And, here I am again changing out cell phones. For someone who resisted joining the smart phone “revolution” for as long as I could, it is kinda comical that I keep finding myself blogging about the updates and changes to my phone.

But, my new plan with Sprint allows me to always get the newest iPhone when it comes out and I decided to take them up on that offer. Thus, I spend about 3 hours on a beautiful Saturday morning getting my new phone to act just like my old phone (but faster and with a better camera, of course.)

My last switch was between Android and iOS so i expected it to take longer and to have more glitches along the way.  And, those expectations were met. Apple Android “swtich” app = MAJOR FAIL.

But, I thought this would be smooth sailing. It is mostly was. I backed up my old phone (I use a direct wired connection to iTunes for this – just not ready for wireless to iCloud backups just yet, I want to know where those files actually live) to an encrypted backup so all of my personal data was also there. Second, I broke the connection bertween my Apple watch and the old phone. Then, after a quick visit to the Sprint website to activate the new phone, I connected the new phone to iTunes and restored from backup. Thirty some odd minutes later, the phone rebooted and looked pretty much like my old one.

Looked is the key word here.

The apps were there (or were loading) and in the right place. Photos were there and in the right place. Contacts: same. Calendar: same. And, so on.

Then, I visited my authentication folder on my phone. I use two different 2-step authentication apps: Google Authenticator and Authy.

Both of the apps were there, but none of my account information transferred over. From a security standpoint, this makes sense. The 2 step authentication is tied to a device and this was a new device. This makes sense. But, it is important to note that to EASILY make the transfer to a new device, you need to have both devices with you and both working.


For example, I wanted to change my Google Authenticator app for my personal Gmail account. It is not hard but the steps are:

  1. Install Google Authenticator on the new device (should already be there from backup, but that is a first step)
  2. Log into Google Account (using Authenticator on OLD device if necessary)
  3. Go to your account security settings
  4. Go to two-step authentication (enter password again)
  5. Click the EDIT icon (image above)
  6. Enter the code from OLD device
  7. ADD the new device by using the QR code provided on the screen
  8. Enter the code generated by the new device
  9. Done.

I then also printed out new backup codes for each account and stored securely. If you lose your device or don’t have it for some reason, these are useful to get into your account.

For Authy, it was a similar process.

Another hour later, I was pretty much back in business with all of my 2-step sites working from the new device.


TL;DR: if you use 2-step authentication ( you are, aren’t you?), be prepared for a little more time in setting up your new devices.


This week is not one that I have looked forward to for the past three years. Today marks the anniversary of the death of my partner from an accidental fall. The sudden ripping away of her life from mine was terrible and still resonates through my being. Some days more than others, of course. It has softened and I have made many strides in building a new life and finding my new normal including finding new love.

But, I still dread this week. And part of that dread is because of technology. Primarily Timehop and Facebook Memories or On This Day (which came along after TImehop as best as I can tell).

I had enjoyed and have enjoyed seeing little reminders of what I had posted in years past. Reminders of fun times like holiday parties, Father’s or Mother’s Day, travels and adventures. Interestingly, there has been some research about nostalgia and it does promote several positive outcomes.

But, this week, I get reminders of a death. Of memorials. Of condolences. It kinda sucks.

And, my thoughts have turned to the families of those who have also lost loved ones so suddenly this week. Last year in Charleston, South Carolina in a church. Sunday of this week in a nightclub in Orlando, Florida. As I saw my own TImehops appear and I knew what was coming today, I fast forwarded in my mind to what those families from Charleston were seeing this week from a year ago. And I also am thinking about what the families and friends of the 49 victims from this week’s shooting will be seeing a year from now. Will they find these “forced” trips down memory lane helpful or hurtful. I guess it could go either way.

I have written what feels like a lot about technology after death on this blog in the past three years. I hope some of it has been helpful to someone. Maybe. Maybe not. It gave me something to focus on at the time and, thus, it was helpful to me. But, this “memories technology” may or may not be helpful. I wish there was a way to selectively let Facebook or Timehop know that I don’t want the memories from a certain day or time period. Perhaps in a few years, it will be okay to see those memories. But, I would rather have the control. I guess I can uninstall Timehop. Right now, I just don’t open it on my iPad. However, it seems like this is something that would benefit form more granular control. Of course, we cannot granularly control our own memories so perhaps I am asking too much.


UPDATE (June 23, 2016):

I did some poking around in Facebook and found that you can indeed add a filter to their memories function (called “On This Day”). Facebook added this function this past fall, apparently.

Here is how to filter those memories either by person or by specific dates:

  1. Point your browser to
  2. Click Preferences
    • To edit for specific people: Click Edit next to People and enter the names of the people you don’t want to see memories with
    • To edit by specific dates Click Edit next to Dates and choose start and end dates for when you don’t want to see memories, then click Done

Haven’t found that same function within Timehop as of yet. I would bet it is coming.

It has been a LOOOOONG time since I have had/given/allowed time to sit with some photos that I have taken and worked on them within an editor to make them more than just snapshots. (today, I chose Lightroom CC since I need to learn more about how it works)

It was fun and from the ~300 images I took during a recent trip west via Minnesota to Yellowstone National Park/Grand Tetons National Park and on to Portland, Oregon, I gleaned 19 that I liked enough to call “art” for me. [BONUS POINTS: This trip also took me through North Dakota and Montana so I have finally made my goal of visiting all fifty states in the USA]


The Art of Yellowstone

Group of men in an escape room.

I recently posted on Facebook something like this:  “Audrey: 4  Escape Rooms: 0”

Yes, I suppose it was bragging. But, I have done four different escape rooms (Escape Game Nashville, Which Way Out Knoxville, Escape Game Knoxville, and The Chamber in Columbus, OH) and I have been in a group that has escaped successfully all four times. In two of the rooms, I knew everybody in the group. In the other two, there was a group I knew but we were joined with another group for the experience.

That makes a difference.

I have enjoyed them all but some more than others. I have been thinking why. I think the novelty of the experience made the first one I tried my favorite. But, it also had the widest variety of puzzles to solve and required more teamwork than the others, I thought. In one game, there were 12 folks.

That is too many.

Yes, you need a team to get out in the time allowed. I don’t know how a team of two could do it, truthfully. And in one of the rooms, I know that I would have NEVER figured out one of the combinations based on the information given. I am just glad my brother was there who did figure it out. He explained it to me several times and I am still not quite sure I understand the logic.

These games are fun because you have to think and think fast. And think creatively. And work together. And communicate. The puzzles range from math word problems to listening to audio files and deciphering what is being said to reading maps and many more fun ways to test your mind. I think that is why I found it so techy-feely! You really have to apply both sides of the brain to get out of these rooms.

So, after telling some friends about them, one of them asked me to create a game room for their Halloween party. Sure, I said. That sounds like fun.

Oh boy! It was WAY harder than I thought it would be. I found myself drawing all kinds of flow charts and diagrams to make sure I didn’t make the room impossible to escape by locking a solution up in something that couldn’t be opened without that information. And, to get a wider variety of puzzles without making any real changes to the room (it was someone’s house rather than a commercial environment set up for an escape room business) was more of a challenge. I also wanted a theme to go along with my friends’ home and life. I did it. And, I thought it was pretty good. I also vastly underestimated how much time it would take a group to finish it. I thought 15 minutes but it was more like 30 with several big hints along the way. I wish another group had tried so I could compare some experiences.

I think if you are into puzzles and games, you are more likely to enjoy the experience. When I tell someone that you are locked in a room for an hour and have to try to get out, I mostly get reactions of fear and claustrophobia. It really isn’t like that. There is always a way out of the room. There is someone watching you and providing hints if you need them (or ask for them – up to a point). I think they want you to succeed. Although, the success rates for these rooms from what I can tell hovers between 25-30%, which I find astonishing.

I assumed that folks would start posting how to escape and the rates would go up, but when I was searching for inspiration for creating my own escape room, I was struck by how little information is out there on creating them or solving them. So, folks are keeping the secrets safe – which is better for the businesses and the experiences as well!

I found them fun. I will do more, I am sure. I also know I probably will meet one that I cannot defeat. Oh dear.


Photo credit: MYSTERY MANILA – Sinister’s Symposium-16.jpg

It has been almost a month and I have been steadily working on this transition from Android to iOS. I wanted to capture a few quick thoughts here while it was still a bit fresh on my mind.

The Apple Migration tool for moving from Android failed for me. Three times. I gave up.

Thus, I didn’t get to move things like:

  • Messages
  • Whats App messages
  • Settings/Accounts
  • Contacts
  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Music
  • And so forth

I was a bit disappointed with that fact. Actually, more than a bit. I really figured Apple had this migration thing figured out to get folks to move. But, I would hit 71% complete and freeze. I don’t know, truly, if it was an Apple thing or a file it hit that freaked the program out. Whatever it was, I had to go back to the manual approach.

I use Google for most things (being Android and all), so adding that account got mail back and most contacts. I did discover I had more phone-only contacts than I realized so I had to sit and do a side by side comparison to get those copied over manually. I did hate to lose my WhatsApp conversations as one of them is very important to me. I have exported it to my email and I have the media but I miss having the actual conversation in the interface. I suppose I should try to think of them as much more transitory but right now, that conversation felt like it needed to stay a more permanent fixture on my device and I just couldn’t get it to do that.

I have moved most photos. All are backed up on Flickr so I have them, just not in my hand when I want to scroll through and find them.

I have downloaded most apps that I had before. The only one I have not found a counterpart for is Regularly, which I really like. The Apple Reminders is fine for a single event/action. Regularly would remind me of things I needed to do on a regular (get it?) basis but not like an appointment. Things like changing the filter in my water filtration system or checking my birthday calendar so I can get cards purchased and in the mail and so forth. I am on the hunt for something similar.

I do miss a few things about Android that Apple just doesn’t do.

  • I like the hardware based menu button and the back button. I like getting to settings inside the app.
  • I liked getting to choose my wifi network when I enabled wifi rather than go to the setting menu from the main screen
  • I miss the easy “share” button in most apps. It is there in Apple but it is a different icon and I forget
  • I liked the Google reminders (leave now to make your appointment, etc)

But, the 6s is a NICE phone

  • It is zippy fast and I have loads more storage now
  • I love making quick videos with iMovie on the phone
  • I love the live photo feature
  • Siri seems to work for me about as well as the “Ok Google” bit did for me

I’ll keep playing around and let you know what else pops up.

Apple Computer and Android logos mergedMany folks are surprised when they seem me whip out my Android phone (Samsung Galaxy S4). It is unusual, I suppose, for such an unabashed Apple fangirl to “stoop” to something outside of the ecosystem.

I did it for several reasons. First and foremost, for the longest time, my carrier (Sprint) didn’t have the iPhone in its arsenal and I really didn’t have the energy to time to mess with switching carriers. Also, I already owned an iPod touch (and subsequently an iPad) so I didn’t need to learn how iOS operated and how apps worked, etc. In my line of work, it pays to stay ahead of the tech curve and experiment with many different flavors of tools. That is why I can operate on Apple, Windows and Linux (sorta) and mouse with either hand!

So, I thought an experiment was in order to force myself to learn how Android worked when it was time to move from my Blackberry several years ago. And it was a good experiment. I learned about the different versions of Android. I also learned how behind some carriers are with updates as they push them out when they are ready (I guess) so I didn’t get KitKat for, what seemed like, a LOOOOOOONG time after I had read about it and wanted the newer features.

I have been thinking about going back to iPhone for a while now. Partly because I want to get everything back on Apple, partly because the new iPhones always seem so cool and I don’t have one and partly because my experiment has done its job.

My new job has exposed me to much more information about IT security and what all is out there “in the wild” in regards to threats for losing or compromising my data (and possibly the data of others) With the announcement of Stagefright and the exploit from a simple text message along with other, seemingly weekly, announcements of other Android exploits, my decision because clear. I needed to go back to the closed ecosystem of Apple.

I can argue both sides of open/closed ecosystems for development. I love the idea of open. Love. It. I want the creative expression that open allows when folks are provided tools for exploration and development. It makes the mind soar what we mere mortal humans can develop and create. However, some of these mortal humans create in order to destroy. I cannot explain why folks invented viruses, trojan horses, malware and the host of other nasty bits and bytes of code out there. But, they are there. And, the open ecosystem of Android means that there are WAY more out there for it than for Apple due to Apple’s review process for apps and controlled release of operating system versions. And, fixes for these are complicated to create and then deploy.

After learning so much about security, I understand and want to be protected from this potential danger. I simply cannot wait for Sprint to decide it will push a fix for Stagefright to me  which will only happen AFTER they had to wait for Google to push a fix to them. That is too long. Something bad will happen. Many phones will be affected. It won’t be pretty. I am hoping it won’t be me.

I am moving back to iPhone soon. Probably this weekend. (depends on when my pre-order iPhone 6s shows up)

This is the downside of changing technology – the change part. So, now I have the fun task of migrating data and all that goes with it. I recall changing from cable to satellite TV. That migration was painful only in the fact that I lost all of my “data” on the cable TV DVR. There really was no migration path. But, the DVR had died so I had lost the data anyway – it was just the fact that it was the 5th DVR that had died and I was over not being able to watch the programs I had recorded.

But, I digress.

Back to my phone, I have “things” I want to have all the time:

  • selected photos (they are also uploaded to my Flickr account as well – cloud backup storage for the win)
  • call logs
  • texting logs and texts
  • my WhatsApp messages
  • contacts
  • calendars (I use two different calendars: Exchange for work and Google for personal. It took me WAY TOO LONG to find an Android app that would merge both into an interface I liked and reliably sync both to and from my phone, iPad, office and home computers. Business Calendar Pro was the answer, if you are in Android and have the same issue)
  • data from my UP app and Jawbone
  • important things like my bowling score app 🙂

I am curious to see how Apple’s new Move to iOS app will work as described when I first read about it this past summer. I have it downloaded on my Galaxy phone ready for action. If the propaganda is true, this will be the easiest migration ever (even moving from Galaxy S 3 to 4 was a pain). The reviews are bad right now so that makes me wonder. But, the comments seem mostly from folks who are mad that Apple would even put this app in the Google Play store. That makes sense. Google does finally play nicely with Apple stuff and I can use my Google ecosystem, of which I am pretty well vested, on either device. If only Apple would put their stuff on Google’s platform and then consumers win as they can pick and choose the device that works best for them – size-wise, cost-wise, memory-wise and so forth.

So, in short order, time will tell if my migration is short and easy or will take time and effort. If short and easy, we may find switchers going back and forth all of the time. Apple may have anticipated that and that is another reason why they are offering the Apple iPhone Forever plan so they keep you locked in.

I will report back how my migration went and what lessons I learned. Stay tuned.


Image Credit: Appdroid & Anedople by Tsahi Levent-Levi used by Creative Commons License.

Two months ago, I lost one of my best friends to cancer. His decline was quick and unexpected as we were told the day before he died that treatments would begin the next day and had a high percentage of success. He was a professor and choral director. The students who he taught have been processing the death ever since, mostly on Facebook. We used FB to organize choirs for his service and a college concert that turned into a tribute to him. They also post (at all hours of the day and night) how they are feeling, how they miss him, how he changed their lives. The replies from each other are all so supportive and loving. The community is strong and I know that the grief work being done there is effective and useful. But, it is so not for me. I have posted very little about him after the immediate reaction to his death.

It is interesting to me to see how some people process their grief (and other emotions) on Facebook and other media. That is usually not my way. But, hell, I guess that is what I am doing right now – albeit with a much more small scale of readers (Bueller? Bueller?). But, it does help to write it down. Sometimes I scribble in a notebook. Sometimes I write on Penzu for myself. Sometimes, I decide to be more public and go here to good ole T-F.

Yesterday, on Facebook, a friend posted a link to Sheryl Sandberg’s recent post about end of her first 30 days mourning her husband’s death. It was an emotional, well-written piece of work. And, it struck a chord with me.

The similarities between her husband’s sudden death and the loss of my beloved almost 2 years ago are very strong. That, in and of itself, was enough to give me a strong emotional reaction to her pain. But, I also was reacting to her work after almost 24 months of grief and the processing and struggle that go with it.

From her post:

I have learned that resilience can be learned.  Adam M. Grant taught me that three things are critical to resilience and that I can work on all three. Personalization—realizing it is not my fault. He told me to ban the word “sorry.” To tell myself over and over, This is not my fault. Permanence—remembering that I won’t feel like this forever. This will get better. Pervasiveness—this does not have to affect every area of my life; the ability to compartmentalize is healthy.

The middle “thing” she thinks is critical is the one I have had to focus on and the one that I have seen the most change for my life. Grief doesn’t leave. But, it does change. It does lighten. So, you don’t feel like you do after 30 days forever. Thank goodness because none of us would ever be able to function again.

But, she also says that doesn’t think she will find “pure joy” again. I have to disagree. Yes, you feel like that after 30 days. You feel like that after 1 year. You feel like that for a long, long time. But, slowly, VERY slowly, you will notice at some point that you are laughing, truly laughing and the oppressive grief didn’t come in and ruin it. You notice something delightful and are able to enjoy it for longer than a second before tears come.

Last night, I was able to go enjoy a spectacle of nature that only happens here in my neck of the woods.


I have seen them before. Yes, WE saw them before. And, last night, as the “show” was starting. I felt myself tearing up. Part of me wanted to cry. Part of me wanted to mourn the fact that I had shared this awesome site with the person I loved the most and now I could not. But, I didn’t go there. And, for once, I didn’t have to fight it to not go there.

I was with my family. They had not seen it before. And, so I went back in my mind to awe and joy. It is an amazing event. I found myself staring into the deep woods, enjoying the darkness, and then delighting in the light show and then celebrating that it just went back to dark for 6 seconds. Then it repeats. For several hours. The crowd that was milling around before it started quickly got quiet as the flickering began. There were whispers of conversations but everyone was really in awe, I believe, as we witnessed this amazing display of nature.

So, we all process our grief in different way and through different media. I am so very sorry for Sheryl’s loss. I have empathy for what she is going through and I feel like she has the support she needs to make the journey through her grief over time. I also know that she can find pure joy again. I hope it comes to her and anyone else who needs it sooner rather than later.



I swear, I do not intend to turn this blog into a tech after death kind of blog but right now, that is what I keep finding is blog-worthy of my energy.

Legacy ContactRelated to my earlier posts on dealing with social media after death, Facebook has taken it a step further now and provided a means for someone to add a Legacy Contact to your account. You can find it from the Security Settings in your account on the site. And, yes, it is also in the mobile version.


When you add a Legacy Contact there, you can also choose to send a message to that person. The default message read:

Hi [Contact Name], Facebook now lets people choose a legacy contact to manage their account if something happens to them:

Since you know me well and I trust you, I chose you. Please let me know if you want to talk about this.


You also have the option to allow that contact to download your content (not messages) and/or choose to have your account deleted.

This change also includes adding the word “Remembering” to a memorialized page, which is a process I mentioned earlier. That change has already been put in place, it seems.Screenshot of KLA's FB page


These changes are for United States accounts right now but I bet they will roll out globally in the fairly near future.


I am acutely aware that I am getting older. One very real factor that drives this home is the increase in the number of funerals I could/should attend. Some of these are untimely and way too early.

But, some have been after a long life well-lived. But they still hurt nonetheless.

I just learned of another death yesterday. I had known him since I was in junior high school when I attended summer camp and he was the camp leader. Later, in college, he hired me to be a counselor and subsequently kept hiring me back with increasing responsibility through waterfront and then to be an area director where I led the high school program that involved lots of camping, backpacking, hiking, canoeing and other such fun things among other tasks. Most importantly, whether he knew it or not, he was one of my best mentors.

Mentors are hard to pin down. I think back over my life and I can think of a few people who I believe were very good at mentoring me. The most successful were the organic mentors – the relationship just evolved into that. I have asked people to mentor me in the past and that has not really worked out as I don’t tend to ask for their help and they are not really so engaged in what I am doing that they can offer help just by being around.

But, this man was a mentor to me. When I was working as a young counselor, we would pester him with so many theological questions (it was a Lutheran camp, after all). His answers were infuriating most of the time. Like, “Does it matter?” when you asked if Judas was in heaven or hell.

Now, I understand he was pushing us to a mature faith and not one with so many didactic and concrete questions.

He had his challenges and some of his choices later in life gave me much pain as I had a hard time holding on to him as a mentor. But, when I look at the grand scheme of the time we walked together on this earth, he was a good friend, a kind soul, a strong mentor and someone who will be missed.

I hope he has found peace in his heart. As for me, I am still searching for that.