Good things to read.
I’ve been on a classic sci-fi tear lately. I wasted my youth on reading technical books when I could have wasted it on reading science fiction so I’m making up for lost time.
As with any prolific writer, the works of Asimov and Philip K. Dick are variable in quality and theme. As stand-alone works I’d recommend Asimov’s The End of Eternity and Dick’s Ubik. In a way, they both deal with the facets of reality we take for granted and do it in interesting ways.
I find it fascinating to read these old novels in the context of our modern lives. The contrasts between the culture of the 50’s and 60’s versus our own lives in 2014 are sometimes striking. Often it’s the banal differences like those between gender and racial norms that are the most disturbing.
I also enjoy modern science fiction and Influx by Daniel Suarez is an excellent contrast to Asimov’s vision of the future. Suarez constructs his world based on modern events like the Snowden revelations but forecasts a not-so-distant future that is both believable and surprising.
Good things to watch.
The Avatar animated series is my top pick for television. The story telling is an incredible mix of humor and humanity. I’ve watched this entire sequence several times with my daughter and the characters hold a special place for us. It’s wonderful story telling.
I’m a big Miyazaki nerd and there’s no way I can pick a favorite movie. I love everything he’s made but Castle in The Sky is a bit less well known but also fun story with plenty of interesting plot changes. The characters are endearing and varied but also suitable to watch with a young child.
Porco Rosso is another less-known Miyazaki film. It’s worth the running time just to hear the English dub with Michael Keaton as a pig-man. This is a bit of a weird one and will test your ability to suspend reality. You’ll also need to be OK with not getting a complete resolution to all of the major plot points. Kind of like real life.
Good things to use.
I purchased the Field Notes Wallet when it first came out. It was an experiment of moving away from an everyday carry kind of wallet to a purposeful notebook that also carries my ID and credit card. The experiment was a terrific success and I love the wallet. It conveniently holds a Field Notes pad and a small pen but also has enough pockets to carry some money and a couple of key plastic cards.
I’m not sure I can even list all of the reasons I love my Synology NAS. But the simple fact that I can use it as my own private photo service is pretty awesome. This NAS continues to provide new value every month I’ve owned it and It’s one of the few pieces of hardware that I’ve never regretted a single dollar I spent on it.
If you need to collaborate with anyone, I don’t think there is a better platform than Slack. I’ve written an ode to Slack and it continues to delight me everyday. I collaborate with seven different groups of people and share code, images and files through the various platforms they support.
Connect with Gabe on Twitter, @Macdrifter.