Share Your World — Coffee and Climate


Time for another series of Share Your World questions from Melanie. Here goes:

If you drink coffee, how do you like it best? Hot, cold, iced, with cream, with sugar or black as black?

I do, indeed, drink coffee. Only hot coffee, only black coffee sweetened with one packet of Splenda.91AC3DFE-3D90-4FA1-A8D3-84E94D02B5D9

In your opinion, what’s the greatest invention of our age?

I’m using it to respond to Melanie’s SYW questions: the iPhone.94C25DF7-A8B9-4F49-8EBA-4B671FB8D0AE

Global warming? Reality or myth?

Global warming (aka, climate change) is reality. The Bible is myth.Once upon a time

Are you an explorer or more a home body?

I used to be an explorer back in the day. Now that I’m retired (and old), I’ve become more of a home body.DB8ADFC3-4E20-4196-96B8-FA8D97D53972

What were you grateful for this week?

Hmm. Other than I’m still alive and well (as are my wife, kids, and pets), I can’t honestly think of anything else. But maybe that’s enough.C0CAC0E9-781C-4507-8991-576E84794DFD

How I Spend My Time

Some of you are aware that I use my iPhone for blogging. I have the iOS WordPress app, which I use for reading and responding to comments on my posts and for reading what other bloggers I follow have posted and for commenting on their posts .

But for writing my posts I use my iPhone’s Safari browser to log onto WordPress because it’s easier to use for composing posts than the WordPress app for iOS editor. And it gives me a real-time word counter, which comes in handy for prompts with word limits.

Why my iPhone and not my laptop? I do it because I can read, comment, and post from anywhere. My bed, my living room, the dining room, my backyard, on a bus, at the park. And, if I do say so myself, I have become quite adept at using my iPhone’s virtual keypad.

Anyway, a few days ago I downloaded iOS 12, the latest iPhone operating system, to my iPhone. I have found a few quirky things (i.e., bugs), which I’m sure (hope) will be addressed in iOS 12.1. But one of the new features on iOS 12 is something called “Screen Time.” It keeps track of how much time you spend on your iPhone and how you’re spending that time.

Out of curiosity, last night before I went to bed, I checked Screen Time. And I’ll be honest with you, what I saw shocked me.D06C4129-5193-4F1D-8ED1-01A160F5EFBE.jpegOf the 17 hours I was awake yesterday (from 6 am to 11 pm), I spent 10½ using my iPhone. And of those 10½ hours, I spent 6¾ hours blogging — either reading, commenting, responding to comments, or posting.

In other words, I spent 61% of my waking hours on my iPhone, which is just nuts. But of those 10½ hours, I spent on my iPhone, nearly two-thirds of it was spent related to blogging.

I’ve been awake so far today for 2½ hours. That time includes taking a shower, getting dressed, fixing and eating breakfast and reading the newspaper. And yet, of that 2½ hours, I spent 1½ hours on my iPhone, one hour and 20 minutes of which were spent on WordPress.

I think I need to rethink how I’m spending my time.

How Do YOU Use Your Smartphone?

A023CB09-89DF-4A5E-B827-C42C3DDAB2C5Earlier today I wrote a somewhat tongue-in-cheek post about how personal technology, particularly the now ubiquitous cellphone, has evolved over the last quarter of a century.

In a comment I received from Teresa at The Haunted Wordsmith, she wrote about her smartphones, “We rarely ever use them as phones.”

That got me thinking that I, too, rarely use my iPhone as a phone (i.e., making and receiving phone calls). So if I don’t use it as a phone, what do I use it for? Well, here’s my list, in no particular order:

  • for texting
  • for WordPress
  • for instant messaging
  • for Google
  • to surf the net
  • for games
  • to get sports scores
  • to get the latest news
  • to get the current temperature and weather forecast
  • as a camera
  • as a photo editor
  • as a GPS device
  • to track my daily steps
  • as a notepad
  • as a reminder
  • as a dictionary/thesaurus/encyclopedia
  • as a calendar and appointment book
  • as an e-reader
  • to play music
  • to watch videos
  • for streaming
  • as a timer/stop watch/alarm clock
  • as a stock ticker
  • as a place to make online purchases
  • as a mobile banking device

But as a phone, not so much.

So what about you? Do you have a smartphone? How do you use it?

I Was Such a Nerd

Inspector-GadgetWas it just 25 years ago, give or take? Yes, it was. I was the epitome of a nerd. I had three devices hooked to my pants belt in holsters with belt clip thingies. One for my cellphone (a flip phone if I recall correctly), one for my pager (do you remember those?), and one for my e-mail-only BlackBerry. No wonder people often called me Inspector Gadget.

Sheesh, all I needed was a pocket protector or a large ink stain surfacing on my shirt pocket to complete the picture.

The cellphone was my personal device. But the pager and the BlackBerry and SkyTel pager were company issued. The pager was so that if my boss needed me, he could send me a page. He had instructed me to call him within two minutes of receiving the page or else. I always wondered “or else what?” But I didn’t have the balls to ask.

The BlackBerry was given to me so that I could receive and send corporate emails, meaning I was expected to read and respond to emails 24×7. This was before BlackBerry added phone capabilities to its devices.

And then everything changed when RIM, the company behind the BlackBerry, introduced a new combo Blackberry that included a cellphone. Suddenly I was able to merge everything into a single device and to drop down to only one device holstered to my belt. It was nothing short of brilliant.

Just about every business professional had a BlackBerry with them and the BlackBerry device literally ruled the nascent smartphone market.

Then Apple introduced its iPhone in 2007 and it was a game-changer. The iPhone had this magical touch screen where you could re-size the image with a pinch of your fingers. It had a virtual, rather than a physical, keypad. It had fast, easy web browsing. And it had apps. It had a camera, for crissake. You could not only get your e-mails, make phone calls, send text messages, and take pictures, you could access the internet, play games, and run all manner of cool apps. People gobbled the iPhone up.

I was a BlackBerry loyalist and pretty much held out from abandoning it to the iPhone. But in 2010, my company officially approved the iPhone as an alternative to the BlackBerry. Sorry BlackBerry, but at some point even an old fart like me had to admit that the time had come to stop buying records and to start downloading music from iTunes.

Yet I stubbornly continued to wear my iPhone in a holster attached to my belt. Until my wife and kids began to shun me. “You look like such a dork,” my daughter told me. My son told me it made me look geeky. And my wife said I looked like a nerd.

So about two years ago, much to the delight of my family, I gave up the holster and belt clip and started carrying my iPhone on my back hip pocket.

How cool does that make me? Old fart my ass!

On Not Being Present

Be Aware, Listening and Engaged words on papers pinned to a bullBeing present means having your focus, your attention, and your thoughts and feelings all fixed on the task at hand or the person/people you’re with. Being present requires you to pay attention, to be actively listening to those with whom you are having a dialogue, and to be fully engaged with whatever you’re doing.

Yeah, so what, you ask? Well, I’ve noticed lately that I often am not present. Yes, I’m physically present, but I’m not always aware, listening, or engaged in what I am supposed to be doing.

Like right now while my wife is preparing tonight’s dinner and asked me to keep her company. But I’m not really present, not really paying attention to what she’s saying. What am I doing? I’m writing this post and periodically nodding my head and throwing in an occasional “uh huh” for good measure.

Fortunately, my wife is as bad as I am. She’s always on Twitter in order to get the most up-to-date tweets from others who are also constantly on Twitter. I typically have to say something to her two or three times before she’ll actually look up from her smartphone.

When watching TV, be it a drama, a comedy, or the news, I find myself focusing more on what’s on my iPhone’s screen — my news feed, text messages, the WordPress Reader, and even composing new posts — than on what is playing on the TV.

When my family and I are out to dinner, all four of us are looking at our smartphones more than we are interacting with one another. I do turn off my phone when I go to a movie, but it’s the last thing I look at before the movie starts and I turn it on as soon as the movie’s over to see if I missed anything.

I even look at my iPhone while walking the dog! And yes, while sitting on the toilet doing my bizness.

So I really need to start being more present than I’ve been recently. I need to fight this addiction before it takes over completely.

Just as soon as I check the latest baseball scores on my sports app.