate from such a system.

Another example? There’s a large data set that has been historically created in the system in a manner that includes an arbitrary entry.; it was thought previously that the entry in that field in the system was not important.

We recently decided, for the good of overall and more accurate evaluation of the information, we decided we had to update the entry for this particular field, a specific date entry, for each line item.

There are several hundred line items that need to therefore be updated. Manually. One by one. Let me say that again. ONE. BY. ONE. You might guess I’m the one who’s doing that updating? If you did, you would be correct.

In the end it’s still the humans that evaluate the data and enter that data and determine if it’s helpful. And if it’s not? It’s the human that spends the time making the corrections. It’s the humans that decide. And then it’s the human that has to hunker down, take a few deep breaths, and do focused entry of line item data to complete the project.

It’s the humans that are responsible.

That said, I need another coffee.

: – )

Addendum Lesson:

What is an ERP system?

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SOX Wants: An Audit Sample

Funny what an audit inspires…

“It begins, it begins, with a friendly request; let’s see a sample of your documentation for your orders of work.

Everybody does it, gotta do it too.

Let’s see the work order document itself.

Let’s see the Goods Issue documents.

Let’s see the Goods Receipt documents.

In the system, it is, in the sytem it is, isn’t that enough?

No, No, on paper so we can hold it, study it.

So into SAP we go, to figure how to print. Tryin’ t’save trees, so we don’t normally print.

M B 90, that’s the place to start. Get your order data from the CO Bucket.

Then command, command, and fields must be right. Must be right with the year and the checks or your lose.

Lose out, gotta ask, gotta ask for help. One person, two person, maybe three in fact, everyone a different bit to share, try, do.

Finally, finally, we make it through, through to the end.

Gather docs, kill a tree, done with that task. SOX wants, SOX asks, we do, done. We do, DONE.

SOX asks, we do, we do, DONE.“