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Instacast

I’ve been running a lot lately, training for my first 10k race. Some of these runs are longer than I’ve run before…did 7 miles today and it took a little over an hour. You know, it’s good to listen to music when you run, but unless you’ve got a huge library, or buy lots of new music, it can get a little old. I’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of the Bootie and Hood Internet mashups.

I started thinking that maybe I should listen to audiobooks, but that gets either expensive, or troublesome if you try to check out an audiobook at the library (don’t get me started). So during spring break with the family, I poked around at some of the podcasts I’ve subscribed to but never listen to. You know what I’m talking about. Somehow I bumbled over to the B&B Podcast (great, btw) and one of their sponsors was Instacast. Never heard of it, so I grabbed it and gave it a try. It is excellent.

First of all, it’s for your iPhone. If you don’t have an iPhone, this is probably reason enough to get one. I’ve got a 16GB phone, and I’ve got a lot of apps, and pictures I keep making but never delete. So space is at a premium. This thing, Instacast, it lets you subscribe to podcasts, but stream them over the air. So smart. You can d/l podcasts, too, if you think you’ve got manky reception coming up or something. But this streaming dealio has been great for me. Saves me a ton of space, simplifies podcast discovery, I can subscribe to a bunch more podcasts without affecting available space, and it makes my long runs way less tedious.

Excellent product, highly recommended.

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The Twitterization of our culture has revolutionized our lives, but with an unintended consequence—our overloaded brains freeze when we have to make decisions.

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Just Moms

“Just Moms” is out now! Amy’s got an essay in it, and it’s the first thing she’s ever had published. I’m super stoked for her, and can’t wait to read the whole book. It’s a bunch of essays written by moms on topics like non-violence, simplicity, and contentment. It’s got an unabashed Christian bias, though not all the essays are explicitly Christian. Also, the cover was designed by my skate buddy Darryl Brown!

Looking forward to reading it…

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Nice post from KK on traveling without baggage.

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“I wouldn’t give a fig for the simplicity on this side of complexity; I would give my right arm for the simplicity on the far side of complexity.”

–Oliver Wendell Holmes

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Near Field Communications

The first edition of Google’s Think Quarterly has an informative article on Near Field Communications (NFC). It’s a clear explanation of the technology and it’s uses, the gist of which is to support the old saw that we’ll replace our wallets with our cell phones.

Of course I love this idea in theory, but I’m pretty skeptical that it will come to pass in the near future, at least in the U.S. There are just too many cards associated with organizations or businesses which simply don’t have the resources to convert to a new system, regardless how relatively inexpensive such a conversion may be. Consider your local library card–is your local library in an expansion mode, or a contraction mode? How about your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles? How’s their funding holding up? Are they ready to issue upgraded driver licenses to everyone in your state? Maybe your local schools and universities are ready for a wholesale conversion? The list goes on.

I like the old saying that goes something like, “In theory, there isn’t much difference between theory and practice. In practice, the difference is huge.” It feels to me like this is the case with NFC.

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Matt, commenting on his 100’s of hours of podcasting experience: “…my advice to anyone new to podcasting would be to stick with what is most simple and simply works.”

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New blog

So I’m at it again. After a few previous false starts, I’m going to get back into blogging. In part because I like writing, and it’s a good discipline for me. And in part as my own little rebellion against my tendency to take the easy way out with Twitter or Facebook.

It’s not going to be all long form posts here. In fact it’ll probably be mostly shorter bits that I find elsewhere on the web. I’ve noticed my tendency to read and resonate with a few specific topics, so this will be the place where I can write and respond.

At the moment this theme is straight up default. I figure if anyone finds this, they’ll use the RSS feed anyway. Regardless, I’ll pick away at theme customization over time.

Onward.