My February habit

After a reasonably successful January (let’s call it a C+) I am moving on to February. Given all the awfulness in the world and how scared I am about our current crop of horrendous elected officials I wanted to work on something positive. Some options I considered:

  1. No social media: the trouble is I use Facebook to keep up with friends and Twitter to find good humor.
  2. Gratitude journal: I’ve tried this before, it wasn’t all that great. I’m not sure it worked for me.

So I’m trying a 28-day “no complaint” challenge. I first heard about this from Tim Ferriss‘ podcast. The ground rules:

  • No describing an event or person negatively without indicating next steps to fix the problem.
  • No unwarranted bad language i.e. no cursing.

I’ll use my Habit app to track this. If I don’t see it happening I might switch to the ‘band’ approach mentioned in the article.

xkcd: Time Management | Bricin

xkcd: Time Management It is almost cliché now to post XKCD if you are a geek, but I assume this one is a free pass.

Source: xkcd: Time Management | Bricin

The things that catch me about this post are:

  1. XKCD has been doing this for at least five years. Wow, never occurred to me.
  2. This pretty much sums up 50% of the blog posts I write.
  3. Did I tell you about Wunderlist + Pomodone, my “get it done” method? I will. Soon.

Too much in Slack defeats the purpose

“It’s putting content into a useful pre-made notification format that really works for our clients.”

Source: How Storyful is turning Slack into an extension of its newswire » Nieman Journalism Lab

The summary of this story is that Storyful integrates with Slack and can pump their content straight into a Slack feed. I have a few RSS feeds and other integrations that push ‘news’ into Slack and from that I know that:

  1. The Slack UI is not a lovely experience for news feeds. While it can subscribe to RSS and pull in content it quickly gets overwhelmed when the feed is fairly rich e.g. 10 or more articles.
  2. The Slack UI is not a lovely experience for comments and discussions. It’s not meant to be, it’s a stream of work and chat. There are very few UI elements that help with lengthy discussion and for the most part Slack channels are designed to be forgotten (other than as archival / search tools).

Good luck with this push, but it seems like Storyful has a hammer and now everything looks like a Slack nail.

15 Things

15 Things

First weekly dietcheat

Yeah, it’s Saturday and the slow-carb / Tim Ferriss plan says I get to eat whatever I want. Not only can but I need to. So here I go. The foods I plan to eat today include, but are not limited to French fries, baguette (lordy living in Paris and not eating baguette has been tough), pizza, And probably some more French fries and oh yeah, the is a bag of potato chips sitting in my cupboard with my name on them.

I weighed in this morning at 93 kilos so I am down about 1.5 kilos this week. I ran once and did some nifty Kinect workouts but really I didn’t do a whole lot and lazed around a bunch. So we’ll see how it goes next week but for this week I am pigging out!

Questions about Tim Ferriss’ Slow-Carb Diet

I am exploring the slow-carb diet during the month of January with a specific emphasis on avoiding potatoes (my kryptonite). The book, The 4-Hour Body has a lot of information and much of it is boiled down to simple rules. But I still have questions.

  1. Why no bread? I think I understand why no bread from white flour, but why not whole grain? Why not sprouted grains.
  2. What about corn? I don’t eat HFCS in any way (easier to do in Europe) but what about just pure corn on the cob for instance. Is that a grain? A veggie?
  3. Is yogurt considered part of the “no milk” clause. I think cheese is, but I am unsure. Cutting out milk is fairly easy, cutting out yogurt is hard as it’s one of my favorite breakfast foods.
  4. Potatoes are out. What about turnips? And parsnips? These are fairly starchy foods too, are they in or out?
  5. Squash and pumpkins? Veggies or not?

Windows 7 –> Gmail hack

It also works in WINDOWS 7 if you open up the Registry Editor and navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT -> mailto -> shell -> open -> command -> (Default)
Right click (Default) and click Modify Copy and paste the following info (don’t forget to change USERNAME to your profile’s username): “C:UsersUSERNAMEAppDataLocalGoogleChromeApplicationchrome.exe” –app= This works great for me!

Mail To links go directly to GMAIL – Google Chrome Help

If like many people you are using GMail as your personal emailer, here is a way to make mailto links work in Windows 7.

Note: I use a custom domain on GMail and the link doesn’t working pointing to But setting this to works for the custom domain anyway.

Too Fast

I took a look at my Google homepage today and saw this quote:

If everything seems under control, you’re not going fast enough
  – Mario Andretti

Great, that seems like a nice message I thought. I will send that link to my team at work. I clicked through on the link. And what did I get:

phpBB : Critical Error
Error creating new session
SQL Error : 1114 The table ‘phpbb_sessions’ is full
INSERT INTO phpbb_sessions (session_id, session_user_id, session_start, session_time, session_ip, session_page, session_logged_in, session_admin) VALUES (‘497809708fbc98d2325f29eedf8f51b3’, -1, 1200377006, 1200377006, ‘534daa1e’, 0, 0, 0)
Line : 187
File : sessions.php

How great is that! They apparently decided they weren’t going fast enough so they lost control.

Day 1 in Zurich

Gruetzi! Okay, that’s it for Swiss German today. Today we got out and about. We walked down to the lake on a cold but sunny day. We wandered through a swap-meet and then wandered up Bahnhofstrasse which is the main shopping street here. We met my colleagues and their families for lunch and then got lost on the way homeWe have Internet now, sort of. We were told we had wireless but neither Liam nor I could figure it out. Bear with me, there is a story here. A few weeks ago we pushed Liam not to take his old laptop with him. He agreed to just use my Vista machine or Susan’s Mac. Well… at the last minute he got really upset and wanted to take my old tablet so he could have XP and Linux on a machine. He was pretty adamant and in all the stress the kids have been under with the move we said okay. But it was close. Only Bill lending me a slightly larger pack in the last hour allowed us to handle this. So… the note in the apartment says “wireless only works with XP, not Mac or Vista”. Score one for Liam. And then… we cannot get the wireless working. Me or Liam. We both had noticed a USB adapter left in the apartment but didn’t think much of it. But Liam today noticed it says “air” on it. So he plugged it in and lo and behold it’s actually a USB wireless adapter that only has drivers for XP. So score 2 for Liam! Final story… we have Internet access now. But no camera or microphone to Skype. We’ll work in tackling Internet for Susan’s Mac next.