Binge On “Making a Murderer”

Have a little bit of extra downtime between now and the beginning of the year? Looking for a new show to binge on in the Netflix library? I highly recommend the documentary series “Making a Murderer.”

It’s the story of a man, Steven Avery, in rural Wisconsin who was wrongly convicted of rape, imprisoned for 18 years, and then released after DNA testing. He sued the county where he was arrested. There was a murder in his town and guess who was the first suspect. I’ll just leave it all there.

It’s a 10 part documentary series that’s very well done. It’s well paced. The end of each episode has something that makes you want to watch the next one.

The documentary shows where the criminal justice system can go terribly wrong, where justice isn’t done. It’s a true story. It’s crazy.

This series is definitely worth a watch. Here’s the trailer…

 

Advertisements

Siri helps me remember 

IMG_0809Especially as a parent, the amount of information and details that you have to keep straight and remember is never ending. I’m constantly trying to tweak my system of tools. The latest that’s become really handy is Siri on the iPhone.

For example, I woke up this morning and wanted to remind myself to change the cat litter this afternoon. I just need to tell Siri to “remind me to change the cat litter at 2pm.” Maybe I want to remember to blow out a candle or get the laundry. Sometimes I’ll tell it to set a reminder that I have an 830am meeting.

Siri is an incredible personal assistant voice-based platform. I tell it to remind me and it interfaces with the Reminder app on my phone.  I then get the notifications for the reminders.

I love the idea of using a computer as a personal assistant, especially when just using I can just talk to it like a person. I just wish Apple would open up Siri as a platform so more apps could integrate with it. I want to create an event with Google Calendar or make a note in Evernote using Siri.

Do you use Siri? What other helpful use cases have you found?

Espresso: it’s just more efficient 

IMG_0742As I’ve written about in other posts, in this new phase of my life, I’m really seeing how precious time is.  It’s our most valuable resource.

I’m also a huge coffee lover. I’ve perfected my setup to make a great pour over coffee. But that takes time. And let’s be honest. 99% of the time we drink coffee for the caffeine. It’s caused me to get into drinking espresso.

Espresso is the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee but it’s a lot smaller. It’s quick and easy. In a minute, you have your caffeine hit and you get back on with your day.

Plus you can really taste the flavor of the coffee. In a latte from Starbucks, you just taste milk and sugar, especially if you’re drinking the venti peppermint mocha. (Let’s be honest. That’s not coffee.) With espresso, you actually taste coffee. Crazy to drink coffee and taste coffee. If you’re like, “oh coffee… espresso tastes nasty.” Maybe you’re drinking nasty coffee.

It’s funny how drinking espresso in the United States is so rare, depending on where you are.  (I’ve found it to be much more common when I’ve traveled abroad.) I remember once my wife and I were traveling, to a smaller town. We went to the closest coffee shop. I ordered a double espresso. They were like “espresso… with what?” They were shocked that someone could order espresso by itself.

Do you drink coffee? Have you gotten into drinking straight espresso?

Getting up early 

The kid is starting to sleep in a little bit longer. So, instead of sleeping in, I’ve been trying to get up before him. I can use that time to make a cup of coffee, read the Bible, skim the NY Times and just generally reflect on the day ahead of me. 

It’s hard to get up early. It’s hard to build that new habit or routine. Time is so precious and mornings are some of the only places in my daily schedule where I can adjust things to make for more time. And that time can be just for me. 

I wish there was a way to stretch a 24 day hour day into 28 hours. It never feels like there’s enough time  or energy to get things done.  Time is the most precious resource. 

The morning time is the easiest place to reprioritize. I know some people that just hurl themselves out of bed and rush right into their day. That stresses me out just thinking about it. I need to ease into the day. So, I get up early. 

No wonder Chick-fil-A is always busy.

19095135158_779917dcb5_o

Lauren, Miles, and I were out running errands yesterday. Our tummies were all starting to rumble and were excited to see that a Chick-fil-A across the shopping center.  The last few times we went had been through the drive-thru. The kid had just taken a massive poop and we needed to change his diaper. So, we definitely opted to go inside.

When I got into the men’s bathroom, I was instantly excited. There was actually a changing table, which especially isn’t a given for a men’s bathroom. There was also spare wipes, spare diapers, and a stool for little kids to be able to reach the sink.  What kind of magical parenting paradise is this?

We got to our table and one of the employees offered to get us a clean high chair, which was puzzling to us. The one that was there was barely used. But the clean one came with hand wipes and placemat for the kid that stuck to the table. It’s like there’s someone at Chick-fil-A that’s actually been the parent of a young kid before.

Plus plus plus… the meal is decently healthy. It included grilled chicken, a fruit cup, and a bottle of reduced fat milk. I don’t feel guilty giving this to my kid, like every other fast food place. And it included an age appropriate toy. It was a book for kids 2 years and younger. 😀

And if all that wasn’t enough… there was an option, where you could order through the drive-thru and then one of the employees would setup a table with your food. You’d park and then enjoy the lovely meal inside.

At any given lunch time, you go into any Chick-fil-A and it’s HOPPING. Go into any other fast food restaurant and it’s up-in-the air, whether it’ll be a ghost town. I’m sure some CFO would cringe at the cost of all the extra amenities that Chick-fil-A is offering. But it’s the difference between in my relationship with Chick-fil-A and anywhere else.

With anywhere else, it’s just a transaction. I give you money. You give me food. But especially when you have a family, it’s never just about the food. The food is one of a hundred things thats running through my mind. If a restaurant can take 20 of those things off my plate, I get to actually enjoy the experience that much more.  Dang Chick-fil-A chicken sandwiches are good.  It’s like they’re on my side. And they’ll in the end get more of my money.

(Photo by Mike Mozart)

Reviving Communal Radio Programs

family-listening-radio-home-vintage-photo-01.jpg

When I got up this morning, I was excited to see a notification on my phone saying that the new season of the podcast Serial had finally launched.  This season they’re going to dive into the story of solider Bowe Bergdahl, who was taken hostage by the Taliban after deserting his post.

One of the reasons why Serial is so successful is because it’s so successfully edited and produced. Listening to the show feels like you’re watching a great episode of Law & Order. It’s paced so well.

My wife and I both work from home.  So neither of us have a commute where we can listen to the podcast, like lots of our friends. Tonight, we just sat in the living room, around my Jambox speaker, and listened to the first episode of Serial Season 2.

It reminded me of the photos of families sitting around the radio listening to programs, in decades past. Podcasting isn’t new. It’s been exploding for years now. But this is the first time there’s been a podcast where it seems normal to want to listen to it with someone else at the same time.

Season 2 is coming at a great time. Most of the network television shows are on winter break. So I can give Serial audio program the same time that I would’ve previously watched something. The fact that that’s happening

Are you listening to Serial together with someone else?

Webinars Make Conferences Less Worthwhile 

I’ve spoken at many conferences where I’ve traveled far and spent considerable money to talk to a room of 50 people. Over the last month and half, I’ve participated in or produced 3 webinars that reached together over 400 people.  And I did it from the comfort of my own home. 

The ease of holding a webinar and attracting a considerable crowd definitely makes attending or speaking at a conference a little less worthwhile. When you speak at a conference, you just get the pleasure of communicating your ideas and maybe the email addresses of as many hands you can shake after. When you hold a webinar, you get your message out there  and you get everyone’s email address. It’s fantastic. 

For conferences, there’s one thing that online can never fully replicate: the serendipitous connections. A good conference will attract great people that connecting with will be worth the price of admission. For as long as I’ve been going, SXSW has been about connecting with the people over the content. 

How will conferences change over the next few years to accommodate this?  Like could I hold a virtual conference that was a series of webinars?