Thursday, 30 September 2010

Transitioning to the iPhone

What is it about the iPhone?  Everyone who has one, loves it and talks about it like it is gods gift to the universe.  And everyone who doesn't have one says its because they are crap (to which iPhone users retort 'jealous much?').  As with so many things in this life people seem to have trouble being objective.

For me the iPhone is not exactly the wonderful and miraculous device that other iPhone users had painted.  So far I have had a few issues some major and some minor.

1.  The keypad is a pain in the butt to type with.  I used to do all of my blogging from the blackberry, in fact I used to write 2 page documents from my blackberry.  The idea of trying to type anything of any quality on the iPhone sends me into sweats.  Sure I think that in time I will get used to it but so far the transition has not been seamless.

2. The iPhone doesn't have the capability to change ring profiles.  This means that without going into settings and a few other spots and flicking switches off I can't have the phone be silent except for the ringer.  Now for you it might not be an issue but for me its rather a large issue. At the moment I am on call for a birth so I need to be able to have my phone on for phone calls all night but make no other sounds.  What I have to do at the moment is turn off all the other tones at night and then turn them all back on in the morning.

3.  There is no easy way to change your ring tone.  On my blackberry I can load an MP3 and then select it as my new ring tone.  With the iPhone I can go through a 10 step process to create a new ring tone and do that every time I want a new one.

4.  Without jail breaking my iPhone I can't make my own SMS tones or change any other tones on the phone.  What Apple seems to have missed is how much people like to personalise their phones.  They have simplified the device a few steps too far.

5.   When I am on the phone the touch screen often wigs out.  This means that I accidentally hit speaker or call another person or it hangs up or (and possibly worst) it accidentally tries to video call people.  This is annoying if I'm on the phone to friends and just terrible if I'm on the phone for work.

So, so far these are the things that are bugging me about the iPhone.  Now ask me if I regret getting it .... and the answer is an unequivocal NO!!

There are so many things that are fun, groovy and just damn beautiful about the iPhone that most of the time it is an absolute pleasure to use.  Not to mention that fun, practical and super cool apps that are available.  There is Angry Birds and Hipstamatic, Flixter and free comic books, photo editing and zombie killing.  It has become my camera, my iPod, my phone, my email, my facebook, my games console, my internet, my calendar and contacts, and my book/comic reader all in one.  All in all there is so much fun to have with the iPhone that after only a month I wouldn't know what to do without it.  

So first I want to share the video that dad sent me when I was looking at buying an iPhone.  And then I'm going to share a few of the latest photos I have taken using my iPhone 4 and a few free apps.  Sure they aren't the most amazing photos in the universe .... but then what does your phone do? *grin* 

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Lesson Learnt

Today as the kids and one of their friends played happily out the back, I sat at my desk looking out the window that overlooks the front of our house and the road.

As I sat there I noticed three young (about 16) guys walk into our street.  In any other street this might be an everyday occurrence.  In our street it is unusual.  We live in a dead end street that has very little traffic and nothing down here unless you are visiting.  These boys didn't look like they were visiting.  I watched them as they walked a little way past my house then turned around and went to leave again.  One suddenly noticed that my car window was open and I saw him reach in.  As soon as it happened I knew that he was stealing the iPod that was sitting on my dash board.

I live in a bubble.  I am one of those people who acts like they live in the country in the 1950s.  I rarely lock my car.  I often leave my bag in the car as I pop into the house for an hour.  Sure I lock it if I'm not parked at home  But that is more because it is what is socially acceptable than any real feeling that I am at risk.  And our street has always felt so safe and protected.

I have never had anything stolen before and so had never had my reaction tested.  As soon as I saw him leaning into my car I jumped up and screamed out "Oi, get the f**k away from my car"  as I started running outside. Unfortunately the front screen was locked (to stop the kids escaping) and it took me a few seconds to get out the front by which time they had gone, as had my iPod.

Next is the bit that shocks me.  I jumped in the car and started reversing.  My neighbour from across the street ran out and jumped in the car with me while her partner stayed with the kids.  I followed the direction they went in and saw them down a side street.  We pulled up next to them.  It was ridiculous really I don't know what I hoped to achieve, except potentially getting stabbed but I started yelling "just give me my iPod back and I wont call the police" and "I know you have it, I f**king saw you, just give it back" and "you just feel is OK to take other peoples things"

They started saying stuff like "we don't have nothing, don't know what you're talking about lady" and "f**k you lady all we have are biscuits in our pockets".  They were pulling their pockets out and showing us, looking as cocky as possible.  All the time I'm still yelling.  Then one of them said "we put it in the bin" and they all started walking off.  My neighbour starts looking in the bins and I'm still yelling "f**k you man, you have no idea how hard other people are doing it and you just take their stuff" to which one replied "well you shouldn't leave your f**king car open then".......

And they are right.  I shouldn't leave my car open.  The world is not the utopia that I wish it was.  It should be, but no amount of wishing that the world was the way I think it should be, will make it so.  So after nine or so years in the city, I have finally learnt the lesson that many people have told me one day I would learn the hard way.

And then they were gone, these three boys who taught me a lesson that I guess I needed to learn.  We looked in the all of the bins and it wasn't there.

I went home fuming.  Firstly at myself, I felt like so naive and foolish.  But mostly I was furious at these kids.   Not only for taking something of mine but for then lying too my face.  I felt so angry at them, where they that smart, vicious and cunning that when surprised by two women yelling at them in the middle of the street they could just make up a quick story and walk off.  I called the police not expecting much and then called Andrew and a few friends to vent and cry with.

Andrew got home, then the police arrived and took their time getting as many details as they could.  Not thinking they would get anything but lovely and kind never the less.  Once they had gone I told Andrew I wanted to walk the street we had confronted them in incase they had thrown it in a garden or something.  But he decided to go and 20 minutes later he came home with the iPod.

Shocked to say the least.  But the biggest feeling I felt was relief, not at the fact that I had my iPod back, but at the fact that some of my belief in people has been restored.  These boys didn't lie to me!  For some reason that means more to me than the fact that I got my iPod back.  For the hour and a half that fell between the theft and Andrew finding it I felt so angry.  I cursed those boys.  I hated them and everything that they stood for.  I could understand (and even forgive) them stealing from me, I knew that even I had a part to play in that but that lie felt like I was dealing with people so .... bad, that I couldn't even get my head around it.

So my lessons for today:

- DO NOT leave my car open or anything valuable in it.
- I am far more aggressive when angry than is healthy.
- Sometimes being brave (stupid) enough to confront someone leads to a good outcome (they ditched the iPod when they saw my car)
- I am far more forgiving than I thought, unless you lie to me and then I will curse you till I'm blue in the face.

So I hope that me yelling at them and telling them that they were stealing from working class people might strike a nerve (if not that then the fact that two barefooted women are willing to chase them down might).  I hope that I remain more aware of myself and my possessions without loosing my faith in man.  I hope that if I am ever confronted again I use my head more.  I hope those kids grow and learn and find something in this world that changes the path they are on.  In the end I still live in a sort of utopia because I believe that all of that is possible.

Monday, 27 September 2010

Now What?

Last week I got my final marks back for the Childbirth Educators course that I have been doing on and off for the last 18 months. The modest me wants to say that I am pleased. The less modest me feels completely stoked, not only that I am finished, but that all the way through I got good marks and great comments.

As I submitted the last bits I started wondering why it had taken me so long to finish it in the first place? I was getting good marks, I found the work interesting and I had the time.

A millions questions went through my head. Now that I'm not a student anymore does that mean I'm just a mum? Now that I've finished, what do I do with it? Do I go back to work? How/where do I go back to work? Do I want to even do this anymore?

After a few days of pondering I realised that the main reason was that I was afraid to finish studying was that I felt I now had to answer the question 'now what?'.

'Now what?' Is one of of those questions that comes up in everyones life once in awhile. It is usually accompanied by two distinct feelings, fear and excitement.

My dad and Inge had a similar 'now what?' moment recently. After much though and pondering they decided that their answer was selling up and moving state. It's an amazing thing to watch your parents decide that the best thing to do is to challenge the 'now what?' and see where it takes them.

I think often when we have a 'now what?' moment we decide that it's all to hard to make any major changes, or we don't see a clear path. So we wait and hope that something will come up. But what happens if your still waiting?

Have a think, has your life hit a stagnant place? Do you find yourself thinking 'now what?', what are you going to do about it?

I hope that I find the answer to my 'now what?'. I hope that I can see a clear answer. And if a path doesn't seem clear, then I hope I can be brave enough to throw everything in and start walking even if I can't see the end. In fact I hope we all do!

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

My Day in Photos

1. Walked to school

2. Came home and put on multiple loads of washing

3. Waited for the sun to dry the clothes, meanwhile I cleaned the house (and played Angry Birds for 10 minutes)

4. Went back to preschool for the Vietnamese Moon Festival

5. Hamish dressed as a Dragon to be part of the dragon dance

6. Posing with his little buddy

7. Tired, cuddly little boy exhausted from a day of dancing singing and eating.  Mummy tired from a day of rushing cleaning and watching

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy

It's been a hectic week here. I finally finished my childbirth educator studies. My Doula website is finally live. I had a lot of client calls, emails and one relaxing client tea and cake meeting. An all afternoon/night kids birthday party. And today we had Jacks school fair, which I worked most of the day on and had multiple meetings about during the week.

As always when life gets busy, blogging takes a backseat. And tonight I'm just too tired to write anything of much interest. So I thought that I would share this photo. Jack has been asking me for almost a year now to have some fairy floss. And today at the fair what should be there bit a real proper fairy floss man. I'm so glad that I captured this moment. Seconds before Jack takes delivery of his first ever stick of fairy floss. Have you ever seen a face so full of excitement. It was one of those moments I have been excited about sharing with my kids for a long time and this photo captures how worth the wait I think it was.

So I hope that next week is a quieter one. Although with all the planning for our trip to India I still have to do, it may be wishful thinking.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Where do Babies Come From?

Tonight as I was putting Jack to bed we started talking about how food travels through our bodies.  Somehow that lead to Jack saying "mummy, wee comes out of a woman's vagina and so do babies, but only wee comes out of a mans penis".

As is my way, I couldn't just let that go.  So I mentioned that sperm, the seed that joins with a woman's egg to make a baby, also came out of the mans penis.  Of course the idea of an egg inside of me made Jack laugh and so as I tried to convince him that it wasn't like a chicken's egg I remembered the 'Where do I Come From' book that I had when I was a child.  I asked Jack if he wanted to read it.

And so I read the book that taught me where babies come from, to my little man for the first time.  As I read I was worried that it would turn out to be not as lovely as I remembered it.  I need not have worried.

It is a lovely book and told the story of how a baby comes to be in an informative and yet slightly romantic sort of way.  Here is a link to the book.

OK so there are a few points that I edited in the reading (like the fact that most mothers usually have a doctor or a nurse with them, or that we can't see what the sex of the baby is in the womb so the doctor tells the mother after the baby is born) but mostly I thought that this was still exactly the sort of book I wanted to explain the process to my kids.

I hadn't expected to have 'the talk' with Jack today, but then this has been a conversation that has happened over a period of years with new questions after each discussion.  This was the first time that I felt Jack was asking for the whole story, like how does the sperm get inside the mummy?

I have looked at a lot of different 'Where did I Come From?' type books.  Some of the newer ones that I have read are either very contrived or too black and white. It seems important to me that this book seems to to be written with love and yet is also sufficiently detailed.

I also have a copy of two other books that I think are great but very different.  Andrew grew up with a book that talks about how flowers are seeded, then how chicks get into the egg, then how puppies are born and then how people reproduce.  I had a little giggle at this today.  His book is so perfectly for him, just as I think my book is so perfectly for me.  I also have a national geographic type pop-up book with a pop-up uterus, a pop-up baby and a pop-up erect penis (we may wait a little while before I share this one with the kids)

I wonder how the way we learn about sex and babies forms our ideas as we get older.  I read this book and I wondered if I could trace back my love of pregnancy and birth to these beginnings? I don't know, but it can't have hurt.

Apparently my book isn't in print anymore, but if you can get your hands on a copy I highly recommend it.  Its got to be better to be ready for these conversations to pop-up when you least expect them, although maybe wait a while for pop-up penises.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Imaginary Friends

When I was 10 I decided I wanted and imaginary friend. Her name was Susan and I talked to her when I was lonely or scared. I played games and told her my secrets. The trouble was, I didn't ever believe in her. I kept hoping that one day she would feel real. But she didn't and talking to her actually made me feel more lonely than I did before.

So apparently an imaginary friend is not one of those things you can pretend to have (either that or you need to have more patience/imagination than I have).

Hamish has an imaginary friend at the moment. His name is Uncle Harry. Hamish is talking about him all the time. Uncle Harry seems to be both mischievous and an expert on just about everything being responsible for things like:
- Eating the last of the strawberries
- And explaining how clouds and pobo (pogo) sticks and work together to make the thunder. 
Oh and Uncle Harry is apparently dead, and Hamish's other dad.  Both of which give the whole thing a slightly eerie edge.

Apparently, he is old (like Grandpa Mick) Very big like a giant (and daddy). And very very smart.

I'm loving listening to the stories about him. And the imagination that Hamish is showing. Although sometimes I want to yell at Uncle Harry for telling Hamish it's ok to throw all of his toys around the room, or that you will die if you eat broccoli, I appreciate that Uncle Harry is teaching Hamish other important lessons.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Polaroid #2 aka Testing

So for some reason the last post didn't send the txt as well. This is my attempt at figuring that out without you noticing

Could this be love?

After months of talking and dealing with a semi broken Blackberry.  On Friday I finally took delivery (that is to say that AB gave me) an iPhone.  I had done so much thinking and playing with other peoples iPhones, but I was still unsure that it would do all the things I wanted it to do.  I also realised that everyone .... EVERYONE (well almost) has one.  But I couldn't quiet decide, were people buying them because they were staunch Apple lovers or lemmings? or were they buying them because they were really THAT great.

Well, after a day of playing, downloading little free apps and taking photos.  I can officially say that I am loving my iPhone.  I loved my Blackberry as well, but it was well and truly time for a change.

So now to get my head around the last few bits and pieces and take more photos, changing them to look like Polaroids.

I mean that's what an iPhone is for, right?
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