Just To Let You Know…

Just to let you know, you may see some new posts written by other authors from time to time in the future. Please know that these posts will continue to reflect the character of this site as well as bringing perspectives other than my own to this blog. I’m sure you’ll find them as informative and enjoyable as the ones I have written and will continue to write.

And again, thanks for reading! 🙂

Portland and L.A. – What’s Different?: Fall

Well, Fall is here now, and, in Portland, unlike L.A., it shows right away. One can see the trees start to turn, and some have actually shown signs as early as late August! However, not all the trees start to turn at the same time. There’s a type of tree that usually turns first here, with the vast majority of them turning and peaking in bright yellow in September. By the second week in October, these trees have usually lost most, if not all, their leaves, while most of the other trees still have theirs and have not yet peaked. Some trees hardly change color at all and just lose their leaves late in the season.

Fall in Gresham. Trees peak at different times!

Fall in Gresham. Trees peak at different times!

Also, in some years, the Fall colors are more, or less, prominent than in others. This can be due to storms that can pass through, making more leaves fall before they can turn fully, to droughts, and even when rain falls and how much. In those years when the colors are most spectacular and no strong winds have come to strip some of the colored leaves off, it is really beautiful here! You can even see patches of yellows and some golds on the hills among the evergreen Douglas Fir and Spruce trees. The overall peak of Fall color is usually the third week of October, and by mid to late November, just about all of the trees that turn have lost their leaves.

Fall in Gresham, Oregon, just outside of Portland.

Fall in Gresham, Oregon, just outside of Portland.

And, the temperatures do cool down, with the occasional bout of what can be called, “Indian Summer”, with temps reaching the high 70’s or low 80’s, in some years. You fist notice this in September, where, while it still can be hot, the heat starts later in the day and backs off sooner in the day and the nights cool down more. Much of September tends to be quite pleasant here. And October really cools down with 90’s gone and 80’s somewhat rare. And the mountains can start seeing decent snow and the start of the ski season at this time, while the mountains in the L.A. area can remain bare through late December! Actually, except for the last two years, I’ve seen daily high temps stop breaking 70 in early October and not reaching 70 again till at least mid March, which for me, who likes cooler weather, this is just fine!

In L.A., on the other hand, September not only feels like August, but can be hotter, especially if the area’s infamous Santa Ana winds come in, often pushing temps up into the 100’s. In fact, September is often one of the hottest months in the area. And October tends not to get too much cooler, though sometimes there can be cool periods in October, usually toward the latter half of the month. But temps of over 100 and the Santa Ana winds can still be present even in October and November in the L.A. area! So, in L.A., Fall doesn’t really feel like Fall, except maybe close to the very end of the season. Even Thanksgiving can be warm, in fact, warm enough to take in a day at the beach!

Redondo Beach 12/30/05

Redondo Beach 12/30/05

And the trees? Well, some do turn, but far fewer than in the Portland area, and these usually don’t start turning until late in the season. A few of the suburbs, such as Pasadena, have more trees that turn, but still not nearly the concentration you’ll find in the Portland area.

Fall and Winter in Southern California.

Fall and Winter in Southern California.

So, in L.A., Fall also doesn’t look like Fall, either.

Fall and Winter are probably the seasons showing the most difference between the two areas.

In L.A., you can celebrate Thanksgiving at the beach, and in Portland, you may be able to go skiing in mid October!

If you like what you’ve read here, please let others know of this post, blog, and site.

And thanks for reading!  🙂

More to Google than just Gmail and Googling

With my use of Google Chrome and now my having a smart phone, I’ve learned that there’s more to Google than just Gmail and Googling people and things.

Google has a lot of different applications, or “apps”, as you often hear.

In addition to Gmail, these include Google maps, play music, play movies, play books, play games, play newsstand, Google plus, hangouts, docs, YouTube, Google drive, and calendar.

These often come as a package on Android phones as does the Google Play Store, where these and a great many other apps can be found, many of which are completely free to download and use!

And, you don’t need an Android smart phone to access the Google apps or the play store.

The Chrome Web browser can be installed for free onto any computer. And of course, you can access all the Google apps from here, though you can set the Google search bar page as a home page or bookmark or favorite using any browser.

I haven’t explored all the apps but I am exploring more all the time.

For instance, I’m using Google Docs to write this post. It’s the first time I’m using Google Docs to write a post. In addition, I’m writing this on my phone!

Google Drive saves documents and other things to the “cloud”, that is, on the web in your own section,so you can access them from any computer using your Google account.

Google plus and Google Hangouts let you connect with other Google users.

Google Play music gets you access to music from your favorite artists and music genres, and you can create your own playlists, though I still need to figure out some things about that. I do find that it won’t play music stored on my phone’s SD card, only music on the phone’s internal memory. If any of you know how to get Google Play music to recognize the music on my SD card, please let me know.

Google maps is great, especially when your Garmin or tom-tom fails, as I’ve mentioned in my earlier post, Garmin or Google-Which is Best? , comparing Google maps to Garmin.

Google maps also will guide you using real-time traffic, can show your movement, and the street view ability combined with the ability to virtually “walk around” a location, really helps you to recognize the physical location when you get close to it!

Then you have You Tube. It is part of the Google family, and you can see all kinds of things on it, from old movies to people’s travel videos, to car and house tours and reviews, to videos that show you how to do all kinds of things from how to tie knots to driving a stick shift car to basket weaving!

Finally, there’s the Google Play store, which not only gets you access to Google apps, but many others as well, and many are free to download and use! So far, I’ve never had the need for an app that wasn’t free! And I have lots of them. As they say, “There’s an app for that.”

Now, where your phone is concerned, you do need a data plan and you need to see how much data an app draws, as some, like You Tube, will use more data. Most apps don’t use a lot, but it’s good to know. To give you an idea, I get 3 gigabytes of data monthly with my plan and use between 1.5 and 2 GB per month.

I’ve seen how useful both the Google apps and other apps can be, and it seems Google is the best place to start checking them out.

So, get Googling and have some fun!

If you like what you’ve read here, please let others know of this post, blog, and site.

And thanks for reading!😀