Skip Doctor CD Repair Kit

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Have you ever used one of these devices that is meant to buff out the scratches on your cd’s, dvd’s, blu-rays and game discs? I bought one many years ago, I want to say 2002 maybe, but it might have been 2004, I cannot recall. I didn’t buy the hand crank one because the electric one wasn’t that much more expensive, and I figured if I’m going to spend the money, I might as well buy the electric one. Well, that purchase was a big mistake.

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Here are 2 dvd-r’s that hold important files for my computer. Can you tell which one has been buffed out? I’ll give you a second. Oh, you can spot it immediately you say? As if I can read your mind before I’ve even published the blog post. Yes, the one on the left has been buffed out. You can tell because the spectrum of the DVD is so pronounced.

This is why the skip doctor is a problem. It’s meant to buff out scratches on the plastic of the disc, but what people don’t realize is that, and you probably can’t see this but the scratches are still there, but that’s not what the problem is. I think the buffing makes the disc unreadable, or harder to read.

I had to buy a new computer last month and I have several backup discs with program files that need to be installed on a new computer. I could, and most of the time I do go to the website because those backup installation files are from 2008, and most of those programs have had several updates, but that’s not the point. My new computer with a new DVD drive/burner couldn’t even read one of the discs, and it did read the other disc 20% of the time, and only allowed me to copy files from that disc to my computer 10% of the time. I spent the entire day yesterday ejecting the disc and pushing it back in so it would continue copying files. Not all of the files were program installation files, some of the files were things I created in those programs, or files I had downloaded to use in those programs. Each program folder also had a text file with the serial number for the program copied and pasted from the email from the program’s website.

Luckily I was able to copy all of the files onto my computer, I skipped over the programs that I bought, but never really used or they are no longer useful because they only worked on Windows XP. Like for example Dudebox which is a program I bought for my Dell DJ so I could copy music with the USB cable. It was an awesome program, but eventually there was an update that didn’t allow me to use that program anymore, and I was forced to start using Sony MediaGo, which is fine by me. I don’t care what program I have to use, as long as there’s a program I CAN use.

A program installation disc is one thing, but what if it was a music CD, a DVD or Blu-Ray movie, or a video game disc? If it can cause such a hassle to be able to copy files on my computer, I can only imagine what problems I would have trying to listen to music, or watch a movie, or play a game. It’s not a good scenario, and I am so fortunate that I keep all my other discs in either their cases or a cd book. The only discs that ever get scratched are the discs I use often and then leave on the desk. If any disc deserves to be respected, it’s the discs I use the most.

That disc doctor is in the closet and hasn’t been used in a very long time, and if I ever find it, I think I will toss it in the trash.

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Patterns not in the i-Loom app

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I have been having fun with my i-Loom. I’ve made 4 1/2 bracelets so far (the half is still in the i-Loom as a work in progress). One issue I do have with the i-Loom is that it doesn’t have patterns that were created outside of the app. I have a program called FBD which is short for Friendship Bracelet Designer, and I have used that to create and print patterns in the past, and I could still use that option for making bracelets, but why would I want to do that when I have this new system with the i-Loom?

So how do I get those patterns into the app? Well, this is how I do it. I took a screenshot of the app with a pattern loaded, then in Gimp I removed all the pattern stuff and replaced it all with the pattern I want to add. The only problem is, the only way for me to work on those patterns using this method is to create many images numbered starting with 01, then add them to the Nook, and I have to go into the image gallery, load the first image, work that row, then swipe the screen to show the next image. This way each image shows each row I’m on inside the pink lines. When I get to the end, I have to swipe back to the first image and continue from there. Here’s an example of all 14 images for the pattern I want to work on. It’s supposed to be a Finding Nemo pattern.

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This is not an option I will do instead of the patterns they have in the app, this is only an option for when I need to make a pattern that someone wants me to make that isn’t available in the i-Loom app.

I really love the i-Loom app, it would be nice if I could add more patterns because there are tons of patterns that I would like to make that I have in the FBD library. Fortunately for me they have some holiday patterns in the boutique already that I was able to buy, like the hearts patterns for Valentine’s Day, then there’s one with shamrocks for St. Patrick’s Day, and of course there is a pattern called Easter Baskets. Images below.

Happy HeartsHeart StripeI Heart YouLucky CloveEaster Basket

I’ve already made the first one that is the pink heart with the purple background, I currently have the same pattern in the i-Loom (that’s the one in progress) with red hearts and a pink background, I’ve made the heart braid, except I traded the darker pink with red. I haven’t started the 3rd heart bracelet yet, that one is TBD. Valentine’s Day is still 2 days away, so I’m probably going to skip over that and work on the Shamrock and the Easter Basket one soon.

The first 4 bracelets in the image above from left to right were made with the i-Loom, the other 2 were made with the printouts from FBD. I made the i-Loom bracelets according to the patterns for 7.5 inch bracelets, and naturally neither of them were 7.5 inches. They should’ve had another inch or so, but I made them from the patterns and didn’t go off course, I just stopped when the pattern told me to. Oh well.

And finally… the image next to the bracelets is my embroidery floss collection. I tossed all the i-Loom string because it’s crap, I’m using the DMC and Loops and Threads embroidery floss exclusively because it doesn’t break easily.

My bracelets are listed on Etsy with this link.

Potholder Weaving Loom

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So I bought a potholder weaving loom. I didn’t plan on buying one, but we were at Michael’s the other day looking for Navy Blue paracord, and they didn’t have any, so I just decided to look around to see what other cool new things they had, and I found this on the clearance rack for only $3.99, so I bought it.

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It came with 120 “colorful loops” which is supposed to make 3 potholders. These are the colors it came with, and white, which I didn’t use in this potholder. I finished this one and this is what it looks like.

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I placed it inside the loom so you can see how much it shrank after I finished the edges. It’s not a very big potholder, and actually there is a note on the instructions that came in the box that says “Pot holders created for decorative use only.” Hmmm… I wonder why they say that. Is it because it’s so small, or because it’s not thick enough to protect your fingers from hot items out of the oven? I think both.

Well, they are small pot holders, and even though it says decorative, I can still use them as coasters, or to put under bowls of soup or whatever is in a hot bowl. They are thick enough that they can protect my table from the heat of a bowl.

I have one completed (seen above) and another one still in the loom so I can make a video when I receive another craft tool. The 3rd one will be different since I have a ton of the white, and not enough of the colors to make another matching potholder.

This isn’t for selling potholders or coasters, I just wanted to learn how to make these and to make potholders for us to use at home for our bowls.

I couldn’t find the picture of the box online, and my guess is because it was on the clearance rack, so obviously they stopped using that box design. They have the same brand on the Michael’s website, but it’s a different box and it’s more than what I paid.

Print Artist 25 Platinum

Print Artis 25 Platinum

I have an Etsy shop, and one of the things a typical Etsy shop needs is a good graphics program for advertising their shop and products. You need business cards, post cards and brochures so people can see what you have in your catalog. My Etsy shop in particular uses business cards as earring cards. I already have those printed and even laminated. What I really need are post cards which are basically bigger business cards, and brochures to include in all orders. The post cards would have a graphic of a coupon on it with a coupon code for the customer to enter for their next order.

I’m actually quite familiar with Print Artist because I had it on my very first computer. Let’s go in the way back time machine to 1997. I don’t remember how I got these cd’s. It might have come with a printer I bought back then, or perhaps it came with my scanner, I don’t know, all I know is I installed it and loved it. It says there are 4 cd’s, 2 of them were for Mac, and my Aunt Louise had a Mac, so I gave her the other 2 cd’s.

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When I ordered the newest version of Print Artist 25 Platinum, I bought the CD’s on Amazon. I could have bought the digital download and gotten it right away, but I can wait for the box to come in the mail.

Amazon says it works with Windows XP, 7, Vista and 8, but I have Windows 10. I have seen some reviews from people who say it didn’t work on their computers with Windows 10, but I saw other people with newer computers say it works fine for them. My computer is still brand spanking new, so I am sure I won’t have any issues with installing and using it. At least I hope I don’t have any issues. I guess that’s why I bought it on CD, because if it doesn’t work, I can always send it back to Amazon. If it’s a digital download and it doesn’t work then I’m pretty much boned. The digital download price from their website and the price I paid on Amazon is the exact same price. I didn’t have to pay for shipping since it was over $25.

So  yes, I will mainly focus on making the post cards with the coupon code along with a picture of some of the products, as well as a catalog of most of the products I have in my Etsy shop. I think it will be an interesting experience.

Style Me Up i-Loom Deluxe Starter Pack

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My partner and I were at Hobby Lobby yesterday, and I saw this thing in the yarn section next to the latch hook stuff, and I wanted it. I didn’t buy it there because they wanted $60 for it, and I looked it up on Amazon and they were only charging $24.99, so I bough it and a Midnight Sky 12 pack for $5.99 so I could get free shipping. They offer free shipping on orders $25 or higher, so I couldn’t get free shipping over a penny lol.

iLoom Midnight Sky

I actually have a tool that’s like a clipboard called My Friendship Bracelet Maker, but it only goes up to 10 strands, maybe 12 strands if you let the 2 on the ends hang off the sides. This i-Loom looks like it can hold 40 strands of thread, which is awesome because I don’t want to be limited. You can also create your own patterns in the app and it’s on the screen of your tablet which is in the device, so you don’t have to print patterns. It also has the pattern on the screen according to the spot you are on, and you press the arrows to continue with your pattern to the next row, and you can save your place when you want to stop. You can’t do that with a printout.

I won’t actually get this thing until next week, so when I do get it I will make a video. I am super excited because I’ve wanted to make a bigger bracelet for myself for a long time. I also want to make bracelets for other people, and I would love to add new bracelets to my Etsy shop. It’s about time I start adding new products.

Of course, I don’t have an iPad, but the app works on Android, so I will be using my Nook HD+ since the app works on my Nook. My Nook doesn’t have a camera, so I will have to install the app on my phone and use that to scan the QR code of the patterns I will get from my order and the refill kit. It will appear in the Nook app after that. I hope…

I did have to buy the starter set in the app to be able to create my own patterns, and it still won’t let me create my own patterns, so I will have to find out what I can do when it arrives. I hope I can create my own patterns because I have a shit ton of patterns on my computer that I would like to add to the app. I’d also love to create some new patterns, so we’ll see what happens when it gets here.

Vegan Options at Aldi

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I am not a vegetarian, or vegan, which are apparently very different, but I am a mindful vegetarian in the sense that I feel bad when I do eat meat, so I try to eat vegan or vegetarian when I can to make myself feel better.

We recently drove by a shopping center and discovered a new store called Aldi had moved in, and I seem to recall seeing a post on Facebook about these new vegan burgers they were selling. I also saw a few videos by The Vegan Zombie twitter and No Egg Craig twitterabout these vegan options, so I wanted to give them a try.

The first time we went to Aldi, I didn’t see these vegan foods. I saw some other boxes of veggie burgers and chicken, but they were way more expensive than The Vegan Zombie said. He said the veggie burger box was $2.49 and the chicken burgers were $2.99. We went back and I finally found them and bought these 2 boxes you see in the picture above.

Yesterday I had the chicken for lunch and I really loved the taste and texture. I knew after the first bite that I would want to go back and buy many more boxes. Today I had the veggie burger for lunch and although it wasn’t as awesome as the chicken, it was still very good and I will definitely buy more.

Gamer for Life

Video Games over the years

When I was going through the garage in December to bring the Christmas boxes in the house, I came across our old Atari 2600, so I brought it in and sat it on our dining room table. I brought it in because I wanted to see if it actually worked, and naturally, I couldn’t find the power plug, so that’s a no. So I dusted it off so I could take a picture so I could tell you this story.

I was born in 1970, and the Atari 2600 came out in the late 70’s. My step father bought one, but kept it attached to the living room TV and wouldn’t let anyone play with it, so it sat there doing nothing. We would go to our cousins who had an Atari 5200, which in my opinion was way superior. Eventually in 1983 my step father put it in my bedroom, which was a walk in closet. Being “in the closet” took on a whole new literal meaning.

That was a decision I bet my parents would regret because I became unhealthily addicted to Pac-Man. Every level was the same exact level, the grid never changed. Here is how the game looked and sounded.

Moving right along…

We moved away from our apartment in 1984 to my aunts house in Simi Valley, and my beloved Atari was put in storage and I never saw it again. My cousins would eventually get a Nintendo Entertainment System, and they were 3 kids who all fought over it, and I wasn’t about to get into that fight because it was THEIR system, not mine. I decided that I didn’t really want to have anything more to do with video games until we were stable, so I didn’t want to play. They invited me to play Popeye, and I tried it once, but I didn’t care to invest my energy because I never knew if/when we would move away and I would have it taken away from me.

We did move away and into trailer parks where I played video games at their consoles in game rooms with quarters. I also had a little digital game that could fit into my pocket called Epoch Man that I enjoyed. I also had a Pac-Man watch with a joystick, so as far as I was concerned, I was set.

When I was 22 years old I got a Sega Game Gear with my 2nd boyfriend. We both bought them and we each had our own games. When he eventually broke up with me and I had to leave my apartment because I lost my job and didn’t even have money for food, I sold it at a pawn shop for a measly $20 for the entire package, including a case, several games and a TV tuner. That’s why I don’t have a picture.

When I was 24 years old I got a Nintendo Game Boy, which I still have with 1 game. We were always too broke for food and cigarettes for me, so every time we needed money, one game had to make a sacrifice, which is probably why I hoard games now lol. The Game Boy in its case along with a external battery that clips on to your belt as well as a cleaner disk is pictured above.

Some time in the early 2000’s, I had a website from a hosting company that gave me the option of selling web hosting to people. People would pay me the full price, and I would make a small profit every month. One of the hosting customers asked me if he could pay me for his hosting by selling me his Nintendo 64, and I said yes because I had always wanted one of those. I had a couple of games, but I did eventually sell it several years ago on eBay because I needed the money. It was fun playing it though.

I had played computer video games on my Apple //e in 1990-1992 when I had to sell that system. The one game I really had was King’s Quest 4 The Perils of Rosella. When I bought my computer in 1997, I found several Sierra game collections and bought them. I also played The Sims in 2000 and then in 2002 I started playing EverQuest and I played that for 6 years until 2008, which brings me to the PlayStation years.

In 2007 I bought a PlayStation Portable, aka PSP. I bought and still have 32 physical game UMD’s, and I don’t even know how many game downloads. I played that game so much that the power button barely turns it on anymore, and when it does turn on, the stick doesn’t work because when I try to go right, my character says “F you! I’m going left.”

In 2015 my partner bought me a PlayStation 4 for Christmas. I had asked for a PlayStation 3 because I thought it would be less expensive, but he insisted that if he was going to buy me a game system, he was going to buy brand new, not used, and it might as well be the most current system. Hey, I’m OK with pre-owned at Game Stop. Then I broke my leg in December 2016 and couldn’t play with my PS4  because I couldn’t sit straight up, so he took me to Game Stop in my wheelchair to buy me a PS Vita, which they had to order for me to be delivered to our house via UPS. I haven’t played with the PS Vita as much as I played with my PSP, but I do still play with it when I am not in my bedroom, which is where I play with my PS4 daily.

So that’s about it. That is my video game history. I have always been a gamer since I was a kid, and I will always be a gamer until the day I die.

By the way, the Atari 2600 you see in the picture above is NOT the same one from my childhood. My partner had that when we met.

Also note that I have also played video games on my smart phones over the years as well as my Nook HD+.