The h2g2 Post 23.10.08

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Posted: 23rd October 2008



Happy Halloween!

This week has been an incredibly busy week for me. I've had a huge pile of work to do at the hotel, some extra work for the Wildlife Trust to sort out, a fledgling conservation project to organise, a flat to get organised for a very special visitor, a bit of Aviating and, of course, editing The Post.

While looking at a large picture of a flea just a moment ago, I realised why I've been so busy. It's my own fault; I'm just very easily distracted.

Here's how it works.

I start to write an Editorial about the way I approach new ideas, and wonder if evolution might be an interesting analogy. I realise that it probably will, because my ideas tend to take shape very rapidly, and isn't there a branch of evolutionary theory that say there are large periods of evolutionary dormancy punctuated by bursts of sudden change? What's it called again? Ah, there it is: punctuated equilibrium. I think that will work for my analogy. Let's read on a bit more, just in case... I scan a few related articles and find a reference to the Blind Watchmaker, and a brief explanation of the Watchmaker analogy. I remember reading that a couple of times, but I can never remember the details. Better refresh my memory. After a quick read and a couple more clicks on a couple more links, I'm looking at a large picture of a flea from Robert Hooke's Micrographia, with only the vaguest idea of how I got here.

At this point, Lainey wanders over and asks me why I'm looking at a big picture of a flea. Before I can begin to explain, I'm reminded of all the more domestic things I'm meant to be doing: Aren't you meant to be out on a nature reserve tomorrow? Have you got the spare room ready for Gosho? When are we getting married? You'll be familiar with the conversation, if not the specific details. Other jobs take precedence over my 'work', and the evening whizzes by without me getting anything done at all.

I can keep up this level of procrastinating for days, sometimes weeks, and eventually I find myself having to catch up with everything at once. Hence I have weeks like this one once in a while.

For this reason, I don't seem to get very much work done while I'm sitting by the computer. I get most of it done at times when there are no distractions; in the shower, while washing up or on a long walk. When my ideas are clearly formulated, I can happily sit down at my desk and get an astonishing amount of work done in a surprisingly short amount of time.

Which brings me on to... nah, I'll leave that for next time.

So, it's Halloween, and we all know what that means—anagrams! I myself have swapped around the two 'k's in my name to create the witty moniker 'Skankyrich'. Clever, eh? I'm immensely grateful to Lycan nightlife dices vet, twilight horror! for the photos used in the graphic at the top of the page. If you click on the graphic, you'll be taken to a page where you can see more of Lycan's splendid pumpkin carvings—please feel free to add one to your Personal Space if you so wish. All this week's columns with a Halloween feel are marked with a smiley - pumpkin, so make sure you don't miss those in particular.

A couple of final plugs; don't forget to get involved in Alex's Help Page Update Project (see Malabarista's cartoon below for more details), and don't forget that Sunday, 2nd November is the deadline for entries into our 42-Word Story Competition. And, indeed, for the next issue of The Post!















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