Urban/Rural Divide

Interesting article on the urban/rural divide from New York Magazine. Cities always faced formidable challenges including deindustrialization well before rural areas, but their concentration of activists and ability to share solutions allows them to overcome setbacks and tackle problems effectively. I know I felt a strong pull to rejoin our fair Northeastern city when we bought our home in the NW end in ’05.

“For most of us, living in cities means living close to those who are both like us and not. Even just walking down a city block means having no idea who will cross your path, what they believe, or how they will behave. Strolling is a succession of chance meetings, the vast majority of them superficial. At times, a dense neighborhood can feel like a village, where you bump into friends or revive dormant acquaintances. At other times, it means confronting a vast and entrenched homeless population. Urbanites take this haphazardness for granted. We have the ingrained habit of sharing space, of encountering difference, of swimming in the collective soup.”


Weeks of to-dos

Weekly to do list

My hack for getting all things done even on a lazy weekend? A list. Always a list. This one just has at least two weeks of to-dos and even includes some spare math problems I encountered. Stay on track and enjoy the sweet relief that comes with crossing something off.

Be Awesome

I just completed a successful job search, and this is one thing I learned. Be Awesome. To Everyone. All the Time. Awesome is your currency. Every interaction you have in life matters. So be kind. Be Awesome to everyone you meet. People want to work with Awesome. They want Awesome Around. Awesome wins every time.

Preventing IE from using Compatibility View

In the past few months, I completed four web sites, three for my full time job and one for a freelance client. The first one I completed actually launched last, and this week, our IT department pointed out that the site doesn’t work on several computers within the network because those computers had IE set to compatibility view so they could use other apps.


I had built in backward capability but hadn’t planned for this wrinkle. I tried adding this META tag, but IE still ignored it:

<meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" IE=EDGE" />

Luckily, I found Dale Lane’s blog, and he gave me the answer. You have to put this META tag right under the head tag or IE will ignore it. Why? Who knows.

If you’re using WordPress, open header.php and paste this under the opening <head>tag.

<meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" IE=EDGE" />

Refresh, and you’re done.

Thanks to Dale Lane. I was unable to find contact information for him, or I would have thanked him myself.

Finding Focus

For the past year, I’ve been obsessed with improving my focus. For all of us, time is limited. How can we better make use of the time in our lives to achieve our goals. I found this effort to be of two parts:
Literally better manage your time
Better manage your expectations and attitude

How are you using time?
To better manage my time, realize how you’re using it. How long are you spending on social media? Watching television? I manage social media accounts for a series of companies, so I can’t completely unplug. However, I can control my time after I make my work-related posts.

Literally better manage your time
Better manage your expectations and attitude

Duolingo on a dark day
Duolingo on a particularly dark day. This app works intuitively to teach you vocabulary and grammar in your target language. Plus, it rewards you for the time you spend learning.

Finding goals and rewards
I’ve always wanted to learn another language, and in December 2014, I found Duolingo. An obsession was born. I funneled time I would have spent watching TV or reading Facebook into level 20 French. What I love about this app is that it rewards you for working with it every day. It’s addictive in the best possible way.

Stop beating yourself up
Nothing is more demotivating than angry self-defeating talk. Don’t do it. If you spend an entire evening on Instagram, brush it off. Get back to your focus without bemoaning the loss of it. This works especially well if you play sports. Missed a shot? Throw an INT? Forget about it. You have to. Focus on what you do well and realize mistakes are part of the process.

Find your own mentors
If you lack actual people to help mentor you, worry not. The internet is full of good advice. For me, podcasts helped me enormously. The Deeply Graphic Design Podcast was especially helpful for career insights.

Get out of your comfort zone
I joined four Meet Up groups in 2015 and started attending networking events I previously would have avoided. The result: a much more satisfied Cher. I’ve had wonderful experiences, met awesome people, and gathered some powerful personal and career advice. I look forward to more in 2016. “Find your people.” #doit