DIY: Cellphone Charging Station

In our tech-heavy house, we have three cellphones and two tablets between the two of us, and all of these devices use a corner of our kitchen as a charging spot. It’s convenient because it’s right inside the door to the garage, and it’s also centrally-located on our main floor so everything is right at hand and/or within earshot.

What wasn’t cool was the constant mess of tangled cords that seemed to get more and more unruly the more I tried to contain them. I didn’t like how disorganized it looked or the fact that it was, at times, barely functional (more than once a phone slid off the counter, dangling by its charger, the victim of a nearby cord that had pushed it over the edge).

It was definitely time for a new solution.
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Aging and the Perception of Time

This is a guest post by Rachel Gold. But first, some background from me:

Some people say time is a funny thing, but I don’t really find it amusing; mostly it just makes me anxious. It feels like it goes by too fast. It feels like I have too many ideas to fit into one lifetime. How am I supposed to accomplish all of what I want to do when I blink and three months have gone by?

Maybe I just get too focused on my day-to-day life and need to lift my head and look around once in awhile. Or maybe it’s something I’ve become more aware of now that I’m hovering close to the big four-oh. (40 seemed ancient to me when I was a child; now it just seems like… 40. It’s a number, just like any other age.) So what’s this all about, then? Where does this anxiety about time come from? I never gave it a second thought when I was in my 20s and early 30s.
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Tips for First-Time NYC Travelers

A friend of mine is headed to NYC for her first-ever visit this summer (woo hoo!) and so I figured it was about time I dusted off the “things I’ve learned over the years about traveling to NYC” list and turn it into a post. Since I’m the sort of traveler who likes to blend in at my destination, anything I can do to remove the idiot/tourist factor is good, and so that’s what I’ve included here: all the things I wish someone had told me before my first visit.

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What Does Balance Mean To You?

A few years ago, I stumbled upon Dan Blank’s article about creating balance (specifically between the often warring forces of work and leisure). It was an interesting read and ultimately thought-provoking for me. I wanted to share the comment I left for him:

“Thanks for this article. I found myself nodding my head as I read down the page, but by the end, I also realized something. When I read about how you prioritized your career, and cut out your commute and other things that weren’t serving your purpose, and then how you also made it a priority to spend time with your family whenever you wanted… well, to me, that is balance. I think what’s outmoded is the notion that balance must be a perfect split of time, or always giving everything equal attention (which, for most people, includes a lot of meaningless tasks and activities — ‘noise’). Instead, I’d say it’s about giving the things you value most intentional attention, and that by making room for all of the things you value, you create a balanced life.”

(To which he responded: “That is an EXCELLENT POINT! You really hit the nail on the head there – thanks!”)

Although his article and my comment ended up being a nice exchange of ideas, I had hoped my thoughts would generate some further discussion. I think I was looking for “the answer” even though I knew one didn’t exist. Then again, if the “definition” I’d just suggested to Dan was true, balance would be different for everyone, anyway. Continue reading

The Sphere Beyond Us

Sometimes on rainy weekends, existential things cross my mind. This one occurred to me after observing my cats.

Cats have such a tiny view of what life is. They don’t have any comprehension of what they don’t know, of how vast life gets in the sphere just beyond them. They accept their reality for what it is: a moment to moment reflection of their basic needs, the warmest napping spot, and the little entertainments and curiosities they discover throughout the day. They don’t understand what it means to drive a car, to hold a job, to make money, to pay the utility bill, to grocery shop, or to anticipate the next episode of some TV show. They aren’t aware that they live in a house, that there are other cats who live next door, or that there’s lots of other countries – some situated halfway around the world – that also occupy this orb of luminescence we call Earth. Their life tends toward the simple; the routine. Yet to them, it’s very complete. Their cognizance doesn’t allow them to see beyond the space they occupy.

Kinda makes you wonder what’s out there beyond us, doesn’t it? The stuff we can’t comprehend or don’t yet know; the things for which we have no awareness. What’s in that sphere?

Said Gary Provost

“This sentence has five words. Here are five more words. Five-word sentences are fine. But several together become monotonous. Listen to what is happening. The writing is getting boring. The sound of it drones. It’s like a stuck record. The ear demands some variety. Now listen. I vary the sentence length, and I create music. Music. The writing sings. It has a pleasant rhythm, a lilt, a harmony. I use short sentences. And I use sentences of medium length. And sometimes, when I am certain the reader is rested, I will engage him with a sentence of considerable length, a sentence that burns with energy and builds with all the impetus of a crescendo, the roll of the drums, the crash of the cymbals—sounds that say listen to this, it is important.”

Celebrating Month Five

My first blog never got past the design stage. My second blog never made it past the third post. My third blog – the one you’re reading right now – has thankfully surpassed both of these milestones and is currently celebrating month five poolside with a fruity drink. And while I realize this does not constitute blogging longevity (or perhaps it does? ha), I’m pleased to see my early efforts and preparation have given it a strong start.

So what’s been my secret this time? Two things: topic curation and Facebook cover photos.
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Random: Peach Fuzz

Gaffney's Peach Water Tower
According to Wikipedia, The Peachoid is a 135-foot tall water tower in Gaffney, South Carolina that resembles a peach.

Hmm. A peach, they say? That’s interesting, because a peach is certainly not the first thing that came to my mind.

I’m sure the people of Gaffney are proud of their peaches, and their peachy water tower. But seriously, is there no one at the public works office who ever says, “Hey, George (in my mind that guy is always named George), don’t you think we should round out the shape of this peach so… well, you know, so we don’t make an ass of ourselves?”

Just curious.