Friday, May 25, 2012

Android Programming

Today, everything came together, just the way I wanted it to!

I took the day off work so we could leave early for camping this weekend, but Dave found a temporary job and had to work today, and we really didn't have the money to spend on a trip, so we cancelled the camping trip - but I didn't cancel MY vacation day! Instead I got up early, intent on working towards my latest goal - learning to write android apps.

I have been wanting to do this for some time, but at first we didn't have ANY Android devices. At Christmas time we got Dave a nice Android phone, which actually saved us money because he can use it to charge credit cards for the toy business using Square, and was able to close our Merchant Account with the bank (which cost us money if we used it or not!) At the same time I got my Kindle Fire, which has made life so much more bearable with the long bus rides to work, plus I use it all day to listen to podcasts while I'm working, and drown out the noise of the people in the cubicles around me. So we actually have two Android devices I can work with now.

My first thought this morning was, it would be really handy to have a second monitor - one to program on, and one to have documentation open on and look stuff up. I'm spoiled by having two monitors at work! I told Dave it sure would be nice to add a small flatscreen to my system, and he said 'why don't you use the extra monitor?' - EXTRA MONITOR?!! I had completely forgotten we had an extra left over from when we closed the store! I whipped up a way to mount it on my desk next to my laptop, plugged it in, and it worked like a charm! The laptop was made to have a second monitor - no problem!

I couldn't have had it work any better! So while Dave was away working, I was playing with my Kindle. Here it is, my laptop and the bigger second monitor, and on the left, my Kindle, hooked up to the laptop and running a program I WROTE! What a kick in the pants! :) I used to love programming, but there's nothing like doing something for a living to take all the joy out of it. I could see this being fun again!


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Another day downtown


Downtown Portland, Oregon. Friday I decided to bring my camera to work (I don’t bring it often because I worry about it getting stolen) and take a few pictures during my morning walk at break time, and then after work on my way to the bus stop.

Thursday I DIDN’T take my camera, and when I went for my morning walk I was walking up the ramp of the Morrison bridge, when I realized the cars were all backed up. So I hurried up the ramp and the bridge was OPEN! Seeing a bridge open is the most amazing thing – the roadway went straight up into the sky, about four stories tall! Seeing it in person, on foot, was really amazing. It’s so different from seeing it from inside a car. In fact a lot of drivers had parked their cars and got out and walked up to the front to watch. By the time I got up there it was already slowly coming down, and people were returning to their cars. What an awesome thing to see!

So on Friday I was hoping I’d get lucky and see the bridge open again, but no such luck. However, they were preparing for The Rose Festival at Waterfront Park by installing some rides, including a ferris wheel, right next to the bridge.




It’s pretty unusual to have that sort of vantage point to view a ferris wheel!



Looking towards downtown (well, it’s all downtown, but that’s where the tallest buildings are). See the building right in the middle, it’s short, and beige colored? That’s the Portland Building. We’ll get back to that shortly.


This is a view of Old Town at the foot of the Morrison bridge. I work in the Postal Building, which is the one with all the blue billboards on it, with the red Dekum building rising up behind it.



Got this shot of someone running along Waterfront Park, I love the shadow, but I wish that thing on the sidewalk hadn’t got in the shot. I don’t know what they call it, it’s one of those things they tie ships to when they dock at the waterfront. It’s almost Rose Festival time, and soon the Navy ships will be coming to town and docking here. That should be interesting. Anyway, I ran this through Picasa to give it a bit more interest with fading at the edge and a bit of grain.



A gentleman stops to catch up on his phone in front of The Quest



And now we’re approaching that funny looking Portland Building I mentioned earlier.



Home of ‘Portlandia’ (the statue, not the TV show)


I was mighty impressed with Portlandia when they installed her in 1985 (I was in high school) and I’ve always thought the gaudy building was pretty cool too.


She’s beautiful! And Big! Did I mention she was BIG?



In fact she is the second biggest copper statue of her kind, the biggest being the Statue of Liberty! She’s kneeling down to reach out to us below, but if she stood up she’d be fifty feet tall!

Continuing towards the bus stop…


Not a statue. Just a dude painted silver. Mr Statue, according to the web. Give him a buck and he’ll juggle. I hung around a little bit hoping to see someone interact with him, but people were doing a really good job of avoiding him. maybe next time I’m down there with my camera I’ll give him a buck.



Not sure of the name of this one, I think it’s Reflections. The human figure creeps me out a bit…


But the dog with his ear up is adorable. I think the paint is coming off his ear from so many people giving him a pat on the head. Who can resist?



Quite an entrance on this building!



Just look at those lamps! We just don’t put that kind of detail and workmanship into stuff anymore.



Well, that was my little tour of downtown. I’ll take my camera again soon and see what else I can find.