Wednesday, March 28, 2012

My Favorite "Time Fillers"

I have the sort of job where it is either running at full tilt in a total panic....or waiting.  I have to say I much prefer the panic days as the work hours go by much more quickly.  Unfortunately, there are periods of waiting for a purchase order or similar that can last a week or longer.  During those periods, I try to do work related research...but, honestly I also spend time on some of my favorite time filler websites and aps.  Since I started using my iPhone, I have found that there are really cool time-fillers in the form of Aps and Games.  I am not putting the ususal suspects like FaceBook or Twitter, but more of the places/Aps I personally like that may be new to you.

Here they are, in no particular order (again, lists rule my life)

  1. Angry Birds:  Pretty much any version of this game will suck me in and make me beg one of my children to defeat a level for me.  Lately, I have been on the Angry Birds Space edition.  It is SO awesome because you have to take into consideration the orbit and gravity.   
2.  Sh*t My Kids Have Ruined: This is a website dedicated to users uploading pictures of items in their households their children have either destroyed, ruined, or added some artistic flavor to with their permanent markers.  This website is definitely not to be used as a parenting manual, but it has some truly epic parenting FAILS that will make you laugh till you pee on yourself (okay, maybe not YOU but I have had 3 kids so don't judge).

I am sure the dog didn't mind...NOT

3.  Regretsy:  Oh my Maude, if you can look at some of the craptastic stuff on this site and not go WHUCK? Your brain is made of different stuff than mine.  This site puts up REAL items that are for sale by Etsy or eBay that truly show how some people will call anything Art.  Even what looks to me like a bunch of melted wax vaguely resembling a nose with light bulbs for boogers.  The biggest shocker is this was SOLD to someone.  Who, what, where....I don't even think I want to know the type of person that would put a light bulb booger blowing nose up in their house.  I am sure someone in that house is instructing it to put the lotion on.....
4.  Go Away:  This is a blog by David Thorne.  This blog will make you laugh until you cry.  He basically makes it his mission to use sarcasm and wit to annoy his co-workers.  Please be sure to check out his post called "Missing Missy."  I love that post so much that I actually read it aloud to my department and showed the pictures....Unfortunately, they really didn't understand what I was saying because I was laughing so hard my words were unintelligible!
5.  Pinterest:  They need to call it CRACKerest, because it is that addictive.   I have the mobile ap for my phone, a "Pin it" button on all my browsers, and check in on my pins or pin something almost as much as I check my FB account.  It is an invite only type thing, but they aren't too picky (obviously since I got an account) on who they let in....if you need an invite leave me a comment and I can send one to you.  It really isn't only a waste of time, because I use it almost like a virtual post-it note.  If I am looking for ideas for my garden, I will pin the picture to refer to later....same goes with recipes to try, places I'd like to travel, etc.... If you have never been to this site, please consider this your warning to check out a 12 step program prior to becoming addicted ;-).

6. Damn you auto correct:  I have to put a disclaimer that this is not an at work time filler.  Big Brother blocks it, and it is a good thing, because most of these contain strong adult language.  However, it is SO funny.  I don't even care if they are all fake, I enjoy them just for the laughs.  Anyone who has ever had a smartphone and likes to text has been the victim of autocorrect.  Personally, my autocorrect kept turning the my Hottie Husband's name into the word Tuna, so now his poor kids are known as the Tunas in our house (not to their faces, but as in "what time are you picking up the tunas?").

7.  Words With Friends:  LOVE this ap on my iPhone which is also linked to my FaceBook account.  It is scrabble that you can play with your friends (duh!).  I usually have 6 - 8 games going simultaneously and have learned so many new words that I just thought I made up, but were actually REAL words!  Did you know that "Metope" is a REAL word, and not just a cool way to use the letter P (turns out it is an architectual term for the distance between 2 I want to use tryglyphs in Words With Friends!)?

What are some of your favorite time fillers?  Not that I need another addiction, but I am always on the look out for a great laugh!

Until next can follow me on Pinterest, Twitter and check out my Momginerd FaceBook page!

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Friday, March 16, 2012

Gadgets and Aps that Make My Life Easier

Being a self-proclaimed Mom-Engineer-Nerd (momginerd), I am often asked for advice on technological items that I would recommend.  Although I am not really an expert on gadgets and tech, I LOVE them.  So, I thought I'd share some of the items/aps that make my life easier or more enjoyable and hope that you will add a comment at the end of the Blog on some of the things you like too!

These will be in no particular order, but I like lists ;)

1.  iPhone
 I used to be a die-hard BlackBerry Girl.  I would look down my nose at iPhone or Droid users and think that those are TOYS whereas I have a real workhorse in my crackberry.  I liked the blackberry because I could get my work email and calendar delivered directly to the phone.  This was HUGE as a working mom with 3 kids, as it gave me the ability to stay in touch with work, while still taking the kids to the doctor, going on field trips, etc.  When my company announced they were going to start supporting iPhones with Good to do the same thing and simultaneously my Bold started acting up (for the 3rd time in a year), I took the plunge and ordered my iPhone.  And let me tell you, it has been a double edged sword.  Whereas before my phone was used as, well a phone, for email and calendar and texting, that was about it.  Now, my iPhone is like an umbilical cord attached to all aspects of my life. Without it I wouldn't remember to take my meds, read the news, or check FaceBook.  Because of this flexibility I also have become entrenched in the Curse phenomena known as Words With Friends.  I also check FaceBook a lot more since I can now do it on my phone more easily. 

2.  Evernote

This is an Ap that is available for all smartphones, PC's, and Tablets.  It is basically a "get yo' shit organized" Ap that is FREE!  In order for me to maintain any semblance or sanity and not lose my schmidt on a daily basis I do a lot of list making, note taking, calendar planning.  Evernote works in that I can do this and COMMUNICATE the lists I have made to Hottie Husband seamlessly.  For example,  HH was grocery shopping (yes, he does this, NO you can't have him), and I remembered I forgot to add kale to the shopping list.  I simply went to the Evernote Ap and added it to the list.  Meanwhile HH was shopping from his Evernote Ap and didn't even know that I had added this item.  This also works for adding things I want but am too guilty to buy (Ice Cream).  *Ahem*

3.  Say Mmmm

This is a website that allows you to plan menus, store recipes and create and organize grocery lists.  It has made menu planning SO much easier for me.  I religiously plan the weekly menus every Sunday.  the BEST part about Say Mmmm is that it LINKS TO EVERNOTE!!!!!  So I can create my menu, look up recipes and then send the weekly menu, recipes and grocery list all to Evernote.  I also send it to my kids Evernote accounts and I no longer hear 100 times per day, "what's for dinner." Bonus, bonus, bonus!

4. Kindle

This is version of Kindle I currently own.  It is my second Kindle. I read voraciously, probably 3 - 4 books per month.  I also like to read 2 - 3 books simultaneously.  An eReader is a great invention for me, because I don't have to carry around multiple books, just the light and compact reader!  Of course now I am drooling over the newest version the Kindle Fire.  AND here is the thing, I will still be keeping my old one for reading during lunch breaks, taking to kids sporting practices etc.  I just need want the Fire for the backlit screen, ability to watch movies, play games, and for magazines.  Why not an iPad, I have been asked.  And for me, it is mostly a matter of cost.  Why spend $500 for an iPad when I can spend less than half that on a Fire and have all the things an iPad does?  I already have an iPhone, so I just am (for right now) not interested in investing more money into an iPad which is an overgrown iPhone, without the phone.  We are already avid supporters of, so streaming movies from their Prime site is very appealing.  That is, of course, not to say I would not accept an iPad if it were offered, feel free to let me know if you'd like to donate one to me ;).

5. Waze
This is a navigation application for SmartPhones.  It is a unique approach to navigation because it crosses navigation with social media.  As you are driving, if you see an accident, traffic jam, etc you simply push a simple icon on the screen and it sends your report to all other drivers near you.  Every time you stop, it will flash the local traffic  issues on your screen.  When you use the navigation portion of the application, it will look at your route and suggest alternative routes to save time if there are reported traffic issues.  I commute 40 miles each way to work on the busiest roads.  This application has saved me countless lost minutes and episodes of road rage already.  Waze is a must, in my opinion for commuters!  I also found this neat dash pad mat for my iPhone that allows it to stick to the dashboard without doing any permanent damage.  I have been using it for 2 months and it has never allowed My Precious (iPhone's nickname) to fall! 

What are some of your favorite Aps and Gadgets?  Any I need to add to my (ever growing) list?