Experiment: Four-Day Fast

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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What it Means to Add Purpose to Your Day

When Leo Babauta wrote about Most-Important Tasks on Zen Habits, he titled his post “Purpose to Your Day.” I was reminded of what he meant last night when I found myself drifting from one thing to another in my hotel room during a conference. I did some writing, then I found myself playing a game. Then I sat down and flipped through a few browser tabs over and over. I didn’t feel like watching TV or reading my book because I knew I had work I should be doing, but I didn’t have a clear picture of what those things were or the motivation to do them, so I went through the motions without accomplishing anything.

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Coffice Hours

Cof-fice /'kôfis/
A coffee shop one makes into an office where non-coffee shop work is performed.
(Source: UrbanDictionary)

I coffice1 frequently, and so do plenty of other people in Minneapolis. For those of us who work from home some or all of the time, it’s nice to change the scenery and be around people sometimes.

I’d like to try to meet some new people to coffice with, and maybe even build a small network of fellow Minneapolis cofficers. If you live in or near enough to Minneapolis, join the Coffice Hours Facebook group. (I was going to use Meetup, but it was too expensive and too formal.)

My plan is to post coffice hours myself at least once a week, and I hope others will join and do the same so I can meet new people and try new coffee shops.

Hope to coffice with you soon!


  1. Yes, it’s a silly word. Also I kind of like it.