Writer’s Workshop: Five Recent Faves

Tom Bosley was the best

So, let’s talk about a few things that I’ve enjoyed lately. Five, to be exact.

My New Computer

My old desktop computer, which was a Mac Mini from a few years ago, had reached the stage where I couldn’t upgrade the operating system and the operating system it was running was no longer supported. I had been considering buying a new one, and decided I would get one for my birthday in late March. Mary suggested that maybe I should upgrade it a little sooner than that, because tax season was coming and she didn’t want anything going wrong while I was doing that. The new computer is another Mac Mini, my third. This one has the Apple M2 processor, a one-terabyte hard drive, two USB-C (Thunderbolt) ports, and 16 gigabytes of memory. I like the Mini because all you get is the computer, and you supply the monitor, mouse, and keyboard, all of which you can get for a whole lot less than Apple’s products. In my case, all three of those items were still in excellent working order, so I didn’t have to pay anything.


I know I’ve talked about Spotify in more or less glowing terms for a while, but lately I’ve been using it a lot in the overnight hours. I find that I sleep better with it than with the white noise I had been using. There are a lot of playlists for instrumental acoustic guitar (also known as fingerstyle) and smooth jazz that work very well for helping me sleep, and when I wake up in the middle of the night it’s much friendlier waking to music rather than something that sounds like I left the TV on and the station went off the air. I expect to look somewhere and see the "ant races".

Chosic and Soundiiz

You would think that someone that has made hundreds of playlists for my blog would find that creating playlists for himself was a piece of cake, but the fact is, when I try to build playlists for my own amusement, I have all kinds of trouble. Spotify does a great job at building playlists based on artist or song, and has a bunch of already-created playlists for the diferent genres (not to mention the playlists created by people I follow), but sometimes I want even more random than that. That’s where Chosic’s playlist generator helps a lot. It will generate playlists based on artist, song, genre, category, or other playlists, and it also has a list of "moods" or activities (working out, relaxing, sleeping etc.) which will generate playlists as well.

I subscribe to several music streaming services, including Apple Music and Deezer, and occasionally I’ll find a playlist that I like on one of those services and want to port it over to Spotify, or maybe I’d like to listen to a Spotify playlist on Deezer. That’s what Soundiiz is good for. You can convert playlists on one service to be played on another. I have a friend who said that Apple Music didn’t have a yacht rock playlist. I had one on Spotify, so I was able to convert it using Soundiiz.

Diet Dr Pepper

I hadn’t been drinking carbonated beverages for a number of years, but a couple of months ago I had this sudden taste for a Diet Dr Pepper, so I asked Mary to pick some up for me. I only have one a week (occasionally two), ussually on Saturday night, when we generally have pizza for dinner. It’s really refreshing, there are no calories in it (and no HFCS), doesn’t have that chemical aftertaste like a lot of diet sodas do, and is pleasantly effervescent.

Winter in the South

Not like I go out that frequently anymore, but we haven’t had any winter weather (i.e. snow) here in a couple of years, and we’ve almost made it through this winter without a major snow or ice event. It gets pretty chilly here, and we get plenty of rain, but so far, no snow this year. Knock on wood…

22 thoughts on “Writer’s Workshop: Five Recent Faves

  1. I’m assuming you have premium spotify. It would be really disturbing to hear random Nationwide commercials popping through every ten minutes or so. I’m guessing you’ve had your fair share of harsh winter weather. I still look forward to it, but in Seattle it only last about a day or two if we’re lucky (or unlucky depending on who you ask). I want more snow!


    1. It’s worth $10 a month not to have to deal with ads, and I actually get a free (ad-supported) Hulu, which I’ve never watched.

      Weather here has actualy been OK. A lot of rain, but very few below-freezing temps. I’m hoping the winter weather misses us entirely. I’ll send it you way….


  2. Enjoy your new computer, especially after the tax season workout.

    I enjoyed your favs, simple and all I can identify with. Like where you are, we’ve been relatively snow-less this season. Pounding rain, wind and balmy temps. But…exit February and the door opens for whatever sinister weather March will likely bring. No complaints, really. I’m a snow lover and enjoy what each season brings.


  3. Nice list of faves. And happy new computer. I replaced my old tank recently, and it really does improve the quality of life 🙂
    I usually get excited at the first real snow of the season, but a few snows in, I feel done with it! Enjoy being in the south.


  4. You know a lot of places to go for music. I don’t drink pop any more but I mix orange juice with soda water which makes a nice beverage. It’s my go to drink for years now. Yesterday was so rainy and miserable. This weather we gave is creating havoc with my joint pain. It was -22 as a high last Friday and we went up to +8 by Wednesday. I just wish itcwould stay cold and I miss snow. I know, I’m weird.


    1. Have you ever had Orangina? I first tried it in the Netherlands. Your mix of orange juice and soda water sounds a lot like it.

      We get rain during the winter, and it’s been raining here most of the week. In my case, I’m glad it’s not snow or (worse) ice: we don’t have the snow removal equipment and do have lots of hills. The frozen precipitation makes it almost impossible to drive up hills…


  5. I’m definitely jealous of your winter weather, since we got 52″ of snow just in December. UGH! And I will agree with you on the Diet Dr. Pepper. I loved Dr. Pepper in my younger days, and this is the one diet version of a real soda that I can stand! 🙂


    1. I had a client that was located in Hancock, Michigan, on the Keweenaw Peninsula, that would get 30 feet of snow during the winter. I managed to miss that…

      Did you ever drink hot Dr Pepper? You’d heat it in a saucepan and pour it in cups with a slice of lemon. It was a big thing in the early ’70’s…


      1. Same here, they taste the best. I used to be hooked on Tab, though. Yes, their deal was 10, 2, & 4, I think maybe because you take it like medicine? haha I have no idea really, but once I wrote a fan letter to the company and they sent back a whole bunch of stuff, like information, and doo-dads with Dr Pepper on them. 🙂


          1. haha,I do too! I’ve written to many companies over the years, even when I was a kid. I’m always surprised when they write back, and send along fun items. 🙂


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