Hate or Fear the Dentist?

Electrical Currents Could Heal Cavities, No Drill Needed -Plus, they’re way more effective than traditional fillings.

Putting the recent clown scare aside, dentists may have the most feared profession out there. Not only do they stick their latex-y hands in your mouth while asking you complex questions; they also literally drill into your teeth on the regular. And while we can’t promise they’ll ever stop asking hard-to-answer questions, a new technology for healing cavities may soon make the drill obsolete.

The World Health Organization notes that nearly 100% of adults have dental cavities as a result of tooth decay. To some degree, your teeth naturally repair themselves through a remineralization process that rebuilds the barrier protecting teeth from bacteria. Your dentist’s drilling clears out the damaged area affected by bacteria buildup that’s broken down the tooth’s structure.

However, researchers at King’s College in London have been working on a process that uses low-frequency electrical currents to promote the self-healing process of damaged teeth.

This new technology, called “electrically accelerated and enhanced remineralization” aims to aid the process when the damage can’t be repaired naturally.

A simulated image of a cavity (in red) shrinking during the new remineralization process. | King’s College London

The British researchers say that dentists would hold a small device over the affected tooth that would emit electrical pulses, unnoticeable to the patient, that push minerals back into the tooth. The treatment is expected to take about the same amount of time as a traditional filling would, with similar costs. The no-drill treatment could be available in your dentist’s office in just three years.

The process should also be significantly more effective than traditional fillings, which eventually need to be replaced. The electrical pulses would heal the tooth itself, and do so quicker and more effectively than any other forms of remineralization.

Without a drill in hand, dentists may soon be a lot less scary, though I’m sure the clowns would be happy to step up their game.  Thanks to Erin Klabunde.


Personally I have no issue with the dentist, but I know a lot of people who don’t go because they are scared to death for one reason or another.  If this technology pans out, the only obstacle I could see is the inevitable refusal of insurance companies to cover the expense because that is what insurance companies see to really enjoy doing.  HMMM

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Build an Elliptical Desktop in 30 Minutes

xcx_1050I moved my elliptical machine into my guest room/office this week to make room for the new rowing machine I just “had to have” but had no room for in the workout portion of the garage.  I had the space available and, after adding some component shelves to the walls beneath and beside the “extra” TV I gained this week when my husband insisted the spare bedroom needed a 40″ high def TV, (Don’t get me started, at least it was a daily deal on Amazon) it might spur me to get off my ever expanding backside more during the day.

The only rub was that I have always disliked the magazine/iPad tray on this Nordictrack CX 1050 Elliptical that caused heat to build up on the touch screen beneath.  So, lightbulb! I’d get a desk to stretch between the stationary arms so I could use my new favorite tech toy: Logitech k480 3 device Bluetooth wireless keyboard to use my laptop via the nifty screen mirroring app that came on the Sony DVD player that I attached to the old TV so, when I wasn’t striding and working on my blogs, I’d be able to watch videos & Netflix, etc. while spending hours on the elliptical.  Let’s not all fall out of our chairs at the same time laughing hysterically.  Hmmm

ellipticaldeskOf course, the desktop I ordered came nowhere close to working.  Undeterred, I gathered up scrap wood from some of my other “projects of desperation,” as I call the things I build when I can’t find what I need to suit my purpose, and set about making a desk that would work for me.  The best news for anyone who doesn’t have power tools, or isn’t comfortable using them, is you can go to Home Depot (or Lowe’s) and they’ll cut your wood for free and the whole thing can be assembled with wood glue if you don’t want to use screws.

Parts:

  • 1 Piece 24″ x 12″ wood sanded  (I glued & clamped 2 scrap pieces together)
  • 1 Piece 1″ x 2″ x 26″ wood sanded
  • 1 Piece 1″ x 2″ x 30″ wood sanded
  • 1 Piece 1″ x 8″ x 24″ wood sanded
  • 1 Piece 1″ x 2″ x 12″ wood sanded
  • Wood Glue
  • Clamps

Assembly Instructions:

  1. Lay the piece of 1″ x 2″ x 30″ wood (on it’s 2″ wide side) on your work surface.  Measure 15″ across and mark the enter point of your wood.  This is the cross member that will lie underneath the desk across the widest part of the stationary side arms of your machine.  The portion of the arms that are furthest away from the computer / screen of the machine.
  2. Measure 6″ away and lay down your 1″ x 2″ x 26″ piece of wood (sitting up tall on it’s 1″ skinny side) to begin to form the slope for a better viewing and working angle – this is where you will see the piece of leftover closet rod I used.  Measure 13″ across and mark the center point of your wood.  This piece is the piece of wood that will be sandwiched between the two pieces of wood that create the angle of the desk that will be closest to the front of your elliptical machine’s moving handles.  My machine handles move in a very compact movement, so these measurements work for my model (shown above).  You may need to adjust the measurements at this point to make sure that your arms have enough room to move once the desktop is glued down in step 4.
  3. Apply a line of wood glue to both of these pieces of wood on the portions facing up toward the ceiling.  I use Gorilla Wood Glue.  It dries in about 30 minutes and holds tight.
  4. Mark the center point of the piece of 24″ x 12″ wood at the top and bottom and connect the points with a solid line on the side that will be underneath (facing the floor and glued to the cross members).  Mark a point down from the top at 7″ at both ends and in the middle and draw a line connecting the marks and crossing the middle line.
  5. Lay the piece of 24″ x 12″ wood with the line side facing you, then lay the top cross member (1″ x 2″ x 26″) glue side down, matching the center point you marked at 13″ with the center line on the desktop underside, and make sure the cross member is in perfect alignment with the edge along the top.  Clamp the cross member to the top firmly.
  6. Match the center mark on the 30″cross member with the intersection point on the lines you drew on the underside of the top, line the top edge of the cross member up with the line all the way across, then firmly press the glued side down, clamping at the ends. There will be an excess 6″ that is not attached to anything beyond the 30″ cross member.
  7. With the bottom of the desktop still facing up, make sure that you can see the center point marking at 13″ then mark a point 2″ in from each end of the top cross member.
  8. On the bottom cross member make sure the center point is clearly marked at 15″ then mark a point 3″ in from each end.
  9. Remove the clamps and run a line of glue across both cross members between the marks you made.  Do not run the glue all the way to the ends.
  10. Take the piece of 1″ x 8″ x 24″ wood and mark the top and bottom edges at 12″ (the midpoint width-wise).  Line up with the center points you marked on the cross members and press the 1″ x 8″ x 24″ firmly in place.  Open the clamps up a bit and re-clamp the sandwiched cross members in place.  Allow the glue to dry for 30 minutes.
  11. Turn the desk over and allow the clamped ends to overhang your work surface (I put it in place on the elliptical so I could finish the last step while it dried).elldesk1
  12. Make sure you can clearly see the marked center point at the bottom of the desktop.  Take the remaining piece of 1″ x 2″ x 12″ wood, mark the center point at 6″ about 3/8″ up from the bottom of the wood when stood up on it’s end.
  13. Run a line of glue along the edge of the desktop facing you 6″ out each way from the center point.  Spread it with your finger so it won’t drip while you are placing the 1″ x 2″ x 12″ with the edges aligned at the bottom so that the 1″ x 2″ stands above as a lip or edge that guards against your keyboard, iPad, Book or Magazine slipping off while you are striding.  You can secure it with a expandable clamp, or strap clamp meant to stretch for this purpose, or do like I did and, using 1 1/2″ trim screws and my power screwdriver, sink a couple of screws in from the front and fill with wood filler to hide the holes.

TIPS: 

  • I used 2 1/2″ wood screws driven up from the bottom through the closet rod because the round surface against the two flats didn’t adhere as well with the glue.
  • I used 1 1/4″ trim screws from underneath to secure the 30″ cross member to the desktop so that everything was extra secure.

Yours will be more “finished” looking than mine because I was utilizing scraps and you’ll be cutting to exact measurements with new pretty wood.

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Rare Treat: paid iPhone apps for FREE

I’m always on the lookout for technology I can run from my iPhone or iPad that will make my life easier, safer or more fun.  The apps listed below will help me free up space on my devices, help me find my way to safety if I’m lost without a signal or in an area unmapped by traditional navigation apps, capture an entire website in one screen shot, and will help me get back into 5K form in just 7 weeks.  The bonus is that, for a limited time, the apps are Free!  Hmmm

Free Up Space Normally $4.99   It recovers wasted space on your iOS device by:

  1. Finding duplicate photos: If you take a lot of photos/selfies you should use this feature often. This helps you find duplicate photos of all levels ranging from least similar to exact duplicates.
  2. Resizing Photos: You can save a lot of space by resizing large photos. Quality is maintained while reducing the size.
  3. Compress Photos & Videos: You can save storage space by compressing large photos & videos. Once you’ve compressed them, you can easily share them with your friends via attachments, messaging apps etc.

SwiPartyNormally $1.99

  1. Easy-to-use music map.  Swipe to stream your personal party playlist!
  2. SwiWorkout classifies and recommends workout music for you.
    Fast tempo on the right, slow ones on the left; New on top, old on bottom.
    SwiWorkout gives you a playlist immediately!
    You can suggest/add workout music you love by contacting Swibeat directly: http://www.swibeat.com/Contact.p

Run 5K ProNormally $1.99   Train to run a 5K in 7 Weeks!

EASY TRAINING PLAN

  • 30 minutes a day, 3 times a week – and you’ll be able to run 5K in 7 weeks;
  • Effective training plan from professional coaches;
  • Use outdoors and on a treadmill;
  • Audio cues during all workouts to keep you focused;
  • GPS maps saved for each training session;
  • Apple Watch support.

NEVER GET BORED

  • Gradual increase of workout intensity for best result;
  • Inspirational quotes keep you motivated while running;
  • Motivational tips on running with each training session;
  • Listening and managing your favorite music from the app;
  • Sharing results with Facebook & Twitter friends.

MUSIC TIMED TO YOUR WORKOUT

  • Unlimited access to the best running music right from the app;
  • Music tempo adjusts to your workout rhythm – music plays faster as you run faster;
  • New mixes from talented DJs are available every day;
  • All genres – from Classical and Oldies to Rock, Hip-hop and R&B;
  • Convenient search and suggestions to find perfect mixes.

TRACK YOUR PROGRESS

  • Calorie counting;
  • Detailed statistics: pace, distance, time and other parameters;
  • Synchronization of your stats & logs with an upgrade from the free version;
  • Synchronization with Apple Health app;
  • Integration with Runkeeper, Fitbit, MapMyRun.

WebpageShotNormally $4.99   

  • A simple tool to convert a webpage into an image.
  • It captures the whole web page not just what you see on the screen.
  • It also provides a screenshot extension for Safari on iOS 8.

iarrowiArrowNormally $1.99   iArrow provides navigation where there are no roads. The app will lead you back to your car, campsite or hotel and help you reach the nearest settlement if you get lost. This app features a built-in database of 2,000,000 localities around the world and does not require internet or cellular connection.

Unlike navigation systems that show a blank map, iArrow instantly launches and very clearly indicates the direction and distance to the destination. The app consumes little energy and saves battery power.

Great for travelers, fishermen, hunters, extreme or off track athletes and anyone who works in remote locations. You can save the coordinates of key points along your route to your clipboard to share via SMS, Email, Twitter, Airdrop, etc..

APP FEATURES

  • User Guide
  • You do not need an Internet connection *
  • 2,000,000 settlements in the database
  • Built-in online map
  • Ability to search for objects by address
  • Automatic detection of the address of the current position
  • Indication of GPS accuracy
  • Determination of direction using magnetic compass
  • Determination of direction using GPS coordinates
  • Radar mode that displays Favorites, History and settlements
  • Displays full information about position, speed, altitude, etc.
  • Lock screen
  • Settings
  • Metric and Imperial Units
  • Low energy usage
  • Support for iOS8 and iPhone 5/5s/6/6+

WORKING WITH COORDINATES

  • Support for the latitude/longitude, UTM and MGRS coordinate formats
  • Support latitude and longitude as decimal degrees, degrees/minutes/seconds etc.
  • Easy input of coordinates – special keyboards for each format
  • Setting destination using azimuth and distance
  • Convert GPS coordinates between degrees formats, UTM and MGRS on the fly
  • Viewing coordinates on an online map
  • Sending and receiving coordinates via SMS
  • Import and export coordinates via SMS, Email, and Airdrop
  • Import and export list of coordinates
  • Import and export links to Google, Apple, Yandex, and OSM maps
  • Import coordinates from the clipboard
  • Automatic determination of format of imported coordinates
  • Easily add, delete, or edit coordinates
  • Automatically save the coordinates in History
  • Search in Favorites and History
  • Sorting Favorites/History by new and nearest points
  • List of nearby settlements

I am not anxious to need the iArrow app, but I am going to load it in the off chance I ever get lost and need to find my way out of the wilderness. You can find all of these in your App Store.

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Product Review: Ped Egg Powerball

pedicureI spend $75 every two weeks getting a gel fill on my fingers and a “Spa” pedicure.  Somehow, despite that unreasonably high charge, the calluses on my feet never seem to get dealt with (even when I pay the extra for “callus removal”) nor do they become any softer.  It’s frustrating to say the least.

pedegg-powerball-pivoting-callus-remover-set-d-20151204094858647~455041_100Yesterday, while sneaking off to Rite Aid to get a scoop of Thrifty Ice Cream, I walked the aisles to kill some time and ended up in front of the “As seen on TV” display.  I saw the usual unexciting things and then did a double take when I saw a product that I hadn’t seen before:  Ped Egg Powerball.  With a swiveling head and ability to be recharged (instead of running on expensive batteries), it looked interesting enough that I spent the $19.99 and left with one to give it a try.

The box instructions left a bit to be desired, so I headed to the internet to see if there was anything I needed to know, like, could I use it in the bath tub?

The first thing I noticed about the website was that I seemed to have gotten a good price.  The website advertised it at $29.99.  I didn’t get the 3 replacement rollers or the fancy organza carrying bag though, so the $10 was likely a wash.  The website also promised me:

  • Beautiful younger looking, baby smooth feet
  • Easily buffed away calluses, dead skin, or dry and rough skin in seconds
  • A painless, blade free experience
  • Can be used on “Men’s callused hands” as well

What http://www.asseenontv.com did not give me was the ability to buy the add-ons, any instructions or warnings.  Hmmm

I did a google search and found other sites selling the Ped Egg Powerball, but found the same lack of additional information and also some alarmingly low ratings – averaging 1 star.

According to Sue K, who bought it 2 months ago at Bed, Bath & Beyond, (who at least will take it back no questions asked)  it doesn’t work, stops running at the least application of pressure, and she could do a better job with a loofa.  UG!

Finally I came across the official website, but again, not a lot of useful information.

  • There was an accessories section, but no ability to buy replacement rollers
  • The F.A.Q. section only answered shipping/ordering questions
  • The Testimonials section had zero reviews…

Since I had struck out in my search for warnings and instructions, I forged ahead and just assumed that I can’t use it in water and that, after reading Consumer Reports and other reviewers, I should expect it to be slower/less powerful than advertised.

45 Minutes later and I’m not impressed.  First I stood at the counter with my left foot, which has a thicker callus on the heel and big toe than my right, and tried the Ped Egg Powerball (with a full charge) dry.

  • If I pushed with any pressure at all the roll came to a stop
  • To the promises of:  Easily Buffed Away Dry Skin, Dead Skin & Calluses in Seconds – NOPE nothing fast or easy about the process;  Painless Experience – Yes, it barely registered as more than a tickle;

Because I seemed to be getting nowhere fast, and I had a hot bath with dead sea salts waiting for me, I decided to have a good long soak and attack it again after my skin was softened up.  I soaked for 30 minutes, shaved with coconut oil (which also then ended up in my bath, then dried off and immediately gave the Ped Egg Powerball another shot.  I still ran into the same pressure issue, but it seemed to do a much better job after the hot bath, salts and oil to soften the work areas up.  I did notice that the roller seemed to gum up pretty quickly and that makes me feel like they would need to be replaced fairly often with regular use…HMMM

Final opinion:  It’s not the worst $19.99 I’ve ever spent, but I have a hard time spending an additional $15.99 plus shipping every time I need new rollers.  The only way I’ll be using it in the future is if I remember to charge it while I am taking a bath and feel like spending an extra 15 minutes doing what would take me 5 minutes in the tub with a pumice stone. It eventually does what it promises if you take the additional steps and time to help it work a little less hard, so I’d give the Ped Egg Powerball only 2 stars out of 5 for performance and only 1 out of 5 for a good value – considering the lack of replacement rollers included and the cost (+ difficulty) to acquire more.

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An Extra Hour of Sleep (or Bar Time)

fallback1Before you go to bed on Saturday night, “fall back.”  Set your clocks backward one hour.   If you live in Arizona, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, or American Samoa, who do not participate in Daylight Saving Time, this doesn’t apply to you.

Benjamin Franklin, first jokingly suggested the idea that Parisians could, “economize candle usage by getting people out of bed earlier in the morning, making use of the natural morning light instead,” in a 1784 essay called “An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light” to the editor of The Journal of Paris. 

He wasn’t far off the mark: By changing the clocks an hour forward or backward to better align with the earth’s spring and autumnal shift in angle to the sun, the number of hours one could work productively increased during those seasons and scarce resources used for heat and light (then oil and candles now coal, natural gas and electricity) could be preserved.

fallbackGermany was the first to adopt the system in 1915 to save fuel during World War I. The British switched in 1916, and the United States followed in 1918, when Congress passed the Standard Time Act, which established our time zones. In 1920, the law was repealed.  Dairy farmers opposed the time change, citing their cows, who can’t tell time.

fallbacktarotDuring World War II, Daylight Saving Time was imposed again to save fuel. Since then, DST has been used on and off, with different start and end dates. Currently, DST begins at 2:00 A.M. the second Sunday in March and ends at 2:00 A.M. the first Sunday in November.

DSTdrinkingOfficially the time when the change happens is Sunday morning at 2:00 AM.  So, if you happen to be in a bar with a patron friendly owner, you may get an extra hour of bar time Saturday night. 😉  Hmmm

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Fixing My Own iPhone Was a Bad Idea

brokeniphoneWhile standing to allow late arrivals to the USC football game to pass by, my iPhone 6 fell out of my jacket pocket and landed awkwardly on the concrete.  The thud & sound of shattering glass made my heart, and wallet, sink.

I’d removed the case to allow the phone to charge, so I was sure I’d broken the glass, but hoped my screen had survived the fall under the screen protector.  No such luck.  The only thing the screen protector did was to contain the glass that had shattered into many, many, many pieces beneath.

how-hard-can-it-be_designI knew it would easily cost me over $100 to have just the glass replaced and who knows how much if there was more damage to the phone itself, so I looked to Amazon to see if I could get the parts for less and install them myself.  I’m a reasonably intelligent girl and pretty handy, how hard could it be?  Hmmm

A few YouTube videos, a glass of wine, and an $8 glass repair kit later, I stood beside my kitchen counter with a dozen teeny tiny screws, a mess of broken glass and a damaged digitizer.  Even worse, I was now holding a completely dead iPhone and would need more parts to try and make the repair myself.

The last thing I wanted to hear was my husband’s, “You should have taken it to the repair shop.” Back to Amazon I went and made a Prime purchase of another $77 in additional parts to be delivered the next day.

The parts arrived and I followed the installation instructions, but the phone still wouldn’t fire up, so, tail between my legs, I asked my husband to go to the repair shop with me to see if my phone could be salvaged, which would mean paying at least another $100 in repairs…

Good News – Bad News; Good News – Bad News

Good News:  I installed the parts correctly.

Bad News:  1)  The Screen kit I bought was bad, which is partly why the phone wouldn’t fire up.  2)  The damage to the phone included the internal screen light, so more than the screen repairs would be necessary to salvage the phone.

Good News:  1)  I could return the non-working part to Amazon and get my $77 back  2) I’d anticipated the likelihood of needing to replace the phone so I had negotiated with AT&T to have the early upgrade fee of $250 waived and a new iPhone 6s was on the way.

Bad News:  1)  It did cost me $575.00 2) I’d be 2 more days without a phone 3) I’d planned to sell the working 6 to Amazon for $435 to offset the cost of the new phone.  No working phone = No $435, but I did get $75 for the salvageable parts and no bill from the repair shop.  For this I did get an, “I told you so.”

Very expensive lesson learned.  I will never attempt to repair any electronic item ever again.  I’ll be leaving that to the experts!

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Very Disappointed By My Fitbit Experience

fitbit-logo-300x109I have bought and used many different fitness trackers from the Polar watch linked chest strap heart rate monitor to the Nike+ shoe insert, Adidas Micoach no strap/in the sports bra heart rate monitor, Scosche Arm Band, iFit Chest Strap Monitor, Garmin Vivofit, and others I’m sure I’ve bought and forgotten.  But, even when I’ve strayed and tried the flavor of the month, I’ve been a loyal wearer of the Fitbit from it’s first clip on to the latest Charge HR.

That said, I am quite disappointed that, as much as the Fitbit step monitoring product has “advanced” with each version, it has actually fallen behind the competition and I am strongly considering a change:

  • The clip-ons (Zip, Ultra, and One) had a tendency to unclip and disappear mid-workout
  • The Flex bands would come unsnapped during workouts, were brittle and cracked/broke, and worst of all, were apparently very yummy as my dogs chewed up 4 of them…hmmm
  • As soon as it became available, I bought a Fitbit Aria Scale.  Then I started noticing that I didn’t like having my weight broadcast to my Fitbit app and visible to my friends, “How Rude!”  Apparently there’s a setting to stop that, but my shame was complete, so Aria and I ended our brief & rocky relationship!
  • I loved the Force, which was on backorder forever then pulled off the market abruptly a short time later.  The Force was waterproof – I could finally track “steps” while swimming! But the Force also had a tendency to emit a gentle yet stingy pulse every once in a while that left a mark.  No Bueno indeed!  So I returned to one of my Flex models from the drawer of obsolete trackers.
  • With great excitement I saw the announcement for the Fitbit Charge and Charge HR that would be coming out in time for me to ask my husband to get me one for my Christmastime birthday.  He got on the waiting list at the local sporting goods store and we waited patiently for the arrival.  Finally the Charge became available so we snapped two of them up, anxious to see what all the hype was about.  Besides being a bit bigger and having a new secure wrist strap, the Charge was just a more expensive version of the Flex, but happily we wore it while I secretly pined for the arrival of the be-all-to-end-all.
  • The Charge HR! I don’t rely on steps alone to determine how my “Fit Day” has gone, I love the addition of a heart rate monitor that requires no chest strap and can count additional calories burned based on my actual 24 hour heart rate readings!  That’s the good, now here’s the bad of the Charge HR that I immediately replaced my Charge with once it became widely available in May of this year.  1) The plastic housing for the stat screen cracked in the first 2 months of normal wear, causing me to have to contact the company for a replacement 2) It is NOT waterproof, in fact it’s barely water resistant.  I had it on while standing in shallow water and got splashed.  When I touched the Charge HR to remove it to a dry place, I got a painful shock!  and 3) The battery life blows!  I have to charge it every 36-48 hours.  That is neither convenient nor does it allow me to get a whole day+ sleep picture.  Charging it during my 5 minute (CA drought/water use imposed) shower just doesn’t cut it.  I am in motion most of my day and have very few opportunities to take it off and charge it.  That is not what this Fit Girl envisioned at all!
  • They do have the Surge: A giant men’s watch-sized version that has a screen large enough to display all stats at once, but that doesn’t interest me at all.

I have to say that my Garmin Vivofit has the most features that meet my needs:

  • It was less expensive than the closest Fitbit product with similar features
  • It has a battery that is guaranteed to last at least 1 year – no taking off to charge – big advantage
  • It can be worn 24/7 because it is truly water resistant.  During the many times I had to have my One, Flex, and Charge replaced due to loss or damage, I have worn mine in the shower, the pool and when very sweaty during workouts and never had an issue.  It’s kind of like the old Timex saying, “It takes a licking and keeps on ticking!”
  • It reminds you to stay active with move bar and audible alert
  • It learns your activity level and proposes a personalized daily goal
  • It shows steps, calories, distance and time of day on backlit display; monitors sleep
  • It doesn’t track how many flights of stairs I walk and give me fancy little achievement awards, but I can add the stairs as an activity and monitor them that way
  • It also won’t sync up to let me participate in Fitbit challenges, but I never win anyway (LMAO) so I can live without that “feature” too
  • It automatically syncs to Garmin Connect™ to save, plan and share progress
  • It does have heart rate tracking with the optional heart rate strap.  That it needs a strap to monitor heart rate is the only negative to me on this one.  If it had strapless heart rate monitoring I would have given up on my Fitbit long ago
  • Another negative to the Garmin Vivofit is that some Apps say they make it compatible to share with the Fitbit App for competing with your friends.  I have had great difficulty getting that to be a reality

all_color_garmin_vivofit-1024x501After all of the time, money and effort I’ve invested in Fitbit, I have come to the realize that I am better off going back to the Garmin Vivofit to monitor my fitness goals.  A very expensive lesson indeed.  Hmmm

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iPhone, iPod or iPad Not Charging?

ichargerI have been through every version of the iPhone and am now on an iPhone 6.  I had a 2nd Generation iPad and upgraded to an iPad Air 2 with both cellular and wifi options for connection, as well as purchasing an iPad Mini for my husband.

The change from the old style charging cable to the lightning cables/port was great, for a while, but now, despite using Apple branded/supplied cables, blocks and docking stations, my Apple products display these messages intermittently:

  • Not Charging
  • This cable or accessory is not certified and may not work reliably with this iPhone/iPad (whichever happens to be plugged in)

To say I am frustrated is an understatement!  I love my Apple products (although I am a loyal PC girl) but I am at my wits end – I’ve even gone so far as to buy a Samsung Android based phone on another carrier just so I know I always have a hot backup.  Even I see that as an absurd waste of money.  I NEVER had this problem on the older versions of my iPhone and iPad but since I’ve upgraded I’ve had nothing but issues!

I’ve scoured the internet and read articles, forums, blog posts and watched videos all describing the same issue I’m having, but none of the suggested fixes have stopped the problems I am having!

All of the articles came to the same three conclusions:

  1. The wall adaptor (i.e. Block) is bad
  2. The Lightning or 30-pin USB cable is bad
  3. The charging port on the iPhone/iPad/iPod is bad
  4. The internal battery is bad
  5. The software has crashed and needs a refresh

Suggested Fixes:

  • Move to another wall plug – you could be using a bad outlet
  • Change the USB charging cable (The cables are prone to fraying at both ends and are covered under the Apple warranty.  It may be able to be swapped for free if you have a recently purchased Apple product)  If you are using a third party cable, make sure it’s a certified Apple compatible product (the cheap ones usually aren’t and fail a lot).  Amazon Basics are reliable and less expensive third party options, plus they have longer options than the standard supplied USB cables.  If you an charge via your computer, but not via the wall charger, or vice versa, your cable is not the problem.
  • Use a different charging block
  • Do a “Hard Reset” by pressing the power and home key simultaneously until the Apple logo appears then let go and let the reset finish

None of these suggested problems or fixes for them resolved my problem.

Today, after another day of struggling to keep my phone charged, I came across an article on c|net that suggested the problem could be microscopic debris in the USB port on the computer, the charging block, the USB Port on the computer/charging block/phone charger/portable charger, Or even the USB end of the charging cord.  Finally something new (that made sense) and that I hadn’t tried!

Hmmm

Think about the places that iGadgets get left: pockets, purses, briefcases, backpacks, desks, counters, floors, center consoles, car seats, virtually everywhere that dust, lint, dirt, and gunk gather.  That poor little charging port doesn’t have a chance!

A trick suggested by an Apple Guru is to take a small anti-static brush or brand new toothbrush and gently brush out your iPhone’s charging port.  Toothbrushes work well because the bristles don’t conduct electricity.  Make sure to brush out the USB ports on your computer, charging blocks, car chargers and the other ends of your charging cords then plug everything back in.

Hopefully you see the little lightning bolt in the right top corner of your device and your problem is solved.  If you don’t you may need to see if you’ve somehow damaged your charging port by getting it wet…I hope not because that could require either an expensive fix or complete replacement of your device.

If you are on Facebook and are interested in the things I may not devote an entire blog post to, but that make me wonder, funny quips, photos and other silly things, I have a page followed by more than 1,900 people who find me mildly amusing:  https://www.facebook.com/extremeblondemoments