If I were inclined to write poetry today (I’m not– the muse is not in the building), I would write an ode to the Google Translate app. As you may or may not know, in my job I work mostly in mobile app support for the WordPress app. Since 27% of the Internet runs on WordPress, and many users worldwide use the app, I get a lot of issues in languages I don’t understand. Generally a cut-and-paste into a translate tool works wonders, but it gets problematic when someone send in a screenshot of an issue. That’s when this app comes in really handy.
I have the Google Translate App for both Android and iPhone. When I get a screenshot, I open the app, download the applicable language then select camera in the app, and I get a translation. This has been invaluable in my work habits. And I’ve also found it really handy in travel.
When Chris and I were in Perugia, we hit the amazing National Archaeological Museum with fabulous history, but very little in regards to English translations. No problem. The app totally covered that, and we learned all sorts of stuff about amulets and recoveries from archaeological digs. So cool.
Now that we are spending a month in a new home in a land where we are far from fluent in the native language, we’re finding the app super handy in basic tasks such as grocery shopping. When you want to make a bean stew and aren’t sure which canned bean is which? The app comes to the rescue.
And it totally saved me from accidentally getting lemon tea when I thought I was getting mint.
It doesn’t just do images. I can type a phrase in English and have it translate to another language. I write my sentence, find a store-keeper, and point to the screen. We are all much happier and effective in our communications, I find.
Oatmeal – Aveia?
We don’t have it – Nós não temos isso.
Communication effectively achieved (I’m not thrilled with the result, but now at least I know to not keep scanning shelves fuitlessly).
Last December Chris and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. It kind of felt like we ought to do something out of the ordinary for the occasion, and we sort of did. We played ping pong, watched a movie and walked our dog on the beach.
Oh wait. We do that all the time.
But this day really was a bit different.
As we walked on the beach we dreamed about what we might want to do as a bigger anniversary celebration. Since we both love to travel, we brainstormed on a fabulous getaway. Dreaming is more than half the fun, I think. But we couldn’t decide where we might want to go. Then Chris came up with a brilliant idea. 25 small trips to celebrate our 25 years. Since he is an artist who can work on the road, and I can work wherever I have Internet, this seemed like a great idea so we started making a dream list.
Then work upped the ante.
Our little trips became no-so-little, and somehow we found ourselves in Italy two weeks ago (sharing WordPress with writers and journalists at the International Journalism Festival).
And now I’m writing this from Lisbon, where we are spending a month. My work team is going to spend a week here shortly, and we came early to enjoy the city together, and to spend some time with my cousin who lives in Europe.
I’m feeling pretty fortunate 🙂
So anyway, it’s been quiet here on my blog because I have been working/traveling/touring/trying to figure out a decent sleep schedule, and I have not been doing much else. But I think things are back on course now, so I can start sharing my thoughts. And some amazing images. I’m completely enamored with the rich history of these European cities.
When we go home next month, we will check in, re-acclimate, then start a road trip across the United States of America to visit friends and family for a month. Here’s where we stand on our list of 25 so far:
|1. WCUS – Philadelphia (we officially started our list last December since that was our anniversary month)|
|2. Niagara Falls – Ontario, Canada|
|3. Connecticut – visiting family and friends|
|4. Saratoga Springs, New York – company dinner and visit with relatives|
|5. Utah – visiting our boys and daughter-in-law|
|6. Greek Peak ski resort in NY – snowboard getaway|
|7. Toronto, Canada – visiting friends (forgot to take pics)|
|8. Perugia, Italy – International Journalism Festival for Work|
|9. Lisbon, Portugal – Team meeting for work and extra time for fun|
|10. Columbus, Ohio – visiting friends|
|11. Missouri – visiting friends|
|12. New Mexico – visiting friends|
|13. Utah – visit CJ and Lauren again|
|14. Las Vegas (maybe)|
|15. California (maybe) – visiting friends|
|16. South Carolina – visiting family|
|17. North Carolina – visiting family|
|18. Maryland – visiting family|
|19. West Virginia – check in on our boys at camp 🙂|
|20. Connecticut – nephew’s wedding 🙂|
As you can see, we are five trips short, but I have a feeling those will fill in nicely as the year journeys on. After all, it _is_ only April.
I think the game Chaos is sadistic. But some of my family members love it so I play. It’s probably good for me, helping me work on my memory.
Have you ever heard of it? Chaos is a board game from 1970.
It’s basically checkers. With up to four people. With identical pieces, and you have to figure out (in theory–keep track of) which pieces are yours.
Players are assigned a color, but the color is hidden on the underside of a piece. You can’t flip the piece until it’s in the home zone across the board from where you started. If you move someone else’s piece, they can call you on it, and you lose a turn. Oh, and you can’t move your pieces past the halfway point of the board until all the pieces are out of your home zone.
While I somewhat dread playing the game since I’m incredibly bad at it, I do have to admit then on the rare occasion when I do win (or even come in as a close second) I feel incredibly smart for a few minutes. It’s quite gratifying.
Last night I was doing all right. I came in last place on our first game, but was respectably close to everyone else. On the second game I lost first place by one move, so I was feeling pretty awesome. As an evening topper, I knew where all my pieces were on our third and final game. Or so I thought. I hit the home zone and discovered that it was someone else’s piece and mine was aaaaaaalllllllll the way across the board.
But that’s the thing. Everyone gets a chance to shine. Systems win and fail. Jumps soar you across the board in one shot, or you can get gridlocked.
No matter what, it’s always utter Chaos.
While I would still prefer playing a word game, I have to admit that the evening was enjoyable. I found a video on how it’s played:
Three. That’s the pathetically low count of times we were able to go snowboarding this past year. We’ve been spoiled enough to average 5-7 times a week for the past few years so it’s been a bit rough this year. With the move and our travels and such, we just haven’t had time this year. Our deteriorating muscles and expanding bellies attest to the fact that this is not an ideal situation.
Now it’s the time of year where you can get annual passes for next year, and snowboard for the rest of this year as part of the deal. As much as our hearts are with Swain, it’s too far away now that we have moved. So we planned to get passes for Greek Peak. And that was exciting.
We were supposed to go last weekend. Timing was critical since the snow has been rapidly melting. To our great disappointment, I was ill and couldn’t garner the strength to hit the slopes (all good now. It was just a nasty cold).
Then this east coast storm came down from heaven and gifted us with fresh powder the day before my weekend (I work Saturdays through Wednesdays). Greek Peak got 28-inches of fresh powder, so we grabbed hotel room and planned a two-day slope getaway. Wahoooo!
My boots and Chris about to go down the hill. Beautiful views.