Cell Phone Battery ABUSE…Are YOU guilty?

I asked Paul-Hilchey Chandler of Central Maine Wireless to speak at my Marketing Class at the New England School of Communications, (which is part of Husson University) in Bangor, Maine last week.

Paul is my “Wireless Communications GOD!”
I count on him for everything. Like:

  • Tell me my plan isn’t right so I can save money,
  • Helping me because I “lost my phone.”
  • Letting me know what technology I need and what I can live without because he knows I’ll never use it.

Even though his presentation focused on how cell phones and other hand held devices are used in social networking, he also talked about cell phone and battery “health.”

He had 5 things that even got the attention of my class of “20-somethings….”


#5. Not turning your phone “OFF” if you are in an area where reception is “if-y” – the cell phone is going to try over and over again to find a signal. EVEN IF you don’t need to make a call – it doesn’t matter. The phone still tries to find a way, thus your battery goes dead trying.

This also applies to those fancy bluetooth devices. (Hands Free things that hang on your ear) If you keep your bluetooth connection running even when you aren’t using your bluetooth, the phone is trying to make a connection even when you don’t need to. Draining your battery more quickly, requires charging more often.

#4. Never turning your phone “OFF” – ever. He mentioned we should do this once a week. Your phone and its battery needs to rest. Just like YOU do, turning the phone OFF overnight is helpful just to let it rest and regroup.

#3. Not letting your battery drain completely. It is good to let it go down as far as you are comfortable before turning off and charging. A few years ago I asked a different cell phone person about the NEW battery type in my NEW phone and was told it wasn’t required to completely drain – well, apparently after a few years of history, that isn’t the case, while it doesn’t react so severely as the old batteries did, they still need to get into the RED ZONE before charging for optimal life.

#2. Not turning off your cell phone while it charges, while at home or in the car. The charging activity creates heat and it charges (as well as putting less stress on the battery itself) better while the phone is off.

#1. Talking on your cell phone WHILE charging it in your car charger. Apparently, this is the BIG BAD DADDY of killing a battery. I must confess, I do it all the time and I see people in their cars doing it, so I am not alone. The car charger is a kind of “fast charge” thing that heats the battery up even more than your home charger. If you have the phone “ON” or worse are talking on it while this is happening, it damages the battery and shortens its life.

A really good rule of thumb is the next time you feel your cell phone feeling warm, remember that isn’t the phone, it is the battery. If the battery is warm, it needs a break, so turn off the phone and give it one!

Christmas Cards

A few months ago I wrote a post about storing and sharing photos. Click here to check it out again, it is a good intro to what I am going to expand on this post.

Again I am going to talk about photos. First I want to remind all of you to think back to when you actually printed off a bunch and made an album out of them. Most of us just slide them off to someone in an email and then hope that if they really want the printed version, they print it themselves- PHEW! You are off the hook!

But it is Christmas or Holiday time, excuse my reference is not meant to offend, we celebrate Christmas at my house that is all.

As I mentioned previously, I have been using webshots as a storage service and sharing service primarily. I don’t know when they started offering cards, mugs, mousepads, etc. but they do have it and I must say I missed it.

Last Sunday (Sunday BEFORE Thanksgiving) I designed my own Christmas Card for the second year through shutterfly.com. I was happy with the service last year and the quality was terrific. This year with the economy the way it is, if you cut back on sending out holiday cards, cut out going to the local Hallmark store and buying just “any old” card, or believe that people don’t get through those family letters you may be eager to send!

Go to Shutterfly and you can very easily do it yourself. With your photo and your design, you pick from some templates-plop your photos in, retry if it isnt what you think it should be and then approve the proof. You can save it in a draft form and finalize whenever you want!

Surprisingly, these cards are a lot cheaper than the plain old (yes pretty- but not customized) Christmas Card. Building a house, or remodeling? Have photos of a vacation, pets or kids to share? These make wonderful memories for your friends & family to see. I also made some calendars with my photos of sunsets from our camp overlooking the water that would give some family (that moved away) some relief from stress at work. They were very reasonable – like $15.99 or something! It is a custom gift and when we all agreed to cut back on Christmas this year, I wanted to make sure that each gift was unique and special – Shutterfly helped me do that – WHO KNEW?

AND I told you it was last Sunday I placed the order? They arrived on Tuesday (2 days later!) and that was standard shipping and they looked just the way I wanted them to. I even have half of them addressed!

I recommend Shutterfly and Webshots because I use them. I know there are many other services out there, so if you have an experience to share, please comment and let us know, we would love to hear it!!

Watch those gift cards…

If you have them, cash them in now, if you are thinking of giving them for Christmas, make sure the store will be open AFTER you give THEM your cash!

Interesting that stores like Sharper Image & Talbots will close ALL stores. So please make sure when you spend your “hard earned” you spend it in a place where your family can redeem it!!

My niece sent this to me!
It seems there are lots of stores that are closing due to the “recession” and the fact that people are not shopping. If you have any “gift cards” from these stores, make sure you use them, or you will lose them !

Here is a link to a well known website that helps “smoke out” what is ‘fact or what is crap!’
Here is another link.

Watch those store money cards and gift cards.. and credit slips! Stores that informed the Security Exchange of closing plans between October 2008 and January 2009.


  • Circuit City stores… most recent (? how many)
  • Ann Taylor- 117 stores nationwide are to be shuttered
  • Lane Bryant,, Fashion Bug, and Catherine’s to close – 150 store nationwide
  • Eddie Bauer to close stores 27 stores and more after January
  • Cache will close all stores
  • Talbots closing down all stores
  • J. Jill closing all stores
  • GAP closing 85 stores
  • Footlocker closing 140 stores more to close after January
  • Wickes Furniture closing down
  • Levitz closing down remaining stores
  • Bombay closing remaining stores
  • Zales closing down 82 stores and 105 after January.
  • Whitehall closing all stores
  • Piercing Pagoda closing all stores
  • Disney closing 98 stores and will close more after January.
  • Home Depot closing 15 stores 1 in NJ (New Brunswick)
  • Macys to close 9 stores after January
  • Linens and Things closing all stores
  • Movie Galley Closing all stores
  • Pacific Sunware closing stores
  • Pep Boys Closing 33 stores Sprint/ Nextel closing 133 stores
  • JC Penney closing a number of stores after January
  • Ethan Allen closing down 12 stores.
  • Wilson Leather closing down all stores
  • Sharper Image closing down all stores
  • K B Toys closing 356 stores
  • Loews to close down some stores
  • Dillard‘s to close some stores.

PS. Interestingly enough I received an email from the PR Department at Home Depot and I asked if I could post their reply and here it is!

“Hi Kelly –
I work for The Home Depot and I saw the post about store closure rumors. This is old information (at least the part about Home Depot is). We announced the closing of 15 stores back in May, these stores have been closed for at about 6 months now and their communities are well aware and have planned accordingly. Please clarify for your readers – Thanks!”

Boy am I feeling pretty cool that the folks from Home Depot are using social media to stay in touch! Says something good about them, don’t you think?

HELP! I don’t know what is wrong with my computer?

The other day I was at a political event (imagine it was early November!) and a young woman I knew came up to me and told me she loved my BLOG!! I always get excited when someone tells me that, it makes me feel like I am helping someone.

This blog is about giving out some advice from the point of view of a late blooming baby boomer (maybe I should say, late – exploding!) and the challenges we face trying to stay in step with technology. If you have some advice or comments post them here, or email me, I would love to hear from you.

Back to my friend at the political event…her mom often calls her and asks for help because something weird has happened with her computer. This has happened to all of us. Not only is it frustrating to YOU because you cannot make your computer work, but you have to explain to a person that truly WANTS to help and cannot really SEE what is going on. So everyone gets a little short tempered!

Here’s her answer !
A free application called, www.logmein.com

The free version, is a very simple remote-control type of assistance…the person that you designate as your helper, can simply view your desktop and help you….just like they were sitting next to you. They see what you see.

VERY IMPORTANT ADVICE that she gives me about this is that you DO need to trust the person who has the ability to access your computer since they can log into your computer at anytime it is turned on. It’s not like you hand over controls or anything, it’s an “always on” when your computer is on line.

If you need something more robust, my friend has purchased her own “PRO” version and spend s12 a month to use that so she can transfer files between her home computer and her work computer.

For her, she says it saves a TON of space and instead of weekly file backups and the time to transfer files (much less the times that you didn’t think you needed access to that file you worked on), between work and home. She can easily select the one or two files from one computer and transfer them to wherever she is – without having to copy everything back and forth between hard drives or carry a silly stick with files on it around her neck.

This is a great idea! And a helpful tool for sure. I like the idea of being able to test out the free version and then make the decision if you want or need the other features.

If there is something you use and you want to tell us about it, we would love to hear it!!