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UPDATE Re: “Linden 2.0: Now Out of Beta”

Additional notes for this release, announced yesterday:

After receiving countless emails regarding availability of this release in America, I find it necessary to address the question publically.

While the product is available in both English and German, due to copyright problems, the product was pulled from the American market in late September. American users should continue to check this blog for news of future releases in America. Our goal is to publish an American version in 2008 or 2009. Alpha and beta invitation-only versions will be released between now and then for testing. If you are interested in testing the invitation-only release, please email admin.

Attention! Mueller Inc. urges you to not purchase, download, or otherwise obtain pseudo-American versions of Linden 2.0. These versions are not authorized copies of the current release and could potentially contain have major bugs and viruses that could damage your system. If you are interested in using a current version of Linden 2.0 in America, send donations, bribes, and coercive materials (AKA Cheez-its, uni-balls, Post-it notes, and Hooter’s wings–Three Mile Island flavor, please–to the following address: [removed by admin–email for address]).

Contacting the publishing team of Rob 7.6 should also be avoided. That team is currently developing Rob 8.0 CS Pro, Platinum Edition. Any users found to be ignoring the above warning will be deleted from the system immediately and banned from all future use of Mueller Inc. products.

Linden 2.0: Now Out of Beta!

We started testing Linden 2.0 in May 2007, made some major alterations to the code and server locations in late September, and we would now like to announce that Linden 2.0 is finally out of beta!

Many thanks to all users who downloaded the Linden 2.0 beta. We were able to fix all bugs and add user-suggested features to the stable release 2.0. Bugs fixed include basic level disorganization, tardiness and excessive Cheez-its consumption. New features such as the the organization tool, punctuality, and jogging meter, have been added to the final version of Linden 2.0.

Linden 2.0 is much more efficient than Linden 1.0 due to improved organizational algorithms and dedicated server space. The plugin interface and skinning option of 2.0 is far superior to that of the 1.0 release and gives users the option to fully customize Linden 2.0 to their needs. Linden 2.0 can now organize several calendars in one interface, stay focused on one task for several hours, and draws less server load even while managing several large projects at a time (Linden 1.0’s algorithms allowed for only one major project at a time), which means that users will see more getting done in less time.

We will continue making improvements on this software so that it can become hardware, so stay tuned for Linden 2.3, which we hope to release sometime next year.

Read additional release notes here: Updates (http://xgravity23.blogspot.com/2007/12/update-re-linden-20-now-out-of-beta.html)

Newest Addition to My Blogroll: Purrcast.com

Attention all you cat lovers: This blog is for you!

Thanks to one of my favorite blogs, A Welsh View, I was lucky enough to be introduced to Purrcast.com. It is a weekly blog that features, among other things, an audio clip of a cat purring! I mean, as terribly cute as it is to see kittens or panda babies wrestling, it is at least as cute to hear them purring.

Christmas Meme

JazzyJo tagged me for this Christmas meme, but I don’t usually post surveys on this blog (they usually go on my stupid-site-with-lots-of-ads-and-totally-not-Web 2.0 blog). This meme, though, is special.

  1. Wrapping paper or gift bag? Wrapping paper! I don’t remember exactly which Christmas it was, but one year, it was my job to wrap all the presents while Mom and Dad got us all ready to go to St. Louis AND Kansas City for Christmas. As I always do, I gave it 100% and took real joy in making each package look perfect. Since then, I have loved wrapping gifts.
  2. Real tree or artificial? I have always had an artificial tree, but I can’t wait until we get a real tree! My brother sold pine wreaths as a Boy Scout, and I now think that is what Christmas smells like.
  3. When do you put up your tree? Usually the weekend after Thanksgiving.
  4. When do you take down your tree? Usually the week after Christmas, but sometimes not until the first week in January.
  5. Do you like eggnog? Yes, a thousand times yes! I don’t think I am usually this enthusiastic about it, but since I shall be deprived of it this year, I’ve been craving it quite a bit lately. :)
  6. Favorite gift received as a child? A telescope. It was what I wanted SO badly, and it was awesome to have. It watered my interest in space.
  7. Do you have a nativity scene? Not yet, but I hope to find a nice one over here to call our own.
  8. Hardest person to buy for? Rob. He wasn’t raised in a capitalist country with extra money, so he rarely wants for anything.
  9. Easiest person to buy for? Hardly no one. I have a really hard time buying good, perfect gifts in general. I always feel like I end up settling for something I know the person will like but not totally love and be surprised about.
  10. Worst Christmas gift you’ve ever received? For diplomatic reasons, I can post it here, but believe me, it was lame.
  11. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail Christmas cards.
  12. Favorite Christmas movie? It’s a Wonderful Life. Makes me feel good about the world and my part in it. Probably won’t be seeing it this year, although I do work with a man named George Bailey. :)
  13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Never stop. If I see the perfect gift for someone, I won’t pass it up.
  14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Probably. I know I have received recycled Christmas gifts before!
  15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Fudge! Egg nog with fresh nutmeg! Home-made Chex-mix! Peanut brittle!
  16. White or colored lights? White, single-colored (all blue, all red, etc.), or red-green.
  17. Favorite Christmas song? “Carol of the Bells”
  18. Traveling for Christmas or staying home? Staying home is what I prefer, but I deeply enjoy being with family.
  19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeers? Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, Rudolph. Songs are really good for memorizing things.
  20. Angel or Star on top of tree? Star now, but vintagey angel on my childhood Christmas tree.
  21. Open presents Christmas Eve or Morning? Christmas Eve. Then stockings on Christmas morning.
  22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Piped-in Christmas music and crazed shoppers. Thanks to three years of working at BBBY.
  23. What I love most about Christmas? Spending time with my family and friends.

All right, it’s time to do some tagging: Deanna, Betsy, Crabby Rangoon, Ian Cahill, Techsophist, Steph, Lindsay, tickldpnk, the Mildrens. Can’t wait to read about your Christmas traditions!

I am. . .

I am wearing a button-down shirt tucked in today for the first time in as long as I can remember. Because it actually looks good instead of accenting any innertube-shaped tummy I used to have.

I am regularly getting at least eight hours of sleep a night. Still no regular bedtime, but I LOVE not feeling tired all the time. This week is of course an exception, but I plan to make up for it this weekend!

I am finally truly organized, with both electronic and paper documents, and it feels good personally (to be able to find what I am looking for quickly, to know when I am supposed to be somewhere) and professionally (when my colleagues notice).

I am procrastinating less, I think because I am not as exhausted mentally (because I’m well-reseted and organized), and because I have a clear picture of what I have to do. I am still not getting things done well ahead of the due date, but I am not saving the entire task for the final few hours either.

I am looking forward to making more improvements.

Kanye West Medley By David Sides

I love the piano, and I always love me some K-West, so this combo is great! This guy has many other YouTube videos where he is playing pop tunes on the piano. And he does them well. I miss playing!

Is Your Jar Full?

Just want to share this little anecdote.

One day, an expert in time management was speaking to a group of business students and, to drive home a point, used an illustration those students will never forget. As he stood in front of the group of high-powered overachievers he said, “Okay, time for a quiz” and he pulled out a one-gallon mason jar and set it on the table in front of him. He also produced about a dozen fist-sized rocks and carefully placed them, one at a time, into the jar. When the jar was filled to the top and no more rocks would fit inside, he asked, “Is this jar full?”

Everyone in the class yelled, “Yes.”

The time management expert replied, “Really?” He reached under the table and pulled out a bucket of gravel. He dumped some gravel in and shook the jar causing pieces of gravel to work themselves down into the spaces between the big rocks. He then asked the group once more, “Is this jar full?” By this time, the class was on to him.

“Probably not,” one of them answered.

“Good!” he replied. He reached under the table and brought out a bucket of sand. He started dumping the sand in the jar and it went into all of the spaces left between the rocks and the gravel.

Once more he asked the question, “Is this jar full?”

“No!” the class shouted

Once again he said “Good.” Then he grabbed a pitcher of water and began to pour it in until the jar was filled to the brim. Then he looked at the class and asked, “What is the point of this illustration?”

One eager beaver raised his hand and said, “The point is no matter how full your schedule is, if you try really hard, you can always fit some more things in it!”

“No,” the speaker replied, “that’s not the point. The truth this illustration teaches us is that if you don’t put the big rocks in first, you’ll never get them in at all. What are the ‘big rocks’ in your life—time with your loved ones, your faith, your education, your dreams, a worthy cause, teaching or mentoring others? Remember to put these big rocks in first, or you’ll never get them in at all.”

So, tonight, or in the morning, when you are reflecting on this short story, ask yourself this question: What are the “big rocks” in my life? Then, put those in your jar first.

It’s All Foreign to Me: Three-ring Binders

I started this blog series about differences between America and Germany with the major differences I have noticed so far between the food easily available here and that in America. It was a very general topic, I know.

This time, I am going to talk about one single item. Definitely a more specific example of contrasts between the Fatherland and the good old Red, White, and Blue.

Let’s start with a picture, as the visual is very strong.

Here is an American three-ring binder, one I use to organize family’s and friends’ birthdays.
And here is a German two-ring binder.

The main differences are quite apparent. The American-style binder has three rings, while the German one has two rings. But the differences do not stop there.

If you take a close look at the German binder, you will see that it has more “parts” than the American one.

If you notice, there is a metal and plastic piece on top of the papers. The black plastic part is a button. To lock the papers in place (so they don’t rip while you transport the binder to and from school and home), just push the button closed. When you are ready to get a sheet out or move them around, click the button open. Then, you get this:

The metal part is out of the way, and you can open the rings by lifting the lever, which seems to be sticking out of the bottom of the rings. Life the lever, open the rings:

There is one more difference. Have you noticed the hole in the spine of the binder? If not, scroll up to one of the previous pictures. . . .

See it? That hole is there so that you can easily pull the binder off of a shelf. It’s very useful!

Okay, last feature. You’ll have to look closely for this one. See the little lip of metal that is sticking out at the bottom of the hole in the front of the binder?

It holds the front cover of the binder closed. Just that simple little metal addition keeps the binder closed.

So, I prefer the German binders over the American ones for sure! I always hated how pages in my binders got torn the longer they were in the binder and the more I carried it around. The metal and plastic thingy (I wish I knew the name for this!) holds all the binder pages in place during travel so they can’t rip. Because of the design of the rings, even small 1″ binders hold what feels like much more than 1″ American binders, although I have seen binders with “D-shaped rings” in America that boast of holding more than normal.

If we ever move back to America, I’m going to have to have Rob’s family send me these all the time! :)

Care Package!

I really hate asking for stuff, but I have been getting a lot of questions about what we would want if someone wanted to send us a care package, so here’s a post answering those questions!

I’ll update when we think of something new we are missing. Something, that is, that you can mail us, unlike Andy’s, Nakato, and Cielito Lindo!

One word of warning, though! Shipping is expensive, and we understand that.


I just keep getting told that I am doing a good job (with interview questions—MK helped!—and in-class writing prompts, and coordinating the LC in general), and I have to say, it is nice to hear! I think I am insecure about my teaching because I am so new at it and my colleagues all have much more experience than I do.

But just like my old boss told me, I was hired because I have skills and I have proven them. Dr. Legutke, Dr. Grau, Dr. Huber, Ms. Bock, and Mr. Kurtzweil chose to hire me after that interview because they saw something in me that they wanted at their university. They believed that I would be capable for the job, and even though sometimes I doubt myself, they don’t. And I need to remember that.

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