Inspiration.

The sun was shining down upon my face. The air was bitterly cold, with a bit so well known in the Midwest in February. And yet I smiled as I walked the city streets because I am alive. There’s always a reason to smile. Find that reason and remember it. Keep it close. When you don’t feel like smiling, find that reason you stored away and remember it. And then you’ll smile again.

Today I watched several videos featuring Maya Angelou. Inspiration, you can find it anywhere. When you find it, share it. It’s the sharing of inspiration, positive energy, and smiles that will brighten the darkest, coldest day.

Retro Shot.

It turns out my old Instagram account (that I deleted years ago) was all backed up to a Tumblr account I had forgotten about. I found the Tumblr account today and have been looking through old photos.

Here’s an old photo from 2011, taken with a Droid, using the reflection of my original iPad while sitting in our first Jeep Wrangler.

Critical.

In a recent conversation I mentioned that I was not a fan of Aretha Franklin. I referenced a blog entry I wrote about the subject a while back and I was a little surprised to hear that my friend had read the blog entry furthermore, he thought that my reasoning for sort of bashing ‘Re ‘Re was a little weak.

Look, I’m not a fan of the woman or the way she sings. But do I have to broadcast this to the world? Sometimes I do it for humor, if only to crack myself up.

The fact of the matter is, if there’s something that I’m good at and also somewhat ashamed of is that I can be a hyper-critical guy. My thought processes, moving at Warp 8 (insert early Star Trek ‘disco warp’ special effects here), tends to notice a typo or a badly sung note or a poorly dressed person or a fart faster than many people and for some bizarre reason, 70% of the time I feel compelled to comment on this.

Of what value is this?

Who knows. At nearly 50 years old (you’re hearing that phrase a lot for the first half of 2018), my observations are probably unnecessary. As a woman once said when I was younger, “don’t stare at people, they know where their problem is located.” Does making such a comment make me feel superior in some way? Probably, but looking at myself in the mirror as I type this, any critical comment is probably a defense mechanism coming from a sense of inadequacy that I have felt for most of my adult life.

I swear I’m not lying on an analyst’s couch at this moment.

I’ve had a couple of flight instructors say to me, “You are a very skilled pilot. When are you going to realize that”?

Honestly, there’s little value to being hyper-critical in today’s chaotic environment. This is something I’ve been trying to be more aware of since the beginning of the year. Am I succeeding at not thinking negatively or making critical comments? I’d like to think I am but the person that could probably answer that best is my husband.

When you read these little snapshots of my life in this, by Internet standards, ancient blog, I sometimes paint myself as a guy that is mean and snarky all the time. I probably don’t give myself credit because I’m critical of my own actions and ways of thinking. I don’t see the world with gray, cloudy glasses on all the time. Quite the opposite.

I just need to articulate the brightness a little more.

Human Energy.

I have shared this TED talk before. This is Angela Ahrendts speaking at TEDx Hollywood in March 2013. She speaks about human energy. She knows of what she speaks. I watch this from time to time to remind myself of the importance of authentic communication in this fast paced, technologically fueled world.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” — Maya Angelou

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1-2-3.

Heeding the advice of a tweet that flew by on my Twitter timeline this morning, I turned off the “predictive text bar” that likes to hover above my keyboard in iOS on my iPhone.

Ironically, this has made me able to type more accurately using both thumbs. I’m actually writing this blog entry at a decent clip.

The Predictive Text Bar was designed to predict what word you were trying include next in whatever you were typing on iOS. The feature was introduced a few years ago. There was a little bit of fanfare surrounding the inclusion. Words like “awesome” and “delight” were bandied about.

I’ve watched various words appear in this bar over the years but I think I’ve actually used the bar only once or twice. The removal of the bar seems to have sped everything up as well; my typing doesn’t feel nearly as laggy as it did before.

In 2018, It’s just works. With some work.

Geostorm.

Promotional still found at smithsonianmag.com courtesy of WB Pictures

I find the weather fascinating, especially when Mother Nature let’s her hair down in all her glory. One of my favorite movies of all time is “Twister” (though I know it is nowhere near to being scientifically accurate). Disaster movies are also fun to watch from time to time. No one screams “there’s no one to fly the plane!” like a disheveled Karen Black.

Earl and I were munching popcorn in a movie theatre last summer when we saw the first trailer for the weather disaster flick “Geostorm”. It looked kind of hookey but once in a while you want to see a hookey film. The release came and went before I remembered wanting to see the movie, so I was happy to see it was coming out on video this month.

We watched “Geostorm” tonight. In fact, it was our first Pay-Per-View on xfinity because, I don’t know, we could.

That’s really the reason this movie was made, because they could.

I’m not going to get into a lot of spoiler stuff here, but I might inadvertently mention some plot points so don’t say you haven’t been warned.

First of all, some of the dialog is really cringeworthy, like, worse than stuff I’ve written in this blog over the past 17 years. Basically the premise is this: in 2019 the weather got too bad for us to handle, so we built a bunch of nifty technology that involved new Space Shuttles, thousands of weather satellites that form a grid around the entire globe and an enhancement to the International Space Station to enable it to hold all the equipment necessary, house over 600 personnel, and spin to maintain gravity. Before 2022.

There’s a lot of CGI weather effects that remind me of making the citizens run around in SimCity back when I was playing it on my PowerMac G4. Lots of tornadoes, way too many lightning strikes, flash frozen 747s (because it’s always a 747), that sort of thing.

If you take crazy weather special effects, a lot of impressive computer screen graphics that make me want to delve back into Linux (because I can) and throw the movie “Armageddon” into the stew just for fun, you’ve got “Geostorm”.

Was it worth $5.99? I say yes just for the escapism. Earl just told the rest of the family not to waste their money.

The one piece of cool tech displayed that I hope comes to fruition before 2022 is the replacement of smartphones with the “Holoframe”.

Image randomly grabbed from Bob Canada’s Blogworld.

This tech was kind of cool and it lends itself to the direction I wish we were headed in when it came to our smart devices. When off, it looked like a pen.

That was kind of nifty.

SuperBlueBlood Moon.

Image courtesy of NASA

Tonight is a Super Blue Blood Moon. The moon is full, it’s the second full moon of the month (blue moon), it’s in a point in its orbit around the Earth where it’s close (looking up to 17% larger) and there will be a lunar eclipse near dawn.

I might just have to get up and take a look myself.

Wireless.

So I’m enjoying wireless charging on my iPhone X. I didn’t think it would be that big of deal but when I remembered that Starbucks has wireless chargers built in their tables I found my groove.

Earl and I purchased charging mats when we bought his new iPhone. Since I occasionally listen to headphones when I’m sleeping and because the iPhone X does not have a headphone jack, I needed a way to charge my phone and listen to my headphones at the same time. Dongles be damned, I’m going with the charging mat. It’s been quite enjoyable.

Overall I’m pleased with my new iPhone X. Any frustration has been with apps that haven’t adapted to the new display and a couple of the gestures. I still find myself swiping from every corner possible when I’m trying to bring up the flashlight. Double-clicking the power button does not feel intuitive to bring up Siri. But I’m getting used to these two things; the rest of the functionality of the phone has been spot on.

And I’m really loving the wireless charging capabilities.