Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Free Tunes Courtesy of NPR Music

This morning I accessed NPR Music via an iPod Touch app. Much to my surprise and delight, I was offered the opportunity to download 12 songs FREE!
Download or update the app and receive a FREE 12-song music sampler featuring NPR Music's favorite new artists of 2010
See  NPR Music

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Internet for the Internet Challenged

Do you have a friend or relative who has not grasped the skills necessary to surf the web? Does that person bug you constantly, asking you to look up things for him or her?

I have found the perfect gift for your inquisitive friend -  See - WikiReader

I purchased a WikiReader as a gift from QVC at half price. This bargain was found while channel surfing in the very early morning. Just a happy accident.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Joy To The World (Pink Martini) on Vinyl

This vinyl record is part one of three - "Collectors edition high quality 10" clear vinyl with embossed snowflake packaging. This five song EP, the first in a series of three to be released annually for the next three years, is limited to 2000 copies. 100% of the profits of this record go directly to charity."

See - EP

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Joy To The World (Pink Martini)

Holiday music for everyone. Pink Martini has scored again (pun intended).
Listen to a sampling here - Listen 
See the really cool packaging - See This
Available nearly everywhere! Music stores, iTunes, and Amazon,
 See - The New York Times' recommendations for holiday music 
See (and/or Listen) - NPR Interview (November 27, 2010) 
See also - 

 Pink Martini --------- to keep up on the latest in their whirlwind of activities --- Pink Martini on Facebook

AirPrint is Here for iPod Touch

AirPrint is here for iPod Touch. I can't wait to try it! 

Apple made available an update for iPod Touch today.Among the new features, AirPrint.

Before you do anything else (especially if you're like me, and you don't sync regularly), connect your device to your computer and Sync ..... then you can update your software without losing anything you may have added to your iPod Touch that has not been previously backed up on your computer.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Procrastination Pays Off

Procrastination pays off, well, at least, once in a while.

Daylight savings time ended early this morning. This is not such a big deal any more as most of my clocks reset themselves. The microwave and auto clock do not.

This morning I got into the car and looked at the clock. For the first time since last spring, I didn't have to add an hour to what I saw on the dash.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Election Season 2010

I don't know about you but the mute button on my television clicker has been getting a work-out lately. The other day, I thought if I heard another political ad I'd find myself out in the street screaming and tearing out my hair.

Today I got my very first push poll of this political season, and a robo call, at that. I hate robo calls with a passion but I hate push polls even more. Push polls are just down right dishonest, an effort to push the uninformed into voting in a particular way (often against their best interests). Is there no shame?!?  Or is it just how we all play the game? Just a rhetorical question, of course.

And now, I find nasty, negative political ads on this blog. Of course, the joke is on them as no one actually ever reads this blog.

Update 10/27/2010 - Today I find positive ads here for Senator Ron Wyden, a true champion of the Pacific Northwest, and most particularly, of Oregon.

Safety - Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs)

A basic premise of physics ... every action has an equal and opposite reaction comes to mind ....
 Or perhaps, the seemingly true ....... all actions have unexpected consequences.

Just unpacked a box of brand new CFL's to more economically, and environmentally-correctly light my corner of the universe. What follows was found within the box of bulbs and labeled,

Proper Care And Disposal of CFLs-
CFL's are safe for your home and our environment with just a little care, but they do contain trace amounts of mercury. They should be handled and disposed of using a few simple precautions. Always screw and unscrew the bulb by its base (not the glass). If a CFL breaks, open the windows in the room for 15 minutes to air out the area. Use a piece of paper or cardboard to sweep up the broken pieces. Use a wet paper towel to wipe up any remaining glass fragments and place the broken pieces into a sealed plastic bag. CFLs should always be recycled. Never throw an intact CFL in the garbage. Visit for more information.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Updates Recommended for iPod Touch

It had been weeks, actually months since my last sync between laptop and iPod Touch.


I've found it more convenient to charge the iPod with a wall charger instead of plugging into the laptop. And while traveling, the laptop was left behind in favor of a smaller, lighter netbook.

Unfortunately, the iPod Touch can only be synced with one other device. So either the netbook or the laptop, not both. The laptop has been used consistently with the iPod while photographs have been downloaded to the netbook before being uploaded to a popular photo-sharing site. 

This week, time was taken to sync the iPod and download the newest version of iTunes and Safari. What a difference! Don't wait as long as I did. Keep your devices up-to-date!

Friday, August 13, 2010

"Look Before You Leap!"

Usually, I err on the side of caution.

Unfortunately, I have not been cautious when accepting updates to my iPod Touch apps. One of my favorite apps, from, is no longer working properly. The word of the day still pops up. However, clicking on VIEW no longer produces the result I have come to expect. The app does not open for me now.

When I looked for this app on the Apple App Store, I found a message saying that the update should not be accepted under certain circumstances. Clearly, going forward, I will always read about each update before adding to my iPod.

There is a new update from It reads, "Fixed bug that crashed app for devices on OS 3.0"

So wish me luck! I've missed my dictionary soooo much!

Update - Hooray, all is well (and I'm happy)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

SwipeBids ....... Noooooooo!!!!!

A year's membership with 300 "free" bids will set you back $159. Another 300 bids will cost you another $150.

I cannot, with a clear conscience, recommend this auction site.

SwipeBids .....I couldn't help but wonder how this name was chosen. However, after using up  nearly all of my "free" bids in a relatively short time, I think I know. This online auction site is in the business of selling bids. Anything interesting enough to bid on takes more than one of your bids each time you click to bid ..... camera or television set = five bids per click.

There are actually very few items up for auction. Most of the auction space is devoted to bidding on more bids. When there is a winning bid .... a note pops up with the winner's user name and a message saying something like ..... user saved 90% ....... of course, that 90% does not factor in the cost of the bids used to "win" the auction.

Each time a bidder clicks, time is added to the auction and the price of the item increases by pennies. The last bidder when the clock runs out "wins". There is no point in bidding when there are hours or even minutes on the clock. The action begins when there are 10 seconds (or less) remaining on the clock. Bidders clicking on the Bid button with 1 or 2 seconds on the clock keep the auction going.

Don't have the patience to wait for other bidders to give up? No problem.  Auto Bid will bid for you until all your bids have been used up. Several bidders on Auto Bid can race to use up their bids (race to throw away their money). What a deal!  What a deal for whoever came up with this money making scheme.

Save your money. This is NOT a good deal for the consumer!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Recent iPod Touch Update from

Updates to apps installed on my iPod Touch just seem to happen, pretty much on their own, without my taking note. However, the last update from caught my attention.

A word of the day popped up on my screen. With a touch to the app, I discovered a tab labeled Spanish. There I found another word of the day, a Spanish word, defined for me in English. 

I like this!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Do You Miss Your Mother?

I certainly miss mine.

My mother read voraciously - - books, magazines, newsletters and newspapers. More often then not, she would find some tidbit she felt compelled to share with me.

I didn't always appreciate the message.

While today it's common to just send a link to a website, Mom would carefully clip the information she wished to share and then either keep it aside until my next visit or (if she considered it to be urgent) send it via the United States Postal Service. Sometimes she called and read the tidbit she had found over the phone.

Today I received this text message -

"CDC - Protect your skin when having fun outdoors! Use sunscreen, wear hats/sunglasses, find shade during peak hrs (10-4) when UV rays are strongest. 800-232-4636"

Now doesn't that sound just like someone's mom asking her child to take care of herself/himself?

I smile and laugh whenever I read one of these tidbits from the CDC because I am reminded of my mother.

CDC Text Messages

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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Having a Heat Wave!?! Break Out the Resort Wear!

Record heat is forcing all of us to cope whether we really wish to or not.

We all know the basics. We stay inside with the A/C, running for our air-conditioned vehicle whenever we just have to venture out. We drink plenty of fluids. We bring our pets inside and give them extra water, too. We check on our neighbors.

However, the heat also provides an excuse to break out the "resort wear" purchased earlier in the year while on vacation in Hawaii. So a bit of fun, a reason to smile while wearing clothing I might otherwise deem inappropriate.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

New Flavor - Doritos Corn Chips (Cheeseburger)

NOTE - Natural BEEF Flavor

I don't know about you but I don't want my corn chips flavored with beef ... what, by-products?!??

Thursday, June 24, 2010

What Do I Do With All The Pics Shot With My New Camera?

Photos from my newish digital camera have taken up residence on Flickr,  a wonderful, photo sharing site on Yahoo. Currently 2000+ of my pics reside there, mostly because I have been putting every photo I take on Flickr as a sort of online backup. And because, often, I can't see what I have (at least not well) until I've uploaded to Flickr.

Maybe someday I'll cull the less than wonderful specimens from my Flickr photo stream.

Changes are underway that should make for an even better experience

See - Tech Crunch.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

An Interesting Feature of This Blog

Sometimes I wonder if it is worth my time to add labels to my posts as I write mostly for myself. Today, just for fun, I clicked on one of my blog labels. To my great surprise and delight, every post labeled with that particular label was before me on my screen.

Now to try it elsewhere..

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Estes Kefauver

An interesting read ...... I discovered Estes Kefauver delivering a message about organized crime, at the end of a classic film noir, The Captive City, .My movie-watching companion is old enough to remember when Estes Kefauver served as a United States Senator from Tennessee. Kefauver was a contemporary of Al Gore, Sr and Lyndon Johnson. He seems to have been an independent man of conscience.

We could use some of Kefauver's anit-trust/anti-monopoly fervor today.

The Captive City, 1952 movie poster

The Captive City, from Wise Films, this review also discusses photographic technique

The Captive City, from Where Danger Lives Blogspot

The Captive City, from Wikipedia

The Captive City, from Movie Mirrors

The Captive City, from IMDb

The Captive City, from TV-Guide

Robert Wise Biography, from AOL Television

See also, This TV  (where I came across this movie)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Just Saying, "Hello"

I recently acquired a new cell phone from T-Mobile .... Motorola CLIQ .... . The purchase of this phone was brought about by the death of a cute little cell (also from Motorola) I had managed to keep alive for six years (buying it new batteries every two years or so).

Truth is, I liked my old cell better. It's difficult to use everything the CLIQ has to offer without running the battery down way too quickly. When I called T-Mobile for assistance, the suggestion was to use a less than maximum quality setting for photos, to run fewer apps, and to disable the wi-fi.What's the point of having so many features, if I don't use them!?!

And much to my dismay, for some inexplicable reason, the CLIQ turns itself off, without warning, when I am trying to take/save/share a photo or video (and the photo or video vanishes forever). So far, I haven't figured out why. Sometimes it works wonderfully well and other times it does not work at all! One of the principle reasons for buying this phone, was for the camera. I love to send photos off to whoever and wherever as soon as I take the photo. However, I have found that when traveling, the photos do not always go right away (if at all) to where I'd like them to be.

T-Mobile coverage is excellent in big cities but works less well and sometimes not at all in other locales. So not the best service to have when traveling. I find myself pulling out my i-Pod and my MiFi (Verizon provides excellent coverage).

Having said all of the above, I just found a fun feature on my Motorola CLIQ. There is a factory installed app simply labeled, "Voice Search". A simple tap yielded, "Speak Now".

And so I found myself just saying, "Hello".

(My "Hello" produced a page of Google listings for "Hello" beginning with Hello Magazine.)

Update 6/14/2010 - Dropped by Costco today to pick up some HP printer ink. The wireless cell kiosk is located at the end of the aisle. A young salesman asked if I was ready for a new phone. I replied that, unfortunately, I already had a new phone. He asked what I didn't like about it. And I shared my battery woes. He grabbed my cell and added a free app called Advanced Task Killer. Then he turned down the light on my screen and removed most of the apps from my screen. I kept the messages window on top so as not to miss text messages sent directly to my cell. I can check the other functions ---- email, Facebook, etc manually.

He keeps his phone on Battery Saver Mode all the time. However, some of the functions don't function on Battery Saver Mode. I have the phone on Performance Mode when I am trying to take and save pics. There is also a Smart Mode.

He showed me how to use the touch screen to take my apps up and down. Clearly, I need to read the directions or spend more time at Costco.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Movie - City Island

See - City Island

Also - Share Your Secret

We all have secrets - What a relief when we feel safe enough with someone to share our secrets. Too bad many of us have to pay someone to listen.

I am reminded of one of the Crocodile Dundee movies. The male lead is talking with the female lead. She says something about going to see a counselor of one type or another. He asks if she is crazy and she says that she just needs someone to listen to her problems. Crocodile Dundee asks if she doesn't have any "mates" as he just tells his problems to his "mates" and they straighten him right out!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Oh, How Clever (and Frugal) I Am!

Another holiday has bit the dust and so, it is time to redecorate my windows.

Cause for a visit to the local Dollar Store to see what I can see. Hmmmmm ..... nothing but 4th of July and graduation decorations ... and nothing much I really care for ..... but wait, what do I see here. Oh, wow, 4th of July gift bags ..... just $1/each. I can cut out each side of each bag .... yielding two patriotic stars & stripes per bag ... each with a convenient strap with which to hang it in my window from the hooks already there from the last holiday decorating binge.

Maybe I'll add a photo or two later ..... maybe someday ........ from bag to flat window deco ....

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Travel By Amtrak

Having recently returned from a 10-day vacation via Amtrak, I find myself in the position of being able to offer up my take on my experience (a good experience, overall).

Wow, what a convoluted sentence!

See - Amtrak to National Parks 

See - Empire Builder Upgrade (2005) Pics here of the interior of the train ......

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Spanish Word of the Day - (((TERREMOTO)))

El Terremoto (En Chile)

From Associated Press - The State Department advises Americans seeking information on family and friends in Chile to contact the Bureau of Consular Affairs at 1-888-407-4747

Someone near and dear to my heart is somewhere in Chile. He has not checked in with family here in the states. I have only basic cable television so find myself watching Spanish language television with hopes of catching a meaningful glimpse of the chaos currently unfolding in Chile.

Rescues continue from structures knocked down by this morning's massive earthquakes ... Imagenes de Rescates

Hearing words of Dr. Arturo Chavez, Experto en Rescate, Mexico ...... on Telemundo ..... 

My Spanish is limited but finding that I understand more than I might have expected to understand, maybe because I care about the discussion underway.

Headlines -

Aeropuerto de Santiago ..... Closed for at least 24 hours ........

El Terremoto Duro 90 Segundos y Fue de 8.8

Suenan Las Sirenas En Hawai Por Primera Vez En 16 Anos

Edificio de 5 Anos Colapso en la Comuna De Maipu

Argentina Seria Puente de Ayuda en la Catastrofe  ...........

Alerta de Tsunami en .... Pacific Basin

Tremors felt in Argentina and Brazil, tambien 

Note of Interest - Chile's first female president .......  Michelle Bachelet ..

Updates in English - CNN

Note: Skype (free video phone is here!) important means of first-hand accounts from Chile and from Hawaii (tsunami concerns)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

News Applications for i-Phone/i-Pod Touch

The really cool thing about the i-Phone/i-Pod Touch is the ability to customize with applications pertinent to my lifestyle. The world at a touch, in the palm of my hand.

Keeping abreast of the current news is important. With this is mind, I have added CNN and AP Mobile as well as several local television news apps to my i-Pod Touch.