Tag Archives: technology

Recovered, part II

5 May

Whine: It’s May 5th in Texas–Cinco de Mayo– so that means it’s FIESTA time. Unfortunately, Brother Bear misunderstood. He thinks today is Stinko de Mayo. (Rimshot, please.)

Cheese: I’ve already got my fajita meat marinating to throw on the grill, it’s a perfect 79 degrees and it’s Thursday. I love Tejas.

Since I promised pictures in my last post, I’m not going to waste a lot of time writing words, etc, since it will take every last ounce of my brain power to post pictures without doing something dumb and blowing up my computer.

The following pictures are brought to you by  CNET who reviewed the photo-rescue software and decided it wouldn’t eat my hard drive, and by the kind folks at Easeus who offered said not-hard-drive-eating software for free.

Hard at work.

I love this picture of Big Sis writing Valentines in footie pajamas. She was getting discouraged about halfway through, as handwriting is her nemesis. But once I reminded her of the smiling friends who’d receive these, she got excited and powered on through the rest. Her tender heart makes me ooze happy feelings.

I cannot stand the handsomeness.

Mr. Dad and Brother Bear got extra-gussied one Sunday (very unusual for them). There were some serious double-takes as they walked through church. But once people regained their power of speech, they mostly made a lot of doppleganger-type comments.

I'm astounded they didn't get Royal Wedding invites.

After having attended their fair share of Princess Parties, the girls now assume that every party requires elegance and panache of the highest order. They wore these outfits to a birthday party, then came home and shoveled some dirt.

The red-haired pigtails kill me.

I brought cookies to Lil Sis and her preschool class. She lit up like Aurora Borealis when she saw the Hello Kitty balloon. It’s good to know that the little things like showing up with a balloon and some lame grocery store cookies can still make her day.

"Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair. . ."

The cousins (Big Sis, Lil’ Sis, Aves and LizzyRabbit) at Lil’ Sis and Aves’ Rapunzel birthday party. The cake pictures I recovered were too damaged to use (sad face), so here’s one I managed to snap with my phone.

Rapunzel's Tower Cake

There was quite a lot of engineering involved with this cake. Basically, Mr. Dad drilled a giant hole into the base of the cake (and also my plate), then stuck a dowel rod through the middle. We stuck the tower (rice krispie treats and fondant) around the dowel rod. It worked pretty well until the rice krispie treats starting migrating south and left a solid 2″ of dowel rod showing. Mr. Dad tried unsuccessfully to refrain from saying “I told you so.” Mostly I think he was mad he didn’t get to use his circular saw and blowtorch on the thing.

I'll eat you up I love you so.

In case you don’t recognize it, this is a Max and Wild Things cake from Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. For some reason, the Max cake is one of my favorites of all time. I think it’s because it is one of the only cakes that when I finished I wouldn’t change a thing. There was a separate Wild Thing cake for Brother Bear to destroy, but it’s not worth posting until the After shot.

The After Shot

There are lots more pictures of this cuteness, including when cousin CharChar got in on the action and the inevitable bath that followed. If you really need more in-depth coverage of the event, you’ll have to wait until the album hits my Facebook page.

Ear Infection: 1, Aaron: 0

You might think this last picture would be after the cake extravaganza, but it’s not. Poor Brother Bear has bad baby ears and can’t seem to stop filling them with swamp water. When he cries a bunch and falls asleep on the floor, that’s my cue to go see the Dr.

Thanks for sticking around through the whole post, unless you skipped to the end. In which case I don’t blame you. I’m pretty glad we got our pictures back. And tune in next week, for the riveting third installment of the “Recovered” series. You won’t believe what I lost this time. (Unless you’ve already heard this story, and you probably have.)

Upgrade

23 Feb

image

Whine: I got up before 4am today and I still managed to run late. That takes talent.

Cheese: The ticket agent had mercy on me and put my bags on the plane. I guess looking perpetually pathetic and frazzled has its upside.

Do I sound smarter to you to today? More organized?? More tech savvy??? I should because I am two-thumb typing this from the ‘comfort’ of my plastic airport chair in the lobby of Chicago’s O’Hare. On my cellular telephone. I know, right?? The thought makes me a little giddy. (Or maybe it’s the four hours of sleep I got last night.)

That’s right, I’m the proud new owner of a smartphone. And boy howdy, I didn’t realize how much I needed to be able to check Facebook from the ladies restroom until now.

My cousin Mikey (who in my mind is still 15, but is actually a real grown up now, so I guess I should probably call him Mike or Michael at this point) got me a sweet hookup with my Samsung Intercept and it has been L-O-V-E ever since.

I have discovered that with my new phone by my side I now actually have the superpowers I’ve been acting like I had all along. For eample, when we are late for a party and also lost even though I actually doublechecked the address and google mapped it for once, I just turn on my phone’s handy dandy gps (instead of listening to Mr. Dad, the human gps) and we end up only being Pretty Late instead of Disastrously Late. (And for the record, Mr. Dad was right.)

Also, my phone has an e-reader with free books on it. So now when I reach the shut-out-the-outside-world stage of a book (about 3/4 of the way in, 2/3 if it’s a good one) where I shun all nourishment, productivity, and human contact, I can now read on-the-go. Like at stop lights and the McDonald’s drive thru window. And Mr. Dad, in an attempt to get me to functionality, can’t hide the book from me.

But Mr. Dad is no better. He runs the battery down slinging tiny animated birds from a slingshot. I think he’ll quit once he beats all 1,342 levels.

My phone helps me keep tabs on my Dad, whose cranky arteries need a re-route (hence today’s travel). No, my phone can’t do the surgery, but I’m pretty sure by 2012 they’ll have an app for that.

The only bad thing about my phone is that I still don’t know how to complete an actual phone call. I end up accidentally checking my email with my cheek while talking to my mother. It took me a week to figure out how to dial someone without scrolling through all 294 contacts. And instead of having the Call Waiting feature, my phone has the Hold On While I Hang Up On You feature. I’m not too frustrated though, I figure it’s a fair way to balance out my newfound Superpowers.

I’d better run, I’m finding myself quite hilarious this morning, which is a sure sign that my Diet Coke is wearing off. Besides, I have a new book (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) I’ll keep you posted on everything as I can. . . I’m sure you’ll be anxious to hear that Mr. Dad has finally bested Angry Birds.

UPDATE: I thought I posted this yesterday morning. But then you all were very quiet in the comments (which is so VERY unlike you), I got curious and figured out noone could actually see the post. Too bad my fancy new phone is not idiot-proof, because I would so buy that app.

That’s What You Get

23 Oct

Whine: You would think that a 3-inch elastic waistband and a growing belly would be enough to keep my pants up. You would be wrong.

Cheese: When you’re wearing strechy pants, every meal is all-you-can-eat.

 

I’ve been working with Big Sis lately on idea of choices. You know, things like “If you choose to put your stingray in the bathtub, then you can’t choose to take it with you in the car because it will be soaking we.” (True story) Or, “If you choose to whack your sister on the head (again), then you will spend the next twenty years (give or take) in time out.” (Again, true story.) You get the idea.

Unfortunately, the world of choices and consequences and decisions is not limited to the under-five set. Nope. We all get to play by the same rules. You would think, however, that years of making choices and reaping the benefits/consequences would give us the upper hand in decision making. But one glance at YouTube or daytime TV or in the mirror, for heaven’s sakes, tells you that even grown ups make some baaaaadddd decisions.

I’ve made some doozies myself. Like the time (this morning) I ate a Nutty Bar (oh, how I love you, Little Debbie) and a Diet Coke for breakfast. Or the time I was locked out of my house late at night and decided to crawl in the window and subsequently got stuck. One leg in, one leg out, four feet off the ground. While baby Big Sis sat in the car. I hear you asking, “Did your mother not teach you ANY common sense?” Of course she did, that’s why I used my cell phone to call her to come get me out of the window. She (wisely) sent my stepdad, who was very understanding and non-judgemental about the whole thing.

But seriously, I often hear my poor mother’s voice in my head when I reach the end of a particularly foolish path saying “That’s what you get.” I’m not sure my mother actually ever said that to me out loud, but I sure gave her plenty of chances to do so.

Recently, my track record has been stellar. I thought I’d share a few of my recent “That’s what you get” episodes for your enjoyment.

 

That’s What You Get. . .

. . . for starting a blog.

       I started my blog one year ago tomorrow. Happy Blogaversary to me! My little spot on the WWW has brought lots of unintended results. Guilt being one of them. I wish I blogged more. It’s definitely not for lack of source material. I like telling y’all the stories that keep my life interesting. And I like keeping track of all the ways in which my family has put me on the advanced track to aging. But life in a house full of crazy people sometimes limits my free time, and I’m learning to be ok with that. Especially because often, if I were to blog, my children would be giving me “source material” at a rate that I couldn’t handle. (As if I can handle the rate they’re at now.)

       But I’ve also made new friends and kept up with some old ones. I’ve heard your stories, too, which I love. And I’ve gotten to know that my foibles, accidents and fabulous life choices amuse the rest of you. Which pretty much makes it worth it. So if that’s what I get for starting a blog, I’m glad I did.  And as a special Blogaversary present to you, I’ve already written a post for Monday, so check back then for more riveting action!

 

. . . for buying a fancy-schmancy printer.

      My very old, very cheap printer had been on the fritz for months. So I finally broke down, found my coupons and headed to Office Depot. Mr. Office Depot expertly assisted me in my selection, down to the other things I would need to make the printer actually work that I wouldn’t have thought of until I had already spent fifteen hours yelling at and kicking my new printer.

      I decided to reward my very sedentary nature and purchase a printer that prints wirelessly so that I would not be so inconvenienced as to have to take my laptop into the other room and hook up a USB cord in order to print. But just as I was bragging (yes, bragging) to my sister about my labor-saving ways, I realized the da*&%$ thing was no longer printing. (And this after an hour on the phone with HP to go through the religious rites of set  up.) So I called HP again, and Carlos was, in fact, very knowledgeable and helpful, but it still took him an hour of remotely controlling my laptop from another continent (VERY CREEPY) to fix the problem.

       So, in total, I’ve printed ten pages and scanned two pictures with my new printer, all from the comfort of my couch. But I also spent approximately seventeen hours in setting up and repairing the darned thing. That’s what you get. Worth it? Totally. Cause now I can sit on my couch and scan pictures of my babies. (see below) 

 

. . . for trying to make dinner.

        I’ve barely cooked a meal in the last four months. So when I gingerly approach my kitchen to cook something other than frozen pizza/french fries/chicken nuggets, I expect wild applause (from Mr. Dad) and complete cooperation (from the children.) Yesterday I started dinner well before 8pm, and it included actual vegetables and potatoes not previously frozen. But as I’m chopping and stirring and seasoning, I am interrupted by a confusing scene. Lil’ Sis has lost that reddish glow to her hair; it looks a little darker. Upon closer inspection, I discover that someone else in the house has been doing some seasoning of her own. Wait for it. . . wait for it. . . uh-huh:  Big Sis has liberally applied a large coat of pepper to the top of Lil’ Sis’ head and shoulders. Apparently she decided the “salt and pepper look” was more fitting than “carrot top” for her sister.

 

. . . for insisting on knowing the gender of your unborn baby.

      Last week we went to the doctor for a sonogram. The Sonogram. The one lots of my friends go to and cover their eyes so they can be “surprised” when the baby is born. Weirdos. I go to that sonogram with only two questions on my agenda: “Does everything look ok?” and “What private parts does this baby have?” Sue me, I’m a planner.

      So the sonogram is going ok, except that Baby Lahdee (as Big Sis has named him/her) will not be still. But somehow our expert sonographer manages to get the requisite pictures. Good, round head? Check. Long, bony spine? Check. Big, ravenous looking stomach? Check.

       So then it’s time to get to the good part(s). Except that on the way to those parts, she pauses on my right ovary and says hmmm, apparently you have cyst there, which is no big deal, except that it explains the occasional stabbing pain in your right side. Good to know, I say, now GET ON WITH IT. Except at this point, Baby Lahdee is simultaneously cruching his/her legs together AND swimming in circles with all his/her might. How this is possible, I do not know, although it makes me eager to meet this child.  

       Eventually she determines that Baby’s bottom is right next to my ovary/cyst and the only possible way to determine the gender is for her to repeatedly punch, jiggle and jab me in that very tender area with the sonogram thiny-magiggy. Here’s where my true dedication kicks in though, and I decide to take one for the team. Breathlessly I tell her to keep going till she gets some nudie shots of this baby. And she does.

       After we left the doctor, them walking, me stumbling in pain, we headed to Target to pick out a gift for the baby. I must have looked a little funny clutching my stomach and limping, but I didn’t care. I had just gotten to see my healthy–and very active–son.

 

Isn't HE cute??

Isn't HE cute??