30 November 2006

Stupid computers

Sometimes I really despise computers. Don't get me wrong, most of the times I think they are one of the greatest inventions but it seems the times they act up negates all the benefits it normally has.

Yesterday my mom was over and found out we had a song on iTunes that she had been looking for. So I got out the blank CDs and she picked a few more songs from that artist she wanted and I clicked the "Burn disk" button.

"Please enter a blank CD." Umm, yeah did that already. So after a number of times--Rachel got some fun toys to play with--restarting iTunes and the computer, it still didn't work. So we gave up. I just thought the computer was having a bad afternoon or something and would be back to normal later that evening.

No dice. I tried to burn a CD again and no luck. I just uploaded a CD on this computer last week so I know it was working recently. So on the phone to HP I went. Let me tell you this computer is just about a year and a half old so it hasn't had much wear. So back to the phone call...After being hung up on once and getting stuck in the phone tree, I finally made it to a person. I told him my issue and the guy says my warranty is expired. I already knew that but was hoping for some help anyway. He tells me he can help me for $45 for two weeks or $99 for another year warranty. Yeah, no thanks. Then I remember something the operator said before I was connected. I can chat on-line or email my problem. So I ask him if those cost. No. Umm, okay I'll choose to not pay. Thanks anyway I tell him and hang up.

So after successfully loading their chat program and waiting for someone to respond, I decided to open another internet window. Bad choice. The chat window closed out. So I did it again and started a conversation with Rico V. (sweet name) He was helping me trouble shoot the problem but nothing was working. One particular point in the conversation he was taking a seemingly long time to give me more instructions so I decided to check my email. Bad choice #2. Apparently HP has a monopoly on the active window. If you can't wait for our reps to get back to you, them we will terminate your chat session.

Ahh!! 30 minutes of chat details down the drain! Luckily they have a record of your sessions so the next girl could pick up where I left off with Rico V.

So after 5 minutes of me staring at the green bars load over and over as it refreshes at the bottom of the window while she gets up to speed, she finally gives me some instructions. Delete the driver, restart the computer and follow some more steps.

Well nothing worked. Something I'm supposed to download is not working properly. Plus I have to burn the disc, but hello, that is why I'm calling! My drive doesn't work! I tried to fix it for an hour last night and still no luck.

So today I got back on the chat program for some more help. This guy took like 20 minutes to get up to speed on the chat transcripts from last night. I was afraid to open any windows for fear I would lose him that I just sat at the computer staring at the chat window waiting for him to respond. Eventually we got the program burned on to a CD on our laptop but the desktop couldn't read the CD.

His conclusion after another hour: buy a new drive. After almost 2 hours of troubleshooting and that's all I get?? Um, I'm sorry ma'am, but your drive is malfunctioning. Have a nice day!

Thank you very much...It's a good thing they are only $30 bucks.

28 November 2006

Help! I oversalted my beans!

I really did and I need to know how to counteract the saltiness! It all started last week. I have bags and bags of pinto and black beans in my pantry. Last week I decided to be frugal and instead of buying beans for our bi-weekly mexican food night I thought I'd make them myself. So Monday night I stuck the beans in a pot with the required amount of water and let them soak overnight. The next morning--not as early as I should have--I turned on the heat and cooked them.

I was watching another little girl at the time and probably had the heat up a little too high, because about 45 minutes into cooking time, I smelled burning. Oh crap! I ran into the kitchen and grabbed the pot off the stove. The smell was horrible! When I dumped out the beans there was a 1/4 inch thickness of burnt blackness at the bottom of my pot. I thought my good pan was ruined forever! Luckily after much scrubbing and boiling vinegar in the pot--really--all the black spots came off.

I wasn't sure I wanted to make beans again, but last night I decided to do it again. This time I actually didn't burn the beans and they actually cooked pretty well. Then it came time for seasoning. I added some salt, some chili powder, garlic and cumin. Then I tasted it and it just needed more salt. So I put more in. Then it was TOO salty! Now I'm not one to know how to cook without a recipe. If you give me a recipe with measurements I can pretty much pull off whatever I'm trying to cook. But if you tell me to cook by taste, anything could happen, as we saw today.

Tonight I decided I would just eat the beans anyway. I made a couple burritos with guacamole, sour cream, cheese, lettuce and the salty beans. I made it through the first one before I could not take any more and scraped the beans off the second one. Luckily Spencer wasn't home to taste the horridness of the beans.

Anyone know how I can counteract the saltiness of the beans so they are edible? I don't want to throw another bag of beans down the sink. Or maybe I should just give up on bean cooking and leave that to Rosarita.

18 November 2006

Pure Inspiration

Rachel will be two years old in two weeks. Whoa, two weeks already?? That just blows my mind. Anyway so we've been dealing with a lot of the things that come with being two: she doesn't want to get dressed, then she doesn't want to get undressed, she doesn't want to eat certain things, she only wants to watch videos, she doesn't listen, and the list goes on and on.

In the past when she doesn't listen I've threatened her with her getting put in her crib for a time out. Inevitable this includes screaming and crying on her part and frustration on my part. Plus I get mad at myself because I can't find a way to clear up the conflict between us calmly.

Well the other day something just came to me like pure inspiration. Rachel wasn't listening for the umpteenth time that day and instead of getting mad and throwing her in her crib, I told her that she had to sit on the couch and she couldn't get off. No one was crying or angry, and the miracle of all, she actually sat there. I had to tell her firmly she couldn't get off and she didn't.

I told her she could get off when she was ready to do whatever I had asked her to do and eventually after she thought about it for a minute, decided to subdue. We both won! And one other super awesome thing about this is it has continued to work! This morning she wouldn't get dressed and she was watching The Incredibles. So first I turned the movie off, then took away her blankets and told her she had to stay on the couch. Eventually the time spent without her "yellow" and "pink" was too painful and she got dressed without any struggle.

I claim no intelligence on my part because lately I've just been praying so hard to be able to find some way to deal with her so I don't spend my whole day frustrated and she doesn't spend it all in her crib. I also don't expect this to last very long, but I'm taking full advantage of it while I can.

The Power of the Haka

Yesterday in the Wall Stree Journal there was an article about a high school football team in Texas that has incorporated the Haka into their pre and post game routine. Reading this brought me back to when I went to BYU-Hawaii in 2000.

It was a Friday night and the Basketball team was playing our rival University of Hawaii. The game was close and this was a pivotal game in the season. During half time we had our normal "dancing girls"-as my friend Bubba used to call them-do their routine. It didn't take the whole half-time though so there was some time left over. We were all talking amongst ourselves waiting for the team to come back on the court when a loud scream grabbed our attention.

I looked down on the court and there were about 15 guys all lined up facing the opposing teams seating area. With fire in their eyes and their tongues sticking way out they chanted loud and intimidating words at the UH fans. Then they started crouching really low and slapping their thighs and their chests all the while taking steps toward the UH fans.

What I was watching was completely new to me considering I'm from a small sheltered town in San Diego and didn't have much exposure to Polynesians growing up. I instantly felt the power that the Haka can bring to a group. All the BYU-H students were immediately on their feet cheering these Kiwi's on in their cultural war dance. There was no doubt that these guys were serious and the second half of the game was going to be nothing but business.

I have never seen anything like the Haka incite such excitement in fans and teams like this does and such fear and intimidation in the opposing team as well.

If you are ever going to battle or playing a super important game, I suggest you and your teammates learn the Haka and see what power it has on the fans and the other team.

If you have never seen the Haka done before check out this video.

12 November 2006

Blogiversary

I just realized today is my one year Blogiversary! Happy Birthday I Love Flip Flops!

A Fitting Tribute

I didn't write anything yesterday about Veteran's Day because I can never seem to put my feelings about the sacrifices that people have made for my freedom into words. I just have so much gratitude in my heart for all those that serve our country. This morning on Music and the Spoken Word they had a beautiful program that summed up my feeling exactly. It brought me to tears.

I can't link to the actual program but go to BYU TV and click on the 9:30 Music and the Spoken Word.

Thank you Veterans from the bottom of my heart.

09 November 2006

Greetings from India

For the last couple months I have been doing work for Geoff my brother-in-law. I have the opportunity to communicate with hotels all around the world on a daily basis. One of wich called me at 5am this morning. Luckily I fell back asleep after praying that I would (since we are going to the Temple tonight and I hate falling asleep there!), but poor Thouroughly Mormon Millie wasn't as fortunate.

Anyway it's been fun getting to know the different styles of email etiquette in each country. I got the most awesome email from a hotel in India the other day and I wanted to share a part of it. After many other fun phrases interspersed in the email, this is how he closed it:

Looking forward to an ageless business relationship with your reputed reservation portal.

I love the way they phrase things and use words in India. Wouldn't it be so cool if we all spoke like this?

08 November 2006

If Only...

If only I had three arms...two two clean the bathtub and one to scratch that annoying nostril itch that comes because my bangs are too short to be in the ponytail and they tickle my nose and you can't get by wiggling your nose or scratching it with your shoulder.

07 November 2006

You can't always get what you want

Life is interesting. As soon as I think I've got my life figured out I get thrown a curve ball. I can't say that things are bad right now, just a little frustrating. Also I hesitate to complain because life really has been happy for me for a long time. Rachel is turning two next month and so a few months ago Spencer and I decided it was time to try to start making another baby.

For a year I've been having some problems, but I thought they were finally under control. Apparently not. Because of this it looks like the baby making is not going to happen for an indeterminate amount of time. Today I just about had enough of my disfunctioning body and asked Spencer to give me a blessing. Beforehand I prayed though. I felt like I needed extra help for what was going to be said. I knew what he was going to say. I knew he was going to say eventually I will be healed, but not right now--and he did. The blessing did give me some comfort because I know that Heavenly Father is aware of my situation, but for some reason it doesn't make it easier for me right now.

It's not that I want a baby super bad. I want our family to grow, but that's not what frustrates me so much. I just want my body to work right. I want it to do what it is supposed to do when it it supposed to do it. I know that Heavenly Father is ultimately in charge and the words that I will eventually be healed give me peace. I just wish it was on my time schedule.