Skill Development in Pictures


Those of you who are regular readers of this blog are aware with my interest in the processes involved in Skill Development. When I decided to start blogging, I created a list of skills that I needed to develop. I know that my introduction stated that I was only doing this for myself. While this is still fundamentally true, I would be lying if I said that the people reading this were not looking forward to new posts. The problem is that usually, skill development is amorphous. We have a sense for how our skill(s) are developing but rarely do we have a chance to sit down and look at the results in relation to our increase in skill.

In my post on ‘Personal Logos‘, I mentioned that Art and Illustration were giant holes in my ‘Skill Asset List’. I went out and purchased several books on Drawing and Cartooning/Sketching. I then signed up for the Adobe Creative Cloud and got books on Illustrator and Photoshop CS6. I created a schedule that requires study on these skills every night for the next 2 months. I am happy to say that I am quite ahead of where I expected to be.

My ego and pride usually get in the way of publicizing unskilled work for public consumption. Well, this blog is part of my attempt to break out of my own self-limiting habits. Below, in pictures, will be my attempt to climb the Drawing/Illustration/Cartooning ladder. I am only 3 weeks in so my work is very poor. I intend to update this post from week to week. My hope is that eventually I will see a very significant difference. For those of you who are artists, use this series to remind yourself how much better you are than I am. J

I am able to look at my sketches and able to easily separate three skill groups. I am excited about this process. Just by looking at the difference between the three groups, I may be doing decent enough work to illustrate my blog around Skill Level 5.

*Updated 5/30*

I think I am starting to see a Skill level 4 come of my drawings.

Skill level 4: 5 weeks to?




Skill level 1: 0 to 5 days

Just beginning. No skill at the outset.

This is a devil head. I have an idea for a blog post that

will take advantage of this.


I was playing with shading. Went

to far.





Skill level 2: 5 days to 1 month.

I’m starting to get a sense of how the faces layout. It is still too much copying of other peoples work. Still nothing original.







Skill level 3: 10 days to 1 month.

Skill actually appears to drop a bit. I think this is due to me trying to do my own work and not copy others.

I was having issues with hair. I did this while listening to a YouTube videa on drawing hair. I did quite poorly in this, however the quality of hair does start to increase.

Someone said, “Draw a character based on the letter ‘A’.

This is what happened.

On of my firs tattempots to create something on my own with no input.

The admin at my company. First drawing I did that looks anything like what I intended.

Just a fun girl from a book.

My first attempt to draw Tre. Source is below.


This is the image I am most proud of at the moment. This is based on a picture from the central girls wedding. The source for this is below.



The drawing is not good, but I only did this so I could play with the compressed chalk that came in the drawing kit.






Micah Norman

Personal Branding: Viewing the world

The last six days have been incredibly busy.  I tried three times to put up a quick blog post but each time, the word count got away from me.  I have resolved to do several additional things on this blog.

  1. I have turned on the passive voice grammar checker in word.  I will endeavor to eliminate as many passive form statements as I can.
  2. I will break up some of these long-winded posts into more consumable chunks.  At the end of a series, I will use a summary post to bring it together without a seven or eight page commitment.
  3. My summary statements will be at the top of the post.  This is a form of writing called, by at least one blogger, inverse pyramid.  It imparts knowledge without the creation process or assumptions getting in the way.  My assumptions and process will still be in the post, but further down.  It allows for a quick read and filter of the knowledge.  I am going to accomplish this by writing the post and then summarizing the points at the top.

There is another five pages easily here so I am going to split this up into at least a two parter.  As always, any feedback is certainly welcome.


Human beings are unable to consume the vast amount of what occurs around us.  In response to this deficiency, our brains have developed a deep understanding of what is and is not important in many situations.  This understanding is our ‘View’.  The ‘View’ has a hierarchical nature.  It flows down from the most abstract concept of ‘Me’, to our  primary roles in life, then down to individual activities we partake in.  ‘Views’ change and adapt as our skill level changes.  The more skilled we are in something, the less minutia our brain processes.

‘Views’ relate our experiences and expectation.   Our views are described by our skill in that particular view.

When the skill level is low, the ‘complexity of view’ or ‘maturity of view’ is low.  This results in:

  • Lots of information handed to brain for processing.
  • Easy to incorporate new information into the view.
  • Easy to incorporate wrong information into the view.
  • At this level of skill, the view is ‘High Maintenance’.
  • I use ‘High maintenance’ because the view requires greater amount of energy as it is constantly changing and adapting to new information.
  • I use ‘High maintenance’ because it is easy for faulty information to get incorporated into this view.
  • Hard to sink into selection and confirmation biases at this level.  The view is not yet mature enough to seek confirmation or select agreeable points intentionally.

When the skill level is high, the ‘complexity of view’ or ‘maturity of view’ is also high.  This results in:

  • Inputs easily filtered.  You know what you are expecting.
  • ‘Low maintenance’ as little energy is required to maintain views at this level.
  • Incorrect data is less likely to be entered as valid because of your ability to correlate at this level.
  • Very difficult to change this view.  You have seen it a thousand time.
  • Easy to sink into confirmation and selection biases at this level.



This is why driving is such a forgetful experience.  We are so skilled at driving that we rarely remember what happens on our drive unless something contradicts our accepted ‘View’. When we are poorly skilled at something, our ‘Views’ do not know what is important and therefore feed us all data.

The top-level view is a view that contains little more than the basis for our personality.  Our sense of fairness, tolerance to cause pain, etc. all exist inside of the default top-level view. For example, when I rode a horse for the first time, this default top-level ‘View’ knew not to randomly hurt the horse.  This view did not know how to make the horse go up the hill without stopping for food.  My memories of this experience, even though they are 6 months old, still are seared into my brain.  However, the last 15 times I walked to work, not much of anything in memory, and it happened over the course of the last 3 weeks.


This is my ‘View’ of my ‘Views’.

  • Micah Default View (Skill level 0) – Many aggregations, lots of excess data to interpret, lots of data loss due to misunderstanding, poor interpretation and data loss events due to aggregation and abstraction.  This is the view assumed when entering an unknown situation.  This is the basis or ‘root’ of all other views.
    • Micah Work Views – This is the basis or ‘root’ of all other work views.
      • Micah at work creating policies (Skill level 5) – Somewhat competent.  Small amounts of excess data processed.  I know what is and is not important.  Easily incorporate unexpected information into model.
      • Micah at work deploying exchange server (Skill level 10) – Extremely competent.  Little to no excess data processed.  Expectations rarely deviate from reality.  Difficulty incorporating new information into model.
  • Micah Non-Work Views – This is the basis or ‘root’ of all other non-work views.
    • Micah Illustrating (Skill level 2) – Just learning.  Many excess data to interpret.  Competing instructions without ability to filter.  Very easy to incorporate new information into model.  Very easy to incorporate wrong information into model.  Continuously analyze model to define best practices.

You will note that the pictures of the more developed views have darker lenses.  I believe this is true because they filter a greater amount of the junk out.  The view controls what we find important in any situation.  It controls the data that our brain inputs for processing, how it processes that data, and what to do with the results.  This process is important to understand for many reasons.

  • Why we notice certain things and not others.  Are some of those things we are not noticing important?
  • How we develop and master new skills.
  • ‘Views’ can be used to ensure that we are living up to our vision of ourselves.  Each view is a step down the chain from our strategic selves all the way to our operational actions.  To utilize this, first we must understand our views.
  • Highly developed ‘Views’ can make us unresponsive to change.  We all know someone who refuses to do X+1 because they are amazing at X.  It brings to mind people who refuse to embrace digital photography because they are amazing in the dark room.

You are late for work again.  The stupid light at Lakeshore and Belmont just went yellow.  It is going to cost you 5 minutes to wait for this light.  So you do what I would do and punch the gas.  You get through the light and off to work you go.  But what happened after you left?

Hitting the gas caused your car to convert additional chemical energy into kinetic energy.  The road absorbed some of that energy as heat and movement.  That transfer caused a slight vibration.  That vibration knocked a leaf loose from a nearby tree.  That leaf fell into a pedestrian’s eye.  The pedestrian paused for 3 seconds to clear the leaf before moving on with his commute.  He was not in the crosswalk when a distracted drive blew the light thus narrowly missing being killed.  I assume we all recognize the ‘Butterfly effect’ at play.

Let us go even further.  1.4 billion years ago, the sun fused four hydrogen atoms into one helium atom.  That process released a little packet of energy called a photon.  That photon spent a billion years working its way out from the center of the sun to the surface.* It then spent 8 minutes traversing the distance from sun to the earth.  It bounced around the atmosphere being absorbed and reemitted.  Eventually, a newly formed fern in a Paleozoic swamp absorbed it. ** That fern used this energy through photosynthesis to create material for its growth.  Eventually the fern dropped the leaf, which absorbed the photon to the bottom of the swamp.  400 million years of compression and chemical change later, a drill from a BP Oil derrick brings a gallon of oil to the surface, which contains some of the atoms, which were in that leaf.  Three months later, you pump the gas resulting from this oil into your car.  The spark plug triggers an explosive expansion event in a piston because you punched the gas to get through a light at Lakeshore and Belmont…

All around us, every second of every day, an untold number of reactions and interactions are occurring.  The vast majority of these specific events are below our notice.  We cannot possibly watch all of this.  Wind blowing, trees swaying, water moving is all nothing more than a transition of energy state and input/output system.  Do not quote me on this, because I have lost the source (I believe the source was an NPR podcast episode on multitasking), I heard that the average human male’s brain has the capacity to process 3 related bits of data at a time.  The average human Female outstrips us simple males by being able to process 7 related bits of data at a time.***  That is 3 and 7 individual datum’s at a time.  That is appallingly low.  Since we cannot consume all of these interactions, nature has provided our brain with an automatic modeling, abstraction and aggregation capacity.  These are our ‘Views’.

This controls more than how we see the world.  It colors all of our interactions.  Language and pattern recognition.  Love, hate and everything in between are derived from these views.  Nothing is outside of their purview.****

Even though the IPO (Input, Processing, and Output) diagram has lost some favor in the business community, I still like it for analysis purposes.  So let me use an IPO diagram to give my perspective of ‘Views’.


This is the basic IPO chart.  It has an input item, a processing item and an output item.  Interpret these terms as broadly as possible.

To my point, imagine the input item saying, “A round hard object nearly a foot in circumference is moving towards me at 40 to 90 feet per second.”  What does processing do here?  Without a view to apply this to, we have no idea what models or aggregates to apply and our output requires processing to function.  So in essence, the processing portion of the IPO chart looks to the ‘View’ for a definition of appropriate abstraction models and aggregations.  So let us do a couple.  (Because I see views as the way we perceive the world, I drew a set of sunglasses to help illustrate my point. I am in the process of learning to Illustrate and cartoon so please be understanding for the next few weeks.  The quality will increase over time.)



The overall point in these images is that the exact same input can result in completely different output based on the Model Lookup, which the view provides to the processing function.  I am going to add one piece to the basic IPO Chart.


*Not sure if this number is right.  I think I heard this somewhere but regardless it takes an enormous amount of time to get out of the sun to the earth.

** Some of these ages may be inaccurate.  400 million years ago was the Paleozoic era, and I believe ferns were around back then, but I have not sited any sources for this.  The exactness is not important for the point.  Just think long ass time!

*** As I said, I have lost the source and do not want to delay this post trying to track it down.  The point is not the exact number, which is certainly debatable, but that our ability to process is severely limited, which is not debatable.

**** I have heard that some cytotropic drugs limit the ability of the brain to filter.  I have no idea if this is true or not.  I have not researched this at all.  Purely hearsay and anecdotal.  Statement not to be derived as evidence.


Micah Norman

The Value of Money

Recently I have been thinking a lot about my personal brand and reputation.  This led me to question what I value, why I value it and how I can put those terms down on paper in an organized fashion.  It is this activity that will allow me to take control of those variables which are ‘me’.  Too much of this ‘me’ is exposed through unconscious activities.  Without identification, the perception of ‘me’ is exposed through socialization routines, biology and unconscious decisions.  It is only through tough analysis that ideas can be properly related and connected.  This conversation with myself is the result of asking the question, “What makes ‘me’, me?”

When I was a kid, I remember asking my dad, “Is $100 a lot of money?”  I don’t remember his response exactly.  It must have been something like, “Asking if something is a lot or a little is only answerable if you relate it to something else.”  Of course if I said, “Is $100 a lot of money to purchase a brand new BMW?”  There is an obvious answer here.  Now had I asked, “Is $100 a lot money to purchase a snickers bar?”  This also has an obvious answer.  The point being that asking about $100 is shorthand for, “Is the work required to obtain the value represented by this $100 bill a good trade for my perceived value of this thing?”  The $100 bill as an object has almost no value.  As an abstraction though, it is worth precisely $100 at this moment in time.

What follows is my interpretation of how currency has hidden so much of its true value.  This is not an attack on our monetary policy.  It is meant as nothing more than an examination of value which I believe is too rarely addressed.  Remember, cash is made up.  It represents only those things we allow it to represent.  Rich people with lots of money are only better than us if we allow ourselves to believe that cash can be used as an accurate representation of who we are as individuals.  I reject this notion directly.  While currency is a requirement for our world to function, what it represents must remain in our thoughts.  We must be cautious not to let our beliefs assign value to currency which was never intended in the original models.

The problem with currency specifically is that it’s so far abstracted from reality that the subcomponents have been replaced by the model.  Currency is nothing more than a representation of value.  The question of value has hundreds if not thousands of individually identifiable variables.  These variables are buried so far down the stack that a dollar is spoken of as if it were an actual thing and not simply a representation of value derived from a model.

This is an issue with all aggregation and abstractions.  They hide details.  That is their intent.  Models are the basis used to form these abstractions.  It is the goal of models to limit the variables in order to express complex ideas is simpler, testable terms.  There is an accuracy loss when this happens.  Aggregations, abstractions and visualizations all contribute to what I call, ‘Accuracy Loss Events’.  Each step up the chain simplifies the view, increasing the amount of consumable data, but at the cost of accuracy.  Running these numbers back down the chain can often lead to very different starting points from the original.  Extreme care must be taken when aggregating and abstracting individual values.  Consider this very general example:


As you see, through rounding, averaging (mean and median) and averaging over time, the individual details of the transactions are stripped of much of their accuracy.  Imagine that this was a large number of stores.  We could even calculate standard deviation from norm.  This would take a figure, say $4.728 million, a relatively exact count of money, and turn it into an abstraction such as 1.2 sigma.  The process to go from $4.728 to 1.2 sigma is much easier than going from 1.2 sigma to  $4.728 million.

In fact, at the top of the triangle, these numbers have changed state from approximate values to colors on a dashboard.  While there is nothing malicious about the process, as I said before, extreme care must be taken so the data is not misrepresented.  Each step up decreases the difficulty in misrepresentation and increases the likelihood that the misrepresentation will go unnoticed.

I have mentioned the Economics class I am taking from Coursera in the past.  As part of this course we learned how to evaluate value and compare its components against each other.  This technique removes the question of currency and displays the value of the X axis in terms of the Y axis.

For instance, should I stay home tonight and clean, or should I go to an Industry networking event and pay a service $40 an hour to clean for me.  My initial reaction has always been, “I am not paying someone to do something that I can do for myself relatively easily.”  In the past, I viewed the cost simply in terms of the money I loose.  In this case, the cost would be $80 I would pay for the service.  If someone asked what it cost to have my house cleaned, I would respond, “It cost $80.”  This is a vast over simplification of what I am trying to express with this statement.  5 words and I have communicated a large amount of information in such an abstract and aggregated way that there is no way to get the details.

This is the problem with over reliance on currency to represent value.  It has so far abstracted the concept of value that with the simple use of the phrase $80 dollars, I have aggregated a large number of variables so far that I don’t even see the individual properties.  It is a classic example of not seeing the forest for the trees.

Let’s pretend there was no aggregate called money which is represented by currency.  In this case, my response would have been.  “The service to have my house cleaned cost me X number of hours.  This relationship of hours work to value earned is based on a cost/benefit agreement between my employer and I.  Its terms consist of the value I bring to the organization compared to the cost of keeping me as a member of the team.  The value I bring is an aggregate of:

  • The money I bring into the company.
  • The value I provide to my fellow team members.
  • The percentage of hours per week which I, on average, am available to service requests.
  • The amount of time it takes me to honor my agreements compared to the average.
  • Etc., Etc., Etc.

My cost to the company is an aggregate which is composed of my salary, my office space and my insurance.  The insurance cost is an abstraction of my likelihood to suffer injury compared to the general population in my age range which is yet another aggregate…  The cost of my office space has even more hidden details comprised of the city my office is located in… and on and on.”

It’s a game how many times can your child ask why.  Every abstraction of value is supported by yet another abstraction of value.  From here on, its turtles all the way down.

My fondness for opportunity cost diagrams is due to their ability to remove layers of the aggregates built into our currency.  With this model, I don’t say something “cost me $80”, I say the “cost of cleaning my house is 1.2 two hour networking events.”

Because we are discussing value, abstractions must always exist.  However, right or wrong, opportunity cost graphs give me a feeling of control over my decisions.  So, without further ado, I am going to do one of these diagrams to answer this specific question.  “Should I stay home and clean or go to the networking event?”

Assumptions I am going to make:

  • I make $20 an hour.
  • The networking event will take exactly 2 hours.
  • Cleaning my house will take me 3 hours.
  • A professional service cleaning my house will take 2 hours.
  • The networking event will provide some number of actionable leads.  For each hour at the event 2 hours of work will be generated.
  • The networking event will provide 2 additional industry contact.  Each of these contacts is worth 2 hours of work over the course of the next year.  They can introduce me to other contacts.  They can help answer questions which save me time at work.
  • Being seen at the conference will increase my visibility in my industry resulting in 1 more hour worth of work over the course of the next year.
  • The stress of maintaining these new contacts, missing out on relaxation at home and being around family members who make me feel great will cost me 1 hour worth of work.  This stress could consist of thank you emails I have to write, lunch dates I have to attend, kids play date requirements etc.
  • The happiness gained from accomplishing the house cleaning myself and making sure everything is specifically where I want it is worth 3 hours.
  • All other variables have been removed from consideration.

So, to calculate my value coefficients for each option:

I clean my house

  • -3 hours time lost
  • 0 work hours cost of cleaning
  • 0 hours of work gained from contacts
  • 0 gain in social circle
  • 0 gain in visibility
  • +2 hour family time
  • 0 hour stress cost
  • +3 hour gain from happiness

I go to networking event

  • – 2 hours of time sunk
  • – 4 hours of work cost of cleaning
  • +4 hour of work gained from contacts
  • +4 hours of work gained in social circle
  • +1 hour gain in visibility
  • -1 hour family time
  • 0 hour gain from happiness

The results:

I clean my house: +2 hour net gain

I go to networking event: +2 hour net gain

This means that each hour at the networking event is worth the total value per hour (2) / number of hours (2) of spent resulting in a 1 hour of work net gain per hour at the networking event.  The cleaning took 3 hours for a total of +2 hours of work net gained so the result is 2/3 or .67 hours of net gain in working time.

Another way to say this would be: that .67 hours cleaning = 1 hour networking or 1 hour cleaning is worth 1.3 hours networking (accuracy loss event: rounding).

Now let’s hold everything stable and play with 10 total hours.  You could spend your 10 hours cleaning your house and other people’s houses or go to 10 hours’ worth of networking events.  You could also mix it up.


The graph shows the value of the networking event in terms of the house cleaning.  The yellow section is unreachable as there is no way to get there with the resources allocated within the 10 hour time limit.  The red section is an inefficient usage of resources.  The blue line however is known as the ‘Production Possibilities Frontier’.  Every point along it represents an efficient usage x axis in terms of y axis.

So in conclusion, I think it is important that we pay attention to the actual value of our time regardless of the monetary assignment given to it.  I certainly understand that at some level of the economy many decisions are made of necessity and outside this sort of analysis.  It must be accepted that to even ask this question means that the original $80 is available to pay the cleaning service.  Regardless of the functionality of this sort of analysis, I still find it quite insightful to ask these particular questions.


Micah Norman

Setting up Google Drive Sync to automatically update from PC to Google Cloud


I cannot find a built in method for automated syncing from your local machine to your Google drive from within the Google drive app itself.  Here is the process I go through on every machine that I would like to have access to my personal docs.

I use SyncToy 2.1 along with the Google Drive app.

Note: I place commands between tick marks (‘).  Do not include the tick mark or the preceding or trailing white spaces when entering the commands listed here.  Keep in mind that this does not apply to Quote marks (“).  Quote marks must be entered as shown.

  • Install the Google drive app.
  • It will create a folder on your machine called Google Drive.
  • Create the structure you want by creating your folder structure on the Google drive site.
  • Let it download your changes from the cloud.
  • Check the Google drive folder to insure that the structure is as you want it.  By default, on windows 8, this will be installed to “C:\users\username\Google Drive”
  • Download SyncToy 2.1 from the MS site.
  • Install SyncToy.
  • Execute SyncToy.
  • Create a new folder pair.
  • Add your left folder as the folder you wish updated from your local machine.
  • Add your right folder as the folder you wish to update to on Google Drive.
  • Synchronize: This is what I use for most syncs.  It will not delete files either direction, and will make sure that all files exist in both locations.
  • Echo: It will copy everything from the left to the right.  Deletes and renames on the left will also get pushed.  This is great for keeping a repository up to date from only one machine.  Can be viewed as a method for keeping an online backup available.  Do not use if you have multiple machines connecting to the same folder as each time you set this up it will update with the folder on the current local machine and will delete anything on Google drive that does not exist locally.
  • Contribute: This is a repository selection.  It will handle multiple local machines copying from left to right.  Does not process any deletes on the right.  Will ensure that your Google Drive folder contains everything from contributing machines.  You will have to manually delete anything on Google Drive that you don’t want any more.

I’ll be using the ‘Contribute option’ for this process.  I use multiple machines for personal work and want my Google drive to have a copy of everything I store locally that is personal.

So I set up:

  • Left Folder: \mydocs\personal
  • Right Folder: \googledocs\personal\docs
  • Contribute
  • Name your folder pair and preview.  It will show you what it is planning on doing. Watch specifically for Delete or Rename items.
  • If everything looks as you expect it, hit run.

You can make as many of these folder pairs as you would like.  If this is on a work computer, make sure you review your Data Management/Classification Policy.  I keep my personal files and work files separate on all machines so I won’t be going into any details on this.

If everything goes as expected and you do not want to automate the sync, than you can finish here.  If you would like to automate the process, keep going.

Note:  If you are going on to automate the sync process, make sure that you check the active status of your pairs by:

  • Open the SyncToy interface.
  • Click on ‘All Folder Pairs’ in the left bar.
  • Verify that each Active box that you wish automated is checked.

To automate this we need to use the “CMD exe” that comes with SyncToy.  If you selected defaults during the SyncToy installation:

  • It is located at either:
    • “C:\Program Files\SyncToy 2.1\SyncToyCmd.exe”
    • “C:\Program Files(x86)\SyncToy 2.1\SyncToyCmd.exe”.
  • Verify this location before proceeding.

Open up a CMD window.  You can do this by:

  • Hit the Windows Key and R simultaneously.  In the box that pops up, type in ‘ cmd ‘ and hit ok.
  • Type in ”C:\Program Files\SyncToy 2.1\SyncToyCmd.exe” or “C:\Program Files(x86)\SyncToy 2.1\SyncToyCmd.exe” into the cmd window and hit enter.
  • If all is correct you will receive a few lines of help regarding the switches the SynToyCmd.exe will accept.

Now, assuming that everything went correctly in the above step, Type the following into the cmd box:

  •  “C:\Program Files\SyncToy 2.1\SyncToyCmd.exe” -R

If the sync worked correctly, you will see output indicating how much and what was transferred.  Right now I am dropping the results.  I may come back later and capture this in an email or event log.

If that went as expected, then it is time to create our task and tie it to a trigger.  I would love if Windows would implement something like the Linux inotify.  But as I have found no direct way to receive this sort of notification on folder change to cause a trigger, we are stuck attaching to a simple datetime.

  • Open up your task scheduler.  This is different based on version of Windows.  For XP or 2003 and prior, just hit start, run and type tasks.  That will bring it up.
  • For windows 7/2008 and later, open explorer, right click computer then click manage.  It will be one of the top items.  (For those who want to create an easier way to get this, just pop up an mmc console, hit Ctrl-M and add the Task Scheduler then save it wherever you would like.  Might be helpful if you would like to configure the task on several machines at the same time.)
  • Right click on your ‘Task Scheduler Library’ and create a new task.
  • Name it.
  • Select how often you want it to run.
  • Select your recurrence.
  • Select ‘Start a program’.
  • In ‘Program/Script’ enter: “C:\Program Files\SyncToy 2.1\SyncToyCmd.exe”
  • In ‘Arguments’ enter ‘ -R ‘
  • Open the property box when you are done.
  • Select only run when logged on.
  • Close the properties window.

I selected only run while logged on because I am using this as a cloud repository.  If you would like to use the Synchronize option, it may make sense to run this even when the machine is not logged on.

So to perform a test of our new task:

  • Find your task in the scheduler window.  If you closed it, re-open it.
  • If you cannot find your task make sure to click the arrow next to ‘Task Scheduler’ and then click on ‘Task Scheduler Library’.  It should be in the window.
  • Right click and Run.
  • You should be able to tell if it worked successfully by watching the ‘ cmd ’ box that pops up.
  • After you verify, you should be all set.  Just keep an eye on it for a few days.

I like this to run every couple of hours.  If you would like to as well:

  • Right click on the task.
  • Select Properties.
  • In the triggers window select the Daily Trigger and click Edit.
  • Under the advanced section you will see ‘Repeat task every’.
  • Since we have a recurrence of the task running every day, make sure the ‘For a Duration of:’ is set to 1 day.  What this means is that the task will:
    • Start at a specific Date/Time.
    • The ‘Repeat Every’ will run the task once an hour for 1 day.
    • At which point the task will Start again, because we set it to recur every 1 day.
  •  Enter your preference and hit ‘Ok’.


Micah Norman

Extracting Notes from Kindle using grep and Notepad++

Copy and paste notes from Kindle site into Notepad++

(Normal) Replace ‘Add a note’ with Null

(Normal) Replace ‘• Delete this highlight’ with Null

(RegEx) Replace ‘Read more at location .*’ with Null

(Normal) Find ‘Last annotated’ and cleanup around title.

Add ———————– after title to make finding it easy while scanning

(RegEx) Find ‘\n\r’ and replace with Null.

Micah Norman

Chart 1: Opinion Change over New Information

I enjoy charts.  I like the associations of XY scatter plots or even a brightly colored Pie Chart.  They help me to deduce correlation and causation for different variables without the interruption of all that minutia flying around in the real world.  They don’t care about my personal opinion or feelings.  Done correctly, they simply show how it is.  Life becomes much simpler when you remove the philosophical ‘aught’ from the equation.

I recently read a book called ‘How to be Interesting in 10 simple steps’ by Jessica Hagy.  In it, she creates quite a few graphs showing how to be an interesting person.  This seemed like a lot of fun so I have chosen to copy her idea.  Some of the charts I’ll be putting here have been inspired by her book.

I believe that with the addition of new information, opinions and beliefs should change.  Even if it is simply to a more detailed state.  I’m not saying that information will turn a Democrat  into a Republican, or force a Ford lover to run out and buy GMC, but only that with additional information, more detailed and complex opinions emerge.  Those who refuse to change their opinion in the face of new information are ‘Extremists’.  Those who change their opinion without sufficient new information are ‘Wafflers’.  I find fault with both of these groups.

I am often shocked by the change of opinion I have on one subject when learning about another.  For example, the two years I spent in high school learning Spanish taught me more about the construction of English than many of my English classes combined.  This exemplifies to me the advantage of knowledge simply for the sake of knowledge.  It does not have to be a subject that will get you paid more or impress your friends.  Sometimes, knowledge simply to know is completely worth it.

As information changes, so should Opinions even if it is just a more accurate belief than existed before.

As information changes, so should Opinions even if it is just a more accurate belief than existed before.


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