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Permanent link to archive for Thursday, November 24, 2005. Thursday, November 24, 2005

A picture named ipod video.jpgArrrgh, I plugged my new iPod into my old Mac and lost everything on it. Never got a confirmation dialog asking if it was okay if it wiped out the music and audiobooks that I painstakingly took hours of my time to set up. Never mind that the originals are on the other side of the United States. Honestly, how dare they design software that's so brutal? Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Adam Curry wants to get an OPML subscription list from iTunes. I've heard it's possible, I'd like to have a look too. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Even vegetables have tags in 2005. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

New Flickr set: Microsoft's Jean Paoli visited at Berkman. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Raymond Kristiansen: "My OPML file is one of my greatest assets." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named bugs.jpgDanny Ayers asks Raymond the question that XML geeks always ask about OPML. And Raymond gives him the answer I always give (but it's great they can hear it from a user now). "There are tools." Users don't care about formats, they care about getting their ideas organized and out there. OPML does that for them. I remember explaining that to Edd Dumbill five years ago, and he then wrote about it on XML.Com and ridiculed it, saying OPML had "secret hidden powers." If you make software for users, there's no mystery. OPML is unique in that the application, outlining, existed before the format. So unlike most XML formats, it's not stuck waiting for tools.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Mark Pilgrim wrote an excellent tutorial for Mac users explaining how to rip a DVD for viewing on an iPod. I tried it out last night, it works. Thanks! Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Just for fun! Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Click on the turkey...

Happy Thanksgiving today in the USA!

Kindness Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Lillian Kreisle, whose name I'm sure I'm mangling, was my first book keeper at my first company. She was a generation older than us young whipper snappers, we were in our 20s, and determined to make a place for ourselves in the world. She might have been impressed with our vigor, but she was not impressed with our manners. She gave me some advice that I'd like to pass on today.

"Instead of hitting people with a hammer, use a feather instead," she said. For example, instead of telling a customer that you won't give them what they're asking for, say you can't, and then explain why. There's often a gentler way to say no.

A picture named turkey.gifThis holiday is about giving thanks, which is a bit of a paradox, because giving thanks not only feels good for the person being thanked, it actually feels as good or better for the person giving the thanks. Usually forcing yourself to do something is not a great thing, so try out Lillian's method on yourself. With a feather, ask yourself to give thanks to the most unusual thing you could possibly give thanks to, and when you do it, thanks turns into forgiveness. No pain no gain, they say, and the inverse is often true -- the things that hurt the most often teach us the most too.

I think what Lillian was saying was even greater. There's something missing in much of the relating we do with others, with our family, our friends, our business associates, and that's kindness. So today is one of the handful of days that we set aside to honor everyone and everything, the greatest gift you can give is just that, being kind. A little extra patience. See it from their point of view in addition to seeing it from yours. Think what they give, even if it isn't always given with kindness, and add more kindness back the other way. Think how you can be kinder, and then do it again.

Maybe in addition to Thanksgiving, we should have a new holiday, Kindgiving! That would be cooooool.

I always try to write on Thanksgiving Day, it's one of the best days to write because it's a day when writing can do the most good. People let you get away with more schmaltz than most days. Truth be told, I'd happily write about this stuff every day, but people wouldn't be in the mood. So I pull out all the stops on this day.

Thanks for listening!


Last update: Thursday, November 24, 2005 at 11:19 PM Eastern.

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