Monday, June 23, 2008

iPhone and iRetroPhone

Next month, the iPhone software update is coming. Along with that, is the new App Store with new iPhone applications. What fun. I'm looking forward to the new "toys" that I can put on my phone.

One such application turns the iPhone display into a rotary phone display, complete with realisting rotary dial sounds. How delightfully ironic. Here's the link:

I thought about upgrading my iPhone to the new 3G version, but it would cost another $15 per month and another $199 for the phone. I think my current iPhone serves me well enough. For now, I think I can live without 3G speed (although, I do want it...the EDGE network can be sooooo slow); just can't justify the cost.

Wired...for FIOS

Somehow, our condo association made some deal with Verizon to have our buildings wired for FIOS. Today, the electricians came in for Phase 1 -- adding the conduit to hold the fiber optic cables. Our utilitie cables/wires are underground, so the Ditch Witches are out, digging the trenches for the cables.

I'm looking forward to the fast speeds of fiber optics to the home. I plan to sign up for the full FIOS package, once it's available. And that's the tough part. It's unclear when we'll actually be able to get FIOS installed. There are agreements with the town, I think, that have to happen. And I'm sure our current cable company will fight to prevent the change in the monopolistic hold on the town.

But...I'm guessing that it's all too late for the resident cable company. FIOS is coming!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Facebook? and social networking

OK, I just joined Facebook. For business reasons.

No, really...I'm not kidding. I'm on a committee for the new corporate intranet. The consultants sent us a Facebook link to an intranet group that's on Facebook.

I feel account says I have 0 friends. And I don't have a good picture. And, there are other people from work on Facebook! How weird...I guess Facebook isn't just for kids anymore.

I belong to LinkedIn and Plaxo. I still have no clue what to do with these social networks. There's something curious about putting all sorts of personal information on line that people can see. My 85 year-old father is baffled about this. "Why," he says, "Why would anyone put all that personal information out there for strangers to see?"

I dunno. But it does seem to be intriguing.

Task for this week...find a good picture for online! The social networking world may be a but perplexing to me, but I think I want to be a part of it!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

changing the wallpaper (electronic, that is)

Recently, a couple of people have commented that my PC wallpaper was...well, ugly. That it didn't suit me.

I've used the same wallpaper for years...more years than I can recall. It's a sort of neutral colored stone-like texture. I rather liked it.

On the other hand, considering all the options these days, having the same wallpaper, day in and day out, year after year, is a bit boring.

This morning, I changed the wall paper. Grabbed an image from of an exploding star. It's bright, it's bold, and has lots of pretty colors. Maybe I'll try changing the wallpaper on a regular basis...just to shake things up a bit.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Changing what I do at work

A couple of weeks ago (6/1- 6/4), I attended the STC conference in Philadelpha. STC = Society for Technical Commuication. In other words, a tech writer/tech editor and related professions conference.

It was surprisingly good. I had low expectations. When I originally looked at the sessions, I didn't see a lot that interested me. But, there was an open slot and I knew I would be attending the conference with some of the really cool people in my group. So, I went :-)

And came back. With ideas about how to change my role at work. About time. I've spent the last year or so, trying to figure out what I'm supposed to be doing. I was promoted to a Consultant level position, but giving up the day-to-day writing projects that I was doing previously was proving very hard for me. (letting go of anything is a problem for me...more about that in an upcoming post).

But something "clicked" for me while out in Philly. I realized that I had to change my work focus in order to feel satisfaction that I was working up to my real capabilities. So, I had a talk with my manager and she was all for it...yes, I could start going into research mode and focusing more on content management, structured writing, and all the other stuff related to bringing our group into a more modern way of working.

Ironically, right after we made this decision, I ended up with another writing project on my plate. No one else was available and I felt it was only right to volunteer. Oh well.

But, I am feeling good that I finally have reached the point where I can let go of being "just a writer" and am happy to move into being a content managmenet/information engineer. I'm just hope I don't lose all this motivation too quickly!

The death of a robin...and the empty nest

Last night I came home to discover a young, dead robin at the base of the shrub where a local family had taken up residence. So sad.

I had been away for several days on a business trip, so I haven't been checking on my resident avians. After descovering the corpse, literally on my doorstep, I peeked in and took a look at the nest. Vacant. No one left.

I have no idea if the dead robin fell out of the nest, was attacked, or pushed out by siblings? I am hopful that the other baby robins have fledged and are off, doing happy, robin things.

If Mother Nature, in all her wisdom, has not urged some other animal to do the cleanup/scavenger thing, I will remove the poor, soggy body (it's been raining and raining!) and dispose of it. With a little bit of dignity. We all deserve that much.