Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Oooh! Spooky!


Happy Halloween!

The Return of "Serenity Now"

OK, so the new look only lasted 2 days. I can't help it - I like my tropical vibe. So sue me.

I did keep the new template, though - just changed the colors & header. And I still have the new blue & silver caipirinha look on my entertainment blog, if you care to compare & contrast.

I've been too distracted by the appearance of my blog to actually post anything for the past week or so, but hopefully this will put an end to that. Of course, I've still got a bunch of things I want to change here... *Sigh!* My life is so hard.

Shyeah.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Grand Unveiling

Welcome to my brand new template! I'm pretty happy with it, although I kinda miss the tropical feel of my former template... I can always change my colors & header, though, if I decide to return to the tropics.

As before, my header is homemade, although the photo is not mine this time. I have also upgraded to some fancy lettering. It may not look like it, but the photo is actually a picture of my new favorite cocktail, a lime caipirinha. So tasty!



The most important aspect of the new template is the blog post section which, as you may have noticed, only displays one post at a time. This means that the whole page loads much faster, and any videos I post should run much more smoothly.

If you want to read the previous posts - and I hope you do! - just click on a title in the "Previous Posts" section. The requested post will then appear in this section without reloading the rest of the page. It's pretty cool, really. The 30 most recent posts are listed here, but you can go even further back using the "Older" button or through the Blog Archive. Or, you can click on a label from the "Labels" list & the titles of all posts with that label will appear in the "Previous Posts" list, also without reloading the entire page.

I'd love to know what you think of the new template - how it looks & feels, and how it performs. I've had some difficulties in the past watching my posted videos on my trusty (yet not too powerful) laptop Keith, but so far everything is running much better for me with this template. I hope it will make things easier for all of you, too.

I should be back to blogging here real soon. I'm sure I'll continue to tinker with fonts & colors over the next few days, too, but that shouldn't keep me from posting. So stay tuned!

(If you like the new layout, you can get the Neo template for yourself for free at Hackosphere, along with tips for installation & lots of other nifty Blogger hacks. Thanks, Ramani!)

Friday, October 26, 2007

Your Friendly Neighborhood FEMA

I don't know why I should continue to be surprised at this stuff, but somehow it gets me every time...

So FEMA faked a press conference. And, wonder of wonders, Fox News played right along. It was all done so smoothly that one has to wonder if this is just business as usual...Call a press conference with as little notice as possible (in this case, 15 minutes), then infiltrate the press corps with FEMA employees who will ask all the easy questions. Brilliant!

Not that the real press would have dug much deeper, unfortunately, given their track record over the past 6 years. Honestly, I'm surprised the administration would bother with stacking the deck in this case, given the softballs they usually get from the American press. Makes me wonder what they're really trying to hide...

Let freedom ring!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Absence Makes the Heart Grow...Fonder?

Just a quick note to apologize for my lack of attention over these past few days. I'm really not abandoning my duties (heh, I just said duties) as webmistress of this here oufit.

I'm actually spending most of my free time - which, let's face it, is all of my time - looking for new & better ways to present my blog. I've got a bunch of new nifty utilities which should allow me to post pretty much any video I choose, and we all know I'll use the hell out of those.

Now I'm experimenting with new templates & Blogger hacks, which could take awhile. If I were able, I'd just create my own template, but there's not much chance of that happening anytime this century. I'm satisfied with the appearance of my blog the way it is, but I'm looking for ways to improve its performance. Right now, I'm experimenting with the Neo template, but I still have a long way to go before I make a switch.

Hopefully, I'll be back in the blogging saddle soon.

Man-On-Dog Weekly

So here's my new favorite thing. Okay, I guess it's not a big surprise or anything, but I still find it immensely amusing.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Happy Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week

I wonder if there's a carnival involved.... Nothing goes better with hate-mongering than elephant ears.



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Now playing: Joey Ramone - What a Wonderful World
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Character Development

So, the revelations about Albus Dumbledore just keep on coming... This could be considered a spoiler, so proceed with caution if you haven't finished the books yet. I hate spoilers, so I will try to be sufficiently vague, but I'd hate to ruin anything about the Harry Potter experience for anyone.

I have to say, one of the very few criticisms I had of The Deathly Hallows was the feeling that the depth of Dumbledore's relationship with Grindelwald was never properly conveyed. Sure, some of Dumbledore's actions could be explained by impetuous youth, but it certainly seemed to me that there was more to their relationship than Jo Rowling expressed in the pages of her books. What hold did Grindelwald still have on him years after their friendship ended, that Dumbledore would stand by while innocent people were harmed rather than stand up to the dark wizard? The Dumbledore we came to know through Harry's eyes would have been compelled to intervene much sooner. There had to be more...

And then, a few days ago, Rowling gave us an explanation that brings it all together. I suppose this will be unpopular with some, but I think it's brilliant. My only regret is that she didn't find a way to incorporate this revelation into the books in a more concrete fashion. Something like this informs the character in such a profound way that it's not, in my opinion, the kind of thing that should be left to conjecture.

I think it also says a lot about Jo Rowling that she cared enough about her audience and her characters to reveal such a juicy bit of backstory without making us pay for it. She could easily have held this information back for a prequel about Dumbledore's earlier life - which I think is a great idea for a book, btw - and used the publicity to sell even more books. Not that she ever needs to sell anything ever again... Nevertheless, I'm sure her agents and publishers would have much preferred that she save such news for a future bestseller. Kudos to Rowling for acknowledging the deep affection many of her readers feel for her characters - and for continuing to surprise us.

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Now playing: Howie Day - Collide
via FoxyTunes

Friday, October 19, 2007

My New Toy

I'm testing my latest Firefox addon, Clipmarks. In theory, it should not only clip text, photos and videos for my later perusal & use, but can also allow me to post said items directly to my blog. I've chosen a favorite scene from The Office as the test subject...

Well, here goes...
clipped from www.youtube.com
 blog it

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Don't Forget About COOL

As previously reported, my husband went off into the woods last weekend to spend some quality time with his siblings. I'm pretty sure they just drink & play Jenga, but I'm told the drinking is used as a tool to facilitate the bonding... There's still no excuse for the Jenga, though.

Apparently the cabin where they drank (& slept, one would assume) has a guestbook, in which people are encouraged to leave an account of their time in the wilderness. As you might guess, some pretty bizarre things have been written in it, so Mark always makes a point of perusing it during his stay.

This year, one entry was so good that they had to smuggle it out of the park to make copies for all and sundry. Thank you, Patty, for making copies & sending them out to everyone. You're such a good sister...

So here it is, complete and uncensored. Try to imagine Mark reading it in his Brak voice for full effect:

"We all came here on 7-13-07 to get away from Greenfield In. for a weekend. After we got a real COOL Racoon came out of the woods and ate crackers out of our hands. His name now is COOL, and he likes sour cream + chives crackers. The next morning I got up and had to poop that's why the comode does not flush right anymore. (Sorry) Don't forget about COOL.

"I woke up in the morning and had to poo And went to flush and to my surprise it wouldn't go down... But all in all it was a COOL time feeding the coons... tonight if we drink enough I want to pet one. Maybe even make coon Burgers or something... Oh yeah, Jason Vorhees was staying in cabin 8 so Be on the look out... Just got back from horse Back riding Everyones horse pooped But mine And then the garden hose popped out of the gignourmus horse I was riding and pee peed about 15 gals of pee on the trail. then we came Back to this cool air conditioned cabin."

I know it's pure supposition, but I'm starting to think that the Raymonds aren't the only ones who get drunk in that cabin.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The New Queen of All Media

I'd like to announce my latest "blogsperiment": a new blog dedicated to TV, film and music, which I'm calling The Queen of All Media. Hardly a revolutionary concept, I know, but I'm still baby-stepping it into cyberspace.

My ultimate goal is to replace my MySpace page, because... well, because MySpace is evil (as anyone who has been here before should already know). While others may use their MySpace for networking or other useful purposes, mine has primarily been a repository for all the random pop culture garbage that I find amusing. I change the content on a weekly basis, with all kinds of fun video clips each week. So I plan to start doing that on my new blog now instead.

I would have switched over completely a long time ago, except I've been experiencing some technical difficulty when posting video on Blogger - particularly YouTube. I'm able to embed the video, but the playback (at least on my laptop, Keith) has been choppy and basically unwatchable. So I've been experimenting with other video options, but so far none are as useful as YouTube. I've uploaded some clips directly to Blogger, which usually works, but it is a cumbersome process to say the least. I've had a bit better luck with YouTube on my new blog, but so far I've only used it in the sidebar, which may work differently. If anyone has any helpful tips on this subject, I would greatly appreciate them.

For now, I'll just keep on experimenting - I mean "blogsperimenting" - until I'm satisfied. I haven't decided if I'm going to post all TV & film clips to the new blog only, or if I'll continue to post them here as well. Let me know if you have any opinions on that topic.

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Now playing: John Cooper Clarke - Evidently Chickentown
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Whack-A-Murdoch

And now for our new national pastime:

Please Respect the Meat!

The gang from My Name Is Earl has done a lot of cool online extras, but I think this one may be my favorite:


video

Always read your contract, Charlie!

I can't believe I didn't find this until yesterday. I've been completely derelict in my duties as the potential Queen of All Media.

I hope this helps make up for my slip...


video

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Now playing: Soundtrack - Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back - Track 19 - Bullets - Bob Schneider
via FoxyTunes

Movin' On Up

I expect that some of you have noticed the remodeling I've been doing over the past few days...

I was sorry to say goodbye to my tropical paradise theme, but it was just becoming too much of a hindrance. The columns were too narrow, and it wasn't very easy on the eyes - which is becoming more and more important to me as the years pass. Time to grow up and at least pretend to be more professional about these things...

I hope to keep the tropical vibe going, with my peaceful photo in the header and colors meant to evoke images of sand and surf. At least for now. I'm likely to change my mind again in a week or so.

So I bid a fond adieu to my "Serenity Now" theme, and move onward and upward to more practical and useful templates. Let me know what you think of the change...

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Now playing: Soundtrack - Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back - Track 15 - The Devil Song - Marcy Playground
via FoxyTunes

Monday, October 15, 2007

I will NOT be MySpace's bitch!

As expected, I was able to catch up on a lot of my queued TiVo programs this weekend - one of the few upsides of being abandoned by your spouse for two whole days (*sniff*). Of course, I had to save many of the best shows for Mark, so I mostly watched the shows he doesn't follow. But we did manage to squeeze in several shows this afternoon after he got back from his trip.

So I'm now officially up to date on: ER, Shark, CSI, My Name Is Earl, The Office, How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory, Two And A Half Men, Rules of Engagement, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and The Simpsons. The first 3 are shows Mark doesn't watch, and we only caught up on the others because they are comedies & therefore don't require nearly as much attention as the hourlong dramas do. Most of Mark's designated TV time is spent in veg mode - which is understandable, after 9 hours at work and around 3 hours total commute each day.

For the record, we still need to get to: Family Guy (1), American Dad (2), Heroes (1), Chuck (2), Journeyman (3), Law & Order SVU (3), House (1), Bones (3), 30 Rock (2), Big Shots (3), Law & Order CI (2), Robot Chicken (4), South Park (1) and a few other random programs. I keep telling Mark that he needs to take a few "TV vacation days" if he ever wants to catch up to the TiVo, but he disagrees - something about the mortgage and his career and something something, blah blah blah. He obviously needs to reexamine his priorities...

Not that I'm complaining about any of this... It's refreshing to have so many new, good (so far - and we haven't actually seen Journeyman or Big Shots yet, so the jury's still out on them) programs from which to choose. And I'm certainly not upset with the TiVo, either - that would be heresy, and I would never risk the displeasure of the TiVo gods. Just looking at our list of unwatched programs & picturing what it would be like if I had to tape all that on the VCR (and keep track of it, too) makes me shudder. I have to struggle to remember our pre-TiVo days...I have a vague recollection of labels and lists and sticky notes and about 12 remotes, and I'm pretty sure there was a horse & buggy involved somehow, too. I've blocked out most of it, though.

Something I am more than happy to complain about, though, is MySpace. I can't be the only one experiencing the bizarre, random and annoying technical difficulties to which I have been subjected lately. Today's entry into the devil's lottery was a glitch in the Bulletin function. I don't use it much - my last bulletin was 2 weeks ago, so this may not be a new problem. For some reason my message kept being repeated, like someone had copied & pasted it at the end of my last sentence. Every time I tried to go in & edit it, I instead ended up with another repeat of my text, eventually receiving the same message iterated 5 times in one post. The only way to avoid this was to cancel the post altogether.

In the end, I just tacked on an apology for the vagaries of MySpace, and sent it out in all its multiple glory. I expected to see several such multiple posts, but all the bulletins I received both before & after appeared to be completely normal. This leads me to believe that it is only MY account having the problem, which of course brings me back to the unholy Rupert Murdoch and the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy.

As they say, it's not paranoia when they really are out to get you.

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Now playing: Joshua Radin - Winter
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Day Man - Fighter of the Night Man

Sometimes life can be surreal. This is one of those times.

video

"Master of karate and friendship for everyone". Too true.

(Clip courtesy of HenryOverkill on YouTube.)

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Now playing: Ben Folds Five - Bitchsong
via FoxyTunes

Friday, October 12, 2007

Lower companion monkeys are running MySpace

So I just looked at my MySpace blog page, as I am required to do every time I post there. I'm not checking for grammatical errors - I always post here first, and a combination of Blogger's spell-check & my proofreading usually fix all that before I even get there. No, I have to check to see what new and wonderful ways MySpace has concocted to fuck up my page.

As you might guess, I was not disappointed. While I was finally able to use the size & color of font that I like for my post (which I haven't been able to do for at least a month), my header fonts were once again completely different than I had set them. Different color, different size, different style. They were fine yesterday, which I hope means that this is a recent problem.

For those of you who haven't been following my blog and therefore haven't had the pleasure of reading my previous rants, suffice it to say that this has been an ongoing problem. Last time it took over a month for MySpace support to fix it, and I still have to tweak it at least once a week.

On the plus side, I was able to put my settings back on the first try this time, which is refreshingly new. At this point, I have 3 theories as to why this keeps happening:

1.) Mischievous elves living in our home network are changing all my settings.
2.) Rupert Murdoch is not only super-evil, but has way too much free time.
3.) MySpace sucks donkey.

I'm leaning toward either 2 or 3, but I'm not sure that they're mutually exclusive, so it could be both. I'm not ruling anything out at this point. Of course, if Mark were here, I'm sure he would point out that there are definitely no elves in Marknet, but that it could be my dark lower companion monkey who comes out to blow up balloons at children's parties. Yeah, I don't really understand it, either.

Stay tuned as this gripping drama continues to unfold.

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Now playing: Ben Folds - Doctor My Eyes
via FoxyTunes

My Swinging Bachelorette Pad

Yep, this is the life.

I've got the whole upstairs to myself for 2 full days (in theory). Mark's wandered off into the woods for the Raymond siblings' annual summit/rave. Imagine 4 drunks stumbling around in the forest and complaining about their childhood and I think you'll get the picture.

I've already annexed Mark's side of the bed for all the essentials that I usually don't have room to enjoy: snacks, tissues, all 6 remotes, purse, magazines. If I had adult diapers or a bedpan, I'd never have to get out of bed. He took my car, too, which I'm pretty sure was a signal that I need to order pizza delivery.

Of course, the truth is that I already miss Mark terribly, and by Sunday I'll have my nose pressed against the window looking for him. I have the parents to keep me company, but they're surprisingly uninterested in letting me cuddle with them in bed. Go figure. I don't know why - I'm delightful.

I'm always uneasy when Mark is going to be gone overnight. Don't get me wrong - I don't begrudge him his little vacation, and Lord knows he probably needs a break from me. But aside from the loneliness, there's the issue of who will take care of me while he's away. I don't mean to say that I need constant assistance or anything, but I've been spoiled by having him around. I have a propensity for mayhem, and Mark's always here to help me clean up my messes and/or dust myself off. I also have an unfortunate history of montrous calf cramps while sleeping, and my hands aren't strong enough to tackle them on my own. It's only happened once when he was away, but that was enough for one lifetime - it was awful.

So it's not all as rosy as I made it out to be. But, on the plus side, I am ordering pizza.

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Now playing: Various - The Outfield Your Love
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, October 11, 2007

My Brave Baby & Her Big Badonkadonk

Strange thing happened Tuesday night...

It started off normal enough. Dad made a yummy pot roast, which was of course enjoyed by the entire family. I had received my new "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Seasons 1 & 2" DVD set, and we brought it down to watch with Dad, since he seems to dig the show.

After about an hour of eating copious amounts of beef and partaking in general frivolity, the strange thing happened: Annie, the intrepid cat-about-town who fears nothing, got very tense & her tail bushed up to about 4 times its normal size. I couldn't understand why she would react that way - she's had words with my parents' 2 cats before, but she's hardly afraid of them. She usually just ignores them unless she wants to play, and then she beats them up. If anything, they should be scared of her.

And then we realized what had caused this reaction: Blackie, the behemoth who lives in our upstairs bedroom, who has never set so much as a pinky claw on the stairs, was darting very gingerly around our family room. I guess that after 2 1/2 years of having to hear us have fun down there without her, she finally grew a pair & decided to see what she's been missing. She didn't stay long, but she made 2 more quick return trips, sort of like reconnaissance missions.

I'm still not certain why this spooked her sister Annie so much - They get along fine together. I think she was just startled, as were the rest of us. I never thought Blackie would muster up the courage for such a bold move. I'm so proud! Of course, now she's all full of herself (and there's a LOT of herself to be full of) and thinks that, because she had the nerve to conquer the downstairs, she has the guts to try the jump to our plant shelf along the vaulted ceiling. Annie does this with ease on a daily basis, and it's been really irritating Blackie that she can't do it, too.

The problem is that Blackie, while remarkably agile for a 25 pound cat, has no chance of making it onto that shelf. The only way up is a steep vertical jump, after which she would have to use her front legs to pull the rest of her onto the shelf. This, I believe, is a physical impossibility. Her back end is easily 3 times the size of her front. All other attempts at similar vertical jumps have ended with her reaching her goal, only to be pulled back down by her giant ass end - as I've noted before, she's like a big furry Slinky.

So far, she hasn't been very receptive to my suggestions that lack of nerve was not the true obstacle to her jump; rather, the real obstacle is her big black badonkadonk. Maybe badonkadonk translates differently in cat... or maybe she's just like every other girl I know & is in denial about how big her butt is. In any case, she is not to be dissuaded from her goal, so I'll keep you posted on her progress.

Powered by ScribeFire.

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Now playing: Polyphonic Spree - Section 9
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Mozilla Waterplatypus

I've been feeling a bit punky over the past few days. Seems to happen about this time every year - I think it has something to do with the fluctuating weather patterns. Like arthritis, temperature and humidity have been known to exacerbate fibromyalgia symptoms. In any case, my downtime has given me a chance to spend some quality time with Keith the Laptop and my new Firefox web browser.

I wouldn't have thought that I'd really appreciate much of a difference between brands of web browsers, but I have to admit that I've been having a ball messing around with all my new Firefox add-ons. Some are actually useful, like the MySpace Toolbar and the Download Helper, and others are completely silly.

A few examples of the latter: there's STOP, Hammertime, a nifty little tool that exists for no other reason than to play the corresponding snippet of MC Hammer music every time I click the stop button in my browser. I have been picking random pages and then stopping them from loading constantly over the past few days just to hear it, and I'm still not tired of it. Haven't gotten much accomplished, though...

There is also Firesomething, which is nearly as pointless as STOP, Hammertime. Firesomething actually does serve a purpose - it keeps nosy people from seeing the true name of the page you're using, in case you have an office snoop. The way it accomplishes this is by randomly assigning inane titles to replace the name Firefox (although it does still keep the Mozilla name, one would assume for copyright purposes). Right now, the browser I have open is entitled Mozilla Waterplatypus. The pattern seems to be to mimic the Firefox name by using an earth element + an animal. Whatever the reason, it cracks me up.

There are other useless but fun add-ons, like the themes. Right now, my browser is a soothing shade of light blue, and all the icons are cat silhouettes. I also have a Halloween theme that I plan on using over the next few weeks. You can download as many themes (free, of course) as you want, and change them with just a few clicks. For a newbie like myself, that's the only way to go.

I have to admit, though, that as much as I like to denigrate my abilities, I have developed what I naively consider to be some mad coding skills. Much of this is due to trying to compensate for the inadequacies of MySpace, but I have picked up a few other tricks. Mark spent an hour or so showing me how to correctly use a command-line tool to edit video files, and now I can chop up an FLV with surgical precision - in DOS, which still freaks me out a little. My Download Helper addon makes it a snap to make copies of all the stuff I watch on YouTube, so I've had lots of videos to use for practice.

I've learned some other handy skills, too, like how to make ringtones for my new phone out of mp3s - some of which I've stripped from FLVs, which makes for some great new rings. You haven't lived until you've set your incoming calls to serenade you with GOB Bluth and his black puppet Franklin singing "It Ain't Easy Bein' White". I also found some excellent software to make my own slideshows with music I choose in just about any format you might want. No more time spent fighting with the upload tools on Slide.com, just to have the damn thing not work (or run so slowly that it's useless).

So, in summary: Firefox good; add-ons better. And I know I joked about this a few days ago, but I think I might really have a shot at becoming the Queen of All Media. Now if I could just do all this AND catch up with my TiVo... I have such a hard life.

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Now playing: Butthole Surfers - Pepper
via FoxyTunes

Monday, October 8, 2007

Guy Love

Oh, dear. I fear that I have done something very, very wrong.

But I have to show it to you anyway.

This is a tribute to the beautiful yet unnatural love that exists between my husband & his best friend.

Oh, dear!


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Now playing: Buzzcocks - Ever fallen In Love?
via FoxyTunes
video

Stumbling into oblivion

I have absolutely nothing of import to discuss. I just had to have an excuse to use my fancy new technology.

Now, I realize that it is far from new (though still fancy) and that I am surely the bazillionth person to discover it, but that doesn't affect my excitement. I'm all aquiver.

Mark & I have a general rule regarding any technology in our house: if I find a program or application that I think I'd like, I run it by him first to make sure I don't end up playing global thermonuclear war with WHOPR.

In this case, it was actually Mark's idea to upgrade. He's been learning all about Firefox from his new co-workers, and is starting to think he'd like to use it to replace IE on all his systems. But I get to go first, like a guinea pig. Typical.

I'm really not complaining, though. I just downloaded Firefox at 9pm, and I've already discovered several cool addons that will make my computer experience easier and, I think, far more fun. And who doesn't like fun?

My first addon was StumbleUpon, of which I have heard such rave reviews from family and friends. I've been restraining myself, but I can totally see how it could become addictive very quickly. For the unititiated, StumbleUpon basically has you fill out a quick survey about what kinds of things you like to do online, then they put a "Stumble" button on your toolbar. All you do is click that button, and you will be taken to random sites that should reflect your interests. You can rate each page to get even better results in the future, but that's not required. Everyone I know who uses it just sits in front of their PCs clicking "Stumble" repeatedly until their heads explode. Great stuff!

I also added a cool application called Scribe Fire, which allows me to blog without navigating away from whatever else I'm doing at the time. So far it's just crazy convenient, but I have a feeling I'm not using it to it's fullest capacity.
I'm sure I'll find new things to love about it as the days go on.

Last, though certainly not least, is my FoxyTunes addon. It's a deceptively simple little program that establishes a small toolbar with all the buttons you would ever need to control whatever music player you use. The application supports about 30 different players, including the WinAmp I use. So, no more toggling back & forth for me to change the volume or skip a song. I can do that right in my browser. Quite excellent. It also has a setting that will automatically attach a "What I'm Listening To" line to the end of my blog posts. I've enabled that function, so we'll see if it works on this post.

That's all I've got. Mark (the husband) and Keith (the Laptop) are both very excited about this turn of events, and the possibility it holds. Stay tuned!


Powered by ScribeFire.



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Now playing: Barenaked Ladies - Alternative Girlfriend live
http://foxytunes.com/artist/barenaked+ladies/track/alternative+girlfriend+live

Friday, October 5, 2007

My So-Called Life

I've been woefully neglecting my blog ever since I got my new fancy cellphone last weekend. It seems like it would be a really cool phone, if I could manage to wrap my pea-sized brain around it & make it work. I think I've ironed out most of the technical difficulties (knock wood), so I'm hoping it will be smooth sailing from here on out.

In the meantime, I've learned how to make some pretty awesome ringtones. I think that's going to be my new hobby. It would be more exciting if anyone actually called my cellphone, but still... My phone records & views videos, too, which is very new for me. If I ever figure out how to use it, I'll be the new Queen of All Media.

I've also been neglecting my poor TiVo, which makes me kind of sad. For once, there's actually something good on TV, and I'm missing it. I know it will still be there when I need it, but it's just not like me to wait for 2 weeks to watch the House premiere. I'm disappointed in myself. Maybe this is what it's like for people who have lives... except without the actual "life" part.

It may be awhile before we catch up to the TiVo queue, actually, because I just received my Seasons 1 & 2 DVDs of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia in the mail today. I have a feeling Mark & Dad are gonna want to check them out, and even though I'm pretty sure I've seen them all, I know I won't be able to resist watching them, too. So now you know what we'll be doing all weekend.

I had fully intended to start posting regular thoughts/reviews of all my favorite TV shows as the season progressed, but I've already gotten so far behind that I don't know when I'll catch up. It would be pretty sad to post my thoughts about month-old episodes. Maybe I'll get all caught up next weekend, while Mark is off in the woods getting drunk with his siblings. I should make Mark write a review of that - I have a feeling it would be much more interesting than anything I've seen on TV in awhile.

I must close with a touching picture that I took with my brand new cellphone camera. It's a bit blurry, but still cute. This is Mark cuddling with one of his bestest friends, his sister Patty's pet Kitty. Kitty is about 200 years old, thin as a rail, flea-ridden and (reportedly) demented, but she's a sweetheart, and she always throws herself at Mark when he visits. It's really kind of disgusting, but they both seem to enjoy it.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The O'Reilly Defense Initiative

I wanted to share with you my new favorite thing:





If you're having trouble viewing this in Blogger, you can check it out on YouTube here.

Yet another meaty celebration


By the time I post this, my 13th wedding anniversary will have come and gone.


October 1, 1994 seems a world away now. We were so young and naive... We're still pretty naive, but we haven't been young for a lo-o-ong time. Accordingly, we decided a few weeks ago to make it a pretty low-key celebration, consisting primarily of catching up on the TiVo programs and scratching ourselves. Ah, the simple joys of life!


As fate would have it, we were instead invited by two of our favorite people for a night out, featuring a lavish steak dinner at Bynum's and wonderful company. Few things can tempt Mark away from hibernation on a Monday evening, but this opportunity provided 3 of his favorite things all in one fun-packed outing: brother Jack & sister-in-law Alison (who are here in Indy ever so briefly for their annual visit from their Hawaiian paradise), good conversation and MEAT.


As you would expect, a jolly time was had by all - certainly beats the bejeezus out of TiVo, to say the least. Despite being delayed by emergency interstate closings and therefore missing out on the yummy prime rib, we were all in good spirits and had a great time. We consumed massive quantities of beef, cheese, bacon and onion blossom, which account for 4 of Mark's Top 5 Things to Put in His Face. Topping off an already terrific evening, we adjourned to Mark's ancestral home to visit with his dad and the other honored out-of-town guests, Uncle Joe & Aunt Mary Ellen. We also enjoyed some of Alison's scrumptious blueberry cheesecake, which we somehow managed to cram into our already-distended stomachs. Somehow my tummy always makes room for cheesecake... which would explain how my tummy got so roomy!


So we had a grand anniversary, due in large part to the generosity of Jack & Alison. We of course appreciate the dinner tremendously (as well as the gift of macadamias), but much more precious was the time spent with loved ones from far away. Their time here in Indiana is always very limited, and they inevitably find themselves in great demand while they are here. Mark & I feel honored and blessed that they took time out of their busy schedule to spend some private time with us & to help us celebrate in style.


We thank you both heartily, and look forward to spending more time with you when next we meet - which would be in Hawaii if I had my way... We will miss you when you're gone, and we won't forget to go ahead & start making plans now for your next visit, so we can have first dibs. It will take us that long to think of some fun adventures for us, anyway... Unless you consider Wal-mart to be a fun adventure. *sigh!*


And lest I forget, a huge thank you also to the person who made today's celebration possible. It is only due to his poor judgement and questionable taste that we had an anniversary to celebrate in the first place. I thought for sure that once those things improved he'd drop me like a bad habit, but so far he seems pretty sure he wants to stick around. I may not understand why, but I'm no fool - I'll take him for as long as he'll have me (and possibly longer - I've been perfecting my stalking techniques).


Thank you, Mark, for always being by my side (and on my side) when I've needed you most. Thank you for being a loving husband, a caring son-in-law, and a wicked awesome uncle/godfather. Thank you for not freaking out when I became ill and could no longer work - instead, you remained calm and focused, ready to meet each challenge as it comes. Thank you for assisting me with all the many things, big and small, that I need some help to accomplish - ranging from shopping trips and cleaning the house to helping me get out of bed and making me breakfast.


Mostly, thank you, Mark, for always loving me, for staying with me through thick & thin and for never giving up on me - or on us. That alone is the best anniversary present I could ever get,


I love you, honey. Happy 13th Anniversary!