Thursday, December 12, 2013

Here I Am! Of Hockey, iPad, Christmas Mood

Sorry I missed a night: I went to my alternate knitting group last night, then sat down with Carlos as soon as I got home, leaving no time to sit at the computer. Getting that Christmas knitting done! Didn't get on the bike, though; we'll blame that on PMS. I've been a bit spotty on regular biking recently, but I'm persevering. As one of my friends said, it's like the stock market: short term doesn't matter, it's the long term that counts.

I had cramps today, and I took what I always take for them. I was, therefore, surprised when an hour later, I started feeling very light-headed, out of the blue. Like, which way is up, and are you sure? It passed after a while, of course, but whew, very Mary Poppins at the tea party for a while there.

If you, too, were intrigued by the metal clog-shoe-things in Sunday's post, you may have missed the comment identifying them: "They are called "estribos" and they are Spanish stirrups." Thanks to Ryan Morrissey!

I can't say I'm sorry I missed watching Tuesday night's late-starting Bruins game (you should see the bags I already have under my eyes, without losing three more hours of sleep). By all reports, they didn't do much in the first two periods, before pulling together a good enough third to win. If I'd managed to stay up for a period or two before going to bed, I would have been pissed. They start late again tonight, and I'll do the same thing. I may watch Saturday night's, though, with the ridiculous 10 PM start. We'll see.

Fun story: the Bruins got to Edmonton and Tuukka couldn't practice (flu, oh great), so they recruited a local college kid to practice with them. Fortunately, he was able to postpone a final ("spatial economy"? whazzat?) so he could do it!

One further thought on all the recent kerfuffle in the hockey world about fighting/violence/suspensions:
It will never happen, but what I'd love to see is a rule that any suspended player cannot have a shorter ban the next time he faces it. For example, Neal's next punishment, should he get one, would be at minimum six games, regular season or playoffs.
Isn't that a fascinating idea? I agree that it will never happen, but wow, wouldn't that have an effect!

I was talking about the iPad recently with someone who asked me what I use it for, and afterward I felt that I hadn't covered half of what I use it for, which got me thinking: what would the complete list look like?
  • I check my e-mail and Facebook, via Safari, which I also use for Ravelry, and for the general run of google searches.
  • I read blogs via Feedly.
  • I read the Globe every weekday morning, and often Saturday's, too (Sunday I tend to read most if not all of the actual paper newspaper).
  • After finishing the comics in the Globe, I read a few more via GoComics.
  • I access my Google calendar via the Sunrise app. Very handy for noting how many minutes I rode the bike while I'm panting on the couch, before I forget.
  • I also use the stopwatch feature for biking, so I know how many minutes to make a note of.
  • I listen to podcasts, while on the bike, cleaning the kitchen, and that sort of thing: hands-busy-mind-free. Some knitting ones (some of which are video), some hockey, some general/NPR, all sorts.
  • Speaking of hockey, I have the free version of the NHL Gamecenter app, which doesn't include everything the full paid version gets you, but allows me access to news and stats, and to follow along with games as they take place and after. Wednesday morning, I went there to read about Tuesday night's game, and watch a five-minute video summary of it, which is very nice to have. I also have the Bruins app, which I've used to watch the last couple of episodes of Behind the B sans commercials, thank-you-very-much.
  • I read books. Not all that often, to be honest, and I haven't paid for one yet, but I have a bunch of free books that I've downloaded, so if I'm somewhere and just want to read, I can (and once it's downloaded, I don't need wi-fi to read it).
  • I listen to audio books using Overdrive (which one can also use to borrow e-books, though I haven't done that). I recently learned that I can borrow them from the library, which I love! I have to admit that the library's interface is not ideal, but in the end, I get to listen to books, which is perfect because I don't follow enough podcasts to always have something available that I want to listen to.
  • I sometimes watch movies or TV programs on it, though not regularly. With my recent trial of Amazon Prime, I get their streaming, though a disturbing number of the items that are listed there turn out to be available as purchase, not something you can just watch. It's not as much of a benefit as one might think, is my opinion (though Prime is still worth it if you order much from Amazon); Netflix does better. My cable company also has an app, so I can watch certain channels, or look at the listings to see if I want to bother turning on the TV. And there's always YouTube!
  • I check the weather. I used to use the Weather Channel app that was on the iPad when I got it, but since the tablet was a hand-me-down, certain apps want the email/password of the person who installed them, in order to update, and WC was one of those. I could get that if I needed to, but instead I found another app, Intellicast HD, which I actually like even better. Hooray for good, free apps!
  • Speaking of which: Counter Man, which is a knitting counter. Helps keep track of where you are in the pattern ... trust me, it's handy.
  • Flutter. This is a game, with butterflies, that I find strangely addictive. It's bright and colorful, peaceful and non-violent, you can learn a little ... as my mother pointed out when I showed it to her, it's a good game for detail people. It's free to download and to play; although one can spend money to buy more points, I do not. Hatching and feeding butterflies, catching bugs, sending butterflies on missions ... I just can't explain it, but I really enjoy it.
  • I also take pictures, mostly of Carlos, sometimes of knitting projects to put on Ravelry for a quick progress update. Sometimes for the blog, even!
I think that's about all. I don't carry the tablet with me every day, it's a little big/heavy for that, but I absolutely use it every day. I call it my training wheels for a smart phone; I know I'll get one of those, one of these days, and I know that once I get one, there will be no going back, but it's so expensive, I'm putting it off as long as I can. This tablet is wi-fi only, which is a slight inconvenience, but good practice in How These Things Work.

Goodness, but I'm a child of the 20th century, aren't I? Well, if you are it, own it.

Now, if you're in the Christmas mood, or want to be, and have five minutes, you might enjoy this. I did!

Or, if you prefer your photos still, check out the holiday lights (not just Christmas) on The Big Picture. The effect in number 15 is amazing: ghost train!

Or, to tie heartwarming back to hockey, how about this one? Little kid waves at hockey player, hockey player waves back. Makes kid's night.
Video here. How cute is that?


Blogger Mary Ellen said...

I like that suspension idea! Might cut back on the repeat offenders, and thus cut back on the injuries. (You know me, though, I think if you deliberately hit someone in the head, you should be perma-banned from the NHL.)

Also, I am a Bad Librarian. You didn't know about the downloadable audiobooks and ebooks??

2:29 PM, December 13, 2013  

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