February 2019 Retrospective

Retrospective

This is a first attempt to write about what I’m listening to, reading, watching, designing, learning and thinking about. I took notes throughout the month in my current note-taking and task tracking app, Bear. For March I will begin to transition to Day One for journaling.

Listening

The Dropout Podcast

The Dropout is a new podcast from ABC Radio about Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos. I’m not as familiar with Theranos as I should be considering the drama, fraud, and damage the company has caused. After listening to the first few episodes I purchased Bad Blood too. The story is… insane.

Ron Burgundy Podcast

The Ron Burgundy Podcast is a new podcast from iHeartRadio starring Will Ferrell as the character Ron Burgundy from the movie Anchorman. The podcast starts off a bit simple and expected, but it’s still enjoyable to listen to such a confident idiot.

Fresh Air

This month on Fresh Air Terry interviews Random House copy chief Benjamin Dreyer. Listening to someone nerd out on words and grammar is thoroughly enjoyable.

How Did This Get Made

  • Minisode 206.5 – Jason, Paul, and I are equally freaking out with excitement over the trailer for the next movie in the Fast & Furious universe: Hobbs & Shaw.
  • Little Italy – This might be a tough sell and I understand. Little Italy is a terrible movie, but it’s worth watching if you enjoy listening to Jason, June, and Paul discuss the details.

Watching

A Star Is Born

In my opinion A Star Is Born is highly overrated. Yes, Shallow is a good song that I have listened to many, many times. However I did not buy the love story, and the ending felt both rushed and random.

Bohemian Rhapsody

Rami Malek rightfully won the Oscar for Best Actor for his performance in Bohemian Rhapsody. Learning to sing and speak with a British accent with large, fake teeth in your mouth must be incredibly difficult. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. To learn more about his experience listen to his Fresh Air interview. Have I mentioned Fresh Air? 😉

The Walking Dead

Even though the ratings are down, I think the second half of season 9 is interesting and scary. The new villain and her group provide an innovative and unexpected story.

Little Italy

As mentioned above, the movie is terrible but worth watching if you enjoy listening to the podcast How Did This Get Made.

Broad City

I’m sad season 5 will be the last season of Broad City, but so far it’s enjoyable. The first episode is told entirely as Instagram Stories. I got to see Abbi and Ilana at the first Clusterfest in San Francisco. The first 3 minutes and 45 seconds of their set was the two of them dancing to Jennifer Lopez’s Get Right. So fun.

Eastern Promises

My wife demanded that I watch Eastern Promises starring Viggo Mortensen and Naomi Watts. My wife as usual is right. The movie is great.

Widows

Even with this awesome cast Widows is mediocre. Skip.

Black Earth Rising

If you like BBC dramas that are mostly slow but have powerhouse actors and actresses with occasional intense scenes, Black Earth Rising should go on your watch list.

True Detective

Yes, season 3 of True Detective is better than the disastrous season 2, but it’s still a miss compared to season 1. However, I truly believe Mahershala Ali is one of the best living actors.

Reading

Robopocalypse

Robocopalyse came highly recommended, but I would not recommend it. War, artificial intelligence, robots, etc. Yawn.

First Draught

First Draught (clever name) is a newsletter written by MG Siegler that covers a wide variety of tech topics. MG has an uncanny ability to use his previous posts as arguments. I guess that’s an option when you consistently write year after year.

Design in Tech

The prolific John Maeda has a brief yet fulfilling newsletter named Design In Tech (not a clever name but simple never hurts) for those interested in the intersection of design and tech.

Ridgeline

Craig Mod, author, photographer, and podcaster, has a newsletter named Ridgeline that focuses on walking. I enjoy it for both his writing style and photos.

Dense Discovery

Dense Discovery is the best design newsletter I’ve found. It includes links to high-quality articles, apps, and products.

Photographing

Ocean Beach

I recently ran from my home in the Inner Sunset district of San Francisco to Ocean Beach. The angle of this ramp combined with the water collected at the bottom and the beach behind it spoke to me. I shot it with my iPhone XS Max and edited it in Lightroom on iOS.

iPhone XS Max · 1/12800, ∫/1.8, ISO 25

Rodeo Beach

The various hikes around Rodeo Beach in Marin County offer incredible views of the ocean and a small beach.

iPhone XS Max · 1/2300, ∫/2.4, ISO 16

Learning

SBI

I recently took a management course at Salesforce, and learned about the SBI tool for providing and responding to feedback. I was surprised by how difficult it is to give feedback for a problematic situation.

Adobe Lightroom

The Adobe Lightroom team occasionally Tweets short video tutorials to take a quick look at tools on both the Mac and iOS apps. A video to demonstrate the gradient tool was particularly helpful to adequately edit the above black and white photo. Take a look at the before and after. The first has an overexposed sky, and with a couple taps and swipes I managed to only darken the clouds making the photo more dramatic.

Experimenting

Run & Yoga

My fitness goal right now is to switch off every day between a 3-5 mile run and a 30 minute yoga session. I find that practicing yoga at home allows me to maintain an extended feeling of calmness. Like most habits once you have completed approximately one week of a new routine it feels unusual to miss a day.

Headspace

I recently subscribed to Headspace and set aside a few minutes each day to meditate in a quiet room. Fortunately Salesforce provides “mindfulness” rooms on each floor. So far I find that after completing even a brief Headspace session I feel relaxed for a couple hours.

Pixel 3

For years the iPhone was the clear leader in mobile photography, but something changed with the Pixel 3. It appears that the tech media and consumers are beginning to recognize the Pixel’s potential. However, I think there is some nuance worth discussing.

Apple’s mobile camera philosophy appears to be let’s show you either precisely what the image looks like in the real world, or, with HDR mode active, a few minor adjustments to enhance the details. Google’s philosophy appears to be let’s enhance what the camera sees as much as possible to ensure you get more likes on Instagram. This isn’t a bad thing! Google is making photography exciting. Apple is still playing it safe which, as a budding photographer, I believe is the right philosophy.

I took this photo using my Pixel 3 at Forest Hill Station in San Francisco. I strongly recommend you tap on the link to see Marcin Wichary discuss the station’s architectural details.

Pixel 3 · 1/25, ∫/1.8, ISO 95

Design

Lately I’ve been inspired by Massimo Vignelli, Michael Beirut, and the Bauhaus. Grids, Helvetica, tight kerning, etc. I keeps promising myself that I will order an iteration as a large poster soon.

Attire

Steve Jobs was of course infamous for wearing a uniform:

In the process, however, he became friends with Miyake and would visit him regularly. He also came to like the idea of having a uniform for himself, both because of its daily convenience (the rationale he claimed) and its ability to convey a signature style. “So I asked Issey to make me some of his black turtlenecks that I liked, and he made me like a hundred of them.” Jobs noticed my surprise when he told this story, so he showed them stacked up in the closet. “That’s what I 
wear,” he said. “I have enough to last for the rest of my life.”

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

Some simply copied his uniform. I’ve always joked about having one myself, and it finally happened with the guidance of my lovely wife. A combination of a Vince Bomber Jacket, blue jeans, grey socks, Vince Barnett Leather Sneakers, and a black, gray, or blue Velvet Howard Whisper Classic Crew Neck Tee has helped me achieve this goal.