Monday, 30 July 2012

Update on Technology Woes

I just got off the phone to the Kodak Service center, and this is their words regarding my 2 yr old printer, "Your printer has gone bad.  I can give you a 30% off coupon for a new Kodak printer."

Yeah right.  I will NEVER buy a Kodak printer again.

Technology Woes

Sometimes I love technology.

As so wonderfully expressed in this song. Remember I still want a portable scanner for Christmas (I really do love gadgets.)

Other times I really, really wonder why I even try to use technology.  I feel like I'm always step behind.

So here's my sad saga on my failed attempts at using technology to the ends I want.

The year--2003.  Leo and I bought a camcorder and his parents gave us a basic Gateway computer for our wedding.  We also bought a $40 printer from Walmart on Black Friday.

2004-- Leo gave me a dvd burner for our computer.  I was thrilled!  I promptly started uploading our newly filmed home videos, edited them on whatever program came with the burner, and then burned some Dvds.  I even installed the drive into the computer tower myself. My lofty goal: Stay up to date on editing our home videos so they are easily accessible, ready to watch, with background music and editing to get all the annoying parts out.  However, the dvd /video quality was so extremely terrible, that I uninstalled the drive and sold it on Ebay.  I figured I would have to wait till we could afford a nicer computer and/or dvd drive to get quality output.

Technology: 1
Me: 0

Fast forward to 2010--My parents give me their old iMac complete with iMovie and iDVD.  Happy, happy day!!!  I am thrilled.  I proceed with plans to start transferring our now 7 years worth of home videos to our computer via a firewire cable.  Unfortunately the formatting or what have you (I can't remember now the exact problem) was really slow and it used tons of memory so my plans were delayed.

Another friend gives us an Epson EX100 printer and I think, "YES! Upgrade!" despite the fact that our trusty little printer was still going strong--albeit with occasional finicky behavior that required some patience to deal with.  We sell the old printer on KSL for $10 bucks.  (Worst decision ever.)

Christmas 2010--Leo gave me the awesomest gift ever!  Final Cut Express and an external hard drive.  Yes! I proceed with my plans to edit and make our family videos more accessible.  But then our video camera dies.  Literally dies.  No resurrection possible.  And to top it off, although BYU will allow (free to students) video conversion equipment, their 8mm camcorder died too.  So now I have no way to transfer said videos to the computer without paying a bunch of money.

And the Epson printer drinks ink.  I'm not joking.  I could print five sheets off of one ink cartridge and it would be gone.  And the ink was triple the cost of our previous ink.

Technology: 2
Me: 0

2011 (still)--I buy a Kodak ESP 7250 printer from Sam's Club, figuring to invest some money into actually getting a really decent printer and it claimed to have the least expensive ink usage.  Ha.  The scanner is horrid.  I actually had the Epson and the Kodak connected to my computer for two years because I always used the Epson scanner (however after scanning a hundred pictures or so in the space of a couple of hours it would slow down to a snail's pace).  The Kodak printer also has terrible color matching to the computer; so bad that I would never use it print off birth announcements, photos, etc. like I did on the old Walmart one.  And unbeknownst to me at the time of purchase, you can't refill the ink cartridges and the ink cartridges have a computer chip telling the computer when they need replaced, only get this--it's based off of a certain number of prints, not the actual amount of ink in the cartridge.  And if the black ink (supposedly) runs out, you can't just continue using the colored ink or vice-versa, you have to replace it or the whole printer won't work.  (Frankly, I never cared much if I was printing out a recipe or a princess coloring page for the girls and it was all in blue or some other random mix of the colors still left--I wanted to use every drop).  On the bright side, the Kodak printer prints very crisply and nice.

I also buy a Panasonic HD camcorder used on KSL to replace our dead old one.  It's lovely and films lovely.  Only problem is, is that it uses MTS formatting and Macs use MOV formatting.  So I'm stuck buying Aunsoft Final Mate for $50 to convert it and maybe I'm getting old (not learning new tricks), but it doesn't seem very user friendly to me, so it gives me headaches every time I try to use it.  Ruff.

Oh, and the kids shoved pennies in our optical drive on the iMac, so now it only works 1 out of every 5 attempts or so to burn a Dvd or Cd.  Joy.  So all the Dvds I planned on making (including some I could start working on now of my parents' childhood photos) will have to wait till I can buy an external SuperDrive or something or the sort.

Oh, and we had to reinstall the hard drive (which was nice because then it was updated to Lion) but I forgot to uninstall Final Cut Express first, so now it won't let me reinstall it, and yes, it's been two years, but I've yet to contact the company about it because of the above reasons of my planned project not happening anyway, so it's been easy to put off.  Ruff again.

Technology: 3
Me: 0

So where does that leave me today?  And why am I going on about this?  Well, maybe because I broke down in tears and hysterics yesterday as I tried to figure out Final Mate again to convert the video files I wanted to upload of Ana's concert.  If that was the case, I'm sure it was just because of changing hormones as my body is getting ready to deliver (here's crossing my fingers on that one).

Oh, and our Kodak printer stopped working yesterday too.  Altogether stopped working.  I think we need to change the printheads, which I don't even want to think about how to go about doing, but really?  It's only two years old.  Why?  Why?

Technology: Beating Kami to the ground.
Me: Mostly dead.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

I'm Alive

I know, it's been forever since I last posted.  But here I am, finally posting.  I'm alive and still very, very pregnant. 
 The highlight of this last week for me was receiving an AWESOME package from Switzerland via Utah, which contained fans from Spain.  Flamenco music was immediately put on and much dancing occurred.  The girls love them!

I also received some AMAZING instruments from Morocco.  Seriously, they make the living room.

 I had another present in there as well, but you'll have to wait till I have things how I want to see that.

And here's me 39 1/2 weeks pregnant.  See, I am very pregnant.  This baby better come this week.  And that's all my tired brain can think of.  I have to save the little remaining mental capacity for trying to upload a video to this blog......

Sunday, 15 July 2012


 Yes, I dressed us all up as cows to get a free meal at Chick-fil-a on Friday.  It was worth it just because of how excited Elena was about dressing up as a cow.  Also Sebastian was pretty thrilled to see the Chick-fil-a cow.  And it was a whole meal--any item on the menu plus fries and drink.  Sweet deal I say.  The place was packed and there were many other cow costumes.  It was fun. (Ana's not with us because she spent all afternoon and evening at a friend's house.)
 Elena drew this picture of Leo last Sunday in church.  I thought it was pretty cute.
And this is the picture of me.  She nailed the red dress and red dangling earrings.  But she said I had an accident putting on my lipstick.  Hee. Hee. This Sunday, Elena said she was going to be good and listen to all of sacrament meeting.  And oh my goodness--she was!!!  She sat quietly on her chair for the entire hour, she wouldn't look at books or color, because she was determined "to be good."  But every once in a while she would tell me that "it is so hard when I see Isabel and Sebastian playing."
I think she was more reverent than me.  

Other highlights of this week, I've almost finished Nicolas's baby book.  Leo did a lot of yard work on Saturday.  We went to the movie, Pirates: Band of Misfits, at the dollar theater on Saturday night, and Sebastian managed to hold the bite of lettuce that he didn't want to eat in his mouth the entire time.  When we left the theater, we decided he won this round and let him spit it out.  The movie was okay.  Not that great though.  

The kids are done with swimming lessons.  I'm so happy, I hate spending half the day running to different places.  

Isabel's quote of the week (for non-Facebookers) 
Isabel: "That's not pretty, Mom. It's not pink and it doesn't have sparkles, so it's not pretty. It's cute." 

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

A few hours of my day today.

12:10 PM --I'm supposed to be picking up Ana and Elena from swim lessons, instead I'm at Goodwill buying Elena the cutest school clothes.

12:40--Finally arrive to pick up Ana and Elena (yes, I'm terrible) and surprise, surprise, they're not waiting where they're supposed to be.  I pull up to the curb and leave the car running while I run up to the pool doors to see if they're inside.  The doors are locked. I come back to discover that I've locked the van with it running, air conditioning on, and Isabel and Sebastian buckled up in their carseats.

12:55--Ana and Elena show up with the lady that runs the pool, they'd been off trying to call me.  I've been trying for the last fifteen minutes to get Isabel to wiggle out of her carseat, unsuccessfully.

1:00 PM--The pool lady calls the police department.

1:15 PM--An officer shows up, takes down our license plates, asks if the kids are okay, then leaves.  We presume he's going to get some tool to open the car. It starts to rain.

1:30 PM--Some students show up and I ask to borrow a smart phone to look up Leo's number.  I call him and ask him to call Nationwide for our 24 hr Roadside Assistance.  It's now a complete down pour,  the pool lady finds me an umbrella in the lost and found so I can stay by Sebastian to keep him calm.  Isabel is playing with lots of her castle toys and is happy as can be.

1:35 PM--Leo calls back and says they will be there in a half hour.  No sign of the policeman.  Rain is still pouring down.

2:15 PM--No sign of Roadside Assistance or the cop.  I call Leo and get Nationwide's number since I AM more assertive than Leo.

2:20 PM-- I give Nationwide a call.  This becomes a thirty minute phone call.  The rain is starting to stop.

2:50 PM-- So in the thirty minute phone call I find out that our service request was mysteriously cancelled, with no notes taken as to why.  But unhelpfully they offer to make the service request again but I will have to wait another 30 minutes for them to arrive.  I say that's not acceptable.  The insurance guy connects me with the police department (who we had called in the first place) and they say they don't deal with that, we have to call the county sheriff's office.  The insurance guy connects me through to the sheriff's office and they promise to send someone.

3:00 PM--The same policeman that was here at 1:15 PM shows up again, and chews me and the pool lady out "for not telling him there was a problem."  I about bite my tongue in half.  Eventually he does apologize though.

3:05--The firetruck and ambulance arrive.  They start breaking into our van with a slim jim (is that what they're called?)  Sebastian is no longer sad.  Instead he's so excited to see the firetruck.

3:15--Van opens, the sidewalks have already dried from the torrential rain.  Isabel and Sebastian are fine.  We drive home.

Not my favorite way to spend an afternoon.

Monday, 9 July 2012

July 4th

We went up to Leo's parents' house in Georgetown for the 4th, but mostly we spent the day at his Aunt Yani's.  (I know I'm terrible at taking pictures, I need to take pictures of the kids with their great-grandparents, and I keep forgeting.)  Anyway, it was a fun day.  We spent the morning at the pool.  And then went back to Yani's for a bbq.  Delicious!  Then in the afternoon, after my kids had about driven their dog berserk with the constant petting and being carried around, we went to this park.  

Where they spent a good portion of the time playing pirates.

 Leo's pirate face?  I guess.
 Here Leo has captured Isabel, and is about to decapitate her.  Poor Isabel.
 Another scary pirate face.
 Oh, and Isabel's scary pirate face.  You can't tell from this picture really, but she broke out in a rash all over on the day we were there.  I think it was from the two dogs (My mother-in-law, Martha, has a dog inside, and Yani has a dog inside too.)
 I was cutting out sewing patterns (yes, I'm obsessed) but then Sebastian wanted to swing, so I pushed him for a good twenty minutes.  He would stay on the swings all day.

 Ana had been playing basketball with Yani and Bill and Nicholas, but it was HOT!  And they only lasted so long in the sun.

 Ah, cute kids.
 Nicholas, Daniel, Elena, and Sebastian being pushed in the swings by Leo.  I had retreated to my park bench by then.  (Come on, give me a break for being lazy--I am 9 months pregnant.)
 Elena is still trying to get the hang of pumping her legs on the swing.  Funny girl.
 We went on an "adventure" which included getting prickly pears from cactuses (resulting in Leo being stuck with the thorns) and me having them climb a tree for pictures.
 Elena was not happy about that, and refused to look at me for any of the pictures.
 Nicholas, Leo and Ana.  These were the ones setting up our fireworks later that night.  Good times.  I love fireworks, but Elena and Isabel went inside because they were frightened.
 Jenga block towers.  That's the latest rage at our house.  Bill and Yani gave us their Jenga game after my kids played with them for so long.
Elena and Isabel.  Man, they look so big to me in this picture.  Why don't they stay small?

In other news this week, we spent four hours at the pool on Saturday with our friends.  It was a beach pool complete with sand, and it somewhat mollified Leo's burning desire to go to the beach.  Too bad we spent all our gas money going to Georgetown, no beach this month.  :(

I gave a talk to the combined YM/YW today on Family History work.  I made a Powerpoint presentation for it (it was originally going to be a fireside) and I think it went well.  Powerpoints take a long time to make.

My Aunt Melodie and Uncle Montey and cousin Tad stopped by on Friday. Well, we picked them up during a long layover from flying from Argentina to Canada.  Tad just finished his mission.  It was fun to see them and we went out to BBQ at Rudy's.  Anybody want to come visit us, it's definitely good BBQ.  How Texas can we get, right?

And that's it.  Chao till next week.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Isabel's Birthday!

 Yes, I know it's a bit early for her birthday, but that's the nice thing about little kids.  You can switch up the days due to crazy schedules and they don't mind a bit.
 Um, yeah.  This cake is a bit sad, I'm not that great of a cake decorator. But all Isabel said she wanted was a pink cake with marshmallows, and I forgot the marshmallows.  But that's okay because Isabel LOVED it!!!  She thought it was beautiful.  
 Elena was excited too.
 Leo not so excited of me taking his picture.
 And the presents were perfect.  I love buying presents, (usually), it's so fun, because I knew she would love them!
 And she does!  A parasol, a lacy fan, a feather boa and a crown.  
Plus the barbie in the cake.  Isabel said, "This is the best day ever!!!"