Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Our Prayers Are Answered!!

Thank you to everyone who has been praying for Ron and me. Our prayers have once again been answered.

Next week, I'm working Tuesday through Friday (we're closed Monday), and the following Monday, June 6, I START WORKING FULL-TIME AT THE WICHITA EAGLE!!!!! And since I've been there since November, I don't have a waiting period before benefits start! I'll be eligible for health, dental and vision coverage, and will be accumulating vacation and sick leave! Plus, my boss is getting ready to do performance reviews, and he hinted that there's a possibility of me getting a pay raise, too! (Although I'm not going to hold my breath about the pay raise.) He said I'm going to be meeting with a representative from HR either this week or next so they can explain my benefits to me in greater detail.

Also, the bonus my co-worker and I have been getting every month for making budget is going to go entirely to me! That's probably going to be about an extra $700-800 a month on top of my base pay! Isn't that fabulous?!

I'm so excited, I'm giddy! Ron and I will be out of debt and in a better place to live before another year goes by! Hopefully, we can stick it out in this tiny apartment until our debt is gone. But moving is so very tempting, especially since we will be able to afford more, now.

Again, thank you to everyone who's been praying for us. All of our prayers are being answered. May God be praised!

Tuesday, May 24, 2005


During the last couple of nights, we've had really strong rain storms, and the one night before last ended up severing our connection to the Internet. I spent almost the entire day yesterday figuring out what exactly went wrong.

I noticed yesterday morning that our AirPort Extreme (Mac instrument that allows us to connect wirelessly to the Internet) was not on. It wouldn't turn on at all. Everything else plugged into the same outlet was working fine. That meant there was nothing wrong with the outlet. I checked our television to make sure the cable TV was still working. It was. No problem there. Hmmmm....

I called Apple Tech Support and explained the problem. The technician told me that it was either a problem with my AirPort or my cable modem. He said his guess was that my AirPort was fried and to take it to our local Apple specialist to see if they could get it to turn on. He said that if it did, the problem was probably in the modem.

I took it over to Haddock Computer, the Apple specialists, and when they plugged it in, it came on. Not sure how, but it did. I had already ruled out the outlet at home as the culprit because everything else was working. Must be the modem, I surmised.

I took the AirPort back home (BTW, it's a 30-minute drive one-way to Haddock) and plugged it in. It came on. But I still couldn't connect to the Internet.

I called Cox Communications ("Your friend in the digital age") and explained to them what my problem was and that Apple had ruled out the AirPort as the culprit. The tech guy said that I could go to their downtown office and rent one of their modems so I could check to see if that solved the problem. So, I went there, paid a $15 rental fee, brought the new modem home, plugged it in just as it had been on my original modem, and I still couldn't connect!

I called Apple back and told them what had transpired. The technician went through a series of tests, with me performing all the operations on my end and him performing a few tricks on his end, and after 45 minutes, I still couldn't connect! He finally told me to take the AirPort back over to Haddock to see if they could get it to connect to the Internet via their connection. If it did, he said, there was a problem with my cable Internet line somewhere. If it didn't, there was a problem with the AirPort, but they could very likely fix it since it still turned on.

Again, I drove the 30-minute drive to Haddock, asked them to try to connect to the Internet with my AirPort, and explained to them that I had ruled out the cable modem, my outlet and my computer as the culprits. Two technicians worked on the AirPort at the same time. Neither of them could get it to connect after trying for about 30-45 minutes. Finally, one of them came to me and said that my Ethernet port was dead, and that's why I couldn't get it to do anything.

On my way home, I slipped on my hands-free set and attached it to my cell phone and called Apple back. The guy I talked to was a foreigner with a thick Indian accent (there are a lot of them in this area because of Wichita State), so I was having trouble understanding him, and he was likely having trouble understanding me. Meanwhile, I had one battery line left on my phone and was afraid I'd get cut off before I could get this guy to understand what I needed.

I told him that my Ethernet connection on my Airport Extreme was dead. He said that they'd send me a box to ship it back to them so they could repair it. I asked how long it might take, and he said "Seven to ten business days." Grrrrrr!!! Then he said that I would want to try to make a backup of everything stored on it because they couldn't guarantee that all of the memory would be left intact. I said, "On the AirPort?"
"No, the computer."
"Why do I need to send you my computer if the problem is with the AirPort?"
"You don't. I thought it was the computer you were having trouble with."
"No, it's the AirPort Ethernet port, not the computer."
"Okay, so the AirPort Express..." (I heard him typing in the background.)
"No, it's an AirPort Extreme, not the Express."
"Oh, okay, I'll get that changed. You should receive a box in about two days. Put the AirPort Extreme in it and send it back to us so we can make the repairs."
"Okay, I guess. Can't I just get it replaced?"
"No. For this kind of problem, we just repair it and send it back to you."
"All right."

I'd been working on getting the stupid Internet connection up since 10:30 yesterday morning. By this time, it was close to 5 p.m. and I had to get the rented cable modem back to Cox. I was told that if I returned it the same day that they would return my rental fee to me.

I got home, unplugged everything from the new modem, put it back in the box, and got back in my pick-up to take it back to Cox, which was supposed to close at 5:30. I got there in plenty of time, gave them back the modem, got my renal fee back, and headed home, knowing that the only way I was going to be able to do anything online was to connect my computer directly to the cable modem. I still don't know how I'm going to print to our wireless printer, because it used the AirPort, too.

By this time, Ron was home from work and was hungry. I told him I didn't have time to fix dinner because I had my Mary Kay unit meeting to go to, and I was taking our next-door neighbor Haley with me for a Trash 'N Treasure Night (where customers get to trash their non-Mary Kay items for discounted Mary Kay items of the same kind). So Ron went and got KFC while I took off my eyeshadow and reapplied shades that would go better with my dress outfit for the meeting.

We ate as soon as he got home, I changed my clothes, put on some lipstick, met up with Haley, and we took off.

From that point on, my day went much better, even though there were only a few hours of daylight left at that point. I did a facial on Haley, after which she chose items that she wanted to trade for, and then she started asking questions of my director about our company. When all was said and done and the questions answered, Haley decided she wanted to be a Mary Kay consultant, too, and signed an agreement!

On the way home, we talked about the business and I gave her a few tips that I've learned in my 4 1/2 years in the Company. She was getting more and more exicited. She said she really wants to make this work, too. I believe she can. Unlike most Independant Beauty Consultants, Haley graduated from cosmetology school eight months ago! She already knows a lot about how to care for the skin, so her training will be easy. I have a feeling she's really going to like it. And since I'm her neighbor, I can help her out anytime she needs me.

I guess you could say that I'm wired in two ways after yesterday's events: Wired directly from my computer to the cable modem so I have access to the Internet, and wired because I finally have a new recruit for my Mary Kay business! The bad form of being wired is balance by the good form, I guess you could say.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Star Wars movie was EXCELLENT!

You know what? Episode III: Revenge of the Sith really tied it all together for me. I never knew why Anakin Skywalker turned to the Dark Side until this movie. I hate to say it, but his reasoning made sense. And at the end, I think he realized that it was a mistake, but at the same time, it was too late.

The cinematography was incredible! The dialogue flowed without flaw, the story was understandable, but intriguing and interesting all the way through. I honestly enjoyed this Star Wars movie. I think I liked it better than Episode II: Attack of the Clones.

I'm hoping George Lucas remakes the rest of the episodes so we can enjoy them all with the kind of technological advances that weren't present in the 1970s. You know that's why Lucas waited 16 years between two of the episodes he made in the past, right? Yeah. He was waiting for technology to catch up with his imagination. When it finally did, he went for it. I'd say it really paid off. Big time!

Ron and I got to the theatre at about 10:15 p.m. (the doors to the theatre opened at 9), and it was already getting crowded. We couldn't find any good seats in the center section, so we sat in the side seats. By about 11 p.m., I'd bet there weren't any seats left unless they were single seats scattered here and there.

I brought a book to read until it was time for the movie to start. Ron was enjoying looking around at all the people dressed like Star Wars characters and commenting on the light sabers.

We didn't get to bed until around 3:00 this morning. I was able to sleep in because I requested to have the day off a long time ago. Ron couldn't get the day off, so he was dying at work today. He went to bed at about 8:00 tonight. The only reason I'm still awake is because I got up at about 10:30 this morning and took about a 45 minute nap this afternoon. In between time, I was working on filling and delivering a couple of Mary Kay orders for a couple of customers of mine, fixing dinner and doing light housework. (Nick, keep your yap shut and your fingers away from the keyboard.)

Okay. I need to stop now. I'm about tired enough to go to bed, myself. Plus, it's no fun to stay awake and try to amuse yourself when your spouse is in bed asleep. I'd much rather be right next to him than typing out this blog post on the couch watching the news.

If you haven't checked out Ron's Darth Swede blog, you ought to. He's blogged about everything Star Wars for weeks now. And it seems to be a very popular site! No wonder, with all the cool stuff he's got on it!

Wow. I really digressed. Sorry. I'll go to bed now. Good night!

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Slick of Ron's Graduation Announcement

This is a copy of the graduation announcement that I placed for Ron in Sunday's paper. It's referred to as a "slick." It's printed on high-gloss, white paper. We send these out to people who want them, whether they're the ones who placed the announcement (usually) or not.

The actual slicks that I made for Ron and me don't have those lines across them. I guess the scanner just picked up extra-fine details.

If you want any of these, let me know.

M&M's Jedi Mix

M&M's Jedi Mix
Originally uploaded by Edited Copy.
Ron and I found this (along with a Darth Mix, or dark chocolate) at our local Walgreens store. I like to eat the dark chocolate, but I associate with the milk chocolate version. Ron's the opposite. He may post a picture of the Darth Mix on his blog soon.

We get to see the new Star Wars movie on its opening night this week! Neither one of us is working the day after. Hee, hee! I feel sorry for those who work full-time who can't get off of work but are still going to see a midnight showing like we are.

Any of you going to see it opening night?

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Well... Maybe not everywhere.

Today was the last day of the Wichita River Festival, but it was also the first and only day of the 10-day event that Ron and I went, even though it's only about three miles away from our apartment. All of the river events were canceled (you know... things like the bathtub races, raft races, etc.) because the river is swollen out of its banks. The ArKANSAS River, that is.

Anyway, the reason we went to the festival was because I was volunteering at the Wichita Eagle booth, selling (yesterday's) papers (because today's weren't delivered), umbrellas with the comics on them, and subscriptions. Usually, we go a couple of times and try to enjoy more of the festival.

I was working with another lady, someone who works in the subscription office. One of the guys who rode by on his bike was asking if we had today's paper. We said no, but we had yesterday's (smile, laugh). We asked him if he would like a subscription, and he said he didn't have a house. He asked if we delivered the paper anywhere, and when we asked where he wanted it delivered, he said, "Well, they could throw it off the side of the bridge and I could get it there." Apparently everything he owned was in the buggy he was towing behind his bike. Sad.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Pic from Ron's graduation!

Ron and Erica post ceremony
Originally uploaded by Edited Copy.
Here he is, the graduate, himself! Who's that beside him? Oh, yeah! It's me! (hee, hee!)

Instead of being handed their diplomas when they walked across the stage, they were given medalions with the school logo on them. Looks kinda cool, I guess.

Anyway, this is the photo I'm using in Sunday's paper in my Celebrations section, under the heading "Special Grad." He's not the only one under that heading, of course, but he's the only one that matters to me! Oh, and sorry, the pages aren't viewable online... yet. I've made the suggestion, but I'm not sure where it will go. If you'd like a copy of the announcement, put your e-mail address in the comments section and I'll tell you how I can get one for you.

Ahhhh! The Terrible Swede and his German journalist wife. What a combination, don't you think?

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Class Ends in Time for Summer

I was able to take my final last night, but it wasn't easy. Like I said in a previous post, my professor decided to throw in extra answers so that we couldn't narrow down our choices as easily on his matching test. Matching the theories to their key concepts was relatively easy, but remembering which theorist came up with which theories was difficult. I did the best I could, but... At least the test is supposed to be curved. Maybe I have a chance at a good grade.

Ron graduated from Cowley Community College Saturday, receiving two degrees: one in mathematics, and the other in non-destructive testing (for aircraft inspection). Next spring, he's supposed to get his bachelor's degree in mathematics from Wichita State University. I'm sooooooo proud of him!

All this in time for the Kansas high temperatures to go from 70s to 90s. Last week, we were seeing highs in the low 70s. Yesterday, it was about 82 degrees, and today, the high was supposed to be 91. That's the temp right now at almost 5:30 p.m. It got up to probably 93 degrees with a 28 mph wind. Truly, if you don't like the weather today, wait until tomorrow. But it's supposed to get up to 90 tomorrow. Hmmm... Maybe it'll be less muggy. They're predicting Saturday to be 72, and Tuesday to be back to 80. No storms in the forecast, either.

Anyway, we're both finished with school for the summer. It's a great feeling.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

A Futuristic View of Communication

This is something that my husband has been eluding to for a long time, and it's the first time I've seen anything like this produced by members of the media. Take a look. Most of it is really interesting and exciting, and I'm looking forward to some of it coming true, if it does. Other stuff kind of concerns me as a member of the print media. When you look at it, you'll understand why.

It's called EPIC 2014. Check it out and let me know what you think. I found out about it in my graduate class at Wichita State University.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Taking a break...

But just for a little while. Ron is graduating with two associates degrees Saturday! Yea!!! And I'm taking the final in my graduate class a week from tomorrow. I have a paper due tomorrow (6-7 pages, which isn't much for a grad class), so I'm going to spend most of the night tonight working on it, and finish up tomorrow, since I'm not working. Then, I'm studying for my final.

What kind of communication/journalism graduate class has a final completely composed of matching questions? I thought for sure we would have some essay questions, but my professor said, "No, you've done enough writing for this semester." Crap! Essays are easy, manipulatable. If you're a good writer, like I am, then you can usually get through an essay final with few scratches. This matching test is going to require memory work: matching theorists to their theories and major points within those theories.

I may be in pain during the final, just because I can't manipulate a matching test. Pray for me! Please!

I'll start posting again after my final is over.