Here’s a story I’ve been putting off writing for a while. Alexander Kjerulf has a typically superb article on procrastination.

Alexander feels, and I agree, that procrastination isn’t necessarily bad. When you feel like procrastinating it may be a sign that it’s time for a break, or that your mind is in better shape for a different task right now.

If your year is off to a slow start and you don’t feel ready to jump into that big project this morning check out Alexander’s full article for tips on getting the most out of your procrastination including procrastinating without guilt and procrastinating 100%.

procrastination, work, work ethic, management

Christmas CoffeeThose of you who know me have realized by now that I’m not the type to send Christmas cards. It’s not that I don’t celebrate or enjoy Christmas it’s just that it’s one more thing to do when I barely have enough time to get my Christmas shopping done. That and having to keep track of everyone’s address, make sure I don’t forget anyone, and worse yet, there’s the challenge of finding a card I like.

Well, all that aside, consider this my Christmas card to you, whether you’re a close friend (you know who you are) an acquaintance, or a regular reader of Life After Coffee. It may not be addressed to you, but it also didn’t use any paper and no mailman had to deliver it.


So from me, Kirsten, and Gwen the cat (see below) have a happy and safe holiday and save some eggnog for me.

Gwen the cat under the tree

Green Mountain Coffee RoasterGreen Mountain Coffee Roaster is a New England icon. Their coffee is served in everything from restaurant to gas station here in New England. Founded in 1981, today Green Mountain is the nation’s largest seller of double-certified Fair Trade organic coffee. Recently I had the opportunity to try two of Green Mountain’s Fair Trade Organic offerings.

Green Mountain’s Organic Sumatran Reserve is an appealing coffee with an earthy richness you could expect of an organic coffee from the beverage’s birthplace. This is a pleasant, medium bodied coffee which, while it doesn’t disappoint in the cup somehow left me wanting more. A decent floral nose is the highlight of this coffee and, though the flavor is somewhat earthy the aftertaste is clean and smooth.

The roaster’s PBS Blend is a Mexican coffee with an interesting story (see their site for details.) I found this coffee rather disappointing. While the coffee was smooth with very little acid and no bitterness it also lacked any defining flavor. A hint of caramel was all I could discern from what was otherwise a surprisingly ordinary cup of coffee.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters has a large catalog of coffees. Through the gourmet coffee revolution they have become ubiquitous in New England and, while I was not impressed with the PBS Blend, the Organic Sumatran Reserve is a good coffee for those shopping for a Fair Trade organic coffee.

Unfortunately Green Mountain has adopted the all too common industry trend of cutting back their bag size. Currently their coffees are offered in 10oz bags, both of these being between $7 and $8 per bag on their website. This equates to around $12/lb which, while not unreasonable, is a premium price for coffee. Part of this is undoubtedly due to the coffee being Fair Trade, the end result of which is the farmer seeing more of this money.

Conclusions: Despite the premium price, those looking for a good organic coffee should enjoy the Organic Sumatran Reserve but a lack of richness or any defining flavor left me disappointed with the PBS blend.

dining, food, coffee

Right up there with the Cursor Kite this guy has made a Google Earth marker just about big enough to be seen from space!

Google Earth Marker


I’ll bet this was a fun project and got a few strange looks from people.

Via Make

google, google earth, art, performance art

Sometimes the comments are better than the original article.

Last week Mike Schaffner left this fantastic comment on my article Why Blog? He brings up several great points and I wanted to give it more attention than it might get just as a comment. Thanks Mike!

— Begin comment by Mike Schaffner:

Blogging can also be a useful tool in your job search as a way of establishing your “brand” and differentiating yourself.

During my job search I’ve gotten to know Kent Blumberg. Kent is a dynamic manufacturing and process industry operation exec also conducting a job search campaign. As part of his marketing plan Kent uses a weblog or “blog” ( Kent Blumberg ) to discuss timely issues in Leadership, Strategy and Performance.

Because of my desire to stay current with the issues facing IT and never having been shy about voicing my opinion I’ve taken my lead from Kent’s example and have started my own blog ( Mike Schaffner ) . In it I discuss “Management of Information Technology for Strategic Alignment with the Business” plus other related topics that come to mind.

When I started to think about it, blogs offer a number of advantages in a job search. They don’t replace any of the standard techniques but they can complement them.

** It is yet another form of networking
Through blogging and linking and contacting other people you have the opportunity to expand your network in way you could not have done otherwise

** It helps to “refresh” your name with your network
One of the rules of networking is to keep your name in front of your contacts so they don’t forget about you. RSS feeds and email subscriptions make this easier and can give your contacts useful information without the overt pressure of you asking for a job lead

** It is a great form of viral advertising
Blogs can help to give you a web presence and get your name out to the whole world. Many prospective employers will google you before the interview (as you should google them). Blogging will build your search engine presence. One master of blogging says that “blog” stands for “Better Listings On Google.” In my experience, that is certainly true.

** It is a great form of “push” marketing
It is a promotional strategy to create a demand complementing the “pull” marketing of your advertising i.e. resume

** It keeps you in the game
When we start a job search we leave our professional world behind and concentrate on networking, resumes, networking, interviews and networking. In today’s world, a few months away from a subject is an eternity. By writing about current topics in your field you “stay in the game”

** It demonstrates comfort with and a mastery of current technology
It shows that you “get” current technology which is especially important for more senior job seekers. Blogs can help counter the perception older folks don’t understand the use of technology

** It shows a maturity and depth of experience
Blogs give you the opportunity to showcase your expertise and thinking in more detail than a resume. This can be especially useful for younger job seekers by countering the perception they lack “depth”

** It helps to answer the third question
Hiring manager basically have 3 questions: (1) Can this person do the job? (2) Will this person do the job? and (3) Will this person “fit” with our culture? A resume goes a long way toward answering the first 2 questions but provides no insight to the all important third question, a blog does.

** Its fun
Blogs offer the opportunity to discuss issues with others and what can be more fun than a good healthy debate?

Blogs are relatively inexpensive. You can get one going for about $50 to $150 per year depending on what you want to do. The hardest part is the commitment to make 3 to 5 postings of roughly 300 words each week. Fortunately this should only take a few hours and depending on the blog host you choose you can prepare your posts in advance and schedule them to post whenever you want. Writing well is tough, and the discipline of saying something meaningful in 500 words or less is even tougher. Blogging builds writing muscles.
It is too early for me to personally comment on results but I’m optimistic. However, Kent who has been at this much longer than I have reports “It can be a great source of interview questions. In my last three interviews, my blog came up (positively) in each, and generated questions that allowed me to expand on my approach to the world.” and “One of the interviewers had googled me, and then read my blog and my comments on others’ blogs. About half her questions were related to those links. Since I blog about areas that I believe are my strengths, it gave me a great chance to reinforce what makes me different.”

— End comment by Mike Schaffner

If you made it through all that (easily the longest comment I’ve ever had posted here) and like what Mike has to say, check out his blog. He talks a lot about communication, management and all sorts of other business and IT related topics.

blog, blogging, information technology, web, internet, career development

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