Saturday, July 7, 2012


Kid: Hi, I work for the Orange County Register.

Suz: [They hire high schoolers now?] Hi. 

Kid: So…are you interested?

Suz: In…what?

Kid: A subscription.

Suz: Oh. No, not really. I prefer the Los Angeles Times.

Kid: Are you sure?

Suz: Yes.

Kid: Okay. Bye. 

Suz: Later.


I did not explain to the child that I've basically held a grudge against the OCR since they decided to try outsourcing copy editing in 2008. "Oh, this will be bad news," I said when I read it. 

A few months later, my company fired 95% of their copy editors.

A pox on you, OCR. 

Friday, July 6, 2012


HP just called.

"Hi Susan…" 

"My name's Suzanne, actually," I said. 

"I'm sorry about that. Your computer is here and we're going to get to it in a couple of days. Your note was kind of vague…can you give us any additional information?"

I'm not sure what's "vague" about "Computer will not boot up." It doesn't leave a whole lot of room for error, you know?

"It doesn't recognize the monitor," I said. "And when I plug in the speakers, I don't hear it booting to Windows. It just doesn't do anything." 

He promised to get it back to me as soon as possible.

I thanked him. I did not tell him about the Mac.

Speaking of the Mac, I slipped it into its protective case today. Looks quite snazzy. I started working at just before nine - and yes, my music transferred, huzzah! - with the machine unplugged so I could work in the kitchen and the couch. I've been back and forth all day and it's STILL GOING at 4 PM, with 1.25 hours left. That is some impressive juice, folks. Even the extended life battery would've croaked by now.

It's 4:30 now. Still going!

I've cleaned up my desk quite a bit and ended up stashing a lot of stuff in the garage. The home office looks…better…now to tackle my bedroom and the kitchen and it'll look like a proper apartment. 

Long Day

There's nothing quite like realizing the big hard drive you used to back up all the information on your Big Computer is fried.

At least, I think it's fried. Neither the Mac nor the PC can "see" it. I bought it brand-new. I'll test it on one last computer before I take it right back to the store and demand vengeance. Or at least data extraction.

What's really irksome is that my important documents…well, most of them…are backed up elsewhere as well. So it's not like OH SHIT IT'S GONE. But this was the most recent backup of my massive music collection, so…I'm a little irked.

Oh, and I can't get the computers to play nice on the network, which means transferring other stuff has been a PITA. I was able to get the immediate work transferred through dropbox, which I despise, but I guess I'm just going to have to cross my fingers as far as the rest of it goes.

I did manage to get a music transfer going between the two laptops using Bluetooth of all things, since the networking idea won't work. It's slow as hell but I guess it's better than nothing. In theory I can let it run throughout the night, but I suspect it won't be that easy.


Computers: Making my life difficult since…forever.

I just want to get my stuff transferred - I finally got Word installed today and I don't want to go back and forth between computers. 

Word. Shall I mention the Irvine Apple Store? 

I find Apple Stores a little creepy to start with. I mean, I'm glad they exist, particularly after my hassles with the PCs and getting stuff repaired, but going into an Apple Store always reminds me that Maclovers really can be kind of fanatic. A lot of them just have this…rabid gleam in their eyes that makes me want to back away from them slowly.

I found what I wanted quickly, located one of two female staff members (not that I was looking for a woman - she happened to be closest to me - but the ratio of guys to gals was eye-poppingly obvious). "Can I buy this?" I asked.

She rang me up on her iPhone. I was in and out in about four minutes and then made my 15-minute drive back home.

Oh technology, how you mock me.

Using the Mac is easy enough. I like the touchpad quite a bit, although I still think my mouse is a little more practical, especially with all the editing I'm doing. Headaches aside, I'm glad I switched. 

Immediately after the computer shipped, I purchased a protective case for it, a trail sleeve, and a skin. They all arrived today; I heard the mailman drop the three packages on the stoop and go "What the hell?" I'm sure he thinks I'm a consumer whore of some sort. 

Whatever, man. I'm going to have the best-dressed laptop in Starbucks.

I'm exhausted and still have a ton of work to do. May just pop out and sleep and hope the transfers finish by morning. Humorous aside: this is the first time I've used Bluetooth for ANYTHING.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Life Without Facebook

I jettisoned Facebook yesterday. Part work experiment, part being tired of all the drama it causes. I think it serves a great purpose and it's a key social media tool, but…I got sick of it.  

I have to wonder how much more productive I'll be without checking my newsfeeds every hour... 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Yay Fourth

I have never been overly keen on the Fourth of July.

It's nothing against America or its founders. I just have to side-eye any holiday that encourages setting off explosives while getting totally sauced. On one hand, I kind of dig that Americans celebrate their independence by getting drunk and blowing stuff up. On the other hand…well, just look at the above sentence.

Had a two-hour work meeting about video and marketing at 8 AM, and then staggered off to Starbucks for some much-needed ammunition. Lately I've just been getting iced tea from them, but today I broke my coffee fast and ordered a tall dark roast to go with my croissant. Apparently it's Free Tall Coffee day! It figures - the one time I order real coffee from them and they don't charge. Not that I'm complaining.

I haven't had any real coffee since I quit cold turkey back in…was it March? Maybe even February. Hence the fact that I'm pretty much vibrating in place as I try to work.

The city has closed down several streets for various block parties. I'm probably not going to visit any; just not in the mood for a ton of socialization, I guess. My day's not over yet; I do have to edit a few more photos before I call it a day. But this has been a nice break, just me, my computer, and my couch.

And the bird staring at me. He's good at that. He really likes my nice, shiny Mac and would love to chew on it if I'd let him. 

Anyway. Happy Fourth, folks. Or Happy Bridge Day, if you're in Canada.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

I Drank the Kool-Aid

So…I kind of got a Mac.

Well, by "kind of" I mean "I'm typing on it right now." 

I figured it would come in on Thursday, but I came back from getting two cavities filled and found it sitting on my porch. Of course, I couldn't actually start playing with it until tonight, when I finished up work, but so far…I really like it. It's the 13-inch MBP from October 2011 - small enough for portability, but not as terrifyingly light as the Air, which I'm pretty sure I'd destroy in a heartbeat.

What prompted this conversion? My desktop came back from HP.

It was still broken.

I sent it right back to Indiana, where it can stay for all I care.

After that, the laptop I've been using overheated after using Skype. It has never been very good at handling video, but I guess the workload was just getting to be too much for it. I shut it down before anything catastrophic happened, but I talked to my boss, and one thing led to another, and...

And here I am with this MBP.

I used an iMac at the magazine gig years ago, so I know my way around the OS, but it's taking a little bit of time to get used to things. I keep hitting Windows commands (Like CTL A for select all, etc) which fortunately doesn't lead to catastrophe. I did just remember that Command-I makes things italic, so I think it's starting to come back. My new version of Office will be in on Thursday or Friday, so I haven't really transferred anything over. Just set up my email and plugged in my iPod.

Speaking of, where the hell are the speakers on this thing? Buried in the keyboard somewhere? Pretty solid sound for such a small beast. I plugged in my regular desktop speakers and everything sounds good.

Wait. iTunes has a visualization?

I've used iTunes for years and never realized it had visualization mode.

The mind, it is blown.

The big draw here, though, was not the computer (nice as it is). I was more interested in the ability to take it to the Mac Store when something goes wrong. I guess I'm past the age where tinkering with computers is something I want to do. The desktop was a work machine; this will be a work machine, too. For those who are curious, the "Vegas gig" I used to mention (I was a copy editor) blossomed into a managing editor to position for me. It's remote, but it's pretty much full-time work (although I work in spurts throughout the day), and we communicate via email, Skype, chat, etc. Thus the computer I use needs to function, and it needs to be able to handle all that stuff, along with video and photo editing, which I'm now sticking a toe into. 

Still missing my delete key. I'm sure I'll get over it.

I also had no idea you could get apps for Macs.  If I so chose, I could play Angry Birds right now (I won't, because I have it on my phone, but I COULD). 

So I guess I am a Mac. Let's hope this thing holds up better than my last couple PCs.

Folks are setting off the fireworks early this year. I'm pretending they're celebrating my good fortune. ;) 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Computer Woes

I hereby declare June the Month of Computer Asshattery.

I wrote a whole slew of articles about it for the site I'm working for, but long story short...desktop machine suffered some kind of internal meltdown. Had a big back and forth with the manufacturer. My basic tests and fix-its didn't work, so I had to send it off to Indiana go get fixed.

Indiana. That is where Californian HPs go for repairs when they're still under warranty.

At the same time this happened, I wanted a new battery for my laptop. The stock battery lasted two hours, max, when I got it; now we're down to five minutes of function and maybe a half hour on standby. I went to HP because I wanted a battery that, you know, wouldn't blow up my computer. They gave me the runaround again, told me to visit the parts store, etc...suggested I just buy a new thanks.

I ordered the right part through Newegg out of spite and now I'm sitting in Starbucks with a fabulous 12-cell extended life battery that is so huge it actually props the computer up at an angle. I'm supposed to get 5+ hours out of the thing. I'm just happy to not be tethered to an outlet anymore.

I guess I'm lucky. Apparently my laptop is one of the few of its model that didn't ship out with a processor failure and explode (or so I's been a reliable machine, which is why I got a new battery rather than replace it). (knock on wood)

The whole situation with HP left a sour taste in my mouth. I don't know what the next step is, honestly. At the end of my article rants I threatened to go Mac, but the reality is I can't drop a month's rent on a computer, and frankly I like Windows. I just don't like the customer service (or lack thereof) that comes with PCs nowadays. I am no longer at the point in my life where I have the time to troubleshoot my machines extensively. They need to work, especially when they're still under warranty.

Before all this went down, I was looking at the Ultrabooks just to have a tiny portable machine that I could take with me to the coffee shop. The new battery adds a good two pounds to the laptop and that doesn't really help its cause. 

So yes. Those are the first world problems I am presently grappling with.