Here is the obligatory cat post. Obviously I'm getting desperate for views!
First of all, I know that not everybody is a fan of cats ... but our family is into pets of all types, shapes and sizes including cats ... and we recently added Miley and Piper to the family a few weeks ago. If you are a cat hater, then hit the exit now button. But look at the picture, you have to admit they are more than a little cute!
Second, how do you remotely spin a post about kittens into a parable about work? Not sure on this one, but I'll try to make that connection at the end.
My wife and I have had various pets the entire time we've been married (almost 33 years). The only pet less period being the last 4 months after the tragic death of my wife's beloved companion, Bandit. I'm not going to go into the details, but suffice to say that even at 15 years old, it was not his time to go. Lonna will always miss her little boy.
Enter Miley and Piper. They are adorable. And wild. And 16 weeks old. One of them is a little chunky.
They are Scottish Fold kitties (no hating ... we normally do rescue). From the picture you can see one is straight eared and one is folded. The claim to fame in their young existence is that they've already been filmed for an upcoming Taylor Swift documentary. Actually two separate video shootings. It was fun for all. You see Taylor also has a pair of Folds and apparently is quite attached to them. Taylor, if you're reading this (and certainly you are), then hook us up with a couple tickets to your upcoming show at the Circuit of Americas F1 weekend. Thanks!
All of our pets have brought joy to our family and I know that many of our friends can relate.
As to the work angle, here are a couple things to think about:
- Naming conventions. Engineers are fanatical about project names. BTW, you should let the engineering teams own naming. I do remember a series of projects were named after professional golf courses. Most engineers don't play golf and didn't connect with the names, duh. Big cat names were popular with Apple before they switched to California natural resources. You remember Cheetah, Jaguar, Panther, Tiger, Leopard, Snow Leopard, Lion and Mountain Lion. Somebody at Apple likes cats! Our pet names have included Carly, Zinger, Sunny, Pixel, Ziggy, Bandit, Shadow, Sarah and Yogi. The current kittens are named Miley (after Miley Cyrus ... cute but bad) and Piper (after Piper airplanes). We also had the most awesome fish ever, Warren (named after Warren Buffett). Personally I'm partial to classic warbirds like Mustang, Lightning, Corsair, YF12, Bearcat, ... for project names.
- Pets vs Cattle. I've written about this before, but surely you name your servers after cattle and not pets. It is 2016 after all. But, back in the day ... we affectionately would bring our pets into the server room. Go ask your dad! Here's another link.
- Last week at Infocomm, I went to the keynote by the Freakonomics guy, Stephen J. Dubner. I thought it was an awesome presentation and the big theme was around collecting good data and incentivizing your staff. He gave some bizarre, but memorable examples that included hand sanitation, turkey sex and the use of currency by monkeys. The young guys sitting behind me didn't get it. Infocomm is a great venue for education and these guys were taking the CTS exam. After the keynote, they said ... "It was good, but what did that have to do with anything?". It did, but you have to figure out how it applies to your own story. Storytelling is powerful. Our cats (and pets) are the source for many stories in our life. You can piece together Dubner's message with these links:
- The Miley and Piper Youtube channel cranks up after the Taylor Swift documentary launches. Videos, t-shirts, bumper stickers, emojis and more. Reserve your casual wear now!
- Pets die. Jobs are quit/lost. You get sick. Things change. All of these serve to remind us how fragile and short life is. The work, people and pets we choose are important.