Working…sort of

I assure you, I didn’t intend to go two months between posts, here. But then, I can also assure you that I didn’t intend to be surrounded by thunderstorms, tornadoes, and floods for most of July.

I’m fine, though. Thanks for asking.

The bulk of the storms kept their distance, and while we did have our fair share of tornado warnings, we managed to get out or more less unscathed. The yard was a swamp until about the second week in August, but I really can’t complain.

The weather-related distractions were significant enough to disrupt my daily routine, but I’ve also had my fair share of other issues. Most of them were related to the move (which is still in progress, thanks to my hoarding tendencies), others were not, and all of them were annoying so let’s not dwell on that here.

Image of a turtle laying eggs.

Hey, look at this turtle!

One of the things I absolutely love about living where I do is the straight-up crazy amount of wildlife I run into on my daily walks. Deer, rabbits, the occasional loose dog that either wants to say “hi” or rip my face off–it’s a rare day that I don’t make a new friend.

This beautiful lady was spotted by my friend while we were out walking together earlier this summer. We actually saw a couple of turtles laying eggs along the same stretch of road, so that’s awesome. If I had the time, I’d look into when these eggs can be expected to hatch and try to be out there when the babies arrive.

Alas, work has been…involved.

In addition to trying to catch up on all of my usual tasks, I’ve been working on a massive new project with a friend of mine that I can’t really talk about yet.

(Side note: Sorry if you’ve been waiting for me to get back to you for a reading or whatever, but I’m…like…more than a month behind on my email. I’d feel bad about that, but I’m a wizard. And wizards are never late in their correspondence. They reply precisely when they mean to.)

What I can talk about is how utterly dependent I’ve become on email, notes, and tasks lists in order to get literally anything done.

For the one-and-a-half of you that might be interested, I use GNU Emacs as my primary editor. Within that program, I use Gnus for email, BBDB for contact management, and org-mode for my notes, to-do lists, and schedule. And I cannot, cannot stress enough how much this collection of tools has merged with my brain.

As an example, let’s say I get an email message from someone asking me to do something. I hit a keystroke while looking at the message and it opens a new “to-do” item which automatically includes a link to the email message. I can then file the to-do away, and when I eventually complete it, it’s just another keystroke or two for me to reply to the message saying it’s done.

Oh, and org-mode lets me keep my to-do items and appointment or meeting reminders right inside my notes files. And it lets me search, sort, and organize all of the above in pretty much any way I need to.

An image of a newt. Or maybe a salamander.

Most of the time, I borrow heavily from David Allen’s strategies which he wrote in his book Getting Things Done, which is really the only “productivity” book I’d ever recommend. The tools I described above? Nothing else even comes close to supporting that workflow so well.

But I digress. Here’s a newt!

Or, maybe it’s a salamander. I don’t know. I do know that I met this charming little dude on my walk this morning. It’s very refreshing to see a live amphibian on my road, considering how many unfortunately-flat frogs and toads I usually come across.

What’s the point of this post, anyway?

Mostly there’s not one, other than the fact that I feel somewhat bad for neglecting this blog all summer, and figured I ought to write something to let you know that I’m still alive.

Well, that and the fact that the more time I spend rambling here, the more I can avoid the other work I really need to be doing.

It’s time to wrap it up, though. I need to grab breakfast, another cup of coffee, and get back to work.

Maybe I’ll take another walk, first.

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