Gary Bacon

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The Internet has made it so much easier to find people just like us. The slightly odd, wonderful, and a taste that is as unique as our fingerprint.

Before, media dictated the standard in preferences: music, fashion, culture, food, etc; People followed in step. There was an illusion of choice, but it was dictated by a few.

That world tries to hang on to its heritage. The shadow of it still exists.

We live in truly special time.

Create. Share your art. Express yourself. Find others that spark your interest. Collaborate. Be inspired. Inspire others. It is a beautiful cycle.

Holding a firm grip onto information, your ideas, and insights only hurt you. Set them free. Share. Only by letting go, can something grow.

Many times it will grow bigger than yourself.

10 Jun 2015 • Filed under Inspire
Creating New Mental Pathways

Early On

When I was young, my parents bought me a book about Abraham Lincoln. The intended audience was geared towards kids. I remember being impressed that Abraham Lincoln taught himself how to read and write. He had a love of reading and read whatever he could get his hands on.

This impressed me so much. I thought to myself, “If he can teach himself how to read then I can teach myself to do anything.”

That started my love of reading. I’ve been self-educated my entire life. Any interest that crossed my mind would have me burrowed at the local library in a mound of books. Many memories of my childhood were spent in libraries. I love it.

Once the Internet became mainstream, I was amazed at the amount of information one could absorb. At age 13, I taught myself HTML. At age 15, I was working on learning CSS and Javascript. By age 16, I had created my first e-commerce client website. It was for a local trophy shop.

Mental Fatigue

There are times that I feel worn out after a long day’s work. Why? It is emotional labor. When you boil down what I do for a living to it’s simplest form, it is “problem-solving”. When crafting a user experience, you take the business goal and provide the simplest way possible for the user to achieve said goal.

That takes a lot of iteration, refining, and thoughtful consideration.

8 Jun 2015 • Filed under Inspire
Travel and new experiences. Travel and New Experiences

There are a few sub-themes to which I follow in order to maintain happiness. However, my overarching theme is this:

Happiness is sustained fulfillment.
Fulfillment is born out of creating art.

What does that mean? How do I achieve this baseline?

  1. Create art.
  2. Be authentic.
  3. Travel and have new experiences.
  4. Solid relationships: friends/family.
  5. Peace where I live.

Travel

Much of my best reading gets done on airplanes. In my experience, zero reading gets done in the actual airport. Too much background noise, gate changes, and the constant distractions of awaiting the boarding process. However, once I’m in my distraction-free bubble in the air, I can power through books with ease.

To try and recreate this distraction-free environment, as best as possible at home, I put on my noise canceling headphones and set the iPhone to airplane mode.

Booking airline tickets 2-4 months in advance gives me the freedom to fly. With that much planning in advance, most ticket prices are in the $200-300 range for roundtrip; even west coast trips.

Budgeting for this is of upmost importance to me. I try and keep them to weekend trips, even if it is a 3-day weekend, as to not disrupt the day job. However, I find the inspiration that I gather from traveling to new places fuels my creativity and only enhances my work.

1 Jun 2015 • Filed under Inspire
How to Backup and Rollback iPhone Apps

I recently had an issue with an iPhone app in which the latest version caused a bug that prohibited the basic function of it.

After contacting customer service, I was told the best thing I could do was wait and they were working on an app update to fix it. The app store approval can take days, sometimes weeks.

I knew the previous version worked. So I would just rollback an old version. Did I have one? Well luckily, in iTunes I did have one. In this post I’ll show you how to find an old version, restore it, and use a tool to create backups for the future.

Finding an App in iTunes

I use iCloud for my primary phone sync. However, if you can, you should sync with your computer in iTunes from time to time. In iTunes you’ll see the following: ( press the image to zoom )

iTunes Backup Preferences

Press, the “Backup Now” button to make an initial backup. Also in Options, it’s good to have “Automatically sync when this iPhone is Connected” checked.

Once you’ve done this, in the top left hand corner of the screen you’ll see a menu. Press “Apps”.

Apps

In iTunes your apps should show up. I don’t constantly update my apps in iTunes, so as you can see “Update” banner appears on app icons. This means its an older version. In this case, perfect, we want an older version.

21 May 2015 • Filed under Apple

The Wall Street Journal has Evernote integration. No plugin needed. Nice touch for quickly saving snippets of content to use later. With staples like Facebook and Twitter having been in the “share bar” on websites for a long time, it’s nice seeing Evernote getting traction in that space.

Wall Street Journal & Evernote

And WSJ subscribers even get a year of Evernote Premium for free. A smart co-branding experience for both companies.

Evernote is a tool that I use every day. It allows me to archive information, be able to put down thoughts quickly in draft form, and organize my thoughts better.

18 May 2015 • Filed under Radar
Authenticity Authenticity

There are a few sub-themes to which I follow in order to maintain happiness. However, my overarching theme is this:

Happiness is sustained fulfillment.
Fulfillment is born out of creating art.

What does that mean? How do I achieve this baseline?

  1. Create art.
  2. Be authentic.
  3. Travel and have new experiences.
  4. Solid relationships: friends/family.
  5. Peace where I live.

Being authentic.

I believe in being 100% authentic. The person that I am at work is who I am at home and amongst my friends. What you see is what you get.

After observation, some folks in life learn to conceal genuine thoughts and feelings, which can be an aspect of insecurity. A breakdown in communication sure, but they are trying to protect themselves. When encountering someone who is authentic, it can be intimidating. They hide behind a veil and this exposes them.

Trying to be someone who we are not, trying to “make the right moves”, or the fear of making the wrong decision: all of those reasons hinder us from being truly authentic.

17 May 2015 • Filed under Inspire
Digit Digit Savings

Digit is an automated savings program that I’ve been using for awhile now.

Once you sign up and add your bank account, it monitors your income and spending habits. Then it will begin putting away a few dollars over time.

A friend of mine and I signed up at the same time and it definitely tailors its saving patterns to you, as ours were totally different.

The service communicates to you either daily or weekly via text message. You can set this via preferences. It also keeps you motivated with milestone texts. Below is an example of one I received a few months ago.

Money
Screen Shot 2015-05-10 at 12.32.24 PM

I use Simple for my bank, which has no fees. But Digit is so confident in their math that in the rare event you overdraft, they will pay the fee. Digit accounts are FDIC-insured up to $250,000.

10 May 2015 • Filed under Reviews, Services
Happiness Sustained Keep Your Freedom

There are a few sub-themes to which I follow in order to maintain happiness. However, my overarching theme is this:

Happiness is sustained fulfillment.
Fulfillment is born out of creating art.

What does that mean? How do I achieve this baseline?

  1. Create art.
  2. Be authentic.
  3. Travel and have new experiences.
  4. Solid relationships: friends/family.
  5. Peace where I live.

Give yourself options.

Will saying yes to _______ give up my freedom?

Everything in life is about having as many options as possible so you can maximize your freedom.

— James Altucher
The Choose Yourself Guide To Wealth

Keeping your options open is paramount in making decisions. Be patient, think it through, and do not act out of emotion nor haste.

It’s not always about money either. Will that “dream job” paying $400,000 a year also absorb all extra free time that you have? If so, not worth it. It goes against theme No. 1, “Create art.”

Sure, there are always bills to pay. Having that day job, which pays the bills, allows you the freedom to work on your art for a couple hours every morning. But it’s a balancing act. Eventually, the art will start to pay the bills. ( Just don’t chase after it. ) Being mindful and adjusting the calibration of that combination comes with practice and assessment of self.

Be able to create art.

The freedom to create art. That’s what I love.

7 May 2015 • Filed under Inspire

A year ago, I wrote about Swarm, which was a new app by Foursquare. They split the checkin process out of the main app into its own dedicated app. A year ago they said,

Swarm is for people who want the fastest and easiest way to connect with their friends. Foursquare is for explorers who want to know about the best spots, and to share what they’ve found with others.

Recently, Swarm introduced a chat feature to be able to keep in touch with your friends. This does not appeal to me as I use text messages, Facebook chat, and Google Hangouts to keep in touch with my friends. Do I really need another platform? No.

Swarm was updated today to include an enhanced the “sticker game” and gave it a new tab.

Click or tap an image below to zoom:

IMG_4168 IMG_4169 IMG_4170 IMG_4171

4 May 2015 • Filed under Radar

A few of my favorite authors’ books for Kindle are on sale on Amazon right now. They were so good that I had to share.

Remember, Amazon sales end quickly so I wouldn’t wait too long if anything strikes your fancy.

4-Hour Work Week The 4-Hour Workweek ( expanded and updated — 91% off ) by Tim Ferriss is on sale for $1.99. | Bring automation and efficiency to your business.

Choose Yourself Choose Yourself by James Altucher is on sale for $.99. | The world has changed. Learn how to leverage those changes.

The Choose Yourself Guide To WealthThe Choose Yourself Guide To Wealth by James Altucher is on sale for $.99. | New rules for making money based on recent changes in society.

Crush It!Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuck is on sale for $3.99 ( 82% off ) | Do what you love. No excuses.

4 May 2015 • Filed under Books, Reviews