April 3rd, 2020

Friday Notes 097 - April 3 2020

Recently, Justin Tadlock, wrote an excellent post about the little things he's been missing while practicing social distancing. Yes many of us WFH people had little change. My kids were going to be home the first two weeks anyway with spring break.

My days are spent largely in my office typing away, much as they currently are. But there are a bunch of little things that I miss.

Every Friday I'd work a bit in the morning and then head out to Starbucks and sit with a bunch of retired guys and talk about nothing. They'd tell me about working in the forestry industry for decades or the geological survey's they did in the mountains around town. One is very into books from India, and he has suggested many books over the years. Some have been great, some not so much, but the conversation we have about them is excellent. It also happens that I met his son and grandson in the backcountry winter camping when I took my oldest out a few years back. Without regular meeting we wouldn't have realized this connection and I got to show him the pictures of the kids playing together in the snow.

I'm also a block from my regular bookstore, which is a trip I make at least once a week. I bug my wife about purchases from Lulu Lemon, and she rightly raises her eyebrows and looks at my stack of books. I miss going in there and simply browsing with no agenda. That's how I found The Underground Girls of Kabul, Quest in Paradise, and many other books that are on my shelves.

I miss engaging with Adam in particular because we share many of the same tastes in books, but also have a few key ones we differ widely on. We talk about the current reads and discuss past books we've read.

I miss these little interactions in my week and there doesn't seem to be a time soon that they'll be returning. So what am I going to do about it?

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Video Coffee?

I've tried this a few times already, offered a video coffee in some forum. Somewhere to sit and drink a beverage of your choice and enjoy each other's company. Just a few people are needed for this, but unfortunately I haven't had any takers.

Video Beers?

I've had more success with this. Every few weeks we already got together with some friends and the kids hung out while adults had a drink and talked about nothing in particular.

I've been able to execute this a few times now and while it's not the same as everyone in the same room, it's far better than not talking at all. After the first video call with our friends we all said it was a great time and we needed to make it a weekly date to simply hang out and catch up while we can't see each other in person.

Use the Damn Phone

Like many of you I rarely use my phone to talk to people. It's a messaging machine and that's about it. Well no more.

I've talked to my dad way more than I have in the past. I've called my mom, and my local friends just to chat about whatever. Not long calls, but social interaction happens and it feels great.

What are You Doing?

So what are you doing about needing to be mostly in your house at this point? Are you up for virtual coffee? What do you need?

I'm happy to host a small coffee or two in the week. Nothing long, 20 - 30 minutes to talk about whatever and see someone that you don't live with. Hit reply if this works for you and I'll organize something.

Every single one of us has had their schedule and routines change, because they needed to. But let's not sit around solo and see no one.

I Shipped

I'm a book lover, which shouldn't be a surprise to you. I also like to track my library and use iOS as my main working platform. So I present to you my favourite iOS app for tracking your library of books. There are a few good options, which I talk about, but only one winner for me.

For April 1st, I recapped my reading for March. My kids even joined me, you know since they're all around all the time now, and shared some of their books. It wasn't even my older daughter that can read, so they're just books they wanted to show off which works for me.

As you read this I also published a review of BiblioTECH, which is all about the issues that libraries are facing as they move into a technologically dominated world. Even if you're not into libraries, it's got some interesting thoughts on networked systems to share resources.