Mar 312014
 

Several months ago my girl scout juniors decided that for a take action project, they wanted to save pop tabs for the Ronald McDonald house. Then when cookie time came around the troop as a whole decided that we would sell gift of caring cookies for the Ronald McDonald house as well. Today we took the juniors to the Ronald McDonald house to deliver the pop tabs and 150 something boxes of cookies that were donated.

After getting his laundry started, Ronald McDonald himself took us on a tour of the place. It is basically a place for families who have sick hospitalized children, to stay so they don’t have to spend a fortune staying in a hotel while their child is in the hospital. So at the Ronald McDonald house there are hotel like bedrooms, only they don’t have tvs in them. They have a big movie room on the main floor with lots of bean bags and chairs so they can have movie nights. There is a workout room, and a laundry room. There is a big play room, and an outside play area for kids. I thought the play house was awesome:

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We ended our tour in the kitchen, which was so awesome. I love all the counter space and the stove top. Groups volunteer to come in to help make meals for the families that are staying at the Ronald McDonald house, but they also have a couple of stoves and microwaves that the families can use to make their own food if they want something different than what is being made.

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Mar 292014
 

So if you are a person that is concerned with security on your electronic devices, I do NOT recommend the Kindle for you.

Kyle got me a Kindle for Mother’s day a few years ago because I had complained about missing my Palm Zire. My Palm kept me on track with all of the household tasks, and since it’s death I have struggled with being on top of everything and remembering when it’s time to do things. He thought that maybe I could use the Kindle to keep me on track instead. For a long time I used the Kindle without putting any kind of password on it. I downloaded some calendar apps, and some task manager apps, and some free games and free books. As soon as the kids saw the games they started taking the Kindle and hiding with it to play them. This became troublesome. They even bought a couple of things through my Amazon account, which caught me by surprise when I saw the email order confirmation. After this episode Kyle helped me make sure that I had one click purchasing and in app purchasing turned off, so that any purchase made from the Kindle would require me to log in to my Amazon account.  None of the kids would admit to having the Kindle, and they wouldn’t return it when I noticed it missing and asked for it, so eventually Kyle put a password on it for me. This seemed to deter them for a little while, but then they started trying to guess the password, to get into it anyway. Well here is where the real problems began. On other devices, such as the iPad, or the Nook, if you enter the wrong password five or six times, it locks the device and tells you to try again after 5-10 minutes or so. If you KEEP putting in the wrong password, it locks it for even longer. The Kindle doesn’t do that. Entering the wrong password five or six times you will be given the option to reset the Kindle to factory default settings. In the hands of kids who don’t know how to read, or that just don’t know what that message means, this is not a good option. In short, my children wiped out my Kindle multiple times. I was able to recover my books, and apps, because they were stored in a cloud on my Amazon account, but all information stored IN the apps, was lost forever. Every event in the calendar, every task, I had a good years worth of information in a medical tracker app….all of it GONE. Kyle called Amazon customer service to complain about this feature and find out if there was any other way to get my information back, but there isn’t. So Kyle and I did some further testing. I got all my apps and books back on, and I added a few things to the task list, then we used the cable to back up the Kindle to my computer. Then we wiped the Kindle again, re-downloaded the file from my computer and checked the task list. Nothing had transferred, so it’s pointless to try to back up the device like that. So we ended up just taking the password off. The kids went back to taking it to play games, but at least they couldn’t buy stuff, or so we thought. Somehow, even with one click purchasing and in-app purchasing turned off, Tyra was able to purchase four videos for the Kindle! This is the last straw. Kyle called Amazon and complained about it and they ended up refunding  my card and removing those videos from the Kindle, and we have decided to remove the apps and games from the device, turn off the wifi, and make it an electronic library for home school uses. As for a device for me, we are going to give the Google Nexus a try.

Mar 272014
 

Before tonight, I could say that I had never been pulled over. I have been in the car when Kyle was pulled over, once. I have been in the car when my dad was pulled over, I think a couple of times. But I have never been pulled over when I was the driver, until tonight. 🙁

I drove to Salt Lake tonight to pick Kyle up from the airport after his business trip to Florida. After picking him up we started heading home, but stopped to pick up some laundry soap first. As we were getting closer to home, I saw those red and blue flashing lights behind me. But being late at night it was hard to tell if they were directly behind me, or behind another vehicle. I also had that thought that maybe they needed to pass me, so I pulled over. They pulled over behind me. The officer got out and came over to the passenger side window. So I opened it, and he asked how we were doing tonight, and then proceeded to let us know that the driver’s side tail light was out. That was it. After he wished us a good night and started heading back to his car, and I thanked him for scaring me, we were back on the road to finish the drive home. Now I can never claim that I have never been pulled over, again.

Mar 272014
 

Before starting back at Symantec, my manager had let me know that there would be a training in Florida, at our Heathrow office, covering one of the products I would be supporting. Since I had been gone for so long, we felt it would be a good refresher. It would also be a good chance to meet with people outside the company, as there would be partners that would also work with it.

At the airport, I met a coworker from our Oregon office, and we would end up traveling together on the trip. This was my first trip to Florida, and the flight from Salt Lake airport was entertaining. A large number of the people on the flight were families going to Disneyworld. Once we boarded, the flight attendants pointed out that our flight was full, so to be sure we got airborne, we had to lift our arms in the air like it was a roller coaster. They did other silly things and jokes, for example when we landed, they got over the PA system and asked if anyone lost a briefcase full of hundred dollar bills, as they had an empty briefcase to return. It added to the experience, which really feels that Disneyworld (and the other parks in the area) get a lot of attention. Some day I hope we get there for a vacation.

We arrived in the evening to mild, rainy weather. I understand Florida is like this quite often, and was a decent change from a Utah winter. It took around an hour to reach the hotel from the airport, but fortunately the hotel was pretty close to the office. During our trip, we got a chance to explore the area whilst looking for food and other things to do, although they wasn’t much. We drove down to Cocoa Beach, the city I Dream of Jeannie took place in, although it didn’t look like I imagined it from the TV series.

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We got a chance to try some new food, like Alligator and Frogs Legs, at a local place a coworker recommended. Whoever thought Frogs Legs taste like chicken was eating some bad chicken, because it tasted nothing like it, and not good at all, either. At least the Alligator was decent, when battered and deep fried.

As for the trip, the training was good. Over the few days I was there, I met some people I had worked with in the past, and got the refresher and update I needed on our product. I am glad I went, even if everyone missed me during the trip.

 Posted by at 9:33 pm
Mar 262014
 

We have been preparing for this for the past month, and the day we have been waiting for is finally here! It’s the day of Jeremy’s first pinewood derby! He has been working on the detailing of his car ever since we got home from Grandpa’s house, and it looks pretty amazing. We went to the scout shop this morning to buy some weights to get it as close to the 5oz as possible. Weighing it at home the scale said it was 4.990 oz. I didn’t dare make it 5oz even, because I realize that scales are all slightly different and the weight that is going to count was the weight on the scale AT the race. At the race it rang it at 5oz even, so I was glad I didn’t add anything to make it 5oz even, at home.

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Kyle wasn’t able to come to the derby with us tonight because he is in Florida. I am REALLY, REALLY upset about this business trip, and the fact that it means he would have to miss the pinewood derby and that he wouldn’t be here to help or support Jeremy. He also had two of his Webelos receiving their Arrow of Light and bridging our of cubs to boy scouts and he wasn’t here for that. And because he wasn’t here, nobody else made sure to get the bridge out for those boys! The bridge is currently in a closet at the church, so it’s not like it wasn’t there because I couldn’t get it there, all they had to do was get it out. I was also really nervous about bringing all of the kids to the pinewood derby. I didn’t feel like I could help Jeremy with issues with his car (if they arose) AND keep all of my children in line. So I asked a neighbor to watch Adam and the girls and I just brought Ethan and Jeremy to the race.

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Jeremy’s car looks awesome, everyone was quite impressed. However, I’m kind of bummed that it wasn’t as fast as I was hoping. After all the trouble we went to to make sure the axles were aligned properly, and it didn’t go faster….apparently we haven’t learned the secret to a fast car yet.

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Jeremy didn’t make 1st, 2nd or 3rd place, and they didn’t announce an order for anyone but 1st, 2nd and 3rd. I guess in the past too many boys have been disappointed at seeing how far down the list they placed. I kind of like to see that to kind of gauge whether we are making our cars better or worse. Really they shouldn’t be afraid of showing that information. Part of good sportsmanship is seeing how you did, and congratulating and being happy for the winners despite of your own performance. Jeremy did get a special award though. He got “The Sweetest Ride” award.

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