No Time To Read

I really like to read. Or phrased a little better: I really would like to like to read more. The sad truth is that, even though I buy books regularly, I hardly manage to finish two or three books a year.

Reading is fun and considered that I would like to bring this blog and/or my writing-capabilities for that matter, to another, somehow acceptable level, mandatory. But as so often before, I think I’m standing in my own way. This actually should come as no surprise to you.

Now would be a great moment to start excusing myself (aka whining) that life’s simply too busy to find time to read. Which without doubt would be BS. Fact is that during the moments of downtime I more often than not simply find myself tinkering around with stuff1 or catch up with my news feeds. Even though I have cut down the latter quite a bit already.

To make myself feel better and a little less dumb I needed to come up with some solution. A manageable one. And most important something with a deadline.

Next year, somewhere around this time of year, I will have to publish a list-post, with all the books that I read during the year. The goal is simple: the list should at least include one more book than this years’s.

Sounds manageable, minor problem is that I am not 100% sure which books I have read during 2014, but this should be about it.

Finished Books2

  • Peter Weir: The Martian
  • Dan Brown: The Lost Symbol
  • Max Brooks: World War Z

Not-so-finished—or-bought-but-generally-more-or-less-in-progress:

  • Herbie Hancock: Possibilities
  • Stephen King: On Writing
  • David McRaney: You Are Not So Smart
  • Mary Roach: Packing For Mars
  • George R.R. Martin: Game of Thrones (Book one)

In short my challenge for the next year is to at least finish four books. As long as I don’t choose Lord Of The Ring-sized epics3 it should be manageable.


  1. The CSS of this website, text-editors or task-managers come to mind 
  2. Three books?! Are you kidding me?! To make myself feel a little bit better I should at least mention I have read hundreds of blog posts and articles though, even if some of them were only read to me by my phone. I still count them. 
  3. This almost excludes Game Of Thrones, not quite sure how to handle this. 

The Monster Hunters

My search for new and interesting podcasts continues and with The Monster Hunters I have found what is probably one of quirkiest and funniest podcast that I have run into yet.

Take a trip back to swinging London in the early 1970s and meet Roy Steel, ex – big game hunter, and Lorrimer Chesterfield, a brain in the shape of a man. Together they are The Monster Hunters. Their mission: to protect the country from vampires, werewolves and a whole pantheon of unmentionable terrors.

If you like funny and quirky things this might be for you.

It’s Somewhat Disappointing

Extensions are probably one of the best additions in iOS 8. They make all those little things possible that, not long ago used to be more complicated or at the least needed multiple steps to achive.

Thanks to extensions adding a bookmark to my Pinboard app of choice, saving an article to Instapaper or adding a task to OmniFocus is nothing but a single click, and boom it’s done.

A major use-case for extensions is of course photo-editing. A workflow of editing an image directly in the photos.app in my editor of choice and having it sent back without creating unnecessaryee duplicates is just ideal. Which is exactly the way I want to edit an image and which was also demonstrated during iOS8 keynote with the VSCO Cam app.

VSCO is one of the more popular photo-apps in the store and definitely one of my own favourites. Sadly even after a few updates since the release of iOS 8, the VSCO photos-extension is still amiss. Which I find somehow saddening.

Of course the app gained quite a few updates: it’s featuring an iPad version now, it’s synchronizing between apps and platforms and adds a new publishing service to share stories in journals, which is fancy-speak for blog-posts. These are without doubt a great updates but the lack of an extension still leaves a bit of a bitter taste in my mouth.

I don’t think there’s a shortage of ways to share stories. I would go so far to say, that there are more ways to do so than stories worth sharing. Photo-extensions though, could easily be more.

My guess is, that they of course realize that the photos-extension is far more useful than yet another way to share stories, hence have it at least put-off for a while, in order to promote their own platform and services. The photo extension would make it too easy to use the images with some other service, such as a blog.

Don’t get me wrong here, I think it’s a great app and its presets and editing capabilities are some of the best and I still use the app. But with every day it takes and every image that has to be manually imported into the app and with every duplicate that is created, I, and I guess other users as well, will continue to look for other photo-extensions and eventually get used to them. Afterlight is one of these apps that have proven rather useful during last few weeks.

We’re Alive: A Live Performance

I have finished We’re Alive a while ago and another audio-drama since then and it has become even more obvious to me how well it is performed and executed. The performances have left quite and impression on me.

This live-performance demonstrates this quite well. It’s very nice to see the faces behind the voices that I have listened to for so many hours.