Archive for February, 2008

the three-item sticky note

February 27th, 2008


So recently, in a catastrophic meta-failure of Not Getting Things Done, I resigned myself to accept the fact I may never ever actually read through the copy of “Getting Things Done” that have had sitting on my nightstand for almost a year, and instead (at my girlfriend’s wise suggestion), just skim through the Wikipedia entry on it instead. Which, actually, turns out, is a fine alternative. I get the gist of it: Do it, Delegate it, Defer it, or Drop it. Don’t let things sit around. I totally get that.

However, what’s really helped me in the past month has been my adoption of a new, very easy to remember mini-GTD method, which I call the “Three-item sticky note.” What it is: a sticky note with three things I hope to accomplish during the day. That’s it. For a working person, I think three items is just about right — too many more, and you’ll be running around like a fool, and any less than three is, let’s face it, underachieving. For longer term planning, I put stuff on an online ta-da list that I can add or subtract to from anywhere.

But ironically, the low-tech nature of the Three-item sticky note is its biggest asset; after I write the three items on the sticky, I stash it in my pocket and it sits there bugging the hell out of me and I can’t wait to throw it out — but I can’t throw it out until I do the items! — so you best believe those things get done.

So this trick has been working for me for a couple months now, but there are other ways to be effective and Get Things Done; what’s yours?

~Jeff

bring more tuna

February 20th, 2008

Carmina Burana

I always suspected Carl Orff had hid some meaningful English false cognates in that Latin; and now, proof. Make sure you crank up your speakers, especially if you are at work.

Side note: it’s been a while since two ldopans posted in one day. Hooray!

melancholytron

February 20th, 2008


Found via Veerle:

The Melancholytron Photoshop filter. Pretty cool stuff, like a free lomo camera, all the better to melancholy up (down?) your Facebook photos.

~Jeff

loft

February 16th, 2008


SCREEN: FADE FROM BLACK

MUSIC: dramatic string section

V/O: “The Oceanic 6… are off the island.”

FLASH: Picture of island from “Lost”

V/O: “Faced with a challenge… they never expected.”

FLASH: Downtown Soho loft apartment, exterior shot

V/O (wacky voice): “Living together, in a downtown New York apartment!”

MUSIC: “I’ll Be There For You (Theme from ‘Friends’)”

FLASH: Photoshopped cast of ‘Friends’ with faces from cast of “Lost” (Jack, Kate, Locke, Sawyer, Desmond & Ben) with title “LOFT” (all caps)

V/O: From the producers of “Lost” comes the new sitcom: “Loft”!

MUSIC: fade down, back to dramatic string section

FLASH: Back to exterior of loft apartment

V/O (deep voice): Previously, on ‘Loft’…

LOFT GANG sits on couch.

DESMOND and JACK in the kitchen.

DESMOND to JACK: Sorry, brudda, but… some one’s gonna eat your peanut butter.

JACK (holding jar of peanut butter): Great.

SFX: (laugh track)

FLASH (white)

LOFT GANG sits on couch.

KATE to SAWYER (holding pice of paper): What are these mysterious numbers?

SAWYER: Freckles… those aren’t that mysterious — those numbers are your share of the phone bill.

SFX: (laugh track)

FLASH (white)

LOCKE to JACK: Why do you find it so hard to believe!… I didn’t eat your peanut butter?!

JACK to LOCKE: Why do you find it so easy!… to eat peanut butter?!

SFX: (crowd “oooooOOOoooooh!” sound)

FLASH (white)

MUSIC: wacky sitcom entry music (ala “Bosom Buddies”):

V/O: This week, on “‘Loft”…

MUSIC: silent

LOFT GANG sits on couch.

MAN IN POLAR BEAR SUIT enters stage right and attacks KATE on couch.

KATE (close up, scared): Ahhhh!

SFX: (laugh track)

QUICK CUT AWAY

FLASH (white)

V/O: Next week on “‘Loft”…

MUSIC: “I’ll Be There For You (Theme from ‘Friends’) credits”

JACK to LOFT GANG: If you didn’t steal the rent check, and *you* didn’t steal the rent check, and *you* didn’t steal the rent check, then *who* stole the rent check?

BEN: (giggles)

LOFT GANG (in unison): Oh, BEN!

SFX: (laugh track)

V/O: Thursdays at 9 on ABC.

short BioShock review

February 3rd, 2008


Bioshock for the XBox 360 is probably the best game I played through in 2007, and this was a year with other truly great games like “Portal” and “Super Mario Galaxy.” What makes Bioshock good is a combination of old-fashioned, first person shooter action. What makes it great is a richly detailed underwater art deco universe that never blinks, and a backstory that I’m convinced does sly double-duty as a refutation of Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism. Pick it up, if you can.

~Jeff

the perfect alarm clock

February 3rd, 2008


The Philips USA AJL308 Clock Radio. Capsule review: Fatally Flawed. Pro: You can play mp3 or MPEG-4 .avi (!) files off an SD card. Con: For some stupid reason, you can’t trigger either one as your alarm. Also, the sound quality and the screen quality are awful. It went back to Target.

I’m a total idiot for alarm clocks. I seriously have drawers and drawers of them lying dormant, the battery powered ones still ticking the hours away to themselves. In my search for the perfect awakening, I have bought probably 15 alarm clocks in my life, and each is flawed in some fairly intrinsic way.

After 33 years of near-constant iteration, I’ve decided The Perfect Alarm Clock must:

  1. It must allow me to wake up to an mp3 of my choosing — without extra background noise.
  2. It must allow me to set a wake up schedule that takes into account weekends where I don’t have to wake up at a set time.
  3. It must have a display that is big and bright enough for me to see it without my glasses.
  4. …but not be *so* bright that it’s like I’m sleeping with a shard of kryptonite next to my bed. Ideally it’s completely dark or super super dim until I touch a button or something.

Right now, we’re using a $50 Memorex CD alarm. Its problems are:

  1. It’s a CD player, so we don’t really wake up to the sound of music. I wake up to the pppppttttooooooeeeeeee sound of the crappy CD drive spinning up.
  2. It’s SO BRIGHT that I have an index card over the display, because even on the dimmest setting it’s bright like the noontime sun.

So my friend Jon suggested that I have this nifty little linux eee laptop, and maybe I could use that for an alarm clock. And: maybe I can. I found an GNOME app descriptively named “Alarm Clock” which lets me set an mp3 for us to wake up to and set a fairly elaborate schedule that excludes weekends. There’s no snooze button, but I think I could work around that — what I’m finding inexplicable is that I can’t seem to find a full-screen linux digital clock app or screensaver. Seriously, that’s all I want, and I can’t seem to locate it. I tried setting up an xwindows screensaver thingy for gltext, and that works, but it’s *so small*.

Anyhow, any thoughts? I can’t believe I’m the first person to try and use linux as their alarm clock. Also much appreciated would be alternatives that satisfy alarm clock conditions #1-4.

SIDENOTE: This looks promising, but I can’t bring myself to spend that much for an alarm clock. Yet.

~Jeff