Typos are sure to abound.
Dr. Phil (the real one) shares a cool video of our planet from space showing auroras, lighting, and lightning. Just in case you've lost your sensawunda about the neighborhood.
On that note, a massive solar storm is going on right now but the good news is NASA is assuring us we won't die from it. (Grokked from Jay Lake)
In relation to the Mer Haskell link this weekend concerning writing advice, here's Elizabeth Bear's take. That matches a little to my own experience. The more I write, the less I make the mistakes I used to make. That hasn't made the writing any easier, but it sure has made the editing go smoother. Also, with my new writing advice (bang the stones together), I was also thinking of it as a koan (as well as literary reference). A phrase that isn't really meant to make sense, but helps the student break out from the position they've been stuck in to think of new alternatives and to go in new directions. As always, YMMV.
Please, don't make me have to explain this image joke. (Pointed to by John)
One of the many things I miss about having such a hectic schedule is that I don't get an opportunity to meditate. In case you wonder why, here is a series of before and after portraits. Before and After in this case refer to a month long, intensive meditation retreat. These days I feel all to much like Before and not so much After. Now, there are all types of meditation. I prefer a more active version than what most people think of when the think of meditation. It's sometimes referred to as "walking meditation," but really you can do almost anything, not just walk. It's a form of being in the moment, without all the distractions that come with life. Or, to put it another way, just being. It's a difficult state to achieve these days. Now, understand that people just don't walk into Dathun (yes, read that as "one does not just walk into Mordor"), these are people who probably meditate a few times each week on their own. That's the state of the Before. I prefer the After, myself. Hopefully I can get back there sometime soon. (Grokked from Jay Lake)
How Magazine on charging hourly rates versus project charges and how clients perceive answers to that question, "how much?" For the record, I do an hourly rate for my freelance. I give quotes when asked. When I quote, if I go over a little, I just charge the quote. If I'm able to finish the work under the time I quote, I charge what I worked. It's a business philosophy. And I hate to brake it to How, but design is already a commodity. Clients can outsource to India, Indonesia, and Hungary (the most common destinations). However, what you get from me is service and skills. My rate? Sixty-five an hour, minimum of $30. I'll adjust that hourly rate depending on the client and project (and there are always the "free" jobs, I now have 2 new ones on my plate). I'm worth $150/hour in the Cleveland market (skill, experience, speed), but since you have to deal with me off-hours (because of the day job), I charge less that I'm worth. The deal with "free work" is I do it at my pace, and I do it to please myself. For most clients they realize I'm a steal at that price. Although I have lost some clients to the cheaper competition (the rumors I hear are they are only satisfied with the price, not so much with the quality of work they get back).
Ah, gender roles and breaking them. I forgot, not only did we set the clocks back an hour, apparently some people set them back to the 50s. As someone who once wore a pony tail, this is just a sad side show of American conservative philosophy.
John Boehner says "The American people did not support this law when it was rushed through Congress and they do not support it now that they’ve seen what’s in it (well, that's not completely true). In keeping with our Pledge to America, Republicans have voted to repeal and defund the law (and it didn't get anywhere, but, hey, they had a vote), and successfully repealed portions of it (huhn, I've been watching pretty closely and except for the reporting requirements for small businesses, which everybody said should go, I don't remember them doing anything else). This government takeover of health care (bullshit, 1% of total spending in the industry isn't a takeover) is threatening jobs (uh, yeah), increasing costs (okay, it added another 1% this year, fair cop, but did you notice it in your average 8% premium increases, which, BTW, were some of the lowest increases in a while), and jeopardizing coverage for millions of Americans (I think he has it backward here), and I hope the Supreme Court overturns it." Time to get your game face on.