Wednesday, December 31, 2008

what have you done?

What Have You Done? To participate, just copy and paste in your own blog, and bold all of the things you have done. It's kind of fun!!

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise - does a ferry count? didn't think so
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied - long ago and before children
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted - caricatured on the streets of Paris!
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London - can't remember if we watched the ceremony, but i WAS there - and I have in DC at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating - do fish count?
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Seen Mount Rushmore in person
101. Learned to play an instrument

looks like i got 55!

2008 just won't end!

i woke up this morning to THIS news.

apparently 2008 can't end soon enough. "Timekeepers are adding an extra second to the clock today to account for the slight slowing of the Earth's rotation."

Bleagh! i say, BLEAGH!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Since starting middle school, #1 son has been assigned an inordinate amount of homework. Much of it is “projects,” which can be any definition the teacher chooses to give. Sometimes a “photo album” type report, sometimes more or less creative, but just any kind of project. Of course, the child can NOT keep track of the assignments OR their due dates. He’s making me crazy.

This week he had THREE projects due. I don’t know WHAT his teachers are thinking. I finally gave up nagging and helped him create a flow sheet that shows what projects have been assigned, their due dates, what he must do for each, what IS done, and what needs to be done, along with when he plans to do what. This helped a lot this weekend when he was trying to wrap up all three (and we’re going to make a new form for him to enter ALL projects on going forward).

My fabulous son stayed focused and worked hard for three whole days (one was due Monday, two Tuesday). He didn’t get to do a single fun thing, but he got his work done. I’m really proud of him.

So when he needed photo documentation of one of his projects, I didn’t hesitate to support that. It’s a Gang Resistance Education And Training (GREAT) course, and he had chosen to beautify the neighborhood by planting pansies. He took a picture before and after. Now, in order to turn that assignment in, we had to print the pictures.

And so the saga begins. First, I have refilled the color cartridge in my inkjet but it just does NOT want to function properly. We have reinstalled and rebooted and finally the black will print but the color doesn’t look right. So I had DH buy a new cartridge Saturday, in order to be prepared to print. Tested it and it’s working. One hurdle cleared.

Next we need to upload the photos. And I admit, I waited until late yesterday to look for the cable. Could not find it. Everybody started looking; no luck. Haven’t uploaded since we moved, so it’s sure to be somewhere, but WHEN it will turn up is anybody’s guess.

OK, Plan B. I need to pick up a couple of things at Stuff-Mart (also knows as the Evil Empire, or Wal-Mart). I’ll take the camera and print off the pictures at the kiosk. No biggie.

So I finish my shift and head out at about 8:45 p.m. Does anyone else see the problem here? The kiosks close at 8 p.m. and you cannot get one-hour photos this late. Getting a little bit nutso. I have promised the child I will do everything in my power to get this done tonight so his projects go in properly. Can’t give up this easily.

Regrouping, Plan C. The electronics department is swamped. Everyone is doing Christmas shopping (what’s the matter with them? There’s another 10 days until Christmas, and I need to print this project NOW!). I finally get someone’s attention and there is no help for the photo lab. I can’t get someone to turn on the kiosk just long enough to print my 4 pix.

Next plan - are we on D now? While I have the clerk’s attention, I ask if they sell the cables to upload pictures at home. There is ONE available. It is supposed to be a “universal jack.” I hold faint hope it will help. They point me over an aisle and I find it. It has multiple jacks that plug into the cable, and one of them is marked Kodak. It even looks like it will fit. It’s 15 dollars, but I have to have a jack, and I have to have it NOW. Fine.

Try getting it off the wall. The stupid thing is locked down! And the stupid department is swamped! There are 3 or 4 people ahead of me. So I make sure one knows ALL I NEED are KEYS, PLEASE! And commence waiting. People are waiting obscene lengths of time just to check out!

Finally my clerk is available. He liberates the keys from the manager and gets my peg unlocked, so I can pull down my purchase. Hallelujah! I ask him, somewhat desperate, if I have to pay for the item in Electronics. No! Woohoo! Next hurdle!

Off I go to make sure I have something to cook tomorrow for dinner, something to put the Christmas fudge that I give to my many family members in (gift tins), and Oreos. Try getting through this kind of ordeal without Oreos? I don’t think so.

You would think the hard part was over. No. Because I have not uploaded pictures in FOUR MONTHS, there are over 200 on the camera. That is not a type-o, it really is over TWO HUNDRED PICTURES.

Home after 10. Turn on the computer. While waiting for it to boot, turn on the camera and plug in the jack. It fits! Something is going right! Woohoo! One more hurdle cleared.

Then I plug the thing into the CPU and wait for it to upload. And wait. And wait.

You really have to be patient with Kodak software. Sometimes it takes its time, but it does the job. After half an hour, I get an error message and have to start over. When this happens you should always reboot the computer. So I did. I waited even longer to be sure that it had completely booted and I wasn’t interrupting its thoughts. Plugged everything BACK in (in the proper order), and wait.

This time it uploaded 60% of the pictures before I got an error message. None of the project pictures are in this group. But they’re in the computer successfully and we can try to get the rest on now. Reboot everything again. It seems Gabe had taken some videos at this point in the queue of pictures waiting to be uploaded and that likely caused the error.

Finally. Everything is uploaded. It’s 11:30. This is just ridiculous. But one more hurdle successfully cleared. Only I’m getting tired now.

So I start looking through the pictures, deleting duplicates and unfocused ones. It’s what you do when you upload. I didn’t get crazy, but I did need to look at them all. Find the four pictures he needs. Drag them to the task box, and get the print menu up. Choose to print them all on one page, 3-1/2 x 5 or so, and send.

Error message. Do you think I’m a little bit SICK of error messages?

Try again. I make sure to select the printer that’s actually present, not the “fax” or whatever it calls the nonexistent printer. Another error message.

Make sure I’ve turned off and disconnected the camera. Reboot the computer AGAIN. Wait for it to boot completely before I try to do anything. Open Kodak EasyShare (EASY my ASS!) and put the four pictures in the task box again. Send them to print.

Guess what? After midnight, I’ve got the damn things printed, and my son will be able to turn in his homework. HIS homework? Seems like I’ve done an awful lot of work to get HIS homework ready!

Can’t wait for the term papers to start. Can I just quit now? No wonder I have dreams about being in high school again - I’m sure doing the hard parts now!

Monday, December 08, 2008

vey-sur (oy)

It's a twist on the typical survey - IT'S ALL ABOUT ME!!! lol. But it's filled out by YOU.

If you want to play, leave a comment that answers these questions about me, copy the below to your blog and put in your comment that you want me to go there and fill in the answers about you. Be honest. If you don't want me to answer these questions about you, you can still answer them for me if you want.

1. How old am I?
2. Where did we meet?
3. Take a stab at my middle name.
4. Color of my eyes?
5. Do I have any siblings?
6. If so, how many? What are their names? Ages?
7. What's one of my favorite things to do?
8. What's my favorite type of music?
9. Am I shy or outgoing?
10. Am I a rebel or do I follow the rules?
11. Any special talents?
12. Do I have children?
13. If so, how many? What are their code names? Ages?
14. Do I have pets?
15. If you and I were stranded on a deserted island, what is one thing that I would bring?

I have three wishes for Christmas (birthday, Mother's Day, whenever we can afford them). If you know or can guess what they are, bonus points!

I'll post the answers next week.