The Glass Is Half Full

Sometimes everyday life is just every day. To me, it often feels mundane. Perhaps it’s just our view of it that is mundane. After all, isn’t the way we view life just a construct of our own reality?  That may sound deep, but this simple thought occurred to me the other day. So how do we go about changing our view of the every day?

You see, in the world, there are glass half full and glass half empty people.  I refer to these as Tigger or Eeyore people.  I have the tendency to be Eeyore-like. If there is something to find fault with, I will find fault. For me, it’s internal faults – I point the negative finger at myself. You can’t, you aren’t, if only they knew. Internalizing the negativity is crippling.

“Break on through to the other side.” – The Doors

Once you come to the realization that your own outlook on life is built chiefly of your own construction, then it can be jackhammered in its entirety and reconstructed of your own volition. Yes, you can be Neo instead of Sisyphus. The glass is half full if you want it to be.

Run that marathon

So, you’re saying that the barriers are just yourself? Yes, for the most part. A couple of years ago I ran my first marathon. It was tough to start, tough to train for, and tough to run. Of course, there are physical limitations to being able to run something like a marathon, or even just to lace up those shoes, open the door, and run a mile.  But the reality is that most people can run some distance if they set to it. And people can change their outlook and when you lift your outlook, your perspective changes. And when your perspective changes, what is possible changes.

After 20 miles, I nearly gave up when I hit the wall. My legs were cramping so badly I had to alternate walking and running. But by taking it one step at a time I made it and finished the race. After my first marathon, I swore I would never run another.  But something happened, after resting and analyzing my performance, I signed up for another one. Call it stupidity, or call it grit. Accomplishing something feels fantabulous. Take the first step and lace up those shoes.

Be thankful for the mundane. Go forth and live every day meaningfully. Enjoy it immensely because you can do it. Raise your half-full glass to the world and do a funky dance.

Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am. – Philippians 4:13

 

Why won’t Siri read me web pages?

Siri has been getting better at answering questions and transcribing messages. I’ve never been the biggest fan of voice assistants. I’ve found that they have frequently required me to edit or correct messages or just flat out return incorrect results. I’ve used Siri, Alexa, and the Google voice assistant to varying degrees of success.

It’s getting better all the time —The Beatles

About a year ago, I was walking in Hayes Valley in San Francisco and I stumbled upon the Google pop-up donut shop where I won a Google Home smart speaker. I enjoy it, mostly I ask it to play music and or answer stupid questions of which it suceeds only half the time. Google finally added the ability to bluetooth pair it with external speakers a few months ago, so that is a huge step up for sound quality for those of us who still have a bazillion speakers and stereos around the house. It also brings it a bit more towards feature parity with the Amazon Echo which has bluetooth pairing AND a traditional headphone jack. Want to know how all these assistants stack up?

One of my favorite uses of the Google Home is to ask it, “Hey Google, tell me the news” and listen the latest news while I get ready for the day or eat breakfast. The Google Home mobile app allows you to configure which news channels you keep on tap.  Siri isn’t quite so convenient, so when I ask it things it often produces web pages and then doesn’t read them. So today, I’m making toast and ask, “Hey Siri, tell me about toast”. I’ve been reading  a number of long articles this morning and don’t feel like reading more, but Siri just gives me another long article to read. So, I have Siri read the article for me.  Here’s how to do it:

From your phone or iPad, go to:

Settings > General > Accessibility > Speech

  • Turn on the “Speak Screen” option
  • Next, when you open a web page or Siri returns a web page:
  • Swipe down from the top of the screen with two fingers
  • Press play to have Siri read you the page.
  • Enjoy your coffee and avocado toast.