Tag Archives: technology

Best intentions and plans

5 Jan

With the help of three apps, I am trying to stick to my “newsolutions”, and I thought some of you might find this interesting as well, be it the new year or not.

Instead of going with the traditionals (more exercise, quit smoking, be a better person in general), I have made the resolution to make mor time for myself and my witching – figuring that this is completely selfless, as it will make the world a better place with less dead people. (NO, I have not killed anyone. But sometimes I wish I could. Don’t judge, we’ve all been there.)

  1. As I have not yet found the perfect spell to put more hours into the day, I must instead manage my time more wisely. Which brings me to my first app: It’s called Routines, how very boring, and it helps me break down my housekeeping tasks into daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly tasks. If I stick to it, I do not have to spend more than thirty or at most forty minutes per day cleaning and organizing stuff on work days, and maybe an hour per day on weekends – and the place looks kind of inhabitable. Basically, Routines lets you create your own check lists. Some people may find it annoying that they have to come up with all their rhythms themselves, but I liked it, because I know best what I want cleaned how often (and I had a “Housekeeping made easy” book to help me determine on my routines). I try to make housekeeping time in the morning before I head towards the office, so I come back to a cleanish place and have the afternoon and evening for more important tasks. And every time I want to procrastinate, I can pick just another task from my lists which fits my procrastination window.
  2. Then there is Streaks, where you can manage things you want to (or think you should) do regularly. The app holds up to twelve tasks, you can choose an appropriate symbol for everything and determine whether you want to do it (several times) every day, on a certain weekday or once a week/month/… – you get the idea. Of course I could have put it into my “routines” app, but I definitely wanted to keep cleaning and the cool stuff separated, so I won’t get confused. So this app is for fun challenges, such as making time to meditate or play with the cats, practice the ukulele and brush up on my Dutch skills. The app records, as the name has probably already given away, how many days in a row I have done the fun things.
  3. And in order to meditate properly, I have splurged and gotten a full yearly subscription to Calm, an app with relaxing music, bedtime stories read to you by professionals, and guided meditations on various topics as well as a breathing exercise. I like the voices, and the speed of the meditations, and they regularly put up new content. The subscription is kind of expensive, but since I have been using it for quite some time, it is totally worth it. There is lots of content for free, if you want to try it out first, too.

Of course I am still at the experimental stage, but right now it feels as if by managing the tasks and fun activities, I am actually more refreshed – even after sleeping only five hours last night because I had to have cocktails with a friend before we went to the cinema, and then spent some time with the guy watching forensic documentaries while eating cheese. I have even felt the urge to *gasp* learn embroidery. We’ll see how it turns out in a few months, when the excitement wears off and the office becomes a pit of devastation for the summer months.

(Disclaimer: I also track my food intake and exercise output, but that is definitely just a means to an end and kind of obsessive instead of fun, and totally not necessary for just about everybody.)

(Another disclaimer: I do tend ot obsess about plans and to-do lists. It’s a quirk that only makes me so much more loveable.)

Do you have any favorite apps or tricks to help keep your life on track? And, by the way, do you know any good witchign apps? ^^


Is there such a thing as high-tech witches?

9 Feb

Well, there probably is. I am just starting to find use for modern technology in everyday witchcraft. With a little digging, you can find all kinds of handy digital spell and ritual collections, moon calendars, possibly even a virtual voodoo doll? (Gotta look that one up immediately.)

My latest discovery: Virtual candles. Great for tiny secret rituals at the office when everyone has arrived in a killing mood and it is my job to not stab anyone make sure work goes smoothly. Have I ever told you how much I love my phone?

One downside to technology is that it tends to die on me. My moods and poorly directed energies have killed the poor notebook at least half a dozen time. These days it resembles a zombie, shambling around on my desk and only starting with the help of lots of praying and even more cursing. I am still looking for that mysterious equipment that can handle the occasional emotional explosion. ^^

(Having said this, I have only managed to kill my old iphone once in two years. The piece of sh*t samsung I had before malfunctioned almost every day. I also tend to kill projectors, gaming consoles, TV devices, … – Richard won’t even let me touch the cables. ^^ )

How we went to buy a new vacuum cleaner

17 Jun

Let me tell you, these modern vacuum cleaners are not meant for long distance travelling. This is the second time in five years that one of them has caught fire in my hands.

Luckily I was not on my way to Blocksberg, only trying to de-cat our red plushy furniture (while considering de-plushing our cats). When I heard the sound, smelled the smell and noticed the vacuum cleaner was no longer cleaning, I checked the fuses. And the electric socket. All clear. Just our tiny little red vacuum cleaner sitting in our livingroom, smelling slightly roasted and clearly thinking, “I am going nowhere, you witch!”

The next morning we went to buy a new vacuum cleaner. Or let’s say, we tried. The electronics store had TVs (“No, we won’t buy a new TV.”) and GPS (“No, we won’t buy a new GPS.”), but they clearly did not know how to satisfy women. Tiny food processors, toasters and digital alarm clocks. That was all they had in their household appliances section.

So we went to the Garden Center/Feel-good Store a few paces down the road, figuring that they would surely have something useful as well.

Suddenly Richard remembered that he needed some wood to make a box for his iPad keyboard. We found everything, and the guy at the counter promised to cut everything to its proper size. Would only take half an hour.

Do you know how much financial damage thirty minutes in a Garden Center can do to this witch?

In the end we bought a pineapple mint, a bush of blueberries and a currant tree. And enough stuff to finally turn our balcony into a jungle. Only cost us seventy-five bucks.

By the way, the store did not sell vacuum cleaners. ^^

This happens to home-wreckers

27 Jan


Yeah, my mother is probably not really happy about this. But after yesterday, I finally had enough of that so-called “smart” phone.

You see, Richard and I were in town for some out-of-the-ordinary weekend shopping. We do not do that very often. He got his hair cut first, and I went off for some errands (getting train tickets to see my sister next month etc.). We had agreed to meet later, he was to call me when he was done. I talked to my sister on the phone, fought against the Deutsche Bahn ticket vendor and got some necessary supplies from the drug store.

I checked my phone every few minutes – nothing. After 45 minutes of waiting, I messaged Richard that I would wait at one of our favorite coffee shops.

Guess who came storming into the shop ten minutes later, furious?

Richard had obviously tried to reach me for at least twenty minutes, by message and calling. None of it had gone through. Being in a really bad mood (his ipad had broken just the night before, and he is really attached to it – I’d have thought he’d rather drop our unborn children than that piece of technology), he accused me of having ignored him on purpose.

Of course, being the scorpio woman who I am, I did not spend much time looking for excuses. I don’t take shit from anyone, not even Richard – or make that, especially not from Richard. We had a not very civilized fallout in public (not too loud, but that is the only consolation for me) and settled after maybe 15 minutes of accusing each other of the weirdest things.

The short-time solution was for me to return to a phone that is not as smart as I am – my old trusted Nokia, which I abandoned a bit more than a year ago because it was old and worn, with a scratch on the screen and a battery dying in less than a day. I bought a chargng cable (because I had lost the old one) and highly amused the guy in the shop when I explained, “I need a charger for that funky old silver Nokia phone everybody had about four years ago.” Luckily we had an internet with us to find a picture. ^^

And this afternoon I finally did to the phone what I had promised I would do. Now every gadget will think twice before interfering with our communication. ^^