Archive for October, 2007

well that was nice

I’m up at the university yesterday, tying up some loose ends from my job there when I ran into the executive vice president.  Essentially, this is the guy under the president who runs everything administrative for the campus.  I used to see him every month or so as a part of my job responsibilities and we always got along reasonably well.

So, I’m talking to him and he tells me that whenever he sees someone who has left the university, he always tells them that he hopes they made the right decision… because they aren’t coming back (implying that he will prevent them from returning).  He then goes on to say, but you are welcome back if you ever want to return and that this puts me in a very small group – three in twelve years.

For all I know he was blowing serious smoke up my ass.  But that’s not really his style.  Regardless, it was very kind and probably one of the nicest complements (in context) that I’ve received.

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Drought update

(odd: i thought i had submitted this last night.  i guess i just saved it in draft)

It’s been raining today which is good. The forecasters are predicting rain tomorrow and Friday which is even better. However, I’m still worried. It’s been over a month since the last real rain and close to six months since we’ve had normal rainfall. Raleigh i s down to about 3 months worth of water supply in the reservoirs – Atlanta’s not any better. What happens when cities actually run out of water? Do they evacuate?

In some sense’s, K and I are better and worse off. We’ve got a well, so unfortunately, we don’t have a clue as to how much water remains. For that matter, I don’t even know how deep the well is. The down side is that we could run out of water any day. The only positive is that we could always pay to have the well dug deeper. Talking to some neighbors, we’ve heard the rate is about $9/foot.

We’ve done a number of things over the past year or so (predating the drought) to reduce water usage. A year ago, our water softener recorded an average usage of ~150 gallons per day. We replaced our old toilets with newer low flow (current standard 1.6 gal) toilets and that got us down to around 100 gallons per day. We’ve started being more careful when washing dishes in the sink and I’ve started turning off the shower while soaping up or washing my hair. That gets us to a little over 80 gallons per day. I think my next trick might be to turn down the water pressure in our house – that would probably get us another 5-10 or so. After that, I start to think about low use appliances. I love this 2 drawer low water use dishwasher – each drawer takes ~2.4 gallons. Our washing machine is at least 14 years old, that could probably be replaced. I suppose we could also install a hot water recirculator to avoid wasting water letting faucets or showers heat up.

Hopefully, we’ll be okay. We sit near Jordan lake which is one of the collection points in the almost 10,000 sq mile Cape Fear River Basin. Hey, you may call it runoff, I call it ground water.

Y’all enjoy the rain.

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TaskFreak!

About a year ago, I mentioned installing Tracks a “Getting Things Done” application written in RubyOnRails. That was great when I had my always online desktop at the office. I could run a RoR app without a problem. Unfortunately, since I’ve left the university, I don’t have a computer I leave on all the time and my ISP doesn’t offer Rails. I started feeling the need for some sort of online task tracker, so I looked around for things that run on my ISP. Last night I found and installed gtd-php.

Unfortunately, gtd-php doesn’t seem to be very actively developed (last release in 2006) and it’s overly complicated. Today I looked around and found TaskFreak! It seems to be actively under development and easy to use. I’ve installed it and it seems to be what I need.

If you’re looking for a GTD list keeping application written in php, check it out.

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Left or right brain?

etselec, suggested I take the Brainworks Left/Right Brain Test. Results below:

Auditory : 23%
Visual : 76%
Left : 52%
Right : 47%

Full details:

you exhibit an even balance between left- and right- hemisphere dominance and a slight preference for visual over auditory processing. With a score this balanced, it is likely that you would have slightly different results each time you complete this self-assessment quiz.

You are a well-rounded person, distinctly individualistic and artistic, an active and multidimensional learner. At the same time, you are logical and disciplined, can operate well within an organization, and are sensitive towards others without losing objectivity. You are organized and goal-directed. Although a “thinking” individual, you “take in” entire situations readily and can act on intuition.

You sometimes tend to vacillate in your learning styles. Learning might take you longer than someone of equal intellect, but you will tend to be more thorough and retain the material longer than those other individuals. You will alternate between logic and impulse. This vacillation will not normally be intentional or deliberate, so you may experience anxiety in situations where you are not certain which aspect of yourself will be called on.

With a slight preference for visual processing, you tend to be encompassing in your perceptions, process along multidimensional paths and be active in your attacking of situations or learning.

Overall, you should feel content with your life and yourself. You are, perhaps, a little too critical of yourself — and of others — while maintaining an “openness” which tempers that tendency. Indecisiveness is a problem and your creativity may not be in keeping with your potential. Being a pragmatist, you downplay this aspect of yourself and focus on the more immediate, obvious and the more functional.

I was asked if I agreed with the results. It’s probably best to say that I don’t disagree. Overall, I think that it’s accurate, but there some things that it just can’t capture, like life history, overall intelligence, etc. But, yeah, I don’t disagree that I’m fairly evenly balanced between left and right brain and that I’m more of a visual than auditory thinker/learner.

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