Coastal energy currents.

As I write this post a dust storm is moving into the neighborhood.  I imagine there is enormous energy contained in this phenomena.  About two years ago, around this time, one of those storms reared it’s head and moved through PHX.  I do not say reared it’s “ugly” head because the footage of it was amazing.  It was beautiful.  I was not here at the time.  Perhaps I might think otherwise if I was in PHX. Some statistics would suggest it was ugly.  Over a 4 year period storms like this caused 15 deaths and 614 accidents in AZ (the same article I got that from suggested 2,323 accidents in NM.  Strange considering the population density in AZ is higher…I think.) That storm was called a 100 year storm.  Some called it a curse from God (from comments in some articles).  I do not claim to know God’s will but calling it a curse from God is just ridiculous and demonstrates a lack of critical thinking.  Alas, that’s another post for another time.

Just as there is energy in a dust storm (or any storm. Imagine being able to harness that amount. WOW!) there is energy in places.  There are many of these places.  This energy is hard, if not impossible to measure.  The energy I refer to is the restorative energy one might receive from being in a favorite place.  For me one of those places is the coast.  I’ve spent time on both east and west coasts and while I love both my favorite is the Pacific side.  I am a bit biased through.  I grew up in the West and spent many family vacations in Southern California.  I currently live in a desert and the call of the ocean was strong recently so I made a trip out there to scratch that itch.  I can’t quite explain it but the ocean has a very regenerative energy and incites much needed inspiration.  The gallery included in this post contain photos from that trip.  I’ve been experimenting with filters (some are filtered out the wazoo).  Enjoy.

The Apptasitic Voyage.

I was born a poor salamander to a wolf and a used car salesman.  Living off the land in the swamps of the Okefenokee wildlife refuge, my family foraged for pineapple nuts, hub caps, old car parts, and  catfish.  We loved Noodling as much as we loved breathing.   …..Do I have your attention?  Are you still with me?  That might be a more interesting story than my chosen topic, but it has nothing to do with it.  So, let’s go ahead and jump right in to the Mac apps.(The author wishes to apologize for the above paragraph.  It was random.  I blame my tragic childhood tainted with unhealthy doses of Monty Python.  Besides, it gets me in the writing mood)

Disclaimer:  I am NOT an Apple/Microsoft/Linux/Android – Fanboy.  None of the above.  Nope.  However, this post is about those specific things.  Not all of them, just Apple, or rather Mac OS apps to be specific with a dash of Microsoft thrown in (Sorry Apple.  There are some things they still do better in my opinion.  More inside.  Keep reading young one.)

The Chosen ones

The Chosen ones

I have used a Mac for years.  I am trained in the classical style of MS but for the past 2.5 years my primary computing device has been a Mac.  I drive a MacBook Pro 2.4 Ghz Intel Core 2 duo running Mac OSX 10.8.2  It’s been very dependable.  I have grown quite attached to it.  I call it…George.  No, I do not!  It does not have a name, but it has some stickers from cool cycling companies plastered on the lid.  Macs are cool because they have style.  If you are the creative type, you know what I’m talking about and it’s all about style.  Right?  Even the apps are smooth, sleek, hot mamas.  Was that too much?  Perhaps.  There are a few apps which I find indispensable on my dear Mac so here I present to you my hot list.  The apps that I mostly cannot function without.  The winners are not necessarily in order of greatness.

Evernote: My favorite app of all time!  If this app was a person and I could only choose one person to be with on a deserted island with, Evernote would be that person.  Evernote is the ultimate note taking tool of everything.  The latest iteration is fantastic.  Superb organization of topics into virtual notebooks, superb searching, browser integration with Web Clipper, device synchronization (Have Evernote installed on all devices, sign in, make notes anywhere, sync to all devices. Your notes available anywhere you go).  Trust me.  Go get this.  Fall in love.

MS Office: Face it.  It’s everywhere.  It is The King of office and school tools. It’s foothold it solid.  I use it on the Mac and my current version is 2011.  It has made vast improvements however, the windows version is a bit more feature rich and easier to navigate.  Sometimes I find myself switching to a PC to use the Office suite of products.  I warned you I would talk about MS.  There, enough said.

Chrome: How can I not mention a browser?  It is my browser of choice.  It’s lightweight, has a great Find function, a great app store, and generally more dependable than the other mainstream browsers.  I’m not saying it doesn’t have problems.  It does.  However, while I still tend to gravitate there, it will be my browser of choice.  (Honorable mention goes to Firefox and namely a nifty research add-on called Zotero)

Jing: From the fine folks at TechSmith, comes a screen capture tool that has saved many a day where explaining something over the phone or text just would not do.

Browser Apps: A few favorites I enjoy but are not necessarily “must haves”.  Punchfork – Recently eaten up by Pinterest, it is without question my goto for recipe.  I gain weight just looking at it.  Go there now and hate me later.  A recent find for photography is PicMonkey.  It’s quite feature rich for online editing of photos.  However, to get the full set you must to subscribe.  It is such a tease.  An evil temptress it is.  The jury is still out whether I will take the plunge to fork out the case to do so.  It is worth checking out though.

TextWrangler:  You need to have a good text editor.  Sometimes…well, much of the time if you work in Tech, you need a text editor powerful enough to handle anything thrown at you without all the clutter a word processor might dump in your lap.  The clutter.  You know?  All that special hidden formatting stuff?

Komodo Edit: Free, open source code editor, syntax coloring.  Nothing more to say here.

There’s my short list.  I’d love to hear about your favorite apps.  I am always on the look-out for new, exciting, creative ways to make our lives easier, productive, and fun.  Bring it on.

The Orb of Awesome.

The Sumo trademark.

The Sumo trademark.

There is a fruit that is desirable above all other fruits.  It is delicious to the taste.  It is known in Japan as Dekopon or Shiranui but here is it known as the Sumo.  I call it the Orb of Awesome.  It really is, awesome!  This is of course my opinion and you should trust it.  I discovered these orbs of citrus delight a year ago and have waited with much anticipation for the season to start again.  The season is from February – May, available ONLY then and ONLY in Whole Foods stores.  I haven’t seen them anywhere else so if you know of another chain that sells them please speak up.  (Pssst.  They are quite expensive at the current rate of $3.49/lb)

Besides being enormously good, there is also a side of these guys that are analogous to life (Come on.  Don’t tell me you didn’t see this coming.).  You see, they aren’t very attractive.  In fact, if you were to pass them in the store you might think they where oranges on their last day on the shelf.  Tomorrow they are going in the trash!  …No.  This is just the way they look.  They are not the best looking citrus in the family.  I watched as many passed by noting them more as an oddity (or perhaps it was sticker shock), and go ahead about their shopping as if there was nothing really special to see here.  However, on the inside they are absolutely wonderful.  So it is with many people I meet.  Nothing special on the outside.  Average, plain, rough around the edges…you get the picture.  Once you give them a chance, find out who they are, and peel away the surface, you find they are all juicy and orange on the inside.  🙂  No.  I’m just kidding of course.  Often, after peeling away the superficial topside, you may find something really beautiful.  Something completely wonderful.

The Sumo.  Silent and delicious.

The Sumo. Silent and delicious.

The crown jewel of citrus

The crown jewel of citrus

Sooo tasty.

Sooo tasty.

Sumo1

Click on the SUMO! Magnify! You want to make it bigger!

Going...Going.  nom nom nom

Going…Going. nom nom nom

These pictures only look tasty.  You won’t know how awesome they are until you go get one and try it out yourself.  So get out there, BE AND FEEL AWESOME!

Want your car to glory in citrus goodness?  Peel one of these babies in your car and leave the peels on the floor overnight.  Be sure to clean it up later.  I will not be help responsible for your heathen uncleanliness!

To find out more about the Sumo, head on over HERE.