Weekly review 2007.10.21 – 2007.10.28

Summary – In terms of my goals from last week:

Organize information Haven’t rearranged our group Activity yet.
Plan external blog Brainstormed names. Now to brainstorm topics…
Plan podcast Done. Several ideas, even.
Library run Done. Picked up more books.
CASCON presentation Survived.
Meeting with Gordon Lee Done. Scheduled another meeting this week.
Emacs blog entries, pages Blog entries done, not yet laid out into pages or merged into text
CAS dinner Skipped
Dogear podcast script, audio Drafted, but not satisfied with quality
Dogear podcast video Waiting for script

Next week’s goals:

  • Dogear podcast due Nov 3, one segment targeted for power users, another basic one
  • Client project? Cool =)
  • 2000 more words in Emacs-related blog entries
  • Go to DemoCamp, reconnect with people
  • Request papers needed for permanent residency application

UP: My second week of work was dominated by CASCON, the conference
organized by the IBM Toronto Center for Advanced Studies. I presented
a short paper about my thesis, summarizing 72 pages and 1.5 years of
my life into five minutes and what really amounts to this sentence:
“Blogs, bookmarks, and people-tags may be able to help people find
expertise within their company, so let’s make a search engine that
combines all three.” I also enjoyed helping out with Stephen
Perelgut’s Second Life workshop, even though only half of the people
could get on the metaverse. Aaron, Bernie and I met a couple of times
during the conference, and I did manage to squeeze in some “real work”
as well. I also had my two-week check-in with my manager. We’re
thinking of making those weekly, just to keep everyone in the loop. A
couple of market scans here and there, some podcast plans… work is
good, and getting even better.

UP: I got back in touch with Gino Ledesma, a friend of mine from
university. We had a lot of fun catching up. I was thrilled to hear
about what he and my other batchmates have been up to, and
particularly by the way he’s been giving back to the Philippines. His
company is very impressed by him and is looking for more Filipinos to
hire. That’s gotta be something. =) That reminds me: I need to
introduce him to Winston Damarillo, who might be interested in having
Gino give some presentations to his Java folks.

DOWN: Trapeze lessons have been postponed. It was an informal class in
somebody’s loft, and that somebody needs to now focus on med school.
Ah well. Time to look for another form of exercise. I don’t really
feel like spending money on this, and I’m sure I can find plenty of
free, fun ways to exercise around the house. Winter is coming, so
running might not be my cup of tea. I’ll look around for ideas.

DOWN: The paperwork requirements for the permanent residency
application are a little bit intimidating, aren’t they? I felt
overwhelmed earlier. W- gave me a wonderful hug and helped me remember
to divide and conquer.

UP: I’ve found a good way to get more material for my book. =) It’s
easy for me to write if I think of things as blog posts. Even basic
information is fun to share. But I need to protect that time. I
managed to write a little bit during the evenings, and more during the
weekends. Let’s see if that works out next week too.

  1. 2007.10.23#2: Why Emacs
  2. 2007.10.25#1: Emacs: The difference between a task and an appointment
  3. 2007.10.27#1: Emacs: managing schedule
  4. 2007.10.27#2: Tweaking day-specific planner pages
  5. 2007.10.27#3: Choosing a daily schedule in Emacs
  6. 2007.10.28#1: Clocking work time under Org
  7. 2007.10.28#2: Clocking work time under Planner
  8. 2007.10.28#3: Org: Changing the task states

DOWN: The downside to this is that I’m not sure how to make the time
to meet my friends face-to-face. I’m growing a lot more protective of
the rare four-hour chunks I can carve out of my day, so I tend to keep
the weekends for myself. A wonderful home life makes me want to spend
more time at home instead of going to cafes and meeting friends. Blogs
are easy to fit into the spaces in my day, but what about the friends
who don’t blog? I’ll try tweaking my schedule a bit this week.
Tomorrow I’m going to go to DemoCamp, but only the pub night part, and
I’m planning to go after dinner. It doesn’t make that much sense to go
back and forth considering I’m working from downtown, but I can do
productive things on the subway (hmm, rush hour, so that means
listening to a podcast or doing blue-sky thinking), and I do like
being there when J- comes home from school. =)

DOWN: E-mail is also lower on my priority list. It’s becoming easier
to tell myself, “I’m going to do one hour of e-mail, and that’s that.”
Or 30 minutes, or whatever time I can set aside. I’m a little mixed
about this because a number of books I’ve read recommended quick
responses as a way of showing you care, but as long as expectations
are also adjusted, I think things will be fine. If I take a long time
to reply, it’s just that I have other priorities.

UP: And somehow I still found the time to read library books and
encode more notes, too! =) I probably won’t be updating my Booksnake
blog for a while (again, other priorities!), but my workflow is
getting better.

UP: I’m happy with the overall balance of this week. My 50,000-feet
view is becoming clearer: I want to become a practice evangelist,
business practice maven, or whatever the proper term is. On the
ground-view, I manage to complete most of my planned tasks without
feeling as if I’m wasting time. In terms of personal stuff, I’m doing
well, too. =) Happy with this week, can’t wait for the next.

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Random Emacs symbol: make-hippie-expand-function – Macro: Construct a function similar to `hippie-expand’.