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Adios Audible

October 2, 2016 10 Comments



I have enjoyed the audible reading app from Amazon that I test drove for the last three months. In the past I had listened to audio books on long drives, but rarely at home. I took the free membership that included 3 free books over a period of three months. It is fun, but I will not continue to pay for it when the free trail ends.  I do enjoy telling my robot Alexa to read to me at home, but I can still purchase books I like from Amazon and add whisper sync audio if it is available for that book.  Then I have access to the audio version forever without paying for a separate audible subscription.  If I had a different lifestyle that including a lot of time in my car I would consider staying subscribed to this service. Here are the features I appreciate the most:

  • The app keeps track of your place in the book so you can switch devices at will
  • Some books are read by the author which brings another level of authenticity
  • The channels, updated constantly, provide excellent original content
  • The selection is extremely diverse, and is also updated all the time

It is true that during my audible free trail I managed to listen to 5 books that I found useful.  This is an increase in the average number of books during a 3 month period.  I purchased the last one in hard copy with whisper sync so I can continue to listen after I kiss this membership good-bye four days from now.  I think Alexa knows how to whisper sync.  If not, I will whip out the bluetooth speaker and listen the old fashioned way.  Do you listen to your content, or read it?  Do you use books printed on paper or electronic devices to read?  Do tell, gentle reader.

Weekend Coffee Share, Procrastination As Art

September 25, 2016 6 Comments

spark joy

spark joy

If we were having coffee this weekend I would invite you to join the world wide gathering of coffee and tea drinkers who share an interest in reading and writing.  It is fun to be back at the table with such a diverse and interesting crowd.  I feel good about hosting you this weekend because I just received my fall order from my favorite tea company.  Even though I had many on hand, I just love having a wide variety of tea because we drink it all day every day.  I also drink coffee, but cold tea is our main beverage de la casa.  I can offer you roiboos, honeybush, green, white, and fruit based tea.  I am binging on one of the new ones, a green tea with caramel hints for fall.  It is not overly flavored, but the hint of caramel lingers after I drink it.

If we shared our deepest conflict of the week mine would have to be the stand off in which I find myself with the Japanese tidy lady, Marie Kondo.  She has published two books that have inspired a wave of praise.  I decided to have my robot Alexa, and Audible in general, read her first book to me.  This step by step guide to clearing out junk by clearing out emotional clutter is specific and wonderfully logical.  After hearing The Life Changing Magic Of Tidying Up I realized that I had no hard copy, and would never be able to follow her intricate folding technique without that.  I bought her second book, Spark Joy, in the kindle print version, then added narration in order to continue my audio tutelage from Ms Kondo.  I listen to her at home and at the gym. I am convinced she is right about everything.

While I do donate and cull my possessions all the time I know I will not have permanent freedom from clutter, both emotional and physical, until I follow the tidy steps.  Instead of doing that I am listening to the books and telling everyone how great they are.  I have not started the program, and have, indeed, while supposedly enrolled in Ms Kondo’s Key to Happiness class, placed a big tea order without going through my tea cupboard to tidy. I have also purchased a fabulous reversible jacket on sale at a thrift store that came out to just $3 per jacket, if you count both sides. I am a complete jacket-a-holic.  I know when I finally make the clothing piles the jacket pile will be the most obscene and ridiculous.  I have them stashed in every closet and in the barn.  Marie would so bust me, and in fact, she has fully busted me rhetorically.  I would like to see her try to bust me in person…really I would.  I am now using major procrastination, thinly disguised as training, to listen to the books instead of doing the tidying.  I am pretty sure this is antithetical.

I had a comical conversation about the tidy lady and her program with a friend who is a successful real estate agent.  She owns lots of stuff as well as lots of real estate.  We discussed the perils of owning a barn.  In the end we decided we should just walk around and give our stuff directly to homeless people.  We would have fun doing it.  However I go about this I need to commence.  The agony of procrastination is not worth it.  I am not a terrible hoarder, but am certainly meeting the part of me that would just as soon become one in the future.  Her little shadow persona must be brought to heel.

I enjoy hearing from all you nordics at the coffee party, with your leaf colors, and your fall customs.  I had to buy a new air conditioning unit last week because it is still very hot in Tucson, and mine died.  I did get a good deal from a local company, so all is well.  I have every kind of tea, and the house is cool and comfy.  I think you will be fine with the present level of tidy, but don’t open my office closet.


The Fine Line Between Culture and Cult

August 10, 2016 2 Comments


Originals by Adam Grant

Originals by Adam Grant

I am listening to the book Originals by Adam Grant.  This audio book is the second of my free treats in the 3 month Audible subscription I have initiated.  I am employing Alexa in the Echo to read the book to me at home.  When I go to the gym I switch to the iPod or iPad for a workout.  The system knows how to bookmark my last page and start in that spot without a hitch.  This is fun for now, but I don’t see myself keeping the membership for the extra $15 a month.  You still have to purchase the audio books beyond that basic dues payment.  I like it as a temporary novelty, but I still have some of my favorite books on audio CD, which is the only way I can listen in my car.

I love the theory as well as the writing in this book.  The way originality develops and makes change possible in the world is a subject this author has studied from many perspectives.  His many concrete examples of entrepreneurs who both fail and succeed to execute meaningful change help the reader understand how power and status quo operate.  The common beliefs that great risk and speed are the keys to cultural change are disproven with real stories.  Procrastination may well be the innovator’s best friend.  By waiting for the first line to fail in various ways, the second line is an a much better position to correct mistakes while proving the need for the same innovations.  “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and among his own relatives, and in his own household.” Mark 6:4

Birth order and other lifestyle factors are studied as possible catalysts for becoming a meaningful leader.  Groupthink is the enemy of originality.  When non-conformists are able to use influence to create a change in culture, in business or in politics, it is because the original has learned to open a cultural mentality, destroying the myth of the cult.  Even in our fast-changing world with innovation running  copiously toward individualization status quo is still the strongest force.

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