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Living Analog

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On today's episode we unplug. We go analog. We take off the CD and put on the Vinyl (is any of this making sense?) In today's episode we talk about that much needed balance that all geeks need: time where we step out of the virtual and into the real world. If this is as tough for you as it is for MF and Rob, it's definitely an issue that needs to be talked about and addressed...for our spiritual health, physical health, the health of our relationships and the health of our faith.

So, in this episode, we talk about just why we should take time to "live analog". Rob talks about the ideas origins in audio recording and we suggest that unplugging is a great way to feed our creativity and enhance our work. We talk about spending time alone, spending time with familiy, and, darnit, we shame you into turning off your television set and cell phone.

We talk about how turning off the computer when you're not actually working can make a huge difference in learning to live analog. We hit all the obvious topics such as enjoying the outdoors and exercising, and we take it one step further by talking about reading more and finding a 'transitional' activity. We cap it all off by talking about the idea of Sabbath and challenge you to start living analog on your Sabbath day.

Before all this, we hit lots of user feedback and give you a geeky way to celebrate Lent. We then share the oh-so-sad-news that there will be no podcast next week. So take that as a reminder to LIVE ANALOG!

Comments on G&G audio quality

I've listened to G&G on a number of systems. My iPod to FM transmitter to car stereo setup tends to be pretty bad for sibilance, but even there, I haven't noticed any problems with G&G sound quality.

On the very rarest of occasions (and these are usually at the very beginning of the podcast if they occur) I think Rob Feature moves a little bit away from the mic and I've heard a hint of reflections in the room, but this is certainly not the norm, nor do I think it's been recent.

I don't listen to a huge variety of podcasts, but I'd say that G&G, SAP, and The Six Podcast are among the best I've heard audio-wise. I caught maybe just a little hint of mp3 compression artifacts on the last episode of The Six, but even that was minimal.

When compared to some other Drupal or worship technology podcasts that record with hosts in multiple locations, the double-header method you run for SAP is definitely worth the extra effort. I think your overall production quality is at least as high as the Shure Applications Podcast, if not better.

Micah

Unplug the high tech way: go geocaching!

Yes, I'm going to recommend using technology to unplug. That may sound like cheating, but hear me out.

Geocaching is a fun and relatively inexpensive way to get outdoors and explore the world around you without leaving your inner geek behind. All you need is a hand-held GPS receiver to get started. The $100 entry-level units work fine, but I love my Magellan eXplorist 210 because the software and USB connection makes life a little easier easier. You go to the web site and punch in your zip code or coordinates to get a list of caches hidden in your area, punch those coordinates into your GPSr, and head out the door. If you have kids, bring some McToys so you can trade in some of what you have for the ones you'll find in the container.

While some caches are in remote areas, others are pretty easy to reach. I think the most urban one I've found was probably the one just outside the Mariner's Cathedral in downtown Detroit.

Yes, you have to go online before you head out. Yes, you can focus on the GPSr display and forget to look at the world around you while you're searching. Yes, there are addicts who take geocaching to the extreme.

But it can also be a good way to unplug, either alone or as a family. It's got that "doing something" aspect that can keep your mind from wandering back into the daily grind, and can be a transitional activity, like Rob's cooking. The more time we spend geocaching as a family, the more likely we are to spend time in the evening just together and talking. In fact, we really need to get back to doing it more.

It can also become a good part of vacation planning, as long as it's not an obsession. When we're preparing to go somewhere, I'll load up a list of caches in the area, printing out the notes and loading up the coordinates. For these trips, I usually take info for about eight to ten caches. On most trips, we usually end up hunting and finding about one to three of these. We don't let it be the focus of the trip, but it takes us into areas (usually parks) we'd have otherwise missed. One fun thing about it is that I can go back through the list of caches we've found and tell you what else we did that day, or what trip we were on, and who was with us.

For those of you already into geocaching, be sure to visit TeamGreenBag's profile!

Great show

I'm taking you up on your challenge and unplugging this Sunday.

This is going to be tough since racing season is about to start. Guess I'll have to get a TiVo!

John
--
Jesus Geek: A Christian technology podcast
http://www.jesusgeek.info

Jesus Geek: Technology, news and how-to's for the connected Christian
http://www.jesusgeek.info
geek@jesusgeek.info
Follow me on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/theOJG

TiVo

Yeah, John...I suppose I should have disclosed this: My wife and I rely HEAVILY on our TiVo (we don't ever watch "live" tv)...so it makes missing any shows on sunday a non-issue.

See...God wants me to have a TiVo! ;)

-Rob Feature
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.mustardseedmedia.com

-Rob Feature
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.mustardseedmedia.com

Count me in

My kids are not gonna believe this but hecks it's going to impact them as well.

Homework done on the Saturday because there are not computers around on Sunday? Guess they could always use paper!

Already I'm thinking that before Church doesn't count because I need to copy stuff over for the youth group. Yes it does count, prep the day before, dummy. Then I'm thinking ahh but the Aftershock.org.uk dev needs to be published. But guess what wordpress will do that for me. Man it's gonna be harder then I realized, but thats probably all the more reason to o it.

You Nailed It

Hey Max
(welcome to the site, haven't seen you here before! Don't hesitate to register for a permanent account!)

You totally nailed it. The thinking you lay out here is EXACTLY what happens. We always find an excuse to turn on the computer...and the more excuses we ignore, the more the NEXT excuse seems like "something we MUST do".

Thanks for sharing your thought pattern...it's identical to the things that go thru my mind as well. And you're right, this is much harder than most of us realize which should tell us something about how addicted to computers we really are.

Thanks for sharing!

-Rob Feature
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.mustardseedmedia.com

-Rob Feature
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.mustardseedmedia.com

Addiction

I think the word you used here is perfect. Addiction. Anyone else dream of it like alcoholics dream of booze? Anyone else start getting nervous and uneasy if you are disconnected for a few days? After an outing, like a date or a sporting event, does anyone else rush to the computer to just check that one thing out?

If we took the topic of computers out of these conversations people would think we were drug addicts or something like that.

Does this mean I need to go to rehab?

Matt Farina
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.innovatingtomorrow.net
www.mattfarina.com

Matt Farina
Geeks and God Former Co-Host
www.mattfarina.com

Great show

I have to let you know that this was a great episode.

I was listening to it on the way home last night. After I had been home for a little while, my wife made a comment that I was more calm and relaxed than normal. I guess that is a sign that I need to implement some of the suggestions you made.

About the noise on Rob's mic, I have noticed it on several episodes, but not this one. I always listen to the MP3 feed. To me it sounds like a fan and it sounds like your gate is cutting it when Rob isn't talking. It is basically only noticeable when Rob is talking softly or between words. If I hear it again, I will let you know the exact file and location in the file.

Thanks again for a great show.

Ah HA!

Great input there kswan, on the audio issue. Now I know what to listen for!

We have a G5 with a really loud fan running, and pair that with a gate that could be triggering inappropriately, and that would make that sound.

Starting with the next episode, this should no longer be an issue. I'm switching to a laptop (no more G5) and have a new pro tools setup, which means the gate setting will change.

Hopefully that'll fix everything!

-Rob Feature
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.mustardseedmedia.com

-Rob Feature
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.mustardseedmedia.com

Macbook can get loud

Word of warning...

Macbooks and Macbook pros can get loud too. I use a Macbook to occasionally record my podcast and have to make sure I'm far enough away from it because the fan kicks in and gets loud.

John
--
Jesus Geek: A Christian technology podcast
http://www.jesusgeek.info

Jesus Geek: Technology, news and how-to's for the connected Christian
http://www.jesusgeek.info
geek@jesusgeek.info
Follow me on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/theOJG

We have them there already

Those macbooks can't be to loud. Rob and I each have one in front of us at every episode. You'd hear it on me every week if it was. We will just be switching from having 2 MacBook Pros and a G5 tour to just the 2 MacBook Pros.

If you are having an issue with the Macbook being to loud it could be your mic and your computers location in the area the mic picks up sound.

Matt Farina
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.innovatingtomorrow.net
www.mattfarina.com

Matt Farina
Geeks and God Former Co-Host
www.mattfarina.com

Compared...

Compared to the G5, my macbook pro is totally silent. You should have heard that thing!

-Rob Feature
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.mustardseedmedia.com

-Rob Feature
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.mustardseedmedia.com

yep ..until the fans kick

yep ..until the fans kick on.. :) They can get pretty loud on the MBP. They may not come on when recording..hopefully. It is usally when you are doing a lot of heavy CPU kind of stuff.

Mark Shropshire "shrop"
Geeks & God Forums Moderator
http://geeksandgod.com/users/shrop

I agree on the audio

I think Kevin's onto something - I was trying to describe what I was hearing occasionally also. It definitely sounds like some sort of gated noise. Not too bad, but just enough to notice. But if this was coming from your G5 fan, why wouldn't we hear this in Matts mic also (unless they are configured differently, or Rob's mic is closer to the G5+fan)?

And I also agree with the first part - great episode this week guys! Huge food for thought... separate comment is on the way!

Cheers
-P

supercast...

Really loved this episode!!! I've started exercising over the past few years (I'm older than you guys and seeing more of the need) and getting out running or biking in the great outdoors is very refreshing! I do geek out a bit about keeping track of my times, heart rate, calories burned (and GPS is just plain fun with pretty much any activity (go micah!(I love nested parenthesis))!!!). Doing those things especially help me get going if I haven't been out in while, but then just feeling better helps me keep going!!!

God's word says, "The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament shows his handiwork". Rom. 1 also says we understand more about God by the things we see in nature...that is why I love getting out there!!!

Course I also loved the "Space Trilogy" reference!!! (I was that guy way back when!!!) =:) Still love reading. Love to mix up fiction and non-fiction. Love reading older books, they seem to have more depth but maybe that is just me. Read Les Miserables not to long ago...now that guy was a history/storytelling/character-developing GEEK!!! The story very long and detailed but is excellent and ultimately comes down to do we live by Law or Grace!!! It is awesome!!!

ptb

More than anything....

More than anything, I'm glad to see PTB back in the house! wOOt! I'm pretty sure you are the only listener we've heard from that has been there since the very, very beginning. (not to mention your totally awesome vintage geocities homepage...that rocks!)

Good to hear from you again, paul!...and yeah, I gotta read the space trilogy again (ever since this episode, I can't stop thinking about it)...

-Rob Feature
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.mustardseedmedia.com

-Rob Feature
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.mustardseedmedia.com

Wow

I guess wow is all that I can say about your analog show. Honestly, I think that something was trying to keep me from listening to your show. First I had problems downloading it. Then after seeing the title I did not even want to listen to it because it would be about "analog" stuff. Then starting to listen to it, I just about fell out of my chair (well, I would have if I was in my chair.)

This is something that I have really tried to deal with starting this year. I love being at my computer. Many people call me a whiz, not just because I know a lot about computers, but somehow just make them "work". At work, a person can try something ten times and as soon as I am looking over their shoulder it starts to work. My dad even has a routine that when something is not working he will call, let the phone ring once and hang up. Because even though he will do the same thing over and over again and NOT have it work for him, if I tell him what to do, it will work. Even though it is the same thing that he has been doing. So for me to "unplug" is a real big challenge.

So, as soon as I heard this podcast I called my wife and told her that Sunday was "no" electronics day from now on. I am even thinking about turning off the electricity coming into the house! (gas water heater and stove ftw!) I am going to not just walk the dog for fifteen minutes a day. It will be an hour. I will spend an hour playing tennis at the park with my daughter. Maybe go on that hike up in the state park just down the street. Play my saxaphone for more than 30 minutes a month. Finish the 10 books that I have started.

There are so many things that I used to do analog, that just seem so hard to do now. I will say that your show was not a revelation for me, because I had already started doing some of this. It certainly made be feel better that other geeks have this issue. So for those of you who want to know, this is what I have started doing this year.

1) Thursday night is my wife and I date night.
2) Saturday mornings I take my daughter to soccer. Not just for the game though. I go early to play on the playground and also stay late to TALK with other parents, not just leave.
3) Wife and I are having a bible study and fellowship at our house a couple nights a month at our house.
4) We are reading from the bible at least 4 nights a week with the WHOLE family.
5) I do NOT take my computer on vacations with me (oh this is hard!)

Now, I am adding Sunday to the list of differences. This is the short list, but as each one gets part of a habit, then others can be added.

Good luck to all of you if you are trying something new like this.

Rick

Surprise someone with this too. You would not believe the look on my dad's face when I drove up to his house with two baseball mits and asked him to play catch. It is refreshing.

ZicherD
Linux 25%/Windows 50%/Mac 25%
100% Geek

I love that

I love that you went and played catch with your dad. That's great.

Matt Farina
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.innovatingtomorrow.net
www.mattfarina.com

Matt Farina
Geeks and God Former Co-Host
www.mattfarina.com

Do Computer Books Count for the Reading Part? ;0)

Yeah, this is something I know I need to work on myself! Too many reasons/excuses to use the doggone 'puter!

Well, perhaps I'll actually listen to this podcast sometime - just now noticed it today, as far as I can remember.

For the reading part, do computer books count?