Monthly Archives: December 2014

On living in Manhattan, by Zadie Smith (a most wonderful piece of writing)

There is so much good about this piece by Zadie Smith that if I started pulling in quotes from it, I would essentially replicate it.  It’s an effortless read, and yet even as I was reading it, I could feel how great it is. I had the feeling of racing down a high mountain on skis, exhilarated and impressed by the beauty and amazed how fast I am going and then it is done.

So, yes, I recommend you read: Find Your Beach by Zadie Smith | The New York Review of Books.

 

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Do you find yourself on your phone too much? Here’s a trick to help stop that

I find myself on my smartphone too much. It’s too easy to fall into that trap, and afterwards I wish I did something else instead. Did something useful. Or made something beautiful. Austin Kleon feels the same way, based on this post of his: Read a book instead. He made a screen lock for his phone to remind him to read a book and get off his phone.

I decided I wanted something similar. In my case, I found a photo I liked and used the Over app on my iPhone to create this:

test

I then saved it as my LockScreen. Now when I pick up the phone to start doing something mindless, the phone reminds me to do something better.

You can do the same thing yourself. You don’t even need an app or drawing skills. Write a reminder on a piece of paper and then take a photo of it with your phone and save it as your Lock Screen. It could be just the nudge you need.

Thanks for reading this. I hope you found it useful. If you did, then time spent doing it instead of playing with stuff on my phone was worthwhile.

Meanwhile, this Freshpet Holiday Feast (13 Dogs/1 Cat Eating with Human Hands) is great

I am amused every time I watch it. The folks who make it do a great job. It reminds me of the classic: Dogs Playing Poker,

Freshpet Holiday Feast – 13 Dogs and 1 Cat Eating with Human Hands – YouTube.

Life in your 80s and 90s – some inspiration for then and now

On it’s own, this is a great piece:
Old Masters at the Top of Their Game – NYTimes.com. The woman above? 99. She sold her first painting at 89. She is now a world renowned artist. And there’s more great profiles of people in it. You should read it, and not just if you are older. I  recommend it for any age. How you read it at 20 will be different than how you read it at 40 or 60.  For me, I was struck by how  many of those interviewed say that nothing surprises them. As I get older, I find this true too, though I am still surprised. The flip side of this is that anxiety and concern about many things in life decreases. You know how to handle things, and you spend less time worrying about the things you ought not to worry about.

Another thing I thought interesting is that they don’t necessarily think of themselves as old. This is something I also found true as I age. I know when I talk to the 20 year olds in my office they must look at me and think: man, he’s old. 🙂 But other than superficial things, I don’t find my thinking or my view on the world has diminished from when I was younger. I have more experience now, and I had more natural energy then, but I don’t think: wow I no longer get this IT stuff now that I am older.

I highly encourage you to read the article. Then check out Austin Kleon’s blog because I found it there a lot with many other good things.

10 historic photographs an instant earlier

This is fascinating: 10 historic photographs an instant earlier.

If you immediately see in your mind the photo that comes after this one….

…then head on over to that site.

How to be more productive at work? check out what tools other people use

Chances are, if you talk to five different people at work, you will find five tools or techniques they use to be productive that you hadn’t even heard of.

Rather than do your own polling, you can also check out this article: Most Popular Apps Employees Use At Work – Business Insider.

Remember, these are just for work, and yes, Facebook still shows up there. And this is just the cloud / distributed services. (Also, I am wondering Evernote didn’t show up there.)

I  would be surprised if you read it and didn’t adopt at least one of the items on the list by the end of your work day. Good luck.

Want something great to slow cook? Try this sweet and spicy Asian pork shoulder recipe

I’ve made this Sweet and Spicy Asian Pork Shoulder Recipe from Real Simple a number of times and  it has come out great everymtime. Besides the wonderful flavours, it doesn’t use too much liquid. I find many slow cooker recipes do, and that spoils the dish for me.

You may want to trim the fat before you make this recipe. Or make it the day before, cool of the liquid, and then skim the fat off the wonderful sauce that results in slow cooking the pork. Also, it calls for a lot of sugar, but it is not too much, if you ask me.

For a variation of the recipe, see this: Chinese Slow-Cooked Pork Shoulder from the Food Network. This has more liquid than I like, but some of you might prefer this.