Blogger customer support — in Spanish

•April 22, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I just received an email support message from Blogger.com:

Subject: Información de la cuenta de Blogger

Tu blog, se ha asociado al nombre de usuario de la cuenta de Google xxx@gmail.com . Utiliza este nombre de usuario de la cuenta de Google para acceder a Blogger y a tu blog.

Si has olvidado tu contraseña, puedes restablecerla haciendo clic en este vínculo:

Si experimentas cualquier problema o tienes alguna pregunta, visita nuestro sitio de ayuda en http://help.blogger.com/

Atentamente,
El equipo de Blogger

As I don’t speak Spanish, I loaded this into Google’s Language Tool and it came out perfectly translated, as follows:

Subject:Account information Blogger

Your blog has been associated with the username of the Google Account xxxx@gmail.com. Use this user name of the account to access Google’s Blogger and your blog.

If you have forgotten your password, you can restore it by clicking on this link:

If you experience any problems or have any questions, please visit our website help http://help.blogger.com/

Sincerely,
The team Blogger

Curious, isn’t it. This is one of those rare instances when I actually hear from Blogger/Google, and when I do, it’s in a language I don’t speak. At least they provided the tools with which I could understand them.

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Milk and peanut butter

•January 31, 2008 • Leave a Comment

In the mornings, I usually stand at our kitchen counter pulling breakfast stuff together and serving it to my kids. Out come the milk, bread, eggs, peanut butter, apples,plates, glasses — your normal morning paraphernalia.

Like in many of your households, I’m trying to do four things at once and was feeling pretty good about having things under control for a change. I made toast, spread peanut butter on them, turned to get the milk and grabbed a glass.

I then promptly poured the milk into the the open peanut butter jar.

There I stood, looking at a jar of milk-soaked peanut butter. The kids were busting up and I had to admit that it was a bit odd!

I then proceeded to dump out the milk in the sink, and literally, rinsed out the peanut butter jar with some more water. I figured the peanut butter might be a soggy, but still edible. I have to report that my peanut butter toast this morning tasted as normal as ever.

Lesson learned: slow down and watch out for open peanut butter jars!

Also crossposted on svmoms.com.

Happy Birthday LEGO!

•January 28, 2008 • Leave a Comment

pink-lego-sm.jpgToday is the 50th anniversary of the creation of the ubiquitous LEGO brick. Here’s a link to a timeline and interesting facts about the Lego break. The most interesting fact: that three eight-stud bricks can be combined in 1,060 ways. That is the crux of what makes LEGO so wonderful — they don’t require instructions, just imagination.

Legos are a staple in our household — our son (age 9) just repurposed them this weekend to remod a remote control car of his. We’re on the second generation of Mindstorm robotics, and I have to admit, my geeky side has played with the set long after the kids are tucked into bed. We even invested in a stack of pink bricks for our daughters years ago so that she could build houses and cars with them. I find pieces them in purses, stuffed between car seats, and wedged into the fibers of my carpets.

And many weekends, when I ask the kids what they want to do, they say, “Go to Legoland”, despite the fact that it’s an 8+ hour drive away down in San Diego.

As a testament to the longevity of LEGO, my mother-in-law kept stored my husband’s LEGO pieces in the attic, and gave them to my son. As I pick the pieces from around my life, I carefully put them all back into the storage box. After all, I want to make sure that my grandkids have LEGO at the ready to inspire their imagination too.

cross posted on svmoms.com

Showers at JFK and other airports

•January 19, 2008 • 2 Comments

I recently took an overnight flight from SFO to JFK and was going to do my regular routine – check into a hotel, pay the full rate, and take a quick shower before heading off to my meetings. As I do this regularly, I decided to see if there were showers at JFK itself and thus avoid paying $300+ for the use of a hotel room shower, and also head right off to my morning meetings.

Lo and behold, American Airlines’ Red Carpet Club Admirals Club (Terminal 8, Concourse B & C) has showers! At $50 for a day pass, it’s a bargain. And more importantly, the bathroom is immaculate and stocked with towels, hair dryer, and shampoo/conditioner/shower gel. The catch – you have to fly American Airlines, so that may limit some options.

It looks from their list that they have many locations with showers, so please comment below if you’ve every used these facilities, or know of other showers in airports.

Chocolate Mint Bars Recipe

•November 26, 2007 • Leave a Comment

This recipe can be easily doubled, using a 13×9 pan.

First layer, cream together:
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar

Then add:
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, melted
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup nuts

Spread into greased 8×8 pan and bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool.

Second layer, mix together and spread on top of the cake layer:
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. cream
1/2 tsp. peppermint extract

Third layer, mix togehter and spread on top of the mint layer:
1 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, melted
1 tbsp. butter

The gift of giving — learning from the young

•December 7, 2006 • Leave a Comment

This past fall, my 8 year old son was writing up thank you notes for the presents he received for his birthday. At one point, he put down his pencil and said, “Mom, I really like all of these presents and it was really nice for everyone to get them for me. But I don’t need them. I wish they had gotten something for the animals at the shelter instead.” Honestly, this came out sincerely and I was so proud of him for thinking at this level.

We discussed it and he decided that for the holidays this year, that he only wanted one gift from us  and is asking his extended family to give him donations for the animal shelter in lieu of a gift. And while he’s happy to take cash for the shelter, he’s specifically asking for old shoe boxes, tennis balls, and homemade dog biscuits that the animals can use.

It should be an interesting Christmas Day, as the entire family is coming over to our house. We usually stack all of the cousins’ presents into piles and then let them have at it. He’ll have his one gift (it’s an MP3-playing remote control car) and inevitably will get a few smaller gifts as well. (I’ve resisted buying him “extra gifts” and instead will be presenting him with stack of dog biscuit recipes that we can make together on Christmas day.) And he’ll have a big pile of shoe boxes, tennis balls, and dog biscuits while the other kids are unwrapping toy after toy after toy. Will he be envious of the other kids’ toys? Or will he learn at this tender young age that giving gifts can be just as fun — or even more fun — than receiving gifts for one’s self?

So here’s my recommendation on gifts for this holiday season — give the gift of learning to give gifts, especially to charities that your kids believe in. My six year old daughter has focused on homelessness as a problem that she wants to address — although she has as yet to do anything concrete about this concern. But this year, I’m going to encourage her to think of something that she can contribute, from art that can hang on a shelter wall to baking cookies for a holiday dinner. So I’m learning from my son, teaching my daughter, and in the end, hoping that we all come out of the holidays with a better appreciation of this gift giving ritual.

Cross-posted on svmoms.com

How to be a “good guy”

•November 20, 2006 • Leave a Comment

I was at a typical Silicon Valley business meeting last week, filled with venture capitalists and entrepreneurs. Note: I was one of three women out of 25 people (I DID say that it was a typical Silicon Valley business meeting!)

One phrase I heard over and over again was “He’s a good guy.” This phrase is often invoked when the person saying it has done something with that guy, thinks highly of him, and suggests that you should get to know him as well.

And I got to thinking that probably no one has ever used that phrase to describe me — not because I’m not a worthy person but simply because I’m not “a guy”. So it’s kinda hard to be “a good guy”. I also realized that I never use that term to describe someone.

So when the VC sitting across from me said it again, I took it upon myself to ask him how he defined “a good guy” because, frankly, I wanted in on the action! We discussed it for a while, and I shared my opinion that it’s a phrase that excludes unintentionally. My suggestion: replace the short hand with the exact meaning, such as “I think he’s smart” or “I think it would be worth your while to get to know him.” The result: the now-enlightened VC committed to not using “a good guy” in the future.

So, you may be asking, why am I writing about this on a mommy blog? Because as moms, I think we owe it to our children to be on the watch for the use of subtle language like this. I’m not advocating the return of the politically correct police, but rather, a greater awareness in every day situations and every day conversations of opportunities like this to enlighten the people around us of a different perspective.

Am I being hypersensitive about this? Probably, so I’d love to hear your thoughts about this topic.

Cross-posted on svmoms.com