Joel Carranza is a software developer living in New Orleans. His projects include Pinswift, a pinboard app for iOS, and NOLA Transit, a transit app for the city of New Orleans. These are his good things.
Good things to read.
River of Shadows by Rebecca Solnit. This fascinating biography of Edward Muybridge interweaves the history of photography, motion pictures, and the development of the American West into one amazing story.
Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin. A beautifully written crime novel set in my home state of Mississippi.
The First Law Trilogy by Joe Abercrombie. A fantastic fantasy series which I started reading while waiting for the next Game of Thrones book. There are actually 6 books, but each book stands up on it’s own, and you don’t even need to read them in sequence. Abercrombie’s gritty writing focuses on the brutality of war from the soldier’s perspective rather than the politics of kings, and is, at times, funny and incredibly violent.
Good things to watch.
True Detective. This is probably my favorite TV series since The Wire. Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson are detectives trying to hunt down an occult serial killer while dealing with their damaged personal lives. The dialogue and acting are great and the cinematography wonderfully captures the beauty and natural creepiness of southern Louisiana.
Take Shelter. A working-class father starts having visions about the apocalypse and decides to build a bomb shelter in his backyard. Directed and written by Jeff Nichols whose latest movie “Mud” (also starring Matthew McConaughey) is also excellent.
Deskbound by Kelly Starrett. I, like so many people in my profession, suffer from pain related to prolonged work on the computer. This talk, given by physical therapist Kelly Starrett, totally changed my understanding of the problem and helped me start getting serious about taking care of my body.
Good things to use.
Paper. For years I’ve tried to manage all aspects of my life using software, but lately I’ve returned to pen and paper for planning, organizing, and task management. Ultimately, most of my work does get stored digitally, but I find by working on paper first the end result is more coherent. I don’t use anything fancy here, but when I want to nerd out on analog tools I read The Cramped or browse on jetpens.com
Belroy Card Sleeve Wallet. Last year, I radically downsized my wallet to just a few credits cards and a driver’s license, and I am never going back. This “card sleeve” is stylish, well-made, and doesn’t even give you the option of stuffing it full of unnecessary junk.
Zojirushi Travel Thermos. I love this coffee thermos. Everything about it feels perfectly designed and engineered. It holds two cups of coffee and has a lid which pops open with a button. In addition, it has a locking switch which prevents the top from opening accidentally. I sometimes bike with my coffee and this is the only liquid container I trust to go in my bag with the rest of my gear. It has never leaked a single drop.
Connect with Joel on Twitter, @_thedudeabides_