14 February 2010

moving day

Bye bye Blogger. Hello WordPress. You'll find me over at ClumberKim.com from now on.

If you go soon you'll find my annual (at least on the years I'm not in New York) live blogging of the Westminster Kennel Club dog show.

18 December 2009

we have a winner

Thanks to random.org we have a winner! Andrea, please send your address to clumber at gmail dot com so I can put Getting Things Done into the mail for you. With any luck, it will not get lost in all the holiday hoopla.

And please keep me posted on your progress. If you need an accountability buddy, I'm here and struggling too.

12 December 2009


[Read to the end. There's something in it for YOU.]

I spent Tuesday downtown at a seminar, one that I forked over my own cash to attend. Let me start at the beginning. Back in 2002, not long after it was published, I happened upon David Allen's book, Getting Things Done. It seemed to be just what I needed to get my act together. I read it and knew it made a lot of sense. I tried to implement the system but failed miserably. I have re-read the book over the years, each time having the best of intentions but always lacking the 2 days it seemed I would need to get the ball rolling properly.

In the meantime, GTD has exploded in popularity. The best site for learning more is Merlin Mann's 43 Folders, named for the folders needed to create a GTD-esque tickler file.

Fast forward to October of this year, when I was once again feeling overwhelmed by everything on my plate. Time to get out the book and give it another whirl. I was looking at the company website, noticing what an industry the book had spawned. There was a deal on offer for a CD set. "Time to try something new if I want different results," I thought. I bought the CD set.

With the CDs came a discount on a seminar. I looked at the schedule. Yep. Pittsburgh, December 8. I later discovered I could get a bigger discount by telling them I work for a non-profit so I registered. And the CDs sat on my dresser, along with another copy of the book.

Last weekend I decided the seminar would be more helpful if I listened to the CDs. What I discovered was mind-blowing. I didn't *have* to find 2 days to do it right. I could make small steps in the right direction and that was okay. Holy moly. Unfortunately, I fell asleep about 20 minutes into the first CD. I decided not to take it as a sign.

So, Tuesday, I'm at a downtown hotel for the seminar. Found another copy of the book in my packet (can you see where this is going yet?). And for the next 8 hours I barely peeked at my iPhone. I was mesmerized by the ideas in the book coming to life. Apparently my reading comprehension is a bit lacking, and has been for at least seven years. Or maybe I'm just not someone who can learn from reading a book alone. Regardless, lightbulbs were going on for me.

On Wednesday I started putting one principle, getting one's inbox to zero, into practice on my email. My personal email inbox was at 1944. In 90 minutes I had it down to 37. By the end of the day it was under 10. My work inbox was over 500 and it was down to about 45 by the end of the day as well. Not to zero, but a serious dent was made in a relatively short time.

I have a long way to go but I'm moving in the right direction, on the way towards "not overwhelmed". I want to share the energy with my readers. If you would like your own copy of Getting Things Done just leave a comment by midnight on Thursday, December, December 17 and the random number generator will work it's magic Friday morning.

05 December 2009

hair-raising good time

Haircuts and kids are always an adventure. Oliver has gotten better about it over the years, which is a very good thing since his hair grows fast and looks best very short. Eleanor mostly gets hysterical when I even mention cutting her hair. We've done a few bang trims at home without much of a scene but otherwise it's been kind of uh, hairy. There's a place around the corner that does a passable job so that's where we go most of the time.

Once or twice a year we go to Little Snips, a really cool hair salon specializing in kid hair cuts. Most of the chairs look like vehicles such as tractors or taxis or firetrucks. Each station has a TV and toys that help kids look down, or up, as needed. Their prices are very reasonable and we'd go there for every cut if the place were closer and I had more time.

A trip to Little Snips was on our agenda for this morning. I talked to Oliver before we left and asked if he was okay going first, so he could show Eleanor not to be scared. He was cool with that. Going first is always his preference anyway. The opportunity to display a little bravery was just a bonus.

Oliver's haircut went mostly without incident. He declined sitting in the tractor, opting for one of the non-vehicular chairs. He looked very grown up. I had to say, "No, shorter. You can't get it too short. Really." a few times but he ended up looking good and didn't complain. Eleanor was next. She chose the taxi to sit in and Dora on TV. That was a rare treat for her since Oliver has mostly lost interest in Dora (praise the deity or whatever of your choice). Her cut went well too. It was just a trim to clean up her ends and bangs so it didn't take long.

I sent the kids to the play area while I paid the bill. They got so absorbed in playing with the toys that it was hard to pry them away. It was snowing harder than when we arrived and I knew the traffic back into the city would be ugly so I really needed to get them moving. One threat to leave without them was all it took. The put on their jackets and we headed towards the door but before we left Oliver stopped to hug Eleanor. He said, "I'm so proud of you," and I melted into a big puddle of goo.

04 December 2009

14 is the new....something

Bubba, our rescued Clumber, is 14 today. Various sources report their lifespan to be around 12 years. I know a few who have made it as far as Bubba, but not many at all. He's not in great shape, what with bad hips and IBD and deafness, but he still eats with typical Clumber enthusiasm and barks at me if his meals are not prepared with the alacrity he deems necessary.

He was supposed to be with us just a short time. A foster, really. I was worried about bringing a dog that old with a hearing problem into a house with very young children, but my fears were unfounded. It was soon clear he wasn't going anywhere. Though we've had him less than two years, he's part of the family. We're just trying to enjoy every day he's with us.

30 November 2009

the end, or the one where I get all linky

As the world continues to conspire against me and my attempts at sleep, with football as the most recent conspirator, I'm going to end NaBloPoMo with a link fest. I have been planning to put them under one of those new links in the upper left of the window but those just aren't working for me. (The switch to WordPress is imminent.)

These are the blogs I read when I should be sleeping. Some have been doing NaBloPoMo, but not all. Some have cute kids, some have no kids. There's smart, funny, inspiring, geeky, crafty, beautiful and various combinations of those qualities. I'm taking a stab at categories here but there's a lot of overlap. Most of these could go in more than one category.

How About Orange?

Smart and Inspiring

Funny. Very, very funny


Draft Day Suit (sports geeky, not the other kind)

When I get over to WordPress the list will be longer and permanent but for now, this will do nicely.

29 November 2009

baby, look at you now

Two years ago Eleanor had just mastered sitting up on her own and was rocking the turkey bib. She may have had a tooth or two but the turkey came out of a jar. I'm pretty sure she was still preferring her mum's milk and yogurt to turkey back then.

Now, she's still not eating much turkey, but she walks, talks, and has lots more teeth. The hair is a bit longer too, though it's still not entirely sure what it wants to do.

(Many thanks to Peter Su for taking the current photo and letting me use it here.)