May 31, 2006

Blackbelt Productivity post today…

Posted in GTD at 1:26 pm by a11en

Wow.  Today I've got a post over at  I hope that it helps someone and that it's well liked.  If anyone has questions regarding my implementation or various aspects of GTD, please feel free to fire-away.

Not sure if this is a good idea… 4th dimension…

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:12 am by a11en

Testing for other dimensions

 Not so sure if this is such a good idea… but I for one welcome our overlord masters…  😉

May 25, 2006

Logic board shot…

Posted in GTD, Mac at 6:43 pm by a11en

Well, onto replacement logic-board number 2. 🙂 Apparently replacement logic-board number 1 liked to continually beep at a high-pitch when all the cables were attached. Fun, eh? It makes you wonder if Apple ever tests their refurbished logic boards in a *real* computer before shipping them out to repair techs. So, I’m sans-powerbook at the moment, and I think I’m going through withdrawls. Thankfully, I have my 3×5’s and my Pocket Briefcase with all my up to date kGTD lists, so I’m in good for the moment. Trying to get some background work done- reading/taking notes, etc. As well, my rsync implementation worked beautifully, so I have the entire contents of my powerbook available to me to work with if I need to. So, you think I’d be good. 😉

Matthew Cornell has a fantastic post on his GTD implementation as part of the BlackBelt post series on BlackBeltProductivity. In fact, the whole series has been excellent. Don’t miss the GTD Primers either!

May 24, 2006

Mac update and Rsync goodness…

Posted in Mac, Mac Software, Uncategorized at 3:44 am by a11en

Well, it appears that my logic-board is shot. Lots of logic-boards going out in this machine. Looks like a refurb is on it's way and we'll see if that works. I hear horror-stories of techs having to try 4 boards until they get one that works… wish me luck!

The good news: I have a new backup hard-drive. It will reside at home or a place where I feel it's safe. Currently I've got rsync running to backup the whole volume on the powerbook. This should allow me to run daily backups if I want with the ease of a double-click. Really looking forward to that. 🙂 Although, probably incremental backups are best… since I'm an rsync newbie, I'll just be happy with a nightly backup as it stands… that's much more than I have already. This should mean I won't ever loose my thesis work! 🙂 Yipee.

Finally, my hPDA/Levenger pocket briefcase is working really well. Very happy to have it on hand. Now, I just need to be better at updating my kGTD system with my lo-fi system and I'll be all good.

Up early tomorrow morning to do get some more stuff done! I'm rarin' to go and I need to focus. Let's hope that tomorrow works well!

In light of today's post- Go and backup your critical work on your computer already!!! You'll need it when you don't realize it. You'll be thankful for spending a bit of time to do so! I promise! 🙂

May 22, 2006

Mac still not fixed…

Posted in Mac at 4:41 pm by a11en

Well, whatever happened, it was a short-term fix. There must be some sort of intermittent problem with the machine. Parts are ordered, and we’ll see if that fixes it. 😦 But, the battery-swap is worth a try for some of you guys out there… just not sure if it’ll fix it for good.

Hope everyone’s Monday’s are going well!

May 21, 2006

Mac fixes itself, GTD, and FP updates…

Posted in FountainPens, GTD, Mac, Pipes at 9:10 pm by a11en

I have a few interesting tales to relate, and wish I could spend more time, this might spill over into two posts instead of one.

Macintosh Weirdness

Recently I've been experiencing a frustrating thing with my PB, 15", high-res: lack of battery charging. So, my batteries drained, and I had to work on a power cable constantly… and anytime I pulled the power, it would shut down… this became quite frustrating to say the least, but I still had my work, and still could work. Not as bad as it could have been. So, I read and post on the Apple Discussion pages, and I'm sad to learn the problem is most likely what happened to my Wallstreet, a faulty DC/Sound-In board. I run the AHT side of my install CD, everything checks out. That's good. But, the DC-board is dumb, and apparently the Logic board is semi-dumb. So, the logic-board is only half-out of the woods as the problem. Anyways, I start to track it down… I try another adapter (only a 45 watt- not enough to charge it possibly), it doesn't charge the battery, I now don't really suspect my powerbrick… I buy and try a new battery… no charging… hmm… most likley it's the DC board. On an off-chance, and to help ensure my batteries stay good, I enlist the help of a fantastic gal, Abby. She has the same computer as I do, and I assure her I'll pay for any problems this test might cause. She takes my old battery, and tries to charge it. A week later, we meet up for some coffee to talk about various things (among them Morgellons disease), and my crazy computer woes. She says: "I'm sorry, the battery doesn't charge, Allen." Darnit. Maybe my computer fubarred the battery… out $116 easy… perhaps $116×2 as I have been using the new battery. I vow to take my computer into the university apple techs that day. [time passes, and my readers wonder why they're still reading…] I head to the tech center after a great apple-tech has assured me that she won't have to steal my computer from me for 3 weeks <whew>. She takes the machine back (before I got the battery back from Abby, she had told me that she couldn't charge it, and so I had stopped using all batteries)… she plugs the thing in… power, good… she plugs the battery that Abby tried in… And the thing FREAKIN charges!!! I'm amazed.. jaw drops… the tech laughs… We leave it for a while (worried it was a fluke, and wasn't charging)… and low and behold, it is charging! Numbers going up, charge holding… she drops the battery out and puts the new battery in. Charging. 🙂 I'm amazed. So, I ask her what sort of voodoo do you do… 😉 and she laughs. She explains that one of Apple's suggestions with batteries when there are problems, is to take the bad battery, and throw it in a good computer, and then throw it back in to the bad computer… bammo things work. Excessively strange. So, she checks for a few loose connections, says things look good so far, and says to call her on Monday if there are problems. I now have a working computer again, and all thanks to Abby's computer, who by some freak viral-software has fixed my computer. Weird, but, Excellent.

GTD goodies – Levenger's Ballistic Pocket Briefcase

I've ordered a few things from Levenger recently, and I have to say that even though I really wanted to hate their products because they're the price of a small slave-boy from Madagascar, or at least a hand-tanned, hand-sewn, personalized leather satchel made by slave boys who live in Madagascar… I have to say I freakin' love my new Ballistic Pocket Briefcase [2]. I've toyed with the 3×5 hPDA input device, and have to say it harkened to being useful… my back-pocket Moleskine and Cahier never really worked… the Cahier was flexible, but I destroyed it quickly… the Moleskine was hard-backed, but it made me sit sideways in my chair and I looked a bit more crazy than I actually am, (and it hurt a bit after a 12 hour day)… so, enter the Pocket Briefcase. I print my calendar out on 3×5 cards from iCal (see other post in this blog), and I also print out my kGTD (see mac software on the right hand-bar) lists onto 3×5's… so it all slides into my pocket briefcase. As well, I keep blank cards available for notes or inputting new items into my mobile inbox. Best of all, it has gorgeous leather, and easily bends with my fine butt… well, ok, some say is nice… so I don't look like a freak sitting sideways. Add to the mix a Jimi wallet, and I'm now much less frustrated with items in my back pocket.

GTD- Miquelrius and FP's

Right around Mother's day, I was talking with Mom about fountain pens, and we hit upon some pens she had forgotten when she was a girl. Apparently she was given Esterbrooks and hankies when she was a girl for her birthdays and various other events. She said she used to love them a lot, and used to do crazy things with them (like take out their nib and sac and squeeze the sac with her fingers). I was able to find one in town at a local antique store, but unfortunately it needed some minor repairs. I paid a bit more for it than I should have due to this, but since it was only a day away, and I needed something, this was near-perfect. That night I spent some time polishing it with some excellent plastic polishing compounds and cleaning out the old ink from the nib, feed and barrel, etc. She loved it.  I just finished the repairs on Sat., and the pen writes really well.  I had to alter the J-bar sent to me, but other than that the repairs were fairly straight forward.  🙂  A ton of fun!

The nice thing about Esterbrooks is that the nib is replaceable and there are a ton of nibs out there for them. [I just wish one had some serious flex.] So, I ordered items for it's repair from Pendemonium, and they came in recently. Amongst them was also a Miquelrius [2] notebook I had ordered. Wow, is this thing huge. A5 format with 300 pages. Gridded (perfect for graphs or data tables etc.), and absolutely fantastic paper. No bleeding at all with my FP (major problem with Moleskines), and smooth as silk with my polished Pelikan m150 Fine nib. This notebook is so very large, I have no fear of reaching the end before I have everything in it that I need to. So, it is now designated as my notebook for thesis studies. When I read a book or journal article, I will now have this guy with me, and the input will go into a table-of contents in the beginning. I'm so very happy with the purchase. I strongly suggest you trying out the notebooks if you are an FP user.

Pipe Goodness

Visiting the local shop in the last few days, I picked up some Samuel Gawaith Squadron Leader. Absolutely fantastic simple and coherent English blend. The latakia is superb in the blend, and it is excellent for an all-day English with a bit more passion than some of Dunhill's old blends. I'm still gonna love my Namasté from Russ O, but Squadron Leader is a nice little change. Doesn't have the orientals that Namasté have, so it lacks that sweet citrus room-note, but is still quite excellent. The tin art is wonderful as well. Excited about my end-of-semester gifts as well. A Pete System Deluxe will soon be paid off, and my ASP pipe-lighter will eventually come my way after another 45 are ordered or so. A good way to celebrate the end of the semester.

Wishing everyone a fantastic start to their week!

May 15, 2006


Posted in Uncategorized at 3:12 am by a11en

Mahler was a genius. Finishing up grading for my class (due in the AM), and listening to Symphony #1 in D Major. Absolutely fantastic. For those who haven't listened to it yet, go to the library, or purchase it, it's fantastic.

For me, it brings back images of the snow-covered farm-land and forest near our home during my father's sabatical in the area I was born in in Canada. I used to sit in a rocking chair, wearing his large and wonderful earphones plugged into the stereo system… often I'd push the headset harder against my ears as I listened, picking out all the wonderful parts. Now, anytime I play it, I'm back there during that wonderful year up North… the peace of the country side, and the soft quietness of the snow covered land…

Much better than grading. 😉

May 8, 2006

Short thoughts to share…

Posted in FountainPens, GTD, Work at 2:23 am by a11en

Another short one for you guys, sorry! I'm sort of swamped. Here's what's been rolling around my insane noggin of late:

  1. Thinking negatively actually is self-fulfilling in my work and home-life. When I think that I can't accomplish "it", or that things are "this way"… then I don't try as hard, or as enthusiastically about my work or my home-life. It's one of those: how do you react to your situation? issues… Steven Covey has a lot to say about this type of issue. Even amidst hardships, we have power. The power to control our own responses to the issues which arise. Too often I allow my own responses to be controlled by events that are "out of my hands"… and to be honest with you, a lot of the events are within my own power, and I still mess them up. The question then becomes: "Do I get back on that horse, and finish this race like I actually have a chance to win this?!"… because, "I do actually have a chance to win this!"… What do you see yourself "winning" in life? Where are you headed, and what is your motivation? Recently a number of bloggers have been talking about positive thinking. I've been attempting to accomplish this much more on a day to day level now, and I believe it is having a positive effect in my work and homelife. [Black-Belt Productivity], [Steve Pavlina]
  2. The act of giving is something that is so important in life. I just gave a pal of mine (actually we met late last year) a hand-made gift that I've been working on here and there for a long time. He sent something my way a while back, and it deeply touched me. I keep it on me to use throughout the day, and often send up a small prayer for his health, etc. while using it. He out of everyone in my recent past has shown me what it's like to come home from a hard day and see a package at your doorstep, unannounced, unsolicited… out of someone's kindness. It's truly amazing. So, I wished to return that gift to him. I'm so happy I did. It's actually paid off more for me than for him, most likley! 🙂 Meaning- the joy of giving to him, was beneficial to my well-being. I strongly suggest anyone reading this, to pick someone they know, and like of course, and just give them a gift… can be anything really, but send it via the mail, and don't tell them… have it just show up on their doorstep… and watch what happens. It'll be worth your effort.
  3. Grading/The semester. It's almost over. I wish I had two of me, honestly I do. Because it's almost impossible to accomplish everything for research and everything for classwork. It's a darned shame, and my hat goes off to all professors who are doing it alone. [My father has 90 reports to read and grade this week alone- not to mention exams etc.] I don't know how they do it. No matter how hard I work, I am never satisfied with my work. And, well, that takes us back to (1) above, eh? 🙂
  4. Fountainpens- Check out this Lamy Safari review. Anyone looking for a good yellow/white pad of paper (legal or letter) that works quite well with a fountain-pen should check out "Docket Gold" by Tops at their local Office Depot. I'm very happy with how well it writes. It's 20lb stock, quite good. I just wish it was smoother. But, then, that's why I have my Triomphe pad from Clairfontaine.

Here's wishing everyone a positive-thinking Monday, for a very productive and fulfilling week!!

May 5, 2006

Cinco de Mayo…

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:23 pm by a11en

 is really just a reason to drink and have a party. Let's be honest… Maximillian eventually won, but then with the backing of the US, the French were eventually defeated. May 5th was only a temporary setback for the French. Interesting.