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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Surprise! I'm still alive and well, it has been far too long since my last post, life has been good to me and is being good to me, been really busy. :)

Let's see, to update everyone as to what has been going on since I last posted, which was about my latest MP3 player, the verdict is in, I love it, I do wish the text on the screen could be enlarged, but I've used it long enough now to have the menu pretty much memorized so it's not such a struggle as it was in the beginning, one of the things I really REALLY love about it is the long battery life, it's supposed to be 50 hours, while I don't have stats on my real use, I can say that at the most, I charge it every couple of weeks.

I am still a caretaker, but only have one lady now, I randomly get called for/about other people, but it's just the one that I am taking care of more or less full time.

I am still living off grid of course, and loving every minute of it. We have been living off grid for 7 years now and I can't imagine living any other way. Last night I had a nightmare, I dreamed that we moved back to Dallas, PB was building a home in a semi-affluent neighborhood, I was crying and begging him to move back here, I couldn't imagine how we would live in a big town, how would we afford it? What would we do? What about the property in west Texas? I am sooooo glad it was just a dream!

One thing I have been doing is Zentangle or doodling, it might not sound like much, but it's very fun, I did a set of Christmas cards for my closest friends, many of them attended a class I taught on zendoodling, I am not a certified Zentangle teacher so I had to teach zendoodle :)

Here is one of the cards, you can see the rest of them here http://westtexasdoodleblog.blogspot.com/2013/12/christmas-cards-2013-doodle-17-35.html

This was part of my "spend less money DIY Christmas" thing, I'd say it was successful. I'm even thinking of starting soon on making cards to sell for next year, and even making other kinds of cards, birthday, thank you, get well/sympathy, inspirational...

I have been busy testing out some off grid goodies, I'll write more about those later (teaser!).

PB's family came out for Thanksgiving, it was the first time we had guests stay over when it was really cold, it was quite a lot of fun, the day they arrived, we had just had a major ice storm and the neighborhood had lost power, of course we still had power, but no internet, that lasted a couple of days. We kept everyone warm with a propane heater that came out of an old RV, it worked pretty well, though it did suck up the propane, I'm glad it was only for a few days.

Zoe and Casper are doing well, we finally found out what Casper was, his mom was a lhasa apso and his dad was a basset hound, that certainly explains a LOT about him! All good things.

It's been very busy this month, today is the first day I've been able to slow down, we had our annual Christmas eve program at church, we have 2 churches in our neighborhood, we take turns doing Christmas and Easter programs, next year will be our church's turn, it's quite fun, but a LOT of work getting ready, especially for those of us in the choir. It turned out really great though, it was fun to see all the people.

PB is doing well, right now he is out on the deck fabricating a grill for me, we have been grilling outside and have decided we love it, but buying charcoal is expensive and it's messy, so we can use propane or a combination of propane to start a wood or charcoal file, we do hamburgers mostly, but having a better setup, I'll be able to grill other things as well.

That's about it for now, I hope everyone has a great Christmas, I know we are, God has blessed us greatly! :)



All written text from this blog are copyrighted and owned by Wretha unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved, You may download or copy for your own personal enjoyment, but please do not distribute without written permission. You may post a portion of this (or any) message from this blog on another site as long as you include a link back to this site and the original message.

Wretha,

Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Quickie Update on the MP3 Player

A quickie note about my new mp3 player, I'm still getting used to it, the physical size of the unit is great, the storage size is good for me, the interface is taking some getting used to, it's not as intuitive as I think it should be, either that or I'm just used to my old Coby... the text on the screen is tiny, I can barely read it without glasses, a bit of a problem when I listen to it at night in bed, I suspect once I get used to the interface that will not be a problem any longer, with my old Coby I didn't have to really look at the screen to know what I was doing, I had the interface memorized and I instinctively did what I did... with this new one, well I'm sure once I use it enough my fingers will learn what to do without having to really look at it so much.

I do like the fact that the battery lasts so long, I haven't even begun to put a dent in the first charging. It also functions pretty well as a voice recorder, last Sunday in church I used it to record the sermon, I also used my laptop, the laptop had better sound quality, but there was nothing wrong with what was recorded on the mp3 player.

All written text from this blog are copyrighted and owned by Wretha unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved, You may download or copy for your own personal enjoyment, but please do not distribute without written permission. You may post a portion of this (or any) message from this blog on another site as long as you include a link back to this site and the original message.

Wretha,

Thanks for visiting!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Replacing Failing Equipment

My MP3 player started going out on me the other night, not on dates, it was about to fail... I seem to go through one about every 1.5 to 2 years. I can hear at least one person groaning about me living off grid with all these gadgets... yup I do live off grid and yup, I do like my gadgets. I have given up quite a lot of modern conveniences, such as TV, landline phones, cell phones, smart phones, full size desktop computer, most appliances that people can't seem to live without like a flush toilet, OK a toilet isn't considered an appliance, but you get the idea... I fell in love with the fact that I could listen to podcasts and audiobooks while doing other things, like working (on the job as well as doing chores)... so groan if you must, but please do it quietly. :)

The part that seems to fail on me is where the earbuds plug into the unit, it seems to develop a short, it will at first seem like the earbuds are not working anymore, if I move the earbud wire the sound will get better and worse. When I get out another earbud that I know works and it still does the same thing, that's when I know it's the player with the problem. I would normally take something like this apart to see if I can fix it, but this particular player doesn't have screws or any obvious way to disassemble it, it's not meant to be fixed.

They don't make the one I really like anymore, it was made by Coby, was fairly inexpensive and did everything I needed it to do, including having 16 GB of space, more than enough for the little bit of music I play, but more importantly, the audiobooks and podcasts I enjoy. I can listen while doing other things, I don't really have time to dedicate to reading anymore, with the audiobooks and podcasts, I get my books, interviews and such and can still do the things I need to do.

So since I can't get my old standby anymore, I went with Sony this time, it apparently has all the features my Coby had, but it has a ton more battery time, my Coby had 8 hours playing time, of course that goes down with time, I probably had to recharge it every couple of days with moderate use, with heavy use, nearly every day, yes I listen to it that much :)

I want to thank those of you who make your Amazon purchases through my blog, your support helped me to pay for this replacement MP3 player.

Here is the one I purchased

Product Features

  • Digital music, video & photo player with FM radio
  • It has 2-Inch QVGA (320x240) highbrightness, color LCD
  • Rechargeable battery with up to 50 hours audio playback
  • Formats Supported Audio: MP3 / WMA / AAC-LC / L-PCM, Video: MP4 / WMV, Photo: JPEG, Text: Lyric (.lrc)

Technical Details

  • Brand Name: Sony
  • Model: NWZE465BLK
  • Digital Storage Capacity: 16 GB
  • Color Name: Black
  • Battery Average Life: 50 Hours
  • Display: LCD
  • Display Size: 2 inches
  • Weight: 0.20 pounds

The 50 hours of audio playback was what really sold me, that and the 16GB size, that might not seem like much to you tablet and smart phone users out there, but I didn't want or need all the bells and whistles, I just needed something that would play music, audiobooks and podcasts.

Another thing that was important to me is the ability to create folders, I put different music and whole albums in different folders, each audiobook get it's own folder since there are usually multiple files for one audiobook, I don't want those files getting mixed up with the music or other audio files. Bookmarking is also important, if I'm listening to a song, it doesn't matter where it picks up again, but if I'm listening to an audiobook or podcast, if I stop the player, I need it to pick up right where I stopped, I believe most players will do that now. I still have a working MP3 player that wouldn't do folders or bookmarking, it worked for me but the limitations were really hard, I had to rename each and every file with a number in the beginning of the file name to put them in numerical order so they would play in the order I needed, again with music it didn't matter, but for audiobooks and podcasts, it made a huge difference. That old player still works but the battery is low, it doesn't last more than an hour. When I first got it though, it was the bees knees. :)

So I'm sitting here now, charging up this player, I have high hopes for it, I've read really good reviews, it charges fully at about 3 hours, I'll let it fully charge up, copy some Coast to Coast and some Chuck Missler to it and give it a run for its money. I'll probably put some music on it too, after all that's what it was made for.

I'll post an update in a few days and let everyone know how well it works.





All written text from this blog are copyrighted and owned by Wretha unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved, You may download or copy for your own personal enjoyment, but please do not distribute without written permission. You may post a portion of this (or any) message from this blog on another site as long as you include a link back to this site and the original message.

Wretha,

Thanks for visiting!