Monday, February 6, 2017

Continued Experience with Android OS

So after three months of using my Motorola X Pure Edition, I fell in love with the not so bloated version of Android Marshmallow (6.0.1).  But the sad news was I had to end up returning the Motorola X Pure Edition due to security issues with Lenovo and they now own Motorola's mobile side of the house.

With that said I was surprised BestBuy took back the phone with no issues.  So I was left looking for a new smartphone and I wanted another Android platform.  So after some intense research I found the ZTE AXON 7.  This phone comes with the Snapdragon 820 CPU and the Adreno 530 GPU.  It also supports dual sim and a MicroSD card up to 128GB.  Although it has two sim trays it does not support CDMA networks currently.  It does have the radio chipset to do so but it is not enabled.

So first impressions after a few weeks with this phone now is that it is amazing.  You get all this value for $400 unlocked by the way.  Just an incredible value for a smartphone.

I already have Android Nougat (7.0) installed and it runs like a champ and yes it supports DayDream which I will discuss further in another blog.

This is an incredible smartphone and Android experience......

Sunday, November 20, 2016

After 5 Months of Heavy Usage with Android

Some of you might know I have been heavily using Android OS for the past 5 months now on an Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.  I loved the hardware but couldn't stand all the bloatware on the phone.  Most of the bloatware was from Samsung and it was difficult to defeat. 

So after 5 months of pain and frustration I made but yet another change, I will say it wasn't all negative.  I did however come to the conclusion in order for me to give Android OS a fair shake, I needed to try a more pure Google Android phone.  Well we all know there is the Google Nexus and now the Google Pixel phones out there, but with us trying to be debt free, who has $500 - $900 laying around.

So after doing some research I found the Motorola Moto X Pure Edition.  All I can say is that for $250 it is a great phone.  By the way that is $250 new from like BestBuy unlocked and is compatible with CDMA and GSM networks.  I was fortunate the Samsung S7 had great resale value so thanks to eBay I will make most of my investment back.

So only time will tell how great this phone is and my experience with Android OS.  I will say thus far, even with a slower CPU and 1GB less memory it is much more responsive than my S7 even after a fresh factory reset. 

Google is here to stay as part of my technology arsenal for now.  It is great to see awesome technology be affordable again.  Maybe it was always there and I was just not looking for it.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Samsung Apps for Android (WHY?)

So here is my verdict on Android after using it for personal use now for a few weeks.  If you use the native Google Apps, which there are many of on the Play Store; my experience has been the best on a smartphone next to iOS.  If you use any of the Samsung Apps, it is horrible....

Samsung has built proprietary apps and even have there own app store for there phones.  There apps are only designed to run on Android OS so why have your own store?  Well I will tell you why Samsung is attempting to pull an Apple.  Get you to love there apps which are only tied and usable on there phones.

Here is the deal why would I buy a Google Android OS phone and load Samsung Apps on it, that can't even touch the Google experience.

We are talking about from the keyboard, the launcher, the widgets, the texting app, the photos app, the health app, the music app, the web browser, etc... etc...

Google developed apps run much smoother on Android OS and that is the way it is intended to be.  I love Samsung's hardware especially this S7 Edge but the OS and Apps go to Google, hands down.  (Ravi)

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Patience is not my Virtue

Just when I think that I've been patient enough another roadblock appears and patience is once again required.  Two months ago Ravi and I went to the appointment that I was dreading most, hand-in-hand, ready for good news or bad news, that would finally bring us some closure. However, the worst happened and we received the bad news that even despite all the hormones and Meds I had received during my IVF cycle my biopsy once again came back abnormal just like during my IUI cycle. I hated crying in the doctor's office, but in that moment my hopes had not just been dashed but obliterated.  Yet somehow in my deepest despair I long to find that closure that we had done all we could medically and we needed to move on, but the emptiness in my chest told me closure would not be coming today.  Just at that moment my diligent and sympathetic doctor  gave us one last hope, through a very experimental treatment of my adenomyosis.  I would need to start myself on birth control and then into weeks receive my first of three Lupron shots to stop my cycles and let my uterus hopefully repair itself or, in other words, get a reboot. Ravi and I left the doctors that day with the thinnest crack of hopeful light piercing the dark black clouds of bad news.  After praying and discussing this new option we came to the conclusion that we should try this last treatment to find the closure we would need if IVF is in fact not an option.

 Just a week ago I received my second shot and all I have received so far have been horrible, intense hot flashes and a cycle that has gone on over three weeks.  After multiple phone calls to my doctor and seeing them face-to-face on this last Lupron shot visit I have been counseled time in again to let things take their course and "be patient". Apparently these medical practitioners do not understand that patience is that the NOT my virtue.  With all of the physical side effects, this last treatment has been the biggest roller coaster thus far.  With my hormones off the charts, I have had multiple small breakdowns where I just wanted to throw in the towel and give up .  However, I know to my very core that fear is the opposite of faith. Every time I begin to doubt I remind myself that although infertility has robbed me of time, sanity, money, and control it will not steal my faith. So as miserable, sad, overwhelmed, and powerless I may feel I still cling to my faith that we will get a miracle and that miracle will be our baby!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Imaginary Finish Line

We've all been there...running a race or counting down the minutes on the clock until we leave school or work...feeling like time is standing still when all we want to do is be finished. We want that closure, that ending, so that we can feel completed and move onto other races or activities. This is where I have been for the last five years.  I have endured two different surgeries, four failed IUI procedures, and most recently received the crushing news that I am no longer a candidate for IUI, with the cherry on top that I may not be a candidate for IVF either. Now, I am finally on my last lap of the race, the last hour of the work day, and I feel weakened and tired. All that stands behind me and the finish line is one last test, one last hurdle to jump. 

In the meantime I suffer, I feel sometimes like I can't go on or fight the good fight anymore. The only thing spurring me on is my amazing race partner and my little co-worker. They give me strength and love when my heart feels so fractured. Our whole lives, from the youngest age of verbal communication we resent the word "NO". We pitch tantrums as toddlers, stomp our feet as children, and fall into a pit of teenage angst and despair as teenagers at the mere mention of the word. However, as an adult the word carries just as much weight and punishment. How should you respond as you see every other friend around you keep having baby after baby without ever hearing that horrible two-letter word? Will it ever get easier to see the plethora of baby pictures posted on social media as you heart yearns for that time again? Will you sweet, little miracle child's prayerful cries for a sibling ever stop stinging like lemon juice on a fresh paper small and uneventful to the untrained fertile eye though deep and painful like a sword plunged into the heart? 

Each day is a struggle and each minute a plea for understanding, peace, and a grateful heart for all that I have in my life. However, I'm staggering toward the finish line nonetheless hoping beyond hope to finish the race on my feet. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Trail

You're hiking up a beautiful mountain with picturesque views!  You have enough water and supplies, feeling as if you could hike for days.  You take a gorgeous shot that you never thought you'd have the opportunity to get in a lifetime, but still your heart yearns for just one more magnificent photo.  You know you have enough energy to accomplish this goal and are excited to race to the very top... when the ground underneath you begins to crumble and you realize that another shot may no longer be an option.

Your first feelings are ones of anger and resentment as others come bounding down the mountain, some with more than one awesome picture snapped and not a bead of sweat or sign of tiredness. It's then that you look down at your shaky, scratched up legs and begin to feel shame, embarrassment, and weakness that you may be the reason for your unsuccessful attempt at this shop.  Maybe they are stronger, more skilled or more deserving.  Finally, overcome with sadness, fatigue, and depression you just sit down on the side of the trail unable to move forward, yet unwilling to go back.

However, it's at this exact moment of bitterness and disparity that you hear the sweet sound of birds in the trees.  You can now smell the soft scent of flowers and trees floating around you, almost unnoticed, and can feel the gentle breeze bringing you cooling peace and comfort you hadn't anticipated you'd find.

This is where I now find myself, on my hike up the mountain of motherhood.  I have already been blessed with one gorgeous shot, for which I am more grateful than I can say, but my heart still longs for just one more.  Sometimes it feels just beyond my reach, right around the next bend of my path.  However, after yet another failed procedure this weekend my ground has crumbled beneath my once strong feet and now here I sit on this never-ending trail!  I have scrapes, bruises, and muscles so sore I often wonder if I can stand, much less walk.  I have felt anger, shame, and sadness, but for now I am at a rest... surviving solely on the Living Waters of my Savior and his peace.

I do not know how my journey will end and I hate hearing the minutes tick by, as I sit on this trail of trial and tears, but here I sit... waiting with my eyes searching for my Shepherd to lead me on!

Friday, July 18, 2014

In My Pretty Garden

So, the same woman who couldn't keep a plant alive to save her life is now a gardener!  It all started with a Relief Society activity that I wasn't even sure I would even attend.  Lots had been going on and I almost didn't go.  However, the sweet spirit that I felt was just what my tired heart needed and the bonus was getting to try my hand at planting and growing.  I took my cute little tub and proceeded to plant basil, chives, and cilantro.  I carefully planted each seed, probably asking a million questions as I did, and covered them with care.  I knew there was a good chance that I would be sending these little seeds to their death soon, but decided to be hopeful nonetheless.

I carefully watered my little herb garden daily, even usually an old medicine dropper that I used on Chandani as a baby.  Watering my little garden became a daily ritual and I began to just do it without thinking.  Then one day I saw my first spouts and my heart was filled with pride over my accomplishment.  It might sound silly, but I had never seen anything grow from a seed, and at a might hand, so I was beyond elated at this little miracle I had performed.

I continued to water it daily and watch it bloom and grow with beaming pride.  Then, Chandani proceeded to bring home two little corn plants that they had grown in school.  She loved to help water my little garden and was ecstatic to add her little plants to the mix.  Before long her corn plants had outgrown their small little plastic cup and it was time to try moving part of our little garden outside,  this thought was scary!  I knew how carefully I had cared for these little plants in the safety of my kitchen window, but now I would be introducing our little corn plants to the heat, bugs, and other outside extremities.  However, I knew I would continue to love and care for it all the more so we made the leap and planted it outside with fingers crossed.

Skip ahead a month or two and we now have our beloved corn plants (which are almost as tall as Chandani), a tangerine tree, pineapple sage, two types of thyme, red and yellow bell peppers, our little herb garden still thriving, and two different types of hot peppers all growing and flourishing... not to mention a beautiful bush that I cloned from a cutting that my mother-in-law also gave along with a few of those other plants we're growing.  I  have developed such a love and tending to my little helpless plants and giving them what they need, as I water them and fertilize them regularly.

However, gardening has become more than a cherished past-time for me in the past few weeks.  It has become a sort of therapeutic metaphor for my life right now.   I recently went to our beloved fertility doctors to prepare to try again, only to come away with a new, crippling diagnosis of Adenomyosis.  Basically stated it is similar to Endometriosis and might causing my own "soil" to not be conducive for "growing" anymore :-(  The thought caused me so much pain that I truly didn't think I could handle this news, but the master gardener had prepared me for this blow without my even knowing it.  He had given me an abundance of the spirit in the weeks and days leading up to that appointment.  The Savior had touched my heart just seconds before the doctor walked in, as I bowed my head and began praying a prayer that I had not planned to pray.  He knew that he could not take a way the pain and sadness I would feel upon learning this terrible news, but he made sure to stand ready to comfort me when that time came.

Now, as I tend to my little fledging plants, I have a new perspective, with open eyes and an open heart.  I cannot protect them from the burning sun, the ripping winds, or the birds and insects that pick and tear as their leaves.  However, I can stand ever ready with my watering can to comfort them with life-giving water that can refresh and revive.  I do not know what lies in store for me or if my most earnest prayer will be answered or not, for I have not been granted such personal revelation, but what I do know is that my Savior is aware of me.  So I will continue on and be as hopeful as I was that first night that I planted my first seeds and try to be a patient gardener with my trust firmly planted in the Master Gardener!