Category Archives: technology

If I dug a hole through the earth as child…

I never would have made it to China. But this nifty tool told me where I’d end up. Thanks, Anne!

Technical Difficulties

For some reason, our Akismet spam filter has gotten a little overly aggressive lately. Please don’t get offended if your comment spends a while in filter purgatory. :o/

BCP Daily Office from ESV

I know that the ESV isn’t the perfect bible, but I like how ESV is trying to use technology to help Christians in their devotional life. Through the ESV website, you can get the readings for most popular bible reading plans in a fairly manageable format.

They are now making the BCP readings available online. You can go to their website or subscribe via RSS, web page designers can integrate it into church websites, etc…

Anyhow, if this is up your alley, read ahead


Pillow Talk

A few nights ago Mike and I were talking about how he exaggerates and teases much more than I do. He was even having trouble coming up with examples of me using hyperbole. That led him to exclaim, “I can’t wait ’til they come out with Google Brain!” “Google BRAIN? You have totally sold out to the man.” “No, it would be really great. You could tell me a grocery list: milk, eggs, bread, yogurt – starred. I’d remember. And all the things I read and hear and…”

Yeah. He’s got it BAD.

HT: Richard O

You can now listen to two of Andrew Peterson’s albums in their entirety online–

The Far Country
the far country border=0
Behold the Lamb of God
Behold the Lamb of God

These are pretty amazing CDs. You ought to own them. Go listen and convince yourself.

No, thank you

One of the many things in society that never ceases to puzzle me is spam. The technological variety, though the stuff in the can puzzles me as well. My spam volume has increased dramatically in the past few months. I used to glance over my spam folders before I deleted and saved misguided messages, plucking them out of the depths and back into my inbox. Now, forget it. And our blogs have started to get spam. First the girls’ blogspots did, so I had to activate comment verification which is annoying, I know. Now this blog gets spam. Akismet through WordPress does a good job of finding it, but every once in a while it incorrectly labels one of your comments. Sorry about that. In order to find the wheat in the chaff I have to glance through my list every few days. Today we had no less than 25 spam messages about one weight loss drug. Does someone out there think I’m fat? With the billions of dollars in lost productivity yearly (I read this number somewhere…) you’d think someone would figure out how to end spam. It’s a quality of life issue, I think it would be a great campaign platform for some party.

Books and Music, Cheap and Free

We’re still loving Paperback Swap. We’ve received almost 20 books now and setting up the wishlist means we get a steady stream without doing anything at all except send out books as they are requested as they notify us when books we want are posted in the system. It’s really a great site: pay for media mail postage to send out a book, get a credit when the book is recieved and then get any book you want for that credit! If you list nine books, they’ll give you 3 credits to start out (Full disclosure: if you click on our link, we get a credit if you register and list nine books)

Another great site I used recently is emusic. If you sign up, you get 25 legal mp3s for free. They have a good selection of music from independent and smaller label artists, I could have definitely found 500 songs I’d love to have without any trouble. I get nothing from emusic if you sign up, I’m just passing it along!

Why I Blog

I’ve been meaning to write about this for a while, inspired by other posts in the blogosphere.  I’ve been blogging for almost six years now, almost a full quarter of my life.  Many of you remember my first blog, my first mentions of Michael, my graduating from college, our engagement and wedding, Kate’s birth… Some of you are newer and your stories of finding us and connecting with our family are special to me, even if we don’t go “way back” like others.  Some of you are real life friends who started reading to keep up with us, because it’s one way to easily do so.  I blog because along the way, I have found a community in my little corner of the web.  I know that this community is more than a little artificial.  I know that you all only know the part of our family I want you to see.  I know that real life community is vitally important.  But there are days when real life feels lonely, the big box store sterile, the phone too difficult to talk into with two girls twirling about and a little bit of blog interaction reminds me of what I know already — there are people that care about us out there.

As long as you keep reading, I’ll keep blogging.  It may not be every day.  Real life happens, after all.  But five years and ten months later, it’s a habit too hard to break.  Thanks for coming along for the ride.

Sprint, I Wish We Didn’t Have to Ditch Thee

We’ve been Sprint customers since the week after we got married and we’ve always loved our cell phone service. Reliable coverage, flexible plans (we added 7p nights and weekends for both phones for $5/mo) and great customer service brought us right back in to renew our contract last August. Then, we moved to Birmingham. It’s been one dropped call after another, no matter where we are (interstate, downtown, at home, etc.) We have 11 months left to go in our contract so we tried everything (free) to make it work. They sent tech support out. They gave us free roaming. Still terrible service.

So, we started looking elsewhere and stopped in the local Verizon store. We were flabbergasted at the price of phones (even with a two year contract.) The Cingular store was closed, so we went home and I checked online. We could save (literally) $250 getting our phones from the Verizon website over in the store. I started price shopping plans and decided Cingular was our best bet. I then started searching around for phone deals and found an authorized retailer who sent us 2 motorola razr v3s (shipping 2nd day UPS) for free for signing up for a two year plan through them. All we have to pay cingular is the activation fee. (~$60 for two phones). Our phones came today as scheduled and now I get a signal in my house.

Lessons learned: (1) No matter how nice your cellular provider is, they will not let you out of your contract. We have to pay sprint $5.95 per phone, per month to not use them. GRRRRR. (2) Talk to people in the retail stores about plans, but buy your phones/plans online.


On September 1st, 2029, my Gmail inbox will be full.

PBS update

We have really been enjoying Paperback Swap! We’ve gotten rid of some embarrassing books no used book store would take off our hands in exchange for really great ones from a wide variety of genres. I took the time to add almost 200 books we’d like to our wishlist and several times a week, someone posts one of them and if we’re first in line, we get 48 hours to decide if we’d like it before it ends up for grabs to everyone. All but one of the books we’ve gotten were through our wish list. So, it did take some effort to set up but now we’re reaping the benefits! If you just list 9 books in the system, you get 3 credits (which equals three free books), and if you sign up with our link, we get a credit, too!

World Wide Happiness

Blingo – Win prizes for searching (Google powered!) If you sign up with my link and win something, I will too! I never win anything, probably because we are presbyterian.

Paperback Swap – Swap away your old books for credits for new ones. You pay media mail rate to mail them out and receive new ones for “free.” If you sign up and list nine books, you get 3 free credits to get you started. You send out your books as other people want them and create a wish list so as the books you want are listed, they are automatically reserved for you for 48 hours while you decide if you’d like them. My nickname there is kris10s — try to post books we want, won’t you?

Bloglines stopped misbehaving as well, which made me happy, because I tried out several different free feed readers and I didn’t like any as well as Bloglines.