Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Beginning of the Blog-Never Say Never

This blog began when we bought our RV, affectionately called the Cozy Cottage. I had said we would never get an RV. I said, "Barry could RV with his next wife."  In a weak moment, Barry, Mary, and Bob convinced me that it would be great. Then Mary and Bob sold us their RV. I felt hoodwinked twice in one transaction.

This photo was taken on our first camp out. We just went down the road a bit to Joe Poole lake to try it out.

The purchase of the RV led to the purchase of the scooter.

Over the next few years, we went to Arkansas,


and the Lower Rio Grande Valley. More trips and the need for more transportation led to the purchase of the jeep.

There was a fun football weekend. See how cozy that little RV is?

 And then the Cozy Cottage began to feel even cozier on longer trips to South Dakota, Yellowstone, and the Tetons.

And, although she made it going up some mountain passes in Colorado, it was a little nerve racking for the driver and slow going for the people behind us.

So, the decision was made to sell the Cozy Cottage. I will admit, I enjoyed it. I started my blog so the kids could follow us. We stayed in beautiful places and had fun with friends. 

Now we are in the process of deciding what to do next? We are both supposed to be making a list of what we want in our next camper. I have pointed out that we could fly first class and stay at a 5 star hotel for what RV'ing cost, but apparently, there are places that only a RV can go. Plus, I hear, one may need kayaks in order to enjoy those places. I don't know where this is leading, but I wont be saying "Never". 

Monday, September 24, 2012

PBS Television

The fall season begins and possibly I have officially become an old because most of the CBS, ABC, and NBC line ups do not interest me. It seems, I really don't care to watch twenty and thirty somethings anymore.

There is one new show that I am looking forward to seeing, and it is on PBS. Another English show, called, Call the Midwife, premiers Septemeber 30th. This show takes place in 1950's London.

Watch Call the Midwife - Tease on PBS. See more from Call the Midwife.

While reading about Call the Midwife, I came across several recommendations for Doc Martin

Doc Martin has been on for several seasons, so I am beginning with Season One. This show is about a surgeon who gives up his practice in London and moves to a village to be their general practitioner. His social skills are lacking and the village is full of "characters." I am watching on Netflix to catch up. If you have Amazon Prime, it is free to view there. Plus, you can get a month of Amazon Prime or Netflix for a free trial. 

This Sherlock Holmes series from PBS is also very good. This is a modern day Sherlock Holmes. It is not the blockbuster, special effects Sherlock Holmes from the movies. It is well written and enjoyable to watch. Again, you can watch Season One and Two on Netflix or Amazon Prime. I did not see it while it was being shown on the network, but am thoroughly enjoying it now. 

In case you are wondering, we do pledge to PBS. 

What shows will you be watching? 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Our September birthday girl is.....Shannon!

As luck would have it, someone stole the limelight that day. 

Cora was five months old on the same day as Shannon's birthday.

However, no one in the BSB family seemed to mind.

They just showered little Cora with all kinds of attention.

But, we know that Scarlett and Baby Cora have a special bond, and they just hung out together for a while.

We know Shannon enjoyed the little get-together for her.  Cora did not eat any of the Shannon's birthday food. Cora is considerate that way.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Avoiding a Saga

This post was going to be a saga about dealing with Internet and cable companies. But, I just couldn't put myself (nor you) through that. So, I am going to a warm and fuzzy place instead -Pets.

I decided it would be fun to photograph some of the pets in my neighborhood.
I like to photograph my own pets, but it is kind of like working with your own children. They are never as clean, brushed, or cooperative as I would like them to be. Notice how Magic has grass in the fur on his face?

Or how Bingo gives me that "Leave me alone, you ruined my life by bringing Magic into the family" look?

So I recruited a couple of friend's pets. First was Sugar. 

Sugar belongs to Bob and Mary, which along with Barry, were the main topics in early posts of this blog. Look at that happy face. She is a 'wonder' dog, but that too is another story.

This is Traxx. Traxx was a super model. He loved having his photograph taken. He is a Pixie-Bob cat that belongs to Mary Jane. He has a thumb. See them there below? 

He also has a bobbed tail, spots and amazing eyes.

I'm not sure what those eyes are saying at the moment, but they are so cool.

This is definitely a project I need to do again.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A Tech Tuesday that is not real Techy

Over the past several months, we have been experiencing some internet problems. Multiple devices couldn't be used at the same time and very slow speeds haunted us. Having been in this house a little over a year, it was one of those problems that we didn't really realize was going on at times. When I was at Joanie's a few weeks ago, I downloaded the second half of a book I was listening to for the drive home on my iPhone. ZIP! It took about twenty seconds. At my house, I would start the download on my phone when I went to bed. If I woke up in the middle of the night, I would try again, because it would partially download before it failed. 

Since I give technology tips (note the sarcasm about myself here), I came to the conclusion that something was wrong in connection land. So, I called AT&T. (When we moved, we got a bundle deal with AT&T and Direct TV).  Long story short, we have only had an archaic amount of uploading and downloading capability. Today, we will hopefully be getting some speedy Internet..

However, this Tech Tuesday has nothing to do with my home Internet. It has to do with apps on everyone's favorite feature on their phone. (FYI-AT&T did come through with the date of my iPhone upgrade. It is in February. Maybe an iPhone5 user will send in some tips concerning the new phone for us). The camera!

Of course, your iPhone has an edit program built in, but if you want to have more fun, there are over a hundred apps out there for your iPhone and iPad cameras. My recommendation is that you read the reviews in the iTunes store. Many of the apps sound great, but the users find some faults.

Camera + 
This app actually has so much in it, I haven't tried all the features nor mastered them. It is on sale right now. Definitely worth the $.99.

It's free, easy to use, and you can share your photos on Facebook or email. Probably the most popular camera app.

Put your photos in frames and/or add text to the photo. This is just an extra addition to Instagram.

Action Movie FX
Barry loves this app. Record a movie and add the special effects.

This photo site has been recommended to me, but I have not used it.

Now this is not a camera app but a Disney book is available right now for the iPad. It's getting good reviews.
Bambi for $1.99

What are your favorite camera apps?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tech Tuesday- iPhone News

The new iPhone 5 will be out very soon. Dates from September 12th to around September 20th are floating around.

I just wish it wasn't so hard to find out from AT&T if I qualify for an upgrade.

Am I the only one who didn't know that the iPhone User Guide is right there on the phone?
Yep, it's there. Here is how to access it, if you too didn't know this tidbit of information.

1. Open up Safari

2. Tap your bookmark icon to open up your bookmarks

3. Scroll until you see iPhone User Guide
    (mine was at the very last bookmark)

When you open the bookmark, there are the contents of your iPhone manual.

This makes me think I need to clean up my bookmarks. But that will have to wait for another Tech Tuesday. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Media Monday-New Seasons Beginning


There may be new television shows beginning, but I am looking forward to January 6th, 2013. Until then here is a preview from Downton Abbey!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Just a Few Things

First of all, I should have given credit to Pat's daughter, Erin, for the photo of him and his granddaughter yesterday.  I "borrowed" it from her Facebook page. I didn't think she would mind, since it was a perfect illustration of how Pat has been spending his time.

Secondly, Magic is one year old. Actually, he was one year old in August.

Third, An update on the red wasp that were getting in the house. I want to thank everyone for their advice. We are assuming they were coming in through the attic.  Since Barry sprayed there, we haven't seen them.

Lastly, I do want to let you know that I do proof-read my posts before publishing them. But, I almost always find mistakes the next day. I used to tell my students to have someone else read through their writings, as their brain knows what they want to say and auto-corrects for them. Anyone want to volunteer to proofread or are you okay with a few errors?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

SOOF Wednesday

Since many of you emailed and asked, (and when I say many, I mean no one), why there were no posts last week, it was because we were busy.

When I asked the younger members of my family a short while back to list what makes them think "Old Fart", they all sent me several examples. I chose from those, but Shannon sent hers in too late for the post.

However, her comment must be addressed, because it is true. She said, "The inability to do more than one thing a day." I am afraid she may be right.

I don't know when this happened, because I used to do A LOT in one day. I worked, juggled three kids and their schedules, cooked, and cleaned, just as other moms and dads do.

Now it is an all day affair to do the laundry or clean up my office. How did this happen?
I know Shannon was not just talking about me. Several of my retired friends and I have talked about this oddity that takes place during this time of our life. Why one of the old fart authors himself couldn't write last week because he was spending time with his grandchildren.

Too busy to write a post
Pat and his granddaughter

Isaac and I headed to the coastal region of Texas.

Well, spending time with my grandchildren is my excuse too. I was in Houston with Lucy and Ava. We were busy and there was not much quiet time for writing.

Lucy and I mugging for the iPhone camera.

Ava turned four last week. I brought in gifts from Miles and Michelle and us.

The microphone was a big hit-with Ava. Joanie said, "Ava, we will have to write Aunt Michelle a special thank you note for this gift."

Do not let this face make you think Ava didn't like this Little Pony DVD. I meant to destroy it before I left Houston. I don't know why the makers of these children shows have to make the voices so irritating. Are they just trying to make grown people and puppies cry? The government needs to use this to torture prisoners. Or, maybe I was just past doing my one thing a day limit.

Lucy was too busy juggling calls and looking chic to bother with those Ponies.

I figured if ponies were popular, we might as well do them right. So off we went to the carousel. (actually, Joanie suggested it)

Oh the joy! 

So even though spending time getting one thing accomplished a day, or even a week, does SOOF, it can be very rewarding.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

There are going to be a few changes inside the BrierPatch blog. It has become increasingly difficult to make a weekly post on certain days. There will still be an occasional Media Monday, Tech Tuesday, and  (sniff-sniff) Smacks of Old Fart Wednesday.

SOOF won't be written EVERY Wednesday???
That makes me so sad.

Sometimes the bloggers are real busy. Uhmmm... Tomorrow's blog will be an example of how busy we are.

So for now, you will just be surprised.

Now on to Tech Tuesday.

Barry and I spent a couple of hours at the Apple store yesterday, trying to find an app that was deleted from his computer. Actually, I lost it. It had to do with me changing his iTunes store Apple ID from one to another. The lesson learned was to remember all your passwords to all your IDs. Do that and you can retrieve anything. Barry and I usually don't fool with each other's computers or accounts for this very reason. Main lesson- don't touch other people's computer.

You may be thinking it was just an app, but it was his iBird app and as apps go it was more money and his favorite. Mainly it was the principle of having to buy it again. It would have been much easier in the long run to just repurchase it. (which is what he ended up doing) Oh, and his music was gone too. I really didn't want to admit that. He had a backup, so it was okay. (another lesson-back-up)

Since my brain is in pain, and I have no tech knowledge, I will just share a few of my favorite apps.

Audible- I listen to a lot of books. I could download the books and listen to them through iTunes, but I like to listen with the Audible app. I just find it user friendly with its chapter navigation, wireless download, and sleep mode. 
Timer on the iPhone
There is a timer mode on the iPhone to stop playing, but I like the all in one access on Audible for books. But, if you are listening to Stitcher or downloaded podcast you may want to use the time mode on the iPhone. Here is how:
Open the Clock
Open timer
Set the time
Touch When Timer Ends
Scroll all the way to the bottom and choose Stop Playing

Shoeboxed Receipt Tracker and Receipt Reader- Take a photo of your receipts and keep track of your expenses. You are limited to the number of free receipts. Then it can get costly. I only have the free app, so I might have to just photograph receipts with my phone, email them to myself, and put them in a spreadsheet. If I was in business and had to turn in expense reports, though, I might invest in this app. 

WorldCard- This is an app that I bought after trying the free one. Photograph a business card and it puts the information in your contacts. Depending on the graphics on the card, some of the information can go into a wrong space, but it is much easier to delete than type everything into your contacts. I use this a lot. If you are in business, you need this app.

iBird- This app is 50% off right now. So... if you are a birder, get this app. It works on the iPhone and iPad. Even if you are a backyard birder, they have an iPad app here. You get  photos, drawings, range, sounds, and lots of information.

1Password Pro- This one was recommended to us today at the Apple store. I wonder why?

Let me reiterate the valuable advice for this Tech Tuesday-

1. Remember all your IDs and passwords.

2. Keep your hands on your own computer.

3. Back-up.

4. Thank goodness for a patient husband.