Tag Archives: life

How One Thing Leads to Another

Cowboy Dancers
Country Dancing

I had been experimenting with the Google Text to Speech capabilities on Android mobile devices lately and wound up putting together an application purely for fun.  Once I implemented a feature to turn text into audible speech at a scheduled time, I realized I had also created something potentially quite useful too!

I am a single guy and I occasionally go out with single women I don’t know very well. Well, a situation came up (while I was working on what I had started to call the Say This app), where I was going to take a local cowgirl out for some Texas country dancing. I didn’t know her very well and had never seen her dance. I wasn’t excited about the feeling of getting stuck in an uncomfortable situation for me.  I created a fake message in Say This for use later on if I needed to.

After I picked her up, there was still a 30 minute drive to get to the club for drinking and dancing to a live band.  So we talked along the way getting to know each other.  When she began mentioning some things about her steadfast beliefs, I knew right then I was doomed if I should ever slip across her boundaries.

So I told myself to keep my opinions to myself and perhaps we can just have some good time dancing to loud live music. Not much talking.

It turned out that we were not good dance partners at all. Country two-step dancing is a close contact sport.  Contact best applied with tenderness and some finess.  I am used to taking a strong lead with timid dancers or following the rhythm of a strong dancer so we sync up.  Both strategies were just not gelling with this cute little cowgirl.

She had no sense of rhythm! I blame it on her incessant jibber jabber the whole time I was within earshot. Including the dance floor. So I decided to cut the evening short so we could remain friends.

After the second dance, we each went to our respective restrooms and I took advantage of  being out of sight by loading up the message I had created earlier. I scheduled it to play 10 minutes later with full volume due to the live music.

Then the message played…

“You have a new message from: Roberts County Sheriff’s Department.

Dusty, this is deputy Sublett, You have a fence break on Quarterhorse Road and there are about 25 head out already and could be more. How soon can you get out here?”

She looked at me straight in my eyes and said, “You need to go!” The two cowboys sitting with us at the table (mutual friends) immediately offered their help with the roundup and fence mend. But I asked my date if she minded letting them take her home.

Everyone at the table seemed to be happy with that solution. And I mean everyone including me.

On the way home, I got to thinking about my app and how useful it turned out to be.  I had been thinking it would just be a fun prankish sort of entertainment app.

I decided to dedicate the new app to the cute chatty cowgirl with no rhythm and change the name to Jabber Box. ha!


Life Photo Today Rev. 2 Available For Testing

I have had a lot of distractions the past few weeks delaying work on the new app. In Rev. 2, Life Photo Today becomes LPT for shorthand and sports a dark app theme which enhances the visibility of the images I hope.

Life Photo Today Logo
Life Photo Today launch icon.

I have introduced an Alpha Testing status update screen on startup and will now allow the sharing of any gallery photo except those taken the same day.  I will allow photos from any date once I have worked out the bugs in the live cam capture and share feature.

If you are interested in helping me test and develop this new app then join the Dusty Reins DevLab Community and look in the Life Photo Today – Testing discussion area for a link to download the app for early access and testing. It is usually easier to do this on your mobile device via Google+.

Photographs, Capture The Moment In Our Space And Time

I have used photography to do just as the title suggests since I was 5 years old.  Photographs can tell many stories and I think it would be interesting to see what photo stories are likely to show up each day.

I have been working on another mobile Android compatible app which should open up the ability to do this. Worldwide.

Life Photo Today Logo
Life Photo Today launch icon.

Life Photo Today is still in the development stage but I am excited to have enough of it functional soon to begin Alpha testing of the concept. You can keep up with development progress and participate in testing by joining the DevLab Community I have set up for early testing of my applications.

So the current concept I am working on to facilitate include:

  • Share a photograph captured on an Android powered mobile phone or tablet device with a connection to the Internet.
  • Shared photographs include a caption, description and assignment to a general Category.
  • View a list of shared photos optionally selected by most recent, most recent by Category, most popular, and user contributions.
  • Viewing a single photo offers the opportunity to gather viewer acceptance of the image as valid within restrictions and guidelines in a published User Policy.
  • Votes are assessed values on a five point scale. 1 = BAN (1 ban will restrict this photo from being viewed again until it is reviewed for User Policy restriction violations by an administrator. ME; ha! 🙂  ) to 5 = Really Like!
  • Users will be able to view all of their contributions and see how other users have rated them.
  • View more details about an image by tapping on the image to reveal a user supplied description and map showing an approximate location where the photo was recorded.
  • No social interaction between users, no user identification attribution for a photo is revealed to public.
  • Photographer retains all commercial intellectual property rights to the image, while allowing a licence for a low resolution image to be stored, displayed and shared via Life Photo Today and user selected social endpoints.

Those of you who choose to get early access to this effort and help define workflow presentation and usefulness to technical issues can participate in the DevLab discussions. I hope the joint effort leads to a technically stable client-to-cloud system that is simple, informative and entertaining to use.

NOTE: For my friends who knows the label Cheeky Raider. I can see a possible companion app that falls into the “gaming” category of apps in Google Play.  Don’t know if that effort is viable but my implementation goes more toward my interests in the concept that photographs are records of a moment in space and time within the human experience.  Let me know what you think.

I have ideas for other features which I think will add more interest and value to the app but for now I need to focus on getting a viable application out for user testing and feedback. More information to add to the DevLab, feedback monitoring, new information on this site…

You see… It isn’t all about just coding the app that determines if others perceive it as available, useful or entertaining.