Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

It’s been a week (okay, just over!) since my last post. A lot has happened:

KRidwyn.com has been launched – and that’ll be the place where this blog will move to. So yes – this will be my last post from this address (and I’ll have to work out how to re-direct traffic from here to there automatically. Chalk up yet another job to the ever-growing list, huh?) but I’m pretty excited about getting my *own* real estate online, as it were. So hopefully, dear readers, you’ll join me over there?

– in the move from this URL to that one, we discovered that it’s impossible to just hit ‘export’ and get all the site content moved across to the new place. Sure, it’ll move all the text, but bad luck if you had images that you wanted on there. So unfortunately, KRidwyn.com is devoid of pretty pictures. At the moment. (And another job to do…)

GoodOldTalk, the website I run for Seniors, finally was able to make it back online after being offline for over seven weeks. Which was a HUGE relief, but now leaves me with a lot of stuff to clean up…

– I was able to get the countertop material for BOTH my kitchen and my bathroom and my ensuite (which hasn’t even been built yet) for a HUGE discount; so I’m majorly stoked about that one!

– Miss 8 was finally diagnosed with dyslexia (which I *knew* she had! but no-one believed me…) and she was also diagnosed with Irlen Syndrome as well – so that was pretty cool. Once the diagnosis is made, you can do something about it, huh?!

– Miss 5 decided that she didn’t know how to ‘do things properly’ so she’s been asking us all week “how” to do the simplest of things, like brush her teeth etc etc etc! She wants to learn how to do them better, I guess… and…

– Mr 4 decided that not only could he sit on the toilet – but he could also tell me when he needed to go!!!!! This caused a HUGE celebration!!! 🙂

Well, now it’s time to head into what is shaping up into another huge one. And it’s got me thinking: maybe I should just accept that fact that this life *is* the new ‘normal’ – and just get on with it all?

What do you think?

(Oh, and feel free to leave any comments you may have, here…!)

As most of my readers would know by now, I’m a mum with three young children. And as the type of person who always thinks long-term – well, when my eldest was just a few months old, I decided to go down the “rechargeable battery” journey.
So I splurged on a good quality recharger and a number of packets of green ‘Varta’ batteries, AA and AAA size.
Fast forward several years, and I’m still buying packets of rechargeable batteries whenever I see them on special while grocery shopping. I use them for everything; and now that we’ve finally joined the ranks of being Wii owners, we’re using batteries more than ever! Which is fine.
I was pretty stoked last week. I scored not one but two packets of 4 AA batteries (silver cases, not the green ones which I prefer) for only $4 each! I was a little bummed though, that when I got home and tried charging them, they wouldn’t charge. Hence my trip to BatteryWorld this week. And this is what I learned:
Varta batteries are made in both Germany and Malaysia. BatteryWorld don’t stock them anymore, because they couldn’t get the German-made ones.
The AA batteries I had bought last week should have held about a 1.2 charge. They were holding a charge of around 0.6 – which is pretty crappy, really. No wonder they weren’t charging!
I told the guy at the counter that when I charged a newly bought, silver cased Varta battery with one of my older, green cased Varta ones, they’d charge. When I tried charging two of the silver ones together, they wouldn’t.
His advice:
– charge batteries that you buy together, together. Don’t mix and match battery charging; as in, don’t charge batteries that you bought at different times, together, because they’ll have been manufactured in different places with different metals. They’ll have different levels of charge.
– When you charge batteries, they’ll both only charge to the lowest level of charge. So if you charge a good battery with a dud one, the good battery will only be charged to the level of the dud one. You weaken the good battery; and it’s very very very difficult to get the charge up again.

I also bought a new brand of batteries, on his recommendation. Eneloop. Write it down. Because not only were they bright, sparkly and multi-coloured (yes, I’m writing this with my tongue in my cheek here) but their 8 pack of AA batteries also had the BEST packaging I’ve ever seen on batteries (and no, I’m not being silly now – as as marketer, I was impressed with how customer-friendly their product packaging was) but what had me over-the-top impressed was the 2 D-size batteries I also tried to buy.

Because I didn’t end up buying D batteries. Instead, I bought D cases. Which fit AA-sized batteries.

Yes – that’s right. How incredibly AMAZING is this idea! You buy a D sized case, and slot a AA battery inside! When it runs out, just click it out and put a new AA sized battery in. How AWESOME!!!!!

So. I’m sold. Just thought I’d let you know!

 

Have a great day, dear readers!!!

— Ceridwyn

LogoColorTextBelowSo yesterday was Wednesday. Hump day. The day of the inaugural ‘HumpDay Happenings’ with the awesome Jenny Venier, over at BloxhamMarketing.com

Why not head over and check it out?!!!

Late last year, I purchased the App “Proloquo2Go”, on the recommendation of Mr 3’s Speech Therapist. It was expensive. But worth it!

It’s programmable, so you can make words (buttons) and phrases and sentences, categorise them according to high-interest activities (we have one folder for Playstation games and a separate one for Wii games, and then folders for breakfast, lunch, etc etc) and if the photo to accompany the word isn’t already in the App’s library, you can take a photo of the concept, and use that.

One downfall is that you can’t program your own voice – but that’s a pretty minor disadvantage, compared to all the positives.

Worth the $200? To hear my autistic boy move from being non-verbal to verbal?!

YES!!!!!

Hello. My name’s Ceridwyn Bloxham, and I write Hmmm…

Huh? What kind of name is “Ceridwyn”??!

That’s a fairly typical response from someone I meet. So here’s my explanation:

“It’s Welsh. As in, from Wales, near England. No, it’s not particularly common. Yes, it has a hard ‘k’ sound at the beginning, so no, please don’t think that it’s a different spelling for “Sheridan”. Yes, “Ce” says ‘k’ in the Welsh language. So it’s NOT like the way that the English pronounce their sporting team ‘the Celtics’ as ‘the Seltics’, because yes, they have it wrong. Think of it like the name ‘Bronwyn’. It’s like that, with the wyn at the end, but a lot less common.”

“And ‘Bloxham’? That’s my husband’s name. Well, his fathers’ adopted family name, actually. It’s English.”

“My surname used to be ‘Davis’ – a very common Welsh name – which was a lot easier for people to spell. But now, I get to spell both names for people, instead of just the one.”

Okay – so that was rather long-winded, wasn’t it! So it’s no wonder, then, that my twitter handle is @KRidwyn. (By the way, feel free to connect with me on twitter; my latest tweets and a ‘Follow’ button are on the left sidebar, just over here <——————- ) My email address also replaces the ‘ce’ for the ‘k’. And… big announcement time… I’ve just gone ahead and purchased KRidwyn.com – which Hmmm…. will migrate to in the not too distant future (I hope!)

So – what’s in a name? Hopefully, this blog will be, eventually!

Have a great day, dear readers!!!

Dodgy Internet

Posted: February 19, 2013 in Bloxham Marketing, Life, Technology, Work
Tags: ,

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I live in the best place in the world. Seriously. It’s AWESOME!!! In fact, the ONLY negative thing about this place, is the mozzies. Yeh – they’re pretty bad.

It’s quiet and peaceful. You can hear the birds, and the rain on the tin roof, and yourself breathing (when the girls are at school, that is!). There’s power. There’s water (lots of it, at the moment! Praise God for full rainwater tanks and a full bore again!) and mail delivery and rubbish collection. No, there’s no town water. No, there’s no shop. In fact, there’s no street other than ours, in the suburb LOL! It’s pretty darn wonderful.

There’s no cabling down our street, either. Judging by how we were one of the last few to get our power on the other week, I doubt we’re too high on the priority list for the NBN. If we want internet, we use dial-up (yes, dial up!) or Wireless Broadband which comes from the more populated areas over in Caloundra. Which is fine with me. The web-based Bloxham Marketing business is more than happy to use Telstra’s 3G network.

The trouble only happens when it’s raining. Or humidity is greater than normal. Then the internet gets dodgy. And that’s annoying. I’m trying to get work done here, people!!! Boost your signal, will ya?!!

See you tomorrow, folks! Have an awesome day!!!

 

umm… sorry, dear readers…!

Posted: January 26, 2013 in Technology

So sometimes I write posts for “Hmmm…” ahead of time. As in, if I know I’m going to be too busy, I write two or three posts, and (rather than publishing them all at once) schedule them to be published on future day, at certain times.

That’s how my ‘iPods, iPhones etc’ post went out this morning. And because of the incredibly useful ifttt.com, my post was instantaneously tweeted to my @KRidwyn account, where anyone who follows me could see that I’d tweeted a link to my blog.

It’s a pretty cool system, and generally it works pretty well.

Except, sometimes, you write a post when you’re rather emotional about the topic. And then, when you calm down, you re-read your post & realise that it could actually be offensive to people – which was never my intention. But then – whoops! Too late! You realise that it’s out there, published, and people have been reading it. WHOOPS!!! (times about a billion!)

So. A bit of explanation is probably needed.

Recently I feel as though I have been judged by people for Miss 8 owning her own iPod – and sometimes this ‘judging’ is done by people who have children with DS’s. Recently I also discovered that a family I know, with children younger than mine, gave iPad2’s to each child for last Christmas – and one of the children has a TV &Wii console in their bedroom.

I guess I felt that I needed to vindicate myself. I don’t think that I have gone ‘overboard’ with my children and their electrical devices. Only one of my children has an iPod, and my middle child is very well aware that she’ll need around a year 1 reading level to ‘earn’ one for herself. To her credit, she doesn’t start Prep until this Tuesday coming, if she keeps up the daily ‘reading practice’ that she’s been doing ever since Miss 8 got one, she’ll probably earn it sometime during Semester 2 this year, that’s how far ahead she is because of how motivated she is. We also had a Playstation 2 (given to us as a hand-me-down a few years ago) and only became Wii owners two weeks ago – and the kids are also well aware that the Wii was bought as a birthday present for all three of them for their 2013 birthdays – because the playstation was on its last legs, and Mr 3 keeps eating or throwing the remote controls, and it’s not really worth buying new remotes because the games themselves are scratched.

So – even though I *have* spent money on what some – maybe ‘many’ – consider a ‘grown up’ device, I feel as though I can justify this because I have NOT spent money on other commonly purchased electronic devices like DS’s, and as I believe that the iPod has a greater longevity due to its superior functionality.

Okay. That’s my rant done.

I apologise if I offended anyone earlier. It wasn’t intentional!

 

I am an Apple convert. Ever since my frst purchase of a MacBook Pro back in February 2011, and an 8Gig iPod Touch (as part of a Uni student deal that the Apple store was making at the time) I have been impressed. I also bought myself an iPad2, about a week before the announcement of the creation of the iPad3 and its release date. (Oh well!)

So as my cherubs got bigger, and the peer pressure was on for them to have DS’s (it was pretty incredible for me to realise just HOW MANY families bought one of these handheld gaming devices – for EACH child – at a cost of around $300 for the device and then $50 per game!!!) I knew that these would never be an option for my family. I mean- seriously! Who has a spare $900 lying around – and that just for the devices!!! You’d need to then buy games for them – and at around $50 each??? No way. Nope. Not going to happen. Not just for gaming, anyway!

I was glad then, that I’d paid that little bit extra way back in February 2011 and had the Apple experience. Had an iPod experience (my last foray into personal music devices had been the Walkman, back in the 80’s!!!) I was glad that I now knew how iPods worked, how iTunes and the App store worked, and just HOW MANY apps you could get out there that were educational as well an=s gaming ones – and HOW MANY were absolutely FREE!

So, for me, the decision was made. Why by a DS at around $300, and games for $50-odd, each, when you could buy an iPodTouch for less, and the games were free? (and educational!) And with an iPod, they also have access to a camera, a videocamera, a clock, a calculator, and music / media – and even FaceTime?!!! To me, it seems a bit of a no-brainer.

Yes, some people are surprised that my children don’t have DS’s, and that Miss 8 had an iPod Touch before her seventh birthday – I guess these are the same type of people who believe that iPods and the like are for grownups (and teenagers) and who would probably spend the money on DS’s for younger children. The way I see it, an iPod is cheaper and will have a much longer shelf-life in their lives. And they KNOW that it’s a ‘grownup’ device. For my kids, they have to earn it. I tied it as a reward to their reading skills. Once the then-Miss 6 read me ‘Robert the Rose Horse’ (by herself) then she’d earned it. And her younger sister is well aware of the arrangement, and practises her ‘homework’ (reading) every day, knowing that she’s getting closer to earning her ‘own’ iPod Touch – even though she hasn’t started Prep yet! (Not til next week, anyway – although Vacation Care went well this week…)

So anyway, that’s my thoughts on the matter. No, my children don’t have iPads. I don’t think they need them, anyway – they’ll use them at school, and they have mine to use when I’m not using it – and I’m not one of those mums who will just ‘give’ my kids iDevices or other electrical items ‘just cos’ (I’ve seen families where the children all have iPads – and they’re aged 7, 5 and 3, and I sure didn’t see too many educational apps on there!!!) but I think that what I’ve done is appropriate and fair.

Plus, it’s also market research! This way, I can get my kids to check out and play with apps that I plan on using in my classroom this year, to see if they’ll like them! LOL!!!

Have a great day, dear readers!!!

Silver linings

Posted: January 24, 2013 in Random thoughts, Technology

Regular readers of my blog might remember that I have mentioned my Hubby’s love of fishing. Well, several years ago now, we both decided that it would be better for him to keep his bait in a freezer that lives outside. So we moved the chest freezer that we owned, out to his shed, and bought ourselves a small freezer for us to use in the kitchen.
This system was working very well for us… but, as we all know, all good things must come to an end. Hubby’s bait freezer finally died last Friday. Fair enough too, it was about 16 years old!
He discovered its demise early Saturday morning, as he thought about heading off, offshore fishing. The reek in his shed was so bad, even the dogs started blinking! So he quickly commandeered the small kitchen freezer for his shed, and we headed out as a family to buy a large chest freezer for the house. We figured, as a growing family, we could probably use more freezer space anyway!
So now, $500 later, we have a brand-new freezer sitting in my kitchen. But that’s not the silver lining…
You see, for the last few months I have been unable to charge my phone while driving. Or my iPod. Or my iPad. Or even Miss 8’s iPod! Reason being, the USB-to-iDevice charger that I had bought with my iPhone, had finally died after all the stretching that my children had made it to do, from the cigarette port in the dashboard (the one port in my Toyota Aurion) right through to the back seat, when the iDevice in question had run out of battery and the cherub in question still wanted to keep on playing. And I just didn’t want to buy a new one, seeing as that first one had cost $20, and there was no reason to believe that the same fate wouldn’t befall any further purchase of a similar charger that I made.
Plus, one of my best friends had bought me a similar two-plug USB charger for my car cigarette port, some months ago. She’d also bought me 5 USB-to-USB cords, multi-coloured and retractable. But again, with my cherubs involvement, they had all gone ‘missing’ soon after their arrival at our place. What is it with kids and retractable things?? Anyway, yet another reason why I didn’t want to outlay money on another iDevice charger for my car – I knew we had this double plug charger, and that it would turn up eventually…
Lucky, we could’t fit our new chest freezer into the back of my Toyota Aurion. Lucky, we had to take Hubby’s Pajero and the trailer to get the freezer home. And what should be hiding in the centre console of Hubby’s Pajero, but my cigarette port double-USB charger!

So now I can charge my phone while I’m driving again! Very very very stoked. 🙂

Just a few minutes…

Posted: January 22, 2013 in Random thoughts, Technology, Work

Good morning, everyone! I just wanted to share this with you today – it’s something that we watched here at school just now.

 

 

Have an awesome day today, people!!! 🙂