Category Archives: Commentary

Personal Reminder: no one has a right to your time

Life is actually a very short finite thing.  Each day there are only so many waking hours of which one can only pour in so much energy.  Do you decide to pour it all into useful work, spending time with family, spending time doing nothing but watching television or playing games, or whatever.  The bottom line is that we have to decide how we want to expend that in a way that will make us as contented as we can be.  We will miss the mark obviously but that doesn’t mean that one has to engage in behaviors that they know are moving opposite that direction.

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Physics Says You Can’t Have Cake and Eat It Too With Laptops

I’m a bit baffled by this Motherboard article on “screwing ourselves” with the pursuit of thinness in laptops.  This is of course coming out of an Apple controversy where some bad software and a lot of tipping the scales in favor of form over function has lead to a haus looking laptop spec turning out some pretty bad real world performance numbers.  As has often been the case, once the initial outrage of some Apple stumble starts growing old people start looking around at other vendors and then the quiet problems of the industry are shown the light of day.  Apple’s MacBook Pro thermal problem is more egregious than others but turns out they all are essentially hobbling performance on their UltraBooks and compact laptop chassis making the list specs nothing real world.  Why are we surprised by this though?

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Food Is Life, A Segue Thought on Vampire Immortality

While I was recently re-watching Interview With the Vampire for the first time in awhile I was thinking about what it would be like to live for hundreds of years or more. Then I flashed back to a line from the beginning where Lestat says to to Louis, “I’ve come to answer your prayers. Life has no meaning any more does it? The wine has no taste. The food sickens you. It seems no reason for any of it…” and then goes on to convince Louis to become a vampire. However we then find out in this vampire mythology that vampires can’t eat. For me the majority of the joy of life is one way or another connected with food. I’m a foodie because I love all kinds of food, simple and cheap to complex and expensive. Living hundreds of years without being able to enjoy the exploration and enjoyment of food seems horrible to me, before we get to any of the other complications that substantially increased longevity brings (as Armand gets into later). Food is life.  Whether it’s following the teachings of Buddhist monks and learning how to thoroughly enjoy each sip of a cup of tea or each bite of a piece of fruit, baking cookies from scratch with your family at the holidays, scarfing down a delicious soft pretzel as you drive down the road, taking in a pint or two with friends at a bar, or getting to experience a luxurious meal at a Michelin Star restaurant, food is so integrated into my experience system I don’t see the point of living even a normal lifespan without it much less living for hundreds of years.  The bigger lesson for me is also to remember to enjoy the simpler things that I experience every day and not always be looking for something new, unique, or exotic to try next.

Twenty Pounds On My Back

I was getting ready to head to the airport and noticed my backpack was feeling really heavy.  It has two computers, all my clothes, an iPad, all the charges, etc.  I decided to weigh it and sure enough it was just a hair under twenty pounds in total. I thought to myself, “That’s a lot of weight to be hauling around an airport for a couple hours in each direction!”  Yet just a few months ago I was carrying an extra fifteen extra pounds of fat on my body each and every day.  Hopefully as I carry forward having my fitness routine dialed I’ll be carrying around twenty five pounds less weight than I was at the beginning of the year.  There’s obviously a toll for carrying around all that extra weight.  Plopping twenty pounds on your back to experience that briefly is an interesting exercise in reminding ourselves of that.

Make Your Facebook Experience Sane Again

There are lots of write ups and studies which are showing more and more the negative effects on our perpetual stimulation by social media.  This is everything from the negative effects of not giving your brain a rest, negative emotions from the perpetual stream of information, all the way to it being potentially an addiction.  One simple way to get around this is to just uninstall every app, log out of the sites, and be done with it.  That’s not always practical since these ecosystems are often how we tie into events, stay in touch with friends, and are helpful conduits to information we are looking for.  The real problem is not having control of what and when information is presented to us once we enter these ecosystems. This is a byproduct of two features: alerts and newsfeeds.  Eliminating and/or getting control of these is the key to getting control of and crafting your social media experience into being sane again.

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How do you coax without pushing someone away?

Anyone who’s been following along knows that I have hardly been a model of fitness and healthy lifestyle here.  At the same time I’m (hypothetically) trying to be proactive at avoiding health problems that creep up in later years.  It’s not lack of knowledge or following trends but instead a lack of execution.  When it comes to watching loved ones around you that are in the midst of having health problems that are caused by or substantially exacerbated by lifestyle choices that everyone knows are bad what can one do?

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Fitbit Ionic May Be Ugly, But Will It Make Me Leave Garmin Anway?

A little over a year ago I switched from the FitBit ecosystem to the Garmin one when I traded in my ChargeHR for a VivoactiveHR, reviewed here.  I made many compromises when I made the move to pick up a lot of additional capabilities, but now that the FitBit Ionic is on the horizon it may be time to re-evaluate that equation to see if it still balances out. Continue reading Fitbit Ionic May Be Ugly, But Will It Make Me Leave Garmin Anway?

Test your solar eclipse glasses, even if they are rated

Apparently there are some very unscrupulous people who are faking their solar eclipse glasses to make it look like legitimately rated ones.  It goes without saying that if you don’t have legitimate solar eclipse glasses then don’t even think about looking directly at the eclipse, no not even with layers of polarized sunglasses.  If you can’t find them last minute then make an eclipse projector box such as the suggestion from Popular Science or this pinhole model.  However now that I know that there are people who are low enough to fake out eclipse glasses just having ones rated is insufficient comfort for me.  So, how do you make sure you don’t burn out your eyes using some something some POS manufacturer cranked out (they should be prosecuted)?  You test! These are the tests I’m doing to confirm for me I can safely use my own glasses to view the eclipse.  Use any of these steps at your own risk.

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If Bad Documentaries Cause Positive Changes Are They Redeemed?

This has been quite a year of lifestyle transformations for a lot of people I know, and a lot of it has been spawned by documentaries.  Health documentaries aren’t new, perhaps the grand-daddy of this current generation going all the way back to Super Size Me in 2004.  There is also no shortage of new awareness about problems with the Standard American Diet (SAD) between all of the various diet and lifestyle trends.  It therefore makes sense that year after year more documentaries are being cranked out covering the topic of diet and health from a myriad of points of view.  However the quality of these documentaries to seems to be plummeting, but they still seem to be showing success into converting people to healthier diets.  The question I struggle with then is if that’s a net positive or still a net negative.

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Compulsive Connectivity

I’ve been a computer geek literally my whole life, at least as far back as I can remember.  I grew up getting “online” back before there was a thing called “internet” and quickly transitioned into all of the technologies associated with it. What started off as costing way too much to be online and with mostly text based interactions has become, as we all know, a pervasive and universal multimedia rich infinite stream of connectivity.  But is that connectivity too much, or at least too much for me?

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