Category Archives: iphone

Adventures in 3D and D.C.

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Oh spring, how I’ve missed you! We finally see warm weather, even being warmed by the sun. The Crocus blooms in the back yard, and my dog decided it’s a great time to shed. I can’t tell you how happy I am to see the snow and ice gone.

Updates to my life include self-learning Blender, playing around with movie making apps, changes with Score, and a few new things.

blenderBlender, (free) if you don’t know already, is a 3D modeling and animation program. There’s something of a learning curve to master everything it can do, including adding special effects to movies, but it’s a field I’d like to stretch my creativity and see what I can make. So far, I’ve worked with animation an ocean, but texturing is a bit difficult. I’ll share when I get something to show off.

I hope to make things like animated text, film introductions, and special effects in film.

tinkercadAnother program I found was Tinkercad, (free)and what makes this 3d modeling program so neat is that models you create can be saved as OBJ (which can be used in Blender or DazStudio, but also can be used with the 3D printing services. This works on smart phones too.

There is a 3D print factory in Hagerstown, MD, by the way. And you can use 3D print-on-demand with  Shapeways. There are other 3D printing on demand, but you’ll have to compare and check file expectations.

The Windows Lumia 830 phone I upgraded to offers some lovely quality for photos and videos, but I find the Windows still lacks in the way of entertaining apps for video editing. Since I have apps for the iPhone 4S, and I still have it, I figured I’d explore the movie editing and special effect features.

Here’s a sample of GunMovieFX for the iPhone, which adds bullets or lasers to your movies. I can also add blood splatters and even sound effects to scenes.

 

WP_20150328_11_36_10_ProWe took a trip with the Boy Scouts to the Air and Space museum in D.C. Omg, it was so cold that day- near freezing. People wore jackets, and I reminded them how long the waits can be when you wait for the Metro train.

Danny was shivering at one point, where I did the old ‘told-you-so’. Maybe he will listen to his mom from now on! Um…not likely.

We saw rockets, planes, and the World War II exhibits, as well as a section on light. It was fun.

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We also visited the Natural History museum, but by then the crowds were getting insane, and my feet were killing me. I got to touch a piece of mars rock, though.

Some exhibits I didn’t’ want to stand around to wait to see. I wanted to see the butterflies (real ones) but the line went on forever. And anything that required standing deterred me from looking at too much. I hope to be in better shape the next time we go- build up my standing tolerance.

The planes in the Air and Space.

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My handsome boys, who never seem keen on my taking photos Dave plays along, but Daniel often glares at me. I insist he’ll thank me later as I am keeping the memories of his childhood alive.

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David took my photo as I took my adventures to my (imaginary) sky. This was an exhibit on balloon flight.

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I thought I would also add that although I entitled this blog with the word adventure, my own thoughts on what that means basically is that I go outside my comfort zone. Since doing that more, I’m meeting so many people, having experiences, and having a better attitude in Life.

On to the adventures…!

Fun with phone upgrades

WP_20150317_21_53_07_SelfieAfter months of reading and comparing, I finally upgraded my phone from an iPhone 4S to a Windows Lumia 830.

Frankly, I considered sticking with the iPhone but the camera sucks and the battery sucks even more. The other day I had a full charge and by noon, I had to use my portable charger. That is just ridiculous. Apple needs to step up their game.

The battery easily lasts me all day. With the mini-USB, I can use with the car charger, or my portable charger without having to bring the plug-specific iPhone charger.

WP_20150319_18_52_10_Pro (3)Photos are great too. You get more control and ease of use, with better photos in dim light as well as editing and sharing functions.

I can blur or even manipulate the shutter speed, but the quality surpasses the 8 MP camera all the iPhones have. The Lumia 830 has 10 MP. (The 1520 model has 40 MP).

Video is also impressive at 1080p. Video  includes stabilizers to cut down on the shakiness, and seems to do better even in low light. The camera includes a ‘trimmer’ so I can edit video on the phone.

See below for a video of my dog playing at the park.

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The tiles take some getting used to but like Windows 8.1, you can resize, move, and add/delete as you want. Whatever apps I downloaded for my Windows Pro tablet, I can pretty much use on my phone.

I also can choose a photo where the tiles will move over it, so they appear almost clear. You can personalized with colors as well.

Siri was nice in the iPhone, but Cortana works great as my personal assistant. So far I haven’t had an issues where she said she can’t help me. Siri had a number of times she answered with ‘service unavailable’.

Cortana has a lengthier setup process so that she will pronounce my name correctly and understand my likes and dislikes. She also understands things in context such as what apps you use, and puts information in context. For example, I can ask about wearing a coat tomorrow, and she can guess based on temperature if I should wear a coat. She can also check traffic, check my calendar, or even my reminders to put things in relation to another.

As for personal assistant apps, I use it mostly for when I drive. With this phone, it includes a feature to shut off texting, with an auto-reply telling the person you’re driving now. I could also shut off phone calls when I drive as well, but since I have hands-free, that’s not an issue. The text function is very handy.

This also came with a Fitbit Flex through a special with AT&T. Fitbit Flex is an activity monitor that you wear as a bracelet. This connects via Bluetooth to the phone and let’s me know how many steps I walk, even if I walk in place. I used one once while walking when I was playing Skyrim to see how far I was walking in game. I stepped side-to-side and went over a mile. Cool, eh?

I’m pretty happy with the upgrade, with the phone, and with the phone/video, I hope to add more graphics in future posts.

The Power of Creativity is My Super Power

002Sometimes when I watch videos online, I play around with crafts and follow through with ideas I find on the Internet. It is when I actually complete the idea and it looks good where I feel awesome in the power of creating something.

This photo illustrates the wonder that is a DIY (Do It Yourself) pen holder. Its made from a paper clip and duct tape. This means I can make own pen holder for any 3 ring binder or notebook I want, which is removable, but can be made to match the binder/notebook itself. Since I make it myself, I also make the clip whatever size to whatever sized pen I want to use. It is AWESOME.

Here is the video I found the tutorial:

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I also wanted to make my own post it note/pencil holder. Here I used an old cassette tape covered in Washi tape for color, and used to make the pencil holder. It is not as tight as I’d like, but it works, and I can also put my iPhone in it.

I decided to bow out of the Assistant Secretary position with Score. It took too much of my time doing something I don’t enjoy. I hope to still mentor, perhaps aid in the other Board member committees, but not with any position. I just don’t have that sort of time available for volunteer work between homeschool, my meetup groups, my business, and Life. I still dedicate over the minimum hours volunteers are expected in Score.

scoreScore, by the way, is a non-profit organization that helps small business owners with every aspect of the business. You can get mentoring, workshops, and resources for free. Check out their site at Hagerstown.score.org.

I’ve been writing in my blogs as well. I figured I might as well start posting them in this blog while I’m at it:

Productivity Tip in A Writer’s Journey I share my two tips I’ve been using this past week that seems to work remarkably well in increasing my productivity.

Signs of Spring in the Moon and Shadow blog. I share some ideas to celebrate the First Day of Spring (Equinox).

Video: 9 New iPhone Tricks That’ll Change Your Life Here is a link to a video of some very cook tips with the iPhone.

Nature and Project Noah

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I like bugs, and spiders, but I’m not a bug collector. I’d feel too bad with killing them, so I take photos instead.

Here, I saved this Spotted June Bug from a jar of water in the back yard. It’s also called a Grape Vine Beetle, but oddly enough, its not a pest. Supposedly, they don’t cause enough damage, which seems to be true. We don’t have an issue with them.

This guy is gasping because he was nearly drowned. I let him be, and later found he was gone.  

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When having trouble identifying things, I sometimes use the Noah Project site. It’s a brilliant idea where the site uses members to create a global community of nature lovers who will help document species all over the world.

iphone-patchesYou can join ‘missions’ to look for butterflies, spiders, or flowers, and earn badges as well. I only have the Tadpole badge for now.

So I used my Noah app (iPhone or Android), which lets me share a photo and ask users to help identify it;

017It’s a Carolina Horse Nettle.

Its also called sand-brier and devil’s tomato. Don’t let the tomato reference fool you- this is a poisonous plant, and considered a weed.

I still think its pretty, though.

 

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This was a small tree, (shrub) known as a Wafer Ash, or Hoptree, known for being rather fragrant. I didn’t smell anything. I found the seeds rather interesting though.

Due to its fragrance, gardeners add this to their yards to attract butterflies. Historically, its also been used to make beer.

 

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And here we have Lazyous Kittyous, or the Lazy Cat, aka Max. He’s enjoying these summer days in the back yard. I took this photo while brushing the dog and looked over to find Max doing this.

Yeah, cute. He wanted to be brushed too, and waited for his turn.

What have I been up to?

eggThe local weather forecasts possible snow on Sunday. Last Wednesday was the Spring Equinox. Did Nature not get the memo that its supposed to be warming up?

Last night was freezing. Our heat turns down to 60 degrees (Fahrenheit), and even with my electric blanket, I feel chilled. This intertupts my sleep. I waken feeling still exhausted, with a headache, and just zoned out all day. It sucks…the cold just sucks.

What have I been up to?

My Wiccan Meetup group celebrating Ostara last night. It was fun. We decorated eggs with symbols and colors representing things we wanted to grow into our lives. We’re to leave the hard boiled eggs out in nature somewhere so animals can consume (and enjoy) while taking our wishes with them.

I was asking my iPhone 4S weird questions the other day, and took a screen shot of Siri’s answer to my question about my sister, Allison. I had to post this on my Facebook to tease her.  We have this ongoing joke that Siri is my best friends…namely, replacing her.

I took a photo of Danny taking a nap after he spent overnight at a friend’s birthday party. Here, Max shows him how to do it right. I think he’s catching the hang of it.

I got the permanent crown put in, and I still feel its sensitive every time I drink water or eat hot foods.

I joined a meetup group called Hagerstown Fun Lovers. The organizer is a nice guy, and the first meetup went okay. Not everyone showed up. Not everyone in the group seems to agree on what’s fun though. These kind of groups learn towards hanging out in bars or restaurants for the most part. And I’m not much of a drinker.

I’ve been blogging;

Pagan bling and pride

Pagan TV- Vikings on the History Channel (this is an awesome series)

Preparing for Ostara

Top 10 Things You Should Know About Word Processors

Short Stories VS Novels

And I’m considering video blogging for an entire month in April. Why? Mostly to add another medium to my blogs, but also to show Daniel the benefits of using YouTube as a way to share with others, to sharpen the public speaking skills, and to connect with others. I’m still not 100% on the idea. We’ll see on April 1st.

Thoughts on texting


Some people often comment how phones and the Internet shuts us off from socialization. Such remarks are often added along photos of people staring at their phones, or sitting in a room with their eyes staring at the screen. But what are they looking at? More often than not it’s a post, a text, email, or even face time with video. That, I believe, counts as socializing.
If anything, I feel more connected using apps like Facebook or Meetup. I also use Textnow. (free texting, voice) I tend to join in more real social events as I am informed (and often invited) to such things. I pretty much stayed home before the great world the Internet took over.
As an introvert by nature, I thoroughly enjoy that I can block out messages and set things off when I need to. Not feeling social, don’t turn them on. Feeling social, turn them on. Its nice to chat or text when I’m up to it.
Since my husband got my old Iphone 3GS, we text one another tons more. We share a calendar, so no more scheduling conflicts, and we send photos, links, or need-to-know stuff immediately. Admittedly, I will text even while at home. It saves me from going downstairs. But think about it- its also convenience when you’re sick in bed, too.
I think, like many things in life, we need to see texts more as a tool than something that takes over our lives. Just my humble opinion.

Autumn along the C&O, and the Iphone 4S

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The other day, my Wiccan meetup took a hike along the C&O Canal. The leaves are in their full glory, and it makes for such a nice walk.

Its even ground. People you meet are so often friendly with a smile and hello, and you can see quite a bit of wildlife thriving down there too.

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We found at least 12 Woolley Bear Caterpillars crawling around. There are the larvae babies to the Isabella Tiger Moth, and most well known for the tradition of predicting winter weather. Supposedly, the black represents cold and bad weather, while the brown represents warm weather. Its an odd superstition. I think they’re just cute.

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Check it out; a Great Blue Heron. This guy was so close to the parking lot, and in this photo he’s keeping an eye on a young Rottweiler puppy that’s watching him.

 

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And the leaves are just breathtaking in all their colorful glory. An interesting thing people may not realize is that these color are always present. The green Chlorophyll covers it up, and while the green dissolves in the Autumn month, revealing the brilliance below.

 

 

I also got a new Iphone 4S for my birthday. Its awesome. The camera is better, and includes both front and back facing cameras (that includes video), as well as the usual apps. It also includes Siri, which is the AI that can do many hands-free services such as looking things up, calling contacts, sending emails, posting to Facebook, and so much more. I love my gadget!

Further updates includes looking into ideas for potentially getting some sort of career. I’m thinking of maybe C.N.A. or maybe book editor. I’m still exploring options.

I also celebrating my 45th birthday. Ugh@ growing old, but yeah for birthday cake. I ate way too much, had lunch with my mother, got calls from other family members, met up with some sisters, and my husband made lots of Halloween-themed foods for dinner.

Danny made me a card, and got me a Nutella snack thing. Nutella, if you don’t already know, is tasty heaven. Its chocolate/hazelnut cream stuff you eat straight or add to coffee, bread, cookies, etc. Omg, its so good. Its been a running joke with my son that when we go to the store, he will stand in front of the Nutella, arms wide, and tell me to ‘stay back’. lol Trying to save me from myself, I suppose.

Overall….a great birthday