One thing I’ve been toying around with for a while now is saying mostly goodbye to RSS and online reading. I think about this because I mostly rush through the articles instead of engaging with them well. I’ve recognized this and try to *force* myself to dig in deeper, yet I’m always skimming.
Contrast this with book and physical magazine reading, I have no problem sitting down for 2 – 3 hours to work through some reading. I don’t feel the need to find something else to do, and I often wish that I had more time at the end of it.
That would mean a change to this newsletter. You’d get longer pieces around specific ideas that are just for the email list, but we’d drop the 5 Links thing. I simply wouldn’t bother with them because I wouldn’t be digging into as much online reading so I wouldn’t have links for a bunch of little stuff.
Hit reply to let me know what you think of that idea.
> It is not when things come easily that we appreciate them, but when we have to work hard for them or when they are hard to get that those things have greater value to us. [Leaders Eat Last Pages 278, 279](http://www.amazon.com/dp/1591845327/?tag=blogcurtismchale-20)
If you were on the email list you’d be reading about two years of my marriage that were hard. I’d expound with virtue about getting outside help and the work it takes to have something worthwhile in business and life. [You should subscribe](https://curtismchale.ca/subscribe)
> If you’ve found my content helpful I’ve opened up a [Patreon page](https://curtismchale.ca/patreon). You can help ensure that more helpful content keeps coming.
## I Shipped
[Monday I wrote about some iPadOS bugs that drive me nuts](https://curtismchale.ca/2020/01/20/ipados-bugs-that-drive-me-nuts). I got some responses from those that use iPads and the consensus was that we love our iPad, and are frustrated with some of the bugs that persist. It’s such a nice device but needs some polish because some of the bugs will turn off non-nerds from even trying it out as a full-time device.
[Wednesday I wrote about a bluetooth keyboard that you shouldn’t buy](https://curtismchale.ca/2020/01/22/terrible-folding-bluetooth-keyboard-with-trackpad). Yes it was nice to have a trackpad, but the trackpad wasn’t really that nice and the keyboard caused many typing errors.
Friday, I was back to talking about some books as I reviewed [Late Bloomers](https://curtismchale.ca/2020/01/24/early-success-or-late-bloomer). The plan going forward is to have some book content going out about the same time as this newsletter on Friday’s. Not always a review, but something book/writing related. I’ve been enjoying looking at Booktube (YouTube but a community that talks about books) and haven’t seen people tackling non-fiction much so since I read it I figured I could do that.
## Friday Five
**1 A Printed Book Simply Feels Better to Me**
I was on the ebook train for a few years. I have around 500 ebooks in fact. I even gave away almost all my print books to a local used book store for in store credit. But in 2019 despite reading 70+ books I maybe read one in digital form.
I find ebooks hard to flip back and forth through to look at a few sections and figure out what the author was talking about. The “location” of a quote may change if I’ve played with the font sizes so I’ve had trouble tracking down past things I’ve read about and want to make sure I understand.
You also can’t really lend ebooks, which sucks because I usually have at least one book out of my library at a time.
I’ve also tried to borrow ebooks from my local library and the truth is the readers they provide are terrible. [Plus publishers are making it harder and harder to even get an ebook from a library](https://pxlnv.com/linklog/ebook-restrictions-libraries/).
There are some advantages though. If I was away for a few weeks then having my Kindle with me would allow me to have a bunch of books with me. The rare times I travel now I simply pick one of the two books I’m reading and bring it with me.
Since I picked a Kindle and maybe read one book in Apple Books, my device isn’t distracting because it’s terrible at anything but being an ebook reading device.
Reading is one of the things I do most often in the week. I love it and after spending years trying out ebooks, the printed book simply feels better to me.
[Inspired by this post](https://pxlnv.com/linklog/oakley-ebooks/).
**2 Three (or More) Years to Success**
[Great video](https://youtu.be/9HF2AjcXurA) from Matt D’Avella about what it takes to succeed. Maybe you can’t launch and have a winning podcast in 2020, but could you start it and have a winning podcast in 2025?
Because that’s how long it make take to actually win.
**3 Overparenting Backfired**
[My thoughts align with this video on over parenting](https://youtu.be/IoXpNJLFngc). I’m the dad at the park that sits as far away as possible reading a book really only paying attention to the 3-year-old. I’ve even had other parents chastise me for my very hands off approach.
I’m working hard to let my kids be out doing what they want without an adult, inside the societal constraints that often has other adult complaining to authorites when they don’t think I should be doing it.
Also, so many other adults need to just keep their opinions to themselves.
**4 Writing a Book With Ulysses**
I’m writing a new book and using Scrivener as always, but it’s pretty rough on iPadOS. I’ve looked at Ulysses as well, and in my looking found this great post from Matt Gemmel on using Ulysses to write his books.
– [How to Write a Novel with Ulysses, Part I: Organization and the Writing Process](https://ulysses.app/blog/2018/12/write-a-novel-with-ulysses-organization-and-the-writing-process/)
– [How to Write a Novel With Uylesses Part II: Research, Editing, and Export](https://ulysses.app/blog/2018/12/how-to-write-a-novel-with-ulysses-ii-research-editing-and-export/)
The truth for me is that I don’t love any of the writing apps on iPadOS currently. A bunch work, and I like features of each. I wish I could program Swift (or had the time to learn it) and then I’d work on building one that I could use for everything.
**5 If You Don’t Trust Your Employees to Work Remotely Why Did You Hire Them?**
[Good article in Quartz](https://qz.com/891537/if-you-dont-trust-your-employees-to-work-remotely-you-shouldnt-have-hired-them-in-the-first-place/) about working remotely and the productivity benefits you can have. I’ll admit, that you do have to be focused and strict about your time at home though.
> Building software for startups is a huge challenge. Not because writing the software itself is that hard, but most startups have managed to create the least optimal places to do work. In my 10+ years of experience as a software engineer at startups, I cannot trust employers to provide me with an adequate work environment, and this holds me back from doing the best possible work for them.
I’ve only built software once in house for a company, and this was exactly the experience I had. I had to build in all these elaborate blocks so that I could get any focus time. The kicker was that the boss and anyone that had been there for a few years insisted they needed a private office with a door so they could focus and they got it. I was to junior and “creative” so I couldn’t get that space.
> I am a night owl. You can tell me I have to have my butt in a chair within your line of sight at 8 or 9am, but that is very wasteful. You are wasting my time and yours. I am not a morning person. I will start being very effective around 11am and I really get going in the afternoon/evening. If you forceyourpreferred hours onto me, both employer and employee lose.
I’m opposite to the author, starting work at 5:30am most days. Back to that job, while anyone older could come in and leave earlier, I was not allowed to do that. I had to be in the office during the times my boss was there. Even when I sleep till 7am and start by 9am, I’m pretty much done by 3pm so that’s time wasted.
If I’m at home then, I do stuff like tidy my office or take a walk and take photos. Stuff that contributes to my work creatively or organizationally, but doesn’t require much mental focus like programming does.
Over the years since that first in-house job, I’ve been hunted for other programming jobs but each one of them required me to commute to Vancouver which is a non-starter. I’m not saying I wouldn’t ever take a job, but I’d rather take a construction job locally than drive in and out of the city eating 2+ hours a day of my time just so someone can see my butt in a chair.