Goodbye Facebook, see you soon Twitter

It has been a week since I said goodbye to Facebook. I deactivated my account and have not looked back since. I backed up my data, removed all of the connected apps and services which used Facebook to log in. One other last thing before I closed the door was to make a long random password that was a pain to type. This will stop me from logging in randomly. It took five days to notice that I was not there anymore, and only my wife picked up on it. I have left messenger active for the time being, but if nothing comes in over that in the next couple of weeks I will fully delete the account.

Twitter Diet

At the same time I deleted the Twitter app off of my phone. I spent a great deal of time just scrolling through information, sometimes actually reading linked content. I rarely post anymore, because who knows if any of my contacts will see it. I miss the days of a chronological timeline that was not filtered. I have the app still installed on my iPad, so if I do want to check my feed I have to grab that out of my bag. I rediscovered the lists feature, at some point I made a list of the people that I actually know IRL. It makes keeping up with them a bit more tolerable.

A thought experiment

Something needed to fill the void on my home screen. I relocated a mindfulness app called buddhify to the space formally occupied by Twitter. The experiment: When I am distracted and would normally check my phone, I will do a short guided meditation. So far I have done 2 guided meditations. The simple act of moving buddhify in place of Twitter made me more present. I was using my phone as a distraction and not doing something more worthwhile. Productivity at work is up and I feel more creative.

The Day After

There is so much anger, heartbreak, hate and fear that came out of the decision that the citizens of this country made last night.
I am feeling many of these emotions as well, but it is time to step back and take a breath.

The world has not ended and none of us know what will happen next. We can look at history. We can look at what the President Elect has done in the past, and what he says that he plans to do. We can look at what the VP-Elect has done in his state and what he believes. All of these things give us insight to what may happen. None of them tell us what will happen.

Right now there is a lot fear of what will happen next. Many are playing into the same fear that got this person elected. The best way that I can think of to handle this is to be present and mindful. Life is happening right now, and that is what I am choosing to focus on.

If we are all collectively present and mindful we will see the signs that the things that we fear are coming true. If we see that the new regime is starting to take away our rights we can organize and act.
If are mindful we can rise up and prevent the future that we fear from becoming a reality.

This is not the time to turn and run, this is the time to take off to strengthen ourselves, to treat everyone with respect and move forward. We have to be aware and not get distracted. We can not be misinformed. We have to look for truth, and start to have conversations. Fear comes from misunderstanding and not asking questions and digging deeper.

Fear is what got us here, and I am choosing not to be afraid. I am choosing to be mindful to the world around me, and change what I can, and if needed to take a stand for what is right.

A Train Boss A Train

We are on family vacation to Indiana to vist my grandparents and also to visit the museums in Chicago. One of the nice things about where we are is there is a commuter rail that goes into the city. So in an efffort to lower our carbon footprint (not really, Aiden just really likes trains and wanted to ride one) we took the South Shore Line from Michigan City to Chicago.

I like trains, and haven’t been on one since I was a kid.  They are a great place to people watch, and there is a large cast of characters on out particular train. We met the alt-ish couple that Aiden had no problem striking up a conversation with. He educated the dude and his epic biker mustache about Thomas the Tank Engine and amused his lady with five year old antics. I think that Aiden made the day of the conductor be he politely and a bit timidly asked “Excuse me, is this the train to Chicago?” The conductor got a chuckle from this, and well to be honest, I sent Aiden over becase I really I wasn’t sure if it was the right train.

We found our seats Aiden choosing the window seat so he can look at the other trains in the yard. The seats are covered in a pinkish leatherette with teal accents and brown backing. The car feels old but somehow futuristic at the same time. Continue reading “A Train Boss A Train”

A Bowl full of Super

I have to admit – I did not watch the big super happy fun bowl of footbally goodness that was on last night, I have less than 10% interest in football.  I did pop onto CBS for a few minutes here and there to see if there were any good commercials going on, and really the ones that I did see did not hold my interest.  From what I have heard on the radio on my drive in and general chit chat in the office, they were not all that great this year.

I did watch the Half Time Show Brought to You by CSI, LV, NY Miami.  Really are the only songs that people know the themes to these shows.  I will admit it looked pretty cool, the light show surrounding the stage and there were LASERS!  I was hoping that when Roger Daltrey did the YEAAAAHHHHH!!!!  Horatio Cane would come flying in from above, but alas that would be too geeky.  Anyhow, the CSI Theme montage that was to SuperBowl HalfTime Show held my attention for the time that it was on.

BTW – Who won the game, that was past my bedtime

Car Crash Chaos

It has not been a fun two weeks for me.  I have been in two car accidents in under ten days.  The first was in Connecticut with my wife and son in the car.  We were on a road that is one way in each direction stopped behind a person making a left onto a side street.  Without warning we were hit from behind by a young driver in a Volvo who was traveling 40 mph.  No Breaks, no slowing down, just some kid not paying attention to the break lights that were in front of him.  The impact pushed us into the car in front of us, which was about ten feet away.  Thankfully no one in our car was hurt, I can’t say the same for the kid that hit us.  His front impact airbags went off, and I am not sure if he was wearing a seatbelt.

The Volvo that Hit Us
The Volvo that Hit Us

The Front end of his car didn’t look too bad for the speed of the impact.  As for our Honda Civic, I have to give praise to the people that designed that car.  We were hit hard, but none of us were hurt, or even sore after the accident.  The car did it’s job and took the energy from the accident and kept it outside the passenger area.

The Honda post Accident
The Honda post Accident
Honda Post Accident
Honda Post Accident

I have to say over all I am very impressed with the Civics crash test data put to the test.  Now the repair bill, that is another story.  Since we were rear ended it is pretty cut and dry as to whose fault it was, so I was able to file the claim thru his insurance.  The total damages to the car came to close to $5000, and it will take 10 days to fix the car.  Unfortunately all the parts for repair are on 2 week back order, so we have a Nissan Versa as a rental for the next few weeks.

Last Monday I was off to lunch waiting in traffic, and BANG I was rear ended again in my Subaru. This was almost an identical accident to the first, waiting in traffic and someone that was not paying attention to the road in front of them slammed into me at 40 mph.  This accident was worse than in the Honda.  I was taken off the the hospital for whiplash.  I suffered no major injuries, it was more a case of better safe than sorry.  The car took a pretty big hit , but the other car looked alot worse than mine.

The Subaru Gets it from behind
The Subaru Gets it from behind

So now we have 2 cars in the shop and 2 rentals.  I am stuck with a Hyundai Accent, this is the worse car that I have ever driven.  With any luck I will have my Subaru back in the next few days so I don’t have to deal with this little POS.

crash 5
crash 5

Over all, being in 2 accidents in 10 days I am lucky. No one was seriously hurt and both of the cars are repairable.  It is a lot of aggravation and stress, but these things will pass.