Tuesday, October 26, 2010

You've got questions about web sites or computers, I've got answers

I can't even begin to describe how many times a week I am getting asked computer questions these days. Although I have never thought of myself as an expert in anything, I seem to have some knowledge about computers (I prefer Mac), web sites (Oy, don't get me started), and even other things that have a 'Six Degrees of Separation" type of association to web sites and computers. These types of things are:
  • Trademarks, patents, and copyrights - I own one of the former, the middle doesn't apply to me, and the latter is a joke. Yet, I do know how to do the paperwork, what to avoid, and how much its going to cost you.
  • Email - Why did your email program crash and say you are out of memory? Yes, I know this. 
  • Search engine optimization - I know a thing or two about SEO. Most of it I've learned on the job. 
  • Web hosting - Ah yes, I know all about web hosting. 
  • Suing people - I've tried my hand at suing, and I've won.
So,  this leads me to this weeks blog post. If you have questions about any of these things, however inane you might think that question is, ask me here or email me. I'm happy to answer. By asking you'll give me some help as well, as I am researching a series of articles on these very topics and trying to gauge exactly what people are interested in finding out.

Consider this free tech help, and if you can't think of a question now, ask me later. I'm always here or on Twitter.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

3 types of coffee that will wake you up after a sleepless night with your kid(s)

Children are beautiful little creatures. They can also be nasty little people who keep you awake all night. The reasons are plentiful:
  • Teething - I'm sure this is God's joke on moms, just to be sure they don't populate too quickly.
  • Colds - I find if they wake up 6 times, sniffling and sneezing before midnight, its going to be a rough ride for the rest of the evening.
  • Flus - I truly hate the flu, and it never ceases to amaze me how children can stretch from the toilet to the bathtub when necessary. Like that elastic superhero guy whose name I can't recall because he is far inferior to Iron Man. When the kids are, ahem, seated, I direct their heads into the tub. Two portals for catching the goods. To avoid an all-nighter, I recommend rectal Gravol.  Despite how unpleasant it is to administer to a child who is screaming, "NOT MY BUM!!", it really works.
  • General Sleeplessness - This is a good one, because there is nothing specifically wrong with the child. I've been going through this for the past year, and its a struggle. This kid likes to wake up a 2 am just for fun, and he will hang out until 4 am if you let him. 
I love my children, and it is because of my babies that I also have developed a love for coffee. I managed to obtain a degree from University without drinking a drop of coffee. Of course, I was able to have 3 hour naps when I wanted them. Pardon me for a moment while my eyes mist over as I remember those lovely, lovely naps. SIGH.

As my two older kids can testify, they have come to know the rules about talking to mommy before the coffee maker has created its secret brew. I've been doing this sleepless night thing for almost 9 years, so I know a thing or two about coffee. In no particular order, let me share with you my top three for reviving my sagging spirit after a sleepless night with my kids.

Starbucks - I'm not talking about the froo froo beverages like double vanilla lattes with soy milk whatevers. I do like those, but they don't jolt me awake the way a tall Venti drip does. There is something wonderful in Starbucks drip coffee. You are also a very lucky person if you get to drink it IN the Starbucks, which I never do. I take it from the drive through whilst listening to screaming from the back seat and being pelted with shoes.

Tim Hortons - What sort of addictive drug do the makers of this coffee put in their drip blend? Even after the most sleepless night, and I mean 5 minute snatches of sleep between 1/2 hour wakeups, Tim Hortons will zap me to attention. I've attempted a Tim Horton's marathon during which I drink as many large coffees as I could handle in one day.  At some point during that day I developed a nasty ear ache in both ears and crashed, open mouthed on the couch during an episode of The Wiggles. When I woke up my 7 year old said he had thought I was in a coma.  So much for caffeine overload.

Dunkin Donuts Turbo Blend - You can't buy this in Canada.  We do not have the privilege of having a Dunkin Donuts. I only have access to this secret blend because I am able to cross the border and shop in Washington.
I think it must be contraband or possibly not approved by the FDA. I have snuck into Fred Meyer in Bellingham and purchased a bag here and here, just for those special mornings when my Tinkerbell mug needs refilling about, um, 20 times.  The bag provides you with detailed instructions on how to create the super-duber powered drip in your very own coffee maker. It is tasty if made incorrectly. If made the way they instruct, it has rocket fuel capabilities. And therefore so do I.
I believe that it also gives my tongue the ability to grow hair, but I may be mistaken.

I know people who drink tea. Green tea, black tea, herbal concoctions.  I also know people who down Monster energy drinks like they are water. I'm happy to simply drink coffee, and as long as my kids are kids, I'll keep drinking it. I imagine when they are teenagers they will drive me to drink other things, so I better enjoy this stage while I can.