I’m having an organization day today.

While I am naturally suspicious (I mean it is my nature to be sceptical like this, not that it is natural for everyone — so often new systems are just the same old same old with new terminology and possibly a T shirt) of new systems, downloading and reading David Allen’s GTD documents have inspired me to get my filing and calendar updated. It is time anyway, and we’re having bad weather.

Not that bad weather matters a whole lot to me, since I work at home, but the idea of it makes an organization day seem sensible. And you should always do tedious things when you feel inspired to do them.

Here is David Allen: ”

Something interesting to think about while you file papers.

I read a bit more of Philip Dwyer’s forthcoming Napoleon. Normally, I would alternate this book with a nice light novel. Napoleon is an interesting guy, but an enormous tome with footnotes and dim illustrations (do you want to see a caricature of Napoleon penned by a school mate of his? It’s in there) is not a page-turner for me. So I would be refreshing my palate with a detective novel before returning to the exhaustive tale of all the evidence on the question of whether or not Napoleon was teased at school for his accent, except that I gave up novels for Lent.

So I am alternating instead with Under a Green Sky, a book on global warming by paleobiologist Peter Ward. I can’t tell you anything new about global warming yet. I am too distracted by his writing style. Let me share a sentence with you:

But the pounding surf
on the rocky points
the scudding clouds
and the vast cliffs that echoed back
the crashing of waves on rock
vastly overawed these temporal nuisances
as we scrambled up and over
stratal ridge after ridge
each several-inch to several-foot
limestone layer representing 24,000 years,
the limestone alternating with darker shale
and all controlled
by orbital cycles first discovered
by a Russian named Milutin Milankovich.

It isn’t laid out like that in the book, of course. But it should be. These very long sentences with minimal punctuation go on and on with a hypnotic effect, several to a paragraph, till it is very hard for me to make any sense of what the guy is saying. Here’s another:

And in the center
of the back wall
of the bay
there was a meeting of
the two different units, a sudden transition
from maroon beds below
to pink and white beds
starting near the sea and then
from the base of this canyon
as the tilt
of the beds carried
this K-T boundary layer
one the year before discovered
to be packed with all the hallmarks of the K-T impact itself
the diagnostic iridium
shocked quartz
and glassy spherules,
all save the iridium originally
Mexican inhabitants that were now on permanent vacation
at this beach.

That actually isn’t the end of this sentence, but I like “at this beach” for the end of the poem.

And if you think the guy is poetic about iridium and glassy spherules, you should hear him on cephalopods!

I have emailed Dr. Ward these poems. I’ll let you know if he responds.

Coming back with Dr. Ward’s response:

“Well, this was the best part of an otherwise execrable day (long flight from Miami).  Why don’t you submit it somewhere?

I hope you are serious, I enjoyed your letter, but then I am very gullible and really tired tonight.  Our world is not getting better.”