Beyond the Door

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Most people open and close doors every day with very little thought. For me and many with disabilities the task can be daunting or even impossible. My new home is almost finished and I wanted to make it extremely accessible with my doors being no exception. My architect came up with idea of using a huge pocket door to separate my bedroom from my living room. I wanted to have the ability to open and close it  without any assistance. For years door openers for swing doors have existed, but very little for residential sliding doors. I was determined to find a solution when I found Autoslide Automation System that made a door opener for all types of sliding doors. I reached out to them and they offered to sponsor me with their Autoslide Automation System.

Most door openers like the ever popular Open Sesame which is used on swing door like my front door simply open and close the door. Yes, the Autoslide Automation System open and closes the door, but it is much more advanced than that. It actually learns about your door and entry. It calculates how big the opening is and how heavy the door is. It uses this to know how much power and force to use. It also has safety features to reopen if something touches it when it is trying to close. This all might sound very complicated and well it is, but it does not make it any harder to use. I actually found it much easier to setup than the swing door opener as the Autoslide Automation System does most of the programming work.

There are several ways to open and close the Autoslide Automation System. You can use a keychain remote control, a wall mounted remote control, a motion sensor, or as I did connect to a home automation system. One day hopefully in the very near future I hope to have the financial ability to get an assistance dog. When I do the Autoslide Automation System has a pet feature so my assistance dog can also use the Autoslide Automation System.

Queen of ? Robots

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I have recently become of big fan Simone Giertz who is the Queen of ? Robots. I would highly recommend you check out her YouTube channel, but I warn you that most of her content may not be suited for young children. Simone invents robots that do not really work, but they are supposed to do normal tasks that we as disabled persons refer to activities of daily living. I am hoping that her ideas can lead to inspire to be more creative projects that can the disability community. For example, she created a robot to pour milk in cereal and a robot that can brush teeth. These idea might sound very silly, but this can help a person with a disability live a much more independent life. I have recently reached out to Simone about possibly helping with a new secret project that I will share soon. I hope you like her videos and they inspire you to create something even if it is useless.

Amazon Prime Day

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I do a lot of shopping online for two main reasons. First, I typically can find a great deal which I think is a major part of the overall shopping experience. Second, as a person with a disability it is just easier to click and have it all delivered to my door. It might sound funny, but there is also something rewarding about getting a package in the mail.

Amazon
is one of my all time favorite places to shop online. I find you can buy almost anything including food and household items. I also really trust the reviews and ratings that people provide as many contain the good, the bad, and the ugly. I typically go on Amazon to research a product even if I do not purchase it through Amazon.

One of my favorite services is Amazon Prime which allows you to get majority of your items delivered in two days with no minimum purchase. Since I signed up for Amazon Prime I have significantly increased my online shopping to include many items I would never have thought to order online in the past. I also got an Amazon Visa which gives me triple rewards for my shopping on Amazon.

Amazon is constantly introducing new services to make shopping even easier. First, is the Amazon Button which allsows you to simply press a button to order a product. For example, you can put a button on your washing machine and when your laundry detergent is running low you just press the button to place an order. Second is Amazon Prime Now a new service that allow you to get items delivered in less than two hours. Last is Amazon’s subscripition service which allows you to automatically have items delivered on a schedule. For example, every month you can have a bottle of toothpaste delivered.

Next week July the 15th is Amazon Prime Day which will have specials that will be bigger than Black Friday. To particpate in Amazon Prime Day you need to be an Amazon Prime member. I would encourage you to sign up for a free thirty day trial membership of Amazon Prime even if it is simply to take advantage of Amazon Prime Day. Each person that signs up using the link below will help support this blog. Please consider signing up and tell your friends to sign up via this blog.

Happy Amazon Prime Day July 15
Exclusive Deals for Prime Members
Start Free 30-Day Trial

Show me the money…

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A while back I wrote the blog entry Coin Vs. Cards about Coin an alternative to carrying a wallet full of credit cards. Since then several products have been announced in this category. These include Google Wallet, Apple Pay, Wocket, Plastc, LoopPay, and Coin. I really cannot speak to Google Wallet as I am not an Android user. I like the idea of these devices because many times it is difficult for me to take cards out of my bag. I also like that I can keep my cards locked up somewhere as I am always worried about the possibility that new care takers could make copies of my cards when I am sleeping or showering. Others I know in similar situations to me have been taken advantage like this many times.

I recently got the iPhone 6 and have Apple Pay which looks great, but in my opinion has some serious drawbacks. The main drawback is I have had it for several weeks now and have not found one place to use it at. Second you have to be with it to use it so it will not work at restaurants where you give your server your card.

Coin the device I originally wrote about looks very promising as you can use it anywhere credit cards are accepted. It looks just like a credit card so you able to use it at restaurants and gas stations. It does hold eight cards which seems like a lot to me, but compared to the other options this is limited. The only downside is it must be replaced when the battery dies and at $55 that could get costly. The main issue with the Coin is that it has been plagued with delays. If and when I get a Coin I plan to do a follow up review.

Plastc looks very promising and could be a big rival to the Coin. It again looks just like a normal credit card. It has a small touch screen that allows you to switch between up to twenty different cards. It is compatible with credit cards, gift cards, touchless NFC cards, magstripe cards, barcode cards, store cards, loyalty cards, entry cards, and more. It is $155 which at $100 more then Coin may seem like a lot, but the battery is rechargeable. It also has a lot of security features that include facial authentication. If I get a Plastc when it comes out I will also do a review.

Wocket seems to work in the same manner as Plastc and Coin, but instead the Wocket Card is linked to a Wocket rather than your phone. The Wocket is a small touch screen device that that acts as your electronic wallet. It looks really nice and simple to use, but I am not sure I want to carry around another device. If I get a Wocket when it comes out I will also do a review.

LoopPay is currently in my opinion the best. This is for three main reasons. First, it is available now in several models which include the LoopPay Fob, LoopPay Card, and LoopPay ChargeCase. Second, it works almost everywhere. Last, it is just super cool. LoopPay recently sent me the LoopPay Fob and LoopPay ChargeCase to review. The LoopPay Fob is what I have been primarily using. It is a small device that fits on your keychain and charges up once a month. You simply plug it into your phone and swipe your cards into it. After that you simply select your default card. When you are at checkout you hold the fob over the magstripe reader and press the button. Like magic the reader thinks you swiped your card. The only downside I see is it does not work at gas stations or ATM machines, but supposedly their is a way to trick the machines. The only other thing is the fact to switch cards you must plug it in to your phone. The LoopPay ChargeCase has some great features which include adding extra battery life to your iPhone 5/5s and it allows you to switch cards via bluetooth. The downside to the LoopPay ChargeCase is you have to give your phone to your server at a restaurant. It also like all charging cases adds weight to your iPhone. The LoopPay ChargeCase does come with a LoopPay Fob which is a great plus. The LoopPay Card is LoopPay’s newest device which looks great. It works just like the LoopPay Fob as a standalone device, but allows you to switch cards via bluetooth. If I get a LoopPay Card I will do a follow up review on it.

More than a case.

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I recently got a new case for my Apple Macbook Air. I use my Apple Macbook Air for everything including writing this blog. I have been trying to find the perfect case for quite a while. I was looking for something that looked nice, protected my Apple Macbook Air, and could be used in the case. After trying many cases I came across the Folio from Sena Cases. At first look it looks like many of the cases you find on eBay, but from first hand experience I can tell you it is far better. First, the buckle is located on top and has a magnet to keep it out of the way. Most of the other cases the buckle is on the bottom and gets in the way which is quite annoying. It also has pockets behind the screen that allow you to stash papers and cards without adding bulk. Unlike the one I purchased on eBay it fits extremely snug and made of some of the highest quality leather. I would like to thank Sena Cases for sponsoring me with their Folio case for my Apple Macbook Air. I am planning to now purchase another case from them for my Apple iPhone.


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Simply Words

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I am always looking for ways to do things better and faster. One thing now that I am doing a lot more writing is typing. I tried dictation software and feel we have a love/hate relationship. Sometimes I feel it is very helpful and well sometimes it is not. I will say not trying to sound egotistical I can type very quickly so it was not worth the stress. I recently had Smile Software sponsor me with their TextExpander software, which I quickly fell in love with. TextExpander allows me to set shortcuts for the most common things I type. For example, if I type ;em it expands to my email address. I find it very helpful for things like entering my library card number on the library website. I also downloaded TextExpander Touch on my iPhone. This allows me sync all my shortcuts via Dropbox. This may sound silly at first, but you would be amazed at how time it can save you.

Do you use any technology to simply make simple tasks even simpler? Please share them in the comments section.

Coin Vs. Cards

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I recently pre-ordered a Coin. Coin is a new device coming to market that will allow you to store a combination of eight credit cards, debit cards, ATM cards, and or loyalty cards on one card. The cost of a Coin is $105 including shipping and handling, but if you pre-order like I did it is only $55 including shipping and handling. I cannot say how good it will be, but I figured I will take a chance. I like the idea that it does not use RFID so people cannot steal my cards in passing. I also like the idea of carrying one card because it is difficult for me to take cards out of my bag. If you are interested in pre-ordering a Coin like me please use the following referral link https://onlycoin.com/?referral=JX0H54iG.

That’s Cool

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I bring my lunch to work 90% of the time, but one of my struggles is worrying about taking it in and out of the small office refrigerator. Living independent is not only important at home, but at work as well. I recently got two PackIt Cool lunch boxes. I first got the PackIt Cool Personal Cooler which is great and can keep my lunch cold for almost 10 hours. I used for a little while and found it really did the trick, but for someone like me with very limited strength it was a just a tad bit heavy for me to lift. I could do it, but it took all of strength. My mother uses it now and it is nothing for her. I then got PackIt Cool Mini Cooler, which is quite a bit smaller and lighter. It holds less, but I am not a big eater. This is perfect for me as holds what I need while weighing considerably less.

I like my PackIt Cool Mini Cooler for many reasons. First, it allows me to carry my lunch and get it out without assistance. Many times when I get to work I am needed for a million things which means I cannot always put my food away right away. I also have to go to doctor appointments quite often and this allows me to carry my lunch regardless of how many stops I have to make. These are just a few of the reasons I enjoy using my PackIt Cool Mini Cooler.

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