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bird poops on plum branch


Buster Benson

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Want your own morale-o-meter?
bird poops on plum branch

That's the weird graph at the top of this page. For the past couple years people have been asking me to make it available to others... and I think it might be easier to make it available than to keep saying why I'm not making it available (laziness). However, a few hours into making this available and I realized that nobody ever told me what they actually wanted, or why they wanted it. So most likely it won't make anyone happier and will only make me sadder, but for now I can pretend that it's going to keep me better company than a pet fox. Watch my morale respond in real time!

If you think you might want a Morale-O-Meter chart of your own, will you try out what I've got and let me know what you think of it? If you have a 43 Things account, you can log in here and begin to record your fluctuating, spinning, ever mysterious morale.

After some people are using it, I'm going to add ways to see who the happiest people on a given day are, who had the most sleep... who was the drunkest, etc. Won't that be sort of fun and silly? I don't know!

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i should come up with an algorithm for the drunkest happiest person who got the least amount of sleep each day. and then put a gold star on their morale chart. and maybe put some "zzzzs" on the person who slept the most and drank the least coffee and alcohol.

I think your dance-a-meter is too low. Oh that's right, it's cause you DIDN'T GO DANCING WITH US!!!

i know. i'm LAME TO THE MAX. i'll definitely go next time... was just feeling in a bit of a funk last night.

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Are you still getting this error? Do you remember which method was missing?

Application error (Rails)

okay, should be fixed now...

oh really? which page? i'll look into it. in the meantime, i think i'm going to have some tough competition on winning the crazy awards each day if you keep playing:


I get the error every time I save a report. I guess it's submitting the data anyway.

I can't believe how many people didn't drink yesterday!

oh, you're right... should be fixed now.

yeah, i was lame and didn't go out yesterday either... but i did go out every other night of the week. 9 drinks terrajen... i'm proud. i haven't done that since... friday...

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Re: Application error (Rails)

cool, thanks. it was because i was trying to get some information from your 43 things account that you hadn't supplied. should be working again now.

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that's so funny. this is exactly the kind of thing my therapist wanted me to do at the end of every day - rate my mood/morale!

i've been tracking my morale on and off for a couple years... hoping to have some way of telling whether or not i'm happier when i sleep more, or if drinking a lot has a long term negative impact on my health... but it's still pretty difficult to tell. if anything, people have been pointing out that i'm happiest when i'm sleeping little and drinking a lot. i think comparing your behavior to others people's behavior might reveal something interesting though. anyway, this is what happens when nerds get bored. :)

i didn't know i wanted this meter so badly until after i had it. there is something very settling about it that journaling alone cannot produce. watching the little chart is the positive stimulus that i need. this is a mild obsession with a beneficial byproduct. every blog should be equipped with one. why am i such a DORK FOR DATA? i love last.fm charts, now this; i used to check my page view data on diaryland like a crack addict. i guess i just love each little DATUM bit and how they all move around like a DATA MONSTER with a mind of its own. and yet it's vanity because it's a lot like taking too many pictures of yourself, but i guess it's more excusable since it's pictures of yourself to try and get a better idea of what you look like. but sometimes actually, it seems to be making the picture so that you'll become closer to what you are reporting to be. like my storytelling- even if this isn't how it was, it's how it should've been. i'm okay with that philosophy. not that you should doubt the veracity of my entries beneath the meter. thank god i'm finally not letting each day just pass into oblivion as i have been for more or less 29 years. rob's grandmother kept a paper diary religiously, and after she died they found boxes and boxes and boxes of these spiral notebooks in her attic. they didn't really know what to do with them, and it was too overwhelming a sight for them to start reading them; though i have to say that i would've just hung out there and flipped to random entries in random books. do people change or are they just incarnations of the diabelli variations- from a simple cobbler's theme to finally, a fugue. basically i just mean to say that you, sir, rock. yes benson, i mean you. and that i am immensely glad that you exist and that you are bringing so many great things into this world. like gandhi said, the work we do will never secure the fate of the world, nevertheless there is nothing more important than that we do it. and if that's not exactly what he said, then that's what he should've said.

i didn't know i wanted this meter so badly until after i had it.

oh yes, flim, ditto! ditto.

sometimes i find myself wishing the day was over so that i could report my morale. dumb! this is similar to the time i saw a $1 rack at a store that only had size 12 skirts and said to my sister, "DAMNIT WHY CAN'T I BE A SIZE 12?" and then i realized that jumping 8 sizes larger probably isn't the key to life. know what i mean?

yeah, i've been a morale-o-meter junkie for years... there's something about it that helps clarify something ambiguous in my own life. now that others are doing it, i am itching to try to create more ways to compare morale and find patterns in the data. i want to know if there's a way to find people who have "similar morales"... both in the sense that they average out around the same as you but also in the sense of the amount of fluctuation that occurs between days and also in the general trend of the averages over time. so if you're a dork for data, i'm a dork monster. i've been on this path of trying to find ways to make life better with the internet. it's a difficult thing to figure out... and looking into existing non-internet programs like toastmasters, life coaching, and even alcoholics anonymous are all converging somewhere with 43 things, the morale-o-meter, and office hours. somewhere... but where?

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do you count your sleep for the day as the sleep you got the night prior, or the sleep you got or anticipate getting that night?

I put the number of hours I got the previous night... so I can add the data to a day at the end of the day. It doesn't really matter though... hopefully the patterns would emerge either way.

I think it might be helpful to have it default to the previous day when you first log in though. I think it's sort of cheating to report your day before it's over.

I guess your morale for the day is more influenced by the sleep you got the night before...although your morale could influence the kind of sleep you get that night too.

Yes, I think it should default to yesterday, especially since it shows up as "yesterday" on the chart. I accidentally put my Sunday data into Monday this morning, so then I made Monday all zeros, and now my chart looks dumb. :/

Okay, now it defaults to yesterday, and if you go to the day that you accidentally added the stuff, there's a delete link next to the submit button.

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