Saturday, April 26, 2008

Dry Ice?

Recently, one of my sons asked for ice water. No problem, I can assist him with that, thought I. When I reached into the ice bucket, here's what I found:

At first, I couldn't figure out what had happened. Our freezer wasn't old enough to start malfunctioning; we had just bought our refrigerator last July. The ice cubes were actually not melted; that is, they were whole, but all stuck together and frozen into a single block. When I asked the boys if they knew anything about it, one boy told me that the ice was dry and needed to be wet. He had added water to our ice bucket, then stuck the whole thing back into the freezer so we wouldn't have "dry ice." *sigh. Oh, how I love that boy.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Status: Nursery and Greenhouse

Steady yourselves... It is open!! It's not very busy because no one knows it's least until I blogged about it! :-) Rows upon rows of greenhouses are open, filled with growing and blooming vegetation.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The One Laptop

Well, it happened! I picked one and am using it as we speak... so to speak.

I ended up with a laptop that has 3 gigs of RAM, a 250 gig hard drive, an AMD Turion 64x2 chip, 2.0 gHz processor, a webcam, a NVIDIA graphics card, 1600 mHz bus and a 17" screen. Woohoo! More power than I need or know what to do with... for now! I'm looking forward to getting over the learning curve of Vista, then look out World!

A friend has asked me to help get her business off the ground but she's moving several states away, so I'm hoping that the web cam will be very handy for us. I just need to figure it out! Aahhh, the learning curve again.

My sister mentioned we could skype as well. So many new gadgets! :-)

Now, I must begin the process of transferring data from the old desktop to the new laptop, along with updating my preferences. Aahhhhh. I could be playing with this new fab toy all day! Oh, I suppose I should make lunch and dinner...and teach my boys... and fold laundry... and play with the boys... and other stuff. I guess I'll have to move in spurts in the Laptop World.

Happily entering the Laptop World after two weeks of researching, test-driving different models and driving sales people nuts by asking them to print up spec sheets for me.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Status: Nursery and Greenhouse

Nope, not yet... BUT! All of the construction barrels that were blocking the entrances have been moved. My guess is that they will open tomorrow!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Status: Nursery and Greenhouse

Nope. Not open yet. :-)

Ah, the World of Laptops!

It's crazy out there! Since I posted about beginning my Laptop Adventure, it's been kinda frightening. Thanks to my friend Val, my brother-in-law, and other friends, it's not so scary.

Val works at a company that does IT support for small to mid-sized companies that don't have their own IT departments. Since she talks "Computer" all day to both consumers and IT personnel, she was fab about answering my questions and decoding "Computer." She started with the basic "What do you do on your computer?" question to answering my questions about spec sheet items like frontside bus (FSB), hard drive speed, processor speed, and more. I really liked how she let me explain it back to her, just to make sure I understood it.

My brother-in-law gave me more specific info about models, info on what his friends use, what they like, and we went to look at some laptops. He pointed out what could be better on one model versus other models and helped me compare info.

I also posted my dilemma on my stamping/scrapbooking team board I and got more fab advice.

One of the best pieces of advice I got there was to try out the computer, keyboard, mouse, etc. before purchasing. Candi S. said that if I don't like the keyboard, I'll just end up hating the laptop. I never would have thought about that.. until I got the sucker home and realized I didn't like the keyboard or something.

I had my heart set on a particular model and when I tried it, I really didn't like it one bit. The mouse was centered in the base, but the way the rest of the keyboard was configured, the track pad was under one of my hands so as I typed, the bottom of my thumb/palm kept bumping it and blasting out parts of things I was typing. This particular model didn't have any office software on it, but it was connected to the internet. I was typing "" in the address window and after I hit enter, I found I was searching for ".com" which happened again after I tried to go to the google page. I looked in the address history and apparently ".com" was a popular page on that model even before I got there! Not a good sign.

Tonight, we went to look again. I thought a different particular model was going to be coming home with me tonight. Nope. The keyboard was fine. It was the texture of the mouse/track pad. It felt a bit like textured plastic. To me, it just didn't feel right or comfortable. Just gritty.

I did test drive one model that I hadn't looked at before. I think this might be a winner. I'll sleep on it and test-drive it again to make sure. I'm a little excited because it has more than I was expecting! A fast processor, lots of RAM, oodles of hard drive space, a webcam (a nice add on I wasn't planning on getting), and a 17" screen.

I also found another one I really liked, though. I think my Dearest just wants me to pick one. I'll get there! Hopefully before the weekend.

Thanks to you everyone who gave me advice!! I appreciate all of your help.

Saturday, April 19, 2008


Spring is such a fun time of year! Trees are budding, bulbs start to bloom and grow, and everything comes alive again.

The other fun thing about this time of year is that I start getting my annual "Spring phone calls." We live close to a popular nursery/greenhouse that many people expect to be open. I get phone calls from friends who live a bit farther away, "How are you? How're the children?" A bit of a pause, followed by, "Are they open yet?"

This year I have also received emails, along with the phone calls. I should clarify that I don't mind the phone calls or emails at all. In fact, it's amusing for me and I just count on hearing from these people once or twice a year (later in the summer, they have produce and a farmer's market). I just need to pay attention to this nursery when I drive and am running errands.

There was quite a bit of activity this past week: hi-lo's moving stacks of something for the garden, stacks of soil and/or fertilizer bags shrink-wrapped together and waiting for eager gardeners, employees' cars in the parking lot... BUT the barrels blocking the driveway entrances are still there.

Nope, not open yet.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

ISO Laptop Advice

My Dearest just proclaimed that I could pick out (and purchase!) a laptop... within reason. That MacBook Pro will just have to wait, I guess.

I started doing research and have found that I'm just in over my head! This laptop business is just confusing and a bit intimidating. Apparently, my computer knowledge is current... for 6 years ago! I rarely wade into the computer-buying realm. The last time I was here was about 6 years ago when my computer crashed the night before Thanksgiving. We were hosting Thanksgiving that year. All of my recipes were on that computer. We survived and everything was delish. Oh yeah, nothing like going out in style, baby!

I digress... There are so many things to consider... RAM speed, portability, Intel v. AMD processors, processor speed, hard drive size, DVD burner or just a DVD Rom, built in web cam or not, Vista or XP (since Macs are out of my price range right now *sigh) ... ARGH!!!!!

Here's where I need some advice! What are the pros and cons of your laptop? Any particular brand you recommend over another, Macs excluded? What type do you have?

Any helpful tips or hints would be much appreciated!