Year: 2014

WSJ: You Can Ditch Your PC Now

Completely agree with the main idea of this article… Chromebooks (and tablets to some extent) are mature platforms and great devices for both creating and consuming content for personal and business use:

In short, I’m done with PCs—at least as they are conventionally defined. And I think the majority of long-suffering PC users would be too if they weren’t so accustomed to thinking of computers in the same way they have for decades. Building new technology is easy compared with changing the habits of those who use it.

via You Can Ditch Your PC Now – WSJ – WSJ.

Why Blogs?


Blogs are — or at least were — different. They are an individual’s place for speaking out loud, but the relationships that form around them were based on links among posts, not social networks that link among people. I’m all for social networks, but we also need networks of ideas.

via Joho the Blog » The Blogosphere lives!.

Fun day of great Harrelson Agency client meetings in beautiful Asheville!

The Next Printing Revolution

Having access to a 3D printer at Hammond has definitely changed the way I think about design, production, and consumption (in a school environment at least).

I greatly look forward to the concept of printing to continue to extend from hand written manuscripts to the printing press to 3D printing to this type of molecular crystal printing…

But the most interesting application has to be the potential for 3D-printed pills and medications. The technique could be adapted into a consumer-friendly machine allowing patients to simply print their own medicines in the exact dosages they need.

via Scientists Produce Rounded Crystals That Could Lead To 3D-Printed Pills.

Posting to Social Spaces Instead of Blogs

I’ll admit, there are times when I think it would be much easier to share links, ideas, and posts via something like Google+ or Facebook or Twitter rather than my blog.

Then I take a deep breath and step back. I realize the instant amount of traffic that is offered by those services doesn’t equate to the feeling of having my own space on my own blog.

Just a late night feeling after a long day.

My Favorite Albums

My friend Royce challenged me to list my favorite albums on Facebook.

I love music, so this is hard. But here we go…

Nirvana: Nevermind (the album that made me like music and changed my life and my generation.)

The Beatles: (The White Album) (sure, Abbey Road is a/the masterpiece, but I’ve always loved the chaotic underbelly of the Beatles…for me, this is pure music perfection.)

Willie Nelson: Spirit (the best Willie album… “it’s been some of them days, Lord.”)

Flaming Lips: Soft Bulletin (cause “It’s getting heavy…”)

Ryan Adams: Heartbreaker (even if it is named after a Mariah Carey song.)

Wilco: Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (Reservations is my anthem and this is the best album of the century so far.)

Not too far away from my list in 2008.

Just told my (in)famous “three legged pig” joke on the sixth grade field trip in honor of all my beloved students who had to suffer through it over the years. All is right with the world.

Packing for my first field trip in a couple of years. Headed to Space Camp with our Hammond Sixth Graders tomorrow through Friday. I’m probably more nervous and excited than they are (maybe).

I Went Back to Android

I tried.

I bought an iPhone 5s in August and did everything I could to try and live in an Apple ecosystem full time (for science).

However, given the choice at the Verizon Store yesterday between an iPhone 6+ and a new Moto X, I took the Android path.

I don’t regret or second guess my decision one bit. I’m typing this now on my Moto X and I’m loving this phone so far. Its quite possibly the best mobile I’ve ever owned (given, it’s only been a day).


I’m in the Google cloud, I like to tinker, and I don’t like having the same phone as 90% of the people I see around me. Plus, I can run my life and business on this phone in ways that aren’t possible with iOS.

iPhone is great. It’s just not for me.

Smells Like Teen Spirit

The album Nevermind was released by Nirvana / Geffen 23 years ago in 1991 (I was 13).

I remember this intensely because the day the album was released I was riding with my mom to the local discount superstore (Roses in Marion, SC) and I was intent on buying an Eric Clapton tape.

On the way, mom switched on the radio and I’ll never forget hearing the first few riffs of Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana on her Honda Accord speakers.

It changed my life. I was 13 and I finally heard music. I’ve preached sermons about this moment. Seriously.

“For this gift, I feel blessed.”

I bought the Nevermind tape instead of Clapton’s. It has made all the difference.

Thanks, Kurt.

Taking Flight

Excited to see Blair getting recognition for his initiative to get our flight simulator program going (not to mention all the other things he does for Hammond from our athletic program to to keeping me full of ideas for ways for us to be innovative):

Through the generosity of Columbia native Austin Meyer, Hammond is the fortunate recipient of state-of-the-art flight simulation equipment used in the aeronautics industry.  On a recent Friday afternoon, Senior Blair Epting successfully took flight. Along with guidance from physics instructor Hazel Mohammed, Blair has successfully navigated the X-Plane software and tried his hand at everything from helicopter to futuristic plane launches and landings.  Keeping him grounded is going to be a difficult task!

via School News – Hammond School.

Home Screen on My iPhone 2014

I like to post these every so often (this one from 2010 is historic) for my own archive uses


By the way, someone asked me yesterday why I had Lastpass on the front page and what it did as an app. I don’t know any of my passwords as they are all generated by Lastpass. Between that and using 2 factor authentication for everything I can (the Google Authenticator app beside Lastpass on the top row), I feel pretty confident about my security online. Those are two of myost used apps as a result.

Additionally, I’m glad to see services like Mint (my personal accounting app) and Evernote integrate their apps with TouchID on the iPhone so that I have to supply my thumbprint to open them up (Bank of America is releasing their updated app with that integration as well).

Security is my app theme for the end of 2014, evidently.

Excited to have @meriannaneely here @hammondschool for the day!

Iterative Learning

Using our @makerbot Replicator 5th Generation to study design process involved with making movable parts in a single print here at Hammond…


U2’s New Album

I was a huge fan of U2’s Achtung Baby, Zooropoa and Pop albums. They are still three of my “desert island” albums that I go to when I need a good listen while grinding out some work.

I own a number of b-sides, collectibles, and even vinyl versions of U2 albums that I’ve collected over the the years because of what their music in the 90’s meant to me. However, I was pretty disappointed in the new album (you know, the one that Apple put on your iPhone and iTunes without asking) on first listening.

After my third listen tonight, the album is warming up to me with a couple of standouts, but I’m still trying to get to the point where I actually like it.

Fricke knows his stuff, though. Here’s a good review…

“We can hear you,” Bono swears. “Your voices will be heard.”

via U2’s New Album: Songs of Innocence | Rolling Stone.

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