Pragmatic Compendium

inspiring the pragmatic practice of intimacy with Christ

what is it you do exactly?

When someone asks me what I do, I know they’re talking about work. Outside my home. Other than being a mom. I usually answer, “I’m a trainer and consultant.”

Often, that’s the end of it. Sometimes, if they’re interested, they’ll wrinkle their eyebrows and ask something like:

What is it you do exactly?

Even my mom asks me this. My son gets it now. My daughter only gets the training part.

My work is . . . eclectic. Some days I write this:

(don’t actually read it, just glaze over it, like I sometimes do)

CODES(
SWITCH(FIELD(PLAINTIFFSHORTNAME))
CASEOF(BIGBANK1)
INSERT(The Big Bank of Central Southeast, a Florida corporation)
CASEOF(BIGBANK2)
INSERT(Small Town Bank, a Florida corporation)
CASEOF(CREDITUNION)
INSERT(The Friendly Local Credit Union, a State Chartered Credit Union)
DEFAULT
KEYBOARD(Please Enter the Name of the Bank and Click “Continue”)
ENDSWITCH
)

and this:

CODES(
IFNOTBLANK(DateMortMod)
NESTFORM(C:\folder\file.ext.)
ENDIF
)

(That’s WordPerfect merge code and it helps automate the creation of legal documents.)

Sometimes I play with Microsoft Word codes like these:

CREATEDATE \@ “MMMM d, yyyy”
{ASK DOA “Enter Date of Accident” \o \*MERGEFORMAT }

(Those are field codes, also to help automate the creation of documents.)

Woo. Hoo.

That’s some of the computer consulting part.

The FUN computer consulting part is when I get to do needs analysis and provide proactive methods to get things DONE quickly and as efficiently as possible (as opposed to just constantly reacting when things don’t work correctly). Like analyzing how information is received and how it is processed (which is often unique to the client) and then figuring out the best way to accomplish the client’s goals while still taking into account their own personal preferences and work processes. My favorite clients are the ones who understand that preventing a problem saves time and money – money which stays in their pocket. I don’t enjoy clients who just react frantically to problems as their every day M.O. Which is why I don’t have any of those clients anymore. WAY too stressful and I risked my reputation every time I walked into a crisis situation created by lack of planning and preparation. Done ranting now.

So, that’s SOME of what I do. The computer part. There’s more, but I’m too tired to even type right now.

Right now, I’m in the middle of a firm wide client computer upgrade that is both exhausting and rewarding. But I can’t bring myself to complain. Customizing the setup/defaults on every new computer and training for every employee. I’m having a blast! And the work is a direct answer to prayer. So I’m going to work every day, praying for an opportunity to serve God in any way I can.

The first step to my witness is to be a credible, reliable resource. Another is to pay attention and look for opportunities. Even the tiny ones. I’m praying that I’ll be aware. And that I’ll have the courage and motivation to be obedient when God provides an opportunity to serve him.

Christian author, Philip Yancey says we can serve God in unexpected places. Tomorrow, I’m looking for one again.

December 1, 2009 Posted by | christian living, pragmatic computing | | 2 Comments

this is why . . .

I don’t know who is lost. Or who survived. I don’t know the name of the biggest loser. I can’t tell you the name of one “real” housewife, whether they are from Hotlanta or PoDunk, Alabama. (Is there really a PoDunk, Alabama?) I have no idea why Kim Kardashian is famous. I don’t know who can dance or what ridiculous thing Michael Scott did this week. (I had to Google Steve Carell to find that name.)

I don’t watch a lot of TV.

Yes, I read a lot. And I blog a little. But over the last six months or so, this is something else I’ve been doing for fun:

www.pragmaticcom.com

I’ve been working on my business website on and off since before my surgery, but I finally put it up on the internet yesterday. And it’s still not done. I’ve got pages missing, PDF downloads to format and upload and most importantly, more content to write. This site replaces an embarrassing predecessor, thank goodness. And if you like to view source code, no laughing. I’m an admitted hack, and I started with a template from www.allwebco.com. You’d think, starting with a template, that it wouldn’t be so much work. I use Dreamweaver, but I work on the code page because I’m such a control freak. Besides, I hate all the clicking that goes with using the mouse. I’m a keyboard girl.

So, if you have some time, I’m looking for opinions. First impressions. Feedback. Suggestions. Anyone get error messages? Did it take too long to load/display? See things that just don’t look right? Typos? Visible code? Pages too wordy? Does the organization make sense to you? What about the banners? Do the images make sense for the pages they represent? (I bought the images on www.dreamstime.com and built the banners in Photoshop.)

Be brutal (in a nice way). But be honest (I think).

October 22, 2009 Posted by | pragmatic communication, pragmatic computing | | 2 Comments

ch ch ch changes.

I’ve decided to make some changes here at Pragmatic Compendium. I’m going to make it more of a compendium. Here are the changes:

1. I’m going to be republishing existing content from my other blogs into Compendium, so that this will be a one stop shop for all my posts. I’m doing this for a few reasons. First, I frequently can’t find my own posts because I can’t remember where I put them. Secondly, the stats from the other blogs don’t show much traffic from Compendium, so my readers are missing my posts. Compendium is only part of who I am. There’s more!

2. I’m going to keep the other blogs too and continue to publish in them. Every time I post in one of my other blogs, I will publish the exact same content in Compendium too.

Why not just put everything in Compendium and do away with the other blogs?
- The other blogs do get traffic, just not much from Compendium. Most traffic comes from subscription services/readers and search strings.
- Pragmatic Communion is JUST for devotions. By still publishing in Communion, readers who only want to read the devotions don’t have to wade through everything else to find them.
- Pragmatic Commotion is JUST for family stuff. Kid stories and quotes, photos, stuff like that. By still publishing in Commotion, friends and family who want to keep up with my family life don’t have to wade through everything else to find things only related to my family. I might not publish all the kid/family photos on Compendium. I’m not sure yet.
- Pragmatic Communication is JUST about communication: talking, writing, reading, and listening. I’m revamping my business website and will be linking to communication “articles” in Pragmatic Communication. My communication clients want to read about communication tips without wading through recipes, my favorite youtube clips and everything else unrelated to communication.
- Pragmatic Computing (my first blog, by the way) is JUST for computer tips and troubleshooting. It is also linked from my business website and my computer clients like to find computer tips without (again) wading through everything else.

3. I’ll be changing the sidebar widgets to remove the links to the last three posts on each of my other blogs. Since the content will already be within Compendium, readers don’t need to see the last three entries on those blogs. I will instead have a single link to each of the other blogs in the sidebar, in case readers want to JUST see devotions, or family stuff, or communication articles, or computer tips.

4. I think I will be removing links TO Compendium which currently appear in my other blogs. That means there will be no clear path BACK to Compendium when someone clicks over to one of the other blogs from here. However, ALL links from Compendium to the other blogs will open in a new window or tab, leaving the Compendium page open. My reasoning for this one?
- Communication and Computing? Clients don’t need to read such personal stuff about me. It makes things awkward for them. When I get to know a client better, I tell them about Compendium. I got a new client last week. A 64 year old man. He really doesn’t want to stumble upon my hysterectomy woes. Neither do I want him to. Talk about awkward.
- Communion – I haven’t decided whether to link back to Compendium yet. I think I’ll leave that two way clicking path available.
- Commotion? I will set all comments on Commotion to be approved before they appear.

5. I’m beefing up the categories and tags on all the blogs to, hopefully, make it easier for me readers to find posts about certain topics.

6. I haven’t decided how my menu bar at the top will change, but it will. (I’m open to suggestions.)

I LOVE my template, so it will NOT change.

So here’s a call for feedback! What else should I consider? What other changes should I make? What changes should I NOT make?

March 7, 2009 Posted by | blogosphere, freakishly organized, pragmatic commotion, pragmatic communication, pragmatic communion, pragmatic computing | , , , | 4 Comments

pretty links

I’m fine with readers leaving links in their comments on any of my blogs. WordPress catches most spam and I delete the spam that sneaks through. However, some links are prettier than others.

Some links look like code threw up on the screen and don’t even work, like this:

<a href=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFLs9RI8mSA”>Small is Tall</a>

and some links are, like I said, prettier, like this:

Small is Tall

Ugly links are always welcome, but if you want to know how to enter pretty links, click on over to Pragmatic Computing and check it out. It’s easy!


Find more tips and ideas at Works for Me Wednesday hosted by Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer.

October 7, 2008 Posted by | blogosphere, pragmatic computing | , | 1 Comment

@randbetween(1,100)

what?

That would be the Microsoft Excel cell formula to generate a random number between 1 and 100. You know, like when you have a drawing and need to pick a random number for a winner? Like I do here at Pragmatic Compendium every week? (it doesn’t have to be between 1 and 100. the number “100″ can be replaced by any number)

I’ve posted detailed instructions and a screen shot for this little time saver over at the Pragmatic Computing blog, so if you are tired of drawing little pieces of paper out of a hat every time you want to “select a winner,” head on over and check it out!

Of course, don’t forget to enter this week’s clean sweep(stakes) giveaway while you’re here!

Find more great time and money savers at Works for Me Wednesdays at Rocks in My Dryer!

April 16, 2008 Posted by | blogosphere, pragmatic computing | , , | 3 Comments

i can see clearly now

When you read text on your computer monitor, do the fonts seem . . . grainy? Do the edges of the letters appear ragged? Especially italicized text?

On my Pragmatic Computing blog, I posted a “Pragmatic Tip” explaining how to make fonts appear clear and sharp. I LOVE the way text looks on my computer monitor now!

In honor of Works for Me Wednesday hosted by Shannon at Rocks In My Dryer, I thought I’d invite you over to the Pragmatic Computing post to check it out!

Changing this one little Windows setting can make a big difference. It works for me!

Vista users:  Clear Type is the default setting for Vista, but I’ve updated the Pragmatic Computing post to include instructions to change it, just in case someone is interested.

March 26, 2008 Posted by | blogosphere, pragmatic computing | , , | 3 Comments

   

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