about the universe forum commander Shop Now Commanders Circle
Product List FAQs home Links Contact Us

Saturday, May 01, 2010


Steve Cole reports:

Like all people, I have a daily routine. In my case, it's a written list (well, a WORD document) listing things to do. This list gets edited (as the day goes by) into the infamous MY DAY blog.

The first thing in the list is to record the time I got to the office and the temperature and weather at the time I get here. This is semi-boring information for the customers, but my doctor has me doing a lot of this stuff to keep my brain clear so I don't get Alzheimer's as fast as I would otherwise. Family genetics say that I will, eventually, get it. Oh well.

The next thing is the first pass at my Email. I clear out the spam. Because my email address is on the company website and press releases, it's also on every spam list in creation, and I get thousands of them a day. The filters catch all but three or four hundred. Some of the real email requires more than a quick response and gets left in the in-basket. The email always includes Jean's BBS report so I know if somebody broke the rules and if I need to go answer a question in a topic I normally ignore. She also reminds me to take my medication. Like everyone on medication, if you miss a day, it screws you up for days. One fun part of my daily email is the DinoListServe where real paleontologists discuss the latest finds. Always something interesting there, and the five minutes I may spend reading a dinosaur report is what passes for a hobby.

Then I check the BBS and the Forum. This is the primary way that I interact with customers and an important part of every day.

The next step is to clear out the attachments file, which includes dozens of things from the spams, most of it porn, most of that being pretty gross. This doesn't get reported in the MY DAY post but it is something I do every day.

The next step is to clean out my email out-box. I use the out-box to keep track of things I am waiting for other people to do, so the number of such items indicates the number of people who haven't done what was asked.

Then I check the NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day. I often learn things about our universe that I didn't know.

Then I go to a website and solve a Sudoku puzzle against a time clock. My doctor has me doing this to push back the date that Alzheimer's fries my brain.

I have a Dilbert calendar and everybody wants to read today's Dilbert as soon as I do, so I have a note to read it, tear off the page, and put that into my physical out-basket.

My WORD form has a number of other items at this point which are part of my web crawl. On a rotating basis, I check some websites that have been problems in the past. This step doesn't get reported (the notes in the WORD document get deleted as I do them), but it does get done. Once those are done, I note the time that I finished my web crawl. This is important as reviewing the previous week gives me an idea where my time is going.

I then get into the next section of the list by processing any Starlist requests and noting the zip code of any requests I processed. Sometimes people see a zip code near their own and ask for contact info.

I have a number of once a week things, and the thing of the day is on the list at this point. That could be cleaning out part of a box of clutter, cleaning some topics out of the BBS, doing "carpenter" work around the office, and so forth.
I report where I had lunch as kind of a joke, since the theory is that if I have a bad lunch, all proposals that day get rejected.

I have a line item to send some stuff to Joel to do, such as things to upload, covers to do, or whatever.

I read FYEO every day to keep up with modern technology.

In theory, I'm supposed to get 30 minutes of exercise a day, but hit the limit at 10 minutes (and many days am not well enough to do that much).

The next block of the WORD list has me check what each person is doing, but this usually is about the same every day.

On Monday, I do marketing. On Wednesday, I do customer requests. On Friday, I review where contract projects stand.

Then I get down to primary work (on new products) and spend as much of the day as I can on that.