Archive for 2017

This Week

It’ll be Abigail and I at home alone during the day on Tuesday thru Thursday this week. Call me if you’d like to come over for a visit!

Christmas Tree

We are very happy with the living, potted tree we are fostering from Forever Green Christmas Trees. This is the second year we took Fiona into our home and we’re happy we did it. Explaining to Abigail about the living nature of the tree has been a joy. The highlight is that over Memorial Day weekend we visited our Christmas tree near Mount Shasta at a camp-out weekend! The owners, Patrick and Laura are the best!

Their last delivery dates for this year are Dec 16 & 17. You can use a promo code for $10 off. “FACEBOOK1” for new Fostering Families to receive $10 off.

Our Christmas Tree

We are very happy with the living, potted tree we are fostering from Forever Green Christmas Trees. This is the second year we took Fiona into our home and we’re happy we did it. Explaining to Abigail about the living nature of the tree has been a joy. The highlight is that over Memorial Day weekend we visited our Christmas tree near Mount Shasta at a camp-out weekend! The owners, Patrick and Laura are the best!

Their last delivery dates for this year are Dec 16 & 17. You can use a promo code for $10 off. “FACEBOOK1” for new Fostering Families to receive $10 off.

Scheduling for school-based occupational therapy: Caselite

Scheduling for school-based occupational therapy. I bought the Caselite software ($20/month) and it’s helping to reduce my stress over scheduling. It’s still a dynamic environment with multiple changing variables, but it feels more possible to manage it now. I’m not sure if I’ll buy a 1 year license ($179) but I’m glad I have it right now. I knew I needed to look for outside help when every one of the the 2 SLPs, 2 Resource teachers, and 2 SDC teachers all got crazy eyes and told me their woes when it came to scheduling.

Manual for our Washer Dryer

Here is the manual for our new GE Unitized Spacemaker Washer Dryer
Model: GUD24ESSJ0WW
GE Washer Dryer GUD24

Antivirus and Backups

A friend just asked, “Trying to do better with my computer. Just installed AVG for Mac and ran it. Is this a sufficient solution in terms of protecting from and eliminating malware? I’m all about easy. Thoughts?”

Here is my long winded answer:

I use Windows and all of my antivirus software is between my ears. If a website asks “Do you want to download or install xxxxx?” I think very long and hard about the people behind that request and what they have to lose. For example, Facebook won’t (overtly) screw you, they have too much to lose. But do you know who is behind the GetFreeStuffForFree! browser plugin?

Figuring out the business model of the company you are considering trusting is a good idea. Be very suspicious If the company looks to be giving everything away with nothing in return. They are getting something, or they wouldn’t be doing it.

Yes, AVG is a good idea. I also run the virus software that comes with Windows, Windows Defender.

You definitely should have your computer back up automatically online. Do this for a few reasons:
– your hard drive will fail some day, that is a certainty. Here’s an article I wrote in 2012 making that plea in more detail: https://www.lee.org/blog/2012/03/30/i-love-you-please-make-offsite-backups/
– If (when??) your computer does get hacked by some malware, a backup will save the day!
– If your computer is stolen or destroyed, a backup will save the day!
– Once you set it up, it’s automatic and EASY!

“But I don’t want to put my data online”

I hear that Time Machine is “the” app for local backups on Apple. If you don’t feel comfortable putting your files online, you can still get a lot of protection. I’ve recommended this in the past: Find 2 external drives (they cost <$80 at Staples) and a friend. Use Time Machine to back up your computer to the hard drive. Be sure to encrypt the backup (it's easy, see here: http://www.mactrast.com/2013/07/how-to-public-how-to-encrypt-time-machine-backups-with-os-x/). Give your friend the backup to keep in the back of their junk drawer. In 6 months, make another backup and trade hard drives with your friend. Can strangers break into your encrypted hard drive? If you use a 12 character or longer password (try the title of your 2 favorite songs or something similar), no. I couldn't find specific security information online about Time Machine but encryption with a long password is very secure. Harkening back to my last comment, Apple would have a LOT to lose if their encryption wasn't good. Oh and here's a funny/good password guide: https://xkcd.com/936/

Pin to Start in Windows 10

You can pin a shortcut to the Start menu in Windows 10. Note that you can’t pin a document itself to the start menu, just a shortcut to it.

Here’s how:

To add Pin to Start to the context menu for a file, you will have to modify the Windows Registry. But first, create a system restore point!

Now, to add Pin to Start easily, copy-paste the following in a Notepad and save it as a .reg file:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

; Created by TheWindowsClub [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\PinToStartScreen] @=”{470C0EBD-5D73-4d58-9CED-E91E22E23282}”

Now click on the .reg file to add its contents to your registry. You will be asked for confirmation, so you may click Yes, to add it.

 

Thanks to http://www.thewindowsclub.com/pin-file-to-start-menu-windows-10  and https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_10-start/pin-to-start-any-file-windows-10-pro/acb769bc-e5d9-4be9-8a76-0aff7cdab6c8?auth=1
 

Retail Sucks

We took the family to Michael’s Crafts looking for fun crafts for a little party we will be hosting for Abigail.
It took 45 minutes to travel each way. It’s usually 25 minutes but there was lots of traffic. Megan beat us there by 20 minutes, went to Panera Bread and had a terrible salad. Michael’s smelled like the inside of a chemical incense candle factory, several of their overhead flickering with nausia-inducing intensity, and the checkout line snaked to… I couldn’t see the end, it was like a 30 minute line. Apparently they were having a big sale. When Abigail arrived, Megan had already toured the store for our shopping list. All she found on our list was a headache. No, wait, that wasn’t on our list but that’s all she got :-(. I was much faster at shopping and got a headache in just the five minutes we were in the store for.

So we fled and went to Toys R Us. We found a couple things for xmas but totally not what we were looking for.

So we fled yet again and looked at some fish and birds at a nearby pet store to calm down.

The retail experience so completely sucks. Amazon, take my money.

Cloud Drive

I’m thinking of getting a cloud drive (NAS drive…) and want some advice. I want use a Macbook and PC to access my huge photo collection while at home and on the road. Can I set up a cloud drive to “just work” as a network drive both when I’m home and away? Like, can I view photos on the cloud drive through iTunes? Suggestions?

Thanks!

 

 

Turbotax

Turbotax saved my family $5,000 this week, I’m very happy! If you want to try it, here’s a $10 referral bonus/coupon.

http://share.turbotax.intuit.com/s/lee05