Reporting, Recording and Relaying - But Always Telling It As I See It

Thursday, December 29, 2011

My Technological Quest To Listen To Kim Carnes On My iPad

It is completely possible that I am technologically inept. I don’t like to think that, but it’s possible. I say this because I just spent the last ninety minutes trying to get our PC (specifically our iTunes library on our PC) to stream through my iPad. There is a great rumor going around that this is possible. By streaming (the fact that I am using this word should be some indication that I have some technological chops) I mean accessing our iTunes library over our wireless network so that I don’t have to download all the songs onto my iPad.

First stop, Google. It is indeed true that if you cannot find an answer on Google, it simply isn’t known. The key, of course, is knowing exactly what you want an answer to; but more importantly, exactly how to ask. For instance, if you type “How to synch my iPad with iTunes” you will be directed to, and spend forty-five minutes reconfiguring every song, app and map on your PC and iPad that will result in you being not one step closer to listening to Kim Carnes on your iPad. (During this process, I went up and down my stairs 312 times; upstairs to my PC, downstairs to my laptop, upstairs to plug the iPad in.)

Now, I was on a fucking quest. I refined my Google query to “Please, I just want to listen to the songs on my PC on my iPad. Is this possible or do I need to smash something? Because it is getting so bad my wife just asked if everything was okay.” I ignored the Apple Forums search results, and scrolled down to “Don’s Ipad Help For Complete Idiots.” Don claimed that I needed to enable “Home Sharing” on both iTunes and my “device.” Don said this was easy. I wanted to know why you had to turn on “sharing.” Why wouldn’t you want to share? So, back upstairs to my PC (don’t ask why I wasn’t Google-ing this from the PC, okay? It’s a long story that makes good sense.)

I enabled “Home Sharing” on iTunes by simply entering my Apple ID. Pretty soon I am not going to be able to flush the toilet without entering my Apple ID. I entered my Apple ID in iTunes on my iPad under “Home Sharing” and…NOTHING!

Back to Google. “Home Sharing is enabled on both devices, but for the love of God I cannot access my music library and I am close to losing my mind. Am I too stupid to make this work? Tell me now.” Don has one last step; iTunes has to be open on the PC. Hey, what’s one more trip upstairs? ITunes is open, iPad is on, go to “Music”, “Other”, “Owners Music,” “Which Owner?”, “The Owner Who Spent Ninety Minutes Doing Something It Should Have Taken Five Minutes To Do?”, “ The Owner Who Has ‘Bette Davis Eyes’ In His Library?” Yes, yes, yes!

Ah, the vocal styling’s of Kim Carnes; “Her hair is hollow gold.”

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Without Santa

What if the stockings were hung by the chimney and no one cared? Well, if you have kids who are too old to believe in Santa, but too young to appreciate a fifth of tequila under the tree, this is indeed what you have.

We are into our second official year of life without Santa. (The two years before that were questionable.) Needless to say, this changes the approach to Christmas morning the way Herman Cain changed the approach to job interviews.


Here are a few things that are different when you no longer have to look your child in the face and lie for four weeks:

1. No more being up at 2:30 in the morning assembling a toy that will be broken and missing pieces (if not largely ignored) by 10:00 AM. This also means you may actually be on speaking terms with your spouse in the morning, though you will miss drinking beer in the basement with two thousand toy pieces the size of thumb tacks scattered around.

2. Since the kids now know you are a liar, they see no reason why they have to wait until Christmas morning to get their presents. They will say, “If you already bought it, just give it to me.” You will tell them some stupid anecdote about how it will be more fun to wait until Christmas; about how they are still your baby; but really, you think of just getting it over with and giving up the goods.

3. You won’t have to pay $19.50 for a picture of your child with a drunk Santa that will go immediately in the shoe box with the 2,395 school pictures you have. (You have this many school pictures because it is cheaper to buy the package with fifteen life size cut-outs and 300 8x10’s than the five pictures you actually want.)

4. You have to find some better hiding spots for the gifts you do buy. Bonnie and I use the “In Plain Sight” tactic. (This differentiates drastically from when the boys were little and we could literally hide them in plain sight – like in the corner with a blanket thrown over them.) Today, we need to be a little more ingenious, and choose a place they would never think to look – somewhere like next to the clothes on the floor in their room.

5. For the first time, you consider how much interest you are going to be charged on your credit card to pay for Christmas gifts that will total the GDP of some developing countries.

So when the jig is up and you have nostalgia for bursting smiles Christmas morning, it finally hits you. The laundry and the homework, the appointments and the meetings, set that all aside, if even for an hour, and bask in the greatest gift – family. Whether it is the one God gave you, the one you made or the one you found. It is, after all, the one gift that no one returns.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

When the Bathroom Door is Broken, Just Fix It

There is a naughty elf loose in my house. Or, there’s a ghost of a carpenter past. Or, my kids are liars.

“Dad, the door to the bathroom in the basement is missing a hinge.”

“Missing?” I said, “Like, it is gone?”

“I don’t know.”

“What do you mean, ‘you don’t know?’” I queried.

“It’s just like, hanging there.”

And – my son was right; it was just hanging there by the top hinge.

I asked, “What happened?”

No response as they were dialed in to a game of Modern Warfare 3 on xBox.

“I said, what happened?”

“Umm – watch that guy by the building!!!! Umm, we don’t know.”

With a few years experience under my belt in dealing with distracted kids, I knew at this point my investigative inquiry must end. And it ended mostly because I know what happened – they and their cohorts, in a frenzy of adolescent knuckle-dragging broke the door. Ripped it off its hinge, to be exact, evidenced by the screw holes being shredded, rendering the existing wood screws inadequate.

Fixing this door, even to a layman like me is a simple task, as long as someone can take TWO MINUTES AWAY FROM THEIR VIDEO GAME TO HOLD THE FUCKING DOOR FOR ME! I went to the garage to grab new screws and a Philips head screwdriver. At least, that’s what I wanted to do. I forgot that Philips head screw drivers are what you need to adjust and tighten lacrosse stick heads…and apparently, after doing this, the screwdrivers are rendered useless and must be lost, leaving only a screwdriver that may be too small to install a screw in a pair of glasses.

But there is no use in asking about the screwdrivers either, the carpenter ghost probably needed them.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

'Tis The Season To Not Be Offended

Well, ‘tis the season; time to spend a small fortune on gifts and flip someone off in an overcrowded parking lot. Oh, the holidays. Oops! I meant Christmas! Really, I did!

See, it is also the time of year for news outlets to start reporting on how many times someone doesn’t say “Christmas” with the marathon tenacity that TBS runs Christmas Story. “Offended” citizens will spout off about how some local politician or school board or elderly neighbor said “Happy Holidays” or is having a “Holiday Party” and in doing so, have further corrupted the world and brought us to the brink of anarchy. The news dogs will lap this up, providing us with interviews and b-roll footage. Commentators will tell us that the heathens that use “Holiday” instead of “Christmas” are only being Politically Correct, further co-opting this great country. (It is actually becoming PC to complain about this.)


Maybe, just maybe, someone who says “Happy Holidays” is not engaged in some sort of skullduggery. Maybe, just maybe, they realize not everyone is a Christian, or maybe (gasp!) they are not a Christian. Or maybe they just feel like saying, “I am having a holiday party” instead of, “I am having a Christmas party.” Either way, if you are “offended” by this, get your “holiday” panties out of a knot. It is not a big deal! Really, it will be okay. No one is taking “Christ” out of “Christmas,” that was accomplished not long after the three wise men realized an xBox is a helluva better gift than frankincense.

There are plenty of things to be happy/pissed about this Christmas/Holiday season; your kid playing with a cardboard box more than the $3,000 toy that came in it and outdoor lights tangled like Congress. Remember, when you are getting flipped off in a parking lot, you can always say, “Merry Christmas to you too, asshole!”