Sep 11, 2014

Throwback Thursday: NYC

Helping the economy.

The next day, I went by 1 WTC as it was still under construction.

There Was an Old Lady...

I'm not saying that I am old mind you. I'm barely approaching middle-aged these days, but my children, they insist on aging me prematurely. In trying to decide how to describe my current home life,  I couldn't decide between "There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly"

or Tom and Jerry.

Why? Because the menagerie now includes a dog, a cat, and two mice. TWO! Because they get depressed and die if there is only one. Or so my daughter informs me. I really don't care as I try to keep each little scream in as she hands tries to get me to pet them. Hmasters and guinea pigs I can deal with. Mice ... are mice. Know what I mean? But at least she isn't allergic to them (yeah, she's allergic to dog and cat dander now too).

I hope no one swallows a fly. I am not buying a bird!

Sep 10, 2014

I am NOT a Mac

... But, in the last 24 hours I have learned way more about maintenance and repair on a Mac than I ever imagined knowing. Because, they are supposed to just work.

Given all of the time invested, maybe I should have taken +Robert Partridge's suggestion and installed Linux, but I'm sure K12 would pitch a fit at that (see friendly banter below).

They recommend Chrome, but not Chromebooks.

I'm so very grateful for the Mac forums and one friend who completely understood what I was seeing and experiencing from some badly articulated grunts, curses and huffs of frustration. Do you have any idea how hard it is to make me inarticulate???

Now I know about Spotlight and that Disk Utility is just as useful as on a PC and a few more keyboard commands that saved my sanity. Mostly. Three hours to repair permissions. Can you believe it? Oh, and the disk had to be repaired too.

I started composing this when I thought I was practically done and only needed to install Google Drive ... I was wrong. Now the WiFi is acting up. As in timing out even though I have not changed anything with my network in at least 6 months.

It is my express goal to get this Mac mini working again, otherwise, my daughter will end up inheriting my laptop, and we can't have that, at least not until I have my Pixel.

Sep 7, 2014

Shakeology Day 1 Refresh

Here goes. I'm starting at 171 lbs. Sigh

At least being pear shaped means I am at less risk for all the diseases that have me wanting to lose weight in the first place.

I used SparkPeople to help me get my measurements, because in all honesty, I have never taken them before and I wanted to make sure I was measuring the right areas.

Result:Estimated Health Risk:Estimated Body Shape:
0.80 or belowLowPear

Since storing excessive fat in the abdominal region (known as the "apple" shape) is correlated with an increased disease risk, this test is one way to measure your risk for lifestyle and weight-related diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease and more. Storing fat in your lower half, known as a "Pear" shape, is actually a healthier site for fat accumulation. The less common "avocado" shape is somewhere between an apple and a pear, with health risks higher than a pear-shaped person, but somewhat lower than a true apple-shaped person. 

Sep 3, 2014

App Review: Videostream for Google Chromecast™

Two nights ago I nearly had a minor mental breakdown/temper tantrum because I just wanted to watch a movie in my room on my Chromecast (instead of passing out on the couch watching the DVR'd version. Redundancy people). But it was in .mkv format and VLC still hasn't released a Chromecast-enabled Android app, and casting the tab from my laptop didn't send the audio either.

For a minute I was baffled. I considered rebooting my Chromecast. Then I decided to use Google. Guess what? It's a well-known issue. I finally stopped looking for a solution, none of which that I felt like implementing since the majority involved some sort of media server like Plex. Making a Plex server is on my to-do list, but not last night. I finally opened Handbrake to convert to mp4 format and then, like the heavens opening up ....

I changed my search parameter one more time and was presented with Videostream for Google Chromecast™ - a Chrome extension that does the conversion for me (and anyone else too lazy or non-technical to do it any other the other ways). Temper tantrum averted (wouldn't have been pretty. I am guessing I was over-tired). The only thing missing was fudge ice cream. There will be much more non-Netflix/Hulu viewing in my room now.

Bonus: There's a remote app available

Sep 2, 2014

Menu Plan Monday: Dietary Restrictions and a Picky Eater

My daughter is a picky eater. In the last three months she has developed intolerances to wheat, dairy, and soy. Just need nuts and seafood to be complete (knock on wood).

Creating menus each week just got more interesting. Luckily, she can eat just about anything from El Pollo Loco, but we have both gotten tired of that in the last month.

Cooking from scratch in 30 minutes or less (most nights)...

Monday: Beef and Broccoli - minus the soy sauce and water, so I guess it was more of a stir fry, but she had multiple servings.
Tuesday: Avocado Strawberry Spinach Salad with Poppyseed Dressing
Wednesday: Beef & Bean Chile Verde - I make mine with Fresh and Easy Salsa Verde

Thursday: Chicken Avocado Salad Wraps
Friday: Primal Jambalaya - minus the cauliflower rice
Saturday: Paleo Avocado Turkey Burgers - reminds me of the burgers at the District Pub (also much cheaper to make at home).

Menu Plan Monday hosted by:

Aug 2, 2014

Blogging Experiment with Mike Elgan

For the next month I will be participating in +Mike Elgan's #BlogsofAugust on G+. You can follow my main profile (blogs plus a lot of everything else) or if you just want the posts, I'll re-share them on my G+ blog page  or you can subscribe to the RSS feed.

I wonder what my #menuplanmonday posts are going to look like now....

Jul 28, 2014

Menu Plan Monday: Brought to You By the Letter 'T'

I must be doing something right. Last week my massage therapist (who sees me every week) said that I was looking slimmer (woot!) and my daughter said I felt skinnier when she hugged me (let's ignore the fact that she's on a growth spurt and that her arms are probably longer).

In reality, I think my rather slow detox from my road trip was finally taking effect. At least the bloat is gone and I am back to my pre-trip weight (only 15lbs to go!). However, getting rid of the carb cravings re-created on that trip are something that I struggle with every day (as I put down the Mrs. Fields triple-chocolate cookie and practice something resembling self-control instead of emo-eating)...

I also have been convenience eating or not eating properly at all since it's just myself and really, why should I just cook for myself? Almost 30 years of cooking for other people, I have a hard time cooking for one. Even if I know I will be eating the leftovers for lunch the next day. This week's goal is all meals prepared in 30 minutes or less. It's kind of my thing.

Monday: Blackened Chicken and Avocado sauce over zoodles (I don't make zoodles, too time consuming, I slice the zucchini, saute, slice up an avocado, and make the blackened chicken. 30 minutes or less!)
Tuesday: B.L.A.S.T.

What are some of your favorite summer time dinner recipes?

Jul 27, 2014

LOTRO Frustration

Holy mother of Baby Cheesus! 

Three hours or so getting through just my intro quests but that was partly due to my lousy sense of direction (the map wasn't that much of a help to someone severely directionally  challenged in an imaginary world) and I wasted about 30 minutes on training because the attack I needed did not pre-populaute and I am so very very very very thankful for the wikis, forums, and walk-throughs that players have been kind enough to post online for total newbs. I think I might have rage quit without them. There is absolutely nothing intuitive about this game. Text-based MUDs were easier. On the other hand, I might have stayed up all night trying to figure it out. Either way, I'm already a Level 4 before I've made it out of my intro quests and I like to shoot things. I'm good at shooting things.
So very very very lost....How do I get back to Edhelion?
Later that night....

Leave it to me to pick the hardest character intro. 5 quests!!!! What the Fruit LOTRO!  I like to do my research a bit beforehand so I can plan. Someone said it would only take 20 minutes to get through all of the quests. I suppose that means if you have been playing the game for years and are aware of all of the changes that don't necessarily match the wikis and walk-throughs and know what to expect. 4 hours in ... I am stopping at the beginning of the 5th part because my back and eyes can't take anymore. This is ridiculous. Sheer stubbornness is keeping me going. I totally missed submitting my Week 2 Distinction Track assignment because I can't even get out of the damn intro to join a kinship (but I did pass my quiz, at least I got the lectures and readings done). I did manage to make Level 5.

Where are the effing bats?!?!!!!
I finally found the bats after I took a break and found where I was supposed to start climbing. All the same ... I'll try again another day (tomorrow). I am not going to let this game beat me.

So, do any of you, my faithful readers play MMORPGs, and if so, which ones? (not WoW, my son tried to drag me into that one, after one night of play I gave up).

Jul 16, 2014


Only one pint worth. But this is what I feel like.
Photo courtesy of  TalkTrueBlood
I haven't given blood since I worked as an admin for the UCSD Medical Center. Between some health issues, piercings, a tat, and the erroneous assumption that I shouldn't give blood, I just kept putting it off. That, and the fully rational fear of ending up like a pin-cushion after the various times that I have had to get blood-work done.

The American Red Cross FAQ says that the appointment should only take about an hour, but yours truly was a slow drainer who at one point had 3 technicians hovering over her, trying to figure out why my bag was taking close to 30 minutes to fill. My appointment took a total of 1.5 hours. I have never been asked if I felt OK so many times in my life. It was appreciated.
The problem
  1. My veins roll, a lot. I let them know this before I got to the table and when the technician got it in the first time, we both breathed a sigh of relief. I did NOT want to go through having both arms punched up 3-4 times before they got a fit. 
  2. The pressure cuff lost pressure. 
The fix: Shove the needle in deeper and readjust the cuff...

Luckily, it only pinched a little. So either my pain tolerance has gone up, or the technician really knew what she was doing. I'm going to go with positive intent and say it was the latter. After that, my bag filled in about 2 minutes. Makes me wonder how deep the needle went.

They were all super courteous and when the bruising started (a little early this time actually), they were worried. I assured them that it happens every time ... and I'm not anemic (they give you a test for it in the pre-screening anyway). One laughed a worried laugh when I said I bruise every time... am I missing something?

I think I will do it again.

Cheesy self-promotion