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Attention Cubicle Dwellers

Scott Adams (the man behind Dilbert) has started blogging.
I will admit I was scared at first. There are famous personalities whose work I enjoy immensely, and then they open their mouth about topics they are less informed about and ruin it for me. So far, Scott seems to be as straight up about real life as his characters capture real life for us cube dwellers.

Where Did Summer Go?

Wow – it was really cold at o’dark thirty this morning when I took the dogs out. I had to add some clothes to my gym bag for my lunchtime 5 miler. The weatherman has no idea what the temperature will be at noon. Factor in the wind and its a recipe for misery. So I’ve got a t-shirt, shorts, long-sleeved dri-fit base layer, and I think I even threw in the fleece pull-over for good measure. The thermometer says 40 right now – hopefully it will get to 55 and I can stick with t-shirt and shorts at noon.
A few weeks back, I copied a cheat-sheet on dressing for running in the cold into a Word doc. Not sure where I got it from, I will add the credit up here as soon as I find it again. (As a side note, that’s one thing OneNote does really well – when you’re doing web research and using OneNote to organize it, it automatically figures out the website you got the content from and adds the URL as a reference. I don’t know how it does it – all I do is copy/paste like normal from a web page into OneNote and the URL reference magically appears.)

Dress for Success
Here’s a cheat sheet to help you dress appropriately for your runs, no matter what the thermometer says. This chart factors in the 10-Degree Rule but doesn’t account for a significant windchill. On very windy days, you may need to dress warmer.

(in degrees)

above 70 Lightweight/light-colored singlet and shorts
60 to 69 Tank top or singlet and shorts
50 to 59 T-shirt and shorts
40 to 49 Long-sleeve shirt and tights or shorts
30 to 39 Long-sleeve shirt and tights
20 to 29 Two upper-body layers and one lower-body layer
10 to 19 Two upper-body layers and one lower-body layer
0 to 9 Two/three upper-body layers, one/two lower-body layers
below 0 Three upper-body layers, two lower-body layers

Comment & Trackback Spam

Ok, I’m guessing there must be a CAPTCHA plug-in for movable type that will eliminate the comment spam. I need to find it for my site and Tammy’s site. But what about trackback spam? I would love to turn trackbacks back on and get the conversations going, but there are just too many splogs out there abusing the trackback system.
Update: Mark Cuban blogs about splogs and the massive traffic jam they caused with indexers over this past weekend.

Maintaining Email Inbox Serenity

Jason Womack points us to a CNN article focused on keeping your inbox clean. These are pretty solid principles. They refer to David Allen’s Getting Things Done book/methodology, which I think should be required reading for any knowledge worker or executive.
Below is a picture of my inbox from this morning – you will notice it is empty. Everything has been filed according to whether it’s reference material, material I need to review, stuff I’m waiting on others for, or stuff that I need to take an action on. If you were to look at my Outlook inbox that takes care of my personal life, you would notice that it is also empty.
Of course, for my implementation of Allen’s system, I much prefer Outlook over Notes. Why? One fundamental feature -> I can tell outlook to show me how many messages are in a folder instead of showing me how many unread messages are in a folder. Thus, I have a tickler that there are 6 messages needing review, 15 needing action, and 4 waiting on others. In Notes, all I get is an unread count. I have found unread counts are great for initial processing, but not for managing this system. (LifeHackers: yes, I know I could mark them as unread in Notes so that the count would show up in the folders, but then I would have to consciously determine what was truly unread. That doesn’t exactly lead to a ‘mind like water’).
Brad Feld recently blogged about an email prioritization system, and Fred Wilson added some thoughts into the discussion. They’re both alluding to something off the shelf, but I think of it as more of a system that you have to implement yourself. I think the tools (folders, rules, etc) already exist in Outlook & Notes to let you do this. It just requires thought on your part to structure your folders. You may go as simple as having three folders high, medium and low; or you may have folders like ‘From Project Team’, ‘From Client’, ‘From Partner’, ‘From Family’, ‘Other’. Then you have to create the rules to filter through the to:, cc: and bcc: fields to figure out which folder to dump the messages into. It would be painful up front to set up, but I think that is the way it has to be because of the vastly differing ways people would want to prioritize them.
Me? I’m just happy with my clean inboxes.

Dear DAD, please send more money….

Ray Chen tells us an interesting tale of the new Desktop Applications Division at Microsoft and its impact on communications with employees’ fathers.
I naturally assumed that personal contacts/groups received preference over public contacts/group on all messaging platforms. I guess that’s not the case.