Category Archives: 7 Quick Takes Friday

7 Quick Takes on ATX Catholic, Pocket, and Productivity

7qt_lyceum

— 1 —

I read this in Friday’s Augustine Day by Day. This is why I can’t switch to Dominican spirituality, although that’s my #2. Augustinian spirituality is just so me.

The peace, then, of the body lies in the ordered equilibrium of all of its parts; the peace of the irrational soul, in the balanced adjustment of its appetites; the peace of the reasoning soul, in the harmonious correspondence of conduct and conviction; the peace of the body and soul, taken together, in the well-ordered life and health of the living whole. Peace between a mortal man and his Maker consists in ordered obedience, guided by faith, under God’s eternal law; peace between man and man consists of regulated fellowship. Peace, in its final sense, is the calm that comes of order. Order is an arrangement of like and unlike things whereby each of them is disposed in its proper place.

—St. Augustine, City of God, Chapter 13

I love it.

— 2 —

ATX Catholic

I rebranded my blog several years ago, when I bought this domain name, and now my beloved Austin CNM has rebranded to ATX Catholic. Cris has a great explanation for the rebranding, as well as the refreshed logo, and I am totally behind it. The organization still owns austincnm.com, so all the links will redirect, and the Twitter handle has been updated (#21stcenturyproblems). My site will follow suit shortly. My role isn’t changing, but I, for one, am very glad to not have to explain anymore why we didn’t spell out the “Catholic” part and what “new media” is.

— 3 —

Speaking of scheduling, I got another report of my Pocket stats, just like I did last year. I’m now in the top 1%, which makes me wonder how much data Pocket is holding for people who have stuffed and then completely abandoned their accounts. (Another #21stcenturyproblem.)

my Pocket stats for 2016

I give kudos to Pocket for finally convincing me to (and giving me a great tool to) read “What ISIS Really Wants.” I saw that on Facebook a lot before I finally actually read it. You can never be sure about info that doesn’t come straight from the source, but I love The Atlantic, and I love magazine features, and I am praying that someone stops the atrocities soon.

— 4 —

My greatest takeaway from Your Money or Your Life was that when we work, we sacrifice some of our life in exchange for money. We then trade the money for stuff: food, clothes, tech, “intangible benefits” from donations to charity, etc. Transitively, we trade our lives for stuff. One question that guides you toward financial integrity is whether you are happy with the stuff you’re trading your life for.

Many people are familiar with the concept “hours to earn.” Is a new smartphone worth the hours and effort you had to put in to earn that much money?

Fewer people are familiar with the concept “actual wage.” How much do you really make when you factor in:

  • benefits you’re using (vacation time and health insurance),
  • benefits you’re not using (matching funds for your retirement plan deferrals), and
  • what it costs you to work (commute time, work clothes, and stress relief)?

Deep, I know.

I thought about that when I listened to Get-It-Done Guy describe how to assign a monetary value to your time in his podcast. I had to read the transcript later because I was so lost in thought that I was only half paying attention to the audio. It was an eerie synchronicity with my recent introspection about how I spend my time, year-end/year-beginning thoughts about what I’m doing with my life, two separate productivity e-newsletters, and the impending beginning of the spring soul-cleaning we call Lent. Maybe God is trying to tell me something. Can you give up “not having a life plan” for Lent?

— 5 —

Sometimes I have trouble staying focused. I have noticed, though, that I tend to go on productive tangents. When I was doing my monthly review this week (it’s not GTD, but I find it helpful), I got distracted with some of that higher-level life thinking and organization I’ve been working on. I organized my password manager, my Google Drive account, Dropbox, and my feeds in Feedly into folders that match my Areas of Focus. I was fine acknowledging that I don’t have many passwords connected to Health & Beauty. It was harder to see how full and unfinished my Personal Growth stuff is getting.

— 6 —

In case you missed it in this week’s NAS post, I stumbled across the most amazing list of tips to stop avoiding conflict. That’s some of the best advice I’ve seen in a really long time.

— 7 —

Lent starts Wednesday. Yes, people will come piling in like a clown car unloading to take your seat and your parking space. Pray that they will come back on Sunday, and the Sunday after that, and the one after that, forever, and pray for mercy upon yourself for your uncharitable thoughts. I will be doing that, too.

Abp. Sheen on Lent as eradicating evil or cultivating virtue


For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t the Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes on Multiple Choice, Remembrance of Death, and Jeopardy!

7qt_lyceum

— 1 —

I had a teensy bit of time, finally, to wrap up my 2015 year in review post. It was just too ridiculous to be publishing that in February! I’ve even already scheduled it for tomorrow, so I know it’s actually happening. #winning

— 2 —

I survived 9 Days for Life, the Texas Rally for Life, and the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. I don’t think the convergence of those events hit me so hard last year. It was tough to add two additional sets of prayer and reflection per day—plus the act of reparation for 9 Days, which was usually more prayer—to the prayers and readings and such that I already do every day. I’m happy to do it, though, because prayer has an eternal effect, and because I can.

I’m at a place in my life where I can commit to extra prayer time, and I’ve discovered that I find great joy in things that have to happen on a regular basis. My daily reading from St. Augustine, Night Prayer, the Morning Offering for my membership in the Apostleship of the Prayer: they all help me grow in holiness. That’s the goal. That’s the one thing I know for sure that God wants me to do.

I also enjoyed the Texas Rally for Life because I got another sweet photo of the Capitol.

Still waiting for the day we don't have to do this anymore. #whywemarch #latergram #txrallyforlife

A photo posted by Lindsay Wilcox (@whatlindsayloves) on

Most of the friends I marched with in years past have moved on to actually procreating and raising tiny little lives, but I found a few buddies this year anyway. And I loved this year’s Texas Catholic Pro-Life Day t-shirt. There’s hope yet for the full pro-life spectrum to make it to the March.

— 3 —

I’m behind on my Fr. Mike videos, but I did watch another one a little while ago that I wanted to share. In it, he discusses our contemporary tendency to bring heroes down to our level rather than aspiring to be like them. That’s true for superheroes and regular human heroes. We’ve somehow created a world where Superman kills people and our “American Idol” is a briefly popular singer (exceptions: Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood). A hero is no longer someone we want to be like. Most superheroes aren’t even moral people (exception: my celebrity crush, Captain America). I think we all have a sense that popular culture and morality aren’t meeting these days, but it’s nice to hear a spade called a spade.

— 4 —

I have an ever-present awareness of my own death. It’s not a weird goth thing; it’s more like a classier memento mori thing.

Some parts of it are a little weird for other people, like my devotion to the Holy Souls in Purgatory. They can’t pray themselves out! It’s all burning! I usually offer that as my intention in contexts where we get to offer prayer intentions. It inspired my ACE classmates to form a musical supergroup called “[Founder’s Name Redacted] and the Holy Souls of Purgatory.” (Yes, with an “of.”) Our professors were worried they’d offend me, but I found it charming. More publicity for them can only help, right?

Other parts are more fun, like when someone says “if I die” and I reply, “‘If‘? What do you know that I don’t know?”

Still other parts are completely classy, like Wesley Smith’s essay in this month’s First Things online, “‘Remembrance of Death’ Can Overcome ‘Death Obsession’.” His angle is rather more anti-euthansia, pro-life than mine tends to be, but I enjoyed seeing someone else promote death as not only a natural part of life (so to speak), but also something that might be beneficial to keep in mind.

— 5 —

Because very little in my life is ever normal, when my car needed to stay in the shop over the weekend for a brake light repair, I got a Camaro as a loaner. I felt ridiculous driving that thing. As my car-loving coworker said, it was like sitting in a hole, except that I also had to drive safely while I was in that hole. I barely remembered to give my roommates a heads-up that I did not actually buy the ridiculous car parked in the driveway. I don’t think I ever got the side mirrors adjusted properly. I couldn’t park it without being way too far to the left. I couldn’t even figure out how to release the front seat so I could put my bags in the backseat. It was the worst, and I am very happy to have my regular car back.

The moral of the story: Never get a sports car. I was much more comfortable in my mom’s old minivan.

— 6 —

I took the Jeopardy! test again this week. I was surprised by how much to-the-minute pop culture was on it, but that’s probably because I don’t watch the show. I gave up cable years ago, it airs in my market at 4:30 p.m., and I never bothered with a converter. I guess I have to wait until à la carte online channels become a reality.

If you don’t think that’s coming, just think about how recently you had to be in front of a TV at a specific date and time to watch a show. If you didn’t rearrange the entire rest of your life (or wrestle with VHS recording), you might never get to see that episode. Ever. That was life less than twenty years ago. This is a strange new television world, but I like it.

— 7 —

I haven’t taken any kind of test besides an eye exam in a very long time, but I still have a heart for education. Thus, a Quartz article that seemed like it was about how to guess correctly on a multiple-choice test caught my eye. The gist of it is that you can’t say “always trust your first instinct” and you can’t say “never trust your first instinct.” Sometimes, changing your mind results in choosing the correct answer. Sometimes, sticking with your first guess results in choosing the correct answer. They’re about even in practice. The real takeaway from the study, though, is that we don’t remember the truth about instincts versus revisions. Memories are not all that trustworthy. The best way to decide whether to stick with your instincts or change your mind is to record how confident you were about your guess.

The moral of the story: There’s no good way to guess correctly on a multiple-choice test, and there’s definitely no way you can trust your memory.


For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t the Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes on Wunderlist, Bible Study, and Other Ways I Spend My Time

7qt_lyceum

— 1 —

Wunderlist continues to improve, making me much more confident using it than I was when Sunrise had its sunset. They published a neat annual overview a few weeks ago. My Wunderlist year in review makes me look both more and less productive than I’d hoped. I don’t like the use of the singular “they,” but I do like that doing my Weekly Review on Tuesdays makes it my most productive day.

The killer (which I mean in a good way) was my discovery of a new right-click context menu. Although it’s not part of GTD, I do a daily review. I reschedule the things I didn’t get done today to tomorrow. If I don’t think I can do them tomorrow, I just remove the date altogether and reassess during my Weekly Review. If I don’t do my daily review at night, then, first thing in the morning, I reschedule “due yesterday” tasks to be due “today.” This review/rescheduling process used to take forever because I had to double-click each task to open it, open the due date selector, pick the new due date, and save it. The only other option was to carefully drag items from day to day in the Week smart list.

Now, I can right-click the item (or a whole bunch at once!) and select “due today” or “due tomorrow” or “remove due date.” It saves so much time! I even took to Twitter to gush about it.

— 2 —

I’m back in Bible study. My parish is doing “Prophets: Messengers of God’s Mercy” because it’s the Year of Mercy and because all Bible study is awesome. We’ve been doing Great Adventure studies for a while, and I love them, but last fall was the first time we could get online access through Ascension Press’s sister site, Evangelization.com. (Great domain name grab, by the way.)

Evangelization.com improved my experience of small group Bible study in two distinct ways. First, I could order my materials whenever I was ready and have them shipped directly to my house. It was only a few dollars more than jumping in on my parish’s bulk order, and I didn’t have to worry about remembering to take my check to our study leader. Second, when I missed one session because I was sick, I streamed the video from home. I don’t get sick very often, but I was so glad to have put that contingency plan in place.

Last week, when we started our new study, I found another perk. Shipping is a gamble around Christmastime, so I ordered my “Prophets” materials in early December. They showed up very quickly, so I was all set. Our study leader, however, had submitted the bulk order in a reasonable timeframe, but Ascension closed for Christmas right after she ordered. Her order wasn’t even processed until last week. Thus, I was literally the only person who had my materials on time. It was fine because that was the intro session, but I felt like an awkward eager beaver.

The rationale Ascension gave for starting Evangelization.com was to give study leaders a chance to do what they do best—inviting people to join, preparing for and leading discussions, and so on—instead of ordering and storing workbooks and DVDs. Fantastic idea. Now we just need to get more of my overwhelmingly senior-citizen Bible study group on board.

— 3 —

I had a panic moment this weekend getting self-reflective about the way I spend my time. The gap between my actual life now, what I wish it were right now, and what I want it to be in the future started giving me that feeling of something pressing on my chest. It was kind of scary. I decided to just think about something else.

That feeling almost returned when I read a WashPo article about the reality of “more free time.” It seems logical that we just need more time away from work to be happier, but the author posits that what we need is more time off work when other people are also off work. When I was most recently between jobs, I experienced that firsthand. I had all the daytime hours I wanted, but when evenings and weekends came, I was just as “busy” as everyone else because they were finally available to spend time with me. It’s an interesting way to think about the time we have, the way we spend it, and how that’s linked to happiness.

— 4 —

usccb-9daysforlife

January is slipping away… so it’s time for 9 Days for Life again! Don’t worry if you’re reading this after Saturday; all prayer is good prayer, even if it’s “late.” I was stunned by last year’s campaign because it was so excellent, and I’m hoping this year will be even better.

To participate:

So simple, so powerful, and so social.

I especially recommend the email list because, if you stay subscribed at the end of 9 Days for Life, you’ll get the People of Life newsletter every month. It shares a very short reflection (one paragraph); invites you to pray an Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, and a Glory Be for a particular intention; and offers several possible acts of reparation for sins against life. I believe in being pro-life all the time, not just for one day in January; and I believe that “pro-life” is more than just “pro-baby” and “anti-abortion.” People of Life helps me encourage those beliefs.

— 5 —

I finally mailed the last of my Epiphany cards, so I can reveal them online now. If I missed you in the mail, here’s yours:

Oh Holy Night: With joy from Lindsay Wilcox

     I didn’t think it was possible, but this year was even better than the last! I am still working in contracts at [unspecified construction company]. In 2015, I helped put on the Pure Fashion show after months of preparation. After that, I started dancing West Coast Swing regularly and even took a hip-hop WCS workshop in the fall! I finished a “Great Adventure” Bible study on the Book of Revelation and a “Word on Fire” study of Jesus as priest, prophet, and king. Matthew McConnaughey called our office, and I answered—that was a surprise! I traveled to Houston to venerate the relics of my favorite saint, Maria Goretti. The beautiful weddings of dear friends in Boston and Chicago left me with many happy memories. This year, I did a lot of blogging, read a lot of books, and had a lot of fun with friends near and far. May your 2016 be filled with joy!

— 6 —

I’ve been warming up to Mike Vardy and the writers at Productivityist. Late last year, in a series of what were technically sales-pitch emails, he offered this sobering observation:

Here’s a typical day for most people:

  1. Wake up
  2. Get ready for work
  3. Go to work
  4. Work
  5. Get ready to go home
  6. Go home
  7. Do “home” work
  8. Have some leisure time
  9. Go to bed

That may be simplifying things, but those are the basics. Sure, some of these things may be placed in a different order, but they do happen at some point in the day.

That is my life. When I have an event away from home that fills up the “leisure time” timeslot, I still have “home” work to do. Maybe that’s why I feel so crushed by my day-to-day lately… but I’m not sure I know any other way to live.

— 7 —

Let’s end on a light note. Grammar Girl posted recently about formatting URLs in text, and I’m not sure I agree with her on long URLs. I say always break at a slash, even if that makes one “line” of the URL unusually short. I also highly recommend using Markdown, which isolates URLs inside parentheses. It’s transformed my typing so thoroughly that I use Markdown everywhere now: Facebook, blog comment boxes, text messages. No one seems to think I’m any weirder than usual, so I’ll call that a win.


For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t the Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes on Blog Stats, Life Philosophies, and Quality Time

7qt_lyceum

— 1 —

Happy New Year! My 2015 was even better than my 2014, so I am unusually (but cautiously) optimistic about this year. Then again, if I make it through this year without another bacterial infection, that will already be a win, so the bar is set pretty low.

I still have my customary year-end post planned. It was not a priority to publish that before the actual end of the year. Stay tuned.

— 2 —

According to my stats, I had almost 22,000 page views here at Lindsay Loves in 2015. That’s almost double the previous year, which was already more than twice what I had the year before. That is 100% due to posting more often. Maybe content really isn’t king; maybe it’s frequency.

My most popular post was last year’s Catholic Calendar post, of course, followed by my first Wunderlist + GTD post. I knew there had to be more people out there combining that app and that method than I thought! Two of my essay-style posts also made the top five: my love story about joining the Apostleship of Prayer and my declaration that single life is not a vocation.

Dare I hope for three viral essays and 44,000 page views this year?

— 3 —

Everyone struggles to get used to writing 2016, but I found a new year-change pet peeve. When I get to the end of the day, I reschedule any uncompleted tasks. It was so tedious to have to change the day, month, and year on the date-selection wheel for every task. Not tedious enough to get me to just do the things so I could check them off instead of rescheduling, but still fairly tedious.

— 4 —

I usually watch Hulu while I eat (I’ve tried other things; that really is the most productive combo), but sometimes I watch YouTube videos I’ve saved to Pocket. Yesterday, I finally got around to watching a video about St. Augustine, St. Monica, and perseverance in prayer from the World Meeting of Families. It’s pretty fantastic, even if you’re not as Augustinian as I am.

— 5 —

These days, my personal growth and productivity kick takes center stage, but I also had a good personal finance kick going last winter. I don’t listen to the YNAB Podcast, but I do read the transcripts. Episode #199 has one of the best syntheses I’ve seen between the wisdom of YNAB’s Four Rules, Mr. Money Mustache’s love of frugality, Marie Kondo’s viral focus on owning only things that bring you joy, and the acknowledgment in Your Money or Your Life that you trade your life for your stuff. I love when philosophies that seem to be in competition come together so beautifully. It just seems right.

— 6 —

If you celebrate like I do, then I also wish you a Merry Christmas! As evidenced in my last What I Wore Sunday post, I went home to see my family for the holiday. I’m not a big traveler, so I really only see them then.

I got in a lot of solid quality time, though. My mom took my brother and me out shopping on Christmas Eve morning: me to pick out gifts for myself, him to find gifts for everyone but himself. It wasn’t as nightmarish as I’d expected, although I did see a lot more men than usual. Not all stereotypes are true, but it’s hard to argue with evidence.

My sister joined us for Phase 10 on Christmas Eve, and I drove my grandma from and to her senior apartment for our dinner on Christmas Day. I had meals with some friends in the area, and I made it to church on all the correct days. I even saw The Force Awakens, which is as good as everyone keeps saying it is.

I’m not a big vacationer, but that was a pretty good one, I must say.

— 7 —

I spent my New Year’s Eve dancing! My studio had a social, and none of my friends were throwing parties (at least none I was invited to), so I decided to get in some dance practice. There was a designated side room for West Coast, but another studio had an all-WCS party on the same night, so it was not well populated. The main ballroom did not go all-Two Step, though, so I was able to mix it up a bit. It was a lovely way to end a solid year and begin what I hope will be another good one.


For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t the Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes on GTD, Dance, and Radio Buttons

7qt_lyceum

— 1 —

Although I have not been up to much besides the mad dash before Christmas, I had a bunch of fun things to share stored up from the weeks I skipped in October and November. Score another point for GTD.

Speaking of GTD, I finally published a second installment of my GTD “series,” this time on how I organize my Next Actions. I also published some key terms for GTD and for Wunderlist, with a dash of commentary for pizzazz.

— 2 —

I went swing dancing at the Fed for the first time on Thursday. I stayed out too late (even though the party was still going when I left), but I had a great time. I learned a little East Coast (triple-step) Swing to go with my growing knowledge of West Coast Swing and my Jitterbug (single-step swing). As we rotated between partners, I could tell that I was getting it, or at least that I seemed like I was getting it. My leaders who were not actually first-timers kept testing out my skills randomly. I managed not to step on or kick anybody, so that worked out.

— 3 —

After the intro lesson, I went over to the West Coast side room. (A side room is a smaller room with a different style of music and dancing than the main ballroom.) That’s why I went to the Fed in the first place. I took this month off from classes, but I didn’t want to get too rusty, and since I didn’t have class, I was available for 3rd Thursday Westie night. The first few sugar pushes felt weird, but then I found my groove again.

For better or for worse, I was mostly surrounded by people who dance less like I do and more like this:

I’m better than when I started, but I don’t have half as much style as that!

— 4 —

I’m not in dance class this month, but back in October, I got the most wonderful compliment in class from a fellow student.

My general strategy for trying things you’re unsure about is to just believe you can do it. I have psyched myself out of things before. There’s a reason athletes visualize completing passes and making goals and all that. I think you can psych yourself into things, too.

So, when I rotated around to one particular leader (who I like because he’s taller than I am), I was stunned when he complimented me out of the blue for sharing that exact concept. When we’re working on something new and I rotate to a new leader, I usually ask, “How you feelin’?” It’s a more constructive version of “hello,” and it builds camaraderie when no one is getting the pattern we’re practicing. Back in my first month on Level 3, he was not confident one week, and I told him to just believe he could do it. All those weeks later, he took the time to tell me that he’d taken my advice and started believing in himself. I was flattered, and now I know that it’s not just my head that works that way.

— 5 —

My company started using new accounting software a few months ago. In training, we had to do a lot of that awkward thing where you describe where you want someone to click, because our trainer was on a computer, but we peons weren’t. At some point, I used the term “radio button,” which confused everyone. Not everyone can handle my vocab skills.

Radio buttons are these guys:

3 radio buttons

They’re called that because they work like buttons on a radio. When you click/tap/press a radio button, it stays selected. If there is a set of 2 or more radio buttons, you can usually only click one at a time. You’ve seen them in online surveys that have questions like “select one of the following,” because the radio button forces you to select one and only one.

The funny thing is that our IT guy, who was in that training session, wasn’t familiar with “radio” button, so he heard radial. Like a tire. Which is also round, I guess. He keeps saying it now, and I don’t have the heart to correct him.

— 6 —

One quick GTD tip: how to capture while driving.

I have a long commute, so it’s not uncommon for me to think of something I need to do or buy while I’m driving to and from work. I have a holster for my phone in my car, so it’s within safe and easy reach. I do almost all of my capturing on my phone, but I can’t write while driving. It takes too much time and looking and tapping to unlock my phone, launch Wunderlist, open a new task, tap to start dictation, and capture the task. So I was stuck.

I can, however, use Siri while driving with relative ease. Siri doesn’t connect to Wunderlist, though. My solution is to use Reminders with Siri and process the tasks later. As long as I tell Siri to remind me at 9 to (fill in task or item), it works fine. The item is out of my brain, I’m still driving safely, and at 9, the reminder pops up so I can get it organized properly. Done and done.

— 7 —

Goodreads has offered me my year in books report already! I feel a little shorted since I actually have more time to read now than any other point in the year, but it’s fun to see the statistics laid out like that.


For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t the Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes on Sunrise, Taglines, and Catholic Calendars

7qt_lyceum

— 1 —

I thought about waiting to post this until Friday, but my blog goal for the month is to do every 7QT. I’ll just have to read and do some interesting things over the next few days to compensate. I will say that I’ve been personally pleased with my posting frequency this year. There have been a few dry spells, but I haven’t completely quit on it like I used to. Not being in school anymore helps.

— 2 —

I changed my tagline. If you’re not reading this on lindsayloves.com, you might not have noticed. The previous one was “Jesus, grammar, and Harry Potter: a life lived contrariwise.” That was a throwback to my blog’s previous name, Contrariwise. (I rebranded in 2011.) I still love Jesus, grammar, and Harry Potter, but my life isn’t about being contrary anymore. So, on the advice of Tico & Tina about brainstorming taglines, and with a bit of soul-searching, I picked a new one.

My new tagline is “Live joyfully.” I was inspired by Hallie Lord’s recent foray into encouraging women to live fearlessly. Her husband wrote a book I haven’t read about choosing joy, though, so I know she likes joy, too. And so do I. I sign all my emails (and regular mail) “with joy.” It’s not the same thing as happiness, and it’s the shortest version of why I remain a Catholic. It’s neutral enough for every message and religious enough to satisfy me.

So my blog and my life has always been about joy. Now I’ve made it official. Thank you for joining me on the journey.

— 3 —

Doing GTD means living out of your calendar and your task manager. For months, since the lovely Miss Beth Anne recommended it, I’ve been using Sunrise. The developers created it because they couldn’t find a calendar as useful or elegant as they wanted. I tried it and loved it immediately.

Then Microsoft acquired them and shut down development of the apps. Perfect. I thought I would still be able to use it for a while, but the notifications weren’t working right. How am I supposed to remember to pray the Angelus without a bell? So I had to switch to the official Google Calendar app. The colors are too intense, and I don’t like the custom alarm sound (which can’t be changed; fail), but it’ll do for now.

Microsoft has also acquired Wunderlist, but that iOS app just got an update, so I’m hoping they’re not planning to shutter it, too. I really don’t want to have to develop a whole new GTD workflow, and GTD is nothing without a good workflow.

— 4 —

On Thursday, I volunteered with my company at Special Olympics Texas. We’re in construction, so I represented the women of the company, for better or for worse. I did data entry, and some of the others sorted t-shirts and banners for the upcoming Winter Games. Then we got to play bocce ball with some of the athletes. We picked up a few pointers from them, and despite all odds, I actually managed to get the hang of it and start improving. I swear, I’m only good at the most basic of sports.

— 5 —

A dear friend threw herself a birthday party this weekend. I was not expecting it to be a big party, but there were so many people we barely fit in the house! She continues to credit me with introducing her to our young adult Catholic community. After she read my review of The Catholic Girl’s Survival Guide for the Single Years at Austin CNM, she reached out to me to ask if I had any connections. I invited her to Spirit & Truth, and she met some other people there, and the rest is history.

For the record, I do not take credit for all her new friends. That’s the community’s doing. Even as we come and go geographically and vocationally, there’s always room for newcomers and for building real relationships. That’s the work of God.

And you never know who you might meet through your blog.

— 6 —

In case you missed it, I published updates to my Catholic calendar. If you’re subscribed, you’re all set for 2016. If you aren’t subscribed, instructions can be found in this year’s Catholic calendar post.

— 7 —

I am not ready for Christmas at all. I barely remembered to get my Advent wreath out before the Second Sunday, Mary and Joseph still need some superglue surgery before they can arrive in my Nativity scene, and I have no idea what to give my sister. Is it just me, or did time pass much more quickly than usual these last three weeks?


For more Quick Takes, visit Written by the Finger of God this week!

7 Quick Takes on My 7QT History, and Also Markdown

7qt_lyceum

— 1 —

Well, hello there, 7QT! I haven’t done one of these in so long that I almost forgot about it. I have been trying to ignore the backlog of items I set aside to share here, but that could only happen for so long. So now I’m back. If you’re coming through from Kelly’s and would like to know more about me, I suggest my tl;dr post from yesterday to catch you up quickly.

I also recommend posting a monthly tl;dr if you’re a blogger. It was a great idea with an even greater name, and I’m sad it didn’t catch on. I’m grateful to Jenna for starting it!

— 2 —

I was gone for so long, in fact, that I missed Kelly’s special Link-toberfest questions for the anniversary of 7QT. Although I managed to link-up my takes to the post in which she announced the questions, I then failed to post at all the week after that. And the week after that. And so on, until today. Yikes.

I still want to answer them, though, because they were delightful. I can’t win any of the prizes at this point, but I’ve won plenty of prizes in my life. And I’m a book reviewer, which means I get free* books all year long.

*Technically, I’m supposed to write a review in exchange for the book. I occasionally have to send a decline note to the publisher after I’ve read the book because I prefer not to publish negative reviews of ARCs (advance reading copies). Library books are fair game. Happy, FTC?

— 3 —

When did you post your first Seven Quick Takes?

Memories! Also, archives! My first 7QT post was on May 16, 2009. Back then, I was nearing the finish line of my first year of teaching. That was a tough year. I am just as glad then as I am now that I never have to do that first year again.

Of course, I went back to ND for summer classes very shortly after I wrote that post, so my next 7QT was the following January. And then I started posting them regularly two years after that.

— 4 —

How many Seven Quick Takes posts have you written?

This is a toughie. I was glad when Jen stopped numbering them. The numbering seemed to have gotten off already, and I also noticed that some bloggers were numbering each of their posts (as opposed to using the numbers Jen did), so I was living in the land of confusion. The template I use for these posts is one Jen created herself, so that made finding them all a little bit easier.

Thus, my current count, including this post is 98. Whoa. Maybe I should do something special for my one hundredth.

— 5 —

Who is your favorite blogger that you discovered through Seven Quick Takes?

That is like asking me to pick a favorite child.

I love Kendra, like everyone does. She’s one of my Catholic mom role models. I commented on one of her Pentecost posts, which might have been the first time I visited her blog, and I still get referral traffic here every time she links to that post.

I also love dear Elizabeth, even though she stopped posting and tweeting when she started her master’s program. She’s still on Insta, though, so I know she’s alive.

And I’m pretty sure I found the Not Alone Series through 7QT. That’s not a blogger, so I have both answered and not answered the question.

— 6 —

What was your favorite, or most popular, Seven Quick Takes post?

That’s two different questions. I do like my most popular posts, but my favorites are usually my essay-style posts. You can check out the popular posts in the sidebar. My favorite essay-style post in recent memory is “Single Life Is Not a Vocation.”

I used SiteMeter from way back in the Calliope Calls days until it started wrecking my site. If I were willing to log in there, I might be able to see my complete stats. I’ve been using WordPress statistics for several years, though, and I generally like them better anyway. According to WP, my most popular 7QT post is volume 160. Upon review, that is, in fact, a spectacular set of takes.

— 7 —

There were only four questions for the four Fridays of Link-toberfest, so here is a regular, timely take, for something completely different.

I often refer to myself as a “stealth techie,” and I had a serious techie moment of joy yesterday.

This blog has run on WordPress self-hosted since 2006. This year, I began writing almost all my posts in Markdown, which is a way to add in-line formatting that is readable by humans in plain text but can be converted to HTML automatically by a computer.

At some point, I realized that when I used Quick Edit to change a post’s tags (because I chronically forget to add tags), WP changed the Markdown to HTML and saved it that way. I wanted it to leave the post in Markdown and only convert it for display (which is what it usually does).

So I got frustrated. And then I hit Google. I wound up at a Github page that showed (a) I was not the only person having this problem, and (b) it was a bug in WP, so I’d have to wait for a fix. I get more tech than people expect me to, but I’m no developer.

Fast-forward to yesterday. I also use Jetpack, a powerful and wide-reaching WP plugin. It had an update, so I clicked through to see the details. I like details. Lo and behold, the bug was fixed! Hooray for bug fixes and for smart friends!


For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t the Lyceum.

© 2002–2016. Powered by WordPress & Romangie Theme.