Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Thing a Day 19

Sadly, I could probably do this every day.  You'd find that boring and so would I.   But truth be told, I've been a little bit busy lately, so haven't had time to really look into the deep areas where clutter hides.  I might have to take a break (already?) and then do a bunch all at once over a weekend or something.   But here's more mail and magazines and notices of company mergers and stuff.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Gmail Introduces Priority Mail

Apparently it's a big deal.

Now if only Google Reader had such a feature.

(And what's with awful support on Blogger for mobile Safari and mobile Opera? Can anyone recommend an appnfor that?)

A Thing a Day 18

Day 18 - Step Off
This is a foot thing.  It has suction cups on the bottom and it goes in your shower.  On top, it has little semi-rigid plasticy rubber bits positioned in circles.

So you're supposed to rub your foot (just your right foot?) on it and I guess it's supposed to feel good or something?

It was in my stocking (a gift from someone who doesn't know me really well but made me a stocking anyhow) at Christmas time and we dropped it into the bathtub.

And there it lay, unused.  So I yanked it out threw it in the trash.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Odds and Ends 48

-EXTRA-

"Everyone gets organized at some point, they might just not be around for it." -- Sue DeRoos

-1-

CNET -- DARPA wants a flying car

-2-

INHABIT -- Sonnenschiff[, Germany]: Solar City Produces 4X the Energy it Consumes

-3-

GARFIELD MINUS GARFIELD -- Oh, poor Jon

-4-

ENGADGET -- Nike files patent for auto-lacing sneakers, Marty McFly doth protest. Wow.. that's heavy.

-5-

SETH GODIN -- Sell the Problem

-6-

ZEROVIEWS -- The Best of the Bottom of the Barrel - A curated list of the best videos, that until they'd watched them, no one'd watched them.

-7-

THE INDEPENDENT -- Why the world is running out of helium

-Videos after the break... Babies controlling wheelchairs, a guy that seems to make crystal balls float in the air and a surface-like board that can interact on its own with physical objects on top of it.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Breaking: Blockbuster tells studios bankruptcy is coming

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that Blockbuster has informed studios that it's planning to enter a "pre-planned bankruptcy" next month (or as I look it, going down the staircase to its death slowly). One of the goals is to get out of 500-800 costly leases on under-performing retail locations. It has around 4,000 in the US currently, according to Wikipedia which also notes that it's been working for some time to unwind or sell off many of its international assets. Reading the Wikipedia article, it's been without a good focus for some time, zigging and zagging without a plan while Redbox and Netflix have eaten its lunch. But I'm happy by the news, I've called video stores an unnecessary waste of space (I thought... can't find now) and I'm still bitter about being fired from Blockbuster early in my post-college life.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Nothing Today

I don't have a thing for today. I'll do extra to get caught up.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Dumb King County

Ok, so imagine this scene.  Earlier in the day, you woke up, got in your car and drove 400 or so miles.  It's the third day in a row and the shortest day.  You've arrived in a new state and unloaded your sleeping bags in your new house.

You know the county uses a numbered grid for roads and you've deduced that the placement of the directional portion (SW) is what tells you if it's a north-south road or an east-west road.

To make matters worse, the King County grid is so wide that in neighborhoods like ours, there are plenty of streets that run in parallel with the same number but a different street type.

So you decide to go and grab some food from a nearby fast food restaurant.  And then encounter this on the way home. In the dark.

I'd almost forgot about that until I came across this last week - years later.  

As if that wasn't bad enough, they have to frustrate my CDO by putting punctuation on one but not the other. Torture.

A Thing a Day 17

Day 17 - Paging the Sierra Club
In order to stop clutter and (so we thought) avoid junk mail, we got a post office box.  I only check it once a week.  And then I drop everything on the passenger seat of my car until I can deal with it.  So... minus magazines, this is one week's worth.

At work, our copiers can capture pages to files, so I scanned in and emailed some stuff to Lori, other stuff I just dropped in the shredder.  Other stuff I removed our address part, dropped that in the shredder and the rest into the recycling bin.

I guess a lot of this mail we "deserve" - medical summaries, coupons from a place we shop, places we've donated.  However, no interest in the election flyers.  By the time they'd arrived, I'd already voted anyhow.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Thing a Day 16

Day 16 - The nightmare under the counter
Under the counter in the bathroom, we've kind of each staked out a side.  I have this blue caddy and a bunch of stuff that was in it and a bunch of stuff that was piled around it.

And, really, a lot of stuff didn't belong there.  Sock rings?  A small flashlight that casts a large oval with the bat signal in the middle?  Lots of tiny toothpastes?  Loose, clean, q-tips?

So I dumped out everything, tossed the q-tips, opened one of the toothrushes and replaced my existing one, took the other toothbrushes, the tiny toothpastes, the unopened boxes of floss, an extra toothbrush older, etc. and put them into the bin in the other bathroom with extra toothbrushes and floss and stuff.  Ditto the small roll of emergency toilet paper that was part of a gag gift years ago that I tossed under there.

Threw out some more stuff, cleaned the bin (it was grungy) and put back ony what I needed.   It's nice to see only what I really need.

There is still a number of colognes and aftershaves that my wife's given me over the years.  Maybe I should wear that stuff more often.

No shaving stuff in here, it's in a different bathroom.

The Batman flashlight went into my nightstand drawer (which I cleaned recently) but I should figure out how to get rid of it.  It has no value, but it's kinda cool.

Odds and Ends 47

-1-

CNET -- Hotel to guests: Pedal for electricity, get a voucher

-2-

INFINITE FRONTIER -- (via Skip) NASA 747 pilot shares experience carrying the space shuttle - there are a bunch of comments suggesting this isn't true, but still a great read

-3-

WASHINGSTON STATE HIGHWAYS -- Washington State Route 106

-4-

MASHABLE -- What Types of People Raise Money for Web Startups?

-5-

CROSSCUT -- The Texas model vs. the Seattle model

-6-

INHABIT -- NYC Dumpster Pools Make a Splash with All Ages!

-7-

CHEAP mumble CONDOS -- SoHo Townhomes (Atlanta Ga.) - I love that CSC is gaining notoriety beyond Seattle for its critiques of bad condos.

-VIDEOS- After the break... some great graphics on an iPhone, a racing video game recreated in the physical world, a new NASA robot

Monday, August 23, 2010

Odds and Ends 46

- 1 -

FAIL BLOG -- Juxtaposition FAIL - Oh no

-2-

MSNBC -- U.S. said to plan easing rules for travel to Cuba

-3-

MSNBC -- No bull ... fighting: Spanish region bans sport

-4-

CNET -- NASA eyes tomorrow's passenger planes - Cool gallery of photos and artist renderings of imagined future planes

-5-

ENGADGET -- Leon, Mexico to use biometric scanners in 'all aspects of life' - Creeeepyyyyyy.

-6-

THE BOSTON GLOBE -- Russia - in color - a century ago

-7-

WASHINGTON STATE HIGHWAYS -- Washington State Route 105

-8-

REDISTRIBUTING KNOWLEDGE -- Police and Fire Fighters and Teachers, oh my!

-9-

BBC -- Southern Sudan unveils plans for animal-shaped cities

-10-

MASHABLE -- Philadelphia Tax Code Sparks Big Controversy with Small Bloggers. Stupid Philadelphia.

A Thing a Day 15

Day 15 - You will have less clutter in your future
There, up in the top rack of the nice cabinets with the glass fronts, a set of wine glasses, two of them full of little useless slips of paper.

What are those slips of paper?  Years worth of fortunes from Panda Express.  Why?

Not really sure.  At one point, were sticking fun ones between the glass and the wood in the cabinet doors themselves, but it started to look cluttered.

So they migrated up to the wine glasses.  When they should have instead gone to the recycling bin.  Which they finally did today.

I wonder if the wine glasses, too, ought to find a new home.

Diet, Next Round

Ok, I fought for the Dairy Queen Blizzard and then I've done really poorly since then. I dropped the 10 pounds, had my Blizzard, and then set a new goal for 10 more pounds, but I didn't have an objective in mind. And I've just floated below the surface of the last goal, not diving down at all towards the next goal.

I've had some temptations and I've yielded to just about every one of them. Really doesn't help any. I've not been sleeping enough and eating after 8 pm which was supposed to be my cut-off.

I'm watching my friends Corey and Chris work hard and lose weight. But I've been flailing, laughing, not taking it seriously. No more.

So, I'm going to kick it up a notch. We're going to make this a 15 pound goal, not a 10 pound goal. And I'm going to start saying no again. Tomorrow's weigh-in is going go stink, but time to recommit, doing that now.

This time - Zoopa. Which I just learned is the only one in the state. And apparently there's only one Souplantation in the state, way down in Vancouver. Seriously, we're living in the dark ages up here.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

A Thing a Day 14

Day 14 - Another stack of magazines
I think I've been able to make myself blind to magazines.  They're everywhere.

Every so often I subscribe to Architectural Digest and then I let it lapse for a few years.  I have a large stack on my bookcase.  They're thick, so it doesn't mean there's a lot of them.

But I like to go through them and cut out things I like, just in case someday I'll be able to build a house or do some redesigning here.   So that takes some time.

I went through four today.  I also pulled out some other magazines that I really didn't have an interest in reading and some I had read but never managed to get to the recycling bin.   I suspect that even with my minimal cutting there are some people who would love to get the AD hand-me-downs, but that's still too much work.

One magazine had four articles that I thought were worth sharing, I'll have them in one or more future "What I'm Reading" posts.

120: Rainstorm

Only seconds earlier, it seemed, the sky had been blue. But without warning, the clouds had rolled in, the sky darkening. He supposed he might have had warning, had he checked Accuweather. The sky was now a deep gray and the world seemed to have lost its color. It had gone from 3 pm to 8 pm in the blink of an eye. But not really. It was actually 3:01 pm now. The trees had been standing tall, but now they were starting to waver, buffeted by the strong inconsistent winds slapping them about. The air smelled different. It was cleaner, crisper. Colder, too. He could feel the cold move from one side to the other, as if the storm had an invisible wall slowly moving past him. And then with a flash of lighting and a thunderclap the shook the foundations of the house and the fillings in his teeth, the sky opened up and the rain came down. Within three seconds, he was drenched to the bone. He took two steps backwards into the house, then retreated into the kitchen to grab a hand-towel to use on his hands and face before sitting on the floor to watch the amazing force of nature that had enveloped his house.

(Note: Accuweather had been promising a thunderstorm at 4 today but 4 came and went and there was no storm. So sad. Another time, I guess. The sky did darken, but the clouds are mostly white and you can still see big patches of sky.)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

A Thing a Day 13

Day 13 - The horror
I would consider today's ATAD a partial failure.

So when I do my freestep on the Wii Fit, I like to use the laptop at the same time.  So I have two empty cat litter containers stacked on top of the coffee table and the laptop sits nicely on top of that.

Only one of the containers isn't empty. In my writing, it says "To Sort.  Filled Jan. 1, 2009."

I would like to say that I tossed the entire contents directly into the trash, I mean, it's been almost two years and apparently nothing in there has been needed.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to do that.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Thing a Day 12

Day 12 - Computery stuff
The computer cables box wasn't as bad as I expected.  I unwrapped everything and realized... yeah, an over-abundance of USB cables.

And what's this?  A wall-mount plate for an old-school telephone, with a DSL filter built in.

I kept one of each type of USB cable (there are plenty of others already attached to devices around the house), the Firewire cable, the extra analog monitor cable, the very old-school parallel-to-serial cable (might be worth something) and the network cables.

Wasn't as much, but I did drop a few more cables into the donate pile in the garage.  (Rules are that I can collect stuff to donate, but I need to actually donate before the end of the month or throw in trash.)

Odds and Ends 45

-1-

FAIL BLOG -- Great ironic failure

-2-

IMDB -- Top 5 reasons why this season (of HGTV Design Star) sucks. Nailed it.

-3-

ENGADGET -- General Motors upping Chevy Volt production by 50 percent in 2011

-4-

MASHABLE -- YouTube Launches Charts to Rank Top Web Videos

-5-

MSNBC -- Bull Gets Into the Stands (Photos) - At first, I felt bad for what looked like scared high schoolers. And then I thought "Maybe this will put them off of bullfighting." Bulls, this is your hero. Do what he did.

-6-

WASHINGTON POST -- For a look outside presidential bubble, [President] Obama reads 10 personal letters each day

-7-

NEWSWEEK -- The Future of Work - This is one of the coolest things I've posted. When I saved this link for later posting, it was just New York, but now they've added a second section for L.A. Basically they asked firms to come up with ideas of rhe future of home, work, commuting and recreation. Some really interesting stuff in this series of 2-minute presentations.

-8-10- Videos after the break... see-through DJ, the Swagger Wagon and another reason not to avoid work-out fads...

Odds and Ends 44

-1-

ENGADGET -- Spirit Rover may not live through bitter Martian winter

-2-

FAIL BLOG -- Poster WIN - Parents, you'll love this one and wish to buy copies

-3-

NY MAGAZINE -- Why Parents Hate Parenting - Monika posted. Warning, you may want to skim - is *SIX* pages long. Someone getting paid by the word? Holy cow.

-4-

You brought this on yourself, WAFF of Huntsville, Ala. I think you were trying to make this guy look bad by putting him on air, or despite your nice sets and fancy suits, you guys are really not very good at this TV thing. So anyhow, Kelly Dodson wakes up to find someone in her bed with her. She screams, her brother comes to her aid, the guy gets away. (Not funny.) WAFF does a news story that's way too long and makes a viral hit out of Antoine Dodson (funny). And then someone takes it a step further by auto-tuning it into a song. (Very funny, quite catchy.) So while we all can enjoy it, shame on you, WAFF-TV.

-5-

ENGADGET -- Robotic yellow submarine finds massive river under the sea, tons of other trippy stuff - first one directly observed, if on land, would be sixth largest river

-6-

UNCLUTTERER -- Marketing to Unclutterers-In-Name-Only - Home Shopping Network's "Eat Pray Love"-a-palooza with 400 producers really misses the point.

-7-

WSDOT -- Smarter signs on I-5 in Seattle show promise after first week

-8-10- Videos after the break... scratching a lemur, Simon's cat is in a box and watch out for Darth Bird with his own theme music.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Thing a Day 11

Day 11 - Devil in the Blue Plastic Cladding
Dear Dirt Devil Vacuum,

You suck.  Well, not functionally.  I mean that at as a criticism of your actual ability to do same.  Which isn't so good anymore.

And you don't stand up anymore.  And you're big and loud.

You served us well for over 10 years in 2 apartments and 2 houses.

But now you've been replaced.  Why are you still here?

Buh-bye.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Thing a Day 10

Day 10 - Audio/video cables
This wasn't the absolute mess I expected.  I have a few other boxes (computer cables, power cabling) that are probably worse.

This is a box I keep under the counter in the laundry containing audio and video cabling.  Mostly RCA and a few coax.

Now... Everything in our house that needs to be connected is, so these are all extras.  One or two might belong to a still or video camera, but for the most part, this is all somewhat extraneous.

I probably split the pile in half.  I opened any cabling still in plastic bags and discarded the bags.

Dropped any 2-cord RCA, dropped the cheaper looking or shorter 3-cord RCAs, dropped any really short coax cables, the old computer microphone, those awful iPod headphones.  That's all now in the recycling box.

Put the rest back in the box for any special times when I might need extra cabling, like if we have another Superbowl party and Corey brings over his projector or something.  (Though Corey's also got a great kit of his own.)

Monday, August 16, 2010

A Thing a Day 9

Day 9 - The driver's seat
Tonight, I took a look in my car - areas I can reach while driving where stuff might end up -- the center console, the door handle well, the door pocket, the ash tray and the small storage (music player?) spot below the radio.

The last two were empty.  The ash tray's always open because I have an adapter plugged into the cigarette lighter.  Actually, I have two - one for the iPod and a second one for the iPhone.  I was surprised not to find anything in the ash tray.  The small storage area was empty because I usually keep the iPod in there when driving.

The door pocket yielded some interesting stuff... compact umbrella (went back), plastic bags (repacked more compactly), garage door opener (returned, natch) and outdated proof-of-insurance (burn bin).

The door handle well had a pack of gum (went back) and some pens (relocated to center console).

The center console had the most stuff... an old GPS (went back in for now), a compass (didn't seem to work, tossed), the cap to a water bottle (temporarily relocated to kitchen.  If I don't find the water bottle in the next few days, I'll toss it.  That will be the surest way to find the water bottle.), a packet of splenda (tossed), more pens (overall, kept three total), hairbrush (probably unnecessary? went back in for now), flashlight, some sticky bumps (used to hold Blackberry in place on dash while driving.  No longer necessary, into the house for now), an old Dilbert (Dogbert is advising the big boss (the CEO) that if he wants to help the environment he needs to ram hybrids with his SUV so they'll stop using gas altogether... anyhow, recycling bin), some money (bank), outdated registration (burn bin) and a CD case (back in - my favorite CD is in the player, in case I find myself in the car without any music players - nearly impossible, but you never know) and some random trash (trash).  And a pressure gauge still in its wrapper.  Threw the wrapper away and put the gauge back in.

I actually added to the center console - several sheets of paper.  A few months ago when that bozo hit me, all I had was a few Dilbert cartoons to write her info on.

I'll tackle the glove box at another time.  I suspect that all I'll find there is outdated receipts for tires and brake work and oil changes.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Thing a Day 8

Day 8 - But you'll need me... someday!
This isn't the whole collection, I saved some of the newer ones, like the digital cameras (we had bought one and then I won one) and the Blu-Ray, but in time, I'm sure they'll grace these pages as well.

We're always taught to save boxes, that we may need them someday.  But there needs to be a statute of limitations.

Odds and Ends 43

-1-

MASHABLE -- HOW TO: Use Game Mechanics to Power Your Business

-2-

ANDY SERNOVITZ -- When you’re replaceable, service matters matter more

-3-

ENGADGET -- China to build ginormous buses that cars can drive under - For real? Apparently. There's even video from a presentation, but it's in Chinese and dreadfully laggy.

-4-

FAIL BLOG -- Stolen Bike WIN

-5-

NOT ALWAYS RIGHT -- Rectify the Situation - Hi, do you sell rectums? (And that's as crass as it gets. Mostly it just gets funnier.)

-6-

GARFIELD MINUS GARFIELD -- Finally, a good one for Jon

-7-

LIFEHACKER -- What do you do if you're the world's greatest brother and your brother only has use of one of his hands? You hack a game controller for one-handed use.

-8-10- Videos after the break... kitten falling off a table, wearable GPS that no one else can see and playing video games with your eyes.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Popes and Bankers: A Review

I received this book from the publisher in exchange I was to review this book on two bookseller websites.

To be honest, it took me several months to chew my way through this tome, and even longer to get around to posting my review.

I'm torn. On one hand, the author has obviously really done his homework on this book. As you read it, it's got a lot of interesting tidbits and a bazillion superscript numbers pointing to his research.

On the other hand, it's a bit plodding. And like all non-fiction historical books, the closer it gets to modern day, the more I am interested, but the sparser the information. And a complaint I often have about non-fiction historical books (Disney War, the Hilton story) which is not the fault of the book, but history moves so quickly that by the time it's printed, some new things have come along that you wish could be covered in the book.

I'm not sure I know anyone I'd recommend this book to. It must have an audience, but it wouldn't include anyone I know.

A Thing a Day 7

Day 7 - Calling up the interwebs
This would appear to be an ancient modem for doing dial-up to the internet.  This has absolutely no value and into the trash it goes.

I suspect that I'm probably supposed to recycle this. Or give it to a museum or something. Sorry.

Friday, August 13, 2010

A Thing a Day 6

Day 6 - Incomplete medical records for a pet
thar's no longer with us
Well now... what do we have here?

I dove into the file cabinet for this one.  Yes, it's some medical records (certainly by far not all of them) for an animal that's passed away, my friend Carol.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Odds and Ends 42

-1-

MASHABLE -- 10 Fun Microsoft Facts You Might Not Know

-2-

ENGADGET -- Transformable Wall-E gets recreated with some love, Lego and DIY skills - yes, the text is embarrassingly bad in the video, but still cool what they did with Legos.

-3-

CROSSCUT -- Should Seattle allow big corporate signage on its skyscrapers?

-4-

FAILBLOG -- Gym Sign Win

-5-

MANAGEFLITTER.COM -- Twitter Tool - great for helping you keep your Twitter list tidy - can see who posts infrequently, who posts too frequently, people who aren't following you back, people without an image on their profile, people who haven't posted in months, etc. Can also see how many other people have used the site to unfollow someone. (1 person has used it to stop following me, but that's a lot less than @DarthVader or @ConanOBrien. mwuahaha.) Also... I was still following @FlashForward?

-6-

INFOSTHETICS -- The Interactive Holographics in Iron Man 2 - cool looking. Still need to see this.

-7-

SEATTLE VINTAGE -- Pike Place Market photo - Yeah, taking a PPM photo is required by law of all tourists. But have you seen one from 1910 before? I hadn't.

-8-10- Videos after the break... An following-wheelchair, a bridge being built, and how Google Translate works...

A Thing a Day 5

Day 5 - Fourteen Entertainment Weekly magazines
I think ATAD for me might just start out boring.  Everywhere I look, I have stacks of magazines.  I had no idea.  But that's the point, right?  You start looking, you realize where the piles of clutter are and you start tackling it.

In another failed attempt at clutter control, I bought four large plastic tubs.  As I worked my way through the house earlier this year, if I found stuff out of place that had been there for some time, I would put it into the appropriate person's box.  If I wasn't sure, I put it in mine, figuring I'd be the one who worked on my box the most since it was my idea in the first place.

So far, no such luck.

Go Big or Go Home

Unclutterer's recent post of the same name reminded me of a "vision" I had years ago. I don't know how long ago now, if it was college or high school, but I suspect early college.

Below me, a gravel and mud road. Ahead of me, a slight depression in the landscape, lots of trees spreading out for miles, a small clearing, more mud, and a partially completed house. I was wearing a black trench coat and dark dress clothes as if I had just come from church. A slightly overcast, slightly windy day. To my left, a woman, presumably my wife, also dressed nicely in dark clothing. Behind me, a shiny black sedan, the back window partially rolled down and a small blonde haired girl and boy peeking out, fingers curled over the edge of the window.

While I never put a plan in place to see that actually happen, quite a few pieces of that did. But I think the built-for-us home in a more remote location probably won't happen. And soon, I face the prospect of losing the black sedan for a hand-me-down champagne-colored small sport utility vehicle.

I wouldn't say I'm mourning the vision, but it makes me momentarily melancholy this morning. However, I must now go get ready for work, so this will pass quickly as I get back to reality.

One in which I'm very tired and need that shower and lots of caffeine to fully awaken.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Untweeted

Things I would have tweeted while on vacation last week, except that I had the data on my phone turned off.



We have arrived. Nous sommes arrivé. (The translation is required even on tweets.) (La traduction est nécessaire, même sur les tweets.)



Ben broke my sunglasses. They should have put a phone number on them so I could call China and order another pair.



The speed limit in Canada should fluctuate

A Thing a Day 4

Day 4 - Nightstand, Top Drawer
Ah, the top drawer of the nightstand.  I didn't think it was that bad.  Until I took everything out of it.

So I essentially laid out everything and then got to work.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

What I'm Reading 1

-1-

Let's Take This Offline (Inc., March 2010) - Popular tech. blogger decides his blog is preventing him from doing other things he wants to do with his business.

-2-

Minding the Kids (Inc., March 2010) - What toll is your business taking on your children? And how can you manage that? (One person does 360's with his family.)

-3-

A New Kind of Training Wheel (Inc., March 2010) - Forget those little wheels, this uses a gyroscope that keeps the bike steady. Over time you can reduce the resistance as they get more confident.

-4-

The United States of Productivity (Inc., March 2010) - How a bunch of fast-paced CEOs stay productive.

-5-

Welcome aboard. Now, run! (Inc., March 2010) - Interesting and innovative hiring practices.

-6-

How We Coddle Bad Teachers (Reader's Digest, August 2010)

-7-

Meet Six Amazing Pets (Reader's Digest, August 2010)

-8-

The Secrets of [Death Camp] Sobibor (Reader's Digest, August 2010)

-9-

The Curse of Fletch (Entertainment Weekly, Feb. 9, 2010)

-10-

Flashforward by Robert J. Sawyer - Sorry, I had to give it 2 out of 5 stars. Someone read this book and was able to see the potential and create a great television show. The book, on the other hand -- pretty disappointing.

A Thing a Day 3

Day 3 - 23 Inc. and Fast Company magazines
Yeah, I'm still taking it moderately easy with the magazines.   I think I've read most of these, but without a good way of keeping track, I'm just going to have to declare bankruptcy on these and take them to work and drop them off.  My boss' boss' boss maintains a reading library of all the stuff he reads, so I think I'll offer them to him and if he doesn't want them, I'll drop them in the break room for others to read.

Inc. and Fast Company are both great magazines.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Odds and Ends 41

-1-

MASHABLE -- How an Ambitious Startup Wants to Revolutionize Banking

-2-

ENGADGET -- Time Inc. execs said to be frustrated over lack of iPad magazine subcriptions No... really?

-3-

CROSSCUT -- How a Seattle group helped save the north's forests

-4-

EMAIL-MARKETING-REPORTS -- James Bond's Inbox (you'll find links to Darth Vader, Voldemort, Sauron, Elizabeth Bennet(don't know who this is?), Julius Caesar and Satan's inboxes)

-5-

WASHINGTON HIGHWAYS -- Washington State Route 104

-6-

SHIYAN KOH -- 5 questions to ask before taking a job

-7-

LIFEHACKER -- Use the Clean Slate Method of Decluttering to Purge Your Space - cool

-8-10- Videos after the break.

Tiny unboxing celebration, foxes on trampolines and cats falling off bookshelves.

A Thing a Day 2

Day 2 - Six t-shirts
I have a pretty easy wardrobe.  One of the foundational pieces is a simple t-shirt, almost always accompanied by an overshirt.  There are three types of t-shirts: black, non-black, and non-blank.

I have never owned too many "non-blank" t-shirts -- company logos, sports teams, humorous or whatever. It's very, very, very rare that I would wear one of these to work.  They are mostly for hanging out around the house or sleeping.

Non-black (other colors and the occasional white) used to be the group I had the most of.  I would mix and match them with complementary overshirts or sweaters.  (Patterned, hawaiian or plain.)

Over time, I have moved to mostly black t-shirts.  They go with anything and they take less work to decide if they match or not.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

A Thing a Day 1

Day 1 - Eleven old issues of Consumer Reports magazine
It's easy now, but I know it won't always be this easy.

I had another engagement today that meant several more hours in the car, so I didn't have much time at all to figure out what I wanted to do, but I wasn't going to bail on day 1.

I have a laundry basket in my room, filled to the brim.  It was stuff that was on a bookcase in my room or on the floor next to it.  For the most part, these were organized stacks, mostly magazines, sorted by type of magazine.  But then we had a heat spell and needed to quickly clear off that bookcase so we could put a large box fan on it since it was right under a window.

My neat stacks became a jumbled mess, an ogre in the corner staring me down.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Simplify

Every time I go on vacation, I come back relaxed, a little more at peace.

But all too quickly, reality reasserts itself. I'd rather stay on vacation, thanks.

So, what to do, what to do. I know in the past I've looked at the idea of the reset and I've looked at new ways of storing stuff that makes putting away laundry simpler, but there's gotta be more.

Frankly, the problem is clutter.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Odds and Ends 40

-1-

MASHABLE -- “Guy Walks Across America” in Viral YouTube Video - click through for video, map, behind-the-scenes video, more details.

-2-

CROSSCUT -- Elliott Bay Book Company's Move Was a Blessing in Disguise for Pioneer Square

-3-

LIFEHACKER -- Off-Color Cars Offer Effective Theft Prevention (Well, I guess there's some advantage to driving a pink car, but I'll pass.)

-4-

ENGADGET -- Sprint reports $760 million net loss for Q2, slightly less than expected (the headline is the story... Sprint's on my list)

-5-

REDISTRIBUTING KNOWLEDGE -- More Bureaucracy Anyone? Crazy. Flowchart for new healthcare system. Overwhelming.

-6-

INHABIT -- Solar Power Is Cheaper Than Nuclear for the First Time

-7-

FORBES -- Where Americans Are Moving - 10 million taxpayers changed counties in 2008. This map lets you choose a county and see where people moved from and where former residents moved to.

-8-10- VIDEOS

A cat with only two legs, an optical illusion and some strange recruits.