The smartphone saga continues

It feels like it was just yesterday I was listing the problems with my HTC Evo 4G.  Now it’s time to start looking again – my Samsung Galaxy S2 has started acting up.  The battery was really low (close to dead) last night, so I plugged it in next to the bed and set my alarm.  This morning, my alarm didn’t go off.  I picked up my phone to check the time, but the screen wouldn’t come on.  I could see by the indicator light that the phone was still on, but my screen remained black.  I tried unplugging it, which usually triggers the screen.  No screen.  I took the back off and popped the battery out.  Battery back in, push the power button, and there’s my screen!  Of course, it’s going through the power-up process, but at least it’s there.  And it’s been there all day, off and on like it’s supposed to.  The black screen followed by battery thing happened to me a couple of weeks ago, too.  Maybe I just need a new battery, but you know what?  I’m due for an upgrade.  After reading CNET reviews all day, I’ve narrowed down my choices to three: the HTC One, the Samsung Galaxy S4, and the Google Nexus (that John just got).  My work phone is an S4, so I can play with two of the three before I ever set foot in a Sprint store.  If anyone has any advice, I’m all ears.


I want to get my hair cut.  I think.  And I want to dye it.  I think.  (Dark purplish red – do an image search for purplish red hair and focus on the darker ones.)  And I’d like to do both of those things soon.  I think.  At the same time?  Maybe.  Here’s the thing (and it’s a minor thing): Emily’s wedding is in July.  I’d like my hair to be long enough to put up by then (by a professional, of course – I’m useless at that), or at least long enough to be made all fancy (again, professionals needed).  So if I cut it short, I need to do it soon, or else I could cut it not that short.  Anything above the shoulders will do.*  But if I cut my hair now, I think I want to chop it off at my chin (because I’ve done it before and it works).  Will it grow enough in six months?  If I cut off that much, I’ll have enough for a Locks of Love donation (I think), which is something I’d like to do because 1) it’s a nice thing to do, 2) how many times in your life do you have enough hair to do it? (you need to be cutting off 10 inches), and 3) I can think of literally nothing else that can be done with hair once it’s cut off (that isn’t completely creepy and gross), and it’s kind of neat to have a purpose for it.

What’s the hold-up?  Nerves.  What if it doesn’t look good?  What if it’s a bad haircut?  I feel like my long hair helps to make my face look longer and thinner.  If I cut it shorter, will my face look fat?  (Honest to god, ridiculous as it sounds, I’m actually worried about my haircut making my face look fat.  Shut up.)  Should I dye it while it’s long?  I like the idea of having long flowing dark purplish red hair.  But I’m getting tired of the long hair thing.  I could dye it long, keep it that way for a week, and then get it cut.  But it’d be cheaper to dye if there’s less of it, so I could cut it and then dye it.  The dye thing is only temporary – I like my hair the color it is.  I just want to try it out a little more permanently then I did last year.

I’m not usually this bad at decisions (except for dinner – that decision sucks sometimes (a lot of the time)).  I’ve been considering this one for a while, and I’m no closer to the end than when I started thinking about it.  Help!

*Not true.  No pixie cuts.

For reference, it looks like this now (and has looked like this for at least a couple of years).

I probably have a more recent picture (this is from last June), but it would require effort to find one. Too hard. June was only 7 months ago.

Decision time

It’s Book Club time again.  We’re meeting this Friday to discuss The Secret Keeper (which I really liked), but that’s nothing to worry about.  No, it’s next month I’m worried about.  March is almost here, and that’s my month.  I have to host the entire club here, at my house, and I have to pick the book.  And I need to be able to tell them which book on Friday.  So I need some help.  Off the top of my head, here are three I think I could suggest.

I think any one of those would be fine.  World War Z is the slightly crazier pick.  I’ve read The Shadow of the Wind, but not the other two.  Is it cheating to pick a book I’ve already read?  It was only a few months ago.  Other suggestions?

I’m going to need ideas for food, too, but that’s weeks away.

Lost, not found

What do you do with one diamond earring?  Sounds rhetorical, but I really need an answer.  John bought me a pair (little diamond studs) last Christmas, and I love them.  They’re exactly what I wanted, and I wore them every day, with everything.  Then, out at dinner the evening after we spent the day at the Maryland Renaissance Festival (more on that later), I reached up to my earlobes and noticed that one of them was bare.  How do you lose just one earring?  Clearly, it’s not that hard.  And since the earring wasn’t in my immediate vicinity in the restaurant, and it wasn’t in the car, it was most likely lost on the ground in 16th century England (otherwise known as some woods not too far from Annapolis).  Maybe I can get my remaining earring turned into a necklace or something.

Guess who we ran into while we were there?

We don’t know what Captain America was doing at a 16th century renaissance festival, but his was the best costume we saw all day.  Other than the Doctor’s, of course.  His being there made more sense, what with all the wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey stuff (speaking of that, I totally want these).  I wasn’t able to get a picture of him, but his costume was fantastic.

It’s book club night!

Tonight we will discuss Before I Go to Sleep, which I enjoyed.  I’m sure we’ll only spend about ten minutes talking about the book and the rest of the time chatting about schools and kids and teaching at schools and teaching kids.  (Every single person there (except for me) is either a teacher, a mom, or both.)  Not that I mind.  They’re not boring.  Here’s the only scary thing about tonight: they put me on the rotation.  That means that in a few short months, I will have to host the book club.  I’ll need to pick a book (I’ll accept suggestions!), but that’s not so scary.  This is: all of these women (who live in very large, very nice houses) will be in MY little house.  And they will be judging me.  I know they won’t be mean (certainly not to my face, and possibly not at all – they seem very nice), but still.  Having a large group of strangers (practically) in my house is not anything like having a large group of friends over.  So I’m a little nervous.  Several months in advance.


We all have too many accounts and too many passwords.  This is not a new problem, I know, but it’s been steadily getting worse since the early days of mainstream internet access.  Back in 1996, I only had my AOL account and password to remember.  Now I have more accounts than I can easily list. I can usually figure my password out for a particular account, but it sometimes takes me a couple of tries, and there have been any number of times I’ve had to use the Forgot Password? link or (gasp) had to actually call tech support for help.  I know you’re not supposed to keep a list or file of your passwords, and so far, I never have, but I think I’ve gotten to the point where I really need to.  Chalk it up to an aging (WordPress seems to think it should be spelled ageing.  I think that’s crazy.) memory or an overabundance of accounts – it doesn’t matter to me.  But how should I do it?

  1. Create a text file that holds all that information and keep it on a thumb drive I carry with me at all times.
  2. Same as above, but keep it hidden safe at home somewhere.  Safer than #1, but not at all useful if I need to log in to something away from home, which happens ALL the time.
  3. Save that file in Google Docs (or Dropbox or something similar) and password protect it.  Is that really secure?
  4. Use one of those password manager applications, like the one that creates crazy (but secure) passwords for each of your accounts, then saves them for you in a password-protected file/app/website/thing you can access anywhere.  Assuming the password you use to get into that application is one you can remember, it seems like a huge pain in the ass to have to access that application just to log in to every place we need to log in nowadays.

#4 there seems to place more of an emphasis on making sure all those individual passwords I already can’t remember are actually secure, which is nice, but not really what I was after when I started thinking about my problem.  What other options do I have?  Are any of those good ideas?