January 29, 2007

Pardon the dust...

Leslie's cooking up an adorable new banner situation for the old blob. Actually, she's already done it, and since my html skillz are shoddy at best, and I'm very tired tonight and only half-assedly tried to make the whole thing gel correctly, we're just gonna have to sit tight with this look for a few minutes.


January 26, 2007

Her favorite AND her best.

We got about 2 inches of snow, just enough to make walking the dog both fun and terrifying.

January 23, 2007

Team Microsoft (?)

Let me start this post by acknowledging that 2/3 of the authorship of this blog, and god knows how much a bigger fraction of the readership are card-carrying Macphiles. Hi, Mac People. I've got no beef with your choice in OS & Hardware. Yes, it's very swanky. And yes, I do understand that it is a veritable Fort Knox of Computer Security. I have no special reason for preferring Windows other than it's what I've used the most since I was a tiny tot. Also, when I was shopping for this here laptop, I just couldn't justify the cost of a Macbook with comparable memory & whatnot.

So anyway, on to the actual beginning of this blob post…

Way back in June 2006, I took Lifehacker's cue, and jumped on the Microsoft Office 2007 Beta Venga Bus. I used it throughout the summer & fall, and sure did find it superior to previous versions of Office, and actually considered shelling out for it (once I'd gained employment, of course) (boo, continued unemployment). But alas! A few weeks ago I received an email from my friends in Redmond alerting me to the fact that my snazzy Office 2007 trial was to soon expire, and if I wanted to continue to bask in it's snazzyness, I'd better pony up OR just simply attend a Microsoft 2007 Launch Event and obtain a free full copy of the software. Huzzah!

So I clicked through that sucker straight away, and was confirmed for a Launch event right up the street in West Atlantic City (which is just a nice way of saying "Pleasantville", which contrary to the name, is not pleasant at all). I still assumed there was gonna be some sort of catch.

Today was the big day, and after four hours (yes, FOUR) of watching a guy "evangelize" MS stuff with occasionally misspelled albeit very pretty powerpoint slides, I got my Office. Plus, a nifty pen that lights up, a t-shirt, and this stylish rubber bracelet to indicate which "track" I was in.

Now, about that "track". I somehow found myself in the "Partner" track, which is for third-party licensed Microsoft dealers.

Which I totally am not, and which means that about 97% of what was being presented went way the frig over my head. Lots of talk about firewalls, Gooey -Based Environments(I know it's not spelled that way), and customized system builds depending on client verticals. (!!!)

But I will say this; Vista sure looks pretty.

Also, one good thing I learned today, by accident, and in quite a timely manner (as my pre-installed Norton Anti-Virus expired today) about something called OneCare. It's Microsoft's anti-virus thingamabob and according to a non-Microsoft-employed IT-type, it's better and less taxing on the system than Norton. Plus, I'm super-sick of Norton getting all in my face every minute to tell me that they've graciously decided to let me view a certain webpage or that things are still "Good". Bitch, just tell me when things are not so good.

Okay, I'm going to abruptly end this boring post. But, I will throw this out there if there are POSSIBLY any Microsoft users in the OEF audience. I also got a free copy of Microsoft Groove 2007 today, which I won't use and don't plan to illegally sell on eBay. So, it's free to the first bidder.

Announcing my candidacy....for Lasik!

So I met with a small exploratory committee yesterday to appraise my candidacy for LASIK surgery. My committee consisted of opthamologist, her assistant, and a receptionist. My driver dropped me off at the committee's fancy high rise building and in I went. I filled out paperwork and was shown a video explaining the surgery and why or why not I may or may not be a good candidate.

I was then ushered by the assistant into a room with three vision testing contractions. I had to look into the lenses of one and focus on a tiny picture of a desert road with a hot air balloon at the end. As your eyes look at the balloon, the machine can assess how much it needs to adjust to make the picture clear for your eyes. This tells the machine your prescription. Neat! I also had to do the traditional vision test (better one, or two? Three or four?) but not for as long as you usually do. The balloon test is way more fun.

Then I had to move to another machine, and rest my chin on the thingy and look through the lenses. This one had a yellow and black striped background, like something you would find in a funhouse. This machine took pictures of my cornea. The assistant studied my pictures and told me I met two of the three criteria they look for in a "good candidate." The one criteria that was missing was the shape of my cornea. Instead of round, it is more concave, like a football. It is flatter than they would like it to be. But, apparently, I have a very thick corneas, tons of tissue, enough to "share with friends." So if somebody needs some cornea tissue, holla!

The assistant went and conferred with the opthamologist for a while and then came back with the exploratory committee finding: sometime between the first room and the meeting between the two of them, they decided I was an excellent candidate. I'm also a good candidate because I have 13 years of experience sticking things in my eye and not flinching. I think my eyes are actually numb from all the years of contacts. All the drops they kept putting in were supposed to "sting" but they ain't hurt at all!

They gave me those evil drops that dilate your pupils and gave me some other exams. Interesting fact: they also makes drops that un-dilate your pupils......but you have to ask. Multiple times. I guess they are super-expensive so they don't tell you that they exist, cause they don't want to give them to you. They don't have an immediate effect but they cut the time in half.

I set up my appointment for the surgery and called my driver. He whisked me away to rest my eyes before going to work.

My surgery is on February 2nd. I'll either come out seeing great, or seeing nothing. They say my vision will be corrected to 20/20. We'll see about that!

January 17, 2007

Scothy & the Gardlers

This is my brother's dog, Scotchy:

In this picture, you can also see the the leg and arm of Leslie, who was drawing a picture of her new best friend on my laptop with one hand (the one not occupied by a non-ironic Smirnoff Twisted Drinkamabob). And here is her masterpiece:

My brother really, really likes this picture. He said he's never met anyone who could "do that" before. Which I thought was weird, but regahdless, Leslie is quickly becoming the official artist of the Gardler clan.

On a totally unrelated note...While hanging out in the 'peake this weekend I was playing some Mario Party 7 with my nephew, and in creating a new game, I named it 'CAG', and he asked what that stood for. It totally blew his 7-year old mind that I had the same last name as him. I'm not sure if I should be worried. Are family ties not something covered in elementary school?

Another fab discovery on my trip to the 757 was a new children's show to enjoy, "Charlie and Lola", which my 2-year old niece is quite obsessed with. This is an import from our friends at the BBC, and it's adorable. I went to the website, and I moused-over some part and Lola said, "I'm too busy playing to do computers!". Am totally having my TiVo pick this up for my grumpy days.

Also a cure for grumpy days? This picture of my aforementioned niece, Emily, who couldn't resist hopping in my newly-made-up couch-bed and pretending to be immediately asleep (though she sadly didn't do the fake snoring noises).

It should also be noted that this is pretty much the only useable picture I took of Emily all weekend. She has an annoyingly adorable habit of fluttering her eyes when a camera flashes, so she looks like she's actually asleep in every damn one.

January 3, 2007


New Years Resolutions 2007

I, LavaPony - of computer-glazed eyes and soda-ridden body hereby state my resolutions for 2007.

I will no longer flake out.
By flake out, I mean by claiming to come to your engagement, stating I will and then not showing (usually in favor of Law & Order rerun or someone else intervening and wisking me off for Chilli’s trip.) If I can not show, I will simply say NO. No excuses (rather than a barrage of poorly thought out and terribly overblown ones), because nothing after the word “NO” really matters anyways.

I vow to LISTEN as well as converse on phone conversations.

I vow to grow my fingernails at least enough so that white is present on each nail.

I will stay up later, at least an extra hour. 10:30 is unacceptable.

I will not drift off into Ally McBeal dream sequence when listening to upper level management at job. (err well, how bout I will have more VIVID dream sequences while listening to upper level management at job..that’s better)

I will eat vegetables.

And lastly, I will learn to like dogs. Ian has taken really good care of my Gramma this year and I owe it to the species.

He was delicious!

I know this has been posted elsewhere, but I just wanted to share this old SNL skit here with my electronic friends. It has Dana Carvey as Tom Brokaw, pre-recording possible news stories before a vacation; and here he runs the gamut of death scenarios for Former President Gerald Ford. It's morbid and probably disrespectful for me to be so amused, but I still am.

On another note, I had the President's memorial service on the tv this morning, and something struck me as funny. President George H.W. Bush (the one who got legitimately elected, natch) was speaking, and doing a fine job of eulogizing...the camera cuts to his offspring & current President who looked positively like an eight year-old, slumped down in his chair and making the "The only reason I'm sitting here so quietly is because Mom said we could get ice cream after dad got done his work thing" face.