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Sunday, August 30, 2015 3 comments

Getting Organized

We were poking through some stuff in the garage a few weeks ago, before leaving on vacation. To my astonishment, my old Dayrunner turned up:

It’s been a while
As you can see from the date in the corner, it sat in a storage box for roughly 23 years. What was really amazing was the felt-tip pen (a “LePen”) still writes!

I remember buying the thing back when, after attending a time management seminar at work. Both the seminar and the planner were centered around to-do lists, with A/B/C priorities, long before the rise of portable electronic devices. To be honest, I don’t know how long I used it until I gave up and tossed the thing in a box.

Between then and now (spring of 2007 judging from the receipt), I heard about Getting Things Done (aka “GTD”) and bought a copy of the book. It was far more relevant to my life than Seven Habits or that time management course, and I did take a stab at implementing the system using the “Hipster PDA” forms from DIYplanner.com. It didn’t take, for whatever reason. Of course, I’d forgotten all about the organizer, and it was geared toward that A/B/C to-do list system anyway.

I started jotting down things I knew I needed to deal with in the organizer, then grabbed GTD off the shelf and read it through again. The forms in the organizer hadn’t magically transformed into GTD-compatibility over the years, but I knew how to fix that… DIYplanner loves GTD, and has gobs of forms that you can download and print. The selection was a little spotty for my organizer size—3.75"×6.75" or “Size 3” as they call it in the office supply stores (and Amazon) now—but I have LibreOffice, a punch, and a guillotine (paper cutter). Then I found that DayTimer sells blank pre-punched sheets in my size, and I ordered a pack. That’s handy, because (for some strange reason) they don’t sell undated refills… anywhere.

Part of GTD’s setup, and one of the things I didn’t do before, was to have a filing system within reach. My filing needs are fairly simple so far, so I figured a file box would be sufficient. The wife happened to have one empty, so I grabbed it and added a handful of paper clips, Post-Its, and an X-acto knife…

It’s not all over my desk!
It’s nice, the way it doubles as a file drawer… especially since I don’t have one on this desk. My home desk is nearly clean, now!

Somehow, I think it’s going to take this time. I have the system established, and I’m using it both on and off working hours. I already feel like my mind is clearer, which feels weird to be honest. I keep thinking, “now what?” even if the “what” is already written down where I know I can find it. Give it another week or so and I’ll get used to it. I hope.

Cue apocalypse in 3… 2… 1…

Friday, August 28, 2015 3 comments

Pain in the… [UPDATED]

It’s off to the doctor’s office with me. If you’re wondering what’s happening, I’ll give you a hint:

UPDATE: In at 10:30, out at 12:30. They put me OUT for the procedure, so I didn’t feel a thing besides the IV… and the horrible purging procedure yesterday, anyway. Doc said “we removed one polyp, nothing evil.” There shouldn’t have been anything evil up there… all that got shot out the tailpipe last night.

The nurse said I’d probably want to have a nap when I got home to sleep off the rest of the anesthesia, and she was right. She also told me no booze until tomorrow, which kind of shot down my plan for this evening. Tomorrow is, however, another day!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015 1 comment

Cover Wars! Final Round…

Thanks to all of you, Beyond the Sea of Storms made it to the final round of Cover Wars! And so did all the covers I highlighted in my previous post.

Keep voting daily!

Monday, August 24, 2015 5 comments

The Tooth Will Out

One of Mason’s teeth has been loose for some time now, and getting ever looser. Tonight, it was hanging by a thread… first figuratively, then literally. Wife decided it needed to come out lest it fall out and get swallowed in his sleep. Join us for the action, the drama, the complete lack of blood…

Now he’s eagerly awaiting his first visit from the Tooth Fairy, of course. He’s been trying to amass enough money to get some kind of toy… not sure if it’s a set of toy soldiers or a Lego thing this week. I guess we’ll see.

I got him to curl his lip down for a clear shot of the tooth. He isn’t distressed, he’s just mugging.

It’s outta there!
Man, those milestones are moving by fast…

Thursday, August 20, 2015 5 comments

School is Now in Session

Did you SEE that playground?
As I have said before, Planet Georgia starts school way-too-dang-early and “makes up” by scheduling a bunch of off-days through the year. The upshot is, what used to be a three-month summer break is now only two months. This makes things difficult for vacations, because the entire month of August is no longer available.

This becomes more significant this year, because Mason has started kindergarten. While I was last dropping off kids at school… oh, about eight years ago I guess, I’ve been taking him to pre-school for the last couple years. It works out well on days I work at home, since his school is about five miles closer than the pre-school he went to last year.

He’s doing pretty well. He went into kindergarten already able to read a little, and to count well past 200 (and can do addition in his head). We were afraid he would be bored, but so far so good. He’s getting good behavior reports daily, because he saves up the acting-out stuff for when he gets home. :-P

As for school itself, it seems slightly disorganized… which might be appropriate for kindergarten. The school sent a child-oriented planner, but they don’t use it for anything. We’re trying to decide what to do with it. His teacher had a family emergency on Curriculum Day, when they invited the parents in to tell us what they’re working on this year, but that wasn’t her fault. Just the usual glitches, I suppose.

Meanwhile, Daughter Dearest has begun teaching music full-time at a different elementary school (same county) this year. The former “other” teacher snarfed all the material the two of them jointly worked on, and then DD’s work computer ate itself, so she has to start from scratch.

So there’s a big milestone for two of the FAR Manor inmates.

Thursday, August 13, 2015 4 comments

Big V's Scary Week

As some of you remember, my nutty one-legged sister in law is diabetic. And she’s never been the most stable isotope on the periodic table. Most of that side of the family have an amazingly high clue-immunity… you can see where this is leading. The reason she’s one-legged is that she doesn’t take care of herself very well, refuses to adjust her high-carb diet to accommodate the diabetes, etc. Lately, her continued avoidance of reality has taken its toll on her kidneys.

Sunday afternoon, she checked into the hospital to get hookups for dialysis. It was supposed to be a two-night thing, including her first dialysis. As usual, her body chemistry had to get un-whacked by a day or so of decent diet before they were comfortable doing the surgery. So that happened on Monday. Everything sailed right on through, no problem. I visited her on the way home from work, since the office is about a mile from that hospital.

The “fun” began Tuesday morning. Her blood pressure started dropping, and continued to drop, to the point where they thought she was in cardiac arrest and started doing chest compressions. The head nurse, who dropped by when the wife met me there in the evening, said “you scared the crap out of me.” She remembers Big V saying I can’t die, I have to take care of Skylar. And perhaps that’s the only reason she’s still here to annoy the rest of us. :-P

Needless to say, the two-nighter dragged on another day or two. They rolled the dialysis machine into her room and hooked her in… and her numbers responded very well. So well, in fact, they were in the normal range after the second dialysis. They ended up unhooking her and sent her home late last night. No more dialysis! That’s a very good thing, because guess who would be taking her down there? (wife, not me)

Now, if she gets her act together and starts eating right, she'll stay reasonably healthy. And I’ll be watching for flying pigs…

Wednesday, August 05, 2015 3 comments

August Cover Wars!

I entered Beyond the Sea of Storms in the Masquerade Crew’s Cover Wars promo for August. Go check it out, and vote every day:

Click the pic to go vote!
So which covers stand out for me?

My own, of course!
So I'm a sucker for gears…

Dragons… need I say more?
Takes me back to 1978!

There’s 30 covers, and you can vote for up to 25 per day. I’d appreciate it if you guys could bump me into the next round (and maybe these other three covers as well).

Go forth and vote! And do it again tomorrow!

Monday, August 03, 2015 5 comments

Home Sweet Hole

It was too much to ask, vacation going on forever. Every time we head home, it seems like there’s some “reason” to get there in a mad rush. This time, it was Fizzle needing to pick up his kids for back to school shopping.

I did get to see Dad one more time Friday morning, and that was fruitful. I realized, from the things he talks about, that he’ll remember something that makes an impression on him. Like the old lady on his floor that came walking into his room and tried to make herself at home. “This is my space,” he said, circling a hand around the room. “She thought she could just come in here. Well, I showed her the door.” Then there was the nurse who woke him up one morning and got him down to breakfast: “She seems to think she knows everything, but she doesn’t.” He also remembered her as… oh, rather hefty. So chances are if you rile him up, he’ll remember that!

Now that we’re back to the manor, it’s about time to start school. Michigan has a much more reasonable schedule, letting people have their summer so they don’t have to rush vacation and lose all of August. Here on Planet Georgia, Daughter Dearest is already going in to prep and socialize with her co-workers; Mason starts kindergarten on Friday.

As for me, it’s back to work. I weeded my email from home yesterday afternoon, leaving only things I needed to take action on today and the rest of the week. At least we have another week off in September.


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