Friday, December 12, 2014

Weekend Reading: The Don't Let It Get You Down Edition

Today has been an object lesson in pulling out of a funk. I was in a funk for a variety of reasons.

I settled into a funk last night, after concluding that the t-shirt printing place I found doesn't seem to respond to customer queries. I like their quality and prices, but I sorta need them to fix it if they make a mistake, so it was back to the drawing board on the t-shirt front, all while Mr. Snarky pointed out that t-shirts are a crowded market and selling t-shirts is unlikely to ever make me much money.

I agree, but the market isn't crowded with things I want to wear, so I figure I can make t-shirts I'll wear and maybe a few other people will buy them, too, and it will be grand. Also, designing t-shirts turns out to be a lot of fun.

But the setback almost had me convinced to just ditch the idea, despite the fact that I've finally figured out the technical side of the design process and really like my latest design (it involves dragonflies).

Then there was the rain, which is done now, but was coming down pretty hard this morning, and part of me just wanted to curl up in a chair and sip tea and read a book.

But I'd just done a deep dive into my corporate finances on Wednesday, and that told me I shouldn't get too lazy.

So, I fell back on my productivity tricks and kicked myself in the pants and actually got quite a lot done today- including submitting my latest t-shirt design as a test order at a new print shop.

I still sipped a lot of tea.

Anyway, to the links! Looking at them, I think the theme is, yeah, sometimes things are suboptimal or downright sucky, but it won't do anyone any good if I let that get me down. So, another object lesson in pulling out of a funk, if you will. The links are a mix of things that depress me and things that give me hope- I'll let you sort out which are in each category.

First up, women in tech. Sue Gardner had an op-ed in the LA Times that is a pretty concise summary of how sucky that situation is right now.

But! Here is something nice, from our history- Margaret Hamilton was the lead software engineer 
on the Apollo Project. Wikipedia has a short entry about her.

Ta-Nehisi Coates' piece about the New Republic is characteristically great.

Shonda Rhimes delivered a hell of a speech.

Decreasing implicit racism may be as simple- and as hard- as having more diverse children's literature.

Doing little things to make other people happier always makes me happier, too, so I liked Laura Vanderkam's 12 Days of Microphilanthropy.

And of course, I have a couple of random fun things at the end.

First, I've finally found a podcast that I love as much as the BBC's History of the World in 100 Objects. It is A History of the English Language, and as far as I can tell it is delivered by a hobbyist- but wow, I'm learning a lot. I just finished listening to an entire episode on the history of the letter C, and it was awesome.

I sort of want to hire someone to make some cool moss art on my house. I'm sure there are good reasons not to do that, though.

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