Thursday, May 29, 2008

More Car Repairs

If it's not one thing, it's another. Was that just last week we took the car Beth drives in to have the brakes checked and whatever else? Not too long ago, anyway. That ended up costing us $500 - but we do want her to have a safe car to drive, so...

Well, now the 'service engine' light came on in the car, so the car went back to the shop last night to be checked. It's just so weird the way more things always seem to go wrong after one of our cars is in the shop. It's like they check it over, work on it with their air tools, fix one thing, and somehow that causes something else to go wrong. OK, I'm sure it doesn't actually cause stuff to go wrong, but it sure seems that way. Frustrating!

Jeffrey is stopping by to pay for it on the way home today, and then he and Beth can go pick it up later. I wonder how much it's going to cost us this time? And what will go wrong next?

Sky Watch Friday (#24)

It's Friday again, and that means Sky Watch Friday!


Jeffrey and I went out to dinner last Friday night.  I had my new cell phone with me, so of course I had to take pictures.  I was just enjoying the whole thing.  I even made him drive out of his way so I could take some pictures of the sun going down over the lake.  I told him other people's husbands do it. It's not like I was asking him to buy me womens gold watches, just drive a couple of blocks out of the way and let me get out of the car and take some pictures.  So, he did, and he didn't even drive off and leave me.  :P

Along the Road
along the road on the way to dinner

After Dinner
in the parking lot after dinner

Sunset Over the Lake
sunset over the lake

If you enjoy looking at the sky as much as I do, you'll want to check out Sky Watch Friday at Wiggers World. Join in or just enjoy all the wonderful sky pictures.

Trials of Technology (Part 2)

Sansa e130Image via WikipediaAlong with those $4.99 Bluetooth headsets Jeffrey got Sunday, he also got a couple Sandisk Sansa c250 MP3 players . They'll be $30 after rebate, and I looked them up on, and they were almost $70 there. I have seen mixed reviews about this player. People either love it or they hate it, but I'm expecting to love it because I've been using a Sandisk Sansa e130 for a while and haven't had any problems with it.

Today I figured I better load some music and audiobooks onto the player and make sure it works, before I get the rebates ready and mailed. First, I browsed our library's Overdrive service, looking for books that sounded interesting, and then I downloaded 6 books -
  • Prodigal Son - Dean Koontzs' Frankenstein Series, Book 1 by Dean Koontz
  • The Dark Is Rising -The Dark is Rising Sequence, Book 2 by Susan Cooper
  • Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
  • Back to the Bedroom by Janet Evanovich
  • Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
  • Abundance -A Novel of Marie Antoinette by Sena Jeter Naslund
You wanted to know what I downloaded, right? Once downloaded, it was time to sync the files to my new Sansa c250. Error. Error. Error. Nothing would transfer. I read the quick start guide. I visited the Sandisk site. I started reading the forums. I spent way too much time messing with this thing.

The quick start guide said that I should be able to switch the mode of the player by going to Settings - USB. Guess what? No USB option under settings. I did find directions to switch the mode in the Sandisk forums - turn the player off, switch the hold on, hold down the rewind key, plug the player into the computer, when the computer sees the player let go of the rewind key. A little more complicated than just changing the mode under settings, huh? It did seem to work, and the computer saw the player and the microSD card as additional drives I could drag and drop to. Also, when I tried syncing with Windows Media Player and the Overdrive software from my library, the files synced to the player. Things were looking good.

Until I tried to play the books on the player. I kept getting an error message telling me to "synchronize to continue music subscription" and none of the files would play. Of course this was bugging me so I kept searching the forums and the Internet trying to figure out what to do - besides giving up and taking the stupid thing back. I finally read something on the forums that said to format the player and the microSD card and start all over. So, I did. Then I tried syncing two of my books, one with Windows Media Player and one with Overdrive, to see which one, if either would work.

I unplugged the player from the computer, browsed to one of the books, selected the first track, and it worked! That is, until I got to the third track, and then I got that same error message. Arrrrgh! So, I reformatted and tried again. This time I left the player in the default mode, the one that had caused errors when I first attempted to sync, and this time it worked, and when I unplugged the player and tried listening, all the tracks played.

It took way too much messing around, but I think it will work now. The only thing I'm a little worried about is this licensing/synchronization thing. Overdrive lets me check out and download audiobooks. After a week, the books check themselves back in, meaning I cannot listen to them on my computer anymore. However, once they are transferred to an MP3 player, they are supposed to play for as long as you need them, which is a good thing because it always takes me longer than a week to listen to a book. It will definitely take me longer than a week to listen to six books, so this new player better not lose that licensing before I'm done.

What Did He Say?

Having teenagers in the house, I think this site, Rap Artists, could come in handy. The kids have the music blasting, and I have no idea what the songs are about. Now I can look up Hip Hop Lyrics and find out. The only problem I see is that I need to know who the artist is so that I can look the lyrics up. I guess I'll just have to ask the kids. That's probably easier than asking, "What did he just say?" Of course, the question is: do I really want to know?

If you do, check out the rap lyrics on Rap Artists.

Trials of Technology (Part 1)

A typical Bluetooth mobile phone headsetImage via WikipediaI told you we recently got new cell phones. I'm really enjoying playing with it - adding music files, taking pictures, stuff like that. I'm not real big on actually making phone calls, but I guess it's nice to have the option, too.

Our new phones have Bluetooth capabilities, so we ordered some Bluetooth headsets from - $15 for two after rebate. And then, right after we ordered them, we found some actual Motorola ones for $4.99 after rebate, so Jeffrey bought those. We figured I could use one of the ones from with my laptop, maybe, and Tim's phone uses Bluetooth, too so maybe we can sell him one cheap.

I haven't tried setting up the headset yet, but last night I thought it would be nice to connect my phone and my laptop with Bluetooth, so I won't have to actually plug the cable in to transfer music and pictures. It should have been easy. It wasn't. I always thought my laptop had Bluetooth. I mean, the little blue indicator light is always on. I checked my help file to figure out how to do it. It said to go to Control Panel - Bluetooth Devices, and then follow through with some more directions. The only problem was, there was no Bluetooth Devices in my Control Panel - no Bluetooth anything.

Finally, I checked All Programs and found something that said Bluetooth. Double-clicking that installed a Bluetooth driver, I guess the one I thought was already installed. OK, getting somewhere. Once that was installed, I followed the Wizard through and thought I had it. Then I realized that I had connected my computer and my phone via Bluetooth, but it was only configured so that the laptop sees the phone as a modem and can use it to access the Internet by dial-up. Nothing for transferring files. Reading my help file further, I saw that there is supposed to be a check-box so I can let my phone find the computer instead of the other way around. Yeah, right. I searched and searched. NO check-box.

So, last night I wasn't reading blogs or commenting or dropping Entrecards, or even playing Scrabulous. No, I was trying to make my computer and my phone talk to one another without a cable, and I failed miserably. It's not even like it takes all that long to plug in the cable. I just thought having them connect via Bluetooth sounded so cool.

Wish me luck with the headset.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

What Do You Mean Sold Out?

We've all seen the people who camp out for days, waiting for concert tickets to go on sale. Some of the big concerts sell out within minutes, making it impossible for most people to get decent seats. Sure, you might find something in the nosebleed section, but that's no fun. We had an advantage when we wanted tickets back when my brother was a student at the U of I, because they gave students first shot - which was only right since the Assembly Hall is part of the campus. That's how we got the third row seats to see Michael Bolton.

What do you do if you don't have a friend who can hook you up, or you're not willing to camp out and wait in line? How do you get your concert tickets and sports tickets? Check out Seat Exchange. They'll hook you up. Search for the event you want and check for tickets. People who have the tickets can sell them here, safely and securely, and the people who want tickets can buy them. I already checked to see if there are any tickets to see Cher in Las Vegas - if only I was going to be there.

Seat Exchange offers sellers the tools to market their tickets to a wider audience than they would reach otherwise, and they guarantee all buyers that they will be attending the event for the tickets they selected. Much safer than buying them from someone on the street, right? I just did a quick search to see what concerts were available in my area this summer. Milwaukee is a big summer festival/music city, so there are quite a few, and it was really easy to find them. Tim McGraw, Tom Petty, Alicia Keys, so many choices, and Seat Exchange has them.

Hope For Warm Weather

Cory has a band trip to Noah's Ark on Monday. That's Noah's Ark - the world's largest outdoor waterpark (or something like that - actually America's largest waterpark.). The thing is, we live in Wisconsin. Monday the temperature got up to about 80°, and then dropped 40° within 20 minutes that evening. Last night we had frost advisories all over the state. That would be why they say not to plant the garden until after Memorial Day, and even then it might not be safe. I never get my garden planted until mid-June or so, since I'm usually working on the calendar and don't have time to mess with it. Often, when I do get a break, like when we print the calendar out for editing, the weather turns cold and rainy, and I can't do anything outdoors.

So, planning a trip to a waterpark this early in the year? Iffy. Who decided the Wisconsin Dells would be the waterpark capital of America, anyway? Wouldn't it make more sense to build all those waterparks in a warm state somewhere?

Here's hoping for a warm, sunny day on Monday - and that no one forgets to use sunscreen.

Safety in the Inner Bank

A tornado near Seymour, Texas.Image via WikipediaDid you see the video of that huge tornado in Colorado last week? Tornadoes really scare me. Beth keeps saying she wants to see one, but I will be perfectly happy if I never do. I'm also very, very thankful that I have a basement - just in case. I won't be seeing that tornado. I will be hiding in the basement. Other people can see them and take the pictures for me to see later.

I think it was that tornado in Colorado that destroyed a daycare center. All the kids were safe because they took them across the street to the bank and into the bank vault. All the kids were much safer there than they would have been in that daycare center. We've got a daycare center here in town, in the same building as the bank. I hope they remember that bank vault if there's ever a tornado coming through.

Update: A tornado did go through on June 21, 2010.  It was 9:00 at night, so it was dark, and we didn't see it.  And I was in the basement.
The Morning After
The Morning After (Photo credit: bcmom)

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

UpComing Trip

I can't believe we're letting her do it, but Beth and Tim are flying to Florida to visit his family next month. Originally they were wanting to drive, stopping along the way to visit my parents and dropping Cory off there. They started looking at the cost of flying instead and figured it would cost about the same, considering the cost of gas. I really do feel better about them flying. That would have been a very long drive. I think they'll be safer, and they will have more time to spend with Tim's mom and the rest of his family. Of course that does mean they won't get to see my parents, and Cory doesn't get to go.

Pretty soon Beth will have to start packing up the travel supplies because they're leaving as soon as school is out. At least they bought their tickets and are flying soon enough that they won't have to pay that new airline fee for checked baggage. I got a little worried about that when it was announced because they're flying American Airlines.

Heads or Tails - My Job

Today's theme is:

TAILS - Tell about your job (Or one you've had)

I'm a little late getting my Heads or Tails up, but it is still Tuesday, right? It's just that today feels like it should be Monday, and I'm doing all the normal Monday things. Yes, yesterday was a holiday. A lot of people had the day off - not Beth. She had to work 8 hours. That's what happens when you work retail. Been there. Done that. I worked at Kohl's from the time Jeffrey and I got married until Cory was about a year old.

So, that was one of my jobs, but since then my main job has been MOM. Stay home, take care of the kids, cook the meals, clean the house, do the laundry. The truth of the matter is that someone has to do it. I'm just lucky enough to be able to do all that without also having to hold down a full-time (or even part-time) job outside the home. When the kids were little, we talked about my working outside the home, but we came to the conclusion that, with the cost of daycare and with what I would make doing what I was doing, I really wouldn't be making any money. So, it was better for me to stay home with the kids. Since then, I've been doing just that - cooking, cleaning, shopping, finances, helping with homework, volunteering at school, driving kids here, driving kids there.

It's not the kind of job that pays in dollars and cents, but it's a job that pays in all kinds of other ways.

Visit the home of Heads or Tails to see more participants and join in.

Magic Online Pharmacy

Sometimes the easiest way to get anything is to order it online. You can order electronics online, groceries, and now even prescription drugs. With the Magic Online Pharmacy, you can get antibiotics, anti-depressants, weight-loss drugs, and more without ever leaving your house. You don't even need a prescription first. Of course, you do have to fill out a questionnaire, and your order has to be reviewed by a licensed physician who will issue the prescription. prescription drugs - magic online pharmacy - you can order any time, day or night, without worrying about pharmacy hours, and get next day shipping.

It's My Turn!

A game in progress on FacebookImage via WikipediaSpeaking of getting your life back...

I'm wondering if there's some kind of consultation and help I can get. I've fallen into a deep pit of Scrabulous letters, and I just can't get out. They recently added the new "jump to your next active game" link. It works so well. Sometimes I'm just playing and clicking, playing and clicking. I just can't stop until it finally takes me to the list of my games. What do you mean it's not my turn on any of them?

I keep refreshing the page until, finally - it's my turn!

Yes, Tammy, I'm going to play right now, you dam sexy nude knitting bozo. (Yeah, our game is way more exciting than the graphic here) See:
Where do you think I should play next? Oh, and if you're on Facebook, and we're not already playing a game, let's!

Get Your Life Back

The best way to get out of debt is never to get in debt in the first place. Of course, for most of us, it's a little too late for that. When you're drowning in consumer debt, flooded with collection calls, and don't know what to do, there is help. Advocate Credit Assistance (ACA) provides an informative approach to help you learn your options and which one is best for you and your family. You can read about your options on their website, download the free e-book on dealing with those callers, or call toll-free to talk with a representative. Your debt consultation is free, and, judging by the client savings listed on the front page, ACA can not only help you get out of debt, they can save you a lot of money in the process.

Monday, May 26, 2008


Memorial DayImage via WikipediaAs you enjoy your Memorial Day celebrations and cookouts, remember:
Memorial Day is much more than a three-day weekend that marks the beginning of summer. To many people, especially the nation's thousands of combat veterans, this day, which has a history stretching back all the way to the Civil War, is an important reminder of those who died in the service of their country.

Video for the Day: Trace Adkins - Arlington

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Bad Parenting

I saw this on someone's Facebook profile. Maybe you've seen it before, but I hadn't.

This is not funny, but then again...

...all those little things you have to think of when you've got kids, things you never had to think about before. And sometimes you don't think of them until it's too late. the parenting manual needs to be better written, don't you think?

Looking For Boots?

Jeffrey started looking for some cowboy boots a couple years ago when we were in Rapid City. He found some he kind of liked but wasn't quite ready to buy them. He ended up finding a pair he liked even better once we got back home. Now he wears them a lot, and I'm liking them so much I'm thinking I ought to find myself a pair of handmade cowboy boots, too. I have a cheap pair I bought years ago, but they're not the most comfortable things in the world. I want a pair that will be comfortable and look good with jeans and skirts, too.

I've been browsing the website at this morning, and I found some I think I'd like - see picture. Actually, they sort of look like the ones Jeffrey bought for himself. We could be twinkies! The kids would be so embarrassed.

Cavender's has all kinds of styles, for every need it looks like. Hundreds of styles from the biggest names in the business, so it sounds like they have more to choose from than anyone else. They also have jeans, shirts, cowboy hats, accessories, and more. Shipping is free on all orders over $50 and footwear returns are free, just in case they don't fit. So, if you're looking for boots, you'll want to check out

Camera Critters (#7)


Click the graphic to visit the Camera Critters headquarters and find out how you can join in. All the post headers, badges and rules are there, as well as Mr. Linky so you can sign in.

Since I've been posting pictures of my resident critter recently (Tillie the cat), I thought I'd post a different type of critter. Well, it's still a cat, just a much bigger cat. Tigers are Cory's favorite animal, and I really can't blame him. They are gorgeous! I took this a few years ago at the zoo. The tiger was just pacing back and forth, back and forth. We stood and watched him for quite some time.

Gorgeous! Don't forget to join Camera Critters. It's a lot of fun.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Who's Laughing Now

This having no kids around is getting to be the norm. Cory has a game night at the library, so he went early to help set up, and then he'll be there all night. Beth wants to go to her friend's house and maybe spend the night, though she doesn't quite know what she's going to do. Tim has stuff to do, so Beth's being kind of pissy about not seeing him. Oh well, we're leaving and going to dinner. If she wants to eat, she will have to figure it out for herself. Cory gets pizza at the library.

Before I go, I'd just like to mention my ac compressor. It's not getting a workout yet. This is the time of year when I'm really thankful to live in Wisconsin. The weather is wonderful - not too hot. Those people who laugh at us during the winter - who's laughing now? I can put up with a little cold weather if that means I don't have to turn my air conditioning on in April and run it until October.

To Vacuum or Not To Vacuum

I'm trying to get the house cleaned up and food cooked for the weekend. Yes, I get lazy on the weekends. I want to take it easy and not have to cook. Of course, the weekends are when everyone is home, and they're always asking me what there is to eat. So the no cooking plan doesn't work out too well for me, but I do try to do some cooking on Fridays so I don't have to do as much as I would otherwise.

Also, I was trying to decide if I should vacuum or not. The floor doesn't look too bad. It has definitely looked worse, but we have people coming over tomorrow, and I wouldn't want them to think I never clean my house. I had just decided that I would go ahead and run the vacuum cleaner, at least in the open areas, when I sat down for a minute to check my email, play Scrabulous, something. And that's when Tillie decided to jump in my lap, and then that wasn't good enough. She had to crawl all the way up on me and snuggle up on my chest. Did she know I was thinking of pulling the vacuum cleaner out? She was obviously trying to convince me not to. She doesn't like that thing at all. One look at it, and she disappears.

Now she's curled up at the other end of the couch sleeping. Sure, I could vacuum, but that would disturb the cat. Something is definitely wrong with me. I wanted this cat the way Misty needs diet pills - Not. At. All. And now I'm worrying about disturbing her and working my schedule around her. How did she move in and take over so quickly?

I have some baking to do. That doesn't make noise. I could always vacuum later, after the kids get home from school and one of them takes her into his/her room.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Sky Watch Friday (#23)

It's Friday again, and that means Sky Watch Friday!

These pictures were taken with my new camera phone.  Now I have no excuse for not having the camera with me!  I had been thinking of buying a little camera that would fit in my purse and be easy to carry, but this is even better.  It's a phone, camera, and MP3 player all in one!

This one is out my back door:

Blue & White

This one was outside the library:

I would have missed this one if I didn't have the phone. I was getting out of the van to attend my Library Board meeting Tuesday night when I looked up...

If you enjoy looking at the sky as much as I do, you'll want to check out Sky Watch Friday at Wiggers World. Join in or just enjoy all the wonderful sky pictures.

My Own Ringtones

Audio MIDI SetupImage via WikipediaI just figured out how to make a song my ringtone on my new phone! Of course, now I will have to play with some audio tracks so that I can have just the part of the song I want as the ringtone. How long is a ringtone, anyway? And does having a cool ringtone mean I won't want to answer my phone because I'll be listening to the song?

This sounds so much better than the song Beth uses as her ringtone. She did an audio recording by holding the phone up to her computer speakers. Not good quality at all. My ringtone on my old phone, the one Cory has now, was a song Cory played into the phone. That's why he wanted that phone and didn't care that it wasn't a camera phone. He likes being able to compose his own songs on the phone. And he's the only one in the family who can do that. He played Cleveland Rocks for me. That was a cool ringtone. Maybe I'll have to find a copy of that for my new phone. This could be lots of fun!

Why Buy Furniture?

While Jeffrey and I were out walking yesterday morning, we noticed several items of furniture out by the curb. Nothing we needed, but it's always fun to look. Hopefully someone will decide they can get some use out of some of that stuff. Since the large trash pick-up isn't until next week, at least until it rains, they've got a chance to haul it off. There were some couches, a desk, maybe some baby furniture and even a grill.

We've got quite a bit of furniture that we claimed when someone else was finished with it - a glider rocker that now 'belongs' to Tillie, a coffee table for the basement, some end tables that are down in the basement. Seriously, why buy furniture when you can get it for free? I just feel kind of bad that when we actually did buy new furniture for the living room, our old stuff went in the trash. If the timing had been any different, we probably would have set it out to see if anyone wanted it, or listed it with freecycle or Craigslist. But, when we got the new furniture delivered, it was the day before trash pick-up. If we didn't put it out right away, we would have had to hold onto it for another month, because the big trash only gets picked up once a month, on the 4th Wednesday of the month. Still, someone could probably have gotten some use out of that old couch and loveseat.

I don't really think the people who put their furniture out yesterday are hoping someone can use it. I think they just forgot which week is the big trash pick-up. Still, it does give people a chance.

Why did we actually buy new furniture? 5 years free financing.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I Got Stuff

My honey brought me a 'belated birthday present' today. He brought me home a new backpack. I got one at the State Fair last year, or was it the year before?, from the Golden Guernsey booth. It was one of those convenient little nylon bags you can wear on your back - lightweight but it holds a lot of stuff. It was blue and said 'got milk?'

-- Stopping here to note that Zemanta suggested some of my pics - so I grabbed one. I didn't know this, but it looks like you can only grab one image from Zemanta. When I clicked on another one, it replaced the first. Anyway, I'll keep the picture of Beth hiding her face. :) Milk for $1.00Image by bcmom via Flickr

Anyway, about my little nylon 'got milk?' backpack - I took it to a football game last fall. I had my jacket in it or something, and when I took it out, I didn't stuff the bag in a pocket or something but just put it down with my other stuff on the bleachers, next to me. Later, when the football game was over and I got back to the van, I realized that my bag was missing. So, I went back and looked for it. No luck. The next day Jeffrey rode his motorcycle over there, and he looked for it too but had no luck. We figured it fell down under the bleachers since it was empty or just had a pen in it, but it was just gone. Cory even checked lost and found at school that next week, but we never found it. It made me sad. I really liked that bag.

Today Jeffrey brought me home a new one - and a new case for my new phone. Isn't he sweet?

The Stuff You Need to Get Outside

As Jeffrey and I were walking the other day we noticed that our neighbors had brought their camper out of winter storage. They have a nice trailer, and they do a lot of camping. We have a tent and some camping supplies, because we really don't do much camping. We enjoy it, but there's always something else going on, and it's hard to get away on the weekends. Maybe when the kids are grown and gone, things will slow down a little and we can find some time, and some people to camp with.

Of course, that means we'll have to dig out all the camping supplies, see what we have and see what else we need. Until I started browsing this site (Big T Sports) full of camping, fishing, hunting, and outdoor sporting goods, I didn't know we needed so many things. For instance, did you know you can buy a stainless steel margarita glass? Of course, I'm going to need one of those if I'm going to start camping.

I may not ever need marine electronics, because I don't see myself ever doing any fishing - regardless of what you all say. The Big T Sports website has them for those of you who like that kind of thing. They also have all the camping supplies I can imagine, lighting, tents, cookware, sleeping bags, etc. I can smell the campfire now, and taste that margarita.

Decisions, Decisions

Post something or read other people's posts.

Comment on those posts or read some more.

Work on the calendar or get some Vitamin D (lay out in the sun and read a book)

Work on the calendar or clean my bathroom.

Work on the calendar or play my turns on Scrabulous.

...and the list goes on and on.

Do you see a theme here? I keep putting off working on the calendar and doing other things instead. Pretty soon my choice is going to be: Work on the calendar or sleep. And I won't be getting any sleep.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Cheaper Than a Hotel

Last weekend we drove down to Jacksonville to see family, and we had to get a hotel room. Actually, we had to get two hotel rooms because Beth insisted that Tim go with us, so we put the boys in one room, and Beth stayed in the room with Jeffrey and me. The sad thing is that a hotel room in a town in the middle of Illinois - not even an exotic tourist destination - cost $80 a night.

I'm looking at these Cairns Hotels - actually I'm interested in the villas and cabins. They've got kitchen facilities, private balconies and all kinds of amenities, and they cost the same as a basic hotel room, in a boring place. I really hate going somewhere and spending a lot of money to get less than I have at home.

Of course, if I get to go somewhere exotic like Fiji or Vanuatu, then I'd be willing to look at the Fiji Hotels or Vanuatu Hotels if we could get a good deal. I don't need a kitchen when I'm on vacation. I just really appreciate one.

I started looking at some Noumea Hotels that are more expensive, but judging from the pictures, can I just say WOW! We are saving for a vacation, so maybe...

For now, though, I've got to quit dreaming of vacation and travel and go wash my dishes. Yeah, real life interferes again.

Heads or Tails - Piece

Today's theme is:

HEADS *OR* TAILS - Peace *OR* Piece

I grabbed a snack out of the refrigerator this morning, and it reminded me of something.

Fruit!We love fresh pineapple, not just any fresh pineapple. It has to be an extra sweet Gold pineapple. Have you tried those? They are so good. Serve them with some strawberries, bananas and whipped cream, and you've got a special treat. A special treat, that is, for everyone except Cory, until one day...

Cory always insisted that he didn't like pineapple. He wouldn't even try it. We figured that was OK. That left more for the rest of us! One day, Beth told Cory that she would pay him $1 if he'd eat just one piece. It took a little convincing, but he finally agreed that it was worth $1, and he ate a piece of pineapple. That's when he discovered that he loves pineapple. Now, he begs me to buy pineapples, and he tells me he loves me when I do. (He tells me he loves me, anyway, but buying pineapple makes him very happy)

Now, because Beth dared him to eat that one piece of pineapple, we have to share our pineapple with Cory.

!!!! Thank you to everyone who has stopped by to wish me a Happy Birthday. Feel free to stop by Misty's and help yourself to a piece of the cake she got me. !!!!

Visit the home of Heads or Tails to see more participants and join in.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Do You Click?

When you're supposed to include a link in one of your posts, or one of the blogs you read has a seemingly random link, like for natural acne treatment, do you click? I'm going to admit that I click. A lot. If I don't click I might miss something. If I do click, I might find the exact thing I'm looking for. You never know. It could happen.

I think it's time to stop clicking for tonight and get to bed, before too long anyway. When Beth and Jeffrey get home. He went to meet her at the car repair shop, on her way home from work. She happened to mention this weekend that when she applies the brakes, the whole car shakes. Then she acted all upset that her dad hadn't already had it taken care of. "I told you the brakes needed checked." Well, yes, she did mention that Tim said one of the brake pads was looking worn when he changed the oil a while back. And then she never mentioned it again. Somehow, someway, we're supposed to know what needs taken care of without being told.

New Phones

I've been messing around with my new phone today, trying to figure out how it works. Jeffrey and Cory went and got new cell phones yesterday, a new phone for Jeffrey and a new phone for me. Beth keeps her old beat-up one, and Cory gets my old one. So, now we all have our own cell phone.

Cory has been involved in more things, with after-school meetings and activities, and we figured it would be nice for him to have his own phone. Now he won't have to take mine or try to find someone with a phone so that he can call home. We changed our plan slightly to get the best deal with adding another phone. We still have the 1000 anytime minutes and free nights and weekends starting at 7pm. Now we also have free mobile to mobile minutes - so anytime we call between USCellular phones, those calls don't count against our minutes. This plan also comes with 45 minutes of roaming built in, so if we're ever traveling, we can still use the phones, at least a little, and we can add another 100 minutes for $10 if we think we need more. We don't do a lot of traveling, so that ought to cover it.

I got this cool MOTOROKR with the orange, and Jeffrey got the silver one. It has a microSD slot to expand the memory, a music player, and a 2MP camera. So it's a cell phone, MP3 player and digital camera all in one. I like that. I was trying to get my computer to recognize the phone when I plug in the USB cable, but I got frustrated by that. It looks like I have to buy software to make that work? That's rude. I will have to keep playing with it to see how that works. I did get some music on the microSD card, and the music player sounds good.

In order to get the rebates for buying the new phones, we had to agree to have easyedge on both new phones for 3 months, so we were trying to figure out how that works, too. From everything I could see, if I wanted to do anything at all, I was supposed to pay for it. What? We're paying $9.95/month so we can pay more money to go online or play some games? That made no sense whatsoever, so Jeffrey called customer service tonight and finally got somewhere. I guess there was some software the was supposed to be loaded on the phones, but it wasn't. We could download it, but it was really hard to find, and there was no information about where to look or even what to look for. Now that we've got that working, I'll have to spend some time playing with that to see what it can do. I did figure out how to check my email, but that's about it. I can't imagine there's anything I need badly enough to pay $9.95/'month, but since we have to try it for 3 months, I might as well use it, at least to see what I can do with it.

Mostly I think I'm going to appreciate having the camera. I won't have any excuse not to have a camera with me now, and I can get the pictures off the camera. Last time I had a camera phone it really frustrated me, because the only way to get the pictures off the camera was to pay 25¢ to send them somewhere. There was no way I was going to do that. Now I can just remove the microSD card, insert it into my computer, and download.

Is It a Good Deal?

Or not?

Have you ever thought about selling some of the extra stuff you have around the house? Or maybe thought about buying someone else's used equipment, but you didn't know whether the price was a good one or not? There's a way to find out. It's called, a complete online used pricing system. Simply select a category, like audio equipment, computers, musical instruments, or power tools. Then enter the model number and instantly find out what the item is worth.

It looks like a great place to find out gun prices, computer prices, and all kinds of prices for used equipment. With you'll never again be wondering if you are getting a good deal or not - whether you're selling or buying.


Bonjour BrowserImage via WikipediaI've been trying to comment on a YouTube video - repeatedly, and nothing happens. It just sits there. I haven't spent a lot of time on YouTube, and I haven't commented on very many videos, but how card can it be? Type the comment and hit "Post comment" - and the comment should post, right? Other people are commenting. I can see their comments showing up, while mine just won't work.

I tried commenting on another video, just to see if it was my browser or my account. No problem there. That comment posted just fine. But on this Howie Mandel/ video? The one they said they'd pay me to comment on? No luck.

Note: I probably would have tried commenting on this one even without the promise of payment, if I had found it on my own, because I love Howie and But, if it hadn't worked then, I would have just given up and moved on. I can't move on. I need to be able to comment on this thing. Any suggestions? I even tried it in a different browser, but that didn't help.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Earth-Friendly Products

A couple weeks ago Jeffrey and I bought some solar landscape lights and some compact fluorescent light bulbs. Until recently, I didn't realize those fluorescent light bulbs were so much better for the environment than regular light bulbs. I just thought they were supposed to last longer and save electricity. Not that that's a bad thing, but I didn't realize there was more to it.

We happened to be in a store that had the light bulbs on sale, and the solar landscape lights were fairly reasonable after rebate. So we bought them. I love the landscape lights. They charge up all day long in the sun and light up pretty at night. No wires. No electricity charges. Pretty cool, huh?

The light bulbs are great, too. It takes them a little while to come on and then to build up to full light, but once they do, they are so bright. I was reading today that this kind of light bulbs simulate sunlight, so that's so much better than normal indoor light. I like to have a lot of light in my house, so I'm thinking we will have to start replacing all our bulbs with these.

I just learned tonight that there's a great website where you can buy all kinds of earth-friendly products for everyday living. It's called Eco Geek Living, and they are committed to providing easy-to-use, eco-friendly alternatives to traditional household products.

They have the light bulbs and the solar landscape lights like we bought, and they also have solar and crank flashlights, reusable bottles and filters, and solar chargers like this power monkey explorer for cell phones, iPods, and other electronic devices. You know how your electronic devices always seem to 'die' at the most inopportune times. A solar charger will have the power you need, when you need it. I also love the idea of those flashlights. There's nothing worse than having the power go out, needing the flashlight, and then finding out that the battery's dead.

If everyone makes just one little change, it can make a big difference, so why not browse the Eco Geek Living site and see if they have something you can use? Maybe the Solar Fishing Tackle Bag?

For My Fishing Friends

Angling.Image via WikipediaI never really got into fishing - the heat, the bugs, having to touch the worms or the fish - I never liked any of that. But I know some of you really enjoy it, and I thought of you when I saw this tabblo. Like I said, I don't even like fishing, and I really enjoyed these pictures, so I know you will, too.

Speaking of great pictures, have you seen the pictures Jenn took when she and her hubby went fishing last week? Gorgeous! You might talk me into going just for the scenery. I'm not touching a fish, though.

It's All About the Timing

The town where the kids go to school is about 5 miles away. That doesn't sound like much, but that ends up being 25-30 minutes round trip. What that means is that, if I don't have to drive over there to pick someone up after school or get them there a little early, I don't want to do it. Unfortunately, the administrators and teachers at school do not share my feelings. It seems that every time there is an after-school meeting of this club or that one, it's only supposed to last about half an hour. Last week Cory had a National Honor Society meeting after school. It was supposed to last 15-20 minutes - just long enough to ensure that he could not ride the bus home. Couldn't they just have a meeting during school? Or have one day out of the week that the buses run late so they could have the meetings then?

I think part of it is that a lot of the kids have sports practice after school. They're planning to stay anyway, so it isn't really inconvenient for them, and they don't want to take too much time for that. For me, it means a special trip to go pick Cory up. Or it means Beth needs to hang around for a while after school and bring her brother home. That obviously makes a lot more sense, but Beth tries her best not to see it that way. She raised a fuss when I told her I needed her to bring Cory home, since she's already there, so I didn't have to make a special trip. Fuss or no fuss - she did wait, and she did bring him home. She even called me to let me know she was waiting for him. It's good to see that she can be responsible and help out.

We tried to explain this very clearly before she started driving - along with the privilege of driving comes responsibility, too. Sometimes it just takes practice. Tomorrow she gets to leave early for school, because Cory needs to be there at 7:30 for a field trip. I'll go ahead and pick him up at 3:30 since she needs to get home and get ready for work, and I need to run to the bank and deposit the concession money, anyway. Still, just about 15 minutes before the bus would get to school in the morning and half an hour after school gets out in the afternoon. Not very good timing, if you ask me.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Camera Critters (#6)


Click the graphic to visit the Camera Critters headquarters and find out how you can join in. All the post headers, badges and rules are there, as well as Mr. Linky so you can sign in.

When I take pictures like this from my back door, I have to open the screen, because, of course I can't shoot through it. Even when it's really cold outside, I usually open the back door and the screen. What's a little cold when you're trying to get a picture, right?

If I'm not careful when I have the door open, though, Tillie escapes outside to explore. She hasn't gone far yet. She chases leaves that blow in the wind and gets scared by any sudden noise or movement and then wants to come back inside.

Here she is looking back at me when I asked her, "Just what do you think you're doing?"

She looks so innocent, doesn't she? "Who, me?"