Tag Archives: IPhone

Learning a Second Language? Try these!

World map with countries where French is an of...
World map with countries where French is an official language marked. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

missjunebug has a love of all things French: croissants, Gigondas wine, the arrondissements of Paris (1-9 primarily!), crepes (a squeeze of lemon and sugar, s’il vous plait!), santons, Provence, and so much more. And she’s always had a soft spot in her heart for the mellifluous sounds of the French language, but she’s had a hard time learning it.

First, there was high school French. Blech. Despite advance placing out of three semesters of French for college credit, she had mastered little in terms of direct communication in the language when other human beings were involved instead of multiple choice answers.

Later she picked up a little traveler’s French and much later tried her hand at Rosetta Stone: High Cost & Epic Fail. Unless you want to learn a bunch of sentences in French about blue triangles being larger than red circles.

Not to be a bug who gives up easily, missjunebug is trying again with two programs she’s found online. Coffeebreak French is fun and loaded with free lessons online that provide a nice springboard in listening to the language and trying to get a grip on the tricky pronunciations. Oddly, the student learner who assists in the program has a serious Scottish accent as does the teacher directing the lesson, but it makes the experience that much more entertaining when she takes on French guided by her fellow congenial Scottish teacher. Of course, they offer many other languages, too!

The second program she’s just started is DuoLingo, a free app for missjunebug’s iPhone where a wise little owl encourages goal setting and completion of some pretty challenging French lessons. missjunebug found out about this app in her awesome Wall Street Journal Personal Journal section recently–her fave resource for nifty learning ideas, book recs, fashion finds, and so many other things (The WSJ rocks). But missjunebug digresses. If you want to learn a second language on the go, go to DuoLingo. The phone app is a great combination of fill-in the blank, choose the right word, say the sentence aloud–it will let you know if you approximate the correct pronunciation. You can even test out on the work you’ve mastered. All this and some nifty visuals to keep your interest, too. So much good stuff crammed into this cute little Owl-centric app! It is a wise piece of work for sure.

mjbTip: Don’t rest on your mastery of the English language: Try a second language on for size. It could be the perfect fit…eventually! Bon chance, mon ami!



Enhanced by Zemanta

The Quantified missjunebug

Uh oh. missjunebug better step on it! Only 654 Steps for today. Photo by mjb2014
Uh oh. missjunebug better step on it! Only 654 Steps for today. Photo by mjb2014

missjunebug is sporting a chic new bracelet lately: Her Fitbit Force!

She’s having some serious fun with this sleek little gizmo that measures the time of day (Sorry trusty and venerable Swiss Army Victorinox now languishing in missjunebug’s jewelry drawer!), number of steps taken, number of miles walked, number of calories burned, number of floors taken, and number of active minutes suffered exercised! Whew! missjunebug gets tired just listing all these fab features.

Now all of that information is well and good, inspirational and aspirational! But the part missjunebug thinks is too cool for school is the surprise vibe that hugs her wrist when she hits the magic 10,000 steps. Woo to the hoo X 10!

That makes for a very good day for missjunebug who is trying to get her exercise game back on after six months of chemotherapy infusions and other medical insults to her little bug body! Along with the little vibration comes a flashing “10,000!” on her Fitbit Force miniscreen. It feels like a solid albeit silent round of applause for her efforts.

But perhaps missjunebug should mention that in the two months she’s used her fab Fitbit, she’s only seen that flashing number three times. (wah wah) missjunebug must try harder! move more! get up earlier! stay up later!

Or she could do what a couple Mr.JB knows does before they go to bed at night: walk around their bedroom until they hit the magic 10,000! Ha! Clever people. Why didn’t missjunebug think of that?

If you are interested in tracking things and quantifying your little self, take a look at the Fitbit Force and its iphone App that helps you effortlessly track calories, sleep patterns, and water consumption as well. That’s some Big Data from a little black band.

mjbTip: The Quantified Self rocks! Get a fitbit for some number fun!

Who needs a watch? Just use the Fitbit! Photo by mjb2014
Who needs a watch? Just use the Fitbit! Photo by mjb2014
Enhanced by Zemanta

A Few Random Observations

Retailers generally favor DST. United Cigar St...
Image via Wikipedia

This is not a good year for two of missjunebug’s favorite teams: the Longhorns and the Irish.

missjunebug’s dog Spoonbug is just about the sweetest creature missjunebug has ever known.

The days before Daylight Saving Time ends are ridiculous. Sunrise at 7:15. Really?

Capital One Rewards are awesome. missjunebug just purchased four monetarily significant gift cards with miles she’s “earned” by shopping, one of the things missjunebug does best. Money for nothing and the chicks are…nevermind.

missjunebug loves, loves, loves her iPhone, iPad, and Kindle and can’t imagine life without them. facebook, on the other hand, she can take or leave. Sorry, M.Z.

Homemade biscuits made with buttermilk are so much better than regular biscuits but using up the quart of buttermilk before it goes bad is impossible. Buttermilk packagers Listen up! Make smaller containers for this cooking ingredient: nobody drinks the stuff!

The best prayers are pithy. missjunebug is sure God is familiar with Strunk and White‘s Elements of Style.

Real Simple magazine is simply wonderful.

Marketplace from American Public Media on NPR rocks. missjunebug wakes up to it every morning and it never disappoints.

Working as a background actor is one of those jobs that makes missjunebug say to herself “I can’t believe I get paid for doing this!”

And blogging is more shiny-delightful than a Mason jar full of fireflies on a dark night.

Enhanced by Zemanta

American Idol Talk 2010: Finally Something to Write Home About

The Coca-Cola logo was first published in the ...
Image via Wikipedia

missjunebug has shown great forbearance in withholding judgment on this, shall she say, ho-hum, lack-luster American Idol 2010 competition this year. But now things are getting marginally interesting. Interesting enough for missjunebug to have cast two votes last night on her fav object, her iPhone 3G (G=Greatest tech device ever, and yes, dear reader you guessed right, missjunebug does not have an iPad…yet.) But she digresses.

missjunebug knows you are wondering Just what numbers did she text the word VOTE to?

Drumroll, please.

5705 and 5707.

Those two blonde, gorgeous, smokey-voiced, real-deal singers with the great do’s. Yes, perhaps Casey has it over Crystal in the looks dept by a smidge (She does (God bless her little dread-locked heart ) need to consult Invisalign asap; his teeth are pearly white and perfect). (Wow, did you notice missjunebug is now using parenthetical comments within her parenthetical comments!!) But she digresses.

This isn’t a beauty contest after all! It’s a singing contest! Last night to the tunes from the Lennon and McCartney songbook, these two blonde wunderkind took over the competition as far as missjunebug is concerned.

Crystal’s rendition of the Beatles Come Together, one of missjunebug’s fav songs of All Time was spot on. But what? What that’s African American guy wielding next to her? Why it’s a didgeridoo! A wind instrument cooked up by some Australians of the way, way, way outback no doubt mainlining Coca-cola. And guess what? It worked. No where else but here on AI10 will viewers experience the mystical wonders of the incantation Come Together in such a fresh and slightly twisted way. Which happens to perfectly fit some of the slightly twisted lyrics of this Lennon-McCartney esoterica classica. For the uninitiated, missjunebug suggests checking all the lyrics out. Here’s a sample:

He roller-coaster he got early warning
He got muddy water he one mojo filter
He say “One and one and one is three”
Got to be good-looking ’cause he’s so hard to see
Come together right now over me

missjunebug is pretty sure the key to the universe is secreted somewhere within these way-ahead-of-their-time rap-like lines. And her mojo filter tells her that Crystal will be around for a few more rounds for sure.

As for that tall Texas drink of water, Casey, singing with brilliant acoustic guitar accompaniment mjb’s favorite artist of all time John Lennon‘s bone and soul-deep song A Jealous Guy from his blue-skyed Imagine album (and yes, it was an album back when missjunebug listened to it, okay? Live with it), he was brilliant.

Eye candy for sure (And yes, everybody’s kind of tired of that Kara Dioguardi earlier cougar-effusiveness, that she is still back-pedalling from). But the kid from the smokey barrooms of Texas can sing like no other. John Lennon himself (may he rest in peace) and Ono too would have both given Casey a nod of approval at the constrained, pitch perfect vocal that gave the song a soulful, want-to-cry-your-eyes-out dimension. So yes, missjunebug was happy to pay for text message 5707!

Nine Still Shine at Idol Time but 2 Out Bright the Best!

Long live Bowersox & James!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

missjunebug is Crazy about March Madness!

March Madness junebug Family Picks! Photo by mjb2010
March Madness junebug Family Picks! Photo by mjb2010

One of the most beloved traditions of the junebug family is the yearly divving up of Bracketology for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. Mr.JB is master of ceremonies using vintage dice cups to roll for himself, missjunebug, ElderJB and TinyJB to determine selection order. This year missjunebug won with a five dice total of 19. Cool. Of course, she started with Kansas, the team that lead her to the Bracketology Championship last year! She is ready to defend her crown. What’s at stake? Biggest loser pays for the Friday night junebug family reunion dinner at TinyJB’s graduation from the University of Notre Dame in May!  missjunebug does not want to be the biggest loser!

The junebug family accomplishes all the March Madness bracketology selection process by setting up a time that works for everybody. West Coast 6am is 9am in South Bend and 3pm in Rwanda so coordinating the phone calls is pretty simple. With TinyJB on missjunebug’s iPhone speaker and Mr.JB talking on the landline to ElderJB picks are rotated seamlessly. This year three of four of the junebugs got their alma maters: ElderJB takes Hoya Saxa! Georgetown (3), TinyJB gets Notre Dame Go Irish!(6), missjunebug embraces her beloved “Hook ‘Em Horns” Longhorns of the University of Texas at Austin (8). Sadly, Mr.JB’s Fighting Illini did not make the cut. Please observe a moment of silence for the Chief.

Besides thoroughly enjoying the bracketology, missjunebug loves the potential for upsets. Yes, she and the other junebugs pretty much select by ranking, but, of course they all get stuck with the likes of the 15-rank Robert Morris, Morgan State, North Texas, and UC Santa Barbara not to mention the 16-rank LeHigh, Tennessee State and Vermont. The Wall Street Journal suggests upsets may come from Old Dominion, Murray State, Utah State, Richmond, and Louisville. The WSJ seers also warn against less than favorable outcomes for Purdue, Georgetown, Baylor, Butler, and Kentucky. missjunebug thinks this is just all part of the fun and it makes watching the games so much more interesting!

So bust out those brackets and fill ’em in! You will be amazed how crazy-good March Madness is!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Happy Halloween!

OOOOOO! So Scary!!!   Photo by mjb2009
OOOOOO! So Scary!!! Photo by mjb2009

missjunebug hopes you celebrate Halloween wherever you are!

If you need a good scare, just look at your 401K again or check out the unemployment numbers!

If you’re staying in, check out Martin Scorsese‘s best horror film analyses and clips on www.thedailybeast.com and watch the one you find scariest.

If you’re going out trick or treating, have fun and be safe. With the right app, you can turn your iPhone into a flashlight! Cool or what?

As for missjunebug, she’ll be dressing up as a carefree 1920s flapper! You know…one of those multi-fringed, short-skirted, drinking-out-of-their-bejeweled-satin shoe Charleston-dancing girls. Those girls had a real good time…right before the CRASH! Now where did missjunebug put her feather boa?

Happy, happy Halloween!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Apple Up!

Foliage of a gravenstein apple tree. Leaves an...
Image via Wikipedia

missjunebug just celebrated her birthday: fun x 10! (except for the another-year-older thing) Last year for her birthday Mr.JB bought her an iPhone about which missjunebug has waxed eloquent on this very blog! What an amazing device. It has become her all-in-one phone, boom-box, e-reader, GPS, calendar, well, you get the idea. missjunebug could go on and on thanks to the ridiculous apps available for anything you want to have access to with one touch.

missjunebug was pretty sure her life couldn’t get any better, but this year she celebrated her b-day with her new MacBookPro thanks to her Mr.JB who finally acknowledged that it had a few features the PC couldn’t match. REALLY?

How did this major breakthrough for missjunebug happen? Her tech-hip children led the way. First TinyJB got on board the Apple Bus on his way to university a few years back. Then her ex-pat ElderJB gathered wondrous Apple gear to take back to his home away from home in East Africa. During his recent visit and procurement run, ElderJB demonstrated for his missjunebugmom some of the incredible features of his elegantly compact MacBookPro. missjunebug recommends that you check out the apple.com website to get all the details, but one thing she doesn’t want to forget to mention is onetoone, the program Apple sets up for a very reasonable 99 bucks to transfer PC docs, music, pictures, and whatever else is transferable right onto the MacBookPro as well as provide classes to help newbies Apple Up! missjunebug will be heading to her first Mac Basics class next weekend.

In the meantime, she is enjoying blogging from her sweet and juicy Apple! Believe her when she says, “It’s delicious!”

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]