Weekly Roundup: Snowpocalypse and More

This week, Austin had a snoooowpocalypse, the Mac turned 30, and I am getting things done. “How?” you ask. Well, stick around and find out.

1. Cedar: DONE

After weeks of mercilessly torturing a good chunk of the Austin population, the cedar trees have finished. Cel-e-brate good times… I can breathe!

2. Austin Snowpocalypse

I’ll forgive some of you non-Texans for not knowing this, but we had kind of a minor “snowpocalypse” here in Austin this past Friday. We woke up and there was sleet on the ground everywhere and ice on most of the roads. When that happens in Texas (the rare times that it happens) nobody knows what to do, so everybody pretty much stays home and makes little snowmen. The Austin Subreddit had a great time of it.

I actually did venture out on the roads early in the morning for Regulars. The roads were… not very populated with anyone as it turned out. Apparently everyone was scared by the ice and so they were… safer? My trusty Car2go got me over to Mozart’s Coffee, and Mozart’s looked beautiful, and I took a few photos. It was fun!

3. The Difference Engine

I read The Difference Engine over the last couple of weeks. The novel was penned by the venerable cyberpunk authors William Gibson and Bruce Sterling, but I couldn’t really tell which parts are… whose.

I didn’t love the novel, but it was pretty intriguing overall, and it’s the quintessential steampunk, so… ya gotta. And there was a lot of “Texian” stuff in there which amused me to no end. Sam Houston? Kind of a badass in steampunk Britain. Who knew!

4. The Elephant Room

This past Monday I visited The Elephant Room, a basement jazz club here in Austin that has apparently been here for a very long time. We have a kind of a famous jazz musician from here named Tony Campise, whose cremated remains are in a little thing above the stage, making him the patron saint of Austin jazz in a very Austin way.

I went on a jam night. As I understand it, local “jazzers” will just go in there, they sign up, there’s a guy who keeps track of everybody who wants to play, and you get up and play, as good or bad or great as you are. I sat there for four hours watching pretty good jazz, and sometimes really good jazz. If you’re ever in Austin, check it out. Two thumbs up. Way up.

5. PowerBook 170

One of the many, many things I do is run a nonprofit computer museum called The Museum of Computer Culture. We have an upcoming project that required a few old PowerBooks. I bid on one on eBay, and it came in on Wednesday. To my delight, it was fully pre-loaded with all the retro software — Word, Excel, FileMaker, QuarkXpress… and this really quirky system performance testing tool with oscilloscope readouts and mechanical-looking button graphics and…

Yeah, I really like vintage computers.

6. 30th Anniversary of the Mac

On a totally related note, this past week was the 30th anniversary of the Macintosh. Wow!

To “celebrate” I found myself in the Apple Store on that anniversary to get my MacBook pro repaired. There was a new Mac Pro on display (which I just realized is basically the “30th Anniversary Mac”, though hardly as outrageously cool as the last anniversary Mac). I spent about an hour on it using the Apple Maps desktop app to explore the world, and I discovered that there are a lot of way cool mountains out there. Also, Russia.

7. Getting Things Done

I’ve always been kind of an organized person, but never like actually organized. I’ve never really had a definable system. So I’m getting one! I am finally reading Getting Things Done, by David Allen and I’ve been just devouring it so far.

The best part came this past Thursday when I did the onboarding process at the beginning of it, where you take everything that’s in your mind right now — all the little wandering, miscellaneous, unorganized thoughts — and just put them down somewhere. I wrote them all as Evernote entries, and found there were at least 197 things that had just been floating around up here!

I’m now working through the phase of actually processing them where they should go. But that brief few hours after I just dumped everything out of my mind… was… blissful.

I’ll likely share more about my particular experience with GTD over the coming months.

But that’s it for now! See y’all next week.

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