Flashlight

For my quick application launching, I have always used something, whether it be Quicksilver, Alfred, or LaunchBar. They all offer a lot of features over Spotlight and always have. However, with Yosemite, Spotlight got a much needed update and facelift and, with it, I decided (as I am sure many others have) to experiment with a Spotlight-only system.

Therefore, on Wednesday, when MacStories ran a story about Nate Parrott’s Flashlight plugin for Spotlight, I jumped on the download and install process. Others have now discussed their usage of the plugin, as well, of course, but I thought I’d throw my thoughts out there.

The biggest boon to my workflow that the plugin offers is the addition of Alfred’s quick System Commands, which allow me to quick type a few characters and restart my computer or put it to sleep. However, it looks like this thing goes much further than that, offering quick search results and shortcuts. I am honestly not sure why Apple didn’t bake in some of these features; if nothing else, web search seems like a no-brainer and is dog-slow in plugin-less Spotlight as it stands! I suspect that Apple will either copy the functionality or block the code injection that this app employs at some point.

Either way, the plugin has some quirks and is still in early alpha, but it works and makes me miss Alfred less and less.


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The Challenges of 2020

TL;DR: Follow this link.

One of the craziest things about Christianity during the protests of the last few weeks is the fact that there are churches out there not discussing the issues honestly, not taking the time to have the hard conversations, not devoting their Sunday services to betterment of the world and people around them. If you’re church isn’t talking about racism right now, if they don’t mention that black lives matter, instead focusing on platitudes that equate to the all lives matter” sentiment, it is time to start looking for a new church.

My wife and I meet with my home” church virtually via Zoom since the pandemic is still a thing. Kimball Avenue United Church of Christ & La Iglesia Episcopal de Nuestra Señora de las Américas (KANSA, together) combined in a collaborative way to create a single denomination focused on the needs of their community. They follow Christ together toward the vision of love, reconciliation, peace and justice. The justice looks like the demolition and rehabilitation of an old church building and its grounds into a community garden and labyrinth open to all who seek peace through contemplation.

I give this elevator speech to mention that COVID has not been kind to faith communities in general. Budgets have been slashed, funding and grants have been cut, and congregations in need are also working to serve those in need, who are less likely to be able to financially support their church in these times. KANSA in one of the good ones. They speak truth, they have the difficult conversations, they preach in a loud voice every Sunday that black lives matter, that racism has no place in the church, that the LGBTQ community deserves respect and support, and that Jesus was a social justice warrior, who fought for the least of these no matter who they were, where they were from, what they looked like.

In fact, Jesus was most harsh to those who had the means to help and decided not to answer the call.

These systems of oppression we are protesting have been around a long time; they have screwed up a lot of lives, they have been the reason for revolution and the downfall of entire civilizations, they don’t work. We need to find a better way to live by supporting each other. And support has to come in systemic, social, financial, and political ways, both national and local.

I am not local to KANSA anymore, but I support their mission, the way that mission manifests in the world, and the simple fact that they follow Jesus no matter how ostracizing that position can be at times. Which brings me to the point:

Thanks to a $10,000 matching gift’ from an anonymous donor, the challenge has become an opportunity. Over the next two months, we plan to raise at least $10,000 to meet the challenge. Through August 31, 2020, every donation we receive toward our 2020 Challenge” no matter how small or how large will be doubled by the matching gift.

KANSA is hurting financially and needs support, they do good work and are unabashedly progressive in their approach to our world. Donate now and see your contribution matched to keep one of the good ones fighting the good fight.

Thank you for your consideration.