Archive for the ‘etcetera’ Category

a year in review – 2016

Posted: December 31, 2016 in etcetera

Another New Year’s Eve, another 40 questions answered!

video juliet

1. What did you do in 2016 that you’d never done before?
We opened our Christmas gifts on December 26. Also, I used “cloud” storage, although technically, I’ve done this for years with my email accounts.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
For 2016, I said that I would try to “bloom where planted.” My success rate was maybe seventy percent.
For 2017, I made an effort late in 2016 to focus on the positive; I achieved that largely through getting lost in a favorite song, movie or TV show, probably because, when I look at my real world, I don’t see much worth focusing on. But, knowing that we see what we seek, I plan to look for something positive in my real life situations.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
No.

4. Did anyone close to…

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a year in review – 2015

Posted: December 31, 2015 in etcetera

A year-end tradition for me: answering the 40 questions.

video juliet

1. What did you do in 2015 that you’d never done before?
tried hot tea with cream, got caught in a termite cloud, had a tooth “crowned,” developed stopped-up ears during a cold

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
For 2015, I said that I didn’t “want my focus – my world – to be my problems.” Sadly, I let them be my world way too often. Also, I wanted to dwell on the truth that “God’s plans for your life far exceed the circumstances of your day;” I made it ’til maybe March then moved on to other truths as the year progressed.
For 2016, in light of my lesson learned (see #39) I will try to bloom where planted. Hopefully in ways that don’t feel like settling and giving up my dreams.

3. Did anyone close to you…

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a “normal” plot bunny

Posted: July 11, 2015 in etcetera, FYI
Tags:

In the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode “Normal Again,” Buffy wakes up in a mental institution. All of the monsters and fighting the undead? It was all in her head, merely part of a delusion she was trapped in for months, while she was really just a normal young woman with a normal life. Of course, the delusion was a delusion orchestrated by her enemies in an effort to defeat her.

For a while, I’ve been thinking this premise would make a great fanfiction, and it would work for fics based on a variety of TV shows, especially for a spy or an action-adventurer.

I’ve thought of it specifically for MacGyver: on some sort of mission, he is knocked unconscious, wakes up in the hospital. After the preliminary letting-him-know-what-happened, someone says, “Your wife has been waiting for you.” Of course, he’s all, “My wha…?” They proceed to fill in all the details of his so-called Real Life, but – as with Buffy – it’s just a ruse by his enemies to try to trick him into revealing some information.

a year in review – 2014

Posted: December 28, 2014 in etcetera

video juliet

1. What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before?
ate poached fish, attended an ash scattering, battled an infestation of pantry moths, been dining at a restaurant where our waitress quit, bought coffee beans and had them ground, had cake for breakfast, put audio books on my mp3 player, saw a movie at Carmike Valley Bend Theatre, touched a meteorite, tried computer glasses, was rear-ended in traffic

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
For 2014, I wanted to continue to make nutritious food choices and read the Old Testament.
For 2015, I plan to work on #19 and #39 below, and to dwell on the truth: “God’s plans for your life far exceed the circumstances of your day.”

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
No.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Yes. My aunt…

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does anyone remember the show…

Posted: November 29, 2014 in etcetera

Does anyone remember the show “Scarecrow and Mrs. King”? It ran from 1983-1987(?); Season One is out on DVD now, and I’m *really* enjoying seeing it again.

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Does anyone remember the shows…

… Hull High? IIRC, there was a high school setting, and students and faculty occasionally broke forth into song. Yeah, it was super-cheezy, but I recall liking it. A lot.

… Rags to Riches? I’m a bit hazier on this one, but I think there were four or five orphan girls taken in by some rich man. Like the previous show, the characters would break forth into song to express their true feelings. The one scene I half-way recall is the girls singing, “I love him, I love him, I love him, and where he goes I’ll follow, I’ll follow, I’ll follow…” when the oldest one had a rebel boyfriend and Adopted Dad told her that the guy had to go.

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Does anyone else remember the sitcom Jennifer Slept Here? It was, maybe early ’80s, I’d say. About an actress – played by Ann Jillian – who died and then haunts the people that buy her house. To this day, I can still remember the theme song:

Jennifer slept here.
She lived here, laughed here, and loved here-
She slept here.
And she never really left here.
Jennifer slept here.

Well, that’s most of it… I think!

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I recently started rewatching The Greatest American Hero, and I was especially impressed with the pilot episode. As any good pilot episode does, it clearly presents our hero’s situation so that we can appreciate the difficulties our hero faces in undertaking his new job as, well, a superhero.

Near the start of the ep, a child is watching the SuperFriends (with Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, etc.) which almost foreshadows what’s to come, that is, the man becoming a hero. At the same time, the superhero cartoon creates a nice juxtaposition that sets up our story: what if an ordinary man was suddenly given extraordinary powers? To say the least, it would not start out flawlessly, like those long-time superheroes. Instead, this suddenly extra-ordinary man would face the same challenges that our hero did:
– A flashy costume looks great in the comic books, but actually wearing one on any given city street might just get you committed.
– Your family responsibilities are likely to suffer because of your frequent and unexplained absences. (Can’t very well tell ’em you were out saving the world.)
– The hazards inherent in your new career could take a toll on your relationships as well as your real-life job.
– Perhaps the biggest challenge of all: you discover that superheroing is not as easy as it looks on television. Even if you did have the instruction book, doing supernatural things would take some getting used to.

Having experienced all of these challenges, not to mention losing the instruction book, it’s even more remarkable that Ralph remains willing to accept the job. It says a lot about his character. Then again, we saw that same part of his character when he accepted the less-than-plum assignment of teaching the remedial class. He truly wants to help, and he doesn’t bail even when he knows that continuing won’t be easy. I think this is one of the reasons he was chosen to receive the suit.

Having watched almost all of the season one episodes now, I’m still appreciating not only the story presented by this show but the way it’s told. For example, the suit and the super-heroing aren’t the main focus. Instead, what’s important is the real-life stuff, Ralph, Bill, Pam, the way they feel about things, the things they want, the relationships they’re developing. It just goes to show that, while we need heroes to rise to the really big moments, we don’t need a super-suit to live the best life we can. We just have to stick with it.

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My sister found the complete series (yeah, only one season, alas) of Square Pegs on sale at Dollar General. We had forgotten all about it, but what a great show it was! At first it seems as if only the two main characters are the “square pegs” that don’t fit in. But as the show progresses we realize that everyone – even the so-called popular kids and the teachers – have big-time quirks. They’re all “square pegs”!

And that’s okay. Because as their theme song points out, “One size does NOT fit all.” 😀

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Does anyone remember the shows…

…Parker Lewis Can’t Lose?

…Wizards and Warriors?

Apparently, the folks at TV Guide do! At least, they did last year. In their 7/29 – 8/11/2013 issue, they listed the character Parker Lewis as one of the 60 greatest kid TV characters. :applause:

In that same issue, one of the crossword puzzle clues was “Julia Duffy on Wizards and Warriors.” FYI: the answer was Princess Ariel.

Thanks for the nod to these two little-known gems, TV Guide!

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Did you ever see the show thirtysomething? I didn’t watch it in the original run, but I found the DVDs on sale, and the fam and I have been watching our way through season one. (Side note: I’m glad I’m seeing it now, instead of then. Now I can really relate to their “adult” problems and appreciate what the characters are going through.)

In the episode we just watched, the character Elliot decided that he felt suffocated, and moved out on his wife, Nancy. In previous eps, they were having problems and even went to counseling, but she seemed more willing to work it out than he. Anyway, Elliot tells his friend that his feelings have changed: he “just had to get out.” Maybe I overidentify with the woman… but I really just want to tell Elliot off. “Grow up! You made a commitment – so get over yourself, and make it work!!”

At the same time, I can empathize with Elliot and his feelings of “I just don’t love her anymore.” It’s clear he’s not trying to be mean; he doesn’t know how it happened, but now he doesn’t know how to get past it, or where to go from there.

~ * ^ + ~

bean bag toss game

Posted: November 25, 2014 in etcetera, FYI

Materials used:
* a square wood board that I found in our barn, approx. 3feet x 3feet x 1inch thick for stability (in case the wind was strong)
* thin plastic plates from the Dollar Tree (1 pack of 8 plates (9″, I think))
* tacks
* an old tablecloth, cut to cover the board (without too much extra material)

I took the general idea for this bean bag toss game from this blog:
http://helenjane.com/2014/08/19/make-a-lego-bean-bag-toss-game/

To simplify my life, I only put three targets (doubled, so two plates each), and I didn’t spray paint anything. I just covered the wood board with a sheet and tacked it generously on the bottom. Then I just tacked the plates on.

bean bag toss game

bean bag toss game

I bought a box of 4 “regulation” bean bags: if I’d seen the above blog post first, I would’ve used rolled-up socks.

While playing the game at our community festival, I told older players that the object was to put one bean bag on each plate. For the younger ones, the object was to put a bean bag on any plate. One mom of a three-year-old told me she was glad I had a game that little ones could do.

The front plate did start to crack after about an hour of play, but it will be easy enough to fix for next year.

I recently asked my Facebook friends for recommendations – or DISrecommendations – for free antivirus software for Windows 8.1. I’ll continue to read on-line reviews, but I wanted to get the opinions of people I know and respect. I decided to share their comments here, for anyone who’s curious what “real people” are saying about the topic.

* There are a number of good programs out there. Just be aware that all of them are likely to invite you to upgrade to paying status on a regular basis. My younger son recommends Microsoft Security Essentials.

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(me: Thanks, Lisa! One vote for MSE. And oh, yes, I’ve been warned to expect the “offers” to get the paid version. :rollseyes: )

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* Use the free Windows Defender.

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(me: Thanks, Teresa! I do like that name. Very knight-ly, lol. )

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* If you had free software, you’ll have to remove it and turn WD on. But it works fine for us.

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* Avast…… The free version. We have several computers used for several things and Avast works great for all of them. We have used it for years .
* It is very simple to use also.

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(me: Thanks, Guys! 3 people, 3 votes… but these are all bits of info I can use. “Keep them coming in!” )

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* Chipping in to recommend Avira.

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* Avira’s good. I think Consumer Reports recommended it a while back.