Harrison Farm

for now, the only thing we're growing on this farm is kids - not the goat variety

Category: Tips (page 2 of 4)

Rebate Shenanigans

Marathon purchased a AT&T cell phone a few months ago with the understanding (he had been expressly told and it was written in his carefully made notes) that he would receive a $100 rebate after the purchase. The salesman was helpful enough to fill out the rebate form on Marathon’s behalf, seal, and address the envelope. He told Marathon all he had to do was slap a stamp on it and put it in the mail.

Which is what we did.

You know how those rebates are – they seem to take forever to arrive.

When it finally did arrive, it was for half the amount we were told we would be receiving. Continue reading

Operating System Reload/Re-Format/Reinstall

I’m using a computer that we purchased new in 2001. We’ve taken good care to protect it from viruses and such, but over the last couple of years it has gotten quite slow. For some time we entertained the idea of reinstalling – or reformatting- the operating system.

We decided to go ahead and take the plunge. The computer was getting so painfully slow that we were ready to repair it or – if that didn’t work – let it go. Continue reading

Por and Para – What’s the Difference

The Spanish words “por” and “para” are both usually translated “for.” Knowing when to use which word can be tricky for the newbie Spanish speaker. When I was in college, I remember learning a couple of songs to help distinguish the two words. Right now I can only remember the song about para. It is sung to the tune “London Bridges Falling Down.” The lyrics are as follows. Go, ahead; give it a try. Continue reading

Bulk Bike Tire Patches and Glue

It’s crazy difficult to find any bulk (large quantity) supplies of bike tire patches and glue.

Wal-mart carries some cheap, consumer-grade glues, but no rubber cement. (Also, I’m a bit unclear on the difference between rubber cement and the “self-vulcanizing glue” sold with small patch kits.) Continue reading

Vinegar – the Cookie Jar Freshener

cookie jar

Sometime over the Christmas holidays, when the cookie jar was emptied and cleaned, it got closed, sealed, and put away when it wasn’t completely dry inside. I didn’t notice until I was ready to fill the jar again a month or more later.

The mildewy smell was evident as soon as I opened the jar. Continue reading

Groundhog Day & Taxes


Well, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow today. I saw mine today too. It was a wonderfully sunny day here. Marathon had work to do today, so the kids and I ran errands in the morning and then did something different: we ate lunch at our local Waffle House. (Groan….) Continue reading

Uploading Photos to the Camera

Follow these instructions for uploading photos from an email (or file) to the camera. Hopefully I’ve written these instructions so that my 8-year old will be able to follow them.

Open the picture (from the file or email.) In the picture viewer, select copy. Save a copy in a new folder on the desktop. (If doing this for daddy’s work, label the folder the name of the job mentioned in the email.) Then label the photo DSC#####.JPG — It is important that all letters be caps and the DSC is followed by 5 digits.

Now you’re ready to hook up the camera. You can use the camera folder shortcut on daddy’s desktop to access the camera’s files. (Or you can go to My Computer and open the camera files from there.)

Open the folder on the desktop that you created. Drag the photos to the camera’s file. After they have uploaded, find the camera’s icon in the tray and click to safely detach your USB connection.

Check to see that your photos uploaded successfully.

Resources for Young Artists






Ideas on Steps to Start With:

  • Learn to draw simple people in 3d action
  • Use Google Earth to create and tilt the paramaters of the area where you’ll be mapping

Preserving your Digital History

What follows is my plan for backing up the important files from our computers. These files represent ideas, hard work, and precious memories. They warrant a logical backup plan.

This plan assumes you have a network between your computers, and one computer with a biggish drive (the “backup drive”) and a DVD burner. You’ll also need a program like Karen’s Replicator (free) to make backups for you automatically. You’ll want to find a location for keeping these DVDs that would survive a fire in your house/business. We won’t be depending heavily on these backup DVDs: they’re mainly for giving ourselves “a chance to get lucky”.

I’m going to break our files down into four categories:

  1. Really important and active business files. These will be saved on the local drive, the backup drive, and (once every ??) will be saved onto DVD-R and placed offsite. This includes:
    1. all active business folders
    2. all the idea and knowledge-base photos
    3. a well-maintained “biz audio” mp3 library (not music)
    4. (separate out archival video files that won’t be used within the quarter and don’t include them here.)
  2. “Lightweight files” of high and medium importance. By lightweight I mean file types that don’t use much memory. This would not include video, audio, or photos, but rather spreadsheets, letters, emails, etc… These files will be backed up to an offsite, online repository like Mozy. You can usually get 2GB for free, which should suffice for these lightweight files.
  3. Non-active but Keepers. This could include:
    1. family photos/video
    2. all the digital music
    3. (archived video for FR)
    4. non-active biz stuff
  4. “Unlikely to ever need again” These will be written to DVD and then deleted from the original and backup drive:
    1. Heavyweight, archival video footage that is unlikely to need to be reworked or re-edited.
    2. “snapshot” style backups — once a quarter, write the backup folders to a DVD and then delete them completely. Karen’s replicator will re-create the folders, but only with what is still in the replicator source.
    3. “pure archive” stuff (like AA or old cabs biz projects) that is unlikely to be needed again.

Deterring Cats


Now that the weather has been cooling off, we’ve turned the AC off and opened the windows. Unfortunately, we haven’t enjoyed the “fresh” air coming in the house. Some cats have been making use of the mulch around the house and are not doing a good job of covering it up.

My research says I should try the following: Continue reading

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