We've gone hard all week and today was a recovery day. An enjoyable recovery, too, full of stretching and balance. I missed this DVD during the Max Insanity month. I think I'll include it when I get back to that month during this go 'round.
They don't know about this Plyo Interval Circuit. They don't know that it's just as hard as the first day 3 months ago. They don't know that my hips are on fire. They don't know that I'm smiling because I love it.
After 3 months, I'm starting Insanity Fitness all over again. It took me forever to finish month 2 and I think my body is worse for it. It wasn't strong enough to do those exercises regularly and now I have nagging pains. I also haven't been eating very well at all and the expansion of my middle is also creating back pain so it's time to reset. Workout right. Eat right. Get back to what had me feeling and looking great.
My fit test reflects the challenges I've been talking about:
Three negatives from my first day one? That's not good.
Everyone and their mother has talked about Facebook and it's privacy/trust issues this week (and better than I could). See danah for that good stuff. See MoveOn, the NY Times, and others for the awesome infographics.
This is my problem -- I'm thisclose to quitting but the reason 400 million people are on Facebook is because it's useful. I am connected with my family via the service. I socialize with co-workers and college friends. It's one of the most effective ways to have people see what I write or find interesting (it remains the most likely way to get click-thru's to this space and to my tumblr). I also work in this online world. Facebook is as significant a part of what I do as a new browser, device, or coding language is. I shouldn't want an escape hatch. And yet...
I don't trust the site anymore. I don't feel in control of my experience or information. I spent two days this week refining my privacy controls and I have little confidence that it actually helped protect me. Pulling data out of the site limits the value of the place and my ability to connect with people I know or have known. How can we find each other if we're hiding from those who wish to profit from our unwillingly public information?
There's been collateral damage from Facebook's attack on my trust, too. I dumped Foursquare. Foursquare hasn't really done me wrong but I'm feeling too exposed online and, so, I exerted control where I could.
I feel tricked. I never made meaningful connections on other major social networking services like myspace and friendster so they were easy to quit. Facebook, however—I talk to my mom and cousins and sister on that site. I hear about friends who are going into the hospital or having babies or getting married. It's a life line.
Shame on Facebook for taking advantage in a duplicitous way our most basic desire to be connected to the people in our lives near and far.
I'm not typing this on my iPad. In fact, I didn't plan to type this at all. There are hundreds of iPad reviews out there in the world and I didn't think my opinion would matter much at this point. But, I've found myself being a booster for the device in spite of myself and a couple friends asked for a more formal review so here we are.
That explains why I decided to write this but it doesn't explain why I'm not doing it via this device I like so much. And this is what most people are struggling to wrap their heads around: this $500 to $800 thing is not a creation tool. You can do that, sure, but that's not the primary function. It's primary purpose, for me, has been about moving my media consumption from being a very active, multi-tasking experience to a more passive, singularly focused, engaging and relaxing one.
The activity I do most with the iPad? Read. I read blog posts either via google reader or instapaper. I read books. Right now, I have my first purchase from iBooks —Why New Orleans Matters by Tom Piazza—and my first paid book purchase from Amazon Kindle—Changing My Mind by Zadie Smith—that I dig into when I'm winding down from the work day on my couch (by the way, iBooks is a much more enjoyable experience than Amazon Kindle). I read (and listen) to stories via the NPR app. I read from BBC News. I read comics from Marvel. I read game recaps from NBA GameTime.
I also play games. I have Heavy Rain in my PS3 but I haven't played in over a week because Plants vs. Zombies HD, Pinball HD, and a host of games that I enjoyed on my iPod Touch but am enjoying immensely more on the iPad have stolen my attention.
And, yes, I also work on my iPad. I've stopped carrying wirebound notebooks and pens to meetings and use evernote for my notetaking (I also use it to prep talking points or materials for a meeting which made setting up for a presentation all the quicker). I store presentation files on dropbox and use GoodReader to cut down on paper and to always be able to reference materials a click away. I use Adobe Ideas to white board ideas when I'm away from my computer. These little productivity conveniences have proven incredibly useful. Sure, I could do the same thing with a laptop but a laptop generally requires a laptop bag, a charger, and a bunch of other accoutrement that I don't have to carry when I walk around with the iPad.
Lastly, I consume video. ABC's Player is excellent and the growing number of websites that are supporting video players that don't require flash is growing. Youtube and Vimeo are where I consume the most video and I haven't run into problems viewing. On youtube, I lose some controls I like when I'm viewing video via the web rather than the app (like favoriting) but because the iPad is a more passive experience naturally, I've found I don't mind much. I can save the favoriting for when I'm back at a workstation.
Here's what I don't do on my iPad:
1. Create — I don't make documents. I don't blog. I don't edit other documents. I don't manipulate photos or slides or crunch numbers. I also don't find myself really wanting to.
2. Listen to music — I still find my iPod better for this. I can and want to take my iPod (and my music) everywhere. I don't find myself needing to take my iPad with me wherever i go.
That's about it.
I bought the iPad on a lark. I got a larger than I expected tax return and after having a few weeks of iPad envy at work, I thought it was worth it to try out. I immediately found myself preferring this mode of consumption to my usual. When I sit at my PC or laptop to do all the things I've highlighted above, it feels like work. When I read blogs on my PC, I have a tendency to want to immediately tumble them or blog it, twitter, friendfeed, facebook it. When I browse the web or play games on my PC or laptop, I'm also checking email, IMing, twittering, and whatever else my mind has conditioned itself to do in this type of computing model. It doesn't allow me to relax. It doesn't allow my thoughts to settle down. It doesn't relieve stress.
When I recline somewhere with my iPad, the world quiets down. I read blogs and just...read. I make simple choices like, "Oh, this is long, I should save this and read later" or "Oh, this will make a great blog post later and star something" or "Oh, I don't care...skip it." The point is that it's always about that single activity: reading online content. The same when I play a game or watch a video. I don't get distracted by everything else I could be doing at the same time. I really don't have that option. And I appreciate the constraint.
So, this is why I recommend the iPad -- it is a throwback in an incredibly elegant way to consuming stories and being entertained. It turns the activities that I enjoy most in our digital age away from feeling like a job to get through and back into a distinctly different and pleasurable experience.
It simplifies my life. It relaxes me. And, it's super fun.
If you have the opportunity, get one. You won't be sorry.