With the ability to blog more often, I needed to get my tech life in order. I also needed to do it cheaply, because I am balling on a budget.
Let's start with my phone.
I am currently rocking a 32GB Nexus 5x. Side note, I was in the mall grabbing lunch last week and the woman in the Sprint kiosk tried to tell me my phone was old! My phone is old if you are one of those people that gets the latest and greatest as soon as it comes out, and while I would love that to be me, I do not have it like that. My phone will do just fine, thank you weird Sprint lady. Ugh.
Anyway, on my phone I use Feedly to see what is going on in the technology world, Twitter and Facebook to keep up with you guys. While I do have the WordPress app on my phone, I was running into issues publishing documents on there. That has been fixed, but typically I use Evernote to write my blogs, and publish on my laptop when I get home.
Now, have you ever tried typing anything other than texts on your phone? It is long, tedious, and a hassle. When I would go to proofread, I would literally be crosseyed. Enter my Kindle Fire
I've owned a Kindle Fire for a few years now, using it mainly for internet browsing. I decided that I needed to make it work for me. For Christmas last year I recieved a cover for my Kindle that has a bluetooth keyboard attached, which is what I use when I am on my lunch break. I have Evernote installed on this as well, so as long as I have wireless access, my entries are populated across every device I have Evernote installed on.
In addition to Evernote, I have a clipping tool, so that I can screenshot as needed and a file browser, so I can work around the limitations of the Kindle. For example, I am currently working on crafting some gifts. I have a notebook set up in Evernote about one of my projects. I had a zip file in the notebook. I unzipped the file, but you don't really have a way to file explore on the Kindle without an additonal app. Is the Kindle the most functional and convenient tool for blogging? Not really, but with the proper apps it works just fine, I had it already, and after adding a keyboard it works beautifully.
You may ask why don't I take my laptop where ever I go. I mean, it's a laptop right? Well, yes it is a laptop, but it is a gaming laptop and is massive. The only time I take it with me is if I am headed on a trip out of town. Even then, a lot of times it does not get pulled out, especially if it is something I can do quicker with my phone (check email, tweet, Facebook).
The thing I am noticing however, is that the battery drains on the Kindle Fire quickly. I have to charge it daily, even if I am not using it. It is an older model as well, so there is no fast charge on this thing. It takes forever to fully charge if I let it drain completely. I usually find out when I get to work. If it is completely dead, I can get it to maybe 25% before lunch time.
I honestly want a bigger tablet, something with a little more power that I can use for other things. But that is a little further down the line.
Everyone experiences a revelation some time in their lives. For me, it came as a Freshmen in High School.
High School was a difficult time for me. As a Black girl, you were expected to toe one of two lines. Slacker, indifferent to school, work, or anything that would get you further in life or the super smart Black girl. School was easy for you, advanced classes. One thing both of these girls fell in line with was music. Hip Hop, rap, and R&B is the name of the game. Anything else was ostracised.
I...was different. I was good at school, but I had to work at it. I was not inclined to work hard enough at it to be in advanced classes, though I was placed in advanced Lit and additional Lit classes without really trying. I was one of few POCs in band, due to expense and how POC's weren't really catered to in band.
My musical tastes were all over the place. I listened to the genre's listed above, but my very first CD I personally owned was Celene Dion "Falling Into You" Alanis Morrisette was my theme all through high school. While I know now as an adult there were a ton of people just like me, but at the time, it was so lonely in my world. I was fat, black, ostracised. I had a hard time relating to people in my social circles.
Around this time, I was in a program called Upward Bound. One of the things they did that I will be forever grateful for is they tried to inject a bit of culture into our lives. Plays, ballets, and musicals. The first musical I ever saw was with them, Les Miserables. It sparked something in me. The pain, the confidence, the strength in to their voices had me hooked. Now, I`d seen the musical Oklahoma on video in the 6th grade, but it did not strike anything in me except I was creeped out by the ballet scene. After Les Miz, I was hooked.
A few years later, Chicago came out. I would dance in my room creating dances to the songs, as I heard the soundtrack before I saw the movie.
What I guess I am saying is that I was ripe for Hamilton to get me.
This past year I have heard my friends talk about Hamilton. I kind of pushed it to the side, and went about my business. I knew what would happen if I liked it.
One day on Facebook about two weeks ago, I admitted that I had not heard a speck of Hamilton. Someone piped up that it was on sale on Google Music.
It still took me a few more days to listen to it after I purchased it. I had a long trip to go on for work, and I decided I would listen to it on the trip.
Why did I arrive to my destintion with tear tracks down my face and snot bubbles and every stitch of makeup gone?
"'Hic, mmy name is Leslie and I'm here to checkkk--*BREAKS DOWN IN TEARS*."
Great business visit that.
I'm currently reading on Physics and electricity. I need to create a time machine to give Alexander Hamilton more time.
There have been long discussions on Hamilton on my page. I have dragged two other people on this journey. I just found out today that they are recording the original cast before Lin-Manuel Miranda leaves the play. I happened to learn this during some training I was in for work. I basically started vibrating in my seat. A coworker noticed me basically looking like a jackhammer in my seat and I had to explain why. The count is now 3.
Sadly they aren't touring Hamilton in Indianapolis. I spent a lot of time (more time than I am comfortable with at work honestly) trying to get tickets in Chicago. I couldn't get through. My heart is sort of broken. Maybe I will get a shot at a later date for tickets, but at least I have the album to keep me warm until I see it.
Do you remember what changed your life at some point? Something that made you consider an option you never thought of before?
At the time of posting I have introduced Hamilton to 7 other people. IT IS CONTAGIOUS
Shout out to Amanda Reynolds for the great pictures. I asked her if she wanted me to promote her Instagram, and she responded that "My Instagram is just cats." God I love her.
With a baby in the house that needs almost constant attention (she throws a massive fit if we put her in her baby gate and do not join her), I do not get to play video games as much as I used to. I am also her primary caregiver. This is not by choice, If I put her in her father's arms and walk away, a scream that rattles the bones of the dead is emitted out of her. It doesn't happen every time, but enough that she is basically my shadow.
When I do get a chance to play, my game of choice is Guild Wars 2. I play a Sylvari named Andewyn. On my birthday I recieved the expansion Heart of Thorns. I have logged roughly 3-4 hours of game play since recieiving. I love it so much, but my time to play is limited to when Geeky Baby is sleep or out of the house. When she is at daycare, I am at work, so you know how that is.
Andewyn looking tough
The night I was acting goofy and made that guy stand next to me because he reminded me of Prince Eric from The Little Mermaid
One of the podcasts I listen to, Hello from the Magic Tavern, keeps advertising this game "Total War: Warhammer." I am dying to play this game. It looks like so much fun. I have never played the Total War series, so any thoughts anyone may have would be great.
I was totally bummed (Anyone on the Facebook page could have told you) that they closed down production of the newest Fable game. Fable is what initally got me into gaming. Before that, I enjoyed watching people play, and basically backseat driving their game, but I never wanted to take the reins.
First there was Fable, then Fallout 3, then Elder Scrolls, then (oddly enough) Quake and Everquest, Everquest 1999, and Guild Wars. There are other games sprinkled here and there, but these are the major ones.
I also enjoy watching people stream different games I may not play on Twitch. It gives me the backseat driving on gaming I crave without driving anyone crazy.
This has been a whirlwind of several months, and I am here to give you the scoop.
Have you been in a position before where you felt like you were drowning? Maybe it was homework, housework, just life altogether, but you felt like no matter what you did, you could not get your head above water.
That was me.
Ladies and gentlemen of the blog, I was in a very bad situation with my job. It pretty much felt like I was being emotionally abused in a way. No one's feelings in my department were being considered. The way that we were treated made it seemed like we were worthless. Even if you are amazing at your job, being treated like that for a year or longer, you will begin to doubt yourself.
When I came into my job, I basically came in and kicked in a door. I kicked ass, I was the best. I did my job, I did it well, and while it wasn't the most technologically stimulating job; it was giving me experience in a large corporate environment.
Until it didn't.
I knew one of two things were going to happen.
1) I would stay there and be miserable and never move up and never grow. I was always at the point where the job was affecting me outside of work. It was straining my relationship with my husband.
2) I would go off the deep end at work, getting fired. And I was very close to this. At one point I sat in a group meeting with the VP of Information Technology, defiant, not paying attention, and reading Supernatural fan fiction (don't judge me).
Before all of this went down, I did do the prudent thing and speak with my director. I told her I was not happy. I explained to her my background, what I came to do, what I was doing, and how I was capable of so much more.
She (attempted) to placate me, stating she was here and wanted to empower women in our department and have us grow.
I later found out this was a sham, and that she truly enjoyed pitting team members against each other, thinking it made them work harder.
How can you pit anyone against someone who has no equal?
In response to our meeting, she ripped what little I enjoyed from my job. She swapped my supervisor, took me from someone who had equal education and experience from me, and placed me with someone who had no education in technology, and boasted frequently that he enjoyed running his group like the correctional facility he was from.
Even after all this I slogged to work, and tried to make it through.
In hindsight, this is hilarious, but my final straw? She took my cube away from me.
In my department, not all cubes have three walls. Some people share a cube. She took away my three walled cube, gave it to someone that was in a different area, but still a direct report to her, and stuck me in a cube with one of the loudest and extremely argumentative people I have ever met in my life. I could no longer speak on the phone while this person was on the phone, as she would over talk me and I couldn't focus on what I was saying, nor what the person I was speaking with on the phone was saying. So let me recap everything that happened in a year.
I lost a supervisor that was on my level technology wise
I lost my ability to be able to do my job without people hovering over me
I lost my ability to collaborate with departments outside my own
I lost my cube
I lost my ability to do my job, as someone was right next to me screaming
I had started looking half heartedly for a new job but stepped up my efforts. I enlisted the aid of a headhunter that seemed eager to help, but never returned my calls, never gave me any feedback on the two interviews they sent me on, and were just useless.
However, after about 3 months of searching, I finally found a position! This time around, I asked many questions, mulled over all of the information they gave me, and finally made a decision. I refused to jump into a new position only to have the same or worse issues.
It has been almost two months, and my anxiety is nearly gone. I rarely feel that panic when someone calls my name in the hall. I've stopped frequently asking if what I do is okay. I get the feeling if I screw things up, I will be corrected and redirected.
My home life, which was in slight shambles, is on the mend.
Guys, know your worth. Know that there is no reason to put up with abuse at work. I don't care if it is physical, emotional, or verbal. Don't put up with it. Do what you need to do to protect yourself.
So that is what has been going on with me. I would love to know what has been going on with you.
I hope to be able to write more now that I am through the fire. You will here more geeky, techie, less serious things from me soon!
No matter what industry you are a part of, it can be an absolute bitch to get in. It makes absolutely no sense. People have to work to maintain the economy, and there are people out here that want to work. Yet and still, even entry level jobs want you to have a master's degree, 10 years of experience, and know technology that someone who is beyond entry level would know. People are refusing to take chances on people. It is frustrating and sad.
I need a new phone. This sucks.
For those of you not in the know I am currently rocking a Nexus 4. It is getting older so, it is becoming less and less compatible with programs, and updates that come out. Plus, the past couple of years I have gotten used to listening to a lot of podcasts. I do not have a lot of space on this thing. With all my apps, pictures, and podcasts I am frequently running out of space. I have like 15 gigs. The majority of my time is spent on my phone (as opposed to my laptop) so I tend to run out of space fairly quickly. I am sitting here researching phones and I have a list of things I want. So far here is what we got:
- Android platform
- At least 32 gigs of space (prefer 64 or even higher)
- Fast processing speeds
- One of the more popular ones, so that I have a distinct choice in cases
Typically I leave phone decisions to my husband. He is a better researcher than I am. However I am learning that we value different things in phones. I use a lot of different game apps, and he has no interest in them. I take a lot of pictures, he does not. So what in the world does it look like handing off the choice of phones to someone who doesn’t do any of the things that I do?!
Thing is, I hate researching. I tend to get overwhelmed very easily. But I am going to suck it up and do it. Because I need a new phone.
When Supernatural came out, Kim was pretty much watching it from the start. I remember she had this phone background of a man (who I now know to be Jensen Ackles), laying on his stomach with just a peek of butt hanging out. I thought the guy was gorgeous, but I didn't watch must tv and didn't watch the show.
Fast forward to 2014. I keep seeing more and more on this show. They are previewing their 10th season this year. I decide to pick it up. My goal was to finish all 9 seasons in two months before the 10th premiered.
I am not going to lie to you. Those first few episodes were hard. Sam was whiny, Dean was cocksure. Sam just wanted to live his life. This was Dean's life. The whole situation was baffling. If you have liked our Facebook page, you will have seen my complete bafflement the whole time.
Truth be told, I truly didn't get into it until Season 4 Episode 8 Wishful Thinking. Supernatural fans will understand why.
But I perserviered and while I was an epic fail at getting all the episodes in (I believe I am at season 7). I understand why everyone loves this show so much. First off. Lemme talk about Dean/Jensen Ackles.
Dean is my absolute favorite. Him being absolutely gorgeous, bowlegged and brooding is only part of it. Everyone wants loyalty in their friends and family. Dean is loyal to an absolute fault. I feel like his loyalty will be his downfall. He wants to save everyone. You can't save everyone in this show. Plus..he's fine. Have I mentioned how fine Dean is?!
Sam, I feel for. He was too young to fully understand the impact that the tragedy of his mother had on both Dean and his father. He just wanted a normal life as a lawyer, have a wife, and distance himself far from his hunting family. He deserved it. Both him and Dean deserved it.
Instead, Sam was pulled back in. He is good at it. It is what he knows, it is (literally) in his blood. Don't we all come back around to what we know?
While their are many charachters we can talk about, It always comes back to these two. These two saving each other, fighting for each other. Their each other's weak spot and I truly believe it will kill them both in the end. In the meantime I will sit here and enjoy their happiness, sadness, pain, anger, and hilarity.
So yes, while my challenge was a failure, it truly wasn't one. It introduced me to some of the most complex charachters I have seen on TV in a long time. I am a converted fan and I will continue to watch.
I had to put a pic of Cas up. He makes me laugh the hardest.
So, my honey and I were out at breakfast this past weekend when we tried to connect to the wifi. We have been going to this place for years and they have always had unsecured internet access for people to use. Recently they have made a few upgrades and locking down the wifi was one of them. Not a huge deal, but as I am looking at the list of available SSID's available to connect to, I noticed an unsecured "xfinitiywifi". I showed it to my husband and he informed me that this was a common thing now. Comcast is using your modem to broadcast a signal so subscribers can sign in and use wifi where ever they are at.
This doesn't seem safe, or legal. When I got home, I googled a bit of information on it and came across this year old article on Ars Technica. The article states the good it could be doing, but it doesn't talk about the possibility for hacking. Also, when people connect they are using a piece of equipment on your network. Which means they are using your electricity. Will this increase your electricity bill?! Is Comcast going to put some money on your electric bill? Since they don't want to credit your bill when they have outages for days (*cough polar vortex cough*) I am going to go with no.
This whole debacle fortunately does not apply to me and mine. We do not rent Comcast's shitty equipment, we purchased our own. But it is still truly concerning.
Do you have Comcast? Do you take advantage of the wifi access points from them around your town? How do you feel about it?
Two years ago, I did not listen to podcasts. I had heard of them, but I never really paid attention. That all changed a year ago.
"Give me some of your favorite podcasts!" One of my Facebook friends posted. In 15 minutes she had a resounding list. One kept popping up over and over and over again. "Welcome To Nightvale" I decided to check it out. I started at the very beginning and was hooked after one episode. I started at the beginning, and was done in no time. I began searching for other podcasts to listen to while I was waiting for an update to WTNV. It just kind of snowballed from there.
Let's start with how I listen to my podcasts. Podcasts are called such because of Apple. These types of broadcasts have been around forever, but Apple made it simple (as they do with most things) to get all of these in one spot. I am not an Apple product user. I never have been. I find it amusing that even when I was all about trends and trendiness, I never had an Apple product.
My current smart phone is an LG Nexus 4. My phone is great, however I got the low end of the memory when I purchased it. I know now that my next phone will have the most memory I can get.
The application I use to access podcasts is BeyondPod for Android. I tried other applications, but they didn't feel as user friendly to me. There is a free verion and a paid version. I used the free version for a while then switched to the paid one. According to the website, the Lite (free version) has the same features of the Pro (paid version) except the following:
- You will be able to update only one feed at a time.
- You can download only one episode at a time.
- You can play episodes only at normal speed.
- Chromecast support will be disabled.
- Scheduling of automatic updates will be disabled.
- EpisodeSync will be disabled.
The main things that I needed from Pro were the first two on this list. I have a lot of podcasts...as well as feelings.
It is user friendly and the only thing I wish that it had (and this is totally superficial) is the ability to change the color of the application. The only two color palettes you have are a khaki color or dark. Boo.
So that is the hardware my podcasts run on. Lets jump into the podcasts. These are my top 10 in no particular order. I like them all equally.
We've already talked about this in a previous post. Perfect Carlos, Cecil, The Old Woman who secretly lives in your home. They are all amazing characters. This podcast is delightfully weird and is an absolute joy to listen to. I wish I lived in Nightvale. I would happily join Tamika Flynn's band of mercenaries.
I discovered this podcast roughly a year ago. I don't remember how, and I do not remember why. But I was hooked instantly. It tells the story of a hodgepodge of people, banding together as the Zombie Apocalypse is in full effect. There are a lot of twists and turns along the way. This podcast has been going since 2008 I do believe. Sadly, it is coming to an end. According to the website the finale premeres in LA on July 19th in a live performance. It is killing me that it is ending, as I have grown to seriously care for some of these characters. It feels like it did when Harry Potter ended. I have thrown absolute tantrums on twitter about characters and they have responded. Observe:
— We're Alive (@WereAlive) April 24, 2014
As you can see, I love this podcast. And I love that they interact with my crazy butt.
3. The Read
I don't even know how to begin with The Read. Let me start at the beginning. I live for Kid Fury. I originally started watching his YouTube videos when he talked about the drama he had when trying to get home to watch Scandal:
I was in TEARS of laughter from the jump. You'll notice in this one he briefly mentions the podcast him and Crissle do. I went ahead and checked it out shortly after that.
Bruh. Bruh. Honey, Linda, listen to me right now. If you love Beyonce, pop culture gossip, ratchet music, and just straight silliness. You must listen. There is swearing on here. Please keep that in mind. I don't even care. I'm grown.
From my list so far, you can kind of guess that I enjoy podcasts that tell a story. I am an avid reader. I have never really used books on tape (or cd, or whatever medium you want), but this is what some of these would be. Leviathan Chronicles are no different. It tells the story of an immortal population with a twist. This took some getting into. I think it was roughly the third episode before I was actually invested.
They currently have up to the first half of season 2 out. There have been multiple setbacks recently and the owner (Director? Writer?) Christof Laputka has a State of the Union that has been out there for a while explaining the delays. Christof, if you read this please know that there are people who enjoy this podcast who would have no problems donating to a Kickstarter fundraiser for you. I need to know what happens to Tulley. I also want to punch Maccallen in the face.
BoN holds a special place in my heart. They reached out to us on twitter. Matt lives in Indianapolis (like me!) and Llana lives in LA. Kind of like how Blondie is in Vegas and we co-write on here! For those of you that do not know, a Blerd is just a Black Nerd. Growing up, I didn't run into many Blerds and it wasn't until I was a full fledged adult that I truly let my Geek Flag Fly. BoN talkes about the things that we all care about, such as E3, Comics, Gaming, and more. I appreciate what they do, and hopefully maybe we can collaborate on something someday!
I am going to be honest with you when I say history did not capture my attention in High School/Junior High School. I always made it a point never to fall asleep in class, no matter how tired I was because I snored like a bear back then. To this day, 9th grade world history is the only class I have ever fallen asleep in. Seriously passed out on my desk. I got detention because it is pretty much impossible to discretly sleep when you snore like a damn bear.
I felt like adding this podcast to my roster was going to be a mistake. I figured I would try one and delete the stream if I did not like it. This particular podcast has over 600 episodes. I started with number one. I believe this podcast started in 2008. I am currently in the year 2009. I've listened to over 50 of them. One of the hosts has changed so far and it looks like both will be changing the later I get into them. My favorite podcast is where they talk about Australia's Stolen Generation . I had no clue that this had happened. I spoke to some of my Australian friends and they gave me the breakdown on how the impact of the stolen generation reverberates today in Australia. It is crazy.
I did not realize my countdown was going to be as wordy as it is. So I am going to save the last 4 for a Part 2!