Friday, November 30, 2012

Walk In Treatment

I arrived at the suggested clinic at 7:25 this morning to see one person waiting outside. I was number two. Ten minutes later, someone else arrived to get a walk in slot and was turned away. They don't kid when they say they only take two.

The deal was that we'd be taken back if someone else didn't show for their appointment, the other person was in a lot of pain-her body language said it all. I could manage my pain just fine, so I'm glad she got there before me and had the opportunity to get taken care of quicker-pain sucks.
,br /> Around 9:30, I was brought back and interviewed by a dental assistant. She took an xray, then reported back that it looked like a simple extraction, which was a huge relief. I was preparing for having things cut out.

The dentist came in and repeated that things looked straightforward, that she'd rather just use topical injections of novocaine instead of numbing one side of my face. Some lidocaine on the gums and I only ended up feeling one of the novocaine shots.

She worked on me for about twenty minutes, three of which were rough, but in comparison to the neck stuff, not too bad. The dentist showed me what she'd extracted and the abscess, which was in the remaining canal that had been left of the original tooth. She told me that everything looked clean. I wouldn't need follow up for that, but she'd like me to come back for a regular full checkup in a few weeks.

I'm thankful that I called around as soon as I realized what it was, that I was the second arrival and that this dentist was really good. It sucks that this clinic is an hour's drive (due to no direct route for the 20 mile trip), but if I only have to go twice a year, I can definitely do that.

It hurts, but not anything horrible. I'm on a soft foods diet this weekend, but I was able to eat a quesadilla for lunch from the taco truck (because they're really soft) and then pasta for dinner.

Thursday, November 29, 2012


The title says it all, and doesn't. It only hurts (on the Suzanne scale, that is) when I try to eat, but it is definitely an abscess.

A long time ago, I wore the SAME bands on my teeth when I had braces. So, for six years, my teeth had these metal caps on them and one disintegrated a couple of days after I had them removed, while eating an ice cream sandwich. So, at 16, I got a crown.

This is the same crown that broke 11 years later, on December 23-and my dentist came in to his office on Christmas Eve when I called his office and asked for a recommendation for one of his dental school buddies in Maryland to do an emergency repair. I mentioned that I'd be in NY the next day and was told to meet him at noon.

It lasted another 15 years and got loose, then fell out. Alas, I was here in Florida and unemployed, so I just lived with a post where the tooth had been. The post wasn't one piece, it is two, and they've separated, with one part touching the tooth in front, the other touching the tooth behind.

Yesterday afternoon, I noticed the post halves were wiggling, and this morning, the swelling. I know that thing is screwed into the jaw and I am not ignoring it. So, tomorrow morning, I'm going to a clinic and hoping for the best, as they have two walk in appointments each day.

Normally, it would be a root canal or an extraction. This may be a lot more involved, like cutting out a wisdom tooth might be. I don't know, mine never arrived-which the wonder dentist I speak of marveled about and was quite relieved, given my smaller than average jaw.

Hey, at least I already have the medication for afterwards...
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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Grace Under Pressure

A friend's half brother is in Hospice tonight. They don't expect him to make it through the night.

She's in her early 30's, and this is the first time she's seeing end of life up close and personal. Brother is much older than my friend, and they didn't really have a relationship, he has a daughter only a couple of years younger.

Still, she has a lot of compassion for the situation and is being the rock for her mom. She texted after tonight's visit to Hospice, and had plenty of questions. The type that she knew she could ask at Hospice, but figured it was better to not ask them in front of mom.

So, I answered with what I knew, the difference between unconscious and coma, the rawls, how you know there are only hours left.

Those of us who walk the path know the pain, and will guide someone going through it. She's composed and focused on being her mom's rock. It sums up my friend-handle everything in the moment, process and have the emotional reaction later.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thinking Like a Boss

Right now, it means that someone is venting at me for a situation that they've put themselves into and I'm losing patience. It was a stupid mistake, one that could have been avoided, one that has been repeated all too often-but this time, it had a different outcome.

I'm trying to be sympathetic to this person, but looking at the situation as a boss, I would have come to the exact same conclusion as the boss did. Each time I try to point out 'well, why did you do this?' or 'you know, they aren't psychic-how can someone fix what they don't know is broken?', I got more excuses and blame on someone who didn't cause the situation.

If it keeps up, I will have to say, if I was the boss, I would have fired you, too-and here's why. I really don't want to, but I'm getting tired of hearing the blame game, especially since the blame rests solely on the person dishing it out.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Yeaaaaaaa! Then Again...

I bought a network cable tester, which arrived last week. Today, after everyone was done using the network at school, I went into the telecomm room and started testing lines.

We have three lines out of that room, each going to a different building on camps. My thought process was to try the closest locations myself, then get someone to help with the cable that terminates at my classroom.

I got the first one checked, no problem. It actually looked cool, lighting up eight lights in series-and I only had to walk back and forth 50 feet to confirm what I knew, that the Internet working in that building.

Alas, I couldn't get into the office that holds the other nearby router, so I enlisted GameTeen to help me with the one on the other side of campus. I handed him a walkie talkie and the tester with a Cat5 cable hanging out of it. (testers work with male connectors, wall jacks are not male). Then, I waited.

Five minutes later, I had an answer. The series would light 1-2 4-5-6-7-8, then back again. This cable is bad . For a moment, I was excited that I'd pretty much eliminated everything else, and this result meant I was right.

Then the realization that oh, wait, now I have to figure out how to restring about 150 feet of new (INSULATED) Cat5, when I can't be a monkey until the doctor says I can climb things. I'll still have my students walking into my classroom and "Is the Internet working?" and they'll ask one at a time, because they're so focused on asking the question that they don't listen to their peers.

Hopefully, I can say yes very soon...

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Too Many Gadgets

More accurately, I have too many unlabeled plugs for gadgets! I only plug in my external hard drive when I need to back things up or access information and well, the plug I *thought* belonged to the Seagate actually belongs to the Trent portable charger. (An aside-if you don't have one of these, and you travel, you should get one!)

I do tend to rubber band cords that I'm not using to organize them, and I decided to place them all into a small tub, but an idea struck, what with all these black wall warts-why not use one of my paint markers and label each one?

Brilliant idea, but all my paint markers are in my desk at work! Crud.

Anyway, if you have more than a couple of these little black plugs, like for your digital camera, your phone, your external drive, your mini dv camcorder, your laptop (well, not mine, its white), why not take one of those paint markers and label them? At least I have somewhat neat handwriting when I tackle this project.

Since I have a 6 pack of colors, I think I'll end up color coding them when I do bring that package home. Even better, the coordinating cords can get a ring around it in the same color, so that you don't have to ask "Nikon mini USB or Kodak?"

Yes, I know, I really do have geek problems. It's an occupational hazard.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

We're Going to Need a Bigger Bird.

Gone. All but the carcass and the dark meat, that is. Two meals and enough to eke out a soup tomorrow or Monday, that's all that I have of the turkey.

Contrast this to last year, when I had a smaller bird and got five days worth of meals from the bird. I'm barely getting three, and one will consist of mostly dark meat in that soup. One child actually ate about 2 pounds of the turkey during our dinner Thursday night, which I chalk up to a winning brine.

Even Ed, never a big fan of turkey, and even less of a fan of chicken on the bone, really enjoyed it. Today, he raved about the brine/grill combo. Heck, we went grocery shopping, he saw the oven stuffers and suggested getting one to grill.

Score another winner.

Wreck It Ralph and Rise of the Guardians

Ed has gone a little stir crazy. He was supposed to work today, but they heard 'vertigo' and sent him right back home. Not the ideal situation after he's been laid up on the couch for a week!

So, he asked to go out tonight. We opted for the drive in, so that he could get out, but not worry about getting dizzy. Fortunately, this weekend, we had a good double feature, Wreck It Ralph and Rise of the Guardians.

I'd been told that Wreck It Ralph would really appeal to me and Ed. If you've ever put your quarter up on a game to 'save' your place in line, then you HAVE to see this movie! It was fantastic, and we kept laughing throughout the movie at the lines that recalled our youth. The great part is that it also appealed to Chef, so it was written like a Bugs Bunny cartoon-existing on multiple levels. The short before the movie was adorable, too. I like that this Pixar touch is being introduced to the Walt Disney Pictures.

Rise of the Guardians is a Dreamworks film. I think if we'd seen it separately, it would have been fine alone, but I think the darker elements of the film were far darker than those of Wreck It Ralph. The animation was good, the voice acting was good, but the story just was a little too heavy handed for the under 10 crowd.

Wreck It Ralph will definitely be purchased when it comes out on Blu Ray. I want to watch it again and see what little things I missed the first time around.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Apple Guinness Brine

This year, I was going to use the brine I developed last year that turned out so lovely, but there was a problem. I only have a splash of bourbon, not enough for the amount of brine I planned to make.

Instead, I substituted a bottle of Guinness for the booze and you know what? It turned out a very savory bird that was extremely juicy. Even better, the gravy picked up that savory flavor, too. I think I liked this one better, to be honest!

Apple Guinness Brine 2 quarts apple juice 1 quart chicken stock 1 12 ounce bottle Guinness (or other ale) 1 cup brown sugar 1/4 cup salt 2 tablespoons sage 2 tablespoons granulated garlic 2 tablespoons onion powder 1 tablespoon black pepper This time around, I didn't grind the pepper because I had an unfortunate pepper mill accident last week and melted the mill off the package. It actually imparted decent pepper flavor during the 16 hour soak, but I like a little more pepper bite.

I put all the ingredients into a 5 quart stock pot and got it to barely warm and let it sit there for about 15 minutes to marry the flavors. Then I turned off the heat and allowed it to cool down for about a half hour. Then, I placed our 13 pound bird into our brining bucket , added ice to the top, and placed it out in our chilly garage.

I like to brine overnight, you may want more or less. Once the salt level equalizes between meat and brine, it doesn't keep adding salt. Normally, that bucket will sit in the fridge, but the garage fridge died-as long as it is kept iced, you're good.

Once you're close to cooking time, take the bird out of the brine, rinse thoroughly and allow to sit for an hour before cooking. Since I don't stuff and cook on the grill, I did an hour at 400 and 90 minutes at 325 and got a perfectly tender bird. I did pour a cup of turkey stock over it every 45 minutes, which helped in making the awesome gravy, honestly.

Yes, the wings are removed. I used them for the turkey stock, since no one eats them.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

More Recipes

This past week has resulted in many hits to the blog for the brine I created last year, heavily modifying a marinade I found in a magazine. This year, I used a bottle of ale instead of using up what little bourbon I have in the house. We'll see how that goes, but it tastes very savory!

Anyway, I seem to get a lot of hits for the seasonal recipes, so I think I'll start posting more of them in the coming weeks. You never know, I might post something that becomes a huge hit for other families, too.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tag Team

First me, then Ed. His bout with the flu brought a bonus: vertigo.

For the past two days, he's told me symptoms and I would agree, yep, that's vertigo-while trying not to be obnoxious about the fact that I understand it and still live this from time to time. Of to the Fastrack at the hospital we went.

At least he has the advantage of not being the 2% guy. After their tests, which confirmed the infection that caused this, he got some Meclizine and it reduced the spinnies quickly. Still not perfect, but better than it was when he tried to walk earlier today.

Vertigo is NOT fun.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Of Course

Apparently, it is not unusual for spinal fusion patients to have minor back spasm issues, mainly between the shoulder blades. I've had them for months, but the frequency stepped up considerably post-op.

So, at my last checkup, my nurse practitioner prescribed more Norco and muscle relaxers, telling me that I should take one every night. Alas, as is typical, it took 4-5 days for my pharmacy to get their act together. Something about me having an allergy to Norco, a medicine they'd filled for me a month before! (Yes, based on their incompetency in filling prescriptions for me and GameTeen, I'm not going back.)

A week after the meds were prescribed, I started taking them. They did make a difference-then my pill bottle disappeared off the table.

What happens next? I have the worst whole back spasms I have had in YEARS. Norco doesn't fix that.

I know that when I call my nurse practitioner in the morning, he'll call in another script-and the other bottle will show up an hour after I pay for the new prescription.

Of course...

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Suzanne's Soundtrack Sunday

With the holidays around the corner, I am drawn to things like Messiah Sing Ins and other songs of the season, or songs that to me, are part of the season by virtue of singing them for a winter concert or two (or five) as a teen.

One of the great things about that choir reunion I attended back in September is that various alumni shared their recordings of concerts with everyone else via Dropbox. Each year, the members of the choir chose whether they wanted to record the Winter or Spring Concert, as it was not an inexpensive proposition. I remember one year, getting two votes, because I'd sold double the quota of fruit in the recent fundraiser. I chose Winter. Alas, it didn't make it to vinyl like years past, we got cassette tapes. Mine was lost years ago.

However, the archives restored the concert to me, and the memory holds musical scores much better than anything else. Still, I would like to have the sheet music for favorites we didn't record-and that's where another alum came in. He brought a pile of things he'd absconded from the choir room, and I snatched up one that I remember practicing piano for months, before we opted to do it a cappella.

Another, a Randall Thompson piece, was performed the year before I was in high school and again after I graduated and I'd wished I'd performed it. Now I have the music and can be sure that I'm hearing the tenor line properly.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Baited Breath

Thanks to my various health issues, my allergist and my GP urge me to get a flu shot each year. However, because of the surgery, I was trying to hold off getting it until December. Supposedly, getting vaccinated too soon after that might mean actually contracting the flu instead of building up a resistance.

Yeah, I know that they basically spin the wheel and choose the right strain of the flu virus 30% of the time, but I see where the doctors are coming from. It's a no harm sort of thing as far as I'm concerned.


Ed has the flu. He spent most of yesterday and pretty much all of today sleeping, with short periods of being awake. He doesn't believe in getting the shot, and I don't think he has in all the time we've been together. Some years, he and the boys have gotten it, meanwhile, I've had my shot and didn't get sick.

I'm hoping I don't get it. That would really suck, as this is the first time ever that I've got a school holiday as an employee. I'd hate spending my week off sleeping and feeling cruddy.

Is it bad that I'm giving him a wide berth, but taking care of his needs when asked?

Friday, November 16, 2012

End of the Line

Yesterday, I talked about 25 things I missed about my youth. Little did I know, today would bring news of the end of another thing I associate with my youth: Hostess and Drake's Cakes.

For years, Hostess was the national brand, with Twinkie the Kid, Hostess' Captain Cupcake and all those commercials that dotted the programming we kids were likely to watch. Drake's was the local brand with the preferred confections, like Funny Bones (still my favorite) and Coffee Cake, juniors. It was quite a treat to find one of those in my lunch from time to time!

After work, I headed over to the local outlet store, hoping for another last box of Funny Bones for me, Twinkies for the kids, and some Ring Dings for Ed. Alas, most of the Drakes products were gone, but I did manage to get a bit of snack goodness to soften the blow.

Later, people were telling me that there's a ton of the items I bought listed on eBay for top dollar. It's sad, but I'm not about to go bid twenty bucks for my last carton of Funny Bones, you know? Nor will I list what little bit I bought today.

< The ladies at the store were called this morning before opening for the day. "When the merchandise runs out, the store is closed permanently." I feel bad for them and thanked them for being so helpful each time I'd visited.

In a weird way, I feel like today added number 26 to the list.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thirty Years and More

Schmutzie inspired others to post today about '25 Things You Miss About Childhood', and that sounded like a great writing prompt.  Then, I saw that 30 years ago this week, an album that I played to death was released, Rush's Subdivisions. Yep, I'm officially old.

For years, I couldn't even play the album, because it was inextricably linked to the ex-husband.  Moving on.  Anyway, I've spent a couple of hours thinking of things I miss about childhood and realized that a pattern emerged in those things I missed.  Without further ado, my list:

1. Heading down to Newbridge Park pool with my mom after dinner, enjoying the warm breezes off the Great South Bay (but not those pesky green flies), as the sun set.  Loved that the pool was open until 10 pm-many of those nights, we were the last ones out.

2. Going to the beach with my dad many Sunday mornings.  I didn't like having to get up before the sun rose, but it was worth it to get the prime parking spot in the first row at Field 6, the primo beach spot right at the surf line to the right of the lifeguard stand.  I'd put a towel over me and sleep until American Top 40 started playing, Dad and I would split the sections of Newsday and read whatever books we'd brought and take breaks wave hopping with my sister, Giggles.

3. Exploring the woods with my friends Donald and his younger brother, Patrick until the bulldozed it to build a dozen high ranch houses.

4. Riding my bike everywhere, and I mean everywhere.

5. Thinking that five bucks was a lot of money.  Babysitting, earning ten bucks and having it last a couple of weeks.

6. Leaving school for lunch, getting an egg roll and a can of soda, giving them a buck and getting a dime back.

7. Pen pals.  I had a bunch of them, and it was fun to get mail.

8. Summer vacation lasted forever.

9. Nancy Drew mysteries, hell, any books.  I would hole up in my room for hours and read.

10. Monday night dinners.  My mom was an awesome cook, that was her day off, and we'd have the best home cooked meals every Monday night.

11. Spending time with my second family, usually we went to mass together on Sundays and Giggles and I would spend time over there during the week.

12. Walking the split rail fence in front of the house from end to end.  It was like a tight rope act, but the fence was pulled down when I was in sixth grade.

13. My dog, Sheba.  He was a Sheepdog mix and was awesome.  I miss having a dog.

14.  Choir in high school.  It was my safe haven, and taught discipline in practicing over and over.

15. Being dad's navigator on road trips, planning the two 'southern exposure' vacations and going to two World's Fairs.  I always wanted to take my kids someday, but I think the '84 New Orleans Expo was the last one in the US.  What was amazing is that my dad had fantastic itineraries scouted out without the benefit of the Internet.  Too bad some of the places can be described, but not named-I'd love to go back.

16. Going strawberry picking in the summer.  That was the sign that summer had arrived.  Now, they mean it really is winter and the strawberries are better here, but I loved trips to Lewin Farms every year.

17. Selling Girl Scout cookies and Choir citrus fruit.  I looked forward to going door to door and selling.  It was probably the foundation for all those years in sales.

18.  Meeting Joe and working at his low-wattage radio station.  I loved learning radio production, ended up working in the field for a while, and spent many hours at Joe's enjoying creating a show to be rebroadcast later.

19. The many nights hanging out with Joe and Lisa.  My word, we'd laugh ourselves silly for hours.  If we had money, off to Friendly's we'd go and eat Jim Dandys and not gain weight from them.  (oh, to have that kind of metabolism now!)

20. Ice skating at Newbridge and Freeport Rec.  Dad even got Giggles and I skating lessons for Christmas one year, she ended up going a lot longer than I did, but many weekends were spent doing back to back sessions at either rink.

21. Horseback riding.  To prepare for one of the summer vacations which involved trail rides, Dad, Giggles, and I took English riding lessons for almost a year.  I loved it.  Haven't been on a horse in years, but I will eventually get back in the saddle.

22. Holidays at my mom's.  Thanksgiving was always celebrated the Monday after, same with Easter, but Christmas was a HUGE celebration and everyone was welcome.  What this meant is that my best friend, who was Jewish, was at our house for years celebrating with us.  I learned from mom to ask what others are doing for a holiday and if they're alone, invite them to join you.

23. Awesome radio.  Central Florida is radio purgatory.  New York is the number one radio market, and it spoiled me.  As a kid, it was WABC-770am, WNBC-660am, then as I got a little older, WLIR 92.7, WBAB 103.5, and WNEW 102.7.  I loved the music and that the contests were just local-I won more than the average person's share of prizes, thanks to persistence, even with a rotary dial phone!

24. My hometown.  I was back there in September, and it's become Queens East.  There were tons of mom and pop stores, we could ride our bikes downtown and find just about anything without going to the mall.   Now, my favorite deli is a Starbucks, the bakery is closed, the family run grocery store is part of a major chain and the card shop is gone.

25.  The trips into Manhattan with my dad for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, the Broadway shows, King Tut, the museums, the Empire State Building, Intrepid, Statue of Liberty, Circle Line, the Nutcracker and all it entailed.  Getting dressed up, taking the train, riding in taxis, having a nice meal and enjoying all the cultural experiences one can have living in the shadow of a major city.  (And heading into the city myself when I was in high school to go pick up a script at Dramatist's was pretty cool for a 15 year old.)

What about you?  What do you miss about your younger days?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Last Year vs. This Year

Last year, I took the GRE and expected the mailbox to be filled with glossy brochures from all manner of colleges and universities. After all, that's what happened after I took my PSATs many years ago-I'd come home to mail every day.

With a score almost two standard deviations above the mean, this is what was going to happen, right? (See, I can tell you that info now!). I scored better than 92% on one section of it, even, so it stands to reason that I'd be enticed to at least take a look at these awesome graduate schools.

It didn't quite work that way. My school doesn't require the GRE for my master's program, and many who take it are enrolling at that level must provide that score on their applications. As a result, the mail that I did get was for master's programs at teeny tiny Christian schools that had majors that did not appeal in the least. I assumed times have changed or that my scores sucked (this is before I got to see those means and deviations, mind you.)

However, something strange has happened in the past few weeks-a solid 11 weeks after starting a doctoral program-I'm getting emails from recruiters. These are coming from the top 20 schools in my program-and they know what my intended study field is.

So, it begs the question, did they get the information that I'm enrolled in a Ph.D program and used that to recruit me, or did they wait to see what the norms are on this GRE before seeking out prospective students? All I know is they're talking my language: free tuition and stipends, something that my school sorely lacks, especially after our governor took a heavy hand to my school's budget.

I suspect Thanksgiving break may be spent putting together application packets. After all, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Things That Go Bump in the Night

About once a week, I end up sleeping on the chaise. If the neck feels overly wonky, it's a good way to restrict how much I toss and turn while sleeping. Yesterday was one of those nights.

Sometime in the middle of the night, I needed to visit the bathroom. I came back and somehow tapped the ottoman at the foot of the chaise. The ottoman that GameTeen had put the various electronics he is told to remove from the bedroom when he goes to sleep. The electronics that weren't stacked ergonomically. The PS2 decided to jump of the pile. It landed right on my toe.

It didn't break-but my toe did. I just ooked Ed out by having him feel it!

At least it wasn't my pinky toe or my big toe, those two have been broken a couple of times. This one will be buddy taped to it's neighbor for a week or so and that will be that.

In the future, though, I'm going to make GameTeen put the games on the floor!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Come to the Dark Side

We have pancakes...for dinner.

Sunday, November 11, 2012


I spent the weekend after the Shutterfly party doing nothing.

It's quite a switch to not do much, but at the same time, I'm enjoying it.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

House Party-Shutterfly

I'd been hearing about House Party for a few years now. It's a website that coordinates marketing efforts for companies, via home parties where guests can sample items made with a product (the Soda Stream, for one) or can actually enjoy creating something of their own, which was the kind I was more interested in. I decided to sign up to try to get a House Party for the Shutterfly photo books.

There were a couple of reasons for it, mainly that we could use it as a fun way to get my coworkers together without actually being at work and with the students, as well as possibly getting the crafty ones to make a brag book type portfolio for their small home businesses. Hey, and maybe getting a free Christmas gift out of the way was a good idea, too!

A blogging friend hosted a party for a KY product, and the stories were hilarious. However, that is soooo not happening in the Suzanne world! Remember, I had a hard time posting pictures of underwear!

This morning, a few of my coworkers and I got together and ate some food, watched a few videos, and then set about taking some treasured pictures and making some photobooks! M is in a friend's wedding next month, and she gathered a ton of pictures of the happy couple to create an album to give to them as a wedding gift.

L has a beautiful scrapbook that starts with her tenuous pregnancy and follows through the life of her adorable 7 year old son. She's transferring those scrapbooking pages into the Shutterfly book because it's safer and looks so much nicer. A decided to make a family album as a Christmas gift.

Meanwhile, my boss (and friend) A, uploaded THREE THOUSAND pictures to Shutterfly, and I suspect she'll be making more than the free album someday soon. She had pictures of her girls, of the courtship of her and her husband and plans are in place for an anniversary gift and a Christmas gift out of the hours she spent uploading.

Me, I wasn't quite sure what I was going to do, thinking I wanted to do an album of the various travels Ed and I have taken with the boys, but then I went through Facebook and saw all the family pictures through the years. I decided to go pull out the CD of our older pictures with the first digital point and shoot and do an album of favorite family candids.

I am doing a gift, even though the recipient knows about it. My lovely nail tech, Katie, totally should have a portfolio of all the nail colors and nail art she does. I just have my pictures, I need some from her, so that I can put a nice book together that she can carry with her. At 8'X8', it will definitely fit in her purse!

Doing this House Party was fun, my coworkers enjoyed and have been bitten by the bug. Let's hope this means I get to go to other house parties soon!

Friday, November 09, 2012

Networking Noob

An appeal to those more Tech Savvy

I’m having Internet problems at work, and I’m at a loss on how to fix the issue.

We have inbound DSL service from our local provider that comes into a modem in our telecomm room. The modem is attached to a switch, which has five outputs, three are in use: one to our offices, one to our elementary classroom building, and one to our upper grades building.

The first two are situated within 50 feet of the switch and are fine. The upper grade building has internet delivered via Cat5 cable in an uninsulated PVC conduit about 100 feet to my classroom. It terminates in a wall jack from the exterior wall to the building.

This plug is located in my classroom. I normally have a dual band router connected to it, which provides internet for up to 12 laptops in the classroom. Across the hall, two classrooms also pull some signal.

Obviously, the school is getting signal from our provider if the other two buildings have connectivity. However, the upper building is a problem and we need to resolve the issue.

The steps I’ve taken so far:

To troubleshoot, I plugged a Cat5 cable from the wall jack directly into my Macbook Pro. No luck in getting a signal. I then repeated this with school owned PC laptop, which was also unsuccessful. The third attempt with a different school owned PC laptop worked-but the signal varied, typically I was getting packets of 10mbps.

A fourth computer was hooked up, and it got 100mbps. As it was successful, I moved to checking the router, plugging the cable into the router, and then another Cat5 into the laptop that had successfully pulled up Internet. This was unsuccessful.

I’ve tried this with three different machines, and after each failed attempt, I’ve tried to pull up the Internet directly from the source with Cat5, taking the router out of the loop. Most of the time, there has been no signal.

This indicates to me that we have intermittent bandwidth outages. Am I wrong?

Is there another way to configure a router, for instance, can I configure it in one of our working lines, then move it to this location?

What else should I be looking for to resolve this issue?

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Walking Dictionary

When I was younger, my brother was a horrible speller. So bad, that he'd constantly ask me, five years younger, to spell words for him for his homework, and later, his poetry.

He even would call me long distance to spell words for him when he was writing poems to serenade his girlfriend, now wife. I will assume she took over spelling duties, because he eventually stopped calling long distance for dictionary assistance.

Yesterday, I gave my students a writing assignment. Once again, I got lots of requests to spell words. It was like the old days, the requests piquing my interest into exactly what was going into these papers!

A walking dictionary once again.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Daylight Savings Time

My stats professor is fantastic. He takes the time to explain concepts, tells us that the terminology was purposely designed to confuse (then gives us the simpler description), and gives examples for use to work through during class.

Tonight, though, he didn't give us a break at the usual time, looked up at the clock and launched into a powerpoint about ANOVAs. He went at a breakneck pace, and we didn't get the usual stops to apply the information. We covered 20 slides in 30 minutes, some with complex formulas.

At the end of this runaway train lecture that was atypical, he apologized for running class ten minutes late.

Late? It's 7:10!

Seems he was keeping time with the clock in the back of the classroom, the one that probably never gets changed. So, he thought it was 8:10.

Hey, it was refresher for me, but it was pretty funny...

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Four More Years

I thought this one was going to be worse than 2000, when I went to bed at 3am not knowing who would be president, the words of Tim Russert "It all comes down to Florida" still in my ears.

This election cycle, we heard a lot of people suggesting we ask ourselves if we are better off now than we were four years ago. For me? Heck yes. I lost my house in early 2008, lost my job in August 2008(after spending almost a year underemployed) and spent three years unemployed.

I went back to school. I got a degree. I started a second degree. I got a decent part time job. I finished the second degree, and now I'm working on a doctorate. If not for the things that happened four years ago, I still would be saying "I wish I could go back to school." I did all the things I wanted to, because things for me were horrible four years ago.

Congratulations, Mr. President. My hope is that your next four years can bring more positive change to our nation, especially since it looks like you've got a democratic senate behind you now.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Six Weeks Out

Screws look good. Back spasms apparently are normal.

Laundry is a no-go.

Back in six weeks.

Now, if only I didn't feel like crap from Friday's visit to the laundromat...

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Class Registration Time!

I am an avowed grade junkie, I freely admit that is one thing that definitely has happened since I returned to school twelve semesters ago (eek!). What most people don't know is that I'm a fiend about registering for classes, too.

For each degree, I have a spreadsheet, color coded and organized into requirements and electives. As I made friends in my undergrad program, I shared the 'menu' that we needed to fulfill that bachelor's degree. In my last semester, when I took classes in Tampa, I shared the list with one person in each of those classes-and then others would come up to me and request that I email it as well.

My house is a mess, my school stuff-very, very organized.

I didn't have to share during the master's program, as most people were equally invested in what they needed to take, we just would talk about which professors to take and avoid. Alas, I got the 'don't take classes with Dr. H two weeks AFTER I started that class with her!

Now, I'm starting over. Sixty six credits, or for me, with a 'super cognate', 72 credits to go. It can mean having a ton of flexibility in what I take and when, but I'm of the mind that the difficult classes should be done first. With that rationale, about two weeks ago, I pretty much decided which courses made the most sense. One that I'd really like to take is only offered in the fall, which left that out-and the summer classes are very limited in scope.

Many universities like to put a framework of the courses out at least a semester early, and prefer to have three semesters posted in their LMS, which is what my school does. Which is why I fleshed out a schedule for spring. However, they started to populate these courses with the professors they have contracts with-and realized they were short. What looked like I'd have two classes on campus one day a week and an online class has now switched to two days on campus.

With gas prices the way they are, I'd rather travel one day, so I'm back to the spreadsheet at the last minute to decide what can be swapped out. At least there's still a lot of flexibility for me at this point.

And, at the same time, probably 90% of the other doctoral students aren't concerned at all that registration opens at 2pm tomorrow, they'll start looking for classes when this semester ends in five weeks. Not me, I'd rather know what I'm up against now!,br />

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Soup's On

Chef is just like me, in that there is hardly a soup that he will not eat. His favorite is probably my chicken basil curry, but if there's a pot of homemade soup, the boy will probably eat half of it himself.

Last week, Walt Disney World posted a recipe on their Facebook page, that of the beloved Beer Cheese soup and I had to make it. lt's good and hearty, most definitely a meal when you have it with some hot, crusty bread. So last night, I made a pot of it. Knowing my son, I made a double batch.

It was good, but I think it needs something more. Haven't quite figured out what, but there will be some tweaking to make it our own, maybe a little bit of roasted garlic. Meanwhile, Chef opted for a big bowl of that for dinner tonight, because he commented that he hoped their were lots of leftovers and that it was 'AWESOME.'

I know my kid. The double batch was the right thing to do.

And if you're curious, this is Le Cellier's Beer Cheese soup, courtesy of Walt Disney World's Facebook page:

Friday, November 02, 2012

Not So Fast, There

Ever since our washing machine died, we've done the bi-weekly trek to the local laundromat. Each time I went, it was apparent that my neck troubles were getting worse. Mind you, I was really going AMA, since my neurologist said no lifting over ten pounds. Still, clothes need to be cleaned, so I went.

Two weeks ago was my first time back doing laundry-but Chef did all the lifting. I basically supervised. Today, I thought I'd be fine-he could lift the baskets into the van, I could deal with them there, then he'd bring them into the house after I was done.

Not so much.

The other day, I had a suspicion that my lift restrictions may be permanent, based on how my back reacted to something simple I did. Still, I have an appointment Monday, and usually the six week follow up is the one where a patient is given the all clear to resume normal activities. So, I was optimistic that things were good.

Earlier today, I felt pretty good. Not 100%, but 75 or 80%, which is far better than I could have hoped. Now, after two hours doing laundry, I'm not doing so hot. It's a good thing that I planned on vegging tomorrow, doing some reading and classwork. If I venture very far, it will surprise me.

Wonder how stern the lecture will be on Monday?

Thursday, November 01, 2012