Archive | May 2011

Computer Medix

Well, I know you’ve all been VERY worried about my computer situation… I mean you’ve all probably been losing sleep over it haven’t you?

Ha ha… Alright, maybe you haven’t, but for a little while there I was!

I am extremely happy to report that my laptop was saved as was ALL of my data…

All my pictures,  documents, fonts and even my music were salvaged from my laptop…. Oh, Happy day!!!!!!

Actually, last Monday was the happy day that I got my laptop back along with all of  its contents…just haven’t had a chance to blog about it!

A little shop close to home was recommended to me by several people so I checked  ’em out.  They guarantee lower prices than larger competitors and upon a lengthy conversation with the fella at the shop, I felt safe leaving my baby in their hands.

Fixing my precious laptop was no easy task for these guys at all.  Although they were able to remove the virus completely, they had never seen this particular virus do as much damage as it had to my laptop.  It damaged Windows itself so a complete factory restore was needed.

Here we come to save the day!!!

All of my precious jewels were safely transferred from the hard drive to an external hard drive for safe keeping.  PHEW!!! Crisis averted!!!

While I am very happy to have my laptop back along with all the data, I still haven’t had a chance to transfer info back over or reinstall programs.  I have promised myself I won’t use it until I get new anti-virus software installed and time just hasn’t permitted as of yet.

A HUGE thank you to the fellas at Computer Medix for saving my stuff and figuring the problems out!  A big thanks to my dad for helping out with the cost of the repairs too.

I am so relieved to have everything in my possession again… You don’t realize just how much you use it until you don’t have it!

I will say I’ve learned a couple of lessons in the process…

1.) Have up to date anti-virus installed on your laptop/pc.

2.) Facebook is the harboring of more ill will than gossip and rumors… Many of these virus are embedded within Facebook by hackers and can infect your computer without even clicking on anything, just by logging in.

3.) BACK UP YOUR data!!!!!  For now I have everything on an external hard drive, but they also recommended storing it via an online server so that if something happens (fire, flood, etc.) your data will still be accessible through any internet connection not just on a piece of hardware that can be destroyed.

4.) Don’t depend on technology for everything.  Too many of us live by our smartphones and computers…. Try reading a book (an actual paper copy versus an electronic copy).  Try writing a letter to someone (remember…. pen, paper and stamps?) instead of emailing and texts.  How did we become so dependant on technology?  Remember the days when we didn’t have it?  I barely do!!!

5.)  Sometimes, you get what you pay for…. Yes my laptop was on the inexpensive side; it also cost about half as much to repair it when it is not even 2 years old.  Had a purchased a Mac, yes I would have spent a bit more at the onset, but probably wouldn’t have had the problems I encountered.

So there’s my story… My pictures, documents and MUSIC are all safe and sound.  A happily ever after in my book!

THE END….

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Out with one… in with the next.

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I can finally say that this incredibly long & extremely busy work week is over.

Wooooooo hooooo!

Our school year ended last week with the last day of classes being on Thursday and our school wide picnic and graduation on Friday. Mother Nature received a gold star for the day as she stopped the rain just prior to our littles performance in front of about 300 people and didn’t allow it to start again until we completely unloaded everything back at the school!

The kiddos did a wonderful job with their performance & had a blast playing with their friends …

Very lucky to have some amazingly awesome teachers at the school; teachers that work together & help out as needed,  when needed. Most of us had mud pedicures by the end of the day due to rain earlier in the day … no matter though because we all had a ball.

The parents & families were so complimentary….

Turned out to be a great day to end the school year!

Tomorrow our summer program begins bringing lots of school-aged students to our center and a new realm of responsibilities. Field trips are booked…themes are set…decorations are ready to go.

Good-bye to the 10-11 school year and welcome to summer of 2011.

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The Energizer Bunny…

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This is who I’d liken myself to recently.

Running here, there & everywhere these days… from errands to commitments to a concert to dinner with a friend to pulling some incredibly long days…  only one day this week did I crawl into bed before 1:00 AM.

Some of the hecticness is for fun; some outta responsibilities & duty; some due to my procrastinating; and some just because.

Some tell me I overextend myself; some say I need to prioritize; some say I should practice using the word “no.”

Those who know me best know I generally function very well under pressure. At times I think I thrive on stress. Honestly,  sometimes I even create more stress for myself without even realizing it… it just happens to be a big part of who I am.

Some of my best papers written were finished at 4 AM.

Some of my best crafty projects weren’t finished until 2 hours before it’s to be given as a gift. 

Some of my most productive days extend through the evening into the weeeeeee hours of the morning.

This is how I’ve always been for as long as i can remember.

I don’t necessarily foresee this changing in the near future either. I have good intentions; I just end up scheduling too many things in one week or let a few too many deadlines approach too quickly without paying much mind to them.

It all gets done eventually…who needs sleep anyways?!?! 😉

This girl does…. just doesn’t happen all the time. On the days where I’m running on empty, I remind myself of all I’ve accomplished just under the wire.

Everything will get finished ; I will have time to just chill out & “veg” one day.

Even if it’s not until the cows come home or when pigs fly, someday I’ll get there!

Until then I’ll just keep going & going until the battery wears out…

I just wish that I looked as cool & chill as the ever going, somewhat annoying Energizer Bunny… cool shades & all.

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Celebration & Relaxation

Last weekend my lil bro graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a Master’s degree in English/Rhetoric.  Way to make a big sis proud lil bro! Quite the smart cookie he is… let me just tell ya!

After a dinner with family & friends in celebration of his graduation,  someone threw out the idea of heading to the cabin for the night. That’s all I needed to hear.

An overnight at one of my favorite places to be. My special getaway release.

So everyone made a dash home to pack up a few necessities for the overnight & started the trip up the mountain for some much needed rest & relaxation; or some adult beverages, a camp fire in the rain,  awesome tunes & great peeps, conversation & laughs.

Time just seems to escape you there … as the last of us crawled into bed a bit after 5:00 AM! This is one place where sleep isn’t as much of a necessity as for me it’s seemingly easier to function on little to no sleep at all night after night.

This impromptu,  spur of the moment overnight at the cabin was just what I needed. In the immediate it provided me a carefree night to kick back & chill listening to tunes with great people and not worry about all that needed to be done.  It also served as a preview to and reminder of what’s to come & look forward to in the summer months.

A get away without having to hop on a plane (though I’m thinking it’s about time I get on one of those things!). A momentary lapse in time that allows me to leave the worries at home… putting on my comfy cabin clothes,  lounging by the fire,  taking walks along the creek … maybe even a game or two of corn hole or beer pong if we’re feeling at all ambitious.

I so needed cabin time… looking forward to lots more night like last Saturday throughout the summer to get me through & keep me sane!

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Wonderfully Awesome Weekend

Hello friends! How are you all? Hopefully doing well since I last posted!

It certainly has been a while since I’ve posted. Quite honestly I’ve been dying to post but between my crazy, busy schedule, my laptop still on the fritz & some situations that have rattled me & ruffled my feathers I haven’t had much of a chance to breathe let alone blog as of late.

Tonight though, I decided to put everything aside and make time to write and catch up with my blogging friends … I’ve missed you guys!!! Seriously missed ya!

Hmmmmm. Where to start?

Work is keeping me on my toes & keeping me more than busy. Between our end of year picnic & graduation this coming Friday for which we are expecting nearly 300 people and preparing for our huge summer program that begins next wrek I’ve got about 5 to-do lists going at the same time. Super busy time of year for us with the littles & then quickly transitioning to welcome a bunch of school-aged kids for summer. Lots of work but looking forward to seeing all the planning come to fruition.

Family has its way of keeping me busy lately too. Between lil bro’s graduating from CMU with a masters degree in English/Rhetoric to P-Dub’s upcoming 1st birthday to get togethers to Relay for Life fundraisers to home parties… you name it we’ve had it going on.

Life my friends, is good. While it has its way about throwing you some curve balls at times you learn lots about yourself and those around you. Some good, some not so thrilling. Pray on it. I have & will continue. Sometimes a prayer can be answered & you end up getting caught up & a lil hurt in the process; in a way you didn’t expect. The answered prayer, even though it was prayed and meant whole heartedly can still cause a tiny bit if hurt depending on the situation; a tiny bit of conflict within leaving you confused by being disappointed & happy at the same time. It’s a weird thing to experience. All I can do is listen to my heart, learn and continue to believe & pray that all things will work out in time. Not my time…not in your time either. Only in his time.

Anyways… forgive my digression there! Moving on to this most wonderfully awesome weekend I had.

A very positively poductive weekend indeed. From getting a special order of 12 frames completed on Friday to writing this blog from the comfort of my deck (on my teeny tiny phone keyboard I might add!) it was a pretty bang up good weekend to end a busy week while also ushering on an even busier week ahead.

The best part about it was the weather men were wrong! We had 2 absolutely gorgeous days this weekend in spite of a partially rainy forecast. Woo-hoooo!!!!!

Yesterday was filled with a good bit if outside time… hit up some yards sales with Jaime early in the day followed by a trip to the Goodwill Outlet Store. That place was an experience in and of itself & deserves its own post which will hopefully come in the nezt couple of days. Good deals including three pairs of brand new name brand shoes! Score for sure.

After our bargain shopping adventures I was beat but somehow managed to resist the urge to take a nap. Decided instead to wash my car & clean the interior as well. Miss Serendipity looks stunning if I do say so myself! I was saddened a tiny bit upon seeing the little nicks & scratches my pretty little car accumulated since her last washing. Two dents on the hood from the hail storm we had a while back and little chips I can only assume are from stones coming up off the road. Nicks and all I love my little car! 🙂

I picked up the 2 flats of flowers I ordered from B-Shane at mom’s house and brought them home to plant. My little deck looks positively bright & cheerful with the addition of fushia Impatiens, white Vinca and purle and yellow pansies. A new addition this year was a tiny step ladder (yard sale find) to hold 3 pots… looks adorable!

Today was the day they were calling for rain. I myself didn’t see, hear or feel a drop though I was told it had briefly this morning. The sun shone beautifully pretty much all day! After church I decided to go tanning, using a gift certificate I was given as a birthday gift LAST year for my 32nd birthday. Yep…about to be 33 in two months & I just used the first session today!

After tanning I came home & laid down for just a bit & then headed to work for a little while getting some items crossed off of my to do lists.

Went for a much needed walk with my cousin & chatted the miles away in the evening sun. Exhausted by the end but rejuvenated by the fact that we made it up the last hill without falling over!

Ran to the grocery store to pick up a few things for salads for the week. Dinner was exceptionally delicious if I do say so myself. A salad made of sweet butter lettuce, cucumbers, fresh raspberries, dried cranberries, and green olives with fat free raspberry vinaigrette dressing. I bought a new brand and I LOVE it!

So here I am now winding down the evening; enjoying the cooler air outside instead of my warm apartment … thinking about an ice bath for my knee…. mentally preparing for the week ahead.

Thankful for such a nice weekend in the midst of all the business that’s behind me and all that is yet to come.

Glad I made the best out of it considering curve balls that were thrown my way… got lots done that needed done; not too shabby given that I wasn’t feeling so hot in recent days either. Sometimes being a girl can be rough… just sayin’.

Keeping my head up & looking towards the goal… a promise of days to do what I want, when I want. VACATION, my friends. Thinking about that word gives me the tingles! Less than two months away with no major plans for 10 days I can hardly contain myself just thinking about it!!!

So that’s enough about me… now it’s your turn! What’s been going on in your neck of the woods?

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Monetary donations gladly accepted!

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Sooooo ya. Somehow I got another stinking virus on my laptop. Joy of joys!!!

Usually I can work through ’em & get rid of ’em all on my own. BUT… This “Windows Recovery” virus is a nasty bugger & is showing no mercy.

I caved & took the laptop to Best Buy. Guess how much to do a complete data back-up, remove the virus, & fix the hard drive? $300-$350 plus tax.

What did I originally pay for my laptop? Probably around $400. Hmmmmm. Logically one would say…”just go buy a new laptop.” I thought about it for a minute BUT the biggeat thing I am worried about is the data stored on my current laptop; most specifically my music. Ya…. my music.

Not a big deal if I backed up my library on a regular basis. But of course I haven’t done that recently. Probably not for about 4 months.

  So do I risk losing almost $200 in newly purchased music & just opt for the removal of the virus & repair of the damage chancing that the hard drive could crash completely during the repair?

Do I pay $150 to get a full data back-up with an external hard drive, save up for a Mac & be without a computer for how ever long that takes?

Or do I cough up the $350 to fix & backup my 19 month old laptop that I only paid $400 for? The bonus with this final option is that all future virus fixes in the next 2 years will be free!  Woo hoo!

Ughhhh!!!!!

That right there my friends is enough to make this music lover pull her highly highlighted blondie locks right outta her head!

So I brought my laptop back home with me…infection & all in hopes of figuring out what the heck I’m gonna do.

From little bro to my bestest bloggin buddy a Mac is the way to go. I must say that i kinda agree…. i think?!?!?! Just don’t have the fundage for one at the moment.

To the ingenious hackers that created this virus… thank you for the inconvenience you’ve caused me. So very considerate of you. Hope you’ve gotten much enjoyment out of this.

Until this all gets straightened out I ask two things of you my friends …

1.) Please bear with my blog posts as I will be blogging from my phone.  Formatting may be off kilter & photos outta place & misspellings ever present ….

2.) For the love of Pete…. don’t suggest any new music to me! It’ll drive me bonkers to jot be able to purchase it! Talk about sheer & utter torture to a music junkie… please!

In the mean time… any & all monetary donations to ‘Megan’s Mac Fund’ will be graciously accepted!  😉

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Feeding the Addiction…

Someone that loves music as much as I do is ALWAYS looking for new tunes… it can almost be compared to an addiction!

Hearing a song for the first time is always pretty cool.  Generally speaking I know with in the first little bits if I like it or not.  BUT, I’m not too quick to rule anything out after only one listen; always giving it a second or third listen. 

I’m ALWAYS up for new suggestions…  By simply by taking the word of family, friends, fellow bloggers and artist suggestions on iTunes my library grows weekly.  I’ve come to find and love many of the bands/ artists I listen to through taking a chance and giving them a listen.

The problem with this musical addiction is that is can become QUITE incredibly EXPENSIVE very quickly!  Buying individual songs at about a $1 a pop adds up pretty quickly when you have about 8,000 songs in your electronic music library in addition to all the CD’s and the few remaining relics that are cassette tapes I own.  If I bought all the music I really wanted to I could easily end up going completely broke and living on the streets!

So imagine my excitement when I see an email, FB update or twitter post giving me the edge on scoring some FREE tunes! The best part is they are LEGAL too…  FREE AND LEGAL.

Seriously?!?!  Can you believe it?  Honestly at times it can be enough to make my jaw drop open!

My suggestions for fun, fabulous and FREE tunes are….

1.)  iTunes:  YES, you do have to pay for most music on iTunes.  BUT, each week they have free music available for you to download.  From emerging acts to established talent, you can add about 3-4 new songs to your music library every week!  Some weeks all the tunes are phenomenal (this week is one of those weeks!!!!) while others are hit and miss.  But, hey… they’re free!

2.) Noisetrade.com:  This site is pretty cool and follows in the lead of Radiohead in allowing the listener to choose the price (i.e. donation) they’d like to make for the albums they download.  Give as much or little or none as you like. Sign-up for their newsletter and receive email notifications of new releases.  What I like about this site is the versatility in artists.  The only downfall is that you can’t preview the music before downloading.  So, again…. it ends up being hit or miss with your liking the music.  For me, I enjoy it… remember I always listen more than once!  So there’s a pretty good possibility of me liking it down the road.

3.)My newest discovery is Day Trotter . com.  I have my love for Iron & Wine to thank for my finding this website just today.  Tons of free music from Independent bands  who’ve recorded live Day Trotter sessions at The Horseshack in Illinois.  I found songs by artists I love such as Iron & Wine and Grace Potter and the Nocturnals while also collecting some downloads by others that I’ve not heard of previously.  Again… completely free!

4.)  At the suggesting of Jessica I checked out the KEXP Song of the Day Podcast on iTunes about a year ago and have discovered a TON of music to love!!!  From K’naan to Bon Iver to Fleet Foxes the songs keep coming.  You may catch a bit of radio talk intermingled at some point during the beginning or end of the song, but it can easily be looked past.  If nothing else, I oftentimes end up purchasing music by some of these artists on iTunes after hearing one of the songs on the podcast.

Check these resources out!  What can it hurt?  You may just find some new digs that you like! 

And while you’re at it share your secrets for finding new or free music!  Help a sister feed her addiction! 🙂 

Happy listening my friends!