Friday, February 04, 2011


Confetti on the Table

- Twitter’s coverage of the revolution in Egypt has been revelatory. Jillian York (@jilliancyork) has singlehandedly done a better job than all of the tv networks and newspapers combined. I started doing Twitter as a lark, but it’s really proving itself. Katrina Gulliver (@katrinagulliver) is emerging as a breakout star of the medium. Highly recommended.

- The dining room table is covered in what looks like confetti. Since I’ve been struggling with the organization of the book, I decided to write ideas down on small strips of paper, then arrange the strips into groups as they made sense. TW has been a good sport, but I’m acutely aware that I’ve only used half of the strips thus far, and have already covered an entire placesetting. My goal is to get everything in reasonable order without having to add the leaf. Luckily, it’s cold enough that I don’t think there’s much danger of anybody opening a window.

- Okay, enough snow days. Seriously. Meeting schedules and deadlines are complete disasters at this point, and there’s really no place left to put snow. The kids and the dog are getting cabin fever, and I don’t even want to think about when their summer vacation will start. A snowblower should not be an everyday tool, and the daily battle between the road plow and the bottom of the driveway feels like an allegory for something.

- Why doesn’t Amazon have a Kindle app for WebOS? I know WebOS isn’t huge, but how hard could it be? With Apple getting more territorial about taking a cut of everything, it seems like diversifying the platforms would make sense. If not a full-blown app, then at least an easily used mobile-scaled website for Kindle.

- Patton Oswalt’s Zombies, Spaceships, Wasteland is better than I expected. He captures the frustration of being a basically decent person trapped in an absurd situation, whether it’s a doomed multiplex in high school or a tragic comedy club in Canada. The book has its share of jokey bits, but I was impressed at how reflective most of it was. Several chapters really capture the sort of walking sadness I remember vividly from my own teen years. His reflections on male nerd culture at a certain historical moment ring true. Thoughtfully done.

- The Boy won a certificate for the President’s physical fitness challenge. Mercifully, it never occurred to him to ask if I had...

- Life’s awkward moments: someone on campus recently recommended that I start reading “a blog by this guy, Dean Dad.” I nodded, and smiled noncommittally.

- This weekend, we are all cheeseheads. The Onion pretty much nailed it with its headline “Ben Roethlisberger One Win Away from Being a Good Person.” Go, Packers!

I've never used twitter, but...

One of the reasons it probably works well is that it forces the writer to GET TO THE POINT. I remember watching TV news shows (I ditched cable awhile back, haven't regretted it) where the anchors would repeat. the. same. stuff. over. and. over.
RE: WebOS. I feel your pain. My contract with sprint is up in August. I'll be trading in my palm pre for an ipod touch and a phone that just makes calls. I think WebOS is the bomb, but its going to die a sad, lonely death in the basement of HP HQ.
Oh the Presidential Physical Fitness test was the bain of my high school years. From 9-11 grade I could do everything but the mile. I was a champ at the sit and reach and arm hang thing but couldn't run. Finally, senior year I got the mile run within the time line but then I couldn't do the pull ups any more.
someone on campus recently recommended that I start reading “a blog by this guy, Dean Dad.” I nodded, and smiled noncommittally


Because this Dean Dad guy had really good ideas, right?
Life’s awkward moments: someone on campus recently recommended that I start reading “a blog by this guy, Dean Dad.” I nodded, and smiled noncommittally.

LOL! You didn't ask why....?
A snowblower should not be an everyday tool

Hahaha! Obviously you've never spent a winter in North Dakota. :-D (On other hand, if you did, your meetings would likely not be cancelled on account of snow...)
"someone on campus recently recommended that I start reading "a blog by this guy, Dean Dad.'"

In that situation, I would have been unable to stifle the urge to say, "Yeah, I checked it out a couple years ago, and it didn't look interesting."
LOL @ "You should read Dean Dad." Had that happen to me once. Once I came out of the closet, people starting using blog posts of mine to start meetings. "So, you said on your blog . . ."

Re: Twitter. Most. Awesome. Tool. Ever. Not without its flaws, of course, but seriously, most of my news, information about how to do my job better, and semi-peripheral information that eventually becomes important come to me via Twitter. In the last two days, Twitter helped me find an image my husband could use for a logo, and helped me find a tool that would be useful for her students. I ask questions, I get answers. I post answers, I get thank yous. And news comes to me faster and better than by CNN/MSNBC.
It may be worth considering that the guy on campus will put two and two together if he reads this particular post.
Everything gives news better than CNN/MSNBC, and faster isn't necessarily a virtue.
Re: the dining room table, I hope you're keeping some backups of the confetti layout. This may be an excellent time for some high resolution digital camera photos, just in case there's too vigorous an indoor chase scene with the cabin fever.

Re: twitter, I was surprised to learn this semester that only 1 of 37 students in my undergrad engineering class use twitter in any form. I decided to continue using email instead.
Ianqui, it seems the opposite dynamic is more likely: Now, everybody who reads this blog that casually mentioned it to an administrator is going to wonder if they work with the guy who is secretly dean dad.
Your confetti method is akin to one recommended by a friend Ralph Brown from for writing speeches, reports and books.

He uses post it notes, and a manila folder or large piece of paper. Can cut the planning time down considerably.

The advantage: post-its don't blow away. If you put them on a large manila folder of piece of card, then you can fold up/roll up, and still have your outline there when you go back.

That said, the dining room table has a certain amount of urgency - must finish before dinner?

Deadlines have power.
Re: the confetti method - why not pin them onto a cork board? That way you can still rearrange them however you like, and they're less in the way. (Did my dissertation that way.)
I'm not used to twitter. I don't like writing tweets but I do like following other people's tweets.
Hmmm... I think Ianqui is right... or, maybe Anonymous is. I guess I would be a bit intimidated if I had heard such a comment.

Anyway, I only came here to say that it's an interesting situation to be in, but not as surreal as what happened to Leslie a couple of weeks ago -- a reader of her blindly peer rewiewed rejected article recommended she read her own work.
Here's the link (too lazy to try to remember the html for this, sorry!):
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