Five things for the week

Succulent arrangement
  1. After reading this article, I started thinking about the amount of time I spend (we all spend, actually) with keyboards. I am picky with them. Not as picky as some but more than most. At my desk I use a mechanical keyboard for feel, comfort, and sound. I have yet to find any keyboard that I like using with my iPad. Most are tolerable but none preferred. I haven’t purchased an Apple laptop, opting to keep my 2014 Macbook Pro, because the Macbook keyboards since then are horrible. Thankfully, my work laptop (Dell 7480) has a decent keyboard which I appreciate while on business trips (and am away from my desktop setup).
  2. I purchased a dwarf Meyer lemon tree, earlier in the week, and potted it in a 20-gallon pot on the weekend. I’m glad to finally get some green in our backyard (when we bought the house, the yard was just pavers and white rock). I have two more bigger pots that I plan to fill up eventually. Just trying to determine what I want back there. For now, I’d be happy with anything green. I also purchased an AeroGarden to start using as a quick seed starter. 
  3. We replaced our bedroom curtains with darker (grey) ones which, as intended, has made our room very dark through the night and mornings. The pervious curtains (left by the previous owner) were sheer, so let in some light all of the time. I got used to them very quickly, with mornings being easy because I would wake up with the light. Now, with these darker ones, I have more difficulty getting up in the mornings. My wife is sleeping much better so, I just need more time to adjust (and a louder alarm).
  4. I can’t believe it’s April already.
  5. This week’s priority: health. Mental and physical.

Recently Read, Watched, and Listened

Read

Funny or Bust: Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph Take Vanity Fair on the Ultimate Joyride I would watch a show where these two just sit and randomly talk about anything they want to. My appreciation for Maya Rudolph’s talent grows with everything she does.

All You Can Ever Know, by Nicole Chung – I really appreciated how well-written this adoptee story is. The author’s account and personal “openness” is deep and vulnerable. Many of her experiences are similar to my own, making this an even more meaningful read. There are a lot of adoptee stories out there, and I highly respect those who have put theirs to writing and out into the world. I still haven’t gotten to the point where I can share my own.


Watched

Social AnimalsI’m not so sure about Instagram anymore… Though this documentary was a good, objective look at how young kids and teens are suing the platform. It’s also a good look at how perception (sociual media personas) and reality differ, yet intersect in both good and bad ways. Very interesting watch.

Speed (1994) – I don’t remember what I was doing at the time but, I had this movie on in the background while doing so. I enjoyed the absolute corniness of it all, especially Dennis Hopper’s over-the-top villain.


Listened

Criminal Podcast, ep 111: Silvon Simmons There will always be good and bad people in the world. Not all of them are who you expect them to be. Stories like these are a good reminder of how lies and coverups can affect the innocent.

You are not your job

Vala’s tweet (above) is a good list, similar to the list of priorities I am focused on in my life wright now. A lot of my recent meditation has been on item 3, “you are not your job”. Of course, work is something we all spend so much time and effort on throughout the course of our lifetimes. Simply because it dominates so much of what we do, it’s easy to use it as an identifier.

No matter whether you enjoy or work or not, it doesn’t define you. Job titles, salaries, org charts… it’s all there because we, as humans, naturrally categorize things to assign an order. Your title is not who you are. Your salary is not how much you are worth. Both are what that company/organization determine it to be, for them. Not for you.

Your job is what you do to earn money. It’s not who you are.

I love having conversations with people where work never enters the picture. Lately, I refrain from even asking people what they do or where they work. It’s an unnecessary part of getting to know people.

Use what you got.

Cat ghost
ghost cat

I put my iPhone in a box… It’s the camera that I use when I want to just take snapshots or pictures to casually communicate with. It’s not a “real” camera. If I want to do “real” photography, then I need to get my Fujifilm gear out and use it. If I’m traveling, I need to take a “real” camera with me if I plan to do any photography. My phone, alone, will not do. After all, it’s not a real camera.

This Three Blind Men and an Elephant video was intriguing. Hugh Brownstone and Cliff Pickett have a great conversation about phone photography and its merits and capabilities. After viewing it, I realized that (as usual) I was over-thinking things.

A camera is a camera is a camera.

The adage “the best camera is the one you have with you” is true. I need to work this to the front of my mind and remove the blocks I have on any of my equipment. I think this can apply to any devices, really. Why be selective about keyboards? Laptops vs desktops? Whether you can be productive on phones or tablets? Or anything else, really?

Use what you got.

Wandering Tuesday

Egg and chorizo burrito
egg & chorizo burrito

I started the morning wanting a breakfast burrito so, I went and got one. I had been hearing that there was a Mexican restaurant, located at a gas station, that had really good breakfast burritos. I wasn’t disappointed with my very tasty, very filling egg and chorizo burrito from Rafa’s Mexican Food. Their red sauce was a good compliment with it too, adding just the right amount of heat (spicy) and flavor.

I then drifted downtown to see what was going on. I knew there was a local camera shop that I wanted to check out and thought “why not now?” Mike’s Camera looked like most camera stores I have been to. I was impressed with the service which was low-pressure sales and with staff that cared about photography. I checked out the new Fujifilm XT-30, which I’m considering as an “everyday carry” camera. I was worried the size might be too small for me (I usually prefer much bigger cameras) but was pleasantly surprised.

From there I cruised over to R Street to check out three of the Wide Open Walls murals. Here are the three that I visited:

the way in which it treats its children
by HERA of Herakult
“Low Tide”
“Low Tide” by David de la Mano
#ThankYouUniverse
by Lora Zombie

Though I haven’t yet seen all of them, I have seen a lot and am in love with this project. It’s one of the best things about this city. Check out their Instagram and, if you are ever in Sacramento, here’s a guide to where they all are.

It was a nice way to spend the morning before getting back to my desk to hammer out some work. I need to remember to do things like this when I have open blocks of time in my days.

Five things for the week

Below are things that I did poorly, or not at all, this past week, that I am setting out to improve upon for this coming week:

  1. Not procrastinating. I get things completed on deadline. Begrudgingly. It’s a really bad habit and something that I have been trying to break for years. FOR YEARS! But it seems to be my standby. Nothing motivates better than being right up against a deadline, right? My goal for this week is to complete things before deadline, as early as possible, for this week only. It’s not a goal to break the habit, just a goal for this week. I just need to know that I can do it for a week.
  2. Reading a fiction book/novel. I do read a lot. Most of my screen time, no matter the device, is reading. I just want to point some of that reading time back to fiction, my favorite thing to read. Technical manuals, blogs, news, and social media are not as satisfying (go figure).
  3. Cooking more meals at home. We ordered delivery for 6 out of the 7 dinners, this past week. A lot of factors played into it and wee paid for it with not only money but a lack of energy as well. We just didn’t feel like ourselves. So, this week, I plan to cook a lot at home to compensate, and get us back on the right track. Right after this blog post, I am going to work on my meal planning.
  4. Taking more photographs. I think I write something like this every week. And I think that, no matter how many photographs I take in a week, I will always have wanted to take more. I take a lot; perhaps I need to share more of them?
  5. Going for walks. The overall benefits of doing this doesn’t need to be described here. I just need to go out and do this more.

Recently Read, Watched, and Listened

Read

Mark Manson’s “The Disease of More”This appeared as a suggested read in my Pocket recommendations. It is a fantastic read and one that made me think a little deeper about the things and processes around me. This not only pertains to tangible items but, the the space for thought, productivity, and creativity that I have in my mind as well. It’s a good read and one that I think I will be revisiting again as I continue to clean up and simplify, all in the name of improving my focus and being able to clearly identify the things that matter to me.


Watched

Love, Death + Robots There are a few things that I liked about this series. I like the different animation styles. I like the short story format, and wish we saw more of this storytelling format in all media. Sometimes network series are just too long. We don’t need a 22+ episode season! I also liked that they were much “deeper” and “darker” stories, what Netflix termed as “adult”. There is some controversy around the amount of female nudity and how it’s used in the stories, which I can understand why (there’s controversy). Overall I enjoyed the series very much, and am looking forward to another season.

Doomsday Preppers Throughout the day, when I take my breaks, it’s really noticeable how quiet it is around the house. So I have taken to streaming something on Netflix while I make lunch and/or need time away from my work screens. I saw this (on Netflix) and was morbidly curious so, I played a few episodes. It’s… interesting. I don’t think that the preppers are “crazy”. In fact, I giver some the benefit of the doubt as I’m sure the series is setup and edited to make them look a little extreme. Though I do question some of the preppers’ motives and tactics. If I take anything from this series it’s that I need to have some emergency supplies on hand in case of floods, earthquake, or another natural disaster.


Listened

Again, nothing specific to point out here. Like last week, when I had my headphones on I was either on a conference call or just had my music set to shuffle.