Thursday, March 17, 2011

For Roy

Let see...

Instapaper has a free and paid version of their app. I think instapaper is brilliant and I love it and won't live long enough to read all the articles I have archived.

HomeRoutine is a really great, highly customizable app that helped keep me sane when I was home during the day with Thea and working nights and weekends. Keeping up with her and trying to remember everything I needed to get done was too crazy. I added things like "Owen's medications" and "brush hair" and then just did what the list told me. When I use the built-in timer, I want to cry I am so proud of my self. Love, love love it.

Big Picture - Of course, their pictures should be viewed on a big screen, but I still like having them to look at on an iPhone when I have down time at work.

, This American Life (for $2.99 you get their entire archive), NPR News - Get yourself a speaker dock/charger.

Kindle - You don't have to have an Kindle to download and read books on your phone. I just got a Kindle for my birthday, and they sync well. I don't really like reading books on my phone, but it is a nice to have access to them anywhere I might be, anytime. Plus, I can read in the dark which you can't do with the Kindle.

ToyCamera, OldCamera, 8mm -- <3<3<3

MacGourmet - I am in love with cooking. I have the app for my MacBook and use it alllll the time for clipping, saving and organizing recipes, and for creating menu plans and shopping lists. The iPhone app gets some mixed reviews for it's syncing issues, but I haven't had any problems. It is really useful to have when I am at the grocery store and can't remember what I was planning to make, or what I have to buy to make it. There are lots of great recipe apps. A couple more that I have, and like a lot, but use less often: Whole Foods, and How to Cook Everything

mSecure, Units, PageOnce,, Groupon, Evernote, Tomorrow, Gift List, Alarmed, RunKeeper, Dragondiction, WorkLog, Meditator, AroundMe, CheapGas, SleepMachine, RedLaser, and Zappos are all other apps that I have, and like.

There are many ingenious apps that often end up having limited real practical use. And tons of apps that have a ridiculous clutter of features. I searched for an app that would send me reminders to drink water. I found tons of hydration apps that have enable the user to geo-tag each drink of water they take, catalog all their drinking vessles, take pictures of each incident of water consumption and post it to various social media sites, etc.etc. useless clutter. Less is more. The best apps do one simple thing well.

Good luck Roy.

PS - Plants Versus Zombies. Don't tell anybody I told you.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

This modern life

Sometimes I wake up at night thinking about bees, about colony collapse, enmeshed with exponential glacial melt and chemically dispersed oil spills, about my graying hair, and my very young child, thinking -- something has got to give -- but it actually doesn't, does it? I'm not owed anything giving. When I run, when I am running and fighting inward against it, curling my toes, my mantra is "one has no reasonable expectation to comfort" which is to say, no there is no actual basis for thinking I deserve to be or ever will be comfortable. Usually, I get preoccupied by parsing the sentence, over and over I try to make sense of it for even if it is grammatically correct, of which I am not certain, it does not immediately, intuitively make sense. I can't remember where I adapted it from, a Buddhist idea at least I know. What I find every time is, exactly as it is means exactly what I want it to mean.

Does it seem harsh to remind myself that life is harsh? It feels kind too. There is a cloying, and deeply flawed, lulling sense of entitlement about this modern life. I was recently listening to a radio story about dish-washing machine soap, how some states have banned phosphates in detergents because of their adverse effects on streams, fish, eco-systems, etc. The company of course, found it not feasible to manufacture two kinds of detergent, and began selling the same phosphate-free detergent in other states where there was no such ban in place.

The reporter was interviewing a woman who was outraged, OUTRAGED that her dishes were spotty when they came out of the dishwasher. She bought trisodium phosphate from the hardware store and mixed her own detergent. The reporter says "so you just can't do with out them phosphates?" and after she (baselessly) dismisses the science (whatever!) she answers "the dishes weren't coming clean." Ipso-facto, the world can burn! I felt a very un-Buddhist, compassion-less desire to throttle her. That sense of entitlement reminds me why I have to force myself into discomfort, why I want to be the one who inflicts it. The truth is, if I don't run I see a future of decrepitude, of aches, atrophy, and regret -- a pain far worse than the discomfort of getting out of a warm bed on a cold, dark morning. Life is going to take it's pound of flesh. I find some dignity is standing up, accepting that it will, and choosing how I give it.

My dishes come out clean so maybe I don't know much about the heartbreak of dirty dishes. I haven't checked the ingredients on my box of detergent to determine its phosphate status, so who am I to talk about sacrifice? I am not qualified, its true. It could be argued that I run for vanity as much as health. It might be true, but the truth is, what keeps me going is the fact that I have pain due me and the only thing I can do about it is decide how I take it.

This is a good example of muddy thinking. I'm still not clear, even to myself what the hell phosphate-laden streams have to do with running in the morning, but for some reason, these analogies submerge from my subconscious, conflated, to argue against doing the easy, dishonest thing. Life isn't easy. You aren't owed clean dishes. Your dishes are not more important than fish in streams. Fucking get over it. Get out of bed. Go. Run.


About Me