The Transfiguration Sketchnote

I’ve been taking an intro to the New Testament class for the last couple of months. During that time we’ve been learning how to read a text in terms of textural, cultural and historical context using the transfiguration in Matthew as our reference point. Basically, the aim was to read the text as the author intended their audience to. On Tuesday we presented our text and our professor expanded on some points we hadn’t mentioned. This is a #sketchnote I made as he was speaking and describing how the climax of the transfiguration text and how it contrasts with the voice at Jesus’ baptism saying “listen to him”. Before the transfiguration the disciples say he is the messiah but don’t get that he must suffer, after they are distressed that he must suffer and die. Made with paper by we transfer on the iPad Pro.

The Easiest to Use

I’m weighing up three different email newsletter services.

I realy can’t choose.

And then I had a thought: > “When you can’t choose between two options, go for the one which is easier to use. The easier it is to use, the more you will use it.”

Suddenly, that decision doesn’t seem so tricky anymore. I suspect this principle would work for other tool decisions too.

P.s. Yes, I know there are times when you need “more power” and so the simplest isn’t the best. But you can only need more power if you’ve started using something, so start with simple.

That's Not My MacBook

I was reading my daughter “that’s not my owl” and started to wonder what a version for adults would look like. Now I’d like to present the ATP “that’s not my MacBook” bed time story.

Welcome to beta season, where all we can talk about is the beta

I really hate that the next couple of months of Apple podcasts will be almost completely about unreleased features and the beta. I get that there is demand for this content (doing for the clicks) but it just feels kind of pointless. Especially with the condescending advice that you shouldn’t download the beta (unlike us experts) but here are all the things you should wish you had. Then again I find the endless speculation to also be kind of pointless. I really enjoy the podcasts where you learn what you can do with the technology you have and not endlessly dream and complain about what you don’t have.

WWDC Hopes And Wishes 💻

Dear Tim Cook Clause, This year I’d like…

iOS updates

  • Fix whatever the hell happened to editing in text fields with mobile safari
  • A ‘Worktime” feature to compliment “Downtime”
  • Adding start dates to reminders
  • iMessages on windows (I have to use windows at work…so this would be like a glass of water in hell)
  • a bit more refining of how to search through photos (It can be really tricky to get to the right photo and you never want to accidentally go to the start of your photostream)
  • Siri improvements (I too can use Google…it’s not that impressive Siri)

iPadOS updates:

  • Improvements to “desktop class safari”
  • some new homescreen improvements (widget stuff?)
  • Keyboard short cuts for multitasking windows
  • Keyboard shortcuts to trigger shortcuts
  • FinalCut for the iPad
  • A magical fix for the dead pixel in my iPad screen

WatchOS updates

  • More faces
  • 3rd party faces (that don’t majorly drain the battery)
  • Sleep tracking built in
  • more rings (Like a mindfulness one and a sleep one)

Mac Updates

  • stablity. Sorry, Bug fixes and performance enhancements.
  • ARM Macs

Hardware

  • ARM Macbook air type thing
  • Homepod Mini
  • Homepod with screen
  • Apple watch 6 with new sensor

Thank you Tim Cook Clause Here are some cookies

p.s. The thing with Hey sucks. Don’t be that guy.

Not good Apple. Not good at all.

I honestly can’t believe Apple’s attitude to Hey. I really hope this is one or two people in Apple who’ve misunderstood certain policies but that’s happened before. While there are many areas where Apple appears to set the standard that other tech companies follow, this is not one and is horrifically anti-competitive. It seems utterly crazy that this should all emerge when Apple is rumored to allow the ability to set non-Apple apps as the default. I wonder how this will all shake out…in the meantime, maybe I ought to look at companies like fairphone again.

Some illogical camera upgrade thoughts

I really want a new camera…I really don’t need a new camera but I want one. Features I -need- want that I don’t have - weather sealing - 4k video - more pixels (because why not) - the new fuji film simulations espeically acros

Camears I want: - Ricoh GR iii (has non of the features I listed but has IBIS and I do love my ricoh gr) - Fuji X100v (the obvious choice. I REALLY love my x100t…but price) - Fuji X pro 2 (lacks some of the features of the V and is bigger…) - Sony A7 of some sort (I don’t know why I want this one…but I do)

I really should think about x100V… but all the others are so tempting.

30 Creative Prompts — activities to get you exercising your creative muscles

I didn’t feel like sharing this earlier in the week with everything going on but I made a little ebook and course of 30 creative prompts. These are fun little challenges to get you thinking differently and exercising your creative muscle so you can be creative on demand. It was a little creative challenge from my wife and was suppose to take me a month to do…well, life happened and it took a few extra months to actually put it together and get it up, but draft one is here. In the future, I hope to add more prompts and perhaps show some examples. It’s normally $10 but for Micro.Blogranauts, I have a special discount where you can get it for $1 (plus tax). Just use the code MICROBLOG.
Enjoy!

Twinkies don't exist (spoiler, it's not about twinkies)

I’ve never seen a twinky, so they can’t exist. Sure, sometimes one appears on TV in a fictional series or on the news but that doesn’t mean they are actually real. Many of my friends have never seen a twinky either and I suspect those who say they have seen a twinky really saw something else. Even if twinkies were real, which they are not, just because there are some twinkies doesn’t mean all food is a twinky and I’m definitly not a twinky eater. And really, even if there are some twinkies out there, that doesn’t mean I should do anything about it. After all, I’m not a twinky eater. The real problem is those anti-Twinky advocates and protestors. They are the real twinkey eaters and if only they’d shut up about twinkies, maybe we could finally live in a world without twinkies… In summary, twinkies don’t exist.

Not to speak is to speak.

“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”

― Dietrich Bonhoeffer

I refuse to stay silent and I choose to act. I don’t have a perfect plan but I can start. I’m volunteering for a local refugee group, I’ve ordered “so you want to talk about race” and I’m looking at some other measures.

I’m also sorry for times even within the last year where I haven’t challenged racist comments. I stayed safe within my privilege while others suffer from these ideas.

Great focused device / Great distraction device

The iPad is both a great focusing device — it heavily favours one app at a time — and a great distraction device — the perfect couch device with all those games, comics, videos, and more.

Increasingly, I find that the later is interfearing with the former.

Maybe I need a work iPad and a couch iPad.* *my wife would not agree.

Okay, I'll try speed reading.

My wife has a growing interesting in speed reading and related rapid learning techniques. I was really interested in accelerated learning about seven years ago but came to two conclusions. 1) There’s a lot of rubbish out there 2) I was unsure if it led to long term learning. Speed reading was a perfect example. It promised a method to read many times faster and remember everything. I questioned these statements as they usually seemed to focus on short term memory performance and not long-term memory. So I just wrote the whole thing off. But my wife’s interest has re-kindled my own, and I want to do a little experiment. I mean, If I could read three times faster, that would mean more books. So I’m giving it a go, I’m sceptical, but I’ll report back on what I find.

Micro May Challenge Book Recommendation 1: Celebration of Discipline 📖

Celebration of Discipline is Richard Foster’s classic look into the timeliess Christian Disciplines. He covers a the inward, outward and corporate disciplines looking at different traditions, the mindset and goal behind each and with suggested practices to start exploring the traditions. It was a hugely influencial book in my early adulthood and I have been rereading it this last year. Shop your local indie bookstore

Being a Non-Expert in a World of Gurus Rocks!

I am not an expert. I’m not incompetent in many areas either, but I’m definitely not an expert. I have so much to learn in every area of life — work, family, faith, creativity, DIY, finance, generosity — that far surpasses what I do know. Sometimes this makes me feel really out of place in a world of Gurus. When I look at what a lot of other copywriters say about themselves, it’s all boasting about how fantastic they are. It’s like all those businesses that say they are the best at what they do; someone must be lying. I’m sure there are plenty of brilliant and talented people out there. Still, there are also plenty of “fake it till you make it” wannabes who Shakespeare might say “the guru doth boast too much, methinks.”

Most of the time, I feel somewhat inadequate because I’m not an expert, but today I realized it has some advantages. - As a non-expert, I know I need to keep learning and keep growing. - As a non-expert, I’m not stuck in “best practices” or “the way it’s always been done.” - As a non-expert, I sm open to listen to other people and their experiences.

Of course, it’s not really a strict expert/non-expert divide but a scale. At times my ego is stronger and makes me less teachable and more boastful. Still, increasingly I’m trying to embrace sharing my experiments and results as well as listening to other people’s tests. When I do take that approach, everything seems better, and suddenly, many of the gurus look a lot less intimidating.

Investing in my health

I haven’t had the easiest transition in the work from home, lockdown lifestyle caused by the roller-covid-coaster. Many of the core habits for supporting my physical and mental health have fallen away and environmental factors haven’t helped me form new ones.

Even before the government mandated restrictions, I wasn’t really looking after myself well. Apart from the walk part of my morning commute – which admittedly did fulfill the advised 30 minutes of brisk walking health organization recommend – I did little in the way of exercise. With my bare minimum taken away, I’ve been left with next to nothing.

The quantifiable evidence if my Apple Watch rings which usually get to around half full for the red ring and a dot for the green ring. Although, there have been occasions like our trips to the farm where I make sure to go for a walk down to the forest at the end of field and close my rings.

Despite knowing the importance of exercise for not just physical but mental health, I’ve let it slide and the effects have been noticeable. I haven’t handled stress as well as I used to, I’ve felt tired at times and when I do meet my Apple Watch goals for the day, I feel sore afterwards, like I had gone to the gym for a workout.

The straw that finally broke the camels back was watching CGP Grey’s fantastic video, spaceship you.

I don’t know why this got through to me after I had read several articles on the topic and listened to podcasts discussing the importance of exercise during the lockdown, but it did. And I’m grateful.

The Plan

I like simple plans as they are easier to complete and so more likely to actually get done. This is what I’ve started so far, and what I hope to add soon.

1. Talked to my wife:

I needed to get her onboard as wrangling our child care arrangements has caused issues. My old habits just can’t work when someone has to take care of our daughter at certain points

2. Started a simple health challenge app

I’ve had the health mate app from withings on my watch for a long time thanks to some old devices. They have a work from home challenge where they send you advice and simple exercises to do. It’s not a full workout, but I’ve already done more exercise in the last couple of days than the previous few weeks.

3. Cut the chips, sweets and beer

The other side of health to exercise is what I’m putting in to my body. I know that sugar and unhealthy foods made me feel more sluggish and lethargic. Sometimes I justify it by my high metabolism but right now I’m burning less calories and so I’ve cut down on a few guilty pleasure.

Stuff to come

1. Trying a new workout app

I’ve downloaded the fitbod app that I’ve heard a couple of people recommend and I’m going to start trying those workouts out. They have body weight exercises so I don’t need any equipment, which is good, as I have none. I haven’t started this yet, I’m waiting for the exercise habit to stick.

2. Taking more compliant walks

Restrictions are lifting here in Poland with parks and forests now open so it’s much easier to go for a walk now than it was before. Still, I will make sure I’m complying with regulations and doing whatever else I can to minimize my risk of being exposed and exposing others.

Action

None of this matters if I don’t take action. I’ve done a few things but I need to keep doing it. It has already helped me deal with some of my physical and mental health issues and I’m sure doing more with continue these improvements.

P.s. I wrote this post this morning and did more exercise today and felt even better.

Me: I’m fed up of managing books, I should focus on electronic copies and not paper versions. Also me: OH look at those full bookshelves of that person working from home! I’m so jealous. I want to look through all their books!

*temporary solution: Bookshelf virtual background.

🔗 Shipping The First Version of Ghost - Twitter

Dashboard was a technically unviable photoshop mockup that was very easy to kill. We had to choose between shipping on time, and making a fancy dashboard. We chose shipping.

Some people are still upset about it today.

Those people will never ship. - John O’Nolan, founder of ghost sharing some of his anecdotes from 7 years of Ghost on Twitter

I remember backing the ghost Kickstarter and being extremely excited about its potential and possibility but the initial version really did disappointment. I don’t think it was just the dashboard for me, but it felt not as blog focused or friendly as the Kickstarter had made out. I kept track of ghost, intending to use it, but it seemed to shift to be more for businesses and not blogging focused like the original vision (and ironically the exact critique it leveled at WordPress). Despite having a year of ghost pro hosting from my backer level I never redeemed it and now it seems impossible to do so. Funnily enough, just last month I spun up a digital ocean server to give ghost a go after seeing the 3.0 version and being impressed.

I always try to give makers the benefit of the doubt, you never know the real reasons behind what they are doing or the data they have in their hands that we don’t. At the same time, sometimes people just made bad choices.

Regardless of the dashboard and merits of shipping, it’s not a great sign for the head of a company who makes a blogging platform to choose to write a tweet thread rather than a blog post. He could, of course, do both.

A 10-Second and 10-Minute Impression of Using a Mouse with an iPad

I had a quick play with my work mouse (an HP of some sort) on my iPad yesterday. - 10-second impression: “This is cool and feels right! I love these little touches like how the cursor changes.” - 10-minute impression: “Urgh, this is wrong. The scrolling is janky. I can’t slide elements, how on earth do I get to the homepage without using a keyboard. Why can’t I swipe this element! After that, I disconnected my mouse. Part of me expects this to get better as more apps support trackpads and mice plus I suspect a trackpad would be a more intuitive experience.

Still, I wonder what my 10-day impression will be?

A Couple of Revelations Connected with Work

I had a few real moments of revelation over the weekend.

1. Work needs to fit my life, not my life fit my work:

I really like my job, but I have been arranging my life to fit my job. In my case, this was wrong. While some people’s work is extremely valuable and is making a difference in the world, the truth is mine isn’t. Don’t get me wrong, I think my company is fine and a net positive, but we’re not curing cancer and even if we were, throwing away all other aspects of my life for a company with no guarentee that they’ll keep me around tomorrow let alone when I’m old and grey is plain stupid. When I addon that I may have ended up in hosptial due in no small part to work related stress, I have to make some changes here.

2. I can use different task systems for work and home

This is connected to the last point. As a teacher, I used to take home work all the time, so having a system that combined both my professional and personal tasks made sense. Now, I don’t take home my work so I don’t have keep track of both at the same time, I can basically apply a filtered view by opening a different app. This will then allow me to use the task management app I want for my personal life (no doubt mac/iOS focused. Not sure what yet) and a horrible windows friendly one for work (probably Todoist).

A mindset shift

As you can see, the second idea was prompted by the first. In someways I feel this has been a slow change that really should have occured when I switched career but then again, perhaps it should have been the case when I was a teacher as well.

Reconsidering things

Things I’m currently reconsidering - my blog hosting platform (I’ve been playing with Ghost but I can see a cool WordPress plugin for book reviews. I’m thinking of keeping MB as a separate blog, but maybe I shouldn’t)
- my task management app (todoist works everywhere but it always feels like too much hard work everywhere!) - My RSS app (Unread is cool, but maybe I should just use inoreader…or prehaps reeder 4. And what about the service underneith?) All this instead of blogging, getting things done and reading enriching articles. At the same time, It’s okay to review what we’re doing sometimes and make sure we’re still doing things the right way and with the right tools. Still, I wish I had a better idea rather than just confusion.

Keeping up with the Internet Joneses

One of the dangers elements of the Internet is that “Keeping up with Joneses” can be multipled manifold. I connect with some folks who are very well off and an average income for their country may have far more than I do.

Sometimes when I hear people talk about their five iPads, Macbook, iMac Pro and more accessories It can skew my sense of what I should be able to afford. But I need to run my own race.

Even if there weren’t other areas where I wanted to spend my money, I couldn’t afford to buy all the latest technology. I need to focus on my own values and priorities so that I don’t spend money badly nor feel jealous of those who can afford certain items that I’d like.

I wish I could say I do this well, but if I did, I wouldn’t be writing this.