My Motorola Devour sort-of Android phone has been behaving badly of late. Some apps, like Facebook, keep blowing up on me. Add to that the fact that some apps, such as the New York Times and the Merriam Webster Dictionary, won't run on it at all, and I'm interested in upgrading.

So I went to my local Verizon store on a vacation day when I didn't need to be anywhere anytime soon. (You know what it's like going to your friendly, local wireless phone store.) I'm not due for a new phone until November, but I thought they could do something for me. They couldn't. At the time I was annoyed, but now that I'm an iPad owner, I'm thinking that that is a good thing.

My intent was to buy a proper Android phone, but I really didn't see anything that impressed me. Now, however, my thought is I'll get an iPhone. Might as well keep everything in sync, right? Add to that the fact that USA Today says that the iPhone 4 is due out in October. So I can get a fancy, cool new iPhone 4, or an iPhone 3 for a much lower price.

And I think I'll order over the Web. I have better uses for my time than sitting in the Verizon store waiting for my turn.


I recently rejoined the gym. I've mentioned that in passing here, and once on Facebook, but I haven't really talked about it.

I dropped our membership when we weren't really using it, but rather mostly using the treadmill at home. Terry later decided to rejoin herself, while I stuck with the treadmill. But Terry is training for the Susan G. Komen 3-day walk (contributions accepted!) and weather doesn't always permit her (or me) to walk outside. That means she's on the treadmill. The gym is kind of cranky about too much time spent on a single machine, so it made sense for me to be at the gym and Terry use the treadmill here. We added me to her membership.

That's good. It means that I can use the elliptical as well, which is a different kind of exercise. And maybe even get some instruction in weight training, which my doctor keeps telling me I need to add to my routine.

So, really, it's a good thing all around.

a small tear

The bishop is making her visitation to St. John the Divine in October, so I've been in touch with Fr. Phil about joining. He sent a request to Pastor Koch for a letter of transfer from Good Shepherd. Pastor Koch provided that by email. When Phil let me know that he had received that I had just a touch of sadness.

I know I am in the right place. I am where I need and want to be. But I was at Good Shepherd for over ten years and came to really like many of the people there.

I had to take a moment to shed a small tear. And then move ahead.

Sacred Music Friday: Dear Lord and Father of Mankind

Dear Lord and Father of Mankind – Westminster Abbey choir and congregation


an inner look at global climate change

Environmentalist David Suzuki and Zen Buddhist Monk Thich Nhat Hanh talk about global climate change from the personal perspective. Thich Nhat Hanh suggests we deny it because of the suffering inside us, and Suzuki asks how we might reach leaders' hearts to effect change. Some context here. Thanks to Mike Todd for this.



After getting past the anger and betrayal (scaled back to a level appropriate to the particular situation) of HP's early exit from the TouchPad business, I went out and bought an iPad.

There's a reason why it is dominant in the marketplace. Easy to use. Lots of apps.

I will say that I liked the TouchPad's "card" model of keeping all open apps available, but the iPad keeps apps in the state in which you left them, which is almost as good. The TouchPad would print to any printer on your wireless router, while the iPad requires a printer using the AirPrint protocol. Annoying.

There is no Facebook app (only for the iPhone) but the TouchPad Facebook app for some reason ignored some of my favorite friends, so I'm happy following Facebook from the Safari Web browser.

Speaking of the Safari Web browser, it supports Amazon's JavaScript menus when the TouchPad browser did not.

And there are apps, apps, apps. I have my lectionary app, my Episcopal calendar app, the New York Times, USA Today, San Francisco Chronicle, and San Jose Mercury News. I have the Merriam Webster dictionary, a text editor, and of course my news reader app to sync with Google Reader. I have a crossword app and TED videos app.

And, of course, the Kindle app, fully functional, unlike the TouchPad. (Except, of course, for the buy from app function, turned off due to Amazon's tiff with Apple over the stiff cut that Apple demands for purchases made that way.)

I'm pleased.

Terry has taken over my TouchPad and is hooked on Angry Birds. So it may take longer than I thought for the TouchPad to achieve doorstop status.


I tried to be a loyal employee. I didn't buy an iPad. I waited for the HP TouchPad. And I bought it full price, not wanting to wait for the employee discount by mail order, and not knowing the price would drop by $100 less than a month later. Terry even got me a cover for it for my birthday.

Then last Thursday, less than a week after getting the cover, HP announced its third quarter results and hit us with this news: they're walking away from the business. So I go iPad route and have a very expensive doorstop.

So much for loyalty.


Terry and I like to get away to the San Jose Fairmont for my birthday and other special occasions. Problem is that the last few years the San Jose Jazz Festival has been my birthday weekend. So we went this past weekend instead. We got a lovely upgrade to a tower room and had an absolutely marvelous dinner at the Grill on the Alley, a first-rate restaurant with excellent food, great service, and prices to match. But well worth it.

Our room overlooked San Carlos and First Streets, and the venerable Original Joe's restaurant, very close to where I was the first classified advertising manager at the weekly alternative newspaper Metro back in 1985. "More than a lifetime ago."

But that was a different world: one I have no interest in going back to. I love my life today with Terry. In spite of the stress at work, I'm happy to be where I am, and love having the opportunity for a weekend getaway with Terry so close to home.

Sacred Music Friday: The Lord Bless You and Keep You

John Rutter's arrangement of The Lord Bless You and Keep You, sung by The Choir of St. Paul's Cathedral, London. Courtesy of Unapologetically Episcopalian.


what prayer does

I've been reading the blog of the Velveteen Rabbi, Rachel Barenblat, for several years now. I've always enjoyed it, but never looked at it as a source for my book selections. But Rachel surprised me last week.

She wrote about the new book by Kate Braestrup, Beginner's Grace.

Braestrup says:

I had thought that conquering the monkey mind and bringing myself into a conscious attentiveness were
prerequisites for prayer, but they are not: they are prayer's result. If I was restless,
dubious, and distracted whenever I'd try to pray, so what? Everyone is!

Rachel goes on to quote Braestrup:

…what prayer, at its best and at our best, has always done — is help us to live consciously, honorably, and compassionately.

I love it! I've downloaded the sample to my Kindle and am looking forward to reading the book.