Tuesday, May 13, 2008

New Review Blog

I decided to move my book reviews to a new blog -- Books Reviewed There.

Stop by and say hello. If you could take the time to give me a shout out on your blog, I'd appreciate it. (hint, hint.)

Monday, February 25, 2008

Closed Until Further Notice

Life is getting very complicated and I'm just not able to keep up. Over the last week and weekend, I've been evaluating the time it takes to run this blog versus two projects I really want to work on.

The blog lost.

I'm not ready to delete it, but I am going to postpone posting anything new for quite some time. Thanks for understanding.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Manager Tools

I've been listening to a podcast called Manager Tools. I really appreciate the advice that they give out (for free!) but sometimes it really irritates me too.

For instance, the most recent cast I listened to is from September 2005 (seriously, the cast is so good that I decided to go back to the beginning and start from there) titled "Got Email?"

Four actions are identified as necessary for managing your email.

  1. Check email three times a day.
  2. Schedule the time on your calendar to check.
  3. Don't answer email while someone is standing in front of you.
  4. Use filters to automatically sort email.

My company relies heavily on email. Way too heavily. I'm a culprit too, but I've found that if I don't email it, I later don't have "proof" that I did said action. The recommendation is to have face time or utilize voice mail. If I did that, I'd seldom accomplish anything since people are much more likely to check and respond to emails.

As much as I enjoy the podcast, I wonder, as a non-manager, how can I implement some of the ideas that I do like? It is frustrating.

My other problem with face-to-face meetings is the recommendation of some "chit-chat" about family and life outside of work. I used to be in a spot where one person did this, right before unloading his request. It felt more like buttering up -- Look at me, I'm the nice guy that cares about your family! -- instead of building a relationship.

Maybe it was me. Maybe my perception is screwy from my years of emailed messages.

But it is definitely food for thought. And some day, I just might find myself in a position to make some changes.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Five on Friday

Five on Friday

  1. Scott Adam's has a new invention I'd love to implement in my house -- Better Light Switches.
  2. Is there a graphically representation between the books you read and your SAT/ACT score? Jason Kottke found one.
  3. Grammarphobia explains the origin of "bigger than a breadbox."
  4. Like free books? Me too. TG for The Great American Book Giveaway.
  5. This guy's 1,000,000 truck makes my Ranger look young.

What was the best link you found this week?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Title: Love in the Time of Cholera

Author: Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Publisher: Vintage International

ISBN 978-0-307-38973-2, $19.95, 1988, 348 pages

Genre: Literary

Summary: Six hundred and twenty-two affairs ago, Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza had a passionate love affair through letters and telegrams. Instead, Fermina married Dr. Juvenal Urbino. The death of Jeremiah de Saint-Amour, the famed photographer of children, brings Florentino and Fermina together again.

The Take-Away: I never would have read this book if it hadn't been for my book club. As I read, I continued to get lost in the poetry of the prose. I have the same problem when I read poetry. I forget that there's a story being told also. By the end, I understood what attracted people to it, but I've read better literary novels that didn't leave me so confused.

I didn't understand why Fermina married Florentino. What convinced the feisty girl to give up her love? And what's the significance of the first scene? I'm sure it was explained in there somewhere, but I lost track of the thread that carried the story.

Personally, I don't like to have to work this hard for a story.

Recommendation: Skip it, unless you like long, winding stories with obvious endings.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Writer's Strike is Over

About time. The results are mixed as to who won. All I know is, I'm going to have more episodes of House later this season. Need to know what's up with your favorite show? Hourly updates here.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Things You Learn By Having Boys

I don't often blog about my kids, on purpose. I'm a little fearful, I guess, about what might happen either now or later. But I never would have learned the following if I didn't have boys.

  1. Lego guys don't need hands. In fact, it's better if they don't have hands because it gives you an excuse to dump out the whole bucket and find the hands at the very bottom.
  2. Football cards aren't just for learning stats about the players. They also can be used to play football with, just like action figures.
  3. It's very cool to jump from the top bunk of the bed to the floor. Never mind that your brother is standing there and you out weigh him by 15 pounds. He'll catch you.

Boys are so very different than girls. And I wasn't a girly-girl either. I love kids.