Five Links – July 2020

July has been interesting. I should be in Japan for the Olympics, but instead I’m on month five of socially distancing from family and friends. Coronavirus is still raging throughout the country. I sure wish everyone would wear a damn mask. In addition to the obvious challenges of life, my dog was diagnosed with Symmetric Lupoid Onychodystrophy (SLO), which has added stress to each day.

So to keep my mind distracted, I’ve been working on a few personal projects. One of these is a monthly blog update with five links that have kept me entertained or improved my day to day. Here’s the initial list for July 2020.

1. Calm meditation app – I’ve lost count of the times I’ve started a meditation practice, only to stop after a week or two; then I found Calm. The introduction course “How to Meditate” by Jeff Warren really addressed some of the problems that I’ve had in understanding meditation. While I certainly have a long way to go, I think this daily practice may finally stick.

2. Planta – Growing up, my grandmother and father spent a significant amount of time maintaining their gardens. I never entirely understood it at the time, but as I get older, I’ve found myself interested in the hobby. Especially with so much time spent at home, there’s something peaceful about having plants around your home. The only problem is keeping them alive– that’s where Planta comes in. Simply add your plant and its location, and the app will remind you when to water, clean, and fertilize. It’s significantly reduced the number of plant deaths around here.

3. Poolside FM– I don’t know if it’s my age, the troubling times we are in, or perhaps both, but I’ve had some strong nostalgia for the simpler days. Enter poolside.fm, the best free streaming playlist you can find. The retro UI with the vintage clips really makes me chuckle. The music is excellent as well!

I’m looking forward to the Mac and mobile apps that they say are coming soon.

4. iPad Pro Keyboard – I spend a lot of time on my iPad Pro, so I was excited to try out the new Magic Keyboard. It works great, and if you are a heavy iPad user, then I highly recommend it. A lengthier review is coming soon.

5. Lego Mario NES – Lego + Mario + Original NES, what a cool concept! Check out the video trailer here.

I hope your summer is going well. Stay safe and healthy!

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