Thursday, June 14, 2007

So What If I Have To Go To The Bathroom?

Here's one of my new favorite sites, Squidoo, on how to set up your office in a coffee shop.

Bedouin workers Unite! I set up at home daily because it's easy and cheap. I had a noon deadline o meet today and woke up at 9:00 a.m. with nothing done. Therefore I'm at my kitchen table in my PJs. But if I had it together, I'd love to be out and about meeting my deadlines from my favorite coffee shop.

So you get to the coffee shop, you set up your laptop, cell phone, headphones, voice recorder, power cord, etc. Then you suck down the necessary evil as I call it, your coffee. Then you suddenly have the urge to go potty pretty bad. So what do you do?

I love Slashfood for bringing up the age old question. Will you watch my stuff? I used to always go to this one free wifi coffee shop in Scottsdale, called In The Raw. I highly recommend it! You can bring your laptop and your dog. While working there, I never thought twice about leaving my laptop unattended. I even grew up in that neighborhood, so while I was nervous, I never had any doubts.

A couple weeks ago in Flagstaff, at Late For The Train on San Francisco Street, I didn't know the people or the area as I was traveling, so I waited until I was done to go to the bathroom with my totally packed up laptop bag. Coffee is a stimulant, you know, so you're always going to have to "go" when you work in a coffee shop. So what is a girl to do? (Or guy).

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Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Evils Of An Online Education

Like everyone else, I have always touted the joys of my online education. I first attended college online at Rio Salado College a few years back. It was great; I was hooked. Those were community college type prices. Now I am enjoying the online EUDCP program at Boston University because it's perfect for me. Good program, good school, only problem is this -- it's freakin' expensive.

Well, all schools are expensive. But here's what you need to know about the Boston University program. The evils come in as technicalities. It's an expensive program but don't even think for a minute you will qualify for funding as you would at a "normal" or "traditional" college. I get a federal Stafford Loan but it doesn't pay for everything I need for tuition. Here's the technicality: because the B.U. EUDCP (executive undergrad completion program) is considered part-time, I am automatically disqualified for aid like Pell grants or, subsequently, a Federal Perkins Loan.

Getting a Sallie Mae or other private loan is not a possibility for me. So I'm stuck. The only way for me to pay for B.U. is to get a 3rd job. All I can do is work my way through to pay the high tuition cost as I go.


There aren't many for white 27-year-olds. The other problem with going to college online is I can't get any aid from the Arizona State Department of Education. I've lived here for seven years, but since I attend a school located in Boston, I can't get funding. The DOE only doles it out if you want to go to ASU, U of A, or NAU. Why go there when I got into Boston University?

So here I am. I got into B.U. I completed one semester with an A- and a B- for grades in my first two classes. I'm smart enough to get into B.U. and do well. Now if only I could be smart enough to figure out a slick way to fund my education.

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Saturday, May 19, 2007

You Don't Need a Car Psychic When You Have The Internet

I have a new car. New to me. It has its quirks, many of which are mysteries I can't unravel due to the lack of owner's manual. It didn't come with one. The car is a 2001 VW New Beetle. Lights keep popping on and off on the dash and it's driving my better half nuts trying to figure it out. He thinks he can fix anything on any car.

So we're ready to head up north on a road trip yesterday when he turns on my VW and freaks out. "The coolant light is on! We have to take my car." Today, back from taking his car on a Clark Griswold-like road trip, we return to deal with the coolant light problem. I really shouldn't have taken my man's word for it when he said the coolant light was on, because it wasn't. He swore it was. "See the blue light?" That's not the "something's wrong light" I say. He says I'm wrong. We open the hood and the coolant is full to the top. The light is still on. So he unhooks the sensor. Now, the coolant light is bright red. Now, it is really on! I tell him to undo what he did so he does; he hooks the sensor up again. It goes back to blue and I tell him it's fine again. He's freaking out because he never noticed it before and doesn't know what it means.

I can almost hear him right now freaking out on the phone with his mother whining about how I've gone out and bought a used car that will be nothing but a money pit. But thank goodness for the Internet, my life saver! The VWvortex Forums have the answer I need. The blue light comes on when you start the car as a way of saying, "I'm not warmed up yet so drive me nice." But if the thing's busted, the red "oh crap" light shall shine.

So there you go. Female, 1 point. Male, 0 points. Unless of course I get a lengthy e-mail from my future mother-in-law detailing every car problem she ever has had and how she dealt with it.

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Sunday, May 13, 2007

When Did stock.xchng Start Charging?

And where have I been? I just got Photoshop Elements so I can edit photos for my Pop Music articles. So I wanted to download some really cool photos from stock.xchng as I have done before...but guess what? stock.xchng charges now! Maybe I'm the cheapest person alive, but I just don't want to pay for what I took freely before. I actually made a photo work that I had previously downloaded (and wisely saved) from the site months ago.

I thought this was the "leading free stock photo site?" When I tried to download a photo, it said I needed credits, then I needed to buy the credits for $4.99. So how do you call your site a free stock photo site when you charge? Maybe it's time to report them to This Is Broken. Anyway, here's one of the photos on stock.xchng I really liked. I gotta figure out how this silly credits thing works.

Until then, I can dick around with my own free photos in Photoshop Elements.

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The School Textbook Hunt

It's going to be, drumroll please, this semester. I'm taking a math course and the book costs $120 new and $90-something used. Usually I can find a textbook to buy on eBay. Actually, all my courses so far at Boston University have used novels and a fiction book only. Most of them I was able to find used -- you have to cut costs wherever you can. I can't find this textbook on eBay, sadly. But Amazon does have it. What a relief; it costs on $35. I can't avoid the $60 textbook though.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Car Shopping and Online Yoga Tips. They suprisingly go together!

So I had a nasty accident a couple weeks back and totalled my car. It's been stressful dealing with insurance, the rental car company that closed the location I rented from without telling me, and shopping for a new car. Actually, my insurance company has been great, it's just tedious dealing with forms and phone calls. I still managed to return my Civic Hybrid rental to Hertz before I started racking up charges.

As for dealing with car dealers...oy vay. That was horrible. First off, Carfax is your friend. Just buy the $25 unlimited membership so you can run every vehicle number you're interested in. I found Autotrader to be the biggest waste of time ever because every time I found a good car, it was sold already. The ones that weren't were being sold by guys trying to pass off salvaged cars as NOT salvaged titles. I don't know what people are trying to pull anymore. All I know is that you have to constantly guard against getting screwed over. Welcome to the 21st century.

If you're shopping for a used car, Carfax will be your saving grace.

I now get my yoga online. And quite well at that.

So with all the stress, I've turned to yoga once more. Not that I have ever really quit doing yoga, I just get busy and my yoga practice goes to the back burner. I can't really work out now because my neck and jaw are suffering after the accident. I did about six minutes on the treadmill over the weekend before my head started pounding. That was just walking, by the way. So I need something much more gentle.

So I've been getting my yoga fix online. I've been a longtime fan of the Yogamazing podcast. I have a few favorite editions I like to do, but I was hoping to find something for my neck. With Yogamazing, you can e-mail the podcast's teacher, Chaz, with a question. So I figured maybe I'd send him a question about yoga for whiplash, or at least the neck. To my surprise, he had already done a podcast focusing on the neck and shoulders, so I did that one the other night.

I download some longer podcasts, but what I love about Yogamazing is how they're all about 20 minutes long. So I can sneak a yoga session into any corner of my busy day.

Try it for yourself:

(You can also search for it on iTunes).

Now that I've found the right car and have enjoyed numerous chiropractor sessions, I'm starting up my yoga practice again. Slowly. Surely.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

How I Twitter

So Twitter is the hot thing now and I have succumbed... Here's what I'm using it for now. I've added it to my writing website and then making every entry about work-related stuff. So I post a link to something I just published online like a story or a podcast in yet another way I hope to drive traffic to my sites.

My Twitter Page, you know, if you want to follow.