My car is getting a makeover. Ok, not really, but it will have been at the car shop for nearly 6 hours when it gets done. Guess who decided to wait for her car today instead of arrange something else? That's right me! However, I'm not upset, because thankfully I knew coming in that it would take about 4 hours, so I came prepared. I brought a fully loaded backpack of entertainment and had shops picked out that I could shop at in the surrounding area using the wonderful shuttle service to pass the time. So when the guy said that it would take another 1.5 to 2 hours to fix the other problems, I didn't even break a sweat. (Apparently, I've not had any brake lights for awhile and a leaky hose…and of course, the alignment).
Here's been today's adventure:
1st hour: in the waiting room, playing with Garage Band and mixing songs while drinking a lovely grape soda (which I thought was a grape Fanta, but didn't realize until grape soda #2 that it was not).
2nd hour: Took the shuttle, hung out at Borders, looked at the book Outliers, but decided to wait since it was $27 and then debated purchasing The Pioneer Women's cookbook. Ultimately, I decided to wait until after Christmas in case I get it for Christmas and I'll have more dough in my pocket, because it was also $27.
3rd hour: Pier One and Old Navy. I got a Techno Hoodie at Old Navy. So cool. It has the headphones built in and the cord to hook it up in the pocket. AND it's washable. This is particularly awesome, because I have a bit (that may be the understatement of the year) of anxiety and my iPod and headphones are like a security blanket. So having my headphones built into something is AWESOME.
4th hour: Brief trips to a few stores including Target. I had to cross 119th Street during this hour and 119th is not pedestrian friendly. I waited at the crosswalk for several turns of the light then realized that the light clearly didn't work and I was just going to have to risk it to make it across the street. Thankfully I was only carrying an Old Navy sack and a backpack.
5th Hour: Took the shuttle back to the car place. Chatted with the other people in the waiting room. Watched part of Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader? Changed into new Old Navy Techno Hoodie and tried it out (it works!) Broke out the laptop again and started typing this blogpost while drinking Grape Soda #2.
1:59pm: Finish blog post, but realize there is no wifi to publish it, so I decided to give a run down of my next few minutes.
2:04pm: The guy next to me asks me what I'm doing, I explain writing a blog post and listening to music, then we engage in a nice discussion about how makes are awesome. His wife reminds him he's not supposed to read over peoples shoulders, but he explains that it's impossible to read the tiny type on my screen (I'm writing it in Text Edit).
2:11pm: Decide to document everything in my back pack
Dried mangos from Whole Foods
The Whole Deal (Whole Foods coupons and recipes)
Stuff Christians Like book
My very first Bible EVER, given to me for Christmas in 1998 by Caroline Helmers.
Power brick for my mac
Therapy Journal (just incase I decide to do my therapy homework early)
Mac Life magazine
3 of my favorite pens - Precise V5 Black
1 Sharpie - Black
1 Post-it highlighter with sticky tabs built in
Silly Putty - Blue
Renters insurance policy to remind me to call and inform them of my new place
Pair of sunglasses I broke this morning
A wine key (you never know when you might need it. Okay kidding, it was in another bag for another adventure I had involving glass bottled soda and got transferred to this bag on accident.)
New car insurance cards
Bottle of random meeds (e.g. ibuprofen)
Saline mist (I'm having a lot of nosebleeds, never can be too careful)
I'm not a food blogger, but at the store recently, I've noticed a considerable number of dark chocolate options for candy. As a dark chocolate novice, I find this delightful. So I decided today to write about my experience trying the Snickers Dark.
Bite 1: It taste like a Snickers.
Bite 2: Still taste like a Snickers, but I get a subtle hint of darkness.
Bite 3: Ditto
Bite 4: It taste better than the original Snickers.
Bite 5: (BIG BITE) Am I still blogging?
Bite 6: Why am I still blogging?
Bite 7: Good to the last nugget.
After taste: Has the lingering dark effect, but is subtle and goooood.
...And then the next morning (today) I woke up to this:
The first words out of my mouth: "Again?!"
Yes, that's right, count them, I have had not one, not two, but three hit and runs. All on the drivers side mirror and this time on the front fender. If you look closely at the picture you can actually see the rusty screws from the second time it got hit and I just had the auto shop screw it back together, because I decided (and am standing firm) that I'm not getting a new mirror again until I move. Thank the good Lord I signed a lease the day before. It will only be a matter of weeks before I'm fully moved over to the new place.
There are lots of upcoming blog posts that are half written. Well, one is 90% written, but I hit the pause button on him for a few weeks while I move. I'll give you a preview though. It's going to be a series of blog posts outlining my ultimate electronic makeover and maybe some tips on what you guys can do as well to make your electronic lives easier. But for now, we're in a holding pattern.
For the next two weeks I'll be designing, moving into, and decorating my new apartment. I finally, bit the bullet and moved. I discovered from a firm shake from my brother that I'm really not living in the safest part of town, but more importantly I don't work in the safest part of town either. Therefore, I've never really be able to "get away" from work (e.g. I'm always reminded of work, continually as hyper-vigilant as I am at work at home). So, I'm moving to safer area of town just across the state line.
Here's my four phase plan for my move:
Phase 1: Preparing for the paint (this includes deciding on most decorating decisions, deciding on paint colors, then literally prepping for painting)
Phase 2: Painting
Phase 3: Getting Rid Of/Packing/Moving/Unpacking
Phase 4: Cleaning my old apartment
Also, get excited I'm getting ready for my very first blog giveaway. It's going to be awesome!
I've been a bit preoccupied recently and have inadvertently neglected my blog. I apologize. Hulu Plus rolled out to the rest of the world and Amazon MP3 keeps giving me AMAZING deals. So I've been clicking away on their websites. I have been working on a blog post - an update to my home theater one earlier. Now that Hulu is playing nice with my PS3, an update is in order. While you wait, enjoy my favorite websites:
By the way, Amazon is running super awesome specials right now - for real. I'm currently surrendering my entire bank account to them. My music collection is made up of their $3.99 and $5 album deals. I've recently gotten the new Taylor Swift, Rihanna, Kid Rock, Kanye West, and Dane Cook albums for $3.99. I'm fully aware this could be a problem.
Now that was an interesting week. The short story is that some where in the week my body's off switch broke. Which lead to 86 hours (+1 hour of sleep) without any sleep - not by choice. My body broke sometime after the one hour nap, refusing to shut off. I don't remember much from the last half of the week...but I read a lot of wikipedia articles on sleep and a few tweets. Oh, and the New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys announcing their tour together. That made my whole week.
So speaking of Twitter (or not). If you're not on it, get on it. It's what the cool kids are doing. It's like mini-blogging. As a bonus, you get to watch hilarious conversations like this go down if you're following the right people.
Or you can have a super fun timeline that looks like this when you follow a famous blogger, tell your friend your watching the person that makes her famous, or keep up on the happenings of your friend thousands of miles away - and her sad happenings with the Apple store:
It's especially fun if you live a funny life, but even if you don't, people still like knowing your random thoughts on the world. So get on the bandwagon, I'm saving you a seat.
Since I buying my TV this summer I've been contemplating what my ultimate home theater would look like (and by look like, I mean what it would include). My definition of "ultimate" might sway a little from most people talking about their home theater. I define an awesome home theater as sleek, efficient, and does everything I need it to do. So I've been thinking a lot about streamlining. And streaming, because I don't have cable so it's my favorite way of watching a variety of television.
Here's my current set up:
Don't get me wrong. My current set up isn't bad, in fact I really like. But we're talking ultimate home theater. So here's how it currently functions. The black box on the chair to the right is my PS3. It does pretty much everything (like the ads say) - games, blu-ray, DVDs, hooks up to the internet - but no Hulu (more on that later). The silver cord and with white thing connected to it on the chair to the left, is how I hook up my MacBook Pro to my TV. This is how I watch my ultra wonderful, Hulu. The black cord going across the left chair is going to my antenna, which will hopefully find a home on the wall eventually. I don't have cable. I find I can meet most of my needs through my Hulu and PS3, at least while in grad school.
Other than streamlining (and streaming), I've been focusing on how I can decrease clutter. So continually thinking of how to have as few things (boxes, remotes, cables, etc.).
Here's what I've (mostly) decided on:
1. If Hulu decides to play nice with the world and allow streaming through my PS3 (without paying an arm and two legs - as it currently is set up), then I would use my PS3 (already own) to stream my Hulu Plus and Netflix if I decide to keep it (though unlikely).
I would digitize my entire DVD collection, put it on an external hard drive and hook it up to my PS3 via one of the usb ports. The biggest thing lacking would be the ease of use. To play my movies and TV shows on my PS3 I would have to do the equivalent of digging through folders on my external hard drive.
I could also upload all of my music onto the external hard drive, however, I would have the same problem as above. Sony really needs to add a media player to the PS3. Then it really would do everything (besides play Hulu).
2. If Hulu (or Sony, not sure who's doing it) decides to continue to play hard ball, or I decide that the non-user friendly media center on my PS3 takes away from my viewing, then I would begin saving my pennies for the ultimate entertainment hub - the Mac mini.
Here's what I would do if I got a Mac mini:
Hook it up to the TV via a HDMI cable (no converter needed!)
Store all of my previously mentioned digitized media on it.
Turn on home sharing in iTunes on my laptop and on the mini - allowing for my music to stay on my laptop (where it's most convenient) and my movies on the mini (where the hard drive could hold them)...but allowing each device play the media content as if it was it's own.
Have Hulu Desktop launch on start-up - immediate access to content.
Last, but not least, I would purchase this bad boy:
EyeTV One. He would turn my mini into a DVR. I could record the shows I know I'm going to miss, pause the show I'm watching to make dinner, edit the content to make super awesome montages of all of my favorite scenes to share with you guys (if copyright law allowed), AND (see diddy on iTunes sharing above) play my recorded TV shows in my bed on my laptop (sick days???).
AND if the mini becomes a part of my home theater (which would then be dubbed my ultimate home theater), I could control everything with my iPod Touch.
Did the world just stop spinning?? I think I felt it. Clearly, I'm not leaning toward one option :) Too bad, the mini has so much upfront cost (though by not paying for cable it pays for itself in time). I'd better start saving my pennies.
I would like to thank my friend Jenny for turning me on to these beautiful cards from Shutterfly. I must note, that I do in fact think they really are beautiful and would still think they are beautiful if Shutterfly wasn't giving away 50 free holiday cards to bloggers who blog about them (seriously, we all love Shutterfly, go on and blog about them too!).
Here's why I love them: The top left is my favorite. I love the simple elegance. I love the colors on the second one (top right). Again, the simplicity of the bottom left, mixing modern (the polka dot border) with traditional (love that script). Such a good job. On the last card (bottom right), I love how the picture is the total focus of the card with a simple, but powerful, Merry Christmas.
I also liked this one below. I think it's great for those who are making the transition from store bought to printed cards. Or if you're just exceptionally private...or have very few photos...or live by yourself and think putting you and your cat on the front of a card, might be silly. What's great about this one (and all of them above) is that you can put a photo on the inside. Love it.
Here are my favorite flat photo cards (these are the cheapest). I love the colors in these so much. They're just so pretty. I also really love the photo strip on the bottom one. I think it would super cute if you had consecutive shots (like a photo booth) of a couple or family (or cat and yourself).
I've recently decided that I'm going to start tapping into that special place in my brain where I have learned various bits of random, but useful knowledge and share them with you. To start, how to pee in the great outdoors. :)
Going to the bathroom in the great outdoors is a skill I know way too much about. However, my unnatural skill has come in handy on many occasions. Like, when I traveled overseas and one of our "rest stops" while traveling between cities was two slabs of concrete with drains in the middle (one for men and one for women) and a wall to separate them. Yep, it took the term public restroom to a whole other level.
Here's what you need to know for a successful bathroom break in the great outdoors:
Note: This is for women only, men you have it easy. Also, I'm assuming you're not peeing on a concrete pad, because if that's the case all you need to do is make sure you squat really close to the ground and keep your pants at your knees (so your pants will be higher than your pee).
1. You're number one goal is to not pee on yourself. Keep this in mind. Always. Otherwise, you will.
2. Location, Location, Location. This is where paying attention in those science and math classes will pay off. Remember your friends from physics? Gravity and Angles? Once you're away from others and are pretty sure no one else can see you, try to find slanted ground (hill? pile of dirt?).
3. Once you've picked out the spot, you have a decision to make. Pants on? Or pants off? If you chose the latter option, remember gravity when placing your clothes to the side. You don't want to place them "down stream." If you decide to go with the quicker pants on option, here's where skill comes in to play.
4. The pre-squat. This comes down to, what direction...to face, to pull your pants, etc. There are many combinations, if you're skilled in math and the laws of physics then you can figure out what will be best for your location-of-the-moment. Remember: your stream naturally goes forward a bit (take this into account when figuring out your pose). If you're not, here's my recommended combo: Face down hill in your squating position and pull your pants towards your back.
5. The squat. Leave your pants/shorts at your knees and squat as closely to the ground as possible.
7. The wipe. Unless you have toilet paper with you, try not to wipe. Just drip dry. I know it sounds gross, but you'll thank me later. If you go number 2, make sure you are 100% certain that the leaf you pick is not poisonous. Seriously. I once upon a time chose the wrong leaf to wipe. It was horrible. HORRIBLE. Imagine having to explain how you got that in that area of your body to your doctor. Just for future reference this leaf IS poisonous:
Alright, back to the main show. Once you've figured out how to dry yourself, you're done! Pull up your pants and go on with life! Freedom.
I finally decided today that I would allow my blog to be searched through search engines. I've held off because I wasn't sure if I really wanted the whole world able to find and read my blog. Now that I've started to write more geeky posts, I've decided it's just selfish of me to hoard my knowledge about technology for only my friends to access.
In light of this, I'll be slowly but surely transforming my blog...into what? I'm not totally sure, yet. I'll let you know when my ideas are done baking and ready to come out to the world. As for today, I cleaned up my design a bit...so if you're reading this in Google Reader, hop on over and see how you like it...or just see if you can notice any of the differences. You may not be able to pick them out. Here's one to get you going: a super awesome Blog Shelf. It's where you'll find sites that I love visiting and spending a Saturday afternoon browsing.
In other news, as I was looking back at my old blog posts today to make sure that I didn't post anything crazy that should not be out in the world wide web, I realized I haven't updated much about life since this summer. So here's my short bit. Since I wrote this post, life hasn't let up, if anything it got even more crazy. The best analogy is that it's been like I'm sprinting a marathon. Thankfully, per doctors orders I should be taking some time off very soon and hitting the reset button.
As I was poking around the internet today trying to learn about who I'm going to vote for tomorrow, I found this website. You take a short survey about what political items are important to you and then it tells you which candidate most closely matches your ideology. It also tells you where you are on the spectrum of liberal/conservative.
Tip: Click on the explanations of the topics. They do a good job of explaining the topics core issues in a non-partisan way.
(By the way, it's a non-partisan nationwide website.)
Desperate times call for desperate measures. (Grad school + no dishwasher) x history of not doing dishes = unnecessary stress from a sink full of dirty dishes and eating cereal with serving spoon out of tupperware bowls or cups. It started with paper bowls to stop the previously mentioned situations from happening and about a month ago I fully adopted an un-green kitchen. I packed up my silverware (as to not tempt myself) and stocked my cabinets with paper plates, paper bowls, plastic cups, and plastic cutlery.
and I have Anxiety. The capitalization of A in anxiety was intentional. I'm talking about Anxiety as in this.
My therapist says I do an amazing job at keeping it under wraps (not managed, hidden), so much so that for the last year I haven't believed her about it. It's likely that it's been present most of my life in a much milder form, however, when I hit one of my major life events in the last few years, especially grad school, it blew up and turned into a big bad ass disorder. Sometimes I have anxiety attacks, other times it's just a perpetual beast. Actually, I call it my "little monster." I don't mean monster it a super crazy way, but like the monsters from Monsters, Inc. My little monster grows and shrinks inside of me depending on the day, the situation, because it woke up on the wrong side of the bed - sometimes (a lot of the time) it grows for no apparent reason. At it's simplest, it sucks. At it's most complex, it's debilitating.
Well, my little monster is growing now as we speak about it, so I'll cut this short and see if I can build a machine like the one in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.
I posted Tommy Knox's "Anxiety Again (3 am)" in on my video page a year or so ago. I just found this music video of the same song - it's really good - and really accurate.
I'm asked this question often, mostly in regards to my phone (android), but I also purchase a far amount of apps for my computer as well. Here are the last 5 apps that I've purchased...
Clean My Mac - my most recent purchase. More out of desperation than desire. It's the best. Expensive. But according to MacWorld it's rated 4 and 1/2 mice. MacUpdate also thinks it's pretty decent too with a much more traditional 4 stars. The reason I sprang for this software was because when it comes to "cleaning" my computer I take it seriously. Like, I seriously don't want the wrong things cleaned off of my computer.
By the way, my total "recovered" thus far is 4+ gb.
RipIt - I use this for ripping my dvds on to my computer. My goal is to eliminate my dvd collection and instead have it all on a computer. Less clutter, less hassle, and way easier to search, especially when wanting to watch certain tv episodes. I've found RipIt to be SUPER easy. I'll specify is where I want to play it when I'm done and it determines what format it needs to be in. Example: I say I want to play it on itunes it puts it in the appropriate itunes format. Or if I say I want to play it on my PS3 then it puts it in the correct format for that one. I love this app. Seriously.
Tagalicious - My music collection would not be the same - even close to the same - without this. This little sucker can identify (magically) all those "untitled albums" I had lurking in my itunes library. I had no idea how much more music I had until I got it all tagged, which wasn't that hard by the way. It has a great user interface which always makes me feel more confident in an application. This also inadvertently helped me find many duplicate songs I didn't know existed.
Rowmote - This is an app for my iPod Touch (that I got free with my Mac - love being a student). I use to to extend the power of the Apple Remote app to the other applications on my computer - at the time, Hulu Desktop. It's a nice little app that let's me control my computer from my couch. Now, I'll also admit that I had an itunes gift card, which also influenced the purchase of this. Not sure if I would have purchased it otherwise, but I've found it helpful. Also, I sang "Row You're Mote" (to the tune of Row You're Boat the entire time it took me to find and upload this picture).
Chronories - This was my very first application I purchased on my new Mac. It automates my journaling. It also has little flashing things go off in my tool bar to remind me to write a bit or snap a picture or rate my mood. I recommend checking out their website and checking out their video. It would take me a long time to explain why I chose to spend $29 on this. For me, someone who is a tad forgetful, seems to always be going at the speed of light, but wants to have a record of my life, it's perfect.
Looks like I lied about not updating soon in my last post. I've learned I can't predict when I get in my posting modes. When the next mood arises I'll put together a post on my free apps that I use. There's a few more of those, get a excited. While you wait I suggest checking out LifeHacker if you haven't already. Love reading it.
Sadly, I decided not to get my love-at-first-sight for to shield my laptop from the world. Though, I am considering her for non-laptop related issues. Anyway, in the laptop arena, we have a winner. While at Bags and Baggage this weekend I came across this beauty from PacSafe.
This picture does horrible justice. It's actually rather beautiful.
And as an awesome bonus, check out it's safety features...
So the reason for this ultra safe purchase? Besides, living in hit or miss safe/unsafe zone and working in probably (not probably, actually) the most unsafe area of town, I've also recently decided to apply (read: not accepted yet) for a two-week study aboard program in India over winter break this year.
I know. Seriously.
The best part is that I could earn 3 credits (read: last class ever) and learn about how social welfare works in India. Seriously? I can't believe I even have the opportunity to apply.
Sometime in August I realized I wasn't going to make it through this school year relying on my (frequently broken) work laptop and 8 year old desktop to get me through long paper writing sessions. So one weekend I up and decided to buck up and buy a laptop. I should note for those who don't know me all that well, that this type of rash behavior is highly abnormal for me in the purchase of items. I like to research and think a lot (and a LONG time) before making a purchase (I give credit to my father for this skill). Recently, unknowingly adopted a much healthier habit that appears to becoming a trend. Research with Consumer Reports (or find other source that I trust for a recommendation), make decision, sleep on it, purchase. I must say this is much less stressful and way more enjoyable.
Anyway, back to my main point. Sometime in the last month I purchased a beautiful 13" MacBook Pro. I would like to credit my friend Caroline for her seal-the-deal recommendation of MacBooks. Once she told she loved her Mac I was half way out the door. Then if I didn't have enough confirmation. I found out later that the uber-hip Rachel and Victoria recently got MacBook Pros as well. Validation station. Add MacBook Pro to the list of cool kid things. If you're not keeping track, we've got: Android phone (check), MacBook Pro (check), do your own laundry (...umm...).
On with the post...
I'm thoroughly impressed with the Apple Store shopping experience. It was delightful. Yes, delightful. I arrived at the store excited to buy my computer and was all types of happy when I left. Read: I did not leave feeling cheated, unappreciated, or taken advantage of - you know, the feeling you often have after interacting with a "good" salesperson (aka someone who can rob you blind and take a happy day and turn it sad). Apple Store = good feelings. I could probably ramble on forever about the number of things I was impressed with, like not having checkout lanes, but I'll spare you for now. Though I'm not sure I can hold back forever. Expect some extra geeky posts coming up.
For all the Macsters out there in the world, I'll leave you with this:
I've finally come to accept that I'm not super woman.
So I've decided to swallow my very large pride and graduate in May instead of December. It turns out that subjecting myself to torture to finish doesn't actually have any advantages.
Now I just need to figure out how to unapply for graduation in December. By the way, my compromise with myself was that when I graduate in May I'm having a stupidly huge graduation party to celebrate...and most of all to say thanks to everyone who stuck by while I made it to the finish line. Officially, consider yourself invited. It'll most likely be the Sunday evening of KU's graduation in May, whatever date that is. Location is TBD in Kansas City.
Isn't this not the most beautiful bag ever?? I was looking for a laptop bag when I came across it. It turns out that the straps are adjustable, so it could be a purse or a messenger type bag (and all the while fitting my laptop too!). I can't find any reason not to get it...
And now for the laptop sleeve (many more options...tough decision):
A gorgeous Etsy find.
I doubt my laptop would ever get seriously injured in this bad boy.
I know this guy isn't as pretty as the others, but he's really well known for his durability.
Wait, that's not a laptop sleeve, how did that get in here? Oh because it is the real reason I wanted to write this post, but sadly I can't afford this guy. Nonetheless, look how beautiful it is? And look how good I would look with it on...
And by the way, someone should buy this and wear it to a game. Please?
This picture seems like the perfect 100th post for my blog. We enjoyed some amazing fondue at The Melting Pot...the chocolate took me to a little place only reserved for the most incrediable of experiences and being in the presence of good friends, with great conversation, was the perfect ending to a day.
There's been some growing happening over the last few months. A lot of it. I had reached the place of being pretty certain I couldn't handle anymore several times this summer, then God would always surprise me with the ability to make it through the next thing. It's like when you lift weights, if you lift the same weight everytime, you'll only grow to be able to handle this amount of weight. However, if you increase the weight, your muscles will grow to be able to handle more and more weight. I think of the tv ads I see for the P 90X system, when they talk about how they get you to see results with the science of muscle confusion. For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, I've included a video for you...
This summer has been fairly similar to this process of "muscle confusion" only instead of muscles, it's been emotion and my coping capacity. Though recapping the summer growing times seems like a lot of fun, I'll go ahead and pass. I think my time would probably be better spent finishing my papers for class, that I pray that I'm able to finish on time.
So I just downloaded a new camera app a few days ago that makes artsy photos on the fly. Most apps like this really suck or are to complicated/basic for the everyday user. Camera 360 knows whats going on...simple enough that I can use it without a manual but artsy enough that I feel like I'm actually getting some that would take me forever to figure out on my own.
By the way in case you haven't already met him, this is my little man, Sawyer. I love how his paw came out so big and distinct. Totally couldn't have done this one on my own.
In other news, school is in full swing for the summer. It makes me want to puke...someone should have shot me when I thought working full-time and going to school part-time was a good idea. Oh well, only a few more months and papers until I never have to do school again. No words can describe the joy I have toward finishing school...again. Only 160ish days.
This post was initially inspired by my friend Rachel who recently got a Droid, but I can almost safely say that Rach has already become well acustomed to many of the apps and all fun stuff that goes with it, being the tech saavy and internet guru that she is. So, this post is now for all the new Android phone loving owners out there.
Things you need to know:
1. Go crazy with downloading apps. That's 90% of the fun in owning a phone with a HUGE marketplace. However, download one at a time and get a security software first that will scan each download. I use MyLookout. I really like, because it also backsup my phone each night and does a virus scan while I sleep. There's tons out, so take your pick. When you decide you wouldn't actually use an app just uninstall it (from the market place or the settings menu).
2. Don't get a home replacement app yet. Don't know what that is, even better (e.g. OpenHome, pandahome, GDE, Home++,aHome, etc). They SUCK your battery like a kid deprived of food. Only after you've had your phone for awhile consider looking at one...others may disagree on this, but the user interface is really fine for a bit. But that's all opinions. I've had some awesome home replacement apps that I loved, some cool themes, but found they made my phone slow and battery drain.
3. Get a task killer. There are tons. Your battery will thank you. Advanced Task Killer is probably most popular, but there are losts of other great ones. Word of caution: be careful what you kill. Kill the alarm, your alarm clock probably won't go off. Also, there are some process (that most task managers will ignore anyway) that are critical to the system and your phone will go crazy if you kill. Don't panic if it does. Simply reboot your phone then kill them one at a time until you figure out which one not to kill. Also, there are some programs that will start themselves again right after killing them, making them extra annoying. If you have some that do this and are really draining your battery, I have a app I use to take care of this and the annoying boatware that comes on when you boot...StartupAuditor, it cost money, and be careful when using it.
4. More on battery life. Be aware of what your doing on your phone. Live wallpapers look super cool, but totally drain your battery. I recommend finding either a picture you like or getting on flicr and finding a good wallpaper. Also, widgets drain power too. However, not as much, so just don't go insane with them. Other big battery killers are any apps that will update itself for you...think a twitter app for instance, in order to notify you of new tweets or mentions it probably has a default setting for how often it will check for updates. Almost all of these setting can be disabled. For an everyday phone user, I'd say just check these settings for each app to make sure no one is sucking your battery without your permission. For tech saavy people, like my friend Rachel, I would recommend downloading Spare Parts. It's an app that can tell you the history of how your battery has been used among other things. What's unique about this app is that this app is from code google wrote for the Android OS, so it brings to life settings you didn't know you had.
5. Read user comments. Before downloading an app, check out the first 10+ comments to get a good idea if this app will work with your phone or is worth it.
6. Yes, you can totally customize. You can change up all your icons if you want. CAUTION: hours of your life may randomly disappear while customizing the look of your phone. :) Try the app AnyCut (I went straight for BetterCut the paid app in the beginning, so I'm not sure the differences...but their made by the same people). You can dowload icon packs from the market, just search "icons."
7. Oh yes, also make sure you find a good "if your phone gets stolen" app. I use Mobile Defense, mostly because this app "hides" itself so someone doesn't know you have it on there and try to uninstall it. Plus, some other cool features.
8. Alright, so here are a few of my personal favs when it comes to my apps. For Twitter, I use Twicca, I really like the interface and that you can lable use a certain color, so all my friends come up with a purple bar next to them and my politcians a green one...it's however you want to set it up.
FeedSquares is another personal fav for an rss reader (aka google reader). It's really neat how it displays them, but there are some other great apps for this out their too.
I almost forgot, Blogaway, the app I'm currently using to post this blog post from my phone.
There are many more apps and bits of knowledge to share, but I should probably go to work, so I'll leave you with that for today!
This post is in celebration of my new Geektastic page, where I'm now putting my super geeky posts and links so you'll have no need to hunt for that super awesome link I once told you about that could magically make your computer turn into a flying saucer. My boss recently upgraded her well loved phone to a very awesome Droid (an Android phone)...which got me thinking about what I would recommend as my "must have" apps. (Maybe I should mention that I have a Samsung Moment, another Android phone). So for your viewing pleasure here are the apps I think rock (in no particular order)...
(It turns out that after spending the time deciding which apps I thought were most awesome, I'm now so tired I have to take the easy way out and just cut and paste my list instead of making it look all pretty. So I apologize for the not pretty formatting).
Look at that window sparkle! I was surprisingly in the mood to do some spring cleaning today, which was really spurred by the massive quanity of cat hair I was finding around the house and spending a little bit too much time on Apartment Therapy. So cleaned the cat (first priority) and the clumps of his winter coat. Then I went fancy and decided to clean the windows and the blinds. Well, most of them...I still have two sets of particularly gross blinds in the bathtub. Let's just hope these don't end up like the dishes I had in the tub for a month and showered around... (one of my best ideas for my kitchen with no dishwasher).
On the subject of easter eggs, apparently there is a secret Ninja Blue theme in Google Reader. The guy who enlightened me, Ilidio Martins, says this is how to crack the code and get the Ninja's: "When you enter Google Reader you can activate the Ninja Blue Theme. To activate Ninja Theme just press the followings keys: up | up | down | down | left | right | left | right | b | a To undo this repeat sequence :) " Confirmed. It works. And is ninjatastic.
No, not that type of Easter egg. This type of easter egg. If you'll reading in Google Reader, you'll have to hop over to my actually site to appreciate this post. First, to understand the "easter egg" part of this blog trick I did, you may want to know (if you haven't discovered this on your own) that my blog contains no identifying information. This extremely intentional. The people I work with are frequently seeking to find out as much personal information as they can about me and if they were find out any such information (aka this blog - and know it was me) it would be very damaging to the work I do. I've had some awkward and scary situations that I hope to never repeat, thus why I'm super stealth. (Of course, I could never give in and just not have a blog, that's why I go all CIA on it).
On with the show, after getting tired of looking at the blogger icon (the orange "B") in all my tabs, I decided to figure out how to replace it. And to my amazement it worked!! Check out my new icon!
I'll admit that it was a little tricky, but I found that using Google Sites and then right clicking on the image I uploaded and "copy image URL," solved most of my problems.
Also, I recently did a test to see which browser gave me faster internet. Google Chrome won. In light of this win, I decided to change my "theme" to a wood one so it would look like a wooden desk.
By the way, after my recent discovery of the speediest browser, I now officially endorse Chrome. Check out my videos page for an awesome Google Chrome video that I am currently hand selecting from the millions on YouTube that adequately explains my love for it. :)
Love my neighbors. This is the note I received this morning from one of them after he saw my car parked outside last night. He also had talked with another neighbor and was having him listen to see if he heard movement in my apartment, because they were concerned that maybe they had just brought my car back to the apartment but had taken me to the hospital. To answer his question, yes, I'm just fine...just a sore neck and back at this point.
My car on the other hand has seen better days...
Thankfully, it was not my fault and I have a great insurance company. More to come...maybe, but alas I think my rental car may finally be here!
Ah, another year, another number. When I got up this morning I decided this years birthday theme would be hoedown, which may have been influenced by the WAY cute wild west cowboy party my friend had for her son's first birthday. It also happened to work out well since I had requested barbeque for my birthday dinner :). So naturally, I wore my cowgirl shirt to work to celebrate and then partied hoedown style with my family. I love my family...they're great at rolling with the punches! (because by the way, I informed them of the theme of my birthday dinner an hour before it...whoops). Oh, and sadly I forgot to take pictures...I was having too much fun or sick from too much cookie cake and bbq.
On a totally different topic, I love these colors! I think this is my new favorite color pallet.
Here's the back story on how I found this arrangement (because I know everyone was wondering): On the way home from my parents, I bought myself flowers as a birthday gift and to have something pretty to look at all night as I typed my last paper for classes this semester (wahoo!). So I get home, put the roses in a vase, make them look pretty, and set them next to my computer. Next thing I know I have a cat zooming across the table and devouring the beautiful arrangement. Luckily, he responds really well to "NO" and not much damage was done. One thing led to another and as I researching whether roses were poisonous for cats, I found a website (ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center) that created a pet-friendly collection of flower arrangements through one of those big flower companies, with a bonus of 20% of the proceeds going to their organization. Who knew someone would ever think to create a pet-friendly collection so you could rest easy knowing the flowers you sent won't kill your friends beloved pets? Crazy world out there.