Lies, Big Lies, and Time Management Lies

Another game of putting things aside
As if we’ll come back to them some time
A brace of hope a pride of innocence
And you would say something has gone wrong
Something’s Always Wrong – Toad the Wet Sprocket

Note – I started writing this post in April and had to leave it and come back to it. That’s both a meta-commentary and a sign of how painful this topic is to me.

I went through a bit of organizational hell a month or so  several months ago  a year-and-a-half-ago- I converted my Time Management system from its previous mish-mash of Outlook, Google to-do lists, email in-box etc. to a new mish-mash organized by Evernote and inspired by this article from Lifehacker about how to use it with David Allen’s Getting Things Done system.

And it’s sorta working. It’s a big improvement, I think. Outlook’s task list is terrible, Google’s is worse, and I’d been using them to enforce this bifurcation in my work life and personal/side-business life that was tying me in knots. Read more

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Obscure Sayin’ – Adam Clarke on the Book of Judges

I’m working on material for our Wednesday night study of the book of Judges. This isn’t going to make the cut, but it’s interesting: Adam Clarke on Judges 6 and the incident of Gideon asking for the signs of the golden fleece: Read more

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Well, this is odd

I discovered that this blog shows up on my work network (which uses Untangle) without the stylesheet showing up because the firewall strips it – it flags it as using an anonymizer service.

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Updated to a pretty ho-hum theme

My beloved Silverlight theme was getting pretty out of date, and I discovered some security problems in it, so I’ve reverted to a stock theme until I have time to do more with it.

My Best Mistake: Taking Someone’s Word on Taking a Job

In the spirit of this series on LinkedIn, I offer you a tale of a five month hiatus from the family business I worked in when I was younger.

For years, a marketing professor who had acted as sort of a mentor to me when I was in school had been encouraging me to apply at a business in the telecom industry where he’d done some consulting work. He told me:

  • the owner had a very hands-on management style (that certainly proved to be true).
  • they valued individuality.
  • they were looking for people who could produce long-term results.

The job was to work on the telephone and e-mail about three weeks per month, and travel all over the country at least one week – increasing volume at existing customers and prospecting for new ones. After an extensive series of interviews, including one with the owner himself, I was hired. The rigorousness of the hiring process, along with the persona recommendation of a friend, made me feel that the job would definitely be a good fit. Read more

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Standards and Smith’s Law of Marginal Utility

Smith’s Law of Marginal Utility:

The abundance of chargers or removable media of a given type* is directly correlated to their obsolesce .

How Standards Proliferate – xkcd

Read more

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The E-Mail Scam That’s Alive and Well

I hate to admit it, but after ten years in e-commerce I very nearly fell for a message similar to this a few months ago. It’s a slightly slicker variation on the various e-mail schemes that are out there, mainly distinguished by asking for something specific that the company I work for sells (custom imprinted USB drives):

—–Original Message—–
From: [Bogus Company] [mailto:[deleted]@]
Sent: Friday, May 03, 2013 1:42 PM
To: Gary Smith
Subject: Swivel USB Drives


Dear Sir/Madam


  We wanted to place an order for 1000 Pcs each 4 GB and 8 GB Swivel style USB Drives One color/One location Imprint through your store or suppliers. Please let us know if you can get any of these items including the lead time and your payment methods.


We look forward to read from you soon


Best Regards


(phone #)

Read more

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The AOPA regards “Get-There-Itis” as a syndrome that “claims the lives of dozens of pilots and their passengers yearly.” My own term “Get-It-Done-Itis” isn’t quite as serious (nor does it roll off the tongue half as well), so I don’t know if it will catch on. But it’s a syndrome that has weakened quite a few work days for me, and maybe you.

I’m a morning person, which means that I tend to wake up before the alarm and go through the transition from bedraggled sleeper to productive citizen with a certain impatience. I’m checking the calendar, to-do list, work and personal e-mails, eating, showering, dressing – all with a certain mania to Get It Done – getting the trivial or necessary-but-not-productive stuff out of the way so I can tackle the Big Thing on my Agenda While It’s All So Fresh in My Mind. If I could figure out how to do all that “small stuff” that stands between me and putting my feet on the floor in my bedroom and putting my hands on the keyboard in my office at once, I’d probably do it. That’s how stuff like this gets sold.

So that’s good, right? If you play your cards well and you beat that traffic light at Cobbs Ford Rd. and the Bypass, you’ll be an hour ahead of everyone and can clear the decks without interruption – why is that motorcycle cop waving at me?

Get-There-Itis creates dangerous conditions and is fed by impatience. Get-It-Done-Itis works in a similar way: Read more

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I don’t frequently get political, but it seems about every year (or less?) we have to get activated about Congress trying to pass legislation without understanding the technical implications. I’m very pro law-enforcement, and have a close friend who works for DoJ – he’s told me in the past that getting a search warrant is not that much of a barrier when conducting an investigation.

The following is copied verbatim from  Jason Esman, who got it from a source called Your Anon News.   They quote numerous primary sources including


CISPA, or the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, is a law that would allow the government to extract your private information from the internet without a warrant. It’s the online equivalent of allowing a police officer to enter your home and start rummaging through your personal files without the permission of a court. The politicians who introduced this law pretend it will protect you but what it really does is circumvent your Fourth Amendment rights. CISPA also prevents you from suing companies when they illegally use your information.

Luckily there are numerous privacy advocates out there already fighting against CISPA such as the Internet Defense League, Fight for the Future, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Now it’s time for us to do our part.

Anonymous has asked numerous companies to participate in an internet blackout on Monday, April 22. But, regardless of what these companies choose to do, individuals like ourselves can still help spread awareness of this threat. Below is a link to an image that promotes the hashtag #StopCISPA on Twitter. Make it your profile image all day Monday. Leave it up as long as you want.

#StopCISPA Profile Picture:

It may not be as effective or possible for you to stop talking all day, so we’ve provided some information below so that you can help get the word out instead:

If CISPA becomes law, the government can spy on you without a warrant: #StopCISPA

If CISPA becomes law, when the gov’t downloads your private information, you’ll never even know: #StopCISPA

If CISPA becomes law, it makes it so companies can’t be sued when they do illegal things with your data: #StopCISPA

If CISPA becomes law, it makes every privacy policy on the web useless and violates the 4th amendment. #StopCISPA

Remember, there are more of us than there are of them. If we stick together we can stop CISPA once and for all.

Weeding the Blog

I moved this blog from one server to another this weekend, and that got me thinking about pages, widgets, and pruning old posts. I knew I wasn’t posting as much as I should, but I thought I was generally keeping up better than I was. I discovered a lot of widgets in my right column weren’t really working, my blogroll was out of date, and there were a lot of dead links in posts. In many cases I’ve left the past alone, but where a video link, for example, was no longer valid I deleted the post or set it private.