#450 Online cloud storage

Still on technology.

Isn’t it one of the greatest ideas of our time, that there is an imaginary place up in the clouds that stores our much-needed data, and keeps it safe in case our hardware goes kaput?

Isn’t it great, that this imaginary place, is REAL?!

I first used online cloud storage with my old phone and its hand-in-hand Dropbox app, storing all my photos online. This was insanely useful at the time, since we had baby girl, and as any parent knows, your camera roll will contain 10 photos of the one moment, with just a move of the head or an expression on your baby’s face being different.

And I couldn’t possibly delete any one of them! They were of my baby girl for goodness sakes.

So I dropbox’d them. 🙂

Now, with my new phone, the app is Drive. Although I’m seriously behind in many organisational facets of my life, today I made some progress in uploading and then downloading said photos to Drive and my laptop, and knowing that not only do I have hard copies on my computer, but also up in the clouds, is actually a relief.

Often I think that the abundance of too much technology makes us feel more pressured and obligated to abide to certain routines: that is, of backing up, updating, moving folders and files, printing hard copies, etc, etc. Life certainly seemed easier in our parents’ day, but then again, they have no where near the amount of photos of us, or the memories we shared with them, as we do with our kids.

So, I will take the obligations, if it means more smiles as we look back. Tit for tat.

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#449 Wireless mouse is re-born

So lately my laptop mousepad has been pissing me off. It is extra sensitive, and no it is not a setting (it just tried to delete that sentence there) whereby I’ll be trying to delete a misspelt letter in a line 3 rows up, and instead it will reposition whole sentences. I will be dragging a photo I want to later develop into another folder on my computer, and instead short-cuts and whole folders will be selected and they will disappear before my eyes into another folder. Shit happens, before I save.

It is computer, NOT user. In particular, mouse pad.

I did a frustrated scream of “Grrr Argh!” hours earlier when again folders disappeared and the photos I wanted to save, didn’t. I yelled that I was going to hurtle the laptop, and baby girl came over and rubbed my back supportively. Awww.

I remembered that we still had a wireless mouse stashed away in our desk somewhere. I couldn’t remember exactly why I stopped using it – was it low batteries, or the fact that with laptop, my mouse was now ON my computer? – but I decided enough was enough. I needed control back.

I tried with little success, to get it to work again, first re-installing the wireless mouse programme, and then changing the batteries inside. As I did this I noticed it was especially rusty on the contact ends, and only after new batteries didn’t even work, did I start to suspect…

I was still hell-bent on buying another wireless mouse, soon, but out of curiosity googled, because ALL OF THE WORLDS ANSWERS ARE ON GOOGLE. I google EVERYTHING.

I asked something along the lines of “what does green rust come from?”

I got heaps of options to click on, but the one that grabbed my attention was a youtube video on how to clean rust from your battery compartments, yourself.

I mean, of course. There was a youtube video for everything, even how to fold fitted sheets (still witches I say).

I watched the short video, observing how easy it was to do:

  • dip a cotton bud into white vinegar, carefully cleaning and removing as much of the green rust as possible
  • then using a clean cotton bud dipped in water, wipe over as much of the vinegar as possible
  • before finally dabbing all parts with some clean paper towel.

I had all this stuff at home. I would do it.

I wasn’t able to get all of the green rust off, so I wasn’t sure how effective the procedure was. Still I dried the internal parts of the mouse with some paper towel, and then popped in the new batteries, before plugging in the mouse’s usb key into the laptop.

I turned the mouse over and… it lit up green! On screen, the cursor was moving!

YAY!

I was pretty chuffed with myself. I had saved myself about $70. 🙂 And just with a little D.I.Y too. I may need to revisit the cleaning with vinegar thing again soon, since the rust wasn’t all removed… but for a first time, I think I did good.

I’m so happy with my mouse right now.

 

#437 Petrol cashier’s kindness

 

My gratitude came to me today at the insanely early and God-forsaken hour of 5:45am.

Godly indeed. Blessings certainly came my way.

Are you one of those people, where upon waking up, sudden thoughts and ideas and reminders, just pop into your head?

Pop, pop, pop!

Well as I was getting dressed for work this morning, I realised astutely, and begrudgingly, that I was fairly sure I had to fill up the car with petrol.

Damn it. The cons of working so far from home. I knew the tank would take me there. But the one time I tried pouring petrol in the city before my trip home, I was stuck in further traffic for so long, that I swore I would NEVER do that again.

I would have to do it then. Now. 5:30am.

Which I’ve done heaps of times before. No biggie. My car dash confirmed what I dreaded as I got in – yep, need the juice. Off we go, driver.

Standing in the freezing cold, rain whipping about me despite the elevated shade, it didn’t occur to me. Then, as I finished filling up the tank, it still, didn’t occur to me. Then, getting my wallet out of my bag, still, it didn’t occur to me.

As I opened up my wallet to get my card out, to make my walk across the petrol station to its indoors, I stopped.

Shock. Horror.

My card wasn’t there.

And just like that pop!

Another memory. 15 MINUTES TOO LATE.

The night before I had swapped the money Hubbie had in his wallet to take with me to work, for car parking, and put my key card in his wallet, just because, in case. I knew he probably wouldn’t need it, but you know.

I was being nice.

I didn’t even have a credit card. He had that too.

(Face palm).

I went back to the car, and got my mobile too. I didn’t know what I would do, other than I think I needed all the back up and technological gadgets I could get, for some unknown reason.

As the man at the counter called out “number 6?” with a smile, I grimaced.

“Yes, but I don’t have my cards! I’ve left them at home, and…”

I started rattling off random things. Should I call my husband? Should I get him to drop off the card? Both ideas were inconvenient – if I went home I’d most likely have to leave my driver’s licence with him, and that was if the cashier let me drive home. The other option involved Hubbie having to take baby girl with him to the petrol station down the road, just so he could give her scatterbrained Mum a freaking card from his wallet that HE DIDN’T EVEN NEED THAT DAY.

I waved my phone about. “Can I somehow pay, with this?” I racked my brain, realising that I didn’t even think our credit card had a mobile app, and even so, I didn’t have the card number on me!

And then as I was rattling off things sporadically, I came to some kind of end result…

I showed him my bank app, and asked “Can I pay the business through my account?”

Well, it wasn’t the business account I paid. But the man had given me his personal account number, and I transferred the funds into that. He didn’t explain, but my perception was that he would fix up the till, from the money I had put in there.

He held up his phone when it was done, and said “it’s gone through” with a smile. I didn’t step forward to check, as there was a queue of people in front of him waiting to pay for their items the normal way. I just thanked him profusely and left quickly.

But I wondered. Should I have taken a photo of his phone’s image, ensuring I had proof I had in fact paid? Would he report me to the cops and keep my money for himself?

Would my writer’s mind just shut up???

It’s sad that as we get older, we are often told to watch our backs, be wary of other’s intentions, and make sure we are not taken advantage of. I reminded myself of the facts – I had needed his help, and he had come through for me, going out of his personal way to do so.

And then, I said “breathe SmikG. This dude saved your arse.”

So, at 5:45am, I was grateful to the petrol guy. I think that station has gained a constant income from our family, from now until FOREVER.

#286 The ‘you don’t have a clue’ video

A lot of people talk of today’s increased technology and all its other subsequent advancements as some kind of demise of humankind. However, I tend to think that there are some brilliant inventions and possibilities that have come out of technology. They have made our lives healthier, easier, and so much more convenient.

Take the fitbit. People can be acutely aware of how much movement they make a day and increase that for optimum health results.

Take the electric garage door. You can sit in your car, rain, hail or shine, and with the simplest press of a button allow a huge chunk of metal to cascade up, or down, while you stay in heated/air-conditioned luxury (another technological amazing advancement).

Take the internet. You can google almost anything, I mean ANYTHING, and have some kind of valid/legit answer pop up. Look up a country’s demographics, find out how long it takes to travel by plane from Melbourne to Maroochydore, what is the proper, English/Australian spelling for manoeuvring (this one ALL THE TIME)… it goes on and on and on.

And then, YOUTUBE.

🙂

Well of course technology would also make our lives more fun, wouldn’t it?

I came across an unbelievably funny video last year. I then saw it again when a friend shared it on facebook, where once again I died laughing and nearly passed out from laughing so hard and forgetting to breathe.

I had wanted to show it to Hubbie at the time and share the video love, but time got the better of us, and then I forget… ’til tonight.

After showing him something else on facebook, I suddenly remembered. I then summoned my inner stalker detective, and proceeded to trawl through my friend’s facebook timeline, until I found the God damn post from over a year and a half ago. Finally.

He watched it, with me cacking myself in the background. He found it amusing, but not Laugh Out Loud hilarious like I did.

SO I WILL SHARE IT WITH YOU ALL INSTEAD!

Warning. This is probably funniest to those with children… in particular, Mothers. Because, you know, we know.

And the childless, have no fucking idea.

And that’s why the video is so hilarious. Early into it, I saw myself and Hubbie so vividly with the comedian’s remark “we could have a mini you and mini me…”

Oh man.

Enjoy 🙂

(I own no part of this video or any rights associated to it whatsoever).

A disclaimer between #229 and #230…

Because, moving process, I currently don’t have internet. This means that some lengthy posts I had planned to post this week will be accumulating and sitting in a folder on my laptop, being unread.

So in light of this fiasco of internet non-connection, I’ll still be posting my daily blog post title, followed by a very short summary of what it will be about… to be filled in with my actual post at some point, hopefully no later than next week…

I promise, I will not cheat. These posts will exist daily, albeit on an offline folder hidden from your view, ready to be seen and read… sometime soon. Hopefully.

Now I will go because tapping a screen on my new phone, no matter how fantastic it is, becomes tedious after a while…

And all this because when I said “organise disconnection for Friday,” the phone provider thought that to mean “commence immediately!”

Can’t live with them, can’t live without them.

#196 New toys

It has been 4 years since I got my last mobile. That’s like, eons.

The way cats are 79 feline years old by the time they’re 8 years according to our math,(or something) those 4 human years of my phone equate to about 1295 in technology years.

Seriously. My old HTC was getting to the point where some days, some buttons would work. Other days, I had to get creative and discover strategies to get to certain screens… I even had to end calls on people by forcing a shut down on my phone – that’s how difficult it started to get.

My old phone was great. It just got old (and dropped a few times by baby girl) and along with the fact that there are people out there who change their mobiles as often as they change their underwear, I figured it was time for us too, to upgrade and get with the times.

Honestly, sometimes it’s not even about the money, or keeping up with the latest gadgets. A lot of it has to do with time. Lack of. If you don’t have time to research phones and make that step towards actually heading into a phone store and spending at least an hour there, well you’re screwed.

Today, we MADE the time. I was so scared my phone would die on me before I had a chance to back things up and transfer files, and along with the fact that our Sea change will happen in about 2 months, I thought it was safer to stay ahead and make sure the phones we had were reliable, in the face of multiple phone calls by agents/bank lenders/conveyancers/tradies that would only be increasing in volume very soon.

SO! After all that, today this:

htc-one-x9

Mine looks like that, the silver version, while Hubbie has the gold one. It’s a new toy, something to play with, waste away precious time on, and flash the big-arse screen around for others to ogle at.

I am excited by the thought of the improved photo quality, and in particular that for my food photos, so any future Food Reviews should look pretty awesome. Let’s see how that goes.

But really, it is exciting. It takes us ages to upgrade our phones, each time they start to die, just because, LIFE, but when we do, we have fun with it.

Gorgeous gadgets.

(#59) The A-Z April Challenge: T – Trips away

This will be a quick one, because I’m writing from my hubbie’s 4 year old mobile with out of date browser. Word Press isn’t a fan. Onwards.

Having the opportunity to get away is a true privilege, and a real great reason to be grateful. We live in a city where you are within driving distance (sometimes hours by car, but still) to mountains, sea, hills, wineries and bush retreats. We drove an hour 20 today, and we’re on the other side of the city, near spectacular ocean views.

Sometimes a quick trip is all you need. Sometimes you come back to life reinvigorated, ready to go full steam. Other times you ask yourself “why don’t we actually do this?” (as we asked ourselves a few months ago).

I’m grateful for the ability to do this. Trips like this can sometimes, change your life forever.