My new favorite evening activity: Piling kids on the bed and playing Words with Friends via Kindle Fire with hubby and kids, while having a Big Bang Theory marathon.
Well, the long break is coming to an end. And this habit of staying up until 2 or 3 a.m. is, sadly, going to have to go. In fact, it’s going to bite trying to get to bed on time tonight and up early tomorrow. But it sure was nice to have so many days off in a row. If not away from a screen (Fire!), but at least away from long hours in front of the laptop, configuring and tweaking software, and/or long conference calls.
I’ve barely used my smart phone this week. I called my Dad, I’ve carried it around the house a little bit, that’s about it. I’m tempted to give up the smart phone all together in lieu of using the Kindle Fire (think of the cell phone plan I could bump down to with a cheapy phone!)… But, of course, when I leave the house it will be a different story. Because the Fire is only wireless. My smart phone can connect me when there is no wireless or wireless is inconvenient. And it also has GPS. And bluetooth. And an OK camera that is always with me. And you can actually talk on it. (Except for when the phone dies ¾ way through the day.) I guess I won’t be giving up the smart phone just yet. It would be great, though, to only carry around one piece of elegant, lightweight technology that does everything; including letting me create with the Adobe suite, write comfortably, and use whatever programming app I need. Maybe the iPad does that now? It’s probably closer, but I bet it’s not quite there yet.
I’m sure that soon enough there will be new shiny things that will make the Fire seem old school. Geek on!
A Year of Mindfulness: 52 Weeks of Focus – Week 29
Acceptance. It’s a big one this week, ACCEPTANCE. I am hopeful I’m not the only one who has this issue come up often. … But acceptance sure is a hard pill to swallow when you want and expect things to be a certain way. … Acceptance. I practice it each time I go to my mat. I can do this pose. I cannot do that at all. I wish I could go further in this pose. I wish I could relax more. Breathe. Choose to accept, to BE exactly as I am. I am accepting this situation as well. Perhaps life is giving me exactly what I need. Perhaps. What about you? How has the lesson of ACCEPTANCE been presented to you lately, and how well are you dealing with it?
I have been sucked into the black hole of the Kindle Fire, which is like tech-geek crack. The thing has not left my side or my sight the entire day, as I keep exploring and tweaking, and occasionally actually consuming content. (The Netflix app is fantastic: I watched the documentary, Blood into Wine, and I love that I can now load library books in a few clicks, and that I was able to use Calibre to port over my existing non-Amazon collection, and I’ve even downloaded my free library book of the month from Amazon—Bonk by Mary Roach, a science writer who makes me laugh out loud, also author of Packing for Mars). The Fire is also ADD inducing: As soon as I explore one thing, I remember something else that I wanted to look up, install, or configure, and I’m off doing that. I’m sure I’ll have some pros and cons to list soon, because it’s certainly not perfect, especially in the web browsing / Android apps / Google apps area, but there’s plenty of time for that.
This work laptop seemed old before—and now it really seems dated—hot, clunky, and buggy. And yet, I’m returning to it to post my blog, because I can still type way faster this way. Maybe there’s a more qwerty type keyboard that I can install on the Fire that will allow me to come up to speed, so to speak. Or, a foldable external keyboard for long posts, much like I used to have eons ago for my Palm Pilot. I loved that little keyboard! If I can find a way to type at a reasonable pace on the Fire, I’ll be able to use it way more frequently than my laptop for non work, and even some for work.
As far as acceptance goes: I’ve had zero desire to blog about our Thanksgiving recipes and post the photos, for some reason. I think that’s OK. I’ve accepted that things often don’t go the way that I’ve planned or desired, but we are all here together for the holidays, unlike last year, so that is what is important. And I’ve also accepted that I’m not going to finish NaNoWriMo this year. I really haven’t felt motivated to do it since about day one, and I kept trying to guilt myself into it for the first couple of weeks, but eventually I stopped beating myself up. Because the whole reason for doing it is for fun, and for personal growth, and I chose to make many other things a priority this month. Plus, I did it last year, so I know it’s possible, and I know I’ll probably do it again, so it didn’t seem like quite as much of a challenge this year. It would have been good for personal reflection, but so would a regular writing habit. Daily blog posts are what I’ve been able to stick to in 2011, and I accept that.
I’m composing this from my new Kindle Fire, that I was lucky enough to be able to save up for. I must say, it’s not terribly convenient to type with, nor is it cooperating fully with WordPress admin. I’m sure that will get sorted out soon.
All is well and I had a nice first day of break. We have the menu all planned out for tomorrow’s Vegan Thanksgiving feast. I hope to post lots of photos and recipes.
Tons to do tomorrow in prep for SharePoint Saturday, so need to get to bed soon.
Tonight I used my new pizza peel with a free-form loaf of bread—and it worked great! The handle really makes it easier to get the dough off without getting my hands too close to the inside of the hot oven. I’ve slowly been building up my bread making supplies. First I started with a baking stone, then when that one cracked in half, I had to wait to buy another one, and finally I picked up an inexpensive wooden pizza peel at World Market the other day. Up until this point I’ve been putting bread or pizza on a cutting board—and it hasn’t always been easy to get the dough off and onto the baking stone. In fact, I had some epic fails with the last couple of pizzas I made with the kids, which promptly turned into calzones because the dough stuck so badly. Now I can’t wait to try another pizza. The last item I’ve been waiting to get is an oven thermometer. I’ve pretty much figured out by now what temp to put the oven at for bread, and about how long to leave the bread in, but it would be nice to see how accurate the oven is when trying out new recipes. That won’t help when the humidity changes (which I think really threw me off mid summer—even though we live in the high desert, there is definitely some variation), but it will be a start.
Also, wow, the new Kindles look awesome. I wonder how the Fire compares to the Nook? I think the Nook is essentially an Android tablet, whereas the Fire probably is proprietary. But it looks fantastic and is at such a great price. Hmm…
Finally, I can get some library books on my Kindle. But, annoyingly, even though I have Kindle wireless, when I go to actually download the book, it routes me to my Amazon.com account, and then tells me that my Kindle doesn’t support wireless and that I have to transfer the book via cable. Which is not that big of a deal. But still, it would be much easier and more efficient to just transfer the damn thing over wireless, rather than have to go dig up my cable. What’s up with that?
And I’m not seeing much incentive in downloading this way over the old work-around method. Just a little bit more effort, and I can have a permanent e-pub that’s also searchable on my computer, rather than a temporary time-expired book which doesn’t even identify itself as such on my Kindle. It’s just there, and some day it won’t be there any more, and I doubt I’ll get any warning.
But, hey, these are the early days and things are bound to get smoother. Someday I’ll be able to download a book with one click of my Kindle, much like I can click on a QR Code now with my phone.
I’ve been reading Fantasy and Science Fiction mag on the Kindle and enjoying it almost as much as when I used to get the hard copy. I do miss being able to flip through and pick a story that looks about the right length for the reading time I have—I can see the word count on the Kindle, but it’s not the same. Also, when I finish a story, the next one begins on the same page, which is distracting. I can get out of this screen by clicking back to the menu, but I wish I didn’t have to. I also miss being able to page through the mag from beginning to end. Plus I feel bummed that I don’t have the hard copy for my collection, even though it is just a collection and I never go back and read any of them.
And, there’s something intangible that is hard to describe. Things have a different feel, a unique impression, an aura maybe, depending on their association with other things in my mind, according to their color, their heft., their texture. Holding one in my hand is not the same as holding another, even though the words of the story are the same.
Am I trying to say that the medium is the message?