Email Support Data

I thought it might be interesting to look at my last chunk of emails by what hour they were answered. It does seem to show some patterns. Some that may not be healthy for any real separation between on/off work hours. It is good that I’ve got no email in the 1AM to 5AM zone. It is bad (probably) that I answer a large amount of email around 9PM. I probably also need to think harder about creating some defined email response windows so that email is not interrupting work that requires more focus and concentration. It’s easy to let the busy work drag you down while feeling “productive.” flickr photo shared by Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums with no copyright restriction (Flickr Commons)

An Inventory of My Thoughts

I’m no Myron Helfgott, but I’ve made a few minor changes to my life which have been at least semi-interesting. It’s not about productivity. It’s more about eliminating distractions that have wormed their way into my head. These reflexive actions are scary because they eat into the way you think or in some cases if you think at all. Nothing magical here but it’s often worth looking at how things1 are impacting your life. The drive to work is now silent. No radio. No podcasts. I just let my brain wander. It’s fun. The ride home is much noisier. On my phone I turned off all the notifications for email, Twitter, and Flickr. The only one that remains is for texts. It has surprised me how much happier I am not to see that envelope with the red badge letting me know how many emails I’ve yet to read. I can still do whatever I need should something important arise but I’ve cut the visual cue out of the equation. That has cut down on reflexive checking. Flickr and Twitter were never that busy but neither was important enough to require an instant alert. This has been done by many people, many times but I’m leaving my email program closed 95% of the day. It’s been depressing to see how […]

VCU Photo Safari

10:00 -10:50 am | Tom Woodward will be your guide on this photo safari as we look at the world through different lenses. This shift in both perspective and attention has the potential to change how you think about many things. After a brief exploration of a few different types of photography, we’ll take our new considerations into the world we walk through every day. On our return we’ll share what we’ve captured and look at opportunities to extend these conversations beyond today’s excursion. I’ve been wanting to take a group of faculty out to take pictures since hearing about Abilene Christian doing it. Seems like it’s a good idea in a few ways. We look at our regular location in a new way. People get a chance to see how many interesting possibilities are right in front of us every day. In general the process opens up the chance to talk about lots of things that apply outside of photography – like the ability to tighten up action/feedback loops to make progress, framing things conceptually and then doing, trying to imitate styles, etc. etc. I made a quick website that morning to hold photos we took so we could have discussions around the photos after the fact. Participants could submit via the Jetpack post by email option or through […]


Revision to Twitterbot Monster

So tying the trigger to the Calendar works . . . but only if the computer is not asleep. I had considered this initially but may have over estimated how often my computer was running. It was done more for amusement anyway so here’s a way to move the whole email/trigger piece to the server using PHP. It replaces the whole AppleScript portion of the previous iteration. I had no idea how to do this prior to Google leading me to the examples that are linked below. The first chunk runs the cURL portion and gets the Markov response from the other page and passes it to a variable- creatively named $DICKINSON in this case. I left the echo line in there as I used it to make sure things were working. The second chunk sends the email. You can see the $DICKINSON variable being passed in as both the message body and the subject. The final piece is triggering this page every so often using a cron task. I am not yet positive I’ve done that right. When I’m more sure, I’ll come back and update this.