Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Rock regrets

oh, it is so very wrong as I listen to my now 10-year-old singing "Can we forget about the things I said when I was drunk..." as he plays Rock Band...

"I didn't mean to call you that..."

"Can you tell me why my car is in the front yard and I'm sleeping with my clothes on..."

The kids giggle like it is sooo goofy and so funny. Like it could never happen.

Should I tell them about college?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Making music videos

I want to do this for family and friends! It is so much fun (Thank you Cup of Jo, which is a blog name I LOVE):

Brian & Eileen's Wedding Music Video. from LOCKDOWN projects on Vimeo.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

We should be Luddites

About a week ago our television (yes, the big expensive one. not the little one with the VCR that cost almost nothing and we've had forever) started making an odd noise. It was a slight hum at first and then...


It's a loud, raging, angry TV noise that forces me to shut it off and run with the children, screaming for Dean to do something.

Like any modern woman, I Google "Samsung DLP TV making loud noise" and after reading one or two blogs, I diagnose our problem as the color wheel.

I love Google. Chances are that someone somewhere has had the exact same problem as you -- only they have blogged about it or, even better, posted 5 instructional videos to YouTube about it.

We've replaced the lamp in the TV and that was a few-minute job. It was great. So we were feeling pretty cocky. We've got instructions. We've got videos. We can do this! We order the part and wait for its arrival...

Do we read the instructions? Do we watch the videos? No. We just assume it will be like the lamp ...

The part arrived last night so we print out the instructions and hit the bookmarked YouTube. Sure, it's almost 10 p.m., but how long could this take?

Uh. The instructions are 17 pages. Slight sinking feeling.

FIVE videos? Really? Sinking lower.

This might take a bit longer than the lamp.

Dean starts following the videos. 14 screws to take off the back of the TV. Done.

Casings and frames and ribbon connector wires. Don't touch anything that looks like it MIGHT have to do with your screen picture. Done.

Slowly, but surely we follow the instructions step-by-step-by-step. We've started reading the comments on the instruction blog. We might have to remove a jumper... No idea what a jumper is, but we can Google that later. We might have the blue and red cables mixed up. It seems a lot of folks did that. Apparently, there's also a large contingent that didn't have sound after this procedure...

The sinking feeling has not left, but by now we are knee-deep in expensive TV parts, cables and a color wheel that looks oh-so-very fragile.

By midnight, we could see the light at the end of the tunnel, but was it a TV picture in high definition or just a well-lit blank screen?

Once everything was back together, we had to figure out the wires that go from the Wii to the TV, and the DVD player to the TV, and the satellite to the TV and some other wires we aren't sure where they are from but they are on the TV now...

The moment of truth....


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Family fun

This is just fun: Awkward Family Photos

I need to hunt up the one where my Dad is flipping us all off for telling stories about him.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Jack Unplugged

The best thing in the world is going on in my family room right now.

Jack is singing "Eye of the Tiger" at the top of his lungs into the microphone on Rock Band. Yes, Jack -- my shy, quiet, serious one -- is having a blast. He's singing and singing and talking into the mic like he's a rock star. There's not a tinge of self-consciousness. No shyness. Just playing. It's amazing.

I LOVE Rock Band. Who knew it would give me this Jack:

"Thanks for supporting us guys!" He yells to the imaginary crowd with a wave of his hand and followed by "Thank you very much!"

"You guys are great. Peace out!"

Rock on!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Amazingly, we are still alive

Please note: My husband is out of town. Something weird has to happen. It always does.

Yesterday, I was blowing dry my hair when the hairdryer made a popping noise.

I looked at it and sparks were shooting out of it. Not a good sign.

I dropped it on the floor. I was downstairs so it was on tile, not the linoleum we have upstairs). Then flames started coming out. The signs are not getting better.

Don't you hate those moments where YOU are the adult and you better think of something fast or we are all going up in flames and this is gonna be a tough one to explain when Dean gets home to what remains of our home...

I unplugged it and the flames when away. Clearly I'm a firefighter at heart.

It was pretty exciting. The cord burned all the way through. The room filled with smoke.

And now I'm pretty sure Jack will NEVER let me blow dry his hair again.

Later, Jack and I get home from school and we hear this noise. A non-stop beep like an alarm but a mini-alarm.

We look out back. We listen out front. Nothing. Where is the noise coming from?

Not from the toy baskets. Not from the closet of toys...

We narrow it down to the garage. I'm trying to figure out what alarm thing we have? I know smoke detectors (see earlier part of the story) and this isn't a smoke alarm sound.

The sound appears to be coming from the garage door control screwed to the wall. I try pulling the wires. Nothing (I'll be thankful for that later).

I push on buttons. Noise is still going.

I try to yank the wires out again to get it to stop. The wires don't budge (thank you again).

I unscrew the thing from the wall (after searching for a screw driver. Dean, please put away your tools.). Once I have it off the wall, I realize that is not what is making noise. I'm grateful that I was not successful at pulling the wires out. Dean only has to put it back on the wall.

Great. What the heck is it?! I'm more than a little worried by now. It must be carbon dioxide and there's an alarm built into the walls that I don't even know about. Or maybe it's another kind of airborne poison and the house is warning us...

It seems to be in the rack of tools, dusters and various other contraptions that sits next to the garage door controls.

I start ravaging that rack. Thing after thing after thing. Do we really need THREE swifter dusters?
I think some of these vacuum attachments are to vacuums we haven't owned in years. There are several things I can't identify.

What could the sound be and how long before we die or something blows up?!

Ah.... I find it!

The culprit is a BBQ fork someone gave us years ago that measures the done-ness of your BBQ-ed meat. The battery is getting low and it wanted to let us know... with a continuous beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep that encourages high blood pressure.

I'm just gonna lie down until Dean gets home.