The End is Near! {Google Reader Replacements}

So… Google Reader will no longer be available after July 1st, 2013.


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I have experimented with a whole bunch of Google Reader alternatives, and these are my favorites. I’m still kind of undecided as to which I will end up sticking with, but I wanted to let you guys know my findings. There are a lot of Google Reader alternatives and most of them are pretty crappy – but not these! I will list 2 alternatives that I did not like at the end of this post.

Best Google Reader Replacements / Alternatives

Digg Reader.
I only just started using Digg’s reader this week, but so far it is actually my favorite. They have an iPad and iPhone app as well, which is key for me.  The Digg Reader layout is simple – similar to Google Reader, but  cleaner and easier to navigate. There is no bugginess with dragging and dropping feeds between folders which used to drive me crazy with GR.


(Hi Biz!)

The only thing Digg Reader is missing so far for me is the ability to only view unread – however, it is in their feature list and should be released soon. I’m okay with waiting because I really like the rest of their interface.

How to import – login with Google and they will import your feeds for you.

The Old Reader.

I also really like The Old Reader. Their interface is great, and has just about everything that GR had.


Issues? 1) No iPhone or iPad apps, and I don’t think they plan on making these anytime soon. 2) Another issue I had was that when I was scrolling down to see all the unread posts in my list, they would automatically get marked as “read” if I scrolled over it – even if the post wasn’t actually opened. There is a setting that you can switch that disables this “feature” – but it’s kind of hidden. You have to uncheck the option “Scrolling through posts marks them as read” in the settings.

How to import – you can login with Google, but you have to download your GR file from Google Takeout and then upload it to import your feeds.

Yoleo Reader.

Yoleo is also quite good; actually I would like it the best out of the three here except for the fact that it doesn’t have an app yet. Same look and feel as GR / Digg / TheOldReader. Easy to navigate and read your feeds.


Issues? Again, no iPhone/iPad app. I really need to have an app because I like reading my feeds on the iPad Mini and my phone.

How to import – login with Google and they will import your feeds for you.

Overall, there is one main issue with all of these Google Reader replacements – they are slow to update feeds. If someone publishes a post it could be hours before it shows up in your unread list, whereas with Google Reader it was always almost instantaneous.

The 2 other readers I have tried that I didn’t like (and don’t understand the hype at all) are: Feedly and BlogLovin.

Feedly has Mac apps which is good, but I can’t stand the way they show your feeds.

1) In Feedly, It’s hard to tell what is current, what is unread, and what is read. This should be a simple binary switch – read or unread. If there are unread posts from a day ago they don’t show up because they only show you today’s posts.

2) I do not like the look and feel of Feedly’s interface.

3) Feedly would continually log me out and re-request permission to access/modify my GR data, which is not cool. If I allow it once, that should be it. This last point won’t be an issue after GR does its disappearing act, but it was enough to turn me off of Feedly.

As for BlogLovin – the only way to login is to make a new account or login with Facebook. 1) I don’t like to login to sites with Facebook and 2) I don’t like even more having to create a new account when I already have 13280829013 accounts at various sites online. Their interface is pretty simple, but for some reason I just wasn’t able to get into it.

What are you using for your Google Reader replacement? The google reader apocalypse is extremely f*ing nigh and everyone is scrambling to find a replacement.


Summer Solstice Surf & Turf

Last night Bobby and I celebrated the end of this week + the summer solstice with a delicious home-cooked surf & turf dinner. And I even made it to yoga beforehand (Friday Night Flow @ Pure Yoga).


I posted this on Instagram (@magpie707) last night. It’s a small piece of filet migon (right), scallops & shrimp, and a side of kale + shiitake mushrooms. The recipes were all super simple. They aren’t even recipes, really.

Filet Mignon:

  • olive oil
  • steak (this one was small – 3.5 ounces. it’s about 2cm thick.)
  • butter (optional)

Heat a nonstick pan until it’s screaming hot. Drizzle your steak with olive oil on both sides, and also put a little in the pan. Cook the steak ~3-4 minutes on each side (3 on each side is medium; 4 on each side is done – I did about 3.5 on each side). Done! Serve with a pat of butter on top (optional).

Shrimp & Scallops:

  • big scallops (I did 5)
  • big, cleaned shrimp (6)
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Heat a nonstick pan until it’s screaming hot. Season the shrimp and scallops with salt and pepper and put some olive oil in the pan. Cook the shrimp & scallops about 2.5 minutes on each side. Done!

Kale & Shiitake Mushrooms Asian Style:

  • olive oil and a little bit of sesame oil
  • salt
  • garlic powder
  • sesame seeds
  • 1 head of red kale
  • 1 box of shiitake mushrooms
  • balsamic vinegar (I used a cherry infused one)

Wash and dry the kale. Chop the mushrooms and kale. Heat a wok to high heat and add the olive oil (1-2 tablespoons) and sesame oil (2-3 teaspoons). Add the mushrooms and kale. Add garlic powder, salt and sesame seeds. Cook on high heat for 3-4 minutes, then turn it to medium and cook for another 4-5 minutes, or until the kale is tender (stirring occasionally). Add a few splashes of balsamic vinegar. Stir it around and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add more salt, if it needs it.

All told, this meal cost about $31 from the grocery store. (Filet mignon = $7, scallops = $14, shrimp = $3.50, organic kale = $2.50, organic mushrooms = $4.) A little pricey for 2 people, but much cheaper than it would be at a restaurant! I’m not including the cost of the pantry items I already had (olive oil, salt, etc…).

Bobby had the steak (I had a bite) and we split the rest, but I got an extra scallop. He was a very happy husband 🙂

Do you like surf & turf? What’s the most expensive meal you cook at home?

JP Morgan Corporate Challenge: Race Recap

On Wednesday night I ran in JP Morgan’s Corporate Challenge. It’s a 3.5 mile race in Central Park.


Wednesday night was also Bobby’s birthday and his band (The Balls) had a show in Brooklyn.

The race started at the 72nd Street Transverse, wound up above and around the reservoir to about 104th street, and then came down on the east side. I finished the race in 35:51.


I have to be honest, when other people write “race recaps” I usually end up skimming them. So I will not be offended if you skim this.

In the beginning there were a lot of people and we were getting shuffled around (7pm). I was in the blue group, which was the slowest of the faster groups (the first waves to go). We had all submitted time estimates in advance, which is how we got grouped – red was the fastest, then yellow, then green, then blue. Orange and white (white is walking) were separate from us and started once red/yellow/green/blue had all gone.


We shuffled towards the starting line for almost 15 minutes after the 7pm starting time passed, and when I passed the starting line I began to jog (around 7:14pm). The first mile was my fastest. I think I kept about an 8.5-minute pace. There were only a few uphills and a couple of fortuitous downhills. At the water station after mile 1 I drank a cup and poured some water on my head.

Mile two was a little slower, probably a 9.5-minute mile. This mile started getting hilly and I realized that my training runs had been slower than I was running now. I didn’t stop though, and ran past the 2-mile mark.

Mile 3. There was no water in sight after the mile 2 mark and my chest was begging me for a break, so I started walking. I didn’t walk for long, maybe 30 seconds, but it was enough for me to get some energy back and continue. I took a slow jog up to the next water station, and drank some more. After that I felt great but then we hit some hills. I had to walk I think 2 more times and my time probably ended up being over 12 minutes for this mile.

Last half mile. I was jogging slowly at this point, but I knew I was close so I kept going. I walked once for about 15 seconds. When I got close to the finish line I picked up the pace, saw Bobby on the sideline, and ran past him for a high five. I sprinted after that, maybe 100 yards, and crossed the finish! I felt like I was going to puke but I didn’t. 😀

Lessons learned:

  1. I love racing! There is something so exciting and fun about running in such a large group of people.
  2. I am slower than I thought, but I think I can improve. I didn’t train for this except for a couple 2-3 mile runs over the last two months. On those runs I didn’t check my time and I did not run on hills.
  3. Running can be really fun. It’s also challenging.
  4. Water stations are great.

After the race I met up with Bobby and we booked it to Brooklyn for his show. He was supposed to go on at 8:45 and we made it just before 8:40 with just enough time to set up his keys. After the show we had a fantastic dinner at this place: The Anchored Inn. There are so many good cheap places to eat in Brooklyn. Sometimes it makes me wonder why I still live in Manhattan and pay $15 for a salad…

I got a delicious large $9 salad: radish, cucumber, avocado, queso fresco, pumpkin seed, pickled onion, chile vinaigrette. Bobby got the bacon wrapped hot dog. We split roasted Brussels sprouts: brussels with pickled apple, serrano, horsey sauce.

Yesterday I was a bit sore but nothing terrible. Last night I ended up going out with coworkers + Bobby and didn’t sleep well afterwards so I was up early today. This morning I went for a nice slow walk over to Central Park where I saw this weird pink fluffy tree (what is it?):


Have you ever raced before?