Thursday, January 27, 2011

iPhone

I have an iphone. Don't know if that's a good thing or not. I've had it less than a year and was making out okay. Learned how to put on apps. Learned how to get my email, put on a few songs, load on a game, use the GPS. Oh, and how to make a phone call.

So every 2-4 days, it needed charging and I dutifully charged it. Then last week the battery started going down overnight. I'd charge it fully, go to bed, and the next morning, voila! 39% charged. 20% charged. One day it only showed 7% of the battery remaining. Figured the battery was going bad. Knew I couldn't switch it out.

So. Called AT&T. They said it was still under warranty, transferred us to Apple. Apple said we should extend our warranty for another year since it was expiring in a month or so. I did but Apple still didn't tell me what was wrong. Then.

Long story short. Had to call AT&T again. No, it was Apple's problem. Had to call Apple again. They said I had to bring the phone in to the store. Nearest store 2 hours away. Got an appointment, drove there, registered with a gal holding an iPad wearing two nose studs and real casual clothes, milled around till someone took pity on me and showed me what was wrong just before my appointed rep showed up.

The customer rep tested the battery and said, yep, the other guy was right. Battery was fine. I could have stayed at home and fixed it myself.

So what was the problem? Turns out Apple updated the iPhones a couple of months back. Turns out the notification was so involved I didn't - couldn't! - read it all. Turns out any app you use continues to run in the background till you manually turn it off.

So I had the phone app, the cheap gas app, the email app, the map app, the weather app, the...You get the picture. All these and more were running in the background and eating up my battery. All I had to do was turn them off.

Why, pray tell, could Apple not have put this info on their site under FAQs along with all the other reasons the battery might be discharging too soon?

Grrr. Glad I didn't get an iPad

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

PRODUCTS I USE THAT STOP BEING MADE

I've already groused about getting used to a bra and immediately being unable to find it because it's no longer being made. I know other women share my pain because I've heard 'em complain, too.

Now I find out Bath and Body Works is doing away with my flavor of choice. At least in the liquid hand soap. And I'm afraid that's a prologue to doing away with the body wash, body cream, and even cologne.

My favorite is in their signature line. I thought their signature line meant a scent would never get dropped and would always be there forever and ever. Why else would I have gotten addicted to it?

So now I have to find a new odor I like. It's hard going, believe me. I have a very picky nose.

Monday, January 24, 2011

THE HUNGER GAMES

We've been traveling so I downloaded several samples of books onto my Kindle. I zipped through the beginning excerpt from this book by Suzanne Collins and immediately bought it.

It's YA - though not for preteens because it's so brutal - but anyone who likes sci fi, fantasy, and/or postapocalyptic fiction will enjoy it. It grabs you and keeps moving.

The heroine lives in a disintegrated United States where there are 12 districts - the 13th once rebelled and was absorbed into the rest - and an authoritarian government. Much like ancient Rome used the gladiators to keep the population entertained and quiescent, this government uses the Hunger Games. Twenty-four young people are chosen for the games; at the end only one will live. Our heroine takes the place of her beloved young sister whose name was pulled.

The contestants are wined, dined, styled, dressed, and interviewed before being pitted against each other in an arena (which can be plains, forest, islands, volcanic rock formations, etc.). Cameras follow their every move, but the footage is edited each day to make sure none of the actions foment unrest.

The populace may be poor and starving but viewers of the Games are thrilled, titillated, fascinated and absorbed. Huge TV sets blare each day's hunt to the crowds. Gamblers bet huge sums on the winner. Sponsors offer gifts to favorites. Sound familiar?

Collins doesn't preach. She focuses on the heroine and the boy from her district who was chosen. But the slivers of truth in this story mean readers will never again view American Idol or Survivor or any other reality show in the same way.

I could hardly wait to finish the book. The concept is fascinating, the plot is interesting and the pace is perfect. And that makes it a great read.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Night Bird

Woke up last night to hear it raining. Such a nice sound on the roof.

Then I heard a night bird right outside the window going, "Twee-ee-ee-ble. Twee-ee-ee-ble."

At first I felt sorry for it, picturing it under a bush with rain coming off its tiny head. But it keep tweebling and I couldn't get back to sleep.

I got up to go to the bathroom and had to dislodge one of the cats. "Twee-ee-snort."

Yep, it was the boy cat. Must have had a stopped up nose 'cause he sure snored funny.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

SAVING CEECEE HONEYCUTT

It's been too cold to get out. The only thing good about the weather is that it gives me a great excuse for reading. Hurray for the weather!!!

So I just finished SAVING CEECEE HONEYCUTT by Beth Hoffman and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Some might think it a rather fluffy book. While a lot of incidents in CeeCee's mentally disturbed mother's life are recounted, they're glossed over. Which is fine with me. I don't like wallowing in depression and mental illness.

But once CeeCee's mother dies and she's sent to live with a great aunt in Savannah, her life seems to be one long fairy tale. Or a least a series of interesting vignettes. Not much happens as she struggles to blend in with her new family and quirky neighbors. (One bathes in an outside bathtub; one is having an affair with a law enforcement man and slips on a slug during a carousal and is concussed and has to go to the hospital sans clothes.)

It's nice southern fiction. No magical realism, just plain speaking. But the thing that sets it apart is the voice. As you read, you can hear the twelve-year-old CeeCee talking. You even think you know her.

And that's what makes this a really good read.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

REMIX

This book by Lexi Revellian (you can tell I've been downloading books to my kindle, can't you?) is really pretty good. The sample chapters caught my attention and I bought it and don't regret it.

The heroine finds a man sleeping on her (second floor) terrace when she wakes up. Instead of dialling for help as you or I (prudent souls that we are) would, she talks to him and decides he's okay. Besides, he's got a mongrel dog that needs feeding, too. And he also looks like a famous rock star accused of murder who died several years before.

Wait! He is the famous rock star accused of murder who everyone thinks is dead!

It's a nice mystery as we wonder what happened and whodunnit it. The attraction grows between heroine and rock-star-incognito. The neat thing about the book is that the heroine restores old wooden rocking horses and imparts dribs and drabs of information to us regarding them. Not enough to be boring. Just enough to be interesting.

Good read for everyone who likes light mysteries with a little romance thrown in. This is a great start for a series and I'll be looking for more.

Monday, January 10, 2011

WEATHER

The weather channel shows it all today! Snow, ice, you name it! So much for the sunny south.

It's cold here, and raining. My poor guy took off in the mess to make necessary rounds - the post office, the bank, and Southern Soul to pick up stew and barbecue, yay!!!!

The weather may be bad but we'll feast tonight!

Friday, January 7, 2011

THE CROSSROADS CAFE

I like Deborah Smith's books (BLUE WILLOW, A PLACE TO CALL HOME, THE STONE FLOWER GARDEN, to mention some) so I was surprised I hadn't read this. But I got it on my Kindle and finished it shortly.

A movie star trading on her looks gets burned while being chased by papparazzi (sound familiar?) and is no longer beautiful. She comes to her deceased grandmother's mountain home for healing and discovers another wounded soul, a man whose wife and child died in the 9/11 tragedy. It's obvious from the beginning they need each other. The only question is how and when they'll work out their problems.

And there are other characters: a relative who heals with wonderful buttered biscuits, a goat who keeps eating cell phones, and two lesbians who farm and build on the side. There are also a winter storm, a Craftsman cottage needing work, and a devastating fire.

I knew it would end happily but I didn't know how. Good read.

Monday, January 3, 2011

THE BLACK MOTH

For anyone who likes regencies (sans the sex in modern ones) this is a book for you. If you haven't already read it.

Most people who love regencies have read Georgette Heyer's books, some of us several times. I got this version for 99 cents on my new kindle and re read it.

Good book but then I'm a Heyer fan. I may be prejudiced. I've read her regencies and mysteries (I prefer the regencies) and keep enjoying them. She has that understated English humor and her romances are always interesting.

In this one, an earl's son, cut off by his family, becomes a highwayman. He rescues the heroine as she's being abducted but is wounded. She takes him home, nurses him back to health, and they fall in love. The villain isn't out of the picture, and the hero has to get back in his father's good graces, but never fear. Everything works out.