MrsCKugs

Where have you been!?

So, you may have noticed Kim has been doing the bulk of our writing lately. I’ve been kind of busy…

 

DSCN0075

 

My husband and I were working very hard…

DSCN0081

 

To prepare for the newest addition to our family!

Meet the newest geek to our family, Baby E!

 

13

New Phone Blues

I need a new phone. This sucks.

For those of you not in the know I am currently rocking a Nexus 4. It is getting older so, it is becoming less and less compatible with programs, and updates that come out. Plus, the past couple of years I have gotten used to listening to  a lot of podcasts. I do not have a lot of space on this thing. With all my apps, pictures, and podcasts I am frequently running out of space. I have like 15 gigs. The majority of my time is spent on my phone (as opposed to my laptop) so I tend to run out of space fairly quickly. I am sitting here researching phones and I have a list of things I want. So far here is what we got:

  1. Android platform
  2. At least 32 gigs of space (prefer 64 or even higher)
  3. Fast processing speeds
  4. One of the more popular ones, so that I have a distinct choice in cases

Typically I leave phone decisions to my husband. He is a better researcher than I am. However I am learning that we value different things in phones. I use a lot of different game apps, and he has no interest in them. I take a lot of pictures, he does not. So what in the world does it look like handing off the choice of phones to someone who doesn’t do any of the things that I do?!

Thing is, I hate researching. I tend to get overwhelmed very easily. But I am going to suck it up and do it. Because I need a new phone.

Supernatural Fail.

When Supernatural came out, Kim was pretty much watching it from the start. I remember she had this phone background of a man (who I now know to be Jensen Ackles), laying on his stomach with just a peek of butt hanging out. I thought the guy was gorgeous, but I didn't watch must tv and didn't watch the show.

 

Fast forward to 2014. I keep seeing more and more on this show. They are previewing their 10th season this year. I decide to pick it up. My goal was to finish all 9 seasons in two months before the 10th premiered.

I WILL WIN IT ALL!

I am not going to lie to you. Those first few episodes were hard. Sam was whiny, Dean was cocksure. Sam just wanted to live his life. This was Dean's life. The whole situation was baffling. If you have liked our Facebook page, you will have seen my complete bafflement the whole time.

Truth be told, I truly didn't get into it until Season 4 Episode 8 Wishful Thinking. Supernatural fans will understand why.

Hey Dean. Hey boo.

This episode found me on the floor CRYING

But I perserviered and while I was an epic fail at getting all the episodes in (I believe I am at season 7). I understand why everyone loves this show so much. First off. Lemme talk about Dean/Jensen Ackles.

Hey Boo. Heyyyy

Hey Boo. Heyyyy

Dean is my absolute favorite. Him being absolutely gorgeous, bowlegged and brooding is only part of it. Everyone wants loyalty in their friends and family. Dean is loyal to an absolute fault. I feel like his loyalty will be his downfall. He wants to save everyone. You can't save everyone in this show. Plus..he's fine. Have I mentioned how fine Dean is?!

Dean...oh, Dean.

Sam, I feel for. He was too young to fully understand the impact that the tragedy of his mother had on both Dean and his father. He just wanted a normal life as a lawyer, have a wife, and distance himself far from his hunting family. He deserved it. Both him and Dean deserved it.

Man, Sam... If only you knew...

Instead, Sam was pulled back in. He is good at it. It is what he knows, it is (literally) in his blood. Don't we all come back around to what we know?

YOU SHOULD FEEL GOOD SAM!

 

While their are many charachters we can talk about, It always comes back to these two. These two saving each other, fighting for each other. Their each other's weak spot and I truly believe it will kill them both in the end. In the meantime I will sit here and enjoy their happiness, sadness, pain, anger, and hilarity.

So yes, while my challenge was a failure, it truly wasn't one. It introduced me to some of the most complex charachters I have seen on TV in a long time. I am a converted fan and I will continue to watch.

 

HE IS IN ME.

 

I had to put a pic of Cas up. He makes me laugh the hardest.

Xfinity, no one likes you

So, my honey and I were out at breakfast this past weekend when we tried to connect to the wifi. We have been going to this place for years and they have always had unsecured internet access for people to use. Recently they have made a few upgrades and locking down the wifi was one of them. Not a huge deal, but as I am looking at the list of available SSID's available to connect to, I noticed an unsecured "xfinitiywifi". I showed it to my husband and he informed me that this was a common thing now. Comcast is using your modem to broadcast a signal so subscribers can sign in and use wifi where ever they are at.

This doesn't seem safe, or legal. When I got home, I googled a bit of information on it and came across this year old article on Ars Technica. The article states the good it could be doing, but it doesn't talk about the possibility for hacking. Also, when people connect they are using a piece of equipment on your network. Which means they are using your electricity. Will this increase your electricity bill?! Is Comcast going to put some money on your electric bill? Since they don't want to credit your bill when they have outages for days  (*cough polar vortex cough*) I am going to go with no.

I am going to set this on my porch

http://sprudge.com/20-tip-jars.html

This whole debacle fortunately does not apply to me and mine. We do not rent Comcast's shitty equipment, we purchased our own. But it is still truly concerning.

 

Do you have Comcast? Do you take advantage of the wifi access points from them around your town? How do you feel about it?

My Top 10 Podcasts – Part 1

Two years ago, I did not listen to podcasts. I had heard of them, but I never really paid attention. That all changed a year ago.

"Give me some of your favorite podcasts!" One of my Facebook friends posted. In 15 minutes she had a resounding list. One kept popping up over and over and over again. "Welcome To Nightvale" I decided to check it out. I started at the very beginning and was hooked after one episode. I started at the beginning, and was done in no time. I began searching for other podcasts to listen to while I was waiting for an update to WTNV. It just kind of snowballed from there.

Let's start with how I listen to my podcasts. Podcasts are called such because of Apple. These types of broadcasts have been around forever, but Apple made it simple (as they do with most things)  to get all of these in one spot. I am not an Apple product user. I never have been. I find it amusing that even when I was all about trends and trendiness, I never had an Apple product.

My current smart phone is an LG Nexus 4. My phone is great, however I got the low end of the memory when I purchased it. I know now that my next phone will have the most memory I can get.

The application I use to access podcasts is BeyondPod for Android. I tried other applications, but they didn't feel as user friendly to me.  There is a free verion and a paid version. I used the free version for a while then switched to the paid one. According to the website, the Lite (free version) has the same features of the Pro (paid version) except the following:

  • You will be able to update only one feed at a time.
  • You can download only one episode at a time.
  • You can play episodes only at normal speed.
  • Chromecast support will be disabled.
  • Scheduling of automatic updates will be disabled.
  • EpisodeSync will be disabled.

The main things that I needed from Pro were the first two on this list. I have a lot of podcasts...as well as feelings.

It is user friendly and the only thing I wish that it had (and this is totally superficial) is the ability to change the color of the application. The only two color palettes you have are a khaki color or dark. Boo.

So that is the hardware my podcasts run on. Lets jump into the podcasts. These are my top 10 in no particular order. I like them all equally.

1. Welcome to Nightvale

We've already talked about this in a previous post. Perfect Carlos, Cecil, The Old Woman who secretly lives in your home. They are all amazing characters. This podcast is delightfully weird and is an absolute joy to listen to. I wish I lived in Nightvale. I would happily join Tamika Flynn's band of mercenaries.

2. We're Alive - A Story of Survival

I discovered this podcast roughly a year ago. I don't remember how, and I do not remember why. But I was hooked instantly. It tells the story of a hodgepodge of people, banding together as the Zombie Apocalypse is in full effect. There are a lot of twists and turns along the way. This podcast has been going since 2008 I do believe. Sadly, it is coming to an end. According to the website the finale premeres in LA on July 19th in a live performance. It is killing me that it is ending, as I have grown to seriously care for some of these characters. It feels like it did when Harry Potter ended. I have thrown absolute tantrums on twitter about characters and they have responded. Observe:

  And

As you can see, I love this podcast. And I love that they interact with my crazy butt.

 

3. The Read

I don't even know how to begin with The Read. Let me start at the beginning. I live for Kid Fury. I originally started watching his YouTube videos when he talked about the drama he had when trying to get home to watch Scandal:

I was in TEARS of laughter from the jump. You'll notice in this one he briefly mentions the podcast him and Crissle do.  I went ahead and checked it out shortly after that.

Bruh. Bruh. Honey, Linda, listen to me right now. If you love Beyonce, pop culture gossip, ratchet music, and just straight silliness. You must listen. There is swearing on here. Please keep that in mind. I don't even care. I'm grown.

4. The Leviathan Chronicles

From my list so far, you can kind of guess that I enjoy podcasts that tell a story. I am an avid reader. I have never really used books on tape (or cd, or whatever medium you want), but this is what some of these would be. Leviathan Chronicles are no different. It tells the story of an immortal population with a twist. This took some getting into. I think it was roughly the third episode before I was actually invested.

They currently have up to the first half of season 2 out. There have been multiple setbacks recently and the owner (Director? Writer?) Christof Laputka has a State of the Union that has been out there for a while explaining the delays. Christof,  if you read this please know that there are people who enjoy this podcast who would have no problems donating to a Kickstarter fundraiser for you. I need to know what happens to Tulley. I also want to punch Maccallen in the face.

5. Blerds on Nerds

BoN holds a special place in my heart. They reached out to us on twitter. Matt lives in Indianapolis (like me!) and Llana lives in LA. Kind of like how Blondie is in Vegas and we co-write on here! For those of you that do not know, a Blerd is just a Black Nerd. Growing up, I didn't run into many Blerds and it wasn't until I was a full fledged adult that I truly let my Geek Flag Fly. BoN talkes about the things that we all care about, such as E3, Comics, Gaming, and more. I appreciate what they do, and hopefully maybe we can collaborate on something someday!

6. Stuff you Missed in History Class

I am going to be honest with you when I say history did not capture my attention in High School/Junior High School. I always made it a point never to fall asleep in class, no matter how tired I was because I snored like a bear back then. To this day, 9th grade world history is the only class I have ever fallen asleep in. Seriously passed out on my desk. I got detention because it is pretty much impossible to discretly sleep when you snore like a damn bear.

I felt like adding this podcast to my roster was going to be a mistake. I figured I would try one and delete the stream if I did not like it. This particular podcast has over 600 episodes. I started with number one. I believe this podcast started in 2008. I am currently in the year 2009. I've listened to over 50 of them. One of the hosts has changed so far and it looks like both will be changing the later I get into them. My favorite podcast is where they talk about Australia's Stolen Generation . I had no clue that this had happened. I spoke to some of my Australian friends and they gave me the breakdown on how the impact of the stolen generation reverberates today in Australia. It is crazy.

 

I did not realize my countdown was going to be as wordy as it is. So I am going to save the last 4 for a Part 2!

Magnificent Manicure by BruisedUpDollie

When I was but a young girl on the interwebz, I came across a site called Cybersocieties. It was a site similar to hot or not,with points that meant absolutely nothing. It also had a slew of characters. While CS still exists, it is a shell of its former self. We have a small group on Facebook that posts information, and a lot of us are friends on there. One of my dearest friends from that time is Lo. She is here today to show you how to put together a simple and cute manicure. Take it away Lo!

 

Heeey! I hope everyone is well. I'm super excited to be able to share a simple mani known as the dotticure. A manicure filled with polka dots! For this look I used I used a dotting tool but if you don't own one you can use a bobby pin, the end of a paintbrush or even a tooth pick. You'll also need two or more polish colors. I chose a white and a teal. 

So adorable, so simple!

So adorable, so simple!

I layered some of my dots with a smaller dot of my original base color to make O's while leaving some smaller dots just as they were. I think it came out pretty cute for being insanely simple. I hope you enjoyed this super simple dotticure! And I hope you try one out sometime. Also I want to thank Leslie for having me! Thanks doll you're awesome! 


 

Do any of you do nail art? Lo is amazing, and as a matter of fact, she designed a manicure for me to use on my cruise. However the nail shop I went to failed horribly at it. I didn't even bother taking a pic of the one the manicurist did. Like I had to come home and redo my own nails, it was that bad.  Here is the one Lo did for me:

 

This is adorable, and I die.

This is adorable, and I die.

 

More of Lo's manicures can be found on Facebook and Instagram!

https://www.facebook.com/BruisedUpDollie

Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered (not in a good way)

Humans are weird creatures. Some of us are loud and combative while some of us are soft spoken and passive. We are all different and that is great. It makes the world a more interesting place to live in. Sometimes we don’t know how to deal with the actions of others or situations that our environment have put us in. Instead of making changes and doing big thangs, a lot of us put our heads in the sand and bemoan our fate. I am guilty of this quite often. There is a saying that is attributed to several different people; Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Sometimes it is hard to make that first step to change. This is why I am writing this. A change will do you good, as it sort of did me. Here are the steps I follow and questions I ask myself when I am truly unhappy with something for the examples, I am talking about my former job.

1) What exactly is making me unhappy?

When I first started my old job, I was ecstatic. I had been out of work for two years, and before that, nothing I truly did was IT. This job promised to change that. I learned a lot, and as time went on, things were becoming old hat. By two years in, I had surpassed my current job position. But there was no where for me to go. Remembering the arduous job hunt from two years prior, and how hard it was to get this job, I floundered. I stayed miserable far longer than I should, telling myself that I should be grateful to have a job.

What I didn’t realize was that in two years the game had changed. I was a big fish in a rapidly shrinking pond at my job. I wasn’t learning anything new, and I wasn’t going to be allowed to pursue the career path that I wanted to in IT in this job. Another thing I did not realize was that yes, my job hunt was difficult prior but I had nowhere near the skills or the resume that I did now.

2) Is there anyway I can become happier in my current position (current relationship, etc.)?

The straw that broke the camel’s back  as far as my old job went was the very last review I had there. My boss gave me a glowing review. He was happy with all aspects of work that I was doing. During the portion of the review where he asked if I had any questions, I asked “Is there anyway that I could get promoted with job title and pay?” I was straight up told no. My old department ran incredibly lean. There was no place for me to go, and my boss wasn’t even trying to keep me. This was going to continue to be a miserable place for me as long as I stayed there. It was time for me to go.

3) Where to boss?

This is rough. You need to sit down and think what do you want out of your next situation. For me, I wanted a place that once again I would grow with. I learned so much from my old job. It made me more than a tech: I am an IT professional in all aspects of the word. I don’t just look at the problem and figure out how to solve it. I look at all aspects of a situation to prevent the issue from cropping up again. I wanted a place that would help me onto the track that I wanted to be on. I knew my end goal was to become a DBA. I knew I was not at that stage in my career at all. I wanted some place that would put me on the right track.

4) Let’s do this!

I knew what I wanted, I was ready to hunt. Dozens of resumes were sent out, interviews were given. For the first time in my life interviews didn’t phase me. I have all of the soft skills that IT people are always pushing. I have the technical skills as well. Why should I work for you? Tell me about your company. The interviews never felt one sided. We were testing each other out. Are you a good fit for me? I already know I am a great fit for you. Eventually I happened upon a company that is a great fit for me.

So that is where I am at now. The company I am currently at is as enthusiastic about me as I am about them. My department is another story. There is a lot of things going on that make me doubt who I am and what I am trying to become. It is dragging me down quite often. I am not in tears like I was at the end of my last job, but I am slowly losing steam. So I started looking at my list of questions again. I am on question #2. There is a way for me to become happier. and I am working on it. If you have a full time career a lot of your time is going to be spent doing this job. While it should not be the end all be all of your happiness, if you are able to you should at least not want to huddle under your bed crying when it is time to go to work. I recently took a step that should change how I feel about everything and continue me on my path to who and what I want to be.

What do you do when you are unhappy with a current situation? How do you handle it?

Blue Apron – Product Review

I am the primary cook in our house. This is not a throw back to a time before feminism. When I have time, I enjoy cooking. A lot. It soothes me. There is also something very cool about taking a bunch of ingredients and turning them into something delicious.

I first heard of Blue Apron from a Facebook friend. A mutual friend of hers gave her a few weeks free from them. I happened to be on Twitter that day and Blue Apron was having a deal for a week of meals.  I went ahead and purchased them. What could it hurt?

Blue Apron Box

Opening the box

I specified to receive my box on Friday. I am off on Friday's and didn't have much to do that day. They informed me it would come at anytime between 8a-8p on that day.

When I got back from my hair appointment (*flips hair*) It was sitting in the shade near the garage. So I picked it up and brought it in.

LET THE BIG DOG EAT!!!

Lovely Letter from Blue Apron

I opened the box and was impressed by the number of cooling agents that they had in there. Even if I had been a really long time, nothing was really going to suffer.

 

Opening the box

NUMMIES!!!!

I chose a box with two servings of each meal. There is just me and my husband. We do not need a whole lot of food. Each meal comes with all of the things needed to make the amount of food you ordered and a recipe card that has colorful pictures.

The first recipe I decided to make was the Pan-Fried Orange Shrimp with Sauteed Scallions and Bok Choy over Jasmine Rice.

Ready!? Okay!?

Cooking!

Ingredients and recipe card

I pulled everything out that the recipe required and began my prep work on all of them.

 

Prepped Ingredients

Yeah, I don't have a bunch of fancy matching bowls. I was still classy.

The instructions were super easy to follow and had a picture for pretty much every step.

End Result

TAAADAAAA!!!!!

Everything turned out delicious. I did have a boatload of dishes to wash after, but that was only because I was being fancy and instead of piling prepped items on the chopping board like I normally do, I presented it in bowls.

So, Blue Apron Pros and Cons:

Pros:

Not super expensive. It is about what we would pay for groceries for a week.

Easy well written instructions.

Everything is in the kit for use.

You don't get stuck in a food rut and this will give you a jump off point to actually mess around with the recipes if you so choose.

Cons:

While we would spend this on groceries for a week, there are no snacks, and no leftovers for us, because I chose the two meal plan.

My cooking ambitions come in spurts. I may not want to cook three meals a week and that is the lowest you can get.

The way everything is packaged, it seems as if there is a lot of waste. I don't put all of my veggies that I purchase at the store in plastic bags, but this box does.

You may end up with some things you absolutely do not like. I hate beets, and my second week box included beets and beet pasta. *Gag*

Would I purchase this again? It honestly depends. I have to be in a mood to cook, and these are not fast meals to prepare.  On a lark, I had my husband prepare the meatball sub one. He hates cooking, but I came home from work and just kind of did a *wall slide* and wasn't moving. He started cooking as soon as I got home at 7pm, and it took until 8pm for everything to be ready. We honestly do not have that kind of time. During the week our food needs to be quick. With all of the fresh vegetables in the recipes, the food will not hold for longer than a week. By the time we got to the meatball subs, it was the end of the week and the cucumber for the salad was rotted.

 

If you give Blue Apron a try, let me know, I would love to know your thoughts!

 

I purchased two weeks worth of Blue Apron with my own doubloons. No one is sponsoring this post. Except me.

 

 

 

 

The Consideration of Others

 

So, here is the deal. Rules. I am not a big follower of them. If I want to do something, and there is a rule in place to discourage me, I am going to try my damnest to find a way around it. There are a couple exceptions to this. The first one being that the rules are there to help with the safety of others. The second being the rules are there to make sure everyone has a good time.

The past few days I have seen some doozies.

Let us talk about flash photography. Want to know my major pet peeve? You own a super fancy DSLR camera, with all the crazy fancy lenses. Instead of taking a class, or reading a book to learn how to use it, you instead keep it on automatic and always keep the flash on. Let me let you in on a little secret. YOU DO NOT NEED FLASH ON EVERYTHING. At conventions, and things on a stage, most of the time, the people on the stage are lit up properly for you. No flash needed. They do this for a couple of reasons.

1. Flash blinds and disorients the people on stage.

2. Flash can be dangerous to people in the audience.

For those of you who hadn’t seen or heard, at the Supernatural convention in Las Vegas, a friend of mind and a severe medical emergency because the people throwing the convention did not see an issue with allowing people to use the flash. You can read about her story here.

At the live reading of Welcome to Night Vale the woman who speaks at the end of every podcast came out (she looked fabulous by the way). She explained that they loved having their picture taken, and while that was not a problem, could we please turn off the flash? It was blinding to the actors, and it disrupts the experience for your neighbors. They also asked that we did not film it, because they wanted each stop to have the same experience that we got. Besides, after the tour it would be up for download.

Not even two minutes after she left the stage, there was flash photography all over the place. I just turned around and glared. After the issue with my friend at the SPN con, I was hypersensitive to following that rule.

Two pews (I told you in the last entry this was a quirky place)  in front of us was the most annoying girl I ever had the misfortune of sitting near. I don’t honestly even really know why she was there. She looked to have no interest in the show. Shortly after the show had begun, I was bathed in a bright white light. She was recording the show and her bright ass display was interrupting my viewing. I was so irritated. She kept stopping and starting recording and not even paying attention to what was going on. I truly believe her whole purpose in that theater that evening was to make me so angry I wanted to snatch her hair. Ugh. Eventually someone in my pew told her to stop and she did.

I guess the point of this is to say this: Why is it so difficult for people to be courteous to one another? Flash photography causes seizures to some people. Video recording AFTER THE PEOPLE ASKED YOU NOT TO is so tacky and unnecessary.  Some rules aren’t made to be broken. They are there for the health and wellbeing of the people around you, and maybe even yourself. Think about it.

Welcome…to Night Vale!

I recently just switched jobs. With my old job, whenever I wasn’t on the phone, I listened to music. Since I am perpetually stuck in the 90’s that is what most of my music consists of. Eventually I got bored with the same playlists day in and day out, and decided to branch out.

Me: Does anyone know of any good podcasts?

Friends: This American Life! The Read! Welcome to Night Vale!

Me: What is Welcome to Night Vale?

Friends: Think Twilight Zone with absolute randomness thrown in.

Me: Sold!

I downloaded the most recent episode at that time. I was hooked when Cecil started talking about the Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives In Your Home. In short order, I downloaded and listened to all of the past episodes.

For those of you that have no clue what the hell I am going on about, here is the description by Wikipedia:

Welcome to Night Vale is a podcast presented as a radio show for the fictional town of Night Vale. It was created by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, is voiced by Cecil Baldwin, and is published by Commonplace Books. The podcast airs on the first and fifteenth of every month, and consists of "news, announcements and advertisements" from the desert town,located "somewhere in the Southwestern United States".In an interview with NPR, Joseph Fink commented on the creation of the series, stating that he "came up with this idea of a town in that desert where all conspiracy theories were real, and we would just go from there with that understood."

Cecil Baldwin is the voice of Night Vale. He is currently dating a scientist by the name of Carlos. Not much is known about Carlos, except it feels like he doesn’t really believe in the conspiracies, he loves Cecil, and he has perfect hair.

Night Vale has recently started a live show tour, and I was truly fortunate (read: when tickets went on sale I ignored all work that needed to be done in that moment and clicked as if my life depended on it) to get tickets to see the show.

I’m going to be honest when I say this: I truly didn’t believe that this would be a sold out show. I only have a few friends that know about Welcome to Night Vale. Imagine my surprise when I pull up to the venue in Irvington an hour early and the line is WRAPPED AROUND the theater.

 

Irvington is a neighborhood (I hesistate to say suburb) of Indianapolis. It is totally quirky and funky like Broadripple with more parking. It has all these neat shops, and the neighborhood looks like has organically grown over the years and not been manufactured like *cough* Carmel *cough*. The Irvington Theater was super funky. I look on the about page of the theater and it doesn’t tell me the year it opened, only the day as far as I could see.

Once we got inside, there was a set up to buy shirts, and posters. I wanted to hurry up and grab seats, as all the ones in the front row were taken. We ended up with decent seats, right behind the sound equipment people. As I sat down and waited, I people watched. In addition to people in WTNV shirts, we had people dressed up. I think I saw more Carlos’ than anyone else. They all had on lab coats.

I am not going to talk about what the show was about, they came out at the beginning and asked that we don’t do that or record anything because they want each stop on the tour to have the same experience as us, plus they plan on releasing the live shows after they get done. I am one that does not want to ruin the expierence for others.  I will however, have a second blog post about some of the audience at a later time. Hopefully this week right after this post.

The show in one word? Amazing. The audience participation was amazing as well. Cecil looked nothing like what he did in my head, nor did Perfect Carlos. Let this be known though, they are both FINE. FIIIIINNNUHHHHHHH. I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time. After it was over, I did not see them come out to do autographs, which I was hoping to get a picture with them, but it is okay. If they come to your town to do a live show, don’t miss it. They are amazing storytellers!