Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Online Swap Meet

Matt discovered this fun site last week - you can go online and trade books, CDs, DVDs, and video games! I know there are other similar sites (i.e. Paper Back Swap), but I've never much been interested in trading my books. I never seem to have any that I don't want!

But Swap Tree lets us trade a variety of media source, and THAT I like...because Matt and I buy cheap movies, watch them once, then decide we'll never watch them again. Like when Blockbuster went out of business and we had $200 in gift cards :) Now, instead of tossing them or donating them, I can actually trade them for something I might use, all for the cost of postage!

This excites me very much. I can hardly wait until I can swap my first DVD - good-bye Station Agent!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Hey, I'm published again!

Check it out at the Christian Examiner, here.

Monday, February 15, 2010

I love my house :)

I didn't set foot outside of my house yesterday, and I have no plan to do so at any point today. Both days it has been in the high twenties with over a 70% chance of snow. I don't like the cold, so I prefer to avoid it as much as possible. That mans I spend most of my winters inside.

Last year, however, I was in our little 900 sq. ft. house during the blustery, blizzardy winter. For most people at 900 sq. ft. house is just fine. It would be for me...if I wasn't married to a man who owned 2000 sq. ft. of 'stuff'. Trying to squeeze all of that 'stuff' into a tiny house (with no garage or basement) darn near made me crazy. In fact, by early January I was claustrophobic that Matt shipped me out to Vegas for ten days so I could get out without being miserable in the cold.

This year, things are different :) Matt and I are spending our first winter together in our own home. Here are some of the things that I love about this house:

1) It's 1400 sq. ft., including three bedrooms. That's important for me for two reasons:

a. One bedroom is being used for storage. I'm amazed at how long it's taking to get unpacked, but I don't have to worry about it (too much) right now because we have all of our still full boxes stacked in the guest room (out of sight, out of mind!)

b. I have my own office! It's not acting as Matt's closet or the keeper-of-the-camping-gear. It's just MY office. I have it set up for optimum writing production, and it's working (I wrote 1300 words yesterday!)

2) It has doors. Technically our last house had three doors, but they were pretty irrelevant.

a. For one thing, because we had so little space, we had a lot of over-the-door storage units. By the time you have one hanging on each side of a door, it makes it hard to securely close said door. That means you can see everything from anywhere.

b. You can't really close out the clutter when the clutter is in every room (see previous description of my last office)

3) It doesn't leak. I'm not talking about water, but air. In our previous home, I was always cold. It was built in the 1950s and still had single pain, drafty windows. We added 18" of R60 insulation (that's a lot of the good stuff) when we moved in, wrapped the windows inside and out with plastic, kept the heat at 60 during the day/55 at night, and still paid $100/month (usually more) to heat the tiny place.

Our house doesn't have as much insulation in the attic, but it's only 30 years old and has new windows. We keep the heat at 65/60 now and our heating bills are averaging $95/month! There's nothing better than being warmer for less money.

There are dozens of other reasons why I love this house (I can walk to the market and school, it has a garage, I can workout in my living room without having to rearrange the furniture), but those are the biggest reasons for right now. Maybe in a few months I'll tell you about my favorite summertime aspects of my house!

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Firefox vs. Chrome (vs. IE)

The only reason I even included Internet Explorer in the title is so it didn't feel left out, but I'll admit right now that I never use the browser. I find it as useful as belly button lint. My real debate is between Firefox and Chrome - what do you think?

I've used them both, and they each have their good points, they also have their bad points. I'm not sure what to do...

I've been using this for years, so I'm used to it. I understand its quirks and bobbles. I'm okay with that (no one's perfect). But it's usually Firefox that forces me to use Chrome - when it freezes, I close down the browser, and then try to reopen it I get the message "Firefox is already running". Really? Where...in a marathon? Because it's not running on my laptop! That's when I go to Chrome.

I just started using this because of the aforementioned Firefox blip. It really is faster (even with my lightning quick 3 Mbps DSL connection). I don't know what makes it faster, but I like...when it works. I'm not kidding when I say that about 20% of my URLs come up at "Oops! That link appears to be broken!", which it never is - I hit the refresh button and it will connect. So is it really any faster if I have to refresh 1 of every 5 searches?

Anyway, that's my debate. I don't have an answer (I'm not even sure if I'm looking for one), but it's been on my mind a lot recently (as Firefox freezes and Chrome can't find things). Some day I'd like to try Safari, but until Apple lowers their prices, I'm just not willing to make the switch.

Monday, February 01, 2010

I tried...REALLY!

Okay...I've been feeling pretty crummy about not subbing as much as I used to. In all fairness, I'm writing a LOT more than before, but I still feel like I should be subbing. My biggest hindrance is the last-minute job. I don't mind if it's a classroom that I've been in before, but I'm NOT interested in subbing for Mr. P's kindergarten class at Crazy Elementary for the first time with 90 minutes notice. Pass, thanks.

Since I'm not subbing today (articles to write...Monday and Tuesdays are NOT the best days for me to sub), I decided to open my on-line sub finder page and see what I could find. I logged on and - TA DA! Two high school English/Language Arts classes - one for tomorrow and one for next week. PERFECT! I selected them both, but then I heard that awful BLEEP!

Both jobs were being held for other subs.


Well, I can't really complain. Other teachers do the same thing for me...but those are math teachers and chem teachers (Hi, Kim!). While I like the work, it's not ENGLISH! And yet the English teachers don't want me :( But they don't even KNOW me!!

(Deep breath...exhale)

Anyway, I tried. That's my point. I made the effort...I can't help it that I'm not wanted. But that's okay with me...there's NEVER a lack of things for me to do at home. I just wish it paid better.