technology

Last year, I really enjoyed sharing my random thoughts as I watched the state of the union speech so I decided to do it again.

I love the state of the union speech.  It is such a time capsule, capturing the political landscape and always full of interesting moments.  I am always curious what the President has to say, whether I agree with some or all or none of it is really irrelevant.  Well, other than the amount of wine I need to consume to keep my blood pressure stabilized.

Please keep in mind that this is my random train of thought.  There are summarizations of what was said as well as my own opinion and commentary and it may not be clear what’s what. There may even be some grammatical and spelling errors, I didn’t do much proofreading.

Take it for what it is and watch the speech yourself. I encourage you to create your own running commentary and share it with the group. That would be really cool.

Oh yeah, I am so not interested in being yelled at for my opinions.  That’s what they are, my opinions.  Feel free to share yours, but disrespect will not be tolerated.

So here we go.  “Mr. Speaker,  The President of The United States ” …

I guess we should first note that many democrats and republicans are sitting intermixed next to each other.  This seems to be in a statement of good will during this time of strife, with the shooting and all.  I think everyone realizes that more civility is needed and that the violent rhetoric was a little out of line.  I would think they would feel this way personally, even if they won’t say it out loud.  Of course, there is a group of republicans that are refusing to participate.

It makes me sad that some people refuse to see the value of working together toward best solutions for the common good.

Let us all take a moment to send good thought out to Sen. Giffords and her family.  Tragedy.

Wow, I teared up just looking at that little girls father.

I always love that the vice president and the speaker have to sit up there and try to keep a straight face the whole time.

Governing is a shared responsibility.  Please please please can we start to work together and stop all this insane fighting.

Funny, all the corporations are making money again, but people and small businesses are suffering and my house just lost another 15%.  Your right Mr. President, I would like you to work together to fix this.

This is a changing world.  Other countries are kicking our butts. It is time to come to terms with the fact that there is no going back. It is time to embrace change and move forward folks.

I am so tired of hearing about how great we are.  Stop fluffing everybody’s feathers and start telling me what you are going to do to fix this and how you are going to get bipartisan support for that.

Out educate, Out innovate and Out build the rest of the world.

Winning the future…

1st step.  Encourage innovation.

It doesn’t just change our lives it is how we make our living.  Invest in research.  biomedical, information technology and green energy.

It’s like a good rock band, we have to constantly reinvent ourselves.

Hmm, I like that.  Take the money we subsidise the oil companies and give that money to people doing research and building clean energy technology. 2035, 80% electricity from clean energy.

What kind doesn’t really matter, let’s work together to get it done.

2nd step.  Education

Over half the jobs require more than a college education, while over a quarter of kids aren’t even graduating from high school.

Calling out to parents to take responsibility for their kids education.  Make sure your child does their homework, give accolades to those who do well in academic ventures, not just sports and entertainment.   Set a good example and instill a love of learning in your kids.  Be encouraging and supportive.

Success in not a function of fame, but of hard work and discipline.

Expectations should be high in school.  Must reform our school systems not throw more money at a bad system.  Here Here!!!!

Get rid of no child left behind and replace it with a better program.  Yay!!!!

Reform is a bottom up process, not a top down.  We must empower each child to acheive.  Tell them that they are smart and can accomplish whatever they put their minds to and guess what?  They will.

Give teachers some respect, would you.  And, guess what?  Being a bad teacher isn’t going to cut it any more.

Become a teacher, you country needs you.  But how are you going to make sure that being a teacher doesn’t require having a second job?

Boehner looks annoyed.

The goal.  The highest percentage of college graduates in the world.

Illigal imigration.  Needs adressing.  Difficult debate.  Let’s have it.

Step 3. What is step three? I don’t know but it starts about here.

Infrastructure.   We got a D in the quality of our infrastructure.  Sad really.

Re-double the efforts of the last two years and put americans to work.  Pick projects based on the economy, not the politicians.  Good luck with that.

Hee Hee.  He made a funny.

Oh dude, wake up.  You almost got caught with your finger up your nose.

Rigging the tax code to benefit the few.  Must change it.

It disgusts me that there are so many loop holes that a few corporations pay no taxes while other pay through the nose.

Boehner is not being very successful controlling his grimace.

Regulation is not the problem.  Protecting people is necessary, but I agree that we shouldn’t put undo burden on business.  But no rules is simply not an option.  You can not avoid that some people are greedy and selfish and will exploit people to make a profit.

Is that booing over the health care law?  tacky.

If you have better ideas, bring it.  Let’s here em.

Disagreeing and pointing out flaws is not even close to coming up with solutions.  Help solve the problems and stop you bitching.

Like so many people have stated in the past.  Are you going to be part of the problem or part of solution.  Really it is that simple.  Nothing comes of all this negativity, it just doesn’t.

Finally.  Live within our means.

Freeze domestic annual spending for 5 years?  Let’s cut what we can do without, but not on the back of our most vulnerable citizens.

Let’s stop pretending that cutting annual spending alone will be enough.  It won’t.  Cut excessive spending anywhere we find it.

Did you hear that?  Repealing the health care bill will increase the deficit by more than 250 billion dollars.

Malpractice reform is back on the table.

strenthen Social Security without slashing benefits or putting it at the hands of the stock market.

Say by by to the tax cuts.

Simplify the tax code, best for everyone.  Good plan.  Don’t repeal or extend anything.  Reform the whole damn thing.

I love the scale of his vision.  Go big or go home.  Think bigger

More competent government, imagine that?

Hey, it’s Gary Locke.

Ooh, another funny.  Hee hee.

Wow, re-org the federal government.  Well now, that is a current concept.  I think I was re-orged six times during my five years at a software company.  Can’t say whether it was good strategy or not.

He will veto any bill with earmarks.  Look at the grin on McCains face.

The Iraq war is coming to an end.  Over 100,000 troops home so far.

A little rose colored on the Afghan war, I think.  Gonna start bringing the troops home next year though and that is good.   Enough war please.

Oh god, here comes the stand up sit down portion of our program.  There should be rules about standing ovations and applause.  Let the man speak.

Well hello Patty.  Looks like people are starting to get tired.  Me too.  That can’t be a good sign.

Wow, those old generals look pissed about gay people serving in the military.

Get over yourselves people.  Stop being threatened by things and people you don’t understand.  Different than you does not mean evil or scary, just different.  You might be surprised how much you can learn from someone who feels, speaks, dresses or lives differently than you.

Solar roofing shingles.  Now that’s cool.

We Do Big Things.  We are country of ordinary people who dare to dream.

Well, not left teary eyed with inspiration, but a good speech none the less.  Big ideas, big arguments, big reforms.  I like that.

I agree that the first half of the speech was better than the second half.

Watch the speech now!

Part 1:

Part 2:

The eToys catalog came yesterday and reminiscent of the sears catalog joys of my youth, there was a special exuberance in our house. I remember so fondly pouring over every page of the newest Sears catalog, circling everything that I wanted, dogearing the pages to make sure my mom wouldn’t miss my favorites when Christmas shopping time came around every year.

No longer are we rushing down to the local sears and roebuck mail order store (yes, I grew up in a very small town and no I’m not that old it was just a really small town) to pick up our orders from the Sears catalog, but waiting for our latest online order to arrive at our doorstep. But the joy in a little girls eye as she eyes her next absolutely must have, are just the same.

Adas New Camera

We have been contemplating getting Ada a digital camera as she is almost impossible to take a picture of because she want to know what you are doing and comes running to you to look at the result almost before you have even taken the picture.

But every time we look at the kid friendly options, the price just doesn’t seem worth it, although a camera wrapped in rubber and able to be completely submerged like this one, just might be worth it.

Then we had an aha moment and realized we still had our old camera in a drawer somewhere (it’s no wonder our house is such a mess). So we handed it over and it is awesome.

She has taken at least 50 photos today, many of the TV and her toy planes, her brother and Pella the dog.

Is that you taking a picture of me taking a picture of you?

Upside? She is being wonderfully creative, learning to use a fairly complex piece of electronics (I have to say with surprising ease) and observing her surrounding in an all new way. I just love to see her little mind in processing mode.

Downside? If she flashes me or her brother right in the face one more time, I think I might have to scream I also can’t say that having so many mama just out of bed in the morning photos floating around is thrilling me.

The sacrifices we make

Last night, I was going to use my brand new Cuisinart Food Processor and when I turned it on…. Nothing. Doesn’t work. Damn! If that’s not bad enough, check this out…

So I go onto the internet to see if there is something that I’ve missed during setup or some secret. My first reaction is always to look it up.

By the way, there was nothing to find. The stupid thing is just broken. Ahhh, I digress.

Anyway, I do a search on google, I click on something and land on a blog, much like any other blog you’ve seen and BAM! Windows opening, sounds, I swear I heard some woman laughing at me and all in all general mayhem on my computer. I go about shutting everything down and return to lamenting about my brand new, not working, very fancy, Cuisinart.

Later, Karli calls me into the kitchen and he’s all “What’s this all about?”. I look and low and behold a virus has my computer. Crap!

As our resident computer technitian, this falls squarely into my court. This is what I see.

I see what appears to be a blue windows system screen telling me to reboot and install an anti-virus program because my computer has been “shut down” to avoid total devastation. I’m shitting my pants at this point, since it has been fully two years since I have backed up the family photo directory, which is really the only important thing we use the kitchen computer for.

So, I hit the power button to kill the computer. When I reboot, there is conveniently a license agreement for the installation of a spanking new Antivirus XP 2008 program waiting for me. Hmmm. Red Flag! Red Flag!

ALL STOP!

This is why I am writing this. This thing is nasty and gets nastier, but is fairly easily taken care of if you don’t fall for many of its tricks.

some of the symptoms that I experienced are…

  • it took over my desktop and replaced my background with a blue background with a spyware warning in the middle.
  • That blue Windows system notice was actually a screensaver. If you hit a key on the keyboard, it just goes away.
  • It disables the screensaver and desktop tabs on the appearance settings popup
  • It deleted all system recovery points prior to its infection. This one chaps me.
  • it launches its own installer with no way to cancel or back out. I have even heard of certain instances where it goes ahead and installs it without you doing anything. Do not touch this, do not accept the license agreement and do not try to close it.

The following instructions are what I used to get rid of this. It turned out I was lucky and aware enough not to let it get too far or do too much, so it was pretty easy to get rid of. This is not always the case, so if this doesn’t work for you, try the link at the bottom of this article for more tips and detailed information or search the internet for even more info.

You need to get a certain Malware program to get rid of this. I found many people who had many different programs that were not successful at removing this and I ran McAffee (on my computer) and Housecall and neither were able to get it. This program worked first try for me.

Download Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware

Install it and make sure to check update on the last screen of the installation process. This will ensure you have the latest and greatest.

Run a full scan and wait for it. It took about 45 minutes on my computer.

When its done, view the results and make sure everything is checked to be cleaned/deleted and then have it remove all the bad stuff. Restart your computer.

This may be enough, it was for me. I just had to go in and change back my background and screensaver.

If this doesn’t work for you, then check out the following article.  It’s what helped me.

Precise Security – Threat Center

There are many many places on the internet to look to more information as well.  When in doubt, google it.

I have been a little dormant the last couple of months.  I think I might be suffering from some very slight postpartum depression as I seem to be following some similar patterns to way back when I used to be depressed much of the time.

I have just been coming at life from a pretty dark outlook, been moody and just completely unmotivated to do anything at all.  It totally sucks.  But, i don’t want to blame this solely on something chemical that is happening, although that might be contributing a little.  The fact is that I have done a pretty poor job of taking care of myself, especially since my son was born.

I really didn’t have anything that I could call my own, very little mental stimulation and nothing I was working toward.  I had made the decision when Ian was born that I was going to take the year and really just concentrate on being a good mom and enjoying that.   For the most part this was absolutely the right thing for me to do at the time as I needed to slow down and focus and stew in my own existence for a while.  What I failed to think about was me.   I found out that without the mental stimulation and individual activities, I just lost myself.

I had always heard about stay-at-home moms “losing themselves” to the life of being the one thing they most desired to be.  I never believed that it could happen to me as I have such a strong and driven personality.  Oh boy, was I wrong.  It is so easy to just slowly slide down into the hole and then all you can see is a pinprick of light.

Although this hole was much much more shallow than the holes of my youth, the view was similar and the “bottom” looked much the same.  Earlier this week, I just lost it.  Again,  mild compared to the bottoms of my past.  This used to be a cycle for me.  At the bottom of my deepest hole, I lost my best friend, my boyfriend, my job and my apartment in a matter of 48 hours.  I ended up in a corner crying for several days.  But, although the climb to the top was much more strenuous back then, I never lost sight of that pinprick of light.  This was crucial to my ability to recover from these cyclical events in my life.  I actually haven’t had very many since I met my husband 14 years ago, but I just went through one this week.

It’s funny because I felt it coming and there was nothing I could do to stop it and I didn’t bother to tell anyone about what was going on.  I guess I was just in denial that I could possibly sliding down into the hole, when i thought that I had grown past that.

As I said, this was mild, but I spent much of two days crying, hit another car in a parking lot with my van, picked a doozy of a fight with my husband and threw and pretty severe hissy fit.

The good news is that once I was done, i was shot into action.  I have signed up for a PHP/MySQL certification course at O’reilly School of Technology.  This is not exactly what I would have dreamed of taking, although the skills will be very important and essential to my future freelancing business.  I really wanted to take some design courses, but the only really good ones that I found cost about $8000 for the certificate and that was a little much right now.

My husband made a really good suggestion in that I try to do something reasonably priced (the cert program I chose is $1200)  that would challenge me and build my skillset and also give me a chance to see if online learning at home is something I can be successful at.  Then if I enjoy it and want to continue, then we can look into the more expensive design degree.  Karli is so smart, and always knows how to point me in the right direction.

I am also looking into some yoga classes so that I can get out of the house and have some alone and relaxation time.  I also need to start going to the gym.  Karli would probably let me go to the gym every day if I wanted and I never do.  It’s so ridiculous.

I’ve taken some good steps to relieving some of the pressure and I am proud of that.  There is a lot of work to do still.  I managed to get three loads of laundry done yesterday and the floors swept and mopped the day before.  In my state lately, not even these simplest things were getting done.  I really don’t even know how my family was dealing with my.  I apologize.

There are several other factors that have contributed to my situation that are starting to resolve themselves.  My husband has been going through a terrible ordeal with his job for the last eight months and that is finally coming to an end.  Our life has been on hold for almost a year and has just started to budge a little and I am really looking forward to moving forward.

I can’t tell you how much better i feel, just getting through the last couple of days.  I feel a little joy and have enjoyed my kids in the last couple of days more than I have in months.

It’s actually pretty funny,  My friend T and I go to a psychic once a year for our birthdays and last year he said that my husband would have something really scary happen with his job, but that it would turn out really well and that this year would be about introspection and rebuilding for me.  It’s funny how right they can be sometimes.  He also said we would be moving to someplace warm, most likely LA.  So, everything with a grain of salt I guess.

So my advice to other stay-at-home moms out there is find something to do for yourself.  Just for you, that has nothing to do with your kids or your husband.  Get out of the house and find some way to stimulated yourself in the ways that you will find most helpful to you.  Remember that you are an individual and deserve to treat yourself well.