Tag Archives: Time Machine

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!

Middle-School Potty Time


I’m blogging today from an unfamiliar post . . . sitting on a hard-backed chair with a clear view of the boys’ and girls’ bathrooms at #2 son’s middle school with no wifi signal. Today starts the infamous TAKS testing time in Texas for students in grades 3-11 (grade 12 for those who didn’t pass as juniors). Kids have to pass in certain grades to move on to the next grade; #2 has to pass all four of his TAKS tests this spring—reading (today), math, science, and social studies—to graduate. #1 also has to pass all the grade 11 TAKS tests (called Exit tests) in order to graduate in 2010. (Cue the weeping!)

Most parents, students, teachers, and administrators hate the TAKS. It puts pressure on all of them, and at times it forces teachers to teach to the test instead of for knowledge and advancement. There’s been talk about eliminating the TAKS, but right now all it is is talk.

Personally, I’m not a fan of the TAKS. It stressed out both sons in elementary school, making #2 actually cry in third grade when he was afraid he was going to fail. I don’t see why the education Powers That Be can’t just use the standardized Iowa tests that everyone has taken practically since schooling first began and the district assessment curriculum exams to judge whether or not our kids are learning what they need to know. But last I looked, no one was asking my opinion.

Meanwhile, I’m at my potty post this morning, making sure that no more than one child enters the bathroom at a time. I’m all alone here at the end of the eighth-grade wing; usually there are two of us patrolling, but we only got the word yesterday that we were needed today. Looks like a lot of parents already had made plans or listening to kids go to the bathroom didn’t float their boat.

Random observation

These eighth-graders use the hand dryer A LOT! They can be in the bathroom for several minutes drying their hands. Think they’re stalling?



“Big Bang” a big bust

As regular readers know, we love CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory.” However, last night’s show clearly pushed the limits of the 7 p.m. bogus “family hour,” almost making us turn it off. It used to be that there was a clear demarcation in TV shows’ content: Before 9 p.m., pretty much G- and PG-rated; after 9 p.m., just about anything goes. But now shows that are on early are crossing that G/PG line with regularity (we had to turn off “How I Met Your Mother,” which was on after “TBBT”; #2 son had warned us that the show would get too racy for us).

We hope that the producers and writers of “TBBT” will consider its 7 p.m. audience and not be so visual and verbal with its sexual references. Otherwise, it’s time to move the show to 9 p.m.


pseTime to turn off the caps lock! After a somewhat sloppy search during which I envisioned the upraised eyebrows and disapproving look of my neighbor JJ, the organizational wiz, I failed to find that pesky Photoshop Elements install disc. I’m going to give it the good, old Ten-Minute Task try today and then consider my options:

• Go back in time with Time Machine on the boys’ iMac and figure out how to restore PSE (probably not as easy as it might sound).

• Figure it’s time to upgrade from 3.0 and just buy the newest Mac version.

• Install my copy of Photoshop CS3; not a great option, though, because it’s not as easy to use. #1 son is whining that he wants PSE, not CS3.

After 10 minutes today, I should have my answer!

Sister Shoutout


If you’re lucky, there are people in your world who you can look up to and who love you unconditionally. For me, one of those is my oldest sister, Fran. Above is a photo of the two of us in 1962 on Halloween. Being three and a half years older than me, she was considerably taller than me back then; now we’re the same height. But I still look up to her! She continues to inspire me and make me think; I just with we lived closer so we could spend more time together.


Fran at her eighth-grade graduation in 1963.


Fran in 1954.

As the oldest of four kids, Fran was undeniably the leader of our pack as we grew up in Chicago. My mom didn’t know how to drive, so we walked, rode our bikes, or took the bus and/or train everywhere. When we would walk the three miles to the public library, Fran decided we were like an army, and she was our colonel. She dubbed us “Colonel McNutt and his screwball army.” Oh, the adventures that unit had! It’s one of my fondest childhood memories.

The four of us in 1958 (I'm second from the right).

The four of us in 1958 (I'm second from the right).

Even though Fran and I are only three and a half years apart, our kids are exactly 20 years apart—she married young, and I was older when I finally got hitched. This is going to be a big year for my big sis: She turned 59 over the weekend, she’s about to become a first-time grandmother in a week or so, and her older daughter is getting married in July. So, happy birthday, Colonel McNutt! I hope your 59th year is your best year ever!!

And another shoutout to my baby brother, Art, who scanned these photos from my father’s slide collection. Thanks, little bro!

Get ’er dones

I actually enjoyed a productive weekend! It probably helped that the Mister and our #2 son traveled to a disc golf doubles tournament and were gone both days. The Scout CDs have been burned and delivered, my track photos have been uploaded to Smugmug, the family room clutter chair finally is empty (although I do need to work on what I’ve kept). I even got rid of some extra music CDs to a high schooler collecting for the troops.

Today I have a dental checkup, I need to find the Photoshop Elements install disc and reinstall it on the boys’ iMac, and I need to do a Time Machine backup on my MacBook (I only need to back it up monthly). Just enough to keep me out of trouble!

Packet pickup

houston-marathon-logoThe 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

Finally hooked up!


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!