Playing music on my Android phone

I keep a fair bit of music loaded onto my phone, specifically so that I can plug in headphones when I’m on my lunch break at work. I didn’t used to use headphones in the break room, but I have several co-workers who not only seem to enjoy loud and annoying TV shows (why is pranking people on TV such a big thing? And even if I didn’t mind that the hosts have especially annoying laughs), but who’ll walk into the break room and turn up the volume on the TV, and then hold loud and obnoxious conversations over the top of the TV. So, noise canceling headphones for the win!

With my newest phone I was just using Google Music. It came preinstalled, and since I don’t need anything fancy, or anything streaming, I didn’t care about any other features. The last couple weeks its been prompting me to “upload your music to Youtube for streaming anywhere!”, which I ignored. I don’t want streaming, I don’t want to use signal, I want to play the music already on the damn phone.

Yesterday I plugged in my headphones, tapped the music player, and got a message “Google Music is no longer available for streaming services, upload your music to Youtube to continue!”. And wouldn’t let me just play the music on my phone.

So I’m sitting there swearing at my phone (to the shock and amusement of my coworkers who are regularly shocked at the language that I know, why I don’t know), and scrolling through the Google Play Store trying to find a music player that didn’t cost anything, didn’t have ads, and just played MY MUSIC ALREADY ON MY PHONE DAMYOU. After thinking about it a minute longer, I disabled the Google Music app, and then went into the file manager, found my music, and tapped…..and it played! No special app required! Woot! No ads, no annoying “upload your music for streaming!!”, nothing! Just played.

So, lesson learned. If you have a reasonably recent model Android phone (and possibly older ones too, since I don’t have the newest and fanciest) you may not need a special app to play music!


Hairsticks

I’ve always loved hair decor. Decorative clips, barrets, hairsticks and so on. Unfortunately they don’t tend to love me, or at least my hair type. I have slippery fine hair, and unless I pin and hairspray the hell out of them they don’t stay in my hair. I’d long since given up on wearing anything of the sort except for very dress-up occasions because of it.

Then I ran across these:

The hairsticks are made from G10 laminate, the same stuff often used on knife handles. Its NOT slippery, infact has a fair bit of texture to it, which in turn means that they actually stay in my hair! The only hair elastic in that picture is at the base of the pony tail before I twisted it into a bun, and those sticks stayed in my hair for a good shake and another couple hours after the photo before I had to take them out to change clothes.

The hairsticks can be found here on Instagram or here on Facebook. If you’re on neither let me know and I’ll get the maker’s email to send you. He charges $30 a pair for single color sets like the ones pictured above, more for bicolor depending on the number of layers involved.

The chainmaille dragons come from here. And you totally need to check out Cedar’s stuff. After getting my dragons in the mail I was suddenly taken with a mad desire to make more decorative pendants for my hairsticks, and Cedar was wonderful about answering my questions about the hobby. Cause I TOTALLY needed a new hobby to add to my list don’t-cha-know.

For additional thoughts and pictures of the hairsticks see LawDog’s take on them here.

I have to add, I’ve now worn a pair of these hairsticks at work, all day, for the last week. They’ve actually STAYED in my hair for an 8hr day running around the sales floor and doing all sorts of physical labor. They’re awesome. I’ll also note that the black ones pictured are 7.5″ long, the others are 6.5″. If you have especially thick hair, or a longer neck, you may want them to be longer rather than shorter, but he makes them to order, so he can make them whatever length you want.


Life update

Garden is in, and I got my first two cucumbers out of it yesterday.  Husband is still working from home, and was just informed that he’s going to be working from home through at least September.  This is one of those summers where I’m very glad for the watering system I have in place for the garden.  Dry doesn’t say it enough!  The old pool is down completely, and gravel is in the hole.  I did my math wrong and didn’t get enough to fill the hole, so now we’re deciding between more gravel, or a layer of pavers.

In the wider scheme of things:

Meat prices MIGHT have stabilized, but I’m not holding my breath on that one.

My work has started receiving deliveries of pressure treated lumber again, enough that the aisle isn’t COMPLETELY empty, but its still not enough to stem the demand.  Cleaning products are still in very short supply.  Walk behind lawnmowers are in short supply except for a few specific models.  Pesticides are coming up short in several areas, notably wasp/hornet sprays.  Tomato cages are still a hot commodity, chicken wire is hard to get.  Landscape edging is hard to get.  Weed barrier is still non-existent.  Patio furniture is selling out faster than I’ve ever seen before, and we still can’t keep firepits in stock.  We’re short on several garden soils as well.  Bird feeders, wild bird feed, shepherds hooks to hang them on, are all in short supply or gone completely.  Hose reels and hoses are also hard to find.  We’re out of buckets.  Yes, buckets.

One question that I keep getting over and over again is why are we out of so much?  In a bit of irony its almost always the person with double masks and gloves who’s asking.

Look people.  We just shut down huge swathes of manufacturing for 2-3 months.  The few who were able to stay open had to reduce capacity in order to space their employees out, or to deal with people calling out sick.  So, the factory that makes that walk behind lawn mower had to shut down for 2 months.  The factory(s) that make the parts to make the lawnmower had to shut down for 2 months.  The factory(s) that process the raw materials to make the parts for the lawnmower had to shut down for 2 months.  So, now the lawnmower factory is waiting on parts, the parts factory is waiting on raw materials.  And they’re all running at reduced capacity due to the need to space people out further.  Repeat the same steps with the warehouses.  PLUS there’s transport issues.  Trucking/transport companies had to also deal with employee call outs, and issues like the states shutting off rest areas.  AND that assumes everything is coming from the USA.  Do I  need to explain the  issues with stuff coming from overseas??  I sure hope not.  Not to mention what this does to all those jobs involved.

Look, its going to take MONTHS for things to catch back up.  I don’t really care if you think the shutdown was the right thing to do or not.  We just screwed the HELL out of our economy.  And since we’re pretty much guaranteed to have another virus spike come fall when flu season comes around I have some serious doubts as to whether it was worth it.  And god protect us all if the .GOV decides to try to shut us all down again then, cause if you think the unrest now is bad, its going to be SO MUCH worse if they try to do it again.

Edited to add: no sooner do I post this than I see this post over at Borepatch.

The largest specialty bike shop in town, one that has been open for over 50 years, is closing next week. They sold every bike in the store and had been told it might be months before any could be delivered. They couldn’t get replacement parts, either. Selling tires and tubes and fixing flats is the bread and butter of any bike shop.

Click through and look at his picture.  Yup, this is gonna suck.


Lets see…

NY is slowly opening up, or at least the Central and Upstate regions are.  There are many many more cars back on the roads than there have been in months, and parking lots are full again.  In fact they’re so packed that I’m betting that the restaurants are failing at keeping tables separated.

The change has been noticeable at my work too.  Online orders have slowed (though not back to pre-pandemic levels by any stretch), and instead people are coming into the store to do their shopping.  I’ve discovered that my definition of a “slow day” has changed drastically.

We’re still out of pressure treated lumber, and no date yet on when we’ll get a truck.  It’s going to take multiple trailer loads to fill back up just the one store, and the whole region looks like this (if not the whole country)!

We’re still sold out of firepits, and are selling out of grills.  We can’t keep riding lawn tractors in stock for more than a few days at a time.  Walk behind mowers aren’t much better.  Blades and basics to maintain them are also running short.  Certain models of weed-whackers are also running short to non-existent.  Hand garden tools are running out, I hope you don’t need a post hole digger any time soon.  Cleaning supplies are still short to non-existent, especially if you want something disinfecting.

Paper goods such as toilet paper or paper towels, might be recovering.  My work has managed to have some sort of both in stock on the shelves for a couple weeks now, and the local grocery stores have managed to have some on the shelves every time I’ve been in, though their shelves aren’t full by any stretch.

Meat and grocery prices are still going up.  Though my local grocery stores have managed to have flour on the shelves now for a couple weeks.


Picture from my work

That’s the front half of the main lumber aisle. Our pressure treated lumber delivery is over 2 weeks late. We’ve got some 6×6 posts left, and some of the 12″ wide pressure treated lumber, which is located in the back half which I didn’t photograph, and some random odds and ends. But thats all thats left for pressure treated lumber. Were mostly ok on the non-pressure treated lumber, though there’s some gaps showing there too. Its not just Home Depot either, the local Lowes looks just the same, as do the smaller local places.

The cleaning supplies aisle is just as empty. We have managed to get in a SMALL selection of seed starting stuff, mostly because people are done with seed starting. We’re out of weed barrier, and weed barrier staples. Tomato cages have become a precious commodity. Garden/food seedlings are impossible to keep in stock. We have no fire pits left, and patio furniture is down to the dregs (and most of both of those aren’t available online to order either). Lawn mowers, both walk behind and riding, are gone except for a couple random models of walk behinds. Our paint delivery this past Monday was 17 pallets of paint.

Crowds have slowed down just a bit this week, but only in comparison to the last 2+ months. In comparison to normal weekday crowds for a normal June our parking lot still looks like we’re holding a Black Friday sale.


Yah, I wasn’t exagerating

On 3/19, back when this all started, I did a small order from our local wholesaler.  Now I usually get cases of eye of round for the beef portion of the dogs’ diet, its usually slightly more expensive than the top round, but its packaged in smaller chubs which  makes it easier for us to work with.  But at that time the top round was listed at $3.83/pound.

Wednesday this week I called the wholesaler about doing another order.  We don’t NEED anything yet, but I wanted to keep the freezers topped off.  The wholesaler can’t get ANY eye of round, they don’t know when they’ll be able to get it.  They have top round, and its $7.34/pound.

Depending on your grocery store you might not have seen the price increase, but its coming folks.  Hang onto your hats, cause yah, I expect it to only get worse from here.