Friday, September 23, 2011

Crappy hearing therapist

Cait's last Hearing therapist was terrible and I was looking forward to a new one this year. So far this new one makes the other look like a sweet dream. We are 2 weeks into the school year... Last week she said she had an inservice which is bullshit because she has the starting date in an email she sent to me. This week she was late and hadn't even called the school to make arrangements. The office staff and principle had real issues with that.

I was willing to get over last weeks no-show from her but today pushed it over the edge. Cait had been calling her the fat lady and I was reprimanding her... Baby girl, you can now call her whatever you want.

On a side note, I am thankful she has the best kindergarten teacher ever.

Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Walk4Hearing is Sept 25th!

Every year my family participates in the Walk4Hearing. It is a good opportunity for my kids to be around other deaf and hard of hearing kids, the walk takes place in a beautiful park and there is always a good time to be had. This will be our 4th year walking and each year it gets bigger and bigger.

The walk4hearing helps support advances in Technology - which you all know I am obsessed with.

If you are in PA this Sunday please come by and walk with us, the kids would be so happy. If you can't stop by we would all appreciate it if you would help this cause by donating what you can.

Please use this link to donate.

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Caitlyn & Conor's Walk4Hearing Page

As many of you may know, both Caitlyn and Conor have hearing loss. Caitlyn (5.5yrs old) was diagnosed with bilateral Sensorineural Hearing Loss in the mild/moderate range and has been aided since 3 months old. Thankfully this was caught early and she is on target with her hearing peers. 
Conor was also diagnosed in August 09 with bilateral Sensorineural Hearing Loss in the mild/moderate range.  He has had his hearing aids since he was 4 months old.
We are fortunate that both kids received an early diagnoisis and will be on track for typical speech development.  I wish I could say that I was surprised when we found out about Conor's hearing loss but I almost expected it. Our next step is to start genetic testing and see where that takes our family.  If your kid is delayed in speech or you think he/she may not hear you - please don't take the wait and see approach. Be proactive. As parents we are the kids only true advocate.
My family will be participating in the Walk4Hearing to support all those with hearing loss. I need your support to make this event a success. Please take a moment to sponsor my efforts. Thanks!
See more at

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Hangover prevention

So we went to my brother in laws wedding reception tonight and thanks to autocorrect I am writing this. I never drink anymore but tonight I went for it full force. I don't want to wake up tomorrow morning feeling like ass so these are the steps to take for hangover prevention.

1. Stop drinking alcohol
2. Go home
3. Don't puke in the car on the way home.
4. Get a sugary drink - Gatorade works the best but I was stuck with a damn capri sun tonight.
5. Grab a handful of mortin, take with sugary drink.
6. Eat a slice of bread. I had fresh pumpkin bread that I made this morning so initially I thought it was a good idea. I'm now rethinking that and should have gone with the standard store bought because I put extra flax seed in the pumpkin bread. That may not be a winning combo with all this alcohol.
7. Drink an entire bottle of water before passing out.
8. Lastly, brush your teeth so it doesn't taste like you were licking the cats litter box.

Good night!!!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Just 20 min ago

The kids were punching and kicking each other and now they are best friends reading a book. Siblings.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

She did it!

First day of kindergarten is here. I can't believe today is finally here, she has been ready for years to do this! Of course she was embarrassed that I was taking her picture so this is the best I got. They don't let the parents in so this was as far as I could take her. When she walked through the doors she never looked back -- I'm so proud. Go Caitlyn!!!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Kindergarten tomorrow morning

My sweet lady starts kindergarten in the morning. She seems much older than K in spirit. I'm sure she will do fine, it is Conor that will have the hardest time adjusting... He doesn't know life without her to pester.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Samsung Galaxy S2 Comes to AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile

I am beyond excited about this. My POS iPhone only works a quarter of the time and I've been waiting for this to be released since early in the year. Now I need to decide which carrier to go with.

I love how they mention the iPhone 5 as a competition, I clearly do NOT see it that way. And the bionic, sure I was excited about that earlier but have lost interest 6 months later. Motorola lags behind HTC & Samsung.
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Samsung Galaxy S2 Comes to AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile

Samsung plans to launch the Galaxy S2 on three of the four major U.S. carriers, beginning with Sprint on September 16 for $200.
The smartphone runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread and expands upon the first generation of Galaxy S handsets in a number of ways. It features a Exynos 1.2-gigahertz dual-core processor, a rear-facing 8-megapixel camera with 1080p HD video capture, a larger battery, support for 4G speeds, and a Super AMOLED Plus touchscreen.
The AT&T version of the Galaxy S2 has a 4.3-inch display, while the T-Mobile and Sprint variants will sport a 4.5-inch display.
All the models have a six-axis motion sensor and support touch- and motion-gestures, allowing users to flip the phone over to silence an incoming call, for instance.
Sprint will be the first carrier to launch the device, which will go by the name of Samsung Epic 4G Touch. Both AT&T and T-Mobile will retain the Galaxy S2 name; AT&T said the handset is arriving at the carrier in the coming weeks, and T-Mobile stated the S2 would arrive “this fall” at the carrier. Neither wireless operator revealed pricing for the device.
Verizon, however, will not carry the Galaxy S2. The carrier instead has chosen to release the Droid Prime as its flagship Android model.
The release of the Galaxy S2 on the U.S. market marks the arrival of what may be one of the upcoming iPhone 5′s strongest competitors. The Samsung handset has already sold nearly 5 million units worldwide, and its rollout in the U.S. may boost sales even further. With the iPhone 5 anticipated to arrive in October, the S2′s early release may give it a head start as the fall retail season heats up.
However, the S2 faces intense competition as other high-profile handsets arrive at market in the coming weeks. Besides the iPhone 5, Motorola will release the Droid Bionic, which has been delayed since spring while the carrier made modifications. The Droid Bionic may have a September 8 release date, but Motorola has not confirmed this rumor.
The S2 is expected to be the high-end flagship of a whole range of Galaxy-branded smartphones that Samsung will deploy this fall. The company recently announced it will release four more Galaxy models at various price points to reach more segments of the smartphone market.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Noblo Umbrella Buddy

I've been sitting here for a few minutes (at least 20) looking at the name trying to figure why they named it "Noblo" and then I felt really stupid!  No Blow!! Yeah, I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed tonight. This looks like a great idea -- wish I would have thought of it. 

Noblo Umbrella Buddy will keep your beach umbrella secure while you are playing with your kids or lucky enough to have a cool beverage in hand and relaxing.  I vaguely remember the relaxing beach days... vaguely.  Now I am constantly saying "don't eat the sand, please stop throwing sand, you can't go in the water by yourself..." and it is anything BUT relaxing.  The smiles on the kids faces makes up for it though.

This is really more than a neat idea.  When I went to the Noblo web site I realized what a great product this is:

Great things about the Noblo Umbrella Buddy
  • Manufactured in New Jersey, USA
  • Affordable for people and families retails at $14.99
  • Packaged in Eatontown, NJ by CVR;  a local non-profit organization that hires mentally and physically handicapped individuals
  • $.05 a bag sold to be donated  to USLA – United States Lifesaving Association
  • Invented by moms
  • It’s super easy to use
  • Available in yellow,pink, turquoise, blue, black, and bright green
How many other products do you use that are invented by moms, made in your back yard and hires special needs employees?  This rocks!!

We had planned on going to the beach last weekend but Hurricane Irene visited us and put a damper on the good times.  My kids absolutely love the beach and can't wait to try the Noblo Umbrella Buddy! 

**Disclosure: I received a Noblo Umbrella Buddy at no cost for review

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Friday, August 19, 2011

The first Hello Kitty phone to run Android

That is one bad-ass kitty!
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The first Hello Kitty phone to run Android

Apart from cute and adorable the Kitty is now also smart. The recently announced SoftBank 007SH clamshell runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread, packs in a 3.4 inch 3D ready display supporting a resolution of 854 x 480 pixels, Infrared, Bluetooth, Felica (Mobile wallet), One seg TV tuner and a Micro SD card slot. The phone has a 16 megapixel camera which shoots video in full HD and offers similar features which you would find in digital cameras. It comes preloaded with Hello Kitty goodies like wallpapers, screensavers, ringtones, applications and the face has the cat etched on it. The phone measures 113 × 51.8 × 19.3mm and weighs 140 grams and will be Japan only.

See more at

Monday, August 15, 2011

Being a girl sucks

A month ago I had an ultrasound due to pelvic pain and bleeding for a month plus. While on vacation in Orlando I received the call with results... Not an ideal call. They told me I had a cyst on my right ovary and uterine polyps. Once I got back home I started the process for scheduling the required appointments -- something that truly frustrated me.

With appointments scheduled all I could do is wait. They wanted a follow-up u/s in 6 to 8 weeks and a hysteroscopy as soon as possible.

Last Monday I developed severe abdominal pain where I couldn't function. I stuck it out as long as possible taking care of the kids... See the post from last Tuesday. I was admitted to paoli hospital with a ruptured 4cm cyst.

So now that the cyst is gone it is time to deal with the uterine polyps. After getting no sleep last night, I'm waiting for the dreaded Gyn for a hysteroscopy. It is cold in the waiting room and I'm nervous about how much this will hurt. I can take pain but anything in that region scares me. I don't ever want to hear a doc say "This will only be a little pressure or a pinch" when you nearly pass out from the pain. It would be nice if you bitch-slap them and say "That was just a little bit of pressure".

Time to go back... Wish me luck.

Sent from my iPhone

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Verizon Samsung Galaxy S2 Is Faster, Bigger Than AT&T & Sprint Model?

Please just stop all the rumors and release the damn device here in the US. I don't even care which carrier at this point. It really sucks that other countries get all the best mobile devices first. I am tired of my crappy iPhone that constantly has to be rebooted or dies at 40% remaining battery.

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As the release of the US variants of the Samsung Galaxy S2 approaches, minute details are beginning to leak and shaping what we expect to see from the long awaited Samsung US models.

Samsung Galaxy S2 with 4G LTE surfaces

Now one of the biggest questions when it comes to the Verizon variant of the Samsung Galaxy S2 (Function) is whether or not it will pack 4G LTE radios. Well we can safely say that the Samsung Galaxy S2 is compatible with 4G LTE thanks to a leak over in Korea where a new variant of the Galaxy S2 has popped up.

According to Korean site IT Tong, an Samsung Galaxy S2 variant with 4G LTE, 4.5-inch Super AMOLED Plus screen, 16GB internal storage, 8-megapixel rear camera, 2-megapixel front cameras, Android 2.3 Gingerbread, and a pumped up 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon APQ8060 processor has made an appearance.

Of course, you can't just buy it and use it here in the US as the frequency is different (800MHz vs Big Red's 700MHz). But what this does tell us is that there is a Samsung Galaxy S2 with LTE already produced.

On a side note, if this is the exact same Verizon Samsung Galaxy S2 variant we are waiting to launch here, it has a faster processor and larger display than the normal Galaxy S2, suggesting that Verizon's model may have an advantage of the Sprint Within and AT&T Attain (4.5-inch 1.5GHz SGS2 versus 4.3-inch 1.2GHz model).


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

If you ever wondered what a cookie-bite hearing loss looks like on an audiogram... Now you have seen it.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Now that was painful!

Tuesday morning and I'm waking up at Paoli Hospital. It is amazing how comfortable the bed is in my room compared to the ER. The staff here has been so nice but I am anxious to go home today.

Over the past few months I've had bad pain in my lower right abdomen and it all came to a head this weekend. Sunday I felt really crappy and in pain. If you know me, you know I just tried to deal with it the best I could. I tried taking a nap and getting a ton of fluids. No amount of rest was helping.

By the time I woke yesterday morning I could barely walk the pain in my abdomen was so great. But I still pushed through and took Conor to the dentist for an emergency visit. Once we got back home I tried to get caught up on some work for a few hours. The pain was progressively getting worse so I lay down for a little bit. That only hurt more.

At 4pm I decided to take Caitlyn to her TaeKwonDo class. Waves of pain getting worse and worse but it helped take my mind off by watching her truly excel at a sport. We made it back home and I was afraid to eat... Knew it was just going to come right back up. Conor was being exceptionally clingy; I think he sensed the pain I was in but holding him was killing me.

I finally gave in after the kids ate dinner and was brought into the ER. The ride here was horrendous. Every bump was exaggerated by the pain I was in.

The ER is new since having Conor at this hospital 2 years ago and very nice. They did my triage and immediately brought me back -- thank you for not making me wait!!

Once in my little room they hooked me up with an IV and took a crap load of blood. Within being here for 30 min they had ultrasound waiting to take me down. They gave me some pain meds before sending and anti-nausea stuff so I'd stop vomiting.

--the pain meds did not touch the pain--
During the U/S I did my best to try to keep it together but had a hard time. She was gentle and understanding. I was sent back to my room in the ER and they gave me even more pain meds... This truly messed me up. I was a wreck, couldn't walk or move much. The pain was minimized though so I guess worth it in the long run.

The U/S results came back and the 4cm cyst on my right ovary had burst. That explains all the pain. They also told me the lab results -- low blood count near transfusion level, potassium was so low that they gave me pills right then (of course I puked them up) and low iron.

The doctor admitted me and brought me upstairs to my room. I would sleep for 20 min and wake again. Not much sleep last night but it really is a comfortable bed.

Time for my washcloth bath... I'll try ordering my breakfast after that and if I can keep the food down I'll request to go home.

Oh I am scheduled for a hysteroscopy on Monday and I asked if they could do it while I am here now and they pretty much said no. That has been the only disappointing factor.

Sent from my iPhone

Monday, August 1, 2011

Dragon Law TKD July Test

A few pictures from the July test at Dragon Law TKD. Caitlyn was so happy and I am beyond proud of her. She has shown exceptional discipline and grown as a person since she started this journey. It is never something that I have to force her to do, if anything I have a hard time getting her to all the classes she wants to attend. Thank you Master Walsh!!

Love my baby girl!
Charlotte & Caitlyn
Caitlyn & Master Walsh

Dragon Law TKD - Caitlyn's test

Caitlyn had her white belt test on Saturday.  I wish I could have gotten the whole thing on video but at least I have the board breaks.  Upon request she broke a yellow board with a front leg side kick with no issues.  I'm so proud of her! 

Later that day, to her surprise, her sparring gear arrived!  She was so excited and has been practicing putting it on and hitting a few things.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Techlicious - CE Week

Back on June 23rd I jumped on a train from Philly to NYC courtesy of Techlicious to attend a mini blog conference.   It was held during  CE Week -- the CE industry’s annual mid-year conference and new technology showcase -- and they provided access to this wonderful event.  As you may know already, I am 100% gadget junkie so I was beyond excited. 

Instead of printing my reservation I figured I could scan the barcode from my phone like you can at the airport.  So I was standing there looking like an idiot trying to make this work, thankfully I looked over and realized I wasn't the only one trying to do this.  But... I was caught!! To my left Karla Trotman, Belly Button Boutique, was standing there.  All the Philly Social Media Moms were meeting at the train station but this isn't how I wanted to be found.  We met up with Julie Meyers Pron, Robin Elton, Melissa Angert and Andrea Howard.

We made it just in time for the panel discussion, How to work with Mom Bloggers, hosted by Suzanne Kantra, Founder/Editor-in-Chief  During this discussion I learned scores are not everything and Mom Bloggers give your brand a personality and reason to buy it.  It was a very insightful discussion. After this was finished we went to the press room and attended a mini conference where Suzanne presented tech ways to make blogging easier.  Some of the items presented were:  

  • Photogene to add watermarks using your iPhone or iPad.  Not only does it provide watermarks but editing and sharing capabilities for the iOS devices but it IPTC stamps the file.
  • iRig Mic for iPhone - this is key for interviews
  • Zoom Q3HD - This is perfect for sound and HD quality video.  Tip - always use 2 hands while recording and if you have to move, move your whole body and not just your hands.
We then sat down for a tasty lunch provided by Cohn & Wolf where Chad Latz spoke with us.  Post lunch we were treated to a personal tour of the CE Week Exhibitors from Suzanne.  During the tour we visited many booths where we learned about sustainability products that are coming out, neat little gadgets and everything 3D you'd ever want to know.  Can you believe they had a 72" TV there? 

What a great charger!   

The Thrive is a dual core 10" Android tablet!

Of course HTC was there and it is now official... I love the Sensation.  This truly made my day, wish I had longer to play with the device.  It felt small in hand considering it has a 4.3" screen, and SOLID! Not cheesy like my iPhone 3gs that ended up dying half way through the show.

There were many other great products at the show and I am grateful that I was invited.  At the end we were given a gift bag that included many fun products but my kids have not stopped playing with the Hex Bugs since I got home.  Most toys in the house have a life span of a few hours but these little things keep crawling around everywhere.  Speck gave us a beautiful A Line Bag for iPad's and 10" Netbooks along with a shell for the iPad 2... now if only I had a tablet.

Thanks Julie for organizing this!

**Disclosure - We received free transportation and conference entrance along with a gift bag.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sick - need supplement info

So there has been some funk going around my house and it needs to vacate.  No, I am not talking about Quang but he had better not go any further on my bad side. 

A week and a half ago I found out I had a kidney infection, beyond painful and thankfully 1000mg of cipro daily for 7 full days killed it.  BUT half way through that I ended up getting a nasty virus that I am still fighting.  Poor Conor got it too, I thought he was getting better and then he spiked a 103 temp.  Took the little dude to the doc and the step test was negative.  He recovered just in time for his 2nd Birthday party at Arnolds -- what a relief.  So we thought we were through the worst of it and had a fun day planned for Monday (his actual birthday) but of course his sister got sick.  Yesterday Caitlyn developed a 104 fever, this morning the fever was still as high so she went to the doctors.  This one tested positive for strep.

What supplements do you give your kids?  What do you take yourself?  I need the kids to be healthy for 4th of July weekend. 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Nokia's first Windows Phone: images and video, codenamed 'Sea Ray'

Now this is exciting! I have always loved the N Series devices and have never ventured out to purchase one due to the OS. This changes everything... running mango! Windows Phone 7 shouldn't be discredited at this point, it is still young but catching up fast.

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Nokia's first Windows Phone: images and video, codenamed 'Sea Ray'

Ok, this one's odd. In fact, we didn't believe the images until a video just surfaced showing Nokia CEO, Stephen Elop, foolishly asking a crowd of people to "put away their cameras" for the unveiling of something "super confidential," codenamed "Sea Ray." Naturally, a few people ignored the plea for "no pictures please" and, indeed, leaked the new device out to the blogosphere. What is it? Why, it's Nokia's first Windows Phone. While it looks nearly identical to the just announced N9, the different LED placement on the back (in line with the same 8 megapixel Carl Zeiss lens) confirms it's a new device as does the additional hardware button (for shutter release, we presume) along the side. And the fact that it's running Windows Phone 7 Mango seals the deal. See a few more shots and a snippet of the video after the break, then hit up the source to see the video uncut.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Pre-school Grad!

My sweet baby girl is now a pre-school Grad. Hard to believe how fast she is growing up. Love you, Caitlyn!!
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T-Mobile debuts "More for Me" Android app, aggregates daily deals

I'll have to check this out. Great idea if it is implemented properly.

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T-Mobile debuts "More for Me" Android app, aggregates daily deals

T-Mobile has launched a new application and service for Android smartphones that aims to make it easier for users to see and take advantage of daily deal offers.

The new app, called More for Me, aggregates daily deals into one, easy-to-access place for customers. T-Mobile has partnered with Living Social to load the More for Me app with locally relevant deals for each user. Users can specify their interests for more personalized recommendations within the app as well.

More for Me is in beta now and available in the Android Market for any device running Android 1.6 Donut or higher, even if it is not on the T-Mobile network. The app and service are free. T-Mobile has plans to develop More for Me for other smartphone platforms in the future.


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Great idea!! Evernote's Peek the first app to take advantage of iPad 2's Smart Cover

As far as mobile apps go, this is truly innovative. I am impressed and talk about a way to engage your audience. This will keep users on their app longer... they added a gaming aspect without making it cheesy.
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Evernote's Peek the first app to take advantage of iPad 2's Smart Cover
Evernote has just introduced a cool new app that utilizes the magnetic capabilities of the Smart Cover on the iPad 2 to help users study and improve their memory skills

Called Evernote Peek, the app utilizes the flexible, magnetic Smart Cover for the iPad 2 to present pieces of information to the user in a similar fashion to flash cards. The user can lift up just a portion of the smart cover to reveal a question, and then lift it up further to see the answer. When the cover is closed fully, a new question is generated. Evernote is positioning Peek as a tool for students, trivia buffs, and anyone who is looking to enhance their memory.

Users can create clues and answers right in their Evernote account. The note titles become clues, and the body of the note will contain the answer. Peek allows players to keep score as they play along. The iPad 2 has to have its brightness set to about 75 percent and the auto-lock disabled in order for Peek to work properly.

Evernote Peek is free and available in the iTunes App Store now. It requires an iPad 2 and an Apple Smart Cover for the iPad, though it does not matter what color Smart Cover one chooses.

Take a look at the video below showing Evernote Peek in action.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

World IPv6 Day

I wonder how much will be broken... will we get any stats on this?

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World IPv6 Day

World IPv6 Day is an event sponsored and organized by the Internet Society and several large content providers to test public IPv6 deployment.[1] It will start at 00:00 UTC on June 8, 2011 and end 23:59 the same day.[2] The main motivation for the event is to evaluate the real world effects of the IPv6 brokenness seen by various synthetic tests. On World IPv6 Day, major web companies and other industry players will come together to enable IPv6 on their main websites for 24 hours.The goal is to motivate organizations across the industry – Internet service providers, hardware makers, operating system vendors and web companies – to prepare their services for IPv6 to ensure a successful transition as IPv4 address space runs out.[3]

The test will primarily consist of websites publishing AAAA records, allowing IPv6 capable hosts to connect using IPv6. Although Internet service providers (ISP) are encouraged to participate, they are not expected to deploy anything on that day, just increase their readiness to handle support issues.

Many companies and organisations have committed to participating in the experiment, including the largest search engines, social networking websites and content distribution networks.[4]


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Interesting - Want One of the First Google Chromebooks? Try Gilt Groupe.

I have no interest in getting one of these but this is story caught my attention. Talk about an odd pairing... Gilt & market launch of a new chromebook. I would expect bestbuy or another retailer but Gilt?

Still shaking my head. Hope this works for them.
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Want One of the First Google Chromebooks? Try Gilt Groupe.

I have a feeling there won’t be a mad rush on the first Google Chromebooks when they go on sale mid-month. But for those who can’t wait that long, Google is teaming with luxury seller Gilt Groupe to distribute some of the first machines.
“We were able to get our hands on some early Samsung Chromebooks before they go on sale June 15, so we wanted to find a way to make them available to our biggest Chrome enthusiasts,” a Google representative said in a statement. “We teamed with Gilt Groupe to provide early access to our eager applicants of the Chromebook pilot program last year.”
Google also promised Chromebooks to all attendees of its I/O developer conference, but no word on when those will be arriving. Samsung showed off its Chromebook at an event following last month’s conference.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Windows Phone web marketplace to arrive with Mango update

Another step in the right direction, keep chugging along.

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Windows Phone web marketplace to arrive with Mango update

Microsoft has announced its plans for a web-based version of its app Marketplace, where users can browse and install apps on their Windows Phone smartphone from a browser on a PC or Mac.

Similar to the web-based version of Google's Android Market, the Marketplace will allow users to pay for new apps with the credit card associated with their Windows Live account or assign a new credit card. The app will then be sent to the phone, via SMS or email, to be installed. The Marketplace will also keep a tally of the apps installed on a phone, so if a user switches devices, they will be able to reinstall the same apps they had previously. There will also be an implementation of parental controls.

[via The Next Web]


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Microsoft's iffy bet on 'Mango' to save Windows Phone

My faith is dwindling fast. I drank the kool aid on day 1 trying to believe in this but even with all the recent purchases they have made they are still falling behind. I sincerely like this platform, saw potential but they are taking too long. I know Microsoft wants to take their time and do it "right" but they are taking too much time and not exactly getting it right. A fail/fail scenario.

Pick up the steam!! Be the Little Engine that Could!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Google updated mobile maps for iPhone & Android browser - 'bout time

To answer the question posed "why not just use a native app?" not all users are into apps.

Search - Sometimes they are hard to find in the app store.
Cost - Browser is free.
Memory - Don't want to use your memory on that particular app.
Time to market - Apples approval process

I had a co-worker that didn't want to create a gmail account for his Android device so he couldn't access the app store and therefore no native apps. So there are some scenarios out there where this is relevant.
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Google has updated its mobile Maps website for the iPhone and Android browsers, bringing the mobile website up to speed with a lot of the features found in the native apps

When users visit in a mobile browser, and enable location sharing, they can now access features such as current location; local search complete with suggest and autocomplete; clickable icons of popular businesses and transit stations; driving, transit, biking, and walking directions; satellite, transit, traffic, biking, and other layers; Place pages with photos, ratings, hours, and more; and access to starred locations and My Maps when signed in to their Google account.

The new Google Maps mobile website is available now for the iPhone and Android phones, but it begs to ask the question, why not just use the native app?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wordless Wednesday's

Crazy Aaron's Thinking Putty

In Primary Yellow of course! This Putty sits on my desk day after day. Gets pretty beat up from the amount of use. It has maintained it's color. I make fun shapes (Mostly inappropriate), it bounces, it tears into tiny little balls which I believe are what they consider the choking hazards and try to get thoughts from it but I think that is a lack of brain cells not the fault of the putty. It is a perfect gift for a co-worker. Thank you, Crazy Aaron!

One warning... Don't put it on your monitor and let it ooze down!

Disclaimer - I was not contacted by this company, this is a product that I have on my desk at work that I love.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

How do I make it better for her?

I thought I would have years ahead of me to plan the right words, think it through and come up with a plan but my baby girl had her first breakdown Sunday night.  Sure I have seen the signs over the past few months and I have dealt with them little by little.  She would take her hearing aids out and say they "hurt" her, tell me she could hear ok without them in, ask me how long she will have to wear them for and not want to go to school.  Sunday night she let it all out.  Saying how much she hated her hearing aids, how difficult it is to hear from far away and how she doesn't like being different. 

During her IEP I had her evaluated for Anxiety due to her stomach issues and wanting to take her aids out.  I can't tell if the stomach issues are a concern or stress.  I've had new earmold impressions to make sure they are not the issue.  She goes in regularly for her audiological appointments.  I talk to her all the time about her aids and how important they are.  She uses her Phonak FM System and does really well with it during class but her hearing loss will ALWAYS be there.  It will always be a factor in her life.  I simply don't know how to make it better for her.

What. Do. I. Do?

Monday, May 16, 2011

5 (unusual) reasons Verizon FiOS has made life easier

So most of you know I am a working mom that has to rely on not exactly "ideal" tactics to get  things done at times.  By ideal tactics it really depends on who you are talking to... I am no Donna Reed here and would never claim to be but you probably wouldn't think I am Mommy Dearest either.  BUT all dorkiness aside FiOS is great and helps us in everyday life.  Without it I wouldn't be able to get much accomplished at home.  I rely on it to help me with my cooking, cleaning, work, discipline and sanity.
  • Kids programming -- It has turned my 5yo daughter into a Big Time Rush FREAK.  I mean this is a serious issue, if she doesn't see that show on a daily basis there are tantrums.  She has learned to effectively use the remote.  It has improved her memory skills because she knows what time and channel.
  • On demand -- So when she can't get her fix of her favorite show or she misses it due to a TaeKwonDo Class Caitlyn knows how to navigate through the screens to reach her destination.  Of course there is a large variety of other shows to watch if you get bored with the few hundred channels that are playing. 
  • FiOS Internet -- For the whole family!  Yes, you read that right... even down to the almost 2yo.  We are all connected.  The kids love playing games and watching videos.  Keeping with the crazy 5yo theme – BTR has a website that she visits to watch their latest info.  I think at this point she must be their biggest fan.  On a personal note - it is helpful for me when the kids are sick and I end up working from home.
  • FiOS Phone -- Most days I question why I have a land line but I guess I need somewhere for telemarketers to call so I can hang-up.  I actually let my kids answer the home phone and where it is unlimited calling I don't mind when the little one sits there and just pushes buttons and doesn't really say much.   
  • Widgets -- Saved the best for last.  Since I am never really have time to watch TV it is so easy to pop the weather widget on in the morning while scrambling around trying to get the kids ready.  
My kids don't sit in front of the TV all day.  Their screen time is limited and by screen time I also have to include computer time... never thought I'd have to say that with kids so young! I also monitor what they watch too, yes I am picky with some shows.  Overall, you can't beat the technology; we never have issues with it like we did with cable.  Thank you, FiOS!!

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Verizon FiOS sponsored blogging program. Any views, opinions or experiences expressed are my own.”

Saturday, May 14, 2011

4.5" is too big for a device: Samsung Infuse 4G review

Size really does matter... I'd never get this based on that one simple fact. I have girl pockets and it wouldn't fit in them very well. Go ahead and laugh but it is the truth. No matter how great it is, I still need it to be functional in every day life. The 4.3" devices even push it a little too far. The perfect size I've noticed is the 4".

The only 4.3" I was willing to get was the Droid Bionic and that is a mythical creature at this point. My last post about it was back on April 5th and there still isn't any movement -- I give up!

So, overall... it might be worth it but looks like everything else out there. I'd rather wait for the Android Sensation this summer.
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Samsung Infuse 4G review

We're just getting into the swing of spring, flowers blooming and skeeters biting, but already it's been a great year for Samsung -- if we ignore the whole lawsuit thing. Just a few weeks ago the company delivered to us our highest scoring Android phone yet, the Galaxy S II and, while that handset has not appeared on American shores, we were graced with the Droid Charge, which offers LTE speed, strong battery life, and an on-contract price that slightly exceeds its design.

Not so with the company's latest assault on American carriers. It's the Infuse 4G, it's $199 on-contract, and it has a decidedly high-end feel. It even looks a little like the S II -- if you squint. This is its own phone, though, a giant 4.5-inch screen setting it apart from its predecessors, and a giant battery inside giving it plenty of life. But is it really as good as it looks?

Laurel Hill Mansion - Philadelphia, PA

Friday, May 13, 2011

Insomnia - Why O' Why?

So the Dad Vail Regatta is tomorrow morning and I really need my rest but can't quite sleep.  Why is it on the nights/days that I need to go to bed early I can't?  This sucks.  Eyes are blurry.  I'm cranky and starting to act like one of my kids.

Almost tried one of those Dream Water's but decided that wouldn't be a good idea because knowing my luck I'd sleep through my alarm tomorrow. The experiment will take place tomorrow night!

Night all... hope sleep happens soon.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Microsoft set to buy Skype for $8.5bn in biggest deal in history

This is huge. Hopefully Microsoft will make Skype more stable. I think it is another positive relationship for them. First Nokia and now Skype... they may actually have a shot in the Mobile Arena IF they do this right.

C'mon Microsoft, kick Apples ass! Android is a little too far ahead but you have a good shot at Apple. On a completely side note -- it would be nice if Android would get their act together a little bit and be more organized.

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Microsoft set to buy Skype for $8.5bn in biggest deal in history

Microsoft is on the verge of buying Skype for $8.5 billion - despite the Internet phone service making a loss last year. 

The deal would be the biggest in the 36-year history of the world's largest software company.      

Microsoft has trailed Apple and Google in the mobile and Internet arenas. 

Despite doubling sales and profit in the last eight years, Microsoft's
stock has mostly languished at the same level.

It has left investors worried about
its ability to counter new rivals or adapt to new ways
of computing. 

Skype was formed in 2003 in Luxembourg and originally sold to eBay in 2005 for $3.1 billion. 

At the time, it was thought that Skype calls could be used in auctions by bidders or sellers but the idea never materialised.

In 2009, eBay sold a majority stake in Skype but retains about a third of the company.

Microsoft already has video chat as a function in its Windows Live
Messenger service, but it is not available on its Windows Phone 7

Skype is a well-known name but its profits are on shaky ground. It recorded a loss of $7 million last year.

Although 663 million people are registered on Skype, most of its services are free as calls are made between computers or in some cases internet-enabled phones.

Potential: Teaming up with Skype could help Microsoft's position in the mobile and Internet arenas

Potential: Teaming up with Skype could help Microsoft's position in the mobile and Internet arenas

It makes money on voicemail services and calls to landlines or mobile numbers.

Microsoft's most high profile Internet purchase was the $240 million it paid for a 1.6 per cent share in Facebook in 2007.

Bill Gates's company has also invested in the MSN Internet portal and Bing search engine, racking up $7 billion in losses in the last four years.  

There is potential for Skype software to be combined with Microsoft's Xbox Kinect for an interactive gaming experience that would link up players across the world.

Apple's FaceTime video-calling service -- available on its latest iPhone and Mac computers -- has been a big hit with consumers.

Google recently followed suit by adding video to its popular Google Talk application for smartphones.

Competitors: Microsoft shareholders have been concerned about the company's ability to compete with rivals such as Apple

Competitors: Microsoft shareholders have been concerned about the company's ability to compete with rivals such as Apple

The deal is relatively small for Microsoft, which has $50 billion in cash and short-term investments on its balance sheet.

'I think the price is quite reasonable,' said Sean Lee, a
Taipei-based manager of the Global Top Dividend Fund at Shinkong
Investment Trust, which owns Microsoft shares.

Skype had recently been looking at other options including tie-ups with Facebook and Google.  

Microsoft and Skype declined comment.