What happens when you can record your activity every second of the day with the simple press of a button? You discover that you do a hell of a lot of eating! The bad news doesn’t stop there. After eating, I spend most of my time in the bathroom or sleeping. Pathetic? Maybe. But, at least now I know how pathetic I am, and more importantly how I can become less pathetic.
The app is called Tap Log which you can download from the Android market. There are tons of examples and great instructions on the blog, here.
You couldn’t ask for a more simple interface. You create a button, tell it what you want the button to do, and voila! You just press the button to log your information. The time and place the button was pressed is automatically recorded. You can have it ask you for a relevant quantity or perhaps an associated note. You can create sublists, so hitting a button brings you to another page of buttons. For example, when I click “drinking” it takes me to a page of buttons which lists Water, Crystal Light, Soda, Wine, Beer.
Then, there’s the charts feature. You just press and hold one of your buttons and select chart. You get a choice of several charts for the button you’ve pressed. I can chart the times of day I drink, or maybe on which days I drink the most. I can even see a pie chart breakdown of how often I drink each beverage. Then, you can share your chart as I’ve done here.
Finally, you can save your data as a .csv to your SD card so you can later do all sorts of cool things with the data in excel, or even email a list of log entries. Try it! You might learn something about yourself. OK. I’m off to get a drink of water … click … drink/water … click … bathroom/pee.
We walked home today from our friends’ house in the snow. This was a very early snow, being October 29th. I can’t remember ever seeing so many branches in the streets. Every few minutes, you could hear entire trees crackling as their roots tore from the ground and their branches cracked against other branches, followed by the softer crash as the entire bole hit the forest floor. Those trees left standing had their branches weighed down at their sides, or along the ground where they used to fly tens of feet above the ground. Outside our apartment window, the row of bushes which, on other days would rise above our terrace, now were flattened to only a few feet from the ground. It reminded me of the following paragraph from Muir’s The Mountains of California.
… No other of our alpine conifers so finely veils its strength. Its delicate branches yield to the mountains’ gentlest breath; yet is it strong to meet the wildest onsets of the gale,—strong not in resistance, but compliance, bowing, snow-laden, to the ground, gracefully accepting burial month after month in the darkness beneath the heavy mantle of winter.
When the first soft snow begins to fall, the flakes lodge in the leaves, weighing down the branches against the trunk. Then the axis bends yet lower and lower, until the slender top touches the ground, thus forming a fine ornamental arch. The snow still falls lavishly, and the whole tree is at length buried, to sleep and rest in its beautiful grave as though dead. Entire groves of young trees, from ten to forty feet high, are thus buried every winter like slender grasses. But, like the violets and daisies which the heaviest snows crush not, they are safe. It is as though this were only Nature’s method of putting her darlings to sleep instead of leaving them exposed to the biting storms of winter.
Thus warmly wrapped they await the summer resurrection. The snow becomes soft in the sunshine, and freezes at night, making the mass hard and compact, like ice, so that during the months of April and May you can ride a horse over the prostrate groves without catching sight of a single leaf. At length the down-pouring sunshine sets them free. First the elastic tops of the arches begin to appear, then one branch after another, each springing loose with a gentle rustling sound, and at length the whole tree, with the assistance of the winds, gradually unbends and rises and settles back into its place in the warm air, as dry and feathery and fresh as young ferns just out of the coil.