Pick Me!

A weblog by Laura Moncur


Twitter Log: 2009-01-03

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Twitter Log: 2009-01-05

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Twitter Log: 2009-01-07

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Getting Used To The New Toy

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 10:24 am

Acer Aspire One Vs. Apple MacBook

After Apple announced that they would let me suck on lemons rather than give up their principles and release a netbook or tablet, I decided to get a netbook from somewhere else.

I tried out the Asus, Lenovo, MSI, Sony, HP and Acer netbooks while I was at CES. That’s the beauty of CES. The stores in Utah had a total of two of those to look at. The stores in Las Vegas had four. But at CES, I was able to play with them all. I tried typing (the thing I do most when I’m traveling) on all of them and went with the Acer because it had the best Shift key.

Seriously, it all boiled down to the Shift key.

Going back to Windows from Mac is easy. Learning how to Ctrl+V instead of Command+V isn’t, but maybe there is something I can do to fix that. Oh, and I have Ubuntu running off a USB drive. That was cool and I did it almost all by myself. The wireless doesn’t work in Ubuntu, but I’ll work on that over the next few weeks.

Pretty stoked about just playing with my new toy. It makes me WANT to work!

Twitter Log: 2009-01-11

Filed under: Twitter Log — @ 11:59 pm
  • @kittygutz I’m sorry about your cat. Sending good karma your way. #
  • @Ladanea If you use Creative Commons music and give the credit in your notes, YouTube won’t block you: http://creativecommons.org/audio/ #
  • Just purchased an Acer Aspire. Learning how to create an Ubuntu USB boot drive so I can go Linux on this little thing. #
  • Up too early. All my Twitter friends are asleep except @rolandksmith He’s in church meetings… #
  • Cat wanders into the TV studio. Weatherman snuggles & continues http://tinyurl.com/9gb72r #
  • @whyisjake Blueberry muffins FTW??? I don’t think that word means what you think it means… #
  • Ubuntu on Acer: Read this http://tinyurl.com/9vkh6l #
  • Ubuntu Acer Aspire One Community: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/AspireOne #
  • @whyisjake My point exactly. Most people use “For The Win” for things that are a little more important than blueberry muffins. #

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Twitter Log: 2009-01-13

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Twitter Log: 2009-01-14

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  • Last day in Vegas. Sick of the city, but not the weather. after what feels like spring, I hate to go back to winter. #
  • Early rise for exercise. Pack up the bags and head to St. George. Tomorrow, I will be home. #
  • SLC Sundance Tweetup Tuesday 01-20-09 at 7:00pm at the Beehive Tearoom RSVP here: http://upcoming.yahoo.com/event/1491681/ #
  • Disturbing art: http://beinart.org/info/jon-beinart.php Someone’s been watching a little too much Toy Story. #
  • Read this when I get iMovie 09: http://www.unlockingimovie.com/ #
  • @ThomAllen Twitter has been weeding out the spam accounts, so your drop in followers is probably just a bunch of fake people getting banned. #
  • Made it to St. George. Who thought it was a good idea to add a traffic circle? City planners go to traffic circle hell when they die. #
  • @WhatAboutMom I thought about leaving a comment on the snowflake entry, but axed it because it wouldn’t have been as witty as your entry. #
  • Instruction Manual For Life: http://tinyurl.com/8wawom Should be nominated for best short film of the year. #
  • Steve Jobs taking medical leave of absence: http://tinyurl.com/8eban6 #
  • Ricardo Mantalban died: http://www.cnn.com/2009/SHOWBIZ/TV/01/14/ricardo.montalban/index.html No more Khan!!! #

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Twitter Log: 2009-01-15

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Back Home

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 10:25 am

I’m back in Salt Lake City after a week in Las Vegas. During that time, I became completely adjusted to the warm weather there and the chilly air here is a shock. I know wearing more clothing is the solution, but I was having such a lovely time wearing ballerina slippers with no socks in the spring-like weather down in Nevada. My bulky snow shoes feel like extra weight on my previously liberated feet.

I am waiting at Mark Miller Toyota for new tires for the Prius. It took Mike a month to choose the correct tires for the car that would be good for both the winter roads and our gas mileage. Rumors on the forums of tires that drop your mileage from 46 mpg down to 22 mpg were enough to make Mike do the extra research. For the record, the Bridgestone Potenza G019 Grid 195/55R16 for the Prius Touring edition 16″ rims are what we went with. I’ll tell you in a month or so whether our mileage is as good.

Okay, that’s a lie. You’ll probably never hear about my tires again unless they are HORRIBLE. I’m really just putting that information here so that in three years when we need a new set, I’ll be able to remember what we got before.

I feel like I’m finally coming out of a fog that has been over me for months, maybe years. I feel like I’m thinking a little clearer and things are a little easier. I’ve been able to keep Starling Fitness and The Gadgets Page up to date for a while now and I finally feel like it’s easy instead of a burden. I know these things go in phases and for all I know tomorrow I won’t be able to put two words together, but for now, I’m enjoying the goodness.

Twitter Log: 2009-01-16

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  • Lying in bed waiting for sleep to take me. I should probably consider turning off the phone. Home is good. #
  • Good morning! In the Mark Miller Toyota waiting room, enjoying their free wifi. #
  • Escher’s Cat: http://tinyurl.com/8bwa74 #
  • Just downloaded Tweet Deck. It looks like all the cool kids are complaining about it. http://tinyurl.com/9elm33 #

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Twitter Log: 2009-01-17

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Coworking in Utah

Filed under: Living in SLC, UT,Living in Utah,Utah Geeks — Laura Moncur @ 11:39 am

Cowork Utah

I was ecstatic to hear that someone had opened up a coworking place in Utah. It’s called Cowork Utah. Sadly, their only office right now is in Orem, which is a forty-minute drive for me. I know I’d be happier and get more work done at Cowork Utah, but spending an hour and twenty minutes driving to and back from it makes it completely out of the question for me.

I was even MORE tempted when I listened to this Couchcast interview with the founder:

Ever since that first Hat Factory video about coworking, I have wished for a place in Salt Lake City like it. I even considered opening my own place, but I can’t create everything that I want to exist.

When I talked about it on Twitter, I got this response from Drew Tyler:

Twitter / Drew Tyler: @LauraMoncur Cowork Utah is fantastic! I am creating a video coworking space in Salt Lake or Bountiful in the very near future.

Yes! That would be awesome! Please make it so!

Twitter Log: 2009-01-18

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  • @TheBloggess I’m not a robot. Please follow me back. #
  • Thank you, TweetDeck, for bringing back the best of Twitter. http://www.tweetdeck.com/beta/ #
  • Listening to Couchcast re: CoWork Utah. Is the drive to Orem worth it? http://bit.ly/cNpf #
  • @kittygutz In the interview, he said he opened in Orem because he lives there. I’m wishing for a SLC office. I’d pay the $250 a month. #
  • @rolandksmith It would be AWESOME if you posted your Provident Living speech on your blog, or have Nina film it & post that. #
  • @Knite20 As soon as you open up, tell me. I don’t do much video, but I need an office to see people regularly. #

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Star Trek Voyager

Filed under: Reviews,Television — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Star Trek Voyager

Can we just take a moment for a much belated review for Star Trek Voyager. When the series came out, I was so disgusted with it that I just stopped watching after the Amelia Earhart episode. They brought in Seven of Nine and I just assumed she was eye candy for the teen-aged boy in every man who watches science fiction.

About two years ago, however, our Tivo started recording episodes of Voyager for me. I would watch an episode and be pleasantly surprised. I still hated Kess. I still thought Seven of Nine was eye candy, but I was willing to take in an episode when I was running on my treadmill.

Something changed about a year ago. I was singularly impressed with the writing on a particular episode with Chakotay (one of my least favorite characters). He was stranded on a planet that was warring. Their language was different and Chakotay found himself involved in their fight against their enemies very quickly. It was such a beautiful episode that I saved it on my Tivo for a long time, watching it over and over. You can see it here:

Ever since then, I have watched EVERY episode of Voyager that Tivo has recorded for me. It is now my absolute favorite of the Star Trek collections, knocking out even Captain Kirk and Captain Picard. I even saw an episode with Q in it two nights ago and LIKED it. Q! The epitome of what was WRONG with Star Trek! And I ENJOYED the episode!

We are living in a resurgence of great sci-fi right now. We have Battlestar Galactica, The Chronicles of Sarah Connor, Heroes, Lost, Dr. Who, Torchwood and a bunch of other series that I haven’t been able to keep up with. I haven’t been watching any of them, but I have religiously watched Star Trek Voyager for the last couple of years.

I wonder… In ten years, will I be singing the praises of ten year old sci-fi while persistently ignoring the sci-fi of the present? Why can’t I just get on the train NOW?

Twitter Log: 2009-01-19

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  • RT @anntorrence http://is.gd/gonS Check out the zebras she photographed in San Pete County, Utah! Awesome photo, Ann! #

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Star Raiders? Space Raiders? How About Space Rangers?

Filed under: Personal History — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

I think the reason I’m so reluctant to enjoy current science fiction is because I’ve been betrayed so many times. I will fall in love with a television show and it will be canceled three shows into the season. Or, I’ll love a show and it will never get resolved until the network finally cancels it three seasons and too many questions into the plot.

Case in point: there was a show that came out when Mike and I were first married. I think Babylon 5 and Star Trek Deep Space Nine had just started, so that would put it about 1993 or 1994. One of the big three television networks (ABC, I think) thought it would be a good idea to jump on the sci-fi train and came out with a show of their own. It was called Star Raiders or Space Raiders or Space Riders or something generic like that. I asked Mike about it and his fantastic memory found it. Turns out it was called Space Rangers and it was aired on CBS.

I LOVED the show.

Space RangersIt was like an early version of Firefly (another sci-fi show that got canceled WAY too early). There was a guy who had a ship and crew that did odd jobs around space. There was one particular episode where he was trying to impress an alien. He had to compete in a some sort of fight. Before the fight, he said a great speech and tossed his father’s antique coin to the alien. The alien caught it, but the metal in the coin reacted with the alien’s skin, causing burns. He was taken away for trying to hurt the important alien.

That’s the only episode I remember and I’m even sketchy on that one. I couldn’t find ANY record of the existence of this television series that was canceled three episodes into the season. Only Mike was able to dig the show out from the dregs of Google. Here’s what he found:

Yet that vision of the alien catching that coin and the metal searing into his flesh is etched into my mind with a laser. No one on the planet remembers that alien but me and Mike.

THAT’S why I wait until a show is canceled to start watching it. Then I know ahead of time whether it was worth the space in my memory or not.

They aren’t lost to obscurity. You can watch them at NetFlix:

I did and I took these screen shots of the scene with the silver dollar. Here’s Boon talking about the coin. Yes, that IS Claudia Christian (of Babylon 5 fame) playing the part of Marla (ex-girlfriend of Boon and trade negotiator).

Space Rangers: Episode 4

He tosses it to the alien, who catches it. You can see the smoke rising from his palm.

Space Rangers: Episode 4

Not even Marla knew that silver was poisonous to V’lons.

Space Rangers: Episode 4

The scene was pretty much EXACTLY what I remembered it to be. All in all, Space Rangers was corny and didn’t take itself too seriously. Babylon 5 and Deep Space Nine both were much more serious than this light piece of sci-fi history. CBS axed it earlier than it deserved and that’s EXACTLY why I tend to be gun shy with new science fiction shows on television.


Barbie Celebrity Confessionals

Filed under: Barbies and other favorite toys,Personal History — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

I LOVE this video of celebrities talking about their childhood and Barbie.

Kevin Sorbo blew her up into a million pieces with firecrackers. Lisa Edelstein (from House) sent in for a Miss America Barbie Doll and held onto the anger for two years when she never showed up. Michelle Kwan used to make her Barbie figure skate and gave her a haircut.

It all just made me smile to see this.

Twitter Log: 2009-01-21

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Twitter Log: 2009-01-22

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Twitter Log: 2009-01-23

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  • Awesome photos from the inauguration. People look like ants! http://tinyurl.com/7j4f83 #
  • Downloading Open Office for my Acer. I decided to skip MS Office this time. #

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Make Yourself Into An Obama Poster

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 10:30 am

Just in case I ever want to run for president, I now have the posters to do it.

Laura Moncur Obamicon.me

You can make one for yourself.

I know it’s possible to do this myself using Photoshop, but this web app made it so easy that I didn’t even have to think about it. Photoshop needs an Obamicon plugin.

Via: susana on Flickr – Photo Sharing!

Twitter Log: 2009-01-25

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All Of Our Clocks

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 3:14 pm

I cringe every time Daylight Savings rolls around. We have approximately twenty clocks in the house that need changing. Here are some of my favorites.

This Starburst clock was a garage sale find. I painted the faux wood grain plastic and replaced the clock innards so it would run correctly. When I walk past it, sometimes the metal tines catch on my clothing and vibrate an unearthly tone.

Starburst Clock by LauraMoncur from Flickr

This Starburst clock was a recent purchase from a second hand store. I spent WAY too much money on it considering that it doesn’t keep time. Rather than admit defeat, I just put it on the wall without a battery. It isn’t a clock so much as a wall decoration.

Starburst Clock by LauraMoncur from Flickr

Mike’s dad gave us this Dr. Pepper clock. The numbers 10, 2, and 4 are highlighted because those are the times during the day when you’re supposed to drink a Dr. Pepper.

Dr. Pepper Clock by LauraMoncur from Flickr

Mike’s dad also gave us this Frostie Rootbeer clock. I had never heard of Frostie Rootbeer before we had received this clock. Every once and a while Mike and I will find bottles of it at specialty food stores like Liberty Heights.

Frostie Rootbeer Clock by LauraMoncur from Flickr

Sometimes my small home feels like the Doc’s house in Back To The Future. I have so many clocks and I actually USE them all, so the time does need to be changed on all of them. These vintage clocks, however, are special to me.

Twitter Log: 2009-01-27

Filed under: Twitter Log — @ 11:59 pm
  • Steampunk guitar photo set on Flickr: http://bit.ly/2IBGay #
  • #utahgeeks Paul Nelson at KSL Radio wants to interview me. Anyone have any experience with him? Good? Bad? DM me. #
  • @jerekeys CONGRATULATIONS! New York AND Law School! You totally rock, man! #
  • Corset made from soda can pull tabs. THIS is why I save them! http://tinyurl.com/akp3ak #
  • Bag making for newbies. Lots of patterns for handmade purses and bags. http://bit.ly/GG4a #
  • The Knit Kit: crochet hook, yarn cutter, stitch counter and tape measure all in one gadget. http://www.theknitkit.com/ #

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KSL Interview for the Utah Geek Dinners

Filed under: Utah Geeks — Laura Moncur @ 11:46 am

Utah Blogger/Geek Dinner: July 2008 by LauraMoncur from FlickrI was contacted yesterday by Paul Nelson from KSL Radio. He wanted to know more about the Utah Geek Community, so I had him over to my house and gave him Thom Allen and Matt Reinbold’s name as well. You can read the interview here:

You can hear the interview here:

I’ve had trouble with Old Media before, so I was a little reluctant to do the interview. Mike even asked me why I was willing to do an interview after the trouble with the Salt Lake Tribune. I told him that it’s good karma. If I do this interview, there might be someone out there on their way to work listening to KSL who might feel lonely just like I did back in 2006. We might find that person.

By the way, our next Geek Dinner is TOMORROW. You can RSVP here:


Twitter Log: 2009-01-29

Filed under: Twitter Log — Laura Moncur @ 11:59 pm
  • @WhatAboutMom We concentrate on SL County. Furthest south we go is Neil’s Halibut on 123rd South. U gotta drive, so drive 5 more minutes. #
  • @charlieoliver That is my ABSOLUTE favorite photo from the geek dinners! Thanks for being so cool! http://bit.ly/u21N #
  • 1999 iBook presentation. It’s amazing how different our lives are 10 years later. http://tinyurl.com/2z74t5 #
  • Cool Apple Ad mix: http://tinyurl.com/283jfv #
  • I always know I’ve slipped into CrazyLand when I pull out the Excel Spreadsheet. All of my hobbies devolve into Excel spreadsheets. #
  • This episode of Something Positive just broke my heart today. http://bit.ly/kL3B #
  • My RSS reader is empty. I feel pretty lost without something to read. #

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Twitter Log: 2009-01-30

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Twitter Log: 2009-01-31

Filed under: Twitter Log — Laura Moncur @ 11:59 pm
  • @ellywilliams Sending good karma your way. I hope it helps. in reply to ellywilliams #
  • I’m up. A sneezing fit caused the sharp back pain which interfered with going back to sleep. Sitting on the back massager. Warm buzzing… #
  • @jyl_MomIF Your tweets are so commercial that it makes you seem not real. I KNOW you’re real, so what’s the deal? in reply to jyl_MomIF #
  • @jerekeys Go with UofU! To HECK with New York. I heard their Bar Exam isn’t all that hard anyway… in reply to jerekeys #

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