Posts Tagged: Waterstreet

Why I keep books

My wife gives me a hard time about keeping books I’ve already read or are unlikely to read. Maybe she doesn’t give me that hard a time, but she always questions why I keep these books around. Though I didn’t realize it until now, I keep books around for the same reason Seth Godin does:

I used to have 3,000 books in my old office. When I moved to my new office, I gave away 2,500 of them and I miss them every day—not because I opened them, but because looking at them reminded me of what was inside.

And that seems like reason enough for me, too.

The proper way to email someone about a problem with your website

Problem with your website? This is the proper way to email your developer and tell them about it:

Hey web developer!

Hope the weather is good in (that place where you live)!

There’s an issue with the ___________. You can see it half way down the page.

Screenshot attached.

Thanks!

And that’s it. A quick hello, one single sentence describing the problem, and a screenshot.

The summer before my brother moved away

Though it feels like it all happened last night, it’s been several months now since my brother moved away. He, his partner, his stepson and their friendly black Lab lived just a short walk up the hill and around the corner from our street.

On warm evenings last summer, my wife and I would walk over there for supper and a few drinks, and we’d often end the night with a campfire and a big yarn in the back yard. We’d sit around telling lies and stories long into the evening, watching the stars and flankers shine faintly above, and after a few hours my wife and I would walk back home, arm-in-arm, just around the corner and down over the hill.

To say that these evenings last summer were anything less than magic would be to lie. And now they’re gone.

Though my brother and I still talk and laugh and carry on everyday, it just isn’t the same. The words of Irene Peter often echo loudly in my ears, sadly and without consolation:

Just because everything is different doesn’t mean anything has changed

she once wrote. But yet it isn’t a vague ‘anything’ that troubles me these days— it feels like everything has changed.

Will we ever get those magic summer evenings back? I’m not sure. The optimist in me is ever reluctant to see the passage of time as a permanent thing, but there certainly is a nagging feeling of permanence about the passing of evenings like these. A feeling that although the evenings will carry on, they’ll do so with a certain emptiness about them. They’ll pass without the laughing and the stories in the backyard, and they’ll do so without the smell of smoke from the campfire. It feels like they’ll just pass without any specialness to them at all, and I’ve been feeling a bit sad and nostalgic about that for a few weeks now.

And sure, you could certainly say that there’s no real need for any of this sadness at all—he and his family have just moved to the other side of town, for God’s sake—but still, it does make me a little bit sad and wistful for the long evenings full of food and wine and stars and warm summer wind and that magic feeling that you can only feel as a family.

30 things learned in 30 years

  1. Jeffrey Zeldman will ruin your current career. He will also help you find the one you were meant for all along.
  2. Home is where you are, not where you’re from
  3. The internet is a popularity contest, just like high school
  4. Your family matters more than anything else (including everything on the internet)
  5. Job unhappiness will very quickly lead to life unhappiness
  6. Life is far too short for bad salads and “French” dressing. The only salad dressing you will ever need contains:  Dijon mustard, honey, red-wine vinegar and olive oil in a  1:1: 2:4 radio. Add a pinch of salt and a squeeze of lemon at the end.
  7. Your values and principles are the most important things you own. You lose something of yourself every time you compromise them.
  8. Fur Packed Action will never release another cd. Doing so would only muddy the memories you already have.
  9. A pension is not more important than your happiness
  10. Do and be what you are
  11. Spend less than you make every year
  12. Be independent. You are the only person out there you can truly depend on.
  13. You should have one primary goal every single day: Be to be nice to people
  14. Knowing what personality type you are will help you all the way along. I’m an ENFP.
  15. Debt is a bad thing and should be avoided at all costs
  16. Spending the smallest amount you can on things that don’t matter (your house, your car, your flat-screen TV, etc) will allow you to spend more on the things that do matter (eating out, travel, good food & wine, etc)
  17. You can’t change someone. You can help make them better in certain areas, but you’ll never change them
  18. The best tool for the job is the one you have in your hand
  19. Don’t ever settle: Not in a relationship, or in a job, or in a town. Long-term dissatisfaction is directly correlated with #23 below
  20. Don’t settle for bad coffee either. Good coffee doesn’t come from the supermarket, and should be ground right before you brew it
  21. “Success is not what you do, it’s how you inspire others” — Gordon Parks
  22. The reason your shoes don’t fit is because you have wide feet. It’s absurd that you haven’t discovered this by now.
  23. Stress is precisely like cancer. If you don’t/can’t get rid of it, it will kill you
  24. Go to your friends’ shows and parties—you’re not being a friend if you don’t support them
  25. Don’t sweat the small stuff.TM It really, really, really is all small stuff
  26. Don’t lend your time or money unless you can afford not to be paid back
  27. There’s magic in long bike rides at the end of long summer days, just as the sun is going down
  28. Being impulsive is better than being safe
  29. Stop spending money you don’t have, to buy things you don’t need, to impress people who won’t care
  30. Figuring out who you are is key to the previous 29 items