Musings From A Musical Mind

Posts tagged ‘IPad’

Dish TV

This is such a random post – but since we all tend to write about what we like, I thought I would share a pretty cool feature from Dish TV.

We have always been cable TV people, but when we recently relocated to east of the mountains in Washington, cable TV seemed expensive compared with Dish or Direct TV.  It was suggested that we try Dish TV.   One of the many features that we LOVE is the ability to record programs – but play them back on iPhone, iPad or anything portable with WiFi.  This has been a HUGE benefit, as there are many times that Greg wants to watch football or other sports shows on our flat screen and now I am not forced to watch them as well.  I can just log into our Dish account and watch my recorded programs on my iPad with my headphones on and be in the same room.  It’s pretty nice 🙂

Dish also has a cool feature called “The Hopper” which automatically skips all the commercials for prime time TV shows.  It also records all the prime time programs so you can watch them anytime.  With “The Hopper” DVR you can record up to six programs at once.  So handy!  We could only record two at a time on cable and many times had to choose between a third program we normally recorded and watched.  Now we don’t have to choose.

 

If you are wondering if Dish saves money – it does!  There is a promotion on right now – sign up with Dish and get a free iPad or $20 off every month for the first year.  We pay only $44.00 per month.

English: Logo of Dish TV

English: Logo of Dish TV (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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The Mouse In The Corner

Yesterday I drove with Greg on one of his many road trips.  He does weddings and funerals for a living and has numerous meetings throughout the week for these weddings and funerals.  It was raining the whole way there.  He dropped me off at a local Starbucks – then went on to his meeting.  It was a day much like any other.  We have done this hundreds of times before.

 

 

 

But yesterday was different.  Fall is in the air.  And, so it seems – tempers and grumbling – at least where I was.  I had chosen a table in the middle of the coffee shop and noticed 3 little girls sitting in the back next to what appeared to be their mother and grandmother with a baby in a car seat on the floor beside them.  It is a little unusual to see children in a Starbucks, so I was curious and smiled at them as I sat down.  My back was to them and I was very quiet – at my own little table with my iPad – reading and playing games, trying to mind my own business.  However as I sat there I became increasingly aware of two very different conversations going on around me.  The children’s “mother” was agitated the whole time.  They were there a good 1/2 hour after I sat down – there’s no telling how long they were there before I came in.  Ahead of me were 2 young females in their early 20’s.  One had her back to me and I couldn’t hear what she was saying – if in fact she was saying anything at all.  The one facing me seemed to be doing all the talking.  It was really quite humorous and hard to concentrate on what I was reading.  The young girl – though not unattractive, was certainly drawing attention to herself by talking in a raised voice – so that everyone there heard her rants about a “stupid guy that would not call her back” – her disgust and hatred of children – (she called them “kids”) and how amazed she was that she couldn’t get anyone interested in her!  I smiled while looking down at my iPad.  I felt like raising my hand and saying, “I know – pick me” but somehow I don’t think my comment or any remarks would be welcomed.

Roller Girl yelling

Roller Girl yelling (Photo credit: San Diego Shooter)

Behind me the woman with the baby and 3 little girls kept yelling in an attempt to keep order.  I felt sorry for these girls.  How could they be expected to just sit there for so long?  When one had to go to the bathroom – I thought the woman was going to have a stroke!  Such language and rude comments!  I couldn’t hear if the older woman with her was giving her any good advice – or even talking at all – because the  mom dominated the conversation the entire time.  I couldn’t even imagine what it would have been like for the young woman in front of me doing all the talking, to try to have a conversation with the young mom behind me!  Who would listen?

 

 

English: A young girl kisses a baby on the cheek.

English: A young girl kisses a baby on the cheek. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have witnessed rudeness in restaurants in much the same way.  Someone doing all of the talking at a nearby table and talking louder than normal to draw attention.  I have witnessed young moms in grocery stores who are out of control and I genuinely feel sorry for the baby or young child throwing a fit or crying incessantly. I know that the mom is to blame.  There is always a way to diffuse a volatile situation with children.   Yelling and being cruel – embarrassing them or finding a way to humiliate them in public is not the way.

 

 

 

As I sat there and heard the sniffling from these little girls – I felt so bad for them.  They are trapped.  Trapped with a mother who is overworked, tired and fed up.  I’m sure that her temper and exhaustion is taken out on them.  And too often, those little ones grow up to be exactly the same way.

 

 

 

I wondered if that young girl ahead of me doing all the “trash talking” was one of those.  She had not had good classy role models in her life and would never attract the right kind of man.  Was she doomed to a mediocre life where everyone else is to blame and there is not empathy or humanity?  Where simply being courteous would never occur to them?

 

 

 

What a crazy world we live in.  It’s hard to even wrap my brain around it some days.  And yet I always try to see the best in everyone.  It rarely changes anything – but still I try to never lose hope.  And I always wish there was something I could do.

 

 

 

As this young family walked out of the door in front of me I stole a glance at the  mom’s face.  “Why – she was really young!” ,   I said to myself.  She looked about 25 or so – funny.  She had sounded so much older in her anger.  I think she used to be very pretty.  But now she was just tired and angry.  The “grandmother” looked the same way.  No hope there.  No help for her.  Her life was probably over.  I whispered a little prayer for her little family.  That God somehow would be able to make a difference, shine hope in a dark place and that they would be able to call upon Him.

 

 

 

Can simple kindness, compassion and love really make a difference?  Jesus thought so.  That is why He chose to come to our crazy mixed up world.  To give simple hope to the hopeless and show compassion to the lost and hurting.  Help me Lord.  Help me be in a place where I can really make a difference and help others that are struggling – not just overhear a conversation or two.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

God Bless

 

 

 

Timehop

Timehop menu

Timehop menu (Photo credit: Yandle)

Last week my friend Deanna introduced me to a wonderful little app called “Timehop”.  When downloaded on to iPhone, iPad or desktop computer this app allows you to see what you wrote on facebook up to four years ago.  I have been enjoying the pictures and status updates from a time long ago – even if it’s just last year.

As a long time journal writer – it has always been interesting to me when I write something.  Not just why I write it – but when.  And I have always had this weird practice of going back and looking at where I was one year ago or further.  When I was in high school I kept journals pretty religiously (I still have them) and would write down at night before bed, what I was going through or feeling at that exact moment.  Then I would look back at what I was doing or feeling one month before on that exact date.  It was always enlightening to me – and usually it was remarkable how I made it through a hurt or disappointment that I thought would finish me.  Keeping a record helped me remember.  And be thankful.

It is much the same with Timehop.  Only this time I am grown up.  And yet still – there are things I have gone through and still continue to go through.  It is a positive thing to see how far I’ve come from year to year.  And though things are often not expressed in those updates – I know and remember where I was and what was going on in my world.

How about you?  Do you ever timehop?  What would be your reaction to see what you were doing one year ago today, or two, three or four?

Try it out!  You will love it.

 

God Bless

Where’s My Music?

Spotify Logo

Spotify Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have always had a love/hate relationship with my CD/Radio.  There is a shelf for it in my bathroom.  Up until recently it has sat there, willing and able to play CD’s or a radio station of my choosing.  I like to have music going while I shower and get ready for my day.

 

The love part of the relationship is this:  I LOVE good music.

 

The hate part of the relationship is this:  I HATE commercials.

 

When listening to radio I have discovered there are TONS of commercials.  I really hate them.

 

When I listen to my own CD – because of the moisture in the bathroom – the CD sometimes skips or won’t play at all.

I have loved Spotify free service on my iMac so I decided to try Spotify premium service for a month so that I could listen to my playlist on my mobile devices and more particularly in the bathroom.  This meant getting rid of the clunky CD player and buying a speaker dock for my iPhone.

 

I actually tried one – returned it and tried another one.  Then because I didn’t want to pay for music from a monthly subscription like Spotify – I decided to explore internet radio.

 

I bought an app for .99 that allows me to access radio from around the world – COMMERCIAL FREE.  It is called SHOUTcast.

 

SHOUTcast

SHOUTcast (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I can play it from my iPhone or iPad in my bathroom – my favorites include easy listening stations and movie soundtracks.  They are my new favorites.  Can’t wait to try Christmas stations.

And now there is commercial free music coming from a radio station of music that I love – any time I am in the bathroom getting ready for the day – or winding down for the night.

If you are a music lover – you will love this option on your mobile devices!  And if you have not yet discovered having a speaker dock for your mobile devices – I highly recommend Sony – great speaker sound and has a digital radio with it – with the clock displayed on the front.  Great for at night when I get up to go to the bathroom 🙂  It even has a remote – just like this one in the picture.  I use the remote ALL THE TIME – especially for Spotify tunes or tunes from my own playlist in iTunes.  I know you will love it!

Sony Speaker Dock/Clock Radio for iPhone

Sony Speaker Dock/Clock Radio for iPhone (Photo credit: John Biehler)

 

Happy listening!

 

God Bless

 

Just Another Coffee Kind Of Day

Today I sit and drink coffee at a familiar setting but in another town, listening to my iPad music library through my earphones. The sights and sounds are all around me. I am trying hard to block out the conversations near my table. But I must admit that I am intrigued by others and what they have to say. I am not purposely eavesdropping – you could call it a ‘forced eavesdrop’ only in that I am in a confined area with no where else to go. And things are especially loud if I can hear them even with my music blasting away.

The weather is nice today – not quite as hot as what I thought it would be. Not hot like Leavenworth a couple of weeks ago, which was around 100 degrees! It is clear and about 85 – at least where I am today. The nice weather brings people to Starbucks to have iced coffees, frappuccinos and other iced beverages. People are gathered around tables, happily sipping from their plastic cups. Behind me is the ice machine and I hear coffee brewing and blenders whirling. It is just a matter of time before I take out the earphones and give in to the noise around me. At least for now.

There is a young woman in the corner absorbed in her book, “The Coldest City” (it looks intriguing) and some guy on his laptop across the lobby. He wears a pony-tail and glasses, shorts and boots.

A local policeman just interrupted me while standing and waiting for his drink on the bar to ask me, “is that a bluetooth keyboard? – I mean – does it work well?” I explained to him that it does. Both the iPad and keyboard are bluetooth compatible. “How about that”, he said. Many people have seen laptops in here and probably iPads too – but I have a separate wireless keyboard which I LOVE and I’m realizing that it is not something most people are used to seeing.

The policeman sits in a lounge chair near the window and reads his phone messages. He could use an iPad 🙂 And a wireless keyboard.

Have a great weekend

God Bless

I Can’t See You

Reading glasses

Reading glasses (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yesterday Greg and I went to the optometrist to see if our vision had changed in the last two years.  I am an occasional glasses wearer and Greg proudly wears contacts – claiming that his vision is never blurry.

Our doctor was very knowledgable and humorous as well. He let Greg and me have our eye exam at the same time all the while making us laugh – or we made him laugh, not sure which – but I know we laughed quite a bit during the appointment. He is interested in the way the eye works and gave wonderful examples using things around us and even space – to illustrate his points. Since I have always been fascinated with anything to do with “space” – it was fun AND informative.

After examining my eyes for distance and nearness – it was determined that my eyes still have not changed that much over the last 10 or 15 years – except for that pesky problem reading while having my glasses on for distance. So I will now have the type of prescription called a “progressive lens” that will be good for both and now I will no longer have to take my glasses off while watching TV to check messages or play games on my iPad or iPhone. I also have had to do this with my prescription sun glasses in the car.

Since I am one of those who only wears glasses to watch TV or drive – I asked Dr. Louie if he thought that it is acceptable – or even good for my eyes to only wear them once in a while.  He responded with, “Sure – but you might be missing some things :)”

An interesting thought. What am I missing? If I can’t see you clearly at quite a long distance – is this bad? Since I am used to things in the distance being a little blurry – I don’t know anything different.   I am oblivious of what I am missing.

How many times are we oblivious of things just outside our ability to see, hear or sense them?  The chaos, the noise, the distractions – that are there – and yet, not there.

Anyway – these progressive lenses allow me to see both distance clearly and up close – but I do have to adjust.  I’m just not used to them.  And I guess that’s how it is in real life too.  Constant adjustments for things I can see and things I can’t.  Maybe we all need to have occasional adjustments in our spirit so we can see things clearly.

Just a thought…

God Bless

When Things Work

Most things in our lives work.  It is when they don’t, that we notice.

Image representing Apple as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

I now am the proud owner of three devices – an iMac, iPhone and now an iPad 2 (thanks to a very generous gift from my son for Mother’s Day).  It can be triple trouble when things go wrong – not to mention having triple the junk mail to delete every day 🙂

Because I also run a business and manage personal appointments, my calendar is very important to me.  The nice man at the Apple store told me I needed iCloud to sync my devices together wirelessly – and he turned the feature on – on both my iPhone and iPad.  Unfortunately, he did not realize that at home I have an older Mac, which does not support iCloud – and by turning on this feature, I received duplicates on everything on my calendars.  So while coming home, I deleted all the duplicate entries on my iPhone.  But when I arrived home to check this with iCal on my iMac I found to my despair – EVERYTHING had been erased!  Just vanished into thin air!  I remember having this problem when I first got my iPhone and the only fix was to turn off iCloud – I just couldn’t remember why!  Now I know.

ICloud

ICloud (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While trying to rebuild the information from both my iPhone and iPad 2 – I found that many things were gone and there were significant holes in my schedule.  This was a disaster because I have 25 music lessons every week and some of those appointments had to reschedule or change and I now had to rely on my faulty memory – not good.  It was a panicky situation for me.

I read every forum I could get my hands on talking about syncing my calendars so I would never have this problem again – but came up empty every time.  There was a way around iCloud on iCal – but I could not understand it – even though it was supposed to be easy.  I called my techie son who works for Apple and it was discovered that I don’t have enough memory and would need to buy more memory and then do an upgrade to Lion before I could get iCloud on my Mac.  It was discouraging and expensive.  All I wanted was to sync my calendars and for it to work.

So I slept on it – and the next morning I tried again.  I came across another forum talking about the same problem as mine.  This time the “fix” was so easy I felt almost ridiculous trying it.  In the process I was on hold for an Apple techie to see if I had done everything I could.  By the time a young man came on the line I was well into solving the problem by syncing the three calendars on iTunes with a special iCloud code that was given in the forum I was reading.  The Apple tech – (bless his heart) said that it basically couldn’t be done and that I needed the upgrade.  Period.

So when this simple “fix” WORKED – I was AMAZED and ELATED!!

We often take things for granted when they work.

Do you have a problem you’re trying to solve?  Don’t give up.  There is always an answer.  It may not be the answer you’re wanting or thinking needs to happen – but there is always an answer. 

Look for another way – think outside the box and find out what works.

God Bless

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