Showing posts from June, 2011

Apple Goes Above and Beyond

I only touched on it briefly back in March, the experience of Mi Manzana (MacBookPro 1.0) having a taste of Riesling and rejecting it. Seriously rejecting it. I tried various tactics of drying it out, such as paper towels in a closed laptop that was stored upside down, then standing it on its end, and taking the cover off of it. Despite being quick in trying to get the liquid out, it did not work.

About a month ago, I tried turning it on and there were signs of life, and it quickly died again. Troubleshooting and noticing that the machine does get power when plugged in, I thought that perhaps it'd need a new battery.

However, I got liquid in it. My Applecare warranty doesn't cover damage of this type. So I didn't take it to the Genius bar, because I really didn't have the funds at the time to fix it (online searching brought up repair costs of at least $350.) Reports I'd read suggested keeping the mouth zipped on the source of the problem.

That didn't w…

Does Not Compute

Joyce and I, in addition to being friends for thirty (eek!) years, have something in common: we have sons on the Autism spectrum. While her son has not been officially labeled with Asperger's, he does have the catch all diagnosis of Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), which usually is given when a child shows many signs of AS or Autism, but cannot be clearly defined as one or the other.

Anyway, sometimes having a child a few years older means that I can offer some insights to what she's experiencing, because my family has already been there, done that and has the scars to prove it. She probably will attest to the times where I was a royal pain in the ass to her, because she didn't want to face something that had to be done. (Like choosing a school for her convenience, rather than her son's newly diagnosed needs). Hey, she does the same for me-it's what friends do.

Today, though, she related an experience because she needed to vent and I had no answers, mainl…

Occupational Hazard

While my employment does not require my budding skills as an instructional technologist, the fact that I know how to use these programs does come in handy. For instance, I'm in the process of making something in Photoshop that we'll use with the client base, and the combination of Uncle Sam's 'I want YOU' and one of our staff on a sign with an appropriate message is making all of us giggle.

In meetings, we've talked about issues that crop up, and I suggest a way to work with it (basically, creating simple training materials for the clients) and one of the team wants to run with this. She asked today what programs could be used for this purpose and I ticked off the six I've used, that I've got two available on my laptop and that we can access two of the others without too much effort, through the employer server. I could see the ideas churning and hope that this means we'll be making web content soon. :)

At the same time, I'm being trained on s…

Es posible que

Mi iPhone es muerte.

Last week, I noticed it wasn't charging with the car charger. Chalking it up to a charger issue, I brought it in and charged it with the USB charger on my Mac. I didn't think it was charging as well as it had been, because it'd die before the day was through. However, I was busy and didn't really put two and two together.

Last night, it went on the charger around 11pm. When Ed went to charge his phone beside it, a couple of hours later, by normal standards, it should have been fully charged, but was showing 7%. He switched which charger it was on.

I got up this morning and it was at 11%. Left the phone at home and took Jane's with me, thinking it's a good thing we have a spare phone until October-but lamenting that I didn't have my contact list in her phone.

When I got home, despite charging all day, my phone was at 11.7% AND it didn't recognize my finger swipe across the screen to unlock it in an attempt to look up our HVAC guy&#…

Suzanne's Soundtrack Sunday

It's summer, so time for some favorite summer songs:


Recipe, S'il Vous Plait (RSVP): Drinks!

Okay, so these aren't my drink recipes. That said, summertime barbeques call for froufy drinks and these all can be made (or mostly made) in a pitcher for your gatherings.

Bacardi's website gave me these, after enjoying them at a local resort:
Bomb Pop

1 shot Bacardi Razz
1 shot Blue Curacao
1 shot Bacardi Limon
3 oz lemonade
3 oz sprite or club soda.

Florida Sunset (not 100% sure on all the ingredients)
1 shot Bacardi Dragonberry
1 shot Bacardi Razz
2 oz pineapple juice
2 oz orange juice
1 shot sour mix
1 shot grenadine

I'll add a kick-butt sangria recipe that will kick you on your butt once I find it. That is one to please a crowd, because it makes a GALLON.

Paint Along Studios

Look what Meghan and I did tonight (well, she made her own):


Are you following the Casey Anthony trial?

I've been following it, because three years ago, it was impossible not to see and hear the news about the missing toddler. Early on, when she was supposedly missing, a blog I followed had a bunch of us discussing it and how unbelievable Casey Anthony was. We were all convinced that the mother killed her child and hid the body-long before Caylee's remains were found.

Living here in Central Florida, there's a lot of coverage of the case, and I'm following it through several recaps every day, mainly because I cannot sit through the coverage.

However, her bumbling lawyer (who got his Juris Doctor from Lawyers R Us, IMO) promised a bombshell. Today it was delivered, in Casey's mother perjuring herself, contradicting the depositions she gave and several statements she made to law enforcement at the time.

Her demeanor was a complete 180 from what she displayed a couple of weeks ago when she testified for the prosecution as a broke…


I had high hopes for three classes this semester. We didn't have the Jane stress, it'd be pretty simple.

Then I got a job. Then I couldn't get my butt in gear because I was so fried from all that had gone on since late December.

If I'd started working on this class the first day of the semester, (which I couldn't w/o a syllabus) I might have been okay. The syllabus didn't show up until a week later.

The other two classes are heading firmly into the A category, but I'm so far behind that even being 150 pages into the 744 pages seen above, it'll take a lot of sleepless nights to catch up-to get a C.

I want to spend time with my family. I want to get good grades in both of my remaining classes. I want to kick butt in this new job.

So, the white flag goes up, and Web Programming gets pushed back until the fall semester. Fifteen weeks to get the same assignments done will be a less insane pace.


We don't have a land line in our house. We ditched having one several years ago, when we realized that several months would go by before picking it up to make a call. The cell phones are always handy, and even with the lowest family plan, we rarely used our minutes. Enough of our family and friends had the same carrier that we wouldn't burn through minutes. (The only time we went over minutes was the month my mom passed away.)

As a result, we got Chef a cell phone of his own two years ago. His best friend had the number, Ed, me and Jane. That's it. The annoying thing about that phone is that if it is charging, it does NOT ring. So, half the time, you try to reach the kid and you can't, because the phone is on the charger. It is annoying. As the contract is up on that phone, we'll be replacing that Sony Eriksson phone for just that ONE quibble-other than that, the phone is great.

So, if Chef's best friend wants to call him and can't reach him, who d…

Things I've Learned About JavaScript in the Past 48 Hours

1. It doesn't seem to like me coding it in Dreamweaver split view.

2. It doesn't show up in my Safari browser window because, apparently, Safari 5.0.5 is incompatible with it.

3. I'll have to downgrade my version of Safari to 4.0.5 to fix this issue.

4. JavaScript was native to Netscape Navigator, and as such, the textbook we're using for class recommends coding and debugging in this browser.

5. Netscape Navigator hasn't been around since 2007, which gives you an idea how old this book is.

6. The textbook also suggests utilizing a text editor named Homesite, as it's the author's absolute favorite for coding JavaScript.

7. That website and associated product has been gone since 2009.

8. That this *slightly* outdated textbook would have cost $443.00 to print out, had I chosen to do so via Staple's website.

9. In store, with the THREE binders and 744 pages printed, it cost just under $80.00 to have a hard copy of the textbook that I could mark up and highlig…

Suzanne's Soundtrack Sunday

Time Marches On

I'm starting this off with a confession that I'm pretty sure I've shared before: I can't stand Bruce Springsteen. His voice and horrible lyrics just turn me off. It is better to listen to Bruce's songs covered by other artists, mainly because I cannot stand his voice. (To my New Jersey friends: I know it's a law that you all like 'The Boss,' but I've never resided in the Garden State and am therefore exempt from the legal ruling)

However, from the first Bruce song I ever remember hearing (Tenth Avenue Freeze Out), the thing that always stood out was that saxophone. As I didn't like The Boss, I never made an effort to find out who was blowing that sax so fine. It was that instrument that made all of Bruce's songs great. Can you honestly imagine 'Born to Run' or 'Rosalita' without it?

In the mid-80's, a song came out and got heavy rotation on MTV, in the days when they actually played music videos. I wa…


One of the classes this semester is Educational Research. Normally, it's slated for the last semester of this program, but with the flukey issues in getting the classes that I was supposed to have, I decided to take this one now.

My thought was, I've had a lot of foundation in Psychological research, so much of it would be familiar. That was an accurate assessment, as the class is about 60 to 70% familiar material, and 30% that either expands on research terminology I knew or introduces the educational components.

This class, unlike the other five I've either taken or am currently enrolled in, has a midterm and a final, as well as a term paper. The term paper excites me somewhat, as we are asked to apply knowledge gained in the class to come up with a 8 to 12 page research proposal. We don't have to go into the actual research section, just describe the type of research, what methods we plan to use, compare what we plan to do to existing literature and explain why it…

Shellac by CND, Thoughts and Pictures

Does a Shellac manicure really last two weeks? Take a look at the comparative image I made in Photoshop:

When you wear a dark color and your nails grow quickly (like mine), you'll need to re-do them every two weeks. You'll be able to stretch out a lighter color longer.

I had visions of hell for the removal of the first coat of Shellac. Mainly because what's out there talks about the acetone on your skin and how it burns. Heck, I had a cut cuticle and it stung a bit, but overall, it wasn't painful at all. Seriously, not painful. The thing that impressed me is that the acetone was on each nail for about two minutes and with a cuticle scraper, Katie was able to get about 95% of the Shellac off of my nails.

When my nails were naked, I took a look and couldn't believe I was looking at my own nails. They looked healthy and seemed strong. I'm definitely keeping up with the Solar Oil 3X a day, because this is the best they've looked in years.

We talked about l…

On the Other Hand

The textbook for my Educational Research class is an easy read. That probably is due to all the psychological research study I've done in the past. This course fleshes out concepts that I'm very familiar with, throwing in a new term here and there.

I feel well equipped for Saturday morning's mid term

Oh, and I got my nails Shellac'ed again. Masquerade this time. When she took the old polish off, the nails underneath looked better than I've ever seen them. Kudos to Shellac and the solar oil!

Life With RSD, the Suzanne Edition

There are things about RSD that one never gets used to, or thinks they've figured out, only to find they were wrong.

To whit:

The hair on My Stupid Leg barely grows. I have to shave it every few months for the couple dozen dark black hairs that show up on my pasty white skin. The other leg doesn't have this issue, in that the hair grows normally and is a very light brown.

Saturday, I noticed a patch of black hairs and decided to shave and instead, sliced my leg. I had a 2 inch long gash that was bleeding like a stuck pig (and didn't seem to clot very well for someone with a clotting disorder!) and after a half hour, it'd stopped enough that I could put a few band aids on it.

They'd get replaced daily, with the adhesive irritating the heck out of me (yet another stupid allergy). Finally, yesterday, I decided that I'd air the gash out, in the hopes of healing quickly.


It's been a while, but I forgot that RSD + drying wound = intense pain, a la Vern Troyer…

A Cool Addition to My Job Description

In my touch base with my boss today, we were going over things I need to do. Shredding, filing, still waiting on IT to give me access to the software I need to do a large portion of my job (and help me to do a great purge of old files, too.)

She tells me "one of our goals this year is to set up a blog, and I want you to do it." Really? Me?

I restrained myself, because jumping up and down about getting to do something I really enjoy and get paid to do it would have irritated My Stupid Leg more than it's already messed up. Meanwhile, I set about starting the Facebook page and will show her tomorrow our blogging options.

Then I'll hit up everyone in the department on topics they thing should be addressed. Hopefully, that'll give me plenty of fodder to get things rolling. Unlike this one, that blog will probably be posted weekly to be a resource for those we assist.

Still, I've really been enjoying what I do, and this is like the cherry on top.


Heigh Ho

We bank with Disney's credit union, Partners. It's a carryover from when I worked for the mouse, their service is top notch and well, since everything is done online, there wasn't much need to open accounts elsewhere.

It's very unusual for us to actually have to visit a branch, what with the ability to deposit checks at other credit unions, which we have several of in town. However, today, we needed to travel over to Orlando to do some business in person.

Last time we visited the branch at the Team Disney building, they were doing a lot of renovation work. If you've never seen the building, it was designed by Arata Isozaki and is supposed to be evocative of a large passenger ship. To complete the effect, there were large man-made ponds in front of the building.

An architect's rendering of Isozaki's vision:

Today, we went over and discovered that renovations were long completed. The ponds gone, replaced with grass. The main entrance had a circular plan…

Suzanne's Soundtrack Sunday

Bonus Tracks

Do you remember back before our cars had CD players, we had iPods and adapters to use them in multiple locations, how we used to tape our favorite music onto cassettes to listen to on the daily commute?

I had dozens of them. Even my dad got a few (Basia and Grayson Hugh on one, until he confessed that he fast forwarded it to hear Basia, so I made a new one with the same album on both sides.)

Anyway, I made a tape with the two October Project CDs that got played over and over, to the point that both boys can sing along with them. The limitations of a 45 minute cassette required me to shave a song off each album to fit the format.

So, now when I hear those two songs, as I haven't heard them nearly as much as the rest of the album, I think "Hey, an October Project bonus track!"

The two tunes that are my 'bonus tracks'

Be My Hero from October Project

One Dream from Falling Farther In

How about you? Do you have tracks that got shaved from the cassette for th…

Dry Reading

I am a voracious reader. Cereal boxes, nutrition information on soda cans, textbooks, newspapers, you name it, I'll read it (except for maybe Harlequin Romances.) Heck, I look forward to reading research papers, which most people dread.

The majority of my reading is textbooks and those research papers. For the most part, they're okay. I've found a couple of textbook authors that I enjoy. This semester though, I've hit upon a textbook that I find horrible.

The subject: Curriculum Theory. Interesting subject, great professor and the supplemental readings and research studies are thought provoking. The textbook? Is like trying to run through a tar pit.

The author takes 40 pages to say what probably could be accomplished in 20. This is not due to excess verbosity, no, it's because he uses the same sentences thirty different ways in each chapter.

For a reader like me, it's jarring. "The focus of instruction for this student population is to share the i…

Providing What Was In the Past

At work, I'm at a desk that was previously occupied by an employee who has been moved to our other location downtown. Who that was, I'm not sure, as fifty people moved there, but her mark has been left. (While not a receptionist, my desk is in a reception area and I do check in some people.)

All day long, I'll get requests for the things she did before, like "where's the candy bowl?" and "what happened to the music?" I take them in stride, and explain that my superiors haven't provided the former and well, my computer couldn't help me provide the latter. Not with 1 meg of ram and no Senuti to transfer my iPod library, that is.

Last week, tech support upgraded me to 4 gig, so I could actually open my Outlook email and not wait ten minutes for it to load. This mean that perhaps I could actually have other windows open-you know, like the product name implies? Yesterday, I finally got around to creating a Pandora account to use on the job be…

Shellac by CND, One Week Later

Last Friday, I got a manicure with Shellac by CND. The product really intrigued me, because it provided the benefits one would get from a layer of gel or acrylic nails, but wouldn't buff down my already very soft nails.

For me, the other options weren't good either. With the cooking (and clean up) I tend to do, a regular manicure would probably last 4 or 5 days. Silk wraps helped me years ago to get stronger nails, but users are discouraged from letting them sit in water. The above mentioned clean up, plus the pool would water log those wraps. Pass.

Here we are, one week later and I am amazed. Take a look for yourselves:


My nails look like they were just done-shiny, chip free and in this case, sparkly. This color is Baroness and it looks like a Candy Apple red car. I've maintained my usual activities, which results in at least one or two broken nails a week due to being so soft. I added a marathon cooking session, which always broke nails-I still have ten ravi…