A Waterlogged Cell Phone

Every month I team up with U.S. Cellular and share a little about my Samsung Galaxy S7 Smart Phone. This is one of those posts.

I think most every knows by now that cell phones and water simply don’t mix well.  We learned that the hard way a few years ago.  Kelli was a cheerleader at UIU where she was going to college.  She had a backpack with her phone in it and the backpack was under the bleachers near where her squad was cheering.

It started raining but nothing very hard.  The football game went on…and so did the cheerleaders.  I was at the game too but was under an umbrella so didn’t worry about my phone.  It turns out that the rain from the bleachers was dripping directly onto Kelli’s backpack and the pocket that her phone was is was open.  The pocket held the water and her phone was soon waterlogged.  It didn’t work.  Try as we might to save it, we ended up having to purchase a new phone.

Thankfully there are options now to protect your phone.

It’s always a good idea to consider insurance for your device, especially if you have a lifestyle that puts your phone in danger. Many wireless carriers offer device protection that includes device replacement, tools to back up data and malware protection. As they say, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Many manufacturers recommend keeping a phone between 32 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid temperature damage. If a device overheats, the internal components may become damaged which can cause data loss, dead batteries, and in some extreme cases, the lithium battery may leak, bubble up, expand or explode and ruin the device completely.

Water damage can happen frequently during the summer months. Liquid gets inside of the phone’s casing and corrodes the internal electrical components, causing the phone to short circuit and stop the phone from working.

Smartphone users should consider purchasing a separate water-resistant case for summer activities around water. Cases such as an OtterBox, DryCase or LifeProof are great options to consider for your iPhone 7 or Samsung Galaxy S8 that will still allow normal use of the phone. A less expensive home remedy is to utilize a plastic bag, which will keep a smartphone sealed and safe to avoid damage, including sand or dirt.


If disaster strikes and a smartphone does fall into water. Turn off the phone immediately and remove the battery, if possible. After, place the phone near a fan, not heat, to dry and use rice or desiccant packets to help absorb moisture.

Users should keep smartphones out of direct sunlight or in a car unattended where temperatures can reach over 150 degrees. If a device overheats, the internal components may become damaged which can cause data loss or dead batteries.

Always utilize your wireless carrier if disaster arises. For peace of mind, ask about insurance or data back-up options when purchasing the device. Later, if you suspect the phone is not working due to water or heat damage, take the phone to the wireless carrier, who can sometimes fix it when home remedies haven’t worked.

Back then, we weren’t dealing with a smart phone..but nonetheless the phone replacement was still expensive and sadly back the we didn’t have all the back up options that are available now days.  Loosing pictures, contacts and like is sometimes even more painful than the loss of the actual phone.  Whatever you do, plan ahead as accidents do happen.

Have you had water or heat damage to your phone?


Selfie Time!

Every month I team up with U.S. Cellular and share a little about my Samsung Galaxy S7 Smart Phone.  This is one of those posts.

According to a recent U.S. Cellular survey, 71 percent of cell phone users keep themselves entertained by taking photos and posting on social media.

In fact, there’s now a national day to celebrate it on June 21 (that’s tomorrow): National Selfie Day.

To participate, all you need is a smartphone with a good quality camera.  The key to a good selfie shot is to make sure that your device has a front-facing camera.A front-facing “selfie camera” which has Smart Auto Focus to track faces and make sure everyone in the selfie is clear and in focus.

Me…I’m not the best selfie taker and definitely need some help.  Check out this photo I took of me and Carver awhile back….UGH.  I need selfie help for sure.


Here are some suggestions from U.S. Cellular that will help us all take better selfies.

Use the right light. Selfie-takers should avoid fluorescent lights and instead opt for natural, indirect light such as outside or near a window, and be sure the light is coming from behind. The best lighting is the golden hour before sunset – that natural glow can’t be beat.

Work the angles. You can experiment with different camera angles by tilting the device slightly off center and sideways to find the “good side” of your face. While it may seem unnatural at first, selfie professionals recommend leaning your head to one side or, alternatively, angling the camera.  A selfie taken at an angle is almost always more flattering than one taken straight-on.

Spotlight activities. With U.S. Cellular’s high-quality network, capturing and sharing selfies from a hike, vacation, concert, trendy new restaurant, or with best friends is easy and quick.

Crop before posting. Selfie-takers should remember that for a perfect “photo finish,” they should pay attention to what’s happening behind them to avoid any awkward backgrounds.

Here’s selfie of me and Kelli…we took their advice of tilting the camera and working to find good angles.

We did forget to crop though.  You can see the picture would look better had we taken the time to crop it.

There are many helpful apps that can improve selfies, enhancing the contrasts, smoothing skin, and embellishing them with cool edits and designs. One such app is Perfect 365, a virtual makeup app, allows users to improve their complexion, hide imperfections, add blush, mascara and other cosmetics virtually. Experiment with different app options and see which is best.

Until a year or so ago I never dreamed of taking selfies.  I always hated pictures of myself.  I’d do the whole self image thing of “who wants to see those chubby cheeks of mine and the like”.  I’m trying to get over that…having my 20-30ish year old kids is helping.  They often want a picture and I’m so bad at saying no to them….so I do it.  All in all, I’m glad I have.  I know there are others like me who don’t like getting their picture taken but I think it’s time we start.  Years from now, after I’m gone, I want my grand kids to see in the everyday…not just in a posed picture.  This little snap shot selfie of Kelli and I, that’s how I want them to see and remember me….so ladies, take a few selfies…our families will be glad we did.


Protecting Your Home

Every month I team up with U.S. Cellular and share a little about my Samsung Galaxy S7 Smart Phone.  This is one of those posts.

Vacation time for many is just around the corner.  We don’t have any big plans for vacations this year.  We have quite a few weddings and weekend outings planned but nothing that will take us away for an extended period of time.  I know that many of you are not that way.  You have busy schedules and vacations planned.

Not to scare anyone but according to the FBI, a home burglary occurs on average every 20 seconds in the U.S., and there is an increase in the summer months, due in part to families heading out on vacation while the kids are out of school.  Fortunately, the latest connected home devices can provide vacationers with remote access to monitor and manage a variety of functions to help keep their homes secure, no matter where their travels lead.

In years past, vacationers simply stopped the mail and arranged for someone to pick up the newspapers and mow the lawn to give the appearance of being home. Now there is a host of additional ways to remotely protect your home with the latest connected devices that can be accessed anytime, anywhere via a smartphone.

Almost one third of smartphone owners recently surveyed by U.S. Cellular said they use their device to control their home security system, lighting or other smart home technology at least once a day. Almost half note theyuse this technology once a month or more.

Some of the devices U.S. Cellular recommends for vacation bound consumers to provide some peace of mind include:

There are several devices, ranging in price from less than $20 to around $200 that can go a long way toward ensuring a more relaxing vacation.

With Nest Cam Indoor, homeowners never have to worry about what is going on back home again. Nest Cam allows vacationers to look after the house, 24/7, with live video and a 160-degree wide-angle view, all from a smartphone. It even provides phone alerts if motion or sound are detected, so homeowners instantly know if anything is amiss.

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Nest Protect: While no one wants to deal with a fire or other issue when away from home, fast response time can greatly impact the outcome and help minimize damage, and that’s where Nest Protect comes in. Just knowing that Nest Protect can send instant phone alerts for smoke and carbon-monoxide, while also calling attention to a low battery or sensor failure, can make it easier to relax and enjoy the time away.

Chamberlain MyQ Garage Door Opener is another great option for anyone who has ever been hundreds of miles into a trip and is suddenly worried whether the garage door was left open. MyQ Garage Door Opener will send an alert if a door is open at any point while the homeowner is away, even allowing the user to remotely close it via a Samsung Galaxy S7 or other tablet.

Ring™ Video Doorbell is a handy device that enables homeowners to respond to someone at the door, even when they’re not home. With Ring Video Doorbell, homeowners can see, hear and speak to anyone who stops by the house, and always know when a package arrives.

I probably should worry more about burglary, theft and the like but I really don’t.  We live in a small town with close neighbors.  People are watching my house more than I could possibly know.  There really is no way to be anonymous in a small town.  I love that…but for most, there is not that luxury and apps such as these are needed.

It always amazes me to see and hear about all the things a smart phone can do!!  I never imagined it could do any of this!!




Keeping Kids Edu-tained

Every month I team up with U.S. Cellular and share a little about my Samsung Galaxy S7 Smart Phone.  This is one of those posts.

What do you think of the new coined word Edu-tained.  It’s a cross between education and entertained…edu-tained.

With summer just around the corner I am sure many are planning trips.  There are many alternatives to videos games and movies for keeping kids entertained on a long trip.  Parents don’t need to choose between entertainment and education – they can give their kids both.  Many of today’s best educational apps are built around games that make learning fun – from taking on tough math problems to learning a second language. Many games are collaborative, so kids can compete against their friends whenever and wherever they are.  When we were in Lacrosse almost every kid in a waiting room had some sort of device that they were playing on.  Why not make the time of their device entertaining AND educational.

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Many kids have their own mobile device these days.  It’s getting more common every year. According to a recent survey, 58 percent of respondents had at least one child with a cellphone – up from 49 percent in 2015.  The same survey showed 79 percent of adults had used their smartphone to assist them while traveling. Mobile technology is increasingly a part of everyday family life, and that’s why U.S. Cellular encourages parents to find ways to make that screen time educational.

Here are some educational apps for parents to check out: …

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