Sunday, June 28, 2009

WHEEE!!!!

Yes, the minutiae of this day is boring. Imagine if I had a Twitter account. Mama has a new MP3 player -- a Creative Labs Mozaic 2GB in black. Thank you eBay in so many ways today.

More to come...........

I spoke too soon.

The Insignia player is working but it's temperamental at best. Twice now it has locked up on me, and can only be undone by a quick jab to the reset area. Thin pens are getting their workout today at my abode.......

I've also noticed that perfectly legitmate uploads -- and by that, I mean songs that have been uploaded before with no problem -- suddenly are completely inaccessible..... For example, it will skip straight from song 5 to song 7. Every single time. And again, no clue why?

I'm peeved all over again and too tired to care tonight. I had just gotten off the phone with BigBox's customer service, cancelling my online order, when I discovered this. I just didn't feel like bothering to call them back to say, "Uh, fellas? Guess what?"

Needless to say, Mama's going shopping. Again.

***

Oh yeah -- also, don't get me started on a certain national/regional sporting goods dealer. This Sunday, they had an ad for buying a heart-rate monitor for an incredible rate. I mean, SUPER good deal. One I wasn't planning to even think about passing up. Went to their site, clicked on the "buy online" link -- "not available." And I know my local one didn't have any of that brand in stock yesterday but plenty of a competing brand - and naturally at a higher price.

Boys, I believe it's called bait-and-switch. Well, guess what? Found the same exact monitor on eBay, with FREE SHIPPING, and even with my dollar donation to a very worthy cause, it's STILL costing me less than it would have from you even if you'd had them in-store yesterday. Honestly, I'm kind of surprised you're still in that location anyway -- seeing that you have a sister store only about 3 miles up the road, a big competitor across the interstate in a well-traveled shopping center, and even newer competition going in practically across the street. I don't think your location will be around long. I'm amazed you haven't merged with the other store yet.

Anyway ........ HA!!!!!!!!

Well, dang it all.........

***STOP THE PRESSES, VICKI VALE!!!***

I got the Insignia player to work. Turns out there is a little reset area where you stick the end of a pen in there and VI-OLER. It came back to life, just like the little girl in today's Gospel. Thank you Lord. -- Annette

We now return you to the regularly scheduled rant I had typed up, which I thought was pretty dang good, so I'll leave it.

***

Yesterday, over at Weighty Matters, I posted this big loooooonnnnnnng post about my MP3 player, and the list I currently have and what I'm going to cull from it, etc. etc.

So this afternoon, I did it. I excised the old songs, put on the new, and realized I was missing four of the keepers out of my library. I disconnected my MP3 player (and the corresponding USB cord) from the port, put in the jump drive where I had those songs stored, and reconnected the MP3 player.

Dead. Dead as a doornail. I disconnected it. Tried to turn it on and..........
Still dead.

You know, I had opined a few weeks ago about getting a new one, but I did not expect to have to get one so soon. I do not want an iPod at all. Nothing against Apple, but I prefer not to have to do things so weirdly. Thanks to BigBox, I am using iTunes as a music store, burning to CD, and then ripping -- all because I can't get cards there anymore for Rhapsody, my preferred music store.

But dang it all. I am going to BigBox anyway to replace it. I found an inexpensive 2GB Sony model to get me through for a while. But this other one is dead. Just plain dead. You can't see it, but I am pitching an inner hissy fit. This Insignia player has been good, and performed well. What has ticked me off more than anything is BigBox's decision to stop making accessories or to offer much for their older products (the point of my previous rant on this) I am thinking, "What? Do they expect their products to wear out so quickly that you'll come running back for a replacement within months?" Because sorry -- this one (until now) was very well constructed. I've put it through a whole lot in the roughly 27 months I had it. But I really, really, really hate losing it.

Le sigh. If this one conks out in a year, then I will go all sheeple-like and become a Pod person. Actually, I'll probably not and be the last holdout on Earth. THAT'S IT!!!! iPod is SkyNet! It explains everything.......... (hee hee hee).

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Almost July and time to recharge.

June has been crazy so far (hence, far fewer postings than I would normally like). I mean, really, it's just been a blur!

So what's been going on?

Work: Busy as ever; maybe even more so. A couple of new things landed on my plate this month, and I have to find a way to balance it all or I will not be long for being able to do it. Nothing makes my immune system go crazier than stress. Even my chiropractor can look at my shoulders/upper back (serious stress area for me) and say, "Holy mackerel, what have you been doing since your last visit?" Yeah, it's not good when that happens. I don't know how to make it work, except to set up a schedule that says something like, "Mornings each day: purchasing duties. Monday and Wednesday afternoons: HR. Tuesday afternoon: accounting. Thursday afternoon: accounting and system testing. Friday afternoon: mixed bag. Please hold all your stuff until the appropriate time unless someone is bleeding or dying. Otherwise, I can't handle it." There is only one of me, and I'm not doing such a great job right now making it work.

Vehicular Things: The upside? I got a better vehicle. The downside? The stress of figuring out my checkbook to make it all balance well. I think I can do it with minimal impact. Knowing I also only have about 9 months left on my accelerated payment plan for student loan is helping out too. It's like "hold on for nine months and things will be good."

Health: Maintenance for WW has been tough on me. I've actually gained weight. UGH.... so I'm back on plan as I try to get back to goal (or within the limits they set). I'm trying a few new things to shake it up. Part of the quick gain may not be so much due to the usual issues from maintenance (adding food back, etc.) but due to another little wrinkle. There could be a hormonal imbalance that is causing weight to come on and off suddenly. So this past week I had some bloodwork drawn for a lab test. I will know my results on Monday. Either way, there will be some sort of treatment -- just which one will depend on the results. More tests may be forthcoming too based on the results. I have a whole slew of mixed feelings based on what I have been told so far. But that's another post for another time.

Recharge: I am heading to my cousin's lakehouse in North Carolina next weekend to play catch-up with them, and to recharge my batteries. I have gone too long without a break .... one day off (Memorial Day) does not a break make. And really, this long weekend isn't going to do much either but it's a start. In mid-July, I'm heading to the Tidewater area for a girls' weekend with some good friends. I am really looking forward to that for a recharge. And depending on how things go when I get back from this coming weekend, I may also sit down with my boss and try to come up with a plan to help me handle everything better. I appreciate their trust in me but there comes a point when I have to say, "No, really, I can't take on any more."

There's the old adage that God never gives us more than we can bear. It's small comfort to know I can bear this much. Apparently, I have even more strength that I wasn't aware of -- and I've learned in the last few years I had way more than even I imagined. The idea that there's even more within me is comforting and yet frightening too.

And with that, I still have miles to go before I sleep later tonight..... errands to run, chores to complete, life to live.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Devil's music, my butt.....

Cause love's such an old fashioned word
And love dares you to care
For the people on the edge of the night
And love dares you to change our way
Of caring about ourselves

This is our last dance
This is ourselves under pressure
Under pressure
-- David Bowie & Queen, "Under Pressure"

Okay, so I am only 27 years late to the party on these particular lyrics.

I love our priests at my parish, and way more often than not, they have fantastic homilies (which is similar to a sermon, but shorter, sweeter, and to the point). But on the way to a dinner party this evening, I had this song cranked up and was really listening to it intently. The lyrics just struck me as being as powerful as any homily that I have heard.

"Love dares us to change......" You could stop it right there. Love really does dare us to change everything in response. Real love is transformative and transforming. It is what inspires us to action .... to see the world in a new light, a new frame, and to do something to make it better.

I don't know why these words resonated with me today. But they have, and I have to figure out why. What is that greater love calling me to do?

Monday, June 08, 2009

I'm still around and kicking....

I have a lot of things I'm thinking about, but just haven't had a chance to write them all down yet.

The biggest news is that I finally reached my weight goal -- you can read all about it on my Weighty Matters blog. I'm still processing everything that has happened with that. I'm so excited about it, and trying to really plan my next moves (besides maintenance and becoming a Lifetime member). It's figuring out the plastic surgery/skin removal thing and how to make that work.

I'm excited about a girls' weekend coming up next month! I'm planning some things for that as well. Everyone needs some time off, and I am way overdue! :) It's going to be great to see my girls and have a great time just laughing and forgetting my everyday life .... even for a couple of days. I have a whole train of thought about the American approach to vacation versus the European approach. Even this workaholic American is starting to lean toward their viewpoint.

Work is keeping me really busy.... see above paragraph.

And speaking of, I had best sign off. Almost time to leave and join the masses on the highways and interstates. Le sigh.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Happy birthday, buddy!!!

Today is the birthday for a very special friend of mine. He came into my life 2 years ago in May, and my life has not been the same since. This friend has enriched my life in ways I never expected, has been there for me when I couldn't tell my troubles to another soul, and loves me without question or condition.

Of course, I'm talking about Maddox.

For non-regular readers or close friends, Maddox is my Lab mix. I'm not sure what the other half is -- I was told Husky, but I've thought of Great Pyrenees, wondered about Malamute, and also been told Shepherd as well. Whatever his lineage, I could not ask for a better dog. He has been one of the best gifts to come into my life. He is friendly to mostly everyone (though we've noticed lately he is not very thrilled with children between ages 2-5 or so..... gotta work on that), loyal to a fault, and I have no doubts that he would defend me or my family to the death. He is the delight of my heart, my walking buddy (though lately, he's slower than I am... might have to take up running to get him in gear again), and I cannot imagine my life without him.

I am not a believer in love at first sight. Attraction, yes; love, no. I made an exception to the rule that said, "No love at first sight, unless it's your baby." I have amended that to "There is no love at first sight, except for children and dogs." It's true. I saw him at the kennel that day and it was an instant "I *have* to take this dog." I don't know if I felt he needed us that badly, or if my soul was saying that I needed him. Either way, it's been the deal of a lifetime. What he has given in return for some shelter, food, and a daily walk cannot be bought or measured.

Happy birthday, buddy-buddy! I love you more than you can ever know.