• Summer Update

    June 29, 2015

    It’s been a busy summer so far! Here’s a few quick updates:

    • As I wrote about recently in trying out structured procrastination, I’ve tried increasing my workload so I can artfully procrastinate by working on other things. This actually seems to be working, weirdly enough, in increasing total output.

    • There seems to be a balance I maintain between unplanned-but-productive work, critical-path-necessary work and maintenance-type work/chores. Doing the unplanned-but-productive work seems to generate the momentum so I want to do the critical-path work; I can’t do one without the other. Maintenance chores are done based on how immediate the need is, and I have stopped worrying about them. Interestingly, I have also been a bit more relaxed about PEOPLE too. I’m not sure why that is. Maybe being less stressed about the future helps my attitude, and knowing that I’m making progress on random stuff makes me feel good.

    • The Living Room Cafe is proceeding. After months of deliberating on the wood, I went with the textured Makaha Wave dark hardwood and paid the $3200 materials down payment. I thought it would take months, but the wood is HERE now, and they’ll be delivering it thiscoming Tuesday so it has time to acclimatize before installation the following week. I packed up the entire living room (including my office), and right now they are removing the carpet and old baseboards. My Living Room Cafe Pinterest Board covers some of the upcoming details.

    • Dad is paying an unexpected-but-welcome month-long visit during this time too, so we’ve been drinking a lot of tea and keeping ourselves busy with small projects. It’s great to spend so much time with him.

    • I am WAAAAY behind on answering emails and posting, unfortunately. Once the floor is installed and everything is set up again, I’ll likely get back to it.

    Work has been ongoing, albeit slowly, with all the other activities going on. With the increased activity load, I think I’m starting to regain a sense of what “realistic progress” is on a given type of work, and as a result I’ve been feeling more positive and relaxed about process. Before, I was always thinking I should be faster faster faster, thinking of the future achievement more than the work at hand. Largely this was because I was working to other people’s timetables, and when I started working more on my own projects I had retained that desire for the fastest and most optimal approach. Part of maturing as a creative independent, I think, is truly accepting your own timetable based on the terms you know will work.

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  • Resolution Review #4: Trying Structured Procrastination

    June 10, 2015

    "Groundhog Day Resolution Review #4 2015" This post is several days late, but ya know what? That’s OK! This past month I’ve been practicing elements of John Perry’s Structured Procrastination, and I’m feeling more relaxed about meeting personal deadlines such as this. Less anxiety means less stress, and less stress creates a free flowing mind! I think I’ve been more productive than I have in a while, albeit not in a rigorous sense. It’s all pretty groovy.

    In this month’s Groundhog Day Resolution Update, I want to talk about a different model of being productive, which involves embracing my imperfect procrastinating butt and redefining what productivity means in this context. (more…)

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  • Deck Tomatoes Version 3 Kickoff!

    June 8, 2015

    A few years ago I tried growing tomatoes on my deck, since I didn’t have my own dirt to plan a real garden. I’d never grown tomatoes before, but understood that they required a LOT of watering, especially in the summer months. This was going to be a problem because I had several work-related trips that summer, so I built a self-watering sub-irrigation planter out of some plastic totes. They’re similar to the Earthbox planters, but at the time I wanted to try to make one myself.

    The water supply worked really well, allowing me to water only every few days even during the hot summer months due to the efficiency of the planter. In fact, it worked TOO well. The tomato plant sucked up as much water as it wanted, and as a result the fruit grew so fast that they split their skins. This is called “catfacing”, and it’s unsightly. I also got hit with some kind of fungus the second year, and had to buy a copper-based spray to treat it, but it was too late. I skipped last year having grown disheartened by the ordeal, but this year I’m ready to try it again with a new planter design.

    Tomato Planter Version 3

    Version Three Planter Details

    To control the water supply, I’m going to try to restrict it using a different feed system. Rather than have a column of potting mix go directly into the water, I’m going to separate the chambers and provide water through capillary action. The rope, hopefully, will wick water up to around 9 inches from the water supply, which will go through holes in the bottom of the upper dirt-containing box. The diagram doesn’t show the construction that well, but I’ll followup with actual pictures.

    I’m not too concerned about the limited water supply because of a technique I’ve read about called dry farming. You get less yield and smaller fruit, but the flavor is said to be more intense. I don’t eat that tomatoes anyway; the part I like about the deck planters is seeing something alive every day when I look outside. If I get some fruit out of it, that’s a bonus!

    So that’s the plan. This quick blog post is here to remind me to get off my butt and get the planter put together; it’s already June!

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  • My Favorite Laptop Stand is Now 2.0!

    May 26, 2015

    Roost Version 2 - Image courtesy of The Roost Stand Today is the launch of James Olander’s [Version 2.0][roostlink] of [The Roost Stand][roostlink] on Kickstarter! I am very excited, both about the product and James’ manufacturing adventure! (more…)

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  • A Short Video about Finding Fulfilling Work

    May 19, 2015

    How To Find Fulfilling Work Just when I needed a reminder of just how long it takes to figure out what I’m doing, I encounter this post on the six psychological pillars of a satisfying life, which happens to feature a pleasant animated summary narrated by contemporary philosopher Alain De Botton.

    De Botton and his colleagues have a whole series of topical videos on YouTube, presented under the banner of their intriguing organization The School of Life. There is something about the entire enterprise that I find appealing for entirely silly reasons, like De Botton’s narration reminding me of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy radio show I listened to in the early 80s, and the similarity of the school’s name to the movie The School of Rock. I must find out more!

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