The Four Way Cross Maneuver by the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band

The Four Way Cross Maneuver by the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band. Some things at Texas A&M are just unique. Yet for all of our talk of tradition, few schools or companies I have ever encountered embrace the speed of change in today’s world than Texas A&M.

In the newly rebuilt Kyle Field at Texas A&M University!

Kyle Field 2015
The Newly Rebuilt Kyle Field at Texas A&M

A panorama of the new field completed for our final home game of 2015.

Aggies
50 Yard Line

Centerfield

Aggie Sidelines
Sidelines

Sidelines…

the band
the band

The  Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band.

2015-11-Stockton-TAMU-2

The new stadium is spectacular!

2015-11-Stockton-TAMU-6738
Kyle Field 2915

Aggieland is completely different from the 1990s. Aggieland is exactly the same as it was in the 1990s. Just completely different, core values and leadership focus in tact. Gig’em.

EMAIL SUBJECT LINES, LINKS AND NUMBERED LISTS

The burden of communication is on the communicator; not the recipient.

Therefore proper email etiquette is to use strong subject lines, links, numbered lists and reasonably short paragraphs. Use these guidelines on how to write a decent email that might actually produce results.

Seals at La Jolla in California
Seals at La Jolla in California
Specifically emails must use:
  1. Email Subject Lines – all emails need a well articulated and relevant Subject Line.
    1. Examples of good email subject lines:
      1. Client X going live on Tuesday July 29 before Friday Board Meeting
      2. Training help file on email etiquette posted on schipul.com
      3. Feast with the Beast Presale Facebook AD text (sent to the zoo)
    2. Bad subject lines torture your coworkers with anxiety which lowers morale and greatly reduces profitability.
    3. Every time an email is sent with a bad subject line, a baby seal dies. This is sad. Save the baby seals! Use good subject lines!
  2. Links – ease of use changes behavior.
    1. Ease of use changes behavior. Without links people will NOT click through to see the work that has been done.
    2. It is rare that an email goes out that is truly not about SOMETHING that should be linked. Yes exceptions occur, but they are rare exceptions.
    3. It is not your coworker’s responsibility to overcome your unwillingness to copy/paste a link from a site you are probably looking at when you sent the email!
    4. Every time an email is sent without a link, a baby seal dies. This is sad. Save the baby seals! Use links!
  3. Numbered Lists – organize the information
    1. Bulleted lists are evil because they do NOT convey priority by the sender. Yet the recipient invariably starts at the top assuming this is in fact the top priority.
    2. The value of forcing yourself to use numbered lists is that the sender (you) must organize your thoughts before confusing everyone else. It has been my experience that most people do not “order” bulleted lists but numbering makes them think about it.
    3. Raise your hand if you like numbered lists! Now raise your other hand so things balance out. Or to put it another way – be kind to people who need this structure. It benefits you if people understand your message. Embrace diversity including “diversity of types of thinkers.” Structure and prioritize your content.
  4. Use Short Paragraphs – with rare exceptions
    1. Shorter paragraphs with strong subject sentences greatly increase reading comprehension.
    2. Speed readers tend to read the first sentence of a paragraph and use that to make a decision if they should bother reading the rest. Shorter paragraphs means more of your message is consumed regardless.
    3. They force you to organize your thoughts before wasting everyone else’s time!
  5. Don’t use Nickel words – save them for scrabble
    1. To repeat – the burden of communication is on the communicator, including in email, not the recipient. While it is possible to write in tongues, this needlessly reduces comprehension.
    2. But don’t oversimplify an email as that just make it more confusing. Just make it as simple as possible and no simpler.
    3. If you must use an idiosyncratic word – well – LINK IT!
We all value our time. You do. I do. Everyone does. So it frequently seems expedient to send an email quickly without thought. The problem is the person receiving these emails might be receiving 500 emails a day and there is no way to Get Things Done without more data.
For example assuming you – not putting a decent subject line – costs each recipient 1 extra minute of time to comprehend (if they give you this minute), then an email that saved you 1 minute, just cost a company of 30 people 29 minutes of billable time. This is very real money. And these are very real emotions on the part of the recipient.
Don’t be mean; take the time to write decent emails.
[Note: this was an internal company help file for years, I probably wrote it around 2002 or 2003. This is just me reposting it for public consumption.]

Proverbs 11:24-25

One person gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.

A generous person will prosper;  whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.

  • proverbs-11:24-25

Or to put it another way, via Dune-Micheli PattenA parable by an Unknown Author:

There once was a farmer who grew award-winning corn. Each year he entered his corn in the state fair where it won a blue ribbon.

One year a newspaper reporter interviewed him and learned something interesting about how he grew it. The reporter discovered that the farmer shared his seed corn with his neighbors.

“How can you afford to share your best seed corn with your neighbors when they are entering corn in competition with yours each year?” the reporter asked.

“Why sir,” said the farmer, “didn’t you know? The wind picks up pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field. If my neighbors grow inferior corn, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I am to grow good corn, I must help my neighbors grow good corn.”

He is very much aware of the connectedness of life. His corn cannot improve unless his neighbor’s corn also improves.

So it is with our lives. Those who choose to live in peace must help their neighbors to live in peace. Those who choose to live well must help others to live well, for the value of a life is measured by the lives it touches. And those who choose to be happy must help others to find happiness, for the welfare of each is bound up with the welfare of all.

The lesson for each of us is this: if we are to grow good corn, we must help our neighbors grow good corn.

best, or possibly worst, explanation of subnet masks ever

Trying to explain subnet masks inside our company chat system, and this was the result. It is either the best, or possibly the worst, explanation of subnet masks and IP addresses ever. So there is that.

Credits: Images from this on IPV4 CIDR
http://www.sput.nl/internet/cidr-routing.html

My #knowledgeshare began like this and went down from there. But the actual IP is definitely about to be blocked. Hence I changed the IP to something ridiculous to protect the GUILTY:

after hours #knowledgeshare

the IP is 192.168.1.30 but I *only* want to block that one IP so I used a ‘subnet mask’ of 32 which looks like this

192.168.1.30/32  (not the real IP but you get the idea)

Because on the surface /32 makes NO SENSE AT ALL! Why? Because masks are binary. Obviously, right?

If you look at it in binary a pattern emerges like this big chart which also looks a bit scary.

ipv4 subnet mask in binary
IP V4 Table from http://www.sput.nl/internet/cidr-routing.html

Think of the zero’s as “hey you are cool man. come on into the party dude!” and the ones are like “oh hell no you aren’t getting in here!”

So the 1’s are the “mask” in a subnet mask.

Visualized another way it looks like the following party-pic. These guys are PARTYING HARD with 256 IPs.

IP binary subnet mask

But  you know, first you can’t have a zero IP address so you can’t use 192.168.1.0. Then you’ve got the supervisor (router) who gets the first IP in the block (e.g. 192.168.1.1 is the router in 192.168.0.1/255.255.255.0

Then you have the drunk screamer – that is the broadcaster. Think Robin Williams in Good Morning Vietnam! This guy, the biggest in the subnet, gets the last number.

In our example subnet that is 192.168.1.255 (remember IPs start at 0. Thus 0 to 255 = 256 IPs.) Anyway this guy –> “192.168.1.255” is the guy who is like HEY WHO THE HELL IS IN HERE!!!?!?!?!  And now everyone has to reply because they are screaming and we all have to answer!

So that leaves 254 (1router-broadcast=254) available host ips in this block. Further by convention you typically don’t assign the .0 IP so that really leaves 253. Basically it looks like this in

Binary
11111111111111111111111100000000

Hex
FFFFFF00

Octet
255.255.255.0 2⁸ /24 256

/#endKnowledgeShare/