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Happy end-of-year, and a short collection of ideas, both serious and trivial

(A relatively short post, as I'm in recovery.)

Five things that are easier with crutches

I broke a leg bone in half a week ago[1], so I have some tips for you should you need crutches.
  • Palm calluses useful for chandelier-swinging.
  • Improved ability to re-slip on ice. Advantage: Already have crutches.
  • Like some kinds of work (e.g., writing), slow and steady is often more productive than fast and reckless.
  • Can use to point and press buttons.
  • Hyper-developed right leg more impressive than pre-accident, and draws attention away from shrunken chicken-stick broken leg.
  • Increases pan handling donations, esp. when combined with weary slouch.
  • And finally, children just love to play with them!

Three things you didn't know about me
  • One of my teeth is rotated 90 degrees from normal
  • I was raised by a family of wild cats. While they treated me with love and like one of their own, I have some residual bad habits like using my tongue to clean myself, and an aversion to toilets - I prefer a litter box. Thank god for my portable litter box!
  • Ezra Cornell, the founder of Cornell University, is my great-great uncle. Sadly, family scholarships were dropped before I graduated high school. (This one's actually true.)

How to actually take time off during your holiday

In Holiday Hacks: 12 Radical (and Slightly Naughty) Ways to Stay Productive the author suggests ways to work during time off. Here's what I said:
The real question is how you want to use your time "off" from work. Without a recharge, it's arguable that you've squandered an important opportunity to make your brain work better.

I recommend treating it like a vacation: Don't work! Like taking a vacation, prepare before it starts by getting caught up, verifying projects are in a happy state, and dealing with anything that you know will come up during the break, e.g., bills, party planning, buying gifts, etc.

Also, I want to acknowledge the people who have to work while many of us take breaks, e.g., people who work in hospitals and provide health care, fire and police workers, 24/7 customer support reps, etc. (Please add yourself in the comments - I know I'm skipping lots of other important work.)
You might also enjoy A few thoughts on vacations & GTD, used time management books, a few productivity tips, and heroes - both super *and* real.

(BTW, I've been on a superhero kick, and enjoyed reading Soon I Will Be Invincible: A Novel and Hero. Guilty pleasure, but while laid up I've not been up to reading one book, each day, one hour each.)

Places where our cat throws up (with solutions)

While I am concerned about genetically modified foods (apparently tomatoes are common), there's one creature I'd be perfectly happy seeing modified: felis domesticus. Why? Because the thing's digestive system ain't there yet. I love our 15 year old animal, but it pukes on everything. Examples:
  • The floor - most common. Best choice: Wood floors. Worst choice: Carpet. Disadvantage: Usually found when stepped on in bare feet. Solution: Daily hosing-down of all walking surfaces with bleach/fluorohydric acid mixture.
  • Beds - also common. Best choice: None. Advantage: Usually caught in the act, allowing prompt action. Solution: Sleep on floor.
  • And finally, a new one: The vacuum cleaner! A twisty, somewhat self-referential target that gave me a chuckle. Left in place for holiday humor.

Finally, even if you don't celebrate the arbitrary point in our planet's orbit around the sun, I'd like to wish you a good new year. Thanks to you all for reading - I'm humbled and grateful.

  • [1] Prognosis: 6-8 weeks to start walking on it, 3-4 months before it's healed and I'm mountain biking again. Thank goodness I have tele-coaching and local consulting during the next month or so! I'd be very unhappy leading one of my workshops sitting down. (I move around a lot, have many activities, and generally we have a lot of fun.)

Reader Comments (8)

Matt, I'm right there with you about the cat puke. We've got three cats, one of whom is quite the puke machine. Here's a good one: standing on the back of the couch so it runs down the back of the couch and onto the floor.

All three like to go outside, eat grass and then COME BACK INSIDE before they throw it up.

Luckily we have all wood floors. But the furniture is another story.

Regarding weird teeth. I have a friend who revealed a few years ago that his lower front two teeth are still baby teeth. Before that, I had never noticed anything weird about his teeth. But after that, I was permanently freaked.

December 23, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterLisa Braithwaite

About the cats and the carpet - I assume you've discovered the Bissell SpotBot? Works like a charm, especially with the Oxy-Gen2 booster.

Only two flaws: 1. Not a lot of uses in each bottle of cleaner. 2. Curved tank requires three hands to fill when upside down.

December 23, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJay Levitt

Jay, I actually thought you were joking - a robot that follows the cat around with some kind of super-secret cleaning substance ... then found the thing! [ SpotBotĀ® | http://www.bissell.com/Products/p/SpotBot/product.aspx ], [ OXY GEN2 BOOSTER | http://doitbest.com/Chemical+Drain+Cleaners-Bissell-model-0801-doitbest-sku-631347.dib ]. Heh heh heh.

December 23, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew Cornell

Lisa: Very, very funny; spot on.

standing on the back of the couch so it runs down the back of the couch and onto the floor - A classic! The accuracy and precision make it hard to believe it isn't intentional ... "If I just adjust the angle and flow, I can *really* get a good long run here. Here goes... BINGO! Now I can rest..." :-)

lower front two teeth are still baby teeth - Wow. I think I know two people whose entire set is baby. Not sure if this is a myth or not. [Does a bit of research...] OK, apparently having some that don't erupt isn't uncommon - [ Baby teeth at 26. | Ask MetaFilter | http://ask.metafilter.com/31598/Baby-teeth-at-26 ]. Sounds like it's not a great thing (I hate tooth problems - mid-way on the evolution of good eating tools, I guess).

(BTW, for the morbidly curious, here are my [ leg X-rays | http://www.flickr.com/photos/matthewcornell/with/2131113856/ ].)

Thanks for reading!

December 23, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew Cornell

Sorry to hear about your injury, and hope you mend quickly and completely.

That sense of humor will help with the healing even more that those callouses!

Happy new calendar year!
from a mostly lurking subscriber who enjoys your Ideas!

December 23, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJuggling Frogs

Thanks a bunch, Juggling Frogs. Happy holidays.

December 23, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew Cornell

Matt, I loved your crutches humor! I broke my leg (tib-fib, never do anything halfway) in 2006, and I remember all those crutch ups and downs. All my best for quick and thorough healing.

December 24, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterBecky McCray

Becky, thanks a lot. Sounds like you got "all better."

P.S. I love your extensive [ blogs you author | http://www.blogger.com/profile/05752231568940350610 ]. Fun mixture...

December 24, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew Cornell

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