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Tinker gnomes are a race from the Dragonlance setting characterized by their overly complicated inventions. They would rather create an elaborate water-powered catapult system of springs, levers, pulleys, and nets (that had just as much chance of making you a pancake on the wall as it does getting you to your destination) just to get someone to the next story. Stairs are too simple, you see! Their plans have contingency plans. And their contingency plans have redundant systems. And the redundant systems have backup mechanisms. You get the idea.

First and foremost, tinker gnomes are problem solvers. They see problems everywhere and immediately jump into building a solution. Granted, they often see problems that aren’t there. And – as a rule – the solutions are way more complicated than they need to be. But, when there is a problem, they will find a solution.

Tinker gnomes love learning about new gadgets and how they work; mostly so they can figure out a way to work it into their other designs. When a new item enters the complex, teams of various material engineers, chemists, mechanical engineers, and scribes analyze every detail from every possible angle.

I Am A Tinker Gnome

Every few years or so, I go through an identity crisis. I get frustrated with having to constantly keep things updated, or the unpredictability of technology at the worst possible moments, and having to constantly play catch up to the Bad Guys who are trying to cause all manner of mischief. Every couple of years I vow that I’m done with being an IT professional and I consider my exit strategy to supposed greener pastures.

But, then it happens. I see a problem in my life – or in the lives of people around me – and immediately open my big mouth with how their problem can be solved with X software or Y device or Z online platform. And, it’s usually followed by “I’d be happy to set it up for you”.

I can’t help it. I am a Tinker Gnome. Even in the side hustles I’ve started trying to make a living outside of my day job. The first thing I focus on is the systems. I’ve spun up more WordPress websites and email servers than I care to admit. When my wife says she needs something, I immediately pour myself into research to come up with a solution – usually involving some sort of software or hosted service or spreadsheet or something. It’s hard for me to deny it but building systems excites me. Implementing processes and refining them gets me all tingly inside. And I can’t help myself but jump in when a problem presents itself that I think I can help with.

What Is The Purpose Of This Site?

I implement systems in every aspect of my life. The way I read books (I’m a big reader), the way I create content for my other sites, the way I manage the household. And, of course, in all aspects of my job. In all of those areas, I implement software in one way or another. And, I spend a lot of time researching and designing a system before I begin implementing it. And, when implementation begins, I end up spending hours trying to solve problems and make things work.

On the surface, this might look like another tech blog. I’ll certainly write posts about issues I run into and how I solved them. But, it will be more than that. There is a lot of very intentional thought that goes into my work. I don’t just jump in right away and start making a mess (usually). So, I plan on talking a lot about the process of developing a solution; how to make sure you’re answering the right question, how to make sure you haven’t gotten too far off course, and how to make sure your solution isn’t overly complicated when all you really needed was a spreadsheet.

There will be philosophy, psychology, ranting, joking… good times!

Welcome to the workshop

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