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Been a Long Time

I just logged on to my blog for the first time in almost a year. So many events in my life and in the world to comment on, and yet, radio silence. I was prompted to dust off the blog and fire up this post with the mention of the Desk Publishing Machine on Daring Fireball. It seems that as our responsibilities grow, as does my search for simplicity and organization. I was attracted to the app because of its interface, which is a simple blank sheet on which to write.

 

Given my search for simplicity and organization, I guess it’s no coincidence that I’ve renewed my use of OmniFocus as well at work – I can’t say enough about it. Note to self, future blog post on how I’ve organized it around my job. Perhaps there are some other school administrators out there that will find that interesting. A good place to get started on this idea if you’ve read David Allen’s Getting Things Done and you need a little refresher, or maybe a little more info on how to craft OmniFocus to fit your needs, I highly recommend this episode of the podcast Mac Power Users featuring David Allen. (via Rob at Slay All Dragons)

 

Listening to hours long podcasts about productivity is actually a good way not to get anything done, but in this case it was worth it.

 

Another piece to my organization puzzle was the book I read after seeing the review in the New York Times: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. I dug in to the book and finished it in one evening. I then promptly broke a few of the rules in the book by tending to a drawer of pens in our office that was driving me insane, before settling in to a weekend of organizing my clothes.

 

I haven’t followed everything in the book completely, and there still quite a few categories to work on, but for the items I have tackled, its been amazing. From the NYTimes review:

 

Ms. Kondo’s decluttering theories are unique, and can be reduced to two basic tenets: Discard everything that does not “spark joy,” after thanking the objects that are getting the heave-ho for their service; and do not buy organizing equipment — your home already has all the storage you need.

Yeah, the book is a little zany, but it’s worked so far.

 

Finally, a couple of grab bag items:

 

I’ve been on a search for a new pen. I’m back to a paper notebook and notecards as “capture” devices (see GTD by David Allen). The Best Pen from The WireCutter breaks down the current pen landscape. I’m not happy with their favorite – the uni-ball Jetstream – it’s actually too frictionless while writing. I’m trying the uni-ball vision elite 0.5mm and also the Pilot V-ball 0.7mm (I stole that one from my boss).

 

We read Americanah by Chimanda Ngozi Adichie for our SEED group, and while I haven’t quite finished, I highly recommend it. Best fiction I’ve read in a long time.

 

A few great albums from the past year:

  • Seeds by TV on the Radio
  • You’re Dead! by Flying Lotus
  • Ryan Adams by Ryan Adams
  • Syro by Aphex Twin
  • They Want My Soul by Spoon
  • Our Love by Caribou

I’ll be back soon – I promise.

 

PS – It was a little disheartening to look at my “People” Category in NetNewsWire and find that not one of my friends’ blogs had been updated in the past few months. If you’re still out their reading, I’d love to hear from you. :-)

Categories: General.

Testing the Leaf

A colleague of mine generously lent her Nissan Leaf for us to test drive for the week. We need to answer two questions before we head down the electric car route:

  1. Will the range be enough for daily driving in our two car household.
  2. Is it cleaner than a hybrid or small diesel.

The answer to first question seems to be an unequivocal yes. Total daily driving for each of us is about 8 miles. Total miles driven in the household each day – about 16. It’s not much. We’ve ended each day with plenty of range on the Leaf. We can’t envision a day where it would be a problem.

The answer to question #2 is a little more difficult. I’ve heard anecdotally about the relative cleanliness of electricity generation vs. burning automotive fuel. I discovered one paper so far in my not-exhaustive research: A Roadmap to Climate Friendly Cars: 2013

Basically, in Minnesota if you don’t take in to account the manufacturing of the car, it is cleaner than the next cleanest option (a plug-in prius). If you do take in to account the manufacturing, it is less clean.

However, I imagine you can tip that balance on an individual basis by installing rooftop solar panels.

If we head down this path, my dear readers, you can be sure that I will blog about it here in excruciating detail… more to come!

Categories: Environment, Transportation.

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Studio Neat — Glif

Studio Neat — Glif

This thing is pretty neato…

(Via Daring Fireball.)

Categories: General.

Busting Eight Common Excuses for NSA Mass Surveillance | Electronic Frontier Foundation

Busting Eight Common Excuses for NSA Mass Surveillance | Electronic Frontier Foundation

“I have nothing to hide from the government, so why should I worry? “

Handy guide from the EFF

Categories: internet.

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Pretty much like this

I submit this to you without comment…

Categories: Random Thoughts.

must read: NSA feature by The Guardian

Besides the fact that the presentation of this page is awesome, this article is an excellent overview of where we are with the NSA.

NSA files decoded: Edward Snowden’s surveillance revelations explained

Categories: Technology.

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the national – tiny desk concert

here’s a nice little concert while you sip your coffee on this fine morning…

Categories: Music.