Officially Technological

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A New Look

OK, so I'm pretty much going nuts. It seems like my life has come to a screeching halt. Beth wondered if maybe I had prayed for patience lately. :) So, I thought since I can't really do anything productive, I may as well find a new super awesome template for my blog. So here it is. Let me know if you like it.
posted by Julie at 6:21 PM 9 comments

Friday, August 15, 2008


I love my new phone. I got an LG EnV.

When I was in high school, my mom got me my very first cell phone. It was the free one people used to get for opening accounts with Verizon. It too was an LG. It was nothing particularly special, and I spent the next few years, forgetting to take it on trips (which are why my mom bought it), dropping it, getting it wet, etc, etc. And that was when I first fell in love with LG phones. I had that phone for a few years, and then when my mom renewed my 45 minute/month plan when I was in college, I got a new one that was exactly like the old one. I loved those phones. I thought if something electronic could take that much abuse and keep coming back for more (I have a black thumb when it comes to electronic stuff), then it must be good stock.

My mom couldn’t kick me off her cell phone plan fast enough when I graduated from college. I think I figured out how cool it was to have a cell phone, and be jabbering on it 24/7 and the 45 minutes/month just didn’t hack it. So, my mom hacked me. I have to admit I was a little surprised when I got a bill in the mail one month that hadn’t been there the month before.

Anyway, I kept getting LG phones, and while all my friends were griping about their Samsung or other brand phones, I happily chatted on mine for years. I have ran into a few snags, that goes to show you that phones (not even LGs) don’t last forever. As an example, I had this great flip phone when I lived in Detroit. I loved that thing. It wasn’t anything but a phone. No camera clogging the memory, no music, just a phone. That’s my style. I don’t think you can even find such an animal any more. Anyway, that phone died after a prolonged illness one day while Brian and I were engaged (read: when I was too broke to replace it). It was right before we got married, and my new-every-two wasn’t due for another month or two. And I had broken off the little flap that went over the charging port. Anyway, from my continual abuse, it built up some corrosion in the charging port and wouldn’t charge. Often, I could shake it and it would charge. Sometimes I had to press it just the right way to get it to charge, but one day no amount of pressing, shaking, and later kicking could get the poor little guy to charge.

But a few weeks ago I bought an EnV. I’m kinda used to having a nice phone. And usually after the novelty wears off it’s just a phone that let’s me rack up phone bills that could make grown people cry. This is why I haven’t told you about my phone before now. It is because I thought eventually the novelty would wear off. But it hasn’t. It’s a great phone. And oh-so-convenient for Brian and my new texting package.

So, if you’re tired of racking up phone bills the old-fashioned way and would rather text your thumbs off, you want an EnV. Don’t even bother with a Blackberry (your co-workers will just email you at 3:30 in the morning if you get one of those); go straight for the no-nonsense keyboard, and 4-5 day battery life. It’s the bomb.
posted by Julie at 4:23 PM 2 comments

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Moving Bees/An Advertisement for Home

I think it's this time of year that I feel most homesick. I always thought it would be Thanksgiving, or Christmas, or my birthday, but really I think it's in the summer. It's the sounds the smells and the feel of a Michigan summer that is simply unbeatable. The nights are cool, with long, lingering blue twilights (twilight is my favorite time of day). I remember when I was a kid I used to "move bees" with my dad.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with my family, my dad is a bee-keeper in the north east portion of the lower peninsula. In the northern part of the state, farmers raise a lot of cash crops (I think that's what they're called), like cucumbers, peppers, etc. And unlike most plants, cucumbers are not pollinated by the wind. They have to pollinated by bees. So, farmers paid my dad to unload a few hives into their cucumber fields.

It was a pretty good gig, especially for me, because for me it was about the least amount of work I could do with fewest stings (unless we dropped a hive off the forklift, which happened sometimes) and the most money per hour. It was also not a job you preformed in the heat of the day when the bees were out of their hives, but in the cool of the evening or in the early morning. Most of the time, "moving bees" went something like this. We would leave the house around 7:30 or so and drove my dad's huge, flat bed truck (that was from the 70's) with his orange fork lift (a converted tractor with big tires) about a half an hour north (which says nothing for how many miles it is, because on a good day with perfect conditions my dad's truck could only go about 60 mph). Once we got to where we were going, it was still inevitably too hot or too sunny, so we would go to one of several greasy spoons that we haunted in the summers. We would have an ice cream or a piece of pie or my dad would have a cup of coffee, and I would have a Coke and some candy until it "cooled down". Then we would we drive the big truck out to the job site, smoke the bees with a little smoker to make them sleepy, and my dad would take his forklift and load them on the back of his flat bed. Then we would drive out to the cucumber patch and unload the bees. I'm not sure if you understand yet how this was such a good gig. My entire list of responsibilities included:

However, my favorite part about moving bees were the nights that my dad had to move lots of bees into a remote field and it took him a long time to unload all the bees, because on those nights (even at 14 or 15 years old) I realized that it in the calm, hazy, summer twilight, that Michigan was perfect. I would stand there on some little tractor lane, often by a small crick (or less romantically, a drain ditch), listening to the crickets, watching indigo flood the sky, breathing in sweet, warm air and admiring how beautiful it was.

Don't get me wrong, I've always been and always will be a city girl. "Urban," is how Brian often describes my clothing and preferred lifestyle. But when I hear crickets, or see mist coming off a body of water, or smell that familiar and sweet smell of earth, I think of home and I think about moving bees with my dad. And I remember again how great Michigan is in the summer.

posted by Julie at 7:52 PM 10 comments