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Not much about my situation has changed. I’m still looking for a job. I’m still trying to stay positive. I feel like I’m doing better. I still have my good days and bad days, but I feel like I am moving forward and that’s what I need.
I have a job interview tomorrow. I may potentially have one next week, and I’m excited about both. I really miss working. Being at home sucks, LOL! But Bruce has helped fill my days with fun and laughter.
Jessie is doing well, her grades have been improving and she still enjoying high school. I don’t know how Jim is doing he hasn’t spoken to me much. I still speak to his mother from time to time. In fact I need really need to go see her. My parents have been doing okay. My mother and I are getting along great, and I’m really enjoying the time I am getting to spend with her now.
I have been working on a few projects here and there, and really need to get them posted here on the website. I have also been playing around with different apps on my iPad. In fact I’m drafting this post and Dragon naturally speaking for the iPad. It’s pretty neat, although I’m having to correct words here and there, and I think that’s due to my accent. I’m told that the more you use it the better it gets, so here’s hoping!
Well it’s about 1 AM in the morning, so I think I’ll end this here. Hopefully I can start blogging again more actively. I know I keep saying that, but considering I pretty much sleep with my iPad and carry it everywhere, perhaps that will make it a lot easier to post updates.
I’d like y’all to meet the newest addition to my family. Bruce, meet the Internet. Internet, meet Bruce Wayne Faulk.
Click the above image for a photoset of images.
He is about 5 months old. He was originally named Bandit. His mother was a Siamese rescued from a shelter in Tuscaloosa while very pregnant, and she and her kittens were fostered in Birmingham by Have A Heart Animal Rescue. The staff were absolutely wonderful and quick to answer any questions I had. I highly recommend them if you are looking to add a new furry member to your family!
He started answering to “Bruce” right away, and acclimated really quickly to the new surroundings of my home, as well as to Jessie. He’s very affectionate, but not quite a lap kitty. He constantly wants attention or to be held, but only stays for a few minutes before going off to play, hehehe. He’s surprisingly well-behaved for a kitten — except, of course, when it comes to meal times. He’s a little ninja when it comes to my food, so I have to keep a sharp eye on him! LOL
I haven’t quite had him 3 weeks, but he’s without a doubt the best Christmas present I could have ever received. (My mother helped pay for everything from his adoption fees to food and other supplies as my present.) He’s established himself as a member of the family, and Jessie and I couldn’t be happier!
He doesn’t sit still for photos so I’ll keep working on getting better pictures, but I was able to get him sitting still enough for a few minutes playing a game on my iPad and recorded it:
I actually had a follow-up the day after my last post, but it’s still sitting on my phone. Hehe, whoops!
I’m doing better. I’ve been slowly but surely cleaning up the mess left behind when Jim moved out. Jessie has been helping me to finalize some of the redecoration plans for various rooms in the house. I’m really looking forward to giving my home a makeover.
I’ve been making an effort to get out of the house even if it’s nothing more than going out to grab a milkshake somewhere or pickup a loaf of bread. I went out with friends from work last Friday to see The Dark Knight Rises.
It. Was. AWESOME!
No spoilers; that right there is all I’ll say about it. I promise.
I had a great time. One of the ladies I work with has been setting up a night once a month or so where we will all get together and go out after work, so I am looking forward to that too. I’ve been gaming a little here and there so I’m staying busy and keeping myself distracted with a myriad of things, which has helped.
I’ve also found a new gun range near home, and am looking forward to going by there at least once a week for a little stress relief.
Oh! I also bought a new toy … an iPad.
It’s been a lot of fun to play with and honestly am glad I got it. I had been looking into getting an ebook reader but kept also eyeing the iPad. After comparing all of my options, I knew I would be happiest with this … and, I am!
So, I’m doing ok. A little better, actually. Just trying to keep moving forward as best I can. Jess keeps me company a few days each week so that has definitely helped. I worry about her not getting along with her mother, but I know there’s only so much I can do about that.
So … how is everyone?
I had been ill off and on all last week, but it hit hardest Friday. And by that I mean I got DOWN with the sickness, LOL! Literally knocking me on my butt, and right into bed. I missed most of the Alabama vs Arkansas game, but woke up in time to hear Rammer Jammer being sung by the crowd in T’town. I missed WordCamp Birmingham entirely and am really bummed about that. (can someone let me know where the lecture notes are posted?)
I also missed a Ladies Night Out meeting, but was pretty sure I was going to miss it even before I got sick. I haven’t been to a meeting in a while and have been dying to join one of the karaoke outings.
Well, after 3 full days of sleep I am feeling much MUCH better! Of course I’ve spent half the morning clearing out emails and voicemails and will probably be doing so for most of the rest of the day today, LOL!
I took some time this morning to submit a new fanlisting that I’ve started:
I’ll be sure to post when it’s approved and “gone live.”
I’m a “list person”. I like lists. Especially “To Do” lists. I like outlining my goals and enjoy the sense of accomplishment I feel when I get to cross those items off. So naturally, I’ve been looking for a “list” type app for my iPhone.
I had spent several weeks looking for just the right application. I wanted something simple with the ability to export lists, and to have the ability to set recurring tasks. Jim had run across one and emailed me a recommendation: Concrete Software‘s To-Do List.
It has quickly become another iPhone app that I can’t live without. Not only can I use the recurring tasks feature to keep track of monthly, quarterly, and yearly bills and other recurring costs, I also use it for checklists for side projects, things I need to do at home, and more …
At the time of this post, To-Do List costs $2.99. If you’re a “list person” like me, you may find this a handy app to add to your GTD arsenal.
I know I’ve been pretty quiet lately. There’s been a lot going on lately, and I’ve been unplugging more and more to deal with everything going on. There’s plenty of family drama going on with Jim’s ex … but that isn’t exactly anything new is it? Work is still going ok I guess. Two people in my department turned in their notices, so things will be a little tight for a while until the new hires (myself included) are brought up to speed. Jim is still out of work, so that’s definitely putting a strain on things. I’m really hoping he’ll be hired on where I’m working, but I haven’t received a definitive answer one way or the other if the company allows nepotism.
Over the last few months, I’ve been busying myself with various things — escapes, if you will. I finally finished Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series, and have made it a little over halfway through Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series. I really liked the first book, but the second one was VERY hard to read. I’m now halfway through the third, but haven’t picked it up in several weeks. I’ve picked up handful of other books that have been recommended to me by various people, but haven’t started on any of them.
Call me a fangirl
I’ve been taking a break from reading to delve wholly into my latest obsession — Aion: The Tower of Eternity. It’s a new MMORPG by NCsoft (makers of Lineage, Heroes, Guild Wars, etc.). It’s due to release in September. Jim and I have participated in the last two closed betas and I am absolutely loving it. (so much so that I’ve set a screenshot of my character as my iPhone wallpaper *g*) It’s a visually stunning game, and I absolutely adore the soundtrack.
I’ve all but quit my other online gaming and will most likely play Aion exclusively once it’s released. Both Jim and I have pre-ordered and Jessie, after watching me play all this weekend, has asked if she could also play. She went into detail about the class and character name that she’s already chosen. Jim and I talked about it, and if she keeps her grades up, we’ll pay her subscription fees so that she can play with us.
It’s kind of funny … Jim recruited me, I recruited a couple of guys from work, and we’ve both inadvertently recruited Jessie … all to play Aion. I’ve had a few WoW buddies also express interest in playing. I think once it’s released, Aion will give WoW a serious run for its money.
Appreciation — the gift that gives back
One really great thing about working where I am now, I see a LOT more soldiers and vets! After being there just a couple of days, I learned to keep an extra stack of Soldiers’ Angels cards at my desk just in case I see a group in the mall. I also keep a stack in my car because I often will come across some when out and about running errands and/or grabbing lunch.
A couple of weeks ago, I had gone out to lunch with some of my coworkers. As we entered the restaurant, I ran across a soldier who was getting ready to leave. He politely spoke with me for a few minutes when I stopped to thank him for his service. His response was similar to that I’ve heard from several soldiers and vets: “Thank you, I wish more people felt the way you do.”
I assured him that most people appreciate their efforts and definitely support our military. So many people that I’ve talked to over the past year say that they want to help … they just don’t know how. While I encourage folks to look over the Soldiers’ Angels website and consider joining, I always stress making their support known. It doesn’t take much — if you see a soldier in uniform, or a veteran, walk up and say, “Thank you for your service.”
That’s it. No big elaborate speech or presentation necessary. Most people will politely thank you and go on their merry way. It’s a small task — and it really DOES make a huge difference. I really wish more people would show appreciation to those who are serving, have served, and who support those who did/are (their families need our appreciation too!). After all, it’s good manners … and I guarantee that you’ll feed good inside when you do.
Who knows you may just make somebody’s day!
As of 3pm today, Jim and I are no longer Helio members. (yes, I know they are now Virgin Mobile, but apparently accounts are still separated in their system and for all intents and purposes, it’s still “Helio”) Wow, I can’t believe that two years have already passed!
My Ocean has been a really good device, but I can honestly say that now I’m glad that we upgraded. It was time to move forward and sadly, the Ocean 2 (or “O2″) isn’t near as nice as Apple’s iPhone aesthetically- (nor functionally-) speaking. So far, the AT&T service has been really good. Hopefully it’ll stay that way. (although I really DO wish they get their collective asses in gear on this MMS crap!)
So AT&T is not the devil?
Speaking specifically about their wireless service, I’ve got to admit that AT&T has made it a lot easier for me to do business with them. They’ve cleaned up the online billing process and I love their iPhone app — it’s great for paying on the spot, changing account info, checking usage stats, etc. They’ve even implemented a CSR chat function on their website. It has been great for letting me get small tasks taken care of without having to stay tied up on the phone. (which also allows me to work on other things at work while chatting with the CSR!)
I still won’t go back to them for internet or residential services, but hey I’m happy with the wireless service overall.
What about the extras?
Someone recently asked me what was to become of the fanlisting, blogroll, or other Helio-related goodies here. I think for now I’ll let them sit. If an interested party wants to take something over, I’ll gladly hand it off — or maybe I’ll kill ‘em all in a mad cleaning spree 6 months from now. You never know …
May 14, 2009 by Nicki
For a while, I’ve been following the progress of Mozilla’s mobile browser project, codenamed Fennec. As the Mozilla team’s efforts push the project forward, I can’t help but hope that one day soon it will be available on the iPhone. Of course, this will mean that Apple will have to actually APPROVE the app for inclusion in the App Store.
As of this post, Apple has yet to approve any major 3rd party web browser application for the iPhone (meaning not based on Safari). That’s one of the few things where Helio had them beat. When the Opera “mini” browser was released, Helio embraced it. And how could they not? Let’s face it, the Helio native browser was sluggish and seriously lacking in many features where as Opera was sleek, fast, and surely had it beat. Heck, you could even manage your bookmarks online from the Opera website and easily synchronize with the browser on your device.
I would LOVE to see that kind of capability on my iPhone!
I had hoped that by now, Fennec would be far enough along that Helio users could use it. But since Jim and I have jumped aboard the Apple ship, my hopes are now that Fennec could one day soon be made available for iPhone users.
Don’t get me wrong, I like Safari … but I’m a Mozilla fangirl through and through!
Last week I had discovered something: I can’t type worth a flip on a touch screen when I’m mad!
Jessie had suggested getting a stylus — well, in a round-about way, after discovering that her Nintendo DS stylus would not work with my iPhone. LOL! I thought it was a great idea though and began scouring the net for possibilities. And let me tell you, there are TONS out there. I finally popped back onto the Apple site and looked through their online store. One immediately caught my eye, so I ordered it: the Pogo Stylus.
I got the red one!
It came in the mail yesterday, so I spent a good deal of time last night and this morning playing with it. I don’t think I’ll use it every day, but there will be times when I’ll need to take lengthy notes or maybe post to my blog, and this will come in VERY handy!
May 1, 2009 by Nicki
Learning a new device always takes time. I’ve spent some of my spare time lately seeking out all the iPhone tips and tricks for various functions that I couldn’t figure out on my own. (Manual? What manual?) Apple actually has a pretty comprehensive list on their site, but I found several more that may be of interest to any other iNewbies out there.
If you have your search engine set to Google (it is set to this by default), you can leave off the “www” and “.com” when typing a URL in Safari. For instance, for www.mozilla.com just type “mozilla” in the URL box.
Save an Image as Wallpaper from Safari
You can save an image to your camera roll in Safari by pressing and holding the image. A menu will then appear asking you to either “Save Image” or “Cancel”. Once saved in your camera roll, you can set it as your wallpaper.
Caps When Typing
Most of the time, I never use the caps lock and keep it turned off. But what if you need a series of letters to be capitalized? The neat thing about the iPhone’s multi-touch is that it is smart enough to let you use the shift key just like you would on a computer — so you can hold down the shift key while you type, and every letter will be capitalized.
Re-arranging Applications on Home Screen(s)
This one I found by accident. You can rearrange the icons on your Home Screen by tapping and holding on any icon. When they start to “shake” simply rearrange as you like. Note: you can also switch out the icons on your dock (the gray bar at the bottom of your iPhone Home Screen).
Create an Icon for Your Website
If you hadn’t figured out by now, you can save bookmarks to your Home Screen. If no web clip (think favicon) is available for your site, it will create one using a screenshot of the whole page. Ugly, right? So create one for your site and it will be displayed instead.
Recommended: 57×57 pixels. Save as PNG format, with a filename of “apple-touch-icon.png”. Make sure you put it in the root folder of your website where your web documents reside.
If you don’t have access to your root folder, you can add the following to the HEAD section:
<link rel="apple-touch-icon" href="/images/apple-touch-icon.png"/>
Is that all?
I’m sure there’s a lot more out there that I haven’t discovered yet, so feel free to share your iTips and iSuggestions in the comments form below!