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Sensitive Topic – To Do With Black Dogs

Sensitive Topic – To Do With Black Dogs

“The Black Dog” is a term used to not say the word depression.  I’m not a fan, but there it is.  I’ve lived with a battle with depression and anxiety for over 10 years.  It’s probably been longer, but I didn’t identify with the word until I was almost 26.  I’ve been on and off medication over that time, the last time (until recently) was 5 years ago.  My decision to return to anti-depressants was not an easy one, I had been doing fairly well, or so I thought.

I found myself, sometimes, spending a whole day not really doing anything, nor having the desire to do anything.  Even doing things that I love, including playing with my son, held no joy for me.  I had become joyless and a little slothy, I was certainly no fun to be around.  I was also becoming mad or upset with just about everything and everyone.  Not always without reason, but still.  I am not an angry person.

So I made the decision to go back onto anti-depressants.  The first month was not great.  I remembered lethargy, nausea, and insomnia from the previous bout with meds, but it was so much worse for at least the first 2 weeks.  Only slightly improving in the following 2 weeks.  Once my GP & I made the decision to switch the time at which I take them (before bed, instead of with breakfast), I found I was improving.

I’m almost at the end of my second month now.  I am feeling SO much better.  I am laughing with my whole being again.  I am waking up and feeling like I can face the day with both feet on the ground.  I am feeling inspired again.  I am feeling more like myself.

As a side benefit, whether it has to do with the medication, or the fact that I’m eating more properly and drinking herbal tea instead of cordial or soft drink, I’ve lost about 7kgs.  Doesn’t seem like much, but as someone who struggles with weight, diet and exercise, I find this utterly brilliant!  I have a new set of headphones, a playlist ready to rock to, great walking shoes, and the desire to seize the feeling!  I am going to start my walking right after Easter.  SO PUMPED!

Google Nexus 7 Tablet

Google Nexus 7 Tablet

Well, there is yet another Android tablet contender in the marketplace, as of yesterday.  Google revealed, and set up for pre-order to ship mid-July, their own Nexus range offering in the Tablet market.

Manufactured by ASUS, this 7″ tablet may just be what the market needs to push the various manufacturers to do what they do, but better.

  • Google Nexus 77” 1280×800 HD display (216 ppi)
  • Back-lit IPS display
  • Scratch-resistant Corning glass
  • 1.2MP front-facing camera
  • 198.5 x 120 x 10.45mm
  • 340g
  • WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth
  • 8/16 GB internal storage
  • 1 GB RAM
  • Micro USB
  • 4325 mAh (Up to 8 hours of active use)
  • Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean)
  • Quad-core Tegra 3 processor
  • Microphone
  • NFC (Android Beam)
  • Accelerometer
  • GPS
  • Magnetometer
  • Gyroscope

On paper this little pocket rocket sounds awesome!  There are a couple of things that are noticeably missing.  Firstly is an “outwards facing camera”, where most tablets have two cameras, the Nexus 7 only has the front-facing camera, mainly for video calls through Google+ and the like. For me, this is not a big deal as I really don’t take photos with my tablet.  Too cumbersome and awkward.  I don’t take nearly enough photos, but when I do, it’s usually with my phone, and sometimes with an actual (shock, surprise) digital camera.

The other thing the Nexus is missing is expandable memory.  Available as an 8Gb or 16Gb fixed memory tablet, it does feel a little limited as to the useability.  Google have released this as a “media consumption device” and are really pushing “cloud storage” through the Play store.  However, currently owning a 16Gb Transformer, and I’ve never really come close to filling it up.  I’m also not in the habit of leaving things on my tablet that I’m done with.  Books I’ve read, movies or TV shows that I’ve watched I generally take off the device and store on my home PC.

The only way to order the Nexus 7 is through the Google Play store.  This is both brilliant and a bit of a pain in the butt (which requires signing up to Google Wallet if you haven’t already).  One one hand, you have direct dealing with Google, which probably keeps price down, it certainly keeps the price consistent.  However, there’s no real way to get a look at it before purchase.  There are plenty of  “hands on” YouTube videos, so you may get an idea of whether it’s for you or not.  There aren’t much in the way of accessories right now, although the Play store has a cover and additional chargers on notification for order.

Price point on the device is really good too.  At the Google I/O Keynote, the screen behind the presenter said the price was going to be $199, which means starting at $199 for the 8GB offering, the 16GB has is $249 for the American market.  In Australia, once again it feels like we are being punished for not living in the US, and we’re being charged an additional $50 per unit. The shipping cost to Australia is $20, which means for $268.99 and $318.99 you can have one of these in your hands in Australia.  The only other ‘branded’ tablet of similar configuration on sale at Officeworks for $388. 

Later this year, I had planned on purchasing an e-reader and upgrading my tablet to something thinner and more portable, which would have set me back around $1,000 total.  Instead, I think I’ll get myself a Nexus 7 tablet, it will serve the purpose of both devices.  I only have small hands, so the 7″ screen is actually perfect for me.

What about you?  Does the Google Nexus 7 fit into your technology needs?

Tefal Steam Generator – Nuffnang Product Talk Review

Tefal Steam Generator – Nuffnang Product Talk Review

This a Product Talk by Nuffnang post – I didn’t receive payment for this post but I did receive a free sample to review.

I’ve never hated ironing, but it is a time consuming chore.  I’ve always been up for things that would make it easier, whether it’s an ironing spray, a new way of hanging the washing so it dries less creased or heck, even a spanky new iron!

The arrival of the Tefal Pro Express Turbo Steam Generator could not have come at a better time.  My previous “Steam Station” iron had not long given up the ghost, and I was using my Mother in Law’s standard iron that she had recently replaced.  The iron worked perfectly fine, but it just wasn’t as powerful as I had been used to … ironing had become labourious again.

Reading through it’s specs I was rather surprised at just how powerful this thing was.

1.8L tank, Lock System Clip, Anti-Calc Cleaner, Retractable Power Cord
  • 120g/min continuous, 220g/min turbo steam
  • 5.5 bars pressure
  • Eco setting for energy saving
  • Autoclean soleplate
  • Removable 1.8L water tank capacity – extra large
  • Unique lock system for safety and easy transport
  • Fast heat up (2mins), refill during ironing
  • Auto shut off, automatic electrical cord rewind & steam cord storage plus Ultracord system
  • Power: 2200W

Now, as a techno-junkie I know that no matter what’s on paper, the real test is putting it to its use.  So I set it up and got going on a few bits and pieces, business shirts, school uniforms etc.  I set it to the upper medium heat and eco steam, it simply breezed through it all, including a hanging steam.  My ironing was done quickly, with a great finish.

Now for my Pro & Con lists…

Pro:

Autoclean Soleplate
  • Great steam pressure
  • Steam button in a more intuitive place (the underside of the handle)
  • Large water tank, 1.8L, which is removable to refill while the unit is still on.
  • Retractable power cord
  • Storage space for steam cord
  • Nice point on the iron unit
  • Locking system so you can lift the entire unit by the iron
  • Auto shut off

Cons:

  • Power cord is only 2m long
  • Weight of the steam cord can make the iron feel heavier than it is
  • Generator and iron unit can get quite hot

One thing I would have liked to have seen is a post to hold the steam cord up over the ironing board, rather than let it just hang.  It would alleviate the apparent weight of the iron unit.  I think I’m going to have to find one to attach to the ironing board.

Having owned a steam station style iron before, it was good to have that previous knowledge to know what I should expect from this device.  The Tefal unit, in my opinion, has operated far better than my last steam station.  It’s more powerful and a little over half the price of my previous unit.  It’s by no means an inexpensive iron, but if you have a larger family, or a lot of dress/business clothes to look after, then the investment may well be worth it.