So did I fritter away my birthday month?

At the start of June, I had a plan not to fritter away my birthday month. I thought it would be good to go over with what my goals were for the month and how I did on each.

  • Walk once a day. —- Done.
  • Read Sherlock Holmes short stories on all the Sundays in June. —- Colossal fail, but was away for two of the Sundays: the first with my wife on a wine tour; the second with my father on Father’s Day.
  • Read not only crime fiction but other books this month to help me become a better person than I am and expand my mind. — Another colossal fail.
  • Continue the practice of using The Book of Common Prayer for morning prayer and adding it for evening prayer. — Partial success as I did it most of the time.
  • Taking a photo a day of whatever strikes me as worth taking a photo of. No tags, no memes. Just a photo a day. — partial fail, photo but of daily walk, almost meme, not photo a day, but just whatever, not only food.

So a mixed bag, but my birthday weekend itself (from June 5 through June 9, my actual birthday) was a success. No, I didn’t do anything or go anywhere, but it was relaxing. The following weekend, on Sunday, June 14, my wife and I went to the Smokin’ Summer Kickoff on the Seneca Lake Wine Trail and we visited 10 wineries. We also went to Nickel’s Pit BBQ in Watkins Glen, which my sister recommended as good, and which was good.

Smokin' Summer Kickoff 2015

The only downside to the day was that we barely escaped major flooding there as my wife had to navigate through rising waters to get out of town. Luckily, we didn’t stop for lunch. Otherwise, we might have been stuck in Watkins Glen for the night, which under normal circumstances probably would be okay, but since we had spent a little money on wine, it’s not like we had lots of extra play there.

2015-06-14 20.54.40

So what will I do for July? Will I continue to walk once a day? Will I actually read Sherlock Holmes short stories? Will I take photos of other things besides food and walking? Will I add a third prayer time to my day? Well, let’s just say my goals aren’t lofty for this coming month, but I’d like to continue with some kind of walking regimen, maybe read a little Sherlock Holmes but not on a schedule, take photos of whatever strikes my fancy as I mentioned last month, and incorporate prayer into my being so it’s not just a rote thing I do, but what I live. Along the way, I’ll keep you posted on my progress or lack thereof.

Sunday: I’ll give a review of what I read during the month of June. Eight books in all. Stop back by to see which ones and which were my favorites and not so favorites.

Freedom From All The Apps

This coming weekend is the Fourth of July and in honor of it, I am going to look long and hard at what apps, services, and sites I use online and try to streamline them to the basics, of what I actually use and need. I don’t know about you, but I feel fragmented in so many different places that I can’t keep track of it all.  I receive e-mail notifications for apps and services that I don’t even use and some I don’t even remember signing up for, although I’m sure I did – back in the day when I thought I had to be “in” on every new thing. Hello, remember MySpace?

First, I’m going to make a list of all the services or as many as I can remember and find via e-mails and Twitter and Facebook and Google Plus (and all the other apps I use 😉 ). Then I’m going to cull it down to basics. I’m writing this on Evernote, so that will stay. Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus probably will be the main ones because I’m too entrenched into each of them. Google basically owns me, and that’s probably, and sadly, not a joke.  I use an Android phone so by default, I am Google (I am Spartacus).

I’m going to have to think about what the basics are too. Online friends are at the top, then others: calendars, note-taking (apps such as Evernote), photo apps (Instagram, the main one), and of course book and blogging apps (OverDrive and Feedly, the main ones in this category). However, I know I’ve signed up for half a dozen (ahem, three dozen in reality) book apps, services, and sites that I don’t even remember. Riffle? The hell? Plus not to mention the other apps and sites I know I no longer use: LinkedIn, I’m looking squarely at you.

I know I tried this a few years ago and then got caught back up in too many apps, but this time…no, this time, I’ll probably do the same, but I’m going to make a game attempt at it and hopefully get rid of some of the dead weight on my phone, my laptop, in the cloud and in my real life. If you’d like to join me, please feel free. I’ll be hashtagging it #freedomfromalltheapps, not that I’m a neo-Luddite, but that I want freedom from all the apps I’m not using and that now probably are data-mining my life in ways I don’t even know.

Do you ever feel this way? How do you take control of the apps, services, and websites that you use that in turn often use you?

Featured Image Credit: iPhone apps blur by Blake Patterson, on Flickr (if viewing this through a feed, click through to the post to see the image)