Posts categorized "Technology"


I've developed a bad habit. It's not like biting my nails or eating chips while I make dinner (I only do that once in a while, I swear). Instead it's a retreat into a cycle of doing a whole lot of nothing which fills time when I could be doing something else.

Here's how it plays out: I have a few moments to relax or I need second to unwind and I flip open the iPad and start looking at Twitter. Then I get engrossed in whatever is on my feed and it eats a ton of time (it could be anything like some great science story, a knitting discussion, a string of funny things (love Swear Trek) or well, that orange spectre who is consuming almost everyone's attention right now). Then I might check my email, play Two Dots or just tap around on the screen and I realize I've wasted time I could have used to knit, read a novel, tidy up, run,  watch TV and I get angry at myself about it.

Worse still, I notice it's become a family habit. We all have screen distractions and we have to consciously choose to put them down and interact, or do homework or play piano or just DO something. 

Yes, the screens are compelling and I like to know what's going on in my community (both actual and virtual) and around the world, but it's become so easy to retreat into that space and disconnect while connecting. I think the crappiness of the last year work-wise and the resultant fatigue helped entrench some of my behaviour. Now I'm trying harder to be mindful about spending my time before I grab my phone. Saying it here is one of those ways I keep myself accountable (and try, yet again, to blog more often!)

We started last night but watching a movie together (we rewatched Brave) and tonight I'm going to knit my never-ending Occam scarf and perhaps go for a run. 

It's not all distracted doom and gloom around here. I finished a blanket for my fabulous new nephew (I'm finally an Auntie!) Mitchell who is not yet ready for a debut on social media and am working on his woolly wardrobe. The kids are really great and parenting teens is just the right amount of challenging. AND I have a new job that is really awesome and even energizing. All are much better distractions.



Holiday Goals, Part 1: My Mii is Rather Chubby

I'm not much for Christmas, but I do love the two weeks I get off at the end of every year.  It gives me time to catch up on my sleep, play with my family and take care of tasks that never seem to get done. 

This holiday, I have three goals:

  1. Start doing more exercise
  2. Catalogue my stash and do some de-stashing
  3. Finish painting my stairs

The first goal is moving along thanks to the Wii Fit I got for Christmas.  Now that I'm not on my bike over the  winter, I'm feeling mighty lumpy and this move to full time employment has also led to 10 extra pounds that I would like to lose before it turns into 10 more.  I was a bit skeptical about the Wii Fit, but so far, my hobbling around like a broken old woman proves that doing a regimen of strength training with some cardio and fun yoga and balancing games is better than my previous plan of sitting on my ass complaining about how fat I'm getting. 

My only complaint (besides the idea that I'm becoming the healthist subject of my dissertation) is that there is too much time between exercises where the trainer is talking to you, or moving from activity to activity.  I think this goes away with the unlocking of more repetitions and a good plan of attack, but it seems that 30 minutes of activity takes about 45 minutes of real time and I know I'll want those 15 minutes of sleep on the mornings I will be doing this before getting ready for work.

It won't be the last exercise program I do, but it is a good place to start and the type A person in me loves how it monitors progress, and lets me set goals and rewards me for doing exercise by giving me more games to play.  And using a virtual hoola hoop is pretty fun!

Now to see if I stick with it and move into a more regular exercise routine.

Not completely seamless

Remember I asked a few posts ago about transferring my tunes from my ipod to a computer since my laptop died and I didn't backup everything--just my itunes purchases.

Well, I looked into your suggestions and it all looks pretty good, except that I just bought a snazzy new Macbook so the plot thickens...

First, I love the new computer.  New computers are not only slicker and faster, they're clean; no bookmarks in the browser, no mail, no files, no little bits of leftover who-knows-what on the hard drive.  Being a Mac I also have the clean lines of the designs and the cleanliness of a non-microsoft OS too and while I feel a bit stupid because I'm not familiar with the world of Mac, and because the move isn't quite as seamless as the Apple hype proclaims, I'm quite happy with my purchase.

However, when it comes to moving my ipod stuff to the Mac, there is a little ripple.  The act of plugging in the ipod to the Mac will cause it to reformat and wipe everything off.  So, I still need to back up everything to a PC, find a way to transfer said back up to the Mac and then reformat the ipod.  So I'll end up spending money for a program to move stuff to my old, old PC (which is really our server and computer for the kids to wreck) and then burn them all to disk to load them onto the Mac.  Since I have 99% of my tunes on CD anyway, it'll probably just be faster to load it all back in manually while I'm watching TV.

Which means that I have no product reviews for ipod to computer software--sorry. 

The way I see it, I have a small ipod (Mini) and was getting tired of listening to the same old stuff, so I can treat my ipod like a new computer and start fresh.   I did consider upgrading the ipod  but there's nothing wrong with it except that it doesn't look as cool as the new nanos.  And it still works so why bother?

Putting the Genie Back In the Bottle

Actually, putting my ipod back into my computer...

I backed up all my iTunes purchases before my laptop died, but didn't realize that it wasn't backing up everything else on my ipod--all my cd's, the playlists etc.  What I want to do is put the contents of my ipod back into iTunes and not load everything back in manually.

I notice that iTunes doesn't have this feature (well not if your computer is dead), but there are lots of programs out there that will.  I also notice that the free versions limit the number of songs one can do without paying, and before I shell out the cash I would welcome any recommendations on what works well for a PC or Mac. 

Don't tell me that iPods and iTunes are evil because in my mind they are what they are and there is no great injustice in their configuration, just a lot of inconvenience.  I've decided that the road to hell is paved with attempts to understand why big companies do what they do when the short answer is: Because they can.  People buy their stuff and their complaints aren't enough to hurt sales.  I'm not feeling duped, just put out in terms of time.

Though looking at my little iPod mini, it seems so out of date.  That is something evil about the whole thing--my coveting of new gadgets.