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I too bought an iPhone

As an early Christmas gift to myself I went ahead and bought an iPhone. I’ve been debating for quite a while about plunking down the change for one, but eh, there just really isn’t a better phone out there right now, and there isn’t going to be for a while. So, why not.

I LOVED the fact that I didn’t have to spend a ton of time in the AT&T store to set it up, I just bought the phone, and left. That’s right… no questions, no paperwork, no signatures, no plan upsale, no blah blah blah. It was nice, since I’m a geek and social interactions are difficult for me to manage sometimes. 😉

I come home, unwrap it, plug it in, and AWAY WE GO! My pro version of Vista didn’t seem to have a hard time shaking hands with the Apple device, and iTunes recognized what I was trying to do RIGHT away. I went through the really simple steps of selecting a plan, transferring my existing Verizon number (waaay easier than I thought it was going to be), and synced up with all my music. DONE!

The only smug thoughts I had were the fact that it doesn’t sync with my Firefox or Thunderbird. 🙁

After using it during the weekend I noticed the headphone jack flaw that everyone was griping about, but after a quick trip to Best Buy to pick up a headphone adapter for $7 I was back in business with my audio connection in my car and my Sony earbuds I love so much.

I have since handed over my 30GB iPod to Kaleb to use in his new car and I use my iPhone for all my music needs now.

I LOVE the map feature, I can quickly search for businesses, get directions, and all that with a couple of clicks. So I don’t have to call Kaleb asking where the nearest PetSmart is from Rural and Broadway. 😉

The only issue I’m having with the iPhone right now at all really has little to do with the phone itself. AT&T coverage seems to be spotty in the valley, especially in front of my computer in my home office. 😐 What gives?

I think it’s interesting that AT&T and Cingular’s whole advertising campaign is “More bars in more places” and I can’t even get a good signal in my house in a super urban area. 🙁 BOO!

But besides the coverage, everything is going great, I’ll keep you posted as I use it more and get used to some of the features it offers. 🙂


Ack! I Missed Some Days!

By April Holle  //  Life News  //  No Comments

Alright, alright, I missed some days. I fail.

I’ve been caught up in this silly house thing, but it looks like the timing isn’t right after all. I’m approved for the loan amount, but the mortgage payment would be double my rent payment now… yeaaa not going to go back to eating ramen any time soon. So, maybe later.


The Hunt Is On

By April Holle  //  Life News  //  No Comments

Kaleb and I have been thinking about purchasing a house come next year, after all the loans are paid, credit cards cut up… well… I jumped the gun.

I found this super cute patio home over in North West Mesa that is more than what we’re looking for. Three bedrooms, two baths, a good sized backyard for a mini-wiener, an Arizona room, a remodeled kitchen, a fireplace, and… something that’s hard to find on a condo in Arizona, a two car garage!  Not to mention it’s in our price range.

Well, today, we went to go look at it, I was floored and willing to hide out in the huge walk-in closet in the master bedroom. Kaleb wondered around and checked out all the rooms, noticing there weren’t cable drops in two of them. We spent a lot of time just wondering about and making sure there weren’t and deal busters to be found. Needless to say, we were definitely interested in it.

But is the timing right? Is the time ever right? We’ve handed over all of our financial matters to a loan advisor and she’s getting back with us next week, that will be the real hitch. Once we get that all figured out then we’ll really be able to jump in feet first. Wish us luck!


National Blog Posting Month

November, the month of brisk winds, first frosts, pumpkin pie, giving thanks, and now… national blog posting month. That’s right folks, for the month of November I will be posting every day.

While there have been some discussions on how blog posting frequency doesn’t matter, I believe that I truly do have something interesting and even possibly helpful to share with the world every day. If I didn’t feel that way, frankly my life would be pointless.

So, to celebrate this new goal, I’ve created a new blog template for EVofC and I have also purchased in hopes to perhaps switch over to that as my new site, someday. I also plan on building out my about section to feature my 43 things list, music selection, favorites and stories, and flickr photos. I’ve decided instead of updating my about page all the time, it can automatically update for me as I live my life, making it that much easy for you to keep track of me. Kinda scary huh? So keep checking back for that.

I’m also tossing around the idea to maybe create a wordpress theme section and start creating themes for the masses. Perhaps also expanding out to a creative section where I can add tid bits like new wallpapers, photoshop brushes, and creative type links that I use on a regular basis for others to be inspired by.

Anyhow, November’s looking to be a pretty exciting month, and remember to check back EVERY SINGLE DAY for that new bloggy bit by yours truly. If you think you’d like to hear about any topic in particular, feel free to comment and I’ll be sure to look into it. 🙂 I’m sure by the end of the month I might need some coaxing. hehe


Local Lifestyle Magazines Recieve Facelift

I’m proud to announce that Terralever launched two new sites into the world wide web this week. We have just finished production on a redesign and large back-end content management system for Cities West Publishing sites, Phoenix Home and Garden and Phoenix Magazine.

I am really proud to have been part of this success. The website may seem large and elaborate, but with the use of themes, masterpages, and dynamic content the site itself is about 20 pages in total. This was the first website in which we were really able to experiment with large scale theme usage and I learned quite a bit about how to make the front end flexible enough to reskin.

Making sure css naming conventions were simple enough to reuse through out the process was a key piece of the puzzle. I used the content to determine the class and id naming instead of color or position since both of these could change dramatically. This was not only important to switch from theme to theme within the sections of the site, but also we chose to reuse quite a bit of code from one site to the next to save cost for our client. Thus, the reasoning in similar layout from one site to the other.

Making sure each piece of content knew what month and what section it appeared in was also a large undertaking in this process, thankfully our wonderful back end development team did an amazing job of coordinating how the data manipulated the themes and sections with in the site.

In addition to the amazing design and development that went on to create the front end look and feel, there was an amazing effort on the back end administration system. Back behind all that wonderful content is an editorial staff that needs to input it in every month in a quick efficient manner! To help them with this, Terralever created an amazing custom content management system that allows the editorial staff to select which issue an article appears, what section, enter in the content and add supplemental photos to each story.

For each story the editorial staff has full access to create and layout articles however they please. They can add as many photos, call outs, etc to make each layout custom to the story it holds. To help them with this process, we created five templates for them to start with, allowing them to enter content quickly and then make the necessary additions with more photos, more call outs, etc.

The administration also gives the staff full access for the featured flash piece on the homepage, to create and edit user polls, add events, showcase photos in galleries and have users sign up for news and emails.

While these sites were a big project and some nights were spent eating at my desk instead of in front of the TV, it’s always worth it in the end. To go to a live URL and see something you’ve invested so much and learned from is amazing.  These sites are definitely two projects I’m proud to have been a part of. I hope you enjoy using them as much as I enjoyed building them.


Pink for October

It’s that time again! October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and to spark awareness around the world wide web has asked web site owners to go pink for the month of October.

Last year, I grabbed a pink wordpress theme and called it a month. This year, I’ve gone ahead and created a pink theme in honor of my grandmother and aunt who have had to bare the burden of cancer. My aunt, Diane, and grandmother, Zella, are survivors. Tragically I have lost Diane to a second wave of cancer after she had beaten the disease. My grandmother is still doing well with no signs of remission.

My thoughts go out to all those who are fighting cancer and those survivors out there who have beaten this tragic disease. My heart goes out to you and your families and friends, that you will all stay strong through the fight and come out in the end. I financially support cancer research and cure development, and I do all that I can to create awareness in my community regarding this disease.

Every year, every dollar, every effort of cancer awareness brings us that much closer to finding a cure. Won’t you help?


Red Bull Flugtag Texas Recap

Oh my goodness! What an amazing time I had in Austin! I want to thank Aaron, Brooks, Parts, Derick, Domino, Erica and all the rest of the Red Bull staff who made this event amazing and the weekend just a blast!

Austin is definately living up to it’s city slogan “Keep Austin Wierd.” While I was there I saw all walks of life, in this great mixture of amazing harmony, culture and character. The town is eclectic and an amazing sence of charm and character every where you look. Unforunately it was VERY hot, humid and muggy while we were there.

We were staying at the Hilton in the heart of down town Austin, so if I looked out my hotel window I could see the Frost Bank Tower as well as the Texas State Capitol building. Our hotel was only two blocks from 6th St. An area of Austin that is heavily populated by bars and clubs, so much so that almost every building houses one. In fact, on weekend evenings the street is barricaded off so that pedestrians can walk into the streets to get around.  So needless to say I had a lot of fun while we were there. My favorite 6th St hangout was Red Fez. Austin, TX is also the home of the South by Southwest conference, which, after this experience, I’ll be attending, no DOUBT!

I had a few firsts while I was there, since I’m from Kansas, there are some things that I really haven’t had the experience of well.. experiencing. For instance, I went on my first pedicab ride. My second, third, forth, and fifth trip through a revolving door. I also have had my fair share of cab rides now as well.

But all of this is trivial in comparison to how much fun and craziness the actual Red Bull Flugtag Texas event was! We spent the first two days visiting the site and getting all the interactive materials ready for the big night on Saturday, and what a night it was! Gates opened at 5 pm and the crowds started pouring in. The Interactive Landing Zone was a big hit (especially in the early hours since it had AC) and Red Bull took over 600 photos of the event, participants, and spectators to post to the website. Red Bull believes this is the largest national event crowd they have had, with the headcount reaching 80,000 or so. The event park area had to be closed down at one point since it had reached capacity, and there was additional crowds located on the bridge, across the river and on the water. In the main area, people were standing shoulder to shoulder and moving through the crowd became a bit of an effort. The crafts that flew during the event were amazing and it was neat to see how much creativity and effort had been put in by all the teams participating. The winning craft, Skate and Destroy was amazing as it went off, the pilot actually stayed on the craft event after it’s landing!

So I needless to say I had a GREAT time in Austin, and I love all the charater and charm the city had to offer. Yea it was a little hot, and definately a little moist, but it was an amazing time filled with lots of great memories that I’ll keep with me for years to come. Becareful Austin, I’m coming back in March, and I’m going to rock it!


Flugtag Texas!

By April Holle  //  Life News  //  No Comments

Here I come Red Bull Flugtag Texas! I’m so excited!

Terralever is flying me out to Austin, Texas to do on-site web updates from the event! While I’m sure I’ll be busy with all the work that is involved with broadcasting event highlights and winner information online, I’m garenteed to have a great time as well.

This will be my FIRST Flugtag event, I’m excited to see the energy and excitement that vibes from the real event. Some of the people that build and compete to fly at these events are DIE HARD fans of Red Bull and the Flugtag event and have been either at or in several events already. I can’t wait to be emersed in this event and really get a feel for everything that goes on there.

While I’ve spent a good year or so doing updates, I’ve never personally met our Red Bull client contacts. It will be great to finally meet some of the great people that make Red Bull such a sucess, and the masterminds behind some of thier largest events.

Not to mention, I hear Austin is a rockin town with lots of great people, live music, and awesome nightlife. I’m orginally from the Mid-West but I haven’t been to Texas too many times. It will be nice to be back in that part of the country.

I’m also looking forward to my fourth round trip flight! Flying makes me so nervous, I keep thinking that my luggage is going to get lost and I’m going to be without clothes for my trip. hehe At least I won’t be taking a dive off the Flugtag platform!

 Anyhow, I’ll be sure to blog about my trip and all the fun I’m having! 🙂

What is this?

This little blog happens to be the personal ramblings of one April Holle - I'm female, outspoken, webbie, a community evangelist, and Principal of Made Better Studio. Check out the about section for more info.

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