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Brian G. Fay
Lives in Syracuse, NY
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Brian G. Fay

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This pretty much sums up what I'm thinking so far. 
Google Allo is new chat app for Android and iPhone. It has the Google Assistant built in and it’s rolling out today. I’ve been using it for a few days now, and it’s fine. Totally, completely fine....
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Brian Donner's profile photoBrian G. Fay's profile photo
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It comes up with that odd third-party number on non-Allo enabled phones. I might hold off and see if it gets better before I make the switch. That or get everyone I know to install yet another messaging app.

Though I know Google didn't want to incorporate SMS the way iMessage does and that there are reasons for that, iMessage works because no one gives a damn if they are sending a message or an SMS. It just works. (I hate that I just said that.) 
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The Nearness of a Dictionary

I’m going to change the way you work with words and make you more writerly. The following is going to make your life better, so just do as I say.


Make space on your writing desk and leave a dictionary open on it.

Here’s my writing space with my old Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary open at the left.

Half the time I write here by hand on the paper stacked beside the dictionary. Other times I type on the Chromebook or a typewriter. (I’m an anachronism. Look that up.) However I’m writing, the dictionary is open to the page I last consulted. It’s too convenient not to use.

Doesn’t all the page turning and searching take time away from writing?

Yeah, it takes time away from the acts of tapping keys and pushing a pen, but this is good. Taking time away from writing for Facebook is bad. Taking time to find a word in my dictionary has me thinking of words, fills my head with other words on pages I flip past as I look up sanguine to see that it describes how we felt about the neighbor’s tree falling in our yard.

If you remember going to the record shop not just to buy the newest release but to flip through the albums from A all the way to Z, then you know the power of browsing. Inefficient searching leads to serendipity. Those brushes with other records suggested new music, surrounded me with new ideas. I still got to the album I had looked for, but I got much more than just one record.

Searching definitions on Google is wondrous and efficient. “Define sanguine” brings up the definition and a whole history of the word, almost like searching the OED except it’s too efficient. The search, performed in 0.40 seconds, results in the definition and history of that one word, but nothing more. Sanguine is the last word on page 1041 or my dictionary, a page beginning with sand, continuing through sandalwood, sandhi, sandjack, sangfroid, sanguinaria, and arriving at sanguine. Looking for page 1041, the heads of pages list saleroom, salt, and Samaritan. I’m thinking now about the Good Samaritan, an Slate article about salt in food, and wondering what the hell a saleroom is. None of that much relates to how I felt about the tree in our yard, it puts me in a word mood which is perfect for a writer’s work. All it took was placing a good dictionary open next to my desk.

Which dictionary doesn’t really matter. My choice wasn’t my choice. Mom got me this Webster’s for college, so that’s what I use. The choice of dictionary matters less than its proximity and my habits of using it.

Each word I look up gets a dot of ink next to it to see when next I will be on that page. It amuses me to notice a dot on the page and find a word I needed in another writing moment. I often reread the definition and savor the mystery of where I was and what I was doing when I last looked at the word. Occasionally, I look up a word that has a dot already, a word I’ve looked up but which has slipped a little in my mind. I reread, put a second dot, and leave the dictionary open to the page.

Leaving it open is key. A closed dictionary is likely to remain closed. Having it open where I can page through it so easily leads me to use it. Using it leads me to the habit of using it more which makes me more writerly. None of this is magic but it feels magical.

It is also slow and that turns out to be good for writing. Like the pen or typewriter, it returns me to the physicality of words. Physical things move more slowly than digital impulses through the ether. My dictionary is not virtual. It is present beside me and a part of my writing.

There’s probably a dictionary in your home. Maybe your Mom gave it to you or some professor required you buy the damn thing. Pull it down now.

If you lack a dictionary, they can be had cheap at a used book store, garage sale, or library book sale. Post on Facebook that you need one and someone will gladly give one to you. Just get one.

Now clear space immediately adjacent to your writing desk or table. Open the dictionary in that space. Look up sanguine, read the definition, and put a dot next to it. Tell me what page the word is on and what other words near it draw you in.

It’s going to change your life for the better, that open dictionary. I’m sure of it.

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And again this morning while doing my Morning Pages, I turned to the dictionary two times and found not just the two words I was looking for but a host of others that drew my attention and an illustration of the Periodic Table that drew me back to memories of a teacher who taught the beauty of that thing in a way that resonated with me even though I was only in 7th grade. 
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Perfect.
 
In his own "Minnesota nice" kind of way, Garrison Keillor has delivered the most brutal takedown of Trump yet. He sees him as the aggrieved Queens boy, forever seeking approval from the upper-crust Jews and Anglos who run Manhattan. Remember how quickly and fiercely he struck back at Michael Bloomberg, who criticized him at the Democratic Convention? Anyway, read this and you'll almost feel sorry for the Donald...almost.
The cap does not look good on you, it's a duffer's cap, and when you come to the microphone, you look like the warm-up guy, the guy who announces the license number of the car left in the parking lot, doors locked, lights on, motor running. The brim shadows your face, which gives a sinister look, as if you'd come to town to announce the closing of the pulp factory. Your eyes look dead and your scowl does not suggest American greatness so much as ...
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Out for a jog I got thinking of “The Living, The Dead, The Hip” so I wrote of Gord Downie, Dad, and me.
Writing this morning, I listened to The Tragically Hip’s Fully Completely. They just finished what is likely their last tour. Gord Downie has terminal brain cancer. The story, the terminal nature of it all, lingers over every...
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I'm pretty sure that +Google Allo is a myth or legend.

That or it is in wide release only in Atlantis. 
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Kyle Beatty's profile photoBrian G. Fay's profile photo
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Perhaps. I'm curious what we'll hear on October 4th.
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The lack of a headphone jack on the iPhone 7 is good for Apple, probably. It will help them sell a ton of accessories. They will make money and that's what their in the business for.

As for people buying the phone, the removal of the headphone jack is an inconvenience and annoying. It does not improve the experience of owning the phone. Until headphones work without the phone nearby, the wire on headphones is fine.

And there's this: wireless headphones work on the iPhone 7 exactly as they did on the iPhone 6 or whatever phone you might be using.

Maybe wireless is the way of the future. I hope not. I like some things to not require charging. My headphones are great because I never have to plug them into the wall, just the phone. 
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You didn't even mention the quality loss switching from wired to wireless.

Wireless has its uses but wired should be available as well.
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I know that everyone has someone in need, but if you have $5 or more that you could send to these folks, it would help. My wife just finished being treated for breast cancer last year and it knocked holy hell out of our family. Luckily, I was and am the major breadwinner. These folks don't have it as good. Help if you can. 
This page was created in order to help a very special family in a great time of need, Aimee and Terry Houck. On December 17th, 2015 they received the shock they never expected to hear. Terry, 57 had been diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). Not more than 24 hours later did Aimee learn tha...
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Brian G. Fay

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Simplicity

This is Paper by +Dropbox and it is pretty much the interface I want for writing in +Google Docs. Note that there is no formatting bar and that if I take Chrome fullscreen, there is nothing but white space. This is similar to the +Evernote editor and the editor in +Medium. All are meant for writing in a way that +Microsoft Word never was and that Google Docs isn't.

I wish that there could be a toggle mode for Google Docs called Simplicity that would remove the editing bars and make the screen a blank canvas for typing. A simplified set of commands could be available with a right click.

Yes, I know that I can go to View | Full Screen, but this is more than that. It is transforming Google Docs into a clean interface. Seems like it would be perfect for Material Design.

Plus, this would be the first major update to Google Docs in years. Bring on Simplicity!
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Brian G. Fay's profile photoChristine Bogart's profile photo
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Heh, understood. Dropbox is blocked at work, and most of my writing happens at work. So I have just gotten used to Drive and Docs. I use it for everything.
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Feature Idea for +Google Play Music All Access

In +Google Photos I opted to get a "remember this day" notification every so often. Not every day, but pretty often.

How about a "remember listening to this" notification in GPMAA? What I'm after is a way to be reminded that x years ago I listened to some song or album. It's a way to resurface something I might enjoy hearing again.

I remember having this kind of thing happen ages ago when I would go through my albums one by one (physical records) and then see something I hadn't heard in a long time. It was great to go back to.

This seems a way to humanize the system a bit.

What do you think?
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I'm a huge fan of The Bad Plus and liked their new album in which they cover all sorts of songs. Wanting to understand and appreciate it more, I grabbed all the originals that I could find on Google Play Music All Access and made this playlist that alternates between the originals and the covers.

Gabriel and Prince aren't on GPMAA so I don't think their songs will transfer, and I'm having nothing but trouble getting Ornette Coleman's Science Fiction to play. Not sure what's going on with that.

Enjoy!
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Brian G. Fay

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Is anyone else having trouble printing from Google Docs/Drive today? 
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David Farrell (Masonicmoron)'s profile photoBrian G. Fay's profile photoJoel Miller's profile photo
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+Julie Miller  FYI - you were having issues with sheets
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Collections Brian G. is following
Work
Occupation
English Teacher and Writer
Skills
Writing, Teaching, Running slowly...
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Other names
bgfay
Story
Tagline
Writing, changing, running, becoming, teaching and wondering.
Introduction
I'm trying to figure out what my writing, running, technology, teaching, and reading have in common. I'll let you know soon as I figure it out. 
Bragging rights
I'm a published poet!
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Syracuse, NY
Previously
Radford, Virginia - Pawtucket, Rhode Island - Upton, Massachusetts - Troy, NY - Oswego, NY - Manlius, NY - Fayetteville, NY - Potsdam, NY
Brian G. Fay's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
How to Be a Ladyperson at the Holidays: 10 Important Tips
imissyouwheniblink.com

Straight from the ad pages of your favorite magazines, here's your guide to being a girl in December. Take notes. * * * 1. Stay cozy. Wear a

7 Weeks - Habit & Goal Tracker - Android Apps on Google Play
play.google.com

All it takes is 7 Weeks!7 Weeks is the easiest way to develop a new habit or goal or break a bad habit. Based on Charles Duhigg's bestsellin

Meet the 3rd generation Nest Learning Thermostat.
nest.com

Just four years ago, before the Nest Learning Thermostat came along, nobody even thought about that beige box on the wall.

Six Good Reasons for Parents in NY State to Support the Opt Out Movement
withabrooklynaccent.blogspot.com

1.Testing in the state has reached abusive proportions. Third graders in NY take six days of tests that are more time consuming than the LSA

VAM on Trial in NY
curmudgucation.blogspot.com

If you don't know Sheri Lederman's name, you should. She's the New York teacher who, with her lawyer husband, dragged VAM into a courtroom t

The Deal With the Hyperloop | Wait But Why
waitbutwhy.com

The path to a Hyperloop future just launched.

Why Elon Musk Doesn't Mind That His Rocket Crashed Into His Robot Boat |...
www.wired.com

All things considered, for the first try, the Falcon could’ve done worse. Technically, Falcon did hit its target—just at the wrong angle, an

The Difficult Route
dirtyrunning.blogspot.com

My youngest recently asked my wife where dreams come from and my wife told her that dreams are all the thoughts and feelings that we push do

Fixers
bgfay750.blogspot.com

My oldest daughter likes electronic toys. She may have been the first kid in her class with a smartphone, in part because her father likes e

Grand Avenue by Ron Koertge | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor
writersalmanac.publicradio.org

'Grand Avenue' by Ron Koertge, and the literary and historical notes for Sunday, October 19, 2014.

For Jessica, My Daughter by Mark Strand | The Writer's Almanac with Garr...
writersalmanac.publicradio.org

'For Jessica, My Daughter' by Mark Strand, and the literary and historical notes for Wednesday, October 1, 2014.

APPR Side Effects
www.spozedtobe.com

Included in the APPR rating system for teachers in New York is the requirement that we upload artifacts demonstrating the teaching standards

Superintendents Speak Up
curmudgucation.blogspot.com

On the first day of school, my wife's superintendent got choked up. He was delivering the usual kick-off speech, and she said he started to

A Great Labor Day Story
curmudgucation.blogspot.com

If you live in New England, or were paying attention to supermarket labor news this summer, you already know this story. Almost a hundred ye

The School Year Begins Tomorrow
bgfay750.blogspot.com

The goal of my teaching year is to be open and curious. I have not been in love with my public school teaching job for some time. The last t

The Truth About Hello Kitty - The New Yorker
www.newyorker.com

Mickey Mouse is not a mouse. If you look very closely at him, you can see that he wears gloves.

First Song by Joseph Stroud | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor
writersalmanac.publicradio.org

'First Song' by Joseph Stroud, and the literary and historical notes for Wednesday, August 20, 2014.

Comcast Confessions: when every call is a sales call
www.theverge.com

When AOL executive and Comcast customer Ryan Block recently tried to cancel his internet service, he ended up in a near-yelling match with a

Some People Think by James Laughlin | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison...
writersalmanac.publicradio.org

'Some People Think' by James Laughlin, and the literary and historical notes for Monday, July 21, 2014.

Change Password
bgfay750.blogspot.com

Thinking again about ways to be healthy. I've just finished week one of the Seven Valleys Writing Project Summer Institute. We meet 8:30 to

It is a nice little place. Don't be in a terrible hurry. Slow down. The coffee is worth it.
Public - 2 weeks ago
reviewed 2 weeks ago
This is a place for those of us still in love with working typewriters. I've had two machines serviced here and with great results. I drive here from Syracuse and it is more than worth it.
Public - 2 weeks ago
reviewed 2 weeks ago
My daughters love this store and we have visited two others, but none of them are like this one. When we walk in we are greeted, chatted up, and helped by the staff. It's the sort of thing that can get annoying, but here it's delightful. This store should run trainings for all the others. This how it should be done. Great, great experience and like I say, my girls love their stuff.
Public - a month ago
reviewed a month ago
I really want to like this place, but I don't. They serve way too many IPAs and whenever they have a beer I like, I get one glass and then the keg is kicked. The big thing for me though is that it's not a deli! I wish it was. I could go for really good deli in walking distance.
Public - a month ago
reviewed a month ago
73 reviews
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The conference center was good and provided adequate WiFi which is great. The Tesla Superchargers out front provided me my first in person Model X sighting!
Public - 3 weeks ago
reviewed 3 weeks ago
Nice place. We stopped in for a quick bite while travelling. Not the fastest service, but nice people and when at a diner, I don't need to be in a hurry.
Public - a month ago
reviewed a month ago
It's a nice mall. I'm not that big on malls. But this one has a Tesla store in it and that sets it apart from most anything else. Other than that, yawn, it's a mall.
Public - a month ago
reviewed a month ago