The best projects are ones that build something you want to use or solve a problem you actually have. They don’t need to be big or new. Almost every project starts out as small and a remix of something else. Then you take it and build on it.
Archives: May 2017
Check out Leonard E. Read’s sweet bookplate that I found:
I got a tip today from a Persian chef about cooking rice the Persian way: After it boils for a few minutes, drain and rinse it. Then put it back in the pot for 25 minutes. You get a nice crispy layer at the bottom and rice that is completely separated, not gummy.
Testing a new post from Micro.blog’s iOS app.
Yesterday Amanda and I visited Great Falls in Paterson, NJ.
Testing out this Twitter cross-posting bot from http://micro.blog/cagrimmett
Cool writing prompt from Cheryl Strayed on the Tim Ferriss Show: Pull out your keychain and write about the history of each key. https://overcast.fm/+BmGWAa3Lc
“Writers write every single day.” “If you aren’t writing code every day, you can’t call yourself a developer.” “The best in every field get up at 4am and start working by 6am after a workout and an hour of reading.”
Great stuff on marketing from my coworker Derek Magill:
Takeaways from this week’s Breaking Smart newsletter, Betting the Spread on Inexorables:
Awesome video on design thinking:
There is no right time to quit a job, have kids, or start something new. If you want something, you have to take the first step immediately and figure things out along the way. The right time will never come. Jump now.
Working outside this morning and enjoying a bowl of Cult’s Blood Red Moon from this month’s Tin Society box.
The moment you consider a possibility, you are responsible for it. You can choose whether or not you do something about that possibility, but you must own that decision.
You aren’t the first to romanticize failure. Keats was way ahead of you:
I was at an Intelligentsia coffee shop in Venice, CA, a few weeks ago. I ordered an espresso. As my order came up, I watched the barista. He pulled the shot, and as I was ready to take and enjoy it with the side of sparkling water they include, he paused before he gave it to me. He took the towel tucked into his apron and carefully wiped off the few tiny splashes of espresso that ended up on the rim of the cup and around the saucer.
One of the things I’ve had to learn about transitioning into a more creative and visionary role with my new job is to change the way I think about when and where work gets done.
The biggest advantage of a microblog: Lowering the posting barrier. I can post whatever I feel like instead of trying to make it “worthy.” I can get my ideas out with less anxiety. As I get into this mindset, I bet it will make putting stuff out elsewhere easier, too.
The struggle of reading non-fiction is cutting through the filler quickly and determining what is unique and useful out of hundreds of pages. So many books are much longer than they need to be.
Want to learn to program? Actually building things is the best way to learn. Here is a great list of projects that you can complete in popular languages: https://github.com/tuvttran/project-based-learning
I’m all about committing and being relentless about pushing through tough situations no matter what comes up. Stopping because something is hard, you are tired, you don’t feel well, or it isn’t fun is unacceptable. Collect yourself and get back to work.
Reminder for myself: Meditation is good. Every time I do it I feel better afterward. Doing it continually leads to longer periods of contentment and focus. I tend to not want to meditate when I’m having a tough time because it is easier to complain and shut down than it is to clear my mind and deal with the problems at hand. But I must turn to meditation, especially when things are tough. It helps every time.
When I learned about the Micro.blog project by Manton Reece, I decided that I wanted to host my own microblog, so I made a minimalist microblogging WordPress theme for that purpose.
|Notes from The Productivity Show||Why Time Management Doesn’t Work & Why You Should Focus on Energy Instead (TPS142)|
I’ve been feeling stuck with some creative issues at work and decided to try a new tactic today:
Good test for determining whether or not I’m actually hungry: Would I eat a carrot right now? If not, I’m probably just craving something sweet and I should drink some water instead.
There are two ways to handle client requests:
A la James Altucher’s Ten Ideas a Day
Deconstructing and seeing things in different ways is often the first step toward understanding something new.
The Mystic Whaler is out on the Hudson in Yonkers today.
After 10 years of knowing about Pixelmator for the last 10 years, I finally dumped Adobe Photoshop and made the switch last month. The hardest part has been relearning how to do certain tasks, but the tutorials and documentation are great. I don’t see myself going back any time soon.
A la James Altucher’s Ten Ideas a Day
The DataSketch.es project has awesome process documentation for how Nadieh and Shirley go about making their incredible visualizations each month. This is a treasure trove of valuable insights for how they approach projects, how the projects evolve, and how they overcome issues they run in to.
PBS used a photo today that I took back in college:
Have you ever pasted text from Google Docs onto your blog (WordPress or otherwise) and had to fix wacky formatting? Here is how to quickly strip out all those extra HTML tags using regular expressions with Atom.io, a free text editor.
Amanda and I sampled my barrel-aged Vieux Carre after dinner tonight. This is going to be a fantastic drink after another month in the barrel. It is already smooth and delicious.
The new Bonobo album is perfect for a rainy, contemplative day like today.
Writing Routines, a great new sites that gives behind-the-scenes look at the daily habits of writers and authors, has an interview with Ted Kooser, a former US Poet Laureate. I love his answer to a question on writer’s block:
Every month I do a PDP – a personal development project. These PDPs are either theme or project-based and I must do something specific every single day to further that project or theme.
- What is this project about?
This is sometimes a tough question, but figuring it out makes all the difference. If you figured it out at the beginning of the project, simply reminding yourself what the goal of the project is and what the core parts of the project are can be enough to get you back on track. If you haven’t answered that question before and are doing it for the first time, start broad, then keep refining it and narrowing it down. Don’t throw in the towel just because it is tough. When you come out on the other side, your project will be much clearer. Don’t do anything in your project that doesn’t lead directly to the main theme of the project. 2. **What’s missing?
** Once you’ve figured out what the project is all about, ask yourself what is missing. What does your still need in order to reach its stated purpose? Write those things down and start working down the list.
Freeter looks like a good app for gathering various project tools in one place. I’ve spent some time setting up my own automations with TextExpander, AppleScript, Automator, and Keyboard Maestro, but I’m going to try making dashboards for a few of my projects in Freeter to bring everything under one roof.
My answer to “What are the best things to do on weekends as a student at Hillsdale College?” on Quora
Over at Quora: What are the best things to do on weekends as a student at Hillsdale College?
Dr. Quandry. Guy out of Boston I’ve been following since 2008. Experimental instrumental stuff. Great working music.
After watching the Cronut craze and wanting to try one for the last few years, I finally decided to go get some. I work from home and set my own hours, so why not? I preordered them two weeks ago, worked late night on a project, and took the morning to go pick some up and take them to my wife’s office.
At dinner with Amanda’s French-Canadian Grandmother: “I don’t drink Bud Light. It tastes like rat saliva. Give me a nice IPA.”
- The gap between focused and unfocused reading is huge, especially when compounded over time.
- Reducing distractions can lead to huge improvements in the number of pages read and understood. Maybe even more than traditional speed reading methods.
- On my flight to Chicago this weekend, I read half of James Hogan’s Inherit the Stars. On the flight back to NYC, I reread 60% of Breaking Smart Season 1. Each leg was a little over 2 hours. I got through much more of each of these books than I have in equivalent amounts of time at home. It was like I had tunnel vision on the flight because I couldn’t get up and had no distractions available.
- I need to do a better job at implementing airplane-like focus at home so that I can cover more ground in less time. I’m going though the 10 Days to Faster Reading book right now, but its methods aren’t that appealing to me. Working on my focus might be a better route.
I’m rereading Breaking Smart Season 1 right now and I got to thinking about Rao’s concept of pastoralism vs prometheanism and how to avoid it.
I think that the 2020 presidential election will finally be when we’ll see colors other than red, white, and blue showing up as main branding colors in a mainstream candidate.
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