The Tech Teen

July 14, 2007

At The Tech Teen, they have young adults from ages 15-19 speaking their minds about what products work, and what don’t. New products ranging from cell phones to laptops will be reviewed. Here, other teens can come to find out what they really should be saving up for. Here, parents can find out what their son or daughter would really like.

http://thetechteen.com/

My 16 year old son turned me on to this kid, then I ran into him on Pownce. Don’t let his age fool you into thinking he’s less than he his. He’s brilliant, tuned in, and turned on to what makes other “tech teens” tick. Give him a chance. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Meet Truman, The Tech Teen

Founder and Lead Reviewer at TTT, Truman is 15 years old and is going into his junior year of Highschool. Some of his hobbies include Computers, Digg, Technology in general, Rock Climbing, and MMA.read more | digg story


Some of My Favorite Freeware

February 16, 2007

Did someone say free? Oh wait! That was me!

I am always on the lookout for great freeware. I’m talking totally free, make my life easier, tweak my system, just for fun stuff. With all the free open source alternatives, I just can’t see paying for software in this day and age. The only thing worse is hearing a friend of mine tell me they just spent a STUPID amount of money on something they could have gotten for free (and often, better!) .

While I’m sure there are even better alternatives to the ones I’m gonna list, these are programs that I use almost daily. These are easy to install, work, and most programs are “set ’em and forget ’em”.

For free copyrighting of your material, try common creations at: http://www.commoncreations.com
or
my free copyright at:
http://www.myfreecopyright.com/

Want to add some new fonts?
Check out creamundo at:
http://www.creamundo.com/index.php?lang=en
(you can try out the font before you even download it!)
OR
Fontface
http://www.fontface.com/
OR
wanted fonts
http://www.wantedfonts.com/
OR
betterfonts
http://betterfonts.com/

How about photo tools?
For free brushes at brusheezy
http://www.brusheezy.com/brushes
OR
For the most kick-ass photo tips, DIY projects, and gear : photomojo at:
http://www.photojojo.com/
OR
For photo retouching, image composition, and image authoring: The GIMP at
http://www.download.com/The-GIMP/3003-2192_4-10635470.html?tag=lst-0-1

How about Licensed Software Free For the Taking LEGALLY!
FREE SOFTWARE at give away of the day:
http://www.giveawayoftheday.com/
FREE GAMES at game give away of the day at:
http://game.giveawayoftheday.com/

How often have you carefully selected some text from a Web page and copied it to an email message? Snippy makes this a snap!
http://www.bhelpuri.net/Snippy/default.htm

The ULTIMATE Windows Media Player Plug-In resource:
http://www.wmplugins.com/

Protect your pc for free!
Against spyware:(SPYBOT:search and destroy)
http://www.spybot.info/en/download/index.html
OR
Against adware:(ADAWARE SE PERSONAL)
http://www.lavasoftusa.com/products/ad-aware_se_personal.php
OR
ANTI-VIRUS PROTECTION (I’ve been using this for years!) AVG personal edition:
http://www.download.com/AVG-Anti-Virus-Free-Edition/3000-2239_4-10320142.html
AND
All-in-One SECRETMAKER is designed for everybody who wants to avoid computer crashes and protect their privacy. IT combines several powerful tool and includes a Spam Fighter, Pop-Up Blocker, Cookie Eraser, History Cleaner, Privacy Protector, Banner Blocker and a Worm Hunter. Go to :
http://www.secretmaker.com/

How about free dvd burners/decrypters?
BURN 4 FREE at:
http://www.burn4free.com/
OR
DVD SHRINK at:
http://www.dvdshrink.org/what.html
OR
DVD DECRYPTER
http://www.dvddecrypter.org.uk/
AND FINALLY
IMGBURN is a lightweight CD / DVD / HD DVD / Blu-ray burning application ((CATCH THAT? BLU_RAY BURNER!!!)) get it at:
http://www.imgburn.com/

For the ultimate guide to drivers and firmware go to the driver guide at:
http://driverguide.com/

Want a free auto-expiring telephone number?
CRAIGSNUMBER at:
http://craigsnumber.com/

If you wanna build a remote control lawnmower:
VIDEO

DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS
http://members.iinet.net.au/%7Etnpshow/RCLM/intro.htm

For wasting countless hours doing nothing I give you “PERPETUAL BUBBLEWRAP”. Yes, for the ultimate in time wasting, simply roll your mouse over the bubble wrap to see and hear a satisfying ‘pop’ as the bubble bursts and then reappear. Go to:
http://www.urban75.com/Mag/bubble.html

To send off for totally free crap:
(You wouldn’t BELIEVE the crap I’ve gotten for free from this site!)
http://www.totallyfreecrap.com/

If you have Firefox, these are ESSENTIAL add-ins!

Free long distance? Free mobile? (OMG! I LOVE THIS DAMN SERVICE!)
http://www.jajah.com/

Do you listen to music while surfing the Web?
FoxyTunes is a free browser add-on that allows you to control your favorite media players without ever leaving the browser and more…
FOXY TUNES at:
http://www.foxytunes.com/

Cooliris Previews is a free browser add-on that lets you preview links without clicking or leaving your current page. It is an AWESOME timesaver! Get COOLIRIS at:
http://www.cooliris.com

If your searching for particular types of programs, I highly suggest :
http://www.giveawayoftheday.com/freeware/
OR
Chris Pirillo (My Hero!)
http://chris.pirillo.com/
(I love this guy!)
OR
http://www.download.com/
OR
GRC’s popular freeware
http://www.grc.com/freepopular.htm

I originally made this list for my freinds, but then I thought, hey…. someone else may need a freebie today. If you know of any super cool freeware you think I should know about…. tell a woman!!!

Enjoy!


The Man I Wish I Knew

December 31, 2006

He’d be able to laugh with me at the silly things I do. (I’m a natural clutz!) He’d respect my values and morals even if his differed from mine. He’d not only know the meaning of MONOGAMY, but firmly believe in it as well. He’d be honest, confident, and assured of his own self-worth. He would enjoy learning about new things, and discussing them with me over coffee. He would tell me his thoughts, ideas, and opinions with ease, and want me to do the same. He would find humor and enjoyment in the little things and realize that life doesn’t deal in black and white, but has a thousand shades of gray in between…

Someone who’d move the hair away from my eyes, and then kiss me. Someone who would sing to me at random moment, no matter how bad he sounds. Someone who would slow dance with me, even when there’s no music. We’d make out in the pouring rain. Someone would never be afraid to say “I love you” in front of his freinds. Someone who will lay back with me and count the stars, or stay home with me on a Friday night just to help me make dinner and watch movies together under the same blanket. Someone who will tell me I’m beautiful, but not to often. Someone who would talk with me and laugh with me like no one else could, and be my best freind.

I guess that’s why I read romance novels though…….


The Mechanic and Me

December 16, 2006

Tales From the Countryside (CH 4)

I was a daddy’s girl, and I grew up southern style. By that, I don’t mean I was a “tom boy”, nor was I a debutante. I blended the two into what I believe to be a perfect balance of eclectic, eccentric, outdoorsy, intelligent, multi-talented femininity.Smiley

Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re saying to yourself, “WTF is she talking about???????” Smiley (And here is where i tell you….)

My father was bridge foreman for the railroad (Mo-Pac) for 32 years. He would be gone for two weeks at a time, and only home every other weekend. My father was right up there with God as far I as I was concerned, and when he was home, he belonged to ME. He taught me everything he knew. Probably not because he always wanted to, but more likely it was because he couldn’t get rid of me for an instant. I think he figured as long as he taught me something new, and sent me to practice whatever it was he imparted to me, he could breathe for a minute. It never took long however, because I never wanted anything more than to see my father smile, and I learned quickly, from pouring concrete to construction. One of my earliest recollections is of the only fight I ever knew my parents to have. I remember like it was yesterday, sitting in the kitchen on a stool when i was 8 years old, and my father lacing up hiking boots on my feet. He was on one bended knee, and he had a coil of rope on the floor next to him. My mom walks in, stops dead in her tracks and says “Clovis, just what the hell do you think you are DOING!!?!?!?” My father turned to my mother with the most confused look on his face and says “what?” My mother says… “Clovis, you are NOT taking that child up on the ROOF with you!!!”, and my dad says “But Val, I have a rope! I’m gonna tie her to me while I replace the shingles, so she won’t fall off, and she can hand me the nails!” Smiley

Yeah. I thought she was gonna choke him to death with that rope. When she picked it up, I swear…. it kinda looked like a hangman’s noose there for a second. Really. It did….

Anyhow… the point of that retrospective is this. Thanks to my daddy, I also know a wee bit about cars. Not a whole lot, mind you, but enough to get by. I can rebuild a Holly 4-barrel quadrajet, drop in a 350 or a 327 4 bolt main,
replace my own brakes, and change a starter, flywheel, or alternator. So, when I have a damn car with OBD, I know how the hell to read it. OK?

For those of you who DON”T have a CLUE what an OBD stands for “On Board Diagnostic”.
OBD serves as an early warning system that alerts you to the potential need for vehicle repair through the “Check Engine” light on the dashboard of your vehicle. It flashes codes that tell you what ‘s wrong with your ride. You can read them, look them up, and diagnose your own damned car, without having to rely solely on what some “mechanic” tells you.

Now then… Chapter 4 really begins with me, and my OBD the night I got back from night of terror in Tulsa. Yep, I got home, and checked it. The only code it’s flashing is a 41. i go inside, look it up on the internet, and there it is. It’s the EGR valve, and guess what that means? I was right. It’s electronic, and will make my car run like it’s constipated when it’s f****d up. I crawl under the car at midnight with a flashlight in hand and start tracing. yep. It’s F*****D!

Soooooo….. the next AM I call my grandpa and the mechanic, and tell them what the problem is. But noooooooo…… “that’s not it” they say. GRRRRRRRRR!!!!! They will NOT listen to me. I “don’t really need it” they say.

Soooooooo…. I have spent the last 4 days waiting in this God-forsaken 7th circle of hell. (Oklahoma is no longer OK to ME!!!!!) In the interim, the “mechanic” has checked the pressure on my fuel pump, replaced the fuel filter, totally removed the catalytic converter, and a few other various waste of time things.
He tells me yesterday, “must be that EGR valve”.

Smiley Smiley Smiley Smiley Smiley Smiley Smiley Smiley Smiley
YA THINK?!?!?!?!?!?!?
HOLY SHIT!
Smiley Smiley Smiley Smiley Smiley Smiley Smiley Smiley Smiley

By now, my grandpa has sunk so much into that car, it’s all pretty much new under the non-existent perverbial hood. He just doesn’t wanna spend the $250 it’s gonna take to get it fixed. I’m thinking at this point that Old Man Murphy won.

But Wait~~~~~~

The trumpet sounded last night (by way of the telephone) and I was informed I would be getting the money western union from people at home who love me and want my ass BACK there. I bolt to the shop, tell the mechanic I am picking up the part in the AM, have the car ready to install it. He tells me he’ll have it done by the afternoon, and I can go home on Sunday.

Sooooooo… this AM I get up early, go to the shop, and tell him I’m headed to OKC for the part, and he says “cool”. I get back, and guess what??????? The mother fucker (excuse da language, but really… WTF??Smiley has closed the shop up tight, left early, with my car locked up INSIDE, and no one has heard from him since. Did I mention, he lives BEHIND the shop, and sure as hell wasn’t there either?

The S.O.B. RAN and HID!!!!!!! Smiley

That’s ok. I got something for the mechanic. You just hide and watch…

Don’t fuck with a southern woman who has been held hostage in hell for two weeks, and wants nothing in the world but to get home to her son.

Oh yeah….the “mechanic” and me… uh-huh…

Guess no one ever told him that hell hath no fury like a single southern mother scorned.

Murphy may be tough, Karma may be a bitch, and my Dogma may be dead, but they ain’t got SHIT on me!!!!

To be continued…

And where the hell is a disgruntled Smiley carrying a baseball bat????


My KarMa RaN OvER mY DoGMa !!!!

December 16, 2006

Tales from the Countryside Chapter 3

Well, I guess Mr. Murphy decided enough WASN’T enough, so he sent that bitch Karma over to kill my Dogma. She not only ran over it… she backed up… spun out…squalled the tires, and burned rubber all over it.

Yes, my Dogma is now a grease spot on the Road of Life.

Personally, I think Old Man Murphy is prejudiced against women, or he needs to get laid. (If he’d quit throwing his damned LAWS around, smacking car hoods and the like, maybe he WOULD get laid!)

OK, so here’s chapter three of my “Tales from the Countryside” blog that is fast becoming an Epic of Ridiculous Proportions.

My mother and I had decided to take my car and go shopping, sans hood, of course. We were in Tulsa when Karma decided to catch a ride.

First, something black comes flying up and smacks my side of the windshield. It was so fast, that I would have thought it to be an apparition, had it not been for the resounding “SMACK” before it shot by my widow with meteorific speed. I asked my mother if she saw what is was. She claimed it must have flown up from the road., which I know isn’t possible. I saw where it came from, I just couldn’t identify the part at 80 miles and hour, and daylight becoming dusk. After the hood incident I opted to let it go, so she could keep believing her delusion.

About 15 minutes later, the car decides it wants to start cutting out on me. I mean… bogged down…” Karma get your damned foot off the brake while I’m pushing the gas pedal down” kinda thing. Karma seemed to think it was fun, however, and would simply slam on the brake at random, intermittent periods. I, not realizing it Karma just yet, ran through the gambit of possibilities in my mind. So what do I do? The car had been setting up a while before I got it. Condensation build up caused water in the tank? Fuel filter? Injectors? Catalytic converter? Bad gas? Fuel pump losing pressure? Hmmm….. wtf? Now it’s dark, and thanks to the hood incident, I am running one headlight that only works on high beam, however, I have bought replacements which are in the back seat, so I pull into a station, get gas, injector cleaner, and go to install the headlights. Guess what? Oh yeahhhhhhhh… You know it. The freakin screws weren’t in the headlamps EITHER! Just dumb ass luck and wind sheer holding them in place. Karma must have missed that somehow, or I’m sure she would have kicked them out of their sockets with her spiked stilettos. Then I take a look to see what auto part might be missing. Found it, too. It was the main fuse box cover. Lovely.

So….on the road again. The car is running a lil better and I’m thinking “WHEW!”. That lasted all of three minutes. I think Karma was straddling the motor, kinking the fuel line like you do a water hose when you want to sstop the water without turning it off at the faucet. She made the car gag and lurch so much that a 200 mile trip cost me $50 in gas. She’s such a bitch.

We decide to go on home, and I fight with the car for the next three hours. I have figured out that it is definetly something electrical, because I can shut it off, throw it in neutral, let it reset, re-crank, and it run would smooth for about 10 minutes before acting up again. We stopped for more gas, and something to drink, and that’s when my Dogma decided to get out and chase my car down the road. Karma didn’t like that, so after we had pulled off the interstate onto one of the rural blackened highways headed back to Newalla, she decided to run over my Dogma. We knew when she hit it. Oh yeah. There was no mistaking it. “THWUMP!” “PLUNK< PLUNK< PLUNK< PLUNK< PLUNK”.

Mom is now “over it”. Even SHE is cursing the car. She just knows it’s the tire. I know it ISN’T the tire, because while it sounded like one, there was not so much as a bip, much less a bump. It’s pitch black, however, and I have no flashlight, and can’t see a damn thing. I’m not ABOUT to stick my hand around there to see what it is. Then I remember, the phone I had just gotten earlier that day (in case I had car trouble on the way back to Arkansas…((HAH!!!)) has a itty bitty flashlight on it. What do I see? The FENDER WALL…. Sticking out between my tire and the fender, protruding about a foot and a half. Ok… so now I’M over it!!!! OMG! That was the last damn straw. I look underneath, and the fender wall (screw-less, of course) is wedged up in my strut, and is being eating by the wheel. The strut and wheel had a good bitedown on the thing, because I had to stick on foot up on the tire, grab the fender wall, and pull so hard that byt the time it gave up the grip, I went flying backward to land on the median on the opposite side of the road. OOMPH! I think it took an inch of height of me when my tailbone jammed up into my spine and squished a few discs together.

Anyhow, it only took another hour to make it those last 20 miles home, with each mile bringing the car closer and closer to death and a car crusher. Jesse James seems to have some cool ways with demolition. Think the Monster Garage would be open if I gave them a ring?


Me, My Car, and Murphy’s Law

December 10, 2006

Me And Murphy’s Law Current mood: indescribable

Old Man Murphy and his freakin’ Laws. Gotta love ’em, aye? Have I mentioned that my personal sanity is almost threadbare at this point?

So, I’m in Oklahoma where I have just picked up the car my grandfather gave me. It’s a great ride for a 94 Probe. Sunroof, automatic everything, electric seats, gray leather interior, cruise control, perfect alignment, and wheels/tires on it that are worth as much as the car. Best of all…. it was a freebie!

Then, coming home from the store with my mom, she makes the comment “yeah, well it’s ok, but you haven’t hit the interstate yet”. To which I reply with a tenative laugh ,”mom, shut the hell up and don’t jinx me”. Mom says with utter sincerity, “old man Murphy doesn’t care if you say it aloud or not”.

Either way, we met Mr. Murphy about 10 minutes later, when he bashed my freakin’ car with his freakin’ law.

Yes, at 60 mph, Mr Murphy decides I don’t really need my car hood, or headlamps.

I’m just drivin’, chattin’, and laughin’ with mom when WHAM !!! We hear a clattering sound, the hood flies up, disengages, goes soaring over the top of the car (missing the windshield and back glass, thank God) and SMACKS into my trunk before sailing like a frisbee into the adjacent lane in front of oncoming traffic.

Yes, it’s just another day in my life.

I whip the car around and go after the hood. I pull up in front of it, stare it down like something that should be slaughtered, and get out of the car.
My mother… she’s speechless…bless her heart…
I walk up to the perfectly unmarked hood, stare it down for a moment longer, pick it up , and walk back to check out the car-nage. (Get it!? Carnage!? LMAO!) ((Shut up. It was funny to me.))

I can’t help myself, standing there, holding the hood, looking at the opening where my v-6 is proudly(?) displaying itself. I start smiling. Then the giggles kick in. It is only when my mom gets out of the car and hold the door open saying “honey, quick, stick it in the back seat!”, that I totally lose my composure, and erupt into eye-watering, side-splitting laughter. A few cars slowly manuveured around us, but I’m fairly certain they were afraid to stop, fearing that I must have lost my mind somewhere. I can’t stop laughing! It was just the funniest thing in the world to me. My mom is starting to look at me in a most concerned fashion, and takes a step back from me, which makes me literally double over and HOWLLLLLLLLLL with laughter.

This one truck finally stops and two guys ask if they can help… my mom is looking from them to me, like “OMG HELP HER”…… and all I can do is laugh and laugh and laugh!!!! My mom asks them to put the hood in thier truck and plz follow us home. I guess it was adrenilin cause that hood felt like a feather to me, but it kinda seemed to be given that one guy a hard time.

We did finally make it home and figured out the hood had never actually been fastened to the car. It was simply “resting” there, and had been held in place by the thick sheet of ice that had weighed it down and had also been attached to the wiper blades. No latch, no hinges, no nothing. Just a hood with some ice that decided to melt.

I love my life…..every day is an adventure….

Tomorrow begins my adventure in car hood replacement…..