Maybe you are as shocked to see a new post from me here as I am. Maybe not.
It has been a long time since I even considered posting here on this longest running of all my blog attempts. It’s not worth the time to rehash or go back and try to analyze what was going on. It’s best to see my posting this entry as someone walking in the door and calling out “I’m home.” The only salient fact is that I’m back, not how long I was gone or for what reason.
Life has moved on for me, but I am back here and vocal again. For better, I hope, or worse, if need be.
Why am I home again? If I answer that honestly, I’d say it’s because I took a look at WordPress.com again, and I was delighted by the improvements that the Automattic team has made to the interface for writing a blog. Everything is easier to do than it used to be. I can focus on adding the content and what to say, and pretty much whatever I want to do (at least so far) I have been able to do intuitively and with remarkably little effort. I so liked the interface, I decided to use it for this entry.
Ever since I came back from New Mexico, I’ve had a running battle with the squirrels that live around here, but it’s their fault. They started it by deciding to set up housekeeping inside the walls between me and my neighbor. They just tunneled in and started reproducing.
It seems to me the seventh is jinxed. Oh, I know it’s superstitious to say that, but that’s the way it seems.
Carole learned her breast cancer had come back in her liver in November of last year. On the seventh of June she died, only about six months after hearing that news. When I returned from New Mexico on the 15th of May, I anticipated spending the last year of her life with her. In fact, I had already arranged with her three sisters that I would be a part of the four-week rotation of those who would stay with her one week a month for the remainder of her life. I was going to experience, explore, and, if possible, even enjoy a year of saying goodbye to her. As Life turned out I spent one week of the last month of her life with her instead. There’s a Life lesson there. The time you actually have is shorter than the time you think you have. Those who wait to the last minute to do things often find that the last minute is harshly sudden, and those last minute intentions become the stuff of regrets.
On July 7th, just one month to the day after Mike lost his mother to cancer Cheryl, Mike’s wife, lost her mother Sandy to cancer too. Sandy’s funeral was held on July 10th, one month to the day after Carole’s. Mike and Cheryl suffered a left hook followed by a right cross, both of which landed squarely on their emotional jaw. Once again the end for Sandy came suddenly, though it was anticipated. Another Life lesson is that Death, though anticipated for everyone, arrives suddenly.
Today is August 7th. I’ll admit that I’m hesitant to get out of bed or leave the house. It seems to me that the seventh is jinxed.
You may remember that I wondered a couple of days ago whether you were permitted to and if so, how you might go about setting up more than one Twitter account. The answer, as I read the service agreement, is that it is permitted primarily because it is not expressly prohibited. My reason for wanting to know that information was so that if it were legal and possible, I wanted to create an account to post updates on my friend Paul Moor’s condition. I have now done that. It is called FriendsofPaule and it is open for anyone who chooses to do so to follow.
I was able to get around the fact that Twitter wants a “different” email address for each Twitter account you create by using Gmail’s flexibility. Gmail permits you to append a suffix, for instance, “+ TwitterPaule” between your email username and the domain name, i.e. Gmail.com, and still Gmail will treat it as if that suffix wasn’t there. There are many clever uses of that feature, but for yesterday’s obstacle, that did the trick. So I created the feed for informing Paul’s friends of any “little bits” of news I might have about him as illustrated in the following photo.
Two of the three of those so-called “tweets” are exactly 140 characters long which is the maximum allowed. I enjoyed immensely thinking to name myself, the author of that feed, Paul’s amanuensis because that is essentially what role I am performing. At the moment he can’t access, or possibly even absorb, Twitter, but as his amanuensis, I can convert what he tells me into tweets. And thus his friends, if they should be challenged to cite on what authority they may have declared something to do with Paule, may simply say a little birdy told them so.
This episode of Robert Scoble’s Fastcompany explains in more detail what Evernote is and what it is capable of doing. It runs about 28 minutes and some of the best stuff is in the second half. If you can spare the time to watch this discussion, thinking of your own situation as I did of mine when I watched it, I believe you’ll see why I am enthusiastic about it. Maybe it will strike you as more organized than you want to be but it catches me at a point in my life when I’m trying to pull some things together and this looks like a great way to do that. You can judge for yourself, but I wanted to make the video available to you and easy for you to watch when you are ready.
I’ve been using Evernote for about six or seven months now. I find it to be incredibly useful!
The video above is one of many available at this link. This is one sweet application and after my early experiences with it, I decided a day or so ago to go ahead and pay the $45 for the annual subscription to a “premium” membership. More space, and the ability to allow you to update a shared notebook. Sweet!
This kind of service makes an immense amount of sense for virtual organizations. Nelson & Sons Enterprises, LLC, not yet officially formed but in the works, could use Evernote to assemble and update a corporate body of knowledge.
I strongly recommend you at least explore Evernote. If you have a work computer and a home computer or a desktop and a laptop, you need Evernote. You won’t regret entering into an initial trial with it, because if you take that step you will immediately see the benefits of this “external brain.”
I find it much easier to understand new products if I watch their introductory video. I’ve been doing a lot of that lately, so I thought I’d share a few of the ones that have impressed me. Such things as Dropbox, Evernote, Zotero, and the like make help make the job of assembling and collaborating on ideas a whole lot easier. As I can arrange it, I’ll add other similar videos here. It’s easier than writing lots of words.
Although I’ve been using Google Docs since it first came out, I’ve only recently reviewed this video. Life in the cloud appears to be approaching the realm of possibility for those eager to experience the frontier. The truth is, I’m seeing many reasons why having files available from anywhere, by those with access and when they are edited locally the product is updated globally. As I contemplate forming a small enterprise here, the whole Google apps concept appeals to me 1) because of its cost and 2) because of its universal availability and the control offered.
Check it out. If you have a Gmail account you automatically have a corresponding Google Docs account for the asking.