Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Trash bags

"Trash bag! Trash bag!" -- Dwight Schultz (as Capt. H.M. "Howling Mad" Murdock)

Apologies for the above quote, but it is one of those TV images from my teenage years that is indelibly burned into my memory. For anyone that cares, it was from one of Murdock's schemes to escape from the mental hospital on an A-Team episode (IIRC, he constructed a parachute from the trash bags and leaped out of a window on an upper floor).

Being the official trash-taker-outer at our house, it has always annoyed me that the box of trash bags is situated under the kitchen sink while the trashcan itself is some 8-10 feet away at the end of the cabinet. About a year ago, it occurred to me that I could reduce trips between the two loci by stashing a few spare trash bags at the bottom of the trash can before putting the new bag in. Over time, the number of spare trash bags has grown until I now routinely place the entire roll of 50(-ish) trash bags there as soon as we start a new box of trash bags.

It occurred to me a couple months ago that someone should just make a box of trash bags that fits in the bottom of a standard 13-gallon kitchen trash can. It would be so nice to just reach down and pull up the next bag after taking out the previous full bag. If some clever inventor wants to score a few bonus points, the last bag in the box should dispense in such a way that the empty box ends up inside the bag.

So if you know anyone that works at Glad or Hefty, please tell them to pick up the phone and call Rubbermaid or Sterilite, work out an acceptable set of dimensions and make my life a little bit simpler.!

And the point of all this would be... (continued)

(continuing from yesterday...)

So how could I goad myself into thinking more? I have managed to produce passable prose on occasion, so it occurred to me that an enforced writing regimen might address more than one deficiency in my life:
  1. I don't think enough.
  2. I need to write/publish more (at least according to my immediate managers at work).
  3. I don't read enough.
That is, writing requires thinking (at least worthwhile writing does), thinking requires exposure to new ideas, reading provides that exposure. So, do I care if anybody reads this? While that would be a nice little ego boost, I certainly don't consider it a condition of success for this exercise.

I expect the subject of most of my posts will be technology-related since computers are both my job and my hobby, but other subjects will inevitably find their way into my musings as well. I'll try to minimize the dross.

Have a nice day!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

And the point of all this would be...

I've been aware of blogging for quite some time now, but it only recently occurred to me that scribbling down my own thoughts might be a worthwhile endeavor. I regularly follow several blogs, but the authors always seemed to be these unapproachable, well-connected, in-the-know super-geniuses (-genii?). A week or two ago I was in a small-ish meeting with Sam Ruby (1), one of these aforementioned super-geniuses, and it struck me that aside from being really smart, he was a pretty normal guy.

Gears started turning. I read several entries in Sam's blog. More gears turned. I searched out and read blogs from some other folks whose ideas I respect and it occurred to me that I don't do nearly enough real thinking anymore. I cogitate enough to get my work done, but it seems like I had more, better, grander ideas 10-15 years ago than now (I just turned 37). Extrapolating this trend ends up someplace I'd rather not be, so my October 18th resolution is to reverse it.

(to be continued out of time and if I don't publish this now, I'll spend forever trying to get it perfect)

(1) There were 4 folks in the meeting. Like Sam, I happen to work for IBM, but had never had a reason to converse with him before.