Bird Outline/Line Drawing

I’m always looking for outline drawings for the girls’ projects, but it’s hard to find good-quality image files. I needed a bird outline for our word tree, and while this sketch I found on Pinterest looks great, it is really small and poor quality. So I made a similar bird in Adobe Illustrator—and added wings once we ran out of space on the tree branches.

On the off chance you need a high-quality bird outline/line drawing and this fits the bill, here are the files:

A General Rule for Team Communication Across Multiple Platforms

How to impose order on the chaos that results from having so many different communication tools.

Modern businesses use a variety of apps and tools to keep track of work and get work done. And most of those apps and tools include some kind of messaging system. At Lawyerist, for example, we use Gmail and Slack for communication, but we also use Google Docs, Teamwork, and Trello, each of which has its own built-in messaging.

And some of our tools have more than one kind of messaging. In Teamwork, for example, you can leave comments on just about anything, including messages.1 And while Slack is mostly just a stream of messages, you can also comment on uploaded files or text snippets. Google Docs has at least 3 kinds of messaging: (1) you can chat with other people currently viewing the document, (2) you can comment on any portion of the document, and (3) you can comment on suggested edits.

So if you need to refer back to a message, where do you go? It can be a problem. Our solution is simple, but it has been effective. Here is our general rule on communication:

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  1. Fortunately, you can turn off messages in Teamwork projects, which simplifies things a little. 

Reflections on Fasting

In the end I fasted for three and a half days instead of the four-day fast I originally planned. Sure I had to snack a bit, but I think I got the general idea. Here are my thoughts on the experience.

In the end I fasted for three and a half days instead of the four-day fast I originally planned. Sure I had to snack a bit, but I think I got the general idea. Here are my thoughts on the experience. (And here are my journal entries.)

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Experiment: Four-Day Fast

I’m not going to eat for four days. Stay tuned if you want to know what comes after hangry.

I’m not going to eat for four days.

For the second year in a row, I am taking a personal retreat at the St. John’s Abbey Guesthouse. It’s nice to have a few days of quiet to relax, read, and reflect. Plus, CSB/SJU is a special place for me. My parents (and some of my aunts and uncles) were married there. I was baptized there. We lived in a dorm at St. Ben’s when I was a baby, and I bounced in the doorway in my Johnny Jump Up. I remember sitting on Sister Dennis‘s lap at a kick wheel in the pottery when I was 5 or 6 while she showed me how to throw a pot. And I always love sitting and talking with Father Rene. St. John’s feels a bit like home, even though I didn’t go to school there.

I’m not religious in the least, by the way, but I’m glad other people are so that places like St. John’s exist.

Anyway, this year I’m going to fast during my retreat.

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The Best Pocket Capture Notebook

I keep a pocket notebook with me at all times, for writing down anything and everything. My notebooks contain things I need to do around the house, article outlines, business ideas, meeting notes, and more. I like thin, pocket-sized notebooks because they are easier to carry and because it only takes 2–3 weeks to fill them up, which is a nice interval for processing their contents.

I’m explaining how I use my notebooks because the way I use them has a lot to do with which notebooks I prefer. So does the pen I carry everywhere with me — a Fischer Space Pen.

So, my notebooks need to last 2–3 weeks and they need to be able to survive being stored in my back pocket most of that time. And the paper needs to hold up to a Fischer Space Pen (which is roughly equivalent to most ballpoint pens). With those requirements in mind, here are the ones I have tried, and my thoughts on each.

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