My #bestnine Instagram pictures for 2017

Here are my #bestnine Instagram photos for 2017:

1, 6 and 8: Mississippi River Boulevard vistas taken while on bicycling excursions

2: My neighbor Colleen’s backyard while she was working an an interesting, unusually colorful project

3, 4: St. Paul-skyline shots taken from the Pioneer Press’ 7th-floor outdoor patio

5: Me and St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman just before the St. Paul Winter Carnival Torchlight Parade

6. Great shot of downtown St. Paul and my buddy Chris as we were on a ride

9. I took a lot of bicycling shots this year, and this one may be my favorite.

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My 2017 was the best and worst of times

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times — There’s a cliché for you, but I can’t think of a better way to describe my 2017.

The year started with the death of my brother, who was hit by a car while crossing a busy street. I spent the rest of the year agonizing about what to write on this topic — but realized I got it exactly right with my initial Facebook announcement:

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Facebook pals get creative for my birthday

I’m not crazy about Facebook, which is so chaotic and convoluted that it does a number on my OCD.

Oh, but I love Facebook on my birthday as best wishes pour in by the dozens.

Among those are bursts of creativity I cherish. The above, by my alwaysingenious friend Steve Borsch, is a wonder.

Here are a few others, some of which also tap into my nerdy tendencies.

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Apple’s iPad Pro ad is, in a way, about me

Apple’s new TV spot about a roving girl and her iPad is one of my favorite Apple ads of all time — and I do not say this lightly since the company’s advertising has always been top-notch.

Initially, I couldn’t quite nail down why this spot so resonated with me, and then it hit me. That girl is me — and not just because she’s wearing nerd spectacles like mine, or rides her bicycle everywhere as I do with my bicycle.

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I discuss Instagram on Joiner’s MacVoices

Instagram is a passion of mine. It is my favorite social network even though I’m sometimes more active on Facebook and Twitter.

Instagram’s simplicity — a grid of squares representing carefully curated pictures I want to share — appeals to me.

The service has lately added other bells and whistles, such as a “stories” feature for sharing ephemeral photos and videos in a Snapchat style, but my emphasis still is on the traditional photo posting.

So I was delighted when Chuck Joiner had me on a recent episode of MacVoices to pick my brain about my favorite tools for getting the most out of Instagram — especially if you’re a user of Apple devices.

This conversation is an update of sorts to a (now somewhat out-of-date) TidBITS article about Twitter tools.

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My alma mater profiles me briefly, brilliantly

My St. John’s University alma mater recently profiled in its glossy magazine a number of alumni who have worked as professional journalists.

Writer Dana Drazenovich whipped up a bunch of bios that are brilliant in their brevity and yet sum up professional lives perfectly.

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