Showing posts from 2018

The Thirsty Crow

When I was growing up, there was a folk tale of sorts about a crow trying to drink shallow water from a deep container. The crow wasn't able to reach the water. So the crow started picking up pebbles off the ground with its beak and throwing them into the container. Each pebble thrown into the container caused the water to rise ever so slightly towards the surface of the container. Many pebbles later, the water reached close enough to the surface so that the crow was able to take a few sips.

The story points to the intelligence of birds in general and the crow in particular and was hiding somewhere in my subconscious mind. I was reminded of it while reading Ackerman's gift of a book, a much-needed antidote to the "birdbrain" line of thinking. The book contains countless such stories to amaze and entertain you as you learn more about birds than you ever imagined possible.

(I later discovered that the story I had heard during my childhood is credited to Aesop's Fa…


I was reading a Davis Sedaris essay when I came to finally understand why childbirth is treated as such an ordeal among us humans. The short answer is capitalism, that panacea that isn't.

I'm pretty homophobic. Contrary to the common tagline, I actually don't have any gay friends. Not because I refuse to have any. But because none have crossed my path. And I admit I haven't gone out of my way looking for any. So for me to like Sedaris' work means I must really like his writing. And I do.

In his essay "Stepping Out" he talks to a cow that's grazing while giving birth. He asks her why she can't stop eating for five minutes in order to focus on childbirth. Five minutes for childbirth? Where did that time estimate come from? From capitalism, of course.

I'm speaking from some amount of firsthand experience here. I contend that childbirth is treated as a gland slam version of passing a kidney stone only because society has conditioned us to get it o…

Good Stuff Is Hard To Find

The great (and recently late) singer, songwriter and musician Tom Petty said, "Good love is hard to find" in his famous song "You Got Lucky" (yes, the video is a bit cheesy, so feel free to read on). As it turns out, good products seem equally hard to find. Superstores like Walmart and Target and Amazon, where most of us shop these days, only carry certain products. How do they determine what to carry? As much as I don't write much anymore (all my notes are typed), I'm a big fan of good writing instruments -- mostly, I use them for highlighting the key sections in books I'm reading. For instance, I bought these awesome color pencils at Target on a hunch.
They write well, shapen well, the lead never breaks and is soft to write with, each color has a distinctive name, e.g. Dijon for the mustard colored pencil.
And I love the packaging; makes it easy to pick out the pencil you want and put it back in when you're done.
I've never been able to find th…

Are you still using handwritten notes?

The Context

I am big on taking notes.

A while ago I realized that trusting my memory was a losing proposition. It would only cause me to forget more.

I have decent handwriting. And I love handwritten notes. It feels great. There's something primal about the experience of pen on paper. Pencil feels even better. Like hugging a sibling rather than a cousin.

But there's a rub.

Try looking for that note you took about the time someone told you about a really cool text editor.

Still flipping through pages?

Or maybe you're looking for the notebook from 2015?

The Transition

Enter 2018.

About 2 years ago I stopped taking handwritten notes. It was a tough change for me. I have a stupendous collection of writing instruments staring me in the face everytime I go looking for the stapler on my stationary shelf. Will they ever be used? To sign a check, maybe?

The Purpose

The reason I stopped taking handwritten notes is that I realized they failed in their purpose.

The purpose of taking not…