We are, in fact, just cool enough for this place. 2009
We're in our oh-so-cool room at the Ace Hotel in NYC listening to records - yes, vinyl! - on the in-room turntable, Joe reading Good magazine as I putter on the free internet. Hard not to want to stay at an Ace whenever one is available. So pleasing!
Correction: Joe is reading Paper, not Good. At least so far.
holiday frivolity 2009
family relaxation time 2009
Grandma Susie! 2009
My demographic: over 35, taken, located in the west, graduate school, recent shift from Chuck Taylors to cowboy boots, outgoing.
And now I can post to my blog and Twitter at the same time. TypePad, @sixapart, & @twitter, I kiss you!
Step by slow step, pulling it all together 2009
*phew* Even for web geeks sometimes this stuff can be such a long slow haul.
What I want is for my blog at MetaGrrrl.com to reflect all my online publishing as MetaGrrrl. That means, currently, that I want to have my tweets from Twitter and my photos from Flickr to appear inline along with longer blog posts.
It would also be swell if when I post to my blog, that would also be reflected in Twitter with a tweet.
All of this is made much more complex by the fact that I use advanced templates. Yes, I'm greedy; I want the maintenance ease of TypePad and the control of Movable Type. Fortunately, Six Apart usually gets me at least 80% of the way to where I want to go and frequently does so with more ease and elegance than I expected.
In theory, I've now linked my Twitter account to my TypePad account, but so far I haven't seen it actually work. Perhaps that's because the new little mini Compose function doesn't actually share out to Twitter, which seems bizarre since it's intended for short content, but might be true.
Aha. Finally found a Share This Post help page with some screen shots and I wasn't getting the options in the interface. I deleted the Twitter account and re-added it and now it seems to be tickety-boo.
Okay, so I don't need a TypePad Micro blog because my main blog has all the features & my goal is a single publishing stream. One point of confusion eliminated...
Catching up on website to-do's tonight... Still questing after that single lifestream of glorious integration.
Post-Revels Feast 2009
Uncle Larry writes, "After Saturday's matinee of the Christmas Revels, we gathered for our traditional post-Revels feast at Yang Chow, across the street from the Grand Lake Theater. Jason is an old work friend of Dinah, who ran into him during intermission at the Revels."
How To Work Better 2009
[originally posted to my Expediter coaching blog]
This is some good advice.
As far as I am aware, the original is explained best here in the Tate Etc. magazine archive where the piece is identified as being Peter Fischli and David Weiss's How to Work Better from 1991. Since then - in addition to inspiring from studio walls - it has wandered the internet, often in the visual form you see at left.
One of the things I like best about this particular form, and which gives it more weight with me than the text alone, is the imperfection of it. It is a good reminder that it's better to get something out into the world than to endlessly tweak on it seeking perfection.
The words are great too.
Do one thing at a time.
There's a key Expediter principle; you will achieve more working on multiple projects if you give them your full attention for set chunks of time than if you flit between them rapidly. The chunks don't need to be large - even 15 to 30 minute sprints can be hugely productive. Just focus and don't give in to the "I'll just take a quick peek to see if there's new email" urges.
Know the problem.
There are many ways to interpret this, but one which I find valuable is to confirm with myself what it is I am trying to solve or achieve. What is the outcome I am seeking? I've heard GTD coaches phrase this as "What would done look like?"
Learn to listen.
Simple, right? Nope. This one is a lot harder than it seems and critical to success in all aspects of life. Really shut up - mouth and mind - and really listen. Then think. Then respond.
Learn to ask questions.
Assumptions can bite you in the butt later. Ask, clarify, confirm. Even when you're working on something for yourself, ten minutes spent unpacking and spelling out your expectations into a brief journal entry can both vastly improve the finished work and steer you clear of avoidable problems.
Distinguish sense from nonsense.
This is the outcome of listening and asking questions. What actually works in this situation? What doesn't fit?
Accept change as inevitable.
This is true of our projects, our companies, our culture, and most definitely ourselves. Much of the nonsense we deal with results from trying to shoehorn the no-longer-current into a changed situation.
They are inevitable and they are valuable. Denying them is a far worse mistake than anything else that could go wrong and interferes with learning.
Say it simple.
Omit needless words.
Brevity is the soul of wit.
"Do only what is necessary to convey what is essential. [C]arefully eliminate elements that distract from the essential whole, elements that obstruct and obscure... Clutter, bulk, and erudition confuse perception and stifle comprehension, whereas simplicity allows clear and direct attention."
- Richard Powell, Wabi Sabi Simple, quoted in Presentation Zen
"The first rule is to keep an untroubled spirit. The second is to look things in the face and know them for what they are."
- Marcus Aurelius
Calmness is essential to clear perception and appropriate reaction.
Yes; it helps. Being happier tends to make all the other parts easier. So keeping your spirits untroubled is a good investment.
And even when you aren't feeling your best, be nice. That's a prudent investment too.
As if the allure of all the good cocktail culture happening there and the proximity to excellent people like Matt Haughey weren't enough, now I find out that the guys behind the Neutra Face video are Portland-based.
Thank you, Portland!