Showing posts from March, 2018

Too much noise

I went about a week, from March 22nd to March 29th, not writing anything here on the blog. I couldn't put my finger on what was happening but each time I thought about writing, I had no ideas. Zero. Zilch. Zip. Nada.

I even pulled up the screen a few times and stared at the big blank space I am typing into right now and still there was nothing. Was I blocked? I really started to ask myself that.

So, I get to Wednesday evening and close my laptops (work and personal) and put the iPad on the charger and go grab the latest book I am reading which is a real, paper book this time although I don't think there is an awful lot of difference reading a "real" book and reading on my Kindle Paperwhite. Both have no notifications popping up and zero distractions fighting for my attention. When I read, the rest of the world goes silent.

Apparently this silence was what I needed. It had nothing to do with the content of the book but about five pages in I had the realization that disco…

Five years of podcasting

A lot has changed for me personally since I nervously published episode one of Up In This Brain back on March 29, 2013. I've shared quite a lot over the years - songs, good times, bad times, silly times - and now I have 366 episodes that will live on as a bit of a record of what this part of my life was like.

Podcasting combines two things I have always loved, radio and writing but I guess the writing part is mostly improvisation. I rarely write any notes down aside from the episode number (which I tend to forget) and the date (which I also tend to forget since most days look suspiciously like the days that preceded).

As for radio, I always enjoyed listening to AM and shortwave when I was younger. I could picture the distant places from which the signals originated through the voices that came through the static. I think we as podcasters serve that same purpose today although podcasting allows us to be much more specific!

For a long time I have treated my podcast as mostly an audio v…

Throw it away now!

That's my advice after last week. I had to put down a new floor in the shed and in order to accomplish this, everything had to come out. That's when the ugly truth was revealed - the shed had become a haven for discarded whatnots that I was just too lazy to fool with and even though I took out a load of trash last year (which I recall being quite proud of at the time) it still took two more full loads going to the dump to get it all straight.

I can't ask 2010 me what I was thinking when the radiator heater that started leaking ended up in the shed instead of the dump nor what 2011 me was thinking keeping an old pool ladder rusting beside the shed all these years that we haven't had a pool. How about the exercise bike that I bought at a garage sale and used for a year before it broke and ended up in the shed since 2008 or so?

I think the big change is that I see things differently now, meaning material things. My bar for keeping things has been raised higher and higher wi…

Book it

When I think about all of the gadgets that have passed in and out of my possession over the years, it's become obvious to me that one gadget has risen above the rest as my favorite. That gadget is my Kindle Paperwhite.

It was a slow start for me. I bought it in early 2016 but didn't start using it all the time until I signed up for Goodreads again in January of 2017 and I discovered how easily anything I highlighted would sync over to my Goodreads profile. The biggest leap in usage came when I discovered all of the great ebooks I could borrow through the library.

A couple of weeks ago I drove to a library in Nashville to get a non-resident all access library card and now I have what seems like an unlimited number of titles at my disposal. The current book I am reading, "Chemistry" by Weike Wang, has been on my to-read list for a long time but our local library only had one ebook copy with a huge wait list and no physical copies while the Nashville library had multiple …

Eyes to the skies

I'm happy to report that we dodged another weather bullet here at the home office. We ended up with a non-event here, only some light rain, after several days of notice to prepare for what could have happened.

This graphic that I saw around 8AM local time turned out to be incredibly accurate. North-central Alabama was very hard hit, especially in Cullman, a place we typically stop on the way to and back from Florida on vacations.

I get most of my weather information these days from Twitter accounts like @NWSNashville, @NashSevereWX and @spann because they share just the facts without the hype and hysteria and misinformation that I have found on the local television news at times. Last night's coverage was no different. On one local station, a reporter out on a remote told us that we were all under a Tornado Warning and a tornado could drop from the sky at any moment. Luckily the anchor back at the station immediately clarified this - it was a tornado watch meaning conditions are…

Saying sayonara to the dvr-ah (I had to make it rhyme)

It would have been really easy to title this one "cutting the cord" but that is what everyone else does so I went with "Saying sayonara to the dvr-ah" and I apologize to everyone for my continuing destruction of grammar and language.

Many, many years ago, we lived in an apartment and it was there that I encountered the first cable cord-cutter that I ever met. I heard the couple upstairs arguing and then someone bounding down the steps. Next, I could hear some weird noise outside our window and it was there that I saw who I presume was the husband with a big butcher knife physically cutting the cord that ran up the wall of the building and into his apartment. Maybe his favorite team had lost. Maybe he was sick of his significant other watching Guiding Light.

Now it is twenty years later and I have finally cut the cord also although I was far less dramatic about it. I called the cable company Monday and pulled a Frozen (Let It Go!) and ended our television and telephon…

Another YouTube channel I watch

Here's another channel I've been watching on YouTube lately: Ambuchannel 112.

It popped up as a recommended channel on the page of the RailCam I have been watching some. I guess this is because both are in the same country?

I find it quite fascinating, much better than what is on television. Who needs to watch medical shows when you can ride along on real rescues? These videos are also great for teaching us how we should react when an emergency vehicle needs to get by us.

Goofing with my Sony DSC-W800 camera

I was assembling yet another load of stuff to take to the help center thrift store this week when I came upon my Sony DSC-W800 camera. It's my last digital camera meaning I doubt I will ever buy another one since my iPhone does everything I need camera-wise. In fact, I never use the Sony camera. It's been thrown in a tote for about a year.

I got it cheap at an outlet store with the idea that I would use it some instead of using my phone. That plan never worked out because this camera is sort of quirky. It's not easy to get in-focus pictures and the photos don't look as good as my iPhone photos. Also, the 720p video function doesn't look that great either and will only record in 12 minute chunks. How silly.

However, I decided at the last minute that I would not chuck it in the thrift store box. Instead I would treat it as a creative toy of sorts and goof around with it a bit. So, I keep it in the home office right by my desk so it is ready when inspiration hits. I hav…