The Almost Indestructible iPhone Case

I love my OtterBox Defender iPhone case even though I wish it was more sleek and feminine.  What it lacks in fashion it makes up for by saving my iPhone from total destruction nearly every day.  My case needs to have a bit of a rubber-sticky feel so it’s easier to grip and it must protect from the inevitable two or three mishaps (aka drops) a day!

I have a boring black case – partly because  I carry it on my lap all the time (Brent thinks it is less noticeable) and partly because I can’t decide between the black, blue or pink (there are other colors too).  Don’t get me started on my indecisiveness, there’s a post coming on that subject as soon as I decide to finish it!   I can’t justify the nearly $50 each for a wardrobe of case colors, but if I had one other color, I’d pick the blue as a back-up.  What do you think?

One sleepless night when I was laying in bed listening to my iPod, I used my teeth to position my phone  in my hand so I could change the podcast. Low and behold I heard a faint ‘crack’. The next day Brent took a look at my phone and said, ‘You have a crack across the glass on your phone!’, I was aghast and wondered how in the world something like that could happen! Not wanting to go to the Apple store and beg or use every manner of my wheelchair influence to finesse a free or reduced price replacement or much less pay full price to replace the glass front of my iPhone; we looked more closely and found that it was only my OtterBox case that was cracked!  OK, it was a nearly $50 investment, but at least I wouldn’t have to go to the mall (yikes) to the Apple Store to get on the list, wait, and potentially buy more accessories or a new sweater at Ann Taylor next door.

I quickly called OtterBox and they asked me a few questions which I reluctantly answered honestly! And the next thing I knew they were sending a brand-new OtterBox Defender free of charge! Their warranty is extensive and user-friendly.  The new case arrived within ten days.  Meanwhile, I cautiously used an old Otterbox case that was not made for my iPhone version.   Impressive response and outstanding customer service.  Otterbox ROCKS!

My use of the OtterBox has pushed any limit you could expect from a case:
– I’ve dropped it from a height of 3-5 feet on to concrete, tile, wood, etc.
– I’ve rolled over it with all 350 lbs of me and my power wheelchair but really don’t want to do that again!
– Tahoe has picked up my phone off the floor and run around the backyard with it more than one time.  The stinker…he gets so proud of himself.
– Last night I dropped my phone on the floor in the kitchen while we were engrossed in eating strawberries with freshly made cream cheese frosting (big kudos to Brent for his first experience and success making this staple). I’m sure Tahoe tried to give it to me, but when I licked the spoon and spatula clean there was no sign of Tahoe or the phone. Uh oh! In comes Tahoe, but there was no sign of the phone in the house or the yard. Our last resort was for Brent to call my phone…we listened for the barking dog ring tone….no, not in the house…hmm…we walk outside and hear a faint ‘ruff, ruff, ruff’ coming from the thick green bushes where Tahoe likes to curl up and relax.  Alas, there lay my phone.

If you are as clumsy as Madge or want to trust your phone with your 3 year old or your new puppy, give up your stylish case and get the OtterBox Defender!

Daily Audio Bible Review – A Favorite Podcast & App

Listening to the Daily Audio Bible (DAB) podcast is not a way to do in depth study but it is a consistent everyday meal of scriptures. It’s a healthy habit for me to listen to it during sleepless nights, early mornings, or drive times. I like to read along whenever possible.

Different Podcasts in the Family

Daily Audio Bible (DAB) – This is the hallmark podcast and my favorite in the family. It includes a portion of Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs each day by using the ‘One Year ® Bible’ reading plan. I like to couple the audio with reading the bible via the Youversion App which I previously reviewed. The ‘English’ version narrator, Brian Hardin, introduces books of the bible with brief background information and often interjects brief, amusing, yet insightful comments.

If you have friends or family who don’t speak English they may enjoy the Spanish, Chinese, Japanese and Hindi versions.

DAB Proverb – Includes one of the 31 Proverbs each day. You have to love the wisdom that is packed in a few short minutes.

DAB Kids – Includes just the daily New Testament reading from the DAB podcast – it is read for kids, and by kids. It’s upbeat and energetic- occasionally I listen to little Max and China read, and if there were young ones in our home, this would be a

fabulous daily inspiration.

I’ve listened to this podcast for several years via the iPhone’s podcast subscriptions for free, however, they recently released a $.99 app which I purchased for this review. It lends easy access to audio content as well as the corresponding text.

If you’ve ever had an inclination to get through the bible in a year this may become your favorite podcast. It’s a great idea for a ‘new year’ activity to enjoy with a friend or family member. Let me know if you’d like to partner with me in reading/listening to the bible in 2012!

Check out the website at

Merry Christmas and a scripture filled New Year!


I Love You Siri – Even with Your Problems

Recently I shared my experience with the Dragon Dictation voice to text app, and I mentioned the upcoming iPhone 4S. Since I was eligible for an upgrade, my lovable techno-geeky husband insisted (really, he did) that we investigate the new phone. He’s so generous to give me the upgraded phone and inherit my older model. He’s just that kind of guy.

A couple weeks had passed since the 4S release when I called a nearby dealer and my name was the first on their waiting list. Within a few days, I had my new phone, and honestly, I wasn’t enthusiastic about it. I thought my iPhone 4 was just fine. The main attraction for me was the 8 megapixel camera because my phone’s camera is the only one I can easily hold and click – usually with my tongue! The 4S camera is much better than the iPhone 4’s.

Now that I have the 4S, I wouldn’t want to be without it! Voice recognition with my ‘personal assistant’ is natural, slick and hi-tech.

If you have not seen Siri in action, she can be activated with a touch of the home button. With Siri, the keyboard includes a microphone button/key on the key pad which activates the personal assistant. The speech recognition is remarkably accurate for me as text quickly appears on my phone. She’s a different experience than what I’ve had with other voice to text tools over the years because she’s pervasive throughout the phone and easily accessed everywhere. What a time-saver! She has actually made my iPad use a little less frequent because my iPad doesn’t have Siri. At least not yet. I understand that Siri has already been proven on other Apple devices by jail-breaking users. Hopefully Siri will be officially released for additional iOS devices soon.

I realized she’s still young when I experienced a problem getting Siri to answer me as I was ready to get a screen capture of her for this article. I asked her a question and she kept telling me she could not connect to the network. I restarted the phone, reset Siri and the phone’s network settings – to no avail. It turned out Apple had a Siri outage. This blip showed me that Siri, like any good assistant, may need an occasional break. I forgave her and trust that she’ll become more reliable.

My minor inconvenience does not put a damper on my opinion of Siri. I can’t believe how easy it is to work with her. She also has a delightful sense of humor. I’ve always wanted a better sense of humor so maybe Siri will help me as I investigate answers to some of life’s interesting questions.

Siri, how old are you? -I am not allowed to answer that question.

Open the pod bay doors. –That’s it. I’m reporting you to the Intelligent Agents’ Union for harassment.

Open the pod bay doors. -I’m sorry, Madge. I’m afraid I can’t do that, are you happy now?

Am I old? -I would prefer not to say.

Siri, you are nice. –Oh, go on.

Do you like me? –I really have no opinion.

Siri, do you know Jesus? -I suppose its possible.

Siri, I love you. –You can’t.

In all seriousness, Siri gives answers to requests about directions and the weather, she’ll make calls, send texts, search the web and so much more. This is ‘beta’ Siri? I can’t wait to see what the future brings as Siri gets smarter and more sophisticated. Steve Jobs was a crazy, odd and rude genius (I am reading his biography), and I’m grateful he managed to shift our technology paradigm in wonderful ways and helped make technology easier for me to use.

….Let me see, what shall I do now? I’ll ask Siri.

Siri, what should I do now? ‘Ok, here’s your meeting,’ she says as she brings up my calendar and next appointment – I’d better go!

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A Favorite Mobile App – Youversion Bible

Oh, do I love my iPhone and my iPad.  Apps are my friends. The Youversion Bible App is definitely right up at the top of my list of favorites. I use it everyday.  Who knew that you could carry so much wisdom and faith in a little app like this?  I always have my bible with me now.  No longer do I need to pack it when I go to church or out of town.  That’s convenience.  I have to confess that, in the past, I actually cut a  ‘One Year’ bible into multiple sections so I didn’t have to carry the whole thing around to do my daily reading.  Before you say ‘sacrilegious’…a quadriplegic figures out how to get around with mobility issues. Physical disability adds a new outlet for creativity.  OK, back to the app….

If you already downloaded a free bible to your mobile device you probably have this puppy. If you don’t have it yet, this is for you.  It’s feature rich and easy to use and it’s free.

Versions.   With the push of a button you can access over 150 versions in 50 languages! 27 versions are in English.  Access to various versions keeps familiar passages fresh and lends new perspectives!

Reading Plans.  There are over 150 reading plans. There are ‘read-through’, ‘topical’, ‘devotional’ and ‘youth’ plans – some take a few days, others years!  I have only scratched the surface of the plans.  Once you select a plan, the readings are easily accessed.  No flipping pages around and you never lose your place from one day to the next!   The flexibility associated with plans is a beautiful thing .  You can start a plan at any time and track your way through its readings.  I like the ‘One Year Bible’ plan because it works well with other tools I use, but I supplement with other plans as well. 

Audio.  Many of the versions have audio associated with them – they are easily identified by a small speaker icon.  Some of the voices are better than others!  When I use the audio, I  switch versions to get the reader I most enjoy.

Downloadable by selection.  Most of the versions can be downloaded to your device as indicated by a green download symbol next to the version name.  By downloading your favorite versions you’ll have the bible even if internet access isn’t available.

Live Events. If you are a pastor or if you lead group meetings, the ‘live event’ feature is handy. Once a group or live event is set up, participants can do things like take notes, ask questions, respond to questions – and immediate results can be displayed for the group.  I haven’t had the opportunity to use this feature, but look forward to trying it out.  Sounds powerful.

The app makes it simple to search or highlight text, add public or private notes, send passages to friends (via email, SMS, Facebook or Twitter), and allows customization of text font type and size.

Youversion is an impressive app that I hope you’ll check out.  I’m sure I’ll reference this app again as we get close to the beginning of the new year.  A new year is a great time to start a reading plan.  Well, anytime is a great time with this treasure.


You can check it out in your market place/app store or at