Tag Archives: Apple

Easy Morning Brain Expansion – No Stretching Required

About 3 months back I wrote a post entitled “The Quiet Drive” which detailed how I was looking to make different or better use of my daily morning commute to work. The reason behind this time of reflection was that it was proving to be a dedicated part of my every day life where I allowed myself to do nothing but think… umm… and drive. I guess if I just lapsed into navel-gazing reflection while doing 65 MPH on I-84, I think this habit would end itself (and me) rather quickly. I mean, I’ve got mongoose-like quickness, but even I would not be able to leap out of a car at full speed on a highway. I do appreciate the faith all of you have in me that I have this capability – it’s quite touching.

This morning I changed it up a little bit and decided to use a chunk of that drive for a little bit of brain expansion. See, with my switch to the Evil Empire of Apple for my computing needs, I started using iTunes again. I know it seems impossible that anyone with an iPod would use something else, but seriously… I hate it. Slow and controlling and bleah. It’s a little better when you are using a Mac, but I still have that part of me that rebels against the way Steve Jobs likes to keep everything closed and under his thumb in the world of Mac.

Back to the brain expansion. If there is something that iTunes seems to have done well in the time I have been gone from using it, that may be the inclusion of iTunes U. iTunes U is a free resource for downloading a rich array of course content from a variety of schools and educational institutions. The list is impressive: Harvard Business Review, Stanford, Cal-Berkeley, Texas A&M, Yale, etc. There are interviews, lectures and even video based pieces for your perusal on a really wide range of topics. Thus far, I have not seen any you would even pay for, which is nice.

So give your brain a little morning shake up to go with your coffee or morning Diet Dr. Pepper (my choice for the AM pick-me-up). Hell, you might learn something. I did today… freaky.


The New Toy

So here she be in all her glory. My new toy – a 15″ Apple MacBook Pro I ain’t gonna lie… I love this sucker. The more I use it, the more I like it and the more I come to appreciate some of the smalls ways this computer handles certain tasks so well.

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The previous post was the first one to use the new computer and to follow up on my promise to myself to keep this blog moving in the right direction once I got my new gadget.

Here’s to hoping for good things to follow! And anyone who has any tips or cool software I should get for a Mac (especially for blogging), please let me know.

“Blank” Something Different

In thinking over my previous post on breaking a funk and reclaiming my rightful mojo, I knew some action needed to be taken outside of… well… just writing a post about it.  While writing is certainly a form of action, it’s often more the declaration of desire than the actual exercise of change and movement.  I don’t believe this diminishes the importance of the writing, but it certainly clarifies in the grand scheme of change, improvement and all the other goodies this blog seeks to focus upon.

So what kinds of actions will be on tap for our intrepid blogger?  Well, a few notions (nothing overly radical) designed to break me out of my routine if nothing else.  Why is this important?  I see it basically this way:

If you are in a funk or a rut, you are clearly following a path of well-worn grooves that you’ve created for yourself.  It’s a routine and while it’s clearly not a good routine, it’s likely become comfortable nonetheless.  Therefore, to at least begin that critical process of being released from the funk, change is needed.  It can be a change in venue or perspective or habit, but until action of some kind that is just plain different takes places, you are working from a very difficult spot to free yourself from the rut.

A few short term plans to shake things up:

  1. Move something different.  I plan on making a bit of a resvision to my current exercise/training plan.  I really do enjoy the lifting scheme I use (Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1), but I have been doing it for quite a while now.  I have had great success with it, so instead of scrapping it all together, I am using his brand new 5/3/1 for Football to give myself a shot in the arm.  It’s not going to be a wholesale change in what I do, but then again, I don’t want it to be here because this has at least been going well (God forbid).
  2. See something different.  Sometimes you just need to just pause and take in in some visual inspiration at a museum and it’s been a while since I’ve gone new-britain-museum-of-american-art to a museum to soak up a little art.  It really is one of those things I always enjoy when I do it, but then I never do it often enough and then eventually catch myself think, “Huh… haven’t really been to a museum in a while…”  I always find it funny that I have several activities I really like to do, but then I never do them all that often.  They just seem to slip my mind so effortlessly.  But late Saturday morning will be spent at the New Britain Museum of American Art taking in what they have to offer.  It’s not a museum I have been to before, but I’ve heard excellent things about it.  My hope is that a little exposure to creative works will provide a jolt to my own creative juices.  I plan on having a post all about this experience on Saturday or early Sunday.
  3. Think something different.  In a sense, I will likely get this from #2, but I know that in order make a change, my mental approach needs to vary and adapt.  As I’ve written about before, I sometimes can be someone more-than-a-little leery of change… but I can also feel very invigorated by it.  If it’s self-created change, it tends to feel a little bit better because I can at least give myself that momentary illusion of control in the situation.  But in order to think differently, I might need to vary up my reading list.  This can be magazines, blogs, books and all of that good and wonderful written material the world has to offer… but I need something outside of my comfort zone.  I’m not 100% sure of where that is just yet , so I am open to some good and useful suggestions, i.e. while a book on acetylene welding techniques is certainly different… umm… that might be a little TOO different.
  4. Deal something different.  I’ve also decided I might make a deal with myself as a bit of motivation.  My home computer is seriously on the wane and I’ve been thinking of a replacement.  I’ve got a little money tucked away in some savings and I plan on hanging onto it… but I am also considering picking up a MacBook Pro whenever Apple decides to launch their newest version (which is allegedly soon, but who knows what decisions will be made by High Priest Steve and friends).  The deal would be if I do it, then this blog has to become a daily minimum.  In fact, I am thinking about waking up 45 minutes to an hour earlier each day and trying to use a bit of a morning energy to crank out a post or two.  This may be precisely the change I need, so stay tuned.

Time to stretch a bit out of the comfort zone and see what the end result may be.  Stay tuned for the mayhem to follow.