February 2023


I don’t listen to as many podcasts as I used to. When we lived in Chicago, I would listen to several podcasts, working my way through them as I walked the streets of the North Side around our Lakeview adjacent neighborhood. Towards the end of our Chicago tenure, I found myself getting more irritated than anything with the podcasts I had selected for my daily walk, so I switched to curated music playlists.

When we arrived in Tucson I continued my trend of listening to music while out for a walk in the desert sun, but there’s only so many times one can listen to disco or Yacht Rock radio and not start yearning for something different. I didn’t go back to my old list of podcasts. I decided political and technical podcasts were the source of some of the glum feeling I felt after listening to those podcasts, so instead I looked for something a little more optimistic.

Enter, “A Bit of Optimism” from Simon Sinek.

Simon started this podcast during in the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and has continued this trend. I thought the podcast had disappeared earlier in 2022, but it started appearing in my podcast list back in November and it’s one podcast that I really looking forward to each week. New episodes are released on Tuesdays and as I make my way through the desert landscape, I enjoy each week’s episode which invariably gives me a better outlook on life and brings a smile to my face.

Simon’s natural banter, infectious laugh, and ability to bring a positive spin on life is contributing to a more centered feeling I enjoy in my middle aged years. If you’re into podcasts and you are looking for a bit of optimism in your life, I highly recommend this podcast.

Join me as I talk with people that inspire me about love, life, leadership, and silver linings. The hope is that we all leave with something I think we need these days… A Bit of Optimism. 

Thanks for listening.


As Michael from The Sentimental Dom so brilliantly stated in his blog post today.

Remember that we are not our social media feeds. There are many things I think, believe, and support that never find their way to my social media accounts, and that is my choice and my decision, not yours.

Technological Turmoil.

I have mentioned before that I constantly have a “technological battle” going on in my head. Because I’m such a diehard geek, I’m always analyzing and comparing and contrasting what setup around technology works best for me. Do I want to go full blown geek and stick to Linux? Is the fit and finish* of relying on Apple products helping to reduce friction in my life? Can I find what I’m looking for? Do I find my color selections on pleasing?

This is a constant struggle in my head and if I dwell too much on these things I start to lose things, things like documents and my to do lists and the like.

I’m trying to reign this in, but there is no one, complete solution for any of this. I favor using Linux for everything but it needs more care and feeding than I sometimes want to give it. Apple products lean towards locking my data into Apple and that’s it and that bothers me. I haven’t really been interested in Windows in a long while but I suppose that’s an option.

I know this is a first world problem. With the way my brain is wired it takes way too much of my bandwidth. I’ve been obsessed with these things for years. I need to figure out how to bring it in.


Truman has been hanging out with the family more. I think it’s because I was gone for a week and he didn’t know where the one with the shiny head was and was concerned about the treats dispensing practices. He’s been at my side since I returned and has been making himself comfortable like cats do.

However, in this photo he appears completely unimpressed with the first episode of the final season of “Star Trek: Picard”.


We celebrated my husband’s birthday a few days late because of my trip back east. I had been planning this evening as a continuation of his birthday celebration from earlier in the week but since I didn’t get back until late Tuesday night, this turned out to be his actual celebration.

We had a nice dinner at a restaurant we’d hadn’t been to before and then went and saw “Dear Evan Hansen” at Centennial Hall on the University of Arizona campus. It’s part of the national tour of the show and part of the season here at “Broadway In Tucson”.

The dinner was very good and we enjoyed the show. The production was impressive and the performers were very good. The story is a little uneven at times, but that’s just the show.

Overall is was a great night.

Dear Apple, Part 3.

Dear Apple,

When the latest round of updates were announced earlier this month I was really hopeful that some of the bugs I’ve been seeing on my Apple devices would be squashed and all would be right in It Just Works land.

Apparently I was very, very wrong on holding out hope.

HomeKit continues to be awful and unfortunately progress on that front is headed in the wrong direction. I finally realized that you made some subtle changes to Siri. Before the latest update I could say, “Hey Siri, get ready for bed” and she would run the automation I created two years ago called “Get Ready For Bed”. Since the latest update she can no longer do that and now I must say, “Hey Sir, turn on Get Ready For Bed”. Because Siri apparently has a considerably different grasp of “natural language” interfaces when it comes to English. When I do this new song and dance she’ll try to turn on “Get Ready For Bed” but will tell me that she can’t talk to some of my devices while turning the same lights at a brightness of 5%. (The automation sets the brightness at 30%).

Then we move to iOS and iPadOS, where I’m apparently being punished on a daily basis for having the audacity to use my personal email server instead of relying on iCloud email. I realize the IMAP protocol used by email servers has only been around since 1990, so it’s hard to plan on what’s going to endure, but the built in Mail client is REALLY struggling with IMAP now. All my non-Apple devices (GASP, but I must to maintain sanity) have absolutely zero, nada, zip issues with accessing the exact same account but Mail.app tells me there’s email when there isn’t, there isn’t email when there is, hangs on prompts with “Connecting…” for an inordinate amount of time and now has the trick of leaving the body of my email in the window after I’ve deleted it, so anyone that might steal my iDevice can see the contents of the email I deleted because I had the audacity to think that delete would delete.

That’s a run on sentence up there that makes the writer seem out of breath because that’s exactly how I feel when it comes to iDevices. Exasperated.

I have a very functional M1 Mac mini for personal use. The latest version of MacOS is so riddled with bugs and questionable UI design choices, I’m finding myself using my non-iDevices more than ever. And what’s up with Stage Manager? What is it really suppose to do? And why did you enshittify the settings panel in MacOS?

I’ve always been a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to life. It’s just the way my brain is wired. Much of the reason I pay the Apple Tax for your devices is because you were headed in that direction back in the day, but on top of the “same old, same old” approach you’re taking on everything you release (hardware, software, services) and telling us that it’s brand new, these bugs are really detracting from the Apple experience. I’m going to be looking for a new laptop in the not-so-distant future. If things continue as they are right now, there are plenty of non-iDevice options out there that will fit the bill just fine for me.

And as for your HomeKit travesty, I’m going to end up just building my own private ecosystem with plenty of free and open-source alternatives out there. I simply can’t trust you to do the home automation thing with any sort of reliability or consistency anymore.

Champagne Life.

Ever since I was a teenager I’ve had dreams about living a “champagne life”. Flying a private jet to a private island. No worries about finances. Traveling the world. Sipping champagne at a black tie event. Hobnobbing, conversing, and having a good laugh with others enjoying their champagne life.

Of course, this is not who I really am. I have enjoyed some really awesome experiences in my life, and there’s been plenty of bottles of champagne along the way, but when it all comes down to it, I was raised adjacent to my grandparents’ farm in Central New York by a country-raised dad and a city-raised mom, one who leaned on his traditional upbringing and the other who was a bit more liberal in her thinking.

It was kinda like Ward Cleaver married That Girl.

It’s hard work, not a trust fund, that gives me the opportunity to glimpse at “champagne life” once in a while. Last night, the flight attendant offered me a glass of sparkling wine before we left the gate for our flight home. I’m fortunate to be able to sit fairly close to the front of the airplane.

I sipped some of the sparkling wine. I did not complain that it wasn’t actual champagne.

Plan B.

I strive to always have a Plan B. This has been my mantra for many years and while it may seem to some that I’m paranoid, I like to have a plan B. My way of thinking always needs to be formulating resolution. If I have a problem, I need to resolve it immediately.

Just as we were leaving the gate at Syracuse for Denver, I received a text message from United strongly suggesting I consider jumping to another flight by using the convenient United app with free wi-fi access during the four hours I was in the air.

I immediately searched for other flights and found none until morning to Tucson, but there was a flight to Phoenix that would give me a comfortable layover experience.

I’m now sitting at gate B12 waiting for my flight to Phoenix. Earl will be making the drive to Sky Harbor to pick me up and we’ll make the two hour drive home across the desert after I (hopefully) pick up my luggage at KPHX.

There’s no reason to panic when engaging in travel. Just focus on Plan B. Always have an “out”. You’ll be fine.

Headed Home.

I’ve been in Syracuse, New York for a week working with my family on Mom’s care at the hospital. She is more stable than when I arrived Wednesday night, but she still can’t keep food down easily, is quite dehydrated, and has some skewed levels when it comes to blood test results. She was napping when I left the hospital for the airport but she woke up to give me a hug and a kiss and told me how happy she was I made the trip from Tucson.

I’m hoping she’ll continue to improve and build some strength. We are working on an assisted living situation for her when she leaves the hospital. All that goes through my mind is “Shady Pines, Ma”, but we took a tour of the facility and I was comfortable with the services they provide. Plus the facility is centrally located so family will still be able to see her often, she won’t need to change doctors, and she’ll be in a familiar neighborhood. Not everyone has that opportunity in these circumstances.

It’s never easy to make these decisions but sometimes we have to make tough decisions. Her living with my sister is not easy as her house is small, multiple levels, and there’s a lot going on. It’s just not as safe as it could be. Taking her to Tucson is not an option, as Mom wouldn’t know anyone, would have to start from scratch with her medical care, and she said she doesn’t want to live in the desert.

We make hard choices. But we always hope it’s for the best.