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Archive: March 2008

No Towel…..Need Sleepy!

We’ve had a busy day around here at Chez Donahue. We’ve got our SIL and her kids in town, and we had a ball playing at the park today. We also made pies, ice cream, and our own play-doh. Tomorrow we’re off to the Magic Kingdom, and you can bet your a$$ that I’ll be in serious need of a nap after that.

Frustration, Thy Name is Mortgage Crisis

I hate the mortgage crisis. That is all.

From the “Things You Should Know” Department

Outsourcing is not a new thing in the US. If you’ve ever called a “help desk” for tech issues, then you know what I’m talking about. It seems that nothing is “Made in the USA” anymore; in fact, you’d be hard-pressed to look around your house and find more than a handful of things that were manufactured here at home. All of this aside, I bet you would assume that there are some things that absolutely MUST be made in the US. I’m guessing you would expect that your driver’s license is made here (mine is). And when you send your passport application off, I would bet that you probably think that the office where it goes is where your passport originates. You would be wrong.

Your passport (at least if you’ve recently applied or are planning to do so) was made in a whole bunch of places. The blank document starts out in the US, but it then travels to the Netherlands, and, from there, on to Thailand. There are a whole lot of things wrong with this. First, it’s hella expensive, and it’s the Government Printing Office’s fault (see the link below…it goes to Fox News). Second, and more importantly, it poses a rather extreme security threat. Let’s think about this for a minute: Blank US passports traveling around the world. Microchip technology that we know has already been stolen by China. A very large (and very lucrative) black market for blank US documents. Hmmmmmmm.

The US State Department freely admits that there are no American companies that manufacture the microchip. When you add the foreign components to the already huge number (2,600) of US contractors that the State Department employs, it would seem that we are facing a security risk of mammoth proportions.

I’m not an alarmist kind of girl. I usually take things with a grain of salt. But it just really seems like this is a tidbit of information that I think should be out there. Does it mean that your personal passport is at risk? Absolutely not. Does it mean that there are a whole bunch of blank passports loaded with technology out there just waiting to be sold into the wrong hands? You betcha. Finally, does it mean that maybe, just maybe, we should be focusing more on what, exactly, is made in the US? Certainly.

I really don’t think that US RFID passports should be assembled outside of the US, and if we don’t currently possess the technology to make them ourselves, maybe we have a bigger problem than we think. And in case you’re interested, you can read more about it here, here (you’ll have to scroll down a bit), and here.

Watch Out For Those Sonic Booms

The Shuttle lands at 7:05 tonight, so those two loud noises you’ll hear are perfectly normal.

UPDATE: Welcome home Endeavor crew, and thanks for the sonic booms!

Taking a Page Out of Kevin’s Book

I never blog about anything remotely techie, but today I’ve been playing around with Pages, iWork’s word processing application. I was a whiz at Publisher (and I’m pretty sure I still have it installed on the PC upstairs, but we haven’t even plugged that bad boy in for over a year). I taught myself how to use it, and I never really had any problem.
Everybody knows that Macs are intuitive little machines, and the apps engineered for Macs also operate on that principle. I admit that I had a hard time when I first made the PC to Mac switch. For the first two weeks, I wanted to hurl my Mac against the wall. Most Mac users know what I’m talking about. So when I opened up Pages today, I thought “This should be pretty easy. I’m well-educated in all things Mac”. Oh no. My overconfidence bit me in the butt.
I regressed BIG TIME back to a PC mentality. I tried to make things WAY too complicated (a la Publisher). It took me about 30 minutes before I realized that I just needed to trust my instinct and re-embrace the Mac mentality. As soon as I did, Pages was easy.
I like Pages. It’s going to take a little bit for me to figure out all the bells and whistles, but it works exactly like it should. Again, Pages is easy. The way it should be. The way Macs are.

You Know You’ve Aged When

You have to have your lyrics teleprompted on Oprah. How is it possible that I know all the words to “Only the Good Die Young” but Billy Joel doesn’t?

Happy Easter!

Here’s a cute picture of a bunny to wish you Happy Easter.

easter_craft_main.gif

If that’s not quite your thing, here’s a link that might not be so nice, but it will make you giggle.

Seriously, though, have a great Easter. May all of you be as blessed as Kevin and I are.

Chillin’

It’s drizzly outside, and the weekly grocery shopping has already been done, so we pretty much spent Saturday chilling out in front of the TV (side note: If you’re not watching John Adams, you should be). There’s a really good fight on later tonight, and there is some Guitar Hero to be played.

I love days like this.

Countdown Mode






We’re on full-on countdown mode here at Chez Donahue. In two months, we’ll be back on the beach. In preparation, I’ve started the process of hanging out in the sun trying to get some sort of a tan so I won’t be so susceptible to the dreaded first day sunburn. Luckily, it’s been pretty nice out, so I’ve got some good color going on (sorry Angela!).

I’ve said it before, but I was a little bit leery of moving to Florida. Now that we’re here, I have to say that we are having an absolute blast. The weather is fantastic, and there is never a shortage of stuff to do. I think the BEST thing about being here, though, will turn out to be the proximity to the best little vacation cottage on Earth.

Open Season

It’s official. I just got out of the pool. It’s a little cool, yet, but not shiver-me-timbers cold. I may even go get back in.

What You Don’t Know About Living in Space

Courtesy of ABC News:

Astronauts can bring iPods on the Shuttle, but not onto the International Space Station.

Since money has no value in space, astronauts have been known to hoard their rations of M&Ms and their dehydrated meals to use as bargaining chips. Also, M&Ms, coffee, and tortillas have the highest value.

NASA has engineered special silver-lined clothing that absorbs odors since you can’t do laundry in space. They then recycle the clothes for other missions (including underwear).

For more little tidbits, find the full article here.

WTF?

Can anyone please explain to my WHY I have the song “Word Up” stuck in my head?

And a Happy Saint Patty’s to You!

From the O’Donoghue clan to yours:

May God give you…
For every storm, a rainbow,
For every tear, a smile,
For every care, a promise,
And a blessing in each trial.
For every problem life sends,
A faithful friend to share,
For every sigh, a sweet song,
And an answer for each prayer.

—An Irish Prayer

And here’s a bit of fun information:

There are 34.7 million U.S. residents who claim Irish ancestry. This number is almost nine times the population of Ireland itself (4.2 million). Irish is the nation’s second most frequently reported ancestry, trailing only those of German ancestry. (The ancestry estimates exclude people living in group quarters).

St. Patrick wasn’t Irish.

The shamrock is a symbol of the Holy Trinity.

Almost Ready

We’re about one day away from officially opening up Swim Season here at Chez Donahue. We don’t have a heated pool, but we’ve had enough warm days that our pool is almost sufficiently warm enough to jump in. I could push it and dive on in today, but I think I’ll give it another 24 hours or so, just to be safe. Hooray!

It’s Official, I Am A Dork

Today I got through my first song on Hard in Guitar Hero….not only did I finish, but I got four stars. Yep, I’m a big ‘ol dork.

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