Saturday, November 30, 2013

Week 35 (Saturday)

Saturday - didn't get as much done as I'd hoped to today. This cold is still impacting me. I know it's an excuse, but it's leaving me mentally drained and more susceptible to noise and being overwhelmed by stimuli. I would like it to be done and over with.

Friday - Well, this has been an interesting week. No, wait, the other thing. Tedious. I stayed home from work sick on Tuesday and Wednesday. Thursday was Thanksgiving. Two hours in the car to get to dinner and back and I mostly hung out on the couch and didn't interact much with people (Ben wasn't interested in eating and I wasn't feeling that great.) Best I've felt all week was the drive home. Felt better today, but still a little irritated. Missing work did mean I stayed on my diet more days. So now 23/28 up to this week and then 5/6 so far this week, but today only by a very thin string. 3.5 pounds to go last time I weighed myself, but with minimal exercise this week and healthy appetite despite the diet, I'm guessing now wouldn't be a good time to weigh myself. Worked my way through Skyfall on Netflix over the past few days. Not at all impressed. While I'm not sure why, I groaned as soon as I saw Javier Bardem's name in the credits at the beginning. But I looked at IMDB and don't know anything else he's been in, so not sure why. But I was right. Didn't care for him at all. And the story was lame, but I did like how it felt like it did a good job of honoring the past. Also still making my way through Battlestar Galactica and just started Continuum. And I finished Enchantment and Ruby Read and am now reading Sapphire Blue. Three vacation days next week.

Monday - I'm going to do something differently this week - reduce the amount of logging on here. I haven't abandoned the task list - it's still going quite well.  I just don't need (I don't think... we'll see) to put as much in writing. Things are going well. I'm working on a post called "confidence" that'll come out soon. I just need some quiet time to think about exactly what I want to say, but it's about how great things are going on so many fronts.

I finished Enchantment and am now working on a fiction book Lori recommended called Ruby Red. Under it on my nightstand are books 2 and 3 of that series. And there's a few other books that I checked out. Good thing I plan to spend some time reading next week.

Shoot... still need upload some photos from October and here it is almost the end of November.

As of Sunday, I was 23 out of 28 for staying on my diet. (This week, 2 for 2, but tomorrow and Thursday and Saturday may prove difficult. But with only 4.5 pounds left to go, must keep my eye on the prize.)

November's End

November was about family. Birthday parties, date night, parent/teacher conferences, Thanksgiving. And then illness... missed doctor's appointments, sick days from work, cranky Lamb males ill. Also, a restart of our finances. The tree is up and lit. I feel like being brief. I already put out a stream-of-conscious earlier today that helped me clarify and clean.

simplify - canceled a few more services, recycled a lot of magazines I'll never get to. Continuing to declutter.

diet and exercise - Some great work this month. Pretty close to my goal. I should have no problem hitting it in December, January at the latest. There will be some challenging days.

work - work has been busy, but good.

family gift ideas - Lori's gifts are pretty much purchased and there's a gift from Ben to Rachel on top of a cabinet, I have my day away next week where I can work on stocking stuffers and a few small touches.

TOP FIVE MOST VIEWED POSTS THIS MONTH

Worth Repeating: Malcolm Gladwell

Video:


Malcolm Gladwell: The unheard story of David and Goliath -- It's a classic underdog tale: David, a young shepherd armed only with a sling, beats Goliath, the mighty warrior. The story has transcended its biblical origins to become a common shorthand for unlikely victory. But, asks Malcolm Gladwell, is that really what the David and Goliath story is about? More on TED.com...

Why I'm posting: Found this very interesting - how we just accept the story at face value without really thinking about it or without great historical context.

this hasn't gotten any simpler

So since April I've been trying to get a handle on my to do list. It's been a bit hit-and-miss but ultimately it's improved. I think I'm getting better at prioritizing what's really important.

April was also a bit of a turning point for my career. More recently, I've been working to leave the office on time and get home earlier.

Since January I've been trying to understand my mental state (I should re-read this more often) to better understand when I'm upset or out of sorts why and how to remedy.

A few weeks ago we reset our budget right after canceling a bunch of services, finally planning beyond just the month-to-month, but also taking a quarterly and yearly look at where we're going. The unexpected medical and car replacement played havoc, especially to our charitable giving, but with a yearly plan, we can aim to get back back to where we'd like.

I've almost reached my goal weight. And I'll be there soon enough.

I've really reduced the number of feeds I've been following and been clearing anything older than a week, until recently when I've been clearing it each night - if I didn't get to it that day, it must not have been important.

I've spent less time on social media. It wasn't so much intentional, it just kind of happened. But I'm fine with it.

What hasn't really happened is my goal of simplifying. I've written over 400 blog posts already this year, my backlog of magazines grows, I don't own less *stuff* and my garage and our family room is no less cluttered. I haven't taken more opportunities to be artistic and I haven't been as consistent in my reading as I'd liked. I have not done nearly enough for my faith either.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Feed Sift

Five things I felt were worth sharing...

-1-

What "no" means - an excellent reminder. (Seth Godin)

-2-

Concerned mom campaigns against artificial dyes in candy - In other countries where they'd have to put a warning, they do without. So why are we subjected to them here? (Today)

-3-

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Free Speech

Recently, my wife got a nasty cold that robbed her of her voice. It made it difficult for her to communicate in any way, except with a whisper.

I realized you could use Google Translate (English-to-English) to speak for you. You type in a term, translate, then click the speaker icon and the voice speaks it for you.


and

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

yeah yeah fire fire

It seems like fire could follow you down the stairs.



But if you don't hold the elevator, the fire will have to wait for the next one. Or it might be stuck if it hasn't figured out how to press the call button.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Follow Me

I did follow them.

And all I got was this SUV when they hopped out a the gas station.

Even worse, people are now following me.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Week 34 (Final)

The following Monday - the weekend got away from me. I didn't get as much done last week as I'd wanted to, but I'm getting my list into shape.

Thursday - Good day as far as getting stuff done. Went off script for a few things that just felt like they ought to be taken care of. I feel like I'm getting in a good rhythm at work as well about staying on top of everything I'm supposed to be doing. Which is good because I still have two open positions, overseeing an offshore team of two and my two other team members are both out of the office for awhile, leaving me to hold down the fort.

Tuesday - Did not get as much done tonight as I would have liked and I'm not sure I have a good explanation. That's a little bit of a disappointment.

Monday - Finally got around to doing a weigh-in. Now, it was a different scale, but it was a six pound drop, so that's pretty exciting.  Getting very close to my goal. Didn't complete as much as I'd like today, had difficulties waking up (despite a decent night's sleep) and I had to shave, so that always takes some time. But it was a good day and I'm feeling good about the week.

Sunday - brought forward 21 items incomplete when I started the new week. I'm going to take a simpler approach this week. No fancy grid, simpler end-of-day tracking. So goal is just end the week with 200 items completed and as few items as possible incomplete, try to clear the rest of the "nice to have" list.

On Diet: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday (and 16 of the last 21 days)
Simplification: Cleaned out a caddy under the sink, thanks in part to a minor plumbing leak
Book: Enchantment by Guy Kawasaki (154 of 240)

Who's the Customer? (A Work-Related Post)

The label says "Joe Fresh" but the shirt says 1974.

I don't understand this advertisement from earlier this year. A t-shirt for a city known today for its utter collapse and failure.

Celebrating that team's success. From the year I was born.

On a child that might be the age of my children.

Who's buying this? The nostalgic-sports- fan-back-to-school-clothes-buying-Midwest-transplant-grandfather?

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Book Review: Allegiant

Allegiant (Divergent #3) by Veronica Roth

I really enjoyed book 1 of Divergent. Book 2 was Ok. Book 3... book 3 I did not care for. I felt it was quite a letdown, a disappointing way to end the series.

I started the book on a bad note - my wife had read it first, the whole time telling me she was unhappy with it. So my perception was colored before I started, but she was right. So occasionally some of the comments I'll make (like this was "the Matrix 2 and 3" or "this was the mitichlorians") are actually hers, but in some cases, I may not remember who said them. If they were brilliant, probably her.

So yeah, our intrepid heroes are in a big mess after Insurgent. Early on in this book we learn that there is something beyond the borders of the city thanks to yet another group called Allegiant. The group lacks a strong cohesive voice and you wonder if they were simply named to give another "ent" name for the final book of the trilogy.

That's fine to learn there's something beyond the city, we all wondered, we would have felt ripped off if we'd never learned what happened to the rest of the world But what's out there is disappointing because it's ill-formed and no hints in the previous books gave any indication. While it's fine for none of the city inhabitants to be aware of the outside, there should have been hints and clues for the reader so we could go back and go "Oh! That makes so much sense now!"

The book takes a new goes in a new direction, albeit one we've seen before. Like Legend (my review), it alternates between the two leads, Tris and Tobias as it changes chapters. Legend did it better - used different typography for each character to make it easier to follow whose chapter it was and the voices of the two characters were more distinct. I really didn't understand why they used the two different voices until - spoiler - Tris dies. It wasn't a noble death or even really that heroic a death, it was just a waste.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Worth Repeating: Fabian Oefner

Video:


Fabian Oefner: Psychedelic science -- Swiss artist and photographer Fabian Oefner is on a mission to make eye-catching art from everyday science. In this charming talk, he shows off some recent psychedelic images, including photographs of crystals as they interact with soundwaves. And, in a live demo, he shows what really happens when you mix paint with magnetic liquid--or when you set fire to whiskey. More on TED.com...

Why I'm posting: Art plus science equals wow.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Feed Sift

-1-

The First Lie - What's (or who's) really holding you back? (Seth Godin)

-2-

Dear Mr. Watterson - A movie I want to see. h/t Mike (Christianity Today)
(h/t Mike)

-3-

Thursday, November 21, 2013

This is teh brokez, @CenturyLinkHelp

(This one's mostly just for Century Link, unless you like reading about when complicated business and technical systems have little unexpected flies in the ointment.)

Ok, right off, I will admit that I am complicit in this.

But only a little.

So here's the deal. I recently did some cost-savings and canceled DirecTV and our landline (and a few other things) but I retained my CenturyLink DSL. It's been reliable and it was either that or go back to Comcast for just internet service.

Because my landline phone number was my account number, the account number changed when I dropped the landline. I wrote down the new one and then promptly misplaced it. (There's my complicity.)

I'm on paperless billing, so I got the new bill in email. I went to my bank's website and was about to pay the bill and realized it wasn't showing the bill. I went in to look at the setup and it came to mind that the account number had changed.

First sighting of the year

Good question, @nbcnews

And why are they showing up now?



Wednesday, November 20, 2013

check your six

I kept forgetting to weigh-in. Or I'd have a off-day the day before I was planning to weigh-in. I wanted to weigh-in on the Wii for consistency, but between forgetting and the off-days, it just wasn't getting done.

So after a long delay, I decided to just weigh-in on the old scale in our bathroom. I am down six pounds from my last weigh-in.  It measures in half-pound increments and I weighed-in at 151. My previous low (using the Wii) was 150.8.  That means I'm just about as low as I've been since probably sometime in college.

If the pattern holds true, though, I'll lose three more pounds and then give up.

Time to break the pattern.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Guest Post: One Year Ago (Life with #Autism)

Lori's post from last week:
One year ago today was the worst day of my life. It was the day that I walked in to Ben's bedroom to get him up for school and found him unconscious on the floor after vomiting during the seizure he was still experiencing. We didn't know at the time what was happening, but rushed him to the ER in town... Continue to Lori's Blog...

Monday, November 18, 2013

Call the lawyers, @Subway (A Work-Related Post)

Branding is hard work. It takes time and effort, once you've settled on a good look and feel (or better yet, experience). So when someone tries to take advantage of your work, it can be a minor annoyance, or worse yet, be damaging to your brand. And so goes this smoke shop that uses the Subway green and yellow in their signage. This isn't the greatest of pictures, taken from my dash cam, but the greens and yellows of the two signs match to make it appear as if this were the "Subway Tobacco Station."

This is sad (as in pathetic, disappointing, troubling) on several levels:

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Week 33 (Final)

Final - Busy weekend. Successful week. Stayed on the diet 6 out of 7 days.

Thursday evening - Didn't get as much done as I'd hoped, postponed some easy stuff I just ran out of time to do.  Bleh.

Wednesday evening - Got up earlier this morning, but not as early as I'd intended. Got some stuff done before work. Unplanned stuff came up after work that took me a little off-track, but still got most of what I wanted to get done done. What was left was something I need to move to this weekend and a few blog posts that are overdue. I haven't felt like I've had time for blog posts, feedly or email. I blame Netflix. Yay, Netflix.

Tuesday evening - I guess I didn't make any notes last night, just filled in the grid and moved on. Not sure about the grid, maybe it's silly. Got a lot done tonight. Pretty pleased with that, especially considering the poor sleep last night and that I slept in until the absolute last moment this morning. I am committed to not repeating that. Right now I have a call each morning with the off-shore team, but that means it's like 10 pm their time. I'm trying to decide if there's any way to move that earlier in my morning. Not sure yet, or if that would just move it even more into the middle of their evening.

Sunday evening - A much better afternoon and evening. Now, let's see if I can keep it together this week and not let it fall apart again.

Sunday afternoon (prep) - Ok, last week was my worst non-vacation week ever. So, I'm ready to do better this week. The most obvious thing is that I need to stop sleeping in. I need to get up and do stuff before work. I did make some calls last week to cancel some services that we used to consider essential. That did save us about $160 on our monthly bills. That's cool. For one of the calls, I called them up, they transferred me, the guy at the other end said "I understand you're looking to save some money. How's half-off for a year sound? I'll just cut the price in half." I did a little happy dance and said "I will take it." I had thought I was going to have to tell him what the competitor was charging or something, but there was no negotiation, just a "let's get this done." deal. I like that.

Book Review: The Lacey Confession

The Lacey Confession by Richard Greener

I checked out this book after seeing the Bones episode that was the launching point for The Finder. By the time we got to that point in Bones, that show had already premiered, had a run and been canceled. Perhaps one for Netflix.

Lacey was a good read, but it took awhile to get into it, and by the end, I was left with an odd sense of déjà vu. I don't think I'd read it before, and it wasn't because of the TV episode, but it was weird. Perhaps it was subtle foreshadowing, or maybe I was just ready for it to reveal what I was pretty sure was the case, but by the end, I knew what was coming. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it was a little odd to me to lack that element of surprise.

Where the TV show featured a rather young guy, the book (he's known as "The Locator" - looks like there's another show with that title already) has the guy as quite a bit older, coming out of retirement to find someone as a favor. In this particular case, the person he's supposed to find has some documents, documents that a lot of people don't want revealed. These different people have their different reasons, but one central point is that it identifies the man supposedly responsible for the deaths of several members of the Kennedy family, including John F. Kennedy. Greener works so hard to nail down this explanation as plausible that at times you're wondering if you're reading a historical text and when you're going to get back to the story.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Worth Repeating: Jeff Hancock

Video:


The future of lying -- Who hasn’t sent a text message saying “I’m on my way” when it wasn’t true or fudged the truth a touch in their online dating profile? But Jeff Hancock doesn’t believe that the anonymity of the internet encourages dishonesty. In fact, he says the searchability and permanence of information online may even keep us honest. More on TED.com...

Thursday, November 14, 2013

popcon (A Work-Related Post)


The package or Orville Redenbacher says "with 50% less fat and natural ingredients."


Now why on earth would you be promoting 50% less natural ingredients?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Guest Post: Unforeseen Dangers (Life with #Autism)

From Lori's blog...
I'm blogging a lot about our children lately. I guess that's because they're a big part of my day, and my emotion is often driven by what's going on with them. Last night, I was upstairs when I heard the worst kind of shriek, followed by scared crying. If you're a parent, you probably (unfortunately) know that shriek - the "I hurt myself and it's still hurting, and I don't know what to do about it" panicky cry. I ran down the stairs... Read more...

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

522 Redo

I know I try to stay away from a lot of politics because I can't stand politics, but as I watched yet another thing I voted for fail (want something to fail? get me to vote for it), I couldn't help thinking they'd gone at it all wrong.

522 would have required foods in Washington State to be labeled if they contain Genetically Engineered or Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).  It was defeated, in part, by large contributions by Monsanto as well as Pepsi, Coca-Cola and Nestle (hiding with others behind the "Grocery Manufacturers Association" label).  Because frankly, these companies don't want you to look at labels, they want you to remain ignorant. These are the same companies that label their products in other countries where required, and in some cases, even reformulate to avoid having to label at all.

As a parent who has at least one child extremely affected by an unnecessary foodstuff (Red Dye 40), I'm going to be in favor of anything that reduces the amount of, pardon me, unnecessary crap added to our food. So to hear companies like Mars and Kraft produce versions of their products for other countries without these dyes because to use the dyes would require warning labels on the packages, you can be sure I'm going to vote for anything that reduces the inclusion of such unhealthy things in our food, or at least shames companies in choosing not to use it.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Clarity Exercise (A Work-Related Post)

So when our group formed, it formed to take on several roles. Some of those roles previously existed, some of them did not. Some pieces were vague notions never before seen in our group or the organization, and we also got a lot of stuff tossed at us as we went along.  Right now, my team is two guys locally as well as a guy who was onshore and is transitioning to offshore and I've got one open position that I'm recruiting for and will have a second one posted soon.

We spent the first month meeting daily for an hour with a specific agenda - what we were told were the key deliverables going in. It turned out that those particular items couldn't be the key deliverables, at least not yet, there was way too much foundational and new work coming up.

By month two, the day-to-day had consumed us. We continued to meet, but we held less to the agenda and more to trying to triage all that was coming at us. By the end of the month, it was obvious a change was needed. At one of our end-of-week meetings, we were seeing "venting" in the "stop" category and two of the team (one was me) said we needed to resume having an agenda at the meeting. Two full weeks later when I wrote this I'd still been unable to get an agenda together, but I should have something soon.

But I did do an exercise recently with each of the two guys to try to work on focus and priority. I had them write down on post-its everything that's asked of them. Then had them look at their job descriptions and, using a second color, write those down, too. Even if we're not employing those disciplines yet, if they're on the job description, we're technically asking for them.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Week 32 (Final)

Final - This week was a absolute and utter failure and I'm ready to put it behind me. I could work a little longer and cross a few more off, but I'm not going to. Instead, I'm going to throw it out and just get a better start on next week. No sense in extending life support. Call it. It's done.  This week does nothing except drag down the average.  Blargh.

Thursday night - Only got 27 done, but all but 3 were after 8:25 tonight, so I'm happy with what I got done. A few of the ones I got done were kinda time-consuming. Not a lot of changes to get a lot done the rest of this week. No progress on the nice-to-haves.
  • Total planned for this week: 195 158 134 112 85 (110 completed so far - 56%)
  • Sunday: 0 completed (0 planned)
  • Monday: 34 completed (28 planned)
  • Tuesday: 22 completed, 5 postponed (30 26 planned)
  • Wednesday: 26 completed, 13 postponed (30 34 36 planned)
  • Thursday: 27 completed, 9 postponed (31 22 34 planned)
  • Friday (plans): 20 22 29 planned
  • Saturday (plans): 31 32 planned
  • Sunday (plans): 25 24 planned
  • Would like to do: 25 
  • Nice to have: 127 126
  • Reading: Allegiant (100%)
  • Under my calories: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday (plus 5 of 7 previously)
  • Simplification: Cleaned up the entertainment center, rewired everything, canceled two more costly services and negotiated substantial savings on a third
Wednesday night - I started the day off well, getting a lot done before work. I didn't get a lot done after, though. I got sidetracked trying to cancel some stuff. Yay, saving money! Internet frustration tonight.

Tuesday night - Just when I thought things were going well, we had a medical issue with a child tonight. In the end, it didn't require Urgent Care, but it did throw off my groove.

Monday night - Feeling good about the week. I don't know if it will be less busy, but it was good going with a smaller set of tasks. There's satisfaction in seeing an empty to do list.

Sunday night - Instead of starting the new week in the middle of the day as I've been doing lately, I'm starting it now. So, there's nothing completed today. Printing out the lists last week only helped for the first day or two and after that, the lists were out of date and I kept forgetting to look at them. The system is working - I didn't have to do much to get the list in shape for next week, which is good because it's a busy, busy week.

Book Review: The Elements of Typographical Style

The Elements of Typographical Style by Robert Bringhurst

This was an eye-opening book and I can't think of a person I'd recommend it to. Except maybe Monika S.

Over ten long chapters, Elements basically says that typography is an art and you all are clueless. Not stupid, but unknowing. Without making you feel dumb, Bringhurst delivers what feels like a series of essays on everything from page layout to font choices to all kinds of considerations you would have never ever thought about in a million years. This is the book for someone who knows Comic Sans is evil, but wants to know why.

Ok, so it actually doesn't mention Comic Sans that I can recall, but the wealth of information in this book is really, really cool. The author matter-of-factly covers fonts, languages, history in such a way that you'll never look at that blinking cursor in Word the same way again. Now not only does the blank screen mock you, but so does the filled screen. Are my margins right? Have I calculated the right amount of leading? Are Microsoft's algorithms for kerning respecting the font? Are they good enough? Am I going to have an orphan line?

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Worth Repeating: Eric X. Li

Video:


A tale of two political systems -- It's a standard assumption in the West: As a society progresses, it eventually becomes a capitalist, multi-party democracy. Right? Eric X. Li, a Chinese investor and political scientist, begs to differ. In this provocative, boundary-pushing talk, he asks his audience to consider that there's more than one way to run a successful modern nation. More on TED.com...

Why I posted -- Gives a lot more perspective into how the Chinese system of government works. Compelling points about merit.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Feed Sift

Five interesting things I wanted to share...

-1-

Recreating the Past with Model Cars and Forced Perspective -- Neat camera trick! (Twisted Sifter)

-2-

Seattle Gets Its Redneck On -- Country music and NPR. Makes for interesting political beliefs. (Crosscut)

-3-

Thursday, November 07, 2013

stop it stop it stop it

Do you people not have auto-correct or understand what the wavy red line means?

This physically pains me.


Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Hey Apple

Apple puts a blue icon next to items you haven't opened since you downloaded them or since you updated them.  That's all well and good, especially if you automatically update your apps.  Only I don't do that.

They should have also used a red or green dot to let you know if there are apps ready to be updated.



Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Great Sense of Humor, @Atlassian

I love this error screen from Atlassian.  I always wondered what their logo was - a table? A chalice? A torch? A stylized X? A victorious person?


Turns out it is a person and the filename tells me his name is Charlie.  What a fun little treat for when we break the system.

Monday, November 04, 2013

Lessons from @Amazon (A Work-Related Post)

I'm a big fan of Amazon. I try to do most of my shopping there. It's usually quick, easy, competitively priced. When I do a book review, I link to my Amazon Affiliate account. (Not that any of you ever click on it.) So I end up writing about Amazon a lot. Not because I mean to be critical, because they offer so many examples of what to do and not to do.

So here's two recent things we can learn from.

#1: An email subscription oops.

I recently somehow got subscribed to Amazon.com.br's email list and that was a pain because I don't speak Portuguese so it was complicated trying to figure out how to unsubscribe without unsubscribing from all Amazon emails.


Lesson: How's your email program? Are you regularly auditing? Are you making it easy to understand what a subscriber is subscribed to? Do you offer enough granularity in order for people to stop specific mailings without unsubscribing from everything?

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Week 31 (Final)

Sunday evening - A non-typical day, ended up working past dinner without closing out the week. Which means very little for the new week's start, but quite a bit done today.
  • Total planned: 240 completed
  • Sunday: 36 completed, 1 postponed (25 planned)
  • Monday: 33 completed, 1 postponed (28 29 planned)
  • Tuesday: 28 completed, 6 postponed (29 32 31 planned)
  • Wednesday: 29 completed, 6 postponed (27 29 34 planned)
  • Thursday: 13 completed (25 28 35 planned)
  • Friday: 28 completed, 11 postponed (20 21 22 23 25 planned
  • Saturday: 34 completed, 26!!! postponed (30 32 43 planned)
  • Sunday: 39 completed, 10 incomplete (21 26 28 27 29 46 planned)
  • Nice to have (this week): 28 23 24 16 15 remaining
  • Less critical nice to have: 135 133 132 128 remaining
  • Reading: Allegiant - 220/526 (42% completed)
  • Reading: The Lacey Confession (100% completed)
  • Reading: The Elements of Typographical Style (100% completed)
  • Reading: Consumer Reports Oct. 2013 (100% completed)
  • Calories tracked and under goal: Sunday & Monday & Tuesday & Wednesday & Friday

Book Review: The End of the Wasp Season

The End of the Wasp Season by Denise Mina

When I last left Alex Morrow in Still Midnight (My Review), I wasn't entirely sure what I thought. I had struggled a little with the book, but I was still intrigued.

I'm glad I stuck with it.  Wasp picks up a little while after Midnight with Alex about five-months pregnant with twins. The things I didn't like so much about Midnight weren't as noticable - the amount of cursing - far, far less; the villains - more interesting.  As we begin Wasp, a crime is committed. We know who was involved, but we don't know why or exactly who did it.  We follow the criminals as they go about their lives after the crime, we follow the police as they close in on the criminals, and we follow others who we, as readers, know aren't guilty, waiting for the police to catch up to where we are. I read in the acknowledgements that the author struggled a little with the second half of the book and there are some interesting random pieces that take awhile to come together and if not deus ex machina, they are at least some lucky breaks.  But it's a good story with good character development and a satisfying ending.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Worth Repeating: Julian Treasure (@juliantreasure)

Video:


Why architects need to use their ears -- Because of poor acoustics, students in classrooms miss 50 percent of what their teachers say and patients in hospitals have trouble sleeping because they continually feel stressed. Julian Treasure sounds a call to action for designers to pay attention to the “invisible architecture” of sound. More on TED.com...

Friday, November 01, 2013