Gary Mintchell

October 25, 2021

Newsletter 10/25/21

Here are four pieces of wisdom for living I compiled over the weekend.

Experiment. Life is an experiment. You try something. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn’t. When it doesn’t, then you try something else. Always.

Invent. Look for new ways to do something. Invent a tool, a pattern, a lifestyle. Go on a new path beyond the same old experiences.

New Ideas. One way to train your brain to come up with new ideas is the 20 things method. Sit with a page of paper and a pen. Write a question at the top of the page that you are trying to solve or figure out. Write an idea. Write another, maybe just playing around with the words. After about 15 answers, you’ll notice the ideas are becoming more creative. By 20, you will have the solution you are seeking.

If you missed writing class in school, that will be much to your detriment. This is a variation of the list method (a thought which just occurred to me). You begin with an idea and begin to write an essay. By the time you have finished the essay, you will have ideas that you never imagined when you began. It happens with me almost every day that I sit down to write this blog.

Practice these daily.

Ask better questions. This got me into trouble as a student. Some people just seemed to have an ability to take things on faith. I still remember chemistry class in high school, but the same held through in almost every class I took even throughout university. Some people accepted whatever the teacher said, remembered it, wrote it on tests. They were the A students. I always asked, how do they know that? I puzzled things out. I didn’t care about the test. It was superfluous. I was a B student.
I feel I lack on asking better questions many times. That is my personal challenge. What is yours?


Travels. This week I am heading to the Assembly and Quality Shows in the Chicago suburbs. The second week of November I will fly for the second time this year as I visit Rockwell Automation’s Automation Fair. I’m also planning to visit the International Maintenance Conference in Florida in December. Even as travel returns, I think I’ll restrict some of my travels I’ve done the past 20 years. Sometimes the return wasn’t worth the cost. Let you know what I learn.

Blog posts of last week at The Manufacturing Connection

  • Inductive Automation customers describe winning applications
  • Festo and MassRobotics on Healthcare Robotics
  • New rugged laptops and tablets from Zebra and Dell Technologies
  • Nokia introduces mission-critical Industrial Edge
  • Data analytics from ABB
  • Robot orders increase
  • Thoughts on industrial software spurred by Emerson’s financial moves with AspenTech
  • AvnuAlliance advances TSN certification program
  • A roundup of ideas including a new blockchain entrant

Podcasts. Check out my podcasts dating back to 2006 at

My work is sponsored by Ignition by Inductive Automation. Many thanks to them for their long time sponsorship. Check them out at