News for the ‘technology’ Category

My New Laptop

Well folks it’s time to get ready for Jesus’ birth so let’s do some shopping shall we?  In a strategic move to avoid the crowds and still save big bucks I headed for Savers on Thanksgiving eve and was able to get all my clothing needs met for the coming year – I even scored merrino wool socks!  In addition I picked up a number of great CD’s (some I already own but was able to find homes for easily), a green t-shirt for my wife, and a Smith and Corona Galaxie manual typewriter with case and owners manual dating it back to august 1967.   I’ve written a few blogs on it already but am having trouble connecting it to the internet.  Perhaps they didn’t have wi-fi in 1967.   I blame the hippies.


Posted: November 30th, 2009
Categories: technology
Comments: 1 Comment.

Onward Regression!

There’s a lot to be said for regression.  Moving back.  Getting slower.  Turning stuff off.

The Houge house has been busy.  Jodi’s a full time student for another 5 weeks.  On top of her course work she started a church.  Starting a church takes a bit of work.  Some would call it a full time job.  Jodi’s busy.

Lydia…. Well Lydia’s Lydia and that has and I imagine always will be an all consuming job.  This morning she tried to boot me off the computer because she insisted part of her homework was writing a script for the school play.  Kindergarden’s not what it used to be.

Elsa is 18 months old and acts every bit like an 18 month old child should be acting.  Uber-exploratory.  Fiesty.  Opinionated.  Testing boundaries.

And I’m just trying to keep my head screwed on straight and remember what day it is, what deadline is approaching, what instrument to grab, and who to send manuscripts off too.  My to do list for the past week included:  Finishing fixing my neighbor’s bike, meeting two different writing deadlines for this Monday, handing over my kid’s CD for layout and duplication at Noiseland, doing a near final mix of the band Floating Bridge’s upcoming E.P., being less and less of a stay at home dad, moving the porter from primary to secondary fermentation, teaching two different preschool music classes, getting an antique hutch delivered to my parent’s town home, and going on a date with my wife.  I saved the best for last. 

So what does this have to do with being regressive? Well, I’ve learned a few things this week.  One, I don’t handle stress well.  Instead of dealing with stress I tend to get rid of it.  If a messy house stresses me I handle it by getting rid of things.  If jobs drive me nuts I quit.  If seminary is sucking up my wifes time, I complain about the system. 

What it comes down to is that while the rest of the world is multitasking and wading through the work flow, I’m moving toward monotasking as hard as I can.  I don’t want to be a stay at home parent and a freelance artist.  As a freelance artist I don’t want to think about writing and music on the same day.  As a musician I don’t want to think about CD design and a preschool set list on the same afternoon.  I want to move slower.  I want to do less.  I want to be more deliberate about these choices. 

I’ve also learned (once again) that I hate writing and editing on the computer.  For some of the writing I’m doing right now I’ve been trying very hard not to print things off, but rather to become more agile with my thumb and jump between documents all the time when referencing and double checking information.  What a headache.  So today I printed off about 50 pages of material.  Instantly I was working faster, more efficiently, and with greater satisfaction.  I’m moving back to paper and pencil.  I regress.

 I want less stuff, fewer obligations, and minimal technology. 

Posted: November 15th, 2008
Categories: family, health, music, technology
Comments: No Comments.

travel games

I’m in Phoenix AZ.  I flew.  Actually the plane flew, I simply sat.  Before I sat to Phoenix I stood in the Lindbergh Terminal for a couple hours.  While standing I enjoyed watching men in business suits sitting in awkward positions on the floor huddling near the few and far between outlets conveniently located for the cleaning folks to plug their vacuums into.  That’s business class if I ever saw it.

My brother used to watch star trek and I remember a character/people group called the Borg.  They were all assimilated and part human and part machine and had wires hanging off them and lacked personality.  I couldn’t help but notice all the people moving in blobs not talking to each other with all their wires hanging off them.  I-pods, cell phones, laptops, goofy ear things connected to their cell phones.  Those little headsets gave me an idea for a game.  Here’s how to play.

It’s called ‘How close can I get to your ear?’

It sounds complicated but it’s actually quite simple.  The object of the game is to see how close I can get to the person’s ear before… well before some sort of altercation goes down.

There’s a couple ways to do this.  The first is to act as if the person is crazy because it appears they are talking to themselves.  Look at the them with inquisitive concern.  Step closer and closer slowly, nodding your head and moving cautiously as if to say, ‘It’s okay, I’ll get you to a safe place.  I’m here to help.  Together we can find you a mental health professional.”

(Sidenote – isn’t it a greater sign of crazy to choose to carry on personal and business calls in a crowded terminal?  I’ve been privy to so many asinine calls that have only made me think less of the caller.  In fact I’ve never heard a conversation thats made me think any better of a public caller.  Stop being crazy, talk in private.)

Anyways back to the game.

The next technique is more subtle and quite simple. I call it ‘The Nudge.’  Start about three feet from the person.  Every 15 seconds nudge closer about 3 inches.  In about 3 minutes you’ve either made it to the ear or made the person move.  As much as I like claiming the prize, it’s way more fun to get the person on the run.  It makes the game last longer too.  Yippee!  Fun Game!

The last technique I like to employ is called, ‘Join the Conversation.’  Pretend the person is talking to you and reply to the persons statement/question to the best of your ability.  Eventually the person will address you and let you know they are on the phone.  Try one of these replies.

‘Me too.  Please don’t interupt.’

‘I like phones too!’  Then use your hand phone to continue where you left off.

‘I know!  I’m playing a game with you and I just won!  Your bad!  Better luck next time!’

So there’s the game.  Go to a public place and have fun playing, “How Close Can I Get to Your Ear?’  Makes a great team sport too!

Posted: May 17th, 2008
Categories: games, technology, travel
Comments: No Comments.

3 am revelation

the web is almost full

the web is behind us now

the web is cement in a sea of paper and pencil

the web is over

the web is 217 calories per byte

Posted: May 2nd, 2008
Categories: technology
Comments: No Comments.

I Tunes, U Tunes

So is I-Tunes all it’s cracked up to be?  I’m about to download it and find out.

 Fooled you!  I made it sound like I’d never touched it before, but I totally had it on my old computer a year ago and it was awesome.  So why haven’t I hooked up with it yet?  Because I don’t want to buy the entire ‘rock and roll over’ album that’s why.

Posted: April 10th, 2008
Categories: music, technology
Comments: No Comments.

out of office auto reply

once when i worked at the big church i spent an entire morning trying to set up an auto reply and sending messages to people that already had auto reply so that there would be an eternal auto reply loop.  that was kind of like stealing money from the congregation in hind site.  or fueling my creative hunger so i could do other cool things that would later lead to vainglory.  and give me the very thing i was working at.  a lutheran complex.

But enough about memememememe, let’s talk about my schedule.  Now that i’ve got a calendar it’s come to my attention that i will be away from this here highway for the next 7 days at least.  Wipe your tears faithfilled readers.  In fact maybe you should take a week off too.  sabbatechal.

Posted: January 22nd, 2008
Categories: technology
Comments: No Comments.

much to say minimal time.

elsa me checking e-mail first time 2 weeks sorry few blogs be funny soon nate

Posted: January 11th, 2008
Categories: technology
Comments: No Comments.

on the information minimum maintenance road again.

In the last 4 months since moving back to St. Paul I’ve averaged less than 2 hours a week online.  Tonight we’re staying at a hotel with wi-fi and it’s the first chance I’ve had to do anything like update my flickr site or do any little stuff to this site like add my cousin Cyndee to the blogroll – something I’ve been meaning to do for about a year.  Micah recently updated my version of wordpress and gave things a facelift and for this we can all be thankful.  And now as I lay in a phat king size bed (seriously – the bed is the size of our entire bedroom at home) I’m thinking about how technology is ever so nice and how utterly time sucking and annoying it remains. 

Ever so nice – I get to read blogs, see pictures of tall bikes, learn how to speed up open office, get booking info for tours that never happen, and send e-mail to my brother in China and my parents in Kenya.

Utterly time sucking and annoying – There’s alway more to do.  For example I could’ve taken the time to put a link with each of the above examples.  It wouldn’t have taken me long to do it, but then you’d be off day dreaming about tall bikes, or wondering how it is my brother blogs in Chinese, or maybe even what it’d be like to book me. (I can answer that one – it’s expensive and emotionally draining – but deeply rewarding all the same).  Even my lame blathering about technology is evidence of it’s suckyness.  And proof of my annoyance.

You know what else is annoying?  Apparently my Sportos are.  12 years ago when I moved to MN I bought a pair of winter boots.  Having lived in CA and West Africa most of my life with brief stints in MO and NE and even briefer stints in OK, TX, and OH, I had never owned winter boots before and I thought they were kind of geeky.  In the last 5+ years I’ve put function over fashion in most areas of my life, including footwear.  And now, after nearly 8 years of wedded bliss my bride has decided it’s time to reveal her true feelings concerning my cold weather friends.  How bad is it?  She won’t even let me wear them to church anymore.  And I quote, “Nate, wearing your sporto’s to Christmas Eve Service is tacky.”  Though I appreciate her referring to them by their full name, ‘sporto’s’ I’m appalled that she finds them tacky and unfit for a service ending in candle light, lighting in which no one will be able to identify my feet in the first place.  And anyways, shouldn’t we all be focusing on a certain baby in a manger, not our neighbor’s footwear?  I was about to go to the trouble of linking to Sporto’s homepage to prove to my billions of readers out there how legitimately cool my dear sportsters are but alas, in the last 12 years apparently Sporto has switched over to only making women’s boots.

That’s even more annoying than technology.  Although, if I didn’t spend the time googling the brand of my boots I would’ve avoided all this.  Instead I took you down with me!  Sucka!  Merry Christmas all the same.  If you’re lucky (and a girl) maybe Santa will bring you some Sporto’s.

Posted: December 23rd, 2007
Categories: technology, travel
Comments: No Comments.

updating genius

thanks to micah taylor for updating this site’s look and for years of techno-wizardry.  tw is the new it.

Posted: December 23rd, 2007
Categories: friendship, technology
Comments: No Comments.

vista sucketh

why did it take so long to update el blago?  By the grace of Jason and Micah I have successfully uninstalled vista and replaced it with xp.  And now that the switch has been made I couldn’t be happier.  Vista stinks! xp smells like roses!  and not the ones you buy in a gas station, the pricey ones you get at a real florist.  Or from a guy that interupts your sidewalk dining and tells you to buy one for the lady you’re with.  those are probably just gas station rejects, but in the context of eating outside and smelling bus exhaust and all the smokers taking refuge from mn law, they smell really good.

Posted: December 4th, 2007
Categories: technology
Comments: No Comments.

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