Thursday, February 28, 2008

High-Tech Reading

Not too long ago, created a nifty little gadget called the Kindle.

It’s basically a high-priced, high-tech e-Book reader. And when I say high-priced, I’m not foolin’ ya. The sucker costs $400 and all it does is display electronic books and magazines.

Now, when it comes to tech gadgets, I’m the guru. I love ‘em all. So naturally, I couldn’t wait to place my order with Amazon, right?


First, the price is ridiculous. $400 just for the machine? On top of that, you still have to pay for each book.

Secondly, this thing does nothing except display books. In this day and age, why would I carry extra stuff in my pockets?

Which is precisely why I love my cell phone. It does everything.

  • Of course, it is a great phone.
  • It’s a Pocket PC which means I can create and edit any Microsoft Word, Excel or Powerpoint document. Of course, it has it’s own keyboard, but it also has handwriting recognition on its touch screen.
  • It has a camera and a video and speech recorders.
  • It has GPS, Google Maps, and the Internet complete with broadband speeds.
  • It syncs with my Outlook calendar, contacts, and checks for email every 5 minutes.
  • And, of course, it has an eBook reader.
All this for half the price of the Kindle.

But does it work well?

Oh Hell yeah. I decided to try an old Stephen King book which I read over ten years ago. I figured that if I found myself having a difficult time concentrating on reading a book on a small 3 inch LCD screen, then it wouldn’t matter because I’d already know the story.

Well, it didn’t take long before I became totally immersed in the story. I forgot I was holding a cell phone and tapping a screen occasionally instead of turning a page. I was just totally hooked.

Then, the best part of the eBook came to light. I went to bed and instead of holding a 1,000-page tome while trying to make sure the light hit the page just right would make my arms just drop. Now, I hold a 3-ounce cell phone and read myself into oblivion. As an added bonus, I don’t even need to have my bed lamp on. When my eyes glaze over and I drift off to sleep, the phone shuts itself off after a few minutes. The next morning, I tap the screen and there’s the book, just where I left off. It holds the bookmarks in memory even through battery changes.

Amazon can keep their $400. I’m in love with my cell phone.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Their Concrete Angel

I can't believe it's been 4 years since Eric passed away.

Every year, we purchase flowers to lay upon a concrete angel which I put in the front yard as a "memorial" for Eric since his actual grave is in Virginia Beach.

We say a few words, place the flowers on the angel, then walk away. It's not much, but it's one of the few things I can do to help keep Eric involved in his daughters' lives.

The next day, we got slammed with a snowstorm and the girls were without school for 3 days. The poor angel seemed to take the brunt of the storm.


Saturday, February 9, 2008

I Wanna Be A Time Traveler

For what it's worth, I know that Einstein had the same 24 hours in a day that I do. But he was a genius and I'm not. He was also apparently a hell of a lot better at budgeting those elusive 24 hours than I am.

As for me, I spend nearly every night typing my little heart out until well after most folks are snug in their comfy beds.

I get sidetracked. I click on Google so I can look up the proper spelling of a word (for what it's worth, the doctor keeps dictating "protruberance" and I knew it was really "protuberance" but I still had to double check) and suddenly an interesting headline on my homepage will catch my eye. Oh hell, who am I kidding? Even the UNinteresting headlines catch my eye when I don't feel like working. A half hour later, I finally get my fingers back to the keyboard and type a bit more.

Would I crawl out of my warm and toasty bed to look up a story on how the USB port design on the new MacBook Air laptop is woefully inadequate? No. But if I look up that stupid article at 2 p.m., then that means I've got to stay up an extra 15 minutes later. It's all about budgeting!

So, if I ever stumble across a good article on TechDirt or Wired about how to perform time travel, I'm gonna use my newly-budgeted 30 minutes of "surf time" to find out how to time travel. Because then, of course, I can get as sidetracked as I want and I'll still have all the time in the world to do the stuff that I have to do.

Maybe that means I might even post a blog entry more than once a week.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

From a Fan to a Fanny

One of the projects I've had on my self-imposed "honeydew list" (besides finding a honey to ask me to do things) is replace the ceiling fan in Beth's bedroom.

For the past year or so, if the fan was off (or on low or medium speeds), the lights would flicker like mad. Beth's room is scary enough, we didn't need to add the haunted house strobe light effect to make it worse. So, summer and winter, she'd run her fan at high speed just so she could have the lights on. We finally got around to fixing it.

Because I've apparently done some internal damage to my shoulder muscles/tendons recently, I struggle to have my arms above my head. No problem...Beth has a tallish boyfriend who could help.

I told him the good news - "Corey, guess what? You get to spend about an hour in Beth's room this weekend!" I neglected to tell him that the bad news was that Beth's Mom and Grandma would both be in there, too.

Indeed, Corey did the few things I asked, but most of the time, he just flopped on the Bed while I did what was needed and waited for my next request for help.

Just as I was finishing the last little task, Grandma happened to glance over and saw that Corey and Beth were flopped on the bed and Corey had his hand on Beth's butt so that his hand was actually cupping underneath. Grandma screamed at him. And I was appalled. If he did this while we were in the room, what the hell does he do while we're away?

Corey moved his hand and Beth laughed maniacally, but it was one of those laughs where you can tell she's really just covering up for that fact that she is uncomfortable.

Later, Beth said to me that she really was not happy about what he did, but Corey has a hard time accepting the word "no." Beth has a hard time being forceful about it. I don't think he's smart enough to understand that by making her uncomfortable, he's pushing her away, but I've been a teenage girl, and I know what she is feeling.

Corey's a nice kid. He adores Beth and she feels the same way toward him. But the fact that he's a 17-year-old boy who can only think about one thing drives me crazy. Get a life or at least get some interests other than my daughter's body!

Oh, and the ceiling fan? It buzzed wickedly after it was all put together. Drat. Later that night, I replaced the wall switch which operated the thing and all was fixed. That probably means the damn ceiling fan didn't need replaced in the first place...just the wall switch. Double Drat!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Leaving an Impression

One of the best things about my job is the fact that I can roll out of bed and stumble bleary-eyed to my desk a mere 20 feet away. Heck, I don't even have to brush my teeth, if I don't wanna.

Usually I type for about an hour, sucking down my Senseo, until my body wakes up enough to hop into the shower.

After that, I have two choices. If I plan to go anywhere during the day, I put on my "uniform." That consists of a polo shirt onto which I've embroidered my company name. Heck, it's free advertising, right? On days I plan to stay home, I opt for pure comfort...sweat pants and a t-shirt. And since there's not an iota of comfort in a brassiere, it definitely doesn't come out of my dresser. That's right, I let my boobs hang low and wiggle to and fro.

Since Ohio was blanketed under a Winter Weather Advisory today, I knew my butt was gonna be Velcroed to my desk chair, so I stuck with the old "sweats and t-shirt" plan.

Unfortunately, plans don't always go...well, according to plan.

My doorbell rings.

Assuming it is someone soliciting for a charity or some other useless nonsense (yeah, I'm a hardened soul), I open the front door, only to find Dr. N, a client I've had for 5 years. And I'm standing there in jammie pants, no socks, a ratty t-shirt, and no bra. Yeah, that's me, I'm a true professional.