Jun 30, 2012 Randomosity
I’ve been telling my husband for years that I was going to make a video of all of the recycled lines from Aaron Sorkin’s shows Sports Night and West Wing (I didn’t want to include Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip because I didn’t want to watch it again). Well, someone went way further than I would have, including just about everything Sorkin has ever written. Enjoy.
I admit that when I see a really driven, almost robot-like Olympic athlete I assume that somewhere there’s a parent threatening to kick her out of the house if she doesn’t bring home the gold. I mean, I’m sure that’s the exception and not the rule, but I do wonder how much of the choice to compete is left to the kids. So, it was refreshing to read this interview with Michael Phelps’ mom. Kind-of restored my faith in that whole area.
How cute are these Toy Story cupcakes? Yes, they’re adorable. But what makes them postworthy is the fact that they don’t require the skills of a pastry chef, like some over-the-top cupcakes I see online. The most complicated thing you have to do is cut something into the shape of a leaf. And it’s for an alien’s ear, so it doesn’t even have to look that good.
Jun 25, 2012 Randomosity
So first of all, I didn’t know there was an adult kickball league. Second of all, this guy gets serious style points.
This story about the family that’s considering suing because their daughter wasn’t valedictorian makes me sad in about twelve different ways, but let’s concentrate on just one: How after working really hard to get excellent grades, this poor girl’s parents called her a loser. I sincerely hope she gets out of that house and realizes that her parents aren’t normal.
Jun 20, 2012 Contest/Giveaway
[This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to the winner, Wendy, comment #12. Thanks for entering!]
I’d always assumed that WiFi routers were all pretty much the same: just get the latest one from a known brand name, and you’re good to go. We’ve been using one from our cable company that’s very new. It worked fine, as far as we could tell.
Our main TV, a Samsung, connects to the internet via WiFi. We can access Netflix, Vudu, and lots of other services. The picture is always good. The only problem is that we never hooked it up to our surround sound system (and it would be hard to do at this point), so while the TV’s sound is very good, it’s not surround sound good.
This is why we usually end up watching Netflix through the XBox, which also connects to the internet via WiFi. Only problem with that is, after a few minutes of playing an HD movie or show, it drops down to non-HD. I searched the internet for a solution, and most message boards and reviews discussing my particular situation said the same thing: XBox throttles the signal. I had no idea why Microsoft would do that, but it didn’t seem like there was anything we could do about it. So, we choose between excellent sound, or excellent picture.
Jun 19, 2012 Contest/Giveaway
[This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to the winner, Stephanie, comment #12. Thank you to all who entered.]
The ability to play Netflix movies and show the pictures from my laptop on a TV is so prevalent at this point, I get annoyed when I can’t. With the WD TV Live Streaming Media Player from Western Digital selling on Amazon for a price so low they wouldn’t even show it to me unless I put it in my cart, there’s little excuse not to have every TV in your home connected to the internet and your home network.
My favorite thing about this box is its size. Its footprint is smaller than a standard square napkin:
In fact, it’s so small and light that you can hang it on the wall with just a couple of screws or nails.
Setup was extremely easy. I hooked up the included power cord and RCA cable and put the batteries into the remote. It scanned for WiFi signals (you can also hook it up directly to a modem if you don’t have WiFi), and I chose mine and put in my password. I have to admit I was worried at this point – the WiFi signal was only showing one bar. I’ve never gotten anything to work on one bar. To compare, my laptop in the same location gets four or five bars.
I went right to Netflix and signed in with no problem, and started streaming an episode of The Office I’d been watching the night before. It loaded quickly and played all the way through! On one bar!
Jun 18, 2012 Randomosity
This is just weird. It’s so bizarre I can’t decide if I like it or not. Basically, it’s art in the form of battering and deep-frying gadgets. I’m leaning toward liking it, because I get a sick satisfaction from seeing so many Apple products destroyed by hot oil. See more of them at Cool Hunting.
This study fascinated me: when signs were posted near sugary soft drink displays translating the number of calories into how many minutes it would take to jog them off, teenagers were half as likely to buy them.
So apparently Special-K is going to start using plus-sized models in some of its ads, but frankly, this woman doesn’t look plus-sized to me. In fact, she looks about 20 pounds lighter than my goal weight. Still, I guess it’s a step in the right direction.
My friend Amy wrote a great post about her thighs, and the lasting effect it can have when you’re labeled as “big.” Plus, it includes an awesome picture of her as a cheerleader.
Jun 14, 2012 Randomosity
Every frivolous lawsuit should be handled this way. Funny site The Oatmeal had their stuff stolen by another site, and then that other site had the audacity demand $20K for what The Oatmeal said about them. And then things got hilarious.
I make decent stove-top popcorn (when I’m not munching on my favorite dieting crutch, SmartPop 100 calorie bags), but this is an even better method than the one I use – definitely going to try it soon (via LifeHacker).
Happy birthday! Now drop dead. Yup, Gizmoto reports that you’re more likely to have a heart attack or stroke on your birthday. Perhaps you shouldn’t be trying quite so hard to blow out those candles.
Ever had the urge to use chalkboard paint, but didn’t want a big old ugly black box of paint on your pretty wall? It looks like mixing your own chalkboard paint is pretty easy, in any color you want!
Jun 13, 2012 What's Going On
If you want me to cry, just give me something to read or watch about a child dying. Doesn’t matter the circumstances or the age. It’s simply not supposed to happen in that order. I lose it every time. It is my biggest fear.
But a close second is the thought of me dying while my kids are still young (young being defined as…I can’t put a number on it; they will always seem young to me, I suspect). There’s no reason to think I will, I have no diseases that I know of and don’t take unnecessary risks. But for all I know, there’s some kind of time bomb in my body, or somebody is planning on driving somewhere today and my head will meet their bumper. You just never know.
If I were to die suddenly, that would be bad enough. But Lisa Belkin’s extraordinary post over at HuffPo about parents’ advice to their spouses and kids before they died just totally destroyed me. I was crying by the third paragraph and had to stop reading several times just to sob.
It’s something that I can barely make myself think about: if I knew that I was going to die, what would I tell my kids? How do you impart all of the things you hope to teach them over decades in whatever time you have left? When simply being a good example and being there for them is no longer a possibility, what do you do?
I can’t even think about it. It’s too painful. I’m going to go to YouTube and search for videos of cute animals while you go and read the post. Because I’m starting to get dehydrated.
Jun 12, 2012 What's Going On
I got home about an hour ago from my kids’ dance festival, a great annual school event where every single class gathers in the schoolyard and every kid performs. It’s a fantastic idea. But there seemed to be an unusually high number of people today who decided that it was OK to simply stand in front of everyone else – sitting kids, mostly – to get video while their child was performing.
One class did a dance where the kids stood in two lines and each pair danced down the middle. Well, one parent parked herself directly in front of the line. I wish I were kidding. She was about two feet in front of the kids, just waiting for hers to come dancing down. And of course, hers was one of the last, so she was basically right there for the entire dance. If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes I wouldn’t have believed it.
The obliviousness was epic.
The rest of the time, the view was something like this:
We were watching a wall of butts.
I finally asked the wonderful principal to make an announcement about it, and things did seem to get better. I wish I’d said something sooner. I wish more that I didn’t have to.