Friday: (08/24) Tea in the backyard started the day. I fixed popcorn for breakfast. We all went to an estate sale in Los Altos then to Costco. Lunch was very berry sundaes at Costco then some roast chicken from there when we got home. We had an evening appointment then, for dinner we stopped at IKEA. I had the Swedish meat balls, Lou had more roast chicken, and Dawn had Salmon. We followed dinner with a look around. The display rooms are always interesting. Then on our way home we stopped at the Mi Pueblo Market across the street from IKEA for a few things. In between all this activity I worked on clearing the green house storage shelf stuff. It takes up much less space when organized and then about 25 percent was thrown away. Finally I exposed the second shelf that I need to modify. 

Today I received a couple of things I ordered from Amazon, my new SPOT Connect GPS safety device and a bigger battery for my smart phone. I always take my SPOT GPS tracker with me on hikes but really don’t use it. It’s a two way satellite communications device that can be used to send a message for help if I ever new it. Since I often hike alone, Lou insisted i get one. The new device allows me to send back Twitter sized custom messages like “come pick me up a the junction of the Too Much Trail For Me and Highway 9.” Of course I can also use it to brag about where I’m enjoying lunch. by posting to Facebook from places with no cell phone signal, which is often the rule where I hike. The SPOT Connect tethers to my Android smart phone and that poor thing’s battery life was never that good and already strained by my using it as my primary GPS and camera device already so I thought I could use a higher capacity battery for it which also came today. Hopefully it does actually last 3-4 times as long as the original. It does make the phone almost twice as big. 

An interesting side note. When we all got our new smart phones almost two years ago from Best Buy, we got the full coverage warranty. One benefit was that they would replace the battery for us. Of course, the idea was we wouldn’t need it and would upgrade before that became necessary. Well, our batteries were getting weaker so I ordered replacements through the warranty. Best Buy sent nice new batteries but they didn’t work any better really. The replacements were 1000mah batteries, the originals were 1300mah, 30% more capacity in the originals. The new batteries lasted about as long as our old batteries. No real improvement. They also replaced Dawn’s phone with a new one as well so the cost of the warranties did payoff. One reason we opted to not upgrade and stay with our old smart phones is that Verizon has changed it’s marketing and the unlimited data plans are no longer offered and if we change phones we loose the current unlimited data plans. We like the ability of using the phones when we need to to tether to  our computers so we’ll hope they last a few years longer. It also helps save the environment. Anyway, the phones are nice but they do discharge too quickly so I ordered the highr capacity, 3500mah batteries. Now I should be able to use it extensively on hikes without worries of it going dead. It’s always good to be able to call home. There is one immediate problem that I was aware of. My rubber phone case wont fit on the bigger phone so I need to be more careful about not dropping it. That while I’m out and about more trying to drop it? Maybe duct tape will take care of that?

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