Tag Archives: technology

Visiting the LeMay Car Museum

Cars are an important part of American culture. From songs like Bitchin’ Camero and Little Red Corvette (and that’s just the 80s), cars are front and center in our lives.


That’s why visiting the LeMay Car Museum in Tacoma, Washington was fun for my parents, husband, and myself–There’s something for everyone.

LeMay Museum

Harold LeMay amassed the world’s largest private car collection and captured the evolution of the American car. He had examples from the Ford Model T to Tuckers and Packards.


LeMay collected American cars mostly, but also foreign automobiles…


…and even motorcycles.


I never really thought about how car trunks used to literally be trunks strapped to the back of a car.


I’m glad tire technology has evolved. Stamping the words non skid onto the tread isn’t that effective!

non skid

The collection is stunning, and so is the building the cars are housed in.

car row

With six ramps and four floors of cars, it took us a while to go through it all.


My mom liked the swingin’ 60s exhibit that tied the cars and clothes of London together.

60s fashion

This Sunbeam exemplifies that era.


My Dad liked the tie-in with the music of his generation.

60s music

My husband liked anything fast!

red fin

I liked this original Mini Cooper.


The museum houses about 350 cars–only 10% of what LeMay collected (the rest of the collection is still in the family and is in the process of being donated to the museum). In addition to the vehicles, there are interactive displays, a mini RC racetrack, theater, restaurant and gift shop. throughout the year, you’ll find lectures, classes and car shows.

If you’re in the area, I hope you check it out!


Filed under Art, Events, Fashion, Technology

Answering the Call

What comes around goes around. Look at the nifty new phone receiver I bought for my smartphone.

phone receiver

I love technology, but I get nostalgic sometimes. As I kid, my parents had a large, wall-mounted rotary phone in the kitchen. As a teen, we had a desk phone–complete with push buttons. The Princess phone in my room when I was a teen was much slimmer shape. When I first moved on my own I had a “modern,” sleek desk phone with a square receiver.

I still couldn’t afford the “brick” cell phones that were hitting the market. By the time the flip phone was introduced cell phones were more affordable–but I went for the cheaper “candy bar” style.

Now I carry a computer in my pocket. And while I love the convenience of GPS, Internet and email access, and the ability to tweet from anywhere, I miss the comfort of old skool phones. They were made with design and functionality in mind.

cell phone with old school receiver

When I plugged this into my HTC and put this receiver up to my ear, a lifetime of happy telephone memories came flooding back to me. The receiver lined up with my mouth so my callers could hear me clearly. It felt right in my hand. I didn’t accidentally hang up on people. The lip around the edge of my cell phone (created by the protective case) is uncomfortable. The receiver cupped my ear gently.

Of course I still make quick calls on the phone without the receiver. And I have an earbud for hands-free talking. But when I sit down for a long conversation when I dial up mom, this is my new go-to accessory.


Filed under Technology



Me too! And that’s why I pried mine off my keyboard and have plans to turn it into a brooch. And no, it’s not polite to press people’s buttons. So don’t touch my brooch.

caps lock key

My solution might not be elegant, but it does raise a good question: Is there a need for caps lock anymore? If I want to type one or two capital letters, I simply hold down the Shift key. If I want to type a whole sentence in caps lock I first ask myself if it’s really necessary. If it is, I’ll usually highlight the words and change the font to “All caps.” That way, I’m free to change it back when I realize that the written equivalent of yelling at someone isn’t a good move.

Do to this in Word, highlight the words, right-click, and choose Font. In the Font dialog box, check the box next to “All caps.”

caps lock

Recently, I found a few tech blogs where people were testing keyboard prototypes that didn’t have a Caps Lock key. That’s promising. I’ve seen smart phones that have a handy “.com” key on the touch keyboard. Nice!

There’s a way to remap a keyboard and switch the keys internally. Some people switch the Ctrl key and the Caps Lock key (thinking that pressing the Ctrl key accidentally doesn’t inflict as much damage. Or perhaps the remapping crowd uses Ctrl more).

Hat’s off to those of you who dare to remap your keyboards. I know I’d mess that up so I won’t even try.

What key would you prefer to have at the disposal of your left pinky? June 28th and October 22nd are International Caps Lock Days. How will you celebrate? Care to pry off a key with me this year?

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Filed under DIY, Technology

Windows 7 Takes Fashion World by Storm

Okay, maybe not exactly. Unless if by “Windows 7” I mean “Jean” and by “fashion world” I mean “her closet.”

I took a little trip to Goodwill this weekend and decided to get creative. I found a cute blazer from Canadian Chain, Smart Set, and snapped it up for $8.99 (partially out of a sense of nostalgia and partially because it really is a versatile blazer). Then I found a cream-colored cable-knit sweater for my pillow project. And then, I hit the jackpot: a black men’s XXXL (yes, that’s four x’s) t-shirt. Someone out there didn’t appreciate his Windows 7 t-shirt (obviously company swag acquired in a giveaway promotion-type thing). Well, it set me back $1.99. And now it’s a skirt. You can see how well it goes with my new blazer.

Windows 7 skirt

Blazer: Smart Set (via Goodwill)
Skirt: Former t-shirt (via Goodwill)
Necklace: Fremont Sunday Market street vendor
Boots: Liz & Co.

Here’s how I did it. First, I washed the thing thoroughly! Then, I cut off the sleeves, sides, and neck so I had two giant squares of fabric. I re-sewed the pieces together (along one side) and sewed a 2″ wide elastic band to the top (as an exposed waistband). I stitched the second side closed and left a slit in the bottom. The shirt was the right length so I kept the bottom hem as-is, but you could cut and hem it to any length you want.

I’m a lousy tailor so this (as with all my projects) gets an E for easy. If it were difficult, I wouldn’t have succeeded. I also don’t use patterns (a possible explanation as to why I’m no good with a sewing machine) so I had no idea how this would turn out. I was picturing something more A-line and flouncy, but I suppose that would require more fabric. I was pleasantly surprised to end up with a pencil skirt. I liked the nerdy, high-tech connection, so that’s why I chose a Windows logo, but you could do the same thing with a sports jersey, a t-shirt advertising a good cause, or your even favorite brew.


Filed under Crafts, DIY, Fashion, Technology

Tech Talk: USBracelet

At work, I often need to move or copy files and I don’t always have a thumb drive handy. Sure I can email files to myself or print documents, but now there’s a better way. With my new USB Bracelet (never the one to shy away from a portmanteau, I like to call it a USBracelet) I now have 4GB of storage wherever I go!

USB bracelet

I saw this on Amazon and thought I’d give it a try. I really like it. I feel kind of like 007. It’s a plain black rubber band that hides a USB thumb drive. The drive connects to itself – that’s how it clasps onto my wrist. It comes in a variety of colors but I bought black because, well, black “goes with everything.”

My only complaint is that since it’s made of rubber, it’s slightly “sticky” and attracts a bit of lint. But it wipes clean very easily. I’ll have to be careful not to accidentally put it under the tap when I’m washing my hands. I have a sneaky suspicion that this isn’t waterproof.

I thought: wouldn’t this be a fantastic medical alert bracelet? All your medical information could be stored on the USB! Well, apparently that idea has already been thought of. You can buy one here.

My USBracelet is plain, but not unlike other plain plastic watch bands I’ve seen. Come to think of it, that’s the only way this could be better – if a digital watch face was incorporated into the design. And the watch battery could recharge every time the USB is plugged into a PC. There’s a million dollar idea! What do you think? Geek chic or tacky tech? If you had one, would you customize it? Maybe bedazzle it with crystals or wrap it with fabric?

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Filed under Fashion, Technology