Cardmunch

This post is about Cardmunch. Cardmunch is a LinkedIn app for smartphones. It scans a picture of a business card and submits it to the cloud. The business card comes back, fully transcribed, and ready to import into your phone’s contact list. If there’s a mistake — you simply resubmit.

I’ve had a stack of business cards that made my planner too bulky — just sitting around my house — for more than a year. I’m more than half way through that stack, and I’ve cleared space out of my planner for more collections. Amazing. Technology, working.

I love my new phone.

Cardmunch
Cardmunch, the supplies
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Commuting in 2012

English: Bus 2909 of TriMet, the public transi...
Image via Wikipedia

You may recall I’ve had a varied commute in all the years I’ve lived here, in Portland. 2012 marks the start of the 9th year I’ve lived here. Nine years. It’s a little surprising that I am working towards being here for an entire decade. While I was still living in Michigan, I was able to finally figure out my purpose, if you will. I wanted to educate people on the importance of a sustainable society. Once I got, here, to Portland, I began studying Sustainable Urban Development and living out my green dreams to the best of my ability.

I partook in regular bus commutes. I refused to own a car. I toyed with riding my bicycle. I bought organic foods and preached to others the importance of doing so. I bought recycled toilet paper. I ate more beans than meat. When I moved closer to work, I walked to work forgoing all fossil fuel options and using my own two feet instead.

Then, life changed. I got a curve ball. I got pregnant and married while still in school. What a humbling experience this has been! I used to eat arugula salads all the time, but then I found myself married to someone who’s taste buds hadn’t been acclimated to the slightly bitter green. Then, we found ourselves with a huge budget crunch: no income while taking care of a baby! Organic dreams went by the wayside. Always lurking in the background, but not something we could act on when we had $300 to spend, per month, on our total grocery bill (including the WIC and SNAP benefits allotted).

At the same time, I got the best bus pass – ever. It was good for five years and was an all-zone pass. That’s right, I got the benefit of being the partner of a TriMet employee. While I got the best bus pass, ever, I stopped commuting! My husband drove me to and from school on the days I went. Then, I finished school and I stopped needing to go places save once a week or so. Then, instead of taking the bus, driving, or walking – I found myself driving an SUV!

Next, life changed again, and I got employed. The only problem was that I didn’t look close enough at the job description and the job was twenty miles away. I was looking at a 45 minute commute by car or a 90 minute commute by bus. I had to factor in day care, so commuting by car became my new norm.

Well, the beginning of this year has proven another change. The office moved downtown. Downtown! My commute decreased by 15 miles! Challenges remain, especially in regards to picking up Levi. However, I took the one bus to work. I walked. Walked! I listened to NPR, sent emails, checked my schedule — all while on the bus.

The ride home was a little more stressful as the bus was running late. I might benefit from changing my schedule a half hour on the start and end time to allow more flexibility with picking up Levi. We made it home though, not without complaint. And, my feet just aren’t used to walking fast anymore, so they need to be retrained. Tomorrow, I will try a park and ride option. This means, I will bus to work then home, and then pick up the truck and get Levi.

Commuting in 2012 will mean a driver’s license renewal. It will mean an all-zone, five-year bus pass renewal. It might mean Levi gets his own bus pass. (I can’t remember the age kids are supposed to have their own tickets.) Yes, 2012 will have changes in commuting. Here’s to less driving and more bus riding.

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Using Siri

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 14:  A man uses 'Sir...
Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Levi is playing with his linguine. I am sitting here watching him. I am dictating this into my phone. I am using Siri.

I broke down. An offer was made. I went to the store with my friend, and I bought the iPhone.

Now, I sit here, and dictate this message into my phone. Blogging on a whole new level. I gaze around my kitchen. I’m looking at the things that need to be cleaned up. I am not at my computer. I am talking into my phone. I am having Siri transcribe my thoughts.

A commentary on a new world. It’s a commentary on the anthropomorphic relationship we have with our technology.

Levi is playing with his Knight Rider Lego, while it drives through the flour. What will technology look like when he’s 16? He will be five in February. 16 is only 11 years away. This iPhone is a version that has been created since 2007. After four years, Siri is reality. In 11 years what will it look like? In 11 years, what will the technology look like when Levi is ready to get his driver’s license?

Updated (late): The WordPress app (I’m assuming) posted this three times after claiming to fail, more than three. And, there was at least one word error I noticed rereading this, late. Regardless, I dictated just under 200 words with my technology as one would dictate into a dictaphone. I think that’s pretty cool.

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January 1, 2012

Seagulls
Image by alexis22578 via Flickr

Today is the first day of the new year. Today, I am beginning a new, now self-imposed, post a day challenge.

As we read yesterday, I was 318 of 365 posts in 2011. I more than doubled my total posts on this blog, as it has moved from blogger to wordpress.com to my own hosted wordpress site. I had ideals of 750 words per post, and they actually ranged from no words and only photos to 1,300 words.

I will hope to write at least one quality post a week, this year. I will hope to have an average of 750 words to get the thought processes to move and digest my day and comment on the things around me. I will hope to fulfill this challenge.

So, I will continue with little to no rules. I will continue taking time to post once-a-day, even if it means tapping away at the keyboard while darling husband tries to explain his latest sinus problem. I will double up on days that I forget to post. I will post more than once a day. The goal, simply stated, is to come out on December 31, 2012 with no less than 366 posts. It’s a leap year; we now have an extra day.

To kick off this new year, here’s a small post of just over 200 words. Perhaps something to whet your appetite. Let’s ring in the new year!

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