Twitter for Noobz

Twitter logoUnless you abstain from network television, newspapers, AND the Internet, you have likely heard the phrase “follow me on twitter.” Maybe you’ve even set up a twitter account and made an update or two.

But if you’re still part of the crowd that looks at twitter and thinks “HOW is this supposed to be useful?” or if you feel lost about what to do next, then this is for you.

I’ve helped several members of my family get set up with twitter, some friends, and some co-workers. I am by no means a twitter “Expert,” but I’ve trained enough people on it that I practically have a routine down.

And it goes… Continue reading

New Year’s Updates

A while back, I stated my resolve for doing three things differently this year.

Those three things were:

  1. Send greeting cards for holidays (I’m still deciding whether or not this includes “thank you cards”)
  2. Dress nicer for work
  3. Do the 12-week “Body-for-Life” program (which has its own goals within it).

The idea being, of course, that if I can get ONE of those things, it’s a win. :) So by that definition, I’ve “won.” Continue reading

Tracking Motivations, pt. 2

I am almost ready to prepare the book for printing. (UN — your copy will be sent to you immediately when the prototype is done, thanks for your willingness to participate!) I’m still finalizing the metrics I want to track for this project.

As I mentioned in part 1, the challenge has been in developing a simple way of objectively recording a rather subjective topic: our level of motivation for various things.

After some ruminating and many pensive bike rides, I’ve come up with what I believe will be effective at broad-stroking the level of motivation over time. The daily metrics should actually track the *RATE* of motivation, rather than the absolute motivation.The idea is that if you take a large enough sample size, patterns should emerge where periods of “doing” it is measured by spikes in motivation, and “thinking about it” is represented by a very slight increase. Not thinking or doing it will be represented (upon final analysis) by a slight decrease in motivation, until it decays entirely.

This metric would be based on two factors that will be very easy to track:

  • “Did I think about doing ____ today?”
  • “Did I do ___ today?”

Thinking about doing something is worth “0.25″ point, and actually doing it is worth “1″ point. This isn’t to say that “doing” takes 4x as much motivation as “thinking”, but I expect that the resulting graphs will reasonably reflect a pattern of fluctuation in motivation if the activity itself is periodic. Any items not mentioned, in final analysis, will lose 0.5 points until they decay back to zero. These values may all need to be tweaked in the end, but it really won’t matter for the purposes of tracking, since the test subjects will only be checking “Thought it” or “Did it”.

I’ve also considered that recording other incidental details — phase of the moon, number of hours slept, calories / meals consumed, and a quick assessment of mood “good, meh, or bad” for the day — may prove to be useful.

My goal is to have the journal take only 1 to 2 minutes per day TOTAL to ensure maximum “sticking-to-itness”. Indeed, the motivation to track your motivations may become a factor. :D

I’m still mulling over some of the fine details, but I expect to have a prototype up here in the very near future (this month). It will be available for free download, and printed copies will be available via Lulu.

The World Without Us [Book Review]

World Without Us bookcover“What would happen to our planet if humanity vanished tomorrow? What are the clues to that outcome existing on Earth right now?”

That is Weisman’s central premise in his book.

Reading the cover & in-flap, and judging it from that alone, I expected the book to be a lot of conjecture, explaining in detail what will unfold for our planet if humans disappeared. Something along the lines of this chart that circulate the Internet some years ago (source unknown).

While the book was along those lines, it expanded upon that theme by finding specific scenarios on our planet right now where humans HAVE disappeared (due to political, military, or economic reasons), and observing how nature has recouped. Continue reading

Parenting: heart-wrenching bedtimes, week 1.

Now imagine him crying. :(

Now imagine him crying. :(

Today is the end of the first week Sullivan has gone to bed by himself.

Up until this past Monday, Sullivan had been co-sleeping with us. Pretty much since he was born. When he was an infant, we had his crib side-car’d to the bed (for safety reasons). There was a brief while when we moved his crib into his own room (around age 1) and I would lay him down in his bed at around 9pm. He would inevitably wake up around midnight or so, and we’d end up just bringing him to bed with us. It was tough; Mel and I were both full-time students so we just really never had the available time to dedicate to getting him into a routine. Plus, it’s just really hard when you’re holding the door shut so he can’t open it, all while he’s screaming tearfully and trying to get you to let him out (“Yah-yeeeee!!!! Maiiiii!!! Baff? Toyees?”) Continue reading

Freyja & the Hospital

Freyja in RileyAs some of you already know, we recently had to take Freyja to the hospital.

I had tweeted about it (which syndicated to Facebook and this blog), but was intentionally vague. You’ll get why in a moment.

My mom was visiting, and it was the last day of her stay. We had made plans to have a final blowout dinner, including orange & goat cheese Bruschetta, gnocchi in alfredo sauce, and zucchini bread. I had just gotten home from work and Melissa had just gotten the groceries, and we were getting ready to start making dinner.

One of us was changing Freyja (I can’t remember which one of us) and we noticed that the stool in her diaper was a darker hue than normal — almost a rust color. (You parents know what I’m talking about — non-parents may find it strange that we noticed, but when you see, and clean, poop 3 to 5 times per day, you can’t help but become accustomed to its properties)

My first thought was that it was blood in her stool, but we both agreed that it was worth having her doctor take a look at it. We weren’t especially panicked at this point. It was about 4:30pm. Continue reading