Mom and Dad, I’m happier now

Hello Mom and Dad,

I hope you’re both doing will

Thought it might be fitting to send you an update since I just got myself moved into my new room at the house in West Seattle. I’m still not settled in quite yet. Gotta pick up my bed frame and a couple other things from the Des Moines house. I also realized that I don’t have any actual furniture, so my room is gonna be looking pretty sparse once I do unpack everything. Hopefully I’ll be able to furnish and decorate the room over the next few weeks. I would like to get some sort of standing desk setup in the room at some point, but still not sure how I’d go about designing that.

In case you didn’t have it yet, here’s the address for the my new house:

6907 34th Avenue Southwest, Seattle, WA 98126

It’s nice to be living with a few animals around again There are a total of 3 cats here and the girls have an energetic black lab named Timber (he’s of a lean build, not fat like Copper dog). 2 of the cats are my Michael’s. He’s the guy who works at Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes with me and who invited me to take up the empty room here.

I’ve held on to this latest card that you’ve sent me in my Easter Care package. That was the first care package I’ve received from anyone in quite a long time. It might also be the first care package you’ve ever sent me when I was away from home. I could be totally wrong about that statistic. In either case, I’m extremely grateful for the sentiment that card communicated.

Often, I think about where I was and what was going on in my life a year ago. In the spring, I wonder “what was I doing around this time last year?”. I can say for certain that my outlook on life has taken a sharp upturn since this same time last year. Upon moving back to Des Moines from Missoula, MT in the Spring of 2017, I began suffering internally. The quality of my life has improved dramatically since that last Spring.

It’s great to be in this new home, but I don’t yet know that there is a definitive place I want to be living. I know I’m compelled to move around often, but at some point I imagine it would be more beneficial to stay put and plant some roots. For now, developing myself further in my current pursuits is sufficient.

Thanks for listening! Love you both very much! Hope you can see the new place soon.

Writing Group Rookie

Date of composition: 2018-04-17

NAME: Colton James Townsend

AGE: 27, or more precisely, 10200 (days), but today is my 10201st day alive. (I really like the first, well-rounded number).

 

I am an honest person, so here’s my first admission to the group: I don’t know what the fuck kind of writing is best for me to bring to the group on my first day here.

Okay, so the air is cleared on that matter now.

To combat this point of uncertainty, I figured that I’d just write a casual introduction for you all for as my first contribution to be brought before the group. I really do not need any feedback on this piece so long as I made my introduction clear enough to be understood. If I didn’t accomplish that goal, please let me know. Of course, I’d be happy to answer any other personal questions as I get to know you all.

Writing is probably the most consistent hobby I’ve pursued throughout my life. The styles of my writing have changed often, depending on my interests and occupation. One thing I know to be true is the writing will forever have an important role in my life. As I sort through difficult decisions, provide detailed instructions or record my day’s experiences, writing is my universal tool.

Today, I would say that most of my writing takes the form of self-examinations, instructional documentation or just-for-fun goofy stories. It’s also important for me to incorporate some form of visual guidance for my readers. At the bare minimum, I rely on type formatting to feel that I am effectively communicating to my readers (or myself).

What perspective can I offer to the group members in providing feedback?

  • The majority of my current reading is non-fiction. In the past, it was mostly of the fantasy genre
  • I’m a website designer and Search Engine Optimization freelancer
  • I maintain a (near) daily blog, as detailed down below
  • Computers, in general, have always been my jam
  • I’ve had careers in manufacturing and analytics (make stuff and make it effectively)

What value do I seek from this group?

  • Thoughtful feedback on my developing work before I hit the publish button
  • Advice for sculpting myself into a routine author
  • Fundamental techniques and lessons for becoming a better writer in general

My latest large project: Grandpa’s Notes

https://www.grandpasnotes.com

  • Launched in September, 2017
  • 219 published posts
  • 7 post in backlog
  • Highly personal details — Need an outlet more appropriate for public/strangers

Grandpa’s Notes (or G’s Notes) is a WordPress blog comprised of daily posts to log the events of my life. I wanted to give my potential descendants the ability to “find grandpa’s old journal” through a simple Google search that lands them on this dusty old blog.

The contents of G’s Notes vary quite a bit. A standard post will usually include an image that is given a descriptive title and caption, followed by a journal entry of some kind. Occasionally, I’ve uploaded audio recordings of myself rambling in the car on my way to work that I was too lazy to transcribe into text.

This project is very near and dear to me, but it doesn’t quite sate my appetite for being some form of public author. I don’t think the average web surfer cares that I ate breakfast salad four times in a week…

My next writing project!

https://www.colton-townsend.com  (Not yet live)

My writing goals with this project are to produce 1,500+ word posts on a weekly basis for a personal blog that defines me as a Strategist, Author, and Designer. To accomplish this, I will learn more about the practices of creative writing, content marketing, search engine optimization and copywriting. I won’t leave out the acquisition of knowledge from satellite fields of study: Psychology, linguistics, neuroscience, etc.

This project is very much in the ideation stage. I’d like to find a proper focal point for this site’s content and build out a schedule for publishing high quality content that represents my work/interests. You could say that my interests with the group are primary to learn how to build this site to represent myself as a web author.

Some tools that I love using

  • Evernote for everything (all my writing, web articles, reference guides)
  • Bullet Journal (scheduling and task management system using a pencil and a notebook )
  • Vocabulary.com (my go-to for word definitions. The vocabulary game is also fun/useful)
  • Visualthesarus.com (exploration of semantics and synonyms by interactive web-map)
  • Kindle ebooks and the ability to export book highlights

 

Thank you all for including me! I hope to see us all do great work together.

D2 Employee Survey

D Squared Employee Survey Comments – Some of my responses

DSquared Company has trained me for my role.

Yes

I mean, I didn’t know jack S* about catering before I began working for D Squared Company. Now, I know some stuff.

However, I don’t feel that dedicated training has continued beyond the “jump-right-into-it” experiences of simply being on the job often and working a variety of event types.

The training I received from DSquared prepared me for my job.

Neutral / Unsure

It depends how you define “Training”. Because the official “new hire” server training taught me nothing beyond the call-off procedures and how to conduct a few other administrative processes. I’d worked 2 or more months before any dedicated training from D Squared.

The iPad training for lead servers was useful, but I don’t think we walked away from the session with an easily referenceable and centralized process for composing and distributing our notes.

I know what is expected of me in my job.

As an hourly employee, I am not always sure what I’m expected to on/off the clock.

Take, for example, the study of event notes at the currently recommended time of “before your shift”. Does this mean I’m expected to stay on top of my email/nowsta notifications off the clock and take the time to read through the production sheet and event note document on my own time?

I can see why some folks don’t ever read the notes before their shift; There is no clear incentive for doing so. One exception for this might be for one aspiring to take on a role of more importance in the company.

This can lead to a situation where it is difficult for leads to expect that their staff has a solid understanding of the event notes’ contents.

My manager consistently provides a pre-shift meeting.

No

From my experience, leads do not establish a required pre-shift meeting at every event. But at the same time, I don’t see it as necessary to spend the 15 or so minutes being static at smaller events.

I believe that the less experienced the crew are or the greater complexity an event is increases the beneficial effect from having a pre-shift meeting.

At DSquared, my opinions seem to count.

Idea > Communication > Analysis > Decision > Action

For me, opinions seem to get lost after the communication stage. Once I’ve communicated an idea/opinion to someone, I don’t often find out if my input was ever reviewed by a person who could make a decision on it. In essence, it feels like this form of contribution gets lost amidst more urgent matters. Sometimes, that’s totally fine.

The point is to communicate back at some point with a clear “Accept, Reject In Consideration” decision. Of course, this frustration is shared across large organizations as an inevitability of increased operational complexity.

When you have a concern, do you feel like it is handled in a timely manner?

Yes

If the concern is immediate (such as an issue at an event) or personal (employee performance, etc.), then yes.

How do you describe our company, DSquared, when asked by a guest or friend?

We’re probably the most well-established catering company in Seattle with a host of fun, great people who make it all work.

What do you like best about working for DSquared?

Working alongside chef’s with a much deeper culinary knowledge than me who want to enthusiastically answer my random food questions.

What is something you would like to change?

I would like for DSquared to have a marketing department, or at least dedicated marketing director.

What educational topics would you like to see DSquared offer relating to our 2018 Team Goal of Know More, Grow More?

How folks in other departments do their jobs and what they responsibilities are. Everyone affects everyone else in their day-to-day duties. I’d like to know more about that interconnectedness so that I can understand how my actions affect others.

Is there anything else that you would like to share with us?

The opportunities afforded to me through the generosity of so many people in this company has impacted my life positively. From my hiring decision date all the way through today, I’ve seen supportive attitudes and a practice of dedication to others exhibited in this company.

Resignation Letter

Hey folks,

 

First of all, allow me to communicate professionally and formally for a moment.

Please accept this letter as notice of my resignation from my position as an employee of Tall Town Design, Incorporated. My last day of employment will be day that I finish my final obligations to my last remaining client. I’d expect that day to fall in May or June of 2018.

Now to explain myself.

WHY YOU DON’T NEED TO WORRY

You will all be taken care of.

I am not leaving any promise I’ve made to my clients left unfulfilled.

I will continue working with all of my active clients individually until the tasks I’m responsible for delivering on are met.

A project completion schedule will be sent in a separate email to those of you with whom I have an active agreement with. Expect that within the next day.

WHY WOULD I DO THIS?

I hate sitting at home in front of a computer all of the time. There are some clients of mine who I’ve never even met in person. Direct, personal service is more compelling to me.

In short: I’ve found this work very isolating and the “work from home” dream is more of an imprisonment.

There’s a story about a slump, a rock bottom and a girlfriend tied up in all of this, but I’ll spare you those details.

Without a doubt, I have enjoyed many aspects of this journey in business building alongside one of my oldest and closest pals, Connor Talbott. He seriously has spurred me along when I needed it most and truly loves doing this work with Tall Town.

Since our business has matured and we’ve been able to maintain a living from it (albeit a bachelor-style living), I’ve been a miserable soul. Through the counsel of others and many hours of self-reflection, I’ve made this decision to resign.

I’m incredibly honored to have helped provide Connor a means for a living. I will continue to support the business from an owner/administrator position so that he can continue doing the great work he pours his heart into every day. Plus, I’m sure he’d still like to get paid without having to worry about government forms and filing dates.

WHAT WILL I DO NOW

Here is the process I most love:

  1. Discover a business that interests me
  2. Learn to be competent in a role there
  3. Grow rapidly in mastery over my duties
  4. Build efficiencies and quality improvement processes
  5. Move on a repeat

Given this “Cycle of Personal Fulfillment” model, I should probably aspire to be an operational consultant so that I can work as a short term (6-18 months) contractor. At least, that’s where my present line of rationalization leads me.

For now, I love taking on roles as a Lead Server with the event management and catering company in Seattle I’ve worked at for the past 6+ months.

Outside of work, writing is my most compelling reason for existence; So I’ll keep that up and budget more time for written compositions.

THANK YOU

Most importantly, thank you for your receptiveness in allowing me to contribute to such a vital component of your business — Your online marketing.

I look forward to growing personally and professionally alongside all of you.

 

Colton Townsend

Tall Town Bios

Colton (Connor Wrote this)

The first thing that quickly pops into my head about Colton is how organized he is. There’s a good chance this habit of his fits into the criteria for OCD.

But anyway, Colton is part digital marketer, business manager, writer, explorer, doer aller, and of course a great friend.

I’ve known him for 22 years, crazy!

I am so unbelievably grateful that Colton manages a lot of the behind the scenes with Tall Town (I hate doing that stuff). Nothing is ever out of place when I need to look for it. He also has the ecommerce side of our services on lockdown.

Tall Town simply would not exist if it wasn’t for him.

His OCD organization is going to be a huge asset to the Seattle Search Network as he serves on the board as their Secretary.

Connor (Colton Wrote this)

I remember as a teenager, Connor served as ASB president for Waitsburg Public High School his senior year. My own accomplishments don’t fall too short of his though; I did graduate as Salutatorian (2nd highest in my class) the year after Connor’s Presidential tenure.

One thing I should mention is that there were about 120 students in our rural high school, so maybe these accolades aren’t as impressive as we would like them to be.

I’ll tell you something that is mighty impressive though, Connor is taking on Presidential roles faster than a gigabit internet connection.

Of course, Connor is Co-President of Tall Town. He’s also got more grit and dedication to his clients than a mamma elephant (/end terrible jokes).

He also serves as chapter President of Seattle Search Network. If that wasn’t enough, Connor was recently chosen as President-Elect for the Des Moines and Normandy Park Rotary Club.

Connor was also the President and Founding Father of the Sigma Pi Fraternity chapter at Washington State University.

Bottom Line: Connor is a great guy who is always willing to serve as President and take care of others.

Something else for you today

It’s 5 minute until 7pm right now as I sit at my desk on the edge of the giant living room window in the Des Moines House. White, Perfo and I are about to head out to Kent to the Inn Between Tavern for a drink. We’ll be leaving here at 7:30pm, so I thought I’d just take this time to do some Morning Pages style of writing and simply freeform whatever thoughts seem most important at the moment of typing.

It’s strange that we’re going out to this bar, because the only reason for us doing so is to meet my potential replacement roommate. However, this person is not longer considered a potential roommate by White and Perfo because she has a dog that would need to move in with her. White and Perfo aren’t down with having a dog in the house and the rental company probably wouldn’t take to kindy to the prospect either.

So this girl’s name is Ashley, and she’s just been cool to deal with concerning the room vacancy in the Des Moines house. She was kind enough to invite us to her bar, even though we can’t provide her with the economic exchange that originally connected us. This exchange would be our classified ad on the Facebook Market places where our supply of a room for rent connected with her demand for new housing.

The best thing about having posted the room for rent ad to the Facebook Marketplace has been the availability of a link to the asker’s Facebook profile. Because of this capability, I have a much easier time vetting the responders before replying to their inquiry via Facebook Messenger.

Well, I talked a lot about just one person here. I’m gonna to flip through some of the pages in Perfo’s book, Clarity by Jamie Smart. You better believe that I’ll also finish drinking my Bluephoria flavored Yerba Mate as well, mucka sucka!

Bullet Journal

Logbook entry from Thursday, April 5th, 2018

  • Woke up at 5:30 am, made bed, green tea, water and reviewed logbook
  • HIVE business networking meeting @ Merrill Gardens at The University 7:30-8:30am (White didn’t tell me I was up to present today)
  • Bought a 16 oz coffee from convenience store at S. 200th Street and international Blvd Chevron station
  • Went to Market with White and then to Ace hardware, trying to find a ruled journal notebook
  • Learned more about Bullet Journal method and began customizing the rules to fit my needs
  • Drove White and I to The Joint weed store (to buy weed) and then stopped by Fred Myer for a Journal
  • Setup my first Bullet Journal in green bound notebook
  • Ran north up 1st avenue S from S 199th street to 192nd and back
  • Took a cold shower
  • Connected with potential roommate replacements on facebook and scheduled two visits throughout the next two days
  • Jon Kabat-Zinn 45 min body scan meditation and then took a little nap in my bed
  • Went out with boys to split of Pitcher of Vortex IPA at the Normandy Park Alehouse. I also had a Manhattan
  • Fell asleep watching secrets of the citadel Tyrion Lannister profile on phone from Youtube App

Long Awaiting Navos Session

Logbook Entry for Wednesday, April 4th, 2018

  • Woke up at 7:30am, made bed and set out Tea and Water with logbook and paper
  • Updated some grandpa’s notes stuff
  • 9:30 60 min Bikram Yoga class with Meghan Lewis. Perfo didn’t get up early enough to join me for what would have been his first ever hot yoga class
  • Small bowl of weed and breakfast salad
  • Contacted peeps I can’t reach because of missing phone
  • Left for 1pm Navos Mental Health and Wellness meeting with my case manager, Katelyn Yam
  • Stopped b St. Vincent DePaul in Burien and purchased random housewares (San Francisco coaster set, metal napkin holder, and half a yin-yan shallow wooden dish)
  • Bought groceries at Trader Joe’s (except for Bacon)
  • Worked on some D Squared wordpress stuff
  • Walked to Market with White to buy 1.08lbs of peppered bacon
  • Played a little minecraft with the boys
  • Took a walk around the block by myself, smiling with teeth bared all along the way to elevate mood
  • Prepped food for the next few days’ meals (Jasmine rice, elk burger with tikka masala sauce, baked veggies with butter and garlic)
  • Read, highlighted and evernote web clipped an article about WordPress file and directory structure
  • Went to bed with legal pad and paper to plan for tomorrow by candlelight

Morning Words

Most important tasks for today (I didn’t end up doing any of these things today)

  • Post rooms for rent on facebook marketplace for $700
  • Re-apply for state food and cash benefits (maybe affordable housing too?)

First things first

  • Update logbook DONE
  • Add written content from 3/24 to wordpress and Evernote DONE
  • Transcribe and publish G’s notes for 4/3 DONE

Will Perfo actually join me for this morning’s 9:30am 60 minute Bikram Yoga class with Mehgan Lewis?

  • I’d say it’s about a 50/50 chance of occuring.
  • He might not remember or he might make an excuse for sleeping in until after I’ve left (the latter of these two were basically true).
  • But, he also might have prepared well and will pop upstairs in the next hour to join me.
  • UPDATE: He didn’t get up in time. It was a great class, regardless.

Other shit up next today

  • Message manny and propose a Friday Jam sesh
  • Find a way to message/email Mekedie
  • Place Elk meat on counter top
  • 13:00 Navos counseling session with Katelyn Yam

To be honest, I haven’t truly attended to any of my Tall Town client projects since March 23rd, at the earliest.

How will I feel once i’ve swept the board and cleared the queue of clients I’m obligated to produce results for? Only time will tell. For now, my mission with this work is to attack all loose ends doggedly and seal each project’s deliverables into a neat little package I can leave at the doorstep for each eagerly awaiting purchaser.

I feel my life will be better without those transactionary obligations looming over my head each day.

SSN Secretary

Logbook Entry for Tuesday, April 3rd, 2018

  • Woke up at 9:30am
  • Bade up my bed
  • Green tea and pint glass of water while updating logbook
  • Updated Evernote notebook with latest Grandpa’s Notes written content
  • Began preparing recent photos for Grandpa’s notes publication
  • Ran to Nature Trails Park, walked through the park and then ran back home
  • Went to The Market with White (bought Bluephoria Yerba Mate, 12 pack of tangerine flavored La Croix and a dozen eggs)
  • Cold Shower
  • Breakfast Salad
  • Finished prepping photos to finalize publishing of G’s notes backlog
  • Organized my office supplies and folders in living room desk area
  • Rode with White into Ballard District of Seattle
  • Drank a hard cider at Stoneburner with White since we got in early
  • Met with fellow Seattle Search network members at The Gerald for pre-meeting dinner and drinks (Ballard Old Fashioned and fried chicken sandwich with fries)
  • Seattle Search Network Invite-only mastermind meetup @ project Bionic. I took notes during the meeting
  • Board elects me as their new secretary, in place of Carl Larson
  • Drove home, picked up McDonalds on the way and watched about half of Thor: Ragnarok with Perfo
  • Read a bit of Predictably Irrational, by Dan Ariely on Fire Tablet and fell asleep

Phone Hostage Facebook Post

UPDATE
I sent this lady $50 and after she saw the funds in her account (took about a day), she sent me photos of the receipt for shipment from FedEx along with the tracking #. She claimed she had no money to mail the phone until she got the funds from me. Not sure if lying or truly that broke. In either case, I would have likely sent her a total of $50 in the first place, without having to have haggled over the initially proposed $250 “finder’s fee”. What could have been a simple interaction of kind gestures (her sending my phone and me tipping her) instead turned into an awkward economic bartering game where trust from both sides was tossed to the wayside. Thanks for all the advice, friends!

ORIGINAL STORY
I’ve been without a phone for the past few days… It’s being held hostage by a moderately kind stranger in San Francisco.

We’re in the process of negotiating how much money I’ll give her for shipping it back to me. Her first suggestion was $250 🤔