2013-07-13

A Showing, a Movie, and a Loop


Saturday is generally a day for household chores, family events, or
just plain laziness. Meghan let me sleep in until nine or so, getting
up with Nora at 0730CDT, which covered my laziness for the day. After
that, it was a constant "Go" mode. We all needed to be out of the
house at 11:00 for a 11:15 showing. I took care of the kids and
straightening up the upstairs while Meghan took a short break - well
deserved - and took care of some last minute details.

We packed everyone, including our dog Peter, into the van and took a
short trip to McDonald's for breakfast, then sat in the van parked
half-a-block from the house to wait. Showings generally take 10-20
minutes, and Nora was having her nap postponed for the event. We
wanted to get back into the house and get her to bed as soon as the
visitors left.

When we did get back into the house, it was "quiet time" for Nora, so
I packed up the boys and we watched "Despicable Me 2". It was a
surprisingly good movie, and the boys enjoyed it thoroughly. For some
reason, I was exhausted after the movie and took a cat-nap on the
couch. It was short-lived, at best, and I soon needed to get up and
cook dinner. I made an old favorite, a tomato soup meat sauce and wide
egg noodles; simple but delicious. Nora enjoyed it, but was
over-exhausted and promptly brought upstairs for a nap.

After the boys were settled in and getting ready to go to bed, I threw
on my KSOs and ran an easy loop of Lake Como from my house
(approximately 7 miles in about an hour). I played around with some
FOSS software on my Android phone for the run: GPSLogger and
Pedometer, both available from the FDroid market app. GPSLogger has a
very simple controller display, with no visual map or charts to speak
of. I like it in that it seems to save battery over MyTracks and other
run logging applications. I still need to download and view the GPX
track, so it'll be interesting to find out how accurate it is and how
best to tune its settings for my use case.

Pedometer didn't work at all. Apparently the accelerometer is
unavailable when the screen is locked, and it doesn't appear to be
override-able. This brings up a beef I have with some of the Android
settings. There are applications we need running with resources we
need access to, even when the screen is shut off. Consider trying to
be as frugal with your battery as possible, where you don't need to
watch the screen to "use" an application. This simply needs to be
improved. There was a setting in the Pedometer application to keep the
screen awake, but I was already running at 30% battery when I
started; I needed it for the GPS.

In any case, it's high time that I do a proper backup of the data on
this phone; my next chore. Like my computer, it's a part of my
life. Without the data on it, I would be lost, or at least I would
suffer a major setback. Scary, huh?