I’m a graduate student; very long in the tooth. Somehow I got the idea that if I was in my department long enough they’d go ahead and just start calling me Professor, and start paying me like a professor. 🙂 So far it hasn’t worked.

I’m a pipe-smoker, who enjoys a wide range of tobacco, but whose first love are Balkans. Don’t try and tell me to quit, unless you’re a pipe-smoker as well, and can talk first hand about it. I hate to say it, but the stats (if you believe those things) actually show that pipe-smokers live 1 year longer than the average adult. 😉 So much for killing myself. Oh wait- I ride a motorcycle and work with deadly chemicals as well. 😉 Woops.

I love to read and have fallen in love with “Jack” (C.S. Lewis)’s writings. His theological works are his best. Tolkien is a close second, as well as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s work. Recently I’ve stumbled upon Terry Pratchet’s Disc-World novels. I highly recommend them. Each one I pick up has been a lot of fun to read.

Finally, my newest love has been the fountain-pen. I currently have 2 of real worth- a Pelikan m150, and a Parker “51”. (I have a few others lying around that are still good writers, but which I don’t use daily.) Slowly I’ll build a small collection.

I know you are likely to be a cute sexy young woman interested in long-term love and have come to my awesome blog by word of mouth… and therefore, I hate to mention that it appears that I’m spoken for… at least I haven’t been able to convince her otherwise of late… no matter how hard I try. Hopefully that won’t turn you away from these wonderful wordsmythied pages… 😉 [tongue firmly implanted in cheek]


  1. fwade said,

    Grad student,

    I love that you covered Hurricane Dean in your blog! I was a bit surprised to come across that entry.

    I wanted to invite you to visit a proposal I have at ChangeThis.com for a new
    (hopefully revolutionary) approach to time management. The link is
    http://www.changethis.com/proposals/1064 and if you like what you read, please
    encourage its conversion to a full Manifesto by clicking on “Yes, write this manifesto.”

    The dry, theoretical ideas that I hope to pull from can be found on my blog at

    I was a grad student once… an experience I plan never to repeat! I love to learn,
    but the environment sucked so badly I could not bear another day…

    I’ll be reading your blog (esp. the productivity topics.)


  2. lachlan said,

    mate ur website is great. u have and ads i can click to support ur site? or any other ways?

  3. a11en said,

    Hi Lachlan,

    I’m sorry.. I’d love to have any forms of ads here so that I could make a bit of revenue, but WordPress.com sites aren’t allowed to be commercial, as far as I can tell.

    So, that means there’s no good way to support this little blog. 🙂 And, well, it also means I can be a bit more anonymous, and be a bit more free in disclosing my “confessions of St. Allentine” 😉

    That also means, of course that I can’t devote a lot of time here… as you can see, I post only sporadically. I’m sorry for that.

    Thank you both, Francis, and Lachlan for your very kind words. I really appreciate them! So, I hope you know that you have made someone out here happy with your kindness!

    Wishing you both the best this year!

  4. Russ P. said,

    Hi, Allen,
    I posted a ship’s clock method at your ’06 post. Thanks for getting me started on it!
    Let me put it below …
    If you want to do it, and have any questions, feel free to email me!
    Russ P.

    I managed to get cron to run a ship’s bell sequence. You can get the sounds HERE
    Put them in a folder. I called mine “Ship’s Bell Project” :o)

    Then I downloaded PlaySound, a simple program that will play the sounds. It comes with scripts that can easily be modified. You can get it HERE

    Do a “get info” on all eight of the ships bell sounds you downloaded. Go to Open With, and select PlaySound. If you want, you can just do one get info, and select “use this application to open all documents like this”.

    I modified the script “Play Any Sound” in the “Scripting Examples” folder to get the script below…

    (* NOTE: In order for this script to locate the “Shipsbell.wav” file, you must put the script application in the same folder as the file. *)

    property soundFilename : “1bells.wav”

    set soundAlias to (my ParentFromPath(path to me, true) & soundFilename) as alias

    tell application “Play Sound”
    play soundAlias
    end tell

    on ParentFromPath(thePath, wantPath)
    set thePath to (thePath as text)
    set saveDelim to AppleScript’s text item delimiters
    set AppleScript’s text item delimiters to {“:”}
    set pathAsList to text items of thePath
    if the last character of thePath is “:” then
    set idx to (the number of text items in thePath) – 2
    set idx to -2
    end if
    if wantPath then
    set folderName to ((text items 1 through idx of pathAsList) as text) & “:”
    set folderName to item idx of pathAsList
    end if
    set AppleScript’s text item delimiters to saveDelim
    return folderName
    end ParentFromPath

    You then modify the script changing 1bells.wav to 2bells.wav, 3bells.wav, etc. until you have saved eight scripts. Put them in the same folder as the bell sounds.

    NOW, to get them to play.
    There’s a very nice front end GUI for cron called cronnix that will then play the app files you’ve made using the applescript.
    You can get it HERE

    There’s probably an easier syntax to use, but I used the following.
    For 1 bell, Minute 30 Hour 0,4,8,12,16,20 Day of month * Month * Day of week*
    For 2 bells, Minute 00 Hour 1,5,9,13,17,20 Day etc as above
    You can figure out the rest!
    This is nice, because if you don’t want the bells after midnight, say, you can modify the settings to do that.

    This sounds like a lot of work, but it only took me fifteen minutes, and I never saw any of the programs before. I am NOT familiar with cron, and use terminal rarely, so this is not as complicated as I made it sound.

  5. a11en said,

    Hi Russ!!

    Thanks for the post! Excellent stuff there!! 🙂 Do you have a blog? If you do, let me know, and post a link to it here. [They’re free through http://www.wordpress.com/ some simple rules, but wordpress is quite nice. Google’s Blogger is also quite good.]

    Thanks for the wonderful description of how to run the ship’s bells! I’ve been meaning to do this for ages!

    A fellow pipe-smoker online, Sailor Man Jack (passed on recently), got me started on ship’s bells. The trick , if I remember right, was finding some good sound files that you could use. I would have packaged them all up into a small bundled applescript app, but figuring out the ownership of these types of things is always a pain.

    Thanks a *ton* for the awesome comment! That’s so detailed, I may have to add a post just for it. If that’s ok with you, I’ll work one up, and give you all the credit on it. 🙂 [No need to give more personal info if you don’t want to- I enjoy anonymity a bit on this particular blog- I understand the interest in doing so if you want.] But, we may not need to at all… I think the search engines also crawl comments if I remember right. So, others that want to follow your hard work here will likely find it. 🙂

    A tip of the hat to you, Sir, and big thanks! As Sailorman Jack always used to say: “Fair Winds!”

    ps- sorry it took a while to moderate your comment- i think it was all the urls in the comment that tipped off the spam filter [and I’ve got another small blog in the works right now… particularly because of Lachlan’s comments… I’d love to be a bit more work oriented, and make enough to pay off a domain name at best with a bit of amazon associate links. I don’t believe that’s allowed here, though (free blog), so I’m happy to not have any ads on this site right now.] It does however mean my attention gets divided a bit.

  6. […] action items are clogging your mental arteries. I’ve been using this planning sheet from searching4arcadia, which is a mixture of principles taken from Getting Things Done, The Now Habit and 7 Habits, […]

  7. Dixene Reinecke said,

    Hello Allen, I’m sorry that this is so late in response to your original postings! I did not see your original posts until now (2018!) and find your information wonderful! Specifically, I have been using a weekly form that you had created (weeklyschedulev1.pdf) to use instead of a planner. I have tried nearly every type of planning system and yours seems to be the most helpful since it is not so overwhelming to maintain! I really like how with yours, so much info. is contained on one page and I don’t have to remember a million places to look in a planner for what to do that day (from daily mundane tasks, to projects and life goals). I was wondering if you happen to have that form in an editable version that you could send to me? I would like to type some of my daily “mini-habits” in the form, so that I don’t have to re-write them every week. I’m still trying to implement what I plan, so realize I will need to make changes periodically based on outcomes as well as life stage, so having something editable would be awesome.
    Thank you in advance for any help! 🙂

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