On one of my carpool trips from work a few weeks back, Sander and I had a great idea. It’s an event that would occur once every few months – perhaps quarterly. The event’s title:
The idea came about we discussed Sander’s experiences with his debate team in high school. Then it dawned on me: we should have a debate! We could invite people over and have a formal debate with judging and the whole thing! Sander cleverly recommended that in order for it to succeed it would be best to mix seriousness and comedy. For example, we could have one debate on the death penalty and another on Miracle Whip vs. Cains.
Other ideas for interesting evenings? Perhaps a craft evening, an auction, or a series of lectures. Anyone else have a good recommendation?
Aside: Three days left of datelessness. Stay tuned for the March recaps.
Whew. One more day. March 1st will likely have me fully immersed in the florescent glow of devices. I hope to post updates to the events previewed here over the next week or two. Thanks for sticking it out with me through these automated posts.
This is yet another automatic post for the month of February as Jen and I try and achieve a full month without electronics abuse. This weekend’s fun events included a bald eagle watch with the local Audubon group. It’s a 5 hours watch with a number of different stops concluding with a tasty lunch in Essex.
The Connecticut river is known for its bald eagle roosts. I’m eager to check it out. I’ve only seen bald eagles on a few random occasions here in CT. Once flying over the highway, and another time at a great distance from the shores of Madison, CT.
Also scheduled for this week? A Houston business trip. This will be especially challenging to survive without any electronics. Business trips with my company are often huge pendulums swinging between EXTREMELY ACTIVE INSANE and jaw numbingly boring. It’s those boring minutes where I will struggle.
I’ll be bringing some books with me from the library. Hopefully those will keep me occupied when things aren’t crazy at the job-site.
A few years back I had a great idea. You know those Escape room games online? Imagine that in real life! It’d be a big hit as a team building exercise. Well son of a gun, somebody did it. And wouldn’t you know there’s one in Connecticut. On the 15th we were scheduled to check out an Adventure room in West Hartford (www.myadventureroom.com).
The premise is simple, you and some friends are locked in a room and you have 60 minutes to figure out how to escape. You’ll have to wait until we return from our February without internet before getting a review, but of the events we planned this might be the one that I’m most excited about for February.
The website says that only about 30% succeed in escaping the room. We’d planned the event with Kelly and Jay, so we’ll see if the four of us have the wits to succeed. I’m very curious to see how the company executes the locked room scenario. Will there be a bathroom? Camera or in-room supervision? Do the puzzles rotate so you can try different rooms?
I’m so intrigued. You’ll have to come back in March for the full review.
In preparation for this month of no data, I did more than just schedule a bunch of MikeDiDonato.com posts. Jen and I scoured through event listings to try and find weekend and evening activities. In this month of excitement, this weekend was mostly tame. Friday we were scheduled to try our Cafe Routier in Westbrook after highly positive reviews from our neighbors. And if all went according to plan, we hosted a game night on Saturday night with Sander and Brian. Missions Risk was on the Menu.
Some basement organizers were also due to arrive this past week. So hopefully our basement is looking pretty orderly. I went with a ULINE shelving bin system.
The other casual goal that I had for this month was to use the weekend time to prep meals for the rest of the week. In January we were deeply successful with advance prep of ravioli, dumplings, and casseroles. I presume with less screen time there will be much more weekend prep.
My greatest curiosity surrounding this time experiment of no data for February is to see how much time Jen and I earn by not using our devices. How will our routines change? Every day I start by reading news on my iPhone. Now, my news will come from a newspaper. Will I get up earlier? Will I exercise more? Will we be bored?
Is it going to be the most exciting food month of all time with extra time for chefery?
Or perhaps we will hardly notice. It’s a curious thing to think about.
Also: Happy Birthday Theresa! Woo!
Recently, I was brain-stem deep in a game of Candy Crush. My eyes itched from staring at an iphone screen. My dreams for the previous two nights had included switching jelly beans with werther’s originals in order to blow up frosting to free gummy bears from some other-worldy chocolate centipede thing. I needed to stop.
Back when I was working in Ohio for weeks and weeks at a time, I became friends with a guy who practiced a “no electronics February” with his family. No TV, no video games, no laptops, no cell phones. Nothing.
This February, Jen and I are going to try.
That said, our goal is not based in a post-modern belief that there is truth to living in simplicity. No, most electronics are totally awesome it’s just some that are completely life-draining (I’m looking at you Candy Crush). So we’re setting up some ground rules so that we take advantage of the benefits but limit our exposure to time wasters.
Cell phones can be used as communication tools: phone calls, FaceTimes, texts, or emails.
Apps can be used only if the supplement some other activity. For example: logging our exercise or looking up a recipe
Our TV will be unplugged for all of February
All the same rules as cell phones
Laptops can be used for work
Laptops can further be used for errands like paying bills or ordering a water filter off Amazon
Lastly: all of my personal usage will be logged. I will report back in March with the details
Since I won’t be going online to update my website, I’ll be prepping a bunch of posts in advance. These posts will show up a couple times a week for the next four weeks. Also, I will be keeping a legit diary which I will share come March.
The countdown is on: 5 days until
I am back in Ohio at my usual Holiday Inn. I was cheered this morning by the buffet breakfast lady who recognized me and welcomed me back – not from my most recent trip – but from my stint here about 4 years ago! I must have made an impression with the buffet people. It was nice to be recognized. It’s like having a little bit of home out here in Ohio.
In other news, there is a blizzard approaching and the building where we are working has no heat and is missing some walls.