Friday, February 26, 2010

Me and My Nook

I mentioned yesterday that the Mister and I got ourselves Nooks. If you read my blog at all, you know how long and how much I have debated on getting an electronic book reader. When it comes to books, I'm very much a traditionalist. I love browsing in book stores. I enjoy the quiet atmosphere of being surrounded by books. I love buying books. I consider my books to be a collection. They reflect who I am and my interests. I enjoy displaying them on bookshelves in my house. My favorite pastime is curling up with a good page turner and losing myself in a story. I really could go on and on.

I have another obsession: electronic gadgets. It gives me a little thrill to have the latest, greatest, most technologically advanced gadget in my hot little hand. If you ever see me without at least one of my beloved gadgets, my Blackberry, my iPod, or a laptop (usually I have all of them within reach), then something is probably seriously wrong with me. Now, I get to combine my two favorite obsessions in my Nook. I LOVE IT!

What I love about it:

  • The size is pretty perfect. It's about the size of a DVD case which is slightly bigger than a paperback but smaller than most hardcover books. It's also lightweight.

  • Aesthetically it also appeals to me. It looks very "now" which is to say it's sleek and with its two screens, it looks technologically advanced.

  • I like that you can download newspapers and magazines (choices are currently limited, but more will be along eventually) as well as books.

  • You can pre-order unreleased books and you will get a notification as soon as your book is ready to download. This is a nice feature for those of us lacking patience.

  • You can lend your books to other Nook users. This, to me, is a truly great feature.

  • You can use either cell phone towers or Wifi to access online features. This means that you can browse and purchase books virtually anywhere.

  • The main display has NO glare at all, even in direct sunlight. When I try to read books on my iPod, I sometimes have a hard time seeing the screen when I am outside. The display on the Nook actually looks like a page out of a book.

  • The touch screen navigation makes it super easy to add bookmarks. It's also simple to navigate your way around the Nook. This screen is backlit.

  • You can upload MP3's to your Nook so that you can listen to music while you read. It has built in speakers as well as a headphone jack.

  • You have several choices of fonts and font sizes. There should be something in there to please everyone.

  • The Nook has a built in dictionary so that you can look up words that you don't recognize.

  • The Nook has a sleep timer, screensavers, wallpapers, and other features which allow you to personalize your device.

  • It comes with 1.28 GB of internal memory as well as a slot for a microSD memory card.

  • I haven't timed it, but the battery lasts a good long time. I think I'm going on day 4 or 5 and still have 27% of my battery left since I've last plugged it in.

  • You can download daily free content and you also get special free content if you take your Nook into a Barnes and Noble.

What I don't like about the Nook:

  • While books are lendable, not all of them are.

  • The main reading screen isn't backlit. HOWEVER, if it were, the battery wouldn't last as long. Not having the screen backlit is something that I can live with.

That's about it. I pretty much love everything about the Nook. I believe that it was money well spent. I wish I had had it for my trip to Ohio but I'll definitely have it for our trip to California, heheh. If you've been thinking about getting yourself an eBook reader, troop your little self into the nearest Barnes and Noble and play with their display model. I think it's a safe bet for me to say you'll like it. It's fun, it's versatile, it saves trees, it saves space (I don't know about you, but I don't have enough bookshelves.) it's convenient, and it encourages reading. What more could you want??

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Curling at the Olympics

We've been joking about how curling is addicting to watch even though we don't really understand what's going on. What's more, we can't decide if enjoying curling makes us nerds, old, or old nerds. Check this link out. It's funny.

Keep Reading

I have lots to say. I’m thinking bullet points would be the best approach to how I’m feeling today, heheh.

  • The Mister and I got a Nook. I LOVE it. He loves his. We’re responsible for the sale of four more Nooks. :D I think I’ll have a post on our Nook to go over what I like and dislike about it later.
  • I’m sick. I just have a cold but I feel like I’ve swallowed razor blades. My throat is so sore it hurts to breathe. I’ve given up on getting a good night’s sleep.
  • I have taken both my dogs to the vet this week. They’re both very healthy thank goodness. The vet was impressed with Hannah’s lean, muscular physique. We always worry that she’s too skinny but the vet said he’d rather see a lean, muscular dog rather than a tubby dog. Which brings us to Bailey. She gained EIGHT pounds since her last vet visit in March. She weighs 69 pounds to Hannah’s 53 pounds. Bailey needs to pass a few of her excess pounds to Hannah. Then they’d be perfect.
  • We had the handyman out on Monday. He took care of a few household projects that the Mister and I didn’t want to do. Now, aside from cleaning, the house is ready to turn over to the new people.
  • I have Merry Maids coming today to give me an estimate on how much it will cost to clean our empty house. I’ve never hired professional cleaners before but I don’t want to do it so here we go. I really don’t know why I’m bothering with an estimate. I have no idea what a good price would be to clean a house.
  • I also have an appointment to take the Mister’s car into the dealer for a regular maintenance checkup. This is the car we’ll be driving to California so we want to make sure all its fluids and filters are good to go. I was worried about being able to get it in with all the recalls (it’s a Toyota) but I had no problem at all making the appointment yesterday. And as a side note, if I were in the market today for a car, I’d still buy Toyota. Just saying.
  • I have both the carpet cleaners scheduled and the pickup for the Scion scheduled. The only thing left on my “To Do” moving list is to get the girls into the dentist before we leave. I’m calling today for an appointment.
  • Our movers will be here 3/5, 3/8, and 3/9. That, people, is a week from tomorrow. Yikes!!
  • Classes are going good so far. Even with my sudden trip to Ohio, I’m still on track. I’m totally loving my forensic anthropology class. I have no opinion of my E-commerce class. We haven’t really done anything in that class yet.

Well, I think that’s it for now. I need to clean my house before Merry Maids gets here, lmao. I could really use a nap too. :/

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Real Quick

I’m in Ohio. I had to fly here Wednesday I think it was. My dad had to have open heart surgery. For the fourth time. He was told after his second surgery that they wouldn’t be able to do any more for him so for doctors to be willing to do a fourth was really scary. I booked my flight and was in the air less than 24 hours later. He made it through the surgery with flying colors though. They didn’t have to put him on the heart/lung machine which made such a difference. His surgery consisted of a bypass using a cadaver blood vessel (he has none left that can be used) and they also shot holes through his heart with a laser. About 11 of them. It’s amazing what they can do these days. But he should be coming home on Monday and I fly back to North Carolina tomorrow morning, which would be Sunday morning.

I’m tired and exhausted and wore out. I can’t keep track of the time of day or the days of the week. It’s pretty crazy. Anyway, I have to get up pretty early to go to the airport and it’s pretty late so I’m going to bed. See you all on the other side.

Friday, February 12, 2010

What I’m Watching Part…

Remember way back when premium channels only had movies on them? I can still hum the song that HBO used to play in the 80’s before a movie. Nowadays, my favorite shows are on HBO, Showtime, and I’m getting to like a new show on Starz. I can also remember a time when series’ were only on the main networks, ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX. Again, these days I rarely watch the old networks anymore. For lots of reasons I suppose. A big one is that those networks show A LOT of cheesy reality shows (sorry if you don’t find them cheesy) like Survivor, The Bachelor, SYTYCD, and American Idol just to name a few. There isn’t a single reality show on the main networks that I like. Not one. Not even one that would make me feel silly to admit. And I’m not saying that baaaaad reality shows are limited to the big Four, just that all their reality shows suck, lol.

My favorite networks these days are Discovery, TLC, A&E, Bravo, TNT, and AMC. One reason that I like these channels are that they seem to give shows more of a chance to gain an audience than do ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX. Or maybe the shows I like on the other channels are actually better. I dunno. I just know that they tend to get cancelled less.

My top favorite shows lately are and in no specific order:

  • The Tudors (so sad this is to be the last season!!)
  • Weeds
  • Big Love
  • Hung
  • Secret Diary of a Call Girl
  • True Blood
  • United States of Tara
  • Nurse Jackie
  • Mad Men
  • The Closer
  • The Big Bang Theory
  • Two and a Half Men
  • The Little Couple
  • Grey’s Anatomy
  • Private Practice
  • Spartacus:  Blood and Sand (the new show I mentioned on Starz)
  • Bones
  • Flipping Out
  • Raising the Bar
  • Dirty Jobs
  • Myth Busters
  • Medium

I would put cooking shows on this list, reality and otherwise, but I can’t watch them anymore. They make me hungry, lol. It’s probably a good thing. My DVR gets quite a workout as it is.

Do you wanna know what my monthly cable bill is? Well, too bad. It’s embarrassing to admit it out loud. You can take a guess if you’d like. We have digital cable with HD service, all the premium channels to include HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, TMC, Starz, and Encore, three DVRs and one regular cable box (which has never been used, lol). Needless to say, we will be downsizing in California. I’m going to have to wait with the common folk for my favorite shows that are on the premium channels to come out on DVD. Which, in my opinion is totally unfair. This is the concession that I am making. The Mister and the kids (of course) don’t watch those shows. The HD service, however, I could do without. I really don’t care nor do I notice much difference between an HD channel and a regular channel. HD is the Mister’s indulgence but we’ll probably subscribe to it out in California. I may have to do some negotiating, hehehe.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Wild and Crazy?

Just crazed. I have moved into the crazed portion of the program. And before you tell me it will all work out, see the following post:  STFU It’s really not what I need or want to hear right now.

House hunting isn’t going well. Our number one favorite pick is a house that’s 4 miles from the Mister’s new base, it’s HUGE, the dogs aren’t a problem, and the rent is right. HOWever, they have someone that has already put a deposit down, sight unseen last I heard, so we probably won’t be getting that house. BIG BUMMER!

Our number two pick house is in San Marcos which is a bit of a commute from the Mister’s base but not terrible. It’s also a really big house but it’s nice and allows dogs. Couple issues:  It doesn’t have a refrigerator and the owner wants us to provide our own or raise the rent to buy one for the house. Really?!?!

Another house is the right rent, right distance, allows dogs, but wants us to start paying rent on it beginning on March 1 even though we won’t be moving in until March 19 and will still be paying rent on this house until March 12. I really don’t think that’s reasonable at all.

Other houses that we are considering are either too far for too much rent or too small. What I mean is that we would consider a longer commute for less rent and will take a small house if that’s our only choice. This really sucks out loud.

As for base housing, they won’t put us on the waiting list until March 10th. This means that we would have NINE days to get into base housing. Last time I checked, waiting lists were much longer than NINE freaking days especially for housing that allows dogs.

On top of house hunting for ourselves, our house we currently live in is listed for rent so I have to field calls from potential tenants and have our house ready to show at any time. That effing sucks out loud. On top of that, my semester starts on Monday, I still have work, and I still have homeschooling the youngest. You really gonna tell me not to worry? I wouldn’t risk it if I were you. Cuz on top of all that, I’m dieting and exercising again. Probably a bad time to start but at the same time, the exercise is good for my mind. I’m still sleeping at night and I haven’t killed anyone. Yet. However, denying myself chocolate and other comfort, fat-filled foods at this time is probably a risk to others, lmao. But, I've already lost five pounds in one week. Yay me!



Also, I need some sort of program that will sync between my laptop, my desktop, my iPod touch, and my Blackberry. I really don’t think such a wondrous thing exists but if you know of something I could use that would keep all my tasks, to do’s, calendar items, and e-mails up to date on all my devices, I would appreciate a point in the right direction. I need something that will work with MS Outlook.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Don’t Wanna Hear It

These are things my kids, and I’m sure tons of others, say that drive me up a wall.

  • “I AM!!!!”  Said in response to me telling them to something I’ve already told them to do at least once before. UGH!!
  • I’m up!” Said in response to me telling them to get out of bed in the morning for the umpteenth time.
  • I didn’t do it.” Sure you didn’t.
  • She’s bothering me.” Shut up before I bother you.
  • Do I have to?” or “I don’t want to.”
  • Responses to bad grades:  “I didn’t know it was due.” or “My teacher hates me.”
  • I’m doing it!” or “I did it/I”m done.” Again, in response to me telling them to do something, usually their chores or school work, after I’ve already told them to get going at least once or when they think they’re done but I can still see dirty dishes or counters that need cleaned.
  • It’s not fair.” Whine, whine, whine.


I’m sure I’ll be back to update this post, lol. Leave a comment with  your kid complaints and I’ll add them too.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Home is Where I Hide My Gun

We’ve started looking for a house in earnest this week. We have a line on four different houses that we like and I’m working with a “relocation specialist” (their term, not mine) in San Diego to help us find a house. Even so, we haven’t totally decided whether or not we want to live in base housing. Pros and cons of base housing:


  • It’s free. We don’t pay rent or utilities except for phone, cable, and internet.
  • It’s safe. Unless we do something majorly drastic, we can live in base housing as long as the Mister is stationed out there.
  • There will be no end to the kids that my kids will be able to hang out/play with.
  • The housing area we are considering has it’s own Popeye’s (this could actually be a con, heheh), gas station, and convenience store.
  • The commute is very minimal.
  • It’s easy.


  • Most of the units are duplexes so we would have neighbors sharing walls.
  • In my experience, people that live in base housing are gossips, busy bodies, and look for any reason to be in your business and to complain about you. Not all of them, to be sure, but a goodly portion of them.
  • The square footage is small.
  • We haven’t had to live in multi-family housing in six+ years. It will be a big adjustment.
  • You’re not allowed to paint. Anything. At all.
  • I hate base housing.

Three of the houses we are considering are in San Marcos which is about a 45 minute commute from the Mister’s base. But they are really nice. BIG. Of these three houses, one is really affordable and the other two, we can afford but we’ll have less money left over at the end of the month than we would if we lived in base housing. The fourth house is 4 miles from the gate to Miramar, it’s HUGE (5 br, 3 ba), and the owner is military. But it’s at the top of our price range being the most expensive rent of the four. Our biggest issues with these four houses are the rent and for the other three, the commute. The biggest “pro” of all though, is that they aren’t base housing. UGH! Not for the first time I wish that someone could tell me the future, lol.

No matter where we live, I have to have office space. I work from home and need an area where I can shut the door and work. No matter how disciplined I am, it is impossible to balance the books for an organization with kids and dogs pestering me. I need quiet for that and for the many other tasks I do. This could be a potentially big challenge in base housing. More often than not, you are given a unit based on how many kids you have. We have two so we rate a three bedroom. This doesn’t leave space for an office.

What to do???

Monday, February 01, 2010

STFU (Updated)


These are saying that I hate. People say them because they can’t think of anything better to say. To hear them is like fingernails on a chalkboard to me.

  • It is what it is. What the eff is this supposed to mean? What IS IT? I can’t think of a phrase that is used more that could mean less.
  • When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Come a little closer and I’ll show you how I like to make lemonade when I shove those lemons in one of your orifices. This is such a callous thing to say to someone. Basically you’re telling them that their problems are insignificant. Tread carefully should you choose to say this one within striking distance of me.
  • What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger. While there is some truth to this statement, very rarely is it something a person wants to hear. Shut up.
  • For the good/needs of the Corps. This basically allows the Marine Corps to screw you all the while saying that your problems/needs/wants don’t matter so long as the situation benefits the Marine Corps. I actually saw a bumper sticker type of thing at the legal office on Cherry Point that said something to the effect of if your needs/wants/goals/problems are first in your life, you need to get a new job. I’m not kidding either. I can only shake my head.
  • Because I said so. I hated hearing it as a kid and I do my best not to say it to my kids (Yes, I’ve said it to them before but I consciously try not to.). It’s such a copout. When I’m telling my kids no or telling them to do something, I like to explain my reasoning because more often than not, when they understand why something is, it helps to avoid arguments. I also believe respect is a two way street.

There are tons of other sayings that I hate but I can’t think of them right now. Maybe people have good intentions when saying these things, but you know what they say about good intentions…

Feel free to leave a comment with a saying that you find annoying, irritating, insensitive, or just plain stupid.

2/2/10 Additions:

This one came to me from my sister-in-law via Facebook:

  • You're strong. You'll get through this. She says, and I agree, that strength oftentimes has little to do with surviving. You get through something because you have little other choice. I also think that's a strength in itself though; to get through something and not give up.
My next one was inspired by the previous saying:

  • Don't worry. You'll get through it. Do you have any idea how useless it is to tell someone not to worry about their problems? If you have something staring you in the face, what else are you supposed to do but worry about how the situation is going to be resolved? The only way not to worry, imo, is if you don't care. If you don't care, then it's not really a problem after all.