First of all, an update on my iPhone cracked glass drama. I’m so happy that USAA called me this morning to tell me that my computer/media insurance rider WILL cover the dropped phone, I’m to get an assessment from Apple about whether we can just replace the glass…which they will cover. If Apple says “No, replace the whole phone.” then USAA will cover replacing the whole phone!

WOW! Now, before you all go running to USAA for computer/media riders, the adjuster made it clear that our policy is one of the LAST ONES to be worded such that it covers iPhones and by the end of 2012 ours will flip to exclude smart phones.

The moral of the story? Get the Apple Care or your cell phone provider’s insurance for your phone.

Now…back to the point of this post. Today I went to Walmart to get an Otterbox case for my phone. I wasn’t very happy with the Griffin Survivor iPhone case so I exchanged it. The Otterbox costs more — it’s probably the most expensive case there is. But hey — now I don’t have to pay to fix my phone, right?

My new Otter Box. The "Survivor" case I had before was a very bright pink, this one is more subdued. I like a subdued way.

I also needed groceries. For the first time in a long time I wasn’t squeezing in a grocery trip among several other daily errands. I could take my time.

As I used to do a lot more often, I began to take note of “new” products out there. And they got me wondering…

I saw a lot of stuff but these two products caught my attention.

First of all, I found this “Whole Grain (Hamburger) Helper.”

"Whole Grain (Hamburger) Helper". Plopped right next to regular Hamburger Helper.

Many of you know about my adventures with Hamburger Helper in 2010. And my adventures with “homemade” Hamburger Helper afterwards. (Maybe it’s time to make the homemade version for the kids again, by the way).

So I did some comparisons. I put Stroganoff-flavored Whole Grain Helper next to the Stroganoff-flavored regular Hamburger Helper to compare ingredients and nutrition facts.

I don’t see a lot of difference…take a look and tell me what you think?

The "Whole Grain" version is on the left, the standard is on the right. There's a little bit of calorie and sodium savings, but not enough for me to stop the presses and start buying it.

Here’s the ingredient list. Again, a few of the more chemical-y ingredients — such as MSG — aren’t in the whole grain version, but I was surprised at how much was still in the whole grain version.

I’d have been happier if they had removed that partially hydrogenated soybean oil.

The other product was with the Capri Sun beverages. I typically get my sons the “Roaring Waters” drinks, which are low-calorie alternatives to Capri Sun. But these Super-V drinks caught my attention:

Cue the John Williams theme! It's SUPER-V! With fiber, to boot!

We buy V-8 Splash sometimes, especially the Light Concord Grape flavor. But I try really hard not to make a habit out of substituting fruit and vegetable juices for the real thing. So I decided to let the boys try these in their lunchboxes. We’ll let you know.

PS: Does your school recycle Capri Sun pouches for Terracycle? Our boys’ schools do and it’s a great program. I’ve been promising myself a Capri Sun bag for a long time…maybe I need to actually do it?

This was the beginning of a pretty bad Saturday...

That’s how long have had my latest iPhone.

I know, I dropped my original phone and had to deal with missing pixels for several months, then I dropped my 2nd iPhone into the toilet…and now this.

On Saturday morning Jacob and I were preparing to run at our local Relay for Life event (which ended up canceled due to poor weather)…I was putting the phone into a velcro sleeve so I could start running. And it fell to the ground. It landed squarely on its back. Hence the dramatic cracking you see here.

The good news is that the phone itself is still working perfectly fine. The phone, the GPS/location services, the camera, the motion sensors, leveling sensors, etc. It’s all good. Yay!

I do NOT have AppleCare. I had assumed the computer and media rider on my property insurance would take care of this, but it probably won’t. While on Saturday I was pretty nervous about having to spend $750 on a new replacement for this phone, it probably won’t be quite that bad.

The continued good news is that I can apparently bring the phone to an Apple Store and one can replace the back glass inexpensively. Anywhere from $29 to $100 based on assorted Apple support forums.

But wait. I don’t live near an Apple Store!  Never fear!  Next month I’ll be in Omaha and I think I’ll take my phone to the store out there and see what they can do.

In the meantime, I got my hands on a pretty substantial case. In part because I’m really paranoid now, but also because I need to protect that cracked back panel — there are slivers of glass that can cut up my fingers, and Dave reminded me that I needed to protect the phone more now from that pervasive Florida moisture!

Just call me “Butterfingers”.  Sigh…

09. March 2012 · Comments Off on iPhone Photo Phun: The Boys at Baseball Practice · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , ,

Just a quickie this evening.

Thursdays this month (and much of last month) have been very busy, between the boys each having baseball practice one after another. First Timmy has practice from 5:30-7:30pm, then Jacob’s is one field over from 7:30-8:30pm.

It’s become a tradition — about 8-10 “little siblings” get together to play catch, tag, hide and seek, or some other classic game while the older brothers are practicing.  It’s really cute.

After about a half hour of hide and seek, I looked over and saw a scene that seemed fitting for my Hipstamatic iPhone app

The Hipstamatic app is like Instagram — it filters your digital pictures to look old-school 🙂  It seemed to work out in this scene, so long as you don’t know what the kids are doing.

So…what are they doing????

The boys are watching the 2nd kid from the left play an iPhone app.  Three of the four of them (including Timmy) are on the same baseball team and they were all hanging out while their big brothers had baseball practice.  I believe Timmy told me he was playing a game called Where’s My Water.

I tried to cram my iPhone lens through a fence link to get pictures of Jacob at bat, but it didn’t work so well.
09. September 2011 · 2 comments · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , , , ,

This is about 1/2 of the backyard in view here.  You can also see our backyard on our weather webcam here.  For some reason the homeowner removed every…single…tree…and…shrub from his lawn.  On Google maps you could see an area of pine trees in the middle of the backyard, but no longer.  More for me to mow.

I’d been wanting to do this for months, and it wasn’t till just before Labor Day that I finally did it!

I measured the distance covered mowing our big backyard.  I also measured the time and the calories expended doing it.  Remember, I’m a numbers girl!

It wasn’t hard — I guess anyone could do it with a pedometer, right?  But of course I had to get all techie!

We have an enormous lawn, and because we won’t be living here that long, we chose not to invest in a riding mower, and just tough out using our 11-year-old 21″ wide push-mower.  When we first moved here in the cooler season, this wasn’t so bad.  I didn’t have to mow at all for the first 3 months, and then it wasn’t often.

Note: Many of you know that I’m the one who mows the lawn in the family.  I don’t mind at all.  Until we moved into this particular house, doing this chore wasn’t a big deal.  In fact, if I mow on weekends, it’s a nice break from the kids!  Dave has horrible grass allergies, and I’d rather take on this chore than deal with his nose-blowing after he does it.

But by Memorial Day, in order to mulch the grass I was cutting (I can’t stand bagging/dumping grass), I had to mow no more than weekly, preferably every 5 days to minimize clumps of dead grass among the mulching.  It got really old really fast.  I need about 2 hours to do the entire lawn, but not while the sprinklers are running, or first thing in the morning when the lawn is covered with dew.  So I’d usually wait until as late in the evening as possible, and mow mow mow until I couldn’t walk in a straight line anymore because it was so hot.  And I’d still be soaked in sweat.

Between the sweating, sore arms and all the walking I was doing, I figured I’d regard this as a real workout.

There’s an app for that!

I attached my Nike+ sensor to my old running shoes that I wear to mow the lawn, fired up the Nike+ app on my iPhone and I got going with the lawn.  Here are the results:

Ignore the fact this is being called a “run”.  Obviously it isn’t, as seen by the 22:23/mile pace.  This is the front yard only.  It’s about 1/2 the size of the back.  The thin line is a micro-measurement of my pace, and it makes me wonder if there’s a slope to our yard.  I was mowing in rows parallel to the front of the house.  The deep plunges in the pace graphs are water breaks.
The backyard.  Almost double the distance and a slightly faster pace, which I can attribute to much much longer rows.

So I now know that cutting my yard takes about 1:15 hours (with no breaks, but I take 15-20 minutes worth of breaks), is 3.48 miles, and expends 420 calories (which for me is the same as a 3.5 mile run).

Want more geeky information regarding mowing the lawn?  Here’s some for you:

Earlier this year (in the middle of their summer lawn-mowing season I assume), two Australian mathematicians calculated the ideal pattern to mow your lawn with minimal mileage.

This past spring, posted this How-to Wiki with ideas on how to make the dreaded lawn-mowing chore more tolerable.  From getting rid of grass in favor of flowers, trees and shrubs…to robotic lawn mowers (i.e. Roombas for your yard!).

22. February 2011 · 1 comment · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: ,

I will admit I don’t play the game (yet), but this is an AMAZING cake! Enjoy!

Let me know when you see a playable Bejeweled Blitz cake!

10. December 2010 · Comments Off on This Morning’s Run · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: ,

We’ll see how long this takes me….

06. September 2010 · Comments Off on Timmy’s Flower Pot — Repurposed! · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: ,

To follow up on yesterday’s panicked posting…

I went to the Apple Store today and came out of there with a new replacement iPhone. Apple has a program where wet iPhones can be replaced for $199. This is FAR cheaper than walking into the store in the middle of a two-year contract and buying a new phone: $500.

But far more expensive than if I hadn’t dropped the phone into the toilet to begin with.

Anyway, to get on with my life and put this sadness behind me…

Timmy came across an empty flower pot in our garage, where I’ve stored all of our flowerpots. It was one that he made for me at preschool in 2009 for Mother’s Day. It had a potted petunia in it. Once the petunia finished up for the season, I put away the flowerpot.

This upset Timmy. He asked this week “Can we buy some more flowers to plant in it?”

I told him “No”, but I did have a good idea…

You’ve all seen them at the doctor’s office or anywhere else where you’re having to sign paperwork and they’re attempting for you to not steal pens. The flower pot full of pens.

So that’s what I did this morning. I ran over to Michael’s and picked up a few fall-inspired flowers and some floral binding tape. I had everything else I needed in the house: the pot, the beans as filler for the pot, and plenty of pens and pencils.

I whipped this together in under 10 minutes. Cute, isn’t it?

From 2010 09 06 Timmy’s Flower Pot

And here’s the back:

From 2010 09 06 Timmy’s Flower Pot

Timmy was thrilled to see this come to life, and is happy his flowerpot is now a centerpiece at the kitchen table. And maybe now I won’t leave a trail of pens and pencils all over the house.

Although I have to say…the floral binding tape leaves a sticky residue that I hope goes away over time…

05. September 2010 · 1 comment · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: ,

Right after I hit “Publish Post” on that Labor Day blog post below, something dreadful happened.

I got up from my spot on the couch where I do my blogging, walked to the half bath just outside the family room, and prepared to go to the bathroom. Before I could get started (thankfully!) my iPhone fell out of the front pocket of my shorts and I heard the “Plop!”.

Oh F-U-D-G-E.

As quickly as humanly possible, I fished my phone out of the bowl, wiped it with a towel and ran back to the laptop by the couch to Google “wet iphone”.

Go ahead, Google it yourselves and see what you get…

Mostly blog posts about (a) how to dry off a wet iPhone and (b) how to scam the Apple Store into pretending your phone didn’t get wet to get a free replacement.

The phone was still on while I was reading all this…but the screen had become VERY dark.  Not off, but really dark.  I tried to make a phone call, but the phone was indicating that the SIM card was missing.

Quick!  Remove the SIM card!

I found my can of compressed air and blasted some of the moisture out of the bottom port, the top headphones and SIM port and around the home button.

The next step was to store the phone in a container filled with uncooked rice.  Just immerse the phone into the rice.  You have to be disciplined to not turn on the phone (and risk shorting out the circuits) and let the rice do its work drawing the moisture out of the interior of the phone.

So that’s where we stand right now.  I made an appointment at the Apple Store for tomorrow afternoon to investigate a replacement just in case the rice doesn’t work out…

UPDATE: The phone has been sitting in the rice for 9 hours.  I misbehaved and turned on the phone just now and Dave and I made a test call.  It all seemed to work.  Whoo hoo, right?

No…the home button still doesn’t work.  In order to attempt another App, I had to power off the phone, then power it back on to return to the home screen.  Then I could check out the iPod feature (which worked) and a couple of the apps.

It’s back in the rice for the night.  It has 12 more hours before I have to decide on attempting to replace it altogether.

03. May 2010 · 2 comments · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , ,

Just showing off one of the gizmo gadgets I’m trying out here. This software is in my iPhone.  It ties into the GPS in the phone and records location, distance, speed and time.  I’ve downloaded the free version, which has some sort of screen saver glitch that prevents me from stopping the runs in time, so it isn’t 100% accurate, but it’s good enough for me.  In fact, in this case, the GPS didn’t kick on until I was about 6 houses down from where I started running, so this route is about .1 miles short.

I love that it’s translating into route information and elevation data.  You can even see that I run opposing traffic if you zoom in enough 🙂

For more oohs…and aaahhhhs….click on “Show Elevation” towards the bottom. This is one of the hillier runs I do, and my knees usually pay me back for about 24 hours after this run.

18. January 2009 · Comments Off on All I Needed Was a Little Fine Tuning… · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , ,

Today at “The Bra”, I saw someone typing away on his iPhone. So I stopped and asked, “Excuse me, are you paying for the websurfing?”

(You know me, I’m not going to sugar coat my question!)

Anyway, this guy (a pilot, actually) showed me how to fine tune the settings on the phone so that my data tranissions never ride on the local cell phone network here. So if I’m kicked off the wireless here, I won’t get charged for data transmissions on the Q-Tel network.

Since I have my phone with me all the time as my music, this makes it much easier than lugging my laptop to the Bra area everytime I might have a hankering to get on Blogger or Facebook.

In other good news, my laptop batteries arrived today and they seem to be in good working order. They’re charging as we speak. I’m so glad I won’t be tethered to these outlets so much now.

My final note: went to the base theater to see “Nights in Rodanthe”. It’s okay. Sadder than I thought, but definitely not “Marley and Me”. I guess I should read the Nicholas Sparks book (I think that’s who authored it). The scenery (story is set on the NC Outer Banks) is stunning and I started missing the beaches of North Carolina, where our family spent quite a bit of time when Dave was in school. I’ve read a couple of his books and have enjoyed them.

Until next time!