Sunday, December 31, 2006

Why I won't buy a Mac

Recently, as I have posted, our main computer died. We decided to upgrade to a new computer. Several of the people we know here are the dreaded "Mac Users" and keep trying to convince us to upgrade to a Mac. Mac users are a cult, and strangely like Marines. They are the few, the elite, the Mac users...but they still want people to join them. How can you be the elite few if people all join you?

While they are nice looking, here are the reasons I will not buy a Mac.

1) THEY ARE NOT COMPATIBLE WITH ANYTHING BUT THEMSELVES! This is my biggest complaint. For the last 14 months I have had an iPod, and in that time it crashed and would no longer update with my iTunes. I have loved my iPod, it changed my workouts and made them ever so much more interesting, but it crashed. I have been told Apple doesn't make things that crash. But my iPod did. So what do you hear from Mac users? It's because you weren't running it on a Mac. Apparently - and this is true - my crashed iPod will work on a Mac. But that's the very reason I don't want to buy one. I don't want to be forced into buying something because what they have sold me won't work on what I already have. How difficult would it be to make Apple products compatible?

2) Mac users are a in a cult. I just don't want to join a cult. I don't believe them when they tell me everything runs better on a Mac and after owning an iPod it's really tough to believe that a Mac will make my life better.

The ironic thing about this stupid iPod thing is that it crashed a few months ago and we were able to bring it back to life. I then received a portable docking speaker system for my iPod for Christmas and then 4 days after Christmas, my iPod died. So now I have a new speaker system that is specially designed for my old iPod and will work with a newer one, but they're thinner so I can tell that it won't last as long with the newer one. Plus, I have the old Griffin iTrip, which will not work with newer iPods - planned obsolescence. I would just not buy another iPod, but Apple has all my music in iTunes already...and after that you're pretty much stuck.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

More Christmas Stuff

So on Christmas Eve, I said we had no water all day. And I think I also said that our main computer died. Dylan cut his hand open pretty badly when doing dishes. Unfortunately he was alone with the baby because the older kids and I were at the pool. So he was just sitting here bleeding. And I don't take my cell phone (even when it has units-which it doesn't right now) to the pool because that's where I lost my last one. So he called our friend Joy, who lives right next to the pool and she walked over, but I was already on my way home. We didn't take him for stitches although we probably should have.

The A/C was out at church. Monsignor said that it went out on Friday and they just hadn't gotten it fixed yet, but I don't think we have ever used the A/C in church. It didn't feel particularly hotter than it ever did, but I think Monsignor was hot. It's got to be hot standing up in all his garments under the lights and with the candles burning.

Joy came over to open presents. She bought Pamela the Beatrice Letters (Pamela was so excited) and the boys two adorable towels (a puppy and a duck). She made me a sweet scrapbook page about friendship. Very sweet.

Then Christmas morning, our plan was the same as last year. Get up, go to Mass, then come home and open presents. But this year we had two awake boys at 6:30 who then woke up their smallest sibling and then the oldest one. I think they finally got it this year. So we had to get up and open presents and then go to Mass. Which worked out just fine. And when Monsignor is presiding, there's never a problem with loud kids. He loves loud kids. Says they're just praying and less inhibited than adults. We like him. But the Nuncio...well he doesn't like kids and that can be difficult.

We had dinner with Joy and Jeccel. I wasn't too into making dinner this year for some reason, but I did it. I was pretty ready when people went home.

I feel a cold coming on. Started last night. I hope I can exercise it away.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Christmas with the Grinch

Christmas Eve our main computer gave decided that Christmas time was a perfect time to put everything into perspective and maybe it was time to retire. So now we are relegated to 1 computer, but I am kind of enjoying only having the one computer...It's slow and we can't really talk on Skype with it, but it's given me the idea that perhaps we can do with only one computer. But now of course I want to upgrade to one that can be our media center. We had threatened to disconnect the internet from the office one, but hadn't actually done anything about it and then the office computer maybe it's a sign.

We ran out of water on Christmas Eve. We have these 3 water tanks behind our house and the embassy has employees who drive the water truck and deliver water to our houses. This is for our running water, this is what comes out of our tap and lets us have water for showers, dishes, laundry, etc... Now, because they would rather have overtime than visit with their families on holidays, they don't have forethought to fill up all the tanks before the holidays. And because of this mythical water shortage they are only filling the tanks up about 1/4. When they finally came out on Christmas Eve (8 hours after they had been called) Dylan asked them to please fill up 2 of the tanks instead of only giving us a little water so that we don't have to call them out again over the holidays. To conserve our water, I started harvesting the rinse water from the washing machine for water to flush the toilets. Dylan and Pamela both looked amt me like I was nuts, but agreed to do so so that we don't run out of water so fast. While the embassy will bring us as much water as we need, I always feel tremendous guilt when we have to call out some Ghanaian who most likely doesn't have water in his own house, so that he can fill up our tanks. Now because this IS Ghana, I am sure the guy who drives the water truck does have some water because he will take it off the top for himself.

We also have no diesel fuel for the generator and apparently there is a shortage of diesel as well so it was a blessing that we did not lose power over the 4 day weekend because we would have been hot and dirty - since the water pump doesn't work when the power is out.

More on the Christmas stuff later.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Sick and Tired...

Last night when I was in the shower I was staring at the peeling paint on the ceiling and thinking that I am so tired of peeling paint and dirt and taking showers and bathing in water that's obviously dirty. We can't wash clothes the day they deliver water because the water is too dirty to wash clothes. You have to wait until the dirt settles. Well, now there's a water shortage so they're only filling up our tanks 1/4 so we, as a family of 6 and Rose, Albert, and Adrana, have to have the tank filled every other day. So basically no clothes washing can take place. It's frustrating. Someone was telling me that they don't really have a water shortage, they just don't know how to utilize the water that they do have. I have a strong tendency to believe that but I don't know what his sources are.

This picture is of the water in the sink as it runs out of the tap. How does anything get clean? It doesn't. Everything is covered with a layer of dirt.

Still feeling pretty Grinchy. Still not understanding the holiday. Still tired of living in Ghana... getting tired of living anywhere.

Friday, December 22, 2006

New Blogger is not that good...

I just tried to post a picture (actually I have done so a few times over the past week and usually it just doesn't even bring up the screen). Today it brought me to the right screen and apparently didn't actually post my long winded post. Not liking the new blogger all that much right now.

Merry Christmas to everyone!

Monday, December 18, 2006

How I really became the Grinch

Now I get it. I didn't understand before, but last night while Dylan was putting together this extravagant toy that we "won" but also brought to the crazy gift exchange, I was thinking a lot. I don't know what makes Christmas special. I don't know what makes it any more special than any other day of the year. Why do we celebrate the birth of Christ by giving each other presents and is that what makes the day special? I have really been thinking about the Grinch because I read it to the boys at least once a week during the "Christmas Season" and you know, the Grinch breaks into the houses and steals EVERYTHING but they still sing. I don't think I could do that. If I woke up on Christmas morning and everything in my house was gone (something that's not incredibly far fetched here) I don't think I would get up and be like, "Wow, it's Jesus' birthday, and who cares that someone stole all of our stuff. Let's sing Joy to the World!" Yeah, if it happened here I'd be coming back to the States in a heartbeat. But I think that makes me shallow, because I suppose it's all about the presents. Dylan said without presents it would be a special day like Easter, but how many of us treat Easter the same as Christmas? Plus, a lot of Christian families I know still give gifts at Easter, but not to the extent of Christmas.

That said, my boys don't have one toy under the tree this year. It's only Geo Trax extensions for their train set, but I think that's the only toy under there. Now there are things that other people sent that are wrapped and I don't know what those are, so they could have more toys, but I think it's mostly books and puzzles and games.

I also don't get everyone who opens their presents as soon as they receive them, particularly from us. I get it if you are with the person who gave you the gift and this is it, but if you get a package of wrapped gifts, why do you open them as soon as you get them? If we did that we wouldn't have anything under the tree at all on Christmas morning.

I wanted to get Seth this Fisher Price Digital camera for Christmas, since he loves mine and the Fisher Price one actually has a view screen that he can look at. I went to order it BEFORE Thanksgiving and EVERYONE was sold out online. Before Thanksgiving! No one has had it in stock since then. So maybe I can order it after Christmas for his birthday, but that just sucks. It is all about the presents isn't it?

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Bunko sucks!

Not really, I do enjoy playing it, I am just sick of putting it together for the people here. I need 12, today I had 10 confirmed and inevitably - every month someone cancels last minute. Usually they have the good excuse of being sick, but some have a tendency to just cancel for no real reason...whatever. I am tired of it. I think tonight is the last Bunko. And I don't want to announce it because they will beg me to continue organizing, or maybe they wouldn't...and I don't know which would be worse.

Still feeling pretty Grinchy. Most everyone we know is going away for Christmas. It's so hard to travel with the kids and so expensive. With the cost, it only makes sense to stay somewhere a long time (long being more than a week), but that doesn't work well anywhere.

We went for our PPD test readings today. Everyone's still good. They tell us we need to keep getting tested at least once a year, because a lot of people in the Foreign Service do transfer over to TB positive. Still good though! Yeah!

I woke up this morning at 5 and couldn't fall back asleep. My neck is still hurting a lot. I don't think Karl is right about it being some weird temporary thing that kids get. But anyway, I was finally making my way back upstairs to lay down, but Toby had woken up because his bed was wet. My fault, I didn't realize we were running low on disposable diapers (which we use at night) and I ordered them when we were down to about 5. Well, that should last for 5 days and then we'll have 2 days with no disposables. But the mail has been tremendously slow through the DPO and this was 2 weeks ago and still no diapers. Colleen told me today that she was told by the guy who picks up the mail that there was no DPO mail today. She said she doesn't believe him. I have to agree. The DPO is only open on Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri - so yesterday they were closed- so there was no shipment during Christmas time on either Wednesday or Thursday? Yeah, someone is lying. It's not for theft, it's just for inconvenience, Ghanaians truly like to inconvenience you. So to all those people who waited until Dec. 11th - the Christmas mailing deadline for overseas mail - you were probably too late.

Then Seth woke up shortly after Toby, which is just insane. Toby is our early riser, so when he wakes up at 5:30 or 6 it's normal, but Seth...well, left to his own, Seth will sleep until at least 8 (sometimes 9) so he is particularly grumpy today. He won't take naps so he's just unpleasant to live with. Yesterday he went to play at Thomas' and I didn't want to pick him back up. I thought maybe they wouldn't notice if they took him with them on vacation.

Blaise slept the longest...oh and we learned today that Blaise doesn't like carrots.

I should go back to cooking and readying for Bunko. I am sad that I won't get to play. I really like the prizes this month.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

How I Became a Grinch...

Not really, but I am just feeling pretty Grinchy lately.

Last week I injured my neck and was heavily drugged for a few days. Unable to do anything made me feel helpless (and VERY grateful for Rose, because I don't think I would have survived without her). Now I am just trying to figure out how not to re injure it, since I don't know what I did in the first place.

Mail is taking longer than it did before...that's expected since it's Christmas time, mail is always slower during the holidays. Yesterday was the last day to get stuff mailed to get here on time and I mailed my last 2 packages back to the States.

There was a Cookie Exchange last weekend and this weekend is Bunko and then a goofy Gift Exchange. We've got quite a bit to contribute to the gift exchange...and when I was in Germany I picked up Bunko prizes.

I guess I am not in a blogging mood today...I know I need to update, but I just don't have anything interesting to say right now. Some funny stuff happened, but I didn't write it down and now I don't remember what it was...

Maybe tomorrow.