Category Archives: Blog

Catmobile (like Batmobile)

width=200At three AM this morning, Kayce wakes me with Adam, Adam!! Whats that light?! There was an eerie orange light flashing in our bedroom window. After I was awake enough to realize I WASNT dreaming, I took a look out the windows to see the emergency lights flashing on our van. I was slightly weirded out. I tried the remote to see if somehow the alarm had gone off but wasnt making any noise. It hadnt. The lights kept blinking. After grabbing a flash light, I made my way out to the car with Kayce following at a distance enough to make me feel like a giant guinea pig. Regardless, I watched at the back door as I used the remote to open the automatic van doors (Best thing ever!) and see who or what came running out. I didnt see anyone get out and the lights kept flashing, so I approached very cautiously. The van was empty and nothing was noticeably disturbed. It was, in fact, the emergency flashers that had been turned on. I turned them off and came back inside. I was so focused on the van that I hadnt noticed how quickly the cat had run in the back door when I opened it. Later, I put it all together… Kayce had gone to grocery store earlier that afternoon. After she unloaded the groceries she had left the back of the van open and asked me to shut it. That was about 2:30 or 3:00 pm. From what I can tell, The cat spent almost 12 hours in our van and sometime after midnight managed to hit the emergency blinkers. I did find some cat hair on the seats and a smashed klennex box, confirming my theory. I cant believe he didnt scratch our leather seats, I guess he learned his lesson 5 years ago when he scratched our sofa. So, we either the dumbest cat, for getting trapped in the van, or the smartest for finding a way to let us know he was trapped. Either way, Im just glad I dont have to get the van steam cleaned, if you know what I mean.

Funny things to ask Siri…

After several days of playing with Siri I’ve stumbled into some funny responses. For instances, “Do you know any jokes?” gets the response , “two iphones walk into a bar, i forget the rest…” Sometimes it seems when you ask questions repeatedly you get different answers. So have fun with it.

Have you found anything funny that Siri says? Leave it in the comments.

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Webcam Weakness

I have a weakness for webcams. Well, surveillance cameras, really. I have, at one point or another, had as many as five webcams streaming live to a secured server in our house. That said…
I found that B&H in New York, an electronics and production equipment super store, had an iPhone app. Well, short story, I found a great camera for a great price. I didn’t know I needed it until I saw it.
So, now we have this wireless network camera with pan & tilt action and Infrared sensors for night time in our house. I’ve had it in the baby’s room so we could watch her sleep, I’ve had downstairs to surveil the house… Tonight, I tried to hide it in the boys room, to no avail (see picture). It is useful when we’re gone. I can pull the cameras up from my phone or computer to watch and hear what’s going on. While on vacation I get emails with photos attached whenever motion is detected. Pretty handy.
So, this is my hobby… Spying on my house. Just be careful if you visit… I’ll be watching.

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Thanks In-Laws!

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Kayce’s parents made the pilgrimage I hope to make some day. They visited the first Starbucks in Pike Place Market. “And all they brought me was this lousy mug.” It’s awesome, really. It goes great with my new Starbucks Gold Card. Woo hoo!

My iPhone LIVES!

So, as you can read below, Carson thought my phone needed a bath. I took the back cover off and put the phone in my “magic” rice for a day.  The next day I had to go buy a new screwdriver since my only Phillips #00 was locked up in my desk at work.  Since it was Good Friday, there was no chance of me getting it.  It was just as easy to buy a new one and, I probably should have more than one #00.  You can never, EVER have too many tools, after all.  I didn’t follow the ifixit.com tear down guide the first time I took it apart.  I just wanted it apart quickly so I could get it all dry and back in the rice.

After another day in the rice, I took it out and reassembled it.  It powered on, but there were obvious spots of water in between te touch glass and the LCD, which is not uncommon for a phone that has been underwater… It happened to my other phone as well, when I went into the lake. I played on the phone for a brief moment, then it shut itself off. I was very hopeful that one more night in the rice would fix it fully.

I’m pretty sure it would’ve recovered alright, except, I made the grave mistake of trying to seperate the LCD from the touch glass.  On the iPhone 3G and 3GS they do seperate, but then again, the iPhone 4 has an LCD unlike any other phone on earth.  It’s awesome! In trying to take them apart to remove that little bit of water I heard the LCD crack (not a sound an LCD should ever make). Then I saw the layers of the LCD seperate.  Again, not a good thing, AT ALL! I quickly put the whole thing in the rice and tried to forget I just did that.

The following day, I reassembled it and it, of course, didn’t work. So, on Monday I ordered my replacement LCD from etechparts.com. As well as a battery, just for good measure since they aren’t too expensive. They came in today and I’m glad to say, my phone is back to its old self.  I didn’t even have to restore it from iTunes.  It came right up where I left off.  Hooray!

I am also happy to report I can now put the ancient phone I have been using back into storage until the next time I need a temporary phone. On second thought, I might just check ebay for a cheap smart phone that I can use instead.  I had some major withdrawl. No games, no twitter, no facebook, and even worse… NO weather apps! Which I greatly needed these past few days. It was an interesting time for me, trying to figure out how to tell and waste time without my phone. Glad to say I was sucessful in both, even without my phone!

 

Don’t Wash an iPhone in a Tub

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So… I left my iPhone 4 in the bathroom so Carson could watch Phineas & Ferb while he took his bath. For record, we’ve done this hundreds of times with both boys with no issues. Not so tonight. Carson decided my phone was a little dirty and took it in the tub with him. I wasn’t very worried, I’ve dealt with wet iPhones before. So I went and got my handy dandy bag of rice and my tool box.
Bad news. The one screw driver I own small enough to take the iPhone apart was still at work, as was my suction cup and all my other tools for working on these things. I could’ve just put the phone in the rice fully assembled, but it works so much better when you can take it apart, so I decided to run to the office. Well, the alarm was already on at the office, so I came back home and stopped off at a gas station on the off chance they might have an eye glass repair kit with a screw driver the right size. They happened to have a kit, so I got it.
The driver just fit barely enough to get the cover off, so that’s as far as I get it apart. So, now my phone sits in rice. I’ll wait a day or two before I see if it survived. I can always sell it on ebay for a few hundred bucks, even with water damage. In the meantime, I have my phone number forwarded to Kayce’s phone (since the iPhone 4 has a micro sim instead of the full size one my old phones take).
Oh well… That’s just the way things go. I can’t seem to keep an iPhone for more than a year without something happening to it.

TCAP Week! Race to the Flop!

Quick rant…
I believe children should be tested and compared to their peers. It helps teachers/administrators know how children are progressing, where they need help, and where they excel. However, I take issue with children’s performance effecting teachers jobs. Has no one else figured out that if a kid doesn’t like their teacher they could just bomb the test on purpose? What does it matter to the kid? In CMCSS they would just be passed on to the next grade anyway, and eventually given a diploma no matter what their scores. 100% graduation, after all.
Please! Give me a break!
Hiring and firing of teachers should be the principal’s job. PERIOD! Should the children’s scores be taken into account, of course. But you can’t feed every variable into a computer and have it spit out a teacher’s worth (read salary…). An algorithm can’t account for a child whose parents take no interest in their education! A computer doesn’t understand a child who just “doesn’t test well”, but still knows the material. A test score won’t give a teacher leeway because their marriage is in trouble and they lost focus. Yet, some folks seem to live and die by these test scores.
It’s just a test!
Please, legislators, administrators, and principals… Use your heads! Pay our teachers well, give them the tools to do their jobs, and watch the caliber of graduates increase. After all, do you really want teachers who are more worried about how the test scores effect their paycheck or how the scores effect those children? Seems you’ve made your choice.
Race to the top…
You’ve put a stack of money on a hill and now teachers will climb over the top of their students to get to it. Nice job.