Comments or suggestions: Gerard Van der Leun
The "Not Insane" To-Do List

"There is no multi-tasking. There is only the monkey mind jabbering so fast it seems like multi-tasking." *

CHIEF AMONG THE RESOLUTIONS about to be made will be the one in which "we here highly resolve" to get more stuff done. "Productivity" has become a pagan idol and it's cult is GTD -- or "Getting Things Done." Merlin Mann @ 43 Folders is the high priest of this cult and David Allen is his prophet.

As Bokonon says in Cat's Cradle, "Busy, busy, busy."

But putter not, I am here to "restore you to life."

As you know, we all have far too much to do. But the only reason this is so is because of the proliferation of productivity tools that respond to our insane lust to be "productive." Driving this insanity is the To-Do list which is, being limitless, is unlimited in its ability to drive us insane.

It's time to stop the To-List insanity. To just say no to To-Do.

Toss all you've previous To-Do Listing Systems you've got out -- paper and/or electronic -- and convert to this new, improved certifiably not-insane system.

Click to enlarge

Prints out on 3x5 cards suitable for your Hipster PDA

A PDF file suitable for printing is located RIGHT HERE.

Don't say I never do anything to increase your sanity, because I just did.

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 31, 2005 12:27 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
The Koinonia of Blogdom

JEFF MEDCALF @ Caerdroia expands on my small essay earlier this week, Fear of Instalinking by taking a closer look at three factors that the blogs have that are critical: depth, breadth and reconsideration. Of particular interest is his citation of the tendency of blogs to form koinonia -- loose fellowships of sensibility --


Posted by Vanderleun Jul 30, 2005 9:29 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
"Peace Be Upon You"

The Killer

There'll be the breaking of the ancient
western code
Your private life will suddenly explode
There'll be phantoms
There'll be fires on the road
and a white man dancing
You'll see a woman
hanging upside down
her features covered by her fallen gown
and all the lousy little poets
coming round
tryin' to sound like Charlie Manson
and the white man dancin'.

Give me back the Berlin wall
Give me Stalin and St Paul
Give me Christ
or give me Hiroshima
Destroy another fetus now
We don't like children anyhow
I've seen the future, baby:
it is murder.

-- Leonard Cohen, The Future

No, whether this man had explicit help from other Jihadists or not, today we smelt the first Islamist cordite wafting through downtown Seattle, felt the first piece of Jihadi shrapnel in our flesh. Jews have been first in the line of fire elsewhere; today they were the first fallen on Seattle's battlefield. They will not be the last; the baby killers and torturers of children have promised us that. -- AskMom: Fear and Pandering in Seattle

The AskMom, for now, writes for me.

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 29, 2005 9:18 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Fear of Instalinking

TIME OUT FOR A LITTLE INSIDE BASEBALL on why this blogging medium is becoming inbred faster than the Snokes siblings up in Skunk Hollow.

While scanning, and I do mean "scanning," the comments to Jeff Goldstein's Why Rhetoric Matters @ protein wisdom, I happened on this very telling exchange:

I sent the link along with the story to Instapundit, but he evidently didn't think it was as important as you and I. Or maybe he did and just hasn't gotten to it....
Posted by Jeff Goldstein on 07/24 at 02:43 PM

I sent the link along with the story to Instapundit, but he evidently didn't think it was as important as you and I.

Uh, Jeff? I came here off an Instapundit link to the story....
Posted by Richard R on 07/24 at 03:25 PM

You've been Instalanched, so I guess Glenn agrees.
Posted by TallDave

This bit of blogger hope, despair and redemption illustrates the axiom, "If you're not the lead sled dog the view is always the same." It also illustrates the tendency of a new medium to become what it beholds -- the old media.

For quite some time now it has been glaringly obvious that, with few exceptions, blogs gargantuan and teeny-weeny are in fact a collection of footnotes and corrections tag-teamed onto print, radio, television and other blogs. The main roles that most blogs play are to act as pointers to the stories-du-jour thrown up by mass media, or a hacking or fine honed carping at the prime-time players.

In this posture blogging underscores daily that it is not yet ready for the prime-time itself. In the main, this has to do with 4 factors: 1) The extreme youth of the medium measured against the other three; 2) The extent of blogs penetration of the mass market which is, to say the least, scant at best; 3) The sheer weight of millions of


Posted by Vanderleun Jul 28, 2005 9:58 AM | Comments (23)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Ten Years Gone

for Tom Mandel, 1946-1995

THESE DAYS NEW FRIENDS come more rarely and old friends begin to leave more often. Fate, accidents, God's will, and misunderstandings take them, as they shall take us all, as the years roll on. And as these years roll on the need to acquire light friendships pales before the deeper ones that still endure. But some end too soon, far too soon, and their leaving lingers as if the debt you owe to them is the debt of memory; one on which only the interest can be paid, never the principal.

Those that have left come back to the mind unbidden and at strange moments, moments unguarded and almost, well, casual. This morning I remembered, as I only sometimes do, Tom Mandel -- " the first friend I ever made before I met him."

At dawn I was watering the eclectic collection of potted plants out on my deck that looks far out to sea from the Laguna Hills. This morning the sea faded into a long blue-grey haze as the light from behind the hills slowly descended on the smooth surface of those waters., Behind me the random selection from the iTunes library chose, at that moment, to play a song I've been favoring this past week or so, Tim McGraw's "Live Like You Were Dying."

When it got to the lyrics,
I went skydiving.
I went Rocky Mountain climbing.
I went two point seven seconds
on a bull named Fu Man Chu.
And I loved deeper,
And I spoke sweeter,
And I gave forgiveness I'd been denyin'.
And he said some day I hope you get the chance
To live like you were dyin'.

He said I was finally the husband,
that most the time I wasn't.
And I became a friend,
a friend would like to have....

there was Tom Mandel standing slim, well-dressed, and sardonic in my haphazard memory palace. And I thought, before he faded, "Oh, yes. Tom. There he is. What a good man he was. I regret that I failed him in those last days. I should have been more courageous. But the past is the past and that was the least of the past. What matters now is that, every now and again, I think of him and what a good friend and what a good man he was. Died young. But did he? How long is a life anyway? Has it really been ten years since he died? Turn around a decade's gone."

Which seemed little enough to remember. Sort of slight and more than a trifle tattered, to tell the truth. But it did lead me back to something else I wrote years ago when his death was new and had not been, as all events are, faded under the unfolding detritus of our days. So I found it and read it over again after many years and thought, "Well, not perfect but it never is. Not too bad. It does hold something of who he was and what he could have been."

It went like this:



Posted by Vanderleun Jul 24, 2005 10:55 AM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
This Ain't No Party. This Ain't No Disco.


Heard of a van that is loaded with weapons
packed up and ready to go
Heard of some gravesites, out by the highway
a place where nobody knows
The sound of gunfire, off in the distance
I'm getting used to it now
Lived in a brownstone, lived in the ghetto
I've lived all over this town

This ain't no party, this ain't no disco
this ain't no fooling around
No time for dancing, or lovey dovey
I ain't got time for that now

Transmit the message, to the receiver
hope for an answer some day
I got three passports, couple of visas
don't even know my real name
High on a hillside, trucks are loading
everything's ready to roll
I sleep in the daytime, I work in the nightime
I might not ever get home

This ain't no party, this ain't no disco
this ain't no fooling around
This ain't no mudd club, or C. B. G. B.
I ain't got time for that now

Trouble in transit, got through the roadblock
we blended in with the crowd
We got computers, we're tapping phone lines
I know that ain't allowed
We dress like students, we dress like housewives
or in a suit and a tie
I changed my hairstyle so many times now
don't know what I look like!

You make me shiver, I feel so tender
we make a pretty good team
Don't get exhausted, I'll do some driving
you ought to get you some sleep

Get you instructions, follow directions
then you should change your address
Maybe tomorrow, maybe the next day
whatever you think is best

Burned all my notebooks, what good are notebooks?
They won't help me survive
My chest is aching, burns like a furnace
the burning keeps me alive

And remember kids, "You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you." -- Leon Trotsky

What have I been doing for days? Here And here. And here.

What's more, I may have to travel. Give me a plane and I'm gone now.

But, as I say, I will be back, but in the meantime: "The Terrible Ifs Accumulate."

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 18, 2005 3:28 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Fifth Estate's Agenda: No, We Don't Know There's A War On


LAST MONTH Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit was taken to task for a time because of his standard catch-phrase, "Don't you know there's a war on?" To his critics it would seem as if this question, from sheer repetition, was a weak reed to use in criticizing others. In a way it is, but what is more interesting is the obvious answer to that question.

That answer , to judge by the rolling defeatism of the last week or so, is "No, most Americans evidently do not know that there's a war on." At least in the sense that the war that's on affects their daily life. As the steady drip of drivel continues unabated from the left, and as no real sacrifice shows up in the lives of vast numbers of Americans, it can clearly be seen that, in fact, there really is no war on at all in the sense that most would understand it.


Posted by Vanderleun Jul 17, 2005 11:36 AM | Comments (56)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Wheat Field

FROM EACH ONE in the hard soil a myriad are spun.
Sheaves of gold on bronze in files beneath the sun.
Is it towards the whiteness of the wafer
The field bends on autumn winds;
Towards the body which is breath not flesh
That the body which is only flesh
Scuffs its limbs upon the soil,
And fears at night tomorrow's toil,
And sees in dreams the shade of musk
The trumpets rising in the dusk?
Or is the seed of wheat enough,
Its own bronze parable of blood,
Enorbing in its nucleus
The architecture of the Ark,
The constant covenant of bread?

On the Thirtieth Meridian, at the pivot of the Earth,
A fan spreads out in silted twists
Pinned by five gold inches to the river's wrist,
And clasped by five white fingers of that marble hand.
Between the rise and fall of speech
The river's pulse is felt within the land,
Its rhythms mimicked by the priests,
Its regulations drawn on dirt
In circles, trisects, lines and cubes
Of numbers and of wheat,
Of incantations scratched on stone
That from their power we may eat
The bread, for we have tasted of the fruit,
And found it, if not sweet, of use
In surveying tombs and gardens that will suit.

The wilderness yields only flesh
Of fruit, or fowl, or hunted beast.
It cannot give us wheat and bread,
And it is bread that we would eat.
Though our bodies be of infirm flesh,
Our thoughts enslaved to blood and heat;
Though we scan the skies with eyes of beasts,
Still we would walk in fields of wheat,
And from such sheaves deduce the laws
Of war and wealth and God, and pause
To build our towns and temples, pave our streets,
And gird the very globe with grids,
And make our maps that take our measure,
And populate the final stars with a myriad
Grown from one, in the harsh soil, our single treasure.

[from The Book of Hours The Algarve, Portugal, 1979 - British Columbia, 2005]

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 17, 2005 9:24 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"Think of the Internet as a Highway."

"THERE IT IS AGAIN. Some clueless fool talking about the "Information Superhighway." They don't know didley about the net. It's nothing like a superhighway. That's a rotten metaphor. Suppose the metaphor ran in the other direction. Suppose the highways were like the net:

A highway hundreds of lanes wide. Most with pitfalls for potholes.

Privately operated bridges and overpasses.

No highway patrol. A couple of rent-a-cops on bicycles with broken whistles. 500 member vigilante posses with nuclear weapons.

A minimum of 237 on ramps at every intersection.

No signs. Wanna get to Ensenada? Holler out the window at a passing truck to ask directions.

Ad hoc traffic laws. Some lanes would vote to make use by a single-occupant- vehicle a capital offense on Monday through Friday between 7:00 and 9:00. Other lanes would just shoot you without a trial for talking on a car phone.

AOL would be a giant diesel-smoking bus with hundreds of ebola victims on board throwing dead wombats and rotten cabbage at the other cars, most of which have been assembled at home from kits. Some are built around 2.5 horsepower lawnmower engines with a top speed of nine miles an hour. Others burn nitroglycerin and idle at 120.

No license plates. World War II bomber nose art instead. Terrifying paintings of huge teeth or vampire eagles.

Bumper mounted machine guns. Flip somebody the finger on this highway and get a white phosphorus grenade up your tailpipe.

Flatbed trucks cruise around with anti-aircraft missile batteries to shoot down the traffic helicopter. Little kids on tricycles with squirt-guns filled with hydrochloric acid switch lanes without warning.


Now that's the way to run an Interstate Highway system."

(From my clipfile. Author Unknown)

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 15, 2005 9:30 AM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
July 4, 2006

ALL PLEASE RISE for the National Anthem...

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 4, 2005 9:58 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Cats with Dogs, Dogs with Cats. You Know, Chaos!

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 1, 2005 9:07 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
How Palestine Imitates a Bad Horror Movie

Richard @ The Belmont Club IMs:

I think the real problem with Sharon's withdrawal is it revealed that "Palestine" doesn't exist as a functioning nation; it's a term which has been applied to a hodge-podge of refugee camps, gangs and factions.

It's dissolved into a soup yet for the sake of the fiction will be propped up like a zombie.

Speaking of which, I came across a referece to one of the most bizarre scenes in movie history, featuring an undersea battle between a Jaws and a Zombie. [ That would be "Zombie" (1979) ]

The scene in Gaza is beginning to resemble that.

Between Jaws and a Zombie. I think the loser became an Undead Shark.

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 1, 2005 6:51 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
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