Shaker Spiral Stairs

Ten years ago, I vacationed to Kentucky for a friend’s wedding. Naturally, I visited nearby points of interest. My wife and I stayed at this beautiful place called Shaker Village.

The village is unique and relaxing. The buildings, the architecture, it’s all custom crafted. The place has so much charm and is simply marvelous.

You can learn more about Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill with this link to the website.

The Twitter profile also has photos and info you might enjoy.

My camera was put to good use at this wonderful site seeing stop. In the photo, the view is looking up through the wooden spiral staircase at the Inn. If I recall correctly, it was handmade!

You’ll also find the photo in my Structures Gallery.

Shaker Village is totally worth a visit, and I hope to someday return and refresh my soul again at this wonderful and relaxing oasis.

What place do you like to relax at? Comment below or message me. Thanks for reading!

Tired Of Being Busy

Blogging is not my day-job, even if I wish it was. Instead of getting paid to write my posts on Jason Journals, I pay to do it because, among other reasons, it’s a hobby I enjoy. But lately, being so busy, stressed, and tired, my blogging brain has slumped in a corner.

Why so much busy-ness? It just happens sometimes. Mostly, my actual day-job has been very demanding. I’ve had to work overtime to catch up. And all the hours have been extra mentally taxing due to switching between focusing on my main task but then needing to juggle many other tasks too. So lots of back and forth.

Maybe your job does the same thing to you sometimes. It’s when you must buckle down, grip the wheel with both hands, shift to high gear, and mash the gas pedal to the floor. And the low fuel light is blaring in your bleary eyes the whole time. Anxiety creeps up; you’re about to run out of gas!

Besides my job demands, I’m still a Dad to five kids. So parenting, my 24/7 job, has not taken a break. But it’s been kinda fun.

Father’s Day, although busy and “distracting” from blogging, was really nice. My wife helped my sons make me feel honored as Daddy!

What’s left over? Not much. Yet there has been more…extra activities.

There’s the usual chores at my house, but I’ve also been swamped by my do-it-yourself project: building a new half-bath. But even that work has needed to move to the back-burner!

And amidst all this, my church’s annual Vacation Bible School kicked off yesterday! So I’m expending myself there too.

Maybe I should add: discover perpetual energy source to my to-do list. I’m not all that busy really. Sure I can find time for that.

Blogging is not the only thing to suffer from my recent crunch-time. My important and fun hobby, karate, has also lacked my attention. I usually go twice a week. But I’ve only managed to make it once a week this month, and now I’m missing three classes in a row!

Anyways, all that to simply say, sorry for not blogging much this past week. I’m sure I’ll be writing more again. Writers gotta write. Thinkers gotta think. And Bloggers are gonna blog.

I’m tired of being busy, but not tired of blogging.

What do you think? Has your Summer been busy? Comment below or message me. Thanks for reading!

Blogging Is Thinking Out Loud

Up front, let me say that this post is meta; I’m blogging about blogging. Sometimes when I start to draft a post for my blog, it begins as an essay. It’s like I feel the idea in my head is important enough to warrant something like a formal treatise. But my circumstances often make it difficult to write seriously. And that’s when I step back and remind myself – it’s just a blog.

Thinking Out Loud

Blogs, of course, can be about anything. Your posts can be essays or stream of consciousness writing; it’s up to you. The types of posts you write are not necessarily or inherently better than other types of posts. That’s one of the great things about blogs; they are flexible.

That said, my blog preference is less formal and more casual. I think blogging is best this way. I would describe it as thinking out loud. A blog is a place where you can express your thoughts even as you think them. So your writing can share the less well-formed thoughts in your head. Your mind is a work in progress, and your blog is sort of a record of that progress1.

What I like about this liberty is the ability to admit you have not thought it all the way through. You can be unpretentious and give voice to your less polished ideas. It also just lets you freely throw your nascent notions out there.

The cool thing is that even though your thoughts might be a bit lame, even just the essence of the thought could be enough to strike a chord in someone else reading your blog. That, in turn, might inspire them to write a bit more about the same subject. Your idea could spur someone on to a greater one. Call it spitballing or brainstorming, throwing stuff on the web to see what sticks.

Tweeting Out Loud

There’s another place online where people throw up stuff all the time. It was once called a micro-blog: Twitter. I bring this up for comparison. I was wondering, if blog posts are “thinking out loud,” then what are Tweets?

At first, the 140 character limit was the kind of restriction that spurred creativity in pithy, succinct statements. But it also promoted short bursts of words that really seemed more like emotional rants than rational thoughts. Now with 280 characters and Tweet threads, Twitter has greater conversation than before.

But still, the infamous micro-blog is not quite as thoughtful as an old-school blog.

Yet I’ve found Tweets to be fitting for sharing little nuggets of ideas. I would call Tweets the seeds of thoughts, or seedlings. If blogs are thoughts, then Tweets are thought-lings.

A Tweet can often be a single premise to a larger argument. I have sometimes Tweeted out a succinct notion to encapsulate the essence of an incubating idea. And sometimes it’s just for fun, to share a silly sentiment. Tweets can be similar to wisdom nuggets or proverbs. But beware, often you’ll find dreck and banality or a Tweet-storm.

Tinker With The Thinker

So those are some of my thoughts about thinking, Tweeting, and blogging. If I had to choose one over the other, Twitter or WordPress, I wouldn’t hesitate for a moment. My blog would get all my attention, and Twitter would be no more.

What do you think? Would you rather blog or tweet? Be thoughtful and leave a comment below or message me. Thanks for reading!

  1. Progress or regress. Hopefully the former. But I digress.

Apple Evolves New Computer Breed

Since Apple’s recent WWDC19 keynote, I’ve processed many web articles, podcasts, and tweets about all the iPad things. And although the idea in my head is still a bit fuzzy, I’m starting to see what looks like a growing distinction, maybe even a division, in iPad.

iPad Evolves

Apple’s avalanche of announcements made a lot of good noise in the tech-sphere. And among those who, like me, use iPad as their computer, the epitome of new features is summed up in the name, iPadOS.

Let’s back up a bit. iPad debuted in 2010. It defined what a tablet is and does. It went through a few iterations, but it mostly remained as the best tablet money could buy.

Then, in 2015, the iPad Pro was released. Having the “Pro” moniker plus the new keyboard and pencil accessories introduced a distinction. Apple was making a declaration: iPad is a tablet; iPad Pro is a…Pro tablet. Or maybe it’s a tablet computer.

Now for 2019, Apple once again is pushing iPad further into computer territory with iPadOS, since it brings so many definitive Mac-like features to the tablet form factor. In effect, Apple is pushing the distinction to a division.

Users and Power Users

The thing I keep noticing after WWDC is all the examples of features that enable iPad to do computery things like never before. Most notably, they’re the kinds of things only a certain class of people, power users, take advantage of.

For example:

  • App Exposé
  • Slide over app switching
  • Multi split-screen apps
  • Keyboard shortcuts
  • New multi-finger gestures
  • Mouse support
  • USB drive support
  • Built-in Shortcuts app
  • Files app advancements
  • Downloads manager

In contrast, most users look at iPad and think, “Great tablet!” because iPad excels at web surfin’ and YouTubin’.

So if it wasn’t clear before, it’s crystal now: Apple is evolving iPad from mere tablet to the newest form of The Personal Computer.

Apple’s distinction of iPad between tablet and computer is also reflected in the blurred distinction between iPad or MacBook, as shown by the new Brydge Pro keyboard:

iPad Identities

I guess what I’m wondering about now is, what happens next? Does this mean the regular $329 iPad is a tablet and the iPad Pro is a touch-screen computer? Will Apple just shock everyone with the next iteration being a clamshell laptop running iPadOS?1

The debate about iPad being a good consumption device versus a productivity machine might continue. Yet that’s talking about iPad as if there is still just one version of it. There are now at least two distinct versions of iPad.

In fact, there’s enough distinction to make a clear divide: the low end iPad is a tablet for the casual user. And the high-end is a computer for the power user. Meanwhile, the recent mid-range iPad Air is the hybrid device! It serves as both a consumption tablet and as a productive/creative workhorse when you need it.

Our so-called post-PC era positioned the traditional desktop PC as your “truck” and the iPad2 as your “car.” But with the state of iPad now, your “truck” could be a 12.9” iPad Pro computer that lives on your desk with a keyboard at home, and your “car” could be an iPad mini tablet that goes with you everywhere.

What’s your opinion? How do you use your iPad? Comment below or message me. Thanks for reading!

  1. Would it be called “iBook” or “Apptop” or “AppBook” or something else?
  2. Tablets are the car. But what tablets exist besides iPad, really?

The Instagram Alternative Is Kickstarted

Last month, I learned about Bokeh. It’s a cool new photo/social media app that promises to be better than Instagram. Started by a passionate developer, Bokeh has been funded on Kickstarter, reaching its initial financial goal. That means we may soon begin to enjoy what Instagram was or should have been!

Not long ago, I published an article about how Instagram lost its goodness and how I missed what it started out as. It was sort of a photo enthusiast sharing site like Flickr. Of course, it ended up quite different. So I deleted my Instagram account.

Bokeh seeks to fix what’s broken about Instagram. And now that it has been funded, the developer, Tim Smith, is hard at work bringing to life what could become The Next Big Thing. It’s an exciting time, and I’m happy for Tim who pushed to bring Bokeh this far!

Here are a few tidbits:

  • In just 30 days, Bokeh raised over $11,000 on Kickstarter!
  • Out of 229 total backers, I’m number 111!1
  • Estimated time of delivery for Bokeh is October 2019.

The initial screenshots look very nice. It begins with a not-so-subtle-red theme, which is a stark yet welcome departure from the blues of Twitter and Facebook.

The name itself, Bokeh, leads me to think that the social site will focus more heavily on photography than on celebrity influencer status – cough, Instagram, cough.

Bokeh sounds great! Imagine, a photo app that’s more about capturing images than attention.

That said, Bokeh promises to be about community too. It will include strong connecting or communicating features to help friends and family stay close online. This is compelling, a social site and service that strikes a balance between both pictures and people. Sign. Me Up.

I’m thankful for the privilege to help fund Bokeh as I support Tim Smith’s endeavors to build a better alternative to Instagram. I can’t wait to see how progress is made on the app and service, and I wish Tim all the best as he continues to work towards making this dream come true.

Are you interested in trying Bokeh or anything better than Instagram? Comment below or message me. Thanks for reading!

  1. I wish I had made it in under 100!