further adventures of my persona

Newer readers of my blog (non-Listerine Mawrtyrs, perhaps?) may not know that earlier this year, I took my blog persona, the dark goddess of replevin, and created a corporation sole for her/it/me, just to show that I could. This led to a credit card offer to the dark goddess (credit card companies appear to be fairly wanton about extending credit to any corporation created in Washington state). Which, in the interest of science, I accepted.

Well, I am happy to report that the dark goddess just had her (my?) credit limit on the corporate card raised. By four thousand dollars.

Not bad for an imaginary playmate.


things i must remember not to do

(1) Must not play "just one" game of online Sudoku before leaving for office in the morning. There is no such thing in my world.

(2) Must not compose and send email via Treo while driving. At first, it was just when I was waiting for a green light on metered on-ramps, but now...


time manipulation

As my family's Executive Chef, I was delighted to replace both my circa 1987 microwave and my 1984 crockpot with new models this month. This has the advantage of ensuring that I will not receive either item as a Christmas present.

I have, however, been struck that these two appliances represent completely opposite methods of manipulating time. The microwave, obviously, dramatically shortens the required length of time to prepare a dish (particularly the 2005 "Firebolt" model compared to my 1987 clunker). The crockpot just as dramatically prolongs the time, especially when coupled with my timer that delays the time that the crockpot turns itself on. Between the two, I buy myself enormous flexibility that would otherwise be taken away by the driving need to have a home-cooked dinner on the table every night (something that I choose to do, of course; there are other ways of making sure everyone is fed).

I wonder what a life would look and feel like that didn't need to be quite so tightly planned. As long as my kids participate in sports, I am not likely to find out.

Continuing this thought process into the legal workplace: Do I have two ways of manipulating time on projects?

The "microwave" way, obviously, is when I hyperfocus on a project and write, say, in two hours a brief that would take a normal mortal four or five hours. We all know how to do that.

This was not my preferred method of work in college. When you major in a foreign language that you learn from scratch in four years, cramming just doesn't work very well. Over time, desperation has driven me to use the microwave method of drafting much more frequently than I really like. The process has been greatly facilitated by the personal electronic brief bank I have accumulated, plus my strong keyboarding skills (thank you, tenth grade typing class).

But is there a "crockpot" way to complete work projects? I think so, and it is the "eating the elephant" technique so beloved of efficiency experts of dealing with unpleasant projects by doing just a little at a time, over time. I have, in fact, completed the occasional nasty project (obviously, not time critical) by devoting no more than ten minutes a day (over many, many days) to its completion.

In managing my workload, therefore, I can say to myself, "Should I put this in the crockpot, rather than leaving it for the microwave?" That really is a good option to have.


buying your own data back

Oh, bleck. Lexis instituted something called the Consumer Access Program in June 2005. If you the hypothetical consumer want to see what lurks in the Borg about you, send them EIGHT DOLLARS and wait FORTY-FIVE DAYS and you will get a copy of the information in their Person Report Products about you. Here's their sample.

Lord knows I'm as capitalistic as the next person but there is something fundamentally wrong about selling someone their own next-door neighbor's telephone number.

Lexis helpfully notes that you can opt out of their provision of the non-public data, but you have to show pretty serious risk of harm. Ick, ick, ick.


diagnostic refrigerator magnets

I have a large black filing cabinet in my office (almost all the furniture in my office is either black or clear glass). Knowing a blank canvas when I see one, I bought a number of variations of the little word poetry magnets I could find so that idle clients, and my idle children, could make poetry on the filing cabinet from my bright red chairs while they wait for me to complete something. One can play with virtual word magnets online, but it doesn't look like it's possible to combine the different vocabulary sets.

As it happens, there are a lot of kits with varying vocabularies. The genius kit is particularly fun. Ah, the challenge of using "obdurate" in a poem.

Well. I found a new word magnet product today: diagnostic refrigerator magnets. I must have them. Although explaining some of this stuff to my eight-year-old may be a bit of a struggle when she comes in to use the magnets.


alas, poor comments

I have noticed, since Blogger has been acquired by the ubiquitous google (no hotlink required), that Blogger's software has been growing more and more sophisticated. So sophisticated, in fact, that it now has a built-in commenting option. I was also pleased to discover that I can upload photos with Picasa directly without the Hello kludge.

It is remarkable how the operating software has matured. Observant readers will have noted that this blog's URL denotes my prior use of Blogspot, which has faded away over time. Back when dinosaurs roamed the earth in Internet time, Blogspot provided the site separately and Blogger provided the software to operate the site. I paid, I think, five dollars for a year for a "Blogspot Plus" account to keep ads off my template. In an irony not lost on me, I am now contemplating installing Adsense on the site to recoup a small fraction of the billable time I lose posting here. In the old days, I paid to keep ads off. In modern times, I charge to permit ads on. Larry Lessig may be able to sense the deeper implications of this more than I, but even I can see that this represents a, cough, "paradigm shift" (pardon the expression).

The advent of Blogger commenting means that I no longer need, in theory, to rely on haloscan for comments. Hm. I sacrificed my first set of comments a while ago when I switched to haloscan from a service whose name I can no longer recall. At this juncture (taking ten minutes to blog before I scoot to work), I have deep-sixed my old comments, and the ability to add new comments through haloscan, but cannot seem to enable new Blogger comments. One of the drawbacks of having an "older" template. Or an older brain.

I certainly hope that I can eventually import the haloscan comments still living out there, somewhere. There is an acerbic exchange with an ex-boyfriend that was particularly amusing floating around the ether. I also hope that I will figure out how to convince Blogger that I really mean it when I say I want to allow comments on my posts. Meanwhile, I just feel dumb.

Update 2005-12-5:

By dint of reading the Blogger Help section for the code that my template actually needs, my commenting function is restored.

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