Tech hiccups

I’ve been having a bit of fun with technology lately. We lost our internet connection. So what else is new? For an entire day, we speculated the line was down and out in our service area, only to discover we had been disconnected because someone had forgotten to pay the bill.

Okay so it was our fault. But considering how many spam text messages we get a day, you would think our service provider could at least devote one brief message to warn us about the consequences of the outstanding bill (which by the way, doesn’t happen often!). Nope, they just cut us off without one beep, those lovely folks!

To top it off, my poor computer is feeling so neglected that I haven’t used it in over a month, it spluttered and coughed when I turned it on and then went into slow mo. Good thing I have Steev, our resident geek-in-chief, to fix my PC performance problem.

How to save your Google Reader feed subscriptions for migration to a new reader

So Google Reader retires July 1 and most of us will be moving on to a new reader of our choice. There are several options out there that you can consider before the big day comes.

  • Newsblur
  • Feedly
  • Netvibes
  • The Old Reader
  • FeedReader
  • Bloglovin’ (you can follow me here)

Follow on Bloglovin

For those of us who have spent years accumulating a list of blogs we love to read, we certainly don’t want to lose all our precious feeds when we move to a new reader. You could do it the hard way and resubscribe to each feed manually.

Or do it the easy way by grabbing the OPML file that contains all your feed subscriptions. Regardless of which reader you eventually choose, if it allows you to migrate your feeds, you will need this OPML file. So the first thing you want to do is go to your Google Reader and grab that file.

  1. Log in and go to the Reader’s settings window.
  2. Click on the Import/Export tab.
  3. Select the option to download your list through Google Takeout. Wait for the compression to finish. It doesn’t take long.
  4. Download the .zip file to your local drive. Inside that .zip archive is the .xml file you want.

With this file, you’re ready to easily migrate or import your feeds into your new reader.

Now then, which reader will you be using? Have you decided? What’s your new reader like?

Fixing a rod bracket

Fixing a rod bracket

We would’ve stayed home and chilled out all of last weekend except… the rod brackets in our closet decided to snap and what else could we do but go hunting for spare parts at the store where we bought the closet?


“The place is a zoo,” my teens complain, already checking out the floor plan and planning our exit strategy. “Okay, I see a shortcut. We’ll just cut through here!” they exclaim, even as an errant child bounces out of nowhere and lands with a thud at our feet.

With my able navigators at the battle front, we weave our way to the wardrobe section. There is no one at the information counter. We crane our necks. Nothing. Raine starts opening and closing the closet doors nearby. “Maybe he’s in here, or here.” Yup, we need a little humor here.

We continue waiting, shifting left and right in front of the information counter to avoid the folks milling around who are trying to paste themselves on our backs. Finally a staff steps up and I show him a picture of my broken rod bracket on my cellphone. It sure beats trying to describe it.

“What’s the name of your cupboard?” he asks.

Wait, he can’t be serious. I can tell you the name of that popular polar bear that they’ve just immortalized in a Berlin museum (Knut), and I can tell you the name of that little penguin they dropped off to find its way home to Antarctica (Happy Feet). But the name of my cupboard, no! I’m sorry but I’m not in the habit of remembering names of cupboards, assuming they even have names, that is 🙄 .

He wastes no time in sending us to Customer Service. “They might have it,” he says but something tells me they probably won’t have a clue either. And I was right. After a long wait for them to trawl the warehouse, they have no idea if or when it’s coming in or if they’re even going to stock it. Which leads me to my next logical question…

What if someone buys a cupboard tomorrow and the rod bracket is faulty and they need it replaced? Customer Service says they have no idea. Good answer! I’m not even going to argue with that!

So we head off to a random hardware store. I flash the cellphone picture of the rod bracket to the guy, he barely glances at it and he’s pointing me to Aisle 20. We head on over to Aisle 20 and… wait for it, we find those rod brackets!! Aah finally, someone who knows his job.

So there – me, my biceps and my phillips screwdriver got together and it’s fixed now! It’s not the same exact bracket (so it left a little hole underneath) but it does the job. Ta-daa!


My cellphone and I

I’m notorious for not answering my cellphone. It’s usually in the next room, or in my handbag, or downstairs, or wherever I happen to park it… usually far away. More often than not, when it rings, I don’t hear it. Which leads folks to think I may be deaf, maybe, so they gently suggest I search for hearing aids.

I can’t blame them. That’s how I roll. Only when my kids are out do I keep my cellphone next to me, just in case they need to get a hold of me. Once all my kids are home, I really don’t care about my cellphone any more. It can ring itself hoarse, it can try to walk over to me, it can fire flares to attract my attention, I don’t really give a hoot.

If it’s urgent, I reckon the person will call me back. If not, they can always send me a text. The thing I still don’t get is the folks who leave me voicemail. Um, voicemail is like so 1997. A text message does the job so much better. Just sayin’.

Whirl-win weekend

Whirl-win weekend

So we’ve been out and about a whole lot, eating out, shopping, meeting up with family and friends, and all those receipts qualified us to take a turn at the so-called wheel of fortune at the mall. The line was long. Looked like we weren’t the only ones who’d been racking up some serious retail therapy.

Thankfully the lines moved quickly as shoppers took their turn at the wheel, mostly winning the small prizes like laundry bags, shoe bags and 16-pack tissues, you know, stuff of little value that I usually end up with. Since we had my aunt with us, we decided to let her have a go. You never know, right?

And I’m so glad we did because she stepped up, willed the wheel to do her bidding and out popped a little ball that said we won this!

The Lumix is the 3rd top prize and such a pleasant surprise. Of course, the girls get to keep it. Quite a handy travel camera, I must say.

My aunt took a second whirl at the wheel and won us a gym bag. I swear I saw her whisper something to that wheel both times 😉 .

We don’t talk anymore

We don't talk anymore

There we were at dinner one evening. At the table next to us was a family of 5. Daddy, Mommy, 3 kids – and 3 gadgets (see red arrows). Daddy is coaching the middle child (aged about 7). When I snapped this picture, they’d gone to the restroom. Mommy is coaching the youngest (aged about 5). The oldest child is well on his own.

Everyone is “busy”, “engaged”, eyes fixated on their screens. All is quiet. Not a beep from their table. The only communication in this family seems to be the wi-fi connection. Even after the food arrives, they’re still at it and barely ate. Do you see anything wrong with this picture?

It seems to be becoming more and more of a trend these days. Scary, I know. Families are spending time together – apparently – but they don’t talk. Couples are on dates but they don’t talk. The gadgets have taken over! 🙄

Hip to be Shopping – Cool Mother’s Day gifts for the techie mommy

The countdown to Mother’s Day is on, well, at least if you want to get an early start. So for the next few weeks, I’ll be shopping for hip Mother’s Day gifts you can get for the other moms in your life, or hint for someone to buy you 😉 .

Call to Charm Cell Phone Handset in Red

Each season’s must-have gadget is sleeker and slimmer than the last, but that doesn’t mean an hour-long conversation with your coworkers, clients, or coterie will be any more enjoyable.

Fortunately, you’ve got this retro-inspired handset within reach, which invites you to enjoy the comfort and style of a classic wall phone, while communicating through your futuristic device. Just plug its curly cord into your phone or computers audio port and rest its sturdy plastic receiver on your shoulder. Also available in blue.

After securing your device with a simple snap on its ear, use this kitty’s tail to wrangle your collection of cords. Swinging from your bag by a brassy carabiner with a petite red heart on its chest, this charmingly functional feline is the loveliest way to pounce on every photo opportunity and urgent telephone call.

Armed With Technology Tea Infuser

Preparing a cup of perfectly steeped tea is always within reach when you’ve got this high-tech companion in your kitchen. Designed with a set of curving hinged arms that cling to the rim of your mug, this radiant tea-infusing robot makes sure the flavor is flowing through petite perforations on both sides of its futuristic metal frame.

Add a bit of your favorite loose leaf blend by giving its antennas a twist. When the initial phase is complete, return you state-of-the-art assistant to its coordinating silver tray, where it can dry without causing a messy meltdown. I assure you nothing could be sweeter!

Paw on Me Media Case

When you’re busy leaping from one event to the next, nestle your beloved digital companion in this cute, cat-shaped case. Made from soft black fabric with silvery, stitched features and polka dots adorning its exterior, this adorable accessory cradles your phone or music player with its plush, kitten-soft lining.

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