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Showing posts from August, 2014

A Truth About Mental Illness

Daily Ramblings: August 27, 2014

Last week, I learned of two different Hollywood stars who basically did good just because they could.  In the midst of all the bad news, I thought I'd share this with you today. Last Wednesday Chris Pratt, star of the movie " Guardians of the Galaxy ", arranged for a special screening of the movie at the Children's Hospital Los Angeles.  He then went around in costume, visiting the children who were too sick to go to the screening, letting them try on his coat, giving away toys, and generally being an awesome person. Aaron Paul also earned an awesome person award for his response to Aaron Hill's beating and #JusticeforAaron.  In the beginning of August, police in Okeechobee County, Florida, found a 16-year-old autistic boy named Aaron Hill lying by the side of the road.  They took the poor child to the hospital, where he received medical treatment and the police gathered evidence because he was obviously beaten.  As the story unfolded, we learned t

Wordless Wednesday: Steampunk Tendencies Costume

Removing Windows Updates

Last week, Microsoft released new updates to Windows 7 and 8 in their monthly Patch Tuesday.  Sadly, five of the updates can cause problems, including the famous Blue Screen of Death.  To fix the problem, Microsoft wants you to remove these updates. That begs the question: How do you remove updates from Windows? To help out, I'm providing you with hopefully detailed enough instructions for Windows 7.  If you need help with Windows 8, let me know and I'll do some research. Fig. 1 - Control Panel Close-up Open up the Start Menu. Click on "Control Panel." Click on the "System and Security" heading.  The fourth heading down is "Windows Update".  Under that heading, there is a list of options.  Click on "View installed updates". Now you are on the screen that lists all the installed updates.  In the upper right corner, you will find a search box with "Search Installed Updates" in grayed out text.  Click in the search

Freaky Friday News: August 15, 2014

In Response to Shark Week... Facebook Users Lose More Privacy... because Facebook clearly is not earning enough money, with nearly $3 billion in revenue earned in the second quarter of this year.  That means Facebook earned almost $3 billion in three months . So why do they need to milk more money out of their users' private interaction? In this year alone, privacy concerns include: learning that Facebook conducted a social experiment  on their users without their knowledge,  fears that the new Messenger app that requires too many permissions, such as the ability to use the camera without the user's knowledge concerns over why Facebook needs to track each and every click from a user on all the available platforms (I'll give you a hint - it's to help their advertisers, not their users). I'm not saying that Facebook is a greedy company who cares more about making money that making happy users.  I'm just sayin'. Surrey B.C. Pasta

Racism is Alive and Well in America

Last Saturday, an unarmed, innocent black man was shot and killed by a white policeman in Ferguson, Missouri. Since then, the city and the county police forces have acted in such a way as to make them look guilty, shooting tear gas at peaceful assemblies and bringing in armored vehicles. The police department refused to release the name of the shooting officer until today - it's Darren Wilson - and attempt to sway the public by releasing a video tape where they allege the victim, Michael Brown, participated in a robbery Saturday morning. The shooting officer stated that he had no idea about the alleged robbery; he stopped to harass Michael Brown for walking in the street. That's correct, folks.  The chief of police tried to lay groundwork to protect his officer, when in reality the man shot someone for walking in the street. For the record, the population of Ferguson is about 65% black, but its police department is over 99% white, and  according to the Missouri Attorne

Robin Williams is Dead

Robin Williams 1951-2014 I cried this morning when I learned about Robin Williams' death, as a part of my life went away.  No, I never met the man, and I typically don't consider myself a fanatic about actors.  But Robin was different.  He made me laugh, even on days when I didn't know how to laugh.  He brought tears to my eyes as well; the movie "What Dreams May Come" haunts me to this day. From all accounts, Robin was a down-to-earth, friendly, happy man.  But if this truly is a suicide, those accounts refer to a facade, and not the real man.  The problem (probably) is everyone expected him to be happy, and so he acted happy.  Sadly, Robin Williams is not the only person to do that.  Someone in my area committed suicide earlier this year, with the vast majority of people none the wiser to her internal struggles until it was too late.  It's the same story heard over and over; someone becomes so depressed that he or she commits suicide, surprising every

Movie Review: "Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters"

At my house, we have Family Movie Night on Saturdays. This past weekend, we watched "Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters" for the first time.  While the story in the movie only followed the main story in the book, as is wont with movies, the actors portrayed their characters well enough  that if I ever see who played Grover in another film, I will still consider him Grover; as with Clarisse, AnnaBeth, Percy, Luke, and Tyson.  Overall, I enjoyed the movie. But a large part of my opinion comes from the fact that I read all of the books at the same time my children did, years ago.  When I discussed the movie with my husband, who never read the books, I discovered that his opinion was quite different. The movie seems to assume that you, the viewer, know parts of the story ahead of time.  For example, AnnaBeth's life was dramatically changed by a group of cyclops, causing her to carry a blinding hatred of all cyclops around with her.  When Tyson (Percy's half-brot

Wordless Wednesday: Addams Family Living Room

Due to the nature of black and white filming, pinks turned out to create the correct shades of grey.

Book Review: "Angels' Blood" by Nalini Singh

Angels' Blood by Nalini Singh My rating: 5 of 5 stars "Angels' Blood" begins another one of my favorite series by author Nalini Singh . The Guild Hunter series occurs in another universe where angels not only exist, but basically rule the planet.  The hierarchy goes: Archangels Angels Older or stronger Vampires Humans New or weak Vampires Angels Make vampires; and I purposefully use the capital "M" here. The process of changing a human to a vampire is top secret; no humans know how it happens, only that the angels carefully screened candidates and not everyone is eligible. Also, a vampire agrees to a 100-year period of indentured servitude to the angel who Makes him. That's where are story begins. Our protagonist, Elena, works as a vampire hunter for the Guild. The Guild licenses and manages the only legal vampire hunters in the world. They work for the angels, returning vampires who decide that they don't want to uphold their

What's In Your Head?

Learn more about this head at the Atlanta Maker's Faire, October 4 - 5, 2014 .