Life has been getting in the way of the writing recently. Life can be like that some times. That said, there are a number of items that I run across in my travels that I wish to share some thoughts about. Far too often I park these and wait to do a full fledged post of a single one. This often ends up with me sharing nothing at all.

Therefore, I thought I would try to correct this by doing a regular series I’m dubbing Items Of Interest. My thinking is to offer some short commentary on a number of links in a kind of traditional weblog style. I hope this is useful. Here we go…

The Last Ice Merchant (El Último Hielero) is one of the nicest short films I have seen in a while. It’s about the last of a generation of ice harvesters on Ecuador’s Mount Chimborazo.

There’s still some time to get the Bomber Jacket Briefolio from Levenger for about $50.00 off the regular price. Those who have followed me know I’m a big fan of Levenger (and customer for over 20 years). That is because their quality and service are unmatched in a world where mediocrity is the norm. At only $79.00 for such a handsome piece that will last a lifetime, it is difficult to pass up. It would make a great Father’s Day gift.

Slip Notes look like a great way to manage your stack of index card notes. You do keep a stack of notes on index cards, right?

Of course, while we are discussing index cards, Noteboard is a pocket whiteboard that folds up into the size of one. It even comes with a handy dry-erase pen.

The link before last is thanks to my good friend and very talented human being Mike Rohde. Besides being in the thick doing illustrations for the next 37 Signals book, he somehow found the time to release what is, perhaps, the nicest handwriting font I’ve ever seen. Read all about how The Sketchnote Typeface came to be and buy the heck out of it. I already have at least one project I know I’m going to use this for.

This week, I had the pleasure of attending the latest Ignite 5 in Minneapolis. If you’ve never been to an Ignite event before, it works like this: 5 minutes, 20 slides, with each slide auto-advancing every 15 seconds. Speakers are selected from submissions and can be on just about any topic. It’s a lot of fun (I was a speaker last year). The talk that I think stuck with me the most this year was from Kevin Hendricks who read 137 books in one year and gave some real practical and actionable tips on reading books more. Of course, he wrote a book about his experience (and the Kindle version is currently free on Amazon for Prime members).

I’ve been becoming increasingly interested in online privacy. Towards that end, I’ve been using and recommending Cloak to others that are equally interested. Cloak is a VPN service and provides an easy way to protect yourself on public wi-fi hotspots and other places where you are unsure of your online privacy. The plans are pretty fair (as low as $1.99 a month) so it is a great deal too. Also, they just rolled out a new feature where you can make your connection country specific. This also means the ability to get around region blocks on certain content (BBC anyone?).

And, if you are really paranoid and value extreme privacy over browsing speed (because, well, freedom is never free), the Tor Project is for you.

Have a nice weekend.

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