Category: Things to do

iPad Review

I know there are a lot of people over 50 who don't own a computer, but some of us like all the newer technology and the iPad is no exception. I don't have a data connection for mine, but it works through WiFi just fine if I'm downtown and want to check messages or Facebook, or read news articles while grabbing a bite to eat with the kids at McDonalds.

I find it handy around the home too. It's great for reading novels. The text is very sharp and clear so there isn't any eye-strain. You can make the type as large or as small as you want. You can get the Kindle app for iPad right here, for free. On a full charge it will work for 9-10 hours.  Plus it can take some great pictures. It has a 5-megapixel iSight camera.

I didn't get too excited about them when they first came out. I already have numerous electronic gadgets. But this one is just the right size to work with. And it can open most of the common file types that you can either transfer to it or transfer back to your PC. I often use Google Docs for moving files.

Of course you can do all of the expected things with it. You can download movies, hook it to your TV (in some cases) to watch the downloaded movie on a bigger screen. You can play games, listen to podcasts and music, take notes, access Twitter, Facebook and even just browse the web and order gifts for Christmas. Just have a look at the introductory video below.

Another feature I like is that you don't have to worry about getting overly distracted. iPad works with your apps to let you know about missed messages, calendar invitations, friend requests, and more. New notifications appear discreetly at the top of your screen — without interrupting what you’re doing. And you can see a summary of recent notifications when you swipe down from the top of any screen.

But then if something distracting IS happening, you can record video in high definition. And with automatic video stabilization, your recording is free of bumps and shakes.

If there is something you would like it to be able to do, and it doesn't, there are over 225,000 apps -- many which are free or low-cost that you can download right from your iTunes store. iPad lets you know when updates are available, so your apps are always current.

The price is dropping a bit on them too. I often buy electronics at the local Staples store, and they have the Apple 16GB iPad, 3rd Gen, Wi-Fi, Black for $499.00 plus tax. But since they have been out for a few months now you can get a better deal at Amazon. Some of the searches show new ones from $460 and you can even buy used ones from $439.00.


Need some website help?

I see a lot of people over 50 these days turning to the Internet to make a little extra cash. Heck, in this recession (all-right -- I'm aware the government hasn't formally announced we are in a recession) people of all walks of life are trying to make a little extra cash. Regardless of whether you have written an ebook, have something physical to sell, or want to promote a new service, sometimes you might need a little help with some website advice. I had my first web development job in 1998. I won't call myself an expert, but I've had 14 years experience.

Anybody can write an ebook and sell it. I've done it, although it's been a few years. But just for an example here is an image of some Clickbank sales I made in 2005 (while still building websites for clients) on a package I offered showing people how to build their first business website.

I just went through Steve MacLellan's new course, Your-1st-Business-Website, and I have to tell you, it made all the difference in the world in my ability to make sites.

This is a complete A-Z nuts and bolts tutorial. Everything you need to know to get your first site up and going and how to manage it once you get it online.

Now, I'm not a techie and I have built a couple sites, but it was a real chore as I tried to figure everything out from those cryptic help instructions. I tried Front Page (way too complicated) Mozilla Composer and Nvu.

Thanks, Steve. You've made it a lot easier for me and all the other all thumbs non-techie newbies.

Larry Foster

When Steve asked me to review his new ebook I thought I would be bored as I have been designing websites for over 3 years, boy was I wrong! Your First Business Website is the most complete book I have ever read on this subject anywhere, anytime.

Steve covers every aspect of the subject with easy to understand examples and great explanations. If you have never ever set up a website, you will be able to easily build a professional website after reading this book.

If you have built a website before you can still benefit from reading this book, I know I did. From using a HTML editor, to using an image editor, to website hosting, and everything in between, it is all here. This book is a must have for the beginning website designer, it will turn you into a pro.

Thom Meyer

So what are you getting at?

Under Hobbies in the Forums, we could have a new topic to discuss business websites. I don't know how many people would be interested in it, but if you are, either email me or put a comment below and let me know. It could be a lot of fun, and I can guarantee you would learn something.


Support Woodwynn Farms

With the billions of dollars Canada pours into foreign aid each year, I find it troublesome to read how our own people here at home in Canada are often treated. According to an article on the CBC website, Richard LeBlanc, founder, has established Woodwynn Farms to help the homeless and and those recovering from alcohol and drug addictions. Here is what the farm is all about:

Woodwynn Farms is our 193 acre organic farm for our therapeutic community for the homeless, offering an opportunity to change peoples’ lives with educational and work programmes based on responsibility, dignity, independence and the principles of peer-to-peer help.

The affection, understanding and support that every person receives are daily examples of the kind of selflessness that cannot be considered a simple exchange because it can only come straight from the heart.

There is no single, failsafe recipe that can save everyone, only a fundamental rule – Respect and Unconditional Love.

The road that people have to travel can be long and complex, but the aim is to help them become aware of their true potential. Outcasts that have been overcome by life’s difficulties are encouraged and supported through trust and dialogue.  All those who enter Woodwynn will find a home, health and legal assistance and the chance to study and receive vocational training.

Work skills, Community, Self-Respect and a deep understanding of Sustainability are fundamental to reintegration into society.

Therapeutic communities, both locally and internationally, such as San Patrignano, Italy have proven lasting success rates of over 70%.

Founder and Executive Director Richard LeBlanc saw a 76% success rate in Victoria with his YEP program which helped 385 street youth transform their lives.

Apparently the farm is violating a bylaw which only permits up to four people to be on the farm, so many residents who have been camping on the property are being evicted by the Central Saanich council on Vancouver Island. An application to the Agricultural Land Commission to rezone one hectare of the property to allow housing was opposed by council and subsequently rejected by the ALC.

From what I understand, it's being appealed and a crucial vote will be occurring at a meeting of Central Saanich Council on the evening of Monday August 13.

Woodwynn Farms is asking for your support by submitting a letter. They have a form on their website where this can be done, and if you're not up to writing a letter they list a few other ways yu can help support their cause. Click here to go to their website and submit your letter.


Damn! I broke a nail!

My method of playing the guitar is to hold a guitar pick between my index finger and thumb and use the other fingers on the right hand to pick notes or additional chord tones. In order to do this, my nails on the right hand have to be a little longer than normal. But the problem is, they wear down and brake too quickly.

I was reading researching what other guitar players do. Of course many of them use finger picks on the right hand fingers. Unfortunately, I can't see myself doing it. I've tried the picks on; just didn't like it at all. Then I discovered that others have their fingernails gelled at a salon. That sounded like an idea I could live with so I gave it a try.

It worked out well for the first two times. I noticed when the gel wore off/grew off that the nail on my middle finger looked a little stressed. I didn't think it was much to worry about so I went ahead and had it done again. This time, when the gel's time was up and the remainder came off the nail, it looks like it has eaten almost half of my nail.

Was this normal? I certainly had no idea. Then a friend who works in salons told me:

Your nails are thinning due to the lack of oxygen at the nail bed. This occurs in 98% of gel nail clients. Go to a salon and get nail envy in a matte finish. It is applied daily and works quickly. In the meantime duct tape picks to your fingers. Duct tape can fix anything! LOL

I've been reluctant to try the duct tape. I will save that thought for later. I may need it later on. I saw a few reviews for Nail Envy online. One reviews I saw claimed it was quite expensive; around $20 for a small bottle. But I found OPI Nail Envy Natural Nail Strengthener, 0.5-Fluid Ounce can be bought from Amazon for 77% off list price for just $3.95.

Here are the directions:

To strengthen natural nails, apply two coats of Matte Nail Envy, followed by one coat every other day. Complete instructions enclosed. Excellent for men

The only thing I'm wondering about is if I need to let the damaged nail grow out a bit more before I start using this. And sadly, it looks like I'll be a little handicapped when it comes to picking for the next month or so.


Kindle books free for 24 – 48 hours

I've discovered from this website that there is a big list of free Kindle books released every Monday. Most are free only for a limited time (24-48 hrs) and don't show up on Amazon's Bestseller list (they might after being free). This is a tool authors use to promote their books and a great way to add some "great reads" to your electronic device or book reader.

There is quite a long list of them, but make sure if you click through to Amazon that the price is still free.