1. I’m reading a very good book by Debi Pearl called Create a Better Brain. It’s a guide on how to use different brain-changing techniques to improve your quality of life (and that of your family). Even though the ideas can be applied to and used by anyone, it's written specifically for Christian women. This book is a bit drier than some of her other books, but it has a lot of the same down-to-earth, hands-on practicality that I love about her previous works. She references one book fairly often that I read a few years ago by Norman Dodge: The Brain That Changes Itself (also a good read, with some "mature" content).
Debi’s book is fairly new/expensive, so I didn’t buy it. Instead I used my AMAZING Scribd subscription (affiliate link) to read it on my phone. Different parts of the book led me on a few rabbit trails this week.
2. Free music: one of the rabbit trails was a hunt to find good quality music and the challenge of getting it in a format that I like and can use. I already have classical music on CDs (not that I have a good CD player, or even that my laptop has a CD drive… it doesn’t), and you can find it everywhere on the internet and even public radio. This week I played some Vivaldi and Mozart on our Amazon Echo Dot that I keep in the kitchen. This is not my favorite player, however, since it eavesdrops so I have to unplug it after every use.
The other music we listened to this week was the Getty Kids Hymnal on Youtube. Hymns are my favorite, but it’s hard to find them on Youtube where the lyrics are clear AND they are enjoyable to listen to. Mostly I just want to learn the words and melody; as far as what instruments/tempo is used, I don’t really care. The Kids Hymnal songs are so much fun. A lot of the songs are upbeat with an Irish feel. I would like to buy them at some point, but I haven’t decided whether to get a physical CD to rip, or buy them on Google Play. I’d think I’d rather have a CD that I can duplicate across devices/platforms and not have to rely on the internet for.
3. And lastly, along the lines of internet: I switched search engines from Google to DuckDuckGo. Here’s the long story of why:
There has been a lot of kerfuffle on Youtube about their new censoring policies, and how their algorithms are squashing certain content. Their policy says it will delete videos that are “untrue”, and they gave flat earth and certain conspiracy theories as examples. I don’t have a problem with those things, but sometimes truth looks a whole lot like a conspiracy theory. Furthermore, Youtube favors liberal content (something I don’t care for) over conservative-leaning content, and curates content for me based on that bias. One example is that I’m constantly getting “Why I Left _____ Christian Cult” videos in my suggestions box. I don’t know why these videos are suggested, since I never click on them. Anyhow, a rabbit trail from the Youtube issues led me to the fact that Google also favors liberal content in its search results. DuckDuckGo is a search engine that (to my knowledge) isn’t “partial” about what you search for, and it also doesn’t track your searches (and therefore curate content “just for you”). I feel like the switch will save me time and hassle with searches, and possibly save me money since I won't be (as) aggressively marketed to.
So, that’s about it for this week. Between now and the new year I’ll be ruminating over different goals, plans and ideas for 2020. No guarantee on a vlog since… well, Christmas. But I hope that you, too, will be able to have a happy time with family and spend some time in quiet reflection.
Til next time,