Monthly Archives: January 2008

My Day with Nokia’s Sports Tracker

When I first heard of the new Nokia mobile app shipping with the new Nseries phones, Sports Tracker, I envisioned a mobile stop watch combined with GPS and a how many steps have you taken monitor. Dull. Sigh. Where is an updated, GPS enabled Lifeblog?
Ok, I grew up in a family that was sports obsessed, esp. my first stepdad – my mom’s second husband. He was on the Olympic committee, competed in the Pan American games and has won in the Master’s division of the some sort of spin off of the Olympics (Allison, help me here). My childhood, from ages 3 to 13, was spent with the stepdad, mom, and various other mom-related relatives who were pathologically compulsive about exercising at very darned opportunity.
Beach volleyball in the evenings? Check. Olympic style kayaking and canoeing? Check. Surfing? Check. Running? Check. Skiing? Check. Hiking with a pace meter and stop watch? Check!
By the time I was 8 years old, I was hiding when the folks were ready to go out for yet another bout of daily evening EXERCISE! Me hiding with my mom yelling at me that it was time to leave. My high school rebellion was to cultivate super-white, never see the sun skin. To do this in an ultra-athletic, sun-worshiping family was even more rebellious than teenage pregnancy or drug use. I kid you not. The cousins that got knocked-up and/or were smoking pot were excused as long as they were in competitive sports and winning.
The cousins have sports trophies and I have a great collection of black vintage dresses and goth jewelry. I also now have great skin.
So, the nice folks at Nokia’s WOM World asked me to evaluate the Sports Tracker app, as it will be used on the Urbanista Diaries adventure as our way to track our path and upload our photos to the Nokia server.

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Dear Kenya,

Hello Kenya,
I love you, please don’t fall to pieces.
Kenya, I have admired you from afar for many years. Even though I prefer chilly, mountainous places and am inordinately fond of snow for a woman born and raised in Southern California, I have dreamed of visiting you for years. Even though I take most of my non-California holidays north of the 50th parallel line, when folks ask for me to list my top five places I must visit before it is all over, besides Iceland, Alaska, Greenland, and Lapland, I always list you.
It is not just Mount Kilamanjaro and its lovely glacier. It is not just your rich, deep heritage and landscape. It is not just the animals and safaris. It is not just Nairobi, a city that has been widely recommended to me. It is your people. Some of the best, truly best humans I have ever know where born and raised in Kenya before they came to California. Rosemary Mwangi. Mark Fredrickson. Among many others.
Dear Kenya, please don’t devolve into unrest and murder.
Please Kenya, pull yourself up. Shake the hand of the man or woman next to you. Give them a hug. Sit down together and figure out how to make the government work for all the people of Kenya, not just one tribal group. Representative government for all. Justice for all.
Please, no eye for an eye. Instead, love one another. Or at the very least, peace for the common good.
Please, dear Kenya. Please.