Monthly Archives: August 2006


fff|ppp|little g

little g


Way back before Catherine was born I mentioned that we were considering using gDiapers. They were still pretty new and we didn’t know anyone who had used them so we didn’t have much advice to go by, other than the company’s own reviewers.

We decided to order a starter kit and one package of refill liners. Besides the environmentally friendly design, I admit I was drawn to the super cute ‘little g’ diaper covers! The diapers are a bit more expensive than disposables are, but the cost was still somewhat reasonable.

We have not been using gDiapers exclusively. I have found that while at home it is not such a big deal to change the gDiaper, take out and flush the liner, and set up another diaper for next time. Changing diapers at home is predictable in that I can repeat the process the exact same way each time AND I know that our toilet/septic system can handle the flushable material (frankly, it breaks up very easily and flushes away just like TP).

Going out of the house throws a ton of variables into the mix. Will there be a bathroom handy? Can I trust the septic system? Is there a safe place to set the baby while I flush the liner? I know that I could put a little more effort into my planning and make the system work. Most of the time, however, it is just so much easier to toss disposables into the bag and be done with it. There’s almost always a trash can around!

Over all, I really like the gDiaper concept. I feel much better flushing away the liner than knowing that I’m filling landfills with tons of plastic. They also provide Catherine’s little bum a break from the sticky plastic diapers. She’s almost grown out of the smalls and we’ll probably pony up for the next bigger size.

Have any of our readers used gDipers? Even heard of them? I’d love to hear what you think of them!


Songbird: A Novel By Walter Zacharius

I had a tough time finding a book in the Z section. It seemed like all the titles were murder mysteries or had “death” or “blood” in the titles. What I found didn’t have too different a theme from all that: the Holocaust.

Songbird is the fictional story of a young Jewish girl caught in Poland as the Nazis invaded. Her family is put on a train towards Auschwitz but she escapes thanks to her father’s quick thinking and firm shove out the door.

The story is not the same as many of the death camp survivors stories you may have heard. The heroine, Mia, is not simply content to hide away and hope that things work out in the end; she takes matters into her own hands. Mia joins a teenage resistance army and starts down a long dangerous road toward information about her abducted family.

According to the book jacket, Zacharius is a World War II vetran, which accounts for the, assumedly, accurate descriptions of army life and everyday life in Europe during the war. I learned this fact after finishing the book and had thought while reading that the setting felt incredibly realistic.

This was a very quick read and the characters were very likeable. I wonder how true to life the plot is, however. None-the-less the story was exciting and the Zacharius drove the plot straight through to the end.

Walk with Dad

Catherine and I went for a walk around the Beverly waterfront this afternoon. It was quite a nice day out, and it gave Mom a chance to get some stuff done at home. 🙂

ppp|Dad In My Eyes|ppp

See the rest of the photos [here](

Bloglines Reboot

Shortly after Catherine was born, I came to the realization that I had far too many subscriptions in my [Bloglines]( account. I think the number was somewhere around 324… yikes. Most of the subscriptions I had, I rarely read in detail, and most of them weren’t about things for which I cared very deeply. The simple fact that the subscriptions were there, waiting to be read, weighed on my psyche, and the fact that I wasn’t giving the attention I had originally intended was what [David Allen]( would call ‘breaking an agreement I made with myself’. At some point in the past, I had made an agreement (consciously or subconsciously, it doesn’t really matter) that I would read all of the items in these very interesting Bloglines subscriptions. As time went by, and I kept adding more subscriptions, the practical reality of being able to keep up with all of them ended. I had broken my own agreement, and that brought along with it bad feelings and an overwhelming sense of delinquency.

So what I did was renegotiate the agreement. Rather than reading every single blog that I thought would be vaguely interesting, I decided that what I would do is only follow those blogs that I really cared about in some meaningful way, something that was more or less directly related to me. True, this meant that I would stop reading some blogs that contained interesting techie news, and that I might miss a few pithy sayings from some internet personality or another, but in reality, it simply meant that I would be using [Bloglines]( to keep track of the stuff I really cared about.

Basically, this was a sort of ‘de-toxing’ process that involved several steps over a period of weeks:

1. I deleted all subscriptions from my Bloglines account.
2. I deleted all links to Bloglines from all of the web browsers I used. This included [Chad](’s excellent [Bloglines Toolkit](
3. I did not use Bloglines at all for one week. This part was tough, as I had developed a ‘tic’ to check bloglines any time that I stopped thinking about the task at hand. Bad habit, but it’s gone now. I did check a few of my favorite websites occasionally by just clicking through from our [blogroll](
4. After I had broken my habit, I went through our blogroll and picked out the blogs that I really did care about and felt that I really could benefit from reading. I’ve got them organized into three folders. One is called “People I care about”, which has all of my friends whose blogs I really do want to keep track of. The next one is called “News that pertains to me.” This one has news feeds about things that directly impact me. For example, news feeds for software that I use, so that I can stay up to date with any important updates or security issues. The final one is called “Current Projects”. That’s where I put feeds that are related to something I’m currently working on, but may not want to read in the long term. I regularly review this folder and take out anything that I don’t have any current use for. The list is currently a very reasonable 72 feeds – 40 to 50 of which are in the “People I care about” category, most of which are for friends who don’t blog all that much (and hence don’t generate that many items for me to read).
5. P.S. I am using your toolkit again, Chad… just to keep track of only the blogs I care about. 🙂 P.P.S Your blog happens to be one of them. 😉

I feel like I’m paying a lot more attention to the blogs for people I care about, and a lot less attention to stuff that really doesn’t require my attention. Sure, I’m probably not up on all of the latest rumors on Mac or techie stuff, and I don’t know about every event that’s going on everywhere in the world, but I *am* keeping track of the things that matter most.

GTD… for real this time

You may remember that I [blogged about]( [Getting Things Done]( a while back, and that I said I really didn’t subscribe to the methodology. Upon my first reading, it seemed to be too complex, too involved, and too complicated for my needs.

Recently at work, partially because I *have* done some research into GTD, I have begun working on a project that involves me re-reading GTD. Well, after undertaking this project and carefully re-reading the book, I can say that I have actually begun to implement GTD for myself.

In the first reading, I really missed the spirit of the book. It’s not that you have to do things exactly as David Allen describes them in his examples… it’s more that you have to understand the key theories and practices, and then decide how best to implement them for yourself. Now that I have studied it in-depth, I have taken the time to carefully think about the system and how best to make it work in my own life, and I have started to implement GTD techniques. I have only been working on this for a few weeks, but I have already started to see benefits such as clearer thinking, increased creativity, lower stress, and more free time. I hope to share some of my thoughts on GTD and the details of my own implementation here from time to time.

For now, if you haven’t read GTD, pick up a copy at your local library or bookstore. (I’d recommend [buying it from my employer](, but it’s out of stock for another month or so… sorry. :-() I guarantee that you will pick up at least one tip that will make it worth your time and money to read the book – if not more. I’d love to discuss it with anyone who reads it or has read it.

Beverly Homecoming

This Sunday, Becky, Catherine and I took part in some of the events around [Beverly’s 40th Annual Homecoming]( In the early afternoon, we took a tour of the [US Coast Guard](’s [Hospital Point Light]( Normally closed to the public, they open the grounds and lighthouse for tours one day a year during Homecoming. There is a private home on the grounds, which is the residence of the Commander of the First Coast Guard District. I must say, it’s a pretty nice perk for the commander… the grounds are gorgeous, the view is spectacular, and I’m assuming that the house is pretty nice inside too. As the house is a private residence, they don’t do tours inside, but they do allow you to walk around the grounds and climb up to the top of the light. Catherine had a lot of fun on her first trip to a lighthouse!

ppp|Peter and Catherine|ppp

Mom and Dad enjoyed it, too. 🙂

We also went to [Lynch Park]( to check out the [Guild of Beverly Artists]( exhibit, and later on, we returned to the park to have some fried food at Dick and June’s, listen to the “Night Owls” concert, and to see the Re/Max hot air balloon!


You could take a ride in the balloon for a $5 donation, but, frankly, the balloon didn’t go much higher than the tops of the trees in the park, and the line was pretty long, so we just watched and enjoyed our dinners. All in all, it was a very nice, relaxing day, with lots of fun activities in our little hometown. You can check out [all of the pics](