Maker’s schedule

I’ve read a very interesting aricle by Paul Graham about two different ways of scheduling: a manager’s schedule, which divides the day in hours, and a maker’s schedule which breaks the day into ‘half days’. Having an appointment somewhere halfway your ‘half day’ totally breaks your productivity. Having too many of these appointments are a 100% chance to ruin your entire week. That’s why a lot of people are starting to like to work between christmas and new year’s day for instance. Almost nobody is there to interrupt whatever you’re doing.

I know the feeling all too well and so far, haven’t seen it worded like this. Now, if I only can get my boss to understand this.

Getting things not quite done

Cleaning the mess on my desk has made me more aware, again, how much stuff one can accumulate in such short time. Getting things done is quite difficult when you have the stuff on your desk. On the other hand, if you don’t have a proper inbox, that’s what you opted for. Hmm. Increasingly I find that the method I’m currently using is not really working out for me. One of the problems is too many inboxes, a fatal accident waiting to happen to the followers of the True Way. So far that accident is waiting to happen because I have a rather diverse work environment. There’s the computer at work, the laptop, the home computer, meetings, babysitting in the park, in the train or when visiting friends and relatives. Well, not that diverse, but diverse enough to end up with more than one inbox. One on the work computer, one on the home computer and one in a paper notebook I keep around. I like the paper notebook, because I have a readable handwriting, you can scribble, and it has nice in-the-bright-sunlight-in-the-park properties and friends and relatives don’t really mind when you scribble something in your paper notebook thingy. Start using a laptop on that occasion and people are seriously upgrading your geek status.It would appear I’m not alone in this.

But paper notebooks have one main setback, you keep repeating yourself. Entering stuff from email into the paper notebook doesn’t feel like you’re accomplishing something. When you have two pages of to-dos and notes it looks quite neat. Start doing things and crossing things off (Feel good moment) it starts to look rather messy. So, after a while, you rewrite your list to get a good overview. But hey, I’m not in this world to rewrite my to-do list for the umpteenth time.

I thought about getting a nice iPhone 3GS, but that sort of appeals to my geekness more than to my I want to get stuff done-ness. Other than that, I have a hard time believing that it has the nice properties a paper notebook has.

Maybe the future will bring something like a Kindle which you can write onto and then organize it. Maybe I should get a scanner, that would at least save the rewriting. That’s two maybes that may rank a bit too high on the ‘wishful thinking scale’.

For the time being I see no other option than to muddle forward in this way.

Summer Cleaning

Today I finally got around to cleaning my desk at home. It had become cluttered with all sorts of stuff. You probably know, old bills, new bills, a used password list (only one of them has been sort of correct), leaflets received during a trade show, etc. I was wondering myself how much information about me, good and bad, could be derived from the assorted clutter.

It’s quite scary and a reminder for myself that I should be more careful when leaving stuff on my desk. I know all the risks of garbage dumpers and people coming in and slicing and dicing your personal life (been there, done that) but it takes some mental effort to be aware of your own clutter.

So, back to cleaning the desk and keeping it clean.

Bald Villains

Why are the heroes in movies and fiction stories always provided with a nice full head of hair?

That was what I was wondering when I was shaving my head in front of the mirror. There are not an awful lot of bald heroes in modern (and ancient) fiction. Even if there is a bald hero, he always has a mischievous trait in his character. The bald guy is always an evil sorcerer, scary and unholy priest or some gnome-troll-guy used to break the hero in two. But I really like the image of the mad scientist best with his bald head. Just wondering: does Mojojojo‘s glass dome over his head count as being bald? It seems that the ability to join Griffindor is inverse with the length of your hair (did you notice the length of Dumbledore’s hair).

I’ll try and list some of the villains that have shaven heads:

  • Blofeld. Tried to make the demise of the world (and James Bond) happen. Played by one of the best known bald people in the world: Telly Savalas a.k.a. Kojak, who, incidentally I’ll also list in the good-guys section.
  • Emperor Jagang, from the Sword of Truth series (Terry Goodkind). A very evil villain who is always described as muscular and with a clean shaven head.
  • Voldemort. Bald because he likes to be a snake, but still he doesn’t have any hair on his head.
  • Any Ferengi.
  • Dr. Evil & MiniMe.
  • Mojojojo
  • Cypher (from the Matrix)

Good guys with bad past are:

  • Vin Diesel. Always has a dark past somewhere or is just the villain-became-hero, because there was nothing else to do. That doesn’t really count.
  • Bruce Willis, but he always has some dark streak in his past in any role. Or he has a hairpiece, which doesn’t count. Same goes for Sean Connery.
  • Kojak.

Fullblown real hero:

  • Professor Xavier. Well yes. Because Patrick Steward was voted sexiest man on TV in 1992 because of his role as Captain Picard in STNG.
  • Captain Jean-Luc Picard. Duh, although his little involvement with the Borg also gave him some of the ‘bad past’.
  • Yoda. Although he is not really bald and also not shaven…
  • Morpheus. Although his methods leave things to be desired.

I’ll extend this list when I get more inspiration, but the general trend can be seen. Apart from one actor (Patrick S.) no one can come across as a bald guy with fullblown heroism.

So, if you want to play the bad guy, shave your head. If you don’t, get a hairpiece.