Thursday, January 31, 2013

Entering the 21st Century

Sitting here at my favorite local café I am reveling in the ability to do what I do, namely write, using the latest technological tools available. For the record, I only upgrade computers about every half-dozen years so I relish using my state-of-the-art MacBook Air laptop, which weighs just a couple of pounds and is capable of truly amazing stuff.

But the piece de resistance of my high tech arsenal is my new iPhone 5, which my wife and I gave each other as Christmas presents last year. Even though we actually attended the MacWorld convention at which the original iPhone was unveiled in 2007, we had never taken the plunge and gotten one ourselves.

Now that we are armed with what has been called the best smartphone made to date we feel as if we have finally entered the 21st century. For the entire past decade we simply used a couple of Nokia prepaid phones and they suited us just fine but I looked forward to getting an iPhone one day and that day has come.

The above setup is not actually mine but a representative photo I got online that not only features my laptop and cell phone but also my external hard drive [tethered to the laptop]. The camera pictured is a Nikon and mine is a Leica but they look similar. With a computer, cell and camera, I am good to go. All I need to do now is renew my passport.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Living by Design

As I celebrate my birthday today I am mindful of the tagline on my blog: “musings about the art of life.” And I recently came across the approximate French equivalent: l’art de vivre, or "the art of living." If anyone knows how to celebrate life it is arguably the French and with our twenty-fifth anniversary rapidly approaching my wife and I are planning to experience the French lifestyle firsthand by paying them a visit this summer.

What impresses us so much about the French style of life is the emphasis upon savoring each day as it comes and enjoying the simple pleasures of life, such as a leisurely meal, a stroll in the park or a visit with a loved one. Since I am self-employed I indulged myself today by spending time away from the home office, including a steak-and-egg breakfast at a new bistro and a lunch of soup with baguette at one of my favorite cafes.

Due to the inclement weather here in our area I wasn’t able to take a stroll in the park today but I am enjoying a nice supper at home with my beautiful, young wife and savoring the simple life. Whether we realize it or not, such days are more available to us than we think, if only we will strive to live by design rather than default. It only takes a little thought and planning to make a day memorable and special, birthday or not.