I’ve spent decades of my life attending religious gatherings, but I hadn’t understood the beauty of coming together as a community on a Friday evening (every Friday evening) over a large community meal — until Laura and I and some others from All Souls Parish were welcomed at Congregation Beth El in Berkeley last night.
After taking a much needed nap this afternoon, I was grateful that I ended up honoring a commitment I had made earlier in the day to venture out, to do something new, to show a kindness to strangers. I could easily have fallen back on the excuse of being too tired. And sometimes I am actually too tired to do new things. Instead, I was rewarded by the warmth of new friends.
One of the reasons I have favored CNN’s State of the Union (SOTU) (with Jake Tapper) from among the “Big Five” Sunday morning talk shows is the ready availability of transcripts. Even though I often gobble down an episode as a podcast played at 2x normal speed, I have aspired to return to a closer study of the arguments from the morning; transcripts would clearly help in such a study.
I’m glad to report that I have been wrong in believing in that CNN was alone in providing transcripts. In fact, all the other four Sunday talk shows also have them:
In reading What does it mean that God speaks in a still small voice?, I came across references to Bible verses that previewed the text when you hover over the link:
Intriguing. How can I do the same? I followed the instructions at Convert Bible References into Links | Faithlife Reftagger – Faithlife and installed
- Faithlife Reftagger | WordPress.org
- RefTagger Toggle | WordPress.org and its dependency CMB2 | WordPress.org
Voilà. Here’s the obligatory John 3:16.
I rather enjoy Facebook. Perhaps too much, thus leading me to act against my own interests by trading away my privacy to a voracious entity whose CEO had a long history of not respecting our privacy. I’ve not yet left FB but have taken little steps to pare back its place in my life. For example, I deleted the FB and Messenger apps on my devices and use FB through the web browser on my laptop and phones now. Baby steps for sure. Those apps are notorious for sucking up lots of data into Facebook from right under my fingers.
Maybe an upside to cutting back on Facebook is returning more earnestly to blogging: both writing and reading them. It’s been a while since I regularly used a RSS/feed reader to track the news; it’s telling how much I have abandoned reading my feeds to Twitter and Facebook instead. But I took a tiny step in the other direction a couple of weeks ago by installing ViennaRSS/vienna-rss: Vienna is a free and open-source RSS/Atom newsreader for macOS.
I petered out at the end of November writing entries for MyBizWriMo. I’m happy with what I did manage to write and would like to pick up where I left off. Next week, as a new volunteer for Ashby Village, I will be working with other tech volunteers to figure out how to help our members with smart speakers (such as Amazon Alexa or the Google Assistant. (Ashby Village is “a nonprofit organization that connects members with each other and with the resources we need to remain active, independent and successful”.) I’m studying the two devices this week and will report back on what I learn.
[Work in Progress]
As I start to organize my block for disaster preparation, I’m wondering about good software we can use to organize ourselves. Are there any existing services that could be useful?
Some things I’d like to look at:
- anything built on top of Nextdoor? (Is there a Nextdoor API?)
- combining emergency preparation with crime watching: How to Start a High-tech Neighborhood Watch
[Work in Progress]
In this post, I will outline how I plan to learn the ins and outs of the iPhone and the iPad. I believe that these two devices, which both run iOS, are especially important devices for many of my prospective clients, including seniors.
What are the important tasks to learn? How do I keep up with the latest developments? How do I teach people systematically how to use these devices?
[Work in progress]
Because I took a lot of photos with friends this Thanksgiving weekend, I figured that it would be a good time to take some next steps on what I wrote in Managing and sharing your photos:
One of the most emotionally resonant digital tasks that many of us, including seniors, love to do is taking, managing, and sharing photos. There is a lot to say about this topic. I have my own workflow involving my Android phones for taking photos, Flickr (and now Google Photos) for storage, and Facebook (primarily) for sharing. I’ve not been totally happy with this workflow and am working to change it. I’m looking for workflows that will work for a wide range of people using many different devices, software wanting to satisfy many different needs.
Besides chopping and baking cauliflower and sweet potato, much of my Thanksgiving Eve was devoted to projects that I had set aside for a sufficient stretch of time to have forgetten where I had left off. It took a non-trivial amount of energy to “warm up” my brain, to reimmerse myself in the original context to be once again productive.
It’s not surprising then that the Getting Things Done (GTD) system urges practitioners to identify explicitly the very next step to work on in projects. The best time to working out the next steps is when such steps are freshest in one’s mind. I have to be disciplined to carve out time at end of my work sessions to write down the next step (instead of working right to the end of my sesssion without bothering to identifying how I would pick up my work the next time). The payoff for such discipline that work is substantial.
Identifying next steps is also an important thing to do at meetings with other folks. I’m sure many of us have participated in meetings where no concrete action items are called out or there is a mad rush is made at the end of the meeting to define action items.