I have just made myself homesick. This annual event occurs on the Fourth of July. I try to find other things to do. I try to find NOTHING to do–depending on the year. I always end up in front of the TV at 8 pm ET, no matter what time zone I am in and watch PBS. A Capitol Fourth comes on. I see the audience that for nearly two decades included me. I see the cute kids and have flash backs of being one of those cute kids. (because aren’t all children hot, tired, dressed in red, white and blue, and having at least some fun cute?)

The Capitol lawn in the Nation’s Capital, a free concert–with someone for everyone from the youngest to the oldest. Fireworks over the Lincoln Memorial, backdrop to the Washington Monument.

They play the National Anthem and I want to click my heels together and say “there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home.” My eyes water and I want to be a big snotty weepy woman which of course, I refuse.

I want my Dad on the Fourth. I want a lime fizz. I want to complain about the gravel in my shoes from the National Mall. I want to hear the Declaration of Independence on the Archive stairs, AGAIN. I want to get up early and watch a parade that I tended to loathe. I want to peruse  the festival of American Folklife. I want to wander into the American History museum and see Old Glory and the plumbing display. I want to complain about the heat. I want to wait in line for the bathrooms at the Botanical Gardens (last flush and running water before you get to the lawn.) I want to grab a bomb pop from a truck. I want to drag my cooler on my last legs on the West lawn of the Capitol, throw down a blanket, drink a Coke, eat cucumber, feta and tomato salad, Pringles and Chips Ahoy (the Pringles and Chips Ahoy were ONLY ever had on the Fourth in our family–ok Pringles sometimes went on car trips).

Most of all, I want to be surrounded by hundreds of thousands of people who believe in this–all of this country–the good, the bad, and know that the dream is alive, the reasons for the country and how it works remain sound, and know that all of those others converge in that place, on that day, because they are proud to be Americans, because they want to be Americans, because they love the place that America is and the place that America represents.

On to Dreams…some involving a kitchen…

Now that I have bemoaned my state of computer sadness, I shall regale you with the dream computer set up of my life. Why? Because I had insomnia last night caused by you know–the STRESS.

So here you go, in my dream house–my dream computer set up would be:

T1 connection or FASTER and never down–also WIFI with no dead spots.

Me: Desktop with dual monitors (and I have had my eyes on an HP Touchsmart for years to match the “God Printer” though ok, I really would like one of those cool Alienware computers.) In any case, I want it smart, fast, capable and did I say SMART?

Said desktop would magically sync with every other computer I own–because I will also need a laptop (for travel, bedroom, and living room use). Said laptop would have the toughness of a toughbook the speed of lightning, and the weight of an Apple Air.   Then a slate NOT an iPad–something as cool as an iPad but you know not Apple and not tiny-but useful for things that iPads are good for and for flash stuff and general cool geekiness. Also, a netbook, because they are cute and handy in a pinch and work really well when you are say stuck at your mother’s bedside or in a doctor’s office.

Household would have an army of matching tablets for children, customized for personalities (gaming and social for 17, writing and author crushing for 15 yo, and drawing/art for 12) All kid computers will come with automatic shutdown periods, impervious locks on non-school related applications when child has homework due, and cords that do not detach and lurk like serpents all around the house.

Also, one for my mother–large keys, large screen, yet manageable, and not too scary for her to use on her own, so she could use “Facepage,” and email.  Sort of a “Cricket” version of the Internet.

Denise: A computer with dual monitors, also magically synched with a laptop. She has yet to experience dual monitor love, but she really ought to–it would make her life so much better.

A kitchen computer built into the cabinet over food prep area–impervious to splats, spills, falling stuff, etc–to look at recipes while cooking.

A kitchen computer that scans food items–suggests meals and tracks grocery list items.  A built in food thermometer and timer would be good here too. If it can be taught to scold or set off an alarm if off-limits items are being taken by the wrong party–totally there.  (e.g. the leftover rice or noodles planned for another meal, excessive amounts of milk consumption or peanut butter, etc. )

I think that’s it…unless you want me to daydream about Rosie, automatic medication dispensers, a tv that shows just the right things to the right person at the right time and volume, and such.

Ah the stuff of daydreams! (or insomnia and typing on a tiny computer while waiting for your real computer to feel better)

Did I miss anything? What is your dream computer life or do you already have it?

Sorry again for no real recipe because I have no way to get a pic into a post–well no way to get a pic of mine into a post without crazy-makingness.

Not Retro nor Food

Well, perhaps a bit retro because I am using an old computer to write this post. You see, my computer, the one I welcomed into my home on January 1 and finally bonded with is now in the hospital. Ok, so it is in the hands of the Geek Squad.

It has always had one quirk–if you move it–the mute button un-mutes. About a month or so ago, it stopped typing until it warmed up after shutdown. No big deal, I don’t like to wake up forcibly either. I didn’t take it to the Geek Squad then.

But yesterday, bad things happened. It got sick. Seriously, horridly sick, flashing a billion messages, black screen of death, rebooted itself and well, came back with a special new program saying YOUR COMPUTER IS DEAD!!!!! I flapped my hands and screamed through the house. This did not make Denise happy. She was on a phone meeting and not muted. (Hi to everyone who heard my wails! You look awful pretty today!)

I then took the computer and showed her. She said take it to the Geek Squad. I growled and sighed and wiped the screen. I found my receipt. I packed it in my special laptop bag (AOL-BlogHer Chicago 2007-best laptop bag ever even if it is a bit small for my widescreened laptop) I went to the Best Buy. I got stickered at the door. Sticker Clerk pointed me to Geek Squad area. I went and waited and wondered if I should be in the other line but that said customer service. I needed a geek.

Geek guy came out finally. (Ok so maybe 5 min., but this is MY COMPUTER we are talking about! Life or death!) I explained the issue. He looked puzzled by my keyboard issue and by my Firefox issue (which I know how to fix, I just haven’t because it seems more productive to restart FF). Then I told him the HORRIBLE PART.

He asked if I had bought the computer there. Yes–in January!  January First. He said “I will look up your purchase!” I said “I have a receipt!”  He seemed surprised and looked at it. “January 1-well look at that!” He said “That will save you the 69.99 diagnostic fee” He turned on the computer. He asked for the power cord. (which I hadn’t dusted–oops) He looked at it and grinned.  You have a virus. Uh what? I don’t GET viruses. I am a safe computer user! Viruses don’t look like that anyway. He raised his eyebrows at me.

“Ok, so I can take it home and remove it myself.” “You can try but everyone who has comes back and it takes us THREE DAYS to remove it” “Three days?!?!?!” And then I remember–my computer anti-virus program requires the computer to talk to the Internet–something it obviously WON’T do at this point since it tells me I have no hard drive or anything else when I try to open a browser. Sigh. We talk some more.

I signed papers. (like filling out intake at the hospital ER actually) He kindly stickered everything with my name, assuring me it wouldn’t get lost. (uh huh-that powerbrick should have TWO stickers and really, I don’t want the special Best Buy special hey you have a virus alerter because everyone I know hates it but no choice there.)

He says that they will do a full diagnostic and figure out the keyboard issue. If it requires parts and he thinks it will–it could be longer…”But that will be covered under warranty” (crossing my fingers there–I have always thought the keyboard issue might be my fault–too many meals at the desk–too many times it went into the kitchen, etc. shh.)

But, I had to pay$130 unexpected dollars up front weeks before Christmas and house full of kids eating. I had to walk out and leave my computer in the hands of strangers.  I told the guy to not hack my Farmville. He assured me he wouldn’t and sort of smirked. Ok, so I don’t care about my Farm that much–I just thought it was witty. (My catering order at CafeWorld is in peril though.) I am carrying my phone around and checking my email obsessively hoping for a miracle fast fix.

I want Geek Squad Nanny Cam. I want more frequent updates. I want them to call and reassure me more than the one generic email. I want a number to call to check on my computer without being called a helicopter internet geek.

Now I am working between my netbook (tiny, tiny screen and supposed to be my sister’s Christmas gift) and the 12-year-old’s hand me down computer. (Slower than molasses and unwilling to load anything if it isn’t sketchfu or more than one thing at a time. )

Nothing is in the right place and I am all out of sorts.

Three Random Things

I was tagged for three random things by Being Booga.

  1. I am moving this summer from the deep south to Illinois
  2. One thing I am worried with regards to the move is the fact that many of my favorite cake recipes don’t work with midwestern flour…and no one will understand my need for all-purpose flour from the South. I know this because I lived in WI for four years where cake recipes mysteriously stopped working for those 4 years and the 4 following years on the west coast, only to perk up once I moved back to where I should live-the south. Yes, I know, I can make allowances…measure exactly…fidget…order flour online…use cake flour.
  3. I also am concerned about the dearth of important commodities like pimento cheese and sweet tea…but pleased at the idea of readily available pub cheese and cheese curds.

I think I will tag…

Skeeter…because she is also a relocated Southern Girl and surely she is no longer in a twist about that grilled cheese recipe 😉




And ClickMichelle who has a brand new blog Eating Dinner on Grandma’s Plates

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