3 things, free things

After a busy two days, I get to relax a little today.

Obviously this only comes after the morning routine of motivating the children, taking my caffeine fix to make me chemically happy, driving the children to school, buying some mayonnaise so I can make some homemade coleslaw tonight, collecting more pain relief meds for the wife, cleaning the pots, putting on the laundry on, folding the drying and filling out the diary to be sure of what we have the next couple of days.  Also taking into account I have the daughter’s room to clean out later, tax forms to complete for the end of the financial year regarding fostering and a total income and expenditure plan for the family to fill in because the debt management team are calling on Friday to refresh my account details.

But this is a relaxing day.

When I sit down and write at the moment I feel inclined to write deep wordy prose contemplating the complexities of my life.  I’m not sure why this is, but I don’t want this blog to become so clogged with false pretension I can’t write the disposable guff as well.  So for this post let me suggest a few things you can go off and do with your time if you are so inclined.

Download and use Instaqoute

Instaquote is a little app for the Android operating system (it might be for IOS too but I have no idea and you can always use the internet to find that out) that lets you take pictures ‘ala Instagram’ and quotes to them.  I guess were you inclined you screen capture the sunrise and put something syrupy and clichéd on top to then add that to your Facebook stream, though I don’t recommend that because these Facebook posts are the second most annoying digital detritus that clog up an otherwise lovely stream of information on these sites (the first being game requests, don’t get me started on game requests)

What I’ve found these suit is when the daughter says something obtuse, like a 6 year old in genetically programmed to do, I try to take a picture to put the loony phrase next to it for posterity.  I know years ago when my first child was born somebody said I should write down all of these moments in a book to read back on in years to come, and in hindsight I wish I had.  Even though I’ve only done ten or so of these Instaquotes I rue the fact I haven’t documented these moments sooner.

I also like to take random phrases from Twitter and add images to them, Twitter can be a very funny place to pass the short pockets of time where you are waiting for prescriptions, or dinners to cook, or in a doctor’s waiting room, and there are some genuinely very funny people on there catering solely to the twitter crowd.

instaquote-23-11-2014-16-24-02 instaquote-05-11-2014-07-44-03
  instaquote-07-11-2014-08-57-23 instaquote-03-11-2014-12-01-41

Follow some funny people on Twitter.

Twitter is a wonderful platform populated by every social demographic you know and a whole host you don’t. Inbreds, racists, food lovers, bloggers, teens that don’t know how to write, spam bots and a thousand things you can’t think of.

This tapestry of awesome doesn’t occur naturally though, you can’t switch Twitter on and expect it to be wonderful, you have to interact with it, search it, curate the people you want to follow and see who the people you grow to like also follow to fine tune your reading more.

On the Twitter page (and many apps) you can create “lists” or follow lists created by someone else.  This is a great tool for sitting down and following only one stream of information.  I’ve made (or follow) foodie lists, news reporter lists, comedians, sexual health workers, fostering lists, autism lists and a few others. Then when I want to read up on something in particular I head to these lists.  They don’t appear in your main stream, unless you follow the users anyway.  They act as a separate place to put all the Tweeters you are interested in, but really don’t want to see daily.

There are just a few of the Tweets that I genuinely love.

Screenshot 2015-01-14 11.18.20  Screenshot 2015-01-14 11.18.26 Screenshot 2015-01-14 11.18.31 Screenshot 2015-01-14 11.18.14

Here is a quick list I made up of some of the funny people I follow.

Discover new music

The internet is an amazing source of new free music, and I don’t mean illegal downloads.  There are genuine up and coming bands, or people who just like performing, that want you to listen to their music.  Obviously they want to eat as well so they share a few songs on the off-chance that if you like it you will go off and buy more of their tunes.

I love this idea or the freemium model (release something for free that you are confident is of high quality and people will return to buy more) and I happily buy the albums of people I find by searching the internet and falling in love with the songs I hear.  It’s opened my ears to tunes I may have never heard before and anything new that I discover rather have it piped through the radio on a pre-chosen playlist, feels a little more personal and a lot more enjoyable to listen to.

There are many sites that can fulfil this niche but the one I like is called Jamendo and lets you search by type, mood, instruments played, what’s most played to a point where you could search with the most intensely fine tuned criteria.  Then you can download the tracks they share, for free.  The only caveat is if you put it up on the web or use it commercially you need to give the artist credit and if you’re really like it then go to the artist’s website and buy something off them.

These are just a few I fell in love with and who I have been and bought the albums of with no qualms about spending my money on them

The artists are

Josh Woodward

My Terrible Friend

Chris Bathgate

So there you have it. Three things to lose yourself on the internet over and not feel like you’ve wasted your time.

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