Archive for the 'nerd stuff' Category

media jam tray 1

Seriously printer? A phantom media jam… again? You really are irritating me these days. Your status alternates between that and “Incorrect Black Cartridge” (a constant reminder than we opted for the cheapy, off brand version instead of the name brand that cost thrice as much). I would throw you out you if I didn’t have other reasons to love you.

We have a konica minolta magicolor DL. It’s a laser printer and a solid beast. It was $350 from costco six years ago, and has seen a full gamut of work thrown it’s way. Everything from wedding invitations to 10K reports. It’s a workhorse. It’s also finicky and high maintenance. It’s very particular about the type of paper it likes and will behave like a spoiled four year old if it doesn’t get it’s way. Puttering out, giving a sigh and flashing “media jam tray 1” until you coax it back to life. It doesn’t like too much paper in the tray (forget about filling it up to the “max” line). It also doesn’t like too little. Err on either side, you’ll find out soon enough. It doesn’t like labels – you have to manually feed them in one sheet at a time, giving a little shove when you feel the rollers grip the edge of the page ever so slightly. Don’t push too much, though, or the machine will protest. Same goes for photo paper, card stock or any other non standard type of paper.

The reviews online actually rank our printer one of the best for the money. We’d have to move up to the $1,000 range to find comparable features in a replacement. So, I really shouldn’t complain too much.

Here’s the “love” part of this machine. It’s reliable. Although it has it’s quirks, and requires a lot of hand holding and babysitting to get through the most basic of tasks, it works. There are days it works flawlessly. You feed it the right kind of paper, just the right amount, and send the right documents over? It’s perfection. My favorite part, though, is something I stewed over with ink jet printers for years. There’s no ink to dry up. In six years, we’ve replaced our black cartridge twice, and our color cartridges ONCE. We’ve saved hundreds in not throwing out dried up ink cartridges that meet their demise early. That part? I love. It negates almost all of the cons. It allows me to forgive my printer for it’s neediness and bad attitude.

The final con, though, is one that can’t be offset. I’m constantly underwhelmed by the quality of photos from our printer. I realize laser printers are just not built for this kind of job, so I can’t fault our specific printer. It just comes with the territory – the pictures that print out are probably going to suck a little. What I don’t get is why the laser printer companies profess how wonderful the pictures come out? When we bought this printer, the demo photo was a guy on a snowboard, thrashing down the side of a mountain, snow spraying the trees in the foreground, beautiful blue skies in the background. Why did you let me think this printer could be anything more than it is? That it could function as a substitute for printing family photos? That it would address all of my printing needs?

It’s a good thing it’s so cheap to print photos at costco… and they do a fantastic job, at that. Otherwise, printer, we might have to find you a little brother or sister to handle those photo printing jobs.


the streak

I know it didn’t go unnoticed that I broke my recent blogging streak over the weekend. I’m sure some of you were oblivious to it, but others, those frequent (or formerly frequent) bloggers out there, probably took note. Just over a solid month of daily blogs, and then I slip up and miss a day. At least I already gave myself an out, right? Pssshaw… I know, even I find that reasoning weak.

This was, in fact, not due to lack of subject matter or creative juices. Or a matter of simply being too busy. I had a post lined up and ready for Saturday afternoon, just waiting to go live. Or so I thought. As it turns out, my post was still marked draft, even though it was slotted to publish at 11:59 a.m. on Saturday. Yes, it wasn’t until Sunday evening that I noticed the missing post. Frustrated to see it hadn’t made it’s way to the blog, I checked the post in and noticed the status error. Sigh.

I know it doesn’t really matter. It’s not as if there’s some blogging God out there, tallying up the good posts versus bad, blogging attendance and the like. It was just a personal goal to keep daily posts going as long as possible, and I certainly wasn’t lacking in material. Oh well, like I said, it doesn’t really matter. I’m probably the only one keeping track anyway.

The streak already broken, I felt it would be cheating of sorts to backdate the entry that was supposed to go live. I’ll slate it in the queue again soon enough. I guess it just wasn’t ready to grow up and become a real live post yet.

Hello internet.

Hello Internet.

I’m writing to you tonight from my new iPhone. The decision to move to the iPhone was a labored one for me. It wasn’t so much the initial purchase that made me weak kneed as it was the long term service contract that comes with the phone. Being tethered to my phone company for another two years pains me a bit. It’s not that I’ve had any bad experiences or even considering a change, but the commitment that comes with the phone gives me a bit of anxiety.

Aside from the statements above, I absolutely LOVE my new phone – and all the cool features that comes with it (including the unlimited data package). On demand email, web browsing, chatting and the awesome text message interface are just a few of the gems I’ve fallen in love with. And,of course, you can’t forget about the wordpress app. On demand blogging is pretty freakin rad. Unfortunately, this doesn’t guarantee an increase in my blogging frequency, but it couldn’t hurt, right?

To all of you out there in the world tonight, I wish you all the best and hope you are doing just peachy!

It’s not you, it’s me.

Netflix, you’ve been oh so good to me. Sending me movies at lightning speed without me having to lift a finger. You were good to me. The movies almost always worked… and I so enjoyed sharing my life and movie preferences with you.

But I was fickle. I didn’t appreciate your stability and consistency. I let the movies you sent sit unopened for weeks. I didn’t appreciate you, and blamed you for eating up my monthly fee while the same 3 movies sat on my entryway table.

Several years ago, when this all started, I quickly made my way through the list of new releases and movies I’d wanted to see for ages. I even started receiving tv series dvds that I’d wanted to see. You faithfully delivered horror films in time for Halloween, never dissapointing.

But lately our relationship has become full of pressure and expectations – I feel like I’m wasting money by not watching the indie films and cheesy chick flicks you send (even though I picked them out). When I lived by myself, I was more faithful about watching and returning regularly. Now that someone else’s movie tastes are the in the house, it becomes more and more difficult to find the obscure titles we both want to watch.

There’s no use pleading… I’ve found someone else. I’ve moved on. His name? Redbox. He can give me what I need. For $1 a day, I can rent any of the new releases I desire – instantly. He has a location right down the street from me, and I can reserve movies through the online system to ensure the title I want is waiting for me. Given the infrequency of my movie watching these days, the 4-5 times a month that I watch a movie will cost significantly less than my $18/month subscription fee I pay with you now.

You’ve been good to me, but it’s over. It’s over. I’m sorry. Don’t hate me.

the internet kills my questions…

Everytime I think I have a great question to post and ponder, I google it and find that it’s already been asked, already been answered. In this case, i was wondering what the impact of tivo is on tv ratings… for example, if we record a show on a chance that we *might* like it, is that being represented as an active viewer? The answer – a resounding no. Ratings are based on Nielsen polls, using a technique called statistical sampling to rate the shows. So what I watch or fail to watch makes no difference on the bigger picture (unless i sign up for the Nielsen poll or get randomly selected for statistical input).

Sigh… this makes me want to blog even less.

a good camera case gone bad…

I had a scary experience yesterday… searching for my ipod in my bag, I noticed that it was resting next to my camera case. Well, not so much resting as it was stuck to my camera case. It’s a very stylish little square case with houndstooth fabric and a magnetic front flap. This is how the case stays shut. It fits my camera perfectly and I have loved it dearly… until this moment. As I detached my ipod from the deathly magnetic grip of the camera case, my heart sunk. Is this the end of my ipod? Trying not to panic, I pushed the button to turn it on. I had housed these two components in my bag for the past year and never had an issue. But this time, I wasn’t so lucky. The ipod was non responsive. I held down the middle button, hopeful that some spark of life would occur. Still nothing. In one last effort, I hit the button combo to reset the ipod… and behold, life! So this was a good thing, my ipod was still functional. Unfortunately, the message that came up was not as good. It was a prompt to plug the ipod into my computer and reformat it. I’d lost everything.

I immediately took my camera from it’s case, placed it in an intermediary case, and tossed the oh so stylish houndstooth one that had wiped my ipod clean. Looks like I’ll be devoting some time into putting my playlists back together and syncing up to my computer. Oh yes, I’ll also be needing a new camera case.

8/18/07 Update: Magnet + IPOD = Bad things.

My ipod is officially dead. I thought it had just lost it’s contents, but in reality, the magnet fried the hard drive and the poor little thing can’t stand to wake up again. To make matters worse, none of my music was backed up on my computer. Ben & I just upgraded my computer, including reformatting the hard drive. I’d backed all of my music up on my ipod. When the above event occurred, I was certain that my music had been placed safely onto my newly upgraded machine, but alas, it appears that transfer never happened (I thought Ben did it, he thought I did it – and we never corroborated stories). It’s a sad thing, but luckily I still have most of my cds… I’ll just have to dust off the covers and pick out a select few to join me in the car.

One good thing out of all of this – Ben found a few places online that will upgrade your ipod hard drive for a pretty decent price – i.e., 100 gig hard drive for $250. This is all assuming that there aren’t other things in the unit that are broken, but it’s still a better option than keeping a pricey paper weight around.

Hanging up the html hat

I swear, somewhere in this mess of a blog is an option to post from an email. However, I am not able to find it right now. Guess I’ll be posting this later tonight…

This past weekend was a late spring cleaning for us. We got a lot accomplished, and I was mighty proud of our results at the end of the weekend (I helped in between my hours of studying – the housework was actually a welcome break!). Ben dropped off our every accumulating pile of Goodwill donations, recycled a few archaic computer monitors at the Intel recycle day and I cleaned the bathrooms while he was gone. Later, we cleaned the kitchen, tidied up the guest room & office, moved some things around in the garage to give Ben’s truck a parking spot… and even did some work in the backyard. While Ben worked on digging a spot for a new patio, I cleaned up the flower bed and pulled some weeds. There’s still a lot to do, but it’s really nice to see progress.

As mentioned previously, after determining that my website had become no more than a infrequently updated blog/photo gallery, I decided it was time to put away my html’ing hat and move into the world of pre-designed, pre-assembled blog/photo sites. While it isn’t as fabulous as maintaining my own blog & gallery, it’s also much less of a pain in the butt. Besides, offers all of the functionality I need (and used) on my old wordpress blog, plus I don’t have to worry about uploading php files or granting read/write access to the correct folders. I feel like I’ve spent a lot of time justifying my move over to the “pre-“everything world – but in reality, I’m really happy with my decision. I’m also loving the fact that allows a redirect for domains, and should stay up and running!

In part with my website move, I’ve also been cleaning up my online photos… I’ve posted photos to numerous photo sites throughout the years, and never really found one I was all that fond of or sincerely devoted to. I’d tried to maintain my Yahoo! photo account, which I liked the best of all my options, but it was slow to upload, and the albums had a limit of 300 pics. That is, until recently… Yahoo! photo users are now being forced to migrate all of their photos over to a new photo account – the best option being Flickr, which offers 3 months of “Pro” service for free – meaning, no limits on uploads, no album limits, (nearly) no size limits. Flickr also allows for archiving and storage of full sized versions of photos – and maintaining the Pro service after the 3 months is up is only $25 a year. Considering we have 5 gigs of photos from our wedding alone, this is a pretty good deal for us! Ben & I have been considering ways to backup and store our photos – concerned that if our computers were ever stolen, flooded or fired, we’d lose our photos forever. We have backup DVDs that we keep in a fireproof box, but it’s still not failsafe; Flickr offers an excellent option for an offsite secondary backup (not to sell Ben’s Photo Gallery short – but no upload bandwith limit is key when uploading 4 mb pictures!). Now if only I could figure out how to post video to Flickr…

Right now I’m uploading pictures from our recent trip to Oregon over the 4th of July week. Lots of beautiful scenery and fun events during the week…

I’m off to bed – the gym awaits far too early in the morning.

Moving day for

Welcome to the new home of – all of my blogs have been moved over and I’m slowly unpacking into the new space. Soon I’ll start finding some decore that really fits me and it will feel like home again.

Thanks for stopping by!

The Age of Technology

I have certain gripes about my desktop computer. Although it is lightning fast (thanks to an awesome processor and an ample amount of ram), the peripheral devices connected to and surrounding my computer are less than par. Please allow me to explain;

1. Chair: My armless computer chair (yes, it’s still armless) is becoming less and less comfy each day. It appears that the once plush padding that cushioned my behind while spending days/nights on my computer

2. Keyboard: The buttons are incredibly noisy compared to my laptop/work computer/ben’s computer/a train. The caps lock sticks, and the wires are a constant pain. Hence, my request for a wireless keyboard & mouse on my froogle wish list.

3. The plastic wheel your chair around more easily / carpet protector under my chair: Not wanting to splurge on the more expensive plastic do-hickey, I went for the standard height protector, thinking it would work the same. Due to ultra plush carpeting, the chair sinks the plastic into the ground whenever weight is applied, creating little plastic ruts that are nearly impossible to roll out of. I feel like I’m attempting to free myself from a sandtrap every time I want to roll around.

4. Monitor: The once sufficient 15″ tube monitor, is now just become an annoyance. My resolution is either so high that I need binoculars to see the data on my screen, or so low that I feel like I’m using a geriatric version of my machine. Most website resolutions aren’t designed for either, and I end up changing the standard font size with every new page I visit to accommodate for my sucky screen.

5. USB Ports: My usb ports are not 2.0, and the “If you switch this to a 2.0 USB port, you’ll receive much better performance” message comes on damn near every time I plug in a new device.

6. Printer: I’ve been out of cartridge ink for color for months. My own fault, but still a gripe.

7. Misc complaints: Some of my other complaints include the bare walls that surround my computer (due to my admitted laziness), poor lighting, and a fan that rattles scarily.

Testing out new software…

Ben sent me a link to Microsoft’s Windows Live Writer… I just downloaded it and here’s my test post!

It works with WordPress, so far it’s looking pretty su-weet!!!!

This may even encourage me to update a bit more often!! (after the CPA exam, of course!)

Mom to "C", wife to Ben. I'm a part-time blogger, cook, organizer, seamstress, house cleaner, taxi, nurse (the mom kind), accountant... I could go on, but really... it's all in the blog. Read away!

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