News, updates, and happenings with the Kragnes family: Phil, our Seeing Eye Dogs, and (me) Rebecca.

Well, let’s get the less than exciting stuff out of the way first. Phil’s hand isn’t getting any better. This means he’s probably going to have a hand surgeon and/or a vascular surgeon work on getting more blood circulating back to it. The pain is still excruciating, and that was the recommendation upon seeing the doctor Tuesday morning. He goes in Friday to see if placing a graft in his thigh area is a possibility. They want to do it on the amputated leg to minimize any other complications. I sure am praying they can find a way to make that work. Phil is far happier dialyzing on a graft, and I know he feels better.

Last Friday he overslept, because he had to take a pain killer during the night. The meetings scheduled would have been at eight and nine. Considering I woke him after seven (when I realized it was late), he wouldn’t have made them. He wasn’t feeling his best so took the morning to sleep. By afternoon he was chipper and itching to go get those IPhone 5’s.

Learning how to work with mine is easier than I thought, but I’m taking it very slowly. Phil was so busy working with his on Friday night that I had to go through a bit of frustrating discovery. After having trouble getting a password into the phone (because I didn’t know it was only supposed to be four characters max), I decided to work on the fun stuff — sounds! I went through all the ringers and alert sounds, picked defaults for reminders, texts, and calls, and even assigned a few ringers and text tones to specific people. I don’t like it’s Twitter application, so I’m going to get something which suits my needs better.

Every once in a while when I am having fun with the phone I think, ” Even with the 2 year contract, this is still a lot of money for just having fun. My other phone was ok. Should I have done this?” Then I only have to remember my antiquated and highly inadequate calendar and reminder system. I love my note taker for his awesome Braille display, but it only reminds when turned on. There are no alarms, no recurring reminders or appointments, and no SIRI to keep my note taker the correct order in the calendar. I quickly learned my old phone wasn’t very reliable for setting up alarms. Certain parts of the calendar didn’t speak, and I had to count over the number of squares and then hope I did it right. Each dialysis call reminder had to be put in by hand, and I spent a few hours charting out the next three to six months of reminders to call for dialysis and malt shop rides. I spent a couple hours sometimes trying to figure out why the date was going to the bottom instead of being inserted in the appropriate place. I missed appointments and forgot important things, either because I didn’t turn on my note taker or because my phone alarm failed.

Saturday morning, Phil helped me learn how to organize my home screen into folders. It’s a challenge moving icons around putting things on top of each other to create folders, but voiceover makes it doable.

The IPhone in the malt shop is great! I simply have to press the unlock button to hear the current time between songs, and that’s less than what I did with the previous Phone. Using the comfortable and wonderful-sounding ear buds to talk, interact with Voiceover/SIRI, and stream music is a pleasure. Everything is so clear in those ear buds! I do admit I’ll feel a lot better once I have a case with a lanyard to go around my neck. I’ve heard way too many stories about IPhones being stolen on buses.

Typing is better than in the beginning, but if I can possibly dictate something, I will. Phil had to sign me up in the app store Sunday night, because I had to repeat typing stuff so many times (after repeatedly and inadvertently cancelling them) that the session timed out.

Today at the coffee shop, my friend Michael helped me learn how to find WIFI networks and helped me set up the one for Dunn Brothers where we meet. I downloaded Foursquare but have decided not to send tweets from it to my followers. Although I find it interesting where people go, sometimes it can be a bit much.

As the sighted among you were able to hear, I also obtained AudioBoo. My blind friends on Twitter seem to be able to access the audio boos, but something about the interaction with my blog is making it hard for my blind blog readers. I don’t know what the answer is, but I’ll keep my ears open. In the meantime, I am going to continue posting my boos to Twitter and my blog for those who can access them.

I haven’t merged my e-mail address book with the phone contacts, and I definitely have work to do merging a few cell and home phone numbers. But wow is it nice to be almost anywhere and able to read my mail! I’ve discovered I’m one of the few who reads earlier messages and then the new ones. Apparently everyone else reads the latest first. Experienced IPhone users don’t even know if it’s possible to set up the mail in that order.

I purchased my first app tonight, and although I have to purchase a money identifier app, a Twitter app, and a GPS app, I needed my first app to be nothing but fun. I tried to find a couple free apps Phil got on his phone last year for me to try, but no dice. The word Kaleidoscope in the APP store search field found what I wanted. I tried the lite (free) version, and although the colors were brilliant, they only took up half the screen. Seeing the glowing kaleidoscope on the whole screen was a lot easier. It was definitely worth the $2. There’s an auto mode and a manual mode. In manual, turning and shaking the phone changes the design on the screen. The name of the app for those into colors is Kooleido.
another fun thing has been seeing the reactions of IPhone enthusiasts when I tell them I have an IPhone. people have tweeted “Yay!”, One guy even welcomed me to the IClub. Phil smiles rarely, but every once in a while when he sees me doing well with it, I hear it. My therapist let out a whoop when she saw it. This is completely out of character for her! Blind and sighted are asking to touch it. It is lighter, longer, and thinner than earlier models, and the longing in their voices is palpable. People who don’t have them yet are just on pins and needles waiting, and I guess holding it gives them a bit of foretaste of what is to come.


Comments on: "vascular and electronic pathways." (1)

  1. LOVE apple products and voice over!
    welcome to the “i” world! hope you love and enjoy it as much as marcus & i do!

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