Posts From July 2010
When at coffee shops I almost always order a 12-ounce, double Americano with a little bit of half-and-half steamed in.
I used to just add cream to my Americano at the coffee fix-up bar, but now I ask the barista to steam a little bit of half and half in to the drink instead. (This is not the same as an Americano Misto. An Americano Misto is half water and half milk.)
There are several advantages to getting the half-and-half steamed in:
- it keeps your Americano piping hot (by not pouring in cold creamer).
- it adds flavor.
If you prefer lattes or cappuccinos, an Americano is about half the cost, but with the steamed-in creamer it tastes nearly the same.
On occasion the cashier wants to charge me $0.50 extra — calling it a “breve”. Sometimes I think that’s a crock, and I tell them they already offer free half-and-half at the coffee fix-up bar but that you would prefer the barista to steam it in for you so your drink stays nice and hot. And sometimes I realize I’m at a local coffee establishment and every little bit helps them keep the lights on and the coffee hot.
It’s a great drink, and you should try it sometime.
The picture above gives you a bird’s-eye view into the top of my backpack — a Case Logix XN. I bought the pack over two years ago when I purchased my then-new MacBook Pro, and it is still the pack I take with me to and from the office almost every day despite the fact that I really don’t like it.
Starting with the top pouch you can see gridded Moleskin with Matthew’s Squaredeye logo embossed on the cover; an iKlear screen cleaning cloth; and a pack of Orbit Mist Watermelon Spring gum. Hidden from view is a wrapped, but slightly melted, piece of saltwater taffy.
In the zippered pocket is my Magic Mouse resting on top of my iPhone earbuds.
In the central compartment you can see my iPad in its Apple case leaning against my New King James Bible (which is sitting upside down apparently). The white book underneath my Bible is Tom Wright’s commentary on Romans. And next to it is the power brick for my 23″ Apple Cinema Display. The power brick for my ACD at work is currently out of commission, so I’ve been commuting the one from my home office back and forth each day.
Additionally in the main compartment are some printed-out mockups of current print projects we’re working on. They have notes and scribbles on them for edits to be made. I really like scribbling on mockups.
The back compartment of my backpack is the one dedicated for my laptop. Except it shares the space with a manilla folder which I use a a portable inbox/filing cabinet, and my Behance Action Book which I never use and need to just take out. The aging, though well cared for, MacBook Pro always gets put away with the screen side facing inwards.
Nearly six years ago I began writing on the internet. It’s been a near-daily event ever since. I love writing on the internet.
Recently I’ve been reading through old archives from stuff I wrote in 2005, 2006, and 2007. It is amazing how different my writing is now compared to then. But sadly, it’s not all different in a good way.
In some ways it is better: My writing voice has matured significantly, and I feel comfortable in it. In fact almost everything I write — emails to my team, proposals for new projects, updates to my family — are written in the very same voice you read here. Secondly, my grammar and spelling have improved about 1,000% compared to my early stuff. (I am a pretty bad speller even now, but I used to be really bad. I mean, seriously. Really bad.)
But in other ways I see where my writing has declined over the years. My words are not as “free” and “light” as they used to be. Chances are most people would never notice (a few of the long time and savvy readers perhaps), but to me it’s like night and day.
And sadly I know exactly where that tone of freedom in my writing went. It slowly disappeared as my readership grew. I remember how I used to write as if 5,000 were reading even though there were only 75. But since I knew those 75 and considered them friends I was comfortable being in my own skin in front of them.
Well now that I actually do have 5,000 readers the freedom that was once in my writing seems to have been replaced with something more professional and scrutiny-proof. What an unfair trade and a bum deal for all of us.
Being excellent is one of the most important things in life. But excellence and professionalism are NOT synonyms. I miss that bounce of freedom — that extra bit of genuineness which I feel is now missing. And perhaps you do too. And perhaps I’m not the only one?
On Saturday my 2-year-old Time Capsule had a melt down. If you own a Time Capsule you know how hot they can get. And for some models (like mine) the power components eventually begin to melt inside. Then one day the thing just shuts itself off and if you try to reset it and plug it back in you’re greeted with a high pitch squeal followed by the device turning itself off again.
I never buy AppleCare. But fortunately Apple is freely replacing mine and other certain Time Capsules which are experiencing this squealing melt-down effect. (Which, ironically, only affirms my resolve to not spend money on Apple Care.)
And so the past few days I have been without wi-fi at my house. I’ve actually been enjoying the simplicity of having just one computer connected to the Internet and not having the distraction of being able to get online at any time, in any room, with any device.
By plugging the ethernet cable directly into my MacBookPro it has been nice to have an instant network connection when waking my laptop from sleep. Some people plug in because it’s “so much faster” than Wi-Fi. Which is true. But unless I’m downloading big fat files I really don’t notice the difference in connection speed. I prefer to have less cables.
Syncing my Things apps across devices is even more arduous now because I have to create a network with my laptop and then join my iPad and iPhone to it. (I realize that I could use my MacBook Pro as a wireless router and constantly be sharing its internet connection, but that would defeat the experience of being without wireless for a few days.)
Now that I’m on the $15/month 200MB data plan with AT&T I am annoyingly conscious of my iPhone data usage. Without wi-fi, a casual check of Twitter or email on my iPhone means I’m paying for those bits of data.
But it’s not just my iPhone I’m using less. I’m using my iPad a lot less, too. I have always assumed that the 3G version would not be much better for me because I always have wireless internet wherever I am. Which is true. But knowing that I won’t be connected to the internet has made me less eager to grab the iPad. Even for non-Internet tasks, like reading an ebook.
A few things you may not have known about today, July 2.
- Today is the 183rd day of the year. It’s the middle day. There were 182 days before today, and 182 to go until 2011. (At noon today is the exact middle of the year.)
- Today is the same day of the week as New Years Day was.
July 2nd in history:
- It was day two of the Gettysburg Battle in 1863.
- In 1776 The Continental Congress adopted the Lee Resolution and voted to sever ties with Great Britain. The Declaration of Independence was signed two days later, on July 4th.
- In 1947 a UFO crashed near Roswell, New Mexico. The U.S. Air Force claims it was a weather balloon.
- In 1961 the beloved writer, Ernest Hemingway, committed suicide.
- In 1962 the first Walmart opened its doors. In Arkansas.
- The Susan B. Anthony Dollar was introduced in 1979.
- More than one Will Smith movie has open on July 2nd.
People born on July 2nd: