Monday, June 27, 2016

"Tomorrow is always the busiest day of the week" -- Spanish Proverb

Let there be light.

That's been my motto for the past three weeks, after I returned from New York City and turned in my grades.  I have three distinct pieces of work I need to get done by the end of July, another by mid-August.  I know the order that the projects will take, but I cannot seem to make myself begin. Of course I've nibbled around the edges, but that's just pro forma for a Type A like me.

Last week, thanks to my colleague Lauren Du Graf, an unrelated but extremely important and physical piece of work got done,  as she managed the sale of items in the ASA storage locker and the transport of one item to my UW office.

 This is the kind of work I have loved to do in the past, but I was very glad to have her decisive pushes to complete the work a day early.  That's a load off my mind.  I've already started to move books in my home office to the bookcase now in my UW office.

I have garden work and some additional personal donations to make in addition to the electronics we donated to GreenPlanet on Saturday, but I'm feeling lighter in every respect.

That is to say, I am out of excuses to begin.  I spent yesterday curled up with food poisoning, so I'm in recovery/small errands mode today, with everything lined up for a firm start tomorrow.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Rehearsing before class

So much about risk management needs to be re-emphasized on the first day of class.  To paraphrase the key points about risk in a new risk guidebook that I've been involved with:
  • Risks are not always negative.
  • If you manage risk, you are managing performance.
  • Managing risks is about managing opportunities.
I've got 13 students registered for this advanced course that looks at whether or not risk is handled differently in the public sector than in the private sector.  Add to this first class an additional seven visitors, who will be entering the MSIM program next fall.

I'm incorporating feedback I received from my winter risk course evaluation.  We'll still have eight guest speakers in the first hour, but then I'm going to take the next hour or so to engage more in a discussion than a lecture, including scenarios that will allow the students to practice the art of risk assessment before they actually have to present at the end of each week. This quarter's guest speakers are superb:
  • Lucianne Phillips, FEMA Regional Private Sector Liaison
  • Mike Hamilton, CEO of Critical Informatics, former City of Seattle CISO
  • Michele Turner, Sr. Compliance Mgr, Microsoft Universal Store
  • Al Wilson, Director of Business Continuity, BECU
  • Todd Mack, Deloitte Tech Risk, Risk and Resilience Director
  • Mike Howard, Microsoft Chief Security Officer
  • Mary Gardner, Information Security Officer, FredHutch
  • Aaron Weller, Director of Cybersecurity and Privacy, PwC 

Off I go....

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Birthday week.

New book.
New me.

We have good friends who devote an entire week to celebrating a birthday, with events/dinners/movies/visits scheduled throughout the week.  Fortunately, we've never tried that for either Leroy's birthday or for my own.  It has nothing to do with age, only with how busy we are.

 My friend Lance, whom I had not seen for several years, said when we met that I never do just one thing at a time.  That seems like a fair characterization.  I'm teaching full time, which means prep and lecturing for two classes each quarter during the academic year.  I've agreed to become the academic adviser for the UW chapter of ISACA, which will be open to both undergraduates and graduate students.  I'm on two Information School year-round committees and one search committee, and try to attend other events sponsored by the iSchool as well.  So you could say that my plate is full.

Tomorrow is the last day of this session's watercolor class.  There will be another starting late in April. For my birthday, Leroy is giving me 10 hours with a personal trainer.  And in a couple of weeks, I fly to New York City to speak at a risk conference on ethical misconduct.  I'll have time to visit a couple of museums and catch up with colleagues in the city.

When I look at what I've written, I realize again what a lucky woman I am.  I'll be in meetings or teaching all day on Friday, my birthday, but Leroy and I will be listening to Bach at Benaroya Hall the following evening.  Life is good.  We live like kings.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Long time, no posts

There is no possible way to catch up almost a year's time.  Suffice it to say that it's been a great year, one with some profound changes.  My ASA consulting practice is now seasonal, summers only.  I am teaching full time at the University of Washington's Information School.  Six courses over three quarters, as well as a service component and a range of new activities as well.

The family is all doing well.  Cassandra is on her way to another Grammy with Phoenix Chorale. Sabrina's Villa Siena is booked continuously for special events.  James is teaching and finishing his Ph.D. dissertation at the State University of New York at Albany.  Leroy is pleased that I've joined him as faculty at the UW, and he continues his own work teaching, publishing and speaking.

That's about it.  We are extremely grateful for our happiness, and for the orderly nature of our life.  Though the house got renovated ten years ago, it still feels fresh and special.

Here's a few photos, one of which is a watercolor I painted in 2014, from which a detail was extracted for our holiday greeting card.

Holiday card 2015

Seattle Art Museum Impressionism show
Thanksgiving weekend with Cassandra and family
Christmas Eve Luminaries Walk, Ravine Bridge

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Down the Rabbit Hole.

Butterfly, 2014.

It's been months since I've posted, and I have a hard time accounting for where the time went. Winter quarter seems always to be the hardest, perhaps because it was dark at 5:30pm on Thursdays when I started teaching.  I had a lovely trip to Amsterdam, via Iceland, in February at a very productive international conference on operational risk.  In March, I flew to New York City to speak at a Governance Risk and Compliance conference for the financial sector.  I was able to have most of the following day to visit both the Guggenheim and the Metropolitan Museums of Art, not always possible anymore, so doubly pleasurable.

I came back from each of those trips with a cold, which in each case I managed to get myself over without prescriptions.  I believe it's because of the plant-based diet I've been on for a little more than a year.  My resilience is just a lot higher without all the sweets and processed foods and dairy.  I have also been able to keep off the weight I lost over the past year, no small accomplishment.

I've started a new round of watercolor classes with my same instructor, Jan Morris.  In fact, this evening we are opening a six month exhibition of watercolors by her students at the Laurelhurst Community Center, including one I did last year called "Canyon," which is on the lower left side of my kitchen gallery below.

Last week, I started teaching my advanced risk seminar to what look to be about 12 graduate students.  And I'll resume public speaking on Thursday, when I talk about leadership and professionalism with the Washington State Association of Continuity Planners.

And now that I'm over being sick, I can return to the joy and assorted belly laughs that come from my weekly mat pilates course.

Life is good.

Friday, January 2, 2015

New Year's Resolutions

This will be the first time in many years that I am not making a resolution to lose weight.  Since last March, with further modifications to what has been a vegetarian diet for 19 years, I have taken off over 15% of my prior weight by moving to a plant-based diet often called "Eat to Live."  I've focused on my core muscles with Pilates and yoga classes at the University Y.  The upshot?  I sleep better, I have more energy, and my arthritic knees feel sooooo much better!  Having waited nine months to see if I could keep the weight off, I donated a large number of pantsuits with accessories to the YWCA "Dress for Success" program just before Christmas.

My other big step forward last year was to stick with learning to paint in watercolor.  The classes, led by Jan Morris and available through the city parks department, require me to step away from my office for about 3 hours on a weekday...they take me out of my comfort zone since I am a rank amateur.  I will be continuing with watercolor, yoga and Pilates, and  walking at Green Lake in 2015.

So the big resolution is not about weight, but rather about focus.  I have not made time to work on my Executives and Risk book this past year.  And I've cut back somewhat on public speaking.  Both are possible, even with my regular consulting and teaching engagements, if I sit down and schedule it.  My first venture out of the country this year will be in February, to Amsterdam again, for the international OpRisk2015 conference, where I'll be part of the debate faculty.

I wish each of you a happy and productive New Year!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Autumn walking.

I started this blog some years ago when I was learning to walk long distances.  Seven years later, I walk shorter distances but find each walk to be more than exercise.  Usually, I walk at Green Lake, and  I use my eyes as much as my legs.  I take great pleasure in the act of walking, to use the time to re-balance, or to perform what I have called elsewhere "cleaning out the gunk."

With my eyes and my camera, I look for what Carolyn Scott Kortge, author of one of my favorite books, "The Spirited Walker" (Harper, 1998) calls "the fields of light," and what Bono calls "...a light we cannot always see."

And yes, puddles still tempt me!