365 Days of Random

Random musings about nothing at all

Rocking Fridays

My team at work has started using this online service called “Turntable” where you can create a room, invite people into it, and anyone can be DJ for however long they like (or until someone kicks them out). They started talking about this a few weeks ago and since music isn’t always my ‘thing’ I hadn’t checked it out yet. But today when people started complaining that noone was in there I thought I’d go take a look. It’s been a lot of fun.

You can just search for artists or albums you know/like (for me I never remember the names so it takes me awhile to get going) and build up your ‘song list’. Then if a spot opens up you can PLAY MUSIC where you get to play whatever song is at the top of the queue when it’s your turn. We’ve had some great songs, some totally LAME songs and a good majority somewhere in the middle. But the conversations and comraderie in the room are GREAT!! It’s been a perfect example of a social app that’s fun to play around with and doesn’t get in your way. If you don’t want to DJ you can just hang out and listen to what everyone else is playing. You can vote on songs you like or don’t like and you can see your little avatar dancing away when you’re rocking out.

It’s a small thing, but it’s made my day go by quite quickly and it’s also given me a good distraction when I needed a break for a few mins. But the background sound track has also allowed me to get a crap ton of work done today. I forget sometimes that even if I don’t know much about music, have any real talent for it, or have any desire for the ‘music trivia knowledge’ to take up space in my head, I really do ENJOY music and love having it in the background. What’s been great about today is that there is only one other person in my office and I don’t need my headphones…. the volume is low enough that you can only hear it when you’re standing right at my desk. I don’t often listen to music all day because having headphones in my ears all day generally hurts my ears and I end up with a killer headache.

I think the plan is for our team to have ‘turntable tuesdays’ (which may get expanded to more days during the week) but any time they are in there I think that I will join in and just leave the music on in the background. It’s been a great day.

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September 16, 2011 Posted by | Fun & Entertainment, Random, Technology & Gadgets | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Weekend Off

I took this past weekend off from writing because my BF and I were going out of town for a few days and the only ‘technology’ I really wanted around me was my Kindle so I could read my book and relax. This time missing 3 days wasn’t an accidental thing it was an explicit choice. And it was very much worth it. It’s been a very long time since I actually truly took a weekend off from technology. I loved it.

Friday night after work we met up with our friends and made the 2+ hour drive up to Deep Creek MD where the four of us had rented a house for the weekend. We arrived about 10:o0 pm and once we’d gotten settle promptly cracked open a few adult beverages and climbed into the hot tub to start off our weekend. It was wonderful. The weather was amazing, the company was fabulous. We went hiking, we grilled, we introduced my BF to the joys of S’Mores around the campfire, we played cards, read our books, enjoyed the peace and quiet and even watched a couple of movies while it was raining Sunday night. All in all it was a great time.

But the thing that I enjoyed the most I think was actually unplugging for a few days. I did take my phone with me but I left it up in our bedroom for the entire weekend. I checked it at night before going to bed but only to clear messages, I didn’t respond to anything until we got home last night. It was a great feeling to be not constantly tied to a device and feeling like I needed to be in constant ‘connection’ with everyone I know. It was more than enough for me to just spend the weekend enjoying the company of the three people I was physically spending time with. People don’t do that enough these days. We are constantly checking our phones or our computers to make sure we haven’t missed out on something important or even just something entertaining.

I struggle with the idea of constant connection. I think that in a lot of ways it’s great to be able to so easily reach out to people and to know what’s going on. But the constant stimulation doesn’t always leave time to think about and process things that you are experiencing. Rather than stepping back and absorbing things we’re just constantly flooding ourselves with inputs. It’s exhausting a lot of the time. It’s really really important to make a conscious effort every now and again to detach. To have the only connections you experience be the real life HUMAN connections that come from face to face conversation and interaction. It’s great that we CAN be in constant communication… but by no mean does that mean that we NEED to be in constant communication. Sometimes I think that if we spent more time talking to people about the FEW things that we’ve learned or discovered each day we’d actually discover that at the end of the day we’ve gathered more KNOWLEDGE and understanding than when all we do is be bombarded by constant information. Some times it’s just too much to process.

So, that’s why I fully completely unplugged this weekend and totally enjoyed my time with my BF and my friends. It was great and so much more relaxing than I’d expected. I think I will make a more conscious effort to disengage from technology more often.

September 6, 2011 Posted by | Fun & Entertainment, Random, Technology & Gadgets | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment