Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Flents Quiet Please vs Hearos Earplugs

One set is blue and the other is neutral. One set is long and thin and the other is cylindrical. One has a noise reduction rate of 33 while the other is 29. My husband just picked up a few for himself while I order them by the jug after wearing them for forty years. Sometimes you just need Earplugs to sleep at night. In my case, snoring is the reason. Luckily for me the Flents Quiet Please Earplugs have worked so well that I am reluctant to try something else. My husband thought the Hearos Earplugs he picked up worked so much better than mine. He tried my brand a couple of times for the once in awhile time he feels the need to wear them - which is on very rare occasions. So the other night I gave the Hearos Earplugs a try and I have to say that they work almost too good. However, sometimes you are left with a bit of ear pain because they fill up the whole ear canal. Between the constant ringing in my ears, snoring, and whatever noise keeps you awake, Earplugs are a solution for me. I’m guessing things continue can improve over the years - even as it relates to the lowly earplug. 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Swingline Desktop Stapler

Our tiny orange stapler is really all we ever needed - until it came time to complete a passport renewal application. The photo has to be stapled to the application, and the tiny stapler doesn’t reach that far on to the paper, nor does it open so I could just staple through and then bend the staples back over themselves. So before we could send the paperwork in, we needed to literally waste money getting a stapler large enough to do the job. So while we were out yesterday for breakfast, we stopped at the CVS and headed to the school supply section. We ended up with a Swingline stapler three in one set - the stapler, the staples, and a stapler remover. We will probably never use this thing again but it was just what we needed to get everything completed. Now we have two staplers that we will rarely - if ever - use. And my passport doesn’t need an update for eight more years. 

Monday, January 15, 2018

Subaru Map Update

The navigation map system on the Subaru isn’t very good compared to Google maps. We tried to like it, but can’t. It sends you off to wierd places and doesn’t seem very accurate. I researched how and when it could be updated, but it required a micro SD card reader and would cost over one hundred dollars for an update. I also asked if it could be updated at the dealership and they said no. Then last week we got an email that the map could be updated for free using the promo code that Subaru provided. So we first had to stop at Staples and pick up an SD card reader. The SD card is so tiny you need to be doubly careful when removing it from the dashboard. You would think something like this would be a no brainer, but for whatever reason it was taking me forever to figure it out. I rarely use my laptop, but that wasn’t a good enough excuse. After several attempts my husband asked if he could help. He came over and stood by the laptop and as soon as he did that, all of a sudden we were on to the next step. There is something magical about him. I didn’t know what exactly happened but he must have just told me to take a few deep breaths and the directions all of a sudden became clear. The whole thing took awhile to update and download back on to the tiny card. I was anxious to see if it really made a difference. When I inserted the SD card back in to the tiny slot on the dashboard the map came back on. In all honesty we didn’t notice any difference. So much for all that! 

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Micro SD Card Reader

I never use my lap top. I only have it because there are some things I cannot do on my iPad. Every once in awhile, a customer is unable to open a digitalart photo that I send to them from my iPad, but when I send the same photo from my laptop it’s fine. Since I retired two years ago, I never use word or excel so I don’t need those programs anymore. And just this week I used the laptop to fill in the application of my husband’s soon to expire passport. I recently had to update something that required a micro SD card reader. Well, I don’t have one. I do have a bunch of memory stick adapters, but they are ancient and the tiny SD card doesn’t fit in any of those. So we went to Staples to get some hard sided mailing envelopes, and see if they had what I really needed. So I ended up getting a Vivitar 50-in-1 Card reader/writer. What was supposed to be a free update cost at least twenty five dollars just to get something downloaded and refreshed from a vendor, using the free promo code. I suppose I could use this card reader to preserve some photos. Up to this point everything is sitting on all my old and current iPhones. It’s not a very smart way of keeping them, but I’m too lazy to do anything about it. 

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Securifi Almond Touchscreen Wireless Range Extender

The Wi-Fi signal in one of our apartments is terrible. The modem and router is set up in our primary living space across the hall. We have relied on that signal only - and it has been very frustrating! And since my printer is on the low signal side too, it can become very irritating to get something to print. I have been researching for a long time trying to figure out how to make the Wi-Fi signal stronger. I kept hearing about it, asking about it, but getting no where. I finally stumbled across the Securifi Almond Extender and decided to give it a try. The reviews were good, it wouldn’t require a PC to set it up, and had a small touchscreen. When it arrived I was a bit intimidated - but realized I was reading directions for a router, rather than the Extender. Not being a tech person, it takes awhile to figure it out. In all honesty, after a couple of goofs and fooling around, I was able to find our very weak signal from across the hall and latch on to it. I also downloaded the Securifi app to continue the set up process. Now, whenever we are in the “weak signal” side, we can say that our Wi-Fi signal is just fine now. My husband is able to use his iPad without a hitch, and if we would ever need to view anything on to the tv it should work well. I’m sure there are a lot more things out there that would make life easier. I just need to find them. I’m just happy we finally found a workable solution. 

Friday, January 12, 2018

Passport Renewal

I renewed my passport before I retired about three years ago. Because I worked at the Library of Congress, I was able to have it processed and expedited through the House of Representatives offices. We just so happened to look at my husband’s passport this week and found out that it expires next month. It’s probably a good idea to have it up to date just in case we need it for anything. Over the last ten years we have gone to Iran, Denmark, and England four times - with side visits to France and Spain. In all of these places we were visiting with friends or family. The next trip may be a drive to Canada - and our European friends can meet us on this continent! I don’t particularly care to travel abroad, so it would be a great compromise. Anyway, it took four tries to get the on line renewal document completed. I tried filling the form in on my iPad first, but that approach didn’t allow me to print the pdf form. So I got out the laptop and tried three more times until I got it right. Then I printed the application out. The last thing we need to do is get a decent photo. So after my husband wakes up from his beauty sleep it will be showtime. Then I’ll need to size it just right. Maybe we will mail it at the House Office Building post office. It’s a good excuse to check out the scenery. 

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Fish Survived the Deep Freeze

When our son and his family lived down the street from us in a lovely townhouse, they installed a small fish pond in the front yard. You really didn’t notice it from the street - but it became a matter of conversation when you reached the front door. We always wondered what happened to the fish in the winter. They just seemed to disappear to the bottom of the pond until spring came around. And most, if not all of them, reappeared. Well, we can’t check out that fish pond any more because our family hasn’t lived there for the last few years and it would be a bit awkward to see what’s going on. We were just interested to see the impact of the brutal bone chilling temps of the last few weeks on the poor fish. Well, today we found out. We took our morning walk towards Eastern Market followed by breakfast at Ted’s Bulletin. There is a little fish pond on the corner. There happened to be a bird taking a sip of water in the pond. And below the cracked ice were several gold fish huddled along the edge. Being almost fifty degrees they probably felt safe enough to emerge from the depths of the deep freeze. So it just goes to show you how sturdy and hardy these critters are. Amazing!