Category Archives: sharing

Diarist prompts

I’m looking for a daily or weekly source of writing prompts. I’d like
prompts that tend toward self-discovery rather than fiction, and I’m
considering using for everyday or every-other-day

The “If…” Project: Tough questions each month to make writers reach
deep within and really examine our thoughts, our memories, our values,
our beliefs.

That sounds really good, but the website isn’t functional. I remember
seeing the If book before, but I haven’t seen it lately and I don’t
know if Dominique can find a copy. Then again, judging from the Amazon page on If, it looks like it contains a lot of fluffy questions as well. I guess you can’t be serious all of the time. =)

その猫は魚を食べようと魚の入った缶をひっくり返した。 The cat upset the can of fish so that she could eat them.

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Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals

My Big, Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAGs) are:

  • Revolutionize computer science education by making it highly individualized and experiential.
  • Become a world-famous expert on creating systems for planning one’s life. Instead of pushing a particular methodology, I’d like to work with people’s current ways of planning, suggesting improvements and software/hardware to support their life.

I’m at the 1st Philippine Blogging Summit right now with my BHAGs firmly in mind. It’s _amazing._

The first person I talked to was J. Angelo Racoma, an old friend from my BBSing days. After chatting about blogging, talk turned to what we’re both up to. He told me about his work at . I told him about my BHAGs.

It turned out that his wife is into tutoring, and one of the things they’re planning to do in the future is set up a tutoring portal to help students, parents and tutors find each other. Neato. That looks like a great fit for what I want to do. =)

As I explained my BHAG for teaching and training to him, I realized that one of the things I really, really, really care about is quality assurance for teachers and tutors. I firmly believe that it’s not just about technical knowledge, but it’s also about teaching and communication skills. I don’t think we’re paying enough attention to that, and I think that’s a compelling sales point.

I also got to meet Gabriel Narciso. He started by asking me if I was still into open source. Of course! He then asked me if there was a native version of for Mac OS X. I remember used to support the Mac, so I should be able to find one. =) Good deed! I told _him_ about my BHAGs too. It turned out that he used to work at Franklin-Covey (as in, _the_ Franklin Covey franchise in the Philippines!), and is now into executive coaching.


Let’s say that again. Wow!

_That’s_ why you should practice talking about your BHAGs until you can squeeze it into a small-talk conversation. Joey Gurango told us how wannabe entrepreneurs would give him two-inch-thick business proposals and expect him to have the time or interest in reading them. He said that’s entirely the wrong way to do that. You start with your 90-second elevator pitch. You get people interested. Then you go for your executive summary—the shorter, the better. You get people hooked. When you get them hooked, _then_ you hit them with the business proposal.

BHAGs work the same way. Refine them until you get a sound bite. Say it with confidence and passion. Get them hooked. Explain the rest over lunch another day!

May 8, 2012
It’s interesting to see how much has changed and how much has stayed the same. I’m no longer focusing on computer science education, although I’m delighted to see that self-teaching resources are becoming more popular. I’m still interested in productivity tools and systems. I care a lot about teaching and tutoring, and the need is even more concrete for me now because we’re seeing what J- and her friends struggle with. I have new goals around writing, drawing, and tracking. I still have to practise explaining them, though!

Structuring content

What do I write about that other people might find useful/interesting?

  • Emacs-related stuff
  • Personal information management and productivity
  • ShortStories and FlashFiction
  • Teaching reflections (haven’t been posting anything on this lately)

How do I currently organize things?

However, my wiki is not as organized and easy-to-read as it can be. It’s difficult for people to find Emacs-related code and posts, for example. There are a lot of posts all over the place. I need to make it easy for people to browse titles so that they can get an idea of the things I blog about as well as spot something possibly useful. Articles should also be linked to previous articles in the same topic.

The “Recent topics” thing in my sidebar is a good start. That way, people who visit my page instead of using an aggregator will be able to see a list of posts even if I skip days.

Hmmm… I wonder how I can improve the way things are organized, not only for people who read this on my site but also for people who aggregate things…

May 8, 2012

I think a lot about how I can organize the information in my blog so that I can find things again and so that other people can make sense of my brain. My latest attempt is to manually maintain a topical index of my blog posts. WordPress plugins also help people discover old blog posts.

The links here are no longer useful because I’ve stopped using Planner to organize my notes. I’ve moved my Planner notes into WordPress, though, so you can browse through the categories and subscribe to them at

The Mapa Family Book of Virtues

Commissioner Dondi Mapa shared a beautiful idea with us at the first
blogging summit last Saturday, 2005.05.07. The Mapa Family Book of
Virtues is a collection of anecdotes about the members of their
extended family, organized according to the people involved as well as
by the virtues the stories illustrated. Currently a private blog
updated by Dondi Mapa every so often, it has drawn comments and
contributions from close friends of the Mapas. Eventually it might
even be privately published as a book for the Mapa family and their

I’ve never seen it, but I think it’d be a wonderful idea. My family
has plenty of stories and it would be nice for other people to read
about things like my dad’s love affair with the Banaue Rice Terraces
and my mom’s forays into writing and pottery. I know _I_ would like to
read those stories.

Blogs don’t have to be temporal entries about, say, eating suman. They
can be timeless, insightful, meaningful entries, like letters we can
read through in the twilight of our lives to remember who and what we
were and appreciate even more what we’ve become.

コンピュータを物色して歩いたあげく、デイヴィドより200ドル安い値段で手に入れた。 I shopped around for my computer and ended up paying $200 less than David.

(Must make sure that these things survive until said twilight, then. ;) Am nowhere near it right now.)

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Productive day!

I had so much fun writing today. 500 words for my m-ph entry, 1000 for
the Linux Journal article on taming the todo (okay, I wrote maybe half
of that last week), and 55 for the short story “Gluttony”. I e-mailed
the people I was supposed to e-mail from the game journalists’ meet. I
also released another version of Planner (3.30) and started setting up
better version control.


_And_ I got to bond with my dad this morning, too. We looked for
music. Couldn’t find any decent musicals at Music One. They had the
movie soundtrack for Phantom of the Opera, but I want the Broadway
version because Raoul sounds like such a wuss in the movie. ;) Time to
look for Rent, Cats, and all of those other musicals…

私はこのコンピューターに精通している。 I am familiar with this computer.

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Feedburner rocks

If you haven’t signed up for the awesome RSS/Atom feed processor
called FeedBurner because you’re afraid there’s no going back, relax.
Those FeedBurner guys aren’t out to steal your traffic or enslave your
users. In fact, they care so much about you and your subscribers that
they’ve created an easy way to help your subscribers transition if you
decide to stop using FeedBurner.

So go ahead, take advantage of FeedBurner’s many features. I like the
way it makes my RSS feed browser-friendly. It also splices in my links for hassle-free bookmark publishing. Great stuff!

Let me plug my own feed here: . Try
it out!

私は父からコンピューターゲームを与えられた。 I was given a computer game by my father.

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