Saving Stuff for Work and Pleasure (19 Uses for Evernote)

I frequently de-clog my phone’s memory and email those cute pictures of grandchildren and other family members to Evernote.

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510750075_eeee488cd6_zEvernote is a flexible electronic filing cabinet available for desktops, phones, and tablets.  It means I can easily create or store information wherever I am.  And equally importantly, because the information is stored electronically, I can easily search it and track information down.  I can use it to type documents or save handwritten notes on screen; it will receive scanned documents or photographs; and I can even use it to create dictated notes or store other sound files.  And zapping webpages into it (in a variety of save formats) or those important emails, is a synch.

Because security of information is important to me, I am able to use the internal encryption system built into it to lock sensitive documents.

I use Evernote in a multitude of ways.  To give you some idea of its flexibility and usefulness, I have listed the ways below.  They are not listed in any order of importance. Continue reading “Saving Stuff for Work and Pleasure (19 Uses for Evernote)”

Give me the strength!

And then the announcement. It came from nowhere. It shocked, and you took an involuntary intake of breath.

FullSizeRenderImagine the scene.  It has been a wearying time.  You left your hotel room at 11:00am on the final day of your much-needed holiday.  You spent a final few hours trying to enjoy the last dregs of the Mediterranean town you have inhabited for a week, but at the back of your mind a voice is chanting with increasing volume: “I just want to get back home …”

At 3:00pm you, your holiday rep, and your bags are thankfully reunited at the local airport for the 5:30pm flight.  The temperature outside is just below 30C.  The queues for the ham and cheese paninis and coffee are long, and the Mediterranean males are shouting and stomping  as they serve, while their resigned women sit quietly and take the money.  The airport lounge is overcrowded and there are not enough seats.  “I just want to get home,” you say to yourself.  “I just want to get home.”

And then the announcement.  It came from nowhere.

Continue reading “Give me the strength!”

Two Recent English Language Use Changes: Invention and Omission

These two changes show how republicanism and atheism are slowly beginning to impact language use.

426799067_55027d4244_zSince the General Election on June 8, 2017, and the tragedy of the Grenfell Tower Fire, I have been listening to and watching media broadcasts more than usual, and have noticed two significant changes in language use.

One change is limited to a very specific occasion, though it has been growing in popularity over the years.  It is quite consciously deliberate and requires a degree of determination, even courage, on behalf of the speaker.  The other change is usually less obvious, though it too requires a slight degree of determination (if less planning than the other one).  The second one has been around for a lot longer and is growing in popularity (and acceptability).

Continue reading “Two Recent English Language Use Changes: Invention and Omission”

Using Free Apps for Visual Drama

We see things very differently. She sees real features an identifies their actual species. After over twenty years learning about photography, I now see features an ask, “I wonder if I could develop that into something that has visual impact.” I see what is, but also more of what might become.

It was a bland and blustery afternoon.

“Let’s go for a walk by the river,” she said.

“Ok,” I said, silently thinking, “Why?” and, “No!”

“You need the exercise,” she said, reading my expression.

“How true, and how kind …” I might have thought on a less bland and less blustery afternoon.

We walked by the river doing what we often do.  She plays adult Where’s Wally looking for birds, bees, butterflies, and wild flowers, and I look for potential photographs.

We see things very differently.  She sees real features and identifies their actual species.  After over twenty years learning about photography, I now see features and ask, “I wonder if I could develop that into something that has visual impact.”  I see what is, but also more of what might become.

Continue reading “Using Free Apps for Visual Drama”

SmartPhone Cold Turkey at Easter

I was well past 50 before the SmartPhone arrived. I had lived most of my life without one. I shouldn’t be missing mine so much. I had coped before. Why is coping now so difficult?

510750075_eeee488cd6_zI thought I could easily survive without it.  I was wrong.  I could survive, but it wasn’t easy.  In fact, I was surprised about how hard I found it.  It should have been a doddle.  It is not as if an iPhone has been part of my life for most of it.

I could be described as being in young old-age.  I can remember when we didn’t have a television, and how when we got one, our neighbours came round on a Saturday evening to watch the small, black and white screen.  I can remember the envy when some relatives got their first colour TV set.  I can remember my girl-friend at university spending hours using a calculator the size of a small house in order to process by hand the statistics needed for her research.

I can remember too the joy of the first personal computers – the ZX81, the ZX Spectrum (“What on earth do you want one of those for?  What good will it do?”) – and learning to use code to make machines do relatively useless things.  And then the big breakthrough, the Amstrad PCW – technology that actually did things that made life much easier for someone who regularly typed thousands of words. Continue reading “SmartPhone Cold Turkey at Easter”

On Tyranny

Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century

33917107Although a short book, this is a very important read.  Timothy Snyder is an American historian who is able to pull together lessons from history on how to recognise and resist dictatorships and facism.  Some reviewers feel that it is essential reading for all Americans.  I disagree.  I think it would be good if people of all nations could read it and learn from it.

Because it is a short book I don’t want to rob the author of his thunder by outlining all the content.  However, just to give you a flavour of what it contains, I will summarise the chapter that had most resonance for me – Chapter 10 Believe in Truth.

Synder states that submission to tyranny happens when you renounce the difference between what you hear and see and what is actually the case.  He then goes on to outline four ways in which truth has died in various societies, and how it is dying in America as you read this.

Continue reading “On Tyranny”

Elephants in the Therapeutic Community

Sometimes, for the private practitioner, it can feel like there are more local therapists than clients.

38830The therapeutic community is trying hard to ignore two elephants sitting in its midst.  Their presence is discomforting.  In more considered moments we know they are there, but, broadly speaking, many of us hope they will go away.

The first elephant can best be described as ‘the glut’.  It used to be claimed that there were more therapists in the UK than members of the armed forces.  Whether it was ever true historically, it is almost certainly true now.  But sometimes, for the private practitioner, it can feel like there are more local therapists than clients. Continue reading “Elephants in the Therapeutic Community”