Sunday : 09-03-17

Random 5:30 am Things

I’m pretty terrible at writing frequently but I’m not about to guilt trip myself on this now. Instead, I’m going to just get some thoughts going on with me at 5:30 am since Neck Pain and lack of sleep is the worst.

Also, this is in no particular order:

1) Dispatch has always been one of my favorite bands since I was introduced to them in college by some good friends. Ever since then they’re like a comfy tee shirt that gets you through life. Their last album, America, Location 12 is probably my favorite album I’ve listened to in a long time. It’s got some Beatles inspired things, thought-provoking lyrics and infectious music.  My recommendation off of the album is ” Midnight Lorry“.

2) I’ve become seriously addicted to podcasts and a variety of them because they’re the easiest way for me to digest all of the things I’m interested in. My latest find was Song Exploder  ( which I know I’m late to the party). I’ve always been someone who loves the little stories behind random things or how  they can be related; so this podcast feels like it scratches both of those needs. My Spotify library has grown considerably since I started listening to this.

3) Levar Burton Reads has also been my go to for finding new reads.  I’ve always loved his voice but the choices are so varied so I rarely get bored with it. So far I’ve used one of my Audible credits towards one of the books he read a story from ( What it Means When a Man Falls from the Sky: Stories By Lesley Nneka Arimah ) and have seen my Want to Read grow considerably.

4) The Ogre’s Wife – Fairy Tales for Grownups by Richard Parks . Seriously good stuff, if you like some fantasy and deep thinking, this is a thing you need to read. It’s available on Scribd if you use that for reading as well.  My favorite story so far is probably the Title one but there’s some other really amazing characters and some feelings that I can identify with. It actually has made me want to start keeping a notebook again just to get thoughts out of my head that it brings to mind as I’m reading it.

P.S. After reading over this and a lot of my references to either various apps or things that have become part of the way I explore my “fun” hours it made me realize that this is a topic I’d like to review. What are the things that have become part of your daily life that aren’t just to get things done but are to help you enjoy your days?

Sunday : 05-15-16

Android Study Jam – Completed

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, but I’m really excited about my latest accomplishment. The local chapter of the Google Developer Group ( Hudson Valley) ran a Study Jam based on Udacity’s Android Development for Beginners to introduce people of any background to creating apps on Android back in March-April. I completed it and had been able to showcase my app off at an event at SUNY New Paltz.

I had been pretty nervous about signing up but incredibly excited because the organizers had been so passionate and advised that you didn’t have to have any recent experience in programming. I’ve programmed back when I was going for my Associate’s Degree but I never really pursued it any further. Programming always seems to keep coming back to me and I’ve always wanted to give it a try. This Study Jam gave me the jump start I needed and I have to say I’m pretty proud of myself.

The projects start out pretty easy. The very first one was making a Birthday Card App. I ended up making one for my Mom because at the time it had been pretty close to her birthday. After that we started to do slightly more complex layouts with a Score Counter App for Basketball, where I learned the difficulties of mixing various views and that XML is pretty awesome and can do even more than I had thought it could back in College.  After that, we ended up making an app that would help with ordering coffees, calculating the price and even sending a email to the “coffeeshop” with the details of the order. This was the most impressive because of the fact I only had to program something to call on another application not actually worry about how I was going to send the email too.

After the main apps were finished, the final part of the class was making our own Final Project. This part I think was the hardest for me because I had a million ideas and I had wanted to do EVERYTHING. However, editing is one of the most useful skills that I learned, especially just to show a working version of the app for our Showcase event. I ended up making an app to educate on the various steps of Home Brewing your own beer with some tips that I had learned from my own experiences brewing beer this last year. In the future I hope to add more to it like timers and calendar events to be a helpful resource to home brewers but I think for now I’ve learned an awesome new skill and I’m excited to see what else I’ll make.

Some of the other skills that I picked up were using GitHub  ( which I have an account and you can see the apps I created here) Here’s the certificate that I earned as well. I also got an awesome tee that the organizer’s made.   I also learned how to use Slack which is what we used to communicate in between the two events that we had to get through the entire class. It’s a really powerful tool and I’ll talk about it later in another post.



The group is also going to be doing another Study Jam, this time to learn Firebase. I’m excited and can’t wait.  Firebase is a really cool tool for live data requests in place of just using a regular database. There’s a lot built into the Android Studio Libraries with Firebase that makes it super powerful.

If you want to check out your Local Google Developer Group and see what they’re up to, here’s more information:


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Tuesday : 04-21-15

Geek-Out for Free Comic Book Day, Saturday Night May 2nd 2015!

Thursday : 12-11-14

Winter Morning Rituals

Many of these ladies do their mornings sans electronics. How do you function in the morning? Do you grab your phone first or do you avoid your phone for as long as possible?

Personally, I’ve found limited usage of the phone helps. I do this by setting up a home screen on my Android device that’s devoted to limited information while slowly moving through my daily routine with lots of happy music is the best.

Hey Mishka

A good day starts with a good morning… but what does that even mean? There are as many ways to start a great day as there are people on the planet, so finding your ideal routine can be a trial and error process. Some prefer to start the day with a yoga mat and affirmations, while others go for a kick ass playlist and private pajama dance party. So what’s your flavor? I’ve called upon some of the inspiring women in my own circle to share their morning routines with you today. Get inspired, and let me know how you’re starting your day…

morning rituals

 Anastasia Nevin, nutrional therapist and yoga instructor here in NYC, avoids the chaotic noise of email and social media first thing in the morning by keeping her phone away from her bed. Instead, she burns sandalwood incense and prepares a morning tonic. “Recently I made…

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Monday : 11-10-14

Achievement: Inbox Invite!

This isn’t going to be a long post but I just wanted to excitedly share that I finally got my hands on a invite for Inbox. So far ( the few hours I’ve had it) it seems interesting and I’m excited to see how it will compare to Mailbox which I’ve previously discussed. The one plus I see so far is being able to access it from the web, which is kind of nice. I look forward to writing something up further about it after I’ve had time to see how it works and integrates into my day to day email usage.

One of my good friends got his hands on invites and was nice enough to give one to me so you rock Jonathan! Thanks so much again!