Tag Archives: iMac

Another Jay Literally Knocks At Our Door

The welcome mat is NOT for birds!

Once again, the welcome mat is NOT for birds!

Yesterday morning as I sat in my office working on my new, slim iMac, I heard something hit the decorative glass on the front door. Hard.

I turned in my office chair and saw a little blue jay clinging to the glass. Apparently, a gust of wind had blown the poor thing into it. At first I was afraid he might start pecking at the glass and break it. But then I had another thought.

Grab that Nikon!

By the time I did, the jay was on the front porch. I opened the door to snap some shots, and he didn’t flinch at all. Who did this remind me of?

On his way

On his way

Our ever-lovin’ Hoppy of a couple years ago. Except this time the fledgling, who I quickly dubbed “Hoppy Jr.,” didn’t stay on the porch. He hopped over to our oak tree and tried to jump on it. But he failed, because apparently he damaged his left wing in his crash. Poor birdie.

Papa Jay (Hoppy?) keeps an eye on Junior.

Papa Jay (Hoppy?) keeps an eye on Junior.

Meanwhile, one of his parents sat on our neighbors’ gutter and made sure the little guy was protected.

See ya later!

See ya later!

Eventually, Hoppy Jr. scooted his way under the neighbors’ fence, and I figured that was that.

But it wasn’t.

Tree climbing is a breeze.

Tree climbing is a breeze with two good wings.

All too soon another ball of fluff came hopping over to that same oak . Obviously, the nest in our other neighbors’ tree has been vacated, with the birth of babies and their move-out. This jay, though, was able to jump up the oak without any problem.

A wary eye

A wary eye

This time the other parent kept the feathered sibling safe.

I have a feeling we’ll see the blue jay family around for awhile as the kids learn to fly. And here’s hoping that Hoppy Jr.’s wing heals enough for him to move on and eventually raise his own brood.

Maybe some day we’ll be visited by Hoppy III! Hopefully, though, not so violently.

An Arachnid Comes A-Calling

Up close and personal

Up close and personal

I imagine that when most people see an itsy bitsy spider crawling on their computer monitor, they knock it off.

But as you well know, I’m not like anyone else. When I spied this little guy, my first reaction (after being relieved at its small size) was to grab my Nikon dSLR and start shooting.

What’s it looking for?

Safari and Chrome are to the left.

I guess traversing my iMac is one way to find the web!

My Shaggy Son

An iPhone self-portrait snapped before his haircut

A few weeks ago when I glanced at my older son on our iMac screen during his Skyping session with his younger brother, I just had to stop and stare.

Where did that collegiate caveman come from?

My #1 son’s hair sports a natural curl, which only is tamed by frequent haircuts. He hadn’t stepped into a salon since school started in August. This led to the following conversation:

Practical Mom: “Have all the haircut places closed down in San Antonio?”

Older son: “I don’t feel like getting my haircut.”

His mom who has suddenly been replaced by my mom: “This is like being transported back to the 1960s! You look like a hippie!! How can any girl notice your beautiful blue eyes if all they can see is all that hair?”

Even though my collegian wants so badly to be a rebel either with or without a cause, he’s cursed with being a first-born child. Which means his inner compass compels him to toe the line and usually listen to his parents. Especially when he knows we can see him via Skype or FaceTime.

And would be visiting him that weekend.

And after!

Ahhhh! Much better!


This was my first Mac, the 512K (aka Fat Mac), which I bought in 1985.

Fittingly, I got the news last night on my iPhone 4 via a text message from my older son, who was using his iPhone 4.

“Looks like Steve Jobs is dead,” it read.

I rushed to my iMac to check it out and then continued to monitor my Twitter feed on my iPad as we watched “Survivor.” What my son had said was true, and everyone was tweeting about it.

Apple.com’s home page was simple (as shown on my iPad).

Steve Jobs’ untimely passing at the too-young age of 56 wasn’t surprising, of course. He was diagnosed with a rare form of pancreatic cancer in 2004 and survived a liver transplant five years later. He had been in failing health this year. When he resigned as Apple’s CEO this past August, it was obvious the end was near.

Still, I was overcome with sadness—the world has lost an amazing visionary who helped create technical products that enhanced our lives.  My life in particular was changed thanks to the Macintosh, which enabled me to properly use and show my creative talents. I’ve earned my living writing, editing, designing, and Photoshopping on the various Macs that I’ve owned since 1985. I’m probably one of the few people my age who has only owned Apple computers. And I expect it to stay that way.

Of course, I’ve loved my iPods (listened to my first one eight years ago), iPhone (the original, 3Gs, and my current 4), and iPad. If Apple makes it, I usually want it.

Jobs had a remarkable sense of the long term, of what consumers really wanted, though they didn’t know it at the time. He made products for everyone, not just the techies who thrived on the DOS challenge. Gosh, he put the darned internet in our pockets! He enabled my octogenarian mother to stay connected with her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren throughout the country . . . as well as with her friends . . . via her iMac.

He left a wonderful, inspiring legacy. That’s his greatest gift.

My #1 son loves his MacBook Pro.

I e-mailed my older son some words of wisdom spoken by Jobs:

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma—which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And, most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

I hope my son takes that advice to heart; it will steer him in the right direction.

And . . . one more thing . . .

Rest in peace, Steve Jobs. Thank you for making the world a better place to live in.

Technology Makes Our Spirits Bright

My younger son holds his older brother (via the iPhone 4’s FaceTime)!

I had been lamenting about our first Chanukah season without my older son ever since the beginning of the year. Noticing that the holiday would come early, I realized all too soon that #1 would be at college for every night that we light the menorah’s candles.

A sobering thought for a mom who loves making memories with her kids. How would I take my usual 1,001 photos of both of them?!?

My #2 son looks at his brother on their iMac after lighting the first-night candles.

Fortunately, there’s plenty of technology that makes it easy to be up close and personal with the ones you love. At first we looked to FaceTime on our iPhone 4s. However, #1 reported that the picture was freezing up, so we turned to their iMac that lives in the dining room. Which is where our menorah is lit.

#1 holds up his first-night gift (note the reflection of the two candles in the monitor).

Skype also wasn’t cooperating all the time, but we managed to make it work. My older son was happy to receive Super Scribblenauts, a video game he wanted for his Nintendo DS. That should help take his mind off next week’s finals . . . hopefully without interfering with studying for them!

Shake it, baby!

His younger brother got a gift that he wanted: A Shake Weight. Got to build those biceps and triceps!

I would never say that video-chatting is the next best thing to being there. Nothing really is close. But at least my older son could feel like he was a part of our traditional ceremony . . . and I got to see his beautiful blue eyes and rare smile once again. Can’t wait to video-chat with him again tonight!

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,


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!

Three Little Words About Apple’s iPad

I think I'm in love!

When Steve Jobs, the co-founder and CEO of Apple, unveiled a new product—the iPad—last week, three little words ran through my mind over and over and over: I want this!

I immediately e-mailed my little brother, the big-shot Chicago lawyer, to see what he thought about it. He pretty much used those same three little words. We both love electronic gadgets, and we both adore Apple products. We can’t wait to own the iPad!

Impossibly slim!

Impossibly slim!

I’ve been using a Mac since 1985 (yep, almost since its inception), and I’ve loved every Apple product I’ve owned. Right now we have five Mac computers (two iMacs, a MacBook, a G5, and a PowerBook), as well as several iPods (including two iPod Touches) and my iPhone. Another iProduct sounds great!

I’ve read a lot about the iPad, which won’t be in our hands until at least late March (for the wifi version). And I’ve been very amused that people are so sure about what it will and won’t be able to do without even seeing it up close and personal.

Here’s my take on it: I think the iPad will be a revolutionary device. The iPod, iPhone, and Mac were evolutionary—they took established devices (the mp3 player, smart phone, and personal computer) in a different, more user-friendly, cool lifestyle-oriented direction.

Spock calls the iPad logical!

But there’s nothing like the iPad right now. Someone wrote that it was a grown-up iPod. It’s positioned between an iPod and a netbook. It’s an eBook reader on steroids: I think it’ll be a great entertainment and web device. The Mister will love it for watching YouTube videos. The #2 son will want it for surfing the web and checking his Facebook page and his PDGA (Professional Disc Golfers of America) rating. #1 will use it to read eBooks, browse the Internet (he’s a Wiki fanatic), and watch his YouTube videos, all while listening to its iPod.

Hope the accessories don't cost too much!

And then there’s me. What won’t I be able to do on my iPad? I love my iPhone, but it’s hard to write much text on, and the screen is usually too small for my 56-year-old eyes. The iPad will be the perfect size for reading blogs, articles, and books; watching videos; writing e-mails; boring everyone with my photos; travel; and maybe even e-penning the next great American novel.

It will be the handiest of devices. And I want it in my hands as soon as possible!

I’ll still use my iMac, especially for Photoshopping, and MacBook. But I’ll really enjoy having the ultimate mobile multimedia device ready to use in my house and when I’m out and about.

The iPad haters talk about what the iPad isn’t, as if any electronic gadget can be all things to all potential users. But I love the haters—it means that they won’t be standing in line with us, waiting to get their grubby hands on our iPads!

Speaking my language!

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