My New HTC One V for Christmas

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

I got a brand new cell phone for Christmas thanks to IZEA paying me to blog and tweet.  I just love blogging and tweeting for money.  It’s not a very good living, but at least I get some cool things out of it.

It just so happened that when I got my new HTC One V from Virgin Mobile, my partner decided that he wanted to set his computer up and naturally his mouse and keyboard weren’t working, so I gave him mine which meant that I lost my computer.  So I’ve been using my new phone as a computer for a few days now.  I’m not used to using such a small screen so it takes getting used to.  I have my Chromebook, but the WiFi crashes after typing a few words.  I reset it to factory settings, but it still does it.  Resetting it helped make it faster because even clearing the cache and browsing history wasn’t speeding it up, but the WiFi problem still happens, which meant my phone is now my only means of being online.  I’m “borrowing” my keyboard and mouse for this lol.

So after a few days of using it, here are my impressions.  I read a few reviews and watched a dozen video reviews on YouTube before I committed to buying this phone just to make sure it was what I wanted.  Of course, I wanted a better one, but this was what I could afford that I could get before Christmas day.

I was under the impression that it had 4GB onboard, but when I went to install the Sims free play, it said I didn’t have enough room which told me that I only had 1GB available.  I figured I’d be okay until I could buy a MicroSD card, but apparently not.  I am using a 2GB MicroSD card from my previous phone, so that is working for now until I get my new 32GB MicroSD card.

I am very impressed with the performance compared to some of the reviews that I watched.  It’s not slow at all.  I mean, sometimes I have to wait for a page to load or a game to load, but I’m not spoiled with a faster cell phone since this is my very first smart phone so maybe I just don’t know the difference yet.  It is slow however when I am not at home on my WiFi.  We were at the movies yesterday and it took forever for Foursquare to load so I could check in.  It finally checked in by the time we got home.  So the 3G isn’t great so far, but it’s wonderful on our WiFi.  I will have to see how frustrated I am the next time we have a doctor’s appointment lol.

iphone folder screenshot The OS is pretty impressive, well to me anyway.  It has the big clock with the weather, then room for 8 icons underneath.  There are 2 screens to the left and 2 screens to the right.  I decided that I didn’t want a bunch of icons, so I downloaded the iPhone Style Folder app.  I tried another one that allows me to put the icons in folders, but it only allowed me to have one folder, which is not what I was looking for.  This is perfect for me.

Oh and by the way, I downloaded an app to take screenshots and it was nice enough to tell me that my phone already has a way of taking screenshots by simply pressing the power button and then the home button.  So that’s one less app that I have to worry about taking up room or putting a watermark on my screenshot.  The background image is of our Christmas tree btw.

Before I got the phone, I typed out a post about how to make money using your phone.  I installed those apps (as you can see from the folder in the image above) and here are my impressions so far.

1. iPinion was a pain to sign up on because it insisted that my email address was currently being used, but when I tried to get the password, it said that email address wasn’t even in their system lol.  I had to use another email address to sign up with and even then they didn’t have any surveys for me to fill out.  I’m not giving up on it just yet.

2. IconZoomer wants me to take pictures of things like what my fridge, coffee maker, my form of entertainment etc.  But they haven’t paid me in credits for any of the pictures I have taken.  They each say they have so many days left, so maybe when the question expires I might get credit.  If not, delete…

3. CheckPoints wants me to scan barcodes of products at the grocery store, but I am broke so there isn’t a reason for me to go to the grocery store.  I’ll do it when I get some money.  I don’t want to look suspicious if I go in, scan barcodes then leave LOL.

4. ShopKick wants me to go to the mall and walk into specific shops for points, that would be fine if I went to the mall all the time, but I don’t and I don’t think I would be willing to walk around just for this because of my back pain issues.  It’s fine for some people, but not everyone.

5. Cash King wants me to download apps, watch videos and fill out surveys.  I only get 1 video a day to watch so that’s not what I thought it would be.  I downloaded 1 app which is a game which I actually enjoy and it connects to Facebook and is a game people have been wanting me to play anyway.  They don’t have any surveys yet.

6. Viggle is a wonderful app.  All you do is turn on the TV and let Viggle hear what you are watching and you get points which you can use to buy stuff.  They mostly want me to watch college football games on ESPN so I turn it to ESPN and let it hear the game then I just wait for the next one.  They will give you credits for everything you watch, but specific shows they give you bonus points for.  I have almost 2,000 points after just 2 days.  It’s not going to take long to get some decide rewards if I continue to check in and watch videos everyday.

7. Staree is from IZEA and I will never question them, but… what the heck is this app for?  I have taken a few pictures and haven’t gotten any credits lol.  Maybe they will ask you to take pictures… who knows.

One of my favorite features of this phone is how it takes pictures and video.  This doesn’t do 4:3 like most cameras do, it does 16:9.  In fact, I have it set so it takes pictures that are 1280×768 which is the resolution of the wallpaper on my desktop computer.  Videos are 1280×720 which is the same resolution as my HDTV.  Also I am loving the flash lol.  I know it’s funny to hear but every digital camera I have ever had was missing one thing, the flash, so I am in heaven.  It also uses the light from the flash for video which is pretty cool.  My camcorder doesn’t have a light so now when I need to take video at night, I’ll be able to.  Not that I will have a reason, but you never know.

Here are some pictures I have taken with the camera on my new HTC One V.

So I think I will have a lot of fun with this new phone.  It is so much better than my other one and I love that I can post pictures directly to Facebook and Twitter and I can email pictures to myself instead of having to move them to the MicroSD card, then putting it in my printer to copy to the computer.  It sure takes out so many steps.  I also love the voice recognition.  I don’t mind typing, but I make tons of mistakes with the on screen keyboard.  Although, the voice recognition isn’t perfect, but it’s still better than typing.  Yep, this is going to be a beautiful friendship.

Oh and I gave my other phone to someone who really needed a cell phone so that makes me feel really good.

Homemade Dog Food

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of homemadedogfood.com for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Do you know what is in your dog’s food?  Do your dogs even like their food?  Go look at the ingredients on the bag of dog food, you can only pronounce a few words.  What’s frustrating for me is that no matter what brand or flavor dog food, my dog won’t even eat it unless it is her last resort.

I have a friend who is a chef who told me many years ago that she has a recipe for dog food, but I didn’t have a dog so I didn’t really pay too much attention.  Now that I have a dog, it’s time to find out how to do it so I turn to this website Homemade dog food.  Not only do they have a recipe my dog will eat, but it only has a few ingredients. Ground beef, rice and eggs that you bake like meatloaf.  What more can you ask for?

Check out this Easy cooked dog food recipe.  They are very precise and to the point and even have pictures and a video in case you are unclear how to do it.  The chef also shows how much of the supplements to add when he feeds it to his dogs.  And look at the dogs eating this food, look at those tails wagging.  Those are some happy dogs.  I know my dog would much prefer to eat this dog food.

Take a minute and think about something.  When you see animals in the wild, you don’t see them eating hard round nuggets or bone shaped food, instead they eat raw meat from animals they have killed.  That’s what your dog wants, but of course they can’t go out and kill their dinners because there isn’t any game in your house for them to hunt.  This recipe gives them the meat they desire and the added supplements they require that they aren’t getting from the cooked hamburger meat.  I know that this is what my dog would love to eat so I am seriously thinking about making her food.

It says in the website to fast your dog for 24 hour to flush out the dog food, well my dog doesn’t eat her food, she eats people food which I know isn’t good for her, so she doesn’t have to flush anything, she can go right ahead and switch to this new diet.  This also makes it easier to add worm medicine to her food.  I hate having to go out and buy wet dog food just to add medicine to it, I can just add it to her regular meals now.

From now on I don’t have to share my dinner with her cause she will have her own.  She’s happy, I’m happy, we’re all happy and that is what it’s all about.

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My book is almost ready to publish, only one tiny issue left…

My book files came back to me a couple of days ago (two beta readers as I like to call them) with highlights of things for me to fix.  I have read my book at least 30 times and I was just getting so sick of reading it and they wanted to read it so I figured they could read it early, but I’d love to have bug reports.

So I went through the highlights which weren’t all that major.  I missed a few capitalizations and punctuation issues.  There were also a few words where I forgot to add a letter, like instead of writing the word “from” I wrote “for”, don’t ask why lol.

As I was getting the paper book put together with all of my corrections made, I noticed a little issue which turned out to be a major issue.  There were grey boxes where spaces were supposed to go.  It wasn’t everywhere, but it was annoying that there were so many.  I was able to delete them as I went, but that didn’t help because it was still messed up.

The paper book got put together and turned in to check for errors, which I’m happy to report weren’t any.  I converted the .odt file to epub and was going to publish to Amazon for the Kindle and Barnes & Noble for the Nook.  It looked great on the Nook, but the Kindle wasn’t doing so good.  Here is what I was seeing…

You see the top paragraph?  It’s not exactly a paragraph is it?  That was what happened because of the square boxes.  Also look at the other paragraphs, they weren’t indented, except for the last one.  I went into Sigil to look at the html code of the chapters and this is what I saw.

That is supposed to be a little paragraph.  Those <.span.> things were out of control.  That is what was causing the text to move down.  So the only way for this to work is to cut all that crap out.  I tried to do find and replace, but unfortunately each one of those lines has its own number so it’s not like I can replace all of them throughout the entire document, they have to be deleted one at a time.  ANNOYING!

I worked for 8 hours to get rid of them and then discovered that if I converted the file to .html, it got rid of all that.  So that was a waste of time, but it was a learning experience.

I fixed all of the capitalization and punctuation issues, but I have a feeling I am still missing something so I’m going to have to read the whole thing again.  It sucks but I don’t want to publish a book that isn’t right.

I said I would get it published by January 1st and here we are nearing February and it still isn’t ready to publish.  I don’t know how long it will take but I will get it out there eventually.