A few random blog bites to hold you over until the next Scooter Sunday.

Updates to Banal Leakage

I finally was able to carve out some time to tweak this blog. I ended up finding a different WordPress template that was cleaner and better coded than the previous template I was using, but with a very similar design. I’m still planning on adding icons and graphics to this site in the coming months, but for now, these minor changes have fixed a few little glitches here and there, plus adding back full IE 6 support. Not that I had a ton of visitors using IE 6, but it makes me feel better that this site works well in most of the common browsers without that look of “What The Hell!” in the left corner. That doesn’t change the fact that you should be moving away from the mess that is known as Internet Explorer and using something like Firefox or Safari [both available for Windows and Mac platforms, with Firefox also available on Linux]…. C’Mon… click, download and install. All of the cool kids are doing it.

The Internet Sucks

Sucks all of your time, that is. I admit that I am not the best time manager. I do ok, but I tend to get distracted by many things that….. hey, what’s that?…. Mmmmm… ice cream sandwich… err… uh.. Oh.. sorry… Oh yes… I was saying that I get distracted pretty easily and with all of the Twitter, Pownce, Gmail, Google Reader, Plurk, AIM and hundreds of news articles and emails I sift through on a weekly basis, it’s easy to see where the distractions come from. But given these multiple avenues of distractions, I find there’s not much time left for me to write. But as I have been enjoying this time of creative ideas flowing out of me and writing down each and every thought, idea, story, script and blog post subject, I have to devise a plan to get some of it completed. For this, I need something that has no internet access. Short of using a typewriter [which I have actually considered], I decided I needed to find a solution for something I already use.

Enter a program called Freedom. It’s a Mac OS program that cuts off your internet access for up to three hours, allowing you to get work done. I heard about it on an episode of Mac Break Weekly podcast [sorry… I don’t remember exactly what episode it was]. It was recommended by Andy Ihnatko as he explained how frustrated he gets when he needs to get something done that doesn’t require being online, curbing the urge to check email, Twitter or read blogs.

So I gave it a whirl. WOW! Fucking WOW!! In less than two hours, I had completed almost two chapters of a story I am working on. The words just flowed out of my head and into my fingers, without a single thought of how many Twitter posts I could have replied to in that time frame.

If you lack the control to get something done, this is a good start towards training yourself to manage your time better and get some of your shit done. There’s no Windows version of this program (yet), but there’s other options for Windows users. Sadly, all that I found are shareware with trial periods. One program, EZ Internet Timer, stood out as one that looked pretty good. Not the simple no-frills that Freedom offered, but it works.

Work From Home

And speaking of managing your time well, today marked the first official day of me working from home one day a week. I picked Thursdays [Mondays and Fridays are impossible as I need physical access to several resources at the office]. I’ve worked from home many times before at previous jobs, but this was the first time I have [at least during the day] with my current company’s blessing.

While my total hours worked was just under 7 hours today, I got a lot done. It’s amazing how much I can get done with no one around, no desk phone ringing off the hook or physical interruptions by various people with email issues … just me, a VPN connection and my MacBook Pro using Remote Desktop Connection to my Windows box at work. I look forward to what I can accomplish each and every Thursday.

Labor Day

So with Labor Day approaching, what’s everyone’s plans for the weekend? Last ditch boating trip to the lake? Staying at home saving gas? Sound off in the comments. If you are traveling, have a safe trip. If you are drinking, stay put but near a restroom.