I realized it’s been two years since I’ve done one of these ubiquitous “Things I Love” posts; so until the creative juices start flowing again, this is what you get.
- The MLB At Bat 2010 app for iPhone.
Ever since I bought my new truck back in September, I’ve really missed the MLB Home Plate channel and all the broadcasts of MLB games that I got with my XM Radio account. The new truck has a Sirius radio installed, so I just canceled the XM account rather than paying double for the complete Sirius / XM package. But I’ve recently fallen in love with a superior little piece of techno wizardry: the MLB At Bat 2010 app for my phone. For only $14.99, I can pull up real time box scores, watch highlights of games as they’re still in progress, stream live MLB games through MLB.tv, and (best of all) listen to the home or away radio feeds of any major league game all season long! All from my phone. I can also use bluetooth audio to listen in the truck or at home. The best news is it all comes at 10% of what I was paying per year for XM. If you’re a serious baseball fan, you HAVE to check out this app; it’s incredible!
- Spring Weather (finally!) This winter was one of the coldest I remember in quite some time. At certain moments, it seemed like spring would never get here. Now that the weather has warmed up, I can’t wait to get out in the yard and get to work. Somewhere over the course of the past year or two, I’ve realized just how much I enjoy working out in the yard. We’ve already been to Lowe’s a couple of times and we’ve started making our list of outdoor projects for the spring. Now I just need to find the time to start tackling them.
- Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott I read about half of this one two years ago, but I lost interest quickly. (I think it’s because I was reading a lot more political material at the time.) But I recently decided to give Lamott’s spiritual memoir another shot and I’m glad that I did. It’s easy to see the influence Lamott’s confessional, avant garde writing style has had on “emerging” writers like Donald Miller. She writes an honest, painful, and beautiful account of her coming to faith and the wrestles she’s had trying to maintain and redefine her faith over the years. Refreshingly honest. A good read.
- Jakob Dylan’s “Women and Country” Thus far, 2010 has been a pretty languid year for musical releases. By this time last year, my #1 and #2 albums had already been released (U2’s No Line and M. Ward’s Hold Time). Even February’s American VI, the last recording we’ll ever hear from Johnny Cash, seemed like a collection of leftover tunes trying to suffice as album material. But Dylan’s second solo effort finally gives me something to really sink my teeth into. Whereas 2008’s Seeing Things was sparse and almost exclusively acoustic, the new album brims with Americana roots-inspired Southern rock. Dylan has always been an underestimated lyricist (that’s what happens when you’re the son of lyrical royalty), but this is his most sonically pleasing batch of tunes since 1996’s Bringing Down the Horse. It should come as no surprise, then, that Dylan has re-teamed with T-Bone Burnett, producer of Bringing Down the Horse. Much of the allure of Women and Country comes from the beautiful — and sometimes haunting — backing vocals of Neko Case and Kelly Hogan. For me, this is the first really strong record of the year. I love it.
- iTunes U It’s no secret that I love to read. One of the best things I’ve discovered recently is iTunes U, a feature of the iTunes store. Through iTunes U, customers have access to a plethora of material from upper level collegiate lectures to podcast-style readings of literary classics…all for FREE. Last week, I used my morning and evening commute to listen to the entire text of Alice in Wonderland. This week: Frankenstein. I’m also listening to a series of lectures on NT Introduction from Yale. If you’re looking for something to break up the monotony of the same old songs on your iPod, you should check out iTunes U.