Tag Archives: technology

I’m a fashionable, yet hairy, single Muslim gal

Every now and then I’ll have a period of a couple months where I’ll receive the same ad, everywhere I go. One time Mr. Web thought I was extremely hairy(??!), so he kept offering me mass hair removal products.

I can’t figure out what I’ve said or searched for this time that would be causing me to have nothing but single Muslim dating sites advertised to me for weeks on end. Weeks, I say! I asked a girl at my work who actually is Muslim if she gets these ads, and no, she doesn’t. It’s just me. All day, every day.

(Btw, totally listen to that Kooks song. In fact, I’ll link to it at the bottom of this post so you can listen NOW!)

On occasion I’ll get an ad for Banana Republic skirts I’ve already purchased. I kind of feel like if it’s all-knowing enough to know specifically which skirts I viewed, it should know enough to know that I clicked “add to shopping bag,” and know not to show them to me again and again. And again.

The only thing it gets consistently correct is that I love Back to the Future. For years I’ve had ads trying to sell me BTTF merchandise.

So, according to the Web I’m a fashionable single Muslim girl who loves Back to the Future and is extremely hairy.

As promised:

I love ads. Anyone else have any mystery ads appearing?


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8,000 messages.

Check out my Gmail.

I hate everyone with fewer than 7,911 messages in their inbox. I hate you for being organized and keeping control of your life. Go away.

Check out my work e-mail, which I’ve had about a year and a half. I honestly tried so hard not to have a Gmail repeat with this inbox.

If I work with you and you have fewer than 2,669 e-mails in your inbox, I hate you too. For the reasons specified above.


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Holy heck this is a scary commercial.

I went to listen to my country favorites playlist on YouTube when they hit me this! Even though she has an English accent I hate that little girl!


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The death of bookstores

Thanks to a couple bloggers who both highly recommended the book Still Missing, I ordered it from Amazon.co.uk for £2 ($3 or so) with free shipping. When I opened the door to our apartment building the next day I saw a little brown package sitting on the floor.

“Could it be?” I thought. “No. It’s too soon.”

But a warm light in my heart flickered with excitement at the thought that my book had arrived while I was workin’ hard for my money.

YES!!!! IT’S MY BOOK!!!! I grabbed it and ran up stairs, opened the door and ripped that thing open. Oh, sweet love.

Of course this is one more teeny tiny chip away from the crumbling foundation of physical book stores, and for that I feel I shouldn’t get so excited.

There’s a lot that could be said on this subject.  I don’t really have much to say except that although I truly love going to book stores, especially used book stores, and will be very sad to see them go (Borders!), OMG IT IS SO EXCITING TO GET A PACKAGE IN THE MAIL. [I’m grabbing you by the collar and shaking you as I say that]

Book stores dying would be hard to handle, but I would collapse if I could no longer have a physical book. I like my books! I like to feel the weight of books, feel the pages, smell the paper, think about the previous owners of the book and what they were like, etc.

I have tried reading on a Kindle and I lose interest. A book is an experience. A Kindle is just another piece of electronics to be connected to.

It’s no secret that print publications are having a hard time. Although I love food blogs and websites, nothing will ever take the place of food magazines. I love them, and I’ll always buy them.

And that’s all I have to say about that.


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Follow the rules or go to jail.

When the plane is about to land and the captain tells me to shut off all my electronic devices, I do. Immediately.

And that’s why I’ll never go to jail due to airplane insubordination, like this guy.

What a doofus.


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Things that will never happen to me because I have a crap phone.

Sometimes I see people with a fancy-pants iPhone and I think, “That could be me. I have a good job. There’s really no good reason why I’m still using a phone that cost 99 pence.”

My phone:

But then I see the people with a fancy-pants iPhone cringe and have a mini freak-out when their beloved phone falls out of their hand or pocket and lands on the rocky cement.

Sometimes I see people complaining because they lost their phone. Hundreds of dollars down the toilet.

Speaking of toilets, you know that guy who supposedly got his hand stuck in a train toilet trying to get his phone out? That will never be  me. If my phone falls down a toilet I can say “good riddance,” and then go straight to Carphone Warehouse and buy another one.

One time I lost my phone at the movies and no one stole it. I ran back to the theater and asked the lady if anyone had returned a phone. She asked me what it looked like so I said, “It’s small and crappy.” She was like, “Here you go!” and handed it straight over. What a B.

Sometimes I hear people talk about how their phone broke a day outside of warranty.

Warranty? What warranty? My phone is self-healing. It used to be inflicted with this disease that would cause it to die if it got hit. For example, if I tossed my phone on the bed it would shut off. I got kind of annoyed, but then it healed. Now I can hit it and it doesn’t turn off. I can’t explain this phenomenon, but I’m gonna roll with it.

I’ve now had this phone for more than a year and it’s survived against all odds. It’s been dropped and beaten and it doesn’t even have a scratch or dent.

I think it’s time to break for a song:

I’m a survivor (what),
I’m not gonna give up (what),
I’m not gon’ stop (what),
I’m gonna work harder (what),
I’m a survivor (what),
I’m gonna make it (what),
I will survive (what),
Keep on survivin’ (what),
I’m a survivor (what),
I’m not gonna give up (what),
I’m not gon’ stop (what),
I’m gonna work harder (what),
I’m a survivor (what),
I’m gonna make it (what),
I will survive (what),
Keep on survivin’ (what).


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Adrian got a new friend this week.

Every day since then he’s asked me if I’d played around with it yet. No. I just can’t get too excited about it! It’s cool, but I don’t have a burning desire for it so I kind of forget it’s there. I’m sure I won’t be saying that when I go home this summer because it seems like the perfect 9-hour flight companion!

I also had some fun in the kitchen. When I was younger I used to love going to Pampered Chef parties because they’d always have free food. For some reason I went a couple that had cool veggie pizzas and I absolutely loved them because they’re so good, light and refreshing. I’ve never made one myself until this weekend and I’m so glad I did. I always thought it seemed complicated, but I didn’t even need a recipe! I’ve already made two.

Eventually I’ll make my own pizza base, but for now I used the one you bake for 10 minutes and it’s ready. I mixed a heaping tablespoon of mayo with about 3/4 cup of cream cheese. Brits aren’t too big on Ranch, which I knew was generally a key ingredient in this mix. I Googled a recipe for Ranch seasoning, hoping it was something I could make myself and turns out it’s dead easy. Just a few shakes of garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, parsley, dill, salt and pepper. I have to admit I did a little jump of excitement when I tasted it.

I shredded a large carrot, sliced about 4 green onions and diced 1/4 of a medium cucumber. In all It made a little more than a cup of vegetables to spread on top. I had also bought fresh broccoli for the occasion, but I didn’t remember it until I was eating. To be honest I think I’d just skip the broccoli next time. Why mess with what’s perfect?


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I hate Photoshop.

I want to be a little kid again. If your toy sucks you can break it, or just throw it in the toy trunk and never play with it again. When you’re an adult your “toys” cost hundreds or thousands of dollars, so breaking them would feel worse than the original anger. Besides, it’s too much work to go outside and get a large stick to stab through your computer.

Instead, you have to sit there while a very dense ball of anger builds inside you, kind of like a neutron star of hate.

Photoshop is a butthole. It’s capable of stunning things, yet all I could do was produce this piece of crap after an hour’s work trying to create a new header for my little blog.

Maybe I don’t hate Photoshop. Maybe I just hate myself for never learning this before now.

Why, oh, why can’t it be the future already so I can just download information straight into my brain?


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The Skype family photo album

As I mentioned in my last post, I Skype with my family a lot and have spent all of my holidays the past couple years staring into a webcam. I always take a lot of snapshots while we’re talking, but it wasn’t until this weekend that I looked through the folder saved on my hard drive. I’m not sure why, I just never looked at them.

I’m glad I took all of them, but it made me sad!  I found pictures of poor Boo, who recently joined Star Clan. (Star Clan is a term from the Warriors series of books about different clans of cats who live in the forest and fight each other. When the cats die they join Star Clan.)

This is one of my favorite pictures I found, from a random Sunday chat:

What family photo album is complete without an ugly snapshot of me?

I have no idea why that one was so huge, and little baby Harris here is so tiny. Oh well.


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Easter Sunday abroad

Easter Sunday went down in history like every other holiday has for the past three years of living in England – Skype with the family while I eat a non-traditional meal by myself. At thanksgiving it was canned spinach and something else, and this weekend it was twice-baked southwestern sweet potatoes. No chocolate bunnies or peeps. 😦

And here are snapshots of my grandma with her colored eggs and chocolate angel food peepcake she makes every year.

Oh, were you thinking I was going to talk about all the fun ways in which English people celebrate Easter? Sorry, I think it’s the same. Except coloring Easter eggs is a lot harder because all of the eggs are brown. We managed last year, but they ended up getting a little immature and maybe obscene. (But then again, we were coloring eggs so I think it’s OK to be immature.)

Also, us Brits (real ones and immigrants like me)  got Friday AND Monday off work for the Easter holiday, so I guess that’s cool.

There’s also another four-day weekend next weekend. Friday is for The Royal Wedding, and Monday is one of the random “bank” holidays England sometimes has.  You’re jealous, aren’t you? You’re jealous of my Easter eggs, and you’re jealous of all my holidays. 23 days plus all national holidays! It makes up a tiny bit for spending all my holidays on Skype.

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I’m going from desk to 5K!

Here’s a picture of me at my job, and chances are this is what you look like too.

No offence to my job, it’s a good job. But any job where you spend 8 hours a day staring at a computer screen will lend itself to physical atrophy. After my first full year of life in the real world I didn’t feel the excitement I thought I’d feel. For making it through the year I was awarded a very nice pen with my initials engraved on it, but all I could think was, “This is all I have to show for a year post-college? A pen?” Sure, the pen is nice and it’s great to be recognized. But my problem isn’t with the pen. The pen was just a reminder of the fact that I spent the whole year learning nothing on my own.

The workforce is full of people who graduate, start working, and then just let life happen to them for the rest of their career. You see people who have been working for 20 years and they are completely dead inside. I always said that was NOT going to be me, so I worked really hard and enthusiastically last year. I did the best I could do and I ended up being the top performer for the year, but I was still really disappointed and I couldn’t figure out why. Now I know it’s because I worked really hard for the company but I didn’t do one thing to better myself.

In addition to still trying my best at work I’ve been involved with several objectives for self-betterment:

1) I’ve been teaching myself HTML and CSS, and I finally learned how to change the CSS (colors, fonts, etc.) on my blog. There will be changes happening in the next few months! I have a cool new blog name and have purchased the URL, so I just need to wait until I’m confident enough in my skills to possibly self-host my blog and get a new theme which I can CSS the heck out of.

2) I bought Adobe CS5, and I believe this will go hand-in-hand with my developing Web skills because I’ll be using Photoshop, Dreamweaver and eventually learning Flash. I also recently got a new camera, so now I’ll be able to edit my photos!

3) My body was wasting away so I’ve decided to try the Couch to 5K program. I prefer to call it the Desk to 5K program, because most of my time is spent at my desk at work rather than on my comfy couch playing Fable II. Basically the Couch to 5K program slowly but surely builds you up to being able to run a 5K, which I plan to do this summer. I’m on week 2, woo hoo! I’ll let you all know how it works out, but so far I’m really happy with it.

4) I’ve worked hard at changing my diet so I’ll feel better, and it’s working!  I’m eating almost no processed foods or meat now. For example, there is a trend going around of making “green monster” smoothies, so today I decided to make a green monster salad.

I’ll sign off with pictures of the fresh organic spinach salad with avocado, sauteed asparagus and a light lemon/olive oil dressing. The warm asparagus tasted so nice on top of the cool avocado and spinach. Yum!


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Today Show in Jan 1994 – What is the Internet??

I don’t remember what life was like before the Internet. We’ve had a computer since I was about 7, and Internet not long after.

I’ve always wondered what it must be like for people who were adults when the Internet came around, and now I know:

You know what else I don’t remember? Life before TV remote controls. Some Brits (who are roughly my age)  in my office were talking about how they remember the days when they had to get up and switch the TV manually.

I had a really confused face, because I thought this stopped happening in like 1965. This was something I only saw in black and white TV shows. Then I remembered I’d heard Brits didn’t get more than four TV channels* until around the early to mid 90s, and they confirmed this was true. Yes, you read me right. Four channels. Mid 90s. Man I had a giggle fit.

Don’t worry – they have channels now! (and remotes)

* Adrian said: “Could you put in there that although we only had 4 channels they were packed full of quality programs (programmes), like Only Fools and Horses, Monty Python, Blackadder, Keeping Up Appearances, Red Dwarf, etc. They’ve stood the test of time.”


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Is it Possible to Murder Your Twitter Bird?

For a long time I didn’t think people actually used Twitter for anything other than saying they had a Twitter.

It seemed like over night every company had a “Follow us on Twitter!” Naturally I assumed they had Twitter only because they wanted to try to seem cool so they all jumped on the bandwagon and signed up, but what could they possibly have to say that anyone cared about? Even so, I did the same thing. I signed up for a Twitter and began vigorously updating. That lasted for about 5 posts.

My last update:

wondering if I will die from Swine Flu next year. 12:13 AM Jul 30th, 2009 via web

I didn’t die, but this God-awful thing happened:

Due to severe neglect, my Twitter bird starved to death and his eyes were tweeted out by other hungry Twitter birds.

For the past year I have been receiving e-mails telling me that various porn stars/sex sites/random spam is now following me, so that made me feel popular, but not popular enough to log in again. I tortured my Twitter bird with the possibility of a log-in, but it happened a year too late.

Psych! I did torture him by not logging in for a year, but the picture you see above is purely fictitious. My bird saved all of my details despite my not having logged in for more than a year! Everyone is safe and I can resume tweeting.

Twitter even retained a checklist of things I still need to do, including connecting my phone to my account so I can update from anywhere! Ha. Good luck connecting Alcatel. I can hardly get Alcatel to stay turned on for too many hours in a row before it decides it wants to turn off on its own accord. Some people might call that a crap phone. I call it artificial intelligence. He’s had enough so he turns off. Being a cell phone is hard work, you know, with answering all the calls and texts that no one makes to my phone. He gets tired.

I might give Twitter a third try, but I think having a cell phone to update is pretty much essential to Twitterific posts so my bird my “die” again.

So … follow me on Twitter? www.twitter.com/sarakuhlman


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iPhone vs myPhone

The new iPhone has just been released and people are chattering about it, blah, blah, whatever. I recently got a new phone and every time someone mentions their stupid iPhone, I pipe up with details on my new phone. Meet Alcatel:

He boasts a stunning 99 pence price tag (not even a full pound as tax is included, and for you Americans that’s about $1.60) and comes with headphones for FM radio. You heard me correctly – 99p for a cell phone. It’s pay as you go, so I’m saving even more money by not having a contract. Since no one ever calls me and I don’t really have anyone to call, I rarely need to top up.

During a discussion at work about cell phones, one of my managers (not Rob because he’s got the fancy iPhone; see below) was talking about how he doesn’t understand why people waste tons of money and time waiting in line for a stupid phone. I got really excited because it was a perfect segue for me to introduce them to Alcatel.

He was impressed. I believe his direct words were “Sara, I’m proud of you. You’re keeping it real.”

Another one of my other managers picked up my phone and said: “Is this real?”

Rob said he was slightly jealous of Alcatel because his iPhone doesn’t have FM radio. He wasn’t joking or making fun of me either. I could clearly see that Alcatel with it’s built in FM radio and free headphones had planted little seeds of doubt on his major purchase.

If you aren’t enticed by the extra hundreds of pounds/dollars in your pocket, FM radio, free headphones, games, color screen, no need for cell phone insurance, etc., then at the very least it is a fabulous conversation starter.

Alcatel vs iPhone:


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