Random Disgorgements

January 06, 2008

What did you learn today?

When you're a kid, someone often asks you "What did you learn today?"  You start to expect the question so you're kind of preparing for it throughout the day.  Then when you get home and your mum springs the question on you, you've got some kernel that will satisfy her so you can go outside and play.  Stuff like, "I learned that Einstein was a Pisces" or "I learned that mice sometimes eat their young" or "I learned that stuffing yellow tissue paper up the tap spigot turns the water yellow and then everybody thinks it's pee." 

When you get to be an adult, people stop asking you "What did you learn today?"  I think that's because you're just supposed to know stuff.  I guess you're supposed to have grown up by now.  Well where's the fun in that?

Recently, I signed up for a business course with Melanie Benson Strick.  She gave me a new excercise.  Every night I get my notebook and write, "One thing I learned today is..." and I write down one thing I learned, and then I write down one thing I'd do differently if I had to do it again. 

Amazingly, this has the same effect on me that it used to have.  I go through my day learning things on purpose so I have something to report later.   

Sometimes the stuff I write at night is understated, like "One thing I learned today is that pressing Ctrl-S frequently is the only way to have a happy experience with Microsoft Word."  This is a much nicer way of putting it than the things I said in the white hot rage of the actual learning moment (after 3 crashes and the abject failure, on each occasion, of AutoRecover).

Sometimes I learn stuff about my behaviour.  Like, "One thing I learned today is that I have a lot more energy to get things accomplished when I have the drama of a time limit."  For example, instead of putting on my to-do list "Clean up the workshop" I now write "Clean up the workshop - 20 minutes".  That lights a fire under the old botty*. 

And if I don't get the job totally finished in 20 minutes, at least I got 20 minutes worth of effort into it, and I can do another 20 minutes tomorrow.  But the thing is, if I didn't apply that time limit, odds are good that I would have felt so overwhelmed by the task that I wouldn't even have started the job in the first place.  Cool, eh?

So let me be your mum for a minute.  What did you learn today?

*Botty:  Old English for arse

December 24, 2007

Have a Great Christmas

Wintry_dusk Here at ToolGirl.com we've embraced The Season.   We're lying around in front of the fatted yule log and eating shards of meringues sent all the way from California by my sister Gillian.  And we're disobeying any promptings from our work ethic. 

We'll be posting again after the final thrusts of Christmas indulgence, and we'll also be going to the post office with parcels for all of our Uni-ball 207 winners whose names were entered in our ongoing Daily Tool Giveaway because they subscribe to the free ToolGirl Newsletter

We've got big plans after all the sleeping and eating is over. 

Till then, have a truly great holiday.
Mag and the ToolGirl Team

November 22, 2007

Search string theory

Burning_questions Because ToolGirl.com caters to people with eclectic tastes, we have intriguing visitors.  For example, here are some things people were searching for when they arrived at Toolgirl.com this week:

* How to escape a dull marriage

* Slide rule parts

* IUD earrings

* How do I get my greasy windows clean?

And my favourite:

* Do-it-yourself motorized snowboard

November 20, 2007

A barn in transition

P1000925The old barn came down in the night, kneeling to the future.

Viewed from the south it now offers the wry appearance of the ship that brought its builders to Canada circa 1850.


One of the barn's inhabitants, probably a raccoon, exited in a hurry, leaving his belly-track in the snow.

October 15, 2007

How to stop headaches, tight shoulders and neck tension (bra-wearing women only!)

Underwire_flower_flash Remove the metal underwire supports from your bras. 

I'm not kidding.  My headaches stopped immediately.  And look at the decor possibilities for those leftover uplifters.

Perhaps it's something to do with bio-electrical fields being short-circuited by metal worn against the body.  Whatever.  I don't need massages anymore.  Or Advil.
P.S.  A bra still performs well enough without the metal struts, although the perk factor might, er, drop.

October 11, 2007

Sunrise through the Cosmos


October 09, 2007


Indecision may or may not be my problem.
- Jimmy Buffet

September 25, 2007

Sunset Through the Virginia Creeper

Sunset_through_creeper O fall, thou art swift upon our heels!

August 03, 2007

DIY Travel Tip

If you're travelling this summer and you've had to factor "asking for directions " into your itinerary, these silk map scarves can bring relief.

Available in about a dozen international cities in either kerchief or scarf size.  You'll feel as directionally confident as WWII British air crews, who wore map scarves on all of their missions.  Romantic or what?
clipped from www.mapscarves.com
Classic Scarf San Francisco,
33" x 33", silk twill, hand rolled edges, blue border gift box available (+$7.00)
Price: $65.00    
  blog it

April 10, 2007

Thoughts from the perimeter of prematurity

Research says that 80% of premature aging is related to sun damage, but I think it's responsiblity that does it. 

When you feel responsible (even if it's misplaced, out-of-proportion, or connected to the idea that other people can't manage without your input),  the truth is that when you're feeling responsible, you're usually not feeling great, zingy or inspired.  Chances are you're feeling burdened, serious, driven or overwhelmed.

And often, the more responsible you feel, the less great you feel, and the more your face tenses into that squinty mask of concern known as premature aging.   

It's kind of interesting that, in our culture, people who refuse to take on the burdens of others are considered immature, irresponsible or self-absorbed.   But dang, they look good.   

The expression "It's not how you look, it's how you feel" contains flawed logic.   Because how you look is how you feel.

I'm fairly sure this train of thought has a destination but I may not recognize it until I've gone two stops past it.   Fortunately the ticket was free.



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Mag's Books

  • : We're All In This Together

    We're All In This Together
    Based on four years of interviews with Steve Smith, Mag's unconventional biography reveals the personal stories, sorrows and joys that continue to inspire the man behind the Red Green legacy.

  • : How Hard Can It Be?

    How Hard Can It Be?
    Mag's quirky and entertaining book of home improvement projects for beginners.

Nota Bene

  • It’s never too late to be who you might have been. - George Eliot (1819-1880)
  • Simplicity of character is the natural result of profound thought. - My fortune cookie