Archive for February 2014

February, 2014 Hodge-Podge   Leave a comment

On February 7, I helped with Arepafest at Eli’s BBQ.
#arepafest #foodcatspens #cincinnati

One day, in early February, it was warm enough to take off my jacket during the ride, revealing a jersey I haven’t worn since college. I wonder how that happen…
Warm enough to take off my jacket. Wow!

My hacker-ninja-princess inspects the new printer.
My Hacker Ninja Princess inspects our new printer. #cats #catsofinstagram #foodcatspens

Retro 1951, makers of my beloved Tornados, know me so well.

Dig the new header?

Even napping, Luna looks graceful. #cats #catsofinstagram #foodcatspens

Word! #arepafest
“Go away winter” indeed!

Posted 2014-02-28 by Mr. Guilt in Hodge-Podge

InCoWriMo, Week 4 Status   Leave a comment

Last Letter
International Correspondence Writing Month (InCoWriMo) is a wrap! I’m proud to say that I successfully wrote twenty-eight pieces of correspondence. About a half were to folks I knew; the balance were people who are new to me. I sent mail to four countries, which marks some of my rare instances of international post.

Replies (as of 2014-02-27)
So far, I’ve received four replies, most of them this week. I confess the lack of replies until now got a bit disheartening, but I think everyone participating had a lot of letters to write. It’s been fun to read the mail.

Handwritten Online ReferenceIt has been an interesting experience. It was certainly a bit odd writing people you don’t know, and have no real reason to write (unlike, say, an email for work). I think that bit of confidence is a good skill to have.

Most of the people involved are fellow pen geeks. They all have commented, either in letters or on the forum, that it was a good excuse to pull out the pens they love. While one of my pens accompanies to work everyday, it almost exclusively serves to write in one of my notebooks, for my soul consumption. It was nice to share the writing, particularly with people who would be impressed by them. I also was glad to pull out stationery. Most of my inbound mail is bulk, printed with thousands of units in mind. Holding a letter on good paper made it feel extremely special. I think I might have to share this with more people.

I’m not sure if I’ll do this next year, though I do intend to write back those who have written me so far. The personal touch is definitely something Outlook lacks.

Posted 2014-02-28 by Mr. Guilt in InCoWriMo

InCoWriMO, Week 3 Status   Leave a comment

Three weeks and twenty-three letters into International correspondence Writing Month (InCoWriMo). It’s been a fun project. This last week, as I noted, has been mostly people I don’t know–simply pulled from the InCoWriMo forum. They do have a post, “These 28 People Would Love to Receive your InCoWriMo Correspondence.” This has led to fan letters to a few of my favorite pen companies. Naturally, these were written with examples of their products. A bit geeky, I admit, but, as long as I’ve been using some of the products from these companies, it makes sense, given the context.

InCoWriMo Log
As I’ve mentioned, this has been a good excuse to use my pens, stationery, and other fun writing gear. Yes, I’m geeky enough to track what letters get sent, and what gear was used. I’ve managed to use a different pen for each letter, and expect to do so.

There is still a week left if you want snail mail from me–I was thrilled to write an old friend from college who reached out to me. Just email me an address (my address is mrguilt), and I’ll be happy to select a pen, ink, and paper just for you!

Posted 2014-02-23 by Mr. Guilt in InCoWriMo

22.46 not totally thawed   Leave a comment

On foot

Posted 2014-02-22 by Mr. Guilt in Cycling, Route Tracking

19.2 miles Shorts   Leave a comment

Nice break from winter

Posted 2014-02-22 by Mr. Guilt in Cycling, Route Tracking

Quotes from my Journal (Part 7)   Leave a comment

Leuchtturm & Lamy
This is the latest round of Quotes from My Journal, starting the first third-or-so of my Leuchtturm 1917 journal. As always, I found them are either somewhat inspiring, amusing, or simply make me smile.

I do try to keep in mind: wisdom may be reduced to one or two pithy lines, but there is usually a lot of nuance and experience behind it.

“A man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.”–Muhammad Ali

“When a man wants to murder a tiger, he calls it sport; when a tiger wants to murder him, he calls it ferocity. The distinction between crime and justice is no greater.”–George Bernard Shaw

“Dear speaker, your powerpoint slides should be visual aids, not closed captioning. [sic]”–@aneyekunkayo

“Promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate.”–unknown.

“Ride as much or as little, or as long or as short as you feel. But ride.”–Eddy Merckx

Dogs don’t have a choice but to be with us. They were literally bred to love us. We made them as much as possible in our own image. Cats, on the other hand, are self-interested, half-feral jerks, but they choose to be with us anyway. That’s what makes cats awesome.“–Pope Guilty on MeFi

“Once perfected, communication technologies rarely die out completely; rather, they shrink to fit particular niches in the global info-structure.”–William Gibson, Cyberspace: the First Steps

Being a good cook has always also been about being smart enough and humble enough to learn when given [the] chance.“–Anthoy Bourdain (true of most pursuits)

Posted 2014-02-22 by Mr. Guilt in Quotes from My Journal

Friday Afternoon Dance Party: Could You Be the One?   Leave a comment

Every time I see this:
Looking for your one

This goes through my head:

Posted 2014-02-21 by Mr. Guilt in Friday Afternoon Dance Party

InCoWriMo, Week 2 Status   2 comments

We’ve finished two weeks of International Correspondence Writing Month (InCoWriMo), and I’ve stayed up-to-date with writing. The last week was Valentines and birthdays, so, it was easy. As half the first week were InCoWriMo-specific give-aways, it has been fairly easy coming up with folks to write to. The rest of the month may be a bit more challenging.

About half the letters have gone to fellow InCoWriMo-ers, most I’ve never met before. It’s an interesting challenge, coming up with a letter to someone you’ve never met. I’ve been introducing myself, and discussing things on their blog, or their city, or even just the weather–2014 has been good for that for folks in North America. I think that it’s been good for me to do that–a bit of a confidence builder to try to develop a rapport without a real context. I often write people, typically in email, for business purposes. The purpose of the note is obvious, and it can be to the point. Having no purpose, however, raises a new challenge. It does nudge me outside of my comfort zone a bit.

I’ve also had a bit of fun picking out the paper, pen, and ink to match the recipient. Some of my personal notes have been particularly sentimental. Others have been focused on a single theme.

I would still love to send snail-mail to anyone reading this blog–just email me an address ( to mrguilt). I’d happily send you a card and a few good words.

Posted 2014-02-17 by Mr. Guilt in InCoWriMo

A Walk in the Snow   1 comment

It has been an uncharacteristically cold and snowy winter in Cincinnati. I saw today that 2013-2014 has entered the top five snowiest winters since the late 1890s. I’ve managed to squeeze in some rides, but it’s been a lot of time at the gym. It’s meant wearing a lot of clothes and boots and gloves. Truthfully, I haven’t felt like doing much (as you may have noticed from the blog posts).

I realized just how bad I had gotten after an anti-snow rant on twitter, and an afternoon feeling sorry for myself. I realized I needed to get outside. I took a walk at Alms Park, to check out the new layer of snow that fell the previous day.

Snow that has hung around for a week (or even a day or two) takes on a level of nastiness–a semi-melted pile of ice that clings on to car exhaust. However, with three or so inches the previous day, I was one of the few people to tread this ground. It was somewhat lovely.
Branch Arch

I walked up the the remains of a building on the hiking trail, and touched the snow. I felt the firmness of the pile on top of the wall, surprised at how much snow was there.
Stone Relics

I started to regret not bringing my GorillaPod, to take a self-portrait. I briefly considered trying to improvise, but decided I didn’t want to disturb the snow for the next hiker. My shadow, then, represented me.
Shadow Portrait

I walked past the river overlook, and saw the field of untouched snow. I made a point to stay in the tracks of the other hikers, as I didn’t want to be the one to mess it up.
River Overlook, Pristine Snow

I snaked up the trail to the loop around Alms Park, and saw the lonely statue of Stephen Foster.
Stephen Foster, in the Snow

I continued the loop past park buildings then back home. While I can’t say I like the snow any better, my attitude was improved by the time outside.

Posted 2014-02-16 by Mr. Guilt in Cincinnati

Notebook Strategy   Leave a comment

Over on the Pen, Paper, Ink, Letter blog, they spent some time considering “notebook strategies,” what notebooks the writer was using, and for what purpose. He observed, correctly in my opinion, that office supply fans tend to have multiple notebooks–something I think is very true! The author asks what the readers’ system is. I thought I’d share a view into my primary notebooks here.

Much of what I do at work is all-digital. However, we still have to take notes in meetings, or at the data center. I also find I focus better with pen and paper, so I capture information that way as well. My work notebook is a disc-bound notebook. In addition to blank Rhodia paper, I have a variety of reference materials, such as process guides and inventories. This is all punched with an Arc punch. This notebook goes to work with me every day, but is taken out of my bag for other occasions.

I have a similar sized disc bound notebook, which I carry with me when I want to have a notebook that looks professional, but does not have work things in it. Mostly, it has blank paper in it, though I’ve clipped in all sorts of other documents into it, as the situation dictates. I got it for free at Staples.
Non-Work Professional Notebook

I keep a small notebook with me, stuffed into a jacket or pant pocket. this is around A6 size. This carries a few notes I like to have with me, along with a place to capture running thoughts. For instance, when preparing for a trip, I keep a running list of things I want to make sure I bring. It also keeps a list of blog posts I want to make. I add to that as I think about it. Some of the reference things find their way onto Evernote, as it becomes a pain to transcribe from notebook to notebook. Right now, I’m actually carrying two, as one is nearing the end.
Pocket Notebook(s)

I have a journal. Sometimes, it’s just thoughts I want to get out of my head. Doing so helps me refine them, and decide if it is worth sharing further. More than a few blog posts started this way. I’ve also written down notes about events I want to remember, even to the point of documenting something so I could have a timeline later. I honestly don’t expect the contents to be read, straight from the notebook, by anyone but me. But it is comforting to have written them down. I prefer A5 size for this purpose. Right now, it’s a Leuchtturm 1917, which is adequately fountain pen friendly for the cost, and has some handy features.

Inside my camerabag lives a notebook I call the “Zoo Notebook.” It used to primarily log the animals I saw at the zoo, especially species I wasn’t as familiar with, or names of the animals I learned. It expanded to be my photography notebook, with a different section flagged (I’m addicted to Post-It tape flags) for recording film camera activity.

That’s the primary set. I used to keep my bike log in a notebook, but, once I got a cyclecomputer I could download the stats to my computer, that’s gone all-digital. I think having several notebooks allows me to take what I need with me into the world, and keep some level of separation to task.

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