Who are you, and what do you do?
I'm a preacher, an essayist and a podcast host. I live in Chicago with my wife, who is a psychotherapist. We're joined by our three kids and Zeus, a pit bull mix. She kills rats. I serve the best liberal church, Saint Pauls UCC. I also write devotions that elicit outraged email from strangers.
What hardware do you use?
My beautiful bicycle was stolen, so I ride a Surly Karate Monkey with a gigantic Wald basket to visit hospitals and see people in their homes. I'd call myself a bicycle commuter, but I live in wonderful church housing less than 100 yards from Saint Pauls. To get there I walk down a rat infested alley. To kill the rats that get in our yard I use Zeus. To kill the rats in the alley I use a combination of glue traps and three feral cats, all of whom live at the church.
For computer hardware, I have a 2013 27 inch iMac, an iPhone 7 and an ancient, balky iMac at home. At the church I print to a Canon iR-Adv photocopier. It is as big as a small car. At home I print to a Brother I got on Amazon. I use a Blue Yeti mic for podcasting. I bought two of them, but I haven't been able to figure out how to run both simultaneously, so I've got an Audio Technica too.
I listen to a lot of music, both to put liturgies together and to energize or soothe myself. I sold all my records. At home I stream from my phone to vintage stereo receivers using Airport Expresses. We've got three of these set up throughout the house, they all run through an Airport Extreme.
And what software?
My office is gigantic, elegant, wood-paneled, old. Imagine the office Dumbledore would have if he were a senator. It's ridiculous. There are walls of built-in bookshelves that hold a large theological library. I use books every day, old school page turning. I have too many books because I once believed I could learn my way to God.
I write short, quick things in Word for Mac 14.7.3, Courier, 14 point font. If I need to start something I know I won't finish before dinner I write it in Google Docs so that I can open it at home or on my phone. I should switch to Google Docs exclusively, but I don't quite trust it. Not the security, the ether. But I use Google Calendar. The option to have it sound an alarm on my phone ten minutes before an appointment begins has saved my ass more than once.
I record podcasts with Audio Hijack. I love this program. It always works and is very simple. If my guest isn't in my office I use Skype with the video turned off. Video conferencing unnerves me. I make to-do lists with a Uni-Ball Signo and scrap paper. I talk to church members on a land-line phone, over email (when will it end?) and in text messages.
What would be your dream setup?
To be honest, I've got my dream setup. Maybe less email and a more reliable home computer. As a kid I wanted a stand-up architect desk that I could adjust at an angle, but why? I'm terrible at math.
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