Using Tasker to create reminder notifications for Android

If you’re an Android user, I highly recommend you check out Tasker. Tasker is an automation app that can control just about anything in your phone. You can do things as simple as telling your phone when you want it to go to silent, loud, vibrate, etc, to more complicated tasks, like notifying your wife via SMS when you’re five minutes from home. It’s a little pricey ($6.50) but it’s an incredibly powerful app, and I think it’s well worth it. It’s the first app I suggest to new Android users.

Check below the fold for the full tutorial.
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if only i had known

Sunday morning I posted a song. I recorded it Saturday, during the day. Noah trhust my guitar at me as I sit at the computer, as he does often. Apparently he likes to watch me play. So I was playing around, and the chord progression fell into place. I spent the morning searching a hundred garage sales for road bikes, with no luck, so the lyrics of frustration came together quickly. I didn’t intend to write a song, but I’ve spent the past year loathing my inability to put together a tune, so even a glimpse of catchiness needs to be massaged into something.

So I quickly recorded the guitar part, to make sure it wasn’t lost in my ADD riddled brain. With the guitars down I figured I might as well put some drums to it, you know, since I wasn’t doing anything else (raising a child doesn’t count.) But now with guitars and drums down, all that was missing was vocals…so why put it off ’til later?

So I recorded vocals, asking Noah to be quite while I was recording. Loosing takes because Noah would hot the microphone stand. If you listen closely, you may be able to hear him squeal during the chorus.

So then the song was done, and I posted it as soon as my horrific internet connection let me upload something.

And about that time I remembered something. Nearly ten years ago, I was working my butt off trying to record my band, JATO. We had borrowed a four track recorded, bought 15 cassette tapes, and spent weeks recording each song. At the same time, there was a band at my school who had parent money helping them record, recording in real studios and whatnot. They were selling CDs. CDs were the way kids listened to music. We could only make tapes. I remember wanting to be able to make CDs so bad. I would sit in my room and try to think of ways to digitize our recordings. But back then our home computer had nothing close to a decent recording program, and certainly didn’t have a stereo input. And even then, CD burners and blank CDs cost a lot of money.

All that to say this: even though I do it myself often, I’m still amazed at the fact that you can write, record, and publish a song in hours. I had to hand dub every single JATO tape. I had to listen to myself sing songs about girls over and over. I had to beg my friends to buy a tape, most refusing cause they didn’t have a tape player. Now, I can record it, post it to my website, and force my family to listen to it in hours. The JATO me would look at the current me and be so jealous. He would also be full of hate seeing me fail to take better advantage of this situation. So young, so yet-to-be jaded. Good looking kid too.

If you listened to the chorus a billion times to try and hear Noah squeal, ha! Gotcha! You can’t really hear it. But now that songs gonna be stuck in your head hardcore. Have a nice day.

future technologies

So we’ve all heard “It’s 20__, where are my flying cars?” Well, I’m starting to think such things myself. I mean, according to furniture store commercials, 2010 is coming up soon, and that’s one of those years that really sounds futuristic.

But I’m not looking for jet packs or robot maids. I want something simple. Pee-In-Your-Bed technologies.

You may have not been expecting a post like this for a few more years. You probably weren’t expecting a post like this at all. No, Noah is not having bed wetting troubles, he’s still in the league of “I can pee when I want where I want.”

No, I want this technology for me. And I know you want it for you too.

I’m old now. I know this because every morning at 3 am, I have to get up out of bed and go to the bathroom. There are few things worse than waking up, and feeling that urge in your bladder, but trying to convince yourself you can go a few more hours before you’ll burst. Anything to stay under the warm, luxurious covers. And we all know how our minds work at that time of the day. You can convince yourself of anything.

But I want to eliminate this dilemma all together. I want you, and I, to be free to pee in the bed without repercussions. I don’t think it’s that crazy. We’ve put a man on the moon. We’ve created computers you can fit in your hand. I’ve seen those “feminine napkin” commercials…we have the absorption technology. I think the only thing standing in the way is our pride. Well folks, it’s time we learn a little something about humility, and a good night’s rest.

Are you with me?

fun with doctor visits

so today i went to the doctor, and i guess i have some horrible form of acid reflux in reaction to a medicine i’m taking. so now i’ve got me a prescription to nexium, the purple pill from the commercials, and hopefully i’ll be able to eat real food sometime soon. funny thing happened in the doctor’s office: after asking me a few questions, he left the room saying he was gonna talk to a g.i. doc (gastro-intestinal). about fifteen minutes later a nurse came in with a cup of water, and a cup of what literally looked like baby vomit. as soon as she walked in the room she started apologizing, like it was her fault. i asked what it was, and she said it was a “cocktail from the g.i.” and apologized again. i took it, and it wasn’t any worse than any other medicine you take, but she continued to apologize as she left the room, and even apologized again as i was leaving the office.
on a nerdier note, for those of you who happen to spend a good amount of time on the internet, and want a browser that is explorer compatible and comes with gizmos…well, avant is the browser for you. it’s pretty much identical in appearance as i.e. is, but it’s got several more taskbars that do all sorts of stuff. it can manage multiple windows, block pop-ups, eliminate pictures and flash from pages…all sorts of good stuff. hea