Headlines for Monday:

  1. Monday rituals (758 words)
  2. Navel-gazing (114 words)
  3. Artemis Fowl (158 words)



1. Monday rituals: 13:19

It's Monday!

Mondays are getting easier and easier for me. My Sunday ritual of reviewing the past week and planning the next one is really paying off. I love knowing what I want and need to do and when I'm going to do it, and I love working on those things while feeling great about all that went well last week.

Last week, my major accomplishment was getting the qualitative section of my thesis off the ground. I organized and summarized all the quotes from my usability study. I've also scrubbed it of all IBM references, so it should be good to go. I sent a link to the first draft to my research supervisor. I'm still waiting for feedback from him, but I can work on the rest of the thesis while waiting. I was surprised to discover that the section comes to around 50 double-spaced pages. I'm looking forward to editing it down ruthlessly! =)

I also made a little more progress on my job search. I mailed the employment application for one position and I scheduled interest interviews with two others. I feel uncomfortable not being able to properly estimate my completion date, but the range of estimates (thesis completed end of July, defense in August or September?) will narrow as I get closer and as I learn more.

I gave a short demo of Emacs at a recent IT event. The demo was sparsely attended, but it was fun hanging out with the other speakers and with new people in the audience. I have another speaking engagement coming up: Open Cities, at which I'll talk about open source and participation. The main thing I realized at the EnergizeIT event I spoke at last Saturday was that I should spend more time hacking on cool and interesting things. People out there are making really amazing systems! I'm going to set aside more time to prototype stuff, and I have a few crazy ideas I want to implement.

I'm happy with my exercise. I went for three short runs and spent around 15-20 minutes in my target zone. A friend lent me his heart rate monitor and I've really enjoyed being able to measure myself. It's nice to know that I can push myself further, and it's also nice to know when I should relax! I love measuring things. What gets measured gets managed, after all. I probably won't do krav for a while because I can't make the most of it getting fatigued so quickly, but I might pick it up again when I'm fitter. (How do I measure that?)

I'm happy with last week's balance between self, others, and work. My weekdays were for working on my thesis and running around on errands. I got a lot of work done and I don't think I wasted a lot of time. It was nice to get home and put aside my thesis so that I could work on my own projects and spend time with people who are important to me. I read two business books (_Outside Innovation_ and _Selling is Everyone's Business_) and two books on life and relationships. I've been getting up early to write. I love being able to write private notes in my Planner before I need to do anything else.

I met a few interesting new people last week. I had a few wonderful conversations, too. I really appreciate the breadth of the things W and I can talk about. I also really appreciate the insights that Ian shared with me about business and sales.

I'm looking forward to another week like the last one, or maybe even better. I plan to draft the quantitative section over the next few days, and have brought my textbook and thesis binder to work. I'll soon have everything I need for the paperwork to extend my study permit, too. I've got good questions for my interest interviews, and I look forward to grilling people to find out more about their work environment and their team.

My personal goals include doing more exercise - maybe 110% of my goals last week, to be tracked on Facebook? - and writing one or two good blog entries. My people goals include catching up with friends and getting to know new people over a walk or a beverage—three already scheduled this week, and one scheduled for two weeks from now!

Happy Monday! What do you do to switch yourself into weekday mode?

Random Emacs symbol: Buffer-menu-files-only - Variable: Non-nil if the current buffer-menu lists only file buffers.

2. Navel-gazing: 13:30

Sometimes you get the feeling that most blogs mostly talk about blogging.

I wonder if that's really a good thing. True, we're still figuring out what this is, how we can use it, how it changes the way we talk and think and connect with people around the world.

But every so often I get the urge to be more than an evangelist for some technology or another. I want to not only talk about the technologies but to show how they bridge gaps, and I can do that best by immersing myself in something else and applying the technologies to it.


Random Emacs symbol: url-package-name - Variable: Name of package using URL.

3. Artemis Fowl: 19:37

There's something about good writing, good fiction, that thrills me no end. My current obsession: Artemis Fowl, which I'm listening to—listening to!—courtesy of the Toronto Public Library's audiobooks program. It was W find, really, and particularly brilliant passages make me stop and wonder how on earth I could be so lucky. The attention to detail makes both of us dissolve in helpless giggles. This is somewhat dangerous on the Gardiner Parkway, of course, but the amusement makes the Monday commute almost enjoyable. I normally chafe at audio-only things, being far more used to print, but the narrator is pure gold—and W just totally cracks me up with the Irish accent he puts on, probably to see if I can sneeze lasagna if I laugh too hard.

Life is good. Life is very, very good. When I grow up, I'm going to write like Eoin Colfer. ;)

Random Emacs symbol: muse-colors-inline-image-method - Variable: Determine how to locate inline images.


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