Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Stop SOPA and PIPA

Many websites are dark today in protest of two bills before Congress right now. The danger if the bills pass is that the Internet will be crippled, sites will be taken down for suspected copyright infringement/piracy without due process, ordinary people will be prosecuted for doing so much as posting a video of themselves singing a copyrighted song or quoting a copyrighted work.

I'm not tech-savvy enough to take my sites down and get them back up, so my support is this: watch this video and see the dangers, then contact your senators and representatives. Tell them that SOPA and PIPA are not going to solve the problem of piracy and they are likely to cause more problems in the long run.
PROTECT IP / SOPA Breaks The Internet from Fight for the Future on Vimeo.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Good timing and a happy ending

Cayla didn't get ready in time for Seminary, so she asked me to let her sleep for half an hour before getting ready to catch the bus. We were actually at the bus stop when the bus was there when she realized that she didn't have some homework she needs to turn in today. So we let the bus leave and headed home to get the papers.

The bus makes three stops in our town, so we headed to the third stop after she got her homework. The kids were standing in the road, and one was playing with a dog. The dog got loose, so I stopped short of the bus stop and told the kid to make sure the dog was put away before the bus arrived. He said the dog was just loose, so I told him to put the dog in my back seat so it wouldn't get hit by the bus. I parked in a driveway until the bus left.

There was a car waiting for the bus to leave. I let the dog out and it ran for the car. I yelled at the dog, but it went around the (now stopped) car and in the driver's side. I went up and tapped on the window to ask if the dog belonged to the driver.

Yes, he said, that was his dog. It got out of its leash and ran off. I was happy to see that the dog got back to its rightful owner safely. And it was because of Cayla being too late for Seminary and then forgetting her homework at home.

The reason I was so willing (anxious, even) to let a strange dog in my car is that when I was in fifth or sixth grade, we had a German shepherd puppy named Ginger. One morning Donna and I played with Ginger (who was being kept in the shed behind the house) while waiting for our bus, but when the bus came we quickly shut the door and ran to the end of the driveway.

The door wasn't shut properly, though, and Ginger got out. She ran after the bus and under the wheels and was killed. It was sad and totally our fault, and I am glad that I was able to prevent this from happening today to someone else's dog.

Birthday wrap-up

Yesterday was my birthday. It wasn't half-bad. I had birthday greetings from dozens of people on Facebook: former co-workers, old friends, relatives, former classmates, people from Facebook and online forums.

I tried making a chocolate lava cake in the crockpot, which didn't turn out quite like I had hoped, but was still quite tasty, especially with ice cream.

I also made "homemade" pizza on my Pizza Pizzazz. (The dough was refrigerator dough from Pillsbury, hence the quote marks around homemade.) That also didn't turn out quite as I had hoped, but next time I will read the instructions and precook the dough a few minutes before putting the sauce and other ingredients on. The girls had one piece each and didn't care for it. The cats got into the Canadian bacon, so they got a treat for my birthday, as well.

I borrowed Mom's Kindle Fire and read a book I had downloaded for her that I had wanted to read. I paid her phone bill and took Kent to the grocery store. I picked up Cayla at school after she had speech (mime) practice. And I made an appointment for Amanda to get her eyes checked next week.

I received a gift in the mail - from a holiday exchange on an online forum. I haven't sent my present out yet, so I feel a little guilty about opening what I got, but I did it anyway. I received peanut brittle, a book and two kinds of homemade jerky: regular and hot. I can attest to the fact that hot means hot - as in clear your sinuses and make your eyes water. Cayla has taken the regular jerky, which means I get the rest of the hot jerky. A little will last quite a while, I think. I should put it in a plastic bag and keep it away from the cats. They still have Canadian bacon.

I'm planning to indulge myself with a purchase later this week, so the lack of presents isn't disappointing. I didn't say anything to the girls, but apparently I had a notice on the calendar on the old cell phone I use as an alarm clock and Cayla heard it go off while I was cooking. She came out of my bedroom and said "Happy Birthday" (it was around 7 p.m.). So I think I need to get the girls into family history so they will have an awareness of when people's birthdays are. I can tell you month, day and year for my parents and mother-in-law, month and day or month and year for my father-in-law, stepmom, grandparents, Burrell cousins and aunts.

Anyway, there it is: another year gone. I still have things I've wanted to do, and maybe I'll get to them. I don't feel like doing a life assessment right now. Actually, I feel like going back to bed right now, but I'm trying to get Cayla up in time to go to Seminary, or at least catch the bus so I don't have to drive her to school, so I can't go to bed yet. But as soon as I drop her off either at Seminary or the bus stop, I'll get my morning nap.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

So, today's my birthday ...

My kids are oblivious, but they'll come around later because I'm planning on cake. With ice cream.

Anyway, it's also a record-breaker as far as temperature for a January 10, and in a good way. But this made me laugh:

Notice the "Severe" warning at the top - record high temperature.

Yes, I guess in January a temperature of 57 degrees is quite a change from the norm. But to me "severe" means hazardous and 57 degrees means pleasant ...

Giveaway: iPad, Kindle Fire

I have entered giveaways from blogs from all over. Some require comments, some require tweets. Some used forms of one kind or another. But when I started seeing Rafflecopter forms, I was hooked.

With Rafflecopter, each type of entry is easy to find (assuming it's filled out correctly in the first place). If it requires you follow someone, the link is there. If it requires a tweet, the link is there. So it's mainly click-click-click for each entry.

Rafflecopter is open to the public now, so they are celebrating and having a giveaway. They are giving away a 16GB iPad and several Kindle Fires. (I've been trying to win one of these for months.)

So here's the entry form. In the first entry, where it says "who referred you" put Carol Foltz of Carol's Random Babble and if you win, I win, too!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Paying it forward

A couple of years ago, while I was on my way to work, my car developed a flat tire. I think it was August - I know it was hot, and I just didn't want to try to change that stupid tire.

Luckily for me, a couple of Good Samaritans stopped, the husband repositioned my jack (I had gotten that far) and changed the tire for me. He didn't accept any payment but my thanks.

Today I got a chance to make a difference in someone else's day in a positive manner. I had stopped at the post office to check my PO box and as I was walking back to my car, a man hollered at me asking if I could give them a jump. I said I could, if they had jumper cables. (They did.)

So, they pushed the car over by mine and got to work. After a few minutes, several tries and changing over to the heavy-duty jumper cables, they got their car to start. The driver asked if he could give me anything, and I said no. Later it occurred to me that it was sort of my payback for the assistance I had received with the flat tire.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Procrastination and frugality don't mix

I just realized that I forgot (postponed) to bag up the chicken I bought yesterday. Chicken breasts were on sale at Hy-Vee for 88 cents per pound, and I bought three packages. But there's too much meat in one package to have at once, so I have to separate them all. I just kept putting it off.

Buying stuff on sale is great, but if my procrastination makes my purchase go bad, then there's no savings. And this wouldn't be the first time it's happened. (But it's not going to happen, because I'll separate it in the morning.)

But now I'm going to bed, because I've procrastinated that too, and I have to get up way too early in the morning.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Who's too cool for school?

I thought my Doctor Who ringtone was the coolest ringtone possible. But then at work on Saturday I heard something that is right up there as far as cool factor.

Kersh's phone went off and everyone at work was amazed. It was part of the theme to "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly." You know, that sort of trill like a whistle and the waah waah waah sound? He said it was a Christmas present.

I now have ringtone envy. But I can't justify getting that ringtone for myself. It would have to be attached to a certain phone number so that when that person calls me that ringtone would be heard. And I just don't have anyone I can attach that sound to.

At one time I had considered getting an Adele ringtone, but her songs like "Rolling in the Deep" are about broken relationships. I'm separated from Kent and I am emotionally separated enough that I don't have the emotional equity anymore to care enough to give him a separate ringtone. I can't even summon up the energy to think about songs that would apply, and I certainly don't want to waste money on a ringtone for that purpose.

I'll stick with my Doctor Who ringtone. :-)

Monday, January 2, 2012

Entering giveaways

I have a folder on my bookmarks toolbar where I put links to giveaways - to show that I have entered, to go back and finish, and to check back to see who won.

Today's giveaway that I have entered is for a group of items: a $15 Subway card, some makeup, a Usborne book, some other things. This one is fairly easy - follow six Twitter accounts. Two of the account names, however, are not right. The first is Mom Blog Society - should be @momblogsociety, not The second should be @couponcouple, @thriftycouponcouple. The person doing the giveaway should fix these, but just in case, follow the names I listed. This giveaway ends at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday.

And I'm still trying to win a laptop or a Kindle Fire. Mom seems to like her Kindle Fire - I asked and she said she is reading more. The good thing about that is she reads in her recliner, with her feet up. Her legs are pretty swollen, so hopefully this will help with that. And she has a doctor appointment tomorrow to address this issue.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Resolutions never work for me

I can make them and break them very quickly. However, there are things I want to do and things I should do. So I will come up with these things and list them and make plans and possibly, just possibly, I will actually do some of them. Here's the list, in no particular order:

  • Make menu plans and grocery shop from a list.
  • Read the Book of Mormon.
  • Write more.
  • Keep up with my blogs.
  • Do more family history.
  • Do more family search indexing.
  • Get to work on time consistently (and on that note, I'm getting dressed for work now, so see you later).
And I'd like to point out that my plan was to make this a scheduled post, to help with NaBloPoMo, but since I added that last item it won't make sense if I schedule it for tomorrow morning. I really need to think these things through.


That's the theme of this month's NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month). January is traditionally a time when people assess their lives and try to make a fresh start. It's also often the time when the fresh start (as in New Year's resolutions) dwindles away.

This year will probably not be any different, sadly. For me, at least. I haven't given any thought to resolutions, but I have made an effort to make some effort, in a sense. I signed up for NaBloPoMo for this blog, which means a blog post every day this month. Thank goodness for scheduled posts, as I'm sure I'll be making use of that feature. If I can get a head start on the month ...

I also signed up for In Old Fort Dodge, my history blog. I did well last month, so let's see how it goes. I have three days' worth of posts in the queue, so that's a good start.