Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Freaky weather

Last Friday was a strong thaw. Most of the snow in the yard melted - and in places it was knee deep. At Mom's on Saturday, I found a caterpillar on the sidewalk. It had evidently been fooled by the warm temperatures into coming out of hibernation, but then froze again.

I picked it up and brought it home to show Cayla. It woke up for awhile, but after Cayla saw it, I took it outside so it can hibernate again.

(I'll try to remember to post a picture later. Computer isn't cooperating.)

The other thing about Friday was the intense fog. Kent took me to work and when he picked me up, we went to Walmart. We drove home on P59, at about 30 mph. Visibility was about 20 feet, I think. It was a harrowing ride, but we made it home safely.

Favorite foods

A member of Geeks! posed the question: What is your favorite dish to eat?

My response:
Two meals I miss from when I lived in Chicago:

From the cafeteria where I worked: a buffalo chicken sandwich, fries, egg custard and Dr. Pepper. The bite of the buffalo chicken and Dr Pepper were offset by the cool taste of the custard.

From a salads-to-go delivery service that stopped at my building: a Hotsy-Totsy salad (and Dr Pepper). The salad was pasta with chunks of hot chicken (not buffalo but something along those lines) with broccoli, and peppercorn dressing.

I moved from Chicago in 1996 and still remember how much I liked those meals. ;-)

Honestly, I have thought about those particular meals since we left Chicago, including several times lately. I've considered trying to make the salad, but I'm not sure how to do the chicken. It wasn't buffalo chicken, I think the description said something about some oriental name but it's been so long I can't remember.

I can't remember everything my mom cooked when I was a kid. I do believe that I liked everything she cooked except ham and bean soup and her gravy (sorry Mom). She even made macaroni and cheese from scratch with Velveeta. My own kids are split on what they like: one likes this food but the other doesn't, then they switch on the next item. Neither one likes peas, although Cayla used to like them. I used to take great steps to make sure there was something for the kid who didn't like what we were having, but now that they are 15 and 13, if they don't like what's on the table, they can make something for themselves, even if it's only a bowl of cereal. ;-)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Catching up: Dec. 26-28

I worked a day shift Friday. It was difficult because we got back from Waterloo around 2:15 a.m. and I had to be at work at 9. But I made it.

On Fridays, I do a page for the Sunday business section. I had someone come in after the page was done who wanted something added to the page. I told him the page was done and I could get it in for next Sunday. He suggested it might go in the Sports section. Perhaps it might. It won't go in before Friday anyway. Whatever.

Because I was at work all day, exhausted from the trip to Waterloo, and busy, I forgot that I hadn't picked up the prescription for Mom's pain pills from the clinic. They aren't open until Monday.

(Side note: I stopped to pop a mini-bag of Orville Redenbacher popcorn - lime and salt flavor. It smelled like Froot Loops for a little when it was cooking. The lime taste isn't very strong to me.)

We did a little grocery shopping Friday night - Kent had brought me to work and picked me up. I had to get stuff for Jessica to make meatloaf. We watched part of Prince Caspian, but Donna had to take it in when she went to work. So we started watching Kung Fu Panda. I don't think it was stopped until Saturday afternoon - it just kept playing, over and over and over.

Saturday morning Kent and I went into town. We went to the library, where I returned Twilight and picked up some manga books for Amanda. We got Mom's shopping list and went to Subway at Walmart. I did Mom's shopping, except for the shrimp - which she wants for Wednesday - and popcorn. They only carry Pop Weaver, Orville Redenbacher and Jolly Time at Walmart now. Mom wanted Act II or Pop Secret. More importantly, she wanted natural flavor, and there was none. They all either had varying amounts of butter (from little "lite" butter to pour it on to coronary, here I come!) or were flavored. Which is where I got the lime and salt flavored popcorn.

I had to work Saturday, too. I stopped at Walmart on my way home for buffalo chicken Savorings and ibuprofen. We were out of the ibuprofen, and I got a double pack so Donna and I can each have our own bottle.

We didn't go to church today. Let this be our last lazy Sunday of no church. I'm hoping that we can start the new year off right. I know people must be wondering what happened to me - I haven't attended much since I was released from Primary (where I taught a lesson every Sunday) to get a calling in Relief Society (where I teach a lesson once a month). But I've been exhausted and needed to have a break from something. Taking a break from work only works if I can get time off - and I'm out of vacation days for this year. Taking a break from school makes my life harder when I try to catch up. Taking a break from church, well, I know I shouldn't, but I did. I'll try to do better.

That's pretty much it lately. I need to do many things: write my dad, write Kent's dad, update my website (which will require time on the phone with tech support), start preparing for next semester, and so on. Right now I just want to veg online.

(Oh, yeah, forgot to mention: I found some sites with Blogger templates and changed mine. How do you like it?)

Christmas Day

Donna drove to Waterloo to pick up Richard. We opened presents - Kent got us (girls and me) cell phones. I was stunned. We went to dinner at Hong Kong Buffet. Before dinner, Kent and I (and the girls) went to Community Pizza to pick up a pork tenderloin sandwich for Mom and took it to her. Donna got her a chocolate shake from Hardee's.

The buffet was nice - I hadn't been there in a long time. They had some (Americanized of course) Chinese food, salad stuff (including shrimp), crab legs and a lot more. I took some pictures while we were eating. Amanda kept hiding her face. She continued that when we went back to Mom's for pumpkin pie. I got fed up with her resistance and told Kent to take me to work and then come back for the girls. Amanda took a picture of herself with her cell phone camera and texted an apology to me later.

Work was okay. I made up the obit that hadn't been entered into the system for Thursday and got all the obits caught up. I did a couple of pages, but Barbara did the rest. I like to paginate, but when I'm paginating and doing obits and copy editing as well, it gets to be a bit much. So I don't mind that Barbara does the wire pages and in this case finished a couple of pages with wire content. She left early and I finished by 9:45 p.m.

Finishing early was good, because Richard had to get back to Waterloo so he could work the next day. I also had to work the next day, but Donna didn't want to drive to Waterloo again so Kent and I took Richard back (in Suzanna's car).

The roads were icing up in places because mixed precipitation was passing through. We had to stop once under an overpass to slap the windshield wipers on the windshield because they were covered in ice and ineffective. Kent drove 40 mph in places. The wind was bitter and strong.

Richard kept getting prank phone calls. Someone was using a voice distorter - it sounded like a six-year-old girl and was very difficult to understand. He kept having to ask them to repeat what they said. They gave up eventually.

I expored the options on my cell phone. I got it to access Twitter and left some tweets while we were driving. That was cool. It got me wanting to use it more. The problem is that I hate having to tap the keys multiple times to get to certain letters. I want a phone with a qwerty keyboard. So I'm thinking of upgrading.

It's funny, really. I was satisfied with my Tracfone. It had a camera, which wasn't really necessary because I have a digital camera. It had double minutes for life, which is what I really wanted. But since Kent got us all cell phones, I want more. I want the qwerty keyboard, web access, maybe a music player, more, more, more.

I think I need to stop wanting new things. But I'll do that after I get a different car (with better gas mileage), a new computer (that I can actually do my homework on), the software I need to do my homework and new glasses. That's my current list. Plus the new phone, but I haven't decided which one yet.

Catching up: Dec. 24

I didn't have to work Wednesday - it's my normal day off. Apparently they could have used my help, as there was no obit clerk scheduled. So on Thursday I had to do a little catchup work. One obit that ran in Thursday's paper wasn't in the billing system, so I had to enter it as if it ran in Friday's paper, but made sure not to put it on the page for Friday.

Wednesday was pretty quiet. We didn't do any Christmas Eve stuff. Cayla made sure she stayed up until Suzanna got here, because I told her she couldn't open anything from Suzanna unless Suzanna was here. So we stayed up until 2 a.m. I went to bed after presents were opened, around 2:30 a.m. Suzanna gave me a $35 gift card for Walmart.

Catching up: Dec. 23

I haven't blogged and wanted to catch up, so I'm starting with Tuesday. I had the weirdest dream. Well, in the top 20, maybe.

I live in a one-story house with a basement. It has a garage, and there's a breezeway in between. The yard is a good size, and fairly level. There is no ditch.

In my dream, the house was two stories, with a deck all the way around or nearly all the way around the house at the second story, which was apparently the main level. There was a ditch next to the street in the front, but apparently not all the way around. This is important to the dream. There was something about a fence near the stairs up to the deck, which is also important. The deck was redwood, which is not important, just a detail. The garage wasn't there, either, but the driveway was.

Okay, here goes:

There was a car or a couple of cars driving around through my yard. I called police, and also took a picture with my digital camera. My camera showed a message that the license plate of the car was connected to warrants in another state. I told the police this.

I walked on the driveway to the mailbox to get the mail. On the way back, I started to walk through the yard, but fell to my waist in snow in the ditch next to the street. I put my hand down in the snow as I fell and felt something. There was a boot, a child-size boot. I looked to my right and saw a white jacket with blue trim. I pulled at it and it resisted. Then I saw that there was someone in the coat, someone who was certainly dead. I called to the person I was following to the house and told them to call the police.

When I got out of the snow, I walked along the driveway to the fence by the stairs. I saw something that looked like a doll. I picked it up. It was a baby - probably less than a year old. The baby moved. I called 911 again. They told me they would meet me at the hospital in Waterloo. I told them I was calling from (a small town near Fort Dodge). They needed to send the local ambulance.

Now, this is the bare bones of the dream. The people in the cars continued to drive in circles around my house. I don't know what happened with the baby or the body in the front yard. I don't know if the boot belonged to a child that was buried in the snow. I woke up and lost the thread of the dream.

I do have strange dreams from time to time. I have written down a couple. I went back to read one and didn't remember it at first, but eventually could picture it again. Sometimes I can see a message in these strange dreams, but more often they are confusing and unrestful.

No HP Magic for me

I didn't win any of the 50 HP Magic Giveaway prize packages. I didn't enter all the contests - some were in Spanish or Portuguese, some I missed deadlines or chose not to enter because the qualifications were difficult.

But I did learn something. There are blogs out there where you can win something. So I'm going to keep trying. I might not win a computer (in fact I'll be falling back to Plan A, student aid in February), but I might win something. So, here goes:

My first blog contest that I'm going for is from Organize with Sandy. There are three mini books to give away: Three Steps to Organizing your Kitchen,
Three Steps to Organizing your Child's Room
Three Steps to Organizing your Office.

You have to go to and go back to the contest page and leave a comment about which product you would love to have. There are extra chances to win, too. You can Twitter, blog about it, post Organizer Sandy buttons on your blog and/or follow Sandy's blogs. I'm going to do all of these. I could use the help getting organized. And if I win, it will encourage me to enter more contests.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Better luck next time

I missed a couple of days posting, but I've been busy. Thursday I had three final tests, went home for a bit, then went to work. I got off at 9:30 and drove home. I think that was the worst drive home I've had as far as poor visibility goes. When a snow plow turned onto 169, I pulled off on a side road and let it pass me so it could clear the road.

I made it home, though. But it makes me leary about tonight. We're under a blizzard warning, with snow, blowing snow and bitter wind chills expected. I expect I'll have to spend the night at Mom's. I'm not planning to go to church in the morning. Tomorrow's high temperature is predicted to be around zero.

I got up shortly after 6 a.m. and didn't go back to sleep. So I'm going to take a nap before I get started on my past-due assignments for school.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Pride goeth before a fall

I had Tuesday night off from work so I could go to Enrichment Night. Enrichment was cancelled because of the weather - we got a few inches of snow. Kent and I went into town in the evening so I could drop off my Secret Santa present at work, so Kent could get some groceries, and so Kent could fix Mom's computer - again. While he was working on that, I shoveled her sidewalk. And the neighbors' sidewalks. Her apartment complex is made up of four-plex buildings. They are arranged so that there's a central sidewalk and then it splits off to each apartment. So in Mom's building, there are four apartments but only two of them face the same courtyard. I shoveled the sidewalks in Mom's courtyard.

I was feeling pretty good about myself - even had Kent take a picture of me. Yeah, I knew I'd be suffering later (back spasms from the shoveling) but I was pleased.

When we got back to Otho, we picked up Amanda so she could have supper at Kent's. I decided to leave the car for him to bring her home, and I started walking.

I'm not sure why I walked in the street instead of the sidewalk. I guess I have a habit of jaywalking. But I didn't get far before I slipped and fell.

I felt a searing pain in my right thigh as I went down. I landed with my left leg bent, my right knee on the ground and my right hand outstretched as though I was at the starting block. I've got a quarter-sized scrape on my right knee. I was stunned for a moment, trying to figure out how to get up. I actually considered calling Kent to come help me, but dismissed the thought. I managed to get up and make my way home.

When I got home, I asked Cayla to help me. She said, "with what?" and I threw a fit. I threw my coat off, threw my gloves on the floor, dropped the bags I was carrying and started yelling at her. It was definitely a case of the last straw.

I need to explain the difference between "what do you need?" and "with what?" Part of the problem was the tone of voice I thought I heard. I thought I heard a tone that conveyed "Mom is always asking me for help because I'm the only one that will help and I'm tired of it." I'm not proud of how I acted. But I plead extenuating circumstances - I was in a lot of pain.

I'm still in pain. I took some ibuprofen earlier, but forgot it at Kent's place when I drove Donna to the hospital. So I had to pick it up when we got back. I've taken two - at least - so hopefully they'll kick in soon. I say "at least" because I can't remember if I already took two. I used to have a prescription for ibuprofen, and that is twice as strong as the over-the-counter version.

So, there's my last couple of days except for finals. I think my design and photoshop (raster graphics) tests went okay. I got 67 percent on the objective test for Illustrator (vector graphics). I have three tests Thursday (today, now). I was working on stuff that was due the same day as these final exams, but had to be the chauffer to the hospital. So, I didn't get those things done. I won't have any time until Friday. We'll see how it goes. Right now, I'm looking forward to going to bed.

Back from the ER

I'll be going out of order here in order to make a quick post before midnight. Donna asked me to take her to the ER because her blood sugar was over 400 and she'd been suffering from a bad headache since the wee hours of the morning. We got there around 8 p.m. and left around 11:10. I took my Dreamweaver book but didn't study - I read the copy of "New Moon" that she had brought. I finished the book.

Cayla made stew for supper, but it wasn't ready when we left, so I am waiting for Jessica to finish cooking a batch of pork cutlets and then I'll have something to eat and go to bed. I didn't get done the homework assignments I was supposed to turn by tonight. Oh well.

Monday, December 15, 2008

A Year of CrockPotting

I need to check this out thoroughly. The author's aim was to use the crock pot every day throughout 2008. It appears to be a success. There are posts by category, including "fun stuff" which is (mostly) nonfood items like crayons, soap and Christmas ornaments. Some of those uses will make you raise your eyebrows, and there's a "don't try this at home" disclaimer on one item.

But, it looks like a worthwhile blog to follow.

Receiving the gift of giving

Chris Pirillo is participating in the Don't Just Give A Gift, Grant A Wish contest. What would you do with one of the offered packages? I would pass it along to the local Salvation Army and/or Operation Christmas. I think the Family Game Night package would be best.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

How can I change the world (or a tiny corner of it)?

I would share.

My first sharing would be with my 70-year-old mom, who is using my old computer that runs on Windows 98. This computer breaks down frequently, and she can't access some of her favorite websites. Mom would get the HP TouchSmart so she would be able to see the screen easily. I would have loved to keep this myself, but the other computers are laptops and Mom just wouldn't do well with a laptop. So she would get the TouchSmart.

I did a little video with my camera that shows Mom, my husband Kent working on Mom's computer and me. (I had the hardest time uploading it, so I'm just linking to it.)

My sister's two daughters would get two of the computers. Suzanna is in college and has no computer. Jessica wants to re-enroll and her laptop has been defective since water was spilled on the keyboard last December. They would get one of the laptops and the HP Mini 1000.

I would get one of the laptops, but that would be sharing, as well. In my web technology program (I'm in college too), I will be creating websites. My first project is for the Webster County Museum (Iowa). I plan to do other projects for nonprofits in the area. There are several who have websites that need updating or reworking, and some that don't have any at all. I would share my talents with these organizations.

I also want to start a technology group at church. There are people who have computers and don't know how to use the basic features. There are people who want computers but they're scared of them. I'd like to help people learn how to send email, find information, maybe even set up a blog (on a service site like Blogger or WordPress). (I'd also like to set up a message forum for the people in my church in my area, so we can chat about lessons and so on, but that would require permission from church.)

Selfishly, I want my own computer that I can do my homework on. I'm currently sharing a computer that belongs to a relative that I took in after she was evicted. I want to acknowledge that she has control over her own things, so I try not to be demanding about using the computer. I don't have time to work on assignments after classes because I work full time in the evenings and have to rush to get to work on time. So I want a computer that I have control over and that can run the Adobe products I use in class: Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver and InDesign.

Thanks for taking time to consider my story. If I win, I'll do the happy dance and have someone video it and post it. Just think of the benefit that will be to others. My video would be on YouTube. I could be the next Gary Brolsma as far as funny viral videos go. (It would be along the lines of "This woman can't dance! This is freaking hilarious!") People who view the video would laugh and all their troubles would seem to fade as they realize that they will never look as ridiculous as I do dancing. So, please, pick me. Think of the humanity. ;-)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Hey, I made it to Fail Blog!

Feel free to vote on my entry. And yes, that's actually a cheeseburger eggroll special, which is why, to my mind, this was an "appetite fail."

more fail, owned and pwned pics and videos

Not sure that's a win.’s Magic Giveaway with HP and Microsoft

I entered the portion of the HP Magic Giveaway in the nick of time, I believe. The rules say the cutoff is noon today, but doesn't specify time zone. Later in the rules it says something about Pacific time, so I'm hoping that's right.

Anyway, here's my two most important tips for entering these contests: 1) Read the rules and 2) Pay attention to deadlines. Many of the deadlines have already passed, and prizes have been awarded. Organizational skills will help you in your quest.

Another tip: Embrace technology. Many of the contest bloggers invite people to follow them on Twitter, to tweet a specific phrase, or to post a video. I posted my first video on YouTube to enter this contest for another blogger. I've been trying to upload it to my blog, but it's not loading properly. I had the same problem uploading to YouTube, but finally got it up from another computer.

What I would do with this prize? I've written this so many times already. ;-) Mom (70) would get the HP TouchSmart. I would get one laptop and one niece (probably Jessica) would get the other. A niece (probably Suzanna) would get the HP Mini 1000. I would love the HP TouchSmart, but Mom really needs a computer. She's using my old HP Pavilion that runs on Windows 98, and it keeps breaking down. I'd like to see the look on her face when she gets a chance to go online with the TouchSmart.

I asked Mom to imagine winning the TouchSmart and show me the expression that would be on her face. Apparently she's really, really excited - on the inside.

HP Magic Giveaway: what this would mean to me

The HP Magic Giveaway is an awesome package of computers, hardware, software and extras (Kung Fu Panda, anyone?). Here's what it would mean to my family:

My mom, who is 70, would have the HP TouchSmart. She would have the wide screen to easily see what she's doing. She would be able to enjoy her favorite websites. If she wanted to, she could play solitaire by moving the cards around with her finger, although she probably wouldn't do that for long with her shoulder problems.

What this means to me: I wouldn't have to send my husband over to try to fix the computer she's using - my old HP Pavilion that runs on Windows 98. Mom would be able to post on her forums, watch BYU-TV and play games.

I would get one of the laptops, which would help me in school (web technology). I don't own a computer than can run Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and Dreamweaver. I'm using the computer of a relative who's staying with me after getting evicted last month. (I took in two relatives, their 7 cats and their dog. Thanksgiving was about being thankful for having a roof over all our heads.) With my own computer through the giveaway, I could buy the Adobe suite with the programs (I'm currently using a 30-day trial that will soon expire).

Having my own computer means not sharing and waiting on others, so I'd be able to get homework done on time instead of the weekend before finals (true story!). Although, I can't blame my lack of organization on the computer situation - sad but true. But it would enable me to take the laptop to work (oh, yeah, I work full time too, and I'm raising two daughters) and work on it on my lunch break.

The other laptop and the HP mini 1000 would be shared with my nieces - Suzanna is in college and Jessica is planning to re-enroll. Suzanna also came for Thanksgiving, and shared the computer I was planning to use to catch up on homework. She left at 11:30 p.m. (That's getting close to whining, isn't it? Sorry.) Jessica wants a computer she can take notes in class with.

So I would share this prize package with members of my family. But wait, there's more! My major is web technology and a large part of that is creating websites. My first project was for a local nonprofit - the Webster County Museum (Iowa). I plan to do more websites for nonprofits while I'm in school. So, not only would this package benefit my family, but it would benefit the nonprofit organizations I would create websites for.

Stop, Drop and Blog contest

Thursday, December 11, 2008

My entry into Techie Diva's HP Magic Giveaway Contest

The HP Magic Giveaway is a chance for 50 bloggers to each share a $6,000 prize package with 50 people. Most of the contests so far have asked the winners to share with others. Here's my entry into Techie Diva's contest:

I'm a struggling college student with a big difference: I'm 47, separated, raising two daughters, working full time and sharing my home with two relatives who were evicted last month, plus all their pets (seven cats and a dog). Thanksgiving was about being thankful for a roof over all our heads.

My plans for the computers in the giveaway are this: The HP TouchSmart would go to my 70-year-old mother, who would enjoy being able to watch BYU-TV online again (my old computer which she's using runs on Win98 and she's unable to enjoy some of her favorite websites); one laptop and the HP mini 1000 would go to my two college-age nieces to help them in school; and I would get the other laptop.

My major is web technology. My problem is that the Adobe products I use in school need a newer computer than I own. I'm currently using the computer that belongs to the relative that I opened my home to, but I do have to share and when they move out, I won't have a computer at all. Because I work full time, I can't stay after classes to use the Flex Lab computers, and wasn't able to finish and turn in several assignments. I'm sure I can do better if I actually have a usable computer that can run the software I need and that I can with me to work on during my lunch break at work.

In addition, since my major is web technology, I'll be creating websites. My first project is for a local nonprofit organization. I plan to continue doing my project for nonprofits, benefitting my education and the organizations at the same time.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Frustration at EA Games

I'm trying to play Sims2. I can't get it to start. I only get this message: Please insert the original disc instead of a backup (1000).

From what I understand, this is an anti-pirate measure. I bought this game legally, as I have bought all my other EA games. I've had to reinstall my games, due to changing computers and reformatting and so on. Why can't I just play my game?

I've wasted 2 hours on this tonight - 2 hours I could have been playing for some mental relaxation. Or it could have been 2 hours of much-needed sleep. This happened with Bon Voyage and FreeTime. I've spent a couple hundred dollars on Sims games and this is how you treat your customers? I was going to buy Apartment Life this week, but I'm not sure I want to continue with the sims. I might just give up on them altogether. And I might forget about Sims3.

I submitted the first two paragraphs to the EA help people. We'll see if I get a response. From what I've seen online, my choices are:
a) forget about playing Sims 2 (which would be better for my school work and sleep deprivation)
b) contact EA and get a new code
c) find a no CD crack online (hoping it's not a virus, of course)

I hate that I can't just buy a game, play it as much as I want, uninstall and reinstall it as much as I need to, without having to jump through hoops. When I buy a game, it should be mine as much as I want. Not for purposes of reverse engineering or anything, but I should be able to play it. Someone commented it's like making the game a rental. To me it's like only being able to wear an outfit so many times and you have to ask permission to wear it again.

I own all the original Sims CDs and most of the Sims2 CDs (expanion packs except Apartment Life and not all the "stuff" CDs). So I've spent quite a chunk of change on their games. GRRR.

I'm going to bed now - I need sleep. I don't think sleep will make me feel better about this in the morning, though.

Update: Found the solution here. Got the game to work, although it was slow and laggy. Got about 2 1/2 hours sleep, and I don't feel better for it. I have a test in my first class, unfortunately, or I would go right back to bed after the girls go to school.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Snow day

And I'll be going back to bed as soon as Donna gets here (she works 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.). Or maybe I'll go back to bed now and let Amanda tell me when Donna gets home, like she woke me up to tell me that school was closed.

Monday, December 8, 2008


Oops, forgot to post yesterday. Well, there's always next month.

We're currently in the midst of a winter storm. A winter weather advisory is in effect until 3 p.m. tomorrow. A bunch of schools in our area have already declared a 2-hour delay for tomorrow, but not our school. Of course. I'd like to sleep in, but I've got to prepare for class tomorrow.

What I'd really like to do is:
a) go to bed and sleep til noon
b) play Hatchlings on Facebook and feed all my pets, Cayla's pets and pets belonging to our friends from Utah (I told them I'd help feed their pets)
c) play Sims2 until I fall asleep at the computer.

What I'll probably do is:
a) mess around online until I fall asleep at the computer and then wake up in the morning going "oh crap" when I realize I have to be at the college at 8 a.m. even though the kids have a 2-hour delay by then.

Anyway, please leave a comment on my winter driving tips entry in the HP Magic Giveaway. (yeah, like anybody reads this besides my mom and her computer hasn't worked in a week)

Saturday, December 6, 2008


It's Saturday, I have to go to work later. I tried working on my past homework, but lost motivation. I'd rather play Sims 2 (which kept me up til 2:30 a.m.). But you've got to have a little fun in your life, right?

I entered the Geeks! portion of the HP Magic Giveaway. The challenge is to write a 500+ essay on how to, what is or top 5 of something. The essay with the most comments wins. I wrote about winter driving tips. There are no comments yet. I won't be winning that one.

Guess I'll play Sims 2.

Friday, December 5, 2008

HP Magic Giveaway entry for moosh in indy

I would give the HP TouchSmart to my 70-year-old mom (not living in my house) so she can visit her favorite websites. She has been missing BYU TV online because she's using my old HP Pavilion computer runs on Win98 and can't open the videos. The TouchSmart screen is plenty big for her to see. My nieces Jessica (planning to go back to college, currently living in my house) and Suzanna (currently going to college and not living in my house) would get one laptop and the HP mini 1000. (Jessica gets first pick.) The other laptop would be mine, to do my college coursework.

My major is web technology. My coursework involves creating websites. I plan to mostly do websites for nonprofit organizations while I'm in school. I'm also thinking of starting a technology group at church to help people learn to do email and so on.

HP Magic Giveaway: MediaBlab

Entered the HP Magic Giveaway at MediaBlab. You, too, can enter:
Jake Ludington’s HP Magic Giveaway

HP Magic Giveaway

I just sent Chris an entry for the HP Magic Giveaway. He lives on the West Coast and isn't up this early, so I'll have to wait to see when he posts my entry. This is one case where earlier is better: part of the contest is to see how many comments each entry gets. There aren't too many entries so far, so maybe my chances are pretty good. I'll post when I get a link to my entry.

Up late again

I got home around 11:15 p.m. and Amanda was still up. Donna was on her computer, but she consented to letting me kick her off after I got my laundry started. Amanda is still up - it's nearly 12:06 a.m.

"I took a nap," she said. But she'll still be difficult to get up in the morning. Right now I should go to bed, but I just started a load of laundry that I need to see through to the dryer. I don't feel tired, but know that if I went to bed right now, I'd be asleep in few minutes.

I should be doing homework, but I'm also trying to think of what to write about for the Geeks! entry into the HP Magic Giveaway. Chris PIrillo wants a 500-word essay on a how-to, what-is or Top 5 subject. I can't figure out what to write about.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Chicken is sick

Chicken is Amanda's kitten. She's 5 months old tomorrow. And she's sick. She's been sneezing and gagging. She puked a couple of times. Right now she's asleep in a laundry basket.

I'm too broke to take her to the vet. The last time I took a cat to the vet, I spent $120 and the cat died 4 hours later. That was after I called the vet's office to say "my cat has fleas and I didn't know until now how bad she is" and they said "you have to buy medicine and treat her at home." Well, "how bad she is" was anemic. I wonder if I had taken her to the vet on Friday when I called instead of the next day, would she have survived? Poor Comet kitty.

Anyway, that's life. You try to do the best you can and sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn't. I'm going to go enter a couple of the HP Magic Giveaway contests now because I'm so lucky and postitive right now.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

All-nighter: bad idea

I'm kind of tired, but not ready to go to bed yet. I've been trying to fulfill requirements for entries into the HP Magic Giveaway, and I'm not quick. I haven't started doing my homework yet. Yikes. And we have a test in my first class (today) - unless we have a late start or a snow day, if it snows enough. Of course, at 2 a.m. they haven't made that decision yet. Plus, my luck would be that the K-12 schools have a late start but the college would be on time. I don't think it's started snowing yet. (checks - nope)

I could fall asleep really easily, but I've still doing laundry. I guess I'll put the clothes in the dryer when I get up. ;-)


National Blog Posting Month. It's every month, but in November it's serious. You have to post each and every day to be included in the contest. Since I didn't sign up until today, I'll have to wait until next year. But it should be a good exercise in discipline - can I really post every day? Can I come up with something to say/write on a daily basis? I've got (counting) five blogs at least. I won't try to post in each one every day, but I should be able to manage a post a day in at least one of them.

My badge:

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

HP Magic Giveaway: some blogs have gone live

I'm going to list the schedule by day, taken from a Google calendar*:

Nov. 28
Bleeping Computer -entered- (didn't win)
Gear Live -entered- (didn't win)
Windows Connected -entered- (didn't win)

Nov. 29
Morningside Mom -entered- (didn't win)
Thoughts on poetics & tech -entered-

Nov. 30
MediaBlab -entered-

Dec. 1

Dec. 2
Gotta Be Mobile -entered-
I Started Something -entered-
(Enter name and email addy. Bonus entry for using Windows Vista {download})
The Gadgeteer

Dec. 3
Carlos Alberto (in Portuguese)
Down-to-Earth Mama -entered-
La Bitácora de Erwin Ried (in Spanish)
moosh in indy -entered-

Dec. 4
Geeks To Go! -entered-
Geeks! -entered- (didn't win)

Dec. 5
One Day, One Job (tell how you helped someone try to get a job)

Dec. 6 - entered- (survey)
Techie Diva -entered-

Dec. 7
InfoWester (in Portuguese)
merlot mom
Noticias Tech (in Spanish)

Dec. 8
Barb's Connected World
Planet x64

Dec. 9
Student Bloggers

Dec. 10
Gadgetell -missed deadline-
Liliputing -entered-
Slashdot Review -missed deadline-

Dec. 11
Eliax (in Spanish)
GeeksRoom (in Spanish)
Living - In Theory -entered-
Stop, Drop & Blog -entered-

Dec. 12
Digital Home Thoughts -entered-
OSNN -didn't enter- (seemed like a forum popularity contest)
SlashGear missed deadline

Dec. 13
Study Hacks missed deadline

Dec. 14
Digital Inspiration -entered-
Geekzone -entered-

Dec. 15
The Digital Lifestyle missed deadline

Dec. 16
CíberPrensa (in Spanish) didn't enter
Unión de Bloggers Hispanos (in Spanish) didn't enter

Dec. 17
Geek News Central entered once, need to listen to podcasts
JK On the Run
Last 100

*Unfortunately, I can't remember who posted the Google calendar with the schedule. When I figure it out, I'll give credit.