Tag Archives: Apple store

Cursing at “Going the Distance”

Justin Long and Drew Barrymore curse a lot.

Dear Hollywood Moviemakers:

I am a 57-year-old stay-at-home, stick-in-the-mud mom who almost walked out of “Going the Distance,” a wreck of a movie, yesterday. This was supposedly a comedy? Really?

For some reason y’all believe that everyone in the world uses the “f word” in every other sentence; otherwise, you wouldn’t put that word—used so liberally as a noun, verb, and adjective—in every other sentence in this film. Once I start hearing all that cursing, I immediately lose interest in what I’m watching. Although maybe I wouldn’t if the storyline was interesting and well-written.

Which this one was not!

I realize that the Mister (who is pushing 60) and I might not be the proper age demographic for “Going the Distance.” The characters are in their early 30s. But thinking back to when I was that age (without trying to hurt my brain too much), I not only know that I never swore like that (except for when driving alone; everyone else drives like an idiot!), but I never heard anyone else use that kind of language.

This movie might have had promise at one time. But when you combine all the drinking, drugs, and gross sexual innuendos with the constant use of the “f word” by almost every character, well, I’m just glad we went to our usual $5 show.

But I still feel gypped.

Yours in better filmmaking,

Susan

Justin Long should’ve stuck with Macs

The lovely iMac

I make no apologies: I love the Apple store! I love going to our local venue to look at new technology, buy products, and get problems solved at the genius bar. Yesterday the mecca for all things Apple came through for me once again.

After uploading new application updates Saturday night and restarting my iMac, my heart sank—I was staring at a computer that wasn’t booting. After trying all kinds of troubleshooting, I brought the iMac into the Apple store yesterday to see if it could be fixed. Once I told them that I had been regularly backing up with Time Machine (which is wonderful!), they said they’d keep the iMac and see what they could do.

A couple hours later, I had a fresh hard drive and was ready to go. My iMac was under Applecare, so the fix was free. The best part? They put in a 500gb drive; the previous one was 320. Brought the iMac back home, used Time Machine to put everything back on it, and I was good to go in about a half hour . . . as if nothing had happened.

Justin Long (right) as the Mac guy in his previous life

Justin Long, who is a main character in the awful “Going the Distance,” used to be the Mac guy in the funny Mac-PC TV commercials. I respected his work a lot more back then!

Adventures in iPhoning

My ever-grumpy #1 son shows off his new iPhone 4.

Guess what my #1 son and I did this morning? We joined several hundred other Applephiles at our local Apple store. The quest? Score the new iPhone 4.

#1 is protected from the rain.

We left the house at 6:36 a.m. With the Apple store set to open at 7 a.m., I hoped the mall powers-that-be would be nice enough to let us wait inside, especially since it was raining lightly. No such luck. At first, #1 sat on a small chair reading a book while I held a large umbrella. But eventually someone was smart enough to walk to the mall doors and see that there was a separate line for those of us who had been lucky enough to reserve the coveted phone. We were able to move under the overhang.

The reserved line definitely was the one to be in—a guy next to us in the have-nots queue said he had been there since 3 a.m.! In fact, the first person in the non-reserved line had camped out since 2 p.m. yesterday!! Totally crazy!

The Chick-Fil-A guy is popular!

While we were waiting patiently, Apple store employees gave us bottles of water. And then Chick-Fil-A workers came by with tea, coffee, and food.

This CFA guy is a Harlan Coben lookalike!

Everyone loved these guys! Both lines felt uplifted.

#1 enjoys being inside the mall and sitting on a bench while Mom waits in line.

Finally, after we’d been waiting for about three hours, it was our turn to walk inside my favorite store. Were those strings and harps I heard playing? Before long, we had two 16GB iPhone 4 boxes in our hands. My #1 son actually smiled!

#1’s iPhone was a timely graduation present—his regular Samsung phone was dying a slow death and only could text. He was due an upgrade, and I’m sure a smartphone will come in very handy at college.

But what about me? My iPhone 3Gs was still rockin’ after a year of constant use. Did I really need the new iPhone?

I must admit that I wanted the iPhone 4 because of FaceTime: Two iPhone 4s both in hot spots (wifi) can video call one another. I would be able to see my #1 son when he’s at college via our phones! Sure, we can iChat on our Macs, but this will be so much handier.

I know that he might never want to video chat with his dear, old mom. But just in case . . . I’ll be ready!

Weaving a “Lost” Web

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I like how intricate a web “Lost” is weaving to suck us into the story line and keep us captive. Last night’s episode was great! I loved how the opening harkened back to season one’s first episode with Jack’s eyeball. Classic!
As usual, I recommend that true “Losties” go to Entertainment Weekly and Nik at Nite for more in-depth analysis and great comments. Here’s my take on “316”:
• Poor Desmond . . . the island isn’t done with him. I was amazed that the pendulum didn’t clock him.
• Eloise Hawking said they had to recreate circumstances of the original plane crash as much as possible, hence the guitar case that Hurley carried (was it Charlie’s?), Locke in the coffin with something belonging to Christian Shephard (who originally was in a coffin when he was on Oceanic 815), and the handcuffs (Sayid this time instead of Kate, but why is Sayid in handcuffs?).
• It was sweet of Hurley to buy up all the empty seats so more people wouldn’t be killed if the plane crashed. Did Charlie tell him about the flight? Did Charlie get him out of jail?
• Where the heck is Aaron? Did the ghostly Claire take him back? Remember she had told Kate not to bring him back to the island. Or did Kate give him to Claire’s mother?
• Ben says he needs to make good on a promise he made to an old friend before he goes to the airport. It better not be to kill Penny! I really like her character and the love story between her and Desmond. But that would be one way to get Desmond back to the island . . . to seek revenge.
Bloody Ben• Was Ben so bloody because of that promise? He sure is a cold, callous SOB.
• Possible best line was said by Frank Lapidus (pictured above with Jack): “We’re not going to Guam, are we?” Definitely a rhetorical question! I loved that he was the pilot.
• Why would Jack wear a suit on the plane? Does he have a business meeting on the island to attend?
• Anyone else yelling at the TV, “Just read the note, Jack!”? Geesh, what does it take?
• Wow, Dharma Jin! What a great ending! The Oceanic 5 (no Aaron) obviously have gone back in time, because the VW bus looks newer and runs well. Great-looking Dharma jumpsuit on Jin!
Lots to think about and analyze. Can’t wait until next week!
First “American Idol” picks
large-prime-time-in-no-time-logoA quick comment: Thank goodness Tatiana didn’t make it into the final 12! Good voice, too melodramatic. Three solid picks in Alexis, Danny, and Michael from this first round of 12.
Funny line from Frank Nicotero, who hosts the very humorous “Primetime in No Time” on Yahoo TV: He calls her “Tatiannoying.” So true, Frank!
Get ’er dones
We’ve just about got all the iMac problems fixed. Now I know that when the Apple store wipes the hard drive and reinstalls the system, the system administrator’s password is gone and left blank. Logical duh! The mailboxes are working properly now that they’ve been removed and added again. iLife ’09 is installed with one glitch—it won’t play some of #1 son’s songs that he wrote in the old GarageBand. Have to figure that one out.
I’m just about ready for the cleaning crew (today’s #1 get ’er done). The job was made much easier by me doing more around the house yesterday. Lunch at Chipotle beckons, as does grocery shopping. Finally, there’s the mental preparation for watching “Survivor” tonight. Looks like a fun afternoon!

Squashing My Enthusiasm

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Was it hard to sleep last night, wondering how Tasty Tuesday turned out? The wait is finally over! Here’s the 411:

Possibly the hardest part of making the marinara squash was, no surprise, cutting the squash in half. That sucker was rock solid! I almost succumbed to running next door and pleading with JJ, the organizational wiz and accomplished chef, to help with the unyielding vegetable, but instead I just pierced its skin and microwaved it for a few minutes. That helped immensely. As is par for the course for me, I put the halves fleshy part down on the baking pan, popped it in the oven, and then read the rest of the instructions. Duh! Will I ever learn? So I had to pull the pan out of the oven, season the squash skin as instructed, and push it back in for 30 minutes.

Chipotle logoWhen I looked at the baked spaghetti squash, I was naturally dismayed: There seemed to be a lot of work ahead. This is why I’m usually the simplest of vegans: I can live on salads, which are easy to make, and fruit. Or I can live at Chipotle and let them cook for me. Either way, I’m a happy camper.

But I digress . . . I sat down at the kitchen table to deseed the squash while watching “American Idol” (which we never did finish; got to catch up tonight). It was a long, torturous job, with many seeds hiding everywhere. After a long sigh, it was time to rake the spaghetti-like strands with a fork. Raking = gardening = too much work! But I really wanted to eat dinner, so rake away I did. I finally got a bowl full, added the marinara sauce, nixed the chives (too much added work), and sat down for a taste test while watching the lovefest on “The Biggest Loser.” 

The verdict: The best part probably was the marinara sauce. Otherwise, I think spaghetti squash is too bland for my tastes and much too much work for me to ever make it again. I’m glad I tried it, though; now I can cross it off my veggie bucket list. Oh, and #2 son’s comment was, “That doesn’t look at all like spaghetti.” Doesn’t taste like it either, son.

Ten-Minute Tasks

The NuShield is on the MacBook! It actually only took about five minutes to apply. You can see the edges of it, but it’s not too noticeable. The $64,000 question, though, is how does it handle the glare? Quite nicely, I’m happy to report. I think it cuts the glare a good 75-80 percent, making it a worthwhile acquisition for those glossy laptop screens. Recommended!

mac-mail-logo1The iMac’s TMT is stretching for much longer than 10 minutes, unfortunately. The good news was that the Apple store geniuses put the data back on the computer. But there have been some glitches: First, the system administrator password doesn’t work anymore, which means I can’t install new software or certain downloads. That has to be reset via the install disks (hassle!). Second, Mac Mail isn’t working properly. I can set up the boys’ mailboxes and mail comes in but doesn’t go out. Grrrr! Finally, not only did the so-called geniuses not install iLife ’09 like they said they would, they didn’t reinstall iLife ’08, which came with the iMac! Major grrrrr!!

So along with Kitchen Wednesday, today I will be solving the above iMac problems, hopefully, satisfactorily. Maybe I’ll also solve a few of the “Lost” mysteries in anticipation of tonight’s episode!

Tasty Tuesday (I Hope!)

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See that lone, naked spaghetti squash up there? I hope that at this time tomorrow I can regale you with tales of how tasty it was after it’s been cooked tonight!

80x80px-ls-365_organicI’m going to use a recipe that I found on Helloveggie.org for marinara squash. While it does have slightly more than three ingredients, one is the squash, another is marinara sauce (I just happen to have a jar of Whole Foods’ 365 Organic Pasta Sauce), and the others are olive oil, salt, pepper, and chives—I have everything! I’ve never eaten spaghetti squash before thought I’ve always wanted to, but I must admit that I was intimidated by the hard-shelled beast. But Helloveggie.org’s Jenn has me believing that I can successfully master the squash, so I’ll be tackling it tonight and, hopefully, enjoying it while I watch “The Biggest Loser.”

Oh, and yes, I photographed the squash on a very old Thomas the Tank Engine plate. And worse? We still use that plate (love that Thomas!).

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 Ten-Minute Tasks

There are so many needy contenders in the house! I’ve decided to pick the NuShield, which came a couple days ago. It’s pictured above in the plastic bag it came in and on top of the MacBook (the white border is the adhesive). It looks like it might take a good 10 minutes to carefully adhere it to my MacBook screen (I’m usually terrible at tasks like this), after which I will test it to see if it really helps with the glare. I like the idea of a screen protector, of course, but I’d love to cut down on the MacBook’s glossy screen’s glare.

I’ll also be spending at least 10 minutes when I bring the boys’ iMac back home and set it up again. The Apple store geniuses think there was a problem with the operating system, so they wiped the internal hard drive and reinstalled Leopard as well as iLife ’09. We have everything backed up on an external hard drive via Time Machine, but the geniuses want us to move everything back manually in case the problem also was backed up. Naturally, #1 son is worried he’ll lose some of his iTunes songs, but I think all will be right with his world.

Those TMTs are today’s get ’er dones!

An Exhausting and Irritating Monday

apple-imac-new

Ever have one of those Mondays? I started out exhausted, because #2 son had trouble sleeping. He tried to bribe me with $500 cash (and he showed me the money!) to let him stay home from school, because he was so tired. But it was worth $500 from me to him for some alone time (not that I paid him, of course)! Then I made two trips to the Apple store, which was irritating. Remember how I thought I had fixed Apple iLife ’09 last week? Nope, it still wasn’t working right. So I made an early appointment with the so-called Apple geniuses and took the disc in, hoping it was just a bad install disc. But the genius said I had to bring in the iMac. Arrrrgh!

I brought in the iMac in the afternoon, glad that we had opted for Applecare. After spending an hour at the genius bar while the genius tried to install iLife first from my disc and then from the store’s external hard drive as he waited on several other people (maximum efficiency for the store, not for me), iLife still would install but not restart the iMac. They’re going to keep it (hopefully for a short time) and see what the problem is.

And the end result is that son #1, who thinks the iMac is all his, isn’t happy, and this blog post is late. And now I have to let son #1 use my iMac to work on his U.S. History project; good thing I have my trusty MacBook!

A heartfelt family disc golf outing

All was so much better on Valentine’s Day. #2 son decided that we all needed to show some disc golf love, so we signed up for a low-key doubles tournament in College Station. Fortunately, #2 chose me to be his partner. This was my first (and possibly last!) disc golf tournament, while he’s a hard-throwing, laser-putting semipro (even at 13 years old). Our strategy was that he would have great drives, while I would try to make as many putts as I could (the format was best shot; partners had to use at least one of each player’s throw). Usually I’m #2’s driver, but this time he was my driver! Meanwhile, the Mister and our #1 son partnered.

solo-flip-mino2We had a blast! Neither team placed, but it was a great bonding experience deep in the heart of the Texas A&M campus (my first visit there). I brought along #1 son’s new Flip Mino to video some of the action, which you can see above. I’ve learned that I need to use steadier hands and not move so much while filming. I edited my little movie and added music in iMovie ’08; it was so easy!

Oh, and as you can tell by watching the video, #1 son did wear his cordless headphones the entire time he played. At least they were hooked up to his iPod Touch!

Get ’er dones

pokemon-platinumI’ve already done two of ’em: Dealt with the iLife problem and reserved a copy of Nintendo’s Pokémon Platinum for the #1 son. I’d still like to spend 10 minutes with the family room clutter chair, as well as continuing the excavation of the master bedroom (at least it’s finally at the top level now). I know after watching “The Big Bang Theory,” that everything will be much better tonight!

Photo Friday

#33's backno face5102-8ga-goof

 When I’m not shaking my head at my ineptness and/or slow reflexes, I must admit that I get a chuckle at some of my photo goofs. Of course, I might not think they were so funny if I wasn’t getting some decent photos along the way.

Since I had already turned in my middle school basketball photos to the yearbook staff, I mainly wanted to concentrate on taking good photos of two players whose moms have bought pictures from me in the past. Those two eighth-graders are pictured above . . . in photos that will never sell. Faces, got to see faces! What’s especially amusing about the middle photo is that both boys are pictured, not that you really can tell.

#33 back

Here’s another favorite from last night . . . no faces shown on either player! The photo is in focus and well-composed, but its only purpose is to show how not to take a good action shot. Fortunately, I’m through with indoor sports photography for the middle school; track is so much easier. And that will start in a couple weeks!

Daily iPod Touch update

pandoraThe news is good! #1 son finished putting all his songs on the Touch and actually ejected it from the iMac and used it. The news is mixed! What he was listening to was Pandora.com, his favorite internet radio station that’s a free application. I reminded him that he can only listen to it in a hot spot; otherwise, he’s “stuck” with his mere collection of a couple thousand songs. That kind of disappointed him.

I have a hard time listening to music and working at the computer. This inability to multitask must be part of my masculine side. Like most women, I’m used to multitasking in order to stay on top of things. I can watch TV and prepare meals and/or do laundry and/or read and/or surf the internet. The Mister’s idea of multitasking is watching TV and eating and/or using the remote (and he’s not all that savvy with the remote).

MacBook antiglare film update

nushield-logoI went to the Apple store and checked out the antiglare screen protector that they have. It’s $34.95! I wasn’t planning on spending more than $20, so I said no thank you to the helpful salesperson and went home to see what other MacBook users recommended. The one that was mentioned most in a positive way was NuShield. The cost was $17.99 plus $4.99 for shipping. I’ll give it a full review once it arrives and is applied.

Get ’er dones

As I’ve typed, I’ve burned a disk for my friend Ann, who I’m having lunch with. I had Photoshopped some iPhone photos of her son for her, and she wanted them on a CD. Mission accomplished!

My other major task today is to go through all my receipts and figure out what my expenses have been for my photography and graphic design mini-businesses last year. Romeo, our accountant who is responsible for handling our personal taxes as well as those for our business, called and said he’d like me to get on task sooner than later. He knows as well as I do that I’m an April 10th kind of gal (does this come as any surprise?), but I’m going to get cracking on this task. Of course, the receipts aren’t in any organized fashion, but the good news is I know where they all are (in a neat stack). I tell myself every April that I need to use something like Quick Books to organize my receipts, but 12 months later I’m back looking through the big stack.

Could be a get ’er done for the future!