death-of-con-5__880photo via

The other day I was doing work at a hip, super minimalist cafe located in an old warehouse that only provides agave syrup to sweeten your artisanal coffee, and I watched while the girl sitting next to me spent (no exaggeration) 10 minutes arranging her glass of coffee (coffee here is served in glasses, water in mason jars) and the 2 succulent plants on the table, and took about 45 pictures from about 20 different angles.

It took a very long time.  She looked ridiculous.  And her coffee must have been cold by the time she actually sat down to drink it.

Not that I am one to throw stones.  As a reader of this blog you know I do shit like this all the time.

IMG_20150109_112304i took the picture because the tree had a loop

But watching this girl I thought, this has surpassed fun and morphed into something weird.


Last night, after MONTHS of talking about it, we finally decided to switch to a new carrier and get new phones (my phone has been in it’s death throes for almost a year).

Our new carrier does not subsidize the cost of the hardware of the phone.  So we walked into the store and I started looking at the retail prices of new smartphones.

$600, $700, $800…

Hold up.  Do I really need a $700 phone?

I found myself thinking about life before my smartphone.  When I had to look up a recipe before I went into the store.  When I couldn’t check my email unless I was at my computer, at my desk.  When I had to wait more than 30 seconds to actually listen to a song that was stuck in my head.

But along with this convenience I’ve undoubtedly experienced a loss of basic skills, including (but not limited to) the ability to:

  • Read a map/have any sense at all of where I am when I’m driving (a couple of months ago as I was driving to an office in Hawthorne for the 5th time in 14 days, Waze bailed on me…and I FREAKED, convinced I was about to accidentally turn down South Vermont because I had no idea that it was 5 miles away. Because I had no idea where I was. Because I hadn’t paid attention before.  Because I hadn’t needed to.)
  • Take longer than 3 seconds to try to figure something out.
  • Remain calm when a public facility has horrible or no wireless or cell service.
  • Wait in line.
  • Relax and enjoy anything without fighting the urge to pull my phone out to take a picture.


I do really love that I can hail a car, find a recipe, or see what my friend in Shanghai ate for breakfast whenever the mood strikes.  But it’s a tradeoff.  Because I am pretty sure that net-net, my smartphone has made me dumber.

A flip phone is smaller and cheaper.  And if HH accidentally dials my old boss again, I know for a fact that I can hang up (because even if the touch screen goes blank, I can always just close the phone) and not force both of us into an awkward conversation.  I could stop feeling the compulsion to constantly check my emails, texts, Instagram, FB feed…it would allow me to break free from these Pavlovian reflexes and reconnect with the real world!

IMG_0429my dad in the real world
…as seen through my phone

I got the Samsung Galaxy 5.  Because podcasts.

Maybe I can hold off installing Instagram…




…at least for a week.

Austin, Massachusetts


Got back yesterday from the first awesome trip I’ve taken for work (besides Harlan, Kentucky): SXSW (just the multimedia/tech part, not the music.)

It was in the 70s and sunny, there were tacos and BBQ, some of the talks were really, really awesome (Elon Musk, Tina Eisenberg, Joe Peacock, Matthew Inman…) and they showed us some pretty awesome stuff (like this), and one company had bananas you could play Ode To Joy on like a piano (you just touched the banana and it played a note.)  I mean really, what more could you ask for.

IMG_20130311_143114IMAG3095-2IMG_20130314_104846IMG_20130309_174338IMG_20130314_104643Guess what my favorite food truck was.

The only problem was I left Paul alone for almost a whole week with the farm.  Glad to report there were no casualties.


And now that I’m back from a week of BBQ and tacos and no exercise…tomorrow I am off to NYC!!  3 hour half marathon here I come.



…and I’m back from the Rez!

Arizona/New Mexico/Utah was cool, got back in last night around midnight.  So waking up this morning was fun.  Pics from this weekend to follow shortly.  But in the meantime, this is neat.  Yesterday Twitter released a video visualizing all the tweets around the world mentioning 11.11.11 (each “1” signifies activity referencing the date, the size of the 1 correlates with the volume of tweets.)

Pretty cool to watch the 11:11 wave ride across the world (can you tell which countries don’t use the 24-hour clock?)

Happy Labor Day!

Late, I know.

Lexington has been making an effort to do more community events, and the Friday of Labor Day weekend was a good one.  Welcome to the Fest of Ales.

Look at all those beer pourers.  For $25 you got a mini glass and 20 tickets (about 7 beers, if you used them all…which no one did) to try out a whole bunch of different brews.  The whole town was out, it was great.  And people wore great shirts.

Unfortunately, the Fest underestimated how many people would partake (and how many of their pourers would adopt a “one for you, one for me” policy) and ran out of beer a little early.  So a group of us headed to a bar for one more drink.

It was there that I witnessed one of the more amazing mobile apps currently on the market: Roqbot.  For a fee, it lets you re-arrange the order of the queue on the jukebox in a bar.  So obviously Paul’s friend who had the app started playing “Who Let the Dogs Out” every other song.  He is already responsible for having the app banned in 3 bars in town.

Anyway, it was there that things degenerated pretty quickly.

We left before it got too ugly.

The previous week I had told a friend that I would join her on a bike ride Saturday morning with the Bluegrass Cycling Club.  BCC was offering a 10 mile (family ride), 30 mile, and 56 mile option.  My friend and I were doing the 56 mile ride (even though I hadn’t been on my bike since Steelhead, it got a little jacked up on the trip home and I just got it tuned up last week).

Paul was going to do the 30 mile option, since he hadn’t ridden his bike in like 5 months, but after some mild harassment he gave into the 56 miler too.  So we pulled our not-unhungover selves out of bed at 7:30 and headed out to the country.

The weather was gorgeous.

…but then it got hot.  Really hot.  And the shade disappeared.

We were getting baked.  Paul started to suffer.  The last 15 miles weren’t pretty.  The rest of the weekend was recovery.

Oh, and I came in from my run today and decided to turn on the local news while I stretched and this was on TV.

Apparently I’ve been away from local TV for too long, I had NO IDEA stuff like this was seriously still on.  The soundtrack was amazing.

Color in Kentucky

Color is coming to UK.

This location-based mobile app has been getting quite a bit of attention largely due to the $41 million the company raised pre-launch.  And this weekend, they will be in Lexington for the Final Four game.

So if you’re in town this weekend for the game (or even if you’re not), download the app and give it a try (for Andriod users, the app has been finicky, but the company is updating it today so it will hopefully ready to roll by this weekend.)

For a demo of how Color works, go here.

Update: I downloaded the app in NYC, but apparently no one else in the bar I was at did, so I got to look at…my own pictures.

The Joys of Technology

I’ve started listening to podcasts on my longer runs (it’s been hard to get my NPR fix since my 80-mile daily commute came to an end), but only after an extended battle with my iPod shuffle.

The new shuffle is way more complicated than it needs to be when it comes to podcasts (IMHO). After a few failed attempts to try to get my playlist to play both podcasts and music (considering I worked with tech companies for the last 3 years I should probably be more embarrassed about how difficult this was for me…), my very resourceful, very handsome husband took time away from studying neuroanatomy to get on Google, figure it out, and explain it to me.

So for those of you who have the new shuffle and are either too lazy or dumb (like me) to read and understand the instructions Apple provides online, here is how to do it:

  • Download the podcasts that you want to listen to
  • Drag each particular podcast episode that you want on your playlist onto the separate “Podcast Playlist” (dragging them onto a normal music playlist along with your songs doesn’t work, only the songs on that playlist will play)
  • Select the playlists you want on your shuffle, including “Podcast Playlist”, and sync your shuffle.
  • Start up your shuffle, keeping it on the “play in order” setting.

  • When you want to change from what you are currently listening to to another playlist, hit pause and hold down the voiceover button.  It will run through all of the different playlists you loaded onto your shuffle.  When it names the podcast that you want, just hit play.  Note: if you have chosen episodes from different podcasts (ie: NPR Fresh Air and ESPN Pardon the Interruption) these will come up as two separate playlists, even though they are both on the Podcast Playlist.
  • Enjoy Fresh Air with Terry Gross

Ta da!  Magic.