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What if you took the opportunity to turn your secure pass-phrase into a positive affirmation?

Or a goal? A mission statement? Your intent?

I am very pleasantly surprised with the most current release of the iOS Bullet Journal application. It is in no way designed to take the place of your paper journal. But allows you to photo your pages and assign them to a calendar day and page number inside of a journal. Another nice feature is the ability to assign a page to a Collection.

Most importantly, it backs up to the iOS Files application. I can use my iCloud Drive to store the backup file. No new account is required. No new subscription is needed.

The application fully supports the Bullet Journal methodology, but gives you a way to review your notes even if you are away from the physical copy.

Lastly, in a pinch, there is an ephemeral 72-hour Log for Tasks, Notes and Events. This provides a way to continue to capture until you can return to your paper Journal.

Lovely.

Between the apps I use and my browser history, I can’t figure out who had the link to the “Beautiful Bubble”–however I fully support and endorse this. I had already taken several of the steps outlined and this is a great framework for improvement.

META:

To render a blockquote correctly in the Micro.blog Timeline and in the Marfa template, the blockquote must be preceded by a blank line. The Post Preview function shows what I expected, but the timeline and the published content did not until I added the blank line.

@help

I will say this about social media: It is what I make it. I have stolen a strategy from Mr. Rogers, which is to find the helpers. In this case? I subcribe to or follow the helpers. There are so many people who are trying to make a difference. I am so grateful.

Today, I learned that evapotranspiration, also called Corn Sweat (in the parlance of our times), is capable of influencing humidity over large areas. Ex: the Corn Belt

Sobering statistic:

The rate of death from COVID-19 for people with Type 2 Diabetes is 12 times higher than in the general population.

I have Type 2 Diabetes.

At a minimum I am at a significantly higher risk for Severe Illness.

I wear mask and I am grateful when you do, too.

Noted:

It’s a privilege to learn about racism rather than to experience it.

So, yeah. I’m on the east side of St. Paul and I’m lucky not much has come close to me. But I started to cry when I saw this advice on screen.

Here is the full list

  • Be off the streets at 8:00 p.m.
  • Be aware of suspicious activities/groups
  • Be aware of large gatherings
  • Call 911 if you are witnessing suspicious activity
  • Remove anything from your lawn that could be flammable or a projectile through a window
  • Store dumpsters in your garage or move to hidden area in back yard. Consider wetting down the inside contents if they have to be left outside in view.
  • Keep LIGHTS ON and some windows open to hear noises that may be approaching. (use caution with windows that may be easily asked from the ground)
  • Have an escape plan and a to-go bag (remember to take along any medicines you may need)
  • If you need to be outside wear headlamp, bright colors and reflective clothing
  • Charge cell phones. Cell towers might go out
  • Have alternative ways to communicate with your neighbors and help them to make a plan in case things do get bad.
  • Have garden hoses ready and untangled for possible use.
  • Check your flood lights; door lights; KEEP THEM ON.
  • Soak down wood fences and surfaces
  • If you have a Little Free Library-empty it.
  • If you have a fire extinguisher-get it ready
  • Check on each other-especially older neighbors, and the vulnerable.
  • For those who choose to stand outside, watching homes or businesses, do not confront anyone. Call 911, call another neighbor to be with you.

The Paradox of Preparation

Along the same lines, Jason Kottke wrote an excellent article explaining why, in a pandemic like COVID-19, appropriate actions to “flatten the curve” often seem like overkill both at the time they are taken, and in retrospect. He quotes physician Dr. James Hamblin:

“The thing is if shutdowns and social distancing work perfectly and are extremely effective it will seem in retrospect like they were totally unnecessary overreactions.”

and epidemiologist Mari Armstrong-Hough:

“You won’t ever know if what you did personally helped. That’s the nature of public health. When the best way to save lives is to prevent a disease rather than treat it, success often looks like an overreaction.”

From an email newsletter from Chris Kresser

Poring over blood test results this afternoon. I got the raw data and terse summary in today’s mail.

I found that Lab Tests Online has a Tests Index that is a great tool for translating acronyms or medical terms into terms I understand.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Tron Legacy character Zuse is probably not a reference to the Hellenistic pantheon as much as a nod to Konrad Zuse. I had wondered why the character was so vulnerable.

I have been using Foursquare (now Swarm) for location check-ins for 10 years, now. I’m not consistent with lots of technology tools, but this one has stuck.

It’s fun to look back at where I have been. When I look at a sequence of check-ins, remembering where and why, it helps me to reconstruct a day. It’s a fun tool that has helped me personally and professionally.

How I Made Twitter Enjoyable Again

I have transitioned to Micro.blog as my primary online presence, but I still have my Twitter account. While I have often entertained leaving it altogether, I still wish to keep my handle. I have also found that with thoughtful curation, it’s still a place to learn new things about the world and to be excited by new people and topics.

One big change came after applying a suggestion from @patrickrhone. He announced that he had turned off retweets for accounts he follows. This ingenious trick goes a long way to reduce tweets from people that you do not follow and will reduce tweets on topics you care nothing about. The tweets you see are true to the voice of the person behind the account and not the voices of others they may follow. You will still see shared tweets, but the commentary adds context. It takes more time to share tweets this way, so the tweets shared in this fashion are more meaningful. It does require accepting that you will see fewer tweets overall, so some opportunity to learn about like-minded individuals is lost.

Retweets are also a measure for accounts you may be interested in following. How many tweets in their streams are written by themselves? How much of their streams are just the tweets of others? It also has made me think about the act of retweeting for myself. I will like a tweet that speaks to me, but I rarely retweet any more.

A second big change was to filter out political language. Both primary political parties in the United States have lost my respect completely. Politics make me angry and sad, and that is not the experience I want from my Twitter stream. I run from political discussion as much as others specifically seek it out. I have blocked words that refer to the political parties, words that refer to the political spectrum, words that refer to the people in the parties, and words used to denigrate members of parties other than one’s own. I have had enough. I do follow the accounts of folks elected to represent me, but the same filters apply so I probably don’t see much from those same people.

And lastly, there is that curation thing. I don’t love that word as applied by marketing teams, but I have made a point to think about my own ideals and what is important to me and I measure who I follow against that. When accounts make me angry or sad, I simply unfollow. When I can no longer tell why I followed a specific account, I unfollow. When I see accounts that appear to be trolling or are otherwise propagating falsehoods because they can, I block. Easy.

Curating also can be applied from areas of interest or study or self-improvement. Writers whose work appears in places that excite me are easy follows. Artists whose work I admire are easy follows. Companies doing work I’m interested in are easy follows. Individuals committed to causes dear to me are easy follows. But all of the filters above apply.

Even though I have put strict filters in place, the mouth of the funnel is still pretty wide and lots of great material makes it through. I still cannot keep up with the firehose.

“If there’s anything I’ve learned about politics it’s this: as soon as you conclude the other guys are complete idiots and intentionally doing evil things, immediately stop – because something is wrong. Your BS detector should be going off like a fire alarm.”

How to Know What’s Right in Politics