Category Archives: technology

Merry Christmas from Hornby Island

This is my first Christmas on Hornby Island after past xmas1Christmases at Puerto Vallarta, Costa Rica, Phoenix Ottawa and Vancouver. This will be a very different Christmas. This morning the power went out for the third time since I came in June. By now I have acquired both candles and the skills to start a fire in the wood stove AND make cowboy coffee on the wood strove. The pot of hot water heated faster on the wood stove than the electrical stove.  The power came on at 8 am, just in time for the co-op radio program that I had been invited to guest DJ. The station only broadcasts to the island and only half of the island can get the transmission so that’s a possible an audience of about 500 would be listening if everyone was up at that hour of the morning.  All did not go well. I had a small set of Christmas music I had hoped to play for my new Hornby friends, but the technical elves were up to their old tricks. My new Iphone 7 had a different jack than the radio station and my back up plan of a USB stick could not be read by the machines. So I will be getting some training on the equipment next week.   I have been invited to host a once a month classical radio show.

Following the radio follies, I took my weekly trip to the recycling center to feed the deer this week’s organic material.   Lots of mandarin orange peels but they don’t seem to fancy them. I hit on another real find at the Free store.. an ottoman for me and my landlady’s cat. (see above)   She (the landlady) is in Mexico.

I came home and baked a huge apple crisp for the potluck dinner at New Horizons tomorrow.   I got the apples from the heritage orchard on Hornby which has been in existence for about a 100 years. The orchard has now become a community project. The apples taste better than the ones from the store.

I have to teach on-line for an hour tomorrow to a group of nine grade 7’s in Ontario. They are all English speaking but are wanting enhanced reading experience. Managing 9 kids online at the same time seemed like a bad idea to me but everyone seems to be on their best behaviour.   The book we are about to read is called Replica-Lyra which is about cloning. It was their choice not mine!. Very topical. The other student I have is a grade 2 child in an international school in Shanghai which means English immersion. She is on a 3 week snowboarding trip at the moment but we are still having classes.

Tomorrow night is a house concert at a Yoga retreat on the island. I have had very good things about the musicians and have not been to the yoga retreat.   Then Sunday is the life drawing session, followed by the Hornby Island Photo club. We have to bring 4 photos of Leading Lines.

Next week a new Hornby friend from Victoria is coming to stay for a few days. Although many people leave Hornby for Mexico in the winter, I haven’t made any plans to go south yet but if the power frequently goes out I might consider it. I think the Christmas period will be quieter and I hope to get back to doing some watercolours that I have been leaning by myself but started a few years ago at Emily Carr.

People often say that they have never been to busy since they retired, and I have to agree. Even here on Hornby it is common to be double booked. There are fitness classes, the bridge club, the community choir and many many volunteer opportunities that I have not yet explored. Everywhere I go I run into people I know or who know me after about 5 minutes of chatting with me. This is so much better than Vancouver or even Mexico. And walks, like everything, are within a 10 min drive of where I live.xmas 6

The downside has been trying to find housing over the winter. There are some strange rules and regulations from the Islands trusts about long/short term rentals that take a lot of the housing off the market in the winter. xmas 7Crazy making if you ask me. Not unlike the strata council in my condo in Vancouver that has banned rentals of less than 12 months. Thus my continued stay on Hornby!!!!. Fortunately the BC government has just released their housing task force report that recommends banning condo rental restrictions. I have been fighting with my strata council about this since May and I am glad to see the tide may be turning. So far they have fined me $ 500 for some short term rentals I did over the summer on AIRBNB.   It’s a crazy world. The summer rentals here start at $ 1000 a week. The other downside is that I haven’t had much time to update my blog.

I hope to see more visitors to Hornby next year. I have two futons for guests and 2 bathrooms so lots of space. It is however a 6 hour trip from Vancouver via 3 ferries. Still, it is a pretty scenic trip and well worth it. Save it until the summer to enjoy the beaches and kayaking.

My best wishes to all for a Merry Christmas and Happy 2019. Can’t believe it will be 2019!!!

Ann

The corruption of evidence-based medicine – Diet Doctor

http://blog.oxfordseminars.ca/our-grad-talks-about-tattooing-and-teaching-english-in-china/
For anyone thinking about a new career teaching English as a second language with low barriers to entry and opportunities for travel, this article tells you how to do it.

 

The internet, cell phones and ipads for beginners.

Information overload

The abundance of information on the internet can feel overwhelming at times. There is a tendency to spend a lot of time surfing the net and/or downloading files, editing files etc.  once you are on-line   As a result people can shut down from going online or else feel that it is too complex to use, especially if they have not gotten used to it over the years.  This may be true for some older people but many older people are very computer savvy.  I have one friend who is 68 and is a guru with Garage Band, a program that generates music scores on a computer screen and generates print outs of scores in different keys for different instruments.

Mobile Devices/hardware

Ipads

I just love my Ipad.  I have the Ipad mini which severed me well in my trip to Mexico. There are now Ipads that are cellular enabled so you don’t need to take an Iphone with you.  However that is just wishfully thinking as the phone is easier to carry around.  The new Ipad pro comes with a stylus for drawing programs which in on my wish list.

Cell phones

I can only speak about my iphones which I have been using since the Iphone4.  I  will list the useful apps I have on my phone and I pad  and what they do.  I especially like the transit apps for Translink in Vancouver and Google Maps.

Here is the highest rated phone on Amazon.

function name of app ipad iphone purpose frequency of use
          3 = daily, 2 = weekly, 1 < weekly
entertainment scrabble x x play on line 3
entertainment CBC radio x listen on line 1
entertainment twitter x x read on line 3
entertainment Facetime x x talk on line 1
entertainment skype x x talk on line 1
entertainment Vancouver Public Library x read on line 1
entertainment overdrive x download from library, read on line 3
entertainment brainHQ x play on line 2
entertainment clarient tuner x x play on line 1
entertainment Itunes x download 1
entertainment optik TV x TV guide telus 3
entertainment Facebook x x read on line 3
finances Inverstorline BMO x x read on line 1
finances Vectorvest stock advisory (paid) x x read on line 1
health pacer x track steps 3
health my ehealth x x view lab tests on line 1
travel pay by phone x pay on line 2
travel BMO account access x x read on line 2
travel Hangtag x read on line 1
travel transit360 x way finding 2
travel findmycar x way finding 1
travel airline apps x x pay on line 1
travel google maps x x way finding 2
utilities roboform x x keeps passwords 2
utilities weathernetwork x x weather 3
utilities email x x read on line 3
utilities drop box x x save files 1
utilities daily notes x x keeps notes 1
utilities flashlight x view things in the dark 1
utilities magnifier 30x x enlarge print 1
utilities google drive x x safe files 1
utilities wordpress x x post to blog 1
seldom used
instagram
youtube
pinterest
linked in
kindle

Ipod

The chief value of the ipod that I can listen to music, the radio or pod casts and the battery doesn’t run down as fast as the battery in the iphone so you can listed for a couple of hours.

Navigating the internet

Site functions value
Facebook Set up your account. personal site created by you, open to viewing by  your friends by adding them.  You can upload pictures or links to other sites. 5/5  Good way to stay connected with friends and family or special interest groups.  Easy to use.
Twitter  Set up your account.

Brief news feeds from selected organizations or individuals.

 3/5. Kind of a time waster but fascinating none-the-less.  Nothing required of you unless  you want to retweet a feed to your followers. Easy to use.
Instagram Download to Iphone to post pictures.  Need to set up an account 1/5 It seems popular with younger people.  It could work as a photo album. You can share with selected people.
Skype Download the program to computer, tables or phone. You can talk over the internet with a webcam and it is free to chat with people everywhere for free or minimal cost. 4/5 Very useful for staying in touch with friends and family.
Facetime  Like Skype but for MACs and IPads and Ipods  5/5 Easier to use than Skype.
Pinterest  A web site with a lot of eye candy, especially food, fashion and pets.  You can post and view others posts. 1/5 Popular with a certain demographic but not very useful.  The recipe pictures are several clicks away from the recipes. Very annoying
YouTube view short videos about many things, including music, how to videos including many videos about computer instructions.  You can save videos if you set up and account. 3/5 Entertainment, some self help.  I don’t use this more than once a week.

Downloading and uploading music- Itunes

Undercover TouristIf you want to have music or the spoken word while you walk or run, you will want to download files from your computer and/or from Itunes  and upload it to your phone or ipod. You need your Apple ID and password to download.  You can also download audio books and podcasts.  The Itunes app will need to be installed on your computer and Iphone and and is free to use. However downloading music from Itunes costs about $ 1.00 per tune downloaded.  You have to set up an Itunes account if you want to buy files to download.    Itunes used to be easy to use but over the past couple of years it seems to be less user friendly.  Apple is moving to a paid music subscription service call Spotify   which is $10.00 a month so you can download as much music as you want.  Once you download files to your computer into the Itunes program, the music will synch with your iphone and ipod by plugging the iphone or ipod into the computer USB port.   You can also synch files on your computer via wifi or download files to your iphone directly from the Itunes app on your iphone.

Photos- uploading and downloading.

There are many packages for uploading photos and some are more complex than others.  The easiest way is to install Icloud on your PC and IPhone.  This takes about 5 minutes.  You need your Apple ID and password to download the software from the Apple Store.  Once it is set up on your PC you can choose what kind of files you want synched across your devices.   Having you email and bookmarks synched on all your devices is a must have.  I give Icloud a 4/5 but sometimes it stops working and you have to sign out and sign in again or restart or computer.

Password protection/software

My favourite software for saving passwords is  RoboForm.  I have used it for over 5 years and it is free. It saves all your passwords on your PC, your IPhone and Ipad and synchs them all.  It is quick and easy to install.  When you log into a site it presents you with the option to automatically save the password if it has not been previously saved.  And if the password has been saved you click on the name of the password and it will automatically fill in the password.  The whole system can be password protected.  This software gets a 5/5 from me.