September 2, 2005

Bulk view

Penguin powwow

We, the Penguins of Sacha Chua, are delighted to welcome four additions to the Penguin Circle.

Penguin powwow

Candle-penguin tried its best to stay serious, but the Sock-penguins
and Purse-penguin just couldn’t stop clowning around. As the Linux
penguin, Tux felt slightly jealous because _it_ had started this
entire penguin thing in the first place.

Anyway, we had a nice chat while Sacha went off to watch
March of the Penguins. She came back and told us about the amazing
stuff other penguins go through in the Antartic just to ensure the survival of our species.

If she doesn’t find us tomorrow, you know where we’ll be!

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahoooooooooooo! Published!

Bob Erb wrote:

Reading Linux Journal at work today, I get to the article
about todo lists, browsing through it, getting interested when it
started talking about plain text files, then excited when planner-mode
was mentioned, then thinking, “I’ll have to tell emacs-wiki-discuss
about this!” as the discussion of planner-mode continued, then, wow,
it’s you!

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahooooooooooooooooo! I’ve been published!
My article on Taming the TODO came out in
Linux Journal #138, October 2005. Buy a copy!

Thanks in no small part to Travis Hartwell (who poked me into actually
_doing_ something that had been on my TODO list for ages), Dominique
Cimafranca (who helped me fix my absolutely horrible first draft),
Jill Franklin and Don Marti of Linux Journal, and of course the
absolutely wonderful Planner community…

Happy happy joy joy! Happy happy joy joy!

E-Mail from Bob Erb

Book notes: Life Matters

Title Life Matters
Authors A. Roger Merrill, Rebecca R. Merrill

I totally, totally, totally like this book. It’s just _packed_ with
gems. A few pages into the book, I realized I had another must-read in
my hands. This book talks about balancing work, family, time, and
money, and it’s full of very real and warm stories. Don’t be
intimidated by its size. It’s really fun and easy to read!

Let me give you an example of how deep and wonderful this book is. In
the section on work, you won’t find tips on how to cut corners on the
job so that you can spend more time with your family. You won’t find
wheeling-and-dealing tips to help you get ahead. You will, however,
find them not only quoting Kahlil Gibran’s “Work is love made
visible,” but infusing every page with that creed. You’ll hear about
how involving your children in work can help give them an appreciation
of the joy and dignity of work. You’ll learn how to make the most of
your time, and how to stay energized and loving after a long work day.
This is Really Good Stuff.

What I really like about this book is that Rebecca’s stories show the
value of homemaking and how you can learn important lessons from that
underappreciated kind of work. I rarely find women’s insights in
productivity books unless the books are oriented toward women.
Rebecca’s stories about her family and her society, her writing and
her life were given just as much importance as Robert’s stories about

There’s even an audio CD version for all of you podcast- and
CD-listening people out there. Get this book. It’s good. In fact, I
want to buy several copies of this to give to friends. It’s _really_ good.

Book notes: Rules for the Road

Title Rules for the Road
Author Eve Luppert
ISBN 0-399-52411-8

Luppert’s guide to surviving an entry-level job is a good read for fresh
graduates who need tips on surviving the mindless drudgery of their
first year. “Do stupid things brilliantly,” Luppert counsels, giving
hundreds of tips on surviving everything, including office gossip.

Of particular interest to me was the short segment on managing a
hands-off boss (hello, Mark! ;) ) on page 28. Luppert suggests finding
other people who have done what I’m trying to do and asking them
questions. Saving questions and ideas will help me make the most of rare
moments of contact, and I should take care to update him with tidbits
and stuff. Because he won’t give me constant feedback, I’ll need to give
myself whatever encouragement I need. Hmm.

Book notes: Financial Freedom on $5 a Day

Title Financial Freedom on $5 a Day
Author Chuck Chakrapani
ISBN 0-88908-952-3

Like most personal finance books, Financial Freedom on $5 a Day
suggests a regular savings plan, dollar-cost averaging for no-load
mutual funds, and eventual diversification into investments that can
weather recession, inflation, and growth markets. The book also talks
about other investment options such as gold and silver trading.

I did find a nifty little tidbit, though: three different techniques
for saving a chunk of your income so that you can invest it later on.
On page 17, Chakrapani describes:

Minus Ten Automatically deduct 10% of your paycheck and put it into a savings account before you even see it. (Pretty standard advice.)
Plus Ten Every time you spend, put aside an extra 10% for your savings. Think of it as extra tax.
Day’s Due Save every day. Minimum recommended: Annual income / 3500. (Was that gross or net?)

The suggestion of saving $5 a day will be difficult for me to meet
considering my already-trimmed budget, but if I stick to my savings
plan and relieve my book expenses by satisfying my addiction at the
libraries, it might actually be doable.

The copy I read was so old that Amazon doesn’t carry it any more, but Amazon lists the 7th edition for USD 2.50 (used). Not worth shipping, though. Read this one at your local library.