Extreme Journaling


Keeping a journal is a great idea, but I struggle to do it consistently. I’ve been writing in a journal for years, on and off. Mostly off, if I’m being honest. I wish I’d do it more.

And then there’s John Gadd. Mr. Gadd’s journal spans 151 volumes, covering 21,000 pages and totaling four million words. (read the Daily Mail story).

That’s some serious damn journaling.  Inspiring, is what it is. Can you imagine having something like that to look back upon and to pass on to whatever many generations? I think it’s awesome, and it’s made me want to journal much more. Not that much more, but more. So far it’s working. In the several days since reading about Mr. Gadd, I’ve written a dozen or so pages in my latest journal. That’s about a dozen more than my average. I’ve also printed and included a couple of photos. The next trick is to follow Gadd’s lead and create an index of everything. He claims he can find anything at all in less than three minutes. I’ve set a reminder for the week between Christmas and the new year to index everything I’ve written so far.

Even if this turns out to be just another short-term burst, it’ll be fun.



Desk is a nice new desktop blogging app, and I love desktop blogging apps so I bought it. I’ve been a MarsEdit user for years and I love it, but that doesn’t mean I’m never going to try something new. I’ve recently tested Blogo, another newcomer, but it never stuck for some reason. Blogo feels like not much more than a pretty version of MarsEdit and that hasn’t been reason enough to switch.

Desk is more like Byword or Writer but specifically suited to blogging. I like it.


I’m not a sports fan, but I apparently don’t mind drinking beer in a giant parking lot with thousands of people who are sports fans. With that in mind we braved the 25-degree weather in South Bend for a Notre Dame tailgating party. This was a first for me.

Sports fans are obnoxious, but they sure love it. It’s almost an infectious feeling. Almost.

Leeloo’s Lump

During Leeloo’s knee surgery last week, I asked the doctor to remove a lump from her side, just in case. I had a biopsy done and it turns out it was a cancerous tumor; some sort of -noma. The doctor said he had removed an extra large area and that the results showed the procedure was curative. 

A little good news is nice.

Snippets, Tweets, Links, Posts, etc.

I’m still figuring out the differences between the types of content that I post and where I should post them.

Here’s what I’m thinking today:

  • Snippet. A quick and dirty thought. One paragraph or less, but longer than a Tweet. No images.
  • Tweet. A short (obviously) throwaway comment.
  • Link. A link to something interesting, with a few (optional) words describing the link.
  • Post. A longer item, story, or article.
  • Photo. A, uh, photo.

I now have separate places for each of these: Snippets, Tweets, Links, Posts, Photos, but I’m also watching what Dave Winer is doing with Scripting.com. He’s got everything consolidated, dividing different types of content using a tabbed UI on a single page. I like the idea, but for now there’s no single place to read all my stuff. I’m already using Dave’s Fargo and Radio3 tools (for Snippets and Links, respectively) and I suspect he’s working on other tools to bring all this together. I’m looking forward to seeing where that leads.

Speaking of tools. As much as I think WordPress is the right tool for longer-form blogging, it doesn’t feel right for shorter bits, which is why I’m using Fargo for the snippets site. It works great for that sort of thing. Recommended.

And then there’s syndication. I link to baty.net posts on Twitter and sometimes the Snippets page. There’s no consistency behind it and I’m not sure there needs to be. Basically, I’m just winging it. Some day I may sort this all out but for now it works.


Leeloo’s Legs



A couple months ago Leeloo came in from outdoors and was limping. She would put almost no weight on her right rear leg. I gave it a couple of days but things didn’t improve so I took her in to have the leg looked at. The vet took X-rays and determined that her hips were fine so she suspected a torn ACL (technically the cranial cruciate ligament).

My bank account was still recovering from having my other dog Katie’s eye removed so I decided to hold off on any surgery for Leeloo. Then a couple weeks later I noticed she also wasn’t putting weight on her left rear leg. She could barely get up to go outside.

Back to the doctor we went and she was officially diagnosed with a torn cranial cruciate ligament in both legs. I read everything I could find about knee treatment for dogs, including non-surgical remedies, and decided on the standard replacement technique using a nylon substitute. Cost for the procedure: $1700 per leg.

Leeloo underwent surgery 2 days ago. It went well and she’s home recovering. She’s uncomfortable and a little confused. I have to support her back end with a sling whenever she needs to move. The recovery process is going to be challenging will take a full 6 months, but she should regain full use of both legs.

In case you were wondering, yes, Leeloo was named after Milla Jovovich’s badass character in The Fifth Element.


Marco.org: A Voyage to 2009

A Voyage to 2009:

The ideal Kindle would have hardware page-turn, Home, and Menu buttons and a touch screen for UI navigation, selection, and text entry.

The hidden, error-prone touch zones would be optional and off by default, since the hardware buttons would remove the need.

(Via Marco.org)

These are exactly what I’d like to see.

On the other hand, I don’t mind the pseudo buttons. I like the Voyage more than Marco does, and I’m not as ready to write Amazon off, but a better device would be welcome. For now though, the Kindle Voyage is the only viable e-reader option, and it’s a pretty good one.

Fresh Mac Installs – November 2014

Apple_-_iMac_with_Retina_5K display

I just replaced my 5-year Apple_-_iMac_with_Retina_5K displayold 27″ iMac with a beautiful new 27″ Retina iMac. Normally it would be best to restore from a Time Machine backup but I decided that with 5 years of crud built up I would start from scratch. I’m sure I’ll hate myself later.

It’s fun to rethink what software I need every now and then. Here’s the list of things I’ve installed so far.

  • 1Password
  • Dropbox
  • PopClip
  • TextExpander
  • Bittorrent Sync
  • Hazel
  • Xcode
  • Homebrew
  • zsh (and oh-my-zsh)
  • Mutt
  • tmux
  • Skitch
  • iTerm2
  • Vim
  • Better Rename 9
  • Acorn
  • Tinderbox
  • DEVONthink Pro Office
  • TheBrain (and so also Java)
  • Day One
  • Vuescan
  • Clarify
  • Evernote
  • Interarchy
  • Reeder
  • Slack
  • Vuescan
  • Lightroom
  • Photoshop CC
  • Capture One Pro
  • Photo Mechanic
  • BBEdit
  • Taskwarrior
  • Sonos
  • YNAB
  • Final Cut Pro

It’s all mostly the usual suspects. No surprise there. I was surprised by Mutt and Vim, since I swore off terminal apps again recently. Also, Evernote is taking a more prominent spot in my workflow lately. Or I should say, again.

It feels great to start fresh, even though it eats up a couple of days.

Preparing for a new iMac

A beautiful new 27″ Retina iMac is arriving tomorrow for use in my home office. This affords an opportunity to start fresh.

I’m not starting completely over and will restore from a Time Machine backup, so I’ve spent much of today cleaning files and removing unused applications. A lot of unused applications.

It’s amazing how much crap I’ve collected in the 5 years since first booting the iMac it’s replacing.