Sunday, March 14, 2010

I'm a PC and this was NOT my idea

OK, all you macheads out there are going to pounce on this with a great big "I told you so."  But I'm hoping someone out there might have some suggestions I haven't thought of for my computer conundrum.

We got a netbook for Christmas that's running Windows 7 Starter (don't get me started on the lame Starter edition -- that's a whole other blog post).  It took me a little while, but eventually I figured out how to network it with my other computer, which is running Windows XP Pro.

Life was good for a time.  Nolan and I could sit in the basement and watch "Doctor Who" episodes saved on my external hard drive.  I could sit in bed and watch video podcasts I had downloaded from iTunes on the other machine.  And I could print anything I needed to from the netbook.

Then one day, poof.  The connection was gone.  The computers just decided they didn't want to play nice and talk to each other anymore.

I have absolutely no idea what happened. I assume this is the result of an update that was automatically installed to one of the computers, but I have no idea which one or which update -- or if that even really is the problem.  I just know that I didn't make any changes that I'm aware of that could have caused this.

So tech nerds, what's the deal? Has anyone else experienced a problem like this? And if so, tell me you figured out how to fix it.

Spring ahead

On weekends we often don't bother setting our alarms.  We usually wake up when we hear the kids get up.  They almost always arise around the same time whether their alarms are turned on or not -- around 7 a.m.

Today was no different -- sort of.

We awoke to the sound of the kids going downstairs and digging into the Sunday paper, looking for the funnies.  Kris eventually decided to get up and hop in the shower and I dragged myself out of bed to go downstairs and start breakfast.

I was in the midst of starting a pot of coffee when Thomas looked at the cable box noted that the time on it was "wrong."  It said 8:16, not 7:16.


The Mass we usually attend starts at 8:30.  We probably would have gone to a later Mass, but Kris and Thomas were scheduled to usher this morning.

I don't know how we did it, but somehow we all managed to get dressed and arrive at church just in the nick of time.

Shortly after church started we spotted someone coming in late.  Kris noted that she had wet hair and acknowledged it made her feel better to know we probably weren't the only ones rushing around this morning.

How about you? Have you ever forgotten to change your clocks before a time change and then been caught by surprise the next morning?

Friday, March 12, 2010

RSS for Dummies

Not long ago I had to explain to someone (who I thought should have known better) what an RSS feed was and how it's so much easier to follow all of the websites and blogs you like with an RSS reader.

I've been using an RSS reader, mostly Google Reader, for years. Almost as long as I've had this blog and certainly longer since I've been on Facebook and Twitter. So I guess I take for granted that everyone knows what it's all about.

I posted this "RSS in Plain English" video almost three years ago. For those who still don't get it, here's a refresher.

Monday, March 08, 2010

'Oh, it's good to be back'

"Iron Man 2" looks like it's going to be a ton of fun.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Wookie Mania

"Oooh, Look! There's Chewbacca!"

It wasn't the kids who were so excited. It was me.

I took to the boys on Saturday to the annual Kidz Expo at the Empire State Plaza. It's filled to the gills with booths and displays from various kid-related businesses pushing their services. There's some things to do, like giant bouncy-bounces, video games, mini golf and lots of other stuff. Laser tag was the biggest hit for Nolan and Thomas.

For their giant geek of a dad it's seeing people wandering around in really cool Star Wars costumes. There was a variety of stormtroopers and Jedi. We even saw a Jawa. Darth Vader was also lurking about.

But my eyes lit up when I saw the first mate of the Millennium Falcon.

"Hey, Chewie! How about a picture?" I asked after rushing right over to him.

Except while everyone else was taking photos of their kids with George Lucas' creations, I promptly handed my camera to 6-year-old Thomas and proudly took my place next to my favorite Wookie. I admit, part of me wondered if the guy in the costume thought I was nuts.

Afterward, almost as an after thought, I asked the boys if they'd like their picture with Chewbacca.

"Um, no, dad. That's OK."

The guy in the Wookie suit might not have thought I was crazy. But I'm pretty sure my kids did.

Then again, they're probably used to it. I had a similar reaction at last year's Kidz Expo when I had my picture taken with Lord Vader.