Wednesday, April 16, 2014
I just haven't felt myself lately. Partly it's my blood sugar, which has been higher since I changed from the Invokana to Byetta, and I haven't been eating particularly well the last couple of days, either. I'm going to try to be better on that. But even with just the medicine change, I'm suddenly up in the 300s in the morning, which is not good at all.
Tonight I went over to YKWIA's and watched 'The 100'. I hadn't seen it in a couple of weeks. It was a really good episode. I like the show quite well. It really keeps one's interest, going back and forth between the ark in space and the kids on earth who are the test subjects for whether mankind can survive in a post-nuclear world.
But now I'm home, and I think I'm going to just turn in. I'm still working on waking up early enough to do something around the house. If not, I usually stay home on Thursday nights, so I can work on it then. Friday's 'Grimm'. Saturday I've got a project already lined up, but I won't be taking A to the grocery, as he'll be out of town. Sunday may be the game, so tomorrow I should try to do the game notes. Anyway, have a good night.
I broke my lower partial denture. I now have two halves. Fortunately these are temporary ones, but grrr. Tomorrow I go back to the endodontist to see if she can finish the root canal on my tooth with the calcified canals. Then I'll set up an appointment with my dentist. I have been having trouble with the lower ones and was going to ask them to assist them, but now I'll have to see what they will do.
- Appearance: I like the dimpling on the back, which if out of case, makes it easier to hold. I got the white one, since I wasn't able to go over there on the first day due to the Chicago trip, and they just had white rather than black. But that's fine, I put them in cases anyway, and bought an Incipio lavender and grey case that works really well.
- Much faster processing power than my S3.
- The battery life. On an average day, my S3 was dead in the water without a boost by the end of the day. Today my S5 is greater than 50% without any charging and its almost midnight, and that's using a live wallpaper.
- Having a shortcut to the camera on the lockscreen (yes, even when locked with PIN or fingerpint), although sometimes it takes more than one swipe.
- The heart monitor/fitness application and ability to work with Samsung Fit (which I do not have, but can see how it would be a benefit for some).
- The ability to add home screens (up to 7) and organize applications into folders even in the applications area (not just the home screens).
- The camera is much better than my old S3.
- The phone is rated for water. It is less likely to die if dropped into something wet, etc.
- It comes with a quick charger that is two-pronged USB 3.0 but still takes a normal USB car charger or other charger, as the right half of the two prongs is the regular USB socket.
- It comes with a very sturdy pair of ear phones that have volume buttons and an on/off button on the for easy volume control. Unlike some that come with ear buds, these have equal length, rather than the ones that are shorter on one side (those drive me crazy).
- The cover over the USB charging port means it doesn't fit my dock anymore and the stupid thing will probably break at some point, as it's not very sturdy-looking, being kept on by a small rubber loop. Of course, this probably does have something to do with that waterproof rating.
- It's a little hard to find wallets or purses with phone pouches that will fit the phone with a case on, because of its size. With my Incipio case on, for example, the dimensions are 5 3/4" x 3 1/8" x 9/16" . I did have a Vera Bradley all-in-one crossbody, and it did fit in the pocket without a case on at all, but the idea of going out without a case really defeated the point of using it daily, so I sold the wallet to a co-worker whose iPhone (much smaller) fit with a case. I won't give up, though. In the meantime, I've ordered a little $10 case from Amazon that has credit card slots and a space for cash (not change) and a wristlet, where you can still access the camera, heart-rate monitor, and speaker. I've also ordered a fitness holder for putting on your arm while walking.
- The left-handed settings key being made a 'recent' key instead, like it was in Ice Cream Sandwich. I really wish Google would make up its mind over this. The settings key is frankly more useful. I've very rarely used the recent button in any iteration of Android I've had, and I've experienced Froyo, Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean, and now Kit Kat.
- Fingerprint scanning: It is a great idea, impressive when it works, and it does work, but sometimes it works better than others. Trying to unlock it outside in the snow was impossible this morning. Getting it at just the right angle seems key. Plus, if it doesn't work after so many tries, you don't go to your PIN if you have one set up, but rather a backup password which is longer and a mix of letters and numbers, and that takes longer in the long run to get into the phone.
- Samsung has replaced Google Now (which intuitively provides 'cards' related to your e-mails, shopping, searches, etc.) with 'My Magazine' to the left of the home screens, which is a Flipboard-like news magazine. Unfortunately, it is more annoying than useful. However, you can bost customise content within its settings and actually remove it from display (you do this by long-pressing on a homescreen blank area, go to Home screen settings from the bottom of the screen and uncheck the box under My Magazine that says 'View all My Magazine updates in one place on the home screen'. You can access Google Now by pressing on search field for Google, but you can't add a widget to the home screen for Google Now like we used to have.
- The inability to move applications to the SD card. I'm a bit indifferent on this because I wasn't doing it. I did a lot when I had Froyo, then Ice Cream Sandwich took the ability away except for very large applications. Then Jelly Bean restored the ability, but I used my SD card primarily for music, pictures, and documents, along with data from some applications. So I was able to just transfer my card without any issues.
Carriers vary in their offers, of course. I got mine down with 40% down and $15 a month, with no contract, and with T-Mobile's Jump, which not only insures the phone but which, once it's paid half off (which will be three months for me, since I went ahead and put so much down), I could technically upgrade to a new phone in three months. But I do like this one overall and will probably keep it for awhile, anyway. Anyway, I thought this might be useful for someone looking to upgrade. And that My Magazine tip doesn't appear on any of the forums I've found as of yet, but I came across it and thought I'd share. If you want to enable My Magazine after disabling it, just re-check that box.
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Yet again I have fallen asleep when I have stuff to do. I'm a little bleary-eyed now, but If I get up early tomorrow morning, I might still be able to get some things done. I'm going to take some meds that should help and then go back to bed in a bit.
Monday, April 14, 2014
And no, it's not the fact this weekend it was sunny and 80 degrees, but we're supposed to wake up tomorrow with possible snow and frost warnings. Rather, it's because the first lunar eclipse to be visible from this area in about two years is probably going to be a bust because of cloud cover. If you're in the Americas and the weather's clear, you should see the moon turn red about 2 am. But still, I'll set my alarm just in case. And you can watch online, but I'm sorry, it's just not the same. :(
Sunday, April 13, 2014
- Upgraded my phone to a new Samsung Galaxy S5.
- Learned to use the new features and Kit Kat 4.4.2.
- Added my applications from Google Play and Amazon onto the new phone, put them in order, and created screens of widgets.
- Went to the library, picking up an interlibrary loan and hold, and giving back an ILL book and a DVD they'd sent me by mistake.
- Picked up a book I'd ordered for a friend from Barnes & Noble.
- Prepared my crossbody wallet for a co-worker who's interested in buying it, changing my cards, etc., over to a plain wallet. I've only had it for a short time, and it's a pretty Vera Bradley, but the new phone doesn't fit with its case, and probably not without it, either. The other one barely did, and it was two models back and smaller. If anyone knows one that would fit a Galaxy S5, let me know. This one had a wallet, the pocket for the phone, a wristlet, and strap across the body. I will miss it. It's great for not having to bring my whole purse with me to stores, etc., or wandering around work (my phone keeps track of my steps, and sadly, I don't always have pockets.
- Spent time over at my friends' house, where I (in no particular order):
- Watched The Bad Seed (again), bits and pieces of 'Law & Order', Take the Lead, 'The Astonishing X-Men', and some of an animated movie of Doctor Strange.
- Took a friend to the grocery.
- Hung sheers and drapes.
- Cleaned their house.
- Did my laundry.
- Ate carryout from Texas Roadhouse.
Friday, April 11, 2014
Tonight my phone was really low on battery and I decided to charge it a bit before calling home, and then I fell asleep. Now it's one in the morning their time. Trust Lisa to sleep, but in my defense I'd been going non-stop for over eighteen hours.
I decided I didn't have enough time to do the Field Museum justice after taking the L and a bus here and eating breakfast, so I explored the campus here. But tonight we went out to Greektown and had real flaming cheese (3 foot high flames!) and I had great moussaka.
We got back 8 central time, I got comfy in the hotel room (it's a three star hotel, so not bad for business travel) and then just went plunk.
Tomorrow I have a meeting from 8:30-1 and then I'll try to have some fun.
Three things about Lexington I miss:
1) My friends, of course.
2) the fact that it's already greening up at home, but here it's mostly concrete and even the parks I have seen are still brown. I have not seen one flowering tree, just a few daffodils that haven't opened yet.
3) even sidewalks--a lot of that concrete is pocked, uneven, or downright crumbling. One of my colleagues almost fell. Some corners just crumble into the street. Maybe that's just the Medical District, but I doubt it. Anyway, with my history of klutziness, I am trying to be careful of the pavement and traffic.
Okay, back to bed. I want to take a relaxing bath tomorrow morning before the meeting. Good night.
Thursday, April 10, 2014
I got in about 6:20 local time. Both YKWIA and a co-worker called me at 3 am and 4 am, respectively. Turns out I was awake, (I didn't sleep much or well), but it was really appreciated. I got to the airport right at 5 EDT. There was no trouble getting to the gate. I was buckled into my seat when they asked for volunteers to go to the back of the plane. We only had about thirty passengers on the small plane since it was so early, and they needed to distribute the weight. When I went to the new seat at the wing, which is single, sharing the aisle and window, I couldn't get that one buckled and had to ask for an extender, which made things more comfortable. Of course, it was the one she used to demonstrate the belt.
I had planned to hang around O'Hare for awhile and get something to eat and shop, but at the last minute I decided to check my bag, so I had to exit the secure area to pick it up. Then the board was saying the baggage claim was number three when in fact it was at nine. Next time I think I'll just take my bag with me and do what I did last time--carry it to the boarding and they just load it there. Saves money, too.
So I decided to buy a ticket for the L and rode over to the Racine stop, then took a bus a couple of blocks to the street where my hotel is. I went ahead and had them take my luggage after I pulled out the necessities. I exchanged my slip-on shoes for my walking ones and assembled my backpack purse with things like guide book, medicine, etc .
I did a preliminary check in (everything except getting the key). I was famished, so I ate at the hotel's breakfast buffet. I had a veggie egg white omelet, some oatmeal and berries, and part of a cinnamon Danish.
Then I decided that if I went to the Field Museum, I might get to sere some of it but only had a couple or so hours to enjoy it and would be worried about getting to the seminar on time. So I decided to explore the area, and found the UIC Student Center West with much less trouble than last time. So now I'm here, after visiting a lovely jewelry sale in the lobby. I found some nice shell or moonstone earrings, along with amethyst and rose quartz pendants.
So the question is whether I should hang out here for awhile or explore some more. I've already exceeded my normal daily steps by about 2,000. I am glad I have my inhaler with me, as there is a lot of car exhaust and other pollution here compared to Lexington.
Wednesday, April 09, 2014
One nice thing is that my CPAP humidifier comes off completely, halving the size. I'm carrying it in a very small bag, which includes my liquids, my medicines, my tablet, and Kindle. I'm not taking the laptop. I unfortunately could not fit the hose and face masque into the small bag, so it's in the rolling bag. Unless it's somehow too heavy, I should be able to not officially check that bag, but rather on a plane this small, they usually just tag it and put it in the back so as to free overhead compartment room.
I debated on saying anything about the timing of the trip, simply because it's an invitation for mayhem when you're away. Hopefully none of you who might be horribly drawn to crime are reading this and know where I live. I try not to be terribly specific. Someone might figure out the general location, but hopefully my specific apartment number isn't out there. But unless you plan on stealing books, there's not much of value in my house, really. :) Even the laptop is extremely basic.
Anyway, I'm charging up the electronics, I've packed and laid out my clothes for tomorrow. I'm going to wear my slip-on Birkenstocks through the airports but change to my regular walking shoes for sight-seeing. I tried to find a pair of pants that would have decent pockets in the front but still work for a business meeting, unlike my jeans, but alas, both Lane Bryant and Gabriel Brothers failed me. I called LB earlier and just asked, saving myself a trip to the mall. I went to Gabriel Brothers briefly to look, picking up a small umbrella, as there's about a 30-40% chance of rain tomorrow, and some underwear. On the way there was an accident involving a motorcycle. I don't think the cyclist was terribly hurt, as he was up and walking, but it tore his mirror off the cycle and I'm not sure what all else. I didn't actually see what caused him to wreck, just him falling, as I was several cars back, so I didn't wait for the police once he got up and got out of the street. But it was scary. I hope he's okay, although I suspect the bike is very much the worse for wear. But he didn't have a helmet on, so it could have been much worse. And I'm glad I wasn't involved. One, having been run over by a car, I try to avoid doing that to others. Two, the last thing I would need is a last-minute accident right before the trip. As you may remember, I was hit by a car last time I was supposed to go to Chicago.
So the only things left are to pull the CPAP back out, go to bed, get up early, take out the trash, and then get ready to head over to the airport. I should probably get some cash to tuck about my person, too, for the trip, while I'm still around an ATM that won't charge me. Good night.
Tuesday, April 08, 2014
Things to do before the trip:
- Clean house. I hate the idea of coming back to an unkempt house, and if (Gods forbid) anything happens, I'd hate for my friends and family to have to deal with my mess.
- Figure out if I'm going to take my laptop or not. I don't really need to. It's a short trip, after all. I have other ways to get online, too. If I take it, I have to use its case as the second carry-bag, put my CPAP in larger bag (it will fit in the tiny case that came with the set, but I can't have that and the laptop bag, unless I check the larger case). Also, I'd have to put the following in the bins to be screened separately from the luggage: shoes and any jacket, laptop, CPAP, and liquids. That's quite a bit of bringing forth items through security.
- Set a gazillion alarms the night before. I don't wake up easily like I used to. I have to get up by 3:30-4 am in order to get to the airport in time to go through security and be there for my flight, which is very early. The plan is to go to bed by 8 if possible, as I have a very busy couple of days once I wake up.
- Do a little laundry. Yeah, I meant to do that this weekend. Mainly I want to make sure I have a couple of decent outfits and enough underwear, etc., for them.
- Get all my printouts together. I have my confirmation to check in with, and definitely want a couple of copies of that, along with info on the sights and the actual meeting/seminar I'm going to.
- Relax. Preparation got me through last time really well. And last time I did the whole trip and only spent $20. This time I should actually be able to have some fun.
Monday, April 07, 2014
NPR Pulled a Brilliant April Fools' Prank On People Who Don't Read
Sunday, April 06, 2014
Do you not really enjoy sleeping? Do you live in North and/or South America? Then check out the Moon on April 15 for some sweet lunar eclipse shenanigans!
Game designers played Tetris on the side of a 29-story skyscraper in Philadelphia on Saturday night.
The exhibition at Philly Tech Week‘s celebration of cool technology was one of a number of events that will celebrate the 30th anniversary of Tetris, which Alexey Pajitnov created in the former Soviet Union and Henk Rogers brought to the rest of the world. The spectacle was a great example of video game marketing at its finest, for the benefit not only of Tetris but the whole industry as gaming seeps deeper into popular culture.
Rogers, the managing director of The Tetris Company in Hawaii, was on hand to join the exhibition that Frank Lee, head of Drexel University’s Entrepreneurial Game Studio, put together. Lee created a working version of the famous block-puzzle game through a contraption that controls the lights of a 29-story building.