Tag Archives: iPad


This was my first Mac, the 512K (aka Fat Mac), which I bought in 1985.

Fittingly, I got the news last night on my iPhone 4 via a text message from my older son, who was using his iPhone 4.

“Looks like Steve Jobs is dead,” it read.

I rushed to my iMac to check it out and then continued to monitor my Twitter feed on my iPad as we watched “Survivor.” What my son had said was true, and everyone was tweeting about it.

Apple.com’s home page was simple (as shown on my iPad).

Steve Jobs’ untimely passing at the too-young age of 56 wasn’t surprising, of course. He was diagnosed with a rare form of pancreatic cancer in 2004 and survived a liver transplant five years later. He had been in failing health this year. When he resigned as Apple’s CEO this past August, it was obvious the end was near.

Still, I was overcome with sadness—the world has lost an amazing visionary who helped create technical products that enhanced our lives.  My life in particular was changed thanks to the Macintosh, which enabled me to properly use and show my creative talents. I’ve earned my living writing, editing, designing, and Photoshopping on the various Macs that I’ve owned since 1985. I’m probably one of the few people my age who has only owned Apple computers. And I expect it to stay that way.

Of course, I’ve loved my iPods (listened to my first one eight years ago), iPhone (the original, 3Gs, and my current 4), and iPad. If Apple makes it, I usually want it.

Jobs had a remarkable sense of the long term, of what consumers really wanted, though they didn’t know it at the time. He made products for everyone, not just the techies who thrived on the DOS challenge. Gosh, he put the darned internet in our pockets! He enabled my octogenarian mother to stay connected with her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren throughout the country . . . as well as with her friends . . . via her iMac.

He left a wonderful, inspiring legacy. That’s his greatest gift.

My #1 son loves his MacBook Pro.

I e-mailed my older son some words of wisdom spoken by Jobs:

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma—which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And, most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

I hope my son takes that advice to heart; it will steer him in the right direction.

And . . . one more thing . . .

Rest in peace, Steve Jobs. Thank you for making the world a better place to live in.

Working Together

The Word Seek app—very compelling

My latest variety of iPad crack is the Word Seek app. It is extremely addicting.

My #2 son looks for possible words.

When my younger son was struggling last spring, nightly sessions of Word Seek helped me wind down from the stress of the day. Guess it was a cheaper form of valium.

The brothers check out the board.

Lately my #2 son and I have been tag-teaming with the app. I’ll start out and try to find as many words as I can (we use the no-time limit mode) and then hand the iPad off to him. Our best score so far? 80,000 points, which sounds impressive until you realize that we only found 50 percent of the possible words (some are very long and always escape us).

There’s a word!

Recently we pulled in the big brother to help us find more words among those 25 pesky letters. It was fun for me to watch my two sons working together on a lazy summer evening. In about a month, we won’t have #1 around to help us out, because he’ll be back at college.

The time is ticking away on our new quest: To score 100,000 points. Go, family Word Seek team, go!

A Love Letter

Who can resist that little, golden smile?

Dear Amazon.com:

Thank you so much for making gift-giving easier for me this Chanukah season. My older son is away at college, and I wasn’t sure what to buy him for some of the eight nights. But by selecting the Kindle edition of a book I thought would interest him, I discovered that I could—with one mere click—give it as a gift right to him! I just typed in his e-mail address, and voilá!—it was in his inbox ready to be downloaded.

My #1 son loves nonfiction baseball books.

Making the gift of an ebook so simple meant that my son didn’t feel left out of our Chanukah tradition. And a procrastinator like me could shop at the last minute yet still give him his present on time.

He especially likes to read about old-time baseball.

Easy-peasy digital downloading is great! And now he won’t be cluttering up his already-dusty dorm room with books. I love you, Amazon.com!

Hope you don’t mind that he’ll be reading those ebooks using the Kindle app . . . on his iPad.


My #1 son is much too serious!

Sometimes great ideas come to me late at night (if they appear at all).

Last week I was lying in bed when a vision for my #1 son’s thank you cards suddenly hit me. Of course, it would’ve been nice if this creative thought had popped into my mind, say, when #1 started getting graduation gifts. But I’ve always been pretty pokey when it comes to my artistic process, so I just went with the flow.

I like personalization when it comes to thank you cards—makes them that much more special plus the recipient instantly knows who it’s from. I had been pondering what photo would best reflect my #1 son’s tech-savvy style. Suddenly, I could visualize it: #1 would be holding our iPad with the word “iThanks!” on it.

Get it? iMac . . . iPod . . . iPhone . . . iPad . . . iThanks? We’re such Apple fan boys that it’s a great way to pay homage to our favorite computer/music device company. Maybe I should copyright it!

Don’t let them see you smile!

So how to pull off this photo? #1 put on a UTSA shirt and wrote “iThanks!” on the iPad with the PaperDesk iPad app. Then we started our photoshoot outside. I opted for my Nikon D700 and Nikon 50mm lens. I sat #1 on a cooler and started shooting.

Of course, he wasn’t very cooperative. Too bad he isn’t One Take #1! At first, he was much too serious. Then he was laughing when I tried to get him to smile.

Time for funny faces!

As I snapped off 20-plus shots, I still couldn’t get the photo I had envisioned.

Almost there!

With both of us tiring from the experience, #1 finally started to grin.

Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner!

Cooperation at last! #1 has such a wonderful smile; I’m glad he decided to show it. Unfortunately, the photo I thought was best was one where you really couldn’t see the “iThanks!” on the iPad. So I used the text tool in Photoshop to type it in.

Beggars can’t be choosy!

One-Third Done With My Photos of the Day

The Mister watches our #2 son teeing off during a short round of disc golf.

I’ve now got four months of photos of the day under my considerable belt! I’m enjoying documenting our lives, even though I do fall behind in posting on the blog. Picking the POTD really makes me think about what I want to remember most about that particular day.

Like the above photo of the Mister watching our #2 son during a round of disc golf on April 11. I loved the pix I snapped of the wildflowers that day. But I thought a picture showcasing the close bond those two have would be a better remembrance of that time we spent together.

A rare smile from Dr. Judge (my #1 son).

If I had to choose, my favorite April photos would be ones of my sons. This pic from April 18 was taken from a bunch that I shot of my #1 son and our “third son” Chase videoing. I especially love pictures of #1 smiling. Makes his beautiful blue eyes twinkle!

My #2 son skies during the triple jump.

I also love, love, love this photo of my #2 son, as I captured him at the peak of his triple jump leap on April 12th at his district track meet. Action photos are my passion.

Those three photos featuring the guys I love easily are among my four favorite April POTDs. But my absolute top pic for the month?

The iPad is mine!

When my our long-awaited, much-anticipated 16GB wifi iPad arrived on April 3!

Random Snippets and Few Apertures

Richard is an old soul on “Lost.”

Tuesday night we were subjected to a rerun on “Lost.” All the momentum that had built up as the mysterious show with way more questions than answers rolls to its May 23rd finale? Gone!

And we continue to be lost!

Sirius Black, Harry Potter’s godfather

From the mouths of “babes”

First, my #1 son: “What is Sirius Black’s middle name?”


Funny! Next up? My “third son,” Chase: “That’s an old person’s song.”

The tune he was referencing? Billy Joel’s “The Longest Time.” Written in 1984! Hey!! Not so funny.

Mitchell and Cam enjoy a moment with the camera on “Modern Family.”

A TV snippet

The Mister and I love “Modern Family!” A funny show that’s not over the top, it’s mostly appropriate for its 8 p.m. time slot. I love the family dynamics. My favorite character is Cam (Eric Stonestreet), followed closely by Phil (Ty Burrell). It’s Wednesday must-see comedy!

A recent episode connected “Modern Family” with “Lost,” our Tuesday must-see drama: A mean youth basketball coach was played by Eric Lange, who did a turn as mean Radzinsky, the head of research in the Dharma Initiative.

Things that make me go “hmmmm”

• The Zurich Classic, a golf tournament, was played in Louisiana. Is the New Orleans Open held in Switzerland?

• Here’s why hyphens are important (from a ZDNet e-mail): “iPad owning Windows users targeted by hackers.” Without that helpful, little punctuation mark making “iPad” and “owning” an adjectival phrase, it seems like the iPad owns the Windows users! Is Apple really that powerful?

• A recent “Houston Chronicle” sports headline: “Texans eyeing Pro Bowler Faneca.”

Sirius Lee, my first thought was, “A bowler plays pro football?!?”

Our iPad at Day #17

Chase plays Smule’s Magic Piano app for iPad.

Our iPad has held our family captive for 17 days now. Here’s an update:

We love our iPad as much if not more than we did on day #1! It continues to be a great multimedia device niched in between my iPhone and the boys’ iPod Touches and my MacBook. It still is not a laptop replacement, even though I rarely use my MacBook anymore (but the #2 son surfs the web on it when I’m using the iPad in the living room). Rather it’s like a standalone e-book reader or netbook on steroids. And it has great battery life.

Chase checks out the Tap Tap Radiation app for iPad.

Here’s how we used our 16GB iPad this weekend: I downloaded Tap Tap Radiation (a free app) and bought Smule’s fascinating Magic Piano app. Then I gave the iPad to my #1 son and my “third son” Chase to see what they thought of the two apps. Chase immediately went to town using them. Yes, the Tap Tap apps leave a bushelful of fingerprints all over the iPad (which is why I keep a cleaning cloth nearby), but both boys love them.

Exercise for your fingers? Only this computer generation would think that’s apropos!

The Magic Piano is just the coolest app; well worth 99 cents (this is coming from someone who only likes free apps!). Have you seen the YouTube video of the cat using the iPad (which, by the way, you could watch on your iPad)? He “plays” this piano!

The iPad case improves the iPad-viewing experience.

The #1 son and I both read e-books from Apple’s iBook store on our iPad this weekend. Now that we have Apple’s iPad case, it’s so much easier to hold or prop up the device and to carry it. Totally recommended!

When our family went to Buffalo Wild Wings for lunch Sunday, our iPad, of course, came along for the ride. BWW has free wifi (thank you!), so I started by checking out something on the ’net. Then I passed the iPad to the Mister, who wanted to look at disc golf results. Next, the #2 son also read those stats and then played the Magic Piano. The iPad kept us thoroughly entertained!

It also intrigued the wait staff, several of whom gathered around me as we were leaving, wanting to see the iPad in action. Of course, I obliged them by putting the iPad through its paces, ending with my patented slideshow of some of my photos (the iPad is great for showing off!).

I felt like the belle of the ball! But it really was the iPad that stole the show.