Sunday, October 28, 2012


Having grown up in Florida I've experienced lots of different hurricanes over the years but I think one of the first scary hurricanes was hurricane Floyd in September 1999. I grew up in Central Florida and on the picture above we lived on the East coast where the Space Center is on the little part of the coast that juts out a little, so pretty close to where the hurricane was to hit. Of course, as luck would have it, hurricane Floyd came in September, the weekend of my birthday! And not just a regular birthday, I spent my 21st birthday in the dark with bottled water, boarded up windows and lots of books read by flashlight. Even Walmart was shut down and you know it has to be BIG for a Walmart to close! I'm not much of a drinker so I wasn't too bummed I didn't go out and do the whole bar scene or even try to buy alcohol but it does make for a memorable birthday.

Hurricanes can also be fun, well, before the cops drive through your condo complex and make you leave ;) My friend got some pics of me jumping straight up in the air and then getting blown a few feet away. It was very bizarre, I never experienced wind that strong before! 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Time Suck-- The Helicopter Game

Uh oh, I sense some carpal tunnel pain in my future! I forget about this game except about once every 3 or 4 years and then get addicted quickly. If you need something to do this weekend check it out!

The Helicopter Game

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Binders Full of Women Tumblr

This has to be my favorite election related joke site yet. Thanks Mitt Romney for mentioning your binders full of women, great idea! Here are a few of my favorites:

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Fault In Our Stars

This book turned out to be one of my favorite books I've read all year. Currently I'm almost at my goal of 35 books for the year and out of the 34 I've read so far I'd say this one is definitely in my top 5. I'm not sure what it was exactly but this story really got my attention and held it the whole way, reading the book in only a day. With the lure of television and the internet I don't often devote enough time to read a book in a day much anymore, hence the reason my goal was only 35 books for a year. Many years ago 35 books a year would be nothing. Since I'm not reading as much I've been trying to be a little more choosey about what I do read and I am glad I made the time to read this one.

Time Magazine called this book "damn near genius" and I would say I have to agree. It isn't a book with a light subject, any time a kid has cancer its devastating so you have to be able to look past that a bit to enjoy the story. The main characters, Hazel Lancaster and Augustus Waters meet at a Cancer Kid Support Group and end up becoming close friends and later a couple. Being high school aged and in a relationship is hard enough but when both have cancer in a very serious stage it changes a lot of the dynamics. You can't help but read and put yourself in their shoes. This review from Amazon sums it up beautifully.
At 16, Hazel Grace Lancaster, a three-year stage IV–cancer survivor, is clinically depressed. To help her deal with this, her doctor sends her to a weekly support group where she meets Augustus Waters, a fellow cancer survivor, and the two fall in love. Both kids are preternaturally intelligent, and Hazel is fascinated with a novel about cancer called An Imperial Affliction. Most particularly, she longs to know what happened to its characters after an ambiguous ending. To find out, the enterprising Augustus makes it possible for them to travel to Amsterdam, where Imperial’s author, an expatriate American, lives. What happens when they meet him must be left to readers to discover. Suffice it to say, it is significant. Writing about kids with cancer is an invitation to sentimentality and pathos—or worse, in unskilled hands, bathos. Happily, Green is able to transcend such pitfalls in his best and most ambitious novel to date. Beautifully conceived and executed, this story artfully examines the largest possible considerations—life, love, and death—with sensitivity, intelligence, honesty, and integrity. In the process, Green shows his readers what it is like to live with cancer, sometimes no more than a breath or a heartbeat away from death.

I can only imagine how I might feel in their situation. To be 16 and in "love", what a dramatic time that is but to add in the fact that both parties have terminal diseases? That must intensify things tremendously! Most teens probably feel like their first love is THE ONE but to know that your first love really will be your O.N.L.Y. love because both of you have a terminal disease? Wow!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

My favorite iPhone Features with the New Software Update

 The link above is where you can find the rest of the tips, these are the ones that I'll be using a lot.

1. I had no idea iBooks could turn them into audio books, what a great feature! I read a lot on my phone so I may have to switch and have Siri read me my book!
  • Turn iBooks into audio books: Like most smartphones, the iPhone has a number of accessibility options. One feature is called VoiceOver and it can read aloud any text on the screen. While designed primarily for the seeing impaired, anyone can take advantage of this feature if they want to turn an e-book into an audiobook. Now you can listen while commuting to and from work, while closing your eyes in bed or when jogging down the street. To activate it, go to Settings, then General, followed by Accessibility. Finally, swipe to change VoiceOver from Off to On. You'll also be able to tweak settings, such as the speed of voice reading to you. She sounds like the voice of Siri, by the way.
2. This one is cool but I don't think I'd use it as much but when I do it will come in handy. 

Quick access a draft email: You probably know you can start an email and save it as a draft to finish or review at a later time -- if not, when you're typing an email, tap Cancel and then select Save Draft — but here's a super quick way to access your message draft when you're ready to continue working on it: Open up the Mail app, touch and hold the Compose button (the icon of the small pencil in the square) and after a second or two it'll automatically take you to your last saved message draft. Neat, huh? Otherwise, you need to open Mail, select the email account, select Drafts and then find the messages
3.  Send multiple photos at the same time. I have already used this feature more than once and it is very handy
 To send multiple photos to the same contact (say, in an email or iMessage), open the Photos app and then tap on an album, such as Camera Roll. Now tap the Select icon in the top right of your iPhone screen. Now you can tap to choose any photo you'd like to send to someone. Once you've selected the desired pics, tap Share in the bottom right of the screen and you'll have three options: Email, Message or Print 
4.  Tell Siri the entire email. I do use Siri in the car mostly for sending a quick test and its so much safer that some of the others I see around me .
iPhone 4S owners probably go through a lengthy back-and-forth with Siri just to compose an email. Most people say the person's name and then, when prompted, the subject line, and finally, the body of the email. But did you know you can do it all in one fell swoop? For example, hold down the home button and say "Remind my wife about the party and say don't forget to pick up a bottle of red wine tonight." Siri will know who your spouse is (or will ask you once) and place that in the To: field, and because you said "about" the party, Siri knows you want that in the Subject (Re:) field. You also said "and say," which places words you said after that into the body of the email. This will all save you time

3 Tips to Staying Friends During the Election

Its that time of the year that I really hate, when everyone on Facebook or Twitter is spouting off their opinions of the politicians running for office. Sometimes seeing the comments and status updates from friends or family makes me really angry, sad and disappointed because so much of it is emotional and not always based on facts. I don't know if you are like me or not but seeing what they've posted can be depressing because it can lower my opinion of them if I see that they post things full of hate, lies or supporting things that I'm totally against. I wonder if they'd talk like that to all 500+ of their friends? I doubt it. 

3 tips to maintain Facebook friendships during the election:

1. If you do not agree with their political stance and they are polite, agree to disagree and don't engage in any debates. If they get into a discussion on Facebook, don't get involved if its starting to heat up. Let them get ticked off with their other friends!

2. Block their posts. If you care about your friendship with someone but can't stand their frequent comments about the election do yourself and your friendship a favor and just put them on block until the election is over. You hide them easily from clogging up your Facebook page but you can still access each other's Walls.

3. Create a separate friend list for your political friends so that you can post freely on your wall without your friends and family getting offended by your political rants. I have an online buddy who does this and for her it has been working out great. She can post any kind of article, video, quote or comment without worrying that she is offending her non political friends. I call that a win-win situation!

I wrote this post after reading a comment on Facebook from my cocky and somewhat pompous younger brother. I debated whether or not I should block or unfriend him. I have unfriended others for less, thats for sure! For now I won't unfriend him. Really, that would be embarrassing to admit later once I'd cool off.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

I've been sort of toying around with making my reading goals next year include more classic books. I read a lot of them in high school and college but the few I've gone back to read again meant a lot more to me now as an adult than they did when I was a student. Reading them for pleasure is so different than reading to complete an assignment or to write a paper. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is definitely one of the ones that I know I read as a student but I don't remember any of it. A few parts seemed familiar but I didn't remember the gist of the story or a lot of key things that happened. I'm assuming I probably read it fast since its not a huge book and probably breezed through the rest of the assignment. I really wish I could get a do over on some of my schooling and put a little more effort into it!

So, on to the book. It started out really slowly for me and I was a bit worried it would take forever to finish but it did pick up. I was reading this on the Kindle app on my iPhone and iPad so I was paying attention to the percentage of completion and it dragged on until I got to 48% done. I wouldn't say it was a page turner, a lot of classics wouldn't be categorized as page turners, but it did get a lot more enjoyable once I hit about the half way point. I've never been to New York but a lot of what was described in the book could be any older city in the Northeast. Francie, the main character, is about the same age as my grandmothers and I thought a lot about how their lives must have been back then. I don't think my dad's mother was either poor or rich but my other grandmother grew up as part of a large family over in Ireland before they moved to Boston so I thought a lot about how her life must have been. Francie's family was extremely poor and a lot of their choices in life were due to the fact that they didn't have money, sometimes not even enough for food and certainly not enough for all to thrive. I'm very thankful we were never that poor but it is interesting to think of how your ancestors might have had similar experiences.

I would recommend this book, especially if you like the Northeast cities set during the early 1900's. I may have my 11 yr old daughter read this sometime this school year. Any opportunity you have to add life lessons here and there are always appreciated!

Available on Amazon, starting at $3.29--what a bargain!

(includes affiliate link)


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