Sunday without a Net

cut the cord on Sunday

I am cutting the cord – at least on Sunday. Well, every Sunday. I spend on average at least 10 to 12 hours per work day on the computer. On the weekends, I spend less time than that, but still far too much. I need to regain control of my life. This means no more Internet on Sundays.

The first Sunday without Internet was two weeks ago and it went surprisingly well. No withdrawal symptoms, no website collapse, not even any missed deals on Amazon or eBay. What did happen is that time came back for reading real paper books, for writing with pen and paper, for working on the cars disassembled in the garage, and for baking. Yes, tomorrow there will be breakfast cooked before church and then eggnog rum bread baked in the afternoon.

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Tattoo – The Deed Is Done

I have been wanting to do this for a few years, and have been, it seems, annoying a few people with that desire. I was finally challenged to put up or shut up via a gift certificate for my birthday.  Yesterday I took the bit in my teeth, or the needle in my arm, and headed downtown to do the deed.

Getting the tattooI actually ended up with Chuck at Pepper Shade Tattoo which is the sister shop to Blu Gorilla and is right across the street (and some railroad tracks). Chuck is a friend of my long time buddy Ingrid Tugwell, and so came highly recommended. The shop was cool in that funky tattoo parlor kind of way, though I still cannot get over listening to Milli Vanilli in the place. I am hoping it was just a poor choice by the radio station.
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Recap of 2013 Concerts

Well, although 2013 left a lot to be desired for me, in the area of music it was pretty good. It wasn’t jam packed or anything, but it was good.

April was kind of an odd one. I actually went to Colombia for a British car show, but it was being held in conjunction with the local “Tartan Day South” festival. The show was good, but the festival was where the real fun was. From dog herding demonstrations (think Babe The Pig) to music, food and art, there was a plethora of things to see and do. The part we probably enjoyed the most was the music. I love Celtic music, especially when amped up a bit.  An example of that amping up certainly be the band Rathkeltair. I have included a short video of part of one of their performances below. Hopefully, we will make this one again in 2014.

In September I went up to Simpsonville, which is just outside of Greenville, South Carolina, to see Mumford & Sons. It was a wonderful show with not one, not two, but three opening acts. What made it even better was that all three opening acts were quite good. But the real prize was the long performance by Mumford & Sons. For your viewing pleasure, here are a couple of videos I shot at the concert. Continue reading “Recap of 2013 Concerts”

A Choice of Simple Tools

My primary requirement for a tool is that it stay out of my way. Ok, so maybe that is requirement number two, right after the requirement of the tool fulfilling its purpose. But honestly, if a tool can perform its required function then the next most important characteristic for me is that it be as non-obtrusive as possible. This applies to simple tools like screwdrivers and hammers as well as more complex tools such as computers and their software.

Simplicity ToolsWhen I pick up a hammer I expect it to be able to drive a nail into a board. I do not need it to have a compass to guide the way or a light to illuminate the path. Such things would only add needless complexity to the device and would thus get in my way. It is the simplicity of the device that makes it both useful and appropriate. The same goes for a screwdriver. Multiple attachments, lights in the body, and fancy sheathing may sound attractive at first, but when I am trying to get a job done those added complexities could actually make the job more difficult. The beauty of simplicity is that it represents just enough. Just enough to accomplish the work – not too little so that you require more time or tools, and not too much so that extra effort is expended.

This simplicity is also how I choose software. I am an Apple fan; there is no doubt about that. But I am an Apple fan for a reason. I will not deny, not in the least, that Windows and Linux may be immensely more configurable than Mac OSX. But that configurability adds a level of complexity that I find in no way necessary. That configurability actually gets in my way. I feel the same way about the Android mobile operating system versus IOS.
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Just My Typewriter

I like typewriters. I don’t know why, but I do. It could be the sound they make when someone is feverishly typing away. I used to hear my mother typing late into the night when I was young – often on my father’s dissertation for his Ph.D.. Or, it could be the romanticism for the likes of Hemingway, Fitzgerald and Faulkner forming the classics of their age without the aid of automatic spell-check and grammar correction. There are a lot of connections to these old machines.

Remington Travel-RiterWhatever the reason may be, I have a thing for these old beasts. I only have two at this point, which is actually two more than I need – there is no need for another collection in the house. I already have enough cars and trains and books and … or at least some would say I have enough. But is too many ever enough?

The most recent addition to my typewriter fetish came this weekend at a friend’s estate sale. It is a late 1950s Remington Travel-Riter complete with its carrying case. Maybe early ’60s? It was a bargain. How could I resist?

The first typewriter I bought a few months back is a 1940s Underwood. I saw it advertised on Craigslist nearby so went over just to take a look. I found it sitting there in a little flea market on its own typing table looking wonderful in its aging black and gold finish. It spoke to me. Hell, it called to me. Again, How could I resist?

I promise though, I am going to try to stop at two. I really don’t need a bunch of old typewriters cluttering up the house. Besides, I still need to work on my pen collection. And did I mention belt buckles? So I will stop at just two … unless I find a really old one.

Underwood Typewriter