Positive Attitude.

Image courtesy of SatinTights.com

For the month of June I have really been trying hard to have a positive attitude across all facets of my life. Work has thrown some curve balls. Home has been hectic as we plan our move to Chicago and with getting the house ready for sale. The state of the Republic is shaky at best with a complete circus of incompetence in the Oval Office, but I like to think that we will survive all of this.

I had to unfollow quite a few political commentators that I had been following on Twitter. The relentless barrage of retweets, tweets, speculation and downright lies as they pertain to the Trump administration finally overwhelmed me to the point that I just couldn’t take it anymore. Once I made that adjustment to my Twitter feed I was able to be more positive about the world in general. I don’t know if it’s a case of ignorance is bliss or just weeding out excessive noise, but whatever it is it has me headed in the right direction.

The other night I spewed out a bunch of tweets about Democrats and Republicans and the lack of competency across the board but then I calmed down and found my positive center again. Counting to five before reacting will help change bad habits. And it seems to be working.

Being the dork that I am I often ask myself, “what would a superhero, unable to change into their super self, do in this situation.” I then reach for glasses that I’m not wearing and ponder this for a moment, count to five and try to remain calm. It’s a tough habit to break, especially when there’s a lot of snark within earshot. Being snarky can be fun but it’s rarely productive. It’s not a positive contribution to help quell the noise, it’s just a way of letting of steam. Someone, maybe it was Maya Angelou, said, “people might not remember what you say but they’ll always remember how you made them feel.”

I want people to feel happy around me. I want to be a light in the darkness (very pale Irish skin notwithstanding).

So when the going gets tough I might find myself a perch from which to observe and I’ll smile in a mischievous way and then try to bring some good into the situation. My goal is to be a shining example of how to be a positive force in the world. This 30 day challenge should go on for many years to come.

Future.

Image courtesy of Corning Glass Presentation, “A Day Made of Glass”.
I have gotten in the habit of watching something on my iPad while I watch my teeth. I do this because it takes a few minutes to watch something and the result is that I end up brushing my teeth for a longer period of time, which is good for oral hygiene.

While Apple wants us to do all of our media consumption on our iPad, iPhone or Apple TV (with a smattering of Apple Watch thrown in), the truth of the matter is that I want us to have the tech right now that lets us consume media wherever we can consume it. For example, I want to be able to watch a video or catch up on my work schedule or whatever while I’m brushing my teeth. Corning Glass is on the right track with the concept of a “connected bathroom”; the processing power lives in your tablet but glass surfaces, mirrors, etc., all with embedded displays, can display the data.

This is wicked cool to me.

If you look closely at the graphics on the mirror in the photo above, you’ll see there is calendar information, weather, a thermostat control for the bathroom and controls to run the shower. Apparently there’s also a remote control for a Smart coffeemaker. 

With the Internet of Things explosion of the past couple of years, we have all of this today. Nest thermostats allow us to control the room temperature remotely. Calendars on a myriad of devices. I’m not sure about electronic temperature control for showers but I’m sure there are smart energy use devices out there that have this functionality and the same goes for controlling your coffee pot remotely. The problem is that all of this technology is disorganized. Everyone (Apple, Amazon, Google, Nest, etc.) are building ecosystems that sort of talk to each other but there’s a lot of friction in building an intermediary to get everything to talk to each other.

This is not going to help this technology go mainstream.

I want all of my technology to talk to each other, seamlessly without bickering as to who’s ecosystem I’m using, and I want data displayed on touch-enabled glass services. I’ve been telling Earl that as we ready for the move to Chicago, I want our new home to be as high tech as possible. Finding an ecosystem for our tech investment should not be a laborious process. If the new home already has a Nest, I want various modes of input, whether it be Siri or a touchscreen or Amazon’s Alexa, to be able to talk to that Nest. This habit of putting things in silos is crazy. It’s like buying a new washing machine and realizing that the water outlet on the wall is incompatible with the hoses that feed the washer. We wouldn’t put up with that.

Why do we put up with all of these differing standards when it comes to equipping our home with the latest in automation technology?

Now, to go find that touchscreen mirror for the bathroom.

Ear Bug.

This song has been playing on an endless loop in my head this morning, so I had to go out and find the video. I cranked it up, danced around a bit and now I’m settled in for the day.

Released 31 years ago this week, here’s Klymaxx with “Man Size Love”, from the “Running Scared” soundtrack.

Collection.

So on November 22, 1986, I wrote a check to Ames Department Store for $9.30. There’s a reason that I know this. Earl and I moved into our current home in December 2003. Wouldn’t it stand to reason that today I would come across my cancelled checks from when I was in college in 1986?

There’s a lot I could tell you about the computer printed data, or “franking”, on the back of the pictured check. Some of the data shown would never pass the privacy concern tests of today.

Fascination. 

All my life I’ve had two recurring dreams about my demise. One of these dreams involves being struck by lightning as I stand on the porch or patio of an as-of-yet unknown home. 

Yet I go and chase storms every chance I get, loving every minute of it. In fact, we are now back home, I’m standing on the porch while the sky is streaked with the Lightning of an incoming storm. 

Life is too short to live without risk. 

Father’s Day.

My dad and I flew together in this airplane in 2001. Our “old school” photos have already been moved to Chicago, or else I’d be sharing some snaps from that first flight together in his Acrosport II. I do have a couple of shots taken on an old flip phone in 2005.

A couple of days ago I complained on Facebook about the litany of Father’s Day ads being shoved in my direction via email, social media, etc. You’d think with all the information they glean from my online activities, companies would be smart enough to figure out that I have no reason to buy a Father’s Day gift in 2017.

My dad passed on in 2011, nearly six years ago, but Father’s Day can be a little bit of a bummer. This year I’m choosing to focus on the countless great memories I have of my dad.

But I still miss him.

Gravel.

A couple of weeks ago I was musing about how great of shape our road was in. Well maintained, smooth, probably too much so because it encouraged folks from the housing developments up the hill to come speeding down well above the 45 MPH speed limit.

Yesterday the county highway department went through, slapped some oil down and put gravel on top of it.

The work crew went by pretty quickly. One minute we had a beautifully smooth road, the next minute we had a bunch of oil and tar flung about with gravel plopped on top. Some folks slowed down to prevent damage to their vehicle, as there was gravel flying around all over the place, but others just barreled on through above the 45 MPH posted speed limit, dust and stones flying everywhere.

The enhancements to our road have covered up any lane markings and I’m sure the county highway department is waiting for things to settle down before painting the yellow and white stripes. You can still eyeball the middle of the road without an issue but folks in this area are too busy looking at their phones, shaving and/or trying to be stylish in their ride to be aware of their surroundings, so folks are now flying down the road hugging the shoulder. The shoulder is no longer discernible from the main roadway because the county just put stone over everything.

Since I’m not riding my bike this year (due to surgery recovery) I’m doing a lot of walking, especially before work and during two short breaks during my work day. I’ve had to jump in the ditch at least a dozen times in the past 24 hours.

I get that we’re rapidly moving into a “every man for himself” mentality in the United States but when I’m driving a vehicle I still have empathy for pedestrians and cyclists, no matter how annoyingly placed on the roadway they may be. As a pilot we must give way to aircraft types that are slower and/or smaller than what we’re flying. I wish the same applied to the rule of the road.

In the meanwhile, I’ll keep leaping into the ditch as a Kardashian wannabe comes flying through the gravel at 60 MPH.

It Just Works, Part 2.

I really miss the days of Steve Jobs at Apple. While Apple is still the leader in the quality of hardware products, their Internet services can be a struggle at times.

I’m trying to manage my Apple ID two-factor authentication settings this morning. The resulting webpage looks like this.

Stevie!

I noticed this video on Facebook earlier today and I can’t agree more with Stevie Nicks on this. Honestly, I could be better at being present in the moment. Stevie makes some valid points.