What else do I have going on that’s so important?

When saying “no,” ask yourself “what else do I have going on that’s so important?” – often, we’re tired and just want to go home and stare at something (a book, TV, a drink, our spouse, food, etc.). Or, maybe we don’t want to try out something new. There’s plenty of reasons to say no to new things, or just different things, but you should try to ask yourself what else you have going on that’s worth taking a pass for. What’s so great about just going home instead of to that work happy hour?

Let your friend be unreliable, and remember if they are

Let your friend be unreliable, and remember if they are – we often think that we should be able to rely on our friends. They’re not co-workers, they’re people we enjoy spending time with. Many friends will actually be “reliable” (they’ll show up when they say they will, with a truck to help you move if you’re luck), but many will also be unreliable. The unreliable ones will “flake” on you, whether by simply forgetting or by coming up with perfectly valid, but very convenient excuses. Don’t let these flakes turn you off if the friendship is otherwise good. But, don’t let yourself rely on them just because they’re friends. Know that they’re flakes, and keep chummy with them nonetheless.

Avoiding bike shed topics

Avoiding bike shed topics – Talking is fun, and talking in a group is fun as well. Often, when you’re in the thick of trying to get something done, everyone in a group thinks they should give input into a trivial decision (what color the bike shed should be painted, for example). There are often better ways for you to spend your time, and the group’s if “it” could decide as such. When you see people getting involved in bike shed topics (you don’t really care what the decision is as long as one is made and, really, it could be any decision), just drop out and do something more important. Even trying to stop people can be a waste of time: you can probably do something more important.

Of course, if it’s fun and you’re in need of fun, go for it.

(See Parkinson’s Law of Triviality from which this is derived.)

Keep the little rules

Keep the little rules – There’s no end of little rules you have to keep: fashion, law, properly filling out forms, putting the toilet seat down. Though it may seem tedious and, at times, like you’re giving in to flawed reasoning, you should follow most of these little rules. It’ll save time (the world is optimized around these little rules, and rebellion of any sort of time consuming) and then when you want to break the big rules, they’ll at least have to say you have a good track record.

Always walk around like you know where you’re going principle

Always walk around like you know where you’re going – First you’ll get there faster because you’ll be moving faster. Second, people will stop you less because, obviously, you don’t need their help an should be going there. Third, if you don’t actually know where you’re going, just picking some direction and speeding off towards it will get you somewhere.

The Girlfriend Jacket Priciple

The Girlfriend Jacket – guys, how many times has this happened to you on a cold night? You’re leaving the house, you ask your special lady friend if she’d like her jacket as you’re putting yours – she says “no.” A few hours later, you two are walking along, she’s warm and cozy, wearing your jacket, and you’re cold. Jason Cohen pointed this principal out to me a long time ago: just bring her jacket for her. The general idea applies applies to many things, like strollers (“we don’t need it, I’ll just hold him!” she says).

(The gender here doesn’t matter: it could be the boyfriend jacket, or the scary uncle jacket – whatever you like.)

Of cigars, JavaScript, VIM, Christmas gifts, and things that don’t pan out #170

Recording a DrunkAndRetired.com episode

Recorded on New Year’s day (my birthday) this episode finds us smoking a few cigars over some scotch. We discuss True Grit, VIM, JavaScript frameworks, and a lot of programming stuff before we wrap-up with a discussion of the best gifts we got.

To listen to the episode, subscribe to the podcast feed in iTunes or whatever, download the episode directly, or click play below to listen right here:

There’s terrible wind in this episode due to using my iPhone, so the quality is crap. Good luck!

2010 in review

(Auto-posted from an email on this topic sent to me by WordPress.com. Nice service. -Coté)

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A helper monkey made this abstract painting, inspired by your stats.

The average container ship can carry about 4,500 containers. This blog was viewed about 16,000 times in 2010. If each view were a shipping container, your blog would have filled about 4 fully loaded ships.


In 2010, there were 55 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 3014 posts. There were 9 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 814kb. That’s about a picture per month.

The busiest day of the year was October 6th with 168 views. The most popular post that day was Coming to Austin? Here’s what I recommend – Things to do in Austin.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were mindview.net, stackoverflow.com, redmonk.com, networkedblogs.com, and exold.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for real aliens on earth, drunk and retired, patagonia mlc, omnigraffle sequence diagram, and omnigraffle class diagram.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Coming to Austin? Here’s what I recommend – Things to do in Austin October 2010
8 comments and 1 Like on WordPress.com,


Eckel: Rethinking weblogging (and everything else) January 2004


OmniGraffle for Code Diagramming November 2004


The Podcast December 2008


The Origins of Zombies January 2007