Tuesday, September 29, 2009

My Favorite Podcasts

Since the beginning of the year, I have really gotten into podcasts. David has loved listening to them forever, but I have always been more of a "music in the car" person. However, podcasts are about all we listen to in the car these days. There are a number of podcasts we listen to and I'll list them all for you at the end of the post.

My absolute favorite podcast is Buzz Out Loud from CNET. There are daily episodes of Buzz Out Loud available Monday through Friday. There is a rotating cast with Tom Merritt and Jason Howell hosting the show daily. There are two reasons that it scores as my favorite. One, it is about tech news, one of my favorite topics. Two, it is funny. I am always well entertained by this podcast. Subscribing to this podcast is very easy, as there are links for subscribing on their homepage.

My second favorite is the podcast from Engadget. (I'd really like to be saying the podcast from EngadgetMobile, but I can't. I will explain why in just a bit.) The topic for this broadcast is gadgets and consumer electronics, so very similar to Buzz Out Loud in what is covered.. The hosts for the podcast are Joshua Topolsky, Nilay Patel and Paul Miller. This is a weekly podcast that tends to be longer than Buzz Out Loud and fewer topics are covered. However, they do go more in-depth on each topic. Joshua, Nilay and Paul can be entertaining, but not as much as the crew from Buzz Out Loud. Engadget doesn't make subscribing quite as easy as CNET, but you can do so here.

Last, but by no means least, on my list of favorites is also from CNET. This podcast is called Gadgettes. This podcast is also about gadgets, but not just electronic gadgets. They discuss everything from blingy espresso machines to gadgets that claim to be able to tell you what your baby's cries means. The hosts for Gadgettes are Molly Wood, Kelly Morrison and the aforementioned Jason Howell. There are a wide variety of topics covered, but Molly, Kelly and Jason are always very entertaining. Like Buzz Out Loud, you can subscribe to the Gadgettes podcast from their homepage.

Now to explain why the podcast from EngadgetMobile is not among my favorites. When David and I first started listening to podcasts together, this was my absolute favorite. I just love learning more about the new mobile phones coming out. It was a weekly podcast and I looked forward to each episode. Then, starting this summer, the podcasts became more sporadic. Actually, for three months there were no podcasts. Then, at the end of August they returned.  With promises of podcasts appearing on a regular basis.  Two weeks in a row we had podcasts. I was really hoping, although doubtful, that this would be the return of my beloved EngadgetMobile podcast. My hope does not seem to have been well placed. It has now been over three weeks since there was a podcast. However, I have not given up, as I still love the show, so I check weekly for a new podcast. If you are interested in subscribing to the EngadgetMobile podcast, so that you will be ready when they finally do another episode, you can do so here.

Before I give you a list of the other podcasts that I listen to, I wanted to point out a new podcast to which I just started listening.  It's the Sword and Laser podcast with Tom Merritt and Veronica Belmont.This podcast focuses on another love of mine, reading.  This is a monthly podcast on Science Fiction and Fantasy books.  I've just started listening to this one, so have only heard a couple of episodes.  However, so far, I really like it.  They also make it really easy to subscribe by putting a subscription link on their homepage.

Here are a list of the other podcasts I listen to.  If you have any other suggestions, just post in the comments.  I'd love to have a few more listening options.

The Real Deal - Tom Merritt and Raif Needleman
Reporters' Round Table (new)  - Raif Needleman
Dialed In - Bonnie Cha, Kent German and Nicole Lee
The Buzz Report - Molly Wood
Loaded - Natalie Del Conte (the subscription button is right below the video)
Geek Brief - Callie Lewis (to subscribe, click here)
Car Tech - Brian Cooley, Wayne Cunningham and Antoin Goodwin

Sunday, September 27, 2009

What Matters Most

For today, I have a video I want to share with you.  It is only two minutes long, so please take a moment to watch it, because the message is important. (The video doesn't quite fit on my blog, but nothing important is missing.)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Finally Found Some Scrapping Mojo

For awhile, I was extremely frustrated. I think I went a whole month without scrapping a single page. I was extremely frustrated and utterly uninspired. However, over the last week and a half, I've managed to create four layouts. So, it seems my scrapping mojo has returned. Thankfully! (And it's a good think I CT for awesome designers, Merkeley Designs and Michelle Batton, who understand lost mojo.)

Without further ado, here are my four most recent layouts.

The photo in this layout was taken when David and I went to a Halloween fundraiser at a Montessori school where our friends' children attended. David and I love having the opportunity to dress up for a change. Normally, when you don't have children, all you do for Halloween is pass out candy (which I actually love doing) and it's fun to do something different.

Everything in this layout created using This is Halloween
a collab kit from Michelle Batton and 4 Shades of Blue.

A couple of weeks ago, on a Sunday afternoon, I was getting ready to let our dogs out when I saw these two cardinals flying around our screened in porch. (Needless to say the dogs had to return to our bedroom.) And they did not seem to remember how they got in, cause they were just freaking out. I propped the screen door open and went inside, but they still didn't leave. They finally left when I went outside, stood at the back of the porch and hit on the screen a few times.

The scrapper in me could not let this moment pass without a few pics. So, before propping open the door, I grabbed my camera and took a few shots.

Almost everything used on this layout,
including the template, is from Merkeley Designs.
You can see a full list of credits here.

This layout is the one that really helped bring back my mojo. I was reading Michelle Batton's instructions on using her blenders, trying to figure out where I had gone wrong, and the layout she used as her example just totally inspired me and I knew exactly what I wanted to do for my next layout. I am very proud of the way this layout came out. The two pics were taken when David and I went to the Ocala National Forest last year.

This layout created using Beth's Basic Blenders
and September Days Revamped.
Both from Michelle Batton.

This is the last of my four recent layout (but not the last layout). I created this layout to try and force my mojo to return. It was another week before my mojo returned, so I am not sure how successful I was. However, I do like the layout. This picture was taken in front of Jamba Juice when David and I drown his mother down south to take a test for work.

Everything used in this layout is from Tracy Ann Digital Art.
You can see a full list of credits here.

Okay, I have one final layout to share. It's not as recent as the others, but I still had to share. This layout was created for Merkee to help her create an album about her new puppy, Ginger. Well, I think my fur babies are the cutest things ever. However, I can readily admit that Ginger is one of the cutest dogs I have ever seen. In fact, I'll be doing one more layout of her cute self eventually.

Everything used on this layout
comes from
Ginger Snap by Merkeley Designs.

If you made it this far, I am impressed. I am just happy that I got some layouts scrapped and I wanted to share them with y'all.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Touch of the Master's Hand

For today, have a wonderful poem I want to share with you called The Touch of the Master's Hand by Myra B. Welch. I've loved this poem ever since I heard it the first time, more than a dozen years ago.

"Twas battered and scared, and the auctioneer
Thought it scarcely worth his while
To waste much time on the old violin,
But he held it up with a smile.
"What am I bidden, good folks," he cried,
"Who'll start bidding for me?
A dollar, a dollar - now who"ll make it two _
Two dollars, and who"ll make it three?

"Three dollars once, three dollars twice,
Going for three". . . but no!
From the room far back a gray-haired man
Came forward and picked up the bow;
Then wiping the dust from the old violin,
And tightening up the strings,
He played a melody,pure and sweet,
As sweet as an angel sings.

The music ceased and the auctioneer
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said: "What am I bidden for the old violin?"
And he held it up with the bow;
"A thousand dollars - and who'll make it two?
Two thousand - and who'll make it three?
Three thousand once, three thousand twice
And going - and gone," said he.

The people cheered, but some of them cried,
"We do not quite understand -
What changed its worth?" The man replied:
"The touch of the masters hand."

And many a man with life out of tune,
And battered and torn with sin,
Is auctioned cheap to a thoughtless crowd.
Much like the old violin.

A "mess of pottage," a glass of wine,
A game and he travels on,
He's going once, and going twice -
He's going - and almost gone!
But the MASTER comes, and the foolish crowd,
Never can quite understand,
The worth of a soul, and the change that's wrought
By the touch of the MASTER'S hand.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Apostles Testify of Christ

My plan, and with my blog these plans tend to go awry, is to share something on my blog of a spiritual nature each Sunday. Last Sunday, I shared a favorite talk of mine from Elder Jeffrey R. Holland. (If you haven't read it, click here to jump to that post.) This morning, when thinking about my blog post, I had thought to go the same route and share a talk from President Howard W. Hunter. However, I then decided to go a different route and share with you a layout I made back in April that contained one of my favorite quotes. Then it dawned on my that I shared the layout with y'all back when I originally created it. (If you are interested in seeing the layout, you can click here.)

What I have finally decided to share requires a little explanation. In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) we believe that we are led by a Prophet and Apostles. Almost 10 years ago, the Apostles shared their testimony of the Living Christ with the world. It is a beautiful testimony and I hope you take the time to read it.

And one other thing. If you are looking for a wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon, the LDS church has created a website dedicated to Christ and it is definitely worth checking out.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Memories of 9/11

I couldn't let this day pass without sharing my memories of that day eight years ago when four planes were hijacked by terrorists. It's a day I remember so vividly and I usually do not have that kind of memory.

I had been married for less than a month and in Florida for less than two weeks. So, I did not yet have a job. Shortly after 9:00 a.m. Eastern time, after David left for work, I got on the Internet (we only had dial-up) to chat with a friend, Randy Phillips, on IRC. It was Randy who told me what had happened. Initially, I misunderstood. I thought two planes had crashed into each other. Then, for a brief moment, I thought he had to be lying. Once I knew what was going on, I disconnected from the Internet and called my mom to make sure she knew what was happening (she had not yet heard when I called). I also called my husband to see if he knew what had happened and he did.

We didn't have cable TV, so I tried in vain to watch something on CNN's website, but I couldn't even get the site to open. When I couldn't take just hearing about it on the radio, I drove to Kmart in Stuart and purchased a small antennae. I remember that everyone in the store was in the electronics department watching as the towers burned. After watching for awhile, I purchased the antennae and drove back home. After setting up the antennae, I could watch one blurry station. I believe it was ABC. I did nothing but watch that station for hours, days really.

In the afternoon, David sent a friend of his over to see if I wanted to go with her and her daughter to visit her mother-in-law. David worried I would be panicked. But for some reason I was very calm. I chose to stay home, because I didn't really know them very well at that point and didn't want to be with strangers.

When David came home, we did go to his friend's house and we watched TV and I was able to learn more about what had happened. I didn't contribute much to the conversation going on around me cause I was focused on the news.

That night, after a day of calm, as my husband and I lay in bed, I cried. I just bawled. Not for myself, but for all the lives lost that day. Even now, just thinking of all the lives lost, I want to cry when I think of that day.

On September 11, 2001, two planes went into the twin towers at the World Trade Center, one went into the Pentagon and one went down in a Pennsylvania field when the people on the airliner attempted to wrest control away from the hijackers. In total, 2,993 people died that day. That night, Pres. George W. Bush gave a speech to the nation and I want to share it with you, because I think these words should be remembered. And they say a lot about how we responded to the attack upon our nation.

Good evening. Today, our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts. The victims were in airplanes, or in their offices; secretaries, businessmen and women, military and federal workers; moms and dads, friends and neighbours. Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror.
The pictures of airplanes flying into buildings, fires burning, huge structures collapsing, have filled us with disbelief, terrible sadness, and a quiet, unyielding anger. These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed; our country is strong.

A great people has been moved to defend a great nation. Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shattered steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.

America was targeted for attack because we're the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world. And no one will keep that light from shining.
Today, our nation saw evil, the very worst of human nature. And we responded with the best of America -- with the daring of our rescue workers, with the caring for strangers and neighbours who came to give blood and help in any way they could.
Immediately following the first attack, I implemented our government's emergency response plans. Our military is powerful, and it's prepared. Our emergency teams are working in New York City and Washington, D.C. to help with local rescue efforts.
Our first priority is to get help to those who have been injured, and to take every precaution to protect our citizens at home and around the world from further attacks.

The functions of our government continue without interruption. Federal agencies in Washington which had to be evacuated today are reopening for essential personnel tonight, and will be open for business tomorrow. Our financial institutions remain strong, and the American economy will be open for business, as well.

The search is underway for those who are behind these evil acts. I've directed the full resources of our intelligence and law enforcement communities to find those responsible and to bring them to justice. We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbour them.
I appreciate so very much the members of Congress who have joined me in strongly condemning these attacks. And on behalf of the American people, I thank the many world leaders who have called to offer their condolences and assistance.

America and our friends and allies join with all those who want peace and security in the world, and we stand together to win the war against terrorism. Tonight, I ask for your prayers for all those who grieve, for the children whose worlds have been shattered, for all whose sense of safety and security has been threatened. And I pray they will be comforted by a power greater than any of us, spoken through the ages in Psalm 23: "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me."

This is a day when all Americans from every walk of life unite in our resolve for justice and peace. America has stood down enemies before, and we will do so this time. None of us will ever forget this day. Yet, we go forward to defend freedom and all that is good and just in our world.

It is a day that I will never forget. It is a day that the world will not soon forget. I suspect you feel the same.

This song is by Alan Jackson and was written about that day. It is called "Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning" and I wanted to share it with you to close this post.

(photo of World Trade Center courtesy of Free Stock Photos)

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Wonderful Message on Christ

My post today will not be very long. But it is Sunday and I wanted to take a moment to share one of the greatest talks on Christ I have ever heard. The title of the talk is "None Were With Him" by Jeffrey R. Holland. It is an amazing talk, and I recommend everyone take a moment to read it. I guarantee you'll be touched. You can read it here or watch it here.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful day! Enjoy this amazing talk!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Michelle Batton is Somewhere New

That's right, you heard it here first. Michelle Batton is moving to a new store. And this is the only store where you will find her. She has even closed her own store. Michelle has been working on it for awhile now and we, Michelle and her CT, are all pretty excited about it. Now, the question is should I continue blabbering about or should I tell you where she is going? I guess the time has come to tell you. Michelle is headed to the Digichick. (Were those screams of excitement I heard?)

Now that you know that Michelle will be at the Digichick, I have more good news for you. And what good news is that you may ask? It's called a sale. (And who does't love a sale?)

At the grand opening of her new store, the Ladybug Picnic collection will be making it's debut. Such a great kit for those summer picnic or getaway photos. It's also great for those back to school shots. Here is a layout I created using the collection.

And now that I've hopefully tempted you enough, head on over to Michelle's new store and take advantage of her 30% off sale. I know you won't regret it. (Whether or not your husband does is a whole other subject. lol)