Sunday, April 23, 2017

New Gadgets, Petcube!

Recently I wrote how we received the Amazon Echo Dot for christmas.  It was a fun gadget, but it was just a novelty and not really utilized for anything.  That changed when I bought two outlets that connect to wifi to control power to whatever you plug into them.  So now, both lamps in the living room are controlled by voice with Alexa or by using the app from wherever you are.  Not a necessary thing, but I think it's pretty neat.

Since then, I was looking for a bluetooth speaker to use exclusively for Alexa.  I would up getting a bigger version of the Amazon Basics bluetooth speaker that I already have and like.  Now it is much easier to listen to music - anything we really want through Alexa and Amazon Prime.  Another use for the Dot, and a good one for us.

While I was getting that speaker I came across another gadget that caught my fancy, and I ordered it pretty quickly - the Petcube.  The Petcube is a 4 inch cube with a camera that connects to wifi that you can use to see your pets from wherever you are on your phone via the app.   When you log into the camera the cube itself makes a noise and a light on it turns blue letting you know the camera is live.  Through the app you can play with the cats with a laser or turn on the sound to talk to them.  You can also take a picture or video if they happen to be super cute.  If it's dark, they have a more expensive version with night vision, but again, I can turn on the lamps from anywhere with my phone.  There is also a feature you can pay for that will use it like security, recording when it detects loud sounds or movement.
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The cats have become familiar with the noise it makes when it comes on, so when they hear it they will come out to the living room and start looking for the laser!  It's not the easiest to control, with your finger on your phone screen, but they do have fun with it.  And almost everyone I know has absolutely loved it when I showed it to them, other than one relative who acted rather dismissive but I think he likes to think he's on top of all the tech things so it's old news to him.  I think it's quite a lot of fun and still not something everyone has heard of, but I know several people that I showed it to who may have one of their own soon!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Late Easter Bunnies?

DSCF5496aWe lost the tree 2 years ago now, April 25 actually, and then we had much fewer squirrels in the yard last year. This year, a brood of what seem to be yearling - or maybe 2 year old - rabbits have moved into our yard.  Well, maybe not 'moved in,' as I think I would find out where they lived, but our yard has certainly been their playground lately.  I keep telling my wife I need a pellet gun - half-heartedly, of course - and she always exclaims her disagreement.  As long as they don't eat all the flowers that I'll buy this spring then I guess at least they give the cats something to watch.
My wife says there are four, but I have only ever seen three at a time.  I'm pretty sure this will continue until proof is presented...

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Happy Blogday To Me!

I almost forgot, this is my Blogday!  I've been doing this for eight f**king years!   Wow.
Edit 4/11, added new 8 pic.

That's a long time to keep something up that is as personal as it is public.  I've had friends and family that care, friends and family that don't, friends and family that sign up to get emails when I post but then I rarely or never hear anything back from them.  I know blogger ain't farcebook, tweeter, linkden or Instagrat.  I don't care.  I don't want more accounts or social media so I know I don't make it easy to be my friend that way.  I just like having my own little corner of the internet here that I can say and post (almost) whatever I wish.  Just - and sometimes mostly - for me.  An online journal, or a diary, of sorts.  I appreciate those that come along for the ride and I also appreciate the new friends I've made along the way.

Blogging is always a bit of work in progress.  The other day I tweaked my template and lost my lists in the right column.  This is the second time I lost my lists, I can't remember if I was messing with my template last time.  I will build them again, but it may be later tonight, tomorrow or even next week.  Whenever I feel I have the time and gumption to get it done.

I don't want this to take away from my post earlier this evening - we got bikes!  Scroll down or click here to read all about that!  And Happy Blogday to me!

New Bikes!

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I've said it here a few times now over the last few years, and finally we have bicycles!  Last weekend we went to look at them in a store then came home and shopped online for what we wanted.  They arrived on Thursday this past week, the delivery driver was good enough to leave them at the back door since we weren't at home.  We've never had a delivery stolen but we know that it has happened in the area before.  That night I started putting mine together, and today I finished it and put my wife's together.  Hers went much smoother than mine.  She has a nifty 3 speed that has the normal brakes of a one speed, while I have a 7 speed with hand brakes.  We won't be riding in any races, just riding around our side of town, eventually.

We spent some time outside with adjustments and learning to ride a bike all over again.  While I think it is true, that you never forget how to ride a bike, the details and the finesse of it will take time to re-learn.  Still, the harder part is going to be getting the body back into somewhat near the shape it was the last time we rode bikes.  For me it has to be at least my late teen years, while Kate thinks she may have been twelve when she last rode a bike.  We started mostly in the driveway and yard until moving to the sidewalk and then the street, but just our little corner of the street, maybe a couple hundred feet either way at the most.  It was a nice little exercise and, as my wife pointed out, much different than riding the recumbent exercise bike downstairs.

We practiced enough to be a little sore, but not too bad.  Overall, not bad for how long we've not ridden.  There are so many places we can get to just on our side of town, and so many dedicated bike paths to get there and further, if we ever wish.  I'm looking forward to getting in better riding shape this summer, even if it's just for a quick jaunt down the bike path to Atwood Ave to get ice cream! →

Monday, April 3, 2017

Spring 2017 Pictures

DSCF5469It was finally dry and sunny enough to get a first look at what's going on outside with all our plants.  If you're interested in looking at a bunch of small plants that probably don't mean anything to you then stop by Scoakat's Garden here!

I still haven't figured out what I'm going to do with that website, but don't expect much more than what I did last year.