Walking all over that 'old and decrepit' bit…

The changing of the seasons

It’s cooler and a bit rainy outside.

My daughter has her school schedule for the year, and is taking One Whole Week off of her 3x weekly summer jazz band rehearsal schedule before we dive back into 3x weekly fall jazz band rehearsal schedule.

I got eggplants and peppers in last week’s organics box delivery. Am dreaming of ratatouille, plus starting a batch of infused cordials for holiday gift giving (another round of the Betsywhim, anyone?)

And in ‘everything old is new again’ kinda way (that linked recipe is from 3 summers ago), I’m waking this little corner of the world back up.

Let’s see what this upcoming season brings to us, shall we?

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Where’s Eileen? Not in my neighborhood…

Over the last 7 days, I’ve taken 5 long walks through my inner-NE neighborhood. I’ve taken 4 very different routes, going as far as NE 33rd to the east, NE 7th to the west. I’ve been as far north as Siskiyou, and as far south as Weidler – alongside high-volume roads (NE 15th) and slow neighborhoods where I never saw another person. (It’s all part of my #whimstomp campaign; read more about it here…)

Part of what I love about these walks (some with headphones/podcasts or music, some without) is that I do get to people-watch. Or house-watch. (It was very cool to see the daffodils I sweated over planting 14 years ago blooming still in the median near my old house, for example.)

And since we’re in the midst of an election primary season, I’m seeing plenty of lawn signs. For congressional reps, city councilmen (or woman, in the case of Mary Nolan) & for Portland’s next mayor, where the top three candidates now are ex-councilman Charlie Hales, Bus Project wunderkind (and current state congressman) Jefferson Smith, and entrepreneur Eileen Brady.

I’ve put in 12 miles on foot in the last 7 days.

I’ve seen plenty of signs for Charlie Hales.

I’ve seen plenty of signs for Jefferson Smith.

I’ve not seen one single, solitary sign for Eileen Brady.

I believe they have signs – I was told I could pick one up a few weeks ago via an Brady for Mayor email (I got myself on the list, and haven’t yet bothered to unsubscribe.)

The same email that trumpeted Eileen’s new ad with a nod to Portlandia: Put a Job on It. (My friend Robert Wagner wasn’t at all impressed, nor was I when I finally got around to watching it. Today.)

But here’s the thing: In order to get a job, you have to first do the leg work. Even the boring, what seems to be mundane work. (I’ve volunteered for enough school campaigns in my day to know that’s the kind of work that ends up paying off in the end, in fact.)

Which means you have to get in front of voters. With lawn signs that hit people as they’re walking, driving, biking or running by. Not so much videos that people have to add to their to-do lists to go watch ‘later’ (as in my case).

I’d say in this day and age, if you want to get a job – well, you have to be persistent. Memorable. And make the impression that you’re going to be consistently there, working hard, for starters.

But the very best way to get a job is to first prove you can do the work. Including (in this case) the work of getting her name out there, her presence visible to the average, ordinary voters as they go about their average, ordinary days.

Brady hasn’t done that for me, sorry.

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It’s still a whole new Android world…

Sure, I may have had to drive over to the special AT&T store that will investigate, service and/or potentially replace your still-under-warranty device upon request.

And they may have had to go through their super-duper reinstall of the underlying Android OS to try and deal with the nagging annoyances I’d started to experience (phone constantly restarting, not maintaining a Bluetooth connection, horrific battery life, or worse – flipping off but not then back on).

And I may have gotten back my old phone – but now with no third-party apps at all on it! BONUS!

But I also got a new battery out of the deal – along with a fresh & sparkly phone that’s gone through the equivalent of what I imagine Dorothy & Co. went through upon arriving at Emerald City.

And yes, I’m still a fan of my Motorola Atrix.

That whole ‘re-install the apps’ process? Not as painful as I might have imagined. For starters, I’m not really *using* many apps – why do I need them when a browser will do? And my data’s already being pulled in from other places – calendars, contacts, phone numbers, photos, email – you name it, it already lives elsewhere as well.

Secondly, I’m not trying to make my phone do everything. While all of my books are eBooks these days and I love, love, love my Kindle app on my tablet (1st generation iPad – yes, I’m OS-double-dipping), for example – I have little to no desire to actually read a book on my phone these days.

(That goes ditto for any app that requires heavy reading – Instapaper-ish apps, GReader apps, etc. – yes, I’m talking about you.)

Finally – both the Android Market (now re-named Google Play – except not yet on this phone) and Amazon’s App center both remembered the apps I’d already downloaded & made it easy easy to get them back with a single click per app. (I only had to manually grab less than five apps I must have obtained elsewhere…)

So less than 2 hours after I started this process (while also working, checking email, eating lunch & doing my usual multitasking thing) – well, I’m done.

The apps that made the cut are as follows (some come as defaults):

  • Anything from Google – Gmail, Maps, Contacts, Calendar, Music, etc.
  • Evernote (it’s how I capture the handwritten whiteboard full of grocery items on my refrigerator, for starters)
  • Two other useful ‘toolbox’ apps: Dropbox and Tiny Flashlight (you may laugh at the latter – but I use it *all the time*)
  • Since my phone serves as my primary audio source in the car: Spotify, Pandora, Google Music, PocketCasts & Amazon MP3

What quickly gets replaced/upgraded:

  • Default ATT browser? Nope, it’s Dolphin instead.
  • Ditto keyboard – SwiftKey all the way

I still may have a bit of tweaking to do (why, oh why does EVERY notification want to include sound as a default? DO. NOT. LIKE.) – but I’m now good to give this 2.0 version another spin or two.

But I should ask you:

  • What Android phone apps do you consider essential – and why?
  • What apps do you rush to uninstall?
  • And what are the top settings to change/modify on your phone?

Or in other words – what am I missing?

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