Friday, February 29, 2008

And I thought I had it rough.

From XKCD - No way to explain this comic but to read it.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Look! Flying Pigs!

I finally coerced my wife to get her Google tools set up properly last night. In honor of her finally getting Reader going, I thought I'd post the top ten eight (in no particular order) of blogs that I enjoy reading.
I can has cheezeburger?This internet phenom is up there with AYBARBTU, you've either heard of it, or your about to go "Is this where those cat pics with bad grammar come from!". This is where Ceiling Cat hides, and no, I don't have the bucket.
WoW InsiderYou knew I had at least one, right? This is my main resource for WoW related info. It's gotten very busy as its popularity has increased, but it doesn't suck yet.
Zen HabitsKinda in the GTD space, this blog contains a lot of tips and ideas for self-improvement. Thankfully it's not the 300 page kind but the "Hmm, that's interesting" kind.
TUAWThe Unofficial Apple Weblog (now you know why folks call it TUAW) covers all things apple. It's the WoW Insider of the Apple space. Great resource on patches, upcoming stuff, software, etc.
Cool ToolsThis is a low volume site that contains one cool tool (or item) per day. This is where I found the Total Shaving Solution I now use, and a few other cool things.
LifehackerThis link is for the top 10. If you want to see the definition of high volume, Lifehacker keeps up with Digg and Reddit but on the life hacking side. You'll find all sorts of stuff here from Zen Habit's cross links to USB Docks for HDs.
Download SquadSimilar to TUAW, but not Apple-centric. You'll find tools for all OS's crossing through here.
PostSecretAnother internet Phenom. People mail this guy their secrets on postcards and he posts the more interesting ones. Go look, you'll be surprised. Not only has this caught on, it's spawned a few books.


For the stat curious: I have 58 subscriptions, and over the last 30 days I have read 4,781 items, starred 1 items, shared 3 items, and emailed 13 items (from Reader Trends). Looks impressive until you realize I skim Reddit and Del.icio.us - talk about high volume!

I made it to ten after all!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Breaking out the classics

It was a fun family weekend. On the parental side, we've finally started repainting the universe, starting with the ceilings (sorry, no ceiling cats found). The kids have been excited for us to start the painting projects as Mom has promised they can help with the walls. Since we weren't doing walls we compromised and the kids helped with fetching of tools, etc. and then we took them out to lunch and then did groceries.

While at Stop & Shop we came across a board game kiosk. Yeah, I was surprised too. Monopoly, Battle Ships, Connect 4 -- all those staples of our youth. There were more but I focused in on battleships thinking the older two would have fun. They have been playing it ever since.

Picture this; it's the heat of battle. My son has managed to sink 3, my daughter has sunk 4 and is searching for my son's patrol boat. It's her shot.

Daughter: "I-1"
Son: "HOW?!"
Daughter: "I-1"
Son, now getting agitated. "You didn't sink my last ship"

Luckily Mom stepped in to explain that "I 1" was a coordinate, not a statement that he had lost to his sister. I'm so glad they don't equip these ships with nukes.

Friday, February 01, 2008

The Internet is written by....

... coders drinking caffeine and listening to loud music.

Seriously!

For me, I had a deadline I had to meet and was having that feeling of "I can't get moving." I had lunch, grabbed a Mountain Dew on the way into the office, loaded up some "Motivational Music" (in this case, loud Nightwish) and got to work.

The result? An couple hours later the deadline was achieved and sent out for review. I'm more relaxed, if on a high from the coding session, and things look good (until the users get their hands on the work *laughs*).

Why does this work? The drink is probably psychosomatic, to some extent, but the rest had some interesting side effects:

The loud music blocks out distractions and clearly indicates I'm busy. If the headset is on and you can hear the music, don't interrupt unless a server is literally on fire.

I set my IM (Adium) to a "busy" message of "Working. Important IMs will be answered" and proceeded to ignore anything that came through that wasn't a coworker with an important issue (thank you Growl!)

I then focused on my work. Oddly enough, in an interrupt free environment where I was relaxed and focused. Whoa, look! I did everything those "how to eliminate distractions and get stuff done" suggest and it all started when I got a dew, some tunes, and decided "this has to be done now."

I'm sure there's a lesson in there....