May 6, 2013


So I thought I’d take the three of us to the local Panera for a little Monday evening wind-down. We’d perhaps enjoy a little treat, have a soft drink or iced tea and just relax a little bit as we played with our gadgets and the like.

Those plans were abolished when I spotted something ahead of us in line.

Two children. One stroller. One balloon.

The mother is oblivious. The child is in the stroller and is screaming at the top of its lungs. When the oblivious mother is reveling in her obliviousness, the child with the balloon hits the child in the stroller with the balloon. The kid yells louder, loudER, LOUDER, I tell you. To calm the child, the mother shakes a plastic glass full of ice in the child’s face and makes odd noises. She doesn’t make a tsk tsk sound or try to calm the child, she shakes ice in it’s face. The child is now yelling “maw maw” and then screaming.

Playland. It’s just around the corner.

I suppose I was a brat when I was a kid. My sister and I were often left out in the car while Mom did her grocery shopping. Matched up with our cousins once removed, the five kids left in the car once got so loud that a woman came over from another car and told us we were very bad children. My cousin once removed retaliated by sounding the horn. Constantly. Then we were quiet once she walked away. So the truth of the matter is, kids will be kids and I get that. I also get why my mother left us out in the car while she did the grocery shopping.

She didn’t want us to blow the roof off the P&C (grocery store).

People that were seated around the ice-rattling mother and her balloon bopping child with screaming mimi are vacating the premises like it’s nobody’s business. The guys behind the counter are talking about the screaming kid. It can’t be good for business.

Maybe we can relax at home after all.


So a couple of weeks ago Earl and I were at the local casino for dinner and drinks and we decided to spend a little bit of gambling money while we were there. Earl went to do his thing in the Poker Room, so I took $40 and popped it into a nickel machine. Technically, I didn’t put the money in the machine because at Turning Stone you can’t do that; you put the money onto a card and then you pop the card into the machine and it keeps your balance. It’s kind of like an instant ATM card.

I think I’m digressing.

So I put $40 into the “Wheel of Fortune” game and a few minutes later my card balance was up to $360. It was at that moment that I decided to yank that card out of the machine and grab the cash from the nice lady in the cage.

Never one to let money just sit around when it could be used for some cool toy, then next morning I placed an order for a little gadget I’ve had my eye on for a while. Said gadget arrived today.

Introducing, The Brydge.

In case you’re not familiar with the ways of Apple, in the picture is my iPad 4 with a keyboard attached to it. The keyboard is made of the same materials as the iPad case and the cases of the iPad’s big brothers, the MacBook Air, etc. Through the use of Bluetooth wizardry, my iPad can now function like a laptop. This gives me the opportunity to write blog entries on the go again without having to try to fumble with the on-screen keyboard.

I’m a happy geek!

From unboxing to first use took less than five minutes. The only thing I had to do was swap out the shims on the hinge from iPad 2 mode to iPad 3/4 mode. These little rubberized guys hold my iPad in as snug as a bug and a rug. The hinges can take the iPad down to almost flat and with a hearty yank, I’m able to pull the iPad off the keyboard if I want to use it the way Steve intended.

The only thing that I have a slight struggle with is the size of the right shift key. If you have ever had the privilege of seeing me type in person, I am a really fast typist. Back in my heyday I could crack 100-105 WPM in typing competitions. Because of this, I’m really fussy about keyboards. The tactile response of The Brydge keyboard is amazing, but because the right-shift key is half the normal width of a regular right-shift key, I’m finding myself moving the cursor up a line instead of shifting the next key on more than one occasion. This is something that I will eventually get used to, after all, I’ve only had the keyboard out and functional for less than two hours, but my point is that it does take some getting used to. Other than that, I feel like I’m full speed on this keyboard, though it is slightly smaller than your average keyboard.

All in all, I wouldn’t say that this is a “must have” for the iPad but I would say that it’s pretty dang nice. If you’re looking for something that has the portability of the MacBook Air but still has all the goodies of the iPad, The Brydge is a nice companion to the full-sized iPad.



This is turning out to be an interesting Monday. I started work a few minutes early this morning and within one minute of logging onto the corporate IM system I was getting hysterical messages telling me to join a conference bridge for troubleshooting purposes.

Someone needs to get the cobwebs out of my head before that sort of thing happens.

Earl started with some sniffles on Friday night. He’s been “meh” throughout the weekend. Last night he was in bed before 7 p.m. and this morning he slept in until just before 8. He ran to work, did what he had to do and then came home and is now parallel parked on the couch. I heated up some chicken noodle soup for him. I’m hoping he feels better because I don’t like seeing my husband sick.

For some insane reason I decided to tackle the “really big hill” this morning on my bike. Turning left out of our driveway is always a bit of an incline, but I usually hop off the hill at the first left turn about a half mile from the house. This morning I just kept going up the hill and two miles later I was feeling like I accomplished something. Plus, I was freezing. The weather has been picture perfect for the past five days and it looks like the trend is going to continue for the next couple of days as well. The abundant sunshine has helped me feel wonderful lately. And feeling wonderful is a wonderful thing.