Category Archives: Weather

10 Years Of The iPhone Influencing Our Lives

Hi folks. Yesterday was the release of iOS 11 and this year is also the 10th anniversary of the iPhone itself. I found a post a couple of days ago on Twitter which lists five ways the iPhone has influenced the world around us. As a companion piece to this article, I thought I would mention how the iPhone has enhanced our lives in general. Although, there will be some overlap in this list between this and the other article but, there are things which has made the lives of a certain portion of the population (with disabilities) easier in reading, writing and communicating with others.
Apple Pay
Apple Pay is something that took a long time for me to grasp because, I didn’t have an iPhone which was compatible with this feature until late last year. Also, I didn’t feel comfortable with the concept at the time until this summer. I guess it was the safety which I was concerned about! Now, I use it as regularly as I can and can do it with ease. Although, I do need guidance as to where the sensor is so I can put the iPhone on it and bingo, I’ve paid for my item. I hope that one day everything can be paid for using both Apple Pay and other companies equivalents to it, so there will be no need to carry cash.
Social Media
The use of social media has also been a great benefit to myself and I guess everybody who uses Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat these days. Even doing this blog wouldn’t be possible without my iPhone in 2013 and I’m very thankful for the use of social media because, it has help me stay in touch with old friends and make some new ones in the process. Even getting a chance to communicate with my favourite musicians and actors has been possible with the iPhone. For example: I follow five of the six main voice actors on The Simpsons and have communicated with a few people associated with The series on Twitter. Also on Facebook I have had the opportunity to meet and disguss topics which I have an interst in with a group and I have even become an Administrator of one or two of them.
The use of Safari also has enhanst my ability to go on the web and search for things on Google. I even bookmark things which I want to read again later on because, they May change as time goes on. I do this with my favourite bands, TV shows, etc and that is how I follow some of my favourite famous people outside of social media. Even YouTube has been possible to use with an iPhone because at first, when I had the iPhone 4s in 2012 there was the YouTube app. However, when iOS 6 came along that app was taken off and I had to find YouTube videos using Safari. fortunately, I was able to do that quite easily and I have tried the free YouTube app on the App Store but, I didn’t like it because I didn’t have as much control as I do when using Safari.
The use of applications in general has made my life a lot easier and much less reliant on The media and other people at times. For example: I use a few applications for getting the weather in my local area and some of them also have weather warnings, which are sent out via push notifications. This has not only helped myself but other people around me, when severe weather or nice weather is on the way. I even use applications for getting around using local transit and this has also made life a lot easier. The only thing is that you need to have more than one transit app, in order to find the best one for you and I use 2 of them, depending on the situation at the time. As far as I’m concerned, any app which helps me get around is alright with me.
Not only do I get voice interaction from Siri, but I also get to hear voices on my iPhone with the use of VoiceOver. In case you don’t know what that is, it is a screen reading software which operates using gestures and double or two finger tapping on icons on the screen, in order to activate an app or to type out a letter or punctuation mark. With VoiceOver, I can do this either on the screen, use dictation or use a Bluetooth keyboard to help me type out: emails, text messages, posts on Twitter or Facebook, composing blog posts, etc. It is not only useful to the blind but also people with learning disabilities such as dyslexia. In my case, I’ve been blind since birth and this feature of the iPhone is what I use most of all, out of any feature on this device. Even the voices have expanded to many different languages and are both male and female sounds. I’ve talked about the voices themselves in past posts here but I will say that I am quite impressed with how many voices in different dialects there are, in Apple’s speech library. With iOS11 the new Siri voices sound even better than I thought. This is especially true of the new female Siri, who sounds quite nice, in what ever dialect you select. The American female Siri souds younger than the other voices in the past and both male and female voices, are available for download. But, they are bigger files than ever before and take up more space. As for the other voices, not much has changed, with the exception of promoting Nikki from being the American female voice of Siri, to being a standalone voice for download in VoiceOver.
iTunes and Apple Music
With the iPhone we were all able to listen to music digitally, through iTunes as well as streaming services like Spotify and various applications, which allow us to listen live to individual songs and albums and radio stations. We also were given the chance to buy our music on the iTunes Store for a cheaper price, than a compact disk would cell at a record store these days. Altho, in my last years of buying CD’s, they have come down in price to about $10.00 or so. However, some albums on the iTunes Stor have sold for as low as $4.99. The real plus with the iTunes store is that in some cases, you could buy albums you could no longer find on CD, because they are out of print or no longer sold where you live. Sometimes it goes the other way, in that the album you want is not available in your country’s iTunes Store. I had run into that a numbr of times!
I have had a lot of joy browsing and purchasing music, TV shows and some movies from the iTunes Store in the past years and that is how I have managed to come up with posts for this blog and my other blogs, related to The Simpsons and even Weather Radio.
With Apple Music, I can now listen to and download (for free) albums by bands which I can’t afford to spend money on at the moment. I can even do that with songs which are only available as an “album only” track on some albums, instead of having to buy the whole album. This has made my listening experience even more enjoyable and has been a big help, with having to learn songs to sing for people in my apartment. I wish that was around back when I went to school because, that would have been a great help in learning songs for my school ensemble.
Text Messaging
I have been able to text since 2011 but this has greatly improved since I have migrated to the iPhone in 2012. Even iMessaging has been a real plus for me, when people can’t simply text me and I don’t mind that. The only thing I don’t think is necessary is adding affects to a message but, I wil add emoji’s to some text messages.
Hearing The Real Voice On The Phone
With iPhones and some other smart phones we get to hear a persons actual voice and not just the phone quallity voice on the other end of the line. I notice this the most with the iPhone and I love it when I hear the actuall sound of a voice so I know what to listen for, when I meet them in person later. Some other phones also allow this and I think it’s great, that we get to hear the voice as it was meant to be heard. We can leave the phone quality voice to walky talky radios and landline phones, thank you very much.

Other Miscellaneous Things
I like being able to create reminders for myself, to let me know about up coming appointments and engagements. For those who like to play games on their phones, there are plenty of them out there. The news app is a good thing to have so you can keep tabs on what is going on in the world. The callender is another good thing to have, so you can plan events throughout the year without having to put down the phone. Taking photos is another thing which is good and the quality of the picture is even better now than it was with other phones and, with iOS11 there are even more improvements to photos. For those who are hearing impaired, there are options for hearing aids and such to compliment the iPhone. Watching TV is now possible with your iPhone and even your iPod Touch and iPad, with the new Apple TV app. If you are recording a voice memo it comes out in your actual voice, much like on the phone.
Those are just some of the things thatthe the iPhone has given us to improve our daly lives and make the world easier to live in. You could say that your iPhone is your: Computer, note taker, calendar, phone, radio, two way radio, virtual girlfriend or a boyfriend, Road map, GPS, etc. in your hand and there is no telling, what Apple will do in the future to improve the iPhone or discontinue it in the coming years. I guess 10 more years as possible but it won’t be the same into thousand 27. You can be sure that the iPhone you’re holding in your hand now will not be around 10 years from now and you will look back and wonder where you would be without this device.


happy Birthday To Me

hi friends. Well, last Thursday was my birthday and I’m a year older but I’m not sure if I am any wiser. I’m still the same person inside and out, with all my flaws and my strengths intact.
most years I look forward to a birthday, in the hopes of something big happening, as far as receiving something just because. Well, it does not always happen but I’m not really that upset because, I don’t really expect anything big these days. after all, I am now 43 but I still feel like a kid inside and I sometimes do things that are to my detriment. I won’t get into my flaws here because this is not the post to do that. If I wanted to do that to myself with the entire world reading it I would be crazy and that, I am not. I am much more levelheaded and I try to think about things before I do them as best I can.
do I have any goals for the next year? Well, I have no goals whatsoever. To set them would be impossible because years ago I wanted to do things that were almost impossible for me to do in school but I couldn’t do the back then. For example: I was so jealous of people getting high marks on their tests so once I actually wrote down I want to get a 99% mark on everything. I don’t remember exactly what I said but it was something to that effect. I actually came close to that when I passed my amateur radio exam with a 93% mark. If you were not a ham radio operator this will mean nothing to you. However if you are, you know that in Canada this allows you to get on all bands, without Morse code privileges. Basically, your license lists you as basic with honors. Really, that’s all I really wanted and I’m happy with it.
so what’s in store for me this year? Well, who’s to say but I can say that things will go along much the same. If things change they change and I’m not going to worry about it too much, unless it is a real drastic one. right now I’m just looking forward to the summer and hopefully that brings much the same type of weather we had last year in southern Ontario. I can’t wait to go out a lot more often and be with people. I guess the only thing I’m looking forward to trying to do is to find someone in my life who will be with me, whom I could eventually come home to and who will love me for all my faults and my strengths. I have tried out the Tinder app but I’ve been unsuccessful so far in finding somebody who actually will stick around with me long enough to actually chat and maybe even meet for coffee. i’ve had people who matched up with me who just said hello and that’s it. Some have even chatted with me but that’s as far as it went. I will not give up though and I will stick around with the app and keep trying, until I find my match. i’m sure that she is out there and we will find each other one day when we least expect it.
well, I know this post is kind of disjointed but that’s all I could think of today. talk to you next time.

Annual Blog Review For 2015

Hi folks. This is the annual blog review, for 2015. This year I have continued my Simpsons Sunday posts and the Weather Wednesday posts have also continued, until recently. This is because I haven’t had much to write about on this topic.

In my Simpsons posts I have discussed recent episodes that have aired at the time. Another thing I have continued to do is talk about characters within episodes. One of them is Kevin, who is a blind boy who appeared in the Season 21 episode Stealing First Base. I like how the writers have been respectful to the blind community as they could, but also playing up that this is a comedy. One thing I don’t understand is why the entertainment industry feels the need to have blind people touch the face, in order to recognize people. I don’t blame anyone from The Simpsons for this though. I highlight this because I am also blind from birth.

. Something else I have mentioned throughout this year and once last year was the stories written by fans, based on The Simpsons. I have read a few complete and partial stories this year and I must admit, the fans have a great imagination. Some have even created their own characters and used existing stories from episodes as a basis for their own story. One story involves Lisa and Nelson becoming a couple again, while Bart finds a new girlfriend. No, it’s not any of the girls we know of and it’s a new character created by the author.

I have even found some Sideshow Bob based episodes in which he wishes to make amends with Bart and in one episode, Bart dies from illness. If you would like the links to them, just let me know and I’ll send you the links.

I have even dabbled in some writing in the past couple of years too and my stories are based on blindness. One has Homer going blind because of a work related accident and Bart just goes blind out of the blue. They are their own plots and I haven’t completed either one of them yet but hope to at some point. I am using existing characters in my stories except for my Krusty one, where I create a character based on me. It involves Krusty’s father and was written before he was killed off in 2014. I may change it but I’m not sure yet. I’m not really sure if I will include the stories in the blog but I’ll have to think about it. Oh, my Krusty story does not mention blindness but involves Krusty retiring, again.

I can’t forget about the people who have also been a part of the history of The Simpsons from 1989 to present day, who have passed away this year. In particular, Sam Simon in March and Alex Rocco in July. I have written posts acknowledging the passing of both these two men and their contributions to the show. If you’d like to read them, check out the archives for either March or July.

Another thing I have also done is commented on recent events such as iOS 9 and new album reviews. I have published 2 such reviews this year on new albums by Disturbed and Queen. Thankfully the Disturbed album debuted at No. 1 as I had hoped. Another previous album I reviewed .5: The Gray Chapter by Slipknot also debuted at the top spot on the album charts. I wish I could take credit for this but I don’t have proof that my post had any impact on this.

I have also been writing about things such as: how the new music release day has changed from Tuesday to Friday. I think it is a win win for everyone, if everyone cooporates with each other. This post did not appear in this blog and was a guest post in another blog by Alan Cross. Here is the link to it.

If you have followed Alan on Twitter, you will have noticed that my 2 previous album reviews I mentioned earlier have also appeared in the blog as links to this one.

Another thing I have continued to do from time to time, is write about random things that have been on my mind. One such point of discussion was my dream about the school bus. I have yet to ride on one and well, hopefully I get to soon.

This year I took a further dip into the iTunes waters and besides the bands and albums I have reviewed in the past 2 years of the blog, I have managed to collect the entire essential albums from The Beatles. I have some other albums to purchase and I will have all the songs.

My favourite period of their Development is from 1966 onward and especially The Beatles (White Album) and Abbey Road. Don’t get me started on Let It Be, because I don’t like it except for a few songs And moments.

As for 2016, the blog will continue as long as I can write and for as long as I have idea’s coming out of me, about things that interest me. In writing about those things I insert points about my own life that go along with what I am discussing. It’s not that I don’t want to write about my life both past and present… I feel it may come off as I am complaining about how things have gone for me and how they are now. Actually, I have things to say about my life course that aren’t exactly flattering to people involved, in some cases and in others I have a great deal of gratitude for what they have done for me.

I would like to thank everyone who has followed me through the blog and also on Twitter and Facebook throughout the year. I haven’t been Tweeting much lately because of having to watch my data for this month. I will hopefully be back tweeting and retweeting and posting again in 2016. I also hope to have my Weather Wednesday posts return to the blog. It’s just been so quiet on the weather front that I have had nothing really to write about, without repeating myself. I like sameness but I also know that there is a need to move forward and I wouldn’t want to be writing the same post over and over again.

Anyway, this has been a great year for me and hopefully 2016 will be even better for all of us, no matter where we are in the world and in our lives.

Back To Work And Back To School

Hi folks and welcome to another Weather Wednesday. This week, we are back to school and back to work but the weather doesn’t reflect it yet. This is not unusual but of course, that changes within a week or less.

This is the meteorological autumn and of course, this is when the weather has the most impact on us. This is the peak of the hurricane season and when the weather cools off and the Northwinds begin to blow the leaves off the trees.

Another thing that has happened is that this cooling off has also been slow at times and I can think of 2 examples of when the really chilly weather didn’t settle in until November. In 1994 it was a rather warm fall, with no sign of a snowflake until late November, dew to it not going below freezing or the hi temperatures not going below 10°C.

In 2007 it was a similar type of fall season but it was even warmer, with a hi of 32°C being reached on Canadian Thanksgiving Monday. After that the weather didn’t cooldown much until very late October and didn’t go below freezing until November. I know that because some friends of mine were still having barbecues even as late as around October 20 and this was in southern Ontario Canada. In fact, everything I mention here has happened where I live, in the GTA in Ontario Canada.

I don’t think this year will be as warm a fall but I also don’t think we will be in winter clothes by early November like last year. I will be monitoring both my Weather Radio and weather apps on my iPhone for the latest in weather, in and around where I live. I may even check up on other places, just to feed my curiosity on which place is the warmest or coldest on a single day.

Well, that’s about it for today. Talk to you on Simpsons Sunday.

September, The Weather Turns Normal

Hi folks and welcome to another Weather Wednesday. Today it is the first post of September… the month where summer circles the drain, before disappearing from this hemisphere, to warm the opposite hemisphere in a few months after regrouping.

Here in North Amerca, we have the fall and winter to look forward to and possible colds and flue, with some ice and snow to make it more miserable.t

In case you can’t tell, I hate this time of year because the weather turns, the leaves turn and everything turns back to normal with school and well, some of us hibernate. It also spells the end of summer fun and all the cool things we did the previous 2 months. Don’t you wish it could last forever?

I guess the only thing I can take heart in is that the TV shows have new episodes coming out again. Woohoo! I can enjoy the next adventures of The Simpsons and their surrounding cast of characters in Springfield. Unfortunately, outside it is cooling off and to me, that really sucks.

Well, unfortunately that is all I could come up with today. Talk to you on Simpsons Sunday.

September, The Turning Point Of The Year

Hi folks. It is not only a Weather Wednesday but it is also the first post in September. It is the month where summer weather circles the drain, before it leaves us for the fall. Sometimes it just up and gets out like we were a bad date the night before. Other times it doesn’t want to go and it just stays, making all the kids sweat in their classrooms at school.

I’m writing this because I hate this time of year because it is the end of summer and the beginning of fall and that leads to a season of cold and flue and freezing temperatures.

The only thing I find good about this time of year is that the TV shows come back with new episodes and I can watch the latest adventures of The Simpsons or other shows I have had an interest in throughout my life. It is also the time of year when awards begin to be given out and well, that is also cool too.

Well, I couldn’t really think of much today because I just can’t really think of anything I can sink my teeth into. Talk to you on Simpsons Sunday.

2015, The Summer Of Summer Severe Weather Disappointment

Hi folks. On this Weather Wednesday I’m going to talk about how much of a bust, this summer has been for severe weather outbreaks here in Southern Ontario. This is despite that we have had periods where we have gone above 30 degrees c for a few days.

The only real true outbreak that occurred in the summer months was on August 1, when there were quite a few thunderstorm clusters that went through Southern Ontario that day. Otherwise, it has been rather quiet and the end of summer severe weather blowout hasn’t happened yet. Well, that happens every year or so and there is no real guarantee that the weather will be active before the fall sets in and the weather begins to cool off.

The first real outbreak of severe weather in Southern Ontario happened on June 10th and I wrote a post about that earlier this year, from the Weatheradio point of view. The next one happened on June 23rd and it went through the evening of the 22nd and lasted until early in the morning of the 23rd. I posted an entry about that too and how it screwed up my schedule for that day. This one was also the first of the few real outbreaks that happened in the summer of 2015 and unfortunately it was also nocturnal.

Another reason for me to be disappointed on the lack of watches and warnings throughout Southern Ontario and in particular Toronto, is that I have downloaded and purchased more weather alert apps that I wanted, for the purpose of keeping myself abreast of the latest weather alerts happening in and around me, without having to rely solely on my Weather Radio to keep me up to date while out of the house.

As the weather gets cooler and eventually cold enough for snow, I’m sure that my apps will be making my phone make noise so I am aware of the latest severe weather on the way. I am looking forward to the next few months of changing weather but I am not looking forward to the cool down and freeze.

Well, that’s about it for today. I’ll talk to you soon.