Monday, October 31, 2005

organization and chores

So I've reached this point where I feel like I get overwhelmed at work from time to time. I go from Moments of Amazing Productivity (coding for a few hours straight through) to Eons of Churn (start one thing, get distracted, start something else, get nothing done).

Now, this is probably a very common thing to happen, especially to someone early-on in their career, like me (I consider this my first "real job"). But what really bothers me is that it makes me think I'm inheriting my Dad's most annoying habit: never finishing what he started.

Growing up in a Scottish household, you do chores. Outside. Rain or shine.
[to my siblings reading this: yes, I did chores too. Just because you weren't there, doesn't mean it didn't happen. And enough with the Pop-Tarts jabs. It's not my fault they loved me most.] [Just kidding about loved thing] [maybe]
When I would help my Dad outside, the standard routine was:
1) Start two-man Job.
2) Make some progress.
3) Dad sees something else broken/dirty/misplaced. Leaves without saying anything.
4) Dad pulls me away from job before I can finish to start other job.
...
5) Darkness Falls
6) 23 Jobs started, none finished.
7) Repeat tomorrow, Dad gets mad about "getting nothing done"

So maybe I'm just sensitive about doing chores.

But my point is, I don't like it when I find myself doing the same thing.

If I want to "go somewhere," especially in this company, I've got to Get Things Done (no, I haven't read the book, but I dig the concepts).

Google Reader

If you haven't tried Google Reader (GR) yet, you're missing out. If you're a non-geek, you've probably never heard of a "News Aggregator," which is essentially what GR is. So let me break it down for you.

Do you have an interest? Someone is blogging about it. I don't care what it is. I was showing GR to my sister-in-law a while back and she said "try 'Childbirth Education'" ... how obscure can you get?
There were hundreds of blogs. The top few that we looked at were excellent. There are entire communities devoted to the topic, as well as related topics (preganancy health, child rearing, how to pick a babysitter, etc). It's crazy.
I haven't ventured far from the nerd-ville of gadgets and info-centric news sources, so I never knew there was such diversity out there. Such depth.

Each one of these blogs we could subscribe to. Have all that knowledge in one place. No more hunting around, remembering sites, using bookmarks (I hate bookmarks, but that's another post), etc. It's all just there.

My point: Reader is for more than just nerds. I didn't know it, but it's true. You can subscribe to blogs, news sources, photo albums (Flickr comes to mind, obviously), and more. Any website that provides a "feed" (sometimes called RSS or ATOM), you're set.
The whole deal with feeds is still crazy young, its gonna blow up soon. Trust me, you want to be there.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Steve's Plane Notes

Remember:
- sit near the front, so you can get out quickly
- bring earplugs (dangit)
- have something to do (book/ipod/laptop) (don't leave in bag you had to check in)

Best Parts:
- a virgin bloody mary. good stuff.
- takeoff
- that part when you go from flat flying to decending

Annoyances:
- Announcement volume. Mild heartattack every 20 minutes.
- The opening speech.
- Attempted jokes not-so-subtly buried in opening speech.
- TSA (don't get me started on the shoe thing)
- No electronics rule

About that last one: I actually had an attendant once make me turn off my laptop when I had it shut in the pouch in front of me. She saw the "heartbeat" light. I tried to explain "its asleep," but apparently she's never used a computer in her life. I wasn't about to explain the negligable amount of magnetic flux going on when there is just enough power running to keep the RAM in line. You Must Obey.

sitting in the airport

Friday, October 28, 2005 8:27:45 PM
Andria and I are waiting for a plane in OAK airport. The plane is 45 minutes late and I'm playing with Hog Bay Notebook, so I've decided to start doing blog drafts in here. How organized of me.

So, I'm an idiot. I forgot that you can't bring sharp things onto the airplane. I packed:
1) Some little scissors (because I'm trying to keep this attempt-at-a goatee slightly well-trimmed).
2) The leatherman from our wedding (with my name engraved on it).

They said I could either "lose" my stuff or check in my bag. Normally it would be no big deal, but the leatherman was kinda special and we were like an hour early. I was a little pissed at myself, but a really kind woman working for the airport walked me to the desk, checked in my bag (past the lines) and then got me through security (past the giant lines). I lost, maybe, 10 minutes. Awesome. Go Oakland Airport (or at least that one worker).

So, what was the point of this story? Oh, right: That I'm an idiot. "That's not so bad, Steve," you might say. The idiot part was that I left my wallet and cellphone in my bag, which was now checked in. No way to tell Andria's parents that the plane was 45 minutes late or call them when we landed. No way to buy dinner.

Good thing Andria was loaded (she had pizza for us both by the time I made it to the gate). Ain't she grand.

Friday, October 28, 2005

first shareware purchase

i blame it on the whole employment thing, but i've just gone and paid actual money for software. i bought the full version of:
Hog Bay Notebook

it's an outliner, and a pretty darn good one (albeit with a horrible name (which they are changing to "Mori" which is Japanese for "Forest" .. much better) )

within 10 minutes i had gotten to the shareware limit, and i decided that i should step up and actually get it, as it is a real-life "grown-up" piece of software. i certainly wouldn't be caught paying for a game or something, would i? (doh).

so ya, i'm trying to get more organized. ya, that's where this all started. i figure, if i'm gonna keep up with 20 different projects at work, i might as well have all my notes in one place. HBN seems like its gonna help do the trick.

other software i've seriouly considered purchasing lately:
NetNewsWire (not so much anymore. Lite works well enough for me)
ComicLife
Aperture (:sigh: ok, not really)

i'm also on edge to buy (well, its a book, but it comes in PDF, so thats different):
Agile Web Development with Rails
(learning rails is even in my HBN todo list)

Thursday, October 27, 2005

for tris

or whoever.

Blogger Help : How To Get A Book Deal With Your Blog

not CGI

a few months back, people were blogging about how some ad company was dumping hundreds of thousands of bouncy balls out a window in SF.

now we see the result:
Sony BRAVIA - The Advert

more here and even some video about the video

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

made whole


pixelMan11
Originally uploaded by gfixler.
i know. i said no more MM posts. but i warned you about the pictures.

anyway, be sure to check out the rest of this photostream for more real-life-pixel art (click the pic, yo)

8 bit what?

android. y'know, like a robot.

this little fella is MegaMan. you may remember him from the NES (aka pretendo), an 8-bit computer gaming console.
hence: 8bitandroid.

this blog isn't gonna be about how NES is so great, or how i want to become an android (not saying i wouldn't). i just thought it was a catchy name. In fact, i doubt i'll talk about MM anymore. but i might post more pictures. cause they're so tech-tro (techno-retro, i coined that just now). it will probably be more about what i do day-to-day, interesting things i read about online, etc. yes, a very novel use for a blog. (for a sample check out the "old blog" in the sidelinks).

so there. thats it.
im so deep.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

odeo 0.2

my odeo account was upgraded last night. i feel special.

so andria and i tried out the whole make-a-podcast-for-someone-and-email-them-instead-of-
publish-it-for-the-world-that-way-it's-private-but-is-it-still-a-podcast deal
... and now im publishing the link on my blog, making it public, blowing the whole privacy thing. oh well. perhaps they will have some kind of invitation deals worked soon.

but at least its not a "channel" .. or something.

but checkitoutthough:
Odeo: Audio Note for Gabby and Maddy

i dig it. its not that useful in the fact that nobody is gonna use it to get real work done, but it *is* useful in the same way eVite is.

i say "thumbs up"

(more reading on the topic)

Frozone Shrugged

I'm listening to Atlas Shrugged right now (well, for the past few weeks, really. its a *really* long unabridged work. we're talking dozens of hours).
So this article was pretty interesting to me. I'm finding AS pretty intriguing (if repetetive) and I happen to really like (and own a copy of) The Incredibles.

Far more intriguing, however, are the movie's points of view. Balking at attending his son's 'graduation' (from fourth to fifth grade), the mothballed Bob lets it all hang out: 'They're constantly finding ways to celebrate mediocrity, while someone who's truly exceptional....' When he later balances a globe-shaped robot on his shoulders, should we be thinking Atlas Shrugged?
Laissez Faire Books

fishmeal on shoes

shipley is a pretty funny guy. he's a nut, but he's eloquent about it. that and he writes some nice software.
I'd been asking everyone where I should buy a nice pair of hand-cobbled Italian shoes while I was there, because everyone said the shopping is great and I have a brown pair that need a friend in black. One lady actually had the temerity to say, 'Nordstrom's' to which I replied with a whithering, 'I am from Seattle.'


Call Me Fishmeal.: Drunk and Blog

Sunday, October 23, 2005

back to blog

After almost a year hiatus, I'm back.

(cue applause)

(applause?)