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Tag Archives: iMac
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.
• 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
A 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!
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.
When 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.
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!
The 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!
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!
I’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!).
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!
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.
We 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
I’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!
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This was the headline over the Letters to the Editors section in our local Fort Bend County Neighborhood News section of the “Houston Chronicle” yesterday:
Fort Bend families at risk for homeliness
We’ve been found out! Got to try to pretty up right now!!
Of course, the headline writer meant to put “homelessness.” Definitely gave me and my next-door neighbor, JJ the organizational wiz, our laugh for the day. Knowing JJ, she chuckled at it, posted a comment to my Facebook wall, and immediately put the newspaper in the recycling bin. Me? I’ll probably save it for a decade and then look at it and wonder why I did.
The 18th season of “Survivor” started last night, and I have only one question to ask the contestants: Do you not watch the show?!? Why in the world would anyone wear a dress and heels when they tell the players they’re going to be flying to the location? Be suspicious! Always wear a swimsuit under your clothes! And whatever you do, once the game has begun, don’t nag anyone to do chores. My sons could tell you that; gosh, I’d have been booted out of our house looong ago if they could vote me off for nagging!
As always, Jeff Probst (above left) made for an engaged, interesting host during the season-opening episode. How he’s managed to keep his act fresh through all these years baffles me. One of the older contestants (older but younger than me!), Sandy (above right) somehow staved off being voting out with a neat, little blindside of Carolina, who was the tribe’s resident nagger when she wasn’t showing off her cleavage (guess who in the house were disappointed that she’s now gone?). Meanwhile, Sandy has clues to a hidden immunity idol; it will be a miracle if she does ever find it, though. She’s got clues, but she sure is clueless!
Someone who definitely is not clueless is Dalton Ross. He writes the analysis for every “Survivor” show on “Entertainment Weekly’s” website. He’s funny and insightful; be sure to check out his article every Friday morning. And Jeff Probst also writes a very funny blog on the “EW” site that’s not to be missed.
Forgetting the get ’er dones
Errrr . . . getting kind of spacey; I forgot to list the menu yesterday. But whatever I intended to get done might not have gotten done, because we had a computer crisis with the boys’ iMac that I needed to solve. It should have been so basic: I was attempting to install the new iLife ’09 so that #1 son could benefit from the new version of GarageBand. However, something went amiss, and the iMac, which needed to restart for the software to properly install, wouldn’t restart . . . it just froze. I tried turning it off via the power button and unplugging it, but no change. Baffling! Then I remembered that sometimes the Firewire port into which an external hard drive is plugged has caused my iMac to freeze and go wonky. So I unplugged the external hard drive and pulled out the plug from the port (a necessary step), pushed the power button, held my breath, and . . . it worked!
After that I ran Disk Utility and checked for a software update. When I read the Apple discussion boards to see if anyone else had experienced this problem, one person said to make sure that OS X is really up to date; it might seem like it’s version 10.5.6 when it really isn’t. So I ran the software update, installed iLife ’09 again, and ran Disk Utility again. Good as gold!
Apple users: Remember that the discussion boards on Apple.com often can answer your most-perplexing questions. There’s no need to reinvent the tech wheel when so many users have been there, fixed that.
Keeping up with blogs
I’m an admitted blog hog . . . I love to read blogs, lots of them. But I don’t want to bookmark them and then look at every blog every day to see which ones have been updated. So I use a free feed reader, Bloglines, which keeps track of the blogs. It’s easy to subscribe to a blog’s RSS feed, like the one I have on the right side of this page. Just click on the Bloglines box, create an account, click the checkbox next to the feed you want, and subscribe. Easy as pie! Do that for every blog you want to follow. Then all you have to do is go to bloglines.com and up pop your blogs!! Become a regular reader . . . subscribe today!
I’ve put up the magnetic photo rope I talked about the other day, and it’s pretty spiffy! It’s so easy to hang photos on it; in fact, the hardest part was getting the magnets apart! As you can see from the photo, it’s pretty long; you can hang eight photos on it. Definitely recommended as a low-maintenance way to show off your photos. Look for it on Photojojo.
Got a good photo tip to pass along: When you’re taking people photos, get closer! Fill the frame with people, not the landscape (well, unless the background is important). If your lens doesn’t get you close enough, zoom with your feet! Your photos will be much more interesting.
Happy Valentine’s Day tomorrow! When you take photos of your loved ones, be sure to zoom in!!
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.
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
The 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
I 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!
Wednesdays are starting to join Fridays as favorite days of the week. I’m appreciating the added structure of the day due to it being labeled “Kitchen Wednesday.” Sometimes all I need is to give something a “catchy” name for me to buy into the activity!
The kitchen is looking like it usually does before the cleaning crew comes, even with the advent of Kitchen Wednesday (it might help to institute other kitchen days, I suppose, but that would, unfortunately, take the sparkle and shine off hump day). One thing that has virtually looked the same, though, well before this blog came into being, is the venerable kitchen chair (pictured above). This is an extra chair for our kitchen table, so, of course, it has become a depository for all kinds of clutter. The tower has continued to grow and will soon topple if I don’t excavate and eliminate. So that’s definitely on Kitchen Wednesday’s get ’er done menu. As is clearing off the kitchen table, going through the mail, and shredding. I also have the screen protector and protective case for #1 son’s new iPod Touch in the kitchen, waiting to be put on the Touch. That’s also on the menu, as is putting our new cordless phone system (pictured) into operation.
Speaking of the iPod Touch, need you ask if #1 son has been playing it nonstop since it finished charging? Nope, it’s been tethered to his iMac the entire time while he clings to his trusty iPod video. His old iPod syncs to the Powerbook. That iTunes library has been moved over to the iMac so the Touch can sync there. But, alas, there are some mistakes in the library, like typos from iTunes and missing genres and artists. God forbid he syncs a song to the Touch that’s missing its artist or has an erroneous genre! Sometimes I wonder who his real parents are! His room is fairly neat, and he actually can find things in it. And he’s fussy about his iPods! The Mister and I are content with his-and-her Shuffles, which don’t have a screen. So we can’t see if the genre is even listed.
The #1 son did have a wonderful birthday. One of the gifts he asked for was an ocarina. I bought two, so his best friend (who is in the high school band) can harmonize with him. I also got the Mel Bay instruction book for the ocarina, mostly because I thought it was pretty funny that good, old Mel Bay has books for obscure instruments as well as for the guitar. I learned to play guitar when I about 12 years old using a Mel Bay guide! Knowing me, I probably still have it somewhere. Maybe I’ll find it in the kitchen today!
The Friday before the Chevron Houston Marathon/Half-Marathon has always been exciting for me . . . it’s when I get to pick up my packet, walk through the expo (which is pretty extensive), and possibly see runners I haven’t seen for a year. My “normal” world is as a stay-at-home mom in a small city about a marathon southwest of Houston. Most of my friends in this world aren’t runners or aren’t runners who enter races, let alone THE biggest race in Houston. Marathon Weekend is a world that my bestest friends aren’t privvy to. They know nothing about the excitement of the expo, the warmth of the Saturday night pasta dinner with long-time running friends, the nervousness of the George R. Brown Convention Center where we gather before (and after) the race, and the nervous energy of the starting line. They don’t obsess about the weather and keep checking justweather.com every day for 10 days before the event. It’s a different world . . . my special world that started before kids and hopefully will endure long after the kids have flown the coop. It’s a world that I always look forward to, no matter how abysmally I’ve trained and how worried I might be about my right knee.
This is the fifth-straight year that I’m driving to the expo with my friend Janet. Her daughter and my #2 son were in third and fourth grade together, and she’s one of the few serious local runners I know. She started out running the half-marathon and now runs the marathon. She’s waaaaay faster than me (but, then again, who isn’t these days?). She’s also had some leg pain, but, hopefully, she’ll be 100% when the cannon booms (and it is REALLY loud!) at 7:10 a.m. Sunday in downtown Houston. She told me that going with me to the expo has been her good luck charm; I’m glad to oblige!
Speaking of the right knee, I went for my second Airrosti treatment yesterday, and Dr. Satan . . . er, Dr. Kelly really put the hurt into it. I even had a little bruise! But the pain went away quickly, and my knee feels really good. When I ran yesterday, there was no pain, and my knee felt stiff from lack of use. I’m going to jog a little this afternoon to see if the stiffness is going away. I haven’t really run in 11 days . . . not the best kind of taper to do before running 13.1 miles!!
How did I do on yesterday’s get ’er dones? Made it to the treatment, shopped for a few too many groceries (it’s never a good idea to buy more than the number of reusable bags that you’ve brought), finally shred the junk mail, and hooked up the external My Book drive to my iMac and SO FAR Time Machine works. I couldn’t excavate in the master bedroom, because the Mister stayed home due to feeling poorly, and he was in the bedroom most of the day sleeping it off. I also quizzed both boys for their finals (hope they do better on their actual exams than they did last night!).
Both boys enjoyed early dismissal. #1 son had his best friend Chase over; they did stuff on the computer and (Super Mario) brawled on the Wii. #2 son had his National History Day partners over before going out to play football with more friends; the project is looking pretty woeful right now. Good thing that #1 son and I are pretty good in PowerPoint and can help them if/when they get their act together. I’ve told #2 son that I expect the PowerPoint to be done by Monday night (it’s due Wednesday). I don’t want any stress when we’re watching “The Biggest Loser” Tuesday!
As for today’s get ’er dones, I’m going to keep things light and easy in anticipation of Sunday.
• Go to the marathon expo with confirmation card in hand. I don’t buy very much there, but I will look for a vented running jacket with two pockets (the one I’ve used for years only has one pocket, and that drives me crazy at times).
• Shop at Walmart for a few incidentals (take in enough reusable bags; I hate getting all those plastic bags!).
• Check to see if I’ve done backups of old family photos to my Smugmug account; if I haven’t done them previously, then do them now!
• Try to hook up the Powerbook external hard drive to the boys’ iMac and copy their iTunes music to the iMac hard drive. That way Time Machine can back up their music, and I’ll have the redundancy I’m looking for without making 100 CDs!
• Short jog
That pesky, old DVD player (actually DVD/VCR) finally is hooked up to the new TV! I’m just glad I keep plenty of extra cables around. I like to glance at the manual and then try to wing it, glancing once again at the manual when the winging doesn’t quite work. It finally did, though, so the Mister could watch “Burn After Reading” last night (his review: “It was terrible; typical Coen brothers”; I figured it would be, so I opted not to watch it, even though George Clooney is my second husband).
I was pretty successful with yesterday’s get ’er dones, I’m happy to say. Got the proofreading done and turned in on time, picked up the prescription, instituted Kitchen Wednesday (got caught up on the newspapers and went through the mail, which I still have to shred), had lunch with my pal Lana at my favorite Thai restaurant, got in a very short walk/run (the knee feels pretty good, thank goodness), the stupid foam roller just about made me cry (hate that thing!), set up guitar lessons for the #1 son (4 p.m. Fridays), self-cleaned the oven (a stinky process, but the oven didn’t smell bad while cooking last night’s dinner), and reminded #2 son about getting together with his history partners (should happen today).
The boys and I watched “American Idol” and “Lost” reruns (we’re big fans of both shows; can’t wait until next Wednesday for the penultimate season of “Lost” to begin!), then I quizzed #1 son for his Webmastering final and tried to quiz #2 for his English final, but he wasn’t very cooperative.
Today is an early-release day from school . . . #1 son will be home by noon, while #2 son is done by 1 p.m. That means no lunches to make . . . yay! Neither boy buys lunch at school, so that’s a lot of lunches to make during a school year. The early release definitely will impinge on my getting things done, unfortunately (and tomorrow also is an early-release day). But I’m going to try my best to be productive. Here’s today’s get ’er done menu:
• 9:30 a.m. Airrosti treatment (with my knee feeling so much better, I’m hoping it won’t be too painful)
• stop at Kroger’s for a few groceries
• shred junk mail
• hook up external hard drive to my iMac and try to get Time Machine to work again. I was able to get it to work for a few days, but then it kept getting errors. I need to troubleshoot it and get it to work! Time Machine proved invaluable when the hard drive on the boys’ iMac crashed during Hurricane Ike. It had to be replaced (fortunately, the iMac was still under warranty). It was so easy to restore the data from Time Machine, which had backed up the iMac a mere half-hour before the internal hard drive crashed.
• try to continue with the master bedroom excavation . . . don’t avoid it!