21 June 2018

No Baby Jails

If you're like me you've been deeply upset and shaken to the core by the news in the last week or so. I mean, the news has been bad for the last 18 months, but this was a new level of anxiety and terror and upset.

The Administration's "zero tolerance" policy for people coming to our border to be charged with a crime and jailed. Those traveling with children have the kids taken away and also jailed. There are CHILDREN IN CAGES who were put there by the U.S. government.

I've scrolled Twitter reading in horror and even seen a few posts on Facebook (my FB feed trends neutral since most people I know IRL are conservative to right wing and I've blocked most of their propaganda posts). I've had agitated conversations with my husband (just the awfulness/not that we disagree).

I know people in my life applaud the "zero tolerance" policy and separating families, and I honestly don't know how to reconcile that. It's been bad enough being family with people who celebrate white supremacy, bigotry, racism, sexism and hatred. Child abuse wasn't something I was expecting. How can you convince someone that other people matter?!?!?!

I do plan to gather the girls and take them with me to a protest next Saturday. I'm not sure how to explain this to Jane or what's really appropriate, but I also know we need to stand up for what's right. And this policy, even this backpedaling that's happened, just is not right. Families belong together (and NOT in jail for seeking asylum)!

Here are some of the tweets I've liked or retweeted over the past couple days:








And this one, which is so true in my experience as a full-time caregiver I can feel it in my teeth:
And basically this:

14 June 2018

Goodbye Fitness Tracking?

I really like my FitBit. I never connected with anyone on the app (I wasn't sure if other people could see my sleep patterns or weight inputs, etc.), but I thought it was fun to have the data and compare to myself, trying to motivate more movement.

I got the FitBit Flex as a gift from my mom in December 2015, just before Livia was born. It was exactly what I wanted and I loved it. I even wore it while in labor, to track my steps ... but it died. It OFTEN died, and there was never any warning or battery level indicator unless I connected to the app, which I didn't regularly do. So that was a negative, but I if charged it a couple times a week, it was enough so that it was usually working.

But the charger was not great. I complained on Twitter and got a replacement, but it wasn't any better. The design is just terrible. The actual FitBit doesn't fit snugly into the charger -- there's a tiny gap that prevents it from making contact with the charger without pressure. So I could push it in, hold it and it would start flashing that it was charging. But when I'd remove my hand it would lose the connection and stop. I would tap it in the charger and eventually get it to start charging, but it was always a several minute annoying routine.

I went through three of the plastic/rubber holder bracelets, and it was fun to order new ones. You can get knock off ones that work just as well as the more expensive FitBit branded ones. The connection for the bands is kind of weird -- a small metal piece that connects the two ends but is actually separate. So if it falls out (and sometimes it did) the band just comes off. I always noticed when that happened, and it didn't happen often, but just a weird design flaw.

I could connect to a FitBit app on my computer with the USB dongle. I liked that a lot, since I don't have the best phone (low memory and old/slow), although a phone connection was possible. I had to have WiFi for it to show me the steps even if it was connected via Bluetooth.

One of the deal blogs I read posted about a fitness tracker available on Amazon, this Wesoo Fitness Tracker. There was a coupon code so the tracker was only $20. (I know my refurbished Flex was more than that!) On paper it checked off a lot of boxes: the charging was direct USB -- just take the tracker off the band and plug it in, it showed the time (so I wouldn't also need to wear a separate watch) and had a battery indicator on the face of the watch, so I knew when to charge it. And its charging time was quick. The watch band works just like a normal watch, with the pin in the holes, so less likely to fall off.

The watch face was a great feature. It would come on MOST times that I moved my wrist in a "look at the time" motion. But I could not view it when in full sun, which happens more than I thought, since I have play group, field day and playgrounds, etc. So that was a drag.

The step count on the Wesoo was much higher than the FitBit. I'm not sure which was actually accurate. I know the FitBit will track "steps" when I crochet or rock, but it won't do steps when I'm pushing a cart or stroller (often), so I thought the Wesoo *might* be more accurate by counting the stroller steps, but some mornings the Wesoo would have steps counted before I got out of bed. (Up to 100!)

Another negative was that I couldn't connect it to my computer. The app on my phone worked OK, but as soon as I installed it my phone wouldn't connect to my car anymore to play music. I uninstalled and still couldn't make it work. It wasn't until I uninstalled the fitness app and re-installed an Android Auto app that I got the phone and car talking again. But that was the end of my use of the fitness tracker, since there's not a way to view my steps or data over time.

Maybe I will try again when I get a new phone, or maybe this is really goodbye to fitness tracking. I really need to get back in a gym routine with weights and cardio...