Now: 12 February 2018

What I'm Thinking About

New Zealand immigration policies ...

What I'm Reading

"Junk Raft", by Marcus Eriksen. This book has really grabbed and inspired me. I can't recommend it enough.

What I'm Listening To

Another excellent episode of The Dirtbag Diaries, and a good interview with Dan Harris by Rich Roll.

What I'm Watching

Blue Planet II

The Winter Olympics. I've always loved the Winter Games more than the summer. Maybe it's a product of having been 7 years old during the Lake Placid games in 1980.

What Gear I'm Using

Apple Homepod

Initial Impressions of the Apple HomePod

Being the fanboy that I am, I picked up a Space Grey HomePod on launch day. There are hundreds of in-depth reviews out there, but here are my two cents:

  • The design is, as expected, beautiful and the build quality is incredible. It's hard to believe that it weighs as much as it does. Is it filled with lead?
  • I'm no audiophile, but I'd put the quality on par with a pair of Sonos One's setup in stereo and much better than a stand-alone Sonos Play 3, which are the speakers we have in our kitchen and dining room.
  • The way the HomePod fills a room with sound is pretty amazing. I was standing near my stereo pair of Sonos One's while some classical music was playing softly from the HomePod on the other side of the room and I thought that the music was coming from the Sonos pair. It was kind of trippy.
  • I'm not sure what to say about Siri. I don't own an Alexa or Google device to compare it to, and I don't typically use Siri on my iOS devices. All I can say about the HomePod is that it's worked flawlessly for playing Apple Music, turning on and off Hue lighting, and simple tasks like setting a timer or checking the weather. I'm impressed by Siri on the HomePod, and the HomePod is forcing me to use it, but again, don't have any competitive devices as a comparison.
  • It took me a day or so to figure out how to control HomePod with the Music app on my phone. Here's a link to the official user's guide - the short answer is you just open the app on your iPhone or iPad, click on the AirPlay icon and select the HomePod. 

I bought this for my office, where I listen to music and podcasts directly from my iPad all day long, and think it will be a nice addition. But I wouldn't consider it as a replacement for our Sonos system at home given how many other audio sources we stream (Pandora, SiriusXM, Spotify).

Now: 29 January 2018

What I'm Thinking About

[ This space left blank on purpose ]

What I'm Reading

"The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O.: A Novel", by Neal Stephenson & Nicole Galland

Keeping with my theme of books from 2017 I'm finally getting to is "The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O.". So far I'm loving it.

"The Four Agreements", by Don Miguel Ruiz

I reread this every year or so and as simple as the text is, I always find something new in it.

What I'm Listening to

(Still) a lot of Dead & Company after seeing them live at Madison Square Garden last November.

What I'm Watching

Blue Planet II. My family's been waiting for this to come out. The first episode was awesome.

Cheers to Being a Quitter

Justine Bronson on Medium:

I was also fortunate to occasionally come across a weirdo. Someone who was completely in love with what they do while the rest of us spoke mostly in sighs and eye-rolls 8 hours a day. And as much as I'd like to poke fun at the happy weirdo - because I cannot understand how we did the same job with such different feelings - I'm jealous. I want to be that weirdo! I want to take pride in my work and myself and wake up looking forward to the ups and downs because I'm invested, I care and I truly feel as if what I'm doing matters.

I love that paragraph. When I worked at J&J, I was in a building of a few thousand people and the end of the day couldn't come soon enough for most of us. We still put in long hours, but only because we were all looking for our next promotion - not because we were lost in our work and forgot what time it was. But there were some "weirdos" among us who were fascinated by what they were doing.

Not always, but often, it seemed that the "weirdos" were the people creating something or working with their hands - the lab techs, the machinists, the prototype builders, the CAD designers.