MIT App Inventor

Screenshot 2019-02-04 13.59.04Started week 2 of the App Development class with Shaw Academy.  The new tool for the day is the MIT App Inventor.

Our assignment for this class is to recreate the steps of the professor to create a simple app that involves visiting a zoo and checking when you see a Bear, Tiger, Bird or Wolf.  (The instructor used different animals but I like these four and was able to find pleasant black and white illustrations that I liked on the website PixaBay.)

The MIT App Inventor is very intuitive and is drag and drop type coding from my desktop. I do not know how intuitive it would be for people that have never tried to code or thought about coding or are just not good at thinking in process diagrams. There is a logical thinking pattern that needs to be followed and I know from working with people to make flow diagrams, not everyone thinks in an A to B to C manner.

I am looking forward to showing it to my family.  The 7 year old will catch on to the theory relatively fast.  The 5 year old might need to learn to read a bit better before he will be able to use it but it is a fun thing. We like to expose them to lots of stuff and then let them pursue at their leisure. Sometimes it feels like throwing darts at a little dart board, we are never sure what might stick but when it does it’s a bulls eye.


Dry January = Over

November and December are crazy months of eating and drinking.  When I was in Spain I learned about a thing from the UK: Dry January.  On the day I read about it, I was recovering from too much wine after the completion of our last graded class, so it was particularly apt.

person pouring wine into wine glass
Photo by on

Starting on January 1, I stopped drinking alcohol for the month.  Health wise, it was very easy.  My body easily fell into the groove.  Sleeping improved – my watch tells me I went from an average of 6 hours of sleep to 8-8.5 hours a night.  Although, that might have happened because my MBA was over and I wasn’t staying up late posting and writing.

I did not lose any weight but I heard that is a side benefit for many.  At 3600 calories a pound that is around 30 drinks so I can see how that would not be a weight loss differentiator for most.

For me the hardest part was social. Alcohol helps my extroverted talkative side come out. However, it was easy enough to fall into listening instead of talking. It was good to listen to people and hear their stories. So, bonus points for learning that my introverted self can survive parties just as well.

I do not plan to continue with the absolutely no alcohol rule. Reduction is good though, and I intend to maintain a new lower limit.  I learned from a friend that she only drinks once a week and special occasions. That sounds doable and healthy.