March 14th 2007

email woes, of a sort

Most days, I get anywhere from 50 to 100 school-related emails, plus an additional 50 or so personal emails. Spring break, therefore, has been a very nice little rest from that. I’m getting maybe 10 or so emails a day, and most of those can go right into the trash.[1]

I think for a long time, I lived in a world where I didn’t really use email for anything important. I worked in small offices where important things could be discussed in the break room, where urgent questions required nothing more than a walk down the hall, and where getting everyone’s opinion usually meant the boss walked into our shared office. But law is different–there are so many things I’m involved in that don’t have any centralized organization. I am sure it won’t be better in practice, either, especially not at the firm I’m going to, where matters are often staffed across offices.

So I’m trying to be better about using email efficiently, about cleaning out my inbox, about sorting things into folders and flagging important messages so they don’t get forgotten. But it’s a struggle. I can’t manage to keep fewer than 150 emails in my inbox at any given time, and right now, I have 400. (I don’t have time to sort and organize them; I’m writing a seminar paper, remember?) I’d love it if I could keep about 20 messages in the inbox, and file the others away, but if they’re not in the inbox, it’s “out of sight, out of mind.” For all that I’m a HUGE proponent of technology making my life easier and more efficient, I can’t manage to use GTD[2] software to save my life.


  1. This does not count the 20 emails I got from Westlaw today, after I requested several articles be sent to me.
  2. Getting Things Done

December 29th 2006

free stuff

Because Target doesn’t have any in stock in the local stores, and the website says it’ll take up to six weeks if I order one that way, I decided it was time to spend some Lexis points instead. I just unloaded most of my (paltry) Lexis points for one of these. (I got a nano for Christmas, since my 3-year-old 2nd generation iPod was giving me about an hour and a half of battery, and now I need to stock up on accessories.)

I know, I know, it’s going to take two to four weeks to get the thing–and that’s almost as long as it would have taken from Target, where I also have store credit–but it feels like it was more free, getting it with Lexis points, than spending my store credit at Target. Maybe that’s crazy, but that’s just the way my brain works. Lexis points=free, my friend, free. (You could argue that stuff bought with Lexis points is MORE than free, since you learn stuff while you earn them. I’m not necessarily making that argument, but I’m saying you could make that argument.)

August 14th 2006

they’re INVADING MY BRAIN! (OK, maybe not my brain)

Dude.

Google? Is getting a little too intimate with me and my searching. Today I was looking for an article, so I googled the title, hoping to find out something about it. I didn’t find THAT article, but I got links, through Google Scholar, to a couple of other articles that seemed promising, like they might cite to the article I was looking for.

So I clicked on the link to the first article, the link at the top of the Google search results page, that says “Scholarly articles for [my search here].” When you do that, it takes you the result on Google scholar, with more information on where it is, and what it is. And, for me, searching for this article on campus, it includes a link next to the title that says, “Find it @ [My school].”

Huh wah wah?

Google Scholar has apparently sniffed out either my IP address or my secure connection to my school’s network, and is pointing me to results that I can only have access to if I am affliated with my school. Like, results on HeinOnline, or JSTOR.

THAT is freaky. I’m not sure how I feel about that, either.

August 1st 2006

the hell?

I had this great post I had written, all about our weekend travel plans and the progress of a year and growth, and Safari went and crashed on me. Safari sucks. (Usually, I use Camino, but for some reason, I chose Safari this time. Apple, phooey on you!)

What I had written about was the family reunion we’ll be attending this weekend, an affair that can be both tiresome and exhilerating. This year more than others, I know we will have plenty to talk about: it’s our first year above the Mason-Dixon line (though that Line doesn’t stretch this far west, as far as I know), we both finished our first year of grad school, we’re about to adopt a dog….we’ve had a lot of firsts this year, and they’ve all been really exciting. To us. Of course, the great thing about family is that you can talk about all that kind of stuff as much as you want and they will put up with it even if it IS boring as salt. (Is salt boring, actually? I know that’s not really a turn of phrase, I just threw it out there, but salt is so ubiquitous that it seems it would be boring. Yet, salt? Never boring. Always makes things better. So, not such a good turn of phrase.)

So that’s what’s going on with me. Maybe this post (and the one that disappeared before it) is just my way of saying posting will be light for a few days. And maybe it won’t. I actually don’t even know what hotel we’re staying at, so I can’t say if I’ll have internet. Even if I do, though, I still probably won’t post much.

July 18th 2006

technology’s a wonder, ain’t it?

God love backups.

With the move and all, I had forgotten to charge up my Palm Pilot. For quite a while, I guess. If you don’t charge your Palm, though, it gets so low that it shuts off and deletes all your data. I pulled my Palm out this morning to check something and it was dead. Dead dead dead. So I plugged it in, let it charge up enough to turn on and see what was going on, and discovered that, yep, all my stuff was gone. I even had to reset the date and time and time zone.

So, yeah, all my data was gone. The address book and calendar stuff I wasn’t worried about, since I have all that on my computer. But I had some add-on applications that I’d installed on my Palm, and I was a little upset that they were gone. Like, the niftiest crossword puzzle application, that downloads daily puzzles when I remember to sync every day. And a better memo application with better tools for categorizing and exporting. And some games. Sigh. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to get any of them back, since my Palm is…old. I mean, REALLY old. Black and white screen old.

But never fear! Apparently, the Palm Sync software backs up even those things–applications, too. So it’s all reinstalling right now. I am much less upset. And I have all my data! Happy, happy, joy, joy!

March 15th 2006

i have no words

This post brought to you by the letter A. For Apple. And for Amazing. And for Astonishing.

Why? Because my computer? The one I dropped off less than 48 hours ago? Is here. In my lap. With a working power input. And all my stuff still on it. (Yay for repairs not requiring wiping of the hard drive.) And it was a covered repair. Totally free. Expedited shipping. Back in my arms again.

Yay Apple! I know a lot of people complain about their service. Right now, I am not one of them. I’ve never needed to have anything repaired before, but this experience was so good that I won’t fret so much if I have to have something else fixed in the future.

March 14th 2006

Holy cow, that was fast!

I got an email today from Apple, telling me that my computer had reached the repair center. It gave me a link to click on to check the status of my repair online. So I did. Just now, I did. At 3:30 in the afternoon on the day after I dropped it off. (I dropped it off at about noon yesterday.) And you know what? The link told me my computer’s repair is DONE and that my computer is “return pending.”

In other words, whenever their next batch of packages gets picked up by FedEx or UPS or whoever does the returns, I GET MY COMPUTER BACK. Like, possibly tomorrow. Likely on Thursday. SOON!

I have no words. Except maybe this one: Dude. That was, like, lightening fast. Kick ass.

March 11th 2006

It’s still not Spring Break, officially.

Y’all, it is a BEAUTIFUL day. If my entire Spring Break were this nice, I would be SO HAPPY.

Sadly, it’s supposed to get cold and wet again sometime in the middle of next week. And today? Today I am in the library. Working on my brief. Working working working. (Yes, I am actually working and not blogging.) Phooey.

Also, I should note that, ever since I got home from the Apple Store last night, I have had ZERO problems with my power cord charging my computer. No freaky sparking noises. No strange cord-stops-charging occurrences (when I’d have to “reset” the damn thing by unplugging it, waiting a minute or so, and plugging it back in–a procedure recommended by Apple as necessary to overcome the some voltage safety feature in the damn thing). I even tested it by unplugging it from the computer, plugging it back in, turning it and wiggling it a bit, to see if I could replicate what happened to me last night, with the freaky sparking noises. Nothing.

Now, I still think something is wrong with my computer, and I’m still going to send the damn thing in for repairs. But I feel a little better about the whole thing. If they try to make me pay out of pocket, I’ll feel a little less uncomfortable about having them send it back and getting it repaired somewhere else.

OK. Back to the brief. No more staring longingly out the window at the blue, blue water, and the sunny, sunny sky. Snif. I want to be outside today.

March 10th 2006

mechanical woes

So it looks like something is wrong with my computer. The power cord usually charges it, but sometimes, it stops charging it. Without explanation. Without reason. And then, if I try to unplug it and plug it back it, sometimes it makes nasty little sparking sounds. That freaks me out.

So I went to the Apple Store to find out if it was my charger, since I just bought the thing a couple of months ago (after the unfortunate tripping on my power cord incident) to see if I could get it replaced. Because, clearly, the power cable is the problem, right? It doesn’t even glow amber anymore.

Well, the Apple Store guy was kind enough to tell me that the problem was not, in fact, the power adapter, but my computer. The power cable input is somehow fried, or shorted, or something. So, sometimes, when I plug in, it works, and sometimes it doesn’t.

“Well,” I asked him, “what does that mean? Can I have it repaired?”

“Sure,” he said. “You can send it in. If they look at it, though, and decide that it’s not damage they’ll cover, because, for instance, the damage was from accidental use or misuse, you’ll have to pay for the repair.”

“Oh,” I said. “That doesn’t sound good. How much do you think that’ll run?”

“Hm,” he said. “I think they replace the whole section, and do any other repairs that involve that part of the machine, like the case. They’ll probably charge you about $900.”

Nine hundred dollars!” I cried. “I could buy a new machine for that! What are the chances of that happening?”

“Oh, maybe 70/30?” he said. “But if they do that, just have them send it back, and bring it to us, and we’ll just replace that one part. It’ll be about $300.”

So, basically, it’s a good thing Spring Break has officially started. Because once I turn my appellate brief in, I’m going to have to send my computer in for repairs. That way I can get it back before classes start back up. If I’m lucky. Also, if I’m lucky, I won’t have to pay for the repairs. Because even if Apple decides to stick it to me, my renters’ insurance covers any damage to one of our computers. So I guess I could send them a claim.

I’m annoyed that this is happening, I’m annoyed that I’m having this problem. I’m annoyed with Apple for being so stingy on repairs, that I even have to worry about paying out of pocket for this repair. But thank God for small favors, because it’s happened at a time of year when I actually can send my machine away for several days.

Off to image my disk for backup. Sigh.

February 25th 2006

Saturdays should be more fun

Today has been a frustrating day.

Frustration Part I: group projects in general, particularly the waiting part of group projects. I think I’ve decided that’s the major reason I dislike collaborative stuff–I would rather work on my timeframe and not have to coordinate schedules and stuff.

Frustration Part II: stupid CSS. I am working on a website and it looks exactly like I want it to, except that the container [div] tag that wraps around the content and sidebar [div] tags won’t work right. It’s supposed to wrap around in code and in fact, and give the whole thing a nice border. Instead, I get a 1px high box with a border, underneath my two side-by-side sections. If I set a height for the box, though, it works. But because the content will grow, I can’t make the damn page a static size. So I am seriously annoyed.

On a high note, though, dinner turned out well. It might have been better if we’d had better wine to go with it. Unfortunately, all we have is a Dee-Lite-Ful Ernest & Julio Gallo Shiraz. Mmmmmm. (No, really, it’s drinkable, but doesn’t pair well with my delicately flavored lemon risotto. Recipe to come.)

February 19th 2006

a great new browser, but with a critical problem (or not)

I’ve been testing out Camino this week, after reading a review of the new, stable, 1.0 version.

And so far, I really like it. It renders certain pages better than Safari, but looks and feels more Mac-like than Firefox. It’s flexible and stable and, if you really like the idea of using a Mozilla browser but don’t like Firefox on the Mac, it’s a great alternative. In fact, I’ve been enjoying it so much, I kind of want to use it full-time.

Here’s why I can’t:

It does not treat certain kinds of redirect scripts properly. At least, I think that’s the problem. I have two pieces of evidence to support this conclusion. First, I can’t use Westlaw on Camino. If you’re a law student and use Westlaw, you know that getting to the search pages takes a couple of clicks. First you go to the main “lawschool.westlaw.com” page, and then you click on the link for the research system. And you get a (very annoying, by the way) new window, which loads the research interface. If you watch what’s going on in that new window, though, you’ll see that the page loads first one URL, then redirects to another. (Basically.) Camino will open the new window, but the redirect never happens. I’ve tweaked settings–turning off popup blocking, for instance–to see if some security measure I use is causing problems, but to no avail. I simply can’t use Westlaw on Camino.

The second bit of evidence bolsters this. I can’t publish from Movable Type on Camino. I can compose my post with no problems and save it. Usually after saving, MT republishes the post page and the index page. That process involves a redirect of some kind, and Camino gets hung up. It never gets there. So I can compose and save in Camino, but I have to use another browser to re-save and get the post to show up. This is a hassle, since it also means I can’t use my “quickpost” bookmarklet. Or, rather, I can use the bookmarklet, but I still have to into another browser, and into MT, and re-save the post.

I’m still going to use Camino and play with it–a lot. But this one problem means I can’t use Camino as my main browser, and that’s too bad.

OK, I just retested Westlaw and MT, and both worked. But two days ago, neither one did. My head may explode.

Um, so, yay! Camino! If you’re using Mac OS X, try it out! It’s great!

January 30th 2006

two unrelated items

  • I camped out at Career Services today so I could sign up for a “first-come-first-served” interview slot with a new OCI firm. Sadly, there was no preference for those of us whose interviews got cancelled. So I plunked myself down with Chemerinsky and a red pencil and waited for a couple of hours. I was first to sign up. Exciting as that is, though, it’s just a slot for a screening interview. So I guess I’d better start exercising my interview smile.
  • In other news, Mr. Angst has crossed over to the dark side; he purchased a used Mac Powerbook (financed by the sale of a PC laptop) so he can play with *nix AND have a wireless connection. I’ve been passing on tips and tricks all night. To be fair, Mr. Angst was a Mac person back in the clone days, but he hasn’t regularly used a Mac in years. So this is a treat, the two of us with our matching 12″ aluminum ‘books. (Remember, though, mine is better.)
  • January 10th 2006

    breaking the 10th commandment

    I waaaaaaaant one!

    A bit spendy, though.

    December 30th 2005

    Thank GOD it happened TODAY and not TOMORROW

    I set my computer on the ottoman, stood up from the couch, and then walked toward the kitchen.

    But silly me, I wasn’t wearing slippers and my feet were cold and I caught my toe on the power cable. And my computer slipped from the ottoman to the floor and I stubbed my toe. Ouch. In more than one way. Because when I went to look at my computer, the power cable had pulled out and BENT. It looked like this. Eek!

    After some hand-wringing, I looked up the cost of a replacement and was HORRIFIED. How much? No less than SEVENTY-ONE DOLLARS. And that’s WITH the student discount!

    More hand-wringing. Mr. Angst rummaged for needlenosed pliers. I looked up information online–would this be covered by AppleCare? (The information varies, but my guess is no, since Apple hates replacing things damaged due to “accidents” or “improper force.”) Needlenosed pliers were found, the cable was unplugged from the wall and the pin was bent back. The metal casing was pushed back into a mostly-circular shape. There was more hand-wringing.

    With a deep breath, I pushed the power adapter into my computer–success! With breath HELD, then, I plugged the cable back into the wall and . . . it lit right up. Whew!

    Since then, I’ve been searching for information on whether or not this was bad, for me to bend the pin back and all. I felt something like a snap when it bent back, but it’s certainly not broken off or even loose. It might have been something just snapping back into place, but I don’t know. It IS charging my PowerBook up nicely, though.

    Any thoughts?

    October 14th 2005

    it’s the little annoyances

    I was so excited about Bloglines’ new hotkeys feature. Bloglines–looking out for my carpal tunnel!

    Until I discovered that my application keyboard shortcuts (for Safari) no longer work when I’m in Bloglines. So, there I am, reading my feeds, and I decide I want to open a new tab so I can look something up. I hit Command-T for a new tab and…no worky. So I still have to trackpad up to the file menus just to open a new tab. I can’t close a Bloglines window by keyboard shortcuts. I can’t do anything by keyboard shortcut if I’m reading feeds in Bloglines! Argh!

    July 26th 2005

    why i didn’t post this morning

    I know, I know, I haven’t posted today! I’ve been dealing with some crappy CSS issues, trying to figure out why Internet Explorer sucks so much. (I know why it sucks so much, but the specific ways IN WHICH it sucks and how to FIX THEM has been preoccupying me today.)

    At any rate, about ten minutes ago, I discovered that almost any funky display issues you have with IE (on a Mac, at least) where you are using CSS to create certain visual effects (offset boxes and the like) can possibly be fixed by either adding another <div> tag, right around the affected text, or by replicating inline styles that should be inherited right into the nested tags.

    If you’re not into CSS, that probably makes no sense. Sorry. Of course, IE isn’t the only browser with issues. Safari, for some reason, doesn’t like certain kinds of elements to have certain kinds of tags and will make things look funky even when Firefox displays them with no problems. (I can’t remember exactly what the situation was now; I was so frantic at the time that I was copying and pasting and deleting and copying and suddenly things worked when I got rid of a “width” style. Maddening.)

    At any rate, things are working now. (None of thise was for THIS site, of course. I went through all that pain AGES ago.) I feel good: I always have liked finding and fixing problems, of course. The process was tiresome, sure, but I fixed it in the end, and I did it mostly on my own.

    June 15th 2005

    i got a big-girl phone!

    I finally got my new phone. I can take it back within 14 days and get my money back as well as have the contract extension cancelled.

    My new phone…well, I don’t love it as much as my new computer, but it’s pretty cool. It has a color screen and polyphonic ring tones, which makes it a huge step up from my last phone, may it rest in ghetto hell where it belongs.

    I am pleased, though, that in buying a new phone I did not succumb to the everything-plus-the-kitchen-sink temptation. My phone is a PHONE. It is not a camera or a video camera or an MP3 player. It does have some sort of rudimentary “personal assistant” which I will never use, and it has WAP access which I will also NEVER use. But it’s basically a phone. And that is a Good Thing.

    June 10th 2005

    sweet!

    This is just nifty!

    Bloglines has a feature now that lets you track a package. You enter your tracking number (UPS, FedEx, or USPS) into a particular field, and it adds it to your list of feeds to watch.

    When updates happen—”package scanned” or “on truck for delivery”—they show up like new posts.

    I can see this being helpful for those packages coming by slow ground service (I am currently waiting on my new bag, for instance, via UPS Ground), where constantly checking the delivery service website gets tedious. But for overnight, next-day, and the like, I imagine you’d just check on your own.

    Still, nifty!

    (I really like Bloglines, despite the problems they are currently having with the blogroll script. All entries are showing up with some random text next to them.)

    June 9th 2005

    Hey kids, guess what?

    This post is brought to you courtesy of my BRAND SPANKING NEW 12″ POWERBOOK.

    Heeee!!! I’m almost manic over it all! It’s smal and shiny and SOOOOO pretty.

    This post is also being brought to you courtesy of someone with an open wireless network. Mr. Angst is going to have to set up ours so this computer can connect. Until then, thank you anonymous neighbor; it is because of your (ignorance, kindness) that I was able to install some necessary updates and post this entry.

    Lah dee dah dee dah. More playing. Ta!

    June 7th 2005

    i’m itchin’ to get my hands on it!

    With all the Apple-Intel noise, including the expected predictions of doom for Apple’s sales, I am feeling a slight twinge of buyer’s remorse over my Powerbook purchase.

    A corner of my brain says, Hey! You could have just sprung for a proc upgrade and new battery for the Pismo and waited till the new Powerbooks come out next year! And there’s logic in that.

    (I say PBs next year because I am certain one of the biggest reasons Apple did this move was to get actual mobile procs that run cool AND fast, since the G5 Powerbook was quickly looking more and more mythical.)

    Sigh. And of course the voice inside is being silly—I have been craving a new machine for ages and my five-and-a-half-year-old Pismo is NOT getting any faster. But leave it to Apple to announce that there will be a great upgrade to the machine I was looking at—only not for another year.

    So, a little twinge of buyer’s remorse. As soon as that box arrives, though, I think the twinge will evaporate. I have never had a new computer. My Pismo was purchased on eBay. Every work computer I’ve had was passed on from someone else. I’ve always had to contend with the little twitches and bumps signifying that someone else’s hands touched my machine first. But not this time. This time, the machine is MINE. ALL mine.