January 31, 2008

January 27, 2008

  • Goodnight Emily

    When I was young, one of my favourite shows was The Bob Newhart Show. And I had a major crush on Suzanne Pleshette. Actually, I guess it’s more accurate to say that I had a crush on Emily her character on the show.

    I was very sad to hear that she died last week. I think the news hit me a little harder than it might have because I’m currently re-watching the series on DVD. Somehow in my mind she was still in her 30s — a school teacher in Chicago.

January 26, 2008

  • McWrap = McCrap


    The wonderful Presentation Zen pointed out that McWrap is pronounced “McCrap”. I can’t believe I didn’t notice that before.

    Now, for the win, what the heck is in that wrap? Lettuce, melon and bacon?

January 24, 2008

  • Testing “Post To The Future”

    I’m not sure if TypePad allows you to “post to the future” (by that I mean set a time and date before which a post should not be visible, but once the time comes, the post publishes as if you hit “publish” right then).

    I set this post to publish one hour AFTER I actually finished it.

    Let’s see what happens.

January 18, 2008

  • Hey Clown! Even Kids Don’t Like You


    I’ve hated — no loathed — clowns since I was very young. I could share several traumatic pre-school encounters with these, uh, clowns — but I won’t bore you. Besides, you probably hate clowns too!

    It’s a fact — kids hate clowns!

    LONDON — Bad news for Coco and Blinko — children don’t like clowns and even older kids are scared of them.
    The news that will no doubt have clowns shedding tears was revealed in a poll of youngsters by researchers from the University of Sheffield who were examining how to improve the decor of hospital children’s wards.
    The study, reported in the Nursing Standard magazine, found all the 250 patients aged between four and 16 they quizzed disliked the use of clowns, with even the older ones finding them scary.
    “As adults we make assumptions about what works for children,” said Penny Curtis, a senior lecturer in research at the university.
    “We found that clowns are universally disliked by children. Some found them quite frightening and unknowable.”

January 17, 2008

  • Thought

    The PC/Mac ad on the New York Times home page right now is BRILLIANT. Don’t let anyone tell you great creative is not possible online.

January 16, 2008

January 15, 2008

  • Thought

    I can’t stand it – I’m turning off Twitterrific and not checking Techmeme until after the Stevenote

  • Trying Out Ecto


    I’ve generally just done my blog posts in directly in the web interface of whatever application I’m using at the moment, but I’ve always been interested in using an offline editor. I’m trying Ecto right now to see if I can make it work. If not, it’s back to the web for me.

January 11, 2008

  • Thought

    If you’re not a newsie It’s hard to know why CNN Breaking News says “The pregnant Marine missing from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, is dead”

January 10, 2008

January 8, 2008

  • Thought

    I want that GIANT touchscreen web display they’re using on CNN for showing their web coverage on TV (a weird concept in itself).

January 7, 2008

  • Thought

    Off to bed. Tomorrow is the first day back at work since December 20th. Looking forward to it, but I’ll miss sleeping in.

January 6, 2008

January 5, 2008

  • Thought

    Doing a quick demo of Twitter for a friend. Easier to show than explain don’t you think?

January 4, 2008

  • My Super-Clean Inbox

    Over the holidays I took some time to rethink my inbox strategy and I thought I’d share my current approach with you.

    For reference, that’s my brand-spankin’-new inbox you’re seein’ here.


    I’m now using IMAP for work and home accounts. Up until now I’ve been a POP-guy — more out of habit than anything else. With POP you check your mail server and download anything new since the last time you checked. Typically the server then deletes its copy and what you downloaded becomes the only version you’ve got.

    IMAP is wonderful as it allows you to keep all your messages on the server (“in the cloud”) and pull down synchronized copies on as many machines as you’d like (as well as checking messages via webmail). Essentially you’re doing everything on the server and just keeping local copies for back-up and offline use. This is much safer and much more convenient.


    My “Work” account is (naturally) my Tucows email account running on the Tucows Email Service (yes we “eat our own dog food”). For my “Personal” mail I’m trying Google Hosted Apps for comparison purposes. I also have a separate Tucows Email Service-based address via Domain Direct for a domain I host there but haven’t actively started using.

    Folder Strategy

    As you can see from the screenshot, I’m going for extreme simplicity. Besides the default Inbox, Draft, Sent, Trash, and Junk folders that come with both accounts, I have only added three folders to manage my messages — Actionable, Archived, and Waiting For Reply.

    Zero Inbox

    I use (and have for many years now) used a “Zero Inbox” approach as recommended by Merlin Mann.

    I process email through-out the day, dealing with each message in turn.

    1. Things I don’t need to act on and can’t imagine ever needing to reference again, I delete.

    2. Things I don’t need to act on that might (even remotely) be of use someday gets dragged to the “Archived” folder associated with the account.

    3. Messages that require action but will only take a few minutes to resolve get dealt with immediately. The original message gets Archived.

    4. Messages that will take more effort than I have time for are marked Unread and moved to the Actionable folder associated with the account. That means that I have a clean inbox and two folders that show the count of things I need to work on related to each role in life. In my example here you can see I’ve got 16 work-related messages and 2 personal messages I need to deal with. I tackle these as quickly as I can but within the context of other daily priorities so I don’t let my inbox drive me.

    5. Any time I send a message that I expect a reply to, I drag the sent message to my Waiting For Reply folder. I check this every few days and follow-up with the recipient if they didn’t get back to me in a reasonable amount of time.

    “Read The Feed”

    One of the best things about moving to OS X Leopard is getting my RSS feeds directly in Apple Mail.

    As you can see here, I subscribe to a bunch of feeds and group them in folders by theme so that I can check feeds in context as I have time.

    “On My Mac”

    One compromise on my system is this small group of folders (closed in this screenshot as they usually are in real life) that contain messages I downloaded via POP but haven’t bothered to re-upload to the new IMAP Archived folders. I have about 30,000 non-IMAP message that I can search via Apple Mail if I need to reference them, but otherwise they’re out of sight and mind in this closed folder list.

    That’s it. I’d be interested in how others are dealing with their inboxes these days or in answering any questions folks have about my system. It works for me but (as always) your mileage may vary.

January 3, 2008

  • Thought

    Finished watching the first season of Heroes. Moving on to season – pardon me – Volume Two – shortly.

January 2, 2008

  • Twas The Night Before Tucows

    (I got a poem from Lucy for Christmas and — with her permission — I’m sharing it here)

    Twas the night before Tucows, launched their domains,
    Ken Schafer was stirring, simply going insane;
    The plans were all there, displayed on his macable,
    In hopes that domains, will soon be unhackable;

    The macs were all snoozing, with screen savers in sight,
    While visions of starbursts, were haunting him all night;
    With Ken in his office, and Elliot abroad,
    He was checking the URLs that seamed slightly odd,

    When out on the roof there arose such a clatter,
    Ken sprang from his desk to see what was the matter.
    Away to the window he flew like a flash,
    Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

    The moon on the slush, that covered Mowat,
    Gave a dinghy appearance to objects below it,
    When, what to his wondering eyes should appear,
    But a miniature sleigh, and eight cows, instead of reindeer,

    With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
    Ken knew in a moment it must be St. Click.

    More rapid than elephants his coursers they came,
    And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
    “Now, Betsy! now, Martha! now, Ilsa and Daisy!
    On, Patches! on Ellie! on, Moo Moo and Lazy!

    To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
    Now clop away! clop away! clop away all!”
    As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
    When they meet with an awkward, mount to the sky,

    So up to the office roof the coursers they flew,
    With the sleigh full of hard drives, and St. Click too.

    And then, in a twinkling, he heard on the roof

    The stomping and Clacking of each little hoof.
    As Ken drew in his hand, and was turning around,
    Down the heating vent St. Click came with a bound.

    He was dressed all in red, from his head to his foot,
    And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
    A bundle of hard drives he had flung on his back,
    And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

    His eyes — how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
    His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
    His droll little mouth was drawn up like a truffle,
    And the beard of his chin was as white as his shuffle;

    The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
    And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
    He had a broad face and a little round belly,
    That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.

    He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
    And Ken laughed when he saw him, in spite of himself;
    A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
    Soon gave Ken to know he had nothing to dread;

    He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
    And filled all the offices; then turned with a jerk,
    And laying his finger aside of his nose,
    And giving a nod, up the heating vent he rose;

    He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
    And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

    But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,


    This is the second Internet/Ken-related poem I’ve been fortunate enough to receive, following my mom’s poem a few years ago.

  • Thought

    Wondering if updating FOUR websites was the best use of a two week holiday. Odds are I end up saying “yes”.

January 1, 2008