Row 80 Final Check-in

Hard to believe my first ROW 80 challenge is in the bag.  80 days sounds like a long time, but it really flew by.  So, now it’s time to ante up and see how I did against my original goals.

Never Miss A Check In:  Didn’t do so hot with this one.  Once I fell off the wagon I apparently decided to stay off.  I was leery of stating an absolute such as never, and apparently I was right.  I respond to absolutes like a toddler told to take a nap.  Next round:  Build a little more flexibility for myself, but not too much, so I don’t get…SQUIRREL!  Distracted.

Write 500 Words A Day:  I didn’t make it.  NaNoWriMo totally passed me by this year.  I did a bit of introspection about why this didn’t work for me and how to fix it that I will share later.

WWBC:  Has been on hiatus, but hopfully things will get back on track.  In the meantime I’ve been studying and learning.

Non-Fiction:  Oops.

Blogging:  Haven’t been able to get into a rhythm or schedule, but I’m going to keep at it.  This is related to the 500 word thing, and I’ve learned a few things with this challenge I will be able to apply moving forward.

Taking Care of Myself:  I gained five pounds!  Woot!  Oh, wait.  That’s bad.

Self Study:  Everything has gotten kind of put on hold with reading with the last few weeks of work craziness, but I’m entered in the TBR Pile Challenge for next year, so I’m counting on that to A:  Cause me to actually commit to a book rather than sitting in the middle of my pile sucking my thumb because I can’t choose, and B: Hopefully remind me that reading is fun and I’m allowed to have a little fun.  Just a little.

One unofficial goal I had with this challenge was to reach out to the ROW 80 community and I didn’t do so hot with that, but I volunteered to be a sponsor in the next round, and I’m really looking forward to meeting some new people with some great blogs.

So how about you?  Did you participate in ROW 80, and if so how did your round go?  If you didn’t, think about joining us next round. This is a brilliant idea for a challenge, because dang it, one size has never fit all no matter what the label says! You get to design your own program, and that my friends, is a beautiful thing.  Kait Nolan is a rock star.

See you all soon!



TBR Pile Challenge 2012

I ran across this challenge tripping about some cool blogs, and it looks like just the thing I need to get me through some of the books in my stupendously tottering TBR pile.  The hard part was committing to just twelve, cuz there’s literally a whole corner of an entire room taken up by my TBR pile. And I spend way too much time trying to decide what to read, so hopefully this will condense things a bit.

For more info, and if  you want to join the challenge, go to The Roof Beam Reader‘s blog.

I’ve got a mix of fiction and non fiction.  Looking forward to my first TBR pile challenge, and here’s my list!

Cajun Racing by Ed McNamara

The Nature of Horses by Stephen Budiansky

Horse Breeding in the Medieval World by Charles Gladitz

Animals in Translation by Temple Grandin

The Byerly Turk by Jeremy James

Myths of Greece and Rome by Thomas Bullfinch

The Rebel Prince by Celine Kiernan  completed 1/13/2012

Shattering by Cary Fowler

The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinnley

Graceling by Kristen Cashore  completed 3/7/2012

Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin  completed 3/31/12

Dragonsdawn by Anne McCaffrey


Horse Soldiers by Doug Stanton

The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollen

ROW 80 Check in!

Just a quick check in.  I haven’t been hitting my goals much lately, but I have been writing, so yay for me!  And as so often happens, a couple of weeks off turned into a month.  Where does time go?

For the rest of the ROW, I’m going to dust off those original goals and give it a big push to the finish line.

Hope all of you are doing well, it looks like some of you are doing awesome, so congrats!

Take care, and thanks for stopping by!

Dragging myself into the 21st century….

Let’s just say, technology is not my friend.  I’m very grudgingly following my  much younger peers into the modern world, or rather I’m dragging myself step by bloody step.

I mean, I do appreciate modern conveniences like cell phones, computers and the internet (wouldn’t know all of you without that one!) and I love DVDs, but technology has really seemed to leave me in the dust the last few years.  I think far too fondly some days about growing up in a blink-stop of a small town, when phone service was an old rotary dial phone and a party line. (And if you remember those, give me a high five!) Gossip was found at the beauty shop or the coffee shop, not on twitter, and you more often than not actually had to talk to someone face to face to get your point across.  I’m not really comfortable with the modern world some days.

And I think technology knows I don’t always like it and it wants to pay me back.

No, really.

I got my first smart phone the other day.  I was just fine with my dumb phone for a long time, but I got sucked into the coolness of the portable wi-fi hotspot on the HTC inspire.  And it was pretty!  It was RED!  A Radio Shack exclusive!!  Yeah, I didn’t do a whole lot of wi-fi-ing but I had a FREE UPGRADE and apparently I’m as easily hooked and landed as a striped bass.

So we went to our local Radio Shack, picked out the phone, paid the man (because nothing is ever truly free) and went on our way.

To make a long story short, I couldn’t make the portable WiFi hotspot work to save my life.  I could get internet on the phone, but couldn’t translate it to my computer.  An hour and a half on the phone with ATT, and hour and a half in the store with a service rep, and we all eventually agreed, yep, it’s not working, and nope, we’ve never seen anything like this before.  Comforting.  At least it wasn’t the on-off switch that let me down.

So, back we go to Radio Shack, me with my notes from ATT, quietly, politely insisting I get a new phone, because NOTHING anyone did had helped.

The kid looks at my phone, does a few things on the store computer, digs out a store laptop and tries the WiFi.  I’m trying not to look smug, after all, that would be rude, right?

After a few minutes the kid looks up and says:  “It’s working.”

Are you freaking kidding me?

Nope, it was working plain as day.  Apparently I had just talked to the wrong techno-nerds previously.

I’m pretty suspicious that the minute I take it out of the store it’s going to quit, so I made the kid, who was watching me somewhat warily because when I get frustrated I come off a little…intense is a good word; promise that if it didn’t work I could bring it back up with my laptop and beat him over the head and shoulders with it.

And of course, it worked.  And has been working ever since.

So the nerds at Radio Shack are apparently the go-to guys.

Now, I’ve been saving for weeks to get my first Kindle.  I realize that the digital e-book world is indeed the wave of the future, and while you will never pry paper books out of my cold dead hands, the convenience of carrying 40 or 50 books around in something that weighs less than my socks is pretty appealing.  And trying to read a book on the computer in bed is just not…well, it just isn’t.

So, back we went to Radio Shack.  And seriously, what are the odds of having two pieces of technology purchased in 34 days fail miserably?

Apparently pretty damn high.

I get the Kindle, get it home and charge it up, and am taking it and the laptop to work the next day to have my bud, Lish, who has the exact same model, help me figure it out and transfer the e-books from the puter.  I’m waiting to clock in, thought I’d start going through the user guide and guess freakin what:

It freezes up.

Rock solid.

Can’t even shut the damn thing off.


Lish can’t even figure it out.  Once again, I have made a piece of technology do something no one else has seen it do.

By now you know the drill:  Phone call to Radio Shack, phone call to Amazon, and I’m back in the Radio Shack store.  Only wasted about ten minutes this time before I headed back to the Shack. Radio Shack is trying to get me a refund figured out, because I basically have a paperweight right now and I’m on the phone with the store manager, who by now I’m on a first name basis with, when the techno-nerd says:

“It’s working.”


She said she tried the same reset used for a Blackberry, but I think she just got lucky.  But whatever.

It was working.

Ah, but not perfectly, it froze up on me a few more times, but I could get it restarted.  However, I didn’t pay this much money for something that needs to be rebooted in the middle of a page turn, so I called my BFF at Radio Shack, and she said they will order me a new one.

But apparently the little demons in the Kindle heard the conversation and decided life wasn’t so bad in my purse.

Ever since I got off the phone from ordering the new one the damn thing has been working perfectly.   I carried it around all day at work, snuck up on it a few times trying to catch it in a freeze, shrieked “boo!” at it on one occasion,  but… it’s working perfectly.  Why?  Ellifiknow. But I did manage to download Kristen Lamb’s We Are Not Alone onto the device in one of it’s previous not frozen moments. Coincidence?

Yep, technology.

Hubby thinks it the 22 inches of solid titanium residing in my right tibia that is messing my technology up by creating some sort of force field.  I think “The Terminator” (the original one, the one with the awesome storyline instead of the overwrought special effects) is actually autobiographical and these things have little tiny brains and know they are messing with me and laughing about it.

We’ll see….

How about you all?  Have  you had any fun or not so fun experiences with technology?  Share with me, and if the entire internet hasn’t decided to play games with me, we can chat about it!

Take care and hugs to you all!