About this site's lack of design: Yes, it's supposed to look this way — I'm helping create a new sandbox theme for WordPress (see it on GitHub).

Dan Rubin's SuperfluousBanter

Suffering from chronic idiocy since 1977

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And The Weather Is Beautiful

There are times when living in the tropical paradise/hurricane target range that is South Florida can be quite nice, and today I’m basking in one of those times.

I’m writing this as I sit on the front porch, in very comfortable 86 degree not-too-humid weather. A soft breeze is blowing through the trees, and I have just enough shade to keep the sun out of my eyes and easily view my LCD screen. This is the perfect distraction-free environment for writing, which is my task this afternoon.

Coding and designing are things I can do with distractions; they use a part of my brain which can easily deal with ringing phones, new email alerts, or the multitude of computer screens which surround me on a daily basis, all displaying different types of information. But writing, ah, that demands a level of concentration and focus which requires complete separation from my normal collection of distractions.

It’s not surprising that I had trouble focusing on my writing whenever stuffed in a classroom. I find I actually enjoy writing when I can focus on it and nothing else. Perhaps a daily session outside is worth making time for: it will surely be healthier than staring at a CRT or LCD all day, and it may even increase the flow of information to this web site.

So, Q&A time: Where do you go to escape the distractions of work, whether for writing or any other purpose?

This item was posted by Dan Rubin on Monday, October 4th, 2004.

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25 comments on “And The Weather Is Beautiful”

  1. Posted by Ryan Brill on Monday, October 4th, 2004.

    I’ve found that heading over to my favorite coffee shop is a nice, relaxing way to write for my site. Sitting there allows me to put other things aside and simply focus on what I’m writing.

  2. Posted by Andrei Herasimchuk on Monday, October 4th, 2004.

    Heh…. come live in the Bay Area and you get that great weather nearly year round without all those hurricanes! I simply escpae to my backyard to work, wireless DSL and all.

  3. Posted by Matthom on Monday, October 4th, 2004.

    I go for a walk down some nice quiet side streets… or sit in my car – but NOT driving – just sitting.

  4. Posted by Dan Rubin on Tuesday, October 5th, 2004.

    That sounds like a good idea Andrei — although the thought of earthquakes is slightly unsettling…

    I actually had to hook up a new Netgear wireless access point to get signal on the porch, damn concrete walls ;)

  5. Posted by Aleksandar on Tuesday, October 5th, 2004.

    Now Age of Kings. Sometime in the future I will probably turn the wheel and do some more drawings.

  6. Posted by Pramila on Tuesday, October 5th, 2004.

    hey there

    just stopped by to let you know that your templates for blogspot are REALLY nice… and thank you for your work…

    …am glad i stopped long enough to read! …and articulate artist! :)

  7. Posted by Zachary Blume on Tuesday, October 5th, 2004.

    I find that reading a new/unread Agatha Christie or Michael Crighton book and listening to music helps me write and relax. Acually, I sometimes get a song and a book linked together in my head because of this, and end up thinking about the song when I read the book, or vice-versa.

    I’m not as “ancient” as Ryan(Brill) is, so I don’t do coffee. I’m still on Coca-Cola!

  8. Posted by Andy Budd on Wednesday, October 6th, 2004.

    Sounds Loverly. So what are you currently writing then?

  9. Posted by Dan Rubin on Wednesday, October 6th, 2004.

    Andy: I’m in the process of writing case studies for the “so-close-to-launch-it-hurts” Webgraph site, as well as updating some of the bio text on this site, plus some non work-related writing. It doesn’t seem like much perhaps, but it always helps to shut out all the distractions.

  10. Posted by mrkranky on Wednesday, October 6th, 2004.

    Wireless iBook on the deck in the backyard.

  11. Posted by Zachary Blume on Thursday, October 7th, 2004.

    Wow, love you redesign, except I think you might need to tweak some of the colors neer the head. They stand out oddly; other than that, I love it!

  12. Posted by yafujifide on Saturday, October 9th, 2004.

    Wow! Nice redesign!

  13. Posted by _Del.Real. on Saturday, October 9th, 2004.

    Really cool redesign. This confirms that the dark backgrounds are cool also.

  14. Posted by Anne Oneimus on Tuesday, October 12th, 2004.

    So, you head outside, get yourself comfortable and work hard to clear your mind of all distractions in order to be able to attain the magnificent clarity needed to write… And this entry is all your could come up with?! ;-P

  15. Posted by Vinnie Garcia on Wednesday, October 13th, 2004.

    It’s days like that that make me miss living in Florida. Now I live in Philadelphia and while the autumn is nice, the 39-degree nights could use some work.

  16. Posted by Scott on Saturday, October 16th, 2004.

    I find that when I blast my music, and just sit and think. I have the best results. Something about music inspires me to write, design, and code. Heck, music makes my day.

  17. Posted by Zachary Blume on Sunday, October 17th, 2004.

    Del.Real:
    http://www.nundroo.com
    Hehe :)

  18. Posted by Dan Rubin on Monday, October 18th, 2004.

    Del.Real/Zachary: It’s interesting to note that Didier and I came up with our respective designs completely separate from each other, and only recognized the similarities after showing our comps a few months ago (I had designed this new look for SB sometime around January, prior to the recent wave of dark background sites with similar looks, I just didn’t put time aside to build it until last month). Design trends find their way into designers’ heads one way or another…

  19. Posted by Zachary Blume on Friday, October 22nd, 2004.

    Yeah. Right now I’m lovin’ the 9Rules.com white background thing :) Plain yet cool.

  20. Posted by Zachary Blume on Friday, October 22nd, 2004.

    http://www.csszengarden.com/?cssfile=/135/135.css&page=0
    Heh :)

  21. Posted by jharr on Friday, October 29th, 2004.

    Living in Orlando I can certainly understand what you mean, makes all the headaches worth it when the breeze turns a little cool.

    Working from home means that sometimes it’s necessary to just get out and away from the machine, usually in the mornings I wak to clear my head. For my money libraries are a good place to find inspiration and relax. I’m guessing that sounds quite geeky, but oh well.

  22. Posted by Nice Design on Friday, November 5th, 2004.

    I sometimes go outside to a park, but most of the time if weather allows, I go to my balcony with a nice view.

    PS Nice design!

  23. Posted by David on Saturday, December 4th, 2004.

    Has this site died?

  24. Posted by Dan Rubin on Sunday, December 5th, 2004.

    No David, the site hasn’t died — it’s just been on the backburner for too long :)

    I’m working on some better personal time management that should hopefully allow me to get back into posting regularly soon. The agency has also been taking up a lot of my time lately.

  25. Posted by David on Wednesday, December 8th, 2004.

    That’s good to hear. After such a beautiful redesign, I was worried the blogs were deserted! Glad to hear you’re still home.