Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Spinning My Wheels....

My Little A.D.D. Problem

I like to say that I have self-diagnosed Attention Deficit Disorder. I may actually have it for all I know, but I have always been too distracted to go to some omniscient type and get a diagnosis.

Nonetheless, I fancy myself a "turn lemons into lemonade" type, so I somewhat enjoy my ability to adapt and juggle a bazillion things simultaneously. That said, there are some times it gets to be a bit much. I don't know if it is impending holidays, or the insane amounts of corn syrup and sugar that I am stuffing into my mouth with all the treats (read: BRIBES) that vendors keep dropping off in my office, but I am finding it more difficult than ever to focus.

There are all of a sudden WAY too many bright shiny electronic type things getting in the way. So, to clear my head...a totally random and partial listing of just a COUPLE of those bright shiny things:

1. The BestSeller and Recommended Reading lists on

I have been buying the bulk of my reading supplies from here for years, as it is the world's largest indy bookstore. I imagine one of the rooms of my own personal heaven looking a bit like this bookstore itself; aisle upon aisle of beautiful prose. Only I would never have to leave, I'd just have to pick a new book from time to time and curl up in a different chair.

2. The Nutrition and Exercise tracker on SparkPeople:

I became familiar with this (FREE) site several years ago when my former employer launched it as part of a wellness program for our team. I still use it fairly religiously as a log for all of my exercising and when I am eating healthfully, for my food. The databases are pretty amazing, and I like that it is not an all or none approach. You don't actually have to take advantage of ALL the whistles and bells to make it work for you. I track my protein to carb to fat ratio, a couple exercise goals and water consumption. I leave all the other whistles and bells behind, but a person could really create for themselves a customized community in order to accomplish weight/nutrition/exercise goals.

3. Facebook status updates:

Okay, admit me to Betty Ford now and just spare us all the agony of another day of my rambling about what I learned or saw on FaceCrack.

I am totally and completely addicted, not necessarily to Facebook, but to Facebook status updates. I talked frequently around election time about how fascinating it would be to engage in a research study (can you tell I work at a university?) on what was being said in Facebook status updates as it pertained to the election, and later the results.

I have watched people break up on status updates, get back together, and later, begin fighting. I have witnessed storms as they have snaked their way from my western based friends' homes to my own, and onward to my eastern-based friends. Fascinating stuff. Or not. Nonethelss, I am an addict and I should add, only a contributor with my own updates with infrequent regularity.

As you might well imagine, all hell pretty well broke loose when I figured out how to access these updates from my phone. I think I might have actually blushed in embarrasment last night when my phone practically yelled, "None of your friends have updates at this time!"

4. Closely but not so closely related to my status update addiction is Twitter:

I mean, seriously, how many more of these toys are out there? Too many more and I will just never work. At least this is what I said when I first heard of it shortly after its launch and promptly went on strike against even logging on to check it out.

For you newbies, essentially all Twitter is people writing one line about what they are doing. Um, a status update. Whatever. Another one? I'll take Facebook any day, I thought.

But then I read a story on, get this...Facebook, about someone hosting a party for all her "Twitter Friends." The next day she posted pictures of all these folks, arms around one another, beers in tow. "The Twitters Finally Meet" read the headline. You've got to be shitting me, I thought. What kind of geeks, I thought...

Well hells bells, they all looked NORMAL. Not a one in a Star Trek t-shirt. And then there was a Twitter ROMANCE I read about within that post.

So of course, I immediately log on and check Twitter out. Turns out Twitter has Lance Armstrong "twittering." I have never been a big Lance fan, but a quick run through his Twitters and I am astonished at how often he updates his um, "twitter." And I was also astonished at how much information I could glean from this guy on any given day about the general course of his life; his workouts, his foundation, his ex wife, his kids, friends, interviews, drug tests.

He actually updates the thing every few hours. From here, I could see just how insane the guy's schedule is on any given day, how many hours he's riding, with whom, and I think most interestingly, within seconds, EVERY time the drug lords come knocking, Lance Twitters. We are at 10 pees and counting, for those of you who are interested.

I have been simultaneously intrigued at the issues Lance seems to care about. I've checked out new bands, art exhibitions, articles, photographers, friends, and have also watched as he's single handedly gotten other cyclists Twittering.
You can find him (and links to all the things Lance loves) at:

5. Photography sites:

I have a decent handful of friends who are insanely talented photographers. And through their blogs/websites I have learned of other blogs and have just been blown over first and foremost by the talented people I call my people, and secondly, I have been blown over by their work.

So I will dedicate a subsequent post to a collection of their sites, as I think it will be interesting to see them all together in one place, so I can brag them all up. In the meantime, however, I MUST highlight one site (not a friend) that I have watched religiously for months. Hamilton 365. This is such a simple idea, and I think a spectacular way to market a photography biz. It also helps that this guy is insanely talented. He recently moved to this town, Hamilton, and to help grow his business and also to familiarize himself with his town, he began posting one photograph a day of the faces he encountered around the community. Given that I am a literary sort, I also find it compelling that his one line of copy per photograph packs such a powerful punch.

It reminds me a bitof some of the Story Corp Project, or of the NPR This I Believe series. Only visual. And simple. And astoundingly beautiful.
6. One more and I quit...the oh so very EVIL to my pocketbook Campmor:
I am not much for dressing up. I mean, don't get me wrong, I drool over the Anthropologie site just as much as the next woman, but you won't find me shelling out $200 for a shirt that I will likely ruin when I accidentally wash it with my towels any time soon.
I will, however, drop insane amounts of money on a furry fleece, or a tent, or something else to enhance my level of comfort while working out, lounging, or just trying to avoid freezing my ass off. Campmor is it as far as bargain shopping for outdoorsy type clothes goes. It is WAY better than REI, way better than Title Nine, or Lucy (a couple other girly outdoorsy vices). And when I say way better, I do not mean prettier, as it is not pretty, it is ALL function. And it is CHEAP.
I would also argue that Campmor boasts the smartest marketing engine I've seen. That said, the Campmor website is a lot like it's black and white newprint catalog. No frills, but incredibly easy to use and SMART. The search function is amazing.

But be warned. You run a search for something as specific as Women's Down Jacket and you will receive about 50 emails within the next month telling you 1,000 reasons why you cannot live without the North Face, or Patagonia, or Mountain Hardware down coat that is ON SALE, tomorrow only!

This site will be the end of me. I love it. I also buy everyone in my family their Christmas presents on here every year.

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