Archive for September, 2007

September 27th, 2007

Take Control of Thanksgiving Dinner

New Thanksgiving Dinner publication: Take Control of Thanksgiving Dinner ebook (Version: 1.1, September 27, 2007; originally published September 22, 2006)

September 21st, 2007

Blogging, Rejiggered

I have a few blog-related announcements, which contradict each other only slightly.

Announcement #1: Blogging Guilt Banished Effective immediately, I’m no longer going to feel guilty about going long periods of time between blog posts, and therefore no longer feel obligated to apologize when returning after a long absence. There. I finally said it. I feel much better now.

A typical expectation among people who regularly read blogs is that new entries will occur frequently—at least a few times per week—and that blogs with no new material for a month or so are effectively “stale” and not worth subscribing to anymore. I can’t change the way anyone thinks about blogs, but I can at least admit that my lifestyle just doesn’t accommodate this sort of schedule and probably never will. I’m now officially declaring myself to be OK with that, and I’m not going to try to fight it anymore. I’m just going to go with the flow as best I can.

This has been a difficult issue for me to grapple with, especially since I now contribute to no fewer than six blogs (more on this just ahead), some of which even produce a nontrivial amount of income. But I am not a professional blogger, and as much as I may fantasize about eventually being able to live off my blogging efforts alone, that’s not even remotely the case today, nor is it a top priority for the near future. For now, keeping up with writing blogs is not my life or even my job, it’s just an additional activity in an already full life.

Most of the time, I’m simply too busy doing things to also write about doing them (even when the activities I’m doing themselves include writing). In particular, the whole notion of committing to writing something on a blog every single day—well, for that matter, committing to doing virtually anything every single day—is just contrary to my nature. I’ve done it, but I haven’t enjoyed it, and I can’t sustain it over long periods of time. I don’t have a daily routine and don’t want to have one, but even so, I have relatively little free time. And such free time as I have is time I want to spend relaxing, reading, watching TV, not typing. So unless or until my life situation changes such that blogging is what keeps a roof over my head, it’s going to have to be a pretty random (and perhaps infrequent) activity.

Announcement #2: Yet Another Blog: TidBITS Staff One aspect of the recent redesign to the TidBITS Web site is that each of the staff members now has a “personal” blog. (That’s personal as in “specific to that person,” not “about someone’s personal life.”) And we are all encouraged to put interesting stuff in those blogs, in addition to what we normally write for TidBITS and what we would otherwise write on our personal personal blogs. So, lucky me, I have yet another blog to feed! It’s located here: Joe Kissell’s TidBITS Staff Blog.

In the past, I’ve posted any number of stories here on I Am Joe’s Blog about Mac-related stuff, but now that this new TidBITS blog exists, that’s a more appropriate place for much of that material. So expect the majority of technical topics to migrate there.

This change puts I Am Joe’s Blog in a kind of weird state. Already, I’d shifted most topics relating to my living in France to Truffles for Breakfast and most food-related topics to The Geeky Gourmet; with tech topics now moving to TidBITS, there are fewer and fewer bloggy subjects that don’t already have another home. So, I’m not really sure what’s left to talk about here. Meta discussions about Interesting Thing of the Day and SenseList? Opinions on TV shows, movies, or politics? I don’t know. If there’s something you’d really like me to talk about here, let me know—but no guarantees. Refer to Announcement #1.

Announcement #3: Twittering In case you’ve been living in a cave for the past year, or this is the first Web page you’ve ever seen (Welcome!), one of the latest memes in the online world is something called Twitter. You might think of Twitter as micro-blogging. The idea is basically that, whenever you feel like it, you type a very short message—there’s a 140-character limit—saying what you’re doing right now, or what you’ve recently done, or whatever other little snippet of text is interesting to you at the moment. People can then follow your activities on a Web page, or download any of numerous programs that will display little pop-up windows when any of the people they’re following post something on Twitter. And that’s pretty much that. It’s a really lightweight thing, not big and complex like RSS, no ads (yet!), and no endless backlogs of long news stories or email messages you have to slog through if you’re out of things for a while.

Well, I’ve been resisting Twitter ever since I heard about it months ago. Because honestly, I can’t be bothered to keep telling my computer what I’m doing. I’m notoriously bad about even changing my IM status, because it feels like an annoying, intrusive, extra task. I don’t want a new list of meta-tasks, no matter how brief they may be; I just want to do my thing.

But, on the recommendation of several people who are also generally disinclined to spend time on unnecessary activities, I’m giving it a try. I can’t guarantee how well, how long, or to what extent I’ll use it, but I’m going to make the effort for a little while and see how it goes. If you want to follow me on Twitter, click here or check out the running list in the sidebar of this page. Or see my Twitters on Facebook, not that I’m a very active participant there either.

Announcement #4: Ziki A number of people have inquired as to whether there’s a place they can go to find all my posts from the various blogs I contribute to. As a matter of fact, there are a number of ways to pull this off, but an easy one is simply to go to my page on Among other things, it shows my recent posts on Interesting Thing of the Day, SenseList, Truffles for Breakfast, The Geeky Gourmet, I Am Joe’s Blog, and TidBITS, which is a good percentage of my online writing. It doesn’t show stuff I’ve done for Macworld or Datamation, but I periodically update the list of books and articles I’ve written, which includes all that stuff, my ebooks, print books, and so on.

September 21st, 2007

Take Control Updates A-Plenty

New TidBITS article: Take Control Updates A-Plenty (2007-09-21)

September 21st, 2007

Take Control of Apple Mail in Tiger

New from Take Control: Take Control of Apple Mail in Tiger (Version: 1.1, September 21, 2007; originally published November 29, 2005); also translated into Dutch