John commenting on Apple Watch’s Wrist Position

I believe pronation for watch reading is more “ergonomically” correct. If the Apple Watch rests on the medial third of the internal aspect of the wrist, then maybe it would be ok. Your exercise in pronation/supination explains the movement well. But you can’t forget that our elbows are often at a 90 degree angle for any watch exercise. That changes angles considerably. Supination certainly is easier if your arm is pointed straight out, but full supination when your elbow is at a 90 degree angle is considerably more challenging than pronation. If the watch was placed in the center of the internal aspect of the wrist, I think long-term usage would be very uncomfortable. At least I would have a hard time keeping my arm in that position for a significant amount of time. But I don’t have muscles like Alex :)
Just my thoughts!

Alexander Micek commenting on Apple Watch’s Wrist Position

Hi John,
Thanks for the thoughtful response. What you are pointing out, that’s part of what I’m trying to figure out—what arm position will we interact with watch-like displays? If it tends to be with the watch-bearing wrist and hand in one’s lap or on a table, with elbow close by the side, gravity would help supinator and biceps bracii supinate that hand to view a watch in the gauche position, placing the entire system into a pretty neutral arrangement. Yet, fashion and tradition may still win the day and put the watch in the conventional position; think about how long it has taken for wallets to start to move to the front pocket. It will be interesting to watch.

Mykala commenting on Apple Watch’s Wrist Position

I’m going to go ahead and play super devil’s advocate, and suggest that neither pronation nor supination will ultimately be at play––because both seem like poor choices for long-term use. AND I still think the watch face will be placed inside the wrist! I know what you’re thinking… “What?! How could this be?” I shall explain: It seems the most comfortable position is one that mimics how we currently hold smartphones (pretend to pick up a phone and look at it), because it makes use of the larger muscles of the upper arm rather than requiring any awkward twisting in the forearm for long periods of time. Now, a watch face on the inside of the wrist, oriented vertically with its top at the bottom of the palm (so, turned 90 degrees from the traditional orientation), is the least demanding on small muscle groups and would allow the user to transition rather seamlessly from using a smartphone to using a watch.

What I think will really happen is that Apple will get a great deal of feedback regarding what is the optimal position and will eventually make the design more flexible, so the individual can adjust the orientation and positioning based on personal preference. Because some people will want to wear and use it just like a watch, and some people will want to use it like a smartphone… and that way everybody wins.

Alexander Micek commenting on Apple Watch’s Wrist Position

That is a really interesting possibility for the Apple Watch display orientation, Mykala. With the current hardware, the crown of the watch (when worn on the gauche/inside-of-wrist position) would be at an unintuitive orientation for its purpose (specifically, scrolling) if the display were rotated so the top was at the bottom of one’s wrist. However, this is something that could change in the future! You have me supinating my wrist and imagining a display on it! I wonder if this generation of Apple Watch is to get consumers comfortable with a watch-like device, and future ones will push the boundaries of what “watch-like” actually means, with ideas like your display rotation in play. After all, it was a couple of generations of iPod until we got the Shuffle.

John commenting on Apple Watch’s Wrist Position

We will have to see. I don’t know what functionality Apple is looking for in this watch or successors, and being an Android user I probably will not take the time to watch long videos about it (like I nerdily used to do).

If it is anything like the Samsung Galaxy Gear Watch, the primary function should be for quick and dirty phone access without whipping the 1/2 foot-sized smartphone from whatever pocket it barely fits into.

I for one can’t see people doing a lot of heavy work on a “watch phone” besides maybe text message reading or phone call operating when on the go. At least that is what I would do on it if I had one.

For more reading or web browsing, I would like to have a larger screen, but not too large as some of these screen sizes are getting kind of ridiculous….

Wallet in a front pocket? I would like really weird with my fat wallet in my front pocket, definitely not a fashion statement :)

John commenting on Apple Watch’s Wrist Position

Ha, a play on words (“time”), yay!

I did actually mean, “look weird,” not some weird fascination with the state of being weird.

Classic Black

Classic Black


Laundry Time

Laundry Time


Sitting 2

Sitting 2


Sitting 1

Sitting 1


Quiet at Night

Yesterday night, with an hour and a half still left until bed, little Ess was getting antsy in the Björn, acting like she was trying to escape. So, we took her up to the warm and cozy upstairs and just set her on our bed, with only one thing in front of her, her pacifier. Now, she has no particular affinity for sucking on any pacifier for longer than 10 seconds, employing a cute but slightly frustrating tongue thrust to pop it out of her mouth. But, she does like to hold it and understand it, with its purple flange and contrasting sides, one a soft silicone and the other a hard plastic.

We laid down on either side of Ess, spotting her as she sat, and she could not have been more content. All the antsy-ness from downstairs evaporated and she become totally engrossed in figuring out this pacifier. I expounded on a nascent theory to Mykala, a habit of mine for which she has infinite patience, which was roughly: the endless toys, lights, and music we surround our babies with are purportedly to provide stimulation. However, the world is so new, so bright, so colorful, so filled with wonderful minutiae, that babies require remarkably little newness in front of them for healthy stimulation. Rather, it is the adults that feel uncomfortable if they perceive a lack of interesting items strewn about for stimulation. In a picture, would you rather see a baby in the middle of a bed holding a pacifier, or surrounded by adorable playthings of endless variety? Adults pick the latter which, as far as I can tell, overwhelms babies.

The unstructured calm reminded me a scene from the 2010 film Babies by Thomas Balmès. While the mother goes about her daily tasks, her baby is seated on the floor next to her, with what appears to be ostensibly little “to do.” But, as the measured pace of the movie illustrates, this baby feels perfectly engaged and interested in the world around them, and is not bored or frustrated one bit. It is a remarkable scene because of the stark contrast it provides to child-rearing tenets in countries with greater material wealth. I found the very scene 30 minutes into the movie, actually. Here’s a screen shot of it:


While Mykala and I watched, there was one another big development in Essie’s world: our cat named George. He was on patrol, which he does each night, hoping to attract our attention and remind us to feed him. As you can imagine, if you are a baby sitting on a bed and a four legged hunter covered in fur walks up to you, it is pretty interesting. Ess would strrretch out her arm just as far as she could without topping over, trying to touch kitty as he circled away and back. Then, she got an idea. This kitty would like my pacifier. So, each time George circled around, Mykala and I watched as her little tiny baby hand strrretched out, offering the cat her pacifier. She did this numerous times, and it was so touching it made us cry. Here’s our little girl, not even able to crawl yet, using all of her new energy and skills to offer to share her pacifier.

I’m hoping to make this quiet together time a habit; it is what we used to share when we went on walks during warmer weather.



It’s 10:30am. Present-me really wants to eat my lunch. Future-me wants present-me to wait. Who will win?



It has been five years since I went flying off my bike. Five years. 60 months. I still wear the Patagonia jacket I was wearing when that accident happened; wore it today, in fact. That’s a testament to Patagonia’s quality, I guess. I still don’t like most of their color schemes for their stuff, which explains why my jacket from them is all black. But like I said, great stuff.

These thoughts aren’t about stuff, though. They’re about time, how quickly it goes. I told Mykala and she immediately said “In five years, Ess will be in kindergarten.”

So, right now I will write about what’s going on to try to slow down this time that is flying by. Ess is 6.5 months old, going in for some more immunizations next week, and has an incredible personality. Whenever we have her in the Björn and she sees something she’s interested in, she kicks her legs around extremely excitedly. So excitedly that two separate strangers commented on it to Mykala when she was with Ess at the State Dance Line competition at the Target Center today. Myself, I was at work, had been all the days this week (I’ve been lucky enough to mostly have a partial schedule, about 3.5-4 days per week depending on the season) and I was missing Ess. So, I come home, Mykala and Ess arrived shortly after that, and I picked her up out of her car seat.

Inches from my face, hers lights up when she recognizes me, and she immediately reaches for my nose. She can’t say it, but I interpret the look as “Dad!!” Which I love. Love love love. These are the things I want to remember. Upstairs for a diaper change, Ess just outgrew her tiny prefold cotton infant diapers and is now into a larger size. She loves diaper change time and looks everywhere she can above her head, enjoying the freedom and looking for something to hold and babble at. So far we’ve just been changing breastmilk diapers, which I’m told is easy compared to solid food diapers. At this point, Ess has tried sweet potatoes (lots of shudders), oatmeal, and avocado. The night she ate the most oatmeal was also the night she puked up everything inside her for almost an hour straight. The two events, I think, are unrelated, but it makes you pause before you try to feed her that much oatmeal again.

After her diaper was changed, downstairs again to have to food from mom. Ess can point with her pointer finger, and she chooses to do this at every opportunity she gets. Point at this, point at that, point at some keys on the piano while dad plays. Her favorite toy right now is strips of paper Mykala cut out and put into an empty Kleenex box. Ess just smiles and kicks her legs and reaches for that box whenever she sees it, she is totally psyched to pull out each and every scrap of paper.

Ess is also a huge fan of a little banana-shaped curved rainbow colored bolster we’ve named Tubey. She also loves Jill Duck (named by Mykala), and as always, Squirt the turtle from Finding Nemo.

Essie has two teeth, #O & P (mandibular central incisors), and she seems to have taken a holiday from cutting more for a little bit. This is a relief for everyone, because it affected her sleeping. Poor little one is having a hard enough time sleeping right now; she’s only been able to do a few hours at a time before getting upset. We are constantly talking and brainstorming ways to communicate to her that she is fine and she can go back to sleep since we can’t use words to explain this to her. In the meantime, we’re all tired. Mykala hasn’t slept through the night since July 22, 2014.

And so I file away this little time capsule, sliding it on top of the pile of writing that has become this space. Someday in the future, on a chance browsing, I’ll run across it again and remember this time. At the tail end of my 20s, a new parent, learning some things in dentistry, taking walks with my lovely wife. Future self, this is your past self saying “hi, I’m OK!” You are lucky to be a dad, and even luckier to be the dad of such a spitfire spirit as your daughter. She’s amazing.


Grammys Unseen

Mykala and I participate in what we call “awards season” during the dark days of late mid-winter where on Sunday nights there are Hollywood and entertainment industry awards shows. It would be more aptly called “have some fun toaster-oven food and watch parts of a live event while reading.” The latter description has been accurate for a few years. This year, however, was quite a bit different. The Grammy Awards were on, Ess was in her Björn, and we had finished up “Grammy Pancakes” (see, gold records look like pancakes!). Poor little girl had just blown out a diaper and gotten a bath, and was looking adorable in her fresh, clean jammies. Mykala tuned into what can only be called a “momstinct” or a premonition, and was cuddling Ess particularly closely when our little baby girl started making sounds we hadn’t heard her make before.

In an event that I have since called Vomitorium 2015, our daughter emptied out her stomach into our sink in a heart-breaking cyclical succession of cuteness, throwing-up, and confusion. It was impossible to tell her what was going on, and all we could do was take turns holding her. In a smart investment in all of our futures, we gave up and went to bed, Ess in her carseat so things would start going the correct direction, which they eventually did. My Google searches for the evening began with things like “brio play table” and “taggies hippo” and ended with “breastfeeding after vomit.”

As you can imagine, we saw vanishingly little of the awards, I saw some of AC/DC perform, which was, well, that happened I guess.

As Mykala and I experience these events of parenthood for the first time, things like spitting up, vomiting, getting sick for the first time, getting cut, falling, one starts to understand that you’ll always worry about your child. For a brief instance this morning, when I was at work and Ess and Mykala were catching up on some much-needed sleep, I didn’t hear back from them immediately after I sent a message, and I found myself spiraling into panic. What if Essie has not simply a flu bug but a vaccine-preventable disease? What if she and Mykala are at the hospital? What if it is pneumonia? Wait, no, she was vaccinated against that. What if they need me right now? That kind of worry, that spiraling, is the kind that you don’t really expect until it happens, and then you start to understand the emotional depths and heights of parenting.

Friday Sunset

Friday Sunset

Indestructible Wonder

“If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children, I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life.”

—Rachel Carson