Life Ain’t Easy…

Johnny CashNo post yesterday, but I did my 3 positive-minded exercises. Of course my 10 minutes of exercise was moving around tables and chairs for the Needy/Nerdy Mixer for the Overnight Website Challenge. It was a fun event, meeting all of the non-profits and seeing the passion in their eyes for their respective causes.

For today’s post I’m going to try and find that same passion by taking the time to reflect on three things I’m thankful for:

  1. I’m thankful that I was born in Minnesota in the current era. I truly enjoy interacting with most of the people in this state and I’m still alive and have solid quality of life thanks to the ready access to modern medicine (specifically the world renowned Mayo Clinic).
  2. I am thankful that  I have a job in a recovering economy. There are a lot of people out there struggling to get by and I’m hoping that this is the year that we see unemployment drop back down.
  3. I am thankful for Johnny Cash’s sense of humor. This morning I was a little grumpy that my triceps were still sore from the torture I inflicted on them at the gym on Wednesday, but 20 minutes in a car listening to “Boy Named Sue”, “Delia”, and “One Piece at a Time” cured me of the blues. The radio had only offered me over-played Adele and some boring talking heads, but Johnny delivered like he always does.

I challenge you to play the video below and not “come away with a different point of view.”

Let the Sunshine in!

Spring FlowersIt’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood – temps around 70 degrees in what is technically still winter. Great day to harvest some vitamin D and think happy thoughts.

But somehow we don’t always find ourselves thinking happy thoughts. For me, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and of course the oft-dreaded birthday are times when reflections on what might have been or “if only” musings creep into my skull and sour me on what bounties I have accumulated in my life. With another milestone hovering just a month and a half away, I’ve decided to try and inoculate myself against the annual fear and loathing.

This morning I was up at 4, thanks to the fact that I had to get up at 4 the day before and I had reset my body’s clock accordingly. As I was perusing my morning RSS feeds, I happened across one from the Harvard Business Review on the power of positive thinking. They actually went so far as to prescribe choosing one of the following every day for three weeks as a balm against negativity:

  • Jot down three things they were grateful for.
  • Write a positive message to someone in their social support network.
  • Meditate at their desk for two minutes.
  • Exercise for 10 minutes.
  • Take two minutes to describe in a journal the most meaningful experience of the past 24 hours.

[Source: Positive Intelligence, Harvard Business Review]

Not willing to rely on just one potential cure, I’ve decided to do at least 3 per day for the next three weeks. So I started the day off with 40 minutes of exercise, told a co-worker how her passion for exercise makes it seem effortless which inspires me to want to push myself, and I’m now spending about 15 minutes describing in this my online journal the most meaningful experience of my day – committing to a positive attitude.

I haven’t admitted it but Newvember was a failure. I got 2 weeks into it and a buddy of mine started ridiculing it on Facebook and then I woke up sick for about a week and everything just derailed from that point on – no focus and no motivation. I’m hoping that my commitment this time will pull me through, but I’d love to hear some reinforcement from others who have committed themselves to a rosier outlook on life.

iPad 3 – My Reaction

iPad screen courtesy By Avijeet_SachdevI wanted to take a moment to add a reaction to Apple’s big news this week. Everyone pretty much knew what was coming out so few surprises. I think we’ve hit that point in the smart phone/tablet production cycle where there’s almost no big news except for the newest iteration of Android (Ice Cream Sandwich included a lot of tasty treats – I think I hit full upgrade credit on my Evo in May and I can’t wait).

4G LTE: about time that Apple entered the 4G world – Android’s been owning them in that space for the last 2 years and that’s one of the primary reason why Android has almost a 2 to 1 margin in the cell phone market over Apple (other factors: exclusivity deals and a one size fits all mentality for hardware instead of embracing diversity). Apple’s fear of offending their loyalists by losing battery life (4G chews on battery) over faster downloads just continues to demonstrate that their overall “we know best” ideology is incongruent with today’s customer-centric world (they got around screen brightness with a dimmer switch to extend battery life – does it take 2 years to follow Android’s 4G toggle model?). That said – I have Wi-Fi and a phone that I can use as a 4G hotspot, so no game changer here.

Retina Display: Everyone pretty much expected this too after the iPhone 4. It’s nice, but it’s a bit like watching Blu-Ray – you lose a lot of the impact depending on how far away you are from the source. What this means is that design firms will start trying to sell people on being on the bleeding edge of the new higher definition, not taking into account the fact that Verizon and AT&T (Sprint was evidently left off of this release – I have heard that Sprint paid huge bucks for iPhone 5 exclusivity and this might be an attempt to pacify the competitors) limit bandwidth and as we know, higher graphic intensity equals more bandwidth chewing and the sooner you are going to get charged for 4G overages or have your connection throttled down. It also doesn’t take into account the install base of most monitors out there whether they be the screen of a tablet, smart phone, laptop, or the 19″ monitor many people still have on their desks. So you’re going to re-design for a small percentile of the market? I can see later on as the adoption rate grows and 4G bandwidth opens up, but I would not jump into that right now just to be on the bleeding edge – the audience isn’t big enough for ROI unless you are positioned there like graphic designers.

iPad 2: I think the truly big news is dropping a hundred off of the iPad 2 and continuing to sell it to see if they can erode the demand for Kindle Fires and other low price point Android tablets that have allowed Android to actually make inroads in the tablet market. I had heard people suggest that they would release an iPad3 at the same form factor and price point as the Fire, but I never believed it because of their iPod line price structure (the iPod Touch sits at the same price point as the Fire for a much smaller screen – you can’t basically create a larger version of the Touch at the same price point without a domino effect on the entire line …unless you were dialed into a 2 year contract for 3/4G and there was no WiFi only option, but then users would cry foul).

Photo provided by Avijeet_Sachdev