The 3 Secrets of High Performing Teams for Project Leaders

Initially posted on Medium. You love your people, or you want to. So why isn’t your team killing it? We’ve all read hundreds of articles and books musing on the perfect recipes for success and achievement. So it should come as no surprise that you already possess the skills to turn any good team into a…



Birds of Costa Rica

Maybe it was the “Birds of North America” book that laid by my dying grandfather’s bed in his living room, or how we spent hours watching for and identifying birds through those windows … but I grew into my twenties fascinated by birds. Some day, I think, I’ll be a real birder. For now, I give you the Birds of Costa Rica, as I’ve been able to identify them.


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Driving in Costa Rica and what to do if you get a ticket.

On our route from the Carribean to San Jose, in an effort to make it around the mountain before total darkness (and unanticipated fog) I follow suit of fellow drivers and pass a slow truck–over a faded, double yellow line. A policeman uphill stands in the road to wave me off. “Una problemo?” I inquire…



Fourteen Highlights from Twenty Fourteen (mostly in photos)

Since I didn’t publish last year, I’m taking another new year as an opportunity to reflect and give myself a clean slate for all the writing that is to come from my new weekly challenge in 2015. :drumroll: My top moments and memories of 2014. 1. Babies. What’s not to love about Facebook turning into…



From Foraging to Programming to Dinner Parties to Decorating … a DIY Retrospective

It’s odd timing that I should bury myself in botanical & herbal reference books and foraging & homesteading cookbooks in the dead of winter – or slightly sinister. I might be setting myself up for failure. Luckily, there’s no better lesson than failure.



Quince: Your Favorite Fall Fruit You’ve Never Heard Of ~ recipes, histories + map making

“Make sure you cook it.” Aside from it being something like an apple and something like a pear, that’s all I’d heard about quince. Still, I had one on my counter and I needed to eat it before it went bad…just like all the other veggies in my fridge. So began tonight’s dinner roulette (which…




Stranger Q+A

If you received a mini photo and question, you’re invited to post your answer here. You’re free to share as little or as much information about who you are and the question you received. Thanks for sharing!  




3 simple DIYs for clean clothes and better sandwiches: a homesteading weekend 9 months in the making

Last winter, my girlfriend was getting ready to quit her job and go to school. So Santa brought the house a variety of homesteading gifts for Christmas. Our housemate holiday celebration was filled with oohs and aahs and shrieks of excitement over literature on roasting coffee, a cheese making kit, a bonafide sauerkraut press, new…




On Being a Vinyl Playing on a Manual Turntable (or 3 Rules for a Successful 30 Day Challenge)

The second of my 30 day challenges comes to an end tonight as I revel in my meeting my goal: 10,000 steps a day. And when I say I met my goal, I mean that I reached it – at the end – with a current average of 10,276 steps a day for the month…




Twitter Powered Node Copter is (will be) the new Pigeon Cam

(or how to control your Parrot AR Drone over the internet, even with an Airport router) In 1858 a passionate Frenchman took the first arial photographs known to accessible history. In 1908, a crazy photographer outfitted a crazy adorable pigeon with a tiny camera to share the first set of photos that would show us…




An ANSI Photo Experiment: you can too!

I could make ANSI art all night when it’s as easy as uploading a photo to Hacker Tools. And I can see myself in a not too distant future spending more time perfecting the auto-generated graphics to be just what I want. For no other purpose than to relive my Contra days.* This brief adventure…




How to Not Gain 10 Pounds on a Cruise (and still eat what you want)

I wanted to wait a few days before sharing my final cruise & 30 Day Challenge update, as I needed some time to breathe and check-in on some (fun to me) stats. Top Question: Did I gain the Comfy Cruise 10? No! I wasn’t so sure about this, so I waited a day and then…




Days 8+9: Asea, a Birthday, Canada + a Gateway Dance

Thursday is finally a day of rest and another missed sunrise. While it’s hard to hide away on a boat of three thousand, I manage to find solitude on the back decks where the kids don’t flock and adults have seemed to tire. I haven’t found another book that I’m interested in reading, so I…




Day 7: Juneau, Alaska

We arrive at Juneau around 7am and are expected back on board by 11:30. The comedian the other night foreshadowed our morning when he said we’d be in and out before the city opens. Still, we decide to venture out for fancy coffee and a sky-lifted view of the city. $35 later we’re 3,800 ft…




Day 6: Haines, Alaska + Cabin Fever

Despite my best efforts, I don’t make it up for sunrise this morning. I do make it off the boat for an impromptu adventure in Haines. Faye and I are free until 5pm, when we’ll meet up with her family for an ‘off the beaten path’ tour. I’m itching for a hike or something out…




Day 5: Glacier Bay

It’s not until tonight that I realize the Princess Patter has sunrise listed, so I once again underestimate how early the sun rises this far North. This evening I’ll  be jovially mocked for rising early so as not to miss the glaciers (moving at glacial speed), though they claim to have announced that we won’t…




Day 4: Ketchikan, Alaska

I set my alarm for what I thought would be the sunrise, only to sleep in until the loud, british voice woke me up over the ship’s intercom to let me know we’d safely docked in Ketchikan. Having not seen much in the way of land for 2 days at sea, I excitedly turned on…




Day 3: At Sea – There is no District 12

There is no District 12. Bam! I forgot how fun reading fiction is. After watching The Hunger Games on Cruise TV yesterday, I decided that I’d look for the second book in the library and much to my luck, I found it. As expected, the book, Catching Fire, was a quick read and a perfect…




Day 2: Bridge + Learning from Teaching

Our first day at sea and I lose track of time mid-day, somewhere between the champagne and B52s with Faye and her father and the free mimosas at the Captain’s Ball. (We did not dress up.) Still, the words of a former stranger, now recent Bridge opponent, echo throughout my day. “Isn’t it amazing what we…




Day 1: Insights from a Change Junkie on a Cruise

I’ve never slept on a boat before. The Washington state ferry from Anacortes to Orcas Island was the longest I’d ever ridden on a boat before. Despite dozing off during The Hobbit, Wreck It Ralph raced me wide awake and I can’t fathom falling back asleep before taking an inventory of outside. Like standing on…