My first ever live Ignite event was Ignite Portland 6; last night was my second Ignite and I was one of 19 truly interesting speakers. A huge shout out goes to all the wonderful volunteers who come together to make Ignite happen, and make it the energising experience that it is for both speakers and attendees. These volunteers are so modest, that they don’t even credit themselves on the web site.
I loved the last Ignite Portland, and I have also watched many of the Ignite presentations that have been published on the web. I love the format, it forces you to get to the heart of what you are trying to say. It’s no surprise that Portland loves the format too: it epitomises the Agile philosophy. What is your Minimum Viable Presentation?
Five minutes is not long so you cannot delve into the topic in any real detail but it is just enough time to show your topic in a new light, and perhaps promote some thought or conversation. The presentations that I like the most are the ones where people bring their unique perspective to the hobbies that they are very passionate about. Continue reading ‘My Ignite Portland Experience’ »
On Saturday Liz and I were out aimlessly walking through Columbia Park when we saw some pumpkins out the front of the hall. On a whim we stuck our heads in and found it was full of families carving pumpkins!
Turns out that a community group (Friends of Columbia Park) was putting on a fantastic event for the entire neighbourhood. Come in, pick your own pumpkin and carve it using the tools provided. And while you carve, you can drink hot chocolate and warm spiced cider and eat freshly baked cookies!
Naturally, they were delighted to host strangers from another land who had never carved pumpkins before. So we carved, we ate and we talked. The kids were very helpful and they gave us tips on cleaning and carving.
Since this was my first time at this, I thought I’d document the process.
Continue reading ‘My first American Halloween’ »
Tonight I went and saw Atomic Theatre’s open-air production of the Star Trek episode “Amok Time” at the Woodlawn Park Amphitheatre in Portland.
According to the players, Shakespeare-in-the-park has been done so they wanted to try something different. I think they struck upon something that is wonderful – and new to me – Star Trek in the Park.
The performance itself was well conceived, showing excellent stagecraft especially with their use of the space and reuse of props. All the music and effects were performed live which added buzz to the already pumped atmosphere. A welcome surprise was the live singing of the opening credits!
The show was awesome, fuelled by the large and appreciative crowd and even Spock cracked a smile. But telling you what I did tonight is not what this post is about (that’s what my Twitter account is for).
What I wanted to talk about was a concept I’m going to call Micro-Theatre.
Continue reading ‘Modern Storytelling For The TV Generation’ »
Lightly roasted Cuban coffee
I have only just started experimenting with roasting coffee at home. Since October last year I have roasted several dozen batches of several different varieties of green beans, using 3 distinctly different methods. Successful roasting is a lot easier than you might think – using nothing but my common sense and household items I have roasted many batches and so far I have only completely ruined one batch (because I pushed the roasting just a little too far).
Each of the methods I have used (wok, popcorn maker and heat gun) have their pros and cons, they have different variables that you can control and they each express different flavours of the beans. I have timing, volume and tasting notes as well as pictures for many of the batches that I will describe in later posts. There are also other methods I have not tried, such as oven roasting, campfires or consumer roasting machines. For now I will just summarise my experiences with the different methods I have used.
Continue reading ‘Coffee Roasting Summary’ »
Mike is a creative problem solver and a project governance specialist. His passion is to bring together technical and business people to creatively use technology to bring greater value to organisations. He ensures projects have clear vision, tangible results and meet the real needs of an organisation.
Mike brings organisation and a sense of purpose to everything he does. In his spare time he organises creative groups around writing, improvisation and roleplaying games and has played pivotal roles in their ongoing financial success. Mike is also a coffee explorer. He enjoys tinkering with different blends, grinds and experimenting with home made roasting devices.
Continue reading ‘About Mike’ »