Map My Fail

I’m a fitness tracker. Exercise, weight, the foods I eat, how much water I drink… I track it all. It helps motivate me to get healthier.

The other day, I walked my dog to the library so I could return a book. It’s a moderate-length walk for us, a couple of miles, and was uneventful save for the fact that my phone crashed while I was using it to track my exercise. So when I got home, I had to log the walk manually. My phone still didn’t want to behave, so I fired up my laptop to use the tracking app’s web interface. What greeted me was an object lesson in usability:

Usability fail Continue reading

Community, Literature, Snow


The happy little snowman I walked past in my ‘hood a couple of weeks ago.

Snowmageddon hit the East Coast this week, and judging from my social media feed I think at least a few people took the opportunity to immerse themselves in books they’d not previously found time for.

I live in the Midwest, and we saw only an inch or so of accumulated snow throughout the entire week, which is nearly nothing by our standards. We also saw the end of a cold snap, with temperatures rising from the single digits, which even we consider cold, to the upper 20s, which in January constitutes a virtual heat wave. We took advantage of this very moderate weather by getting our dogs out for longer walks, which makes both them and everyone around them happier.

Despite the moderate weather, I still found myself immersed in books throughout much of the week and weekend: reading, thinking and talking books. Continue reading

A Modern Trifecta: Science, Technology, Ethics


Christmas is past, the new year ahead, and in between traveling to and fro, baking, cooking, and cleaning, I’m able to do a bit of reading and thinking. They go together, of course; it’s one of the reasons I read.

Right now, I’m thinking, and reading, about the ethics of technology and science–the ethical challenges, that is. Continue reading

Dog Songs

Tank_InstagramWe have a bunny in our back yard. Or it might be a parade of several bunnies passing through on a regular basis. We have a pond, which attracts birds, bunnies and assorted other wildlife, and of course they attract other wildlife, including at least one hawk.

All of this gives our dogs fits. And they, in turn, give us fits. Continue reading

Cookies and Exhaustion and Christmas–It’s All Good

Christmas Cookies
I made about 300 Christmas cookies this weekend (literally), saw my first opera, painted toys to give to underprivileged children, finally bought those Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movies we watch every New Year’s Eve, and did some good Christmas shopping–meaning, at the bookstore, where I always feel I’m getting gifts people will enjoy and also supporting writers. Oh, and I read some poetry, too.

Welcome to the holidays; it’s all good! Continue reading