7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 122)
— 1 —
I’ve been thinking again about whether I want an iPad/iPhone. (Not to make it sound like I can just go grab one on a whim; I’m trying to decide if I should save up for one.) This week I made the big switch to do all my email online with Gmail, and am thinking of switching to Google Docs as well. This means that it would be easier than ever for me to get use out of an iPhone/iPad, since none of my stuff would be confined to my personal computer. It sounds good in theory: I could catch up on stuff while I’m waiting for my son to get out of Religious Ed, while sitting in airports, etc. But here’s what I’ve realized: There’s an infinite amount of stuff to do. I could spend hours a day focusing on email alone and not get through it all. Add that to blogging, social media, writing work, catching up on news, etc. and I think that there would eternally be “something to get done” whenever I wanted to power up my iPhone and start “being productive.”
I’ve come to think that the name of the game is drawing boundary lines where you say, “There is more work left that I ‘should’ get done, but I’m not going to do it.” I think that that’s the only way to keep internet/email/work stuff from infringing on your spiritual and family life. Right now it’s fairly easy for me to enforce those boundaries because everything is confined to my laptop, which is usually confined in my office. So the key question is: If I had some iThing, would I have the self-control to leave it off when it’s time to disconnect and focus on real life? That’s what I need to keep pondering.
— 2 —
Anna Mitchell and I had another fun discussion about Christian themes in classic children’s books on the SonRise Morning show this week, this time talking about The Little Engine that Could. Here’s the audio if you’d like to take a listen:
(I should note that full credit for the clever analogy goes to Anna — I misspoke and made it sound like it’s something I came up with, but it was all her.)
— 3 —
I’ve mentioned before that our two-year-old Catherine is extremely excited about getting more time with Yaya‘s cats now that Yaya lives here. Maybe a little too excited. The other day someone asked her, “Catherine, what’s the kitty cat say?” Instead of the expected meow, she responded with this ominous guttural growling sound. Looks like we may need to chat a little more about how we play with Yaya’s cats.
— 4 —
Okay, fellow writing nerds, here’s a link you’ll love: a condensed version of the Associated Press style guide. I have a thick AP Style Guide book sitting next to my desk, and I refer to it all the time. Even when I’m writing a blog post, it’s nice to know what the accepted standards are for how to format certain words. E.g. do you write 20th Century or Twentieth Century? Nine or 9? 14,500,000 or 14.5 million? Inquiring nerds want to know. Go check out that handy guide to find out!
— 5 —
I think we’re scaring the neighbors. From their perspective, each night we keep bursting out the front and back doors and random intervals, looking up at the sky, then scurrying back inside. We do this a few times each night. The problem is that we’ve discovered the feature in Stelarium that shows the sky where you are in real time, including the movement of satellites. So we can sit there in front of our living room computer/TV, call up the sky for our specific location, and wait until we see a satellite come floating over the horizon on the screen. It’s just too tempting to go outside and see if it’s really there (which it almost always is), so each time we dash outside and try to catch it. It’s surprisingly addictive. It’s a great little educational thing to do with the older kids…but I think the neighbors might be getting a little worried.
— 6 —
The Faith and Family conference last weekend was wonderful! I even managed to drive a rental car around snowy Boston without anything going horribly awry. I haven’t gotten my act together to upload all the pictures, but I’ll do that soon. Meanwhile, here’s one of my favorites:
— 7 —
Read any good books lately? It’s been a few weeks since I’ve asked, so I’d be interested to hear what everyone’s reading these days.
Have a great weekend!
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