Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Bucket List for Summer - The Tech Edition

And I thought, nice! How timely! Because I've been meaning to share with you some things that have really improved my quality of life lately, too. I call them Game Changers. In fact, that's kind of a catchphrase around here lately. 

Last week's news: Clearly. Game. Changer. I mean, it doesn't get any more game changing than that, does it? And I'm happy to report, all remains well. Betas are fabulous. All levels are where they should be. Our GC is scheduling her first ultrasound later this week. We anticipate being able to see a heartbeat in just a few weeks. 


Ok, where was I? Oh yes. I wanted to share with you these techy things I love, and a few non-techy things that are pretty awesome as well. Almost all of these gems are free. Because I am all about the Free. I should probably note that this isn't a sponsored post of any kind (But hey, if someone wants to float something cool my way, I'm all ears. DM me). Now, here we go:

Tune In - This is a free app for your phone, iPad, mobile device, whatever, that lets you live stream real radio stations from around the world. This isn't Pandora. This isn't limited to what you can get (and pay for) on satellite radio - these are real stations with real DJs. Our kitchen dance parties have stepped it up a notch. First we were hooked on the University of California college stations, then we flipped over to Parisian public radio. BBC6 is pretty damn solid. I get my techno fix from Byte FM out of Hamburg. People: Game. Changer. 

Park Mobile - Another mega game changer. As you know, I've been spending a lot of time in Delaware lately due to circumstances out of my control. What is under my control, however, is fitting a few hours of beach time in while I'm there to decompress. It has become essential to my well-being. But parking meters - those @#$@! meters. They are a bitch. Even if you remember to stash your handy bag of quarters in your glove compartment.

Now, at least in the slower lower DE area, you can pay for your parking meter WITH YOUR PHONE. As in, get the app, type in your parking space, punch in your credit card, set the time. You get a text 15 minutes before your time expires and - wait for it - you press a button and your meter is extended. Sweet Jesus. For those of you who spend more than 2 hours at beach locations, you understand this is a beautiful, beautiful thing. Park Mobile, I heart you.

Evernote - This bad boy takes my obsessive note taking (psst, new article over at BlogHer. Check it out!) to a whole new level.  It's like having your little note book with you everywhere. I can pull down lists, groceries, blog post ideas from anywhere. Anywhere! I use this for work when I don't want to schlep my laptop around. I use this when I sit on the balcony and think of something I don't want to forget and have nothing near but my phone. You can clip web pages and add them, you can use audio, video, photos. Or just make lists and lists and lists. Like, ahem, I do.

Smart Girls at the Party - This makes me happy for every mom who is raising a little girl right now. In this world of crazy, there are smart and awesome and cool things out there that aren't snarky, aren't mean. They simply celebrate the wonderfulness of being a girl. Amy Poehler, you rock. 

The coolest hardcore techno compilation you will ever want. (if you're into that. I am) My pal Matt is 100 degrees of awesome. He's a London-based multi-media artist who also happens to throw down some amazing mixes. You can download them here. For free. But while you're there, go see what else he does. This particular mix is 2 hours long and filled with tunes that make me reminisce about a time I subsisted on beans on toast and clementines and played video games for days and maybe, just maybe, went to class.  I listened to this on the stairmaster last night, and felt really bad for the machine when I was done with it.

Ok, these next two items aren't electronic, but you could probably get them in a digital format? That counts, right?

Brendan Brazier's Thrive - You might recall a few months ago, I admitted to wanting to step our eating game up a little bit. To try to eat even healthier. This book right here - this was the ticket for us. I love everything about it. When we started with the P90X, a few of our friends wouldn't shut the hell up about their paleo diets and how we were really missing the boat if we didn't want to ingest pounds and pounds of animal flesh each day. Protein, man! Protein! That just wasn't cutting it with us. We thought there has to be some plant-based athletes that have figured this out. There is.

First I found the No Meat Athlete. That took us to Brendan's book. His whole m.o. is eating foods that are the most nutrient dense. There are also sections on eating to reduce your carbon footprint, water usage, etc.If you dig it, there's a follow up Thrive Food cookbook that we're making our way through right now.

660 Curries by Raghavan Iyer - Again. Game. Changer. M and I - we both love Indian food. We both admit that I haven't done a fabulous job creating flavorful curries at home. I mean, stuff is tasty enough, but nothing to knock your socks off. These recipes knock your socks off. With a quick trip to the indian grocery and the Asia Mall (yes, it's really called the Asia Mall) we had everything we need to grind our own masala blends, and get real with this shit.

We've had the book for a little more than a week. Made 4 recipes so far. And we stop and say, Wow. Holy shit. This is awesome. In between nearly every bite. This isn't a veg cookbook, but with 660 recipes, you can skirt around the meat based ones pretty easily if you don't want them. 

Alright! That's what I've got! Enjoy. 

Now, any game changers you want to share?


Nadine said...

Love me some curry! Yes to the game changer, wish I had an iPhone so I can use that radio app(did I mention my game changer, going to college in January and studying radio broadcasting, big ol game changer for me!).

Going to check out those books, discovered that my egg allergy is extended to chicken, my fav animal so looking hard at vegan.

Heather said...

I need to check out that radio app. Need.

Amy Poeler rocks.

And most of all, your baby ROCKS, all growing and stuff. Love it!

I ran tonight and wanted to think 'grow' with each step, but I was my typical distracted self. I kicked it up for the last half mile though and sent all my good thought's your baby's way.

I like saying, 'your baby'. I hope to keep doing it for a long while.

Oh, Game Changers? I've been thinking and haven't come up with any, but then I'm rather distracted by the Olympics. Hey, that's it. Did you see the ad of the kid running? The 'find your greatness' ad? It made me cry and started a good conversation with my daughter. I hope it's a game changer for her and how she looks at others.

Oh, and I finally dove into MathCad today at work, and that could be a game changer for my calculations, but that isn't so applicable to others.

Rambling over.

(your baby is growing!)

Heather said...



I may not be invited to Amy's next party.

m said...

@Nadine, you did NOT mention exploring new careers. How flipping cool. Chicken was one of the first things that left our menu (because M loves birds....) we found it pretty easy to replace. Hoping your transition is a smooth one.

You can also use the radio app right on your computer, or any other electronic device!

@Heather, you have me in tears. Thank you. I love your mantra and I love you saying my baby too.

Yesterday I ran with the mantra of "I am...a mother" with each breath. It felt weird at first. A little forced. But eventually became pretty soothing. I think I like yours even better.

OMG the Find your Greatness ad - I think we've only seen it once so far. M and I were both teary. I've got to find it - maybe share it here.

I heart apps that make my job easier. Glad yo umaybe found one for yours.