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Emotionally Exhausting, Fundamentally Necessary (You Oughta Know) March 8, 2017
You Oughta Know I am emotionally exhausting from current events, but it is fundamentally necessary to keep going.

Some people don’t understand, maybe they can’t, they have no context for the pain that others have experienced or are experiencing and don’t actively seek out the differing (and more challenging) viewpoint. Their privilege allows them the ability to stay ignorant, to become defensive when asked about their views, to be offended when told the truth, to point out that God is in control and assume that a person’s life is hard because they lack a religious je ne sais quoi. White people who are told that they are racist, for instance, too often attack when confronted with their bigotry, when the moment calls for introspection and an attempt to change. Why then would we expect those same people to stand up when the system that treats them so well is shown to be racist? Because they self-identify as Christians? If only that meant something.

Staying up-to-date in the current timeframe is admittedly exhausting, both emotionally and physically. Immigration, asylum, healthcare, trans rights, civil liberties, perjury, Russia, Syria, nationalism, racism, discrimination, fear, hate, impeachment, resignation; how can one person be expected to track all of these concerns (and more), let alone act on and react to them? Unfortunately, you can’t always blame these people for their ignorance of specific subjects, you can’t even blame them for their desire to stay out of it, but you can blame them for staying out of it when push comes to shove.

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You Oughta Know - Lent February 28, 2017
Today’s You Oughta Know focuses on the Christian season of Lent and making a difference within its context.

Lent

If you are a Christian, I would hope that you know about the season of Lent, though there is no guarantee. Lent, which begins tomorrow, is the season starting on Ash Wednesday and ending on Easter. During the season, many people fast” from things or practices in their daily lives to both refocus their spiritual life and sacrifice something in homage to Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. Though the current president must not observe the season, as 45 gears up to sign a new travel order on Ash Wednesday, my home church in Chicago is gearing up to spend Lent fighting for immigrant and refugee justice.

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You Oughta Know - Transgender Rights February 23, 2017
You really oughta know what is going on in the world of transgender rights. And the awesome Librarian of Congress.

Transgender Rights

Adding to the list of groups that are infuriated by the president, the LGBTQ+ community is having their rights trampled on by an executive order that removes the federal protections and guidance for trans students to use the bathroom associated with their gender identities in school. This move is in direct opposition to the ACLU case currently being heard by the federal Supreme Court, which is fighting for trans student Gavin Grimm’s ability to use the boy’s bathroom as his school. (Original coverage from The Washington Post) The New York Times reported that the order included verbiage stating that schools must protect transgender students from bullying, but rolls back other protections and lays it in the hands of the states. (Also, Reuters’s Coverage) No matter what, our transgender brothers and sisters deserve our assistance in fighting for their human and civil rights. Even the Pope agrees, suggesting today that it is better to be an atheist than one of many” Catholics who he said lead a hypocritical double life.’ (Source) (Also, Patheos) This is a sentiment that the Pope has shared on a number of issues, such as the rejection of refugees and gun ownership.

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You Oughta Know - Old News February 22, 2017
In the current news cycle, old news is from yesterday or last week at most; consider this a catchup.

The worst part about the hysteria of the news cycle is that the news ages poorly. Consider this post a clearinghouse of what is now considered old news, even though much of it was fresh just last week.

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You Oughta Know - Flynn February 16, 2017
Flynn is the current news, but the administration is not done with the fallout. Also, an awesome woman of the day.

Flynn

There is too much to cover to summarize the Flynn debacle in a few words (or a few paragraphs), but I wanted to link to some of the resources in chronological order I have come across to explain the crumbling of the current administration. (And make no mistake, this situation is a big deal and could amount to treason charges for Flynn and impeachment inquiries.)

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You Oughta Know - Unanimous February 10, 2017
The unanimous appeals court vote coupled with Senate confirmation hearings. Plus, links to try to lighten the mood.

Unanimous

It was a long and hard-fought journey at the 9th circuit court of appeals, where government lawyers appealed a previous court’s stay of the travel ban. The decision by the appeals court to continue to stay of the executive order is unprecedented and the court’s ruling was unanimous, stating that the government gave no security purpose for the ban, among other things. The Outline has a good rundown of the proceedings if you weren’t able to follow along live and The New York Times reports on the defeat.

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You Oughta Know - The Senate February 8, 2017
The Senate might as well be a reality TV Show, history is repeating itself, and Jake Tapper has had enough.

Betsy DeVos

Betsy DeVos was confirmed as the Secretary of Education yesterday; she has a lot of problems coming into a role for which she is wholly unqualified. However, two firsts occurred during her hearings: the vice president became the first VP ever to case a tie breaking vote and two Republican senators voted against her confirmation, which is a first for the current administration. Here are a few resources on the subject:

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You Oughta Know - Supreme Vacancy February 2, 2017
Yesterday's You Oughta Know was bumped by computer troubles; today, let's take back control.

Yesterday was a rough day; my computer decided to bite the dust completely out of the blue. I suppose I needed a reason to go iPad only. But let’s face it, many days of late have been rough for a variety of reasons. Today, let’s take back control.

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You Oughta Know - That Catholic Thing You Do January 31, 2017
Today’s You Oughta Know includes reactions of the Catholic Church hierarchy to recent news; they may surprise you.

That Catholic Thing You Do

I know quite a few Catholics and attend the Catholic Church on Sundays on occasion. After each conversation with Catholic supporters of the current administration, I try to seek out information on how the Catholic Church is responding to the president’s numerous anti-Christian moves. Below are just some of the articles and general resources I have collected of late.

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You Oughta Know - Too Much January 30, 2017
You Oughta Know today provides resources to the too much that happened between Friday and Monday.

Too Much

Unless you were living under a rock this weekend, you know that a lot happened. So much so that many were echoing my initial thought: I’ve never seen Saturday afternoon Twitter on 🔥 like this in the 10 years I’ve been using it” -Mike Rundle. While that may be true, the news cycle doesn’t stop just because many stop paying attention (and tweeting about it). This weekend was an exception, marking the end of the first week of this administration, during which the president signed six executive orders, eight memorandums, and one proclamation and gave more people than ever before a reason to be both fearful and enraged. Two things stand out the most, however: the immigration ban and the appointment of Steve Bannon (Chief Political Strategist) to the National Security Counsel, something that has never been done before to my knowledge. Dr. Drang had a couple other points about the ban that I found of interest.

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You Oughta Know - Writing on the Wall January 27, 2017
Today’s You Oughta Know includes awesome women, rogue Twitter accounts, and an incorrigible former vice president.

Writing on the Wall

The wall between Mexico and the United States is a terrible idea; I hope we can agree on that. If not, let the math persuade you. There are estimates (Backup Source) that the wall could cost up to $25 billion due to fluctuations in material costs, cost of labor, and land acquisitions, with an additional approximately $700 million in maintenance costs annually. Those numbers are just for the wall itself, not staffing and other incidentals” like unpredictable, climate-change-based weather patterns. Meanwhile, in 2010, Republicans tried to shut down healthcare for 9/11 first responders because the $8.4 billion price tag was fiscally irresponsible’”. -Joel Pavelski (Source) (Backup Source)

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I Think That You Oughta Know (formerly Eloquent Roundup) January 26, 2017
Reviving an old idea to share information without a longer post, automating where possible along the way.

Today, I would like to revive an old idea I had a couple years ago to share out information that I found interesting without the need for longer postings and without the Link List format that causes all sorts of problems in user experience. At the time, I called it the Eloquent Roundup because it came at the beginning or end of each week and summed up all the news I found interesting in the preceding days. With news being what it is recently (overwhelming and often hard to discern legitimacy), I decided to revive that in the form of a trifecta roundup, as often as I can muster to do so. Three topics with multiple backup sources for the information, a small amount of commentary from me and at least one enlightening comment from someone else, likely a perspective from my social media feed. This first time around, I thought it necessary to do something a little longer form, however.

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The Taint December 13, 2016
The PEOTUS has the power to disrupt the news cycle; it's time for truth-tellers and fact-checkers to get to work.

With the recent trend toward tweetstorms and manthreads, it was nice to see something published by a news organization that included truth-telling. Paul Krugman wrote an op-ed for the New York Times entitled The Tainted Election”, stating:

In other words, nothing that happened on Election Day or is happening now is normal. Democratic norms have been and continue to be violated, and anyone who refuses to acknowledge this reality is, in effect, complicit in the degradation of our republic. This president will have a lot of legal authority, which must be respected. But beyond that, nothing: he doesn’t deserve deference, he doesn’t deserve the benefit of the doubt.

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The activist and the persecutor November 20, 2016
My thoughts in the aftermath of the election are not kind to the group with whom I was born to identify.

My last post was an announcement that I would be participating in NaNoWriMo this year. Suffice it to say, my novel-writing adventure was cut short by the election. Suddenly, I felt that writing a novel was much less important than being involved in the response to the situation in which we as a country find ourselves. However, the election results did help me flesh out some feelings that are relevant to the book, so consider this post an excerpt.

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NaNoWriMo October 31, 2016
I decided to participate in NaNoWriMo; God help me.

I recently decided to participate in NaNoWriMo; for the unindoctrinated, that stands for National Novel Writing Month and it starts tomorrow. The premise is that of outputting 50,000 words in one month and the purpose (of both the not-for-profit and the competition) is that of getting writers to write. In this case, the writers write fiction and while I am not particularly interested in writing fiction, I am interested in writing. And like Ben Brooks before me, I am interested in getting into the rhythm of writing consistently. However, unlike Ben, I will actually participate in the competition itself.

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Picking Up The Pebbles October 25, 2016
How Pebble’s feature additions have strengthened my desire for the Apple Watch.

I have discussed smartwatches in all the ways I possibly can, I think: their physical manifestations, their daily use cases, their UI, their growth in both software feature set and general public interest level. Pebble and Apple have been at the heart of that discussion for me, mainly due to fact that I have now owned two Pebble devices and am personally and professionally interested in all things Apple. Lexi’s birthday gift this year was an Apple Watch Series 2, which caused me to think through why I started with Pebble in the first place and what if anything has kept me using their products. Unfortunately for Pebble, I came to the conclusion that what they offer is no longer what I need or want.

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Apple’s Trial Run October 19, 2016
There is a seemingly standard period of time during which every Apple product could be a success or a failure.

Apple’s trial run is an undefined (fictional) period of time that marks their wading into uncharted waters, a timeframe Apple uses to figure out what really differentiates their product aside from their top-notch design. Generally, the trial run takes place in so little time that it is hard to remember in hindsight. However, in each scenario, they have something to learn, something to prove, and something to market the hell out of.

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Reading the Apple Tea Leaves September 17, 2016
Any major move Apple makes can be traced back to previous product improvements, in hindsight.

I’ve been a long time Apple user and field expert, having both worked for Apple in the retail environment and received the majority of my jobs and accolades for my knowledge on the subject. I also own a blog and in the interest of writing what I know, why fight the rather obvious Venn diagram? Yesterday, I picked up an iPhone 7; being on the iPhone Upgrade Program, there is no reason not to.1 Since I knew I would be getting this phone, I was reading everything I could on the subject and I happened across a ridiculously good Quora answer” on the subject of material design and the iPhone, specifically next generation iPhones.

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Fashionable Apple August 17, 2016
Apple has always had something fashionable up its sleeve; it didn't start with the Apple Watch.

Apple has always been a fashionable company. They have always focused on design more than their competitors; they have presented their wares as distinctive in their creation, marketing, and use; and they have set themselves apart through attention to detail. These choices were almost never popular when Apple made them; get rid of a floppy drive, an optical drive, an old port, or stop supporting your aging OS and people lambast you as a poor steward of your consumers’ best technological interests. Of course, those same people almost always come around and Apple’s difficult decisions become the easy standard to follow. Based on Apple’s ability to pave the way for new technological innovation, the Apple Watch is largely seen as a middling product by Apple, too focused on fashion and not enough focused on the technology itself, but Apple has always been fashionable; this preference toward the aesthetically pleasing didn’t start with the Watch.

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On Windows August 16, 2016
With my retrospective on writing, I came across an old post about Windows; good thing Microsoft doesn’t change!

In working with my past writings, I was both awed and a little embarrassed by just how much of it was time specific. In response, I wanted to come up with better topics on which to spend my insignificant amount of writing time. However, I came across a couple posts that I never finished that were more timeless; it helps that the pieces were about company’s that don’t like to change, like Microsoft.

Today, I wrote a tweet that summed up my feelings on Microsoft only as good as 140 characters can, predicated on their unwillingness to change. In short, while the world moves toward the sentiment that everything can be considered a computer, Microsoft continues to peddle its wares on the assumption that the only thing we should be calling a computer is a device running Windows.1

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On Writing, A Retrospective June 24, 2016
I finally completed one of my long-standing wishes: to migrate my back catalog of writings. Here is what I found.

I often struggle with the idea of timeless writing, which is the main reason why I have given up most of my coverage of current events. Take, for instance, Pebble’s recent Kickstarter campaign and announcements about their new wearables; I had my smart wearables piece in progress for awhile before publishing, but I hesitated to post it when there was new information on the horizon. I am not in the race to post up-to-the-minute information, I am in the race to post good information, accurate and authentic information, information that I can look back on with pride. I write this knowing well that I have not been a good steward of my site in recent months. However, a little while back I did finally complete one of my long-standing wishes, to bring my entire back catalog into a single site. To bring a bit of finality to this move and in keeping with my promise of simplicity, I dropped the accounts associated with the older posts as well—goodbye, Tumblr and GitHub Pages.

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On Smart Things June 12, 2016
With Apple’s WWDC keynote looming and Pebble’s recent Kickstarter campaign, why not write about smart wearables?!

I don’t often write about current events anymore and, ironically, I’ll tell you why later. Today, I wanted to discuss smart wearables, which, when I started writing this post, was current events. I have written before about the fact that I use a Pebble smartwatch—which surprises some due to my general preference for Apple products—and Pebble recently announced a whole array of new devices in the wearable space in the attempt to keep themselves relevant in an exceedingly competitive field. However, even people who own smartwatches, have taken to complaining about smartwatches recently, so it makes sense that Pebble’s more recent foray into wearables is heavily focused on one of its best use cases: fitness. Nevertheless, I feel that smart wearables are the future for a variety of reasons and after discussing the topic with my wife, I think other people do, too.

Below I have listed the reasons why I currently enjoy using a smartwatch, in my case a Pebble Time Round. This list is constantly changing due to the wonderful work of adventurous developers, which is why I continue to use my smartwatch day after day.

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On Fighting March 31, 2016
At this time more than any other, we need to stand together and fight the status quo.

Of late, I have heard a number of people talking about Canada. I love Canada as much as the next American from a cold-winter state, but the most recent discussion regards moving there due to the state of our presidential election cycle. I’ll admit, I was one of those people that started to think about packing a bag when Trump started his landslide toward the Republican nomination. However, I came to a realization: that sentiment was short-sighted and selfish.

I turned thirty last weekend and I have been thinking a lot about my values, those I want to fully realize in the next thirty years and those I want to renew during that time. Part of my movement toward whole-life simplicity this year has forced me to read authors that challenge and strengthen these values. In C.S. Lewis’ sermons, The Weight of Glory and Learning in War-Time, he often alludes to the fact that we, as conscientious Christians, must be vigilant and stand for what we believe. We do these things not to glorify ourselves but to glorify God through our actions.

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Why I bought Day One 2.0 February 10, 2016
Day One 2.0 was a paid upgrade; don’t complain when someone’s livelihood is at stake!

TL;DR: This is not a review of Day One 2.0, as I have only been using it for a day or two; this is a discussion of the needs of the developers on whom we as an Apple community depend.

Recently, my wife and I invested in a newer vehicle, a 2013 Mazda CX-9, in the attempt to prepare for a larger family come May. When we make big purchases like this, we try—however in vain—to tighten the belt a little, think through our finances, and be more frugal where possible. What it basically means is that we run any and all purchases by each other before making them. This includes everything from the $0.99 app purchase to the $50 clothing purchase to the do we really need to buy that organic” food purchase.

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The Future of Computing January 21, 2016
With the help of @benjaminbrooks, I discover a likely path forward for computing devices in general.

Ben Brooks had a really good November and he has continued to post extremely prescient ideas, as shown most in my mind by The Future of Computing is in These Three Computers, in which he discusses his current computing situation. Here’s a good part (emphasis mine):

On the very left we have the type of computers we are used to: MacBook Pros, iMacs. On the right we have the devices that we should be using given how we actually use computers today — the computers we have yet to create. (Of course this isn’t for the power user, none of this ever is.)

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Journaling Simplicity January 12, 2016
This will be an interesting year, as I attempt to add simplicity to my life prior to an upcoming familial addition.

I do this basically every year: I write a post a few days before the new year, prepping for the new year and then, I write a post in the new year to try to jump start my writing during the new year. This year, however, I had a very different thought when I wrote the former: what if I finally followed through on my constant quest for simplicity, not just simple minimalism but whole-life simplicity. And what if I used that to help with the latter: journal about the moves I have made in the effort toward simplicity. Also, I have a vested interest in continuing this effort, as my second child is due in early May and I am assured that stuff gets crazy after that.

During Shawn Blanc’s The Elements of Focus, a few of the overarching themes were consistency, routine, and follow-through. After the course completed, I read some writing advice from Ben Brooks that followed the same path, leading Ben to a successful variant of NaNoWriMo during which he wrote over 50,000 words on his site during the month of November. From both of these gentlemen, I took that I need to make writing (and really any act with which I would like to become consistent) a routine in order to make it an important part of my daily life. Set aside time, preplan, and capitalize, even if that means that all I have is a very rough draft in the end.

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2016 or Embracing Simplicity December 28, 2015
For my second outing on @withSpoken, I discuss new year's resolutions and embracing simplicity.

Today, I posted my second recording on Spoken; as before, I have also included a transcript of the audio. Enjoy.

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Smartwatches and Smart Watches December 4, 2015
Smart wearables, smart watches, and smartwatches; are you confused? I try to sift and winnow.

I have been meaning to write something up about the Apple Watch, the Pebble, and the smart wearable market in general, but I hadn’t gotten around to gathering all of my thoughts, mainly because of just how complex and personal of an issue it is. Then, Tag Heuer announced their smart watch, Fossil bought Misfit, Withings released an update to their smart watches, and the Apple Watch continues to get press, which muddied the waters further for me. There was a surprising amount of media coverage on that Tag Heuer smartwatch, as well, especially since it came at a time when Google’s Android Wear OS was being described as showing very little growth, so let’s just say I have been inundated with information on the subject. Of course, as time passes, discussing specific articles and milestones seems silly to me, so here we are a month later.

This post was not (and is not) intended to be a discussion of the Tag Heuer Smart Watch, it was (and is) meant to be a discussion of smart wearables in general. However, my thoughts came to a head when I realized that there is often a cognitive disconnect when discussing smart wearables. When a person says the words smart” and watch” subsequently, are they referring to a smartwatch or a smart watch? What counts as a smartwatch versus a smart watch versus a smart wearable? I can only answer these questions for myself, but I thought I would share some of those thoughts here.

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Ben Brooks on Sleep November 23, 2015
I can't add anything to this fantastic rant about sleep from @benjaminbrooks, but I agree with every word.

I have friends with babies they place in the crib for naps or bed and that baby will sleep for the next 8-12 hours straight. Mine only slept for four hours straight for the first 8 months of their lives. But as they get older, they generally sleep better. You have this kid living with you for the next 18 years, so 8 months of shit sleep is a pretty small amount. Just remember how much you slept in high school — man am I looking forward to those days.

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Silence, Siri! November 20, 2015
I don't normally link to tips and tricks, but this one seems like a no brainer that should have been a default!

Muting Siri with the hardware switch is an easy setting to turn on, but it’s a bit buried and worded a little strange, so don’t be surprised if you overlooked it when wandering around in Settings.

Even I had no idea and I purposefully look for settings of this nature; also, why is this not the default setting? Seems like a no brainer. Another little known but necessary tip with regard to Siri is how to control her volume. The user actually has to call her up and then use the volume rocker to turn her up or down; use that and say goodbye to ridiculously loud and annoyingly conspicuous Siri. I’m not even sure why she has her own volume setting, to by honest.

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Spoken and Podcasting November 13, 2015
I am trying out @withSpoken with my first post; I go meta with podcasting.

What you see below is my first recording on the service known as Spoken; I have also included a transcript of the audio. Enjoy.

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The activist and the persecutor November 20, 2016
My thoughts in the aftermath of the election are not kind to the group with whom I was born to identify.

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Recent entries

Emotionally Exhausting, Fundamentally Necessary (You Oughta Know) March 8, 2017
You Oughta Know I am emotionally exhausting from current events, but it is fundamentally necessary to keep going.

You Oughta Know - Lent February 28, 2017
Today’s You Oughta Know focuses on the Christian season of Lent and making a difference within its context.

You Oughta Know - Transgender Rights February 23, 2017
You really oughta know what is going on in the world of transgender rights. And the awesome Librarian of Congress.

You Oughta Know - Old News February 22, 2017
In the current news cycle, old news is from yesterday or last week at most; consider this a catchup.

You Oughta Know - Flynn February 16, 2017
Flynn is the current news, but the administration is not done with the fallout. Also, an awesome woman of the day.

You Oughta Know - Unanimous February 10, 2017
The unanimous appeals court vote coupled with Senate confirmation hearings. Plus, links to try to lighten the mood.

You Oughta Know - The Senate February 8, 2017
The Senate might as well be a reality TV Show, history is repeating itself, and Jake Tapper has had enough.

You Oughta Know - Supreme Vacancy February 2, 2017
Yesterday's You Oughta Know was bumped by computer troubles; today, let's take back control.

You Oughta Know - That Catholic Thing You Do January 31, 2017
Today’s You Oughta Know includes reactions of the Catholic Church hierarchy to recent news; they may surprise you.

You Oughta Know - Too Much January 30, 2017
You Oughta Know today provides resources to the too much that happened between Friday and Monday.

You Oughta Know - Writing on the Wall January 27, 2017
Today’s You Oughta Know includes awesome women, rogue Twitter accounts, and an incorrigible former vice president.

I Think That You Oughta Know (formerly Eloquent Roundup) January 26, 2017
Reviving an old idea to share information without a longer post, automating where possible along the way.

The Taint December 13, 2016
The PEOTUS has the power to disrupt the news cycle; it's time for truth-tellers and fact-checkers to get to work.

The activist and the persecutor November 20, 2016
My thoughts in the aftermath of the election are not kind to the group with whom I was born to identify.

NaNoWriMo October 31, 2016
I decided to participate in NaNoWriMo; God help me.

Picking Up The Pebbles October 25, 2016
How Pebble’s feature additions have strengthened my desire for the Apple Watch.

Apple’s Trial Run October 19, 2016
There is a seemingly standard period of time during which every Apple product could be a success or a failure.

Reading the Apple Tea Leaves September 17, 2016
Any major move Apple makes can be traced back to previous product improvements, in hindsight.

Fashionable Apple August 17, 2016
Apple has always had something fashionable up its sleeve; it didn't start with the Apple Watch.

On Windows August 16, 2016
With my retrospective on writing, I came across an old post about Windows; good thing Microsoft doesn’t change!

On Writing, A Retrospective June 24, 2016
I finally completed one of my long-standing wishes: to migrate my back catalog of writings. Here is what I found.

On Smart Things June 12, 2016
With Apple’s WWDC keynote looming and Pebble’s recent Kickstarter campaign, why not write about smart wearables?!

On Fighting March 31, 2016
At this time more than any other, we need to stand together and fight the status quo.

Why I bought Day One 2.0 February 10, 2016
Day One 2.0 was a paid upgrade; don’t complain when someone’s livelihood is at stake!

The Future of Computing January 21, 2016
With the help of @benjaminbrooks, I discover a likely path forward for computing devices in general.

Journaling Simplicity January 12, 2016
This will be an interesting year, as I attempt to add simplicity to my life prior to an upcoming familial addition.

2016 or Embracing Simplicity December 28, 2015
For my second outing on @withSpoken, I discuss new year's resolutions and embracing simplicity.

Smartwatches and Smart Watches December 4, 2015
Smart wearables, smart watches, and smartwatches; are you confused? I try to sift and winnow.

Ben Brooks on Sleep November 23, 2015
I can't add anything to this fantastic rant about sleep from @benjaminbrooks, but I agree with every word.

Silence, Siri! November 20, 2015
I don't normally link to tips and tricks, but this one seems like a no brainer that should have been a default!

Spoken and Podcasting November 13, 2015
I am trying out @withSpoken with my first post; I go meta with podcasting.