Update for 2/3/2019



January’s apartment tidying project has “concluded.” I’m done dedicating project time to it for now, but I’ll keep working on it in the background. In spite of my lack of work on it during its scheduled month, I had a retrospective for it anyway.

What worked:

  • I initially wanted to purge my possessions while unpacking my boxes from my move. This proved to be more than I wanted to think about at the time. Dropping that requirement let me reduce my procrastinating.
  • I dropped the requirement to have a clearly defined home for everything in advance. My plan became simply to put my things roughly where they belonged and let the resulting lack of space guide my later purge and organization.
  • I gave myself permission to work a little at a time, putting away whatever items I could easily place as I moved around the apartment.

What didn’t:

  • I stuck to my demotivating requirements too long, hoping I could break out of my procrastination.
  • I didn’t think through a plan before beginning the project time period.
  • I didn’t do regular retrospectives or planning sessions.

Conceptual modeling


I meant to do a retrospective for January’s accidental Semantic Web project, but I was too lazy, so I’ll try to get to it this week.



This year, to give my projects a simple and predictable schedule that fits with my blogging routine, I’m going to try giving them each four weeks. With a normal calendar this doesn’t quite fit with the one-a-month rhythm I was planning, since there are 12 months in the year but 13 groups of 4 weeks to make 52.

However, there is a calendar that’s organized that way, the International Fixed Calendar. The year always begins on a Sunday, each month has 28 days, and there’s an extra month between June and July called Sol. There’s an extra day at the end of each year called Year Day, and on leap year there’s an extra day at the end of June.

I’m going to try a variation on the IFC for scheduling my projects. I’ll call it the Thinkulum calendar. I’m starting the reckoning from 2017, since that year began on a Sunday. Rather than having the IFC’s Year Day and Leap Day, my version will have a leap week at the end of every few years (the first one in 2022) so the project calendar can catch up with the Gregorian calendar. In those cases both calendars will start the year on a Sunday.

Simple, right? Don’t worry. If the experiment continues, I’ll keep track of the project cycles for you.



With all that, Thinkulum February started last week on Sunday, Jan 27. So I’m already a week behind on my next project, which is to organize some notes on software development. Fortunately I’ve been working on it because of my related work activities. But I haven’t done my formal planning for it, which I’ll do this week and officially start on the project.

I finished listening toΒ User Story Mapping. The style is more conversational than I like, and I have issues with the organization, but the technique seems like a very good one. I’m going to try it with our project at work.

Now I’m starting on a set of books about some categories of software requirement I’m not very familiar with. The first is Alan Cooper’s About Face, about user interfaces. Other books will be about stability, security, and privacy.



I finished the first season of Dark. There’s purportedly going to be a second season, and I hope so because the end of the first was a cliffhanger that dramatically expanded the setting of the story. The show is even more LOST-like than I realized at first, so I highly recommend it if you like that sort of thing and you don’t mind a TV-MA rating. It’s also a fairly deep and thoughtful show.

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