Monday, May 29, 2017

Phone Fiasco: An Unplanned S7 Review and Note 4 Disappointment.

The Short: Scroll to the bottom
The Long: Start here or go to the next article...

The future of the infinity screen *inserts sarcasm*

My dying phone was the best accident I've had.

For months, I assumed I had a bad battery in my Note 4. It would randomly die at 12% sometimes as high as 33%. I finally had enough when my phone would get me lost in the ghetto and turn off at the most inopportune moments, like the time I was trying to record a slug eating a banana. That's really important footage, also, don't tell me how to live my life!

Four hours later and three different stores helped determine the cause. Don't ask, but Chik-fil-A might have added on some time. The motherboard was failing, which would continuously zap the battery. My only option was to replace my precious Note 4, that gave me a little cone head with each selfie I took (I don't miss it). While there are features I absolutely loved on that phone, the one I'm writing this article with, does just as good a job for a fraction of the cost.

It wasn't an easy process handing over my lemon phone. Nothing compared to it in the current market. AT&T wasn't carrying anymore (they're currently on strike) Note products (probably due to of the fiasco with the batteries), and I wasn't about to spend $800.00 on a piece of tech that I had no interest in having. The best best option was submitting an insurance request for ~$120.00, and hoping I would get an alternative Note.

Well, I didn't. I was mailed a Galaxy S7 Edge. I thought this would be a great opportunity to see if I could adapt to the infinity screen. If I lathered my hands in astroglide and had a mason jar thrown at my head, it would have been less damage than what I was about to do to this poor, BRAND NEW, S7 Edge. I hadn't purchased a case for it yet because I didn't know what I was receiving, until I brought the box with me to work. Needless to say, my butterfingers took the phone out of the box. As soon as I turned it over, with the plastic still covering the phone mind you, the plastic sticky tab stuck to my finger and went tumbling to the ground. I figured this would be a good opportunity since I've dropped my phone from scaffolding, what's 2 1/2 feet with linoleum floor going to do? Apparently put a giant crack in the so called gorilla glass. Fuming angry, I grab everything and put it back in the box called for another phone to be mailed to me.

I was told I would be receiving another S7 Edge, blue. To my surprise, I received a black, S7. I thought I was downgraded to a lesser phone until I had a Viking ceremony for my Note 4. Turns out, I'm a fan!

Don't get me wrong, I miss my stylus, especially for cold weather and drawing, but if the Note 8 or the next phone with a stylus includes an infinity screen, I'm out. I'll be sticking with the S7, or converting to Apple (probably not). Just a side note, while on the phone with AT&T's customer service, the representative even agreed that these phones today, are built to last two years. So expect your tech to have failures!

With all that being said, I'm planning ahead for the next lemon phone, but very happy with my Samsung Galaxy S7. Ultimately, without the stylus and a screen size that can fit in your pocket, all a Note 4 really is, is an S7.

The Short: If your phone takes a crap, buy a Samsung Galaxy S7, unless you're an Apple fan, then I can't help you. *whispers* "They don't even have audio ports..."

Hard at work

Monday, May 22, 2017

How to Quit Drinking Soda - Day 16 from a 26 Year Old Stress Eater

The Short: Jump down to the bottom of this article for a cut and dry list how I quit soda
The Long: Start here

Before Accepting Addiction
...and reading 1400 words
or consuming approx. 10 minutes of your youth...

A soda a day, keeps the doctor paid?

That's the path I was headed. Having only been 16 days, this is the biggest step I've taken to rid soda of my life. As contractor, I live life on the road, so the normal diet includes eating at local restaurants and out of vending machines. While there is a grocery store nearby, the struggle is definitely real to prepare healthy meals including finding something to quench your thirst, when water doesn't. Maybe it's from being so dehydrated with all the excess sugar I've consumed. I've recently found celery water to be absolutely refreshing, with no seeds to accidentally swallow! At the end of this article, there's an infographic that describes exactly what dehydrates the body.

I tried to quit sugar last year and that lasted for maybe a week. If you can stomach my bland writing, you can read the old post HERE (it's kind of neat being able to see my writing transform). And while I still struggle with those beautiful diabetic crystals, I'm at least consuming less, with no more soda. Specifically Coca-Cola.

I realize 16 days isn't that much for someone who may not drink the liquid crack, but for me, it's a feat. My consumption consisted of one bottle a day, sometimes two if I was bored or stressed. If you do the math, $1.50 per bottle adds up. So far, my savings at least $24.00, AFTER 16 DAYS! At this rate, it looks like savings will total, at a minimum, $45/month. My vehicle can be filled twice with that calculation!

Saving money isn't the only driving force behind me making this decision. Every single day, I would wake up feeling as if a train hit me. Not to mention, serious cluster migraines took me out for a whole day. I'd rather have my wisdom teeth pulled than experience the pain of suicide migraines (it's a thing, look it up). This was also an experiment to determine if caffeine was related to my cluster migraines and to also combat fatigue, caused from sugar shocks.

The decision to drop the soda, was pretty simple. I bought one out of a vending machine. After drinking half of the bottle, my stomach was in knots, my digestion track instantly started attacking me. Addicted as much as I was, I realized if my body is acting this way every time, it was probably cleaning my insides just as much as it would have cleaned a penny (see video below). The same was for my precious teeth. I've only got one good set!

The half drunk soda was placed in the bottom of the fridge and a vow was made to let that be the last coke. I wish I had documented the "Quitting Soda Journey", but honestly didn't believe in myself enough that I would follow through. Hence why I kept the rest of the bottle in the bottom of the fridge, juuuuust in case.

The first couple days were EXTREMELY difficult. I had a habit of carrying change in my bag specifically for coke. Muscle memory on several occasions led me to the vending machines just to stare at them in sadness. The problem I always had was that I felt good before grabbing a Coca-Cola. A bottle later, maybe an hour or so afterward I would be reminded, I made a terrible life decision. It's not very easy to learn, when the negative side effects happen a period of time after the fact. The reason for abusing my body for 20+ years. One day you look in the mirror and hardly recognize yourself.

The second day, I was standing in a line to get through the gate to my job. The power went out, so I became bored. Needing something. Coca-Cola sounded nice. The vending machines were right next to me, so why not? Thank goodness there wasn't any power in those either. I was instantly cut off from buying one.

I've realized to change anything about myself or habits, I need to constantly think of their side effects, as if it's a chant. I have too many distractions that if I don't make the conscious effort to solely think, don't get a coke or stay consistent, I forget, if that makes any sense. It's aggravating. Maybe over time, things will be different and will be second nature to walk past the machines, but this is something I've noticed about my own body, mind, and self-control.

About 3 or 4 days in, I had another terrible migraine. I still haven't figured out the source of them, but I can only think it was a withdrawal of some sort. I felt nauseous, dizzy, and had excruciating pain behind my right eye, which is normally where cluster migraines occur. I had to take the next shift off to recover and slept about 15 hours. I woke up feeling as if  I could conquer the world. It could have been my body adjusting to reduced sugar shocks, but I'm still experimenting to make that determination. Regardless, I was closer to not needing Coca-Cola and feeling great.

Starting to become a game at work, the guys would rag on me for having that spare bottle in the bottom of the fridge. This actually helped my motivation. The more they brought it up, the more I would reject the idea of consuming such lovely acidic bubbles. A couple days ago, I finally got worked up enough to take the bottle out, shook it until it became syrup, and threw it away. As a soda snob, if it wasn't freshly carbonated, I didn't want it, and any disturbance to the force would make my face cringe at such a heinous act.

Trying to compensate another drink for coke, I resorted to coffee. Once again, I was feeling good before I even poured a glass. I decided in a 12 hour shift, I would have five! I was trembling with shakes, nauseous from the creamer and sugar intake, and bug-eyed. I thought I was going to die. This in turn, helped me resort to plain old water. I wasn't much of a coffee fan anyways.

Water isn't my only beverage choice. I acquired a couple bottles of apple juice and different flavored teas. As mentioned in the first paragraph, I've adapted to delicious celery water. Eventually I'll eliminate the sugar, or at least cut the consumption in half.

Deciding when to quit never really worked for me. I had to quit cold turkey. Don't decide on a day. You're only dragging things out and talking yourself out of it. Again, this is my experience. I also remember looking in the mirror and realizing how yellow my teeth had become. I was mortified from the staining. Quitting did become easier when I could actually read it in my daily journal from Moleskine. I could see progress each day I opened the page.

The fun stuff! Here's some other interesting articles related to soda
that will hopefully be a little motivation to put the liquid cocaine down.

An infographic on "What happens one hour after drinking a can of coke"

Coca-Cola Infographic
Coca-Cola Infographic : medicalnewstoday

Watch soda clean a penny.
In the video below, they actually use Pepsi, but this still produces the same results.
Imagine what this does to your teeth! This probably explains my receding gum line. wrote a great article on all the other uses for coke besides drinking it!

LipoNaturals - My dear friend and his company have been working close with Vitamin C as well as chemists. Check out their article on "The Dangers of the Artificial Preservative Sodium Benzoate or Potassium Benzoate with Vitamin C." Believe it or not, this is more than just soda. Kind of scary actually!

Habitbull - I'm not much of an app person, but this one is interesting. This app tracks all of your habits, even the bad ones. The reviews seem pretty good as well. I'm definitely interested in seeing shared screenshots of progress, even if it's not related to drinking soda.

And finally, ME!

With more energy, less clouded thoughts, less irritability,
and whiter teeth (compliments to the sun as well!)

The Short:
Quit Cold Turkey.
Write down your purpose.
Keep something for just in case, but make it taste horrible.
Constantly think about not having whatever it is you set your mind to.
Find a healthy alternative drink to quench your thirst. I use apple juice, celery water, and light teas.
Write down your achievements to see progress.
Make it fun by seeing how much money you save.
If you don't make your goal, try again. Failure is completely giving up. You got this.

If this article helped you, please let me know in the comments below!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Diary: Wanderlusting in the Fourth Dimension

What is the speed of magnetism? What is the speed of gravity? How do we enter the fourth dimension? Does one even exist? If we can't see it, does that mean it doesn't exist? We can't see radio waves, but that doesn't mean they don't exist.

Some of the conversations I had the pleasure of being a part of tonight. Taking a step back, it's hard to scale just how big the universe is, compared to human heights and what the body, our vehicle, is capable of understanding.

"To infinity and beyond," a brilliant quote I learned from Toy Story. Multiple infinites to some people. Particularly 5 infinites have been discovered so far. To whom is willing to accept they exist.

Voodoo. While I can't prove anything, I enjoy the wanderlust of these concepts, gathering views from other people who have input on this as well. Maybe the person who has the solution to the 4th dimension is reading a book silently in a corner. Maybe the people who have answers about the God particle are eating a delicious chicken and cheese burrito, smothered in all of the hotsauce.

Have we lost all of our great thinkers? Do we have any currently? Does instant gratification and digital distractions prevent those that are genuinely curious, suppressed?

I feel like I need to know. I'm down a rabbit hole!

Please respectfully add your word vomit below on these subject matters. I want to read them!!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

How to Move Forward After a Traumatic Relationship or Event

It’s been a couple weeks. The first week my life felt sucked from my chest. Antisocial. Anxious. These emotions seem new all over again as soon as the person you communicate with nearly every day, you see almost weekly, disappears. Subtract the reason for the separation. Realizing the person, you made your world, has been pulled from beneath your feet. A maddening, downward spiral.

It’s only temporary.” A chant repeated in my head to help speed recovery. My Colonel from High School introduced this concept to me. This will all blow over, hopefully soon. I’ve had enough experience on this end it should be second nature to flip back around, but not with one key ingredient. Love.

No matter how hard you try to light everything on fire, cry your eyes out until the swelling keeps them shut, love will continue to hurt until one day, you realize, you have forgotten to love said person. How long that takes depends on the person, relationship, and stance

"I don’t need you, I want you." I invented this for myself years ago, after falling in love with a boy whom also broke my heart. If it wasn’t for this statement and other factors, I would probably be baker-acted for lack of self-control. Lack of self-esteem and confidence.

How to move forward starting now:
I wish there was a black and white answer book that could just solve this instantly, but maybe these suggestions may help.
·      Pick a playlist and hit the repeat button until your ears start vomiting.

o   My personal playlist:

§  Halsey – pick one

§  Alt-J – Breezeblocks – it sounds different now that I’m separated

·       Find your own gender – You’re vulnerable. Don’t go looking for the wrong attention, unless you have strictly platonic friends.

·       Pamper yourself – get a pedicure, get your hair done, get your eyebrows waxed or your hooha, if that’s what you’re into.

·       Write – find a book and write. EVERY. DAY. I failed to do this until two weeks after. I should have done it the night of and continued. I would have been able to talk myself out of feeling bad a long time ago.

·       Go for a walk. Even in your pajamas. To the backyard. Get some light. Being a hermit doesn’t help even though it’s temporarily satisfying.

·       Garden – you will learn consistency and learn something new, which takes your mind slightly off the subject matter.

·       Pet therapy – find an animal friendly place. Animals are generally happy to see you more than humans.

·       Delete. EVERYTHING. Sure, you’ll have your second guesses. If you do, save some things, but lock it away to avoid reminders. They’re unnecessary triggers. Block them on social media, through the phone, and email. If they were truly sorry, they would find a creative way to show it. If you have items, but not enough strength to get to the post office let alone brushing your hair, gather the objects and place them in a box and put it away for now.

·       Remember things differently. This is a mind trick used especially for traumatic events. Instead of remembering events and personal connections, recall objects and imagine them a different color, or something different entirely. This will train the mind to not act as harshly to whatever environment you find yourself in.

o   Personal Experience – Terra Fermata – Some fond memories. Instead of remembering being with that person, imagine the memory with people from the current view in that memory or change the person to your best friend. It takes a strong mind to master this. I also stared at new objects and formed different memories associated with numbers. Counted how many tables were crammed in a tiny area. How much electricity was used to run certain things. How many people were in front of me. Trying something with a terrible taste. You might not have the energy to move or think, but your eyes can see shapes and color.

·        Just be. Live in the current state of mind. Don’t dwell on what could have been, what should have been. This is the most destructive. Someone, even a platonic friend, is waiting for you to call them to make awesome new memories with you. Even if it’s your golden retriever.

·        Stop thinking about what you can’t have anymore. Start writing down what you can have!

·       Don’t be a victim. They win. Plain and simple. Pick up the pieces, dust yourself off and start working towards your next goal, even if it’s talking about it for weeks.

Please leave a comment if this article helped you or helped someone you know or just want to leave some love!

Note, these pictures below are part of being human. The ugly side to becoming stronger. <3

Friday, February 3, 2017

Poshmark Review - Closet Listing Feed

Update 05-24-2017: Scroll Down

Poshmark is a trending fashion website that allows you to resell your clothes through "closets." I stumbled across this company from various friends that have had experience with the site and thought I'd get rid of some excess clothing too.

Poshmark is implementing a newer concept by solely using the app to create listings. After about an hour of searching why I couldn't list anything from my computer, I finally made the connection at the bottom of their site, "BUY AND SELL ON APP." I was really counting on those extra precious youth minutes POSHMARK!

Creating your account. As soon as you create your account, you're set up with ~40ish people that you're following and I believe 2 followers, but those increase rapidly over your first day. Your phone will become inundated with updates. It's only been 3 days and I have 173 followers and counting and I'm sure you can imagine how often my phone lights up. It feels rewarding knowing there's people out there knowing you exist, but I have yet to make a sale.

Setting up your profile. Definitely edit your profile at the top, but don't forget a listing of yourself was also created for you by Poshmark. Edit this too and add more pictures of yourself to show how human you really are. However, you can only edit the listing of yourself through the app. You are unable to do so via laptop, unless there's a secret I don't know about.

Your first listing. If you're unsure of the process, list your items high and back them down once you get the hang of it. You can always go back and edit them later, which will benefit you anyways as your items move back up the chain. Be descriptive and take as many pictures as possible to reassure the interested buyer of what they're purchasing. Since Poshmark doesn't allow for refunds, I'm sure this tightens up the reigns for purchasers.

Also, when pricing your product, play with the numbers for your pocket income. The amount of profit you make will change as the price of your product increases. My best guess is that they charge a percentage to calculate their stake.

Sharing is caring. Every now and then, you'll receive notifications that your items were shared. Do the same for others! This helps both parties having their products exposed to the world. This leads me to the next topic, Posh Parties. I've only been to one and had no idea what I was doing. Supposedly this also helps expose others to your products. They have themes and times. Both will be located under the main feed. As time goes on, I'll update this section accordingly.

Make the sale. As you've read earlier, I have no experience on this subject as I'm only day 3 into the social experiment. However, when you do make a sale, Poshmark will provide you with a pre-paid, pre-addressed label, and you don't even have to leave your hermit of a home! How awesome is that!

Still unsure of this new service? Check out my "Closet" below! Make sure to add me too!

Closet Items

Update: 05-24-2017
It's been since February, and I haven't sold anything. Granted, I only had about 6 items in my closet. I'm not entirely sure what I expected of this service. If anything, I've gained exposure from it, so there's a plus. As for making a profit, I believe I'm going to have to resort to Plato's Closet for a quick buck. The money might be less, but I don't have to worry about items being in my possession, especially while being on the road. However, I think I will definitely use Poshmark to show dresses I acquire in the future!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

2017 Central Florida Scottish Highland Games

Date Attended: January 14

See below for pictures!

This was a completely new experience for me. Something I had accidentally stumbled upon while sifting through the internet garbage of Facebook. If you haven’t gone, I recommend joining the endless kilts and bagpipes!

Without further ado, the Scottish-American Society of Central Florida is responsible for this remarkable opportunity to bring lost traditions to a modern community via these Central Florida Highland Games. You can check them out here:

Last minute lessons:

If you arrive before they open, there might be a chance to park your car at the field. If not, just save yourself the trouble and park at the suggested satellite options.

Beer tickets. Get as many as you think you’ll need for the day. The lines quickly wrap around tents, slowly baking you in the hot sun that the weatherman lied to you about.

Sunscreen. Florida + doing anything in the hot sun = burnt epidermis. Don’t let the weather or the events fool you. Put the darn paste on. Get it in your mouth and eyes, your face will thank me later.

Some quick highlights:

Caber Toss - Grown men with beards and kilts throwing logs.

Border Collies herding sheep – I live in Florida. We don’t have sheep!

Turkey Legs -  Learned their new name, “Chicken on a stick.”

Highland Cattle – Babies!

Bagpipes – Imagine hating the most annoying musical instrument. Now imagine hundreds of them playing for you all day!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

How to Get Rid of Unwanted Credit Card Offers and Other Mail: The Experiment

Story Time!

Once upon a mailbox, I received credit card offers. Tons of them! When I returned home from a very long work stint, I was gifted a pile of papers and had to use my precious youth to sort through all of the junk. So far, I've found FOUR ways to get rid of credit card offers and other mail.

1. OptOutPreScreen - You can take a chance with and give them your social security number. I personally have not and will not do this. I haven't had anyone that's resourceful enough to confirm that this works, but it's the government. Trust them?

2. PaperKarma - a useful app that sends unsubscribe requests on your behalf. Digging through the internet, I've heard good reviews. Whether it's worked yet or not for me, I'll have to update on a later day. Supposedly it takes about 60 - 90 days to fully unsubscribe. The biggest harassers for me are PNC and Wells Fargo. I'll add a note if they go away in the next 2 - 3 months since I just started pushing back.

PaperKarma's interface seems simple. You literally scan your mail, select the correct company, and click unsubscribe. That's it! What's one more app on your phone? Anyways, check out the screenshots of my personal phone below to make sure you download the correct app.

3. Mail them back - unconfirmed if this actually works, but each credit card offer comes with a second envelope to mail in your personal information. I read online, because everything on the internet is true, to write "unsubscribe me" and mail them back. Their postage will be paid by the sender. See the "No Postage Necessary" on the top right hand corner? You don't pay a dime to return them a piece of paper.

4. Call and request to be unsubscribed - I loathe talking to people from these companies on the phone. Therefore, this is also unconfirmed. Maybe one day, I'll strike up enough patience to ask.

This is all just an experiment to reduce the paper waste coming to my mailbox. Hopefully, PaperKarma will be enough to place a very long pause on the offers. I'll update as soon as I start seeing progress!

If you have an interesting way to get rid of unwanted credit card offers, share it below!