Coffee Time

Fair Trade CoffeeI enjoy a good cup of coffee. I am not talking about the over roasted, burnt tasting stuff that they try to pass off as coffee at Tim Hortons or Starbucks, I mean a good cup of coffee. A cup of coffee that makes you site back and go “ahh”.

A couple of places that I have found a real good cup of coffee include the Broadway Roastery in Saskatoon and in Rosthern you should check out the Station Arts Centre Tearoom.

Since moving back to Regina I have not gone hunting for the best place to get a real good cup of coffee, but there is a new place that has opened not far from the Home Depot here in the north end. Got a flyer in the mail for it recently. It is locally owned and I would prefer to support a local person and their business.

The best place that I have found to get a real good cup of coffee no matter where I have lived is at the Cafe Robertson. We buy fair trade coffee from Level Ground Trading and I have been very pleased with how good it tastes. That first cup in the morning just makes me feel nice and warm all over. Not only does it taste good, I can feel like I have helped do a small part in supporting fair trade and the people that grow and produce such a great cup of coffee. If you want a great cup of coffee give fair trade coffee a try from Level Ground.

Backup Advice

Like most people that work with computers and the Internet regularly I am often asked for advice on computers. I try to help people when I can, but there is only so much you can do without physically going over to the persons house and fixing the problem for them. Many of the problems people will ask me about are often malware related but occasionally I do get asked about what I would recommend to backup their computer.

I often go on and on about what people can do to backup their computer. I am always amazed at how trusting people are that their hard drives will not fail. I guess I have seen enough hard drive failures to know that sooner or later the drives will fail. I have a collection of dead hard drives that I keep wanting to make hard drive clocks out of or some other crafty item. Being a Dad and taking tons of photos of my family and kids I have tons of photos that I never want to lose. With that in mind I here is what I tell most people that ask about backing up their computers.

  1. Get another hard drive – People think one hard drive is enough. I don’t understand that. If you want to backup your data the fastest and easiest way is to get a second drive and copy the files you want to backup to it. Either install a second hard drive in your computer, use a hard drive in another computer, get an external hard drive. I don’t care which you choose, just get another drive and copy your files over. Two copies of your important files are better than just one.
  2. Use an online backup service – I am amazed at the number of people that have never heard of online backup. It is one of the best things about having a broadband Internet connection. People often say they don’t trust it and don’t like the idea of their files being out on the Internet. These are often the same people that will post ridiculous amounts of personal information to their Facebook profiles. Their personal information is safer using online backup than it is on Facebook, but I digress.

    Personally I have Mozy Home installed on the family computer that runs Windows to backup all of the family photos and other personal documents. When I was investigating online backup services I checked out several and almost went with IDrive, but in the end Mozy won because of a 10% promotional code that I found to save me some money on my subscription. If you are looking for a discount on Mozy I usually post the latest Mozy promotional code on my company blog.

I have been pleased with the backup system I use. Keeping a local copy of our photos and files on an extra hard drive makes it easy to restore when one of the drives die and Mozy has worked well to back everything up. If you don’t like Mozy try another online backup service. Don’t want to buy another hard drive to install then buy an external hard drive. If you don’t like my advice that is your choice but you really should backup your files before it is to late.

I regularly look through our photos and the small price I pay to back them up is worth every cent. I can’t replace the photos of my kids and knowing that there is another copy securely encrypted and stored makes me feel good. I won’t bore you with anymore talk of backing up here anymore, but I will not promise that I will not talk about the other advice I give to people to fix their computers.

Childhood Apraxia of Speech

I know a lot of people stress out about being a parent, and they even use that as an excuse to not have children. I will admit that being a parent is the most challenging thing I have ever done, but I have never particularly stressed out about being a parent. It is true, being a parent can be hard sometimes but being a parent is not hard because of the things I will do. It is hard because we all want the best for our children and when they suffer or something is wrong with them we suffer with them.

My three year old daughter has recently been diagnosed with childhood apraxia of speech and it has been a trying thing to cope with. I want the best for my daughter and there are many unknowns about apraxia. We don’t know if she will be able to ever talk normally, will she be teased at school, will she fit in?

Searching the Internet for information on apraxia of speech is not particularly helpful. Many of the websites out there that talk about childhood apraxia tell stories of kids that have never learned how to talk normally, have been teased for much off their time at school and have run up huge speech therapy bills trying to help their children.

Those are not the answers and stories I want to hear about what might be the future for my daughter. Fortunately those are not the only stories I have heard, and the speech therapist and other people that I have meet whose kids have had apraxia have been encouraging. My daughter also has several things going for her. She is smart, she has some sounds and with practice is able to learn more. She is also one of the most stubborn people I have ever meet. When she puts her mind to do something there is nothing that will stop her.

Only time will tell if my daughter will be able to learn to speak properly, until then we practice, practice and practice. We are hopeful that we might be able to get her into a special program that will help her get as many hours as possible of speech therapy and practice as we can. The progress she has made already made is hopeful. Every week there are new sounds and words she is trying so hard to make and we encourage her to say them as much as we can. I know it is a long road ahead to help her.

I am sure I will talk more about this at some point, but if your child has apraxia of speech leave a comment and let me know what your experience has been for you and your child.