A solid object lesson in anticipation being worse than reality

About a mile and a quarter into a planned six mile hike I lost my balance and fell into a tributary of New Hope Creek. Thankfully it was 30ºF and warming up, not cooling down. The water was up to my belly button and in my haversack. I said “Well, this is not ideal” aloud.

It was surprising how little being wet in the cold weather seemed to effect me. I climbed back on the log and quickly started back toward the car after putting Poppy on her leash. Hypothermia entered my thoughts a few times, but once I was moving the only cold I felt was when my wet pants stuck to my legs.

By the time I got to my car it was 37º and my only concern was if my dunked key fob would unlock the car. Concentrating on this, I nearly slipped on some ice about a yard from the car. Everything worked fine and I made it home after a slightly squishy drive and it had warmed up to 42º.

So next time someone invites me to a polar bear swim, I think I’ll do it.

More stuff I liked 2017

I thought of a few more things worth sharing:

One Punch Man anime series
Not one who quite gets anime, I really enjoyed this series. The main character can defeat anyone with a single punch, and yet he is still able to have quite humorous adventures. If someone hadn’t told me the series was satire, I wouldn’t have known (and probably wouldn’t have stuck around long enough to find out how good the series is)

Logan superhero movie
It was too early in the year, and I think the oscars are probably not ever going to a superhero movie, but this one really should be considered. It is quite violent and bloody, but it is about a superhero who has metal claws for weapons…

Dunkirk IMAX film
I saw this in domed IMAX format. It was a very different kind of film than many others I’ve seen. It is less about a story than about an experience. Very tense throughout and beautifully shot sequences. I’m interested to see it on a small screen and see if the tension is as visceral.

Gorogoa puzzle game
An interesting, hand-drawn puzzle game for iOS, PC, or Nintendo Switch. It isn’t super long, but it is beautifully drawn and has interesting mechanics. (At least it was interesting on my phone, not sure about the other platforms)

Buttered Side Down youtube channel
Wacky, surreal humor. Worth checking out, though “Making a paper airplane” gets a little grisly…

Stuff I liked 2017

Conversations with Tyler podcast
Economist Tyler Cowen interviews people from many different fields. I started out listening To ones with people I had heard of and now I listen to every one which helps me learn about things I didn’t even know I cared anything about.

Hoopla audiobooks
My county library lets me check out as many as 10 audiobooks a month using the Hoopla app. The list of available titles is surprisingly large. I’ve been using this longer than just in 2017, but the developers really finished working out all the kinks in the app this year. They also offer video and text media if you are interested in those.

Stories of Your Life and Others short story collection
This collection by Ted Chiang includes the story that the film Arrival was based on. I liked “Stories of Your Life” (the one Arrival was based on) even better than Arrival because of a subtle difference.

The Three Body Problem novel
Quite unlike much run of the mill sci-fi. I really liked how new (to me) a lot of the ideas were in this book.

Streams of Living Water book
I re-read (actually listened to) this book and it remains one of the most formative theological works for me. I’ll probably read or listen to this again this year.

Schlock Mercenary webcomic
I started reading this from the beginning and have really enjoyed the story and humor. Many people recommend starting a little bit past the beginning because the art gets a lot better after a few years, but I enjoyed it straight off.

Accidental Courtesy documentary
The story of Daryl Davis a black jazz-pianist who befriends KKK members and puts up with their crap, but also challenges their beliefs. His way of loving and challenging difficult people is much needed in our time.

KÜHL Pants
I can’t remember which of these I got, but they are well made pants that stand up to nearly every day use. They are a little pricey, but well made.

There are definitely a few things I forgot. These are all pretty good though

iOS 10 – Apps I Use

It has been a while since I last did one of these posts. Skipped right over iOS 9. Here are some apps I use. It looks like I use fewer apps than I did in the old days.

Fantastical – $5
Dark Sky – $4
Reeder – $5
PrayNow – $9
YouVersion (now called Bible)
and
Flickr

are all still in heavy rotation.

I’ve switched from Instapaper to Pocket for saving pages to read. They both sell ads based on what you save, but Pocket at least offers a paid tier. I’m not sure if paying keeps them from selling ads, but Instapaper doesn’t offer that option.

Some apps I may have neglected to mention before:

Overcast – a free app about which I have previously written: Importing Arbitrary Audio Into Overcast.app. It is an excellent app if you want to listen to things a little quicker than they were recorded.

Hoopla – a free app that my local library uses to offer ebooks, audiobooks, and videos. I only really use it for audiobooks. I can tell they are actively developing this app because sometimes it gets better and sometimes it gets worse. We are currently in a trough of user experience where the audio will stop playing arbitrarily and sometimes come back, but sometimes I have to push play myself, or even restart the app before I can get it to play. That I am still using it despite all this shows how valuable the content is. One day I might get an audible account, but until then these free audiobooks keep me calm while I’m driving.

Strava – a free run/bike/swim tracker. They have a premium tier for $60/year which might be worth it if I get an Apple Watch, or become more serious about biking. For now the free service does everything I want. They really want you to share your information publicly, but you can keep it private if you dig around in the preferences.

Instant Heart Rate – this app uses your camera to measure your heart rate. I’m not certain how accurate it is, but when I’m able to feel my pulse, it seems to match up with the graph they display, so I’m guessing at least the higher pulse rates are accurate. Irritatingly, it occasionally asks you to upgrade which I have thought about doing, but they don’t say if upgrading will remove the ads. I’ve tried a few other apps that seem to have a better user interface, but they all have much more invasive ads. One of the reasons I’d like to get an Apple Watch with its built in heart rate monitor is to be done with this app once and for all.

There are a few other apps that I use from time to time, but nothing that I use very often.

Loving the Law of the Lord

How I love your law!
I think about it all day long.

–Psalm 119:97 GNB

Psalm 119 is full of verses like this. When I get to one I usually try to rationalize it by thinking something along the lines of: “that’s more of an old testament posture to take towards the law, now that Jesus has died and risen, we have grace, so the law is merely a contrast to God’s radical grace. If I were to take up the posture of loving the law I’d be on a slippery slope to a life of legalism.”

However, recently I ran across an excellent series of videos covering the Ten Commandments from Luther’s Small and Large Catechisms. I heartily recommend the series because it teaches a way to love the law but still avoid legalism. Like many good treatments it reminded me of some things I already knew, but also revealed new things I had never known; speaking to both my mind and my heart.

There are 33 videos ranging from 5 to 16 minutes each.

The Lutheran ordering of the commandments is probably different from what you are used to (unless you are Lutheran.) The fifth video goes over the different orderings of the commandments. There are more variations than I knew!