Author: Josh Kinal

Outside can be fun

This morning I dressed in bathers, shorts, a polyester shirt, old sneakers without socks, and a support string around my sunglasses*. Obviously I was getting ready for my first sailing lesson.

Despite my long-held beliefs about the dangers of going outside to have fun (which were only proven last Wednesday when I fell off my skateboard and I'm getting way too old/fat to do that), I agreed with my housemate that maybe a five week course in the art of yachting would be a great way to spend some time.

So a bunch of clothes to get wet in, a giant smeer of sunscreen and one bucket-hat later I found myself sitting in the Elwood Sailing Club listening to a charisma void teach some basics about sailing.

Some things I didn't expect:

  1. They (the instructors) called the front of the boat "the front".
  2. Similarly the back was called "the back".
  3. There was no emphasis on what sort of knot to use when.
  4. They felt it important to tell us that ropes weren't called "ropes" but instead needed to be referred to as "sheets" and "halliards".
  5. They still refused to use the words "bow", "stern", "port", and "starboard" which I had spent the previous day cramming into my head.
  6. It's really easy to capsize a boat and almost as easy to get it back up again.
  7. I had a lot of fun and am looking forward to next week.

But don't tell anybody about this last bit or my reputation as a hater of outside will forever be ruined.
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*When the sunglasses hang on the string below your neck and you're wearing a polyester sports-type shirt with a collar, it really makes you look like you know something about sailing.

Why job searching is hard

Due to circumstances beyond my control I find myself looking for work again. It's a shit place to be in and reminds me of how depressed I became last time. I try to keep my spirits up and, having only just started looking for jobs, I use all my positive energy to not take the first few rejections to heart.

However, this becomes a much more difficult task when I see job ads like the one from Fenton Consulting, looking for a Web Master (which in itself is such a frustrating term -- maybe the job should come with a cape and staff and a 12-sided die*).

To be successful in this position you will be a highly experienced Web Master who has demonstrated experience in a digital production environment with emphasis on delivery via the WWW. You will also have expertise as a Visual Designer and have skills in the field of digital media development. Experience with web tools such as HTML, Java, JavaScript, ActiveX, Shockwave, Director, Shell Scripting and other multimedia development tools is also a requirement. Excellent communication and organizational skills are a must.

I mean, really. They seem to want everything and nothing. Yes, a lot of web-people have a background in visual design but how many people with a background in graphics know how to code in Java? And what are these "other multimedia tools" they ask for? If they're a requirement, wouldn't listing them help with the selection process? I doubt they would expect the same wide range of skill sets from any other employee. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe they require their accountants to also tap-dance and cook a soufflé.

Meanwhile have they even noticed that in their final demand, while asking for someone with excellent communication skills they also misspelled "organisational"? It doesn't have a 'Z' in it. Not in this country.

Ooh. So mad. So early in the morning.

* I'm thinking about changing the singular to "douse". Any thoughts?

Another Blog?

I know, I hardly ever update this one.

Well, that's all going to change.

I have a spreadsheet of how I deal with my time now. We must obey the spreadsheet. That spreadsheet says that the first hour of every morning is dedicated to

  1. checking email
  2. writing a blog entry
  3. catching up on RSS feeds

I don't think that's too much to ask. I've decided that Little Running Bear will remain the repository of all the crap that doesn't fit anywhere else. It will contain odd thoughts and movie / book reviews as well as mention if anything ever gets published ever again.

Then there's Boxcutters which contains all the TV stuff and is also added to by Ross and Brett.

Now you can also find my thoughts about technology at Seal Fur.

Keep it all rockin'.

Wrong wrong wrong

This is just to point out this photo I found on http://www.makezine.com.

There is something very wrong and "please arrest this man" about those t-shirts which were supposed to be a nice Fathers Day gift.

Maybe I've just been too affected by how terrible the world is, or maybe I've completely lost my innocence.

Then again... maybe this is just hilarious.

You Don’t Have To

Life is hard. Too hard. I listened to an NPR article this morning about a Harvard professor teaching a course about how to enjoy life more.

The truth is that life doesn't need to be nearly as hard as we make it. People muse on the topic of technology giving us less time rather than more. I've been reading a number sources about ways to get more done. Lifehacker, 43 Folders and the whole GTD system have led me to realise that there are a lot of things in our lives that we don't have to do but we still feel burdoned by their existence.

I've decided to create a list of things that, if we didn't do them, our lives wouldn't really be worse off:

You Don't Have To:

  • Reply to every email;
  • Answer the phone;
  • Read stupid joke emails;
  • Read everything in your RSS reader;
  • Pretend to like your work colleagues;
  • Go outside just because it's a nice day (there will be others);
  • Look at all the new photos on your friends' Flickr accounts;
  • Sacrifice your happiness for the sake of others.

Please feel free to add things to this list (but you don't have to).