Wednesday, October 19, 2011

But Soft! What Light Through Yonder Window Breaks?

It is the East, and Mango is the ... incredible new and massive software update for Windows Phone. 

[No, not Apple.  Seriously, why must we give our technology fruit names? Is it because we typically believe that it's "sweet" but, like food, it is already beginning to stale and decompose by the time we get it? Ooh, deep.]

At 7:55 p.m. on October 18, 2011, I began the now daily process of connecting my HTC Trophy to my netbook, clicking "Check for Updates," and crossing my fingers (and legs, and toes, and hair, all sorts of body parts).  At times, I would also attempt the "force" Mango trick I've seen both suggested in a comment here and elsewhere on the web.  Invariably, I would curse my apparent lack of timing skills for failing to "force" Mango.  Additional cursing would ensue and then chocolate would be required. 

Last night, however, oh, last night, I ended up staring dumbly at the screen for several seconds trying to process the "An Update is Available for Your Phone" message in front of me. 

Reeeeeeallly?  An update for me? 

I'll admit it - there was laughter, there was a jumping up and down, and ... an immediate nervousness.  I had read of several individuals with "brick" problems following step "8" in the update.  Being rather tech-challenged, I'm not familiar with this "brick" terminology but it evokes an image of throwing one's phone through a window like you, I mean, others .... other bad bad people ... would a brick. 

A phone rendered useless.  *shudder*

[That isn't to say that a brick is useless. Obviously, bricks are literally building blocks and were an important part of my childhood home but ... I digress.  You should be used to that by now.]

And so, I entered into the update process, eager but cautious.  Steps one through nine took only 20 minutes and I cheered (again, literally, and I'm sorry neighbors but, hey, when my night terror SCREAMS don't apparently bother you enough to check on my safety, I think you'll live through an occasional happy "Yay!"). 

Oh, wait, it wants me to look for updates again and ... oh, okay, another one is available?  Cool.  No problem.  [Actually, at this point I was uber nervous and worried about entering into some perpetual update cycle.]

Nine more steps.  Wow, this time is taking way longer than that first quickie (as so often is the case).  The download alone, oye, maybe 40 minutes or so?  The transfer and installation was also longer.  I lifted weights, checked the update, did some crunches, checked the update, did some push-ups, checked the update.  [In retrospect, an update a day would do my body good.] 

In total, it took just over 2 hours for the entire process.  Step 8 - restarting the phone - seemed to take forever but I think that was just me being paranoid. 

Whew ... she was up and running and Mango-ized.

I handled her gingerly (good phones, like good cars, are always female), and started the Mango discovery process.  The live tiles are even more alive and animated.  The People hub now includes groups so my family and close friends are just a touch away rather than several websites away.  My "Me" live tile allows me to post on social media, check in, set my chat status, see my social notifications and profile - all in one spot.  The camera has a quick fix for photos (although I still like the Photo Enhancer app), and sharing is easier.  And ringtones - OH JOY AND RAPTURE! - ringtones!!  I downloaded the 99 cent easyRing app, which allows you to search through a ton of free mp3 ringtones from and and am happily set. 

[In other words, I'll again recognize my Dad calling by hearing the theme to Smoky and the Bandit.] 

I'm still very much in the discovery process with Mango but I'm LOVING what I've seen so far. 

I'm am officially a Windows Phone 7.5. 

Yep, Mango is the Sun. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Life Is Good!

Long, long ago in an internet far far away …


Back before Facebook was both a noun and verb, before I had even heard the word Twitter, back over five years ago, I met a group of misfits on an American Idol public message board.

I had started watching the show and was searching for information online when I came across an MSN public message board dedicated to American Idol. It was season five – the year of Taylor Hicks, and the shocking upset when Chris Daughtry failed to make it to the final two. The year of Ace, Bucky, Katherine, Kellie, Mandisa, Elliott, Paris and Kevin. It remains the only year I religiously watched the show and the board was a huge part of the experience. The message board was hysterical, including people from all over the world in one spot sharing their views about the show and the contestants and, essentially, living out a true Peyton Place drama of their own. There were fights, love-fests, taunts, and attacks. Smaller groups of closer friends formed, flourished, fought, and failed.

We began only knowing each others' screen names. Looking back, that was when I became Justacogitating online. We began as anonymous strangers who slowly came to know more and more about each other and, even more slowly, came to trust each other. The show ended; however, the message board continued for a substantial amount of time. The same screen names kept popping up under new “threads” devoted to topics ranging from politics (always dangerous) to sports (equally so) to daily threads where now friends would stop by just to say hello.  As we grew closer, the level of anonymity lessened yet there is something about a group of people online, a step removed in one way from your daily life that allowed, at times, an even more open discussion of tough issues.  Honestly, there are things about me that only my “board” friends know even though they have never met me in person.

A few people eventually opened up private message boards and invited friends to join them in a bit less public setting and our friendships grew even deeper. The drama continued as well. Some private boards lasted only a few months while others, well, technically, others continue yet today.  I had no idea back in 2006 that I would still have daily contact with some of those “anonymous strangers” that I met on an American Idol message board – but they form an important and unique part of my circle of friends and family.

Why am I waxing poetic about an American Idol message board?

Yesterday, we lost one of our originals, if you will.

Even the online impression of Pam aka “Wink” was that of a mother hen – at least that was always my impression of her. I believe she was the same online as she ever was at home – an open and caring individual who only wanted the best for those around her. Pam emphasized her belief – her basic belief – that life is good. In fact, at one time, she hosted a board by the same name. She was always quick to encourage and difficult to anger. She strove for the resolution of conflicts between individuals; hence, my mother hen comparison. A beloved wife, mother, and friend, Pam touched many lives and will continue to do so.

Hearing of her death prompted me to reminisce about the wacky group of people I met so long ago. It’s odd … I know my original name and Pam’s but there are so many of those originals whose screen names I have forgotten. I remember Carolina_Girl (but it seems there was "sweet" in there somewhere at one time, right?), Acefan, Sha, BlueEyes, and a few others but it is frustrating not to remember more.

I guess it is the people I remember rather than their screen names and perhaps that is the way it should be.   

[That said, if you care to share some of the old names, I’d love to have my memory jogged some moreSeriously ... ]

Life is good!

A lady named Wink told me so.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Experiment (Yeah, That's It)

I've dived into that ever-entertaining world of ... again. 

How is Match comparing to that evil entity eHarmony I tried last year?

In the words of one of my uber-eligible suitors: It is what it is and it ain't what it ain't.

It is entertaining. It ain't necessarily fruitful.

[Side note: Please guys, please please ... avoid profile pictures in which you wear both cap and sunglasses. Not only does it make it impossible to actually see what you look like, it also whispers "serial killer".]

Now, before you decide to lecture me on my bad attitude about the whole process, rest assured that I am well aware that my lack of bubbly "life is glorious, I'm just missing you" optimism works against me, although I have serious doubts that I'd actually be attracted to the guy looking for the above.

Regardless, one of the many things I've noticed while searching for that pansy Prince Charming (other than my increasing - who knew that was possible - cynicsm) is that many of the men on seek ONLY those women younger than themselves.

Seriously.  Not even up to their own age.

Many a Mr. 45 seeks a Ms. 27-40.  A Master 55 seeks a Mistress 35-45.

Hmm.  Regardless of whether this need for youth stems from the middle-ager suddenly ready for a family or hoping for a trophy wife or both, I've decided that two can (potentially) play that game.
Therefore, gentlemen, the profile has been updated and the search criteria altered.  Let the games begin.

In short, the inner cougar needs a good ... stretch.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

On the Border of Hoarder

Most of us have, at one time or another, looked around and recognized that it was time for a good long purging of things, a cleaning out of the home; this traditionally coincides with spring, i.e., spring cleaning.  We've hibernated all winter long, snug in our warm homes, and when spring finally (always later than hoped for) shows up, we're ready to open up windows, air out the house, and begin tossing out the old and bringing in the new just as Mother Nature is doing the same.

Yeah, so it's October.  I'm a little behind.

I looked around this week and began to calculate how long certain items had been occupying the same space in my home; hence the name of this post.  According to the Mayo Clinic, a true hoarder would have the following symptoms:

  • Cluttered living spaces [Well, now, who doesn't from time to time.]
  • Inability to discard items [No problem there ... eventually.]
  • Keeping stacks of newspapers, magazines or junk mail [Wow, it's really time to take that stack of newspapers to the zoo for poo patrol.]
  • Moving items from one pile to another, without discarding anything [Isn't this called sorting?]
  • Acquiring unneeded or seemingly useless items, including trash or napkins from a restaurant [Now, come on, why would I toss a perfectly good napkin?]
  • Difficulty managing daily activities, including procrastination and trouble making decisions [Oh, shit.]
  • Difficulty organizing items [Again, I do this ... eventually.]
  • Shame or embarrassment [Of course, no one is allowed here until this mess is cleaned up.]
  • Excessive attachment to possessions, including discomfort letting others touch or borrow possessions [Hey, I only had a minimal reaction to seeing my old stuffed animals in a garage sale. Yay!]
  • Limited or no social interactions [Oh, shit.]
Now, before I offend anyone (or probably after), I do not consider myself an actual hoarder and, however popular, the show "Hoarders" disturbs me. If someone you know truly fits within the symptoms above, they need help before they endanger themselves or others. 

I'm more in line with the general population who procrastinate unpleasant tasks.

Yep, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

My present mess stems in part from the switching of vehicles (explained here) and the accompanying, frantic emptying of old Red.  I'd like to say that I took the time to carefully sort through the items that have lived in my car for some time now but ... well ...

... it just seemed easier at the time to grab some bags and dump everything into them.  So that was September 28th - about a week and a half ago. 

Of course, this picture was taken about 30 minutes ago.  Oops.

I've also been working a lot, gone a bit, and just generally busy.  The other picture taken 30 minutes ago was of my bed, shared only because it has never ever ... ever ... been in such a state:


I know, I know.  I'll start there. 

Ooh, but there is that movie I want to see at Celebration Cinema

Oh ...  it doesn't start for another two hours. 


Time to fire up the washer/dryer.  And shredder.

You know ... now that I've procrastinated even longer by writing this post.

Nipping the hoarderesque tendencies in the mess. 

Yep.  That's what I'm doing today.

Right ...


Thursday, October 6, 2011

O Mango, Mango, Wherefore Art Thou Mango?

I am a proud owner of an HTC Trophy Windows Phone 7. Yes, I am. 

The Trophy is the only Windows Phone currently in the Verizon lineup and when I walked into a local Verizon store in August and noted that I was interested in getting one, the Verizon employee responded, "Why?"

Really, Verizon?  Why?

Because my Droid Eris after less than two years was needing a factory reset in order to stop crying "LOW MEMORY" every few minutes. Seriously Eris, haven't you heard of the boy who cried wolf, otherwise known as Taylor Lautner?

[Yep, I did that JUST to lure in a few Twihards to this posting, I'm not proud.]

Because live tiles are just ... cool.  Because Skydrive access and Microsoft editing rocks.  Because my People Hub has all of my contacts from everywhere in one place, complete with FaceBook updates.  Because I loved that Netflix was preloaded.  Because I liked the format, the speed, and the memory.  Because it was over $100 less than any of the new Droids or iPhones.

Because that Mango update is going to blow things up (not in a terrorist way).

Yep, that Mango update is going to add even more features and fix old annoyances.  That Mango update, man, whoa, just wait until you see it.

Just wait.

And ... wait.

I bought my phone in August as news was circulating that the Mango update would be forthcoming in the next month or two.  Other Trophy owners have been waiting since the spring.  And finally, our Mango is in sight.

Verizon began rolling out the Mango update to Trophy owners on September 27th.  Now, the update will be sent out to existing customers in waves, beginning slowly in case there are unexpected issues.

So, here I stand in the quiet cellular ocean waiting for the tide to come in ... the Mango tide ... hit me with a wave, Verizon.  I dare ya ... I double dog dare ya.  I'm ready to get w.......okay so I should dump that metaphor. 

The point is that I'm waiting, Verizon. 

My phone is waiting. 

My Zune software is waiting.

Waiting for that *ding* and accompanying "Update available" message.

Monday, September 26, 2011

To xB Or Not To xB ... That Is The Question.

I've had four cars the past 23 years.  First up was a baby blue Pontiac T-1000 purchased by my parents for me while I was heading to college (THANKS!).  I'll admit that my first inhale of the prior owner's lingering cigarette smoke didn't immediately endear me to the little hatchback but ... when you're under 20 and needing to get up and go, it's really the "go" part of a car that snares you in the end. 

She was a good wee car.  She just couldn't withstand a cow.  Yep, a bovine flew into my windshield, up over the car, hit her again on the way down and sent my car airborne across the road, through a barbed wire fence, and into a corn field.  The corn was higher than the car so I guess it was good that Bessie took a bit getting back up in the road because THAT's what caught the oncoming car's attention.

I was cut out of the car with the jaws of life (Remember those S.A.D.D. demonstrations in high school? Yeeeah) and was lucky to come out of the experience with a broken wrist and new nose. [Side lesson - be careful what you pray for 'cause God might just answer that prayer with a Bob Hope scoop nose.]  Baby blue was not so lucky. 

Next up was a Plymouth Sundance, purchased primarily because I liked the cup holder. Yep.  With all of her electrical problems, the Sundance was more Sybil than sunshine but she lasted about six years regardless - until my mechanic was rear-ended while test driving her.

And thus we enter the Cavalier years from 1999 to the present.  I'm on my second Chevy.  The first was a 1995 sand colored beauty with around 65,000 miles.  She stuck around through thick and thin until 2005 when, with 225,000 miles and the beginning of a head gasket leak, she entered the beginning of the end.

I traded her in (Ha - $200) on a 2001 red Chevy Cavalier with just over 92,000 miles.  I've put nearly 108,000 miles on her during the past 6 1/2 years with minimal cost.  Red's nearing that 200,000 number.  Her cruise control has been gone for a couple years and her odometer is blinking.  It's time.

Given the amount of time I generally keep my vehicles, purchasing a new one tends to be a bit overly emotional and dramatic.  I grow attached.  And, this time, for the first time, I'm actually trading in a vehicle that is in good working order - no leaks, no noises - she rocks!

I started looking.  I knew this wouldn't be as easy as "where's my next Cavalier" since Chevy stopped making them in 2005.  I was never a Cobalt or newer fan.  My criteria has been gas mileage coupled with a desire to move up (literally) in the vehicle world, i.e., sit higher, and have the ability to transport my Schwinn Beach Comber (and her big ass seat and basket) among various other and not yet discovered items of all shapes and sizes.  I started looking at small SUV's but beyond the fact that I was nearing 100,000 miles on potential used vehicles before I was nearing my price range, I knew that the vehicles would get substantially worse gas mileage than my 27-32 m/p/g Cav.

I started looking at crossover type vehicles or wagons.  Enter the Scion xB.  The xB, made by Toyota, was introduced in 2004 and kept much the same shape through 2006.  Call it the toaster, xbox, or milk truck, the xB was definitely different yet it is in the xB's differences that you find its appeal.  [Yes, yes, if you find any appeal at all.]  The box shape allows for maximum room within the interior.  Sure, you'll snicker when you see one but go a bit further and sit inside and you'll soon discover why someone would consider buying the box.  I have never sat in a vehicle that gave driver and passengers so much room, including the back seat passengers. [Yes, Dad, this includes your Tahoe.]  Open up the full height hatchback, put down the 60/40 back seat, and an xB owner finds over 43 cubic feet of cargo space.  Also, the xB sits the driver/passengers higher than a regular car.  An xB driver will find herself level with that Equinox or Rav4 sitting next door at the red light.  It doesn't hurt that the xB comes with a six speaker Pioneer stereo/CD/mp3 system. All this comes with a 26-30 m/p/g estimate with many consumers reporting better mileage ~ 32 city and up to 38 highway.  Finally, the xB earned Consumer Reports' "Good Bet/Recommended" mark for all these reasons coupled with its reliability.

The downside appears to be the smaller engine, thus less power, which is one of the reasons the gas mileage is so good. This is also a reason that the xB is not a vehicle for the aggressive (Hello, my sisters!) driver.  Also, the interior could stand some better sound proofing and side airbags.  The xB was redone in 2008.  The newer version comes with a larger engine, bigger gas tank, standard side airbags, longer frame, and, sadly, accompanying SUV like gas mileage.

So, to xB or not to xB?

If you haven't guessed already, a used, low mileage, 2006 Scion xB won me over.  Multiple test drives followed hours of research.  My mechanic looked it over and gave his approval ("THAT's a pretty nice vehicle!") earlier today.  Tonight, I walked into the dealership armed with real market values from, similar values from the NADA Blue Book and Kelly Blue Book, information from my mechanic on what he found, and a post-workout look on my face designed to frighten any salesman.  [Len from Grand Buick  took it all in stride.]

They had their price, I gave my low price, and we met in the middle (albeit nearer MY end than theirs - "neener, neener, neener").  Seriously, though, I recommend Grand Buick.  Len helped another coworker several years ago and still remembered it.  He focused on my biggest requests and showed me any possible vehicle they had that might fill them.  He encouraged me to take the xB on an extended test drive, didn't blink at my request that my mechanic look it over, and managed to do all of this with minimal sales pressure.  [I'll of course revisit this recommendation if anything goes wrong but *fingers crossed* I'm optimistic.]  My biggest regret is that I'll miss Red's big day, her 200,000 mile milestone. Someone else will get to see that.  I hope they appreciate her.

Meanwhile, meet my Wonka Tonka:

She has just under 48,000 miles on her; let's see what we can do about adding a 2 in front of that, shall we?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Why I Buy Organic Eggs (Or Get Them Free).

What this post is not: any kind of scientific tirade on the musts of buying organic vs non organic eggs.  In fact, when I did a quick google search on the same, I discovered completely opposite points of view ranging from studies showing no difference in nutritional value between the two and rather gruesome descriptions of the lives of mass market chickens.  See Food, Inc.  Seriously. SEE FOOD, INC

What this post is: one of MY reasons for continuing to purchase organic eggs.

Living alone, I will, at times, buy more food than I can eat within the "safe" time.  I will eat eggs after the "best buy" date ... to a point, but I recently threw out a few that just seemed a bit light in the water. 

---Side Note---

You can check your eggs by putting them in cold water either in a big bowl or in the sink.  If they sink, you're in the pink.  If they float, you'd be a dope (to eat them).  Apparently, when the egg is going bad, more and more gas is created within the shell and they will begin to float in water. 

I do NOT recommend then cracking a floater to double check. 

Or, well, yeah ... do that.  It might be funny.

---End Side Note ---

It has been quite some time since I purchased non organic eggs in the store.  Yes, I'm one of those people who will fork over $1 or more to get the organic eggs over the standard ones.  Often, I don't have to because my Dad will pick some up for me from the local Amish down home.  Those are by far the best ones I get.  I'm betting the fat content is higher but it doesn't matter - they're just better.  If I'm out of those, I'll get the organic eggs at the grocery store.

This time, feeling guilty over the tossed eggs, I chose to get the smaller 8 pack Grade A large from Meijer.  Awe, just my size. 

They seemed fine until I cracked a couple.  And I did have to crack a couple because this was my first attempt:

Wow - officially the thinnest shells I have ever crumbled in my hand.  Now, I'll be the first to admit that I am as close to being a domestic goddess as Sarah Palin is to the presidency (thank God); however, it has been a while since I completely butchered an egg in the simple attempt to crack it.  And see how it just crackled all over?  I had no hope of getting that egg into the pan without crunchy additives.

Hence the TWO missing eggs from the 8 pack. 

In the end, I'm living dangerously and not throwing out the fresh but anorexic eggs, but I'll be back to my comfortable organic brown hearty eggs the next time I shop. 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Procrastination Files

[Previously on Have I told You Lately ... Scary movie like return to blogging following short-term turned long-term, self-inflicted life sans cable involving renewed unrequited love of Joss Whedon.]

I pulled the plug on cable services in December 2010 with the expectation that by February 2011 or so [read - tax refund] I would replace my old computer and reconnect.  Instead, by February 2011, I had filed my brief in my first ever Michigan Supreme Court case, was playing catch up on regular cases and nervously preparing for oral argument with the Court.  Time flew. 

----- Side Note -----

My oral argument was on April 5, 2011, a date I will forever remember as the low point (God willing) of my professional career.  It was a murder case that we didn't expect to even reach the Supreme Court (I keep telling myself that). 

Oral argument began.  I introduced myself and did a short opening then waived much of my "free fire" opening statement time explaining that I wanted to address any questions the Court might ask.

They had none.

Okay. So, none?  No questions at all?  No questions about the second issue either?



That was even more unexpected than the Court accepting the application in the first place.

I had expected to make most of my argument while answering the Court's questions.  Without any, I had several points I needed to make before sitting down. Within about 2-3 sentences, a justice interrupted me ...

And the questions began.

So, wow, if I had any doubt before, the questions quickly evidenced the Court's dislike for our argument.  Golly, this is fun.

By the time I sat down, I felt a bit black and blue with shades of pretty green. 

My opponent got up and did a short introduction then asked for questions. They had none.

[HA! Feel my pain, comrade.]

He argued his points.  They still had none. [Hey!!] 

None until I got back up for rebuttal.  [Double Hey!!]

Honestly, your Honors, you might be drawing blood soon. 

The best part - as I headed into my final point - was a justice wondering aloud whether I was over time yet.


So, that was fun.  I left Lansing that day and promptly hit the road for a six hour trip to see my newborn nephew and gain some much needed perspective.  Defendant?  Oh, he ended up pleading guilty to the same charge (for less time). 

----- End Side Note -----

Once the summer started, I was volunteering at the zoo, enjoying the sun, and still catching up on other cases.  I thought about blogging but figured I would wait until I had the new computer.  I thought about another run but figured I would wait until I had the new computer.  I thought about finding a book or movie club to join but figured I would wait until I had the new computer.  Time continued to fly and when I needed to decompress, I turned to my DVD collection.

Meanwhile, my Droid Eris was taking a cyber dump requiring a factory reset, my DVD player was beginning to play dead with its mouth (disk door) open, and my blessed wee red car was nearing 200,000 miles.  It was officially a massive tech turnover time.

But but but .... what phone to get?  A Droid 4G giant? Ooh, an iPhone?? 

What about the DVD player?  Should I get a smart player with streaming Netflix?

And the computer!!  Do I go with a Mac?  A Sony laptop? A netbook? But I might want to do work (Bahahaha) at times so I should get a laptop, right? Wait. Netbooks can do that, too?  Decisions, decisions.

[Ooh, look, my firefly DVD collection beckons].

So, Chevy Equinox? But a small car would get better gas mileage. But Dad says the SUV is safer.  But I can afford a newer small car. But ... but ... 

[I could stand to watch Season 7 of Buffy again.]

Time continued to fly.  Helped nicely along by the wit of Whedon.

And then the procrastination dam broke: within a 48 hour period at the end of August, I spent hundreds of dollars and made several decisions.  I went a different route with my phone and got the HTC Trophy - a Windows 7 phone.  I. Love. It.  Love love and the upcoming Mango update will blow our minds.

I decided on a light netbook but with 3 GB of running memory, a 320 GB hard drive, and an HDMI output.  I love every bit of its 11.6

I ordered basic cable and performance internet.  The wireless is set and away I go.

Phone. Check.

Computer. Check!

Cable. Check!!

Book club. Check!!!

[Look at me go!]

DVD player. Eh ... it still basically works.

Car. Hey, my wee red beauty is still going fine. And, really, who needs cruise control or power windows?  Well, now, come on, you can't possibly expect me to date until those other things are settled, right?


I wonder what's on TV.

Wait, the new season starts next week?  Brilliant.

Monday, September 12, 2011

I'm Baaaaaaack!!

Admit it.  This is only slightly less terrifying than The Poltergeist moment. 

I know.  I've been gone a long time due to a 70 year old (aka 7 year old) Dell desktop whose screen had become bluer than my lovely eyes.  It sits here even now, over in the corner, mocking me with forgotten files of old resumes, old chats (oh yeah, I kept those), and old pictures (which are the only things keeping me from going all Office Space on its ass...embly).  But our time together is nearing an end.  YOU HEARD ME, YOU DECREPIT MACHINE. END!  I've got a flash drive and I'm not (too horribly) afraid to use it, and then, well, then ...

So, what DOES one do with the old unfaithful computer? I googled some information recommending some particularly brutal wiping programs but, honestly, consider me Josephine Schmo looking to simply rid herself of an eye-sore.  I want the minimum "not gonna open it but don't want my files eyed" solution.

Yeah, yeah, I know. Pay someone.  I likely will just because I don't want to deal with it. But this conflicts with my natural distrust of ... people.

I've been gone a long time ... almost a year.  When the hunka was driving me to tantrums, I finally pulled the plug on the Internet.  I wasn't using it anymore and thought, hey, I'll rid myself of a bill until I get my new laptop in a couple (three, NINE) months.  So I cancelled Comcast. Yes, people, I lived the dream and said "bah bye" to cable completely.  Now, of course, the dream part only lasts until you're off the phone.  The nightmare begins when you realize that your building has no outside antenna and that Best Buy piece of shit digital antenna brings you a grainy religious program in the living room OR a brilliant Fox 17 in your bedroom provided you don't move ... ever.  So, I've been becoming better acquainted with my DVD collection and, occasionally, the stop/go/freeze DVD collection at the local library (seriously ... it's called CLEANER people!). 

The highlight?  Discovering the Joss Whedon gem firefly.  HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THIS!!?? A Whedon series with one of my favorites - evil Caleb/Castle Nathan Fillian - set in space with cowboys, prostitutes, and, did I mention, NATHAN FILLIAN??  I have to assume that the network did a piss poor, nonexistent job of promoting this show because nothing else explains the 14 episode sole season.  It. Is. Brilliant.  And I missed it.  Of course, I was ending law school and my marriage but still.  MISSED IT.  Happily, due to my self-inflicted lack of ANY television, I now own it, watched it, rewatched it, re-rewatched it, and proudly display my firefly Shiny shirt whenever possible. --->

Go get it. Now. I'll wait here.

[More to follow on my return to the cyber world ... now don't hurt yourself clicking refresh every second.]