Update on 31-day journal challenge

In May I began the 31-day journal challenge, to see if I could write in my journal every day and start a new habit.

The update on this is I failed miserably on my original goal. Around early June, lots of work travel combined with some personal events just derailed me for a couple of weeks. Only in the past couple of days have I picked it back up.

Currently I just completed Day 20…so another 11 days of writing will get me to “completion”, although not in the original time frame I had planned.

Yesterday vs. Today

I woke up this morning and noticed the world seems to be running just as it was yesterday.

Looked at my wife and I love her just as much as I did yesterday.

Looked at the church down the road and it seems to operating just as it has been yesterday. Additionally, my faith seems just as strong today as it was yesterday.

Honestly, zero changed for me personally between yesterday and today, except millions across the country now have the same rights I do when they love someone. And that fills me with a tremendous amount of pride for humanity and America. We’re slowly becoming a more perfect union over time, even if we take a step backwards every now and then before sprinting two steps forward.

Thank you Republican presidential candidates for yesterday making my 2016 decision easier, since just about all of your are disqualified in my eyes after your statements regarding the Supreme Court’s decision. Yesterday wasn’t one of the darkest day’s in American history, it was one of its brightest.

Soldiers in Pine Grove Cemetery

When walking through Pine Grove Cemetery just down the street from my house with my wife and nephew, I came across something I hadn’t noticed before. Thanks to the American Flags next to each one, I discovered a section of soldier graves. I moved in closer: Amazing to look at. Even found a grave of a Medal of Honor recipient from the Civil War, Henry F. W. Little:

The statue in this section was a monument for those who fought in the Civil War, although most of the graves were for the  World Wars. Took this neat shot laying down, capturing a flag, the statue, and a tiny moon. 

 Final shot is a panorama of the section:

 

In Defence Of WordPress

I’m very impressed with how much easier it is to maintain WordPress than back in the day. Especially when it comes to automatic updates.

The internet is verbally attacking WordPress again. I read a lot of hate towards WordPress for its latest security vulnerabilities that have become public. What I don’t see is praise in how those updates are handled and distributed to its millions of users. Cross-Site Scripting Vulnerabilities The last 2 weeks, 3 major security releases have […]

Source: In Defence Of WordPress

31-Day Journal Challenge

I have tried in the past to write a journal, but just couldn’t get the habit to stick. This time, I’m using an Art of Manliness article on jump starting a journal to inspire and keep me on track. The great part about the article is it suggests 31 different themes, one for each day, to write about and help start a habit.

To help keep me on track, I have added each day as individual tasks in OmniFocus, complete with a description, each due date set for the proper day in advance, and any appropriate reading material links:

OmniFocus view showing each entry for the 31-day journal challenge
OmniFocus & the 31-day journal challenge, content from Art of Manliness

I also added several tasks (you can see one in the above screenshot) to write follow up posts on this blog. Next one will be at the seven-day checkpoint.

For my journal, I’m using Day One, which allows me to write it from anywhere and add pictures & audio to the journal from my iOS devices or Mac.

Let’s get writing!

One year with a safety razor

I just realized today that just over a year ago (April 25th, 2014 to be exact according to Amazon), I bought my first safety razor, blades, and shaving cream. I honestly thought it had been longer. It’s by far the best shave I have had, always close and comfortable, never cutting myself.

But what I’m really curious is..how much money have I saved?

The initial costs were:

Mercer Classic Safety Razor, Straight: $32.46
Personna Double Edge Razor Blades, 100 Count: $17.12
Taylor of Old Bond Street Jermyn Street Luxury Shaving Cream for Sensitive Skin, 5.3-Ounce: $15.18
Escali 100% Pure Badger Shaving Brush: $12.95
Grand Total: $77.71 or $6.47/month for 12 months.
Equipment: $45.41, of which the safety razor lasts forever and the brush reportedly can last ten years.
Consumables: $32.30 or $2.69/month for $12 months.

However, that $2.69/month number is assuming that I consumed all of those blades and the shaving cream in the past 12 months and that I’m doing a new order of both now. Truth is, I haven’t come close to consuming either in the past year, especially when it comes to the blades.

Since I have a beard, I only shave the lower half of my neck with the safety razor, which prolongs each blade’s life and I shave twice a week usually vs. every day to reduce irritation on my neck. I’m guessing I have only changed out 15 blades so far, at most. The box is still very full and probably will last me another three years easily.

The shaving cream was definitely used more, but there is still a fair amount of it left in the container. I’m guessing this will last me into the fall before I need to reorder that.

What’s the true cost per month so far? I’m going to assume I’ve consumed about $2.56 worth of blades and let’s say $9 of the shaving cream. Factoring that in brings my consumable cost for year one to: $11.56 or $0.96/month for 12 months. For a closer and far better shave. It’s not even a contest vs. disposables.

Why did anyone move from safety razors to disposable razors in the first place?!?!

Using Drafts & Hazel to add notes to DEVONThink

I’ve been experimenting with DEVONthink for the past couple of days as a replacement for Evernote and numerous files semi organized across my devices. So far I’m warming up to this approach, however I had a major problem: how to get notes I take on my iPhone or iPad into DEVONthink on either my personal or work computers. DEVONthink’s sync capabilities are notoriously limited and I’ve heard mixed reviews about their iOS app. I ended up potentially solving the problem of adding content to DEVONthink from iOS by using this by using Drafts for iOS and Noodlesoft’s amazing Hazel app on my Mac.

First, I created two folders in the two syncing services I am using:

Dropbox folder name: DEVONThink_Home
Google Drive folder name: DEVONThink_Work

Within Drafts, from the actions menu I copied the Save to Dropbox and Save to Google Drive actions. I then renamed those actions to be Dropbox – DEVONthink and GDrive –> DEVONthink respectively.

Custom actions to save a Drafts note into Dropbox or GDrive.
Custom actions to save a Drafts note into Dropbox or GDrive.

We then need to get these newly copied actions saving the note I take into the correct folder, which I set in the respective action’s settings. It is also here where I set the default title by taking the first line of each note, giving me some hint of what it means.

Draft settings for DEVONthink import folder in Dropbox
Draft settings for DEVONthink import folder in Dropbox

Next on my Mac, I create a Hazel rule that monitors the DevonThink_Home (or the Work version in the case of my Work computer). If any file is dropped in there, Hazel immediately moves it to the global inbox in DevonThink and adds a tag Drafts_iOS.

Hazel rule for DEVONthink import
Hazel rule for DEVONthink import

One stumbling block that I couldn’t figure out is how to find the DEVONthink Inbox folder for use in this action. The path to that folder is:

Path to the DEVONthink Inbox Folder
Path to the DEVONthink Inbox Folder

I tested this integration briefly and in maybe a second or two, the note in Drafts was synced up to Dropbox, to my home Mac, and into DevonThink.

First try. I’m impressed.

I can see some potential future directions to take these workflows. I can use a lot more intelligence on Hazel’s rules to detect things like titles formatted a certain way and containing keywords, then automatically dropping the file in the correct folder in DevonThink instead of the inbox. It also would be neat to send a URL to DevonThink and have it automatically clip the page, although I haven’t figured out how to do that yet.

Six years

Today marked six years since I started at Dyn. I should also note that with this day passing, I will also have worked at Dyn twice as long as any other company I have worked for. Although certainly not in the same role…I have had four big changes in my role over the years and countless title changes.

What’s my secret to a long career at a fast growth tech company? I think it is learning how to be adaptable and rolling with what a new day brings you. It’s about caring about your customers as much as your teammates. And caring deeply about what you’re building.

Trying on an Apple Watch

A couple of hours ago, I tried on the Apple Watch for the first time at my local Apple Store.

The verdict: the 42mm stainless steel version, especially with the leather loop or Milanese Loop, is stunning. The software, although on used briefly, seems very well executed. For the first time in a while, I could see myself wearing a watch again.

But I am not going to get the Apple Watch, at least to start. It’s personal circumstances that won out. I simply have other priorities that $699 would go a long way towards and the Apple Watch’s benefits don’t outweigh those priorities.

Additionally, in the past six months I have already purchased a new MacBook (due to a liquid incident), a new iPhone (because mine was up for an upgrade and needed one), and a new iPad Air 2 (because my iPad 3 was barely usable anymore). I think I have spent enough on gadgets, at least in the first half of this year. Maybe in the fall I can revisit this. By then, there will probably be a software update or two, probably the full Apple Watch SDK will be out, and we’ll see where the 3rd-party apps take this device.