Thursday, July 26, 2012

Help me Move Home!

I am not one to ask for help usually. However, right now things are getting overwhelming and it is because I finally have the opportunity to move back home to be close to my family after 20 years. I need your help.

If anyone out there is so inclined to donate even $10 bucks it would help me out tremendously. I have set up a "Donate" button on my paypal. You do NOT need to have paypal to be able to donate.

For my family up in Wisconsin, and friends around the globe, I would love for you to be here to help me as well, but this way you could help so much even from afar!

Anything at all would be much appreciated.


Friday, July 13, 2012

Keep it Simple - start with the juice!

We just got a call today about a computer being in power save mode. These calls tend to be about our Dell SX280 machines. The power save the user sees is the screen saver on the monitors when not getting a signal from the pc.

There are a couple things that come to mind that could be wrong. The scariest being that the computer has simply died. However, there is possibly a simpler explanation for this error... No Juice! Check the Power Supply. Here are a few pics to illustrate this:

Dell SX280 Power Supply - Note the plug LOOKS snug but it is deceiving.

Power Supply after snugging the plug in - Note the Amber Light
Indicating no connection to the computer.

Properly plugged in power supply for the Dell SX280
- Note the Green indicator on the power supply.

My troubleshooting experience has taught me that sometimes I have to stop and look at the simple things. My mind tends to skip ahead because sometimes I just don't want to think that the user has overlooked something as simple as making sure everything is plugged in. However, these things can escape everyone and no one is immune to not seeing a simple answer to a problem.

Hope that helped anyone out there that deals with computers or even printers that have external power supplies or as we call them "Bricks" because they are about as heavy as a brick!

See ya next time I find something interesting to post about :)


Friday, June 15, 2012

Burger King Bacon Sundae

Yes. I went to Burger King and actually purchased the insane Bacon Sundae. The video below is my initial reactions to the tasty treat. However, once I ate a bit more and finally finished the sundae, I had a much different feeling, almost sick to the stomach and glad the experience was over.

I was enjoying the small bits of bacon every now and then throughout the lovely vanilla soft serve ice cream with the fudge and caramel swirls. When the bigger bits of bacon started showing up, I found myself wanting more ice cream to wash it down.

At the end of the day, I have had my fun and my last bacon sundae. To someone who loves bacon more than I, this treat may last longer on their craving pallat. As far as I am concerned, I had my experience and can say I tried it.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

PicMonkey is Passin' Out Awesome Juice - For Your Photos

A few months back I blogged about my favorite online photo editing site, Picnik,  packin' up and moving into Google+. I  was quite sad to see that it was leaving but happy that Google+ was getting a little of the wonderment that was Picnik for me. I did wonder what was going to happen to the huge following of users that not only had purchased their premium content but also the ones who did not have a Google+ account. Also, it seemed that the G+ version was very... very watered down. It was a sad story indeed.

The tides started to turn for me when I suddenly received a comment on that blog about an up and coming site from a few former-picnikers as she called it, and asked me to check it out and sign up for when they go live. I was stoked! Not only did I get a comment on my actual blog (which doesn't happen a lot because mostly people comment through my facebook posts) but I was being contacted by the group themselves. She sounded very excited and I was too. I immediately told my fiance about it since I had just recently purchased the premium account for her and she was deep into loving her Picnik and had no use for a Google+ account. We were both anxious but had practically forgotten about it until today.

WooHoo! Jenn commented on my blog again to tell me that was up and running and to go check it out. So, I did. Now, I know that Picnik had been around for a few years and had a few more bells and whistles in its day, however, PicMonkey is my new online BFF! Yes, I actually said BFF - well typed it anyway.

Here are a few before and afters for you to see how well this puppy - I mean Monkey - works!

Loch Earn Before
This photo was taken at Loch Earn in Scotland. It is a pretty view but the photo really did not do the landscape justice that day. The photo below, is the edited version from PicMonkey. I didn't keep track of all of the different effects that I used. I was just so excited to get in and go that I  just ran with it.

Loch Earn After PicMonkey

This photo shows the after effects from dousing that photo with a shit-ton of awesomeness that is PicMonkey! Like I said, I don't really remember everything that I used but I do know that I used one of my all time favorites - Orton. I also framed it and added the copyright symbol along with my name in the edges of the Museum Mat frame. There is a bit of exposure enhancement done at the end to heighten the contrast and make the colors a bit deeper.

Falls of Dochart Before

Another photo here is a pic of the Falls of Dochart in Scotland. I took a bit more time on this photo but as you can see it is kind of nice without editing it. However...

Falls of Dochart After PicMonkey

PicMonkey helps me make the photo POP and give more dynamics to an already dynamic image. Here I wrote down my process:

  • Focal Soften
  • Burst (Signed up for the Royale treatment which is free for the next few months.)
  • Darken Edges
    • Wanted to give it an Orton feel but Orton darkened it too much
    • I love Orton but sometimes I wish I had just the Bloom feature.

If you liked the functionality of Picnik and are missing it, I suggest you hop - or swing - on over to PicMonkey and see what you get. For obvious reasons, it isn't as full featured as Picnik was as it is missing some frames and different fonts but really, I really don't remember using much more than what I have done right here in these photos.

As far as premium content, PicMonkey is calling it the Royale Treatment. Right now it is free if you put in your email address. It doesn't state how long this feature will be free but sign up NOW and they will send you a coupon for a discounted subscription when the trial is over.

Any thoughts, feelings, desires, features you would like to see there? Hit me up in my comment sections and let me know what's up. Or you can go straight to the Monkey's tree and email them directly at:

So far I see the potential, but only when I find myself heading back and forth between my photoshop and PicMonkey will I know that they have a winner.

Friday, March 02, 2012

You Touch My Vagina, I'll Hurt Your Penis!

Sound like a harsh statement? It is in some respects, but in today’s political atmosphere, it is something that needs to be said. Not only is the male dominated GOP trying to take away a woman’s right to free access to birth control, in Wisconsin they have sneakily passed legislature to rescind a law that made it easier for women to file a lawsuit when being paid unfairly. The GOP and other people like to use fear mongering tactics and ignorance to tell us that the Democrats are waging Class Warfare, but it seems that these people are stirring up something even more ancient - the suppression of women.

I was reading the Huffington Post in my bed the other morning as I woke up as I do every morning instead of a morning paper, and came across the article “Equal Pay Enforcement Act On Verge of Being Repealed by Wisconsin Republicans”. What the Wisconsin Republican Party is doing is rescinding a law that "made it easier for victims of wage discrimination to have their day in court.”
This story has been pushed under the table a bit by recent activity by a loudmouthed, mysoginistic, biggotted, addict who somehow equated a woman’s use of contraception to being a prostitute and a slut. Not only that, he wants to see the product of his tax money, meaning - Rush Limbaugh wants Sandra Fluke to make porn for him.

"So Miss Fluke and the rest of you feminazis, here's the deal, ... If we are going to pay for your contraceptives and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch."
Rush Limbaugh is now facing a backlash with two of his advertisers jumping ship because of his ignorant and horrifying statements on this issue. And there have been many.
March is Woman's History Month. It is supposed to remind us of all the struggles that women have experienced in our fight to get out from under the thumb of men. Isn't it odd that all of these months that are in honor of some form of historical win are all because of the struggle that a certain part of society has had with one specific group of people - the White Man. I hate to put it all in one group because there are plenty of white men who fight against these injustices, but their fight is still against their own group. And that isn't to say that women or other minorities haven't hurt their own causes, but these are outside of the median in the constant of things.
The contraception debate is personal for me as a woman. And NO, Rush Limbaugh, it isn't because I just want to have more sex. I am part of a large group of women who HAVE to take birth control whether we like it or not. In NO WAY am I at risk for getting pregnant. I am a lesbian. I certainly don't WANT to have to take a pill every day. However, because I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, my hormones need to be regulated. This is done by taking birth control. 
WARNING - Graphic Mental Images - Read at your own risk.
Believe me, I certainly hate taking a pill every day, and just by doing so puts me at risk of the many side effects that the pill can cause. However, I would rather deal with that than bleeding for almost two months straight and so much that I would have to go to the bathroom at LEAST every HOUR. That's not to mention the horrible pain from my uterus cramping to push out all of the blood clots as I sit on the toilet to let them ooze out of me.
Can you imagine? Guys? Imagine having to shove something up one of your holes once an hour. Not only that, but the removal of that clotted and bloody object as well, every day, every hour, all night long, for almost two months. Does that compare in any way to what you have to go through if you just can't "get it up?" Your Viagra and Cialis aren't facing scrutiny and they only help a physical fact of life for most of you - getting older and how that hurts you emotionally and mentally. My vagina is bleeding all over the place and you just want to be able to get an erection. Really? You are the sluts in that case. How the HELL can I be even thought of in that way when all I want to do is to not be in pain and not become anemic from bleeding so much.
I apologize to those of you who are reading this for the graphic nature of what I just described. I sincerely hope that no one has to ever endure what I went through. I can only imagine the women out there, here in the US, that do not have the money to pay for the contraception that helped me get back onto a normal cycle and stop my profusely horrifying, bloody nightmare.
When men get together to try and decide what is best for women, they have no clue. Until you can say that you have been through anything remotely similar to what I have, you have no jurisdiction over my health. If you want to take away our coverage for things like birth control, then you do not deserve your Viagra. Looking back at the title of this post, I would have liked to say something else as I was so angry reading these recent articles. I digressed for the sake of professionalism. However, let me be clear about what I really wanted to say for the second part of the title - Lorena Bobbit had the right idea: you touch my vagina - I'll cut your d*** off!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Picnik is Packin' Up - Headed to Google+

Previously Created through
Sun is going down and the mosquitoes are coming out - Time to Pack Up!
My favorite web based photo editing site is packing up its basket and folding up its blanket. At least it is a green product and will be recycling. As of April 19th this year, will be closing its photo editing site. Apparently, they have been working in conjunction with Google+ and moving some of their popular photo treatment effects into Google+'s Creative Kit.

They are Making it EASY!
Not only are they giving us a handy dandy tool to download all of our creations into neat zip folders onto our computers called Picnik Takeout, they also give us the option to transfer them to our Google+ accounts as well. I will be doing this in the next few weeks and am sure I will be seeing a HUGE influx of new photography swarming G+.

Money Back? Who Does that These Days?
Apparently does! I have had a premium membership with them for a very long while now. I am not sure when my membership runs out but apparently that doesn't matter. They are not pro-rating it. Here is what they say about refunds:
To our primo Picnik Premium members, we’ll begin processing a full refund of your current membership fee within a week of this announcement. By “full” we mean the whole darn thing. Yep, this means even if you are on your very last day of an annual membership, we will refund you the entire $24.95. Just because we want to say thanks.
All I have to say to that is - NICE JOB! This has to be one of the best transition schemes I have seen in a very long time. I think that Netflix should have talked to these guys before making the horrible turns they did with their customers. Apparently Picnik knows how to make their customers happy and keep their image good - REFUNDS!

Uncertainty Still Ahead...
Even with all of the niceties trying to ease the blow, the fact still remains that a very popular, easy, and powerful web based photo editing site is going away. It may be headed to Google+ but certainly isn't in its full form there. Also, if someone does not have a G+ account then it will seem that Picnik will be completely taken away from them. Sure, they are opening up their site with full access to all premium content until they close down in April, but after that, there will be a very large group of users that will be left waiting for the next easy-to-use, quality, inexpensive, photo editing software to pop up somewhere that is not attached to a social networking site.

I May Be Alone...
The comments at the Picnik Blog are overwhelmingly negative. The vast majority of Picnik users who have commented do not use Google+, think that Picnik sold out to Google, and are very upset that one of their favorite tools will be leaving them. I may be alone in thinking that this is the best possible alternative, but I think it is. If a business needs to do something to boost themselves in this economy, they need to find something big to ride the coat tails of. Now I don't believe that Google+ has grown or will grow to anything comparable to Facebook. However, I do believe that G+ is a very valuable and useful networking/socializing site. If they strengthen their photo editing and effects, then it will be that much more attractive to someone who has never used it. I think that this will be a win for Google+ as long as it works properly. Everyone on there is going to have fun with the effects they can apply through the technology that Picnik used so I may be alone in thinking this is a good idea but not in the G+ community.

What's YOUR Take?
I want to hear from you! Let me know what you think about this transition.
  1. Had you ever used before?
  2. Were you a premium member?
  3. Are you a Google+ user?
  4. Do you plan on joining Google+ because of this?
  5. Do you think that Picnik sold out to Google?
  6. If you used Picnik and don't plan on using Google+, do you have any other editing software or site in mind?
What's Not There When the Sun Goes Down.
Created using Google+ Creative Kit
I will miss my Picnik and am really hoping that it will not flop in Google+. I liked going to a specific site when I wanted to edit a photo or add effects to it. I didn't have to share it but I was able to share on multiple sites from that single point. Google+ gives me the ability to share to specific people, within my circles, or even to the whole public which isn't the same, but still allows control. However, the Creative Kit is still lacking in some of my favorite Picnik effects such as Selective Focus and the Frames including the vignetting and museum matting. So here we are at the end of the day. The sun has set and the car is all packed and ready for home, I just hope I don't get indigestion.

Monday, January 02, 2012

2012 - The Year of Loose Ends and iTrue Predictions

The New Year Has Come and people are scrambling everywhere to see family, hang out with friends, get after-holiday specials on consumer goods, make resolutions, etc. I am not doing any of that. In fact, the only thing that I did make sure that I did was to call my fiancée and bring in the new years at least being able to see her face. Skype is a wonderful thing but can never make up for the physical presence of those you love.

What can I say about last year? It was a very bad year for many. For me, it was one more year away from Chrissy and my family. It was one more year stuck in a place that I really have no love for (not my job or who I work with, just the area). It was one more year that I couldn't get myself motivated enough to sell my house so that I can move to be closer to my family and eventually be with Chrissy in Scotland. It was one more year where I worried about the welfare and health of my parents seeing my Step-Father go into the hospital twice and spend the holidays there. It was just one more year of negativity in our nation and politics.

Petty Officers Marissa Gaeta and Citlalic Snell become
the first same-sex couple to share the US Navy's
traditional first kiss. Photograph: Handout/Reuters
However, I have to talk about the good as well. It was a good year for LGBT rights when Don't Ask Don't Tell was dismantled and the first time that a female sailor won the First Off the Ship lottery and Kissed her Girlfriend for the whole world to see! It was a year that I still have a good job that pays my bills and allows me to live my life how I see fit. It was a year that brought new friendships and maintained old ones. It was a year I was able to fly to see Chrissy and her girls in Scotland as well as fly to see my family in Wisconsin. It was a year that my health waned but got better after a few doctors visits. It was a year that I am still here to talk about so that I am thankful for.

The next year seems to be less certain. We have a Presidential Election that is gearing up for this November. The economy is still in a downturn and people are still struggling globally because of it. The politicians still don't want to play nice with each other and blame it all on the other party. The world is supposed to end on December 21 as the Mayan Calendar says it does so it must be so (insert head shake here). I still have to find a way to get my house up to par to be on the market and the guts to actually sell it, quit my job, and move back home. My car has over 165k miles on it and needs all new brakes and drums and maybe even a master cylinder. I have crazy student loan debt. And am still no closer to being with the woman I love than I was the year before.

The year of 2012 seems to be one of a lot of loose ends. Whether those ends will be completed and finally closed is something we can only speculate about. I do have hope though. I have hope that no matter what, love will still be there; love from my family, my Chrissy; love for my job and coworkers; love for myself and my life. Everything else is inconsequential and messy.

Here is my predictions for the coming year as it pertains to the rest of the world:

  1. Obama will run against Mitt Romney for president and win but it will be a close race.
  2. The economy will maintain its "roller coaster" strategy and not settle til 2013.
  3. Politicians (Republicans) will stagnate and dig in their heels on important issues because of #1 and be the cause of the continuance of #2.
  4. The world will NOT end this year or the next year just because of the Mayan Calendar (however there will be a few suicides and loonies out there that will freak out about the apocalypse).
  5. There is a 50/50 chance of me getting my house on the market to sell since my neighbor just put hers up and because of my fears of uprooting my stability in my job.
  6. My car will possibly make it through the year but I will get closer and closer to getting a scooter for the summer months to take the pressure off.
  7. I will still have crazy student loan debt.
  8. Unless something major happens, I don't see myself able to move to Scotland next year either. Something has to kick me in the ass to get me there. I would like to see Chrissy come here to visit and meet my family before the end of the year at least.
So that is it. That is my list and however flawed it may be, it is mine. I hope for the best but don't expect to get it. I know I must look at things as one small step at a time but my  fiancée said recently "Lots of small steps make for a very long walk." I am willing to keep walking, however long it is. I just need a little bit of help along the way.
Maybe I should get that scooter I have been wanting.

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