Archive for December, 2011

25 Days of Thanks-Day 20

December 21, 2011

MacBook is toast. Bad battery and charging cable.

But I will post these on these two topics soon!

Day 19- Amazon Kindle
Day 20- Handshakes

Thanks for reading:-)


25 Days of Thanks- Day 19

December 20, 2011

Le MacBook… Le Dead

And right in the middle of the post too. Can’t find the saved draft but I’ll post it tomorrow. Sorry:-(

25 Days of Thanks- Day 18

December 19, 2011


Counselor, disciplinarian, advice giver, food provider (meal plans:-)), programmer (non-computer related, fun stuff), financier, organizer, large calendar writer (those who’ve been in my office know what I’m talking about, (there’s probably a few more…)… bargain hunter?

Budgets are tight these days, especially for college students (trying hard not to go down the path of a college loan debt discussion).  And with the holidays in full swing, I can add one more notch to my residence life belt.  Bargain hunter!

Conversations tend to go in the gift giving direction lately when talking with students and some are looking for big ticket items that the whole family can go in on.  I hate hearing people spend more money than they should on technology so when the topic comes up, I usually say, “Well hey, I might be able to help you get that price down!”  Then we usually sit down at my computer and head to sites like to see what we can find.  Sometimes it works, sometimes we just missed it but hopefully it helps a little bit at making the most from your dollar.

Some other sites I use are and  Hope it can help with your holiday shopping!

Thanks for reading…


25 Days of Thanks- Day 17

December 18, 2011

Thankful-Piggy Banks

Quick one tonight:-)

I learned early, after ruining a few loads of laundry in high school, to come home, backpack off, jacket, take everything out of pockets.  Pens and the washing machine do not go well together.

Sometimes it ends up on the kitchen table, other times on the dresser but what always happens is that the change goes in the piggy bank.

I have no idea why it’s called a piggy bank.  Mine is actually a miniature sized industrial water container that my Dad gave to me in high school.  Maybe it’s because the last piggy bank we had suffered a drive by Humpty Dumpty moment.  Amazing what a gentle nudge can do.

Thanks for reading:-)

25 Days of Thanks- Day 16

December 17, 2011

Thankful- Video Communication Software

My parents actually asked for this to be the thing I’m thankful for tonight because it’s true.  I am thankful for video communication software.

I’m a techie.  I have no problem admitting it.  And I love helping others with it too.  I don’t know everything but I like helping people along the way because most of the time I learn something new too.

But my parents, no.  It’s “Dad, I’m taking control of the computer” or “Turn on facetime and point the camera at the TV.”

Maybe it’s that I just want to give them a quick fix?  Or I know they could be doing better things?  Or they did a lot for me so I want to just do it all for them?

Yep.  It’s got to be one of those.  Because I do it with such patience and understanding and sweetness.  Oh, it never gets loud.  Nooooo.  Never gets testy.  I am calm, civilized, and DEAR GOD!  IT’S THE BUTTON RIGHT THERE.  IT’S RIGHT THERE!!!  IT SAYS (whatever word I’m trying to point out)!!!  LOOK FOR (sunshine and rainbows and unicorns) AND GO RIGHT BELOW IT!!!

It didn’t get like this tonight and, honestly, this is rare but it has happened.  I accept responsibility for it.  I look at the back of a TV, with its million input jacks and know what I’m looking at.  Others look at it and see something akin to a kaleidoscope.

I’m thankful for my parents everyday and realize helping them with this tech stuff is only a sliver of what can be done to start giving back.  Video communication software has made it that much easier and, although they may not realize it, I thankful I can give back in this small sort of way.

Thanks for reading:-)



25 Days of Thanks- Day 15

December 15, 2011

Thankful- Chopped

Red Currant Jam

Merguez Sausage


I love this show.  I don’t necessarily DVR it but when I do flip on the TV it’s usually ESPN first, Cooking Channel or Food Network second.

I am a recipe follower.  I don’t know what it is, maybe that I don’t have the funds to keep a fully stocked kitchen, but I try to have an idea of what I’m making and buy just enough to make that dish.

But these people are nuts.  I consider myself good at trivia.  Pop Culture, Technology, Movies, TV, General Trivia, I can hold my own.  And I even thought I would be good at food/kitchen topics.  However, after watching this show, I know zip.  These chefs are all, “You know I’ve seen it before.  I know it’s got a savory smooth crunch.  But the jam balances the salty caramelized bitterness of the basket.”


I pick out at least 4 different contradictions in that statement but the other folks are just nodding their head like, “Oh yea.  So spot on.”  And I don’t even know which ingredient they’re referring to?  Is it the jam?  The sausage plus the jam?  What the hell is a currant?

I can’t wait to have a family to cook for.  They’re will probably be nights like this where I’m all, “Ok, got flour, frosted flakes, and asparagus.  30 minutes!  Go!”.  I hope they’re ready:-)

25 Days of Thanks- Day 14

December 14, 2011

Thankful- Ducktails

Growing up in the 80s and 90s, Ducktails was where it’s at.  Money, adventure, robots, a crazy sidekick, science, sports.  It was a little kids dream all rolled into one.  We raced home from school to turn on the kitchen tv, grab a snack, and watch the Disney animation block that included the awesome Ducktails.  I could go on and on, but, wow, Ducktails was fantastic.  Animation on tv now-a-days doesn’t have anything on what we grew up with.

What really got me thinking about Ducktails was a story I heard on NPR today.  You can read it here.  The gist of the story is that the federal government has stopped production of the presidential themed dollar coin.  In addition, there are 1.4 billion coins sitting in a safe somewhere in the U.S.  1.4 billion coins.  Billion.  Hmmmm…  You thinking what I’m thinking?

Thanks for reading…

25 Days of Thanks- Day 13

December 14, 2011

Thankful- The Library

Quincy has a good many things.  Restaurants.  Parks.  Best Buy.

But the one thing is doesn’t have is a good bookstore.

Previous places I lived all had a bookstore in town.  Usually pretty close to where I lived.  Easy access for me that if I was interested in a book, I could run over, check out the price, and see if it’s worth the buy.  While walking through the store, I could also check out another little book that might suit my interest as well.  And $50 later, mission accomplished.

Never really looked into the library.  There was usually one on the campus I worked at but I didn’t know if their concern was to keep up on educational literature rather than pop-culture.  Plus, I’d be fighting with all the other college students.  And they wouldn’t want that.  I get ugly when fighting.  A library is supposed to be quiet.

Anyway, I digress.  With a bookstore, I could go in and get a copy all for me.

Walmart.  That’s the book feeder in Quincy.  Walmart.  Which usually is fine.  They have a decent grouping.  But not the same feel.

I took a chance and headed downtown one day to the Quincy Public Library.  Very quickly and easily, signed up for a card and started to look around.  Soon I was drawn back to grade school trying to tap into that file that held any information about the Dewey Decimal System.  Almost knocked over a computer while there and thought, “This could be a sign?”  Taking a moment to hold up a hand in a “AND HE’S OK!” fashion, I nonchalantly walked past it and then came back a few minutes later.  Started looking up a few books and lo and behold they were in!  I checked them out and walked out the door.  No cash exchanged?  No buyers remorse?  No… something must be wrong here.  They just let me walk to my car?

And so I did.  Read em.  Returned em.  And onto the next ones.

Definitely didn’t give the local library the respect it deserved and will do so in the future.  Future thing to be thankful for- Their online offerings where I don’t even need to leave my house!

Thanks for reading…

UPDATE 12/18/11- I stand corrected!  One of my FYE students pointed out that there’s a bookstore in the Quincy Mall.  I checked it out and it’s not bad!  Thanks Casey!

25 Days of Thanks- Day 12

December 13, 2011

Thankful- Rock Band

It’s the closest I’ll get to jammin’ out with Journey or rocking out with AC/DC.  I play the drums and that helps sometimes but when you can throw in points and competing against friends, I sometimes turn to the video game goodness that is Rock Band.

Sure it’s good for parties or having people over.  But some days, like today, I am thankful for the fake guitar solos and crazy riffs that, for a brief second, turn me into a rock icon.

Short one today folks.  Long day.

Thanks for reading:-)

25 Days of Thanks- Day 11

December 12, 2011

Thankful- Dropbox

Computer in office.  Laptop at home. IPhone on the go.  Files here.  Files there. Files everywhere!

I tried a jumpdrive but it was one more thing in my pocket.  Disks are a thing of the past.  CDs take hours to burn.  And e-mailing a file just means that it’s taking up more of my precious storage space on the server.

A few years ago I learned of a free service called Dropbox that helps keep files synced across various platforms and locations.  It even integrates into the filing system of the computer so that I don’t need some special program or command to make it run correctly.

It’s been a savior!  Maybe I’m headed to class and, so I don’t have to lug one more thing with me, I just upload my agenda and activity right up there.  Need a file from home that I was working on a work.  All I need to do is save it to Dropbox and, bam!  It’s easy to reach in that folder.

Their IPhone app also works nicely because I can upload the residence hall roster to it and have on the go access to where students are living on campus.

Now if it would only remind me put to the darn file into Dropbox in the first place…

Thanks for reading:-)