The Chronology of the Art of Joel Robert Harris

I had never heard of Joel Robert Harris until I came across a Reddit post linking to a chronology of his art work, starting at age 5.

http://www.joelharrisstudio.com/chronology.htm

It is not only amazing to see an artist progress in technique, but also being able to see the different themes and ideas he explored throughout his life.

No Such Thing as Overtime

When you really enjoy what you work, overtime is a non issue. The word does not exist. It is not even a consideration. You just do until you are done – Which can last years.

Jobs have set hours. 9-5. Any action you take outside of these hours that contributes to your job would be considered overtime. You are constrained.

I never want that feeling.

If I ever say to someone that I cannot hang out or meet up because I need to work overtime I’ve failed.

Overtime may also imply that you are pushing harder, getting ahead, beating out the competition or just showing off.

Nonsense. A poor excuse. Overtime implies the need to complete tasks, not goals.

Do what you enjoy and there will be no such thing as overtime.

Lobster Moulting and Self Cannibalism

Lobster has to be one of my favorite creatures to devour. Boil ’em. Grill ’em. I don’t care. I love it!

It turns out they feel the same way about their tasty flesh. Once a lobster has gone through a moulting process, shedding of its shell, a five hour long process, it feasts on the shell’s fleshy remains. It then buries it, hiding it, fearing predators will assume there is a vulnerable prey in the area.

Sorry. The video only shows the moulting process. Not the self cannibalism… Just take my word for it 😉

Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop

I usually don’t make new years resolutions simply because they end up being too general or too abstract. “Lose weight”, “be more outgoing” etc. I never think of these resolutions as goals, but rather as general guidelines so I tend to fall off the wagon pretty quickly.

Not this year.

Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop
This year it is all about persistence. I can’t stop and I wont stop. In the past I’d either chew off too much or take too little, abandon the ideas I should follow through on and continue down the wrong path too often.

No more!

I will continually check and balance myself as I progress in life and work, making sure I do not follow pipe dreams, but continue on a realistic path.

No longer will I be timid in the face of adversity.

When a wall presents itself I will first examine its existence and either break it down, climb over it or retreat depending on realistic signals.

I will be more open minded with myself, allow my good ideas to shine through and address the bad ones for what they are.

I will set goals, real goals and do everything in my power to meet those goals.

No more “downtime”. I will rest only when I need to. I will persist.


Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop by Jeff Chang

Romanticizing War

Went to see The Golden Compass last night and I have to say, the one things that irks me about fantasy stories is the need to romanticize war.

There is always this clear division between good and evil in such movies and I find it frustrating. Yes. It is just a movie. A kids movie. But war is the central theme to most any science fiction or fantasy story. Not only that, but the story glorifies and romanticizes the fight against the impending evil. Why is this? Are we teaching kids, in order for good to triumph, to get what one wants, is to seek out evil and destroy it. I enjoy the idea of seeking out what may be hindering us and fighting it, but the source is rarely evil or purposely out to destroy us.

What would fantasy books and movies look like without war?

Hulu Review

I’ve been playing with Hulu.com for the past week and I honestly have to say that I love it! I almost never watch network television so I don’t even know when what few shows I like are even on. I’ve gone through all the Office episodes they have as well as some of the Kitchen Nightmares and 30 Days (Morgan Spulocks show) episodes.

The quality of the video playback is quite nice and the “commercials”, while annoying, are generally pretty quick. One annoyance with the commercials is that you are actually forced to watch them. So if I have a video playing and I open a new tab, say to check my gmail, and the video progresses to a commercial, it will stop playing all together. I have to switch back to the Hulu tab for the ad to play through. Obviously this half makes sense and can help act as a timed-pause feature – why would I be surfing another site while watching a video, right? One huge plus is that once you watch a commercial within a single video, that’s it. You do not have to watch it again, unless of course you refresh the page.

A couple cool features are the Lower Lights and the Trim Embed Clip features. The Lower Lights feature does just that, it dims the page around the video, similar to Lightbox. The Trim Embed Clip lets you trim a video so you can embed just the chunk of the video you’d like to.

The Office: Local Ad

Seven

In a psychology class I took in College we devoted a months worth of classes to the number 7, how people can efficiently remember exactly seven things at any given time. So it was cool to see Paul Buchheit’s post We all have tunnel vision where he explains that since we can only hold seven items we should not try to forcibly hold more. This also goes along with my other post: Using Technology Vs. Inspecting Technology.

I remember little from that class, other than there is a reason why phone numbers are 7 digits.

Categories: GTD

Shave 10 Hours Off Your Work Week

Michael Hyatt has a great post on How to Shave Ten Hours Off Your Work Week. My favorite of the seven methods he outlined:

Touch email messages once and only once. Okay, let’s be honest. How many times do you read the same email message over and over again? Guess what? The information hasn’t changed. That’s right. You are procrastinating.

I have a personal rule: I will only read each message once then take the appropriate action: do, delegate, defer, file or delete it. I describe these in more detail in a post I made last week.

Guilty.

Using Technology Vs. Inspecting Technology

I’ve found myself lately inspecting technology, software and hardware, with the desire to learn something. A new online service comes along and I sign up, test drive it, and then move on. I rarely seem to actually “use” technology lately.

It is a really bad habit I have gotten myself into and I think it is because of my obsession to “know” everything I possibly can around technology. And this is just stupid. First off, there is no way to learn every bit of anything and the approach I am taking, as I am sure many do, is to consume mass quantities of something without any care for its usefulness. Secondly, why would I want to? I think I’d rather be an expert a few things that have some general knowledge in numerous things.

Use Technology
That’s what it is meant for. I will no longer buy a new product, sign up for a new service or download another piece of software unless I personally have a need for it. Not even for research will I do any of these things, because this is another way into fooling myself that I “need” to use a piece of technology.

It is a simple filter and I really hope that it will help keep my interests in tack.

Coming Up On…

“Coming Up On…” has to be one of the most irritating phrases in reality television.

Yes. Let’s waste thirty seconds showing highlights from a scene we are about to see. Program developers are so afraid that our tv-dope-sick mind will wander to another station that they will do anything to keep us watching.

Please. We are not idiots. We get it. A climax every six minutes followed by a commercial. Oh. Wait. The commercial is the climax.

We love TV. We’re addicted. We’re watching your show. Quit fucking with us!

Door County 2007

Door County 2007, probably one of the best holidays in awhile. All we did was relax, visited a few towns and ate tons of cherry pie. The food there was surprisingly amazing! We ate like kings and only had one so-so meal.


Eating Cherry Pie at White Gull Inn, Fish Creek, Door County, WI.

Kathy Eating cherry french toast
Kathy digs into her Cherry French Toast at The Cookery, Fish Creek, Door County, WI.


Fish Boil at White Gull Inn, Fish Creek, Door County, WI.

View all: Door County 2007 Photo Gallery

How Many Founders Did It Take?

News.YC user fauigerzigerk did a great job of listing out all the prominent technology companies and the number of founders they were created with. I do not know why I find the topic of “how many finders does it take” so interesting, but I do.

There is also some great discussion around BitGeek’s posting Absolutely, DO NOT, get a co-founder!, also found on news.ycombinator.com.

Google Reader Should Read My Mind

I primarily use the Google Reader as my RSS reader, but one thing about it kind of irks me… It doesn’t read my mind.

No, seriously. Whenever I subscribe to a new RSS feed through Firefox Google asks me if I want to add the feed to my Google Homepage (iGoogle) or to my Google Reader.

Google Reader RSS Snapshot

Ok. No biggie, right? I can deal with one simple question, a quick click of the mouse. But I have never used the Google Homepage nor have I once clicked the “Add the Google Homepage” button.

I know this would be easy for Google to implement, just read my mind and remember which one I like. Or is there a way to set this in my Google settings I am not seeing?

Time Machine Vs. SuperDuper

UPDATE (Jan. 29, 2008): You can complete a full system restore to a new hard drive with Time Machine. After installing the new hard drive startup your Mac with the OS X Leopard install DVD. But instead of going on with the usual install process, select Utilities > Restore System from Backup and follow the prompts. (via lifehacker at Restore Your Data with Time Machine)

Time Machine and SuperDuper are both backup solutions for Apple’s OS X operating system (SuperDuper is not yet available on Leopard at the time of this writing). Both effectively copy your entire hard drive to an empty volume like an external USB or Firewire drive, but there are a couple of subtle differences.

I thought I may be able to drop SuperDuper once I upgraded to Leopard, but it looks like it will be a part of my arsenal for some time still. Here are the key attractions of each:

Time Machine
1. Copies all files to backup location.
2. You can restore individual files by date. Going back a year by default.
3. You are unable to boot form the backup source.
4. Has the potential to eat up quite a bit of storage.

SuperDuper
1. Copies all files to backup location.
2. No historical recovery.
3. Boot directly from the backup source. (External Firewire drive)
4. Space used for storage will remain relatively the same.

The ability to backup from my external Firewire drive is HUGE to me. If my hard drive crashes I want to be able to simply restart my Mac and boot directly from my backup drive and have a working system. Time Machine lacks this luxury. Instead you would need to replace the hard drive, reinstall Leopard and then run a recovery from Time Machine.

It does have historical backups going for it though. So if you deleted a file a few days back and realized you now need it, you can still get it – You can also recover older versions of a file.

It seems redundant to have two dedicated backup drives, but if I want the best of both worlds…

Songza

I’ve been playing around with Songza, a new, closed beta, music search engine that lets you create playlists on-the-fly.

Here’s how it works

Enter in a band or song name and Songza returns a list of found music files – For everything I search for it gave me back items found on YouTube, mostly live stuff. You can then perform actions such as playing the song, rating it, adding it to a playlist, grabbing the embed code etc. There is no way to create an account yet, but your playlists will be there for you when you return, ala cookies.

The interaction and UI is very interested. Actions remains hidden until you click on a song in the list – See screenshot below. They must be using quite a bit of JavaScript and AJAX, but does not feel heavy. Everything works really well I must say.

Songza Screenshot

It is a really cool site and I am actually quite excited to see what direction they take this thing. Especially seeing that there are endless possibilities with online music.

Songza was developed by Humanized, Inc., a Chicago based software development company.

Note: I tried adding their embed code to this post, but it really messed up the layout. I am sure it something I am doing in my CSS.

Struggling With Perfection

I’ve been struggling with some work lately, trying to makes things perfect, but this usually ends up making things worse. Or I end up not pursuing it simply because I envision all the imperfections down the line. That’s when I have to revisit Paul Buchheit’s…

“Perfect” is the enemy of “good enough”

Forget about your lack of talent, skills, knowledge, time, resources, or whatever else you need to be “good enough”. Start an inane blog, take bad photographs, upload boring videos to YouTube, write bad software, create useless products, play bad music, and make ugly art. Forget “good enough”, and then simply indulge in the joy of creation.

There is no such thing as “senseless creation”.

Remember, Remember The Fifth Of November…

Happy Counterterrorism Day

Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, ’twas his intent
To blow up the King and Parliament.

“George Washington banned the celebration of Guy Fawkes Day in America because he saw it as a way for the state to use a terrorist act as an excuse to hoard power and torture.” via Reddit.com

Ron Paul’s Realtime Donation Graphs and Statistics for Q4

Ron Paul Donations

Poll Finds Americans Pessimistic, Want Change

Overwhelmingly, Democrats want a new direction, but so do three-quarters of independents and even half of Republicans. Sixty percent of all Americans said they feel strongly that such a change is needed after two terms of the Bush presidency.

Wobbled by Wealth?

The agonizing truth about CIA renditions

The fate of prisoners secreted away under the Bush administration is in some ways worse than even Hollywood has portrayed.

The Imperial Presidency

On Jan. 31, 2001, soon after taking office, Bush held a cabinet meeting. When he entered the room, one chair was empty: the secretary of state’s. “Lock the door,” Bush said. A few minutes later Colin Powell could be heard trying the doorknob. The room “erupted with laughter.” Then Bush ordered the door unlocked. He “had made his point,” Draper says; Powell was “not the big dog any longer.” That the president of the United States would want to show how important he was by humiliating Colin Powell speaks volumes.

Rudy Giuliani Healthcare Lies

The web is a buzz over Rudy Giulianis new radio ad campaign in New Hampshire this week. Here is the quote that is the target of discussion:

“I had prostate cancer five, six years ago. My chance of surviving cancer — and thank God I was cured of it — in the United States: 82 percent. My chances of surviving prostate cancer in England: only 44 percent under socialized medicine.” via WashingtonPost.com

The issue people have with the quote are not only with the numerical fallacies, but that Giuliani was covered by a government healthcare plan at the time of his treatment.

Giuliani’s fear mongering is despicable to me. Do people actually believe these lies? Or is that they just want to?

Paul Krugman sums it up nicely:

“Mr. Giuliani’s claim is wrong on multiple levels — bogus numbers wrapped in an invalid comparison embedded in a smear.” via Prostates and Prejudices, NYTimes.com

Healthcare is simple to me. What reasoning could there be to deny anyone the care they deserve?

$18 For Every iPhone

I had always been puzzled by the new found joined-at-the-hip friendship between Apple and AT&T when the iPhone was released, until recently.

It turns out that AT&T is paying Apple $18 each month for every iPhone user on the AT&T network for the exclusive relationship. This estimate, from Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, sheds some light on the strict attitude Apple has taken with people un-locking their iPhones to work on carriers other than AT&T.