Tag Archives: tech

Geek moment: Evernote


Have I mentioned how much I love using Evernote? I use it almost every day to clip websites for web research and other stuff I want to save. Plus now, I’m using it to organize all my grad school info and notes. The best thing is the way it syncs and works seamlessly across all my devices. Laptop, sure. But the Kindle and Android phone apps are almost slicker. My favorite feature is related to appointments in my calendar. When I’m at the appointment and click New Note in the widget on my phone, it starts a new note with the title of the appointment—as if it knows where I’m at! The first time it did that, I was like, how did it know!?

There are things I would improve—like spell check for tags when you clip articles, and I wish it would recognize if I’d already clipped an article. Also, once in a while I’m at a strange computer and just want to look something up or print from my Evernote account: The web browser version is painfully slow, especially on older machines, and it ends up freezing a lot. Also, I miss the way I could paste text or images pretty much as is into OneNote—there are some formatting issues in Evernote. But the pros far outweigh the cons, in my opinion.

I am not affiliated with Evernote. Just having a geek moment. That is all.

My Ruby day


I had a good day at the Ruby on Rails workshop. So good to stretch my brain in a different way. Plus, I got to meet some great new people from a totally different tech crowd than normal (from Bend, Portland, Seattle, and even Wisconsin). We built a very basic app today – I can’t wait to explore RoR more. I’ll have to divvy up my time between Ruby, WordPress, and keeping my SharePoint skills sharp.

Attending the all-day workshop made for some creative swapping with the kids and hub, since we only have the one car, and I couldn’t even consider taking the bus since I needed to drop the kids off at school. We’ve got to figure out the bus thing for the twins, especially with the price of gas now!

Check out these two creative gifts I received for my Kindle Fire

Kindle Cover

Homemade Kindle Fire cover

Yesterday I received two creative gifts for my Kindle Fire!

First, I was given a hand-made cover/case that the kids’ grandma helped them sew. It has heavy-duty foam inside the front and back flaps for protection, a pouch and elastic to hold the Kindle snugly inside, and strong velcro to keep the case closed. It also has an inside pocket to hold a screen cloth, or even my phone in a pinch. The material they chose for mine is a thick black and grey pattern, which is just right for me.

Kindle Stand with Kindle Fire

Hand-crafted Kindle Fire stand

The second is a hand-made Kindle stand for around the house. My hubby had made a prototype a few weeks ago out of old scraps of shelving, and wanted to streamline the design. So he did, and prepped the individual pieces for us. Then we were each able to cover our own pieces with decorative paper. I happened to have this thick paper sitting around for years that I love but had never found a use for. It looks great.

I love that my family came up with these, a perfect blend of geek plus craft. Can anybody say, Etsy?!

Kindle Fire cover - open

Kindle Fire cover

Kindle Fire stand

Kindle Fire stand - streamlined

Kindle Fire stand prototype

Kindle Fire stand prototype

Last-minute present wrangling, Kindle crafts, and vegans on Big Bang


Nothing like a little Awkward Family Photos to celebrate Christmas Eve.

I spent the morning sleeping in, then doing some last-minute present wrangling, one girl at a time. I came back from the second run to a giant batch of vegan pumpkin pancakes, thanks to my oldest step-daughter {yum! I think she based it on a Blissful Bites recipe}. We decorated the tree {we only got to the lights yesterday}. We did a little craft project: Hubby is making us wooden Kindle Fire stands, so we each decorated our individual pieces with origami or other patterned papers. Tomorrow, he’ll assemble them, and I’ll get a pic. He’s already been using the prototype and they seem pretty handy for around the house. After that, I wrapped presents, and then we all had yet another Big Bang Theory marathon (we’re watching season 4). I’m loving Mayim Bialik‘s character. Also, Brian Greene guest starred on one of the episodes, which was interesting, because I tried to start his book on parallel universes earlier this year, but didn’t get very far. Coincidentally(?), both Mayim and Brian are vegan.

Geek on!


Well, the long break is coming to an end. And this habit of staying up until 2 or 3 a.m. is, sadly, going to have to go. In fact, it’s going to bite trying to get to bed on time tonight and up early tomorrow. But it sure was nice to have so many days off in a row. If not away from a screen (Fire!), but at least away from long hours in front of the laptop, configuring and tweaking software, and/or long conference calls.

I’ve barely used my smart phone this week. I called my Dad, I’ve carried it around the house a little bit, that’s about it. I’m tempted to give up the smart phone all together in lieu of using the Kindle Fire (think of the cell phone plan I could bump down to with a cheapy phone!)… But, of course, when I leave the house it will be a different story. Because the Fire is only wireless. My smart phone can connect me when there is no wireless or wireless is inconvenient. And it also has GPS. And bluetooth. And an OK camera that is always with me. And you can actually talk on it. (Except for when the phone dies ¾ way through the day.) I guess I won’t be giving up the smart phone just yet. It would be great, though, to only carry around one piece of elegant, lightweight technology that does everything; including letting me create with the Adobe suite, write comfortably, and use whatever programming app I need. Maybe the iPad does that now? It’s probably closer, but I bet it’s not quite there yet.

I’m sure that soon enough there will be new shiny things that will make the Fire seem old school. Geek on!