Thursday, August 21, 2014

A Baker's Half-Dozen Sweet Techie Things

School has started and my association with our technology program makes me the recipient of snarky remarks and random complaints when folks get frustrated with the newness of new gear or software. Even though some folks get grumpy, I grit my teeth and try to say something chipper.

As a mental health exercise to counteract the negativity I have decided to reflect here on a Baker's Dozen techie things that make me happy in my daily life.  

Flickr Creative Commons Photo by Krista

1) I am a list guy and I start my day by checking my ToDo and hopefully end the day with everything on my list checked off.  My ToDo list is on my phone, iPad, and every computer. I enjoy the way my lists synch and make me feel like I have a little control over a crazy world.

2) This morning I worked out hard at the gawd-awful hour of 5:45am. Strange, but FaceBook has been a strong component to my exercise regime.  First, a friend tagged me to alert me that we had pushed the start time up fifteen minutes. But more importantly it makes me feel more socially connected to the group at R3 WB who push each other so very hard. We respond strongly to each other's encouragement, and social media allows us to cheer and groan throughout the day. A few months ago I could not even conceive of myself working out at 6AM, but FaceBook has actually helped me take my fitness to another lever!

3) I enjoy being able to edit and share photos in iPhoto.  But recently I really wanted to find a way to embed a slideshow in this blog, and both iPhoto and Flickr let me down.  I found the solution through Google's Picasa.  It was ridiculous how easy it was to upload the photos, create the slides and grab an embed code. It was fun to dress up the blog post with a few clicks of my touch pad.

4) I've recently described my new-found joy of creating animated badges for a Schoology professional development course.  It remains a guilty pleasure. The first thing I do for each lesson is to create the badge-reward. remains my go-to source for the animations

5) In the evening I usually like to relax by watching an hour or so of a movie or tv series.  I used to exclusively do the Netflix DVD thing.  I still do from time to time, but my Smart TV has led to a sudden change of habit. With its built-in Netflix app watching a streaming HD movie or television series is little different from watching a conventional channel on the television or even a Blu-ray DVD. I love it.

6) Finally, I usually read myself to sleep.  These days I am very inclined toward histories and biographies. However, when I sink myself into a different time period I frequently encounter terms and events that are unknown to me.  I love that I can tap any word or phrase in my iBook and instantly call up a definition or web search.  In fact I have become so used to it that I have actually found myself at times tapping paper text to no avail.

I promise not to be so completely self-indulgent in the next post.  But this exercise accomplished its purpose-- I sign off cheerfully. 

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