Repair Your Laptop in Six Easy Steps

My head was swirling with brilliant ideas last night. I couldn’t wait to get up and hit the ground running because that’s what hardworking go-getters like myself do. Too bad the universe was conspiring against me.

When you work online having a reliable internet connection is kind of important. It’s hard to execute my piles of brilliant ideas without it. Much like it would be difficult for a highly skilled professional grilled cheese sandwich maker to make a sandwich with no cheese, bread, or grill. I think you’ve got the picture now.

I got up this morning, pretended to do some yoga, made my breakfast, and happily sat down at the computer to get to work. Much to my dismay once my three-thousand-year-old laptop finally booted up it said it couldn’t find a wireless connection. That’s not surprising at all because my computer has a notoriously bad relationship with WiFi, but I have ways of fixing that.

I’m actually quite good with electronics. How do you think I got my laptop to last this long? I’m sure you don’t know anyone else with a three thousand year old laptop, and if you do they’re probably lying to you. Trust me, some people say all kinds of ridiculous things just to impress you.

My laptop was excavated from King Tut’s tomb in 1922. It was actually the prototype for all of the computer technology you have now. You know that iPhone that your very life depends on. You can thank my ancient Egyptian laptop for that. I just slapped some Dell logos on this bad boy once I stole it from the Smithsonian to keep the FBI off my trail. I’m just telling you because I consider us friends now and I’m pretty sure you won’t turn me in.

Even if your computer isn’t three thousand years old, I’m sure it gives you trouble from time to time. I’m going to let you in a secret that will fix whatever is wrong with it every time. I always use this technique, and look at how far it’s gotten me. So here goes.

Step One: Scowl and talk to it. Don’t be mean or anything. Try to reason with it.

Step Two: Restart it. Turn it off and turn it on again. This is a highly technical step that works on all kinds of electronics.

Step Three: Still not working? Now you can start yelling. I like to repeat these words. “Are you kidding me with this? Are you kidding me? You must be kidding me!”

Step Four: Restart it again. They say the second time is a charm or is it the third time?

Step Five: Still not working?!!!! Rough it up a bit. Really show it who’s boss. Nothing helps delicate electronics like knocking them around a bit. Maybe something is loose inside and it just needs a good whack to fall back into place.

Step Six: Restart it one last time.

These steps usually work, but if they don’t you might have to call a professional for help. Good luck!

The Set Designers

chairI went to see The Year of Magical Thinking at the Dali Museum yesterday. It was a good play … sad, but good. Let me explain what the play is for those of you who don’t know. It’s a one woman show written by Joan Didion based on her book of the same name. It chronicles her life the year after her husband’s death during which time their daughter was extremely ill and in the hospital a number of times.

Before the play I scanned the playbill and noticed there was a listing for set design. Under that listing there were two names and I wondered what those people did exactly. You see, this play has no set. There is just a chair for the actress to occasionally sit on in the middle of a totally bare strange.

What did the set designers do? Why were two of them necessary? Did they have intense meetings about the placement of the chair? Did they argue over whether it should sit slightly to the left or right of the stage before agreeing to place it front and center? How long did it take them to come to this decision? Did the actress have to object during rehearsals when much to her dismay she discovered that the set designers had made a poor decision?

“… I think I’d be able to better connect with the audience if the chair where facing them, don’t you think?” she’d say observing the chair sitting at the left side of the stage facing the white backdrop.

Oh, yeah there was the white backdrop that they lowered just as the play started. It probably took them a few days to come up with that. There were only two of them after all and set design is a hard gig.

Photo by

There’s Something About an English Apple

There are a lot of things that America does well, but grow a delicious apple is not one of them. I am consistently disappointed by the quality of the apples here. They are all mushy and powdery inside. Even the ones that seem like they might be wonderful are mush in your mouth.

An English apple on the other hand is like heaven. It’s a frothy delight. When I bite into one I swear I hear angels singing. If you are wondering what could be so great about an apple, you’ve obviously never tasted an English apple. If you had you’d know exactly what I mean.

I often wonder what the English secret is to growing such delicious apples. Maybe it’s the thick layer of clouds covering the country. Maybe it’s the constant supply of cold rain. Maybe it’s the Wellington boots worn by the English farmers or the ability to complain about the weather no matter what it is. Or maybe apple trees thrive on dry, cynical humor. Whatever it is American farmers need to get up to speed.

For now I’m considering starting an English apple import company. My English apples will blow American taste buds away. That’s my big idea for the day.

Photo by A Guy Taking Pictures

My Problem with MLMs

Not too long ago I considered joining one of those MLM things. You know the thing where you sell a product to all your friends and then try to convince them to sell it too. I know you know what I’m talking about because most everyone knows that person who is always trying to rope them into these things.

I hate it when I’m invited to a gathering that I think is just that a nice get together and I show up and there is a jewelry display set up. It’s hard for me to drag my hermit behind out of the house and to get to the destination only to find out that it was a trick to get me to buy something is devastating. I’m too polite to just turn around and leave though.

I must seem like I have a bunch of money to spend or maybe I seem overly naive, but someone is always trying to get me to sell something. Did I ever tell you about my scarey experience in the magnet house? Now I like magnets just as much as the next person. They attract things and repel each other and all that exciting jazz.

Anyway back in the not so good old days when I was a massage therapist, I applied for a job at a clinic. I didn’t get the job, but the owner of the clinic called me and told me that she had another business opportunity if I was interested. That should have sent red flags up all over the place, but I could be color blind so I didn’t notice that the flags were actually red. (Honestly, I’m most probably not color blind. I just like to use it as an excuse for poor fashion choices.)

I agreed to meet her for this business opportunity because I like opportunities even though I’m not really that into business. So I showed up alone at a random condo on the other side of town half expecting to get hacked to bits once I stepped inside. As I nervously waited for someone to answer the door I reviewed every move I’d ever learned in my martial arts class.

The clinic owner and a middle-aged couple came to the door. They were all smiles and welcomes. There were two young women sitting on the sofa in the living room who looked to be in their early twenties. I should’ve just left, but again politeness got in the way and I went inside.

The presentation that we were given once things got underway can best be described as the magic of magnets. Once it was over somehow I got roped into trying on some special weighted magnetic shoes. The other two people there left and I was alone in weighted shoes with these three fervent members of the cult of magnets.

The massage clinic owner rolled a special magnetic ball on my neck and shoulders while the middle-aged couple told me about how the magnets had bought them the new Lexus parked in their garage. I had to admit that they must be pretty special magnets if they bough them a car. The magnets I had at home only held takeout menus to the refrigerator and they didn’t even do that well.

Once I finally got the weighted shoes off and tried to leave they somehow convinced me to go to the basement with them where we joined a meeting of elderly men talking about how special socks and magnetic insoles cured their foot pain. They passed around a whirling magnet that lit up. I swore was some kind of brainwashing device. When I refused to touch it everyone looked at me like I was the one who was insane.

Hours later I finally extracted myself from the house. I went home and had nightmares about being encased in magnets and the only way to get out was to give all of my money to the god of the magnets.

That traumatic event turned me off to MLM companies forever. That and not wanting to be one of those annoying people whose always trying to sign up friends and family. If you sell MLM, I’m totally not talking about you. Your sales technique is totally classy and understated and doesn’t annoy me at all.

Oiling Up

I used to think that I hated the beach until I actually started going and realized I like it a lot. Besides the sand getting sand in my bathing suit and the possibility of getting eaten alive by sharks, the beach is a rip roaring good time. That’s why when my husband asked what I wanted to do this weekend I told him that we should go to the beach.

“We can’t do that,” he said, “I need at least three days to prepare.”

My husband is English. I mean really, really English. The lack of sunshine on the British Isles means that the people have to be quite pale in order to absorb enough vitamin D from the sun’s rays. My husband has nicknames like Powder and Casper because of his pasty complexion. Exposing his sensitive English skin to the powerful Florida sunshine could have disastrous results.

But what about sunscreen? Here’s the thing. You know those annoying people who read the ingredients of everything and refuse to use things that are full of tons of chemicals? Yeah, that’s us.

We use extra virgin coconut oil as our sunscreen. Using oil as sunscreen probably sounds like a bunch of crazy talk to you, but it works. My husband has only gotten sunburned once since we’ve come back to Florida and that was because he went out without any oil on.

He feels that his current farmer’s tan situation is not appropriate for the beach, and he’s not convinced that coconut oil will have enough staying power for the beach. He wants to get a bit of color on his torso first.

After laying out for twenty minutes on each side covered with coconut oil, he still had no visible tan lines. I guess that coconut oil really does work.

If you want another good natural solution for sunscreen try using a St. John’s Wort oil infusion. Here’s a video that talks all about it.

If you’re interested in learning how to make your own herbal remedies, you should check out Learning Herbs. Yes, that is an affilitate link. Their herbal medicine making starter’s kit rocks the house. I got it for my mother for her birthday.

You’re Going to Wear That?

The following event occurred in December of 2010, but I kept forgetting to post it.

On a shopping trip to one of my mother’s favorite stores, The Homing Shopping Network Outlet Store, my sister found these crazy shoes.

They are obviously the results of a love affair between a sandal and a boot. I’m going to refer to them as bandals. I can’t figure out when you might wear a shoe of this nature. It seems to me that if you wore your bandals when it was warm outside your ankles would sweat. On the other hand if you wore your bandals when it was cold your toes would freeze. So I guess bandals are designed with moderate temperatures in mind, but I’m reluctant to expose my toes even in moderate temperatures. Bandals must not be for people who tend to have cold feet.

My sister has a knack for finding the funniest clothes in the store. On this shopping trip she also found a strange cardigan configuration that resembled bat’s wings. It looked something like this.

Okay, maybe my drawing doesn’t quite do it justice. The cardigan looked more like this.

She also took me to the mall at one point to show me a particularly unfortunate outfit a mannequin at Forever 21 was sporting. It looked something this.

Actually, it looked worse than that, but with artistic talents as advanced as mine it’s hard to draw something that looks as terrible as that outfit.

I had to buy a new pair of jeans recently and I found that it is much easier to find clothes to laugh at then it is to find clothes that I would actually wear.

Sports and Laundry

ESPN’s Sports Center was playing in the coin laundry the other day. We’d gone to the bank while the clothes were washing. When we returned Sport’s Center was on and my husband loudly declared, “This is the best laundry ever! The other men in the place agreed.

As we put our clothes in the dryers, my husband kept one eye on the television. I don’t think he heard a single thing I said to him.

I watched one of the men in the laundry try to fold his clothes. His head was turned up to the screen–his eyes fixed. He ended up kind of balling up his clothes into twisted heaps instead of folding them because he couldn’t pay enough attention to what he was doing.

I decided to try to watch some of Sports Center as we waited for the clothes to dry. It was turned up too loud for me to be able to comprehend anything I tried to read in the newspaper. They claim that men don’t talk as much as women–I don’t believe that’s true, my father and my husband both have a tendency to talk and talk–but when it comes to sports men can sure ramble on and on and on. On the show, they’d show a play and then everyone on the show made comments about it. Never mind, that most of them seemed to say pretty much the same thing. They all took their turns to talk and talk and talk. How much can you possible say about a football game? Apparently, one game can be thoroughly discussed for hours on end.

Once the football part of Sports Center was over and they were discussing baseball, the level of excitement waned and the men in the laundry were able to concentrate on folding clothes or talking to their wives.

I don’t understand what’s so great about football. It doesn’t appeal to me. I don’t want to play it or watch others play it. I certainly don’t want to talk about it or watch others talk about it. If you want to spend three hours watching a game and another couple of hours listening to people talk about the game you just watched, that’s your business. Everyone has a vice. Some people smoke. Some drink. Some people watch football. Some people smoke and drink while watching football.

The Itsy Bitsy Spider?

The other day we went for a nice walk at Sawgrass Park. I like walking around that park. It is were most of the nature photography on this blog was taken.
There where a number of spider webs around. My husband loves spiders and was enjoying taking pictures of the large empty webs. Then he saw a large spider sitting in the middle of one of those large webs.
“That one’s huge!” he yelled. He had a look of glee on his face as he leaned over the walkway’s railing to get a better look. Of course, he knew the name of this kind of spider. I don’t. He placed the lens of the camera so close to it that when the wind blew the web, the spider nearly touched it.
“Don’t do that! What if it jumps off there and lands on your face?” I said, walking away from him. I didn’t want to witness what might happen next.
I didn’t realize that a few short minutes later, he would’ve convinced me to hold my trembling hand as close to the spider as I could so that he could take a picture that showed how big it was. How does he talk me into these things?

On the Run

After much consideration, I’ve decided to take my apartment running to the next level–the great outdoors. This of course terrifies me because of the heat (though it is fall, temperatures are still hitting the 90′s in lovely Florida) and the dogs. Dogs chase anything that’s running. A couple of weeks ago, I decided to pull on a sports bra, lace up my running shoes and brave the great outdoors. Don’t worry I also put on a pair of shorts. I’m not interested in streaking.

When I told my husband that I was going to start running in the mornings, he was excited to come along. My husband runs outside on a regular basis already, so I knew running with him might be embarrassing for me.

By nine in the morning the heat is already oppressive. My husband bounds along smiling the whole way, while I feel like I’m going to pass out before we even get to the corner. At about four minutes out,I ‘m already asking how much time we have left. Sweat is stinging my eyes and my lungs are burning. He’s barely breaking a sweat and isn’t out of breath at all.

“Are you alright?” he asks.

“Yeah, ” I manage to say through desperate pants for air. I want to say, “Do I look alright to you?!”

When we get home he goes on and on about how great he feels. I just want to pass out. What makes running outside so much harder than apartment running? Is it the heat? I don’t know but I’ll keep trying. I ran a whole fifteen minutes without stopping on Monday. Today I ran for seventeen minutes. Don’t scoff. It was hard. Maybe I’ll be able to run for twenty minutes nonstop on Friday. Maybe I’ll die from heat stroke. Can you die from that?