Gets Things Done.

Because buying new running shoes is more fun than actually running is an interesting and very complete kind of background conversation one could walk into and learn all about this popular online trend (more later) about getting things done. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen seems to have really sparked some technology. I’m not sure if I buy it all.

Palm Pilots have been wide spread for well over 7 years now. I don’t understand how web based versions of the common PDA applications are going to help people get more organized. If anything I would think they would be far more difficult to use. The power that the web does bring to the table is that of colaboration. Imagine a network of your coworkers or colaborators (think soccer moms) all communicating, not just with email, but with flexible and beautiful web tools such as SproutLiner, Ta-da Lists, Trumba, , Basecamp, and/or a good old Wiki.

I don’t understand the cost associated with these web services. It seems that for any team or moderately sized organization the cost of configuring similar tools, could easily configure tools themselves. Maybe that is just the nerd in my finding it easy to roll out nearly any web application. Such tools have been available for years. Wiki’s, bulletin boards, email lists, and other online tools, help teams work more efficiently.

All of these tools seem to be supported and advocated by a seemingly large GTD community. These are the Getting Things Done people. With a subtitle of all your tasks are belong to you, how can you resist the nerd in these organizers? (Also, I wonder if the nerd twenty-somethings of yester-year who loved all your base are now the late twenty-somethings of getting things done) Joel Spolsky wrote that the most important thing about getting hired at his company is “gets things done”. So maybe nerd everywhere are realizing that just being able to code, or knowing how things work is not enough. The 43Folders wiki has a nice summary of GTD. The strong focus on “Next Action” sounds appealing. I’ve been in a hell of a rut lately, and I’ve blamed it mostly on my tiresome comute and boring job. This type of thing may be good for me.

Does this mean I will purchase and read this book? Probably not anytime soon. But I’ll file it away in my brain, so that I’ll remember that it exists when I need to. But I’ll have absolutely no idea what it is called, or how to retrieve these details.

Windsor, Ontario, Canada is very fun.

Harshy says he went clubbing in Windsor on Saturday. Hey, Harshy, did you happen to go to The Loop up stairs fro the Couch an Hourse bar? If not, check out the Loop next time. It is kind of an older crowd with retro music, but it is awesome. It is especially good in Windsor if you are looking to escape the typical dress to impress bad techno and hiphop clubs.

Unmet build dependencies

Packaging for debian based distributions can be a pain, especially when you don’t do it often, and you normally do not install -dev packages.

dpkg-checkbuilddeps 2>&1 | perl -p -e ‘s/\([^)]*\)//g;s/([^:]*:){2}//;’ | sudo xargs echo apt-get install

This little 1.25 line shell script helps ease my pain. It only generates the command to run, since apt-get likes to interact, so sending it STDIN doesn’t work very well.

Good, bad, good…New Job, fun times.

This entry is my first in my “life” category. Sorry if you are syndicating and this isn’t technology related.

Life has been strange. I have not used the home computer much lately, which means I haven’t been learning new good things. This depresses me to some extent.

The good is that I’ve been foccusing more on another hobbie. I made an excellent fish dish using the holy trinity of vegitables as a base. It turned out great, but in the process I learned that my lovely wife must be alergic to Pollack. Strange, because she has never had problems with other white fish.

Yes, cooking is a hobbie. I enjoyed it even before I started watching FoodTV, but FoodTV definitely fuels me. Alton Brown takes my interest to new levels. Unfortunately most of the things on FoodTV involve meat. I do eat meat, but not in our home. My wife is a vegetarian, so our home is meat free. Beyond meat, my wife is a health nut. She avoids hydrogenated vegetable oils. Something about the hydrogenation process triggers alergies and other bad things. She also has been slowly cutting out dairy, and thanks to Silk and Soy Garden. Butter was tough to replace, but a month ago or so, after a bad experience with a gross soy butter substitute and a year of prodding from a good friend, we tried Soy Garden. It is excellent.

So butter meant many foods that had been lost. Biscuits are mostly butter, flour, and milk. I made biscuits, they are delicious. My favorite new thing to make is also based on butter and flour.

This is the most fun thing I’ve done in a while. I’d wanted to make my own flour tortilla for years. I’d heard it is easy. I’d heard it is painful. I’d read elaborate recipes, and the need for special baking equipment. Finally, I just decided to do it. Man was it easy. Butter(even fake), flour, baking power, and water! Roll out flat, and cook stovetop on high heat in a cast iron pan.

Mmmm… completely homemade burritos are tastey! I made the refritos from dehydrated pintos. I made the tortillas. I didn’t grow the tomatoes, but they are natural. 🙂 I didn’t make the cheese either. But they were tastey!

So I quit my job and am starting a new job. It is focussed on Software Development instead of this strange mid level tech support and web development hybrid position that I am in now. The companies(I contract through one to another) that I am leaving are being most gratious about my exit. I heard some horror stories from people who had left recently, but I guess their situation was different. I actually got the “Is there anything we can offer you to stay?” question, which was very nice, even though I am already committed to moving.

This new job is 20-30min commute vs the 45-60min commute I have now. I figure I will gain an additional hour for myself each day. That is 5 hours a week, 20 hours a month, 250 hours a year that I won’t be driving!

These are the ups and downs of life I suppose… I think I’m pretty good at appreciating the ups, and making the best of the downs…

Last night was pretty cool, my wife took me to the University of Michigan’s Life Sciences Orchestera concert. The two Mozart pieces were great. The two pieces by someone I’d never heard of were great. The two Aaron Copeland pieces were miss and meh. It did give me time to focus on what I dislike about Copeland. The compositions are bipolar. I won’t try to explain it. You will either know what I mean, or you won’t.

I have to wonder if it isn’t these kinds of events, a free orchestral concert, that set the University of Michigan appart from other schools.