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We're engaged!

1 month ago

I made a video to remember and commemorate what happened! Thinking about when I did it and how happy I felt made my smile not leave while I edited this. I'm so, so happy right now!


I proposed!

9 months ago

I proposed to Sarah on Saturday, August 28, 2018! This weekend we took a little vacation in New Orleans (that I planned as a surprise). On Friday we went to Herbsaint for some dinner. After that I surprised Sarah with the hotel! We stayed at the Intercontinental New Orleans. Saturday morning we ate breakfast at Pete’s on the first floor. We went back to the room before we went out for the day to rest and watched some SVU. Sarah was washing her hands, and rounded the corner. SVU was still on because I didn’t want her to be suspicious of my turning off the TV. She was in the middle of asking me something, but I was down on my knee. I caught her completely off guard. That’s when I asked her. She said yes! After all of our happiness we called and texted all our family and friends. We walked around the city and visited a few places. We went to the rooftop pool to cool off when we got back. Then we took pictures!

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We finished the night seeing Crazy Rich Asians at Canal Place (it was good!). Sunday morning we ate at Pete’s again. Before we checked out we relaxed just a little bit more on our balcony. It was the perfect weekend! I couldn’t be happier! I’m going to marry the love of my life!

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I Love Podcasts!

3 months ago

I love podcasts so much. I started listening to them in 2016 per recommendation of my girlfriend Sarah to listen to “Serial.” That was it. I was hooked. Season 1 was great. The story was gripping. It has great production value. I’m glad my first podcast experience was so good. I can only imagine someone listening to a podcast for the first time, and everything is horrible about it. That would be quite a negative first impression of the medium. However, that wasn’t the case for me, and I wanted more. The first genres I would listen to were true crime and tech. Last year I started branching out. I stumbled upon podcast after podcast. At the time of writing this, I’m subscribed to 80 podcasts. You may ask, “Marshall, why are you insane?” Here’s the answer!

How am I subscribed to 80 podcasts?

Subscribing to a podcast may be daunting at first, especially if they have a gigantic backlog of episodes. You obviously don’t have to listen to every one, but I was once tempted to be a completionist upon subscribing. Don’t do this. I had to tell myself that podcasts are meant to be enjoyed, they’re not an objective you need to complete. I continue to struggle with this today since I subscribe to so many, but I’m getting better at reminding myself of that.

The podcast app I use Overcast has a Smart Playlist feature that adds every new episode from each podcast to an assigned playlist automatically. I’ve realized that having this happen first and then deleting the episode from the playlist if I don’t want to listen to it is easier than adding the episode manually to that playlist.

The Playlists

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Insight has podcasts I aim to learn something from, mainly about people and how they’ve achieved their goals.

News has podcasts about general news to tech news. I listen to this playlist every weekday morning while I walk Bob and wash the dishes from the previous night.

Politics has podcasts that talk about the people and policies involved with our country and the world.

Recreational has podcasts that I can relax to and simply enjoy.

Tech has podcasts that have to do with my favorite industry right now.

Having this sort of organization really helps me not feel too overwhelmed with everything I want to listen to; however, it doesn’t help me get through it all. I need to listen to everything sped up. I’ve written about the speed I listen to podcasts already. I’ve had to gradually “train” my listening to understand fast talking. I got used to 1.5x, then 2x, then the next notch then the next notch. With all this, sometimes it’s still not enough. One more thing I do to help with the quantity is that if an episode doesn’t pique my interest within the first 2 minutes, I just stop and move on to the next one.

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Why do I listen to 80 podcasts?

I listen to podcasts for fun. I listen to podcasts to educate myself on things I never really used to pay attention to. I listen to try to help myself become a better person. I love learning about different perspectives from all kinds of people. I’m really trying to be a more considerate and understanding person, and I believe hearing different opinions is helping with that. I really like hearing about people’s backgrounds and history leading up to where they are today. They’re often more than willing to share their struggles and triumphs. That’s really reassuring, especially if you’re in a place in your life where you think it’s not going that great.

Additionally, I don’t necessarily listen to certain podcasts because of the subjects they cover. I listen because they have guests that I want to hear. Quite often if I see a tweet of someone guesting on a podcast, I’ll just download that one episode without subscribing to it. I just really like hearing things I haven’t heard about the people or celebrities I follow on social media. It really helps to get a better sense of him/her.

They’re my favorite right now.

I just really love listening to podcasts. I could listen to them all day everyday (for the most part I do during weekdays). I feel like they help my mind stay at least a little sharp. If you haven’t tested out these waters, I 10/10 would recommend.

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Podcasts In Header Image
Analog(ue)
ATP (Accidental Tech Podcast)
Connected
Cortex
Somehow I Manage
Sword And Scale
Serial
Service On Celluloid
Upgrade


Apple Hits 1 Trillion Dollars

10 months ago

Apple has just become the first US company in the world to reach a one trillion dollar market cap. That’s incredible. That’s so much money, and I wish they would give me some; but I’m really excited for them. I really love their products and will continue to use them for the foreseeable future. I know they have big plans, and this one trillion dollars basically means they can accomplish anything they want. To the future of Apple!


Panobook

8 months ago

I've been really trying to get rid of paper in my life since I started college. Instead of taking notes in a notebook, I started taking notes in a notebook app on a laptop or tablet. I just really liked the idea of having everything digital and becoming more technologically savvy. I took this mentality to my jobs if applicable. I just wrote everything down on my computers. It wasn’t really until my current job that I started writing a lot more down than usual. I was using your standard notepad with the binding at the top. It was doing the job, but then I learned about the Panobook.

This is another product I found out about on Studio Neat’s podcast like I did with the Glif. They make a lot of unique and well designed products, so it really intrigued me when they came out with a notebook.

I really liked the idea of having a nice notebook instead of just a generic notepad. It helped that it seemed on trend with this bullet journaling fad that I was starting to take an interest in. I wanted to supplement my digital productivity with something analog.

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How I Use It

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Freedom of Expression

Having the Panobook enables a freer space for me to express my ideas. There's virtually no restrictions, there are just guide dots and lines that are super helpful. There's something about writing your thoughts down without any restrictions. You can just start writing or drawing without having to worry about conforming your thoughts to fit them in whatever app you’re using.

Page Utilization

I write down my work tasks or more formal personal tasks in landscape on the “left” side of the “right” pages. I also take notes that have to do with those tasks on the “right” side of the “right” pages. I’ve decided to segment each “right” page like this because it works really well for how I do my work. I write down random thoughts or lists that don’t matter as much or draw on the “left” pages. I usually use the “left” page in portrait mode. When I first got my Panobook, I really considered how I was going to use it. I’m glad I figured it out pretty quickly because I don’t know about you, but I really like it when a notebook I’m using is used in a very consistent manner. That’s just me.

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The Shape

I really like the “panoramic format” of the Panobook. It fits very nicely below my laptop at work in landscape mode. I can also put it to the right of my laptop if I want to write on it in portrait mode. I’m glad Studio Neat decided to make it in this shape because I believe that enables more versatility for different situations depending on how you want to use it.

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I’ve mainly been using my Panobook for daily work tasks and notes associated with those tasks. I’ve also used it for some simple drawings and simple to-do lists for other things. I’m really enjoying this type of notebook. It’s really versatile, and that’s exactly what I want right now. If you’re looking for a notebook, I highly recommend this one.


ReactJS at Work

10 months ago

I’ve been really interested in learning ReactJS for a while now. It’s the new hotness, and everyone wants to do it. Employers are looking for this skill; and to pile onto that, there’s a sort of a peer pressure amongst developers to know this tech now. If you don’t know it, you’re not keeping up with the times. I’ve felt this pressure, and that coupled with ReactJS’ versatility really made me want to learn it. I’ve done some tutorials, but they covered really basic aspects of the framework. Last week I finally got the chance to dive in a little more. It was really fun!

My boss and I were trying to add something to one of our Drupal sites built with ReactJS. We worked together to figure things out. I always enjoy learning something new in code, especially when I’m able to execute it properly. This was definitely a great learning experience. I’m glad we worked on this together because it helped me understand everything more quickly than I would’ve if I would’ve done this on my own. Having someone that you can bounce ideas off and that has solutions you didn’t think of is such an asset. We were both super excited about this particular fix! A day or two later I fixed something small by myself. That was really great because I did this one solo having learned what I did the day before. My understanding has really grown dealing with these fixes, and I’m really excited to learn more about ReactJS!


Writing Update

11 months ago

I’ve written 10 Weekly Artifacts posts. I’ll admit that I’m a little disappointed in myself for the quality of these posts. I feel like the quality has declined slowly every week. I procrastinated taking the pictures, therefore, giving myself less time to write about the artifact. That’s not what I want. I want to dive deeper and explore more about these artifacts. That’s why I’m going to post about artifacts monthly instead. I’ve also been focusing so much more of my time on the artifacts that I’ve ignored other things I want to write about, like personal subjects or tech subjects. I want to do more of those. I’m excited about this writing update, and I’m going to try my best!


Weekly Artifacts | Uniforms of Nurses

8 months ago

Nurses played an extraordinarily important role in World War II. They saved so many lives and helped so many wounded. Often times they worked in the middle of war zones under incredible pressure to help as many soldiers as they could. The bravery these nurses had was outstanding. They had impossible circumstances to overcome. Warfare wasn’t the only setback. There were diseases, unclean water, and sub-par structures to perform medical work. These nurses’ work cannot be praised more highly.

Without them, the death toll would have been far greater than it already was. They went above and beyond the call of duty to help soldiers and their country. I know nurses nowadays have it hard. I can't imagine what it was like for them back then. They must've been at least mentally stable enough to push through all the trauma and horrible scenes they experienced. That's extremely inspiring.

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Weekly Artifacts | Heavy Water Barrel and Trinitite

8 months ago

The atomic bomb was the most devastating weapon used during World War II. The United States of America used two. They've never been used again for war in the history of this world. I like how these two artifacts are in the same case. One represents the creation, the other represents the destruction. Let me put it more eloquently. One of these artifacts contained a component that the atomic bomb needed to exist. The other was literally made out of the destructive forces of this brutal weapon.

The atomic bomb is such a divisive topic. On one hand Japan may have never surrendered. On the other, hundreds of thousands died because of it. It’s extremely difficult to think about this day and age. I feel emotionally heavy whenever I walk into the two parts of The Museum that have Atomic Bomb content. I can’t imagine what it must have been like to be a part of making this decision back then.

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We need to always remember the absolute tragedy of this situation. This world must not experience something like this ever again. I think it’s good The Museum didn’t overlook anything about this War. We need to know everything so that we hopefully don’t repeat history. The Museum really does provide an excellent and necessary service so we can get educated and never forget what happened.


Weekly Artifacts | Opel Sedan

8 months ago

Both sides needed to make the most of what they had during World War II. This vehicle is a prime example of that. It was a civilian car converted into a military vehicle. Each side did whatever they thought needed to be done to help them in this horrific battle. It makes me think, "Was this car willingly given up to the military? Did the owner actually agree with the Nazi ideals? Or was it forcibly taken?"

There's so much more behind an artifact if you think about it. We can never forget everything that was given for this war; nor can we forget everything that was taken.

Ordinary things became extraordinary. Their original purposes did not matter anymore. Anything goes. Anything could have been used. When they were destroyed, they would just seize more and more. I'm sure this tactic increased resources on either side. I don't know much about war, but I can't imagine what it would be like for my car to be seized to be used by the military.

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Weekly Artifacts | Case Outside My Office

8 months ago

These artifacts are in a case literally right outside my office. It’s a collection of items that caused destruction. I pass by these every single day; however, I’ve never really looked at them in detail. I feel neglectful. I should be taking advantage more the opportunities I have to learn about the artifacts in this Museum.

They are huge. I can’t imagine the damage they must’ve inflicted. They’re were so dangerous, and yet they’re right outside my door. I know I’m being dramatic, but it’s a little crazy to think about especially given what they were used for.

They were used for desctruction and devastation. They were used for killing. We're just looking at them, thinking how big and bad they look. Most of us have no experience handling anything like these artifacts, let alone actually using them.

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Weekly Artifacts | Finding His Audience

8 months ago

So Ready for Laughter: The Legacy of Bob Hope has officially opened at The National WWII Museum. I saw this exhibit quite full every time I passed by it yesterday. That’s so exciting, and I know the curators and all those involved are really happy about that. I went a couple of times yesterday, and I’m really interested in reading more about the artifacts there. The most prominent object in this exhibit gallery is the stage. It’s the largest thing in there, and it’s the first thing you can see before walking into the actual exhibit gallery.

The stage is designed to mimic what Bob used to perform on for the troops. He was famous for many things including radio, tv, and movies; but he’s also known for being an important source of entertainment for our troops during World War II. He's estimated to have entertained over 11 million troops. That's incredible. The stage has a screen that plays a movie detailing what he did and the kind of effect he had on people.

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I really like this exhibit a lot. The details of the stage and the objects around it help put you in that atmosphere that Bob and his team performed in. It helps give a sense of what it was like for these soldiers to enjoy his show. The exhibit really tries to put you in the soldiers’ shoes; it’s important for us to understand their perspective of being in battle and living this life and needing this sort of relaxation and entertainment. It also doesn’t hurt that there’s a good amount of seating.

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There’s so many cool things in So Ready for Laughter. I’m really excited to spend more time in here and learn more about what Bob Hope and his team did for our soldiers during this incredibly trying time.