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2011 – sachachua.com
2011 – sachachua.com


January 2011 ......................................................10               Sketchnotes: Gretchen Rubin, Happiness                                       On appearance and bias: thoughts from the
   Weekly review: Week ending December 31,                                          Project book tour ........................................... 22             Nerd Girls panel at Lotusphere 2011 ............ 37
   2010 ................................................................10          Of recipes and memories............................... 22                    Weekly review: Week ending February 4, 2011
   Sick days ......................................................... 11           Fun and rational economic theory: reflections                                ....................................................................... 39

   Momentum and holidays ............................... 11                         on the book “The Logic of Life” ..................... 23                     Monthly review: January 2011 ....................... 41

   Sketches: If you want to make the most of your                                   Monthly review: December 2010 .................. 25                          Disagreement and the road to trusting yourself
   next conference, you should blog ................... 12                          Sketchnotes from Quantified Self Toronto                                     ....................................................................... 42

   Marking up books .......................................... 12                   meetup #3 ..................................................... 26           Working on estimates ................................... 43

   Moving my book notes online ........................ 13                          Weekly review: Week ending January 21, 2011                                  Things to write about: questions for your
                                                                                    ....................................................................... 27   blogger’s block ............................................... 43
   Emacs, BBDB, and getting your contacts on
   the Android or iPhone .................................... 13                    Sketches: What index cards are teaching me                                   Thinking about personal random moment
                                                                                    about drawing ............................................... 28             studies ........................................................... 44
   Weekly review: Week ending January 7, 2011
   ........................................................................ 14      Unbaffled ....................................................... 29         Hackbuzzbuzzbuzz ........................................ 45

   Snippets from life ........................................... 15                Tweaking fun and nudging myself out of                                       Books to write................................................ 45
                                                                                    procrastination .............................................. 30            Weekly review: Week ending February 11, 2011
   Work on the business from the outside, not in
   it – Book: Effortless entrepreneur ................. 15                          Cross-posting between Lotus Connections                                      ....................................................................... 46
                                                                                    blogs and a personal blog ............................... 31                 On friendship and getting better at it ........... 48
   Wrapping up projects and preparing for the
   next one .......................................................... 16           Draft Lotusphere BoF on working with the                                     On presenting, anxiety, and moving forward 49
                                                                                    Connections API ............................................. 31
   Three tips for cheerful chores ........................ 17                                                                                                    More about getting 27″ washers and dryers
                                                                                    A braindump of tips for other new immigrants                                 down 26″ hallways ........................................ 50
   Book: Let’s Get Real About Money: Profit from                                    from the Philippines ....................................... 31
   the Habits of the Best Personal Finance                                                                                                                       How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the
   Managers ........................................................18              Pre-conference networking tips for the                                       Webinar: Energy, Interaction, and ROI ........ 52
                                                                                    Instructional Technology Strategies
   13,705 steps and counting ..............................18                       Conference .................................................... 33              Energy ........................................................ 52
   Weekly review: Week ending January 14, 2011                                      Weekly review: Week ending January 28, 2011                                     Interaction ................................................. 53
   ........................................................................ 19      ....................................................................... 33      Radically increasing your ROI ................... 54
   Emacs 24 and the package manager ............. 20                             February 2011 ................................................... 35            From zero to hero: a newbie’s guide to learning
   Switched my Fido plan .................................. 20                      Lotusphere 2011 wrap-up ............................. 35                     and building a reputation along the way....... 56
   Batch baking for fun and awesomeness ......... 21                                A story of pi ................................................... 37         Imagine success for social media ...................57
                                                                                                                                                                 On friendship and becoming more social ..... 58
2011 – sachachua.com


  Book: Daddy Long Legs, and letters ............. 59                                1. Direct ...................................................... 74      Miscellaneous ............................................ 83
  LinkedIn tip: Customize your profile URL ... 59                                    2. Search .....................................................75     Get More Value from Blogging, part VI: Let’s
  Decision review: Limiting my blog to one post                                      3. Browsing .................................................75       Get Down to Business ................................... 83
  a day .............................................................. 60            4. Referrals .................................................75         1. ROI ......................................................... 83
  Weekly review: Week ending February 18, 2011                                       5. Learning from others ............................. 76                 2. Questions, updates, resources, and
  ....................................................................... 62                                                                                  serendipitous conversations ...................... 84
                                                                                  Get More Value from Blogging, part IV:
  Waking up: looking at my data ..................... 63                          Connecting with People................................. 76                  3. Connection ............................................. 84
  ITSC guide to conference awesomeness ....... 64                                    1. Introduction ........................................... 76           4. Reputation ............................................. 84
  How I spent my Family Day weekend ........... 65                                   2. Deepening the connection ...................... 77                    5. Jobs and careers .................................... 84
  Kaizen: Thinking about presentations .......... 65                                 3. Appreciation ........................................... 77           6. Accountability and transparency ........... 84
  Posted revised “Remote Presentations That                                          4. Reaching out ........................................... 77           7. Culture ................................................... 85
  Rock” presentation ........................................ 66                                                                                           Presentation experiment: Shy Connector, Six
                                                                                     5. The great conversation .......................... 78
  Get More Value from Blogging, part I: The                                                                                                                Steps to Sharing, and other presentations in
  Immediate Benefits of Thought .................... 67                        March 2011........................................................ 79       March! ........................................................... 85
     Part I: The Immediate Benefits of Thought                                    Dealing with intimidating projects ............... 79                    Weekly review: Week ending March 4, 2011. 86
     ................................................................... 67       Get More Value from Blogging, part V:                                    Monthly review: February 2011 .................... 87
  Get More Value from Blogging, part II: The                                      Communication Matters ............................... 79
                                                                                                                                                           Can’t see cross-domain images in your Flash
  Compounding Value of an Archive ............... 69                                 1. Writing ................................................... 79     file? Make a crossdomain.xml ....................... 88
     1. Search ..................................................... 69              2. Visual communication ........................... 80                Quick notes from Emacs Org-mode talk at
     2. Review.................................................... 69                3. Presentation ........................................... 80        GTALUG ........................................................ 89
     3. Growth ................................................... 70                4. Conversation .......................................... 80         Leveling up as a developer! ........................... 90
     4. Overview ................................................ 70                 5. Avoiding the curse of expertise ...............81                  Trying MemoLane (social timeline) ............... 91
     4. Value ....................................................... 71          Questions and answers from #infoboomSC                                   Math and energy ............................................ 91
     5. Rediscovery ............................................. 71              tweetchat on blogging ....................................81             Weekly review: Week ending March 11, 2011 92
  Trying out Slideshare’s new Zipcast feature .. 71                                  On making the time to write .......................81                 Get More Value from Blogging, Part VII:
  Weekly review: Week ending February 25,                                            On perfectionism and personal branding ..81                           Inspiring Yourself and Inspiring Others ....... 93
  2011 ............................................................... 73            On finding ideas......................................... 82             1. Making your goals real ........................... 93
  Get More Value from Blogging, part III:                                            On practices ............................................... 82          2. Connecting with inspiration .................. 93
  Sharing Makes the Blog Go ‘Round .............. 74                                                                                                          3. Progress ................................................. 94
2011 – sachachua.com


     4. Inspiring others ..................................... 94                Quid est nōmen tuum? Nōmen meum est                                             Study group update: negative numbers,
  Coconut buns and the economics of home                                         “Sacha” ......................................................... 113           exponents, and awesomeness ...................... 129
  awesomeness ................................................. 94            April 2011 ......................................................... 114           Learning from my mood data ...................... 129
  Continuing experiments with Slideshare’s                                       Running the Selenium IDE testing plugin with                                    Making better use of travel time ..................130
  Zipcast web conferences................................ 95                     Firefox 4 ....................................................... 114           Compost magic and happiness.....................130
  Recipes: Coconut cocktail bun recipe ........... 96                            Weekly review: Week ending April 1, 2011 .. 114                                 Mr. Fluffers: Stray or not stray?................... 131
  Thinking about a developer setup template.. 98                                 Starting up our garden ................................. 115                    Back in the garden, the perennials are coming
  Decision trees and self-challenges: how my                                     The Busy Person’s Guide to Learning from the                                    back .............................................................. 131
  laptop’s recent battery failure is a great excuse                              Network (a guide for IBMers) ...................... 116                         Weekly review: Week ending April 22, 2011 131
  to think .......................................................... 99         Setting up Ruby on Rails on a Redhat                                            Monthly review: March 2011........................ 133
  Cats: 0, toilet paper monster: 1; also, ArtRage                                Enterprise Linux Rackspace Cloud Server ... 119
  and Autodesk Sketchbook Pro ..................... 101                                                                                                          Writing macrons in Linux for Latin
                                                                                    Troubleshooting: ...................................... 119                  pronunciation ............................................... 133
  Spring! ......................................................... 102          Helping kids learn algebra .......................... 120                       Stuff or experiences ...................................... 134
  Weekly review: Week ending March 18, 2011                                      Why we use more than math textbooks and
  ..................................................................... 102                                                                                      The enemy of your enemy is your friend:
                                                                                 general-purpose resources ........................... 121                       mnemonics and negative integers................ 135
  Pirate kitties .................................................103            Spousonomics: Using economics to master                                         Remote training that rocks .......................... 136
  Learning more about Websphere and web                                          love, marriage, and dirty dishes ................... 121
  service development .................................... 104                                                                                                   Giving a presentation using Autodesk
                                                                                 Decision review: Battery .............................. 122                     Sketchbook Pro and a web conference ......... 137
  Shanghaippy birthday, John Grimme! Recipe:                                     Writing more about life ................................ 122
  Lumpiang shanghai ..................................... 104                                                                                                    Study group: Flashcards and the Leitner
                                                                                 Weekly review: Week ending April 8, 2011 .. 123                                 method .........................................................138
  The three argumenteers ...............................105
                                                                                 On developing a reputation for project work                                     Weekly review: Week ending April 29, 2011 139
  Weekly review: Week ending March 25, 2011                                      ...................................................................... 124
  ..................................................................... 106                                                                                      "An Easy Method for Beginners in Latin" and
                                                                                 Math study group: Positive and negative                                         macron-insensitive search for Tiddlywiki ... 140
  Filling in the learning gaps........................... 107                    numbers ....................................................... 125          May 2011 .......................................................... 143
  On typing in Dvorak .................................... 108                   Still cold? Wear a hat to bed......................... 126                      Negative productivity and learning from
  Helping kids learn about automation ......... 109                              Using behavioural economics to motivate                                         oopses ........................................................... 143
  More thoughts on time analysis: correlations                                   yourself when working on risky projects ..... 126                               Thoughts from marriage: Learning together
  and revealed preferences.............................. 110                     Three cat life ................................................. 127            ...................................................................... 143
  Becoming a faster developer ........................ 112                       Weekly review: Week ending April 15, 2011 127
2011 – sachachua.com


  Cucumber, Capybara, and the joys of                                                Finding mentors ....................................... 156               Microsoft Windows development environment
  integration testing in Rails ........................... 144                       Making the most of mentoring ................. 157                        ...................................................................... 167
  On people changing companies ................... 145                               Helping others .......................................... 157             Hungry hungry compost and other garden
  Tweaking married life for everyday happiness                                                                                                                 updates .........................................................168
                                                                                     Next steps ................................................. 157
  ...................................................................... 145                                                                                   It’s Bike Month in Toronto! .........................168
                                                                                  Notes from the airport: Missed my flight; not
  Rails: Exporting data from specific tables into                                 the end of the world after all ........................ 157                  Monthly reviews: April and May 2011 ......... 169
  fixtures ......................................................... 146                                                                                       Decision review: calendars, development,
                                                                                  Victoria Day weekend: back to the garden ... 159
  Condensing requirements into use cases ..... 147                                                                                                             standing desks, toe shoes, Kindle, bike, CSA,
                                                                                  Gardening: Horticultural investments, social                                 Autodesk Sketchbook, blogging ................... 170
  On kids and the learning of tangible things . 147                               dividends ..................................................... 160
  Rails: Paperclip needs attributes defined by                                                                                                                 Bike ride in the rain...................................... 171
                                                                                  Experimenting with standing desks ............ 160
  attr_accessible, not just attr_accessor......... 147                                                                                                         Weekly review: Week ending June 3, 2011 .. 171
                                                                                  The flow of opportunities in a large company
  Back from the Netherlands ..........................148                         ...................................................................... 161   Plans for summer: Relationships, work,
  Weekly review: Week ending May 6, 2011 ... 149                                                                                                               gardening, biking, drawing and photography,
                                                                                  Taking a break while working on presentations                                making, and finances ................................... 172
  First foray into community-supported                                            ...................................................................... 161
  agriculture .................................................... 149                                                                                         Made a stuff sack for J- ................................ 173
                                                                                  Developing a workflow with Autodesk
  Cattus Petasatus ...........................................150                 Sketchbook Pro ............................................ 162              Negative optimization .................................. 174

  Weekly review: Week ending May 13, 2011 .150                                    Weekly review: Weeks ending May 20, 2011                                     Thinking about our development practices . 174

  Rails: Preserving test data ............................ 151                    and May 27, 2011 .......................................... 163              Drush, Simpletest, and continuous integration
                                                                                  Dealing with a bad calendar week ................ 164                        for Drupal using Jenkins (previously Hudson)
  Finding the bright side of business travel .... 151                                                                                                          ...................................................................... 175
  Walking outside my comfort zone – bike?                                         May 29, 2011: bagels, banana bread, bok choi,
                                                                                  bath stuff, and books .................................... 164               Sketchnotes from Democamp Toronto 29,
  push/kick scooter? ....................................... 152                                                                                               June 2011...................................................... 177
  Ordered a Kindle with free 3G ..................... 154                         Made a kitty soap holder .............................. 164
                                                                                                                                                               Managing configuration changes in Drupal. 177
  Travel updates: GPS, Pearl Street, Vibram toe                                   Seasons and salad days ................................ 165
                                                                                                                                                               Weekly review: Week ending June 11, 2011 . 179
  shoes ............................................................. 154         Learning from Mr. Collins: Practice,
                                                                                  conversation, and what to do when someone                                    Getting things ready for the next week:
  Waiting for my Kindle .................................. 155                                                                                                 cooking and gardening ................................. 179
                                                                                  says something mean ................................... 165
  Presentation draft: Mentoring on the Network                                                                                                                 This is what my blog looks like on paper .... 180
  ...................................................................... 156   June 2011 ......................................................... 167
                                                                                  VMWare, Samba, Eclipse, and XDebug:                                          Decision review: Kitchen counter computing
     Why ........................................................... 156                                                                                       (ad hoc standing desk) ................................ 180
                                                                                  Mixing a virtual Linux environment with a
     Challenges and advantages....................... 156
2011 – sachachua.com


  Cook Or Die Season II: Community-Supported                                      Meaning and acknowledgement .................. 193                              Dealing with web development and stress ... 217
  Agriculture ................................................... 181             Context-switching and a four-project day ... 194                                Weekly review: Week ending July 16, 2011 .. 217
  Kaizen in the little things: The way the door                                July 2011 .......................................................... 197           Dealing with a heat wave in Toronto ...........218
  opens ............................................................ 181
                                                                                  Four-day weekend ahead ............................. 197                        Starting piano again .....................................218
  Make-ahead meals .......................................182
                                                                                  How I organize my personal finances .......... 197                              Rhetoric and the Manila Zoo; reflections on
  Personal projects ..........................................182                                                                                                 conversations and a request for insight ....... 219
                                                                                  Getting a grip on a large database migration
  Getting the hang of community-supported                                         ...................................................................... 199      Public transit day ......................................... 221
  agriculture ....................................................183
                                                                                  Fifty kilometers on my bicycle .................... 200                         Weekly review: Week ending July 24, 2011 . 221
  Gardening notes: Cut-and-come-again lettuce
  ......................................................................184       Embracing Pollyanna .................................. 200                      Cats in high places ....................................... 222
  An abundance of cilantro, now freezing in                                       Organizing my digital life ............................ 201                     Sketchnotes from Quantified Self Toronto
  cubes; strawberries and peas .......................184                         Hacking Drupal views and taxonomy: looking                                      meetup: Conferences, pollution sensing, and
                                                                                  for 100% matching of terms ........................ 202                         growing old at home .................................... 222
  Weekly review: Week ending June 18, 2011 185
                                                                                  Planning for summer .................................. 203                      Piano lesson week 2 .................................... 223
  Thinking about speaking topics ................... 185
                                                                                  In an imperfect world .................................. 205                    Long weekend ahead ................................... 223
  Switching back to Linux as my development
  host ............................................................... 187        Thinking about activities to share with others                                  Mornings at our house ................................ 224
  (500) days of salad ....................................... 187                 ..................................................................... 207       Software and making pots ........................... 224
  Portal 2 and teachable moments in argument                                      Weekly review: Two weeks ending July 9, 2011                                    Weekly review: Week ending July 31, 2011 . 225
  ...................................................................... 187      ..................................................................... 208    August 2011 ..................................................... 226
  Portal 2 .........................................................189           Monthly review: June 2011 ......................... 208                         Looking back at life as a 27-year-old........... 226
  Mindful spending, experiments, and living in                                    On cherry tomatoes, frugality, and wanting 210                                  Rhetoric and advocacy: the value of a different
  line with your values ....................................189                   Love, web development, and imaginary friends                                    approach ...................................................... 227
  Weekly review: Week ending June 25, 2011 190                                    ..................................................................... 210       Learning by imitation: getting inspired by
  Strawberry rhubarb baking .......................... 191                        The first blueberries from our garden.......... 211                             Exploding Dog ............................................. 229
  Writing your way past “What have I been                                         A zucchini a day keeps the vegetable drawer                                     Drupal and JQuery 1.5: Fixing the JSON
  doing with my life?” ..................................... 191                  okay .............................................................. 211         encoding of ampersands ............................. 229
  Learning from the speeches of grade seven                                       Cake was not a lie ......................................... 212                Drupal, HTML Purifier, and embedding
  students ........................................................ 192           An elephant love story: Real stories of Manila                                  IFRAMES from YouTube ............................ 230
  Drupal notes from helping a client improve her                                  Zoo ................................................................ 213        Weekly review: Week ending August 5, 2011;
  development environment ........................... 193                         Piano lessons ................................................ 216              thoughts on discretionary time .................... 231
2011 – sachachua.com


  Jalapeño jelly............................................... 233              “Hello, Monday!” comic series launched on                                   Drupal: Finding nodes through autocomplete
  Drupal: Overriding Drupal autocompletion to                                    IBM intranet home page; now I’m a comic                                     ..................................................................... 268
  pass more parameters ................................. 234                     artist! ........................................................... 248     Decision: Not getting an Ontario Science
  Decision: Piano lessons? ............................. 235                     Built a USB foot pedal using the Arduino Uno                                Centre family membership.......................... 269
                                                                                 ..................................................................... 249   Transcript: Blogging (Part 2): Growing into
  Lessons learned from project M.................. 235
                                                                                 How to set up more frequent merge                                           blogging ....................................................... 270
     What worked well .................................... 236                   replications in SQL Server 2000 ................. 250                       Dusting off my Sony Vaio U1........................ 271
     What I’m going to work on improving next                                    Re-setting up my computer......................... 252
     time .......................................................... 237                                                                                     Tweaking the fingerprint settings on my
                                                                                 Mailing non-Emacs users your Org notes ... 252                              Lenovo X220T ............................................. 272
  Thinking about blogging and planning ahead
  ..................................................................... 237      Practising drawing ...................................... 253               Weekly review: Week ending September 9,
                                                                                 Code and circuit for a six-function Arduino-                                2011 ............................................................. 272
  Living an awesome life as a 27-year-old: a year
  in blog posts ................................................ 238             based USB footswitch .................................. 253                 Thinking about getting better at decisions . 274

  Weekly review: Week ending August 12, 2011                                     Weekly review: Week ending August 27, 2011                                  Deliberate practice, typing faster, and Emacs
  ..................................................................... 239      ..................................................................... 255   ..................................................................... 274

  Reflections on creativity .............................. 240                   Drupal debugging story: Rules defined in                                    Free Geek Toronto: Notes from the build
                                                                                 multiple Features .........................................257              session ......................................................... 276
  Volunteer notes: Free Geek Toronto ............ 241
                                                                                 Batch cooking .............................................. 258            Transcript: Blogging (Part 3): Blogging and
  Discovering Yourself through Blogging (free                                                                                                                other social tools .......................................... 277
  teleconference Aug 16, 6 PM PDT, 9 PM EDT,                                     Getting rid of the “I can’t draw”s ................ 259
  9 AM Philippine time) ................................. 243                 September 2011 ............................................... 260             Learning new tricks about learning: maps and
                                                                                                                                                             history .......................................................... 277
  Session follow-up #1: Discovering Yourself                                     Transcript: Blogging (Part 1): Blogging and
  through Blogging ......................................... 243                 introverts ..................................................... 260        Back to school, back to study groups .......... 278

  Thinking my way through a tough MS SQL                                         Notes on transcription with and without a foot                              Monthly review: June, July, and August 2011
  Server 2000 replication problem ................ 244                           pedal ............................................................. 261     ..................................................................... 279

  Git bisect and reversing a mistaken patch .. 245                               Starting up my experiments in delegation                                    Weekly review: Week ending September 16,
                                                                                 again; the difference between what I want to                                2011 ............................................................. 279
  Kids’ cartoons and learning piano .............. 246
                                                                                 do and what I want to see............................ 262                   IBM Comic: Watson on helpdesk duty;
  Weekly review: Week ending August 19, 2011                                                                                                                 variants .........................................................281
  ..................................................................... 246      Weekly review: Week ending September 2,
                                                                                 2011 ............................................................. 264      Update on typing: Added AutoCorrect hotkey
  Thinking about outsourcing transcription or                                                                                                                script, now clocking in at 118wpm .............. 282
  doing it myself ............................................. 247              Thinking about improving our freezer use . 266
                                                                                                                                                             Planning for currency conversion ............... 282
2011 – sachachua.com


   Transcript: Blogging (Part 4): Parenting .... 282                           Tweaking my Windows 7 setup more: Emacs                                       Weekly review: Week ending October 21, 2011
   Working with the Editorial Calendar plugin for                              on all virtual desktops! ................................ 299                 ...................................................................... 311
   WordPress; on scheduling posts ................. 284                        Monitoring multiple WordPress sites for                                       Geek travel update: Mostly as planned ........ 312
   Batch cooking, community-supported                                          comments using Yahoo Pipes...................... 299                          Thought roundup: Podcasts, drawing, cats,
   agriculture, and gardening .......................... 284                   Geek travel: Planning outfits using matrices                                  and towels .................................................... 313
   Weekly review: Week ending September 23,                                    ..................................................................... 300     Practising drawing: variations on a theme .. 314
   2011 ............................................................. 285      From the feeds: Ramen, personal assistants,                                   Transcript: Blogging (Part 9): Learning from
   Quantified: How I spent seven weeks ......... 286                           productivity, co-schooling, and being yourself                                others............................................................ 314
                                                                               ......................................................................301
   From the feeds: entrepreneurship, teaching,                                                                                                               Decision review: Switching from Rackspace
   biking, riding ............................................... 289          Working with FTP sites ................................301                    Cloud to Linode ............................................ 315
   Getting better at working at the office ........ 289                        Transcript: Blogging (Part 7): Learning how to                                Weekly review: Week ending October 28, 2011
                                                                               write............................................................. 302        ...................................................................... 315
   Transcript: Blogging (Part 5): Getting started
   ..................................................................... 290   Decision review: Working at IBM ............... 303                           Stories from our trip: Furry caterpillar ........ 317
   Converted my Arduino foot pedal into a                                      The joys of development with Selenium web-                                    Quantified Awesome: Data from waking up 3
   Teensy foot pedal! ........................................ 291             testing .......................................................... 305        hours earlier than normal ............................ 317
October 2011 ................................................... 294           Weekly review: Weeks ending October 7 and                                   November 2011 ............................................... 320
                                                                               October 14, 2011 .......................................... 305
   It turns out that “I suck” moments are more                                                                                                               From the feeds: Selling benefits, not features;
   negotiable than I thought ............................ 294                  Passioneer survey (Submit your answers by                                     caramel apples; graphic novels for kids ...... 320
                                                                               Oct 18) ......................................................... 306
   Weekly review: Week ending September 30,                                                                                                                  Planning an Emacs-based personal wiki –
   2011 ............................................................. 294      Monthly review: September 2011................ 307                            Org? Muse? Hmm… .................................... 320
   Tracking and organizing my clothes:                                         From the feeds: Writing, more writing,                                        Transcript: Blogging (Part 10): Difficult
   substituting mathematics for fashion sense 295                              journalism, and automation........................ 308                        situations ...................................................... 321
   From the feeds: Saving money, making money,                                 Jetlag-assisted early days ............................ 308                   Decision review: Cat boarding .................... 322
   balancing life, reading books, and making                                   Transcript: Blogging (Part 8): Slow life down                                 Weekly review: Week ending November 4,
   rainbows ...................................................... 297         and speed it up ............................................ 309              2011 ............................................................. 323
   Learning browser-based testing with Selenium                                Figuring out how to plan for a month ......... 309                            Quantified Awesome: Development-driven
   ..................................................................... 298   Stories from the trip: Making my peace with                                   behaviour and integrated tests for life ........ 325
   Transcript: Blogging (Part 6): Looking back                                 endings .........................................................310          Monthly review: October 2011 .................... 326
   ..................................................................... 298   Sketchnotes from Quantified Self Toronto Oct                                  Quantified Awesome: How much music do you
   Decision review: Marrying W- .................... 298                       21 2011 ..........................................................310         have?............................................................ 327
2011 – sachachua.com


  Visualization resources ............................... 329                    Transcript: Blogging (Part 13): On frequency
  Thinking about how to get even better at bulk-                                 ..................................................................... 346
  cooking ........................................................ 329           Decision review: Scheduling posts and using
  Transcript: Blogging (Part 11): Looking back at                                themes ......................................................... 347
  the year ......................................................... 331         Weekly review: Week ending November 25,
  Decision review: Metropass instead of biking                                   2011 ............................................................. 348
  to work in November................................... 332                     Thoughts from helping with homework ..... 350
  Weekly review: Week ending November 11,                                        Quantified Awesome: 116 web resources for
  2011; thinking about the temptation to work                                    Quantified Self............................................. 350
  ..................................................................... 332      Rails experiences: Building an interactive
  Stories from the trip: Terminal 3 ................ 335                         tutorial .......................................................... 351
  Quantified Awesome: A place for everything,                                    Things I’m learning from tracking ............... 351
  and everything in its place .......................... 335                  December 2011 ................................................ 353
  From the feeds: Friendship, planning ahead,                                    Transcript: Blogging (Part 14): Writing for
  and crossroads............................................. 337                yourself and writing for others .................... 353
  Massages, physical feedback, and behaviour                                     Upcoming decision: Considering different
  modification ................................................ 337              cellphone plans for J- .................................. 354
  Transcript: Blogging (Part 12): Two homes 338                                  Weekly review: Week ending December 2, 2011
  Decision review: Lenovo X220 tablet PC (with                                   ..................................................................... 354
  graphs!) ....................................................... 339           Clearing out the basement .......................... 356
  Weekly review: Week ending November 18,                                        Quantified Awesome: How I’m starting to use
  2011 ............................................................. 340         Tap Log for Android .................................... 356
  Learning how to model with Google Sketchup                                     Busy, busy, busy week ................................. 358
  ..................................................................... 343
                                                                                 Geek tidbits: Postfix configuration for
  Quantified Awesome: Why I track .............. 343                             development and testing ............................. 359
  From the feeds: Development, food,                                             Transcript: Blogging (Part 15): Tools to help
  connecting with people, e-books, finance ... 344                               you get started ............................................. 359
  Ruby on Rails: Extending ActiveRecord::Base                                    Blog analysis for 2011: 173,363 words so far;
  to define your own ActiveRecord association                                    also, using the Rails console to work with
  methods ....................................................... 344            WordPress ................................................... 360
January 2011 – sachachua.com


                                                             o   [X] Tidy up
                                                                                                      Preparation   23      Including
January 2011                                                 o   [-] Tidy up my computer, too:                      hours   disassembling washer
                                                                 backup, reorganize, clean                                  and dryer
                                                             o   [X] Plan garden                      Work          19      Took some sick time
Weekly review: Week ending December
31, 2010                                          Plans for next week                                               hours
http://sachachua.com/blog/p/22022
January 1, 2011 - Categories: weekly                     Work                                        Routines      16
From last week’s plans                                                                                              hours
                                                             o   [] Work on Project M:
                                                                 Documentation, tidying up            Social        8
      Work                                                                                                         hours
                                                             o   [] Work on Project S: Clean things
          o   [X] Work on Project M: Make                        up
              sure users have permissions to do                                                       Writing       2.5
              things                                         o   [] Idea Lab: Run Idea Lab                          hours
          o   [X] Work on Project S: Clean                   o   [] Illustrate networking tips        Travel        2       I’ve been using some of
              things up                                                                                             hours   this for writing time,
                                                         Relationships                                                     too
          o   [X] Idea Lab: Process responses
                                                             o   [] Look into cooking or cleaning
          o   [-] Illustrate networking tips                                                          Break         2
                                                                 assistance
                                                                                                                    hours
      Relationships
                                                         Life                                        Exercise      1.25
          o   [-] Hike or bike with W-                                                                              hours
                                                             o   [] Get well
          o   [-] Write more cards
                                                             o   [] Hire a virtual assistant again    Learning      0.75
          o   Had Maira’s family over                                                                               hours
                                                  Time analysis
          o   Had New Year’s Eve dinner with
                                                                                                      Driving       0.75
              W-’s family                         Dec 25 to December 31
                                                                                                      practice      hours
      Life                                       Time totals messed up because I didn’t track as     Untracked     39.75
                                                  much over the holidays, but here’s a guesstimate:                 hours
          o   [-] Get MobileOrg Android
              patches into mergeable state        Sleep          53        ~ 7 hours per day
                                                                 hours                                Tweaking my time-tracking…
          o   [X] Review and revise plan,
              outline 2011
January 2011 – sachachua.com


A terrible cold has put a crimp in my productivity   W- has kept me on a steady infusion of chicken         This New Year’s holiday must have been the
and my holiday celebrations, but W- has been         soup, cuddles, and Pride and Prejudice – several       quietest holiday I’ve had in a while. It’s weird!
totally awesome at taking care of me. He’s been      different versions, in fact.                           I’m half-dreading the abrupt change in pace
shaking his finger at me for having insisted on                                                             when I get back to work tomorrow, particularly
spending Friday working when I should have           I like BBC’s Lizzie and Lost in Austen’s Darcy the     as I’ve managed to commit myself to some rather
been in bed. “You’ve been working feverishly,” he    most. Heresy, I know. Colin Firth in the BBC’s         high-intensity days coming up.
said, “and now you’ve come down with a fever.”       1995 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice is the
That explains why I was shivering underneath all     definitive Darcy, of course. Lost in Austen’s          (Fortunately, the world works in mysterious
those covers. Fortunately, it’s nothing W- hasn’t    Fitzwilliam Darcy (Elliot Cowan) does more of a        ways. It could have been crazier, but it isn’t.)
dealt with before, and aspirin soon sorted that      transformation from utterly disagreeable to
out. (Thank you, mdern medicine.)                    totally awesome.                                       It’s hard to write about anything other than being
                                                                                                            sick when you’re sick.
Definitely time to break out the ginger tea.         Ginger tea (salabat): The powdered form is
(Hello, salabat!)                                    very convenient, of course, but you can make up        Actually, this is not true. I snuck in some work
                                                     a batch by crushing ginger and boiling it it in        this afternoon and I made a lot of progress
                                                     water. Add brown sugar to sweeten it.                  writing a developer’s guide for the system we’re
Sick days                                                                                                   building. It’s hard for me to write about life or
http://sachachua.com/blog/p/22023                    You can’t do much with a cold except to try to not     productivity or connecting at conferences when
January 2, 2011 - Categories: life, sketches         make it any worse. Definitely a good time for          my nose is stuffed, but I can talk about node
                                                     relaxing.                                              access records and workflow transitions, no
Still sick. Flush with a fever, congested with a                                                            problem.
cough and a cold, voiceless, and all around under
the weather. Not the best of ways to spend a         Momentum and holidays                                  Maybe that’s what I should do next time I’m sick
holiday, but a worse way to spend a workweek, so     http://sachachua.com/blog/p/22026                      and feeling lethargic. Never mind the mid-day
this is okay by comparison.                          January 3, 2011 -                                      naps. A good round of coding or documenting is
                                                     Categories: life, productivity, sick                   a great antidote for the doldrums.
To soothe an irritated throat, in a
mug, combine:                                        Monday: I don’t do “relaxing holidays” very well.      Being sick is great for all sorts of realizations,
                                                     My idea of a perfect holiday is one where I’m all      actually. I have the free time to do whatever I
      Juice of half a lemon                         wrung out at the end and ready to go back to           want to do (within reason). I don’t have the
                                                     work. Building a chair. Bottling a gazillion jars of   energy or the inclination to do many things.
      Tablespoon of honey                           jam. Taking apart and rebuilding appliances.           Granted, a lot of that is because of the cold, but if
      Hot water                                     Hanging out with family and friends. (If you’ve        I don’t get around to doing something even
                                                     met them, you know what a whirlwind they can           though I have an unencumbered day, what are
(Do not give honey to babies under a year old.)      be.)                                                   the chances of my getting around to it with an
                                                                                                            extra half hour?
January 2011 – sachachua.com


Here’s what I’m learning:                             http://sachachua.com/blog/p/22029                          It keeps you awake and concentrating.
                                                      January 4, 2011 -
                                                                                                                 It makes your reading active.
Writing and coding boost my energy, and are a         Categories: blogging, highlight, sketches, tips
great way to cheer myself up if I’m feeling                                                                      It helps you remember the thoughts of
unproductive.                                                                                                     the author.

Playing the piano is fun, too. I’m slowly getting                                                          Maybe I can get the same benefits by writing my
back into it (compensating for the time I couldn’t                                                         thoughts down elsewhere, but not on the printed
speak?). I like the slow development of fluency.                                                           pages. Ratchet up my book-blogging, perhaps, as
Plus, my playing nudges J-, and she ends up                                                                a life-long project to build a personal, digital
teaching herself a bit too. I’ve been teaching                                                             syntopicon?
myself Schumann’s “Von fremden Ländern und
Menschen” (the easy version                                                                                W- has started a fresh new professional notebook
from http://www.free-scores.com/download-                                                                  for 2011. In this, notebook he writes down ideas
sheet-music.php?pdf=8153) because of its                                                                   and lessons from his work and from the books he
appearance in McDull, but it’s also a pleasure re-                                                         reads. He’s been taking notes on another book
encountering old friends like Für Elise.              (larger version on blog)                             I’ve browsed and dogeared – Visual Meetings.

Drawing and preparing for presentations are                                                                I sporadically keep paper notebooks. They can be
pretty low on my radar. I should think about how      Marking up books                                     much more convenient than typing on a laptop,
to tweak that. Fortunately, I’d written a number      http://sachachua.com/blog/p/22030                    especially when one is propping a book open to
of blog posts from when I was presenting more,        January 5, 2011 -                                    the right page. Perhaps the tablet will make it
so I can remember what it’s like.                     Categories: book, highlight, reading                 easier to keep my handwritten notes?

Sewing has a bit more of an activation cost than      I’ve been rereading Adler and van Doren’s “How       What would my ideal book notes system be like?
it could. When work settles down again, I’ll set      to Read a Book”. I always get tripped up by the      Decades later, I’d like to be able to say – ah, if
aside some time to see if I can fix this.             advice to mark up one’s books (p48-51). I’ve         you’re interested in that, here are the books I’ve
                                                      experimented with this on and off – wild sallies     read about it, and this is how they’re connected
Tomorrow is going to be a busy day. I still have a    into the world of underlined passages and marks      to each other, and the arguments they made, and
bit of a cough and some sniffles, and I’ll probably   in the margins of books that I own — but I always    how my personal experiences have supported or
work from home, but my voice is back and I can        recoil, returning to furtively dog-eared pages       contradicted them, and what I’ve done with what
focus on work. (More easily on work than on           (and even this, when done to library books, earns    I learned from those books, and what else I could
other things, even.)                                  me a teasing frown from W-). But Adler and van       add…
                                                      Doren spend two and a half pages arguing for the
                                                      value of writing in one’s books and giving tips on   Margin notes can’t contain these, but maybe I’ll
Sketches: If you want to make the most of             how to do it effectively. Their reasons:             figure out my own system over time –
your next conference, you should blog                                                                      searchable, hyperlinked, backed-up, personal,
January 2011 – sachachua.com


and social. In the meantime, I keep my notes in       CAPTURE: Using Org + Remember to capture              notes into this system – text notes in my Org file
an Org text file, organized in an outline, tagged     book notes uses the same process as my other          and blog entries for linkability/commentability.
with keywords, and (occasionally) published on        notes. Diagrams can be scanned in and attached        Progress…
my blog.                                              to files. I used to scan and OCR dogeared pages,
                                                      but typing or dictating them in is okay, and it
What’s your system for book notes?                    helps me review. The capture part of my process       Emacs, BBDB, and getting your contacts
                                                      is fantastic.                                         on the Android or iPhone
ISBN:0-671-21280-X                                                                                          http://sachachua.com/blog/p/22034
How to Read a Book                                    ORGANIZATION: org-refile or copying and               January 7, 2011 -
Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren               pasting are easy, so this part of the process is      Categories: android, bbdb, emacs
                                                      fine.
                                                                                                            Want your Emacs BBDB contacts on your
Moving my book notes online                           REVIEW: I might schedule times to refresh my          Android or iPhone?
http://sachachua.com/blog/p/22033                     memory of certain books. I can do that with Org
January 6, 2011 - Categories: emacs, reading          agenda fairly easily.                                 The easiest way I’ve found is to export your
                                                                                                            contacts to CSV, then import them into
I moved more of my book notes online, reasoning       SHARING: Here’s where the process breaks              something like Google Contacts. You can export
that a braindump is better than occasional            down a little. org2blog-post-subtree is great, and    your BBDB contacts using bbdb-to-outlook.el,
whining about the lack of a good system. ;)           I’ve used that a number of times to post the          which is available in the BBDB package in
Fellow Emacs geeks who use Org will probably          relevant subtree of book notes. That adds the         the bits/ directory. Download bbdb-to-outlook.el
get the most out of this, as they can open it in      notes as entries in my blog, storing the post ID in   from Sourceforge if you can’t find it in your
Emacs and work with the hierarchy, but someday        my Org file so that I can get back to the post        BBDB directory. To use:
I may figure out a neat little hyperlinked solution   afterwards. org2blog also makes it easy to edit
that will make it easy for everyone else. Or I’ll     entries, hooray.                                         1. Load bbdb-to-outlook.el and use M-x
pull more and more of these posts into my blog,                                                                   eval-buffer to load the code.
where they’ll be individually linkable and            Once it’s in my blog, people can use the
commentable.                                          categories to find other entries. However, my            2. Use M-x bbdb to open your BBDB
                                                      current blog layout doesn’t highlight the                   records, and search for . to show all the
Compare: http://sachachua.com/blog/category/          categories, and it’s not easy to browse the                 records. Alternatively, search for a subset
book/ , which wins points for being graphical and     different book-related categories. Maybe it’s               of your records.
highlighted and comment-friendly, but loses           worth tweaking a “reading” or “book” category            3. Type O to run bbdb-to-outlook and
topical organization, overview, search, and           layout page.                                                choose the file.
offline access.
                                                      Aha! How’s http://sachachua.com/blog/book-            Tada! Step one done. Review the file and delete
It’s a start. Here’s what’s working well:             notes/ ? It’s a manually-edited list at the top       anything you don’t want to include.
                                                      (thanks, Org!), followed by an automatically-
                                                      generated index. I’ll gradually move my other
January 2011 – sachachua.com


To import the contacts into Google Contacts, go              o   [X] Work on Project M:                           o   Started teaching myself the piano
to Google Mail and click on Contacts. Click                      Documentation, tidying up                            again
on Import and choose your file. After some time
                                                             o   [X] Work on Project S: Clean                     o   Sketched my goals for 2011.
and some fiddling, you can get that synchronized
                                                                 things up
onto your Android or iPhone.                                                                                      o   Posted my book notes and
                                                             o   [X] Idea Lab: Run Idea Lab                           improved my book workflow.
I haven’t thought about syncing, but I’m trying to
                                                             o   [X] Illustrate networking tips                   o   Posted a Kijiji ad looking for a
keep my BBDB as The Master File for Contacts
                                                                                                                      piano teacher
anyway, as it’s so much more flexible than any               o   Learned how to hack Drupal
other contact database I’ve tried. (Although                     messaging and notifications           Plans for next week
gist.com is pretty cool and I do like the Android’s          o   Found out my Lotusphere 2011
merging of photos, contact info, and updates…)                   session got accepted                         Work

There was some work on synchronizing BBDB                    o   Had team lunch with Jennifer                     o   [] Finish up on project S
with the Palm, so that might be a possibility.                   Nolan, Johnny Patterson and                      o   [] Start testing project M
                                                                 Elena Neroslavskaya
Enjoy!                                                                                                            o   [] Fix my Lotus Notes
                                                         Relationships                                           o   [] Look into Lotusphere

Weekly review: Week ending January 7,                        o   [-] Look into cooking or cleaning
                                                                 assistance                                   Relationships
2011
http://sachachua.com/blog/p/22035                            o   Watched Bride and Prejudice with                 o   [] Get around to hosting a get-
January 8, 2011 - Categories: weekly                             W- and J- (hooray library DVDs)                      together, maybe a game night

                                                             o   Read Pride and Prejudice and                     o   [] Plan May trip
Relearning the piano. It’s interesting. I can
remember playing better than this. Now I’m re-                   Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls
                                                                                                              Life
learning how to play these pieces, going, “Ahh.              o   … and in general, enjoyed all sorts
That feels familiar. And then there should be this               of things Austen                                 o   [] Get back into sewing: work on
bit over here – yes, that’s right.” On the other                                                                      black dress
hand, I read notes a little bit faster now than I        Life                                                    o   [] Post more book notes
did before.
                                                             o   [X] Get well                          Time analysis
Getting well. A persistent cough and some                    o   [X] Hire a virtual assistant again    Sleep           73.6      ~ 11 hours per day,
sniffles, but definitely better than last week.                                                                        hours     thanks to good
From last week’s plans                                       o   Watched Bottle Shock, also from
                                                                 the library – that was fun                                      weekends
        Work
January 2011 – sachachua.com


                                                  http://sachachua.com/blog/p/22037                   extract. I made pandesal. W- discovered a good
Work             33.5    A little overtime, but
                                                  January 9, 2011 - Categories: life                  combination: egg tarts (3 whole eggs + 3 extra
                 hours   it’s good
                                                                                                      egg yolks), coconut macaroons (4 egg whites),
Break            22      Recuperating             We celebrated J-’s birthday at Korean Grill         and oatmeal cookies (the recipe we use involves 2
                 hours                            House last night. During a lull in the              eggs and an extra egg yolk). All in all, nine eggs
                                                  conversation as people digested the vast            and no extra parts languishing in ramekins in the
Writing          12                               quantities of food we’d just consumed, she took     fridge.
                 hours                            out her iPod and started flipping through an e-
                                                  book.                                               Of course, now we will need to find coworkers
Piano practice   7                                                                                    and friends willing to take some of these baked
                 hours                            Her uncle asked, “What are you reading?”            goods off our hands (and away from our
                                                                                                      waistlines)…
Routines         5.5                              J- answered, “Pride and Prejudice.”
                 hours                                                                                Life is good.
                                                  Simultaneous jaw drop from uncle and aunt,
Outsourceable 4                                   grins from W- and me.
              hours                                                                                   Work on the business from the outside,
                                                  “Pride and Prejudice?! Are you reading that for     not in it – Book: Effortless entrepreneur
Exercise         2.5                              school or for fun?”                                 http://sachachua.com/blog/p/22038
                 hours                                                                                January 10, 2011 -
                                                  “For fun!”                                          Categories: book, entrepreneurship, reading
Social           1.5
                 hours                            We’ve been on an entire Pride and Prejudice kick    One of the key points of “Effortless entrepreneur”
                                                  this past week. We watched the 2005 movie, the      is that you need to create systems and delegate
Travel           0.5     Worked from home so
                                                  Lost in Austen miniseries, Bride and Prejudice      work so that you can free up time to improve
                 hours   that I wouldn’t get
                                                  (the Bollywood version; quite a few laughs); read   your business.
                         others sick
                                                  “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the       p38. Work on the business from the outside, not
Untracked        5.9     Jan 1-3 had hole-y       Dreadfuls” (the prequel to “Pride and Prejudice     in it. A great entrepreneur builds systems to run
                 hours   records, but Jan 4 – 7   and Zombies”); quoted and joked and                 the business as if it were a machine, and stands
                         was all tracked          improvised.                                         over it instead of being part of its inner
                                                                                                      workings. A business owner should sell that
                                                  Yes, we’re geeks.                                   machine to clients and perfect its functionality,
Once my categories settle down, I might do some                                                       but not sit in the gear room. How many times
between-week analysis…                            —                                                   have you seen a local store owner answering
                                                                                                      phones, doing paperwork, and assisting
                                                  We spent a very agreeable afternoon in the          customers all at once? This business owner
Snippets from life                                kitchen. We chopped up vanilla beans for making     works IN the business, not ON it, and hasn’t
January 2011 – sachachua.com


identified the different positions within his                 vegetate a bit more, then hit the sack.     I’m looking forward to do even better. At work, I
business, such as receptionist, salesperson, and              Or perhaps you’re a parent and you          want to to learn more about Drupal 7, consulting,
cashier. Instead, he does all those jobs himself.             leave work with just enough energy to       and the processes we have. I’m also looking
                                                              get through your parental                   forward to writing up more notes and coaching
Creating manuals and training maps for each                   requirements in the evening.                others. In the rest of life, I’d like to experiment
position from the get-go forces you to evaluate                                                           with delegating again, invest time into becoming
                                                            Option B: On the other hand, let’s say you
what needs to be done and helps identify tasks                                                            a better writer, and continue building wonderful
                                                              go to work and intentionally keep half
you might not think of right away. That can mean                                                          relationships.
                                                              of your energy for yourself. You give
fewer unpleasant surprises down the road. At
                                                              the company 50% of the gas in your
first, you’ll likely have to work IN your business                                                        How about you? How can you not only work in
                                                              tank. After you leave, you spend that
and do most, if not all, of the work for each                                                             your business, but on it?
                                                              50% improving yourself. You go to
position. That’s common when you start out. But
                                                              night classes. You go to the gym. You
create a system that allows you to just work ON it                                                        Effortless entrepreneur: Work smart, play hard,
                                                              go to the library. You go to meetings of    make millions
as soon as possible. Once that system is
                                                              professional growth groups, like            2010 Nick Friedman and Omar Soliman
operative, a business gains its true value.
                                                              Toastmasters.                               Three Rivers Press
Work on your business, not just in it. It                                                                 ISBN 978-0-307-58799-2
                                                     Well, maybe not 50%. If you can do your work
makes sense, although lots of small-business
                                                     with 80% effort, and then invest the rest into
owners find it hard to make that jump.                                                                    Book: Effortless entrepreneur 2011-01-10 Mon
                                                     building skills and processes, then it’s like a      19:27
How can people practice this now? After all, even    savvy entrepreneur investing time into building
if you work for a company, you work for yourself,    systems, not just fighting fires. Sometimes it’s
too.                                                 more like a full-energy work and 20% extra, but I    Wrapping up projects and preparing for
                                                     enjoy the work and the learning along the way.       the next one
It’s kinda like what Trent (The Simple Dollar)                                                            http://sachachua.com/blog/p/22039
                                                     At work, I’m learning about the way we work on       January 11, 2011 - Categories: career, ibm, work
writes about in “Who is your real boss? Some
perspectives on career success”:                     projects: the processes, the templates, the
My belief is this: the people that succeed are the   questions and conversations. I like making           We’re in the final phases of our two Drupal
people who invest that energy and time and           systems, processes, and tools, so I’m learning       projects. We’re writing test scripts, fixing bugs,
patience and thought a little differently.           how to improve things.                               and loading production data. In a week or two,
What do I mean?                                                                                           we’ll finalize the source code and save a copy of
                                                     I’m working on applying this idea of “working on     the database. I’ve really liked working on these
                                                     the business, not just in it” in personal life as    projects, and I’m looking forward to working on
       Option A: Let’s say you go to work each
                                                     well. Hence the household optimizations: batch       similar things in the future.
          day and leave it all on the table. When    cooking and a chest freezer, tweaked routines,
          you leave work, you’re so drained you      relationship-building. Capacity-building for
          can barely make it home. You sit on the                                                         As I wrap up on this project and get ready for
                                                     future adventures.                                   future ones, I can’t help but think how working in
          couch, vegetate for a while, eat dinner,
January 2011 – sachachua.com


IBM Global Business Services helps me learn              Maybe work on a conventional skill set –       cooking marathons are an excuse to break out
about different parts of consulting. We can help          J2EE?                                          the knives, chopping boards, and stacks of food
with proposals for new projects. We have an                                                              containers, and we have great conversations
                                                         Work on paperwork: project assessments,
internal marketplace that lists openings and                                                             while slicing and dicing. We also enjoy the walk
                                                          certification, etc.
required skills. We can submit our resumes and                                                           to the supermarket (which often involves a side-
set up interviews. We need to do a little                Improve the Lotus Connections toolkit          trip to the library, and you know how I enjoy
marketing on our own, and we always have to                                                              that). Folding laundry is a good time to watch a
work on keeping our skills up to date.             Just like independent consultants need to always      movie (borrowed from the aforementioned
                                                   be building their pipeline, I should see if I can     library), which leads to more shared experiences
Today I attended a call with my resource           balance my future project work so that I’m            and in-jokes, which helps cultivate a relationship.
deployment manager. Her role includes              always working on the pipeline for the next           Turn chores into social bonding time, and the
matching people with projects. She shared some     thing: helping out with bids, learning a new skill,   time will fly.
tips on how to make the most of our tools, some    and so on.
things we might invest time in if we have some                                                           Use the time to reflect and
downtime between projects, and upcoming            Fun!                                                  improve. Cooking is a great time to learn new
projects we might be interested in.                                                                      recipes or improve my skills. Tidying up reminds
                                                                                                         me where things are and gives me an opportunity
Here are some things I’m looking forward to        Three tips for cheerful chores                        to simplify. Spend a little extra time making
doing if I have some time between this and my      http://sachachua.com/blog/p/22040                     things better for the next time you do something.
next project:                                      January 12, 2011 - Categories: life, productivity
                                                                                                         Eliminate or delegate things that really
      Help write proposals for Drupal and Web     I’ve been taking a closer look at household tasks     sap your energy. Speaking of cats: scooping
       2.0 projects                                that I could outsource or simplify. Groceries,        out four litter boxes was not fun. So W- did a bit
                                                   laundry, cleaning, cooking…                           of research and ordered a Litter Robot. The
           o   Compile case studies                                                                      spaceship-like contraption now commands a
           o   Estimate Drupal projects            … but really, they don’t take that much time, and     corner of the living room (next to the toolchest,
                                                   I probably get more value from doing them than        actually). It’s been worth it not just for
           o   Prototype?                          I would from a few extra hours of writing or          convenience, but also for entertainment value.
      write up and share my Drupal notes          work.                                                 Our cat Luke loves to watch it, but when he steps
                                                                                                         on it for a closer look, the Litter Robot stops
      Create and compile assets (Drupal case      Here are three tips I’ve found that help me enjoy     rotating. This confuses him and always makes
       studies, Web 2.0 overviews, etc.)           what I’m doing. Maybe you’ll find them useful,        me laugh.
      Learn more about Drupal 7, AJAX,            too!
       information architecture, mobile                                                                  We could cut back on savings and hire some of
       development, project management, and        Many hands make fun work. Turn the chore              these tasks out – but we’d probably replace them
       other interesting things – discuss          into an excuse to build a relationship. For           with time spent taking long walks together,
       priorities with manager                     example, W- and I love cooking. Our batch-            learning new skills, or improving the flow of life.
January 2011 – sachachua.com


Which is basically what we would’ve been paying      possibly one of my new recommendations in this                Regularly buy something that you
someone else to handle, so we might as well do it    area.                                                            historically have viewed as frivolous
ourselves.                                                                                                            but which you can truly afford.
                                                     I’ve been thinking about whether I’ve got the
                                                                                                                   Buy more gifts for the people you love.
What do you do to make chores cheerful?              right balance of saving for near-term expenses,
                                                     investing for the future, and enjoying the                    Go easier on yourself and family when it
2011-01-12 Wed 19:38                                 present. The book has an entire chapter on this                  comes to everyday expenses.
                                                     (pp.103 to 112). I particularly like the section on
                                                     reflecting on whether you’re postponing                This year’s probably going to be pretty easy to
Book: Let’s Get Real About Money: Profit             achievable dreams, and the quote:                      plan for, actually, because we’ve got the two big
from the Habits of the Best Personal                 It is very well to be thrifty, but don’t amass a       trips planned (Netherlands and the Philippines),
Finance Managers                                     hoard of regrets.                                      and we might look into improving the insulation
http://sachachua.com/blog/p/22041                                                                           of the house. We’re also saving up for other
January 13, 2011 - Categories: book, finance                French poet, Charles D’Orleans (quoted         adventures over the next year or two. Big rocks.
                                                             on p.118 of Let’s Get Real About Money)        It’s easy to plan other things around those:
Let’s Get Real About Money: Profit from the                                                                 perhaps piano lessons, sewing lessons, gardening
Habits of the Best Personal Finance Managers         I’m reminded of Ramit Sethi’s story about how          experiments, and woodworking projects.
(c) 2008 Eric Tyson                                  some people set aside money for meeting
FT Press, New Jersey                                 interesting people. Might be a fun experiment,         Anyway… “Let’s Get Real About Money” is a good
ISBN: 978-0-13-234161-5                              although perhaps not to that scale. Ditto for          read. Try the self-test in front, and check out the
                                                     learning and experimentation, which I do               chapters on insurance and managing risks. Have
My expectations were low. The subtitle “Profit       explicitly save for, and which has paid off quite a    fun!
from the Habits of the Best Personal Finance         bit in terms of interesting life experiences. So I’m
Managers” made me think of celebrity-focused         not doing too badly in this area, and I’m              2011-01-13 Thu 21:22
“secrets”-type books with more fluff than            continuing to learn.
content. But hey, it was on the library bookshelf,
so I picked it up anyway. I’ve found all sorts of    There are useful tips on p131 on keeping saving        13,705 steps and counting
gems in unlikely books, and I’ve skimmed my          in proper perspective. Here’s the summary:             http://sachachua.com/blog/p/22042
way through seemingly-solid books that proved                                                               January 14, 2011 -
to be disappointments. It’s easy to take risks on            Understand the standard of living that        Categories: android, ex
books when they’re free. ;)                                    can be provided by the assets you’ve         ercise, health, life, trac
                                                               already accumulated.                         king
I was pleasantly surprised by what I found. The
book has a lot of practical advice on money and              Get smart about investing your money.         13,705 steps in two
relationships, family, raising savvy kids,                   Go on a news diet.                            and a half hours of
spending plans, frugality, investment, insurance,                                                           leisurely walks spread
and learning more. Well worth a read, and                                                                   out over one day,
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2011 - sachachua.com

  • 2. 2011 – sachachua.com January 2011 ......................................................10 Sketchnotes: Gretchen Rubin, Happiness On appearance and bias: thoughts from the Weekly review: Week ending December 31, Project book tour ........................................... 22 Nerd Girls panel at Lotusphere 2011 ............ 37 2010 ................................................................10 Of recipes and memories............................... 22 Weekly review: Week ending February 4, 2011 Sick days ......................................................... 11 Fun and rational economic theory: reflections ....................................................................... 39 Momentum and holidays ............................... 11 on the book “The Logic of Life” ..................... 23 Monthly review: January 2011 ....................... 41 Sketches: If you want to make the most of your Monthly review: December 2010 .................. 25 Disagreement and the road to trusting yourself next conference, you should blog ................... 12 Sketchnotes from Quantified Self Toronto ....................................................................... 42 Marking up books .......................................... 12 meetup #3 ..................................................... 26 Working on estimates ................................... 43 Moving my book notes online ........................ 13 Weekly review: Week ending January 21, 2011 Things to write about: questions for your ....................................................................... 27 blogger’s block ............................................... 43 Emacs, BBDB, and getting your contacts on the Android or iPhone .................................... 13 Sketches: What index cards are teaching me Thinking about personal random moment about drawing ............................................... 28 studies ........................................................... 44 Weekly review: Week ending January 7, 2011 ........................................................................ 14 Unbaffled ....................................................... 29 Hackbuzzbuzzbuzz ........................................ 45 Snippets from life ........................................... 15 Tweaking fun and nudging myself out of Books to write................................................ 45 procrastination .............................................. 30 Weekly review: Week ending February 11, 2011 Work on the business from the outside, not in it – Book: Effortless entrepreneur ................. 15 Cross-posting between Lotus Connections ....................................................................... 46 blogs and a personal blog ............................... 31 On friendship and getting better at it ........... 48 Wrapping up projects and preparing for the next one .......................................................... 16 Draft Lotusphere BoF on working with the On presenting, anxiety, and moving forward 49 Connections API ............................................. 31 Three tips for cheerful chores ........................ 17 More about getting 27″ washers and dryers A braindump of tips for other new immigrants down 26″ hallways ........................................ 50 Book: Let’s Get Real About Money: Profit from from the Philippines ....................................... 31 the Habits of the Best Personal Finance How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Managers ........................................................18 Pre-conference networking tips for the Webinar: Energy, Interaction, and ROI ........ 52 Instructional Technology Strategies 13,705 steps and counting ..............................18 Conference .................................................... 33 Energy ........................................................ 52 Weekly review: Week ending January 14, 2011 Weekly review: Week ending January 28, 2011 Interaction ................................................. 53 ........................................................................ 19 ....................................................................... 33 Radically increasing your ROI ................... 54 Emacs 24 and the package manager ............. 20 February 2011 ................................................... 35 From zero to hero: a newbie’s guide to learning Switched my Fido plan .................................. 20 Lotusphere 2011 wrap-up ............................. 35 and building a reputation along the way....... 56 Batch baking for fun and awesomeness ......... 21 A story of pi ................................................... 37 Imagine success for social media ...................57 On friendship and becoming more social ..... 58
  • 3. 2011 – sachachua.com Book: Daddy Long Legs, and letters ............. 59 1. Direct ...................................................... 74 Miscellaneous ............................................ 83 LinkedIn tip: Customize your profile URL ... 59 2. Search .....................................................75 Get More Value from Blogging, part VI: Let’s Decision review: Limiting my blog to one post 3. Browsing .................................................75 Get Down to Business ................................... 83 a day .............................................................. 60 4. Referrals .................................................75 1. ROI ......................................................... 83 Weekly review: Week ending February 18, 2011 5. Learning from others ............................. 76 2. Questions, updates, resources, and ....................................................................... 62 serendipitous conversations ...................... 84 Get More Value from Blogging, part IV: Waking up: looking at my data ..................... 63 Connecting with People................................. 76 3. Connection ............................................. 84 ITSC guide to conference awesomeness ....... 64 1. Introduction ........................................... 76 4. Reputation ............................................. 84 How I spent my Family Day weekend ........... 65 2. Deepening the connection ...................... 77 5. Jobs and careers .................................... 84 Kaizen: Thinking about presentations .......... 65 3. Appreciation ........................................... 77 6. Accountability and transparency ........... 84 Posted revised “Remote Presentations That 4. Reaching out ........................................... 77 7. Culture ................................................... 85 Rock” presentation ........................................ 66 Presentation experiment: Shy Connector, Six 5. The great conversation .......................... 78 Get More Value from Blogging, part I: The Steps to Sharing, and other presentations in Immediate Benefits of Thought .................... 67 March 2011........................................................ 79 March! ........................................................... 85 Part I: The Immediate Benefits of Thought Dealing with intimidating projects ............... 79 Weekly review: Week ending March 4, 2011. 86 ................................................................... 67 Get More Value from Blogging, part V: Monthly review: February 2011 .................... 87 Get More Value from Blogging, part II: The Communication Matters ............................... 79 Can’t see cross-domain images in your Flash Compounding Value of an Archive ............... 69 1. Writing ................................................... 79 file? Make a crossdomain.xml ....................... 88 1. Search ..................................................... 69 2. Visual communication ........................... 80 Quick notes from Emacs Org-mode talk at 2. Review.................................................... 69 3. Presentation ........................................... 80 GTALUG ........................................................ 89 3. Growth ................................................... 70 4. Conversation .......................................... 80 Leveling up as a developer! ........................... 90 4. Overview ................................................ 70 5. Avoiding the curse of expertise ...............81 Trying MemoLane (social timeline) ............... 91 4. Value ....................................................... 71 Questions and answers from #infoboomSC Math and energy ............................................ 91 5. Rediscovery ............................................. 71 tweetchat on blogging ....................................81 Weekly review: Week ending March 11, 2011 92 Trying out Slideshare’s new Zipcast feature .. 71 On making the time to write .......................81 Get More Value from Blogging, Part VII: Weekly review: Week ending February 25, On perfectionism and personal branding ..81 Inspiring Yourself and Inspiring Others ....... 93 2011 ............................................................... 73 On finding ideas......................................... 82 1. Making your goals real ........................... 93 Get More Value from Blogging, part III: On practices ............................................... 82 2. Connecting with inspiration .................. 93 Sharing Makes the Blog Go ‘Round .............. 74 3. Progress ................................................. 94
  • 4. 2011 – sachachua.com 4. Inspiring others ..................................... 94 Quid est nōmen tuum? Nōmen meum est Study group update: negative numbers, Coconut buns and the economics of home “Sacha” ......................................................... 113 exponents, and awesomeness ...................... 129 awesomeness ................................................. 94 April 2011 ......................................................... 114 Learning from my mood data ...................... 129 Continuing experiments with Slideshare’s Running the Selenium IDE testing plugin with Making better use of travel time ..................130 Zipcast web conferences................................ 95 Firefox 4 ....................................................... 114 Compost magic and happiness.....................130 Recipes: Coconut cocktail bun recipe ........... 96 Weekly review: Week ending April 1, 2011 .. 114 Mr. Fluffers: Stray or not stray?................... 131 Thinking about a developer setup template.. 98 Starting up our garden ................................. 115 Back in the garden, the perennials are coming Decision trees and self-challenges: how my The Busy Person’s Guide to Learning from the back .............................................................. 131 laptop’s recent battery failure is a great excuse Network (a guide for IBMers) ...................... 116 Weekly review: Week ending April 22, 2011 131 to think .......................................................... 99 Setting up Ruby on Rails on a Redhat Monthly review: March 2011........................ 133 Cats: 0, toilet paper monster: 1; also, ArtRage Enterprise Linux Rackspace Cloud Server ... 119 and Autodesk Sketchbook Pro ..................... 101 Writing macrons in Linux for Latin Troubleshooting: ...................................... 119 pronunciation ............................................... 133 Spring! ......................................................... 102 Helping kids learn algebra .......................... 120 Stuff or experiences ...................................... 134 Weekly review: Week ending March 18, 2011 Why we use more than math textbooks and ..................................................................... 102 The enemy of your enemy is your friend: general-purpose resources ........................... 121 mnemonics and negative integers................ 135 Pirate kitties .................................................103 Spousonomics: Using economics to master Remote training that rocks .......................... 136 Learning more about Websphere and web love, marriage, and dirty dishes ................... 121 service development .................................... 104 Giving a presentation using Autodesk Decision review: Battery .............................. 122 Sketchbook Pro and a web conference ......... 137 Shanghaippy birthday, John Grimme! Recipe: Writing more about life ................................ 122 Lumpiang shanghai ..................................... 104 Study group: Flashcards and the Leitner Weekly review: Week ending April 8, 2011 .. 123 method .........................................................138 The three argumenteers ...............................105 On developing a reputation for project work Weekly review: Week ending April 29, 2011 139 Weekly review: Week ending March 25, 2011 ...................................................................... 124 ..................................................................... 106 "An Easy Method for Beginners in Latin" and Math study group: Positive and negative macron-insensitive search for Tiddlywiki ... 140 Filling in the learning gaps........................... 107 numbers ....................................................... 125 May 2011 .......................................................... 143 On typing in Dvorak .................................... 108 Still cold? Wear a hat to bed......................... 126 Negative productivity and learning from Helping kids learn about automation ......... 109 Using behavioural economics to motivate oopses ........................................................... 143 More thoughts on time analysis: correlations yourself when working on risky projects ..... 126 Thoughts from marriage: Learning together and revealed preferences.............................. 110 Three cat life ................................................. 127 ...................................................................... 143 Becoming a faster developer ........................ 112 Weekly review: Week ending April 15, 2011 127
  • 5. 2011 – sachachua.com Cucumber, Capybara, and the joys of Finding mentors ....................................... 156 Microsoft Windows development environment integration testing in Rails ........................... 144 Making the most of mentoring ................. 157 ...................................................................... 167 On people changing companies ................... 145 Helping others .......................................... 157 Hungry hungry compost and other garden Tweaking married life for everyday happiness updates .........................................................168 Next steps ................................................. 157 ...................................................................... 145 It’s Bike Month in Toronto! .........................168 Notes from the airport: Missed my flight; not Rails: Exporting data from specific tables into the end of the world after all ........................ 157 Monthly reviews: April and May 2011 ......... 169 fixtures ......................................................... 146 Decision review: calendars, development, Victoria Day weekend: back to the garden ... 159 Condensing requirements into use cases ..... 147 standing desks, toe shoes, Kindle, bike, CSA, Gardening: Horticultural investments, social Autodesk Sketchbook, blogging ................... 170 On kids and the learning of tangible things . 147 dividends ..................................................... 160 Rails: Paperclip needs attributes defined by Bike ride in the rain...................................... 171 Experimenting with standing desks ............ 160 attr_accessible, not just attr_accessor......... 147 Weekly review: Week ending June 3, 2011 .. 171 The flow of opportunities in a large company Back from the Netherlands ..........................148 ...................................................................... 161 Plans for summer: Relationships, work, Weekly review: Week ending May 6, 2011 ... 149 gardening, biking, drawing and photography, Taking a break while working on presentations making, and finances ................................... 172 First foray into community-supported ...................................................................... 161 agriculture .................................................... 149 Made a stuff sack for J- ................................ 173 Developing a workflow with Autodesk Cattus Petasatus ...........................................150 Sketchbook Pro ............................................ 162 Negative optimization .................................. 174 Weekly review: Week ending May 13, 2011 .150 Weekly review: Weeks ending May 20, 2011 Thinking about our development practices . 174 Rails: Preserving test data ............................ 151 and May 27, 2011 .......................................... 163 Drush, Simpletest, and continuous integration Dealing with a bad calendar week ................ 164 for Drupal using Jenkins (previously Hudson) Finding the bright side of business travel .... 151 ...................................................................... 175 Walking outside my comfort zone – bike? May 29, 2011: bagels, banana bread, bok choi, bath stuff, and books .................................... 164 Sketchnotes from Democamp Toronto 29, push/kick scooter? ....................................... 152 June 2011...................................................... 177 Ordered a Kindle with free 3G ..................... 154 Made a kitty soap holder .............................. 164 Managing configuration changes in Drupal. 177 Travel updates: GPS, Pearl Street, Vibram toe Seasons and salad days ................................ 165 Weekly review: Week ending June 11, 2011 . 179 shoes ............................................................. 154 Learning from Mr. Collins: Practice, conversation, and what to do when someone Getting things ready for the next week: Waiting for my Kindle .................................. 155 cooking and gardening ................................. 179 says something mean ................................... 165 Presentation draft: Mentoring on the Network This is what my blog looks like on paper .... 180 ...................................................................... 156 June 2011 ......................................................... 167 VMWare, Samba, Eclipse, and XDebug: Decision review: Kitchen counter computing Why ........................................................... 156 (ad hoc standing desk) ................................ 180 Mixing a virtual Linux environment with a Challenges and advantages....................... 156
  • 6. 2011 – sachachua.com Cook Or Die Season II: Community-Supported Meaning and acknowledgement .................. 193 Dealing with web development and stress ... 217 Agriculture ................................................... 181 Context-switching and a four-project day ... 194 Weekly review: Week ending July 16, 2011 .. 217 Kaizen in the little things: The way the door July 2011 .......................................................... 197 Dealing with a heat wave in Toronto ...........218 opens ............................................................ 181 Four-day weekend ahead ............................. 197 Starting piano again .....................................218 Make-ahead meals .......................................182 How I organize my personal finances .......... 197 Rhetoric and the Manila Zoo; reflections on Personal projects ..........................................182 conversations and a request for insight ....... 219 Getting a grip on a large database migration Getting the hang of community-supported ...................................................................... 199 Public transit day ......................................... 221 agriculture ....................................................183 Fifty kilometers on my bicycle .................... 200 Weekly review: Week ending July 24, 2011 . 221 Gardening notes: Cut-and-come-again lettuce ......................................................................184 Embracing Pollyanna .................................. 200 Cats in high places ....................................... 222 An abundance of cilantro, now freezing in Organizing my digital life ............................ 201 Sketchnotes from Quantified Self Toronto cubes; strawberries and peas .......................184 Hacking Drupal views and taxonomy: looking meetup: Conferences, pollution sensing, and for 100% matching of terms ........................ 202 growing old at home .................................... 222 Weekly review: Week ending June 18, 2011 185 Planning for summer .................................. 203 Piano lesson week 2 .................................... 223 Thinking about speaking topics ................... 185 In an imperfect world .................................. 205 Long weekend ahead ................................... 223 Switching back to Linux as my development host ............................................................... 187 Thinking about activities to share with others Mornings at our house ................................ 224 (500) days of salad ....................................... 187 ..................................................................... 207 Software and making pots ........................... 224 Portal 2 and teachable moments in argument Weekly review: Two weeks ending July 9, 2011 Weekly review: Week ending July 31, 2011 . 225 ...................................................................... 187 ..................................................................... 208 August 2011 ..................................................... 226 Portal 2 .........................................................189 Monthly review: June 2011 ......................... 208 Looking back at life as a 27-year-old........... 226 Mindful spending, experiments, and living in On cherry tomatoes, frugality, and wanting 210 Rhetoric and advocacy: the value of a different line with your values ....................................189 Love, web development, and imaginary friends approach ...................................................... 227 Weekly review: Week ending June 25, 2011 190 ..................................................................... 210 Learning by imitation: getting inspired by Strawberry rhubarb baking .......................... 191 The first blueberries from our garden.......... 211 Exploding Dog ............................................. 229 Writing your way past “What have I been A zucchini a day keeps the vegetable drawer Drupal and JQuery 1.5: Fixing the JSON doing with my life?” ..................................... 191 okay .............................................................. 211 encoding of ampersands ............................. 229 Learning from the speeches of grade seven Cake was not a lie ......................................... 212 Drupal, HTML Purifier, and embedding students ........................................................ 192 An elephant love story: Real stories of Manila IFRAMES from YouTube ............................ 230 Drupal notes from helping a client improve her Zoo ................................................................ 213 Weekly review: Week ending August 5, 2011; development environment ........................... 193 Piano lessons ................................................ 216 thoughts on discretionary time .................... 231
  • 7. 2011 – sachachua.com Jalapeño jelly............................................... 233 “Hello, Monday!” comic series launched on Drupal: Finding nodes through autocomplete Drupal: Overriding Drupal autocompletion to IBM intranet home page; now I’m a comic ..................................................................... 268 pass more parameters ................................. 234 artist! ........................................................... 248 Decision: Not getting an Ontario Science Decision: Piano lessons? ............................. 235 Built a USB foot pedal using the Arduino Uno Centre family membership.......................... 269 ..................................................................... 249 Transcript: Blogging (Part 2): Growing into Lessons learned from project M.................. 235 How to set up more frequent merge blogging ....................................................... 270 What worked well .................................... 236 replications in SQL Server 2000 ................. 250 Dusting off my Sony Vaio U1........................ 271 What I’m going to work on improving next Re-setting up my computer......................... 252 time .......................................................... 237 Tweaking the fingerprint settings on my Mailing non-Emacs users your Org notes ... 252 Lenovo X220T ............................................. 272 Thinking about blogging and planning ahead ..................................................................... 237 Practising drawing ...................................... 253 Weekly review: Week ending September 9, Code and circuit for a six-function Arduino- 2011 ............................................................. 272 Living an awesome life as a 27-year-old: a year in blog posts ................................................ 238 based USB footswitch .................................. 253 Thinking about getting better at decisions . 274 Weekly review: Week ending August 12, 2011 Weekly review: Week ending August 27, 2011 Deliberate practice, typing faster, and Emacs ..................................................................... 239 ..................................................................... 255 ..................................................................... 274 Reflections on creativity .............................. 240 Drupal debugging story: Rules defined in Free Geek Toronto: Notes from the build multiple Features .........................................257 session ......................................................... 276 Volunteer notes: Free Geek Toronto ............ 241 Batch cooking .............................................. 258 Transcript: Blogging (Part 3): Blogging and Discovering Yourself through Blogging (free other social tools .......................................... 277 teleconference Aug 16, 6 PM PDT, 9 PM EDT, Getting rid of the “I can’t draw”s ................ 259 9 AM Philippine time) ................................. 243 September 2011 ............................................... 260 Learning new tricks about learning: maps and history .......................................................... 277 Session follow-up #1: Discovering Yourself Transcript: Blogging (Part 1): Blogging and through Blogging ......................................... 243 introverts ..................................................... 260 Back to school, back to study groups .......... 278 Thinking my way through a tough MS SQL Notes on transcription with and without a foot Monthly review: June, July, and August 2011 Server 2000 replication problem ................ 244 pedal ............................................................. 261 ..................................................................... 279 Git bisect and reversing a mistaken patch .. 245 Starting up my experiments in delegation Weekly review: Week ending September 16, again; the difference between what I want to 2011 ............................................................. 279 Kids’ cartoons and learning piano .............. 246 do and what I want to see............................ 262 IBM Comic: Watson on helpdesk duty; Weekly review: Week ending August 19, 2011 variants .........................................................281 ..................................................................... 246 Weekly review: Week ending September 2, 2011 ............................................................. 264 Update on typing: Added AutoCorrect hotkey Thinking about outsourcing transcription or script, now clocking in at 118wpm .............. 282 doing it myself ............................................. 247 Thinking about improving our freezer use . 266 Planning for currency conversion ............... 282
  • 8. 2011 – sachachua.com Transcript: Blogging (Part 4): Parenting .... 282 Tweaking my Windows 7 setup more: Emacs Weekly review: Week ending October 21, 2011 Working with the Editorial Calendar plugin for on all virtual desktops! ................................ 299 ...................................................................... 311 WordPress; on scheduling posts ................. 284 Monitoring multiple WordPress sites for Geek travel update: Mostly as planned ........ 312 Batch cooking, community-supported comments using Yahoo Pipes...................... 299 Thought roundup: Podcasts, drawing, cats, agriculture, and gardening .......................... 284 Geek travel: Planning outfits using matrices and towels .................................................... 313 Weekly review: Week ending September 23, ..................................................................... 300 Practising drawing: variations on a theme .. 314 2011 ............................................................. 285 From the feeds: Ramen, personal assistants, Transcript: Blogging (Part 9): Learning from Quantified: How I spent seven weeks ......... 286 productivity, co-schooling, and being yourself others............................................................ 314 ......................................................................301 From the feeds: entrepreneurship, teaching, Decision review: Switching from Rackspace biking, riding ............................................... 289 Working with FTP sites ................................301 Cloud to Linode ............................................ 315 Getting better at working at the office ........ 289 Transcript: Blogging (Part 7): Learning how to Weekly review: Week ending October 28, 2011 write............................................................. 302 ...................................................................... 315 Transcript: Blogging (Part 5): Getting started ..................................................................... 290 Decision review: Working at IBM ............... 303 Stories from our trip: Furry caterpillar ........ 317 Converted my Arduino foot pedal into a The joys of development with Selenium web- Quantified Awesome: Data from waking up 3 Teensy foot pedal! ........................................ 291 testing .......................................................... 305 hours earlier than normal ............................ 317 October 2011 ................................................... 294 Weekly review: Weeks ending October 7 and November 2011 ............................................... 320 October 14, 2011 .......................................... 305 It turns out that “I suck” moments are more From the feeds: Selling benefits, not features; negotiable than I thought ............................ 294 Passioneer survey (Submit your answers by caramel apples; graphic novels for kids ...... 320 Oct 18) ......................................................... 306 Weekly review: Week ending September 30, Planning an Emacs-based personal wiki – 2011 ............................................................. 294 Monthly review: September 2011................ 307 Org? Muse? Hmm… .................................... 320 Tracking and organizing my clothes: From the feeds: Writing, more writing, Transcript: Blogging (Part 10): Difficult substituting mathematics for fashion sense 295 journalism, and automation........................ 308 situations ...................................................... 321 From the feeds: Saving money, making money, Jetlag-assisted early days ............................ 308 Decision review: Cat boarding .................... 322 balancing life, reading books, and making Transcript: Blogging (Part 8): Slow life down Weekly review: Week ending November 4, rainbows ...................................................... 297 and speed it up ............................................ 309 2011 ............................................................. 323 Learning browser-based testing with Selenium Figuring out how to plan for a month ......... 309 Quantified Awesome: Development-driven ..................................................................... 298 Stories from the trip: Making my peace with behaviour and integrated tests for life ........ 325 Transcript: Blogging (Part 6): Looking back endings .........................................................310 Monthly review: October 2011 .................... 326 ..................................................................... 298 Sketchnotes from Quantified Self Toronto Oct Quantified Awesome: How much music do you Decision review: Marrying W- .................... 298 21 2011 ..........................................................310 have?............................................................ 327
  • 9. 2011 – sachachua.com Visualization resources ............................... 329 Transcript: Blogging (Part 13): On frequency Thinking about how to get even better at bulk- ..................................................................... 346 cooking ........................................................ 329 Decision review: Scheduling posts and using Transcript: Blogging (Part 11): Looking back at themes ......................................................... 347 the year ......................................................... 331 Weekly review: Week ending November 25, Decision review: Metropass instead of biking 2011 ............................................................. 348 to work in November................................... 332 Thoughts from helping with homework ..... 350 Weekly review: Week ending November 11, Quantified Awesome: 116 web resources for 2011; thinking about the temptation to work Quantified Self............................................. 350 ..................................................................... 332 Rails experiences: Building an interactive Stories from the trip: Terminal 3 ................ 335 tutorial .......................................................... 351 Quantified Awesome: A place for everything, Things I’m learning from tracking ............... 351 and everything in its place .......................... 335 December 2011 ................................................ 353 From the feeds: Friendship, planning ahead, Transcript: Blogging (Part 14): Writing for and crossroads............................................. 337 yourself and writing for others .................... 353 Massages, physical feedback, and behaviour Upcoming decision: Considering different modification ................................................ 337 cellphone plans for J- .................................. 354 Transcript: Blogging (Part 12): Two homes 338 Weekly review: Week ending December 2, 2011 Decision review: Lenovo X220 tablet PC (with ..................................................................... 354 graphs!) ....................................................... 339 Clearing out the basement .......................... 356 Weekly review: Week ending November 18, Quantified Awesome: How I’m starting to use 2011 ............................................................. 340 Tap Log for Android .................................... 356 Learning how to model with Google Sketchup Busy, busy, busy week ................................. 358 ..................................................................... 343 Geek tidbits: Postfix configuration for Quantified Awesome: Why I track .............. 343 development and testing ............................. 359 From the feeds: Development, food, Transcript: Blogging (Part 15): Tools to help connecting with people, e-books, finance ... 344 you get started ............................................. 359 Ruby on Rails: Extending ActiveRecord::Base Blog analysis for 2011: 173,363 words so far; to define your own ActiveRecord association also, using the Rails console to work with methods ....................................................... 344 WordPress ................................................... 360
  • 10. January 2011 – sachachua.com o [X] Tidy up Preparation 23 Including January 2011 o [-] Tidy up my computer, too: hours disassembling washer backup, reorganize, clean and dryer o [X] Plan garden Work 19 Took some sick time Weekly review: Week ending December 31, 2010 Plans for next week hours http://sachachua.com/blog/p/22022 January 1, 2011 - Categories: weekly  Work Routines 16 From last week’s plans hours o [] Work on Project M: Documentation, tidying up Social 8  Work hours o [] Work on Project S: Clean things o [X] Work on Project M: Make up sure users have permissions to do Writing 2.5 things o [] Idea Lab: Run Idea Lab hours o [X] Work on Project S: Clean o [] Illustrate networking tips Travel 2 I’ve been using some of things up hours this for writing time,  Relationships too o [X] Idea Lab: Process responses o [] Look into cooking or cleaning o [-] Illustrate networking tips Break 2 assistance hours  Relationships  Life Exercise 1.25 o [-] Hike or bike with W- hours o [] Get well o [-] Write more cards o [] Hire a virtual assistant again Learning 0.75 o Had Maira’s family over hours Time analysis o Had New Year’s Eve dinner with Driving 0.75 W-’s family Dec 25 to December 31 practice hours  Life Time totals messed up because I didn’t track as Untracked 39.75 much over the holidays, but here’s a guesstimate: hours o [-] Get MobileOrg Android patches into mergeable state Sleep 53 ~ 7 hours per day hours Tweaking my time-tracking… o [X] Review and revise plan, outline 2011
  • 11. January 2011 – sachachua.com A terrible cold has put a crimp in my productivity W- has kept me on a steady infusion of chicken This New Year’s holiday must have been the and my holiday celebrations, but W- has been soup, cuddles, and Pride and Prejudice – several quietest holiday I’ve had in a while. It’s weird! totally awesome at taking care of me. He’s been different versions, in fact. I’m half-dreading the abrupt change in pace shaking his finger at me for having insisted on when I get back to work tomorrow, particularly spending Friday working when I should have I like BBC’s Lizzie and Lost in Austen’s Darcy the as I’ve managed to commit myself to some rather been in bed. “You’ve been working feverishly,” he most. Heresy, I know. Colin Firth in the BBC’s high-intensity days coming up. said, “and now you’ve come down with a fever.” 1995 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice is the That explains why I was shivering underneath all definitive Darcy, of course. Lost in Austen’s (Fortunately, the world works in mysterious those covers. Fortunately, it’s nothing W- hasn’t Fitzwilliam Darcy (Elliot Cowan) does more of a ways. It could have been crazier, but it isn’t.) dealt with before, and aspirin soon sorted that transformation from utterly disagreeable to out. (Thank you, mdern medicine.) totally awesome. It’s hard to write about anything other than being sick when you’re sick. Definitely time to break out the ginger tea. Ginger tea (salabat): The powdered form is (Hello, salabat!) very convenient, of course, but you can make up Actually, this is not true. I snuck in some work a batch by crushing ginger and boiling it it in this afternoon and I made a lot of progress water. Add brown sugar to sweeten it. writing a developer’s guide for the system we’re Sick days building. It’s hard for me to write about life or http://sachachua.com/blog/p/22023 You can’t do much with a cold except to try to not productivity or connecting at conferences when January 2, 2011 - Categories: life, sketches make it any worse. Definitely a good time for my nose is stuffed, but I can talk about node relaxing. access records and workflow transitions, no Still sick. Flush with a fever, congested with a problem. cough and a cold, voiceless, and all around under the weather. Not the best of ways to spend a Momentum and holidays Maybe that’s what I should do next time I’m sick holiday, but a worse way to spend a workweek, so http://sachachua.com/blog/p/22026 and feeling lethargic. Never mind the mid-day this is okay by comparison. January 3, 2011 - naps. A good round of coding or documenting is Categories: life, productivity, sick a great antidote for the doldrums. To soothe an irritated throat, in a mug, combine: Monday: I don’t do “relaxing holidays” very well. Being sick is great for all sorts of realizations, My idea of a perfect holiday is one where I’m all actually. I have the free time to do whatever I  Juice of half a lemon wrung out at the end and ready to go back to want to do (within reason). I don’t have the work. Building a chair. Bottling a gazillion jars of energy or the inclination to do many things.  Tablespoon of honey jam. Taking apart and rebuilding appliances. Granted, a lot of that is because of the cold, but if  Hot water Hanging out with family and friends. (If you’ve I don’t get around to doing something even met them, you know what a whirlwind they can though I have an unencumbered day, what are (Do not give honey to babies under a year old.) be.) the chances of my getting around to it with an extra half hour?
  • 12. January 2011 – sachachua.com Here’s what I’m learning: http://sachachua.com/blog/p/22029  It keeps you awake and concentrating. January 4, 2011 -  It makes your reading active. Writing and coding boost my energy, and are a Categories: blogging, highlight, sketches, tips great way to cheer myself up if I’m feeling  It helps you remember the thoughts of unproductive. the author. Playing the piano is fun, too. I’m slowly getting Maybe I can get the same benefits by writing my back into it (compensating for the time I couldn’t thoughts down elsewhere, but not on the printed speak?). I like the slow development of fluency. pages. Ratchet up my book-blogging, perhaps, as Plus, my playing nudges J-, and she ends up a life-long project to build a personal, digital teaching herself a bit too. I’ve been teaching syntopicon? myself Schumann’s “Von fremden Ländern und Menschen” (the easy version W- has started a fresh new professional notebook from http://www.free-scores.com/download- for 2011. In this, notebook he writes down ideas sheet-music.php?pdf=8153) because of its and lessons from his work and from the books he appearance in McDull, but it’s also a pleasure re- reads. He’s been taking notes on another book encountering old friends like Für Elise. (larger version on blog) I’ve browsed and dogeared – Visual Meetings. Drawing and preparing for presentations are I sporadically keep paper notebooks. They can be pretty low on my radar. I should think about how Marking up books much more convenient than typing on a laptop, to tweak that. Fortunately, I’d written a number http://sachachua.com/blog/p/22030 especially when one is propping a book open to of blog posts from when I was presenting more, January 5, 2011 - the right page. Perhaps the tablet will make it so I can remember what it’s like. Categories: book, highlight, reading easier to keep my handwritten notes? Sewing has a bit more of an activation cost than I’ve been rereading Adler and van Doren’s “How What would my ideal book notes system be like? it could. When work settles down again, I’ll set to Read a Book”. I always get tripped up by the Decades later, I’d like to be able to say – ah, if aside some time to see if I can fix this. advice to mark up one’s books (p48-51). I’ve you’re interested in that, here are the books I’ve experimented with this on and off – wild sallies read about it, and this is how they’re connected Tomorrow is going to be a busy day. I still have a into the world of underlined passages and marks to each other, and the arguments they made, and bit of a cough and some sniffles, and I’ll probably in the margins of books that I own — but I always how my personal experiences have supported or work from home, but my voice is back and I can recoil, returning to furtively dog-eared pages contradicted them, and what I’ve done with what focus on work. (More easily on work than on (and even this, when done to library books, earns I learned from those books, and what else I could other things, even.) me a teasing frown from W-). But Adler and van add… Doren spend two and a half pages arguing for the value of writing in one’s books and giving tips on Margin notes can’t contain these, but maybe I’ll Sketches: If you want to make the most of how to do it effectively. Their reasons: figure out my own system over time – your next conference, you should blog searchable, hyperlinked, backed-up, personal,
  • 13. January 2011 – sachachua.com and social. In the meantime, I keep my notes in CAPTURE: Using Org + Remember to capture notes into this system – text notes in my Org file an Org text file, organized in an outline, tagged book notes uses the same process as my other and blog entries for linkability/commentability. with keywords, and (occasionally) published on notes. Diagrams can be scanned in and attached Progress… my blog. to files. I used to scan and OCR dogeared pages, but typing or dictating them in is okay, and it What’s your system for book notes? helps me review. The capture part of my process Emacs, BBDB, and getting your contacts is fantastic. on the Android or iPhone ISBN:0-671-21280-X http://sachachua.com/blog/p/22034 How to Read a Book ORGANIZATION: org-refile or copying and January 7, 2011 - Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren pasting are easy, so this part of the process is Categories: android, bbdb, emacs fine. Want your Emacs BBDB contacts on your Moving my book notes online REVIEW: I might schedule times to refresh my Android or iPhone? http://sachachua.com/blog/p/22033 memory of certain books. I can do that with Org January 6, 2011 - Categories: emacs, reading agenda fairly easily. The easiest way I’ve found is to export your contacts to CSV, then import them into I moved more of my book notes online, reasoning SHARING: Here’s where the process breaks something like Google Contacts. You can export that a braindump is better than occasional down a little. org2blog-post-subtree is great, and your BBDB contacts using bbdb-to-outlook.el, whining about the lack of a good system. ;) I’ve used that a number of times to post the which is available in the BBDB package in Fellow Emacs geeks who use Org will probably relevant subtree of book notes. That adds the the bits/ directory. Download bbdb-to-outlook.el get the most out of this, as they can open it in notes as entries in my blog, storing the post ID in from Sourceforge if you can’t find it in your Emacs and work with the hierarchy, but someday my Org file so that I can get back to the post BBDB directory. To use: I may figure out a neat little hyperlinked solution afterwards. org2blog also makes it easy to edit that will make it easy for everyone else. Or I’ll entries, hooray. 1. Load bbdb-to-outlook.el and use M-x pull more and more of these posts into my blog, eval-buffer to load the code. where they’ll be individually linkable and Once it’s in my blog, people can use the commentable. categories to find other entries. However, my 2. Use M-x bbdb to open your BBDB current blog layout doesn’t highlight the records, and search for . to show all the Compare: http://sachachua.com/blog/category/ categories, and it’s not easy to browse the records. Alternatively, search for a subset book/ , which wins points for being graphical and different book-related categories. Maybe it’s of your records. highlighted and comment-friendly, but loses worth tweaking a “reading” or “book” category 3. Type O to run bbdb-to-outlook and topical organization, overview, search, and layout page. choose the file. offline access. Aha! How’s http://sachachua.com/blog/book- Tada! Step one done. Review the file and delete It’s a start. Here’s what’s working well: notes/ ? It’s a manually-edited list at the top anything you don’t want to include. (thanks, Org!), followed by an automatically- generated index. I’ll gradually move my other
  • 14. January 2011 – sachachua.com To import the contacts into Google Contacts, go o [X] Work on Project M: o Started teaching myself the piano to Google Mail and click on Contacts. Click Documentation, tidying up again on Import and choose your file. After some time o [X] Work on Project S: Clean o Sketched my goals for 2011. and some fiddling, you can get that synchronized things up onto your Android or iPhone. o Posted my book notes and o [X] Idea Lab: Run Idea Lab improved my book workflow. I haven’t thought about syncing, but I’m trying to o [X] Illustrate networking tips o Posted a Kijiji ad looking for a keep my BBDB as The Master File for Contacts piano teacher anyway, as it’s so much more flexible than any o Learned how to hack Drupal other contact database I’ve tried. (Although messaging and notifications Plans for next week gist.com is pretty cool and I do like the Android’s o Found out my Lotusphere 2011 merging of photos, contact info, and updates…) session got accepted  Work There was some work on synchronizing BBDB o Had team lunch with Jennifer o [] Finish up on project S with the Palm, so that might be a possibility. Nolan, Johnny Patterson and o [] Start testing project M Elena Neroslavskaya Enjoy! o [] Fix my Lotus Notes  Relationships o [] Look into Lotusphere Weekly review: Week ending January 7, o [-] Look into cooking or cleaning assistance  Relationships 2011 http://sachachua.com/blog/p/22035 o Watched Bride and Prejudice with o [] Get around to hosting a get- January 8, 2011 - Categories: weekly W- and J- (hooray library DVDs) together, maybe a game night o Read Pride and Prejudice and o [] Plan May trip Relearning the piano. It’s interesting. I can remember playing better than this. Now I’m re- Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls  Life learning how to play these pieces, going, “Ahh. o … and in general, enjoyed all sorts That feels familiar. And then there should be this of things Austen o [] Get back into sewing: work on bit over here – yes, that’s right.” On the other black dress hand, I read notes a little bit faster now than I  Life o [] Post more book notes did before. o [X] Get well Time analysis Getting well. A persistent cough and some o [X] Hire a virtual assistant again Sleep 73.6 ~ 11 hours per day, sniffles, but definitely better than last week. hours thanks to good From last week’s plans o Watched Bottle Shock, also from the library – that was fun weekends  Work
  • 15. January 2011 – sachachua.com http://sachachua.com/blog/p/22037 extract. I made pandesal. W- discovered a good Work 33.5 A little overtime, but January 9, 2011 - Categories: life combination: egg tarts (3 whole eggs + 3 extra hours it’s good egg yolks), coconut macaroons (4 egg whites), Break 22 Recuperating We celebrated J-’s birthday at Korean Grill and oatmeal cookies (the recipe we use involves 2 hours House last night. During a lull in the eggs and an extra egg yolk). All in all, nine eggs conversation as people digested the vast and no extra parts languishing in ramekins in the Writing 12 quantities of food we’d just consumed, she took fridge. hours out her iPod and started flipping through an e- book. Of course, now we will need to find coworkers Piano practice 7 and friends willing to take some of these baked hours Her uncle asked, “What are you reading?” goods off our hands (and away from our waistlines)… Routines 5.5 J- answered, “Pride and Prejudice.” hours Life is good. Simultaneous jaw drop from uncle and aunt, Outsourceable 4 grins from W- and me. hours Work on the business from the outside, “Pride and Prejudice?! Are you reading that for not in it – Book: Effortless entrepreneur Exercise 2.5 school or for fun?” http://sachachua.com/blog/p/22038 hours January 10, 2011 - “For fun!” Categories: book, entrepreneurship, reading Social 1.5 hours We’ve been on an entire Pride and Prejudice kick One of the key points of “Effortless entrepreneur” this past week. We watched the 2005 movie, the is that you need to create systems and delegate Travel 0.5 Worked from home so Lost in Austen miniseries, Bride and Prejudice work so that you can free up time to improve hours that I wouldn’t get (the Bollywood version; quite a few laughs); read your business. others sick “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the p38. Work on the business from the outside, not Untracked 5.9 Jan 1-3 had hole-y Dreadfuls” (the prequel to “Pride and Prejudice in it. A great entrepreneur builds systems to run hours records, but Jan 4 – 7 and Zombies”); quoted and joked and the business as if it were a machine, and stands was all tracked improvised. over it instead of being part of its inner workings. A business owner should sell that Yes, we’re geeks. machine to clients and perfect its functionality, Once my categories settle down, I might do some but not sit in the gear room. How many times between-week analysis… — have you seen a local store owner answering phones, doing paperwork, and assisting We spent a very agreeable afternoon in the customers all at once? This business owner Snippets from life kitchen. We chopped up vanilla beans for making works IN the business, not ON it, and hasn’t
  • 16. January 2011 – sachachua.com identified the different positions within his vegetate a bit more, then hit the sack. I’m looking forward to do even better. At work, I business, such as receptionist, salesperson, and Or perhaps you’re a parent and you want to to learn more about Drupal 7, consulting, cashier. Instead, he does all those jobs himself. leave work with just enough energy to and the processes we have. I’m also looking get through your parental forward to writing up more notes and coaching Creating manuals and training maps for each requirements in the evening. others. In the rest of life, I’d like to experiment position from the get-go forces you to evaluate with delegating again, invest time into becoming  Option B: On the other hand, let’s say you what needs to be done and helps identify tasks a better writer, and continue building wonderful go to work and intentionally keep half you might not think of right away. That can mean relationships. of your energy for yourself. You give fewer unpleasant surprises down the road. At the company 50% of the gas in your first, you’ll likely have to work IN your business How about you? How can you not only work in tank. After you leave, you spend that and do most, if not all, of the work for each your business, but on it? 50% improving yourself. You go to position. That’s common when you start out. But night classes. You go to the gym. You create a system that allows you to just work ON it Effortless entrepreneur: Work smart, play hard, go to the library. You go to meetings of make millions as soon as possible. Once that system is professional growth groups, like 2010 Nick Friedman and Omar Soliman operative, a business gains its true value. Toastmasters. Three Rivers Press Work on your business, not just in it. It ISBN 978-0-307-58799-2 Well, maybe not 50%. If you can do your work makes sense, although lots of small-business with 80% effort, and then invest the rest into owners find it hard to make that jump. Book: Effortless entrepreneur 2011-01-10 Mon building skills and processes, then it’s like a 19:27 How can people practice this now? After all, even savvy entrepreneur investing time into building if you work for a company, you work for yourself, systems, not just fighting fires. Sometimes it’s too. more like a full-energy work and 20% extra, but I Wrapping up projects and preparing for enjoy the work and the learning along the way. the next one It’s kinda like what Trent (The Simple Dollar) http://sachachua.com/blog/p/22039 At work, I’m learning about the way we work on January 11, 2011 - Categories: career, ibm, work writes about in “Who is your real boss? Some perspectives on career success”: projects: the processes, the templates, the My belief is this: the people that succeed are the questions and conversations. I like making We’re in the final phases of our two Drupal people who invest that energy and time and systems, processes, and tools, so I’m learning projects. We’re writing test scripts, fixing bugs, patience and thought a little differently. how to improve things. and loading production data. In a week or two, What do I mean? we’ll finalize the source code and save a copy of I’m working on applying this idea of “working on the database. I’ve really liked working on these the business, not just in it” in personal life as projects, and I’m looking forward to working on  Option A: Let’s say you go to work each well. Hence the household optimizations: batch similar things in the future. day and leave it all on the table. When cooking and a chest freezer, tweaked routines, you leave work, you’re so drained you relationship-building. Capacity-building for can barely make it home. You sit on the As I wrap up on this project and get ready for future adventures. future ones, I can’t help but think how working in couch, vegetate for a while, eat dinner,
  • 17. January 2011 – sachachua.com IBM Global Business Services helps me learn  Maybe work on a conventional skill set – cooking marathons are an excuse to break out about different parts of consulting. We can help J2EE? the knives, chopping boards, and stacks of food with proposals for new projects. We have an containers, and we have great conversations  Work on paperwork: project assessments, internal marketplace that lists openings and while slicing and dicing. We also enjoy the walk certification, etc. required skills. We can submit our resumes and to the supermarket (which often involves a side- set up interviews. We need to do a little  Improve the Lotus Connections toolkit trip to the library, and you know how I enjoy marketing on our own, and we always have to that). Folding laundry is a good time to watch a work on keeping our skills up to date. Just like independent consultants need to always movie (borrowed from the aforementioned be building their pipeline, I should see if I can library), which leads to more shared experiences Today I attended a call with my resource balance my future project work so that I’m and in-jokes, which helps cultivate a relationship. deployment manager. Her role includes always working on the pipeline for the next Turn chores into social bonding time, and the matching people with projects. She shared some thing: helping out with bids, learning a new skill, time will fly. tips on how to make the most of our tools, some and so on. things we might invest time in if we have some Use the time to reflect and downtime between projects, and upcoming Fun! improve. Cooking is a great time to learn new projects we might be interested in. recipes or improve my skills. Tidying up reminds me where things are and gives me an opportunity Here are some things I’m looking forward to Three tips for cheerful chores to simplify. Spend a little extra time making doing if I have some time between this and my http://sachachua.com/blog/p/22040 things better for the next time you do something. next project: January 12, 2011 - Categories: life, productivity Eliminate or delegate things that really  Help write proposals for Drupal and Web I’ve been taking a closer look at household tasks sap your energy. Speaking of cats: scooping 2.0 projects that I could outsource or simplify. Groceries, out four litter boxes was not fun. So W- did a bit laundry, cleaning, cooking… of research and ordered a Litter Robot. The o Compile case studies spaceship-like contraption now commands a o Estimate Drupal projects … but really, they don’t take that much time, and corner of the living room (next to the toolchest, I probably get more value from doing them than actually). It’s been worth it not just for o Prototype? I would from a few extra hours of writing or convenience, but also for entertainment value.  write up and share my Drupal notes work. Our cat Luke loves to watch it, but when he steps on it for a closer look, the Litter Robot stops  Create and compile assets (Drupal case Here are three tips I’ve found that help me enjoy rotating. This confuses him and always makes studies, Web 2.0 overviews, etc.) what I’m doing. Maybe you’ll find them useful, me laugh.  Learn more about Drupal 7, AJAX, too! information architecture, mobile We could cut back on savings and hire some of development, project management, and Many hands make fun work. Turn the chore these tasks out – but we’d probably replace them other interesting things – discuss into an excuse to build a relationship. For with time spent taking long walks together, priorities with manager example, W- and I love cooking. Our batch- learning new skills, or improving the flow of life.
  • 18. January 2011 – sachachua.com Which is basically what we would’ve been paying possibly one of my new recommendations in this  Regularly buy something that you someone else to handle, so we might as well do it area. historically have viewed as frivolous ourselves. but which you can truly afford. I’ve been thinking about whether I’ve got the  Buy more gifts for the people you love. What do you do to make chores cheerful? right balance of saving for near-term expenses, investing for the future, and enjoying the  Go easier on yourself and family when it 2011-01-12 Wed 19:38 present. The book has an entire chapter on this comes to everyday expenses. (pp.103 to 112). I particularly like the section on reflecting on whether you’re postponing This year’s probably going to be pretty easy to Book: Let’s Get Real About Money: Profit achievable dreams, and the quote: plan for, actually, because we’ve got the two big from the Habits of the Best Personal It is very well to be thrifty, but don’t amass a trips planned (Netherlands and the Philippines), Finance Managers hoard of regrets. and we might look into improving the insulation http://sachachua.com/blog/p/22041 of the house. We’re also saving up for other January 13, 2011 - Categories: book, finance  French poet, Charles D’Orleans (quoted adventures over the next year or two. Big rocks. on p.118 of Let’s Get Real About Money) It’s easy to plan other things around those: Let’s Get Real About Money: Profit from the perhaps piano lessons, sewing lessons, gardening Habits of the Best Personal Finance Managers I’m reminded of Ramit Sethi’s story about how experiments, and woodworking projects. (c) 2008 Eric Tyson some people set aside money for meeting FT Press, New Jersey interesting people. Might be a fun experiment, Anyway… “Let’s Get Real About Money” is a good ISBN: 978-0-13-234161-5 although perhaps not to that scale. Ditto for read. Try the self-test in front, and check out the learning and experimentation, which I do chapters on insurance and managing risks. Have My expectations were low. The subtitle “Profit explicitly save for, and which has paid off quite a fun! from the Habits of the Best Personal Finance bit in terms of interesting life experiences. So I’m Managers” made me think of celebrity-focused not doing too badly in this area, and I’m 2011-01-13 Thu 21:22 “secrets”-type books with more fluff than continuing to learn. content. But hey, it was on the library bookshelf, so I picked it up anyway. I’ve found all sorts of There are useful tips on p131 on keeping saving 13,705 steps and counting gems in unlikely books, and I’ve skimmed my in proper perspective. Here’s the summary: http://sachachua.com/blog/p/22042 way through seemingly-solid books that proved January 14, 2011 - to be disappointments. It’s easy to take risks on  Understand the standard of living that Categories: android, ex books when they’re free. ;) can be provided by the assets you’ve ercise, health, life, trac already accumulated. king I was pleasantly surprised by what I found. The book has a lot of practical advice on money and  Get smart about investing your money. 13,705 steps in two relationships, family, raising savvy kids,  Go on a news diet. and a half hours of spending plans, frugality, investment, insurance, leisurely walks spread and learning more. Well worth a read, and out over one day,