Sharing My Commonplace Book

Photo by Jan Kahánek on Unsplash

Photo by Jan Kahánek on Unsplash

During the past 8-months I may not have been writing much here on 1WaySwim but I certainly was reading a lot. One of the things I started doing with books I read is to highlight and keep track of passages and quotes from the book. Anything I come across that is impactful or has some kind of meaning for me I save for later. I save all of these passages and quotes in what is called a Commonplace Book. Commonplace Books have been around a really long time and the point behind them is simply this…to capture important knowledge. What is important? That is completely up to the individual.

But the real value of my Commonplace Book is that I read through the information I save at a later time. I keep my Commonplace book in a digital tool called Ulysses (in fact it is the editor I am writing this blog post in now). You can keep a Commonplace Book in a physical book or just about any digital tool for taking notes, but the two main reasons I use Ulysses is for its organizational tools and for how well it ties into the iOS automation tool “Shortcuts.” Everyday I can pick up my iPad or my iPhone and press a single button and my device presents me with a random entry from my Commonplace Book. It’s a great way to revisit important facts and quotes from things you have read.

Which brings me to the purpose of this post. My Commonplace Book is getting large enough that I figured it was time to start sharing some of my favorite nuggets of information from books I have read. So I set up an automation in Shortcuts that lets me take a random Commonplace Book entry and put it out on Twitter once a day. So if you want to know the type of information I find interesting from books, follow my 1WaySwim account on Twitter. Not on Twitter? Not a problem. Just check out my Reading List & Quotes page here on this site. On that page I list the books I am currently reading, the last few books I have completed and at the bottom of the page I have my latest few tweets of quotes from my Commonplace book.

I have just barely scratched the surface of the Commonplace book topic with this post. I have a whole series of articles I will be publishing soon on GeekDad about Commonplace Books so stay tuned for that if you want to know more or are interested in starting one for yourself.

I'm Back!

Just like the person in the photo I have been resting and not blogging much here, but that is chaging today...I'm back!

Way back in December I got really really sick with vertigo from a virus that attacked my inner ear. I didn't end up going back to work again until late January but ever since I have not fully recovered. A few weeks back I took my first long vacation since I got sick and during that long break I noticed all of my lingering symptoms went away. But when I returned to work they immediately came back.

I was fortunate enough that I had several of these "breaks" from work right in a row (both in State and out of State) that allowed me to experiment and without a doubt my dizzy/wooziness symptoms were directly related to me being physically at work. Something in my work building is causing me to have ongoing syptoms from the nasty vertigo I had back in December.

After living with this for over 8-months now I didn't realize just how wiped out and not well I really was until I went symptom free. Wow! Now that I know how to keep the syptoms from coming back I am continuing to be symptom free and I feel fantastic. When you feel pretty rotten it is really hard to go to work and function, much less come home on the evenings and weekends and feel like doing ANYTHING. That is why I have been missing in action with respect to this blog. But now that I know how to avoid these sypmtoms and feel like myself again I am back to blogging. In the mean time my office building is being tested and I lucky enough to be able to telework until I figure out what is going on and how I can permanantly fix it.

So I'm back. You will see more posts from me here going forward as long as I contine to feel well enough to do so!

‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood’: Mister Rogers Isn’t Just for Kids But Adults Too!


I do believe that is exactly what Fred Rogers would be doing right now if he were still with us, which is helping to mend the political gap in our society... one friendship and one child at a time. And it is exactly Fred Rogers’ approach to friendship that makes his message so important to us as parents and adults.

Check out the full article over at

The Apollo 50th Anniversary Stamp Ceremony

I was able to add the 50th anniversary Apollo stamp to my signed and 1st day issued 25th anniversary stamps!

I was able to add the 50th anniversary Apollo stamp to my signed and 1st day issued 25th anniversary stamps!

Five years ago I wrote a blog post right here talking about my experience of being at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum (at that time twenty years ago) for the unveiling of the 25th anniversary Apollo 11 stamps. Well, now I get to add on to that story just a bit. Unless you have been living under a rock you know that this weekend is the 50th anniversary of mankind making the first boot prints on the Moon. Just like at the Smithsonian 25 years ago, the USPS has issued a brand new set of stamps to commemorate this historic milestone...two Apollo 11 50th anniversary edition stamps. The grand unveiling of these stamps was on Friday July 19th at the Saturn V Center at the Kennedy Space Center. 

I have had a couple of very busy months of work related travel and vacation and my tight schedule continues for the next month. So this past Friday was one of only a few days I would be in the office for a while, so I had already scheduled a trip to the Saturn V center to scout out a location to setup telescopes next week (our KSC astronomy club is supporting an event there next week). But I didn’t realize until the night before that the 50th anniversary stamp event was going to be happening at the same time I had already coordinated our little scouting party for. The coincident continues when I realized that the astronomy club member that was going with me on Friday was a medical doctor for the Apollo astronauts...Doctor Wyck Hoffler. Wyck is one of the founding members of our KSC astronomy club and back when he worked on the Apollo program he was physically on the recovery ships for all but a few of the Apollo missions!

Doctor Wyck Hoffler and I in front of the Saturn V rocket during the 50th anniversary stamp ceremony

Doctor Wyck Hoffler and I in front of the Saturn V rocket during the 50th anniversary stamp ceremony

So Wyck and I scouted out locations for telescope setup for our event next week and we also got to see the stamp unveiling and purchase some of the 1st day issued stamps. But what makes this even more special for me was that I was able to take my 1st day issue 25th anniversary stamps that I had signed at the Smithsonian 25 years ago by the artist that designed the stamps and have as 50th anniversary stamp added to them and have it 1st day issued...all on the same card. I was in Washington D.C. 25 years ago as part of a High School space settlement design competition, so that was before I even started my career. Now about 20 years into my career I got to be part of a similar event with a friend of mine that had a very significant role in the Apollo program. It is days like this where you really have to pinch yourself and ask “did I really just get to be a part of this?”

How To Keep the Shortcuts App From Crashing

2019-03-22 - Shortcuts.png

I rely very heavily on the iOS Shortcuts app (formerly known as Workflows). So when the Shortcuts app would crash every time I tried to open it the last couple of days it was beyond frustrating. So I did some searching and found the answer and it turned out to be an incredibly easy fix. Rather than repeat everything here I will just point you to the source. The problem turned out to be a “bug” with how the Shortcuts app was syncing shortcuts with iCloud. Turning off the Shortcuts iCloud syncing and turning it back on again fixed the problem.

Check out the iMore article for the step by step on how to fix this issue (thanks iMore!).

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