I'm writing this post from my new iPad Pro, which, just to state it for the record, I am really overall loving. Oh, don't get me wrong, there are some pretty frustrating problems popping up here and there, mostly to do with iOS software and how it's not quite at the level of Mac OS or Windows yet, but overall the experience is really nice. It has the one overarching advantage over my 6 year old laptop in that it doesn't freeze up if I type at more than 50 words per minute.
Right now I'm writing in an app called Ulysses, and it's one of my favourites. It's a very simple word processor that uses markdown, which is a writing "language" for lack of a better word that I like to type in. Basically it uses simple symbols and shortcuts to do things like make bold text or italics. I did that by using the asterisk symbol. "**" on either side of a word or line for bold, and "*" on either side for italics. You can do lot's of stuff with markdown, like
And so are block quotes.
Squarespace, the site I use to host my blog, has a built in markdown block that allows me to convert this stuff straight from my word processor to the blog. If it didn't have that, then Ulysses has an export feature that let's me export my document as markdown, rich text, plain text, HTML, PDF, etc.
Don't get me wrong, all of this stuff was available on the mac, too. It just seems, I don't know, nicer on the iPad. Maybe it's because there is a novelty aspect that is still in the process of wearing off. For example, I have my extremely nice $300 mechanical keyboard sitting on the desk beside me, yet I type this from the fabric, butterfly switch using Smart Keyboard cover for the iPad. Partly to get used to it, as it is what I will be using exclusively when I travel, and partly because I just got it, and I haven't put any serious mileage on it yet. It's surprisingly much nicer to type on than I was anticipating. It's still miles worse than the mechanical board, but it's still decent.
It's been a weird few months since January. I told myself again and again that I wouldn't bring up the huge gap that I had between posts, but here I go doing it anyway. I know it's basically just family members reading this, but I still feel bad for not posting more often. Then when I get a bit of a gap between posts, the anxiety of having gone so long without posting sets in and I worry about what I will post when I do eventually post. Should I acknowledge it? Call attention to it? Ignore it? I never know, so I've settled for this, a single paragraph in the middle of the post, acknowledging it, and nothing else.
In 5 sleeps from the time of posting this I will be flying across the Atlantic again to Europe. I'm going with a friend this time, so it won't be quite so lonely. I did really enjoy my time travelling alone, being able to do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, and not feeling guilty if I spent a whole day in Rome laying in my hotel room, eating junk food, and watching Netflix. But, it will also be great to travel with someone as well. I didn't do a lot of the things I might have liked to last time because of anxiety and worrying that I would embarrass myself. There's something about being with a friend that just lets you let go of your inhibitions just that little bit. At the absolute worst, you both make an utter fool of yourself and you can laugh at each other later.
I guess I should do a quick update on my resolutions. I learned to solve a Rubik's cube like 4 days into the year. Since then, not so much has been done on the list. I haven't been meditating at all, my health is fluctuating, I haven't been working on languages and I've barely been writing. Overall it's been a poor showing so far, but hey, we're only 1/3 of the way into the year. Relax, I've got time.
Speaking of writing, this is the first substantial amount of it I've done in weeks. One of the main reasons I wanted an iPad Pro with an Apple Pencil is so that I could take my writing, export it to a note taking app, and do handwritten markup overtop for editing and brainstorming. I'm a guy who likes his digital stuff, but there are certain things that just help my brain work better at creative stuff, and having a pen (or stylus, in this case) in my hand and writing stuff down is just one of those actions that gets the juices flowing, what can I say.
I'll try to wrap this up to avoid boring most of you. One thing I want to do is take more pictures of the stuff happening in my day so that you aren't assaulted with a wall of text every time I post to my blog. It would be nice to have some stuff in there to break up the monotonous droning of my self indulgent rambles, wouldn't it? I'm planning to take a page from other bloggers and do stuff like list posts and topic posts more often too. Basically, let's throw all of the shit at the wall and see what sticks.
Oh, and the podcast Sunday posts will make their return. Eventually. Once it had been.... eeeeeeaaaarrrnnneeedddd