Musings From A Musical Mind

Posts tagged ‘IPhone’

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)

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

 

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

The Real Protector

We have a puppy.  A little dog who will never be much more than 10 or 11 pounds.  She is a lot of fun – and to be sure, so much more than I ever thought possible because she seems so human.  But I will never feel protection from her.  Just a lot of love.

This is our 10 month old Bichon Frise named Daisy. 
She is a wonderful dog.  She likes to cuddle and play, be silly – and loves to make us laugh by dragging a shoe or slipper off and then turning to see our reaction.  She is not destructive like I’ve heard so many breeds of dogs can be – especially when left alone for long periods of time.  When we come home from being gone – nothing is disturbed – and we know she just runs upstairs to our bed and sleeps.  She is gentle and LOVES people – sometimes too much and gets TOO excited when first greeting them, but then soon calms down and enjoys just being near anyone.  She follows me everywhere – my little shadow, hanging on my every word.

But Daisy is NOT a watch dog.  I’m glad I was somewhat prepared for this before deciding on the right breed for us.  I wanted a companion dog – Greg works a lot at night and knew it would be important to have the right kind of dog to keep me company.  And having a dog around I just knew I would be safer as the dog would alert me,  bark or growl and scare away prowlers and the like – at least I thought.  

However, Bichons are lovers not fighters.  Alas – that sweet cottony white angel is too gently and timid to be much of a menacing presence to scare anyone.  But they like to think they are.  For example:  she will be out in the yard playing, something will spook her, like the dogs barking next door and she will run in the doggie door and look through the french doors to the backyard and BARK AND BARK her head off.  Even occasionally HOWL and GROWL with such LOUD DETERMINATION – all the while safe in her own home.  It is quite humorous and this can go on for a very long time – until she feels the danger has passed – or that she has exerted herself for long enough to tell “them” a thing or two.

Unfortunately for me – she also feels the need to “alert” me – or “them” of her superiority in the “wee” hours while Greg is out and I am trying to sleep.  It can be very alarming to be awakened out of a deep sleep with Daisy barking before even raising her head and then flying off the bed to tell “whomever’ or ‘whatever’ that she is the boss of this house.   This behavior puts me in such a state of panic – I actually think there really is someone in the house – especially when she won’t stop growling standing firmly on the upstairs banister – staring straight down into the dark downstairs.   Yikes.  The first time it happened, several weeks ago, I was quite alarmed, thinking there really was someone in the house.  I turned on my iPhone and called Greg.  He said it was probably nothing – and sure enough – it was.  It did freak me out a little though, if I’m honest.  It does not happen every night – just enough to throw me off, keep me a little off-balance and really mess with me!

Last night it happened again.  But by now I have realized what makes her jump thinking the neighbors have probably just come home and opened up their garage door, which sounds a great deal like ours when it opens.  Daisy is waiting for “Daddy” to get home and is always sleeping with one eye open – waiting for that glorious moment when she can fly down the stairs to meet him 🙂  We both know the real protector of our home –

It’s Greg.

God Bless

Lost

I have been lost many times. Not because it is fun but because I have no sense of direction. At all.

Usually this happens in the car while driving somewhere. Sometimes I don’t even have to be in the car – but just looking for it.

When my children were small I got lost driving places all the time. Before cell phones I would get exasperated and finally pull to the side of the road and feel like having a good cry, but usually I stopped myself because the kids were in the car and I wanted them to believe that I could do anything even be strong and get them anywhere we needed to go. But they knew the truth. I was simply and hopelessly lost.

In one such comical moment when living in Fort Worth, Texas – I was driving with 5-year-old Ashlee in the pouring rain. We were on the freeway, I missed my exit and was really lost. I remember feeling so annoyed and a little scared too – I mean where in the world was I anyway? I even enlisted the help of my 5-year-old and said, “Ashlee please help me read those blasted signs!” To which she replied, “Mom – I can’t read” Oh yeah – details.

Fast forward to the mid-nineties when we had our first cell phones. I was a sales director in training in those days and did much of my business on the phone while commuting between Kirkland where we lived – and Renton where we went to church. In those days it was not against the law to talk on a cell phone while you drove so I got much done that way with my sales calls. One time because I hate to drive on the freeway in the rain – I chose to take a “back way” home. I got lost. Again. I called Greg from where I was and couldn’t even tell him where I was so the cell phone couldn’t help me!

Fast forward again to the present – where I now own an iPhone with navigational ability. Yeah for me! Yeah for progress! Except….when the maps on the iPhone takes me a “back way” just because – and l end up in a neighborhood that looks nothing like the neighborhood I’m supposed to be in! It was someplace I had been before, but not for 2 years. I thought the map would direct me so I didn’t take along the directions. I was hot, tired and in a bad mood after trying to follow to the letter – the step by step instructions on the map app. Daisy my 8 month old puppy was along for the “easy” drive and gave up on being patient 30 minutes previous to me finally pulling along the side of the road. I thought to myself, “this can’t be happening to me again” and was not a bit funny as I found myself wanting to cry. How silly, I thought. Who cries over being lost? I guess I do.

I called Greg and he suggested that I try mapquest or another map app – and if that didn’t work – I should just go back to the place I remember and the map app would redirect me. If he heard me whining and whimpering (just a little) he never let on. I mean – how bad could it be, right? Except for being hot and cranky and Daisy too – we were still in one piece, had less than a quarter tank of gas and no one needed to go to the bathroom. Yet. I tried the address in mapquest and a funny thing happened. It did not even recognize the address and tried to give me an alternate one. After circling around in that neighborhood a few times I finally found my way out and to the main road. I had to rely on my very bad memory and NO sense of direction to get me to the right street – but I eventually found it.

But a strange thing happened as I perused the house numbers. The house that I knew had to be the house was one number off from the address I had typed into the map app.

Oh brother.

Have you ever been really lost? What’s your story?

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

Are You An Early Adopter?

Circle Me Google Plus Blog Badge SMALL

Image by The Daring Librarian via Flickr

My husband likes to say this about me, “Cindy is an ‘early adopter’ and an ‘early embracer'”  I like new ideas – can move well into new concepts, even if they are somewhat difficult to wrap my brain around.  I love a challenge.  I love new technology.  I will usually be one of the first to jump in.  I will learn it if it KILLS ME!

But I also have a really practical side.  Some would call it “cheap” – but I like practical and careful.  I do my research – am an avid reader and learn all I can about new things.  I love the latest gadget and you don’t have to convince me of anything – except the price.  For example:  I have a free wordpress.com account for my blog, I have a 3G iPhone that I got for $99 a couple of years ago when the latest iPhone came out that summer.  I have two free music accounts on my computer, Pandora and Spotify.  Sure the ads are annoying – but pay for a monthly subscription when I can get it for free?  Never!  I live on Ebay and NEVER pay retail for anything.  And I would LOVE to have an iPad – and I’m looking for a used one for $99 and then I’m IN!!

My husband Greg is a late adopter, and a “late embracer”.  Although I think he embraces things and new people faster than he thinks he does.  He is what I would call a slow processer.  Nothing wrong with that – it’s just another way of  looking at things.  He does not jump on the latest technology right away.  He has to think about it and process things before he decides.  I bought him his first iPhone a few years ago and he has the one that is the 3GS – one step better than mine – so it will do video where mine won’t – a feature that he has used quite a bit.

And he is also very practical – even more so than I am.  So paying for things like computers, cell phones, web pages and music subscriptions do not sit well with him at all.   But being a practical man – who also has a small business, he has had to have two web pages and he pays a monthly fee to maintain both of them.  Because this is for “work” and not “play” he can easily justify it – as it brings him monthly business and that means money.  But I remember this being hard for him – he didn’t jump right on.

I am aware of the “early adopters” – they are all on google+ – the techno geeks and those who are interested in the latest trends in social media.  I was one of the first ones on there as well – and it’s been fun to connect with all the “movers and shakers” of technology.  Some are impractical and have the latest phones and computers – some are practical like me and do not – but we are all in the same vehicle – moving forward and seeing if this generation will be changed by what google is doing right now.

I am aware of the “late adopters”.  I have some in my family and in my circle of friends.  Some are on the internet via facebook and twitter – some are not on either one and use email as their only source of connecting with the outside world.  Believe it or not – some of these people don’t even have a cell phone.  I know it’s hard to believe – but there it is.

So my question is:

Which one are you?  Early or late adopter?  Practical or impractical?  Do you easily embrace new ideas and try to incorporate them into your lifestyle – or do you tend to think about things first and see if it will be useful?  I’d love to hear your story!

God Bless

And So It Begins…

Image representing MyFitnessPal as depicted in...

Image via CrunchBase

Yesterday – with the inspiration and invitation from one of my blogging buddies – I decided to join myfitnesspal.com to begin counting calories – log the food I consume and exercise I indulge in.  This is an excellent online program much like weight watchers – and has a wonderful app for the iPhone as well.  Several of my friends, my own husband and daughter have decided to join me in this effort to get into shape.  What is great about this program is that you can get daily encouragement from others who are also on a quest to eat right and exercise more.  I can see their progress in little status updates on my home page – whether they were “under their calorie intake”  for the day – or if they “lost a few pounds” since the day before – or how much they exercised – and just what kind of exercise they did.

And so it begins…

Eating healthy – counting calories – stepping up the exercise in an attempt to feel better and have clothes fit looser – and get into wind shape so those stubborn fat cells will come OFF!

I have a goal – to loose a few pounds and get into walking shape for our cruise to Alaska in September!  What’s your goal?

It is hard to be and stay disciplined – so I love the fact that others are on the same quest as I am – just knowing we’re all in this together.

Come and join me!   I’ll help take the drudgery out of taking off a few pounds and getting into shape.  No one but you will see your starting weight and measurements – and if you choose to add me or other friends you have – we will only see your progress and the things you do to make it happen.

Come and find me – I’m cindyluuhoo – I would love to walk along side you in your fitness goals –

as YOU begin!

 

God Bless

Learning To Shut Up

This is not an easy story to tell.  I’m ashamed of myself to tell you the truth – and like you – I’m on a journey.  I hope this helps someone today – to see that it’s always better to HOLD YOUR TONGUE.

Last Saturday I went with my husband Greg on a day adventure and road trip.  He had a burial service and a wedding on the same day – which seem to happen quite a bit to him.  I enjoyed playing with my iPhone in the lobby of the funeral home while he and the family went to the graveside (did I mention it was raining?).  I was happily minding my own business when a lady who worked there came in and saw me sitting in this big lobby all by myself and said in a rather loud voice to a co-worker – “what is she doing there?”  Now I suppose it was the way she said it that was the most irritating – and made me want to say something snarky – but I held my tongue.  The co-worker who had seen me with Greg before the service and had no doubt put two and two together and was not alarmed that I would choose to be in there – out of the rain.  So she began to explain it to the woman who just entered the building.  It was quite amusing to me – I mean after all – I was just sitting there!

I told Greg as we were on the way to a small town near Mt. Rainier – for his next gig – a small country wedding.  And began a topic of great discussion – and much chuckling 🙂

The wedding was supposed to take place out-of-doors – but with the cold and rain – they had to go to Plan B – indoors at this quaint little country Inn.  It was simple and beautiful with about 50 people – small and intimate.  The wedding was upstairs and I remember walking up and being greeted with a friendly smile from the DJ.  He was behind a table of equipment and a sound board and was playing some really nice classical music as everyone was getting into place – setting the mood.  Ahhhh – so nice. There was a very pretty young woman with pink streaks in her hair – she appeared to be helping him at the table.  She also smiled at me.  I smiled back – isn’t life good?

The wedding was short and sweet – there were several toasts to the bride and groom by family and friends – some lights snacks served – and about an hour and a half to wait before a formal seated dinner downstairs.  During this time I thought I would look on Planning Center – an app for my iPhone that has service plans for a church service – and my husband and I were leading worship the next morning – and sadly I had not entered the songs in yet.  I thought – I can do this right now while we wait!

I had not counted on the DJ (remember the smiley and happy guy that greeted me as I climbed the stairs?) playing 70’s music (the hard stuff) REALLY LOUD.  I normally love 70’s music and I’m so-so tolerant of loud music – if I don’t have to concentrate on a task – but it was impossible with loud music BLARING.  There was only that one room to wait in.  The only rooms downstairs were the restaurant and the little store.  I knew I would have to get out of there – our truck in the parking lot was not an option due to the limited WIFI range.  I was NOT in a good mood – I had a mission to complete – and this guy WAS NOT helping me.  So I told Greg – I’m going downstairs – this is ridiculous!  Grabbed my purse and iPhone and moved quickly to find the stairs – right by the smiley DJ guy.

Now at this moment in time – I remember exactly what I was thinking.  And it WAS NOT nice.  I was horribly inconvenienced.  My head was POUNDING.  The music was BLARING in my ears as I walked closer to the stairs where the HUGE speakers were located.  It took every ounce of self-control in me – NOT to scream at that man – or at least voice my displeasure at his insensitivity to MY needs!  I mean – COME ON – doesn’t he care that it’s this loud stuff that can give me an unbelievable headache?  Doesn’t he care?

But I checked myself – and walked down the stairs saying nothing.  But I probably didn’t smile back at him – I don’t remember.  Boy was I mad.  Downstairs there was NO WIFI so I couldn’t complete my task without going back upstairs and I was determined NOT TO.  So I stayed down and waited it out for a little while – what seemed like forever – my feet were killing me and I needed to go find a place to sit.  So I went back upstairs – greeted by the smiley couple and stuck it out – until it was time for dinner.

Now here’s the really interesting part – and the most humbling for me.  We had name tags every one of us – assigned to a table.  Greg and I found our names at a cute little table by the window and had NO IDEA who the mystery people were that would be sitting directly in front of us – the table was very small – and it would be necessary to get really cozy with the other people sitting there.  No one came.  We thought we would be at the table alone.  And then it happened.  The smiley DJ and the pretty young woman with the pink hair – walked over to our table – they were our table mates.  They were friendly, courteous and fascinating – telling us story after story about their very fast paced lives – and during the meal I felt like we had made some friends.  They were half the age of Greg and me and it didn’t seem to matter.  We found common ground with music and sharing our lives and experiences.  I’m so glad they didn’t know how mad I was earlier – that would have been – well – can you say – AWKWARD?  I know that instead of making friends that day – my behavior and attitude would have been such a turn off to this young couple – our conversation would have been strained and I would have been humiliated.  Not exactly the example of Christ in my life, right?  Sometimes it’s just better to hold in.

Boy am I EVER GLAD I had learned early on in my life – okay – in more recent years to SHUT UP.  It is not always what I have done – but when I’ve had many things go sideways in my life because of my BIG MOUTH – I always think twice – when it would be the easiest thing in the world to just LET THEM HAVE IT!

When was the last time you kept your big mouth shut?  When was the last time you didn’t?

God Bless

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Did Jesus have a Facebook Page?

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