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Another month of daily musings

Topics/tags: Meta-musings, long

Believe it or not, but it’s the end of another month of musings. It was a month in which I missed some musings and had a variety of short musings. Nonetheless, it’s worth following my habit of using the last musing of the month to reflect on where the musings have been and where the musings will go, to look backward and forwards.

My notes say that I thought I was starting with long musings, but as I go back and look at the musings, it seems that they were more rambly than long. It also seems like the start of the month was mostly short musings. That makes sense; I was worn out from the end of the semester and the summer started with a lot of work. But that’s okay; there’s nothing wrong with short musings. And, while I’d prefer not to ramble too much, I’m told that some of my rambly musings are also among some of my better musings. That’s not to say that my better-organized musings are not also good. Still, I can get by.

I ended up taking two breaks from musing. Being on vacation led me to take a week-long break, not only because of the different schedule, but also because of a horrid Internet connection. It appears that I worried some readers because my last musing before taking a break was based on being fed nuts that I was allergic to. I also took a one-day break because I was out until midnight with my family at Hamilton [3]. I did write an extra musing the next day to make up for things. But I think I’m further behind than I used to be. Let’s see … the end-of-month musing for June 2017 was number 361. This musing is number 672. I’m 311 musings ahead of a year ago. Two months ago, I was 310 musings ahead. I’m staying on pace. Perhaps that’s because I posted eighteen musings in June [2018] [4].

I’m now in my second month of tagging my musings. It’s not quite as exciting as I had thought. Usually, I have a primary musing and then some of short, long, and rambly. But I still appreciate spending a minute or two thinking about the issue. I’m not sure how my readers feel. I’m starting to add tags to my list of forthcoming musings so my muse can more easily support me in finding topics to muse about.

As I was continuing to use the tags, I also started to find that I was getting frustrated at adding yet another musing to certain long lists of musings, particularly miscellaneous and writing. So I created four new lists: language, "meta musings [1], code camps, and email. I’m not sure that anyone other than me pays attention to the indices. Nonetheless, I appreciate having them. I will have to spend some time moving musings to these new indices; we’ll see when that happens.

As I noted recently, I think it’s time to work a bit more on my writing. Short musings should allow me to go back and edit. But they’re usually short not so much because the topic is naturally short but rather because I don’t have a lot of time to muse. Still, it will be valuable to reread Williams and then to apply his principles consciously, rather than subconsciously. I hope I have the time to do so [3].

My family has made an interesting request for this month. The first suggested that I only write positive musings. I don’t think that’s positive. So we compromised. I’m going to try not to post any rants in July. That will be hard; I already had a few rants queued up. But, as we saw in May, when I rant too much, it negatively affects my mood.

I’ve also restarted my Sisyphean quest for inbox zero. One way I’ll help myself achieve that goal is to muse about the status of my inbox once per week. I hope those won’t be rants. But there will certainly be instances of frustration. And, whether they realize it or not, I was trying to rant less in June. For example, I managed to avoid ranting about the new College nametags because I knew that it would not be healthy to do so [6].

There you have it. I wrote short and rambly musings this month and ranted less than normal. I plan to write short and rambly musings next month and to rant as little as possible. But I also plan to work harder on editing [7], at least is I have time. We shall see.

Postscript: For the past few months, I’ve done a data dump of the categories and numbers of forthcoming musings as part of my end-of-month musing. I was considering separating that data dump into a separate musing. However, I’m not sure that counts of forthcoming musings are interesting to anyone but me. So they’re staying here for now.

Every month, I say that I might rearrange the list of forthcoming musings in the coming month. I made a few more changes than normal this month but didn’t quite succeed. I did, however, start tagging the forthcoming musings so that my muse could more easily lead me to the right musing each day. For example, I can grep for short if I want one of the musings that I think will be short and I can grep for draft if I’m in the mood for editing something that has a substantial draft. I can grep for both if I want something that is short and in draft form. I look forward to the time when I have all of the musings tagged; then I can look at the statistics in a very different way. I hope to do more tagging and rearranging in August [8].

Category                     Last Month      This Month      Change
--------                     ----------      ----------      ------
for specific dates               4               4             
musings w/substantial drafts     8               8             
categorized musings              0              26            +26
"high priority"                 39              30             -9
delayed rants                    4               3             -1
added recently                  15              15            
gathered from elsewhere          5               5             
almost immediate (?)             7               7             
new "soon", teaching             6               6          
new "soon", other               18              18          
new "soon", short, teaching      9               8             -1
new "soon", short, other        28              27             
old "soon"                       8               8             
new, but no so new              29              29             
series: fun books                4               4             
reviews                          7               7             
series: anniversary musings      3               3              
series: addiction/organization   2               2              
old forthcoming musings          5               5             
more from csc 281                5               5             
"quick (?)"                     23              23             
general                        129             126             -1
Grinnellians you should know    69              69             
other people                     9               9              
topics to revisit               13              14             +1

As is the norm, I’ve increased the number of forthcoming musings. Aren’t lists of topics supposed to get shorter when I write? But that’s okay; I know that I’ll drop some when I continue tagging and rearranging the lists. Having that many topics means that I should find it easy to have a month without ranting. We’ll see.

Postscript: There’s one more thing I forgot. I have an RSS feed for the musings. My normal plan is to clean it out each month. I forgot to do so last month. But I remembered today.

[1] I just went through and moved most of the meta musings to the meta section from the on writing section. That doesn’t leave much in the on writing section. And now I find myself asking whether the end-of-month musings need their own section. Oh well; that’s a task for another month [2].

[2] I know from software design projects that putting off tasks like that just make it worse. So I just moved all of the end-of-the-month musings (or at least most of them) to [their own list}(index-monthly).

[3] I’m surprisingly good at committing to too much over the summer. I’ve mentioned my plans for the next few weeks in a prior musing, but I’ll probably muse more extensively on the project soon.

[4] No, I’m not going to muse about seeing the Des Moines premiere of Hamilton.

[5] Rebelsky, Samuel (2017). Eleven months of daily musings. Musing #361 of SamR’s Assorted Musings and Rants. Available online at

[6] And no, I’m not going to rant about them.

[7] And, therefore, on my writing.

[8] I normally say in the coming month. But I don’t really anticipate having enough time in the coming month, particularly as I deal with issues relating to inbox zero.

Version 1.0 released 2018-06-30.

Version 1.0.1 of 2018-07-31.