From the category archives:

Everything I Do Is Plooble

I by no means live an uncomplicated life, but there is one practice I hit on a few years ago that is as simple as it is effective.

Throw away all your socks, and replace them with 10 identical white pairs and 10 identical black pairs. You never have to sort or match socks, and when you’re getting dressed, you just open the sock drawer and grab any two socks of the same color.

Plus, they all wear more or less evenly. So after six months or a year (I haven’t measured accurately), you throw them all away and start again.

Of course this doesn’t work if you’re a sockophile and like to match your socks to your outfit. And yes, it is much more applicable to men than to women. But if you don’t care that much about your hosiery, it works beautifully.

photo by bark

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orange lowrider

Ask me what my favorite color is and I’m going to say blue. Over the last decade, I’ve bought somewhere between 10 and 137 more-or-less-identical short-sleeved blue check shirts.

Every now and then, though, I buy something orange. I have a couple of orange shirts, a pair of awesome orange Saucony sneakers and a black leather jacket with a big orange stripe across the chest. Somehow in my mind, that’s the “cool” stuff that I only get to wear sometimes. Why only sometimes? I don’t know.

When I decided to resurrect and consolidate my blogs into this one, I found this WordPress theme, which I loved immediately. It just seemed natural to use the orange that was already in the theme for the logo. That got me thinking about the blue vs. orange dichotomy. And I realized I need to be more orange.

What do I mean by that? We’ll see. It’s still a vague notion but it revolves around the idea of being more present, more engaged, more active, more excited about what I’m doing, and hopefully, ultimately, more interesting.

I was listening to C.C. Chapman’s podcast the other day and he quoted Derek Sivers on his new philosophy:

Those of you who often over-commit or feel too scattered may appreciate a new philosophy I’m trying:

If I’m not saying “HELL YEAH!” about something, then say no.

Meaning: When deciding whether to commit to something, if I feel anything less than, “Wow! That would be amazing! Absolutely! Hell yeah!” – then my answer is no.

That’s a hell of a goal to work toward.

Photo by hexodus

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Taken at 3Cups, at the Long Table dinner.

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I’ve had a lot of blogs over the years, including Fistful of Plooble, which I started in 2003 and in a lot of ways is the best thing I’ve ever done that isn’t running around in short pants and pulling the cat’s tail. Sadly, it languished in neglect for years, once I found that I could not spend all day blogging after I managed to land a job. We all make sacrifices, I suppose.

As of this moment I have Fistful of Plooble on TypePad, where it began, and a version of it on that I ported over when I thought I was going to shut the TypePad one down. Then I got cold feet. Why? Well, for one thing, it’s the number four Google search result for the phrase “beach house names.”

And I care about that why?

Then I started a “personal work” blog at and found that all I was doing was reposting from my SAS social media blog.

Then I decided I needed a digital business card, and to get the one I wanted, I needed a self-hosted WordPress account, which GoDaddy made very easy. And once I had that, why not add /blog, and have my blog there as well?

So that’s what this is. And I’ve pulled in all the content from Plooble and my personal work blog. Maybe I’ll post things here that I say on Facebook. Or pull the things I post here into Facebook. Or maybe I’ll set up and endless loop that will ultimately devour the universe.

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Surely something this tiny must be for me

Surely something this tiny must be for me

My netbook arrived today. It’s an Asus Eee 901. I spent a couple of weeks looking at reviews, and went to Best Buy to try out the keyboards to see if I could live with the size. I read a lot of owner comments, and like all reviews on the web, they tell you every range of opinion you can imagine. Lots of people said the keyboard was too small, others said you get used to it.

I’m wondering right now if I’m going to get used to it. At the moment it feels nearly as painful as the post I typed on my iPhone.

And of course, as soon as it arrives, I get two new pieces of information. First, I read Robert Scoble’s review, which doesn’t even mention mine.

Then I read a Facebook comment from a friend talking about how much he loves his Dell Mini 9 Hackintosh, which was another direction I briefly considered, but I realized I didn’t really want this to turn into a hobby. I purposefully chose the Linux version because I didn’t want to be tempted to add a bunch of programs that would slow the whole thing down, like my three-year old laptop that I curse daily for being so slow. If I had the Windows XP version with the 160 GB hard drive, I’m sure I’d end up installing iTunes at some point. And then we’re back to wanting a faster machine.

So far, I like it. The Andros Linux OS is very simple, as the reviews said. I also read how to install Ubuntu, so maybe I’ll do that when I get bored. The machine is incredibly small and light, and I can imagine it will follow me around. It also feels solid, and it’s pretty quiet. In fact, silent. I also installed Google Gears, which apparently will let me use Google Reader offline, so on my upcoming flight to Heidelberg I should be able to catch up on my “1000+” unread RSS feeds.

I just wish I could hit the damn backspace key.

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Bronzeville Rib Rub
Chicago Metallic
The Juniper Berries
Vanilla Gunpowder
O.G. (Original Gelatine)

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Half the people I know seem to be big football fans. I envy the excitement they feel when football season starts, and their sense of anticipation getting ready for Sunday. Most of their spouses understand that Sunday afternoon is sacrosanct and that the fans in the house will be parked on the couch in front of the TV and not to be disturbed.

All week long I’ve been looking forward to being parked on the couch Sunday afternoon, doing nothing but watching TV and messing around on the web. Somehow this does not carry the same weight.

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I just spent the last two hours picking a WordPress theme for this blog and designing the header (most of which I yoinked from a WordPress theme download site, so I figure that’s fair game). It made me remember why I was most prolific as a blogger when I was between jobs. It can be an incredible time sink, and a wonderful distraction.

In the time since I started this blog in 2003 (or the blog that this has become), I’ve had three different jobs, gotten married, bought a new house and had a baby. Things are almost immeasurably changed for me since my blog heyday. I said a long time ago in my daddy blog that I didn’t want to repeat tired parenting cliches as though they were profound new discoveries. That being said, I can barely remember the feeling of having an entire evening, an entire day, an entire week to kill and looking for something – a blog, for instance, or lurking in online dating sites – to fill it.

If it sounds like I’m wistful for that feeling, I’ll point out there’s another feeling I haven’t forgotten: worrying about paying the mortgage. Trust me, I am not wistful for that feeling. I have no wist whatsoever in that regard. When it comes to that feeling, I am completely wistless.

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