Wednesday, 31 December 2008

2009: A Year of Clarity

I’m excited for 2009. The New Year is just the landmark I (we?) need to shake off the malaise of 2008 and start fresh. New.

My goal for the year is clarity.

Clarity of priorities, clarity of mind, clarity of spirit.

To achieve this clarity, I’ve identified a handful of small (easily measurable) and big (less measurable, more directional) ideas.


  • Take a walk, outside, daily.
  • Inbox Zero daily (including notecards).
  • ‘Respond To’ Zero weekly.
  • Review Project list weekly.
  • No more To-Do lists
    Just schedule it in 2-hour time blocks (in my early tests, 2 hours is the minimum time it takes to switch contexts and accomplish one small thing). This means my stack of notecards will be strictly for capture. Next actions will be scheduled on the calendar. Should make weekly reviews easier.
  • Publish a new podcast monthly.
  • Release a new code sample monthly.
  • Release 1 small project quarterly.
  • Release 1 new, revenue-generating project every 6 months.

Spend more time…

  • …with actual people.
  • …writing (code, blog posts here, etc).
  • …making (podcasts, code, etc).
  • …reading books.
  • …reading /Important in my Cullect reading lists.
  • …at Eastside Co-op and local farmer’s markets.
  • …with people that make me feel good about humanity.

Spend less time…

  • …with characters (movies, etc).
  • …reading /Lastest in my Cullect reading lists.
  • …reading real-time services like Twitter, Facebook, and Friendfeed.
  • …with ad-supported publications (including MPR & NPR).
  • …with people that say we’re going to hell in a handcart.
  • …at Rainbow, Cub, Target.

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

WordPress 2.7 xmlrpc.php Monkey Patches

I’ve been fighting with WordPress 2.7’s xmlrpc.php file for a few days now, and I’ve made 2 modifications that may be useful to you.

If you’re writing new posts via metaWeblog.newPost and the angle brackets from your HTML formatting are being stripped out (as described in this official WordPress bug report) and you’d rather not rebuild PHP on your server (who does?), open up xmlrpc.php and replace:

$post_content = apply_filters( 'content_save_pre', $content_struct['description'] );


$post_content = apply_filters( 'content_save_pre', $content_struct['description'] );
$post_content = str_replace('lt;', '< ', $post_content); $post_content = str_replace('gt;', '>', $post_content);

This should replace the stripped angle brackets with actual, functioning angle brackets.

Secondly, if you’re having trouble uploading files via metaWeblog.newMediaObject, try this fix (big thanks to Keith Garner). In xmlrpc.php replace:
$bits = $data['bits'];

$bits = $data['bits'];
$bits = base64_decode($bits);

WordPress has given me quite a roller coaster ride these past couple years. While 2.7 is a huge improvement over the last couple releases, if I wasn’t so committed, I’d be looking for something much leaner.

Update 30 Dec 2008
Big thanks to Daniel Jalkut for commenting that the reason I needed $bits = base64_decode($bits); was probably due to my bits not being properly encoded. Correct he was. So, rather than a bug in WordPress, this is a bug in Applescript (what isn’t) and in Ruby’s XMLRPC/client for failing the Principle of Least Surprise (if the spec says the tag is <base64>, the tag should be <base64> not <string>).

To get the <base64> tags in Ruby, you need to encode with not simply Base64.encode(the_file)

Monday, 29 December 2008

Why Does NORAD Follow Santa?

(I’m posting this more for my reference than anything else)

It all started back in 1955, when an advertisement for Sears Roebuck & Co. urged children to call Santa Claus, but misprinted the telephone number and accidentally listed the hotline for the commander in chief of the Continental Air Defense Command’ (CONAD), NORAD’s predecessor. Colonel Harry Shoup, who was the director of operations at the time, decided to play along and enlisted his staff to participate in the monitoring of Santa’s whereabouts via “radar.” – Julia Angwin, Lead Editor of Wall Street Journal’s Digits

The New Apple Product Dilemma

Apple’s been great about keeping their product offerings simple and straight forward. Historically, the biggest question when deciding on which Apple computer to purchase was:

Do I want the power & storage of a desktop or the portability of a laptop?

Even today, the prices between a 2.4GHz iMac and a similarly spec’d 2.0GHz Mac Book differ by only $125 ($1274 vs $1399 respectively).

At that price difference portability easily wins over processor speed.

Today, the same dilemma exists between the iPhone and the iPod Touch.

Do I want the power & storage of the iPod Touch or the persistent connection of the iPhone?

16GB iPhone: $1979.751
16GB iPod Touch: $299

Wow. I didn’t expect that.

Since I’m not excited about being an AT&T customer again and am good with WiFi as my network – I guess it’s not really a dilemma. Huh.


1. $299 + (($30 AT&T iPhone data plan + $39.99 AT&T 450 min/mn voice plan) * 24 month contract).

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Friday, 19 December 2008

The Roastery and Kopplin’s Offering Coffee Subscriptions

If you’re still looking for something delicious to give the fanatic coffee drinker in your life – I’m super excited to share that both Jeremy Raths, of The Roastery, and Andrew Kopplin, of Kopplin’s Coffee, are offering coffee subscriptions.

The Roastery Regulars subscription, is $144, delivers 1 pound of coffee to your door every other week for 26 weeks (yes, 2 lbs /mn for 6 months + a bonus pound).

Kopplin’s Coffee of the Month Club subscription ($180) offers 1/2 lb. per month for 12 months of some of the most amazing coffees you’ve (I’ve) ever tasted. I’ve been ‘beta tasting’ Kopplin’s subscription this year and I’ve been blown away month after month (I’ve even recorded a few of my tastings). The only downside – it’s only a 1/2 lb. per month. 🙂

In both cases, I’d recommend picking up a good press pot or a Chemex, your regular drip coffee maker probably isn’t up to the task.

Sunday, 14 December 2008