Giving Thanks (today and always)

Greetings All…

Today is designated as Thanksgiving Day, here in the US. For those who are celebrating it, amongst all the commercialism and such, I hope that you are enjoying it. Whether you are solo or amongst family and/or friends, by virtue of the fact that you are reading this, you have something to be thankful for, I’m certain.

It’s been a quiet day of relaxing and dinner with my immediate family, no visitors, other than my sister who just popped by for a little bit, after seeing Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. She lives about 10 mins away and is my own family here in the area.

Food was delicious as usual, but since we weren’t hosting this year, there’s not a ton of leftovers. My wife and I started the day as we have many Thanksgivings in the past…attending and participating in Thanksgiving Day service. Right now, my sister just left and the Giants-Dallas game is on so I’m going to keep this post short and do what I don’t often do..go sit down and be still(er), lol, for a change.

Peace and blessings to you, today and everyday


Pet Peeves of text (and similar) messaging communications 

“Did you get my text?”

Greetings all – hope all is well with you this week.

Text messaging nee SMS aka short messaging system. Frankly, this ubiquitous form of communication is still revolutionary and extremely convenient. It’s so helpful in so many situations and is a largely used time saver when there’s a need to communicate. I, like you, use it daily and I’m glad such technology was created.

That said, I personally feel there are definite downsides to using text messaging as a primary form of communications. When I say primary, I’m not assuming this includes in emergency cases, but moreso as a substitute for picking up the phone to actually talk to someone. I was talking with Darrenkeith sometime ago about texting vs talking on the phone. He prefers the former, vs the latter, for his desired way to communicate – which is totally fine – it’s a personality thing anyway you slice it.

For me, I’ve found that that many DO use texting as a substitute method for engaging in conversations longer than what I think SMS was created for (especially by virtue of its name! LOL). I think there are those (not all) who prefer to use it as a primary form communication expect others do also and think that the receiver’s phone is their possession 24/7. When someone asks me “did you get my text”, it implies to me they their message had some level of urgency above a casual “Hi” or similar. I, on the other hand (after being asked), say that it had zero urgency, if you couldn’t pick up the phone and call 🙂 . I think texting can also be like other non-face-to-face communication and can serve as a point of avoidance, whether that is true or not, can only be confirmed by the messenger. Oh, and don’t get me started on group text messages – while they can and do have utility under certain circumstances, most fo the ones I get are long and annoying – no offense to those that get wrapped up in them 🙂

Today I thought of a few friends I haven’t been in touch with for over a year, I started to text then to see what’s new, but decided to take the effort to make a phone call, the extra effort is old fashioned but I believe far more valuable. While you generally won’t save an audio conversation for later review (as you can with a text), the rest of the aspects of that audio conversation can leave a longer impression than any text message your can save in the cloud, IMHO.



The art of listening to music (redux/repost)

Image: DavidMG/

The other day, my coworker paid his usual visit to my office to talk about his audiophile hobby. He has a very extensive vinyl collection and has invested thousands of dollars into his audio system. He’s not much older than me, and even though I gave up playing vinyl over 20 years ago, I can directly relate to the experience of not only listening to vinyl but listening to music via other physical media like CD, cassette, and minidisc. There is a certain total experience you get from doing the latter vs primarily listening to music via streaming. I first spoke of this in a previous blog I posted in Dec 2020.

Almost two years. I still say streaming makes music, and the listening experience disposable. Most times, we stream music as a background activity – especially because it is during when we’re mobile. This is not to say there were never times in the pre-streaming age, that listening to music any other way was done always as the primary focus, but I think you get what I mean and where I’m going with this. I streaming music in the background all the time, whether while driving or at home but, as previously posted, when its time for me to listen to my favorite artists, I dedicate time to sit down with the physical CD so I can enjoy all the tactile aspects of the listening experience – physical artwork, putting the device in the player, reading liner credits, etc. While I haven’t been paying attention to CD sales, I just learned that they are not only making a comeback, but reissues are now being sold with booklets, giving much more backstory than the normal CD liner notes give – that’s my way of totally enhancing the experience.

There are tons of articles out there comparing streaming to (fill in your favorite way to listen) so I won’t reference them here, but instead, ask yourself what’s your preferred way of really getting into your favorite tunes? I like streaming playlists or actual genre channels off Youtube while doing certain types of work (like writing this post) but, on the contrary, I don’t like to listen to music when doing gym workouts. To each his/her own, YMMV.

Thanks, as always, for the read!


Twitter and the (bitter)sweet 16!

Greetings all. I hope you’re well. Today (actually tonight at 11:43:36 pm) will mark the 16th birthday of being a Twitter user. My very first tweet is below:

I’ve seen the the evolution of Twitter since pretty much the very beginning, as the platform was just seven months old when I joined. Back then it was a veritable shell of what it is now – very quaint, innocent devoid of ads, the whole nine yards. It was not uncommon at all to see tweets about the most simplest (most would say mundane now) things such as what one had for breakfast, lunch, dinner, etc to running errands, and the like (way before cats took over the internet). It was a fun time, easy going, with no such things as bot accounts, 2FA, blue tick marks, Twitter spaces, political arguments, and the like.

I’ve always found Twitter to be very useful for what I need to get out the platform – specifically as a vast resource of information that keeps me learning about topics that interest me, primarily those in the tech world, and allow me to learn a great deal. There came a timeframe where I didn’t engage in Twitter as much but even when I came back, things changed very little.

Since the news of, and actual purchase of Twitter by Elon Musk, the platform, users, employees (those still left) and the news media have been in an uproar about the predicted fate of Twitter based on Elon’s recent actions. A good summary blog post (with linked articles) was recently written by Clay Lowe, another prolific blogger and Twitter friend of mine. You can find it here, it’s highly recommended.

Clay, myself, and many many other Twitter users have set up camp over at Mastodon, for various (and mostly obvious) reasons. The consensus across most of media is that Twitter will go up in flames, thanks to Elon’s continued activities. There are plenty of what I like to call “chicken little/doomsday” articles and tweets that predict Twitter’s demise. As for me, I’ll believe it when I see it. I don’t plan on leaving Twitter until I deem it to no longer be of use to me nor aligns with my desire for what I think the platform should be. I, like Clay mentioned, have requested a download of my entire account activity which is supposed to be ready for me within 24 ours of the request. As of this post, it’s been almost 48 hours and I’ve received zero notification of status. This is not the first time I requested it. There has been a mass exodus of Twitter employees over this past weekend, some of which belong to Twitter’s engineering team, so I suspect it’s possible it may be longer or I may never receive it – at this point, it is what it is.

As for Mastodon engagement, I learned of a crosspost feature called MOA that will auto-crosspost my tweets so that takes care of my engagement there. In any event, I’m still tweeting as nothing has occurred that will drive me away….at least for now.

Hmm, amongst all the craziness happening on the platform…..I wonder if I’ll still get a birthday card from them…LOL.

oceans of rhythm…


The Effect of Motivational Books/Quotes 

If you’ve been on social media for even a short amount of time (let alone reading books regularly for that same amount of time or even far longer), you’ve come across motivational quotes. I’d say the immediacy of platforms like Twitter and especially Instagram make seeing them unavoidable, let alone searching the web to find them. Add to that those who care social media influencers in this space, and there you have it (be right back, need more chocolate chip cookies…)

Ok, back. Considering the myriad of motivational quotes, speakers, influencers, etc, the question is – how do motivational quotes effect you? For me, I guess the effect depends on how they align with my daily life, although I’ve seen/heard many that are profoundly motivational that don’t necessarily align with my day-to-day and/or the paths I strive to follow for me. The “effect”, either way, becomes more significant if I tend to act on said quote, or strive to, as time goes by.

The action being taken (and the associated consistency/repetition of said action) leads me to how I look at the meaning of the word “motivate”. A common definition reads as such:

mo·ti·va·tion /ˌmōdəˈvāSH(ə)n/


  1. The reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way.

I extend that definition to always include the cause for the reason, or the catalyst for it, and to me, that invariably comes from an emotional state. More often than not, one is motivated to do something based on their emotional state. For one that regularly exercises and works out, I often see people looking for others or things to motivate them to exercise and I often ask the question, “What if these people never received the motivation from a person, place, or thing to exercise..would they?”

Therein lies the difference between “motivation” and “discipline”. Being motivated to do something is always based on one’s emotional state, even as well as the best intentions, BUT, discipline is driven from within and always occurs without motivation. This is not to say that motivation doesn’t strengthen discipline, however, “discipline trumps motivation” each and every time.

I think, as alluded to above, motivational quotes and statements can be indeed useful and helpful. I have a folder full of screen shots I’ve collected from Instagram that I keep in a folder called “Daily Road”. They are inspirational as well, and most have to do with strengthening productivity but all pretty much drive “doing your best for you”. I oftentimes take time to just read them, but the true value comes from consistently acting upon them. The frequency of such, even after reading them repeatedly, often lets me know if it’s just a “feel good” (cue the cheerleader shouts), of am I really past any type of motivational feeling and letting discipline drive for the best.

Hope you’re enjoying your weekend!

Oceans of rhythm…


Journaling – The Private Self Publishing

Earlier today, Darrenkeith and I were chatting about this #30DayBlogChallenge and the benefits thereof. He mentioned that he doesn’t really see it as a challenge, but more of an exercise to sharpen/better his writing skills. I totally get that as a legit way of looking at it. He also mentioned that he’s more accepting the fact that he’s writing for himself, more than hoping to do so for other eyes to read and comment on.

His mention of “writing for oneself” led me to make the comment that what that is, is journaling. Journaling is something I’ve read a lot about regarding all the aspects of it, especially those that are beneficial. It’s something that I actually started in 2017 in that very journal you see in the photo above. What I quickly learned is that it takes discipline to form a journaling habit, pretty much like any other habit, for that matter. I would start, then stop for awhile, only to pick up doing it again, which resulted in large gaps in time between entries. This year I started again and have been a lot more diligent, though still not daily.

I’ve read about the common ways of journaling – things like giving thanks for five things in your life, writing about goals, etc. Some say it’s not quite like a diary, where you aimlessly do a brain dump of whatever is on your mind, others say it’s ok. I tend to do a mix of all of that because it gives a larger picture, a snapshot in time, or timeframe of what my mental thoughts, trends may be. That’s useful for me because, over time, it does allow me to gauge what I’ve been going through and even why (yes I periodically go back and read past entries one a large block of time). It allows to see how serious I am about reaching goals by looking at the current results/state of being regarding progress towards achievement, so I’d say I’m getting some benefit out of this regular “exercise”.

What seems to help solidify the habit is to journal early in the morning before the day really kicks into gear, as my mind is pretty clear and it’s one way of starting the day out. I want to create another habit of reading the entries before going to bed as well, to see what kind of effects that may produce,

As you see, I’m old school – tactile pen and paper journaling versus electronic. Like listening to music via physical mediums like vinyl, cassette, CD, minidisc, etc (anything outside of relying on an internet or cellular connection to do so), provides a different and preferred experience for me.

Well, that’s it for now. As always, thanks for there read.

Oceans of rhythm…


Automobile Controls: Touchscreen vs Manual

(Image courtesy of Apple.)

Greetings all, hope you’re well.

It’s getting close to the time I need to leave for work. I’ll do the usual, hop in the ride and hit the highways and by-ways to head in. Often times, I like listening to podcasts on the way in, which are usual streamed from my iPhone to my car’s infotainment system. Many times I may start listening to an episode and decide I want to change to another one or the radio, as I’m driving

My car is a late model vehicle that has a fairly large information screen in the middle of the dashboard, but not so late that it’s a touchscreen, nor is it a new enough model to have something like Apple CarPlay as a standard feature. For as long as I’ve been driving, there is one reason I prefer it not to be a touchscreen for various operational features – you end up taking your eyes off the road at times to change things you need IF your only way to do so is via touchscreen. I prefer the old tactile approach of turning knobs or pressing buttons by “feel” while I’m driving for it lends to greater concentration.

Well, you might say, “What about the iPhone, that’s all touchscreen, yes?” True, it is, and I’d have to do the opposite while I’m driving – take my eyes off the road to fiddle with the phone’s screen – something I try not to ever do (unless I’m at a complete stop).

Speaking of which, here’s a pertinent article on the subject: Apple Embraces the Ever-Expanding Dashboard Touchscreen

Eventually, I believe the tactile controls of buttons and knobs will disappear from an automobile’s cabin, especially as autonomous vehicles become ubiquitous (heck, I still use my rear view windshield and door mirrors over my back up camera!). I’ve not looked in the lastest models that really use a lot of touchscreen technology, maybe I’ll make some time to check them out but , until then, I’ll keep pushin’ and a-turnin’ vs tappin’ and a-slidin’!

Thanks for the read.


Exploring Mastodon

(Image source: CNN Business)

Greetings, I hope this post finds you well. This is the post for Day 4 of the #30DayBlogChallenge that Soulcruzer, Darrenkeith, and I have accepted.

For those of you unaware, Mastodon is free and open-source software for running self-hosted social networking services. It has microblogging features similar to the Twitter service, which are offered by a large number of independently run nodes, known as instances, each with its own code of conductterms of service, privacy options, and moderation policies. When Twitter was just turning 11, in 2017, I joined the instance just to poke around and engage with like-minded individuals. I explored it very briefly but never stayed around long enough to engage as I had planned to. Twitter was still very much giving me what I needed from a social media site I joined 11 years earlier.

Fast forward to this timeframe, the purchase of Twitter by Elon Musk, and all the, seemingly, chaotic activity that has ensued since. As such, there is a great deal of worldwide opinion that Twitter is going to go up in flames. As bleak as things seem to be, I’m not subscribing to what I call this “chicken little/doomsday” hype, but will take a wait-and-see attitude. For reasons I won’t delve into here, there are specific things I need to experience to make me leave the platform – until I do experience them, I’ll be around.

When I finally decided to re-join Mastodon a week ago, I found that the instance, as of December 5, 2022, will be no more. If I recall correctly, it’s due to its age, low usage, and the server maintainer’s lack of time to fix issues with it that have occurred over the years. When I went to to look for the server for login, the page didn’t show it. What’s the deal with that? All my Twitter friends joined, but how? I never took the time to find out how and, instead, ended up joining (somehow) In the end that was fine because mastodon is a decentralized network and that allows me, once setup properly, to follow anyone whose account is on another instance, so all is well.

In the last week, I set up my account, added links, said hello to a few familiar immigrants from Twitter and followed them, the opposite has occurred as well. Twitter will still be my main site until I decide to leave and until then, I won’t be engaging on both places – I don’t have the time BUT at least I’m properly set up.

I don’t know what will become of Twitter, but I’ll keep tweeting, while Mastodon keeps tooting.

Thanks for the read, oceans of rhythm…


My upgrade to the Apple Watch Ultra

Greetings all, I hope this post finds you well.

Since July 2017, I’ve been tracking my fitness workouts with the Apple Watch. First starting with the Series 3, then continuing with the Series 4 (gifted to me). For all intents and purposes, the watch has proven to be a useful device for what I need, even with its many more features as an evolutionary medical device and companion to the iPhone’s features.

After doing two weeks of what I consider deep research online and talking the ear off of a recent Ultra owner, I lastly decided to determine what my best purchase approach would be. Applying for a brand new Apple Card vs Best Buy resulted in the former winning. This upgrade was also a milestone birthday gift to myself and I admit (although I’m not an ultra athlete by any stretch of the imagination), the tech that the Ultra offers, compared with its aesthetics and what Watch OS9, and beyond, will continue to offer for it, made it a compelling enough reason to upgrade. While my current Series 4 can make use of the WatchOS9 updates, and is still supported by Apple, I’m glad I made the jump. The whole experience thus far has been very nice.

While I won’t wax philosophically about its usual selling points (you can spend a short amount of time on YouTube to get your fill of a diverse set of opinions), I do enjoy the extended battery life between charges. While that is a good thing, I’m used to going to bed at with a minimum of 30% – 40% of battery life, so nightly charging has never been a issue, especially because I don’t track sleep metrics. What I do enjoy about it are along the lines of its aesthetics – particularly its 49mm size, sapphire flat glass bevel and titanium case. Outside of a new $750 MacBook Air I purchased for a family member, and M1 Mac Mini for my studio last year, this has been the most expensive Apple product purchased since 1991, the year I purchased my first ever Mac, a Mac Classic II.

As mentioned above, WatchOS 9 provides many of the software features across the Ultra, Apple Watch Series 8, and Apple Watch SE 2, however the Action Button is a handy feature that will become even more useful as developers create more apps that can take advantage of it. The Wayfinder watchface, in conjunction with the Compass app and backtrack features is also a nice edition. The Ultra, as many articles and YouTube posts talk about, is hardly a “Garmin killer”. I constantly state that if Apple and Garmin remain on their respective evolutionary paths, Garmin will remain king in the realm of fitness tracking watch devices, especially for the ultra athlete. The reason is simple – Garmin fitness watches are dedicated to fitness and ultra-athlete activities, while employing smartwatch features. The Ultra, while being a first real entry (level) introduction into outdoor extreme athletics, is still a smartwatch with upgraded fitness tracking/outdoor athletics features – it lacks many of the things that Garmin is superior for, especially battery life (there is no real comparison between the two).

That being said, I anticipate the Ultra serving my needs for years to come, and believe future WatchOS updates will make it shine even more.

Thanks for read.

Oceans of rhythm/peace and blessings.


Getting into the holiday spirit: too early/too commercial/too soon?

Greetings all.

Hope you are well. Here we are halfway through November 2022, and on the way to completing another year already. It seems like January 2022 was just upon us.

Earlier this week I was perusing a Facebook group about the Apple Watch Ultra. Someone had post a photo of a watch face with a closeup of Christmas lights against his real decorated Christmas tree. The question in the post was: “Does anyone have their Christmas tree up yet?” One comment in the thread responded by saying he put his yup last week. Early this week was November 7th, which means the commenter put up his tree at the end of October – a whole seven weeks before Christmas Day.

I’m fortunate enough to look back to a time where holiday celebrations, and the focus thereof, happened closer to the actual holiday. This is not to say that the commercialism of the holiday wasn’t evident then, but it’s always seemed that as the years went by, the commercialism of the holidays seem to take precedence over the meaning of the holiday itself – especially for Christmas time.

Thanksgiving has always been an interesting holiday, based on the reasoning behind why we choose to celebrate it (which I totally get, as it is the day in the US where we recognize, collectively, that we should give thanks for what we have), yet considering the history of interaction of Columbus and his crew with the Native Americans they encountered (and the results thereof), is VERY ironic.

As for Christmas, I literally focus on what the meaning of the actual word is and the “reason for the season” (which to some may be the purchasing of the best gifts ever). Christmas, for me, is the true inception of “thanksgiving”.

Back to commercialism, I don’t knock it, that’s not what this post is about. Holiday commercialism has been, and will always be, an inherent part of the holiday season – not just for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day, but for all the others that precede them. It is the foundation and engine that drives business, after all, who DOESN’T like to take advantage of a good sale when one can? I just try to focus on the meaning behind the holiday and to not get stressed by the barrage of/expectations that come along with the commercialism of such.

What are your thoughts? Either way, I hope your holiday season is a happy and safe one.

Oceans of rhythm…