next_to_normal: (Chris perplexed face)
Remember when I took Chelsea to the vet and they told me she needed dental work? Well, a week or so after that, one of her teeth fell out, so I went ahead and scheduled the darn thing, which was yesterday. And all the dental stuff went as expected, but the vet ALSO was like, "Oh, by the way, Chelsea has fleas and a tapeworm."


My immediate thought was to blame my parents and the literal COLONY of stray cats they are feeding - seriously, there are like NINE of them now - since I took Chelsea home with me for Thanksgiving. I mean, she's NEVER had fleas before, she didn't have fleas in the beginning of November when she went to the vet the first time, and now, conveniently, after a trip home, she does? She didn't directly interact with the stray cats, but a couple of them will let my mom pet them, and they'll rub against her leg and will come inside, even if they don't come in further than the welcome mat at the door. That's still enough to bring fleas into the house where they could've jumped on Chelsea. 

So they treated her with Capstar while she was at the vet and also gave her something for the tapeworm, and I spent all friggin' day today washing and vacuuming everything in my apartment. 

But then I started thinking? And I'm starting to wonder, like, did they possibly MIX UP THE CATS or something, because Chelsea does not seem to have fleas! I know "indoor cat flea denial" is a whole thing, but stick with me here...

For one thing, from reading online, it seems like when your pet has fleas, it's fairly noticeable? But there's been NOTHING to suggest it here. If I hadn't taken Chelsea to the vet, I would NEVER have guessed she had fleas. She hadn't been scratching, and I wasn't specifically looking for fleas or flea dirt, but I didn't notice anything on her, nor had I seen any bugs in the apartment that might've been fleas or any evidence of them, like flea dirt on the blankets where she spends a lot of time. (Granted, she is a mostly black cat, which makes it harder to spot, but my comforter is white, her favorite blanket is pale blue, and my sofa is beige, so you'd think I'd spot something there, right?)

Anyway, if that were it, I'd probably accept it. Maybe she just didn't have the fleas long enough for it to be noticeable. If she DID get them from the strays at Thanksgiving, it would've been less than a week. But then there's also what the vet said to me. He called me three times on Friday - the first during the procedure, because I asked them to call before they extracted any teeth. We discussed the dental stuff, and not a word about the fleas. I suppose it's possible at that point they hadn't spotted them yet?

The vet called me a second time after the procedure was over to let me know how everything went. Again, all talk about the dental. THEN he called a third time to be like, "Oh, by the way, I forgot to mention she has fleas." Unfortunately, at that point I'd stepped away from my desk, so he left a voice mail, otherwise I might've thought of these questions sooner. 

But in the voice mail, he said they noticed flea dirt on her, then saw a live flea. Later, when I picked her up, the vet tech told me that after they gave her Capstar, they combed dead fleas off her. I really wish I had thought to ask HOW MANY fleas they combed off. I don't need an exact number or anything, but like, is this a mild case, or were there a lot? The vet tech kind of made it sound like there were a lot, which doesn't really fit with my not noticing ANYTHING, so it would be another sign to me that they were looking at a different cat, lol.

The vet also said in the voice mail that they apparently diagnosed the tapeworm based on a fecal test, and THAT'S the part where I get really skeptical. Because they never charged me for a fecal test. There's no reason for them to have done a fecal test for a dental procedure. I suppose it's possible she just happened to poop while she was there, and maybe if she happened to poop after they found the fleas, they decided to check for tapeworms, but I'm SURE they wouldn't test it for free

Anyway, after a pretty thorough cleaning of the house, I STILL didn't find any evidence of fleas (neither did my parents, btw). And now I'm starting to wonder, like, are we sure it was Chelsea they found the fleas on, and not some other cat who was in for a procedure, and maybe they got the records mixed up? The afterthought phone call, the mystery fecal test... I don't know, it just seems bizarre, especially combined with zero sign of fleas. Or am I just in denial?

They did say that she'll poop out the tapeworm, so I guess I'll see it if she really had one? Otherwise, the only thing to do is wait and see if I didn't clean thoroughly enough and some fleas actually show up. 

(I should note that I am also somewhat sensitive to vet mix-ups, given that once my mother took Patches to the vet, and when she went to pick her up, they tried to give her THE WRONG CAT, and my mom looked in the carrier and was like, "UM THAT IS NOT PATCHES."  So we were actually joking about "make sure you check that it's really Chelsea before you leave!" Plus, the first time the vet called me, he was mixed-up enough that he thought MY NAME was Chelsea, not the cat, so...)

So what do you think, people who have experience with cats? Which is more likely? Is it possible for a cat to have enough fleas that it's noticeable to a vet who is looking at her for a completely different medical issue, but I as the cat's owner didn't notice a thing, and still can't find anything even when specifically looking for fleas? If I can't find any evidence whatsoever of fleas, does that mean we're clean, or should I be anticipating an outbreak in a few weeks or months or whatever?
next_to_normal: (Hardison geek)
In which I solicit technology advice before purchasing something. \o/

I am fed up with my laptop. It's becoming more and more of a pain. The battery (the second one, btw) gave up the ghost a while back, so it needs to be plugged in all the time, defeating the primary purpose of a laptop. Now it seems to overheat at the slightest provocation, and crashed about 10 times while trying to stream Orange is the New Black this weekend (I only made it through 6 eps, so nobody spoil me!). Also, the letters have worn off some of the keys, so it's a good thing I learned touch-typing in school.

The question this time is... do I want another laptop, or do I want a tablet? I figure that another laptop is probably best suited for my needs, but my mother keeps suggesting why not a netbook or a tablet instead (not that she would know, having never used either on a regular basis). So, you know, something to consider.

Reasons I do not need a tablet:
  1. I already have a Kindle Fire, though I only really use it for reading books, because I don't want to pay for 3G on the Kindle, so I am reliant on wireless hotspots for internet access.
  2. Now that I also have a 4G smartphone, that generally takes care of all my internet-on-the-go needs, so a tablet would seem to be redundant.
  3. Obviously, because of power cord issues, my laptop has been rather stationary of late, but even before that, I rarely used it outside of the house. Even when I travel with it, I rarely use it outside of my hotel room. So it's not like I need something especially light to carry everywhere.
  4. Currently, I use my laptop primarily for web browsing, email, streaming video, icon-making, and hard drive storage, because I have not yet migrated to the cloud. If I did want something more portable, I technically could do all of that, except the storage and icon-making, on the Kindle.
  5. However, I have no idea how well I would be able to make icons on a tablet. I'd definitely need some kind of wireless mouse and/or keyboard, because I imagine doing graphics with just a touchscreen would be a pain in the ass.

Reasons I kind of want a tablet:
  1. The Kindle Fire was supposed to be a compromise - without the full capabilities of a tablet, but a lot cheaper - so it has the reflective touch screen like a tablet. But it turns out the only thing I use it for is reading, and that's like the one thing the screen is NOT good for. I kind of wish I had just gotten a tablet + a Kindle Paperwhite (optimal for reading) rather than the Fire. (Then again, I already have the Fire, so I'm not sure how this ended up in the "pro-tablet" section, since it involves me buying two new things I don't need to replace the one I don't really use.)
  2. To be fair, though, I would probably use a tablet more than I currently use the Kindle, especially if it is meant to replace my laptop.
  3. I am apparently getting a laptop through work, because I travel a fair amount now. Obviously, I am limited in how much personal stuff I can do on the work computer, so it can't be my only computer, but work laptop + personal tablet might be better than having two laptops.

I also briefly considered the idea of getting a desktop, since they're cheaper and you get more processing power than a laptop, but I don't really have any place to put a desktop in my apartment. (I typically use my laptop at the kitchen table or sitting on the sofa, neither of which is a particularly good permanent home for a computer.)

So... laptop. Maybe. Probably.

Either way, I also need to investigate cloud storage options for things like my iTunes collection and all the icons I've made. I have a tendency to keep a shit-ton of unnecessary stuff on my laptop, which is probably one of the reasons why it runs slow. I couldn't keep all of that on a tablet, which would force me to do something about it, but there's no reason I can't do that now with the laptop, except that I'm lazy and fear new things.

Thoughts? Advice? How do you manage your technological devices and digital... stuff?


Jul. 27th, 2013 01:44 pm
next_to_normal: (Cordy WTF)
So, I just noticed that some images on my journal linked from Photobucket randomly don't show up when I view the page in Forefox. Namely, ICONS. Which, as an icon-maker, is kind of important to me?

THIS POST, for example, is missing #s 3, 36, 74, and 98 when I view it in Firefox. THIS POST is missing #s 30, 41, 54, 58, 68, 97, 99, 108, and 110. They both look fine in IE, though, so IDK what the deal is.


1. Are you viewing my journal in Firefox? Can you see those icons?
2. Are you using a browser other than Firefox or IE? Can you see those icons?
3. Anyone else who uses Photobucket to host their images having this problem? What browser?

next_to_normal: (Heidi thinky)
My mother has decided that it's time for all of us to upgrade our cell phones (and possibly our service plan), so while they were here this weekend, we started looking at options and were immediately overwhelmed.

1. Apparently we are all getting smartphones? I currently have the LG EnV Touch, but the touch-screen is really temperamental and it's so slow that it's mostly useless except for checking email and the occasional simple web search. My parents both have non-smartphones (dumb phones?) without touch-screens. So I would like a better phone that can do ALL THE THINGS, whereas my parents are probably fine without all the bells and whistles, but they both think they want smartphones for some reason.

Thoughts or suggestions for brands/models you like? Keeping in mind that we're trying to keep them within a reasonable price range (so... probably no iPhone). Any features I absolutely need? Or phones that are good for Luddite parents?

2. We have had Verizon Wireless for as long as we've had cell phones, I think, but my dad hates Verizon because they get terrible cell service in their house, and my mom wants a cheaper plan (even though they are going to have to add data plans with their new smartphones). We currently have a family plan for the three of us, and from what I could tell, it seems like it's not going to be any cheaper to switch to another carrier, unless we go to one of the no-contract prepaid plans. I'm assuming it's still cheaper to stay on the family plan, rather than get my own, but I'm open to options.

Recommendations? Anybody who actually LIKES their cell phone provider? Or has any experience with those prepaid plans?
next_to_normal: (Tony/Steve parallels)
So, Comixology has a ton of free issues for download, and I've been meaning to check out some of the Marvel comics. Assuming the website works long enough for me to use it (they seem to be rather overwhelmed by the traffic), anyone have any recs?

Also, Ramin Karimloo is coming to Alexandria on tour. I think I might want to go... I did just buy tickets for The Last Five Years, though... Why can't I just have ALL THE MONEY? :(
next_to_normal: (tardis)
Parents were here again this weekend, and my mom and I started talking about where to go for a summer vacation (Dad of course has no interest). She has 23 vacation days that she has to use this year or she loses them, and I desperately need a vacation before I snap and stab my boss with a pencil or something. However, since I am in the "close to broke" tax bracket, we need something kinda cheap.

My mom suggested we drive somewhere, but having spent my entire life driving up and down the East Coast, I feel like we've sort of done everything within a reasonable distance? We could always go back to Virginia Beach or the Outer Banks, but I'd be going just to go somewhere, not because I really want to go to the beach.

It's possible we could get cheap airfare somewhere and expand our radius, but then I'm overwhelmed with choices, lol. Well, international airfare is still pretty expensive, so that at least narrows it down.

Any thoughts on good off-season destinations for July, oh flist?
next_to_normal: (piano kitty)
As I mentioned, my parents came to visit on Saturday and stayed through Monday in what turned out to be a rather eventful weekend.

Read more... )


Jul. 26th, 2011 07:29 pm
next_to_normal: (dancing Damon)
Anybody here ever tried Zumba Fitness? If so, is it any good? I seem to have acquired a seven-DVD set (my job has weird perks) and I am curious. It seems up my alley, as I do enjoy dancing around my apartment to music. I probably won't get a chance to try it out until after the big move, not least of which because all the boxes in my living room could be hazardous.
next_to_normal: (spike huh)
Has anyone else noticed that Photobucket now has an incredibly annoying pop-up that asks you if you want to share your pictures? I get it every time I upload a picture AND every time I edit one, which makes picspam preparation unnecessarily frustrating. I've looked at my account settings, but I don't see a way to make it stop. Anyone know how to turn it off??
next_to_normal: (Disney hair)
Hey, if Lauren's hair can have its own tag, I think mine deserves at least its own post, lol.

My dad's advice: Wear a hat )
next_to_normal: (spike huh)
Okay, so y'all know how LJ has that nifty journal statistics/My Guests thing? Well, in DW's account settings, there is an option for whether or not to include yourself in your journal statistics, which naturally would imply that DW HAS journal statistics, which I am assuming would be similar to LJ's.

But for the life of me, I can't find them - there are no options on the home page to view statistics, and searching the FAQ for "statistics" turns up nothing. Are they not up and running yet? Is the option just there to tease me? Or am I dumb and not looking in the right place?
next_to_normal: (Ahhhhh)
So, today I got the big "your paid account will expire in 5 days" email from LJ. *flails*

I am very much not regretting leaving LJ, nor do I anticipate ever moving back there full-time. However, I did want to keep my journal there for posterity or whatever, and so I am trying to sort out what will happen to my paid features once it expires. Anyone who has reverted back to a basic account from a paid one, I would appreciate it if you'd chime in with your knowledge. :)

1. Userpics - If I understand correctly, I can either manually delete the ones I don't want, or leave it to chance and all but my 15 most recently used userpics will go bye-bye (I'm also letting my extra icon packages expire). However, the keyword thing still works, right? So if one gets deleted and I decide later I want it back, it'll reappear on the posts that have that icon keyword, is that how it works?

2. ScrapBook Photo Hosting - I paid the price for being lazy on this one. I'd been uploading a lot of my pics to ScrapBook instead of taking the extra step and putting them on Photobucket, which means that they'll all be deleted when the account expires. I spent one whole evening uploading everything to Photobucket and replacing the links. (Unfortunately, I forgot to change the "link to" link, so while the pictures should still appear where they're supposed to, you won't be able to click to view them at Photobucket, lol. Oh, well, y'all will just have to live with that.) I think I got everything, but if you're ever browsing my LJ for whatever reason and you see a missing graphic, let me know and I'll fix the link.

3. Journal Style and Customization - Obviously, I'm using a custom layout. My understanding is that it'll stay up as long as I don't make any changes to it... which isn't likely to happen, so everything should stay as is. I think. Reassurance on this one would be appreciated, lol.

4. Polls - What will happen to my polls when the account expires? Is it like the icons, and they'll disappear, or is it like the layout, where it will stay until I try to edit the post or something? (Unfortunately, importing to DW won't save them, because those entries just link back to the LJ entry instead of displaying the poll.)

5. Custom Mood Theme - Again, what will happen to the custom mood theme I'm currently using? I'm assuming the ones I've uploaded but am NOT using will disappear.

The polls are the thing I'm most concerned about, since that's actual post content potentially being lost, but then again, it's not like I'm a polling fiend like [personal profile] gabrielleabelle or anything, so it's not enough of a loss to want to pay $20 just to save a handful of polls. In a perfect world, of course, I'd like to have more icons and a custom mood theme, but they're just nice personalized touches that I don't need on a secondary account.

I'm kinda "meh" about having ads again. I bought a paid account so quickly (only a couple weeks after I opened the journal) that I don't even remember having ads, but hopefully, I won't be on LJ enough for it to bother me.

Anything else I've forgotten?
next_to_normal: (Amy confused)
When did the term "privilege" (with respect to *isms) come into popular use? I personally first heard it on the internet through BtVS fandom, so less than 3 years ago (and have never heard anyone use it in real life), but y'know, I'm slow. Anyone know when it started being used?

The reason I ask is because I'm reading this article for class, which is basically about how white privilege and economic privilege make certain groups "politically invisible," except it never actually uses the word "privilege," and I'm sure it was written way before that became common terminology, but it made me curious as to when that actually happened.
next_to_normal: (confusion)
Okay, so a while back, I reorganized all my tags. I felt very accomplished, and just a little OCD.

I just imported my LJ to Dreamwidth for the first time since the Great Reorganization, and I noticed that it didn't change the tags on the previously-imported entries. It just uploaded all the new tags, but has them all with 0 entries. Is there any way to fix that that doesn't involve individually retagging things?
next_to_normal: (Default)
Well, I took a trip to the Sony Style store and Best Buy today, so I could see the laptops in person and get a hands-on feel for them. It was pretty helpful - and I know there are a few people following along with these posts thinking about buying for themselves, so I'll say definitely go to a store before you buy anything and make sure you're comfortable with the look and feel of the laptop. I was able to narrow things down considerably (although I also introduced some new options to replace them, lol).

I ruled out the 15+" screen as too big and heavy. One of the reasons this laptop is basically a glorified desktop is because it's huge (17") and I hate lugging it around anywhere. So I think I'm going to stick with the 14". There was a noticeable difference even with one inch.

I also ruled out the Toshibas entirely. I though the layout of the keyboard/mouse was a little awkward and it was really hard to click the mouse. I was much more comfortable with the Sony. Also, the Toshibas are rather ugly in person, lol. The Sonys didn't look quite as nice in person as they did in the pictures, but it wasn't as bad.

While I was looking around, I spotted a Samsung, which I hadn't considered yet because nobody had really mentioned them one way or the other. So here's the specs of that.

Read more... )
next_to_normal: (Jim headdesk)
Yeah, more computer stuff. Ignore me if you wish. It's mostly for my own benefit, because it helps to keep track of everything if I can post it all in one place, rather than searching through the different websites looking for the model I saw before to compare it with the other model I saw somewhere else.

Anyway, on my previous posts, a couple people suggested that 5400rpm wasn't enough, and I'd be better off with 7200. I mentioned it to my mom, who asked her IT person, which set off what I like to call the IT Rumble. Because my mom's IT person said the exact opposite of my dad's IT person. SHE said don't get a Toshiba, and vouched for the Sony. I'm starting to think this is much like the PC/Mac debate. There is no "better," there's just personal preference. Of course, I don't actually have a preference, outside of "I want something that WORKS," which leads to all sorts of silly things like trying to be objective.

That's not really the point, though. The point is that she also confirmed the "speed is important" thing, and considering that speed is a major problem with my current computer,  I figured I should at least look at the 7200rpm, even though it's way more expensive.

Read more... )
next_to_normal: (Default)
You know, when I woke up this morning, I thought, "Hey, today's a good day to spam my flist with computer specs." No, really, I didn't. Sorry. BUT:

Satellite M500-ST6444 ($655.00)
  • Intel® Core™ i3-330M Processor 2.13 GHz, 3MB L3 Cache, 1066MHz DDR3
  • Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium 64-bit
  • 3GB DDR3 1066MHz SDRAM (2048MB+1024MB)
  • 250GB HDD (5400rpm, Serial-ATA)
  • Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator HD
  • DVD SuperMulti (+/-R double layer) drive
  • Customizable, so if I want more of any of these things, I can get them.
Maybe? I don't know. I read some scary things about the Sonys and now I am a quivering ball of indecision. Seriously, it's worse than trying to ask a guy out on a date. Because dates don't cost you $700 and imply a minimum 2 year commitment.
next_to_normal: (James rar!)
So, I was all settled on the Sony Vaio, and then my doofus dad emails me saying, "Talked with our tech guru and he would not recommend Sony laptops. He said they are not as reliable as their reputation has been in the past. He fixes computers (he's the one who got your Apple going the first time) and said parts are much more for similar components. He suggested looking at Toshibas. They apparently are giving a better warranty and a much better price for the same features."

SOOOOO, anyone have any opinions on Toshibas? They seem to have dozens of models, but I just picked a few for comparison's sake.

Read more... )
next_to_normal: (Default)
I'm looking at the Sony Vaio, and I have two options:

Read more... )

I give up

Apr. 13th, 2010 08:49 pm
next_to_normal: Spike looking frustrated; text: goddammit (goddammit)
I have hated my computer pretty much since I got it, but I refused to get a new one because I was determined to get my money's worth. Well, it's been two and a half years, and I frickin' give up. The battery's just died, so I'd have to replace that anyway, it's unbearably slow, it crashes three times a day, and now IT WON'T STOP BEEPING AT ME.

Oh well. It's only money, right? :\

So, oh wise flist, what computer should I buy, and why?

(And if anyone says Dell, I will personally skewer you with a pencil.)
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