24 May 2016

Changing the way I do chores with Remember The Milk

Last week I was on second shift, which (unlike prior times) really disrupted my schedule at home. As a result, my house was a wreck by Saturday morning.

So I decided to change how I was doing things.

First, I like the idea of the rotating lists of things to do, like these from tidymom.net. They provide a nice bit of structure instead of "do what needs to be done".  That kind of amorphous goal just does not work for me.

But printed lists aren't my style. I'm a technological boy, and on top of that, I tend to get discouraged if I don't complete a list. The stress builds, and then I end up dumping the whole thing.

Enter Remember The Milk.

The key features that make this app so nice for this are:

* You can postpone tasks. They don't go away, but can be put off. On the phone app, it's a simple leftward swipe.
* You can set up events for "after three days". If you have a task set up for "every three days" it will show up every three days...whether you completed the prior one or not. After three days means that it creates a task three days after you complete it.
* You can separate tasks by list AND tag.

I have my lists set up as locations in a quasi GTD style, so pretty much all my chores fall under "Home". But the tasks themselves are tagged "chores_daily", "chores_weekly", and so on. And I plugged in all those chores from those lists, plus a few of my own.

Screenshot from the webapp

Some of those are "gimmie" tasks - like making the bed and hanging up towels. But it's still a nice bit of positive reinforcement for me to swipe them away. And because I can easily postpone a task, I don't have the overwhelming guilt and stress when I don't have enough hours in the day.

This has really changed the way I do things - I've already noticed a difference, even though I started out behind on things. Instead of floundering around looking for something that needs done, I just look at the big list.

Now I just need to put "write blog posts" on there so I don't unexpectedly go another week and a half without anything.

15 May 2016

Alliteration Ink Presents: The Kickstarter for *No Sh!t, There I Was*, an anthology of improbable tales


Unbelievable, but no sh!t, there I was, seeing a Kickstarter for 24 improbable tales from science fiction, fantasy, and horror authors.

Is there a better phrase to start a story than "No Shit, There I Was..."? If you hear someone start with that phrase, you know it's going to be worth listening carefully. That's how all the craziest - and most interesting - stories start.

And then we turned a bunch of speculative fiction authors loose on that phrase.

I mean, these stories - whew.  Science fiction. Fantasy. Humor. Even horror. What they came up with is kind of hard to believe.

But no shit, there we were.

And you can get your hands on these stories by heading over to the Kickstarter page and becoming a backer right now!  You can get there by following this link: http://j.mp/kick_noshit

No Sh!t, There I Was - An Anthology of Improbable Tales -- Kicktraq Mini

12 May 2016

A (Good) Response From One of the Security Team From MarCon about Harassment

I've known one of the guys who does security for MarCon for over twenty years, and after seeing my post the other day, asked if he could write a response. His response follows:
It is really frustrating to hear about bad behavior like this after a con. I have been on the security team at Marcon longer than I care to say, and we work hard to shut crap like this down when it gets reported.

Marcon has a pretty extensive anti-harassment policy and has for something like 15 years. It is one of the first ones I personally know of for a convention. And I have been a part of enforcing that on multiple occasions.

As a fan I really hate it when our community is damaged by harassing behavior. Inclusion is kind of the point of our thing to me.

Our security and operations folks need help making our space better for everyone, and that help is reporting stuff when it happens. I know there can be a lot of reasons someone might not report behavior, but if one of those reasons is a feeling we won't take it seriously I can tell you that isn't the case for anyone on my team.

On our side, I am talking with the organizers about highlighting our anti-harassment policy more prominently in our program guide next year and giving a bit more PR to how to contact Operations or Security folks if someone has a problem or sees behavior that doesn't meet our community standards.

- JP Withers

PS Please note that I am not speaking for Con Comm here. My gig at this con is completely limited to working site security during the event. 
As I mentioned in the original post, I was very glad to hear that people were sending reports to the convention organizers. I am doubly glad to hear from JP that the security folks at MarCon are just as dedicated to providing a safe space for convention goers.

Having known JP for so long, I would definitely vouch for him as a person who will take you seriously should you have a problem at future cons.

Thank you, JP, for providing such a good example.