Teeny Jedi

Button started fussing on the way out of Target. I paused in front of the automatic doors.

I saw an opportunity, since our little Star Wars obsessed 2.5-year-old cheers up as soon as you get him thinking about a galaxy far, far away.

“[Button], those doors only open if you use The Force. Can you open them for us?”

His arm shot out, elbow locked, and he walked forward. The doors slid open as he approached. Instant excitement. 

As we walked to our car through the parking lot, I heard him say something quietly to himself:

“I knew I could do it.”

There are definitely moments in parenting where we resort to deception. It doesn’t always sit well with me, but sometimes I have to pick my battles.

But there are times when a little deception can make a trip to the store for deodorant and toothpaste feel magical.

Small Seasons: Rain for Harvests

I recently stumbled onto a post about sekki, a division of the year into 24 small seasons from China and Japan based around the cycles of farming.

Living in Michigan, where seasons tend to feel a little fluid at times, the idea of seeing things in smaller chunks instead of four larger seasons appeals to me. I also like making seasonal playlists.

So I combined these ideas together. I don’t know if I’ll do more of these. I don’t want to pull a Sufjan Stevens and say I’m going to make 24 of these and stop at two. But for now, I’ve been enjoying this one. Thought I’d share it.

Reasons I like running

  • The endorphins help my brain work the way I want it to
  • When I focus on how my body moves, it pushes more abstract and/or irrational concerns aside
  • Being able to loosen up my body so that when I’m done, I can stretch in just the right way to pop that part of my lower back that gets sore by the end of the day
  • It reminds me to feel gratitude to my body for allowing me to move as freely as I do
  • It reminds me of the importance to make time to take care of this body to demonstrate that gratitude
  • It’s a time to disconnect from The Twitch of jumping from input to input
  • It creates a natural division; a nightly reset to clear the mental cache
  • It lets me believe that a little regular exercise might further delay the inevitable moment when I can no longer pick up my kids

I wanted to write these down as a reminder that these are reasons without numbers attached. Success isn’t about hitting some specific metric, but just staying in motion.

Being kind to myself can be enough of a goal.

The In-Between Moments

I needed something to do while waiting for my coffee to finish brewing. A fresh pot makes a good dividing line between tasks.

I chose to weed my reading list of saved articles. There was plenty I saved months and years ago that I never came back to.

I saw a block of articles I saved for a story or script idea I never took past the idea stage. They seemed oddly relevant to a completely different story I’m working on right now—one I was just about to start working on as soon as my coffee was ready.

I’m glad I took the moment to tidy up my digital life instead of searching and scrolling. I’m also glad I have a system, even an imperfect one, for keeping track of things that spark ideas.

Those moments between to-dos have the potential to be a rest stop, a detour, or an on-ramp.

It feels like a lot of the writing and writing-based work I do lately is all about collecting shiny things, trusting I can forget them for a while, and then pulling them back out when needed.

How I Remapped the Insert (INS) Key on my Keychron K14

I spent some time Googling how to do this, but didn’t find any direct answers for exactly what I was looking to do. Once I figured it out, I figured I might not be the only one looking for help.

The Keychron K14 is my current favorite keyboard. I love almost everything about it, except for one thing: The INS key. The Insert Key is useless to me, but it takes up space instead of something like the Screen Shot key on my K2.

I decided to change that.

I downloaded Karabiner-Elements, a free Mac toolbar app that lets you swap key mapping.

Things got a little more complicated when I wanted to change the mapping of the Insert Key to a keyboard shortcut like the key combination that triggers “Save picture of selected area as a file.” The time to figure out how to work with the Complex Modifications tab seemed like it would be more trouble than the effort was worth.

Then I got the idea to start by switching it to an unused key that doesn’t exist on this keyboard. Turns out that the Numeric Keypad Asterisk and the Asterisk you get from Shift+8 are treated as separate things.

Next I went into System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts and selected the Screenshots set.

Using my newly remapped key, I changed the shortcuts for the two Screenshot actions I wanted to use with it.

That’s the numeric keypad asterisk. Accept no substitutes.

After all that was done and tested, I swapped out the keycap on the board itself, and that’s the end of that!