Products

2 May



Sometimes the weekly column I do is made up of smaller bits instead of one big topic and that was the case this week when we rolled together three product reviews into a Digital Savant piece.

Slightly longer versions of my reviews of the Nike+ FuelBand (beautiful, baffling), the Xbox Live game “Fez” (indie, retro, cool) and the Swivl for camera phones (rotatin’ follow-you action).

Last week was pretty busy at work. I broke the news about the follow up to Wizard101, Pirate101 from the Austin developers at KingsIsle Entertainment. (The version that ran in print is a little different.)

And I did a mostly-photos preview of the new Austin Microsoft Store in the blog.

Things got even busier later in the week with the Moontower Comedy and Oddity Festival, a new thing in Austin that we covered. I ended up writing up The Divorce Show, Aziz Ansari’s fantastic headlining performance, the Theme Park improv show featuring Laraine Newman, Oscar Nuñez from “The Office” and performers I’d seen years and years ago in the sketch troupe “Totally False People.” Saturday night, my coverage ended with Wanda Sykes, which was also great. Aziz Ansari ended up Tweeting a link to the review of his show, which brought us a nice little surge of traffic.

Still doing reviews over at Kirkus every week or two of children’s apps. In fact, apps were part of a discussion I had with Patrick Jordan, who does a weekly blog feature called “What’s On Your iPad.” I told him what’s on mine for a feature he ran last week.

And I saved probably the biggest news for last. Because I work for a large company that owns several large papers and is in the process of consolidating lots of things across them, my Digital Savant column will be appearing in the other ones as well. That means the column will run more regularly in Atlanta, Dayton and Palm Beach.

In Palm Beach, it started two weeks ago with a flourish. They interviewed me for a very nice introduction piece and ran a past column of mine that I suggested would be a good intro to the Digital Savant column. The first column brought me some very nice emails from South Florida from people either needing tech help or offering their own opinions about everything from LINUX to what devices are best for people suffering from disabilities like multiple sclerosis.

All that recent activity made me exhausted enough for a bad crash early this week. I got several pieces of bad or weird news on the same day, including one about a writing project that I was rapidly losing confidence about (one thing about that; when a writer loses confidence in one piece of writing it can often trigger a chain reaction that leads to thinking you can’t write ANYTHING, EVER AGAIN. That can be dangerous.). It took pep talks from several wonderful people in my life including my writing partner, my wife and my two daughters, who each suddenly became angelic and nice to their dad for once and then things were fine again. I got a good night’s sleep and then today, the day of my 8th wedding anniversary, everything seemed fine again.

It’s been a weird combination lately of big changes at work (not for me specifically but for the paper and the company in general), always feeling pressed for time at home and having gone on a jag of writing so much in a short period of time that the words began to ran together and I stopped processing. Add lack of sleep to that and things get worse really quick.

Now my priority is resting up, getting back into the exercise routine and getting recharged because it’s almost summer, I have a few big tasks ahead of me and I’m gonna need every ounce of energy I’ve can generate. (Just not Nike Fuel points because I’m starting to think those are just useless.)