Tenntoo preconfigured anti-procrastination hack timer

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Procrastination sucks. It’s a spiral of despair. We put off what we should be doing only to have the amount of work that we’ll eventually have to do grow and become even less attractive than it was in the first place. Merlin Mann recommended his approach of dashes, short bursts “of focused activity during which you force yourself to do nothing but work on the procrastinated item for a very short period of time”, in a post on 43 Folders. I started using them a little later and the following quickly became my all around favorite. The ‘(10+2)*5′ trick is a specific type of dash based anti-procrastination hack that requires a timer. Tenntoo is that timer. I first tried this trick several years ago and if applied consistently it truly does kick procrastination’s ass. The trick is to work for ten minutes with single-minded focus. Ten minutes, and that’s all you’re allowed to do is work, work, … Read on

Training Schedule & Checklist for Horses

This is the general schedule that I follow when training a halter-trained horse to carry a rider. It is based on principles of natural horsemanship as well as my own experience. The spreadsheet accommodates four horse over the course of six weeks of initial training. The 6th week’s routine should be  trained until the horse is suitable for an experienced rider, revisiting the earlier regimen every few weeks if needed. Another excellent resource is the book Horsekeeping on a Small Acreage: Designing and Managing Your Equine Facilities by Cherry Hill. This reference covers all the essentials from choosing an appropriate fence (no barbed wire!) to the right way to use each type of blanket. I found the sections on barn surfacing and budgeting to be especially useful as we plan for the right way to keep horses as efficiently as possible on a piece of our 20 acres. Attachment: Horse Training Checklist  

Can the U.S. Handle this Incursion from Mexico

In considering any immigration reform proposal it’s important to acknowledge the reality on the ground. Managing the tide of unauthorized entry, criminal activity, and illicit commerce that takes place along the U.S. border with Mexico is a separate proposition from the relatively manageable law enforcement task of handling the other 20%.  The Mexican border is a special and warrants special attention proportional to the scale of the problem. If the nation state of Mexico were to send an organized colony numbering in the tens of thousands into Texas or Arizona we would call that an invasion and respond with overwhelming military force. As it happens the hundreds of thousands of criminals returned to mexico–and those who stay– come to the United States driven by social, economic, and predatory forces rather state action. Therefore an appropriate response is not necessarily a military defense. But as the incursion is on such a scale the indicated force and commitment necessary … Read on

101 Attention-Grabbing Subject Lines for Email Marketing Promotions

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Email marketing to your opt-in list is one of the most effective – not to mention affordable – types of marketing there is. Assuming you’ve built a solid list of people who are interested in the type of information or services you provide, the next critical ingredient is getting your audience to actually read your emails. However, that’s getting more and more difficult to do. Statistics vary. But for sake of argument, a study by the Radicati Group from May 2009 estimated the number of emails sent in the world each day to be around 247 billion. Yes, BILLION. Which means more than 2.8 million emails are sent every second. Of those, around 80% of these messages are considered spam. Still, that leaves most professionals in the U.S. receiving over 100 legitimate emails a day. So with everyone’s email boxes overflowing, how do you get your email marketing promotions to … Read on

Free Excel File for a Mental Math Workout

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Here is a simple program written in Excel that can help you or your kids practice adding and multiplying numbers in your head. This tool was largely inspired by Arthur Benjamin’s book Secrets of Mental Math.  If you want to start doing addition very quickly in your head instead of working it out on paper here are two important tips. One of them is usually taught in school arithmetic. The other isn’t for some reason. I, along with some math professors, think that math education should strive for much more than the ability to show work by writing it out. Here’s the secret many school teachers don’t share. Just add from left to right. As Dr. Benjamin mentions in Secrets “most of us are taught to do math on paper from right to left.” I suspect our typical in-school math training stops there intentionally to discourage mental math. Teachers feel they need something written to evaluate. Students … Read on

To Presume A Man’s Innocence is Racism Argues Huffington Post

In reporting that fundraisers for beleaguered officer Darren Wilson opted to disable comments on their site the Huffington Post chose to highlight how purely evil and racist it is to disagree with editorial positions of the Huffington Post.  I do not doubt that there were enough disruptive comments, mostly from 4chan trolls, that the fund raising group wisely turned off chat comments in order to focus on its more pressing goals. But here is what the Huffington Post points to as the voice of evil in our time. This is  what they term “a barrage of tremendously racist comments:” “[Michael Brown was ] a common street thug” This is an aspersion cast at one man, not his race. And it is arguably accurate. This is not racist. “Better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6.” This is not racist. And it’s apt commentary. “I know a lynch mob when I see one. They have … Read on

Watching the Watchers: Thoughts on the Rialto Experiment

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An experiment in Rialto, CA concluded that having police officers wear video cameras on patrol impacts the rate at which public contacts resulted in use of force. And now this pronouncement is circulating on Facebook. The Rialto experiment is a good start but the Facebook post does over state things. Firstly, Rialto PD has not announced a forcewide policy of body mounted cameras. For purposes of the experiment officers carried cameras on roughly half of all shifts. Below I’ll mention a another problem with the study’s conclusions although overall I think Chief Farrar et al are on to something. And the subject definitely merits more attention. Post by Our Time. The cameras did  have a measurable impact on use of force. The impact on complaints was less conclusive but still noteworthy. The reason it’s hard to assess the latter  is that formal complaints were rare to begin with. The researchers say that during the experiment there were too … Read on

Pivotal Process is the Best Way to Do Agile

Pivotal Process is the Best Way to Do Agile

One reason Pivotal’s scrum like process with Pivotal Tracker is my go to project tool is that any coder, customer, or project manager can learn to dive in and use it in less than ten minutes. And if you can’t give 10 minutes per person per project to synchronizing your approach then I probably can’t help you.

Cordies Are a Great Way to Command Desktop Cable Chaos

Cordies Are a Great Way to Command Desktop Cable Chaos

Cordies maintain order among the cables and wires strewn about your desk by holding them snugly and weighting them down. This keeps you from accidentally tangling or disconnecting chargers, headphones, mics, drives, and everything else. They’re tiny, unobtrusive, and indispensable. Each one’s got  five gripping fingers so it can accommodate four cords. I use a dozen or so.  The space Cordies help me reclaim on my desk for a few bucks is at least equal to buying a much bigger desk. But I also love the story of Cordies one in which I have bit role. Cordies was created by people just like you. Those who use technology every day and have ideas about what sucks and what would really be cool. A couple of years ago Cordies’ principal inventor, lawyer Steven Stewart, had been keeping his laptop cord under his other gadgets to keep it from falling all over the place. Dissatisfied with his ad hoc solution, he … Read on