Category Archives: technology

Noteledge app

Holy cow, it’s Sunday again already.  More to the point, it’s almost Thanksgiving again.  October. when I was down south, made me homesick for fall, chilly weather, leaves, frost… In the last several years, November has made me think about Rheumatoid Arthritis diagnosis.  Hard to believe it’s been six years since I found out what is really going on inside my body.

This week has been an adventure filled week.

I went to have my toe taken care of on Monday.  Actually, I went last week and the family practitioner gave me antibiotics to get rid of the infection and sent me to a podiatrist.  He seemed to be under the impression that a podiatrist was easier to get in to than a dermatologist in the Cleveland Clinic system.  They are, but not by much.

Which reminds me, I have two appointments mid-December I probably should get cancelled…

Monday I went to a perfectly wonderful doctor in the University Medical Center group of doctors.  He fixed the underlying issue and I feel so much better.  This week, it’s back to training for the Santa Hustle.

But, I was supposed to have my infusion on Wednesday.  I was (am) on antibiotics for staph infection in the toe so… they cancelled the infusion.  Without letting me know.  I showed up at the appointment and… no… you don’t have an appointment today.  “OH they cancelled it because you’re on antibiotics.  Didn’t they call you? “… no… I’m pretty sure I would have remembered someone calling to tell me that I will be spending the next entire week feeling like crap.

So, I’m half way to Thursday when I get to go have my infusion (I hope).  Toe is much better (MUCH better), antibiotics are almost gone, I’m gobbling Napproxin like tic-tacs at this point, and dropping everything that ends up in my hands, but by next weekend that will pass.  I’m gagging everyone in my family with the smell of Tiger Balm but I really don’t care.

One thing I found while I was feeling down this week was Noteledge has been ported to Android.  It’s not as robust as the iOS version, and the iOS version seems to be buggy as all get out sometimes, but I like this… It will export in mobi or epub… it has pretty decent voice recognition.  I think I’m going to try keeping the “upgraded” version I am subscribing to now to see how it works on a phone.  I may be able to talk to it on the way to work and get some writing done while I’m ‘wasting’ time driving to work in the mornings.  Might even be able to capture some real time dialog.  I’m still playing with it, and I’m not convinced it will take the place of my S-Note, but I kind of like it.  Time will tell.

Tools, Tricks and Technology

Okay, okay, I’m a self-confessed geek.  I totally enjoy technology for simply technology sake.  I actually read most of the manuals when fifty pounds of printed manuals came with every software purchase.  I even have been accused of reading those 65 page ‘agreements’ that no one ever reads when installing or buying new toys.

In all fairness, I also read cereal boxes and shampoo bottles for fun when I was younger and had more time and more brain cells available to me.

So it is no wonder that when the shiny new iPhone came out with its new gizmos and gadgets, I thought it was neat.  I liked the 8 mega pixel camera and the fact that it is now dual core (something to make my geeky little heart go pitter patter) and faster.  I didn’t think it was nifty enough to spend a crap ton of money on it when I had a perfectly good smart phone that I really liked and that I was sure was going to go to waste if I got a different toy.  And totally no technology (even for a geek like me) is worth standing in a line next to four armed guards for several hours.

But, while paroosing the offerings of the local ATT store (we are up for renewal on our cable/phone/internet and we are looking for alternatives to our current company) bear decided that because I was looking at them and thought they were cool (he looked at the specs and all the really cool features before we got there… i just said they looked cool) he decided that, since I was up for renewal, iPhone would be wonderful.  So he got me the 64 gig iPhone 4g.

I was right.  The camera is cool.
streaming Disney music from dutneslive.com all day at work is wicked cool (okay… it keeps me from going crazy or postal).
I didn’t really see a lot of practicality in Siri… then.  Okay, it will find a Mexican restaurant for you… but I live in the capital of there is a Mexican place (decent or dive) on almost every freaking street corner so that feature didn’t stand out as a major selling point.

Until this morning.

I was driving in this morning to work and traffic was light but it was still traffic.  I was thinking of all of these wonderful things that I want to write about and didn’t want to wreck (so writing them down or texting them to myself or my email or whatever ‘normal’ things was out).  I remembered the video I saw on Siri and what all it can do.  It can do notes… its voice recognition does notes… hmmmmm… one push of the big depressed circle button at the bottom, a swipe of the screen to unlock it and another longer press of the depressed button and there she was… the Siri automated voice asking me what I wanted.

Grin… nice

So I told the headsets that I had in my ears (mic included) note.

and she said note… what-cha want me to write chicky (not literally but in my head that is what she said).

I told her.
she wrote it in a note
saved it
and poof, I had my note without having to take my eyes off the road and without causing any accidents.

Got to thinking… this is really great.

My fingers aren’t always happy… but I can use almost anything to push the button and any part of my hand to unlock the screen… even when I’m in less than great shape, RA wise, I can take notes, set reminders and (oh yeah) find that handy-dandy Mexican Restaurant.

Wicked cool!

got to work, started my 57 open windows to doing the work I needed them to do for me, and started digging.  There are Android alternatives to the Siri thing (can’t actually call it an app really).

This page gave me food for thought for the Andoid operating system (my now pocket-sized computer that won’t connect to the ATT network, but it WILL connect to any WIFI that is available to me).  I need to try out these alternatives and let you know what I think.  Reading through the article, I think Speaktoit might fit my personality pretty well as long as I remember it isn’t necessarily for everyone.  Edwin apparently uses the same source as Siri does but since I don’t really care about some of the things that this is “supposed” to be for, only what I can have it help me do, I’m not sure I care what the nearest… well… you get the idea.

It is worth looking in to if only to see how I can make my technology work for me better and more effectively.

Happy Happy Geek!

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Hot Coffee, Creativity, and Stress…

This gallery contains 4 photos.

I’m up.  I’m achey and tired (slept on the floor with the dog curled up next to me being a pain in the butt… but a happy pain in the butt.. because I’m “spring cleaning” my closet and right now … Continue reading

The Lending Library…

Quiet day today.  We were going to go for a walk but we never actually got that far =(

I have been contemplating how to get more centered this year (again).  Yoga starts in just over a week and a half which will go a long way to helping… and I have a 21 day yoga thing starting in a few days from yoga journal.  Tai Chi has been calling my heart, though.  As I sit here drinking my oolong tea, it is like a siren’s song… so I decided to dig through the library website to see what books on Tai Chi I could find.  I bought one for my nook that isn’t very long but seems to be a good place for me to be starting… there were others I really wanted to read, but at 15 dollars or 20 dollars each, I can usually justify one a pay or one every couple pays…

I found out that my library card expired (more frownie faces) sometime in December.  So I could find the books I wanted to read (top of my list Chi Walking… followed quickly by Tai Chi for Seniors) but not put them on a hold list.

BUT… woohoo… what else I figured out was that our local library has subscribed to an ebook database.  I can check out audio books from my desk at home… I can check out books to read on my nook… and there is access to 15000 public domain epub books that I can peruse at my leisure.

Have I mentioned that I totally love my technology?  Nothing will ever totally take the place of the weight and smell and feel of a book in my hands, but when I’m achey and feeling like even my nook weighs a ton… so… technology is often a better option.

I put myself on multiple wait lists for e-books and a couple of Eve Dallas (JD Robb) audio books… and downloaded a couple of less popular novels.  and… we are off and running… I love the library.

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Torn…

Okay, let’s face it… I’m “old”… not that 45 is really old old… but maybe old fashioned is a better phrase.  I still would much rather use command line to do my work at work rather than the shiny pointy … Continue reading

What I’m Grateful For… Day 1… my Backflip

Okay… I read the 1000 Awesome Things blog (well… started reading it) and decided that it is something I need to do.  Not because I figure I will be a smashing success or anything… I honestly don’t figure I will ever be a smashing success at… much I haven’t already succeeded at but I figure I totally need to get my head on straight and get my life more positive.

So Here I go…

Today, I am most totally grateful for my entirely too expensive backflip phone.

It has freed me to be able to take notes on the go… I invested in the Documents to Go app so I can edit word documents and excel spreadsheets wherever I am.  That means I can keep track of Amandya’s seizures, my RA days and everyones meds.  I can keep track of when Adam needs to have things in for college and when library books are due (darn… that’s tomorrow… crap…) .

I can blog on the “run” so to speak… And I have, even though most of those are short and more to the point than my rambling ones that happen when I sit at the computer… like this…

I can take pictures that I might have missed if it weren’t for having my phone (although the backflip kind of sucks at pictures because it takes FOREVER to get the camera to load)  and I can take video on the fly in case I really need to and I don’t have my ipod.

I am grateful for the comfort that it brings just knowing it is there and I can lug a phone rather than a computer and still sometimes get done what I would like to get done…

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Clickity Clickity Click

Today we got shiny new pedometers (the first 100 people through the conference room door) to help track the number of steps we take a day… so we would all go sign up for the 10000 step deal… Now people … Continue reading

RA and Keyboarding and Mousing (is mousing a word?) article

Was out randomly looking at the internet this morning (I LOVE days off during times when I can actually quietly just surf) and I found a really cool article on the OndIndia website dealing with whether RA impacts people’s ability to type and mouse.

I was a little surprised at the results… or maybe at the way the results were couched…

Touch typing made a positive impact on typing speed for people with RA (pretty sure touch typing helps people without RA, too… .) but that older people with RA had poor-er mousing skills and speed than younger people.  Somehow that isn’t (as an “older” person) come as a great surprise to me.  I’m not sure that the difference is in age or in RA.  I am leaning a bit more towards the age of the person.  Anecdotal evidence suggests that older people without RA don’t do so great mousing either… it is, I think, more of a cultural difference between “older” and “younger” or maybe just a decrease in  response time overall…

I would be interested in reading the whole set of findings…

per the article…

“The findings of the study have been published in the February issue of Arthritis Care and Research, a journal published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the American College of Rheumatology. (ANI)”

I guess I realized that RA hasn’t slowed me down any typing… maybe in duration I can tolerate some days, but not in speed… It was suggested that I didn’t actually hurt the way I thought I hurt (before I was diagnosed) but that I was just overusing my hands and wrists (and feet and ankels and…. ) but when the blood work doesn’t lie, that argument went out the window.  Actually, I have found that typing (and crocheting) makes my hands and even wrists feel looser and less stiff if I ease into it in the morning…

It is good to know, though, that “older workers” aren’t being found to be any less capable than anyone else.

Sunday Morning Guilt Free Workout

Okay, so… maybe not ENTIRELY guilt free.  If it weren’t for guilt, I probably wouldn’t have gone today.  I wanted desperately to go yesterday, but it was a way rainy morning and I wanted just as despirately to play with my electronics.  This morning it looked like it might decide to be rainy, but I figured it wasn’t rainy yet and I could probably stay reasonably close to home.

I didn’t want to get stuck around the back side of the park if it really cut loose, so I decided to “just” hit the park creek, to see what I could see from the rain… then I swung up around through the ball park, checked out the changes there, and headed out to the road…. back up through the ballpark parking lot and around towards home.

On my way out, I managed to loose my bandanna from being tied to my fanny pack.  It was just a trifle annoying.  I like my pink bandanas and I figured I would never be able to find it… that I would have to haul my butt to walmart to buy a duplicate.  The pink ones are important to me.  Pink is the color of Breast Cancer support… and “The Pink One” (Princess Aurora)… sorry… it is a humor filled day.  I didn’t have anything to wipe my the sweat (and it was humid enough today… that I was majorly sweaty) but I made do (went to the bathroom at the convenience store and got paper towels… ).

It was great to see what all the rain did.  It washed rocks to all the wrong places. It made SO much mud.  I don’t deal well with treading through mud on a good day, but this… man… this was slippy and slidey and really hard to navigate.  And the mud here is all wrong… not like mud back home, slick but sticky too… so getting it off your shoes is a real treat.

Going around the ball park was really cool.  We didn’t actually make any games this year… so getting up close and personal with the diamond was really neat.  There are new pictures, new signs, new construction… I love the really neat posts outside the new Intel Private place they just built.  The posts are regular concrete posts, they have baseballs on top of them (the baseballs are concrete too and are the size of basketballs).

The parking lot was full of shallow puddles.  Shiny in the early morning… cloudiness.

There were lots of people out this morning.  Passed a lady and her dog (her running partner)

I have spent a good bit of time figuring out the wonder of the new toy.  You can hold it two different ways and it seems to automagically figure out what direction the video is supposed to be seen in.  Holding it the wrong way and it doesn’t pivot it itself.  And trying to find a way to pivot it on my own is a REAL treat… NOT.  I can’t find anything that will do it for me without spending a fortune.

This is what happens if you hold it in your left hand with the camera to the right…

Holding it vertically with the camera down actually will play correctly, as well.

It was neat talking to the iPod this morning, though.  I figure that mom will enjoy the play by play commentary.  No one looked at me too weirdly while I was talking to myself.  I figured out that I can take video (is this podcasting??? ) and still keep up a pretty brisk pace.

You know… it’s funny… my toes hurt this morning (like I needed to crack the toe knuckles) and my knee felt like it was black and blue.  After my outing, I felt a little sore, but I feel so much better.  I already know that tomorrow morning I’m heading out at about 4:30 for an hour before I’m back at it.  That time of day, it will be up and down the streets of the housing area.  But it will be for an hour.

How many steps during my outing today?

11,600

580 calories down…

Back home, eggs and toast and black coffee and tea and water.

Today was a wonderful day