iOS Do Not Disturb While Driving

Since iOS 11 Apple introduced a featured called “do not disturb while driving” where it tries to detect when you are driving and prevent notifications. On the surface, it sounds like a great feature and I enabled in a few weeks ago thinking it would make driving safer.

What I found in practice is it’s been very annoying for me. I’m not a Siri user and when I stop at red lights I typically unluck my phone and change the music. It’s not been sensitive enough to know that I’m now stopped so every time I have to select the option, “I’m not driving” which turns the whole thing off.

I imagine if I used Siri more often, I could just use that to tell it to play something new, but as I’ve written before I have no confidence in Siri, so I don’t use it. I think “do not disturb” while driving is a useful feature and I’m all for it, but right now it isn’t really polished enough for me and feels like more of an annoyance than anything.

It’s one of those features that is so close to being perfect I want to keep it activated, but at the same time, I think I’d prefer to just turn it off and be done with it.

How about you? Is this a feature you use? Am I the one doing it wrong and it’s really a great feature? Feel free to sound off in the comments below.

Bullet Journaling

bullet-journal.jpeg

Todo lists are my kryptonite. I’ve used them all and I’m never satisfied. I like the scheduling components of digital and how easy it is to add, move, or arrange different tasks but I also like physically writing them all out.  It’s a vicious cycle. One week I’m using Todoist, then the next I’m back to pen and paper.

One of the advantages to pen and paper that many people forget about is it creates a type of daily log book with every day outlined. I enjoy looking back on a day from a year or two ago and seeing exactly what I was working on, what I was focused on, and what my day was like. I’ve been doing that for a few months now and it works, but some tasks are falling through the cracks when I don’t complete them on the day I write them down.

That is where The Bullet Journal comes in. I have the daily log down, but I was missing the rest of the structure. The index, the monthly log, the future log, and migrations. All of those combined with the daily log create the whole process and makes it a decent system.

The book outlines all these steps (you can find this online for free), plus goes into details about the preparation, the practice, making it your own, and much more. It also makes a great desktop resource that you can quickly reference if you forgot how something is supposed to work.

This week I’ve been doing it every day and I’m feeling more focused. I spend about 20 minutes each night planning out the next day and reflecting on what I did or didn’t do on the current day.  Here is my plan from last night:

bullet-journal-daily-log

Since I love to draw it’s also giving me a reason to pull out the colored pencils and create a daily calendar. There are so many different ways you can bullet journal and I’m finding that I like using their system as a base and then just add on to as needed. For example, if I have something on my mind, I flip to a new page and just start writing to get it out of my head. I’ve honestly been doing that a lot when I come across articles or tweets I disagree with. After writing it out I lose interest in engaging in the futile art of social media banter. Also, when I come across a quote I like I flip the page and write it down.

quotes

All in all, it’s a pretty engaging system and if you are unhappy with how you are keeping up with your tasks give it a try. It might suit you or it might not, and to me, life is all about trying new things to see what sticks.

Vintage Instagram

Stringed Picture Hanger

For a long time, I’ve wanted one of these for my office wall. I’m not exactly sure what to call it, but it’s an excellent way for me to hang up art my kids have created and pictures that I’ve taken that I might want to share with friends and family. Even though I’ve shared most of these before on digital channels, I think there is something more personal about looking at them hanging on a wall in your home, and now I can see them every time I walk in and out of my office. Double win.

Blowing Rock

Yesterday was my 40th birthday so I took the day off work, let the kids skip school, and we headed up to the mountains of NC to visit Grandfather Mountain and walk across the swinging bridge. After our 2+ hour drive, we arrived and at the entrance, the guard said the top of the mountain included the bridge was closed for maintenance. Talk about disappointment.

We pulled out the map and found that Blowing Rock was nearby and it’s a place we’ve never visited so headed in that direction. On the way, we stopped at a few overlooks to stretch our legs and get some photos. Even though the trip didn’t go as planned it was still a lot of fun. Here are some of the photos from the trip.

Pedialyte – A Marketing Success Story

A few weeks ago I went on a vacation to the city that is in the middle of the desert, Las Vegas. Even though it was technically late winter or early spring the weather is always dry and hot.

On the massive billboards down the strip, I kept seeing marketing for Pedialyte. Something to the effect of “Stay hydrated Vegas, drink Pedialyte.” It stuck in my head because I’ve always thought of children when I hear the word Pedialyte.

Flash forward to this past week when I’ve been mountain biking every day, and I got dehydrated. The first thing that came to mind was Pedialyte, and I went out and bought some.

They didn’t use invasive tracking pixels, they couldn’t measure engagement, it was just an old school traditional advertisement with a simple message everyone can relate to. That’s marketing!

Closed Captioning

Kottke has a new post outlining why everyone is watching TV with closed captioning turned on and it made me think of my own habits and how I’ve started using it.

I think around six months ago I would be watching a movie and it seemed like I had to have the volume fairly loud to hear the dialog, but then when scenes played music the music was super loud. So then I’d have to turn it down, only to turn it back up again 30 seconds later. I thought it was quite annoying and rude of the movie producers.

Anyway, because of this I turned on closed captioning so I didn’t have to fiddle with the remote or the volume. Since doing it I don’t even like watching TV without it on, and as far as I know I don’t have any hearing problems.

Of course, I’d also rather read a blog post than listen to a podcast. I think maybe I’m just wired to prefer reading over listening.

PHP: Underscores for Private

Jeffrey Way released a new Laracasts Snippet, and in it, he mentioned a tweet from me:

In the podcast, he talked about how PHP felt more “libertarian” in the early days. The underscore represented that this should be protected or private and even though this is a recommendation from the creator of the code, you are an adult, and if you want to do something with it, then you accept the risk.

The language and community have since switched the stance, and now everyone wants to restrict it with the feeling that if it’s code you are writing, then you know best how it should be used.

I’m not sure one way is better than the other, but as I mentioned in the tweet, I miss the old days.