Although this post will push me over the three post-a-day rule I feel I must write it to clear up any confusion you may not be having.

First off, I have changed my name from Black & White Penguin (very long and unwieldy) to Gnome (does not require repeated use of the shift key). So, please note, I am not some impostor trying to steal this obviously booming empire o' blogging.

P.P.S. The story of my new name is a long one and I do not currently desire to share it.

P.P.P.S. PPS stands for Post Partial Scriptum

Secondly, I have changed the archive frequency from monthly to weekly (mainly to make it look cooler and more lengthy). Although this will undoubtedly throw my three-person reader base (counting myself) for a loop I fear it must be done.

I am on the fence regarding the word "blogosphere". In the last few days it was become a minor mascot (at least it has for me, I can't speak for all the people who don't read my blog). The question that remains: is "blogosphere" destined to be a oft-quoted trademark or simply an overused phrase that will ultimately result in people screaming when they hear it (either way, I obviously have an over-infalted view of what I can accomplish).

So, I ask you ethereal reader base, cast your votes now. Should I drop "blogosphere" from my vocabulary or up the usage?

P.S. This posted has almost doubled the ticker count.

In a effort to cut down on the number of posts I will be consolidating misc. things that don't have another place into a single post (at least as a trial). These consolidations will be divided into subposts to make them easier to read.

#1: Creeeeeepy

This is probably one of the strangest, most disturbing things I have ever seen (yeah, I don't get out much).

I found this while randomly surfing the blogosphere, and more pictures can people found here along with some other interesting stuff.

#2: My Favorite Section(s) From An Otherwise Stupid Post

Things about the web that scare me...

1. It knows where I live (however, it is a small comfort that Google Maps thinks I live two doors down).
2. It's so impersonal (never once have I head, "Hi, I'm Jim and I'll be your server (no pun intended) today".)

#3: My Favorite Phrase From An Otherwise Wonderful Conversation

Me: I just want a goddamn Linux Shoe!

(I doubt many of you will get that).

So...thats today's consolidation post. If I hadn't done this I would have made a whole two extra posts and polluted the blogosphere that much more with my senseless ramblings.

I must admit that I have broken one of the arcane (well, as arcane as possible in this situation) laws of blogging (as outlined by StyleyGeek here). In my frenzy of blog-induced creativity (if you can call it that) I posted well over the recommended maximum of three entries. As if this misdeed was not enough I also used the word "blogosphere" four times (MEMO TO SELF: update ticker). I ask you now, ghostly readers, forgive me for this horrible infraction.

P.S. I'm not promising I won't do it again, and if I do, don't think you're getting another apology post.

Sadly, I am not a naturally productive person (organized: yes, productive: no) so I rely on numerous digital crutches to help me.

What Works

The main two applications I use to track my growing list of to-dos are iCal (can't wait 'til v3) and Schoolhouse (a homework tracker, and so much more). I generally use iCal to schedule my MANY social engagements (note sarcasm) and misc. to do items while Schoolhouse is for my homework (what else?).

In order to maintain some degree of mental togetherness I also use Sidenote to keep all my floating brain snippets caged up in one place. (For those of you unfamiliar with Sidenote, it is like Stickies except everything is kept in a tidy drawer that can be hidden from view, ideal for people (like me) who are lacking in miserly when it comes to desktop real estate).

What Doesn't

iGTD has been getting a fair amount of press (in the blogosphere) lately, so I tried it. I was delighted by its frequent updates (I live for updates) but it was just too data heavy and I didn't really get anything from it that iCal couldn't give me (plus iCal looks better). Sadly, after several weeks or trial I had to delete it.

Many Mac users swear by Quicksilver but when I tried it (after finally giving in to the raving reviews) it just didn't work for me. I have been with Macs for a long time and I'm just too used to Finder for launchers to do me much good. (Yes, I know Quicksilver is more than a launcher but the only other feature I ever really found useful was the built-in iTunes controls). Bottom line is I'm just too used to my mouse/trackpad to start filtering my workflow through key sequences.

One tool that I have NEVER seen any use for is Event Maker (and other iCal event creators). Although I will be one of the first to admit that iCal's event creation process can be a bit frustrating it just isn't worth it to open up a whole new application to make it easier. By the time I have found and opened the app I will have already sorted out my problem with iCal.

Straying away from the digital realm for a moment, the hPDA is an interesting organizational/productivity tool that I used for some time before it fizzled out. I was mainly using it as a paper Sidenote for when I was away from the computer, but a combination of the inability to synch (honestly, paper manufactures need to get on that) and my increasing attachment to my computer rendered it more or less useless. (However, I do still use it when I AM away from the computer or when pulling out the laptop would be overkill).

Also, for some strange reason, spending hours in Excel charting my time use just didn't make me more productive....

What Keeps Me Unproductive

I consider Adium to be the best chat client ever (and therefore the best at distracting me from my work). I am almost always online and I am usually being distracted/kept up too late by messages.

Vienna is another of my productivity-sapping loves. For those of you that have not aware, Vienna is a news reader (like News Net Wire Lite, except it takes less then ten seconds to say and is about 100x better in every other way too). I now call upon all you users of NNWL to switch to Vienna and see how you like it. It is basically Net News Wire (the non-free version) except with a better interface and (even) more features (plus a cooler name).

Safari and the internet are the biggest culprits when it comes to reducing my productivity (I'm sure I'm not alone there) but I figure the time I would otherwise be spending trundling back and forth to the library probably balances it out.

Finally, although I love you so, Growl, you are the one who pulls all these elements together into one big unproductive web. Without your little boxes I would never know when Vienna had new articles or when I had gotten email or when someone was IMing me. (On the other hand, knowing my personality, I would check every ten seconds for new badges on my (hidden) dock.)

1. I am forced to take 15 minutes (or less) showers. (I narrowly avoided 5 minutes showers which would NOT allow time for my conditioner to sit the suggested 3 minutes)

2. My clothes are LINE DRIED. Until you have experienced it you cannot imagine how awful line-dried clothes are; not only are they stiff as boards, they smell funny, take forever to dry and are not compatible with Febreeze-scented dryer sheets.

The following is an example of the environmental insanity I am subjected to:

Me: It smells like horse in here.
Her: Whores?
Her: The four-legged animal that one would saddle and ride?
Me: Yes.
Her: That's funny.
Me: It's the line-dried clothes.
Her: If you don't know what fresh air smells like you need to spend more time outside.
Me: This smell isn't fresh air.
Her: Do you know how many people would kill for clothes that smell like fresh air?
Her: At least it doesn't smell like Febreeze
Me: Febreeze smells good.
Her: It smells perfumey.
Me: Whatever.
Her: Want some granola?

3. Lights must always be turned off. Now, I admit this is a reasonable one– except, I use lights as a reminder system. Say, for example, I have left my notebook in my room while I brush my teeth, I leave my room light on to remind myself that I need to go back there.

4. Stand-by lights now equal the devil. My laptop was unplugged this morning (WHILE CHARGING) because apparently keeping my computer from dying mid-day wastes energy.

Well...yeah...I guess there are only four. Nevermind. (/kvetch)

Despite the fact that I have specifically instructed Blogger to email me when someone leaves a comment I check myself at least every half hour for the following reasons:

1. Did I enter my email correctly? (Yes, I could just check, but I won't for private inscrutable reasons)
2. Is the email generating bot working?
3. Is Gmail filtering it out as spam?
4. Is Apple Mail not collecting my Gmail messages?
5. Have the magnetic poles switched mid-message causing it to get lost somewhere between here and Antarctica (the artist formerly known as the South Pole)?
6. Has the CIA/FBI/NSA/Misc. International Organization cleaned out my inbox without so much as a "You Got Wiped" ecard?

Today I spent two and a half hours filling out job applications, eating chocolate chip cookies and listening to IAM.

My handwriting resembles the scratchings of a slightly deranged chicken so I felt obligated to type the application. Seems easy but nooooooooooooooooo. Adobe has failed to build a text editor into their PDF reader so I was forced to go third-party. For those of you who own superior computers (AKA Macs) you can put text into PDFs using a reader called Skim. You would think that would be simple too, but noooooo. Not only is Skim a little buggy and crashes every couple of minutes (give it some credit guys it's only v.0.2) but it turns out that text added to PDFs in Skim does not show up when printed. So, I took screenshots of EVERY SINGLE page (okay, there were four) of the document and printed those, in the process compromising quality. I NEARLY WENT INSANE (wait...I'm already insane, nevermind).

Some of you may not share my sense of humor (I pity those that do) but I personally think that this is the funniest website ever created. If I could I would post like half a million pictures right here, but that would annoy my non-existant readership. So I beg you, phantom surfers of the blogosphere (I just can't stop using that word) please look at this site.

I must ask myself, "Why do my cats never do anything like this?" (Amazingly I have turned this otherwise innocent post into a kvetch)

There are some real gems in the blogosphere (I'm sure I've heard that word somewhere). Some shining beacons of digital hope include the "Hair Loss Service Directory" (highlights include heist plans for the Rogaine® plant) and "Stop HIV [Treatment]" (in other words, someone who is willing to admit they don't know what they're talking about telling people to kill themselves by stopping their HIV/AIDS treatment). If medicine isn't your bailiwick maybe you'll prefer "My Mobile Blog", which, without a doubt, contains the best gibberish and black rectangles ANYWHERE on the web.

Here is a list of common English words (such as dybbuk and zaftig, which I, for one, use at every available opportunity) and thier Yiddish origins: Wikipedia Page

If nothing else, I did learn how bagels are made (the lack of deep-fat frying explains why doughnuts are superior in every way).

Minima? Is that supposed to be Italian? Does it mean 'small mother'? (Mini ma. For those of you who didn't get that, Remedial Thinking 101 is next door). I flat out refuse to use a theme with a name so convoluted as this, so, from this point forth I will boycott this so-called "Minima" (am I the only one who can imagine the phrase "quick, he's having a minima, get him to the hospital!" being spoken by many a person on ER/Greys Anatomy/House/Scrubs (maybe not so much)/Other Crappy Medical Drama?) The theme I will thenceforth be using is called ZenBlog, and although it doesn't look any different, when you say it no one thinks there is a medical emergency taking place.

P.S. An excerpt from my template's HTML

Blogger Template Style
Name: ZenBlog (No Longer, "Doctor! I'm having a minima!")
Designer: Douglas Bowman
Date: 26 Feb 2004
Updated by: Blogger Team
----------------------------------------------- */


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