A pile of unread books


It seems I’ve gotten behind in my reading. This photo shows some of the books I’ve either started and not finished or haven’t started at all. And this doesn’t even include those on my Kindle.

I don’t mind having extra books around. It’s like having a neighborhood library right in my house.


To Rise Again at a Decent Hour



To Rise Again at a Decent Hour: A Novel: Joshua Ferris

I loved “Then We Came to the End” but this latest book by Joshua Ferris didn’t do as much for me. I enjoyed the first half of the book most, during which dentist Paul O’Rourke tried to determine who had created an entire online presence in his name. I identified with Dr. O’Rourke, who is a Luddite addicted to his “me-machine” (iPhone). After that the story veered into a statement on religion and finding oneself and I lost interest during one of the many passages describing Jewish religious history in more detail than I thought necessary. Plus, too much baseball.

I like the way Joshua Ferris writes, and that made it worth reading the book. It just wasn’t what I was hoping for.



The terrifying true story of the garbage that could kill the whole human race

Bucky McMahon.

I’m thinking, you know, it was good shit, plastic. It answered a myriad of ‘how to’ questions, and thus occasioned a fabulous efflorescence, an unprecedented burst of wealth. Maybe plastic was Death disguised as Santa Claus—something for everyone from the ever-expanding plastic sack—but certainly this would be a tough planet without the plastic used in our technology. Maybe a good motto for homo sapiens as a species is, Live fast, die young, and leave a pretty archeological record. Our stratum will be a bright, shiny smear of plastic.

I’m not a fan of plastic.

How Fountain Pens are Made

Discriminating writers still consider the fountain pen the ultimate writing instrument.

Fountain pens are fun to use and, for some of us, to collect. I’m left-handed, which makes using a fountain pen challenging. It’s worth it.

Here’s how quality fountain pens are made.


Cross Posting by Default

I usually dislike when people cross post blog entries to every social media network they’re on. With that in mind, I’ve decided to cross post blog entries to (nearly) every social media network I’m on.

For a while I maintained a separate Twitter account used only for links to things I’ve posted elsewhere. That would be useful if I had a ton of followers and posted stuff way more often than I do. I don’t and I don’t so I’m going to bundle it all together and see how that goes.

This way you’ll never miss out on any of the quality content I publish! Or photos of my dogs.


Blog consolidation

I was looking for something I’d written years ago on my blog and was having trouble finding it. Whenever I lose things it’s because I’ve moved them for no good reason other than I’m “cleaning things up around here.”

I’ve been blogging since the late 90s and still have most posts in one form or another. In an effort to clean things up around here (see!?), I’ve reassembled most and imported them here at baty.net, which once again runs on WordPress.

The lesson here, if there is one, is that there’s no reason to risk losing content and breaking old links just to try new blogging software. WordPress is old and capable and complete and stable and fast (enough) for me. I should stick with it. I probably won’t, but I should. Besides, it’s fun to see how long the archives page is getting.

VimR – Vim Refined

Project VimR — Refined Vim experience for OS 

I love the idea of VimR. Take “real” Vim and add OS X friendly features. More friendly than MacVim, I mean. Things such as a built-in file browser that acts like NERDTree but part of the UI.

My ideal editor would be BBEdit with complete Vim bindings. Until then, I’ll keep waffling between BBEdit and Vim and hope that VimR gets closer. Currently I can’t even open a document in VimR (probably a Yosemite thing) but I’m looking forward to it.

Useless Meetings

 Like a virus the meeting sickness has spread in our organizations over the past years. The symptoms seem to be the same everywhere: bad preparations, wrong attendees, no documentation and a growing anxiety over all the work we get less and less time to perform
I often come across as someone who hates all meetings. That’s not true, I just think that most meetings are useless and nearly all meetings could be improved. My meeting rules:
  1. Have an agenda and stick to it
  2. Invite only absolutely necessary people
  3. Stop when you said you were going to, no matter what
  4. Document what was said or decided