Autumn Rivulets, by Walt Whitman

I do not think seventy years is the time of a man or woman,
Nor that seventy millions of years is the time of a man or woman,
Nor that years will ever stop the existence of me, or any one else.


Is it wonderful that I should be immortal? as every one is im-
I know it is wonderful, but my eyesight is equally wonderful, and
how I was conceived in my mother’s womb is equally
And pass’d from a babe in the creeping trance of a couple of
summers and winters to articulate and walk—all this is
equally wonderful.


And that my soul embraces you this hour, and we affect each
other without ever seeing each other, and never perhaps to
see each other, is every bit as wonderful.


And that I can think such thoughts as these is just as wonderful,
And that I can remind you, and you think them and know them
to be true, is just as wonderful.


And that the moon spins round the earth and on with the earth, is
equally wonderful,
And that they balance themselves with the sun and stars is equally

I normally scoff at articles like these but today I approve.

How to do the most work in the shortest time | Mark McCartney | Opinion

Here are eight rules to help you get the most done in the shortest time:

1. Disappear

Lock yourself in a room away from distractions and focus fully on one task at a time. Sounds dead simple, but try it. If you multitask a lot, you will find this especially painful. And research shows, interestingly, that those who multitask the most are in fact the worst at multitasking.

2. Don’t fight distraction

Those who get more done quickly don’t fight distractions – we can’t. Rather, they work in short bursts, with high levels of focused attention, so that they benefit from the satisfaction of making headway on one important project at a time. They know they have been successful when they can answer a simple question: “What did I get finished today that was important to me and the organisation I work for?”

3. Simplify

As Laozi said: “To attain knowledge, add things every day. To attain wisdom, remove things every day.” So what can you stop doing? Habits drive us to continue doing tasks that don’t need doing. Try not to take on more tasks without first asking: “Why is this really important?” Often we say yes before even making a conscious choice. What can you simplify? Reduce emails and reports to the bare minimum. Enforcing brevity saves time for everyone.

4. Find your rhythm

Do thinking work in the morning. It’s tempting to clear out emails so you feel on top of things, but you will not look back when you are in your 70s and say: “God, I was proud of keeping my inbox to zero.” Instead spend the first 60 minutes of your day on the one or two really important tasks you need to get done. It even helps to write them down the night before – this sets clear intentions, which the brain likes as it can focus on what is in its control.

5. Strengthen

How much of your day is spent doing things you are not good at? You will get through much more work more quickly if you actively arrange your role so you can focus on what you are good at and, even better, practise getting even better at what you are good it. Does Usain Bolt run half-marathons?

6. Watch the robots

Be careful about trying to get too efficient. Robots are efficient, and they are taking jobs and transforming industries. It is better to focus on being effective, for example working on the most important task – which requires you to think and be creative.

7. Be honest

It’s often our own deeply entrenched habits that stop us from getting more done more quickly. If you find yourself regularly sitting in long, poorly run meetings, or if you constantly switch from one task to another, then you are likely to struggle in the 21st-century workplace, which is currently going through huge change.

8. Avoid articles like this

It’s easy to turn to self-help books when you consider the basic paradox: you won’t ever do all the things you need or want to do in your allotted time. But if you stop reading this and get to work, that might be a good start.

How to do the most work in the shortest time | Mark McCartney | Opinion | The Guardian

beautiful day…so much to be thankful for

Woke up with a scary dream, one that has occurred before (but thankfully not very often). A really big StarWars-ish space-ship like airplane, traveling slowly across the sky, barely visible, crashes just beyond the horizon.

It’s nice to wake up and feel relieved, knowing a nightmare was only a dream. I just finished reading Elaine Pagel’s latest book, which was on the New Testament Book of Revelation, and she sketches the political reasons behind the decision to include that book in the New Testament “canon.” In some ways her take on the Book of Revelation is like a parent’s reassuring voice to a child when the child has woken from a nightmare: The book of Revelation does have a nightmare-ish quality, and seems quite different from the other books, which riff on love, peace, forgiveness, and getting along.

It’s generally a good idea to forget nightmares. Enjoy the morning cup of coffee and let light and life surround the soul. =)

Feeling a little hung over

Probably drank too much beer last night; ate too many pepperoni sticks. But here I am on Pender Island with my wonderful wife, about to check on the first building I’ve ever designed. Just enjoyed a massive latte and two peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies in a warm cafe. Moment of happiness!

Waiting for the fun to begin

Sitting in an empty church hall, dressed in my undertaker suit, waiting to go to my “gig.” Playing trumpet in the VCC/Mount Pleasant Brass Ensemble at the Odd Fellows Hall on 8th St. In Vancouver. How many years ago did I, living across the street from this church hall, watch my dad go out to jobs, dressed in his undertaker suit and carrying his trombone? Would be about 40 years ago or more, and for a duration of perhaps 15 or 20 years.

I don’t know. Is this something I need to do for reasons other than the joy of playing? Not that that would make any difference. I will no doubt continue to play as long as I am able.

Apropos of nothing; finished my Systems Analysis & Design course last night. Now I’ve completed Java 1 (Comp 1409); Database & SQL (Comp 1650); Systems Analysis (Comp 2831); and I’ve registered for Java 2 (Comp 1451).

Then I’ll be half-way through the Associate Software Developer credential from BCIT. But I think I’ll start looking to get back into the workforce this Spring.

People as software objects

“Identifying the collaboration of object types is necessary to ensure that all use-case classes work in harmony to complete the processing required for the business event that triggered the use-case scenario” –Whitten, Bently: Systems Analysis & Design, 7th edition. page 554.

When I read something like that my mind tends to follow a path that leads through considerations of friendship, families, churches, musical groups, human life cycles, stages and phases of human growth and development, beginnings and endings, transitions, successes and failures.

I wonder if systems analyst professionals ever think along these same lines–mapping the human condition to the framework of systems analysis & design?

People could be thought of as objects. Like software objects, people also have behaviors, attributes, and responsibilities. They cooperate with each other, as objects do. Sometimes they don’t cooperate well, as in a poorly-designed software system, and “harmony to complete the processing required for the business event,” doesn’t happen.

We each have our goals–people and computer systems: our “use-case scenarios.” And (as people) our goals may be held in common, especially when they are “higher,” abstract goals, like loving each other or building healthy communities.

If we were objects, and the use-case scenarios we were trying to achieve were things like build a loving community, raise happy and healthy children, pay the bills, establish positive feelings between people, build bonds of affection among people, plan and build secure and reliable futures, etc., then collaboration and cooperation between ourselves would be necessary.

Considering ourselves as people and not as software objects brings human concepts like friendship, love, affiliation, respect, and compassion to mind.

My intuition for today, as I study my computer systems textbook, is that the formation of human bonds, of friendship bonds, greatly facilitates the exchange of aid, of messaging, of collaboration, of growth…. Of all things necessary for the continuation of our souls in their journeys.

The pinching off, the turning away, the shutting down of positive messaging between people impedes and can harm each other.

Let’s respond to each other with kindness; let’s take initiatives to create relationships with each other, let us be responsible for the formation and maintenance of those relationships, and let them be of the friendship type.