Lots Going On

Seems I haven’t manged to write much for this site over the summer. The summer has been quite insane. Let me lay it out.


  • New house
    • Sale of the old house not happening
    • Pipe burst in the old house and leaked for days before we found it
      • Insurance company paying for all the things
      • Repairs will take about a month
      • Guy wants to put in an offer on the house but refuses to until he’s sure that the work will be done before the appraisal. Blargh
        • Guy’s real estate agent is on vacation for the next 10 days so I have to wait until then to find out if the “one month” timeframe is acceptable.
  • First brand new car
    • Wreck
      • Hospital visit
      • Rental car for 2 weeks while care is fixed
      • Other guy’s insurance paying for all the things
  • Gallbladder attack
    • EKG
      • Stress Test
      • Nuclear Stress Test
      • Results not forthcoming
    • HIDA Scan
      • Totally normal, woohoo
  • New job
    • Better pay, but way more responsibility
    • Stress of letting the old work go
    • Learning all the new people and processes
  • New school for the kids
    • Oldest kid is hormonal and 13
  • Follow-Up to Biopsy of girl parts
    • Decision to have surgery
    • Further testing to justify surgery to insurance
    • How to work timing and recovery so as not to create a financial burden on the family with two mortgage
  • My dad is dying. No other words for it.
  • Chronic gastric issues lead to me being completely incapable of being productive in the evenings
    • No medications help
    • Surgeon offered to remove my stomach but not my gallbladder


Needless to say, I’m super tired. Super super tired. I’m not even social media-ing at the moment, really. I’m convinced that if I sell my first house… Everything else will just fall into place. But until then, I’m trying to focus on the family and not focus too much externally.

Thanks for your patience!

Android Auto

One of the things I am, folks, is a nerd for technology. I love all of the newest things. I love them and I frequently get them, even if I don’t mean to.

A lover of technology I am, and I reside quite squarely in the Android world. I’ve _tried_ to get into the iOS thing but… I’ve failed. I really just _like_ Android better. But… What I am not is a fangirl. Because I am not a fangirl, I had exactly no idea what Android Auto was. Nor did I know how new it was.

Electric Blue Metallic-N4B-17,48,105-640-en_USVery recently, I had gotten so entirely irritated with my 2006 Town & Country I decided it was time to sell it back to the dealership. I was not about to sink that much more money into the thing to repair it. But then, of course, there I was in need of a vehicle, right? I was very much after something with good fuel economy. I was going to be driving 25 miles each way to and from work, and I was tired also of 18 MPG. I had done some test drives of cars with good mileage that were the kind of car I was looking for, but I ended up going with the 2017 Hyundai Elantra.

This car, for me, gets 40 MPG highway, easy. But… That’s not what this is about. This is about Android Auto. I was told by my sales guy (who I adore, btw) something like, “It lets you see your phone’s… desktop… on your display.” <- This wasn’t exceptionally helpful, but I am good at figuring things out. Here’s what I found…

It allows me to open and initiate the audio programs on my phone… any of them… I have Google Music and Audible, which is pretty common, but I also use OverDrive for audiobooks. It lets me start them even though they weren’t previously open. This is a big deal. Other bluetooth radios in cars that I’ve used (a custom Kenwood and a stock system in a 2015 Impala) require that the audio program have been loaded and still be open in the processes (i.e. you can see it in the notifications panel) before it can be initiated, and you cannot change audio programs without a great deal of work. This is annoying. I can switch between them all, seamlessly, with Android Auto, no matter their state. There is only ONE part of this that annoys me: It won’t let you change playlists in Google Music. You have to play the last playlist you loaded or open your phone to pick a new one. You can, however, see all of the songs in the loaded playlist in Android Auto.

Android_Auto_ScreenshotIt works with Google Maps and Navigation. VERY VERY WELL. I love it. It is absolutely amazing. I hit the button on the steering wheel, I say the name of the place I want to go, Google returns a map entry for the place in question, I hit a button, and it tells me where to go. It got me straight to the IU Med Center in Indianapolis. It’s gotten me to restaurants, stores, and all of the things I’ve tried it with with no issues… which does speak volumes to the accuracy of Google Maps and it’s navigation features, but… But I really like the way it works with the display and the audio in the car.

When I call people from Android Auto, it’s really interesting. I shows me the picture for the contact I have in my phone. I love that. I love seeing the person I’m calling. The native Bluetooth calling in the car works well, but it’s not this fun. I really do like it.

There is only one thing I _don’t_ like… If my phone is already plugged into the USB cable when the car is started, the car doesn’t recognize the phone and I have to unplug and plug back in the phone before Android Auto will start. It is at most, a minor inconvenience, and I don’t know if it’s a quirk of the car or the program.

There it is. My personal take on Android Auto. There is so much they could do with this, but it its current state, I find it extremely useful. I look forward to where it does go in time.

Girl Anachornism

I hadn’t listened to any Dresden Dolls. I have my favorites… Pierre was a great one. Coin Operated Boy… Loved it. Half Jack is a little to real for me. So… Today… We’re going to talk about Girl Anachronism.

(Click here for the lyrics and you can listen if you have All Access, click here for YouTube)

You can tell
From the scars on my arms
And the cracks in my hips
And the dents in my car
And the blisters on my lips
That I’m not the carefullest of girls

You can tell
From the glass on the floor
And the strings that’re breaking
And I keep on breaking more
And it looks like I am shaking
But it’s just the temperature

And then again
If it were any colder I could disengage
If I were any older I could act my age
But I don’t think that you’d believe me

It’s not the way
I’m meant to be
It’s just the way
The operation made me

And you can tell
From the state of my room
That they let me out too soon
And the pills that I ate
Came a couple years too late
And I’ve got some issues to work through

There I go again
Pretending to be you
Make believing
That I have a soul beneath the surface
Trying to convince you
It was accidentally on purpose

I am not so serious
This passion is a plagiarism
I might join your century
But only on a rare occasion

I was taken out
Before the labor pains set in and now
Behold the world’s worst accident
I am the girl anachronism

And you can tell
By the red in my eyes
And the bruises on my thighs
And the knots in my hair
And the bathtub full of flies
That I’m not right now at all

There I go again
Pretending that I’ll fall
Don’t call the doctors
‘Cause they’ve seen it all before
They’ll say just

Let her crash
And burn
She’ll learn
The attention just encourages her

And you can tell
From the full-body cast
That I’m sorry that I asked
Though you did everything you could
Like any decent person would

But I might be catching so don’t touch
You’ll start believing
You’re immune to gravity and stuff
Don’t get me wet
Because the bandages will all come off

And you can tell
From the smoke at the stake
That the current state is critical
Well it is the little things, for instance

In the time it takes to break it
She can make up ten excuses
Please excuse her for the day
It’s just the way the medication makes her

I don’t necessarily believe there is a cure for this
So I might join your century but only as a doubtful guest
I was too precarious removed as a caesarian
Behold the worlds worst accident

I am the girl anachronism
I am the girl anachronism
I am the girl anachronism
I am the girl anachronism

I am the girl
I am the girl
I am the girl
I am the girl anachronism

And this, friends, is why Amanda Palmer is a lyrical genius. She’s weird. She knows it. And she’s fabulous. I feel like she’s talking about me, and I’m totally cool with that. “I might join your century but only on a rare occasion” and “if I were any older I could act my age.” Love, love, love it.

I thought about getting really deep into what the song means to me… But I suddenly remembered my 11th grade english teacher telling us over and over and over that poetry was interpretive. It means something different to everyone who reads it and that’s the beauty of it… and then every time I was asked what something meant in a line of poetry, I was categorically incorrect. So much for that theory.

I am not afraid of being wrong. I embrace it. But I’m not about to tell you what _you_ should get out of this. I just want you to enjoy it.

Have a great day!


#TaxationIsTheft Day

So I participated in the #TaxationIsTheft day on Twitter and Google Plus.

The idea was to get the hashtag to trend on tax day. It, however, did not. I know I, myself, posted at least 200 posts with the hashtag in a three hour stint of posting on Twitter. It never trended.

Oh well, at least we are raising awareness, eh? πŸ™‚

Please feel free to have a look here to see my complete collection of #TaxationIsTheft memes. Otherwise, here are some examples.


ea19ef31-f02b-4089-8135-b1ac76be9f46 I Have a Dream 25032016144937 463a5fce-7e14-4585-8038-b182e9d47629 16 - 1 (39) 16 - 1 (25) 16 - 1 (2)

New Phone: The Note 5

So some time ago I posted that I had options for a new phone, so I thought I ought to follow-up with the phone I went with.

galaxy-note5_gallery_with-spen_blackI ended up deciding I really wanted the Note 5. I’ve had three other Samsung phones. I got the 64gb version, the day it became available. I gave the guy at the Verizon store a lot of shit because he didn’t stock the 64gb version. I also gave him the voice that… sometimes, there are super users… and if you aren’t going to give me a 128gb option, you need to give me a card slot, no joke… though I know that this isn’t something he can fix. He can provide that feedback to someone. πŸ™‚

It’s a huge, fast phone. The new Touchwiz is natively theme-able, which I thought was a great improvement… then Samsung wouldn’t let me have access to the app to design themes for it because I didn’t have a portfolio……………. and let me tell you, the themes that were being put out there in their store… they were so stupid. They were so dang stupid. I guess that’s what Samsung wants.

My phone is encrypted, but it doesn’t ask me for an unlock code to decrypt my internal storage volume. I don’t know how I feel about that. It does have a fingerprint scanner, which is hella convenient so far. I keep trying to get my Galaxy Tab 4 (8″) to open that way and I’m all disappointed when it can’t. You are able to pin the things you use the most in the Settings menu so you aren’t stuck looking for them (and not finding them) constantly.

Not sure if it’s a problem with the headphones or the phone or maybe just some level of incompatibility between the older firmware on the headphones and the bluetooth software on the phone. My Bose AE2W, when you first turn them on, are supposed to automatically connect to anything they’ve previously connected to that’s in range and on. My phone is always near when I turn them on. The headphones connect, then disconnect, then maybe two minutes later, reconnect. I can try to speed up this process by opening up the bluetooth settings on the phone and trying to manually force the connection… sometimes turning off the bluetooth radios on the phone and turning them back on helps… sometimes not. I don’t know. It’s probably the most annoying part of all of this.

In the summer, I got a Kenwood in my van. I drive a 2006 Chrysler Town and Country. It’s a great van, but just before a lot of the wireless capabilities that are now available standard in just about everything. So I had to use a really awful auxiliary port that I had installed by the guys at Best Buy. I had been through half a dozen cables and everything was still awful and crackly. This Kenwood was a full job. The radio pairs with the phone, flawlessly. It makes calls, plays, pauses, changes tracks on my Google Music All Access. The steering wheel control the radio that controls the phone… It’s spiffy. πŸ™‚ I use this probably the very most.

All of the things I do regularly… play Dungeon Keepers and Boom Beach and Shipwrecked… listen to music… surf Google Plus… text the hell out of peeps… shop online… all great with the phone.

Android Pay works pretty well with it. I’ve also used it to pay with PayPal, which is also pretty spiffy. Samsung Pay blows so far, we’ll see how that goes.

The phone is fairly comparable with the Note 3 I traded in for it in terms of size. Battery life is better. Screen dims more for the dark. I do still use Nova Launcher… even after paying like $9 for Next 3D. It’s ok. I really like Nova. πŸ™‚

I feel like, overall, I have a better, faster version of the phone I had and loved. Nothing hugely horrible about it that makes me regret getting it. If you like the Note series, or even the S series Samsung phones, you’d really like this.

Thanks for reading,


Review: It Follows

Warning: Spoilers.

Ok, peeps. This is a horror flick. For sure. My husband didn’t like one part of it, and I’ll give him that part, but that’ll come later.it-follows-main

First, I’ll give it this: people were obviously acting. I mean, obviously acting. Conversations between characters were unnatural and forced. This is my one criticism.

In this story, a girl is seeing a cute guy who gets her into the back seat of his car. Things happen, of course, and then he knocks her out and ties her to a wheel chair… to show her this present he gave her: this thing that follows her.

The rules are simple: don’t let it touch you; it’s slow, keep moving; don’t go into a place that has only one exit; you sleep with someone to pass it on; if it kills the person it’s following, it goes back after the last person, and so on and so on; oh, and once you pass it on, you can still see it.

If you don’t want any spoilers, stop reading here. You’ve been warned. πŸ™‚

The group of horrid teenagers starts off with three girls and two boys. The first is the girl, Jay, that was initially given the thing.Β There’s her sister, some kid who’s in love with Jay, and another boy and girl who I can’t recall who they are other than they are around, I imagine.

We know no one can see it if it hasn’t been passed to them. The dynamics of the group are such that, they could easily pass it to everyone in the group, and everyone could see it and stand guard, and they would be able to work together, right?

No. No that’s not what happens. The girl trusts the one random dood who she barely even likes to do the dirty with and pass it to him. He gets complacent and one night she sees the thing breaking into his house, and it kills him. From then on, it’s a lot of running and planning and plotting and a lot of failure. At one point, she seduces some doods on a boat, and the thing still comes after her… so they presumably die.

They come to a point where they think they’ve stopped it, the girl does the dirty with the boy who’s all helplessly in love with her, and then we see them walking down the street, hand in hand… and as the camera zooms out, it’s following behind them, then BAM! Cut to black. This is the bit my husband hated. WHY DIDN’T IT END IN THE POOL! <- says he. πŸ™‚

It’s pretty thrilling, in spite of being predictable. It’s the kind of movie that could easily have a dozen sequels, and that wouldn’t bother me at all. I’m sure I’d watch them.

There it is… Maybe… 7 out of 10. πŸ™‚

Review: Metal Tornado

Metal_Tornado_CoverSo… Metal Tornado.

I’m looking at this movie, and I’m thinking… LOU DIAMOND PHILLIPS! HELL YEAH!

No. Just… No. The whole movie is… Well, it’s a lot like Bigfoot. With Bigfoot, I thought… OMG! It’s Danny Bonaduce and Barry Williams! The Partridge Family and the Brady Bunch! OMG! This is going to be pure awesome!!

No. It was awful. It was so awful I highly recommend you don’t even bother with Bigfoot… Unless you want to be driven to self-harm.

I recommend that you only bother Metal Tornado if the idea of an electromagnetic tornado appeals to you at all and be warned that this lives right up to the awesome standards set by lowest-budget SyFy movies. Dear god.

Sharknado 2, this is not.

Review: Snowpiercer

Snowpiercer-2Snowpiercer… This is an interesting one. I thought it was clever in a lot of ways. I really did. But the end was a tremendous disappointment. I don’t know what I expected, but I expected something more than that.

Acting was pretty good. I’ll give it that. Visuals were pretty awesome. The idea for the drug in film was creative, I thought.

On the whole, I’d recommend it with maybe 3 out of 5 stars… Which reminds me, I need to come up with a rating system and calculations. πŸ™‚

NCIS: I’m a junkie

So… I am an anarchist. This means that I have a fundamental problem with the idea of “police” and “police agencies” and codified law. But, I love NCIS. Let me count the ways…

I love Zeva David. She loves to be a kid, something I’m sure she didn’t have much as a child (yes, I know she’s a fictional character). She’s very smart, very fast, tough, but just the right mix of sensitive and strong. πŸ™‚

I love Tim McGee. He’s your prototypical nerd. I would totally date him. No joke. And I did just rediscover a scene from one of the very early episodes where McGee finds out that Abby sleeps in a coffin, and he says, “You let me _sleep_ in a coffin!?” And Abby replies, “Not just _sleep.”_ Bwahahahahahahahaha

I love Tony DiNozzo. He _is_ the class clown. We know that he’s extremely sensitive and his clownery is how he hides all that away. But he does _love_ Zeva, and I feel that he would risk just as much for Tim or Abby or Ducky as he has risked for Zeva and Gibbs in the past. I think that he is fiercely loyal. I love how he handles his father, and I sympathize with the unease he feels when his father appears out of nowhere.

I love Gibbs. He’s a good guy and a bad guy. He has his own set of rules, which appeals to me on a very basic level. But his rules allow him to take lives when it suits him. He is vengeful in a way that makes me uncomfortable from time to time. But he would never ask anyone to act in a way that would compromise their own values, no matter how much it may hurt him. He loves everyone enough to let them be themselves without interfering. He’ll smack you when you’re a moron, he’ll hold you when you’re broken, and he’ll burn down the world to save you. The father none of us ever had but all wish we did.

I _love_ Jimmy Palmer. The things that he interjects that always irritate Gibbs, are always adorable and fun and relevant… Jimmy Palmer relates to the world much the way I do. I appreciate that. He’s smart, though maybe a bit too trusting at times. He’s dedicated. He’s honest.

I ADORE Dr. Mallard. Ducky is gramps. Everyone’s grandfather who has stories about all of the things. He has a great understanding of other people’s motivations and he is very observant. We know that when he was younger, he was involved in much more secretive stuff, like Gibbs was involved in. He’s capable of _great_ fury, but generally, he’s very sweet and a great listener.

My favorite is Abbs. Abby. Ms. Schuto. I know her tattoos are fake. I know that she’s written to be everyone’s kid sister. But you don’t just act a part. Especially after so much time, the part becomes a part of you as much as you become a part of it. Pauley Perrette is actually a forensic scientist by trade. She’s also really from New Orleans. Everyone says that she makes goth adorable. I don’t think Abby is a goth. I think Abby is herself. Probably more herself than anyone else. There’s an innocence about her. She hasn’t been spoiled by anything, even the awful things she bears witness to over the course of the average day at work. When I grow up, I want to be just like her.

Vance. Vance is interesting. Vance… I know that Vance keeps a lot of things very close to the vest. Not unlike Jenny Shepherd did. I know that he doesn’t have nearly the connection with Gibbs that she did. And while he is always a hard-ass, I feel like he is every bit as protective and loyal as Jenny would have been… of all of them… I do not think that there will ever be a Vance betrayal. I feel like he can be trusted.

There you have it. My feelings about the entirety of the main cast of NCIS.

I think that I get over my hatred of police and law in order to watch this show because 99.9% of the time, they’re investigating a death. Whatever the law is or isn’t, investigating death will always be worthy and proper. I can live with it. Lying, entrapment, violation, I cringe at, even in this show. But I get over it. πŸ™‚

Have a good day, all!

My Expected Absence

As is always the case… I get all hyped up on a blog and then lose steam. Why do I do this? I have no idea. I lose interest. I can’t write at work. I don’t write at home. My health, honestly, hasn’t been so great for the last several months. But I’ll tell you what… I spent some time the other night writing about movies. Good movies, bad movies, all the movies. There is plenty to keep me going. I was looking at all the things I’ve watched and I thought… There’s plenty of nerdy stuff here for me to talk about! This is how blogs are started! OH WAIT! I HAVE A BLOG!!

And that’s where I am. πŸ™‚

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