February 8, 2013 § 18 Comments
Once upon a time, not very long ago, this was the technological wizardry of my dreams:
Time moves on. For my birthday this year: an iPhone 5. This is wonderful! Right? …
All heck broke loose. Many, many things that I thought were more or less fine suddenly needed immediate attention. My brain filled up and froze.
If you’re under thirty you probably haven’t read this far, but if you have, no need to read further. This is for the really, really tech-shy, who nevertheless want to keep their hand in the game, or at least a pinky finger.
FIVE RULES FOR TRANSITIONING FROM A 5+ YEAR OLD MAC + FLIP PHONE, to an OSX UPGRADE + iPHONE:
1. Find a tech savvy friend or loved one willing to volunteer as a resource. Offer them something sublime in return. This must be a person who does not eye-roll and who is willing to answer questions when you’re ready to ask them. An expert can talk themselves blue in the face, but if you don’t know a browser from an operating system, you aren’t going to understand a word. Make a few mistakes in the presence of an understanding person and you get an idea of what the questions are, and are then better equipped to hear answers.
2. Buy, or check this book out from the library. Especially for those of us who grew up reading, it is a comfort to hold in your hands and it is full of helpful, understandable information.
3. When you sit down to work on whatever part of the upgrade you’re working on, set a timer for one hour. At the end of the hour, get up, do something else, even if you are about to go out of your mind with frustration. Everything is easier after your brain has a chance to let things set. The iPhone, by the way, comes with a nice timer, ready to go.
4. Have faith. Everything you need to know is (a) in your friend or loved one’s head; (b) in the Dummies book; or (c) on the Internet. The trick is finding the right words so the questions make sense to someone who knows the answers. If you find yourself on some obscure page or “forum” where people are throwing around language that puts you to sleep, stop. Take a break, rephrase your question and find a source that makes sense to you. It’s out there.
I’m not out of the woods, but should have everything figured out by 2014. Hopefully my new iPhone won’t already be an antique.
How about you? Are you upgrading? How is it going?
Reaching Your Goals, With a Little Help From Your Friends (Commuting by Muscle, 104 times in 52 Weeks)
February 4, 2013 § 8 Comments
“Let’s walk,” says my friend.
I start to say, “It’s cold. Let’s drive.”
Conversation in my head
OK. Let’s walk.
The sun comes out for the first time in a week. She points out daisies in the grass.
Another day, it’s pouring rain, so naturally I drive. A friend shows up in a snazzy neon jacket, leggings and a dress, ruddy cheeked and smiling. She bicycled and she looks great. Could have been me. Should have.
Sunday morning, hunched over the laptop and the man of the house says, “I’m going for a walk. Want to come?”
We walk seven miles. It’s cold and foggy, but doesn’t take long to warm up. We see brave souls getting ready for the polar plunge fundraiser for the Special Olympics. If that doesn’t make one feel wimpy …
2012 Polar Plunge, photo by KVAL
Ten weeks to go. Life and love might pull me over the finish line, in spite of myself.
(Update on the quest to commute, powered by muscle, 104 times in 52 weeks. Week 40: walked 2x, bicycled zero. Week 41: walked 2x, bicycled zero. Week 42: walked 2x, bicycled zero. Start date and end date: April 15. Grand total: 95, 11 in the bank).
January 14, 2013 § 17 Comments
What if it’s a really big parking lot?
It’s only Jan. 12, and my resolution to get out of the car is already crumbling. The extra commutes-by-muscle accumulated last summer are dwindling, and my one-year deadline (April 15) to car-free-commute 104 times in 52 weeks is speeding toward us.
This calls for an intervention.
I conducted a study of Self Help experts on the subject.
To reach goals you need to do 4 things:
1. Make a plan. Write it down. Divide it into 5 subgoals. Write them down. Choose areward for every milestone. Write it down. Look at all three, every day.
2. Imagine how reaching the goal will benefit you and other people.
4. Start. Just start. Subconscious minds don’t like unfinished projects and will niggle and nag until a job is done. People who don’t get started, don’t get started, or finished. They procrastinate.
Source of the authority on how to achieve goals: 59 Seconds: Think a Little, Change a Lot, Richard Wiseman
January 9, 2013 § 20 Comments
Last week Sheri de Grom was kind enough to send a nice party picture to decorate my blog.
Passing on the torch–I mean party candles. Here are a baker’s dozen sw-e-e-t blogs. Stop by, leave a word, and tell ‘em I sent you. If you do, I’ll …. ?
Wait. These blogs are so good, you don’t need a bribe to visit them.
All Things Geography is just what the man says. Being a generalist myself, I admire people who get to know and love one thing. Nicholas Humphrey is working toward his degree at South Dakota State University in Environmental Geography, and just got his first job in his field.
Lisa writes one funny post after another. Need a lift? Click this link.
Mary Pierce writes about authors, writing life, politics, and other things she cares about. This is a thoughtful, well put-together blog.
4. Arty Old Bird Val Erde shakes things up with wacky cartoons, photos, blogging tips. Shake off your winter blues and visit Val.
5. Debra Kristi’s Blog Science fiction and fantasy writer. Check out Thor’s Chick-lit World Tour.
6. Woman Bites Dog Lyndsey Jones, senior journalist for the Financial Times, and for fun, a playwright and comic.
7. Coco J. Ginger Says A woman with 5,000 followers doesn’t need any awards, but stop by anyway. Coco has a great sense of style.
8. Domestic News This woman is AMAZING. She sews, writes, cooks, is a big reader and is active in politics. Step by step slide-shows of her projects are pretty cool. If you want to cozy up with a home project, start here for inspiration.
9. Observing Ourselves Observing Lav Chintapalli is a children’s book author and a passionate educator and ethnographer living in Italy. She writes about the intersection of culture, society and education, and about her life and interests.
10. A View from a Car Park Benjamin Norris — a wonderful poet.
11. Jus Naturale Another blog that needs no accolades or awards, this is a series of diary entries from Berlin, and dark, jarring fiction shorts titled “Smoking in Prague.” Not to be missed.
12. Myndi Shafer Myndi’s new book Shrilugh is making a splash. Not surprising, considering how much fun her posts are.
13. Ray’s Blog is sweet, in all senses, a blog about Ray’s thoughts, family, politics and stuff he thinks about. I like his tag line. Blogging: It’s like howling at the moon, only quieter.
January 4, 2013 § 20 Comments
Sticking my head out of the foxhole to say THANK YOU to 10,000 visitors who’ve stopped by. This calls for a celebration.
Hey! Look what landed in the inbox!
Sheri de Grom serendipitously sent a virtual cupcake and a “Super Sweet Blogging Award” the same day as my Mil0,000estone. I am honored. Sheri shares my interest in, OK, everything. Bravo generalists. Not everyone appreciates a blog that jumps around from bag bans to blueberries to Brooksley Born. Sheri’s rich background as a Fed/JAG, book buyer and advocate for retirees gives her plenty of material for insightful posts on politics, books and whatever strikes her. Thank you Sheri.
I have to admit my first thought about “super sweet” was an image of a maiden aunt in a sensible suit and lavender perfume,
…which isn’t bad of course, but well… then remembered Susie Lindau’s post about words that don’t mean what they used to. Ah yes! “Sweet” according to the Urban Dictionary means not just sugary, but also good in a cool kind of way. Swe-e-e-t.
Speaking of Susie, TODAY, JAN. 4, is the day to stop by her blog for a “Use Me and Abuse Me” party where she opens her virtual doors to bloggers of all stripes. Leave your link and check out other people’s links. I guarantee your horizons will expand, and your readership might too.
This swe-e-e-t acknowledgment wouldn’t be complete without a thank you to writer Karen McFarland. In addition to her warm and honest blog posts on life, challenges, politics and writing, Karen offers encouragement and support to I don’t know how many writers out there. Thanks Karen.
To wrap things up with a bow, next week, Thursday, Jan. 10, I’ll pass on the Super Sweet honors to a baker’s dozen wonderful bloggers, and open the floor to suggestions about the best ways to say thank you. Off now to Susie’s party. Hope to see you there!
December 31, 2012 § 18 Comments
Happy New Year!
For more on improving yourself:
December 19, 2012 § 12 Comments
Is there such a thing as reverse cabin fever?
|Help! My inner hothouse flower has taken control. Source: MorgueFile|
These December days my inner hot house flower is in the driver’s seat, with the radio on full blast, singing at the top of her lungs. …
Sensible me squeaks, “Go outside. Two walks a week. It won’t kill you,” … but other brain parts drown that out too, busy as they are with seasonal concerns:
|“Just a few more berries.” “No way. Shut up and go to sleep.”|
Took a walk in the back yard, although the yard is about 20′ x 30′ and saturated, so it was more of a squelch than a walk.
It was dreary out there, a scene to make you crave a long winter’s nap. Even the hummingbirds, intrepid winter denizens that they are, weren’t around, maybe because there was two inches of snow on their feeder. Knocked the snow off.
Within minutes a bird zipped past, zeroing in on the sugar water. Probably starving. OK, message received. Self talk? Hibernation? Fine, as long as they don’t drown out the world. ’Tis the season. May your inner orchid be coddled and quiet, so the hummingbirds get fed. Happy holidays.
Wanted: Tips for getting myself out of my car and the house.