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So this is where you sneaks go to try out your interpretive dance

It seems that mowing my lawn and driving back from Bloomington are both very good times for me to do heavy-duty thinking. I’ve mentioned the driving thing in previous entries, but I never really recognized the mowing-the-lawn thing until today.

As most people do, I hate mowing my lawn. It’s annoying. It’s time consuming. It’s sweaty work (particularly in Louisville). I don’t have a huge lot — indeed, it’s actually pretty small. But it still takes 30-45 minutes to mow the lawn. I ususally start in the front and work my way around the house to the back. The lawn is slightly larger in the back than the front, so I spent a bit more time back there.

I’ve noticed that I tend to have all my best ideas while mowing the back lawn. I guess it takes about 15-20 minutes to be lulled into a state where I can do real free-associative thinking. By then, it’s usually a race to finish mowing the lawn so that I can come inside and record my ideas before they disappear (yes, I have the short-term memory of a gnat with ADD).

The same thing happens while on long-distance driving — particularly on the long, straight, boring highways here in the US midwest. So it typically happens on the latter half of my drive home from Bloomington — when I’m on I-65 heading south through Indiana. I-64 east across Louisville is typically a bit too hectic and I need to pay attention to my driving.

Mmm… free associative thinking… That’s where great ideas like chocolate beer and donut alarms came from!


Spent a week at the University of Tennessee (Knoxville) last week working on Open MPI with the other developers. Good stuff. It’s coming along well.

We got a parking ticket one day, though — doh! We’ll see if UT is aggressive enough to pursue me through the rental car agency.

On the upside, though, I pre-paid for the gas in my rental car. Seconds after driving into the rental car return lot at the Louisville airport, the low fuel light went on. Woo hoo! Maximum value. :-)

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 22, 2004 3:43 PM.

The previous post in this blog was Happiness is the Dome in the rear view mirror.

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