No Tech Tinsel …. Part Two

Screen Shot 2014-12-16 at 5.41.36 PMThe whole tinsel thing got a lot of nostalgia going.

Isn’t it funny how you can absolutely remember the very feel and texture of the stuff? (if you are of-a-certain-age!)

As for Part Two:

My dear daughter-in-law, Carmen, also did a video version of the history and chemistry of tinsel, and if you are still interested, you can view that video, here.

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No-Tech Tinsel

Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 2.25.33 PMIf you’re looking for a technology related post today on this blog…. you’ll be disappointed.

I can’t resist linking to an article about TINSEL.

Why? you ask? (good question!)

Three reasons:

Reason number one: It is an interesting article about the history of Tinsel. For all of us of a certain age….. remember the beautiful stuff that hung from our trees back in the 50’s? It was heavy, and made the tree look just wonderful. But did you know that that tinsel of yesteryear was made of lead? I didn’t. Whodathunkit. LEAD!!!!

Reason number two: My dear talented daughter-in-law wrote the article. :)

and

Reason number three: The article includes a photo of yours truly, back in 1950, eating said LEAD tinsel. Yum. It was delicious. :shock:

Enjoy!

What Is Tinsel Made Of, And How Has It Changed Over The Years?

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Thanksgiving = Blogging Break

As Thanksgiving approaches, we often reflect on the many things for which we are thankful. I am so very grateful for every individual in this blogging community. I appreciate each and every reader, and I want you to know that. :)

Wishing a Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate the day and a Happy Last-Week-in-November for everyone else.

I leave you this week with these directions for cooking your Thanksgiving Turkey.

( I dedicate this to a certain group of friends….. you know who you are :) )

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Cable or no? What do you do?

Screen Shot 2014-11-12 at 6.36.13 AMThere are now so very many sources of video entertainment that the options are many.

Netflix, Hulu plus, HBO to go, Amazon prime and others all offer the opportunity to stream your programming rather than connect to cable the (now) old-fashioned way.

( gasp!! Am I really calling cable “old fashioned”? I remember when it was the exciting new alternative to the antennae!!!)

In my house, we are still connected to cable and pay a monthly fee for the privilege. We “bundle.” Cable, internet and a land line phone. The phone, (a now nearly-useless relic) is basically free in the bundle, so we keep that. But if we cut the cable cord, the phone would go, too, and we would only pay for the internet….

Screen Shot 2014-11-12 at 6.49.49 AMHowever, my husband is a sports fan, and loves to spend his weekends channel-flipping through the football games. This ability is not available through streaming, so we will keep cable until the sports options increase.

We also have a DVR, so we capture programming from all hours, and watch on our own schedule. However, most of the programing we “catch” is also available through apps or streaming.

We do subscribe to Netflix, and stream some of their programs with regularity, and we also have Amazon Prime with more streaming options.

Our television watching habits have changed in that we rarely watch programs as they are broadcast. We never watch “live.” Except for those sports events, we choose our entertainment from the DVR or streaming options.

Now I’m looking at Hulu Plus. They have programming that I know we would enjoy and that is unavailable on the other services. ( UK readers: Hulu Plus has Miranda :) )

But $$ add up. We pay for Netflix, now. I don’t really want to add another $$ without decreasing something else. (and …I must have my Amazon Prime, so that’s not an option to lose :) ).

If it weren’t for the sports, I’d cut the cord. But for now we stay connected.

Hulu Plus is beckoning me, though. Anyone have experience with that service?

and…

What do you do? I’m guessing that older people are hanging on to their cable out of habit and younger folks are cutting the cord.

Care to share?

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My Impressions After One Full Month with my iPhone 6 PLUS

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It’s big. (I think I may have mentioned that before :) )

and …

it’s big.

I will admit, when I first got it, I felt a little “off” with it. The phone is so much larger than my last one, that I questioned its portability. I am a person who keeps my phone with me at all times, and this was a legitimate concern.

But after a month of full-time use, I’m happy to report that it fits in all of my regular pockets. My sweatpants, my mom jeans, my jackets and assorted other pocketed clothing all include pockets that are able to easily accommodate this super-sized phone. (so sorry to use the word “pockets” so much. I racked my brain, but could not find a suitable synonym. Pockets pockets pockets.)

In the beginning, as I said, it felt a bit odd. One month later…… not at all. I absolutely love it.

The screen is stunningly beautiful. Everything is clear and sharp and easy to see. Following my blue dot on a map is so much easier, obviously, with a bigger screen.

I have found myself using the phone more often for googling and other internet searching. In the past, I would turn to the internet only if I “had” to when I was out and about. But with this phone, I find myself doing it more, and sometimes even searching on the phone from home, just because it’s so handy, even though I could go to a real screen on my notebook computer. The bigger phone makes it that much easier to see and search.

And READ. You can read on this phone. It is just big enough to make reading comfortable on the device. I’m not just talking about books… but websites as well. I NEVER looked at websites on my smaller phones. But on the iPhone Plus, website-browsing is possible.

And this was a surprise: easy link-touching. On the smaller phone, I would always have to zoom and wiggle a bit so that my finger could appropriately touch and ‘work’ a link. On this PLUS phone, my fingers and the links match perfectly, and I navigate around without any awkwardness.

I’ve had absolutely no issues with the operating system.

The touch id was new to me, because it was not available until the 5S (my last phone was a 5). It took me a little bit of time to get used to it, but now I find it seamlessly perfect, just a fraction of a second pause and my phone unlocks to my touch. (Unless I’ve recently gotten out of the shower. I have learned that wet, prune-like fingerprints are not a match to dry ones. :) )

If there is ONE thing I DON’T like on this phone, it is the location of the sleep/wake button. They moved it over on the side. When I squeeze it, I find that I am simultaneously squeezing the volume buttons on the opposite side … not good. And the side sleep/wake button also makes it a little trickier to do screen shots. Clearly this is not a deal-breaker, but I am still fumbling with that I wish they hadn’t button move.

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It takes great pictures, but of course, that is nothing new. Look at this lovely sunset that I grabbed through my bedroom window one evening last week.

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and again, a few minutes later, as the colors changed ……

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All in all….. I’m delighted with my choice of the PLUS phone. Once I get the case that I’ve enjoyed for years on my previous phone (the manufacturer has been slow on the making of this size case) … I’ll have the just-about perfect phone for me.

 

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iOS 8 will now SLOWLY come to this blog

Screen Shot 2014-10-14 at 8.24.52 AMReminder: This is a blog for EVERYDAY people. If you are a tech-person or have advanced skills, you are in the wrong place.

I find that when I read tech blogs or articles they are often filled with lots of things I don’t understand or need, and I have to sift down to get to the nitty gritty (dating myself with that term!). :shock: Often there is a nugget of precious info that can help me enjoy this word of tech-wonder, but I have to look for it.

Or …… sometimes info on a tech blog can be simply overwhelming with too much information. Too too too much at once. If I see too much at once, it jumbles together. That won’t happen here.

So, I am taking this opportunity to remind you that I GO SLOWLY.

I have placed a special link to an “iOS 8” page up at the top of this blog.

I will GRADUALLY start exploring iOS 8 features one at a time. And as I do, I will group them on that page, above.

One at a time. Slowly. Step by step. Bit by bit.

This approach helps this regular person understand what she’s learning, and I hope it helps you, too.

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My thoughts after 24 hours with my iPhone 6+

Screen Shot 2014-10-11 at 7.44.17 PMSo it’s been 24 hours since I have started using the iPhone 6+ as my phone.

My first thought … it’s BIG.

Second thought …. it’s BIG.

Third thought … it’s really really REALLY BIG.

I knew it was going to be big, so this shouldn’t have been a surprise to me, but yet somehow it was.

Holding it in my hand as MY phone, it just felt awfully, uhhhh …. big.

I’ll admit to some concerning thoughts. Did I make a mistake? Should I return this?

But I think it wasn’t just the size that was throwing me off a bit. Whenever we get something new, and it’s a bit different from our old-and-familiar, I think we always need a little time to adjust. I needed some adjusting time.

My first wacky moment came when I tried to put it to sleep. I have a habit of clicking the top of my iPhone and sending it to sleep (dark) before putting it in my pocket. To my surprise, there is NO sleep button on the top of this phone. They moved it to the side.

So, once I learned that the button was on the side, I noticed that my case maker had left one of the side buttons exposed. Without giving it a thought, I pushed it. Nothing happened. Pushed it again. Nothing. This is when I realized that I was pushing the mute button and that the sleep button was on the OTHER side. Sigh. (This experience should once and forever squash the rumor that I know what I’m doing. :) )

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As I worked through some of my apps today, I was once again pleased with my decision to update through iTunes. So far, every single app with “data” moved over without any problem whatsoever. Passwords, lists, a weight tracker and a grocery list all arrived on my new phone in perfect order.

The only app that gave me trouble was the Overdrive app. On my iPhone 5, I was in the middle of listening to an audio book from my library through this app. I needed to put the same book on my new phone. Let me be clear: this is an app issue, NOT a phone issue. Nevertheless, this was an inconvenience albeit something you have to expect when changing phones. On my last attempt, I managed to download the book again from my library, and now all is well. Yay!

The size of the phone makes the screen a wonderful sight to behold. Texting is a pleasure with more room and some additional perks (which are part of iOS 8 and will also be addressed later). The screen has room for photos of your texting friends, and it looks very nice.

The iPhone+ turns to landscape, and the icons move with you, just like on an iPad. This is a delightful option, and I like it! The ‘tray’ icons, the ones you leave at the bottom, move to the side in landscape. Nice! Your mail and texting appear as they do on the iPad. All good. There is plenty of room on the screen for these extra arrangements.

The phone I just gave up was a 5, which was “before” the Touch id, so I had no previous experience with this fingerprint technology. It was another thing I had to get used to. It was easy to set up. The phone took me through the process by having me tap my finger on the home button several times. I did this with my thumb. Half a day later I realized that I rarely use my thumb, and I kept having to awkwardly unlock my phone with an odd posture (for me). So I easily added an extra fingerprint (my index finger). I was also mildly annoyed that the phone locked “immediately” and I had no ability to change that. BUT with just a tiny bit of practice I learned that a mere tap with my finger now unlocks the phone in a fraction of a second, and so all in well once again. I guess I adapt quickly. This morning I found the touch annoying, but this evening, I love it.

Battery life is not something I can address, yet. Apple claims that the battery life of this phone is quite good. I can tell you that I’ve run through most of it on Day One. :shock: However …. I’ve been using the phone constantly today. If I haven’t been exploring it, I’ve been listening to an audio book or music, so it has been “running” all day. That said ….. I was hoping for a better battery life than a single day. We’ll see.

The Kindle app looks gorgeous on this iPhone. Yes indeed, this will be an awesome device to carry for all-reasons. You can call, text, play (you can SEE the solitaire cards!), listen and READ all on the same piece of equipment. I frequently carried my Kindle AND my phone. Now the phone will often be enough.

Overall … I am happy with the iPhone 6+. I do think that if you are a tight-pants wearer you will find this phone a bit large. My mom-jeans are fine for the phone, but other carrying-places might be tight.

(Message to my friend who carries her phone in her bra: this phone is not for you. :) )

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It’s here! My new iPhone 6 Plus!

It’s here. It was scheduled to come today…. and it did. Right on time.

I’m excited that it’s here, but a bit anxious about setting it up. :shock:

So, tomorrow’s the day. I’ll open the box and begin. I’m determined to set it up myself.

Just me.

At least that’s my plan. Without the help of Apple or ATT. (fingers crossed!)

stay tuned……

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You CAN wash and dry some wearable tech. But I wouldn’t do it on purpose.

Screen Shot 2014-10-01 at 8.12.11 PMLife has been a little busy in my house these past few days. (The excitement involved an ambulance ride, emergency room care and considerable discomfort ….for my spouse. )

My end of the deal was to caretake and do all the things that are usually shared by two.
But as we all know, when you’re very busy, and distracted, mistakes happen.

My mistake?

I washed (and dried!) my Fitbit. argh.

A Fitbit is a delightful piece of wearable tech that keeps track of your steps for each day. It’s wonderful, motivating, and I use it every day.

But because I was distracted, I did not remove it from a pocket before I threw some laundry into the machine. So my Fitbit was washed. Then rinsed and spun.

And then, adding insult to injury, it went in the dryer. :shock:

This morning I looked for my Fitbit and with a sudden shock I realized …… uh oh. Did I? (you know that feeling. A moment of weak-in-the-knees)

I went to the dryer and there it was. Nestled among the fluffy socks and warm towels was my Fitbit. I reached into the dryer, and pulled it out.

I expected to find a soggy mess, water inside the screen, and maybe a frozen display.

But nope.

It’s perfect!

It looks fine. Every screen is clear and sharp. It’s working perfectly.

wow. Washable tech. Who knew?

Have you ever had a similar accident? Or (gasp) washed your phone?

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A New Word for you to Learn: Phablet

Screen Shot 2014-09-17 at 8.00.26 PMIf you haven’t heard it yet, you’ll hear it soon.

Phablet

Phablet – a phone that’s big enough to be (almost) considered a tablet.

Samsung has produced a phablet for years with it’s Galaxy Note. And do people like it? They seem to love it. So Apple is now jumping on that bandwagon with the iPhone 6 Plus.

iPhone 6 Plus = the newest phablet on the market.

There was a great review of the iPhone 6 Plus in the New York Times today. Written by a bona-fide big-phone hater, he talks about the time he spent with this new phablet, pros and cons.

I think he surprised himself.

He finds many pluses to make up for the lack of pocketability.

Read the whole article, here:

With Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus, Phablets Get Serious.

Now I’m starting to get excited to get my hands on one.

I’ll not be in line at the Apple stores on Friday (I’m not THAT crazy ambitious :) )

But …

I placed my order! And I should get my iPhone 6 Plus (aka Phablet) in about 3 weeks.

If you are considering the iPhone 6 Plus, I would suggest you take a few minutes and read the NY Times review.

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