Our Road Ahead

Post by Rob Collie


If you believe in redemption
I’m calling to you from another dimension

-The Flobots

Turn the Corner, Press the Accelerator

This post will have a definite “personal” flavor to it, but also a strong professional flavor – of what you should expect from us over the coming year.  Personal and Professional are ALWAYS closely intertwined, and I’m less squeamish about blurring that line in 2015 than in 2009, when we started this journey.  Running my own business has taught me this, but really, it was always true.  I was just less aware of it when I worked at Microsoft.  Now matter how you slice it, it’s our lives.

A few days ago, I resolved a long-running personal matter.  It’s… done.  Just looking at those two words – “it’s done’’ – wow, I’m still letting the new reality settle in.  It’s going to take awhile perhaps.  But we’re going to move forward aggressively now.  A new lease on everything.  And we’re not going to waste it.

Lemony Snicket’s Series of UnFortunate Events

steering wheel

And I can’t help but ask myself
How much I let the fear
Take the wheel and steer



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Black/White Decisions in a Greyscale World

Post by Rob Collie


     JACK RYAN:  “…with them in the same place, the odds of coincidence are
     dropping fast. Still, there’s no way I can be… absolutely certain.”

     ADMIRAL GREER:  “Excuse me, Jack.  Tell me one thing in life that IS
     absolutely certain.  What I need to hear is your best guess, and I think
     I’ve heard it.  Haven’t I?”

Belatedly Reviving a Thanksgiving Tradition

In past years I occasionally took Thanksgiving Week as an opportunity to write some more “thoughtful” things, such as The Cult of the Right Thing.

This year, I would like to share something more “on topic” than any of the previous ones, while still very much fitting the theme of thoughtful/reflective.

An Exchange in “Patriot Games” Captures It

The conversation pictured above, between Jack Ryan and Admiral Greer, was pretty much lost on me the first time I saw Patriot Games in 1992.  It’s a relatively “bland” exchange.  No emotion, no drama, no action.

But in subsequent viewings, that brief little clip etched itself in my brain.  It captures something CRUCIAL about being a human being, regardless of what you do for a living.  But for those of us in data-driven professions, I think it’s even MORE relevant.

WHY is it so crucial?  Well, let’s start with Left Brain and Right Brain…

Left and Right Brain:  A Powerful Alliance



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Holiday Bonus Post: Mobile Frame Zero!

Let’s Say You’re a Big Nerd…

…and you haven’t spent enough time with your kids over the past year.  Looking for a good way to spend many quality hours with the brood?

I give you…  Mobile Frame Zero.  (And if you’re not a big nerd, well, you may just want to stop reading right now).


A Game Where You Design and Build Your Own “War Mechs” Out of Legos?  Yes Please.
(My Mechs on Top.  My Son’s on Bottom.)

A 100% “Open Source” Mech Game That You Can Play for Free??

For nearly 30 years, I have been aware of games like Warhammer – epic tabletop nerd games – and wanted to at least try them.  But they are SUPER expensive.  You can rack up thousands of dollars buying the miniatures, and then spend forever painting them.  So, um, no.  I’ve stayed away.

But what about a mech game where you make your own miniatures out of Legos???  Pure freaking genius, especially considering that the people reading this post ALONE, in total, probably possess millions of unused Lego blocks.

Well, the creators of Mobile Frame Zero weren’t done there.  They also made their RULES free to download!  Optionally, you can choose to pay them $10 for the PDF, kinda like a donation.  Or you can buy a physical copy of the rulebook, like I did.  But they are VERY clear that they do NOT mind you downloading the game for free.  Put that together with the Legos you already have and you’re ready to play.  (Well, you need some dice too, but keep reading for a hookup).

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