Archive for the 'Links' Category

YNAB 3 on the Verge of Release

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

I started using YNAB—You Need A Budget—for a couple of years now. It’s software that implements for basic rules about how to handle budgeting. It’s much simpler than Quicken and it provides some functions that Quicken never will. Quicken is good at showing you where your money went, while YNAB will show you where your money will go.

One of the biggest helps with YNAB is the shift in thinking about where the money comes from for spending. The first rule of YNAB is to build a buffer of one month’s worth of expenses, then only spend money that you earned the previous month. While you spend last months income you accumulate the buffer for next month. You always know how much money you have to spend because you already made it last month.

YNAB 3 is going to be amazing!

I am recording this…

Thursday, December 25th, 2008

I am recording this on my new bluetooth headset that I go for Christmas. I think it’s pretty cool that (?) this kind of thing now. I like the wireless aspect and I’m pretty excited about being able to use it in public places and (?).

Powered by Dial2Do. Mp3

MonkeyGTD For The Win!

Sunday, May 18th, 2008

Michael NesmithSo I never really updated as promised with how the integration of the FranklinCovey planner and Toodledo went because I never really came to terms with them together. Toodledo was too cumbersome and most importantly doesn’t allow dependency-tracking for next actions. I’ve been playing with the 3.0 alpha version of MonkeyGTD, though, and must say that I’m impressed. MonkeyGTD is a lot more flexible than Toodledo. That flexibility is a blessing and a curse. It takes a bit more fiddling and playing around to get into using MonkeyGTD, but it will not force you into a mold the way Toodledo does. It’s a nice bonus that MonkeyGTD is completely free and can be backed up by copying a single file, too.

FranklinCovey v. GTD

Sunday, March 16th, 2008

A week ago I got a FranklinCovey planner as part of a course I attended on time management. A week before that I found Toodledo (a friend of mine showed it to me). Now I’ve got this dilemma. I find that Toodledo does a great job of managing my tasks for me. At work we use Outlook for email and meeting planning. I am not terribly mobile. I spend most of the day sitting at my own desk at work. I’m struggling to find a use for the FranklinCovey planner. I tried to use it, but so far it just feels redundant. It duplicates all my electronic planning and to-do lists, but it doesn’t update automatically. I feel like it’s doubled the work it takes for me to stay up to date and on top of my projects.

GTD says I’m supposed to have one bucket, one place to collect my stuff that comes in. I have found that there are way too many buckets as it stands now, and FranklinCovey isn’t making things easier.

If there’s a good way to integrate GTD with FranklinCovey, I’d sure like to find it. For now, I’ll just have to stick with what I’ve got, I suppose.

UPDATE: I took the second half of the FranklinCovey class today, so now I know how I’m supposed to use the planner. I’ll report on my progress integrating this with Toodledo and Outlook.

Linux Hardware Monitoring without X

Wednesday, January 9th, 2008

I use GKrellM for status monitoring on my Linux desktop and laptop machines, but have often wished for a way to get some of the same information without running an X server. I searched around and found saidar, which looked like the perfect solution. I went to install it, but I couldn’t find the packages in my distro’s repositories. I was a little upset that I’d have to build the package myself because I was in a hurry at the time. I dug around a bit more and discovered that saidar is contained in the libstatgrab package! It’s great! See saidar in action. Well, I guess it’s not really in action. Just imagine that the screen refreshes every second or so with new stats.

Mormons Are Christians, but Christians Don’t Think So

Monday, December 24th, 2007

From a YouTube comment on a Christmas Video I posted there:

I think that the confusion lies in the view of the Trinity, drug taught from the very beginning of the Church. There is One God, co-eternal with the Son and Spirit. God was never like man nor will man ever become like God. Hear O Israel, the LORD is One. No other diety. Lucifer was not the brother of Jesus.

Because of the limit on post-length at YouTube I am responding here.

You are correct that those are some of the doctrines that cause some Christians to label the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) as a non-Christian religion. Most members of the LDS Church have a different and more inclusive definition of Christian. The LDS definition of Christian simply means anyone who believes in Jesus Christ and who worships Him. This definition probably has its roots in the Book of Mormon passage from Alma 46:13-15.

13 And he fastened on his head-plate, and his breastplate, and his shields, and girded on his armor about his loins; and he took the pole, which had on the end thereof his rent coat, (and he called it the title of liberty) and he bowed himself to the earth, and he prayed mightily unto his God for the blessings of liberty to rest upon his brethren, so long as there should a band of Christians remain to possess the land—
14 For thus were all the true believers of Christ, who belonged to the church of God, called by those who did not belong to the church.
15 And those who did belong to the church were faithful; yea, all those who were true believers in Christ took upon them, gladly, the name of Christ, or Christians as they were called, because of their belief in Christ who should come.

This is why most any Mormon you meet will be incensed when someone even insinuates that Mormons are not Christians. I am a Mormon and I think I understand both sides of this issue. When a Mormon calls himself or herself a Christian, they mean that they are a follower of Jesus Christ. Whether most Evangelical Christians believe that or not is another question entirely.

I do not believe the same creeds that Evangelical Christians believe, but I call myself a Christian because I believe that Jesus Christ is my personal Lord and Savior and I strive to follow, praise, and honor him. I hope that this video helps me do those things, if only in some very small and insignificant way.

Gun Free Zones Scare Me

Sunday, December 16th, 2007

Am I the only one who gets the chills when I see a sign that says “Gun Free Zone” at the entrance of an establishment? My instincts told me not to enter the local library when I saw that on the front door. Here’s a beautiful cartoon from the Rome News-Tribune.

Gun Cartoon

Toothpaste That Eradicates Sensitivity

Saturday, November 17th, 2007

ToothpasteA couple of years ago I went to the dentist and they told me that I probably sleep with my mouth open. I guess that makes me a mouth-breather. Breathing through your mouth when you sleep leads to a dry mouth because you don’t produce saliva when you sleep. As it happens, bacteria just love the nighttime because the like the dryness. This lead to sensitive gums. The dentist gave me some awful-tasting mouthwash that I used day and night for a couple of weeks. It helped my gums, but my teeth were still sensitive to hot and cold. The problem wasn’t debilitating, but it was annoying.

I recently tried out Biotene, which is a toothpaste that not only alleviates the discomfort of sensitive teeth, but also resolves the problem. Biotene could have really helped me out when I was suffering from sensitive teeth. It’s nice to know that there is a sensitive toothpaste out there that I can use the next time I have sensitive teeth. My favorite thing about Biotene is that it’s got Xylitol in it, which is a sweetner that is actually good for your teeth because it mimics sugar enough to attract bacteria, but they can’t motabolize it like sugar, so they die! Give it a try.

So, You Want to Learn a Language?

Thursday, November 8th, 2007

You can learn (but not master) any language in one hour or less. Don’t believe me? Well, that’s what Tim Ferriss says. He says most language learners neglect the most critical first step in learning a new language: deconstruction. He claims that the fastest language learners deconstruct the language they want to learn before they start memorizing lists of vocab words. His reasoning is that for native speakers of a particular language to learn some languages might be very easy, while others might be nearly impossible.

I took an intro to Linguistics course in Southern California and the instructor also happened to teach English as a Second Language (ESL) classes. Most of his students were Japanese students who wanted to learn English, so they enrolled in student exchange programs. My Linguistics instructor and Ferriss both point out that Japanese and Mexican Spanish have very similar sets of sounds (phonemes) in their languages. Many students would become frustrated learning English and wound up learning Spanish from other students at the college.

Treat Language like a sport. If you are very short, you might have more work to do to be a successful basketball player. The same holds for languages that are very different from those you already speak. Learn how to deconstruct a language first so you know what you’re getting yourself into.

New They Might Be Giants Video: The Mesopotamians

Wednesday, October 17th, 2007

The most recent album by They Might Be Giants, The Else, closes with this really catchy song called The Mesopotamians. Now you can watch the video for The Mesopotamians! You might find that it bears a passing resemblance to The Monkees, which is undoubtedly the inspiration for the traveling band concept. Near the beginning of the Monkees video they are walking toward the camera with their arms behind each others’ backs. Near the end of the video for The Mesopotamians they are shown doing the same thing. There are a few other parallels, but I’ll let you find them yourself.

The Mesopotamians