Category Archives: technology


Aldous Huxley once wrote, “After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.” In the margins of life, and when thinking deeply, music often expresses things better than I ever could. It also gets me out of funks, so I am listening a lot lately.

I am so grateful for Spotify, which makes it easy to listen to anything I want. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but it’s open to the public now and you should try it out if you like music.

I’ve chosen a song or two from 2011 albums of note (to me) and made a playlist. I listen to a lot of these as entire albums, but the playlist is a good launching pad. Also, going to the playlist will help you find me, as Michael and I are sharing an account and it is not linked to my facebook.

That’s a common theme lately, apparently, as my main pinterest is linked to twitter, not facebook, so everyone adds my boring account. Here I am! I can also invite you if you need the hook up.

Now With Mobile Posting Ability

I’ve been meaning to set up wordpress on my phone, but hadn’t found the motivation. Today, it was located, a package deal with a hard drive fail.


Not great timing, MacBook Pro, but it could be worse, I suppose.

Odds & Ends VI

Things look different around here. I changed the theme up, because I was ready for a change. In more “catching up with the rest of the blogosphere” news, you can now subscribe to comments. Regrettably, I can’t figure out how to let you log in with your twitter or openID accounts (feel free to suggest a plug in, kind readers.)

I also switched up the way I integrate facebook to encourage substantial conversations to happen in just one place. So far, RSS graffiti has been quick, reliable and worked well on the whole (as long as I post longer than 3 sentences.) The historian in me rejoices in the prospect of not having two comment threads happening at once when I write something people want to talk about (you know, every six months.) Facebook is great for leaving a quick like or short comment and I certainly welcome those bits of encouragement.

Over on goodreads you can read my review of a sweet middle grades novel, The Friendship Doll by Kirby Larson.

School starts this week and we are all thrilled. Hooray for school!


Spotify is pretty amazing. You can discover a lot of new music before you buy it or don’t even buy it at all (the artist is getting royalties from your plays, after all!) The library is large, so comparisons to netflix instant and other services seem really hollow. They don’t have some major artists or some very indie acts, but they do pretty well with the in between.

If you are already using Spotify, here’s a playlist I made of music I’ve been appreciating so far in 2011. Being able to easily share playlists through both twitter and facebook is another great feature.

We have a few more invites if you’d like one.


Moving amplifies the truth of Aaron Sorkin’s statement “socializing on the internet is to socializing as reality television is to reality.” There are social networks I see the usefulness of (facebook, due to it’s size), others I enjoy (twitter, instagram) and some I don’t quite understand the niche yet (google plus.) When you use social networks primarily to connect with people you have relationships with, it feels like a natural extension of friendship. When you’ve moved away, it feels more like grasping for what was and won’t be the same again.

That isn’t to say that there is no value in keeping up with old friends on facebook, it just makes the natural detachment of moving much more strange. It certainly makes it easier to wish I were back in Birmingham doing x at y with z right at this moment.

Life is a Miracle

“To know that I am ‘a white male American human,’ that a red bird with black wings is ‘a scarlet tanager,’ that this is ‘a riparian plant community’–all that is helpful to a necessary kind of thought. But when I try to make my language more particular, I see that the life of this place is always emerging beyond expectation or prediction or typicality, that it is unique, given to the world minute by minute, only once, never to be repeated. And then is when I see that this life is a miracle, absolutely worth having, absolutely worth saving….Perhaps we should wish that after the processes of reduction, scientists would return, not to the processes of synthesis and integration, but to the world of our creatureliness and affection, our joy and grief, that precedes and (so far) survives all of our processes.”

| Wendell Berry |

Websites I Recommend

Here are some websites I use, love, and recommend.

Goodreads is where most of my book reviews have found themselves these days. I love being able to instantly see the rating several friends have given a book when I look at it, many of my choices for new books to read come straight out of Goodreads. Keeping track of the girls’ books on their account is helpful and a category for books I own and haven’t read on my own means I don’t even have to go scan the shelves for that information. Literary laziness is a lovely combination. downloads are much cheaper than itunes or amazon, about $.50 a track. Sign up for a subscription and you can add extra credits via booster pack when you want more and freeze your account without deleting it when you are well stocked up or don’t want to spend money that month.

PaperBackSwap is a great website for those building home libraries. If you need a book next week, it may not come through for you, but by being patient and using the wish list feature well, we have accumulated almost 200 books in the last three years, each for the price of outgoing postage on one of our old books (or $3.50.) Almost all of the ones we have received have been in excellent condition, many like new. If you sign up and post 10 books you are willing to part with, they will give you 2 credits to start out with (worth one book each.)


Both Michael and I are now twittering tweeting using twitter.

Find us at and

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Chock Full of Love for Apple

I was reflecting this week about how much I love my iPod. I love driving around alone in silence (silence is at a premium when you have two toddlers) and having a song pop into my head, a song that was my favorite in the fall of 1999 but haven’t listened to in a year, and being able to have that song coming through the speakers in fifteen seconds or less. That’s pretty amazing when you think about it.

Mike got his ginormous Mac Book Pro from school the other day. It’s hard not to have Mac-lust when you’re sharing your home with one of those. I covet. Wishing, hoping, dreaming…

Technical Difficulties?

I know there is one person who cannot comment right now, but I’ve got a few spammers and a few regulars who’ve commented in the last two days, if you also have tried commenting and failed, drop me an email at kristen at (type out the words for TCL) so I’ll know it’s not just something with her browser.

Yahoo!s Bible Study Page

Yahoo! recently updated the My Yahoo! personalized homepage. It is now more AJAX-y and looks more web2.0 than their previous web1.0 browser.

On the interesting additions is the ability to share your pages (e.g., like netvibes) and it also offers pre-packaged pages. When I saw the ‘Bible Study’ page, I had to give it a shot.

It contains:
ESV One Year Bible Readings
Daily Bible Readings from KJV
Bible Study Reflections — looks like a daily devo.
Pastor Jon’s Blog
Christian Links:Bible
Christian Blogs

I found it interesting that made it onto Yahoo!’s radar, and that the ESV is the top module, set to get some major looks. I guess it helps me to feel more ‘mainstream’ in the Christian world.