Episode 70: What’s Your Desktop Background?

Currently, my work desktop background is one of the pictures that I took on my London trip last April. It’s a pretty picture and I’ve stretched it across my two monitors using DisplayFusion (free software, hooray). Every 10 months or so, I change the picture. That’s just what you do, right?

Working in IT, we all have at least two monitors and people definitely notice what your desktop background is, whether it rotates often and whether you just duplicate it across monitors or you stretch it between them.

And when you get up to walk away from your computer around here, you always lock it, taking you to a screen that only shows your background and a little window noting that it’s locked.

That was a lengthy description to simply say: I spend all day noticing people’s desktop backgrounds.

It’s such a personal thing to notice. All. Day. Long.

And now to my story for the day:

Imagine Larrie standing in the office of several software testers, all of their monitors facing towards me because I’m in the middle of the room. The desk of one of them is currently empty because he’s outside somewhere. This means that he locked his computer and we’re all looking at his desktop background.

Everybody notices it.

Who really says anything about it, though?

But I looked over and saw something that I recognized:

“Hey, it’s Vabbinfaru Island!!”

The other testers in the room respond with something like, “No it’s not, it’s Mexico.”


They attempted to argue about how it’s a picture of Mexico because the guy whose monitor it’s on told them so… until I suggest that they look up images on Google of Vabbinfaru Island. Guess what showed up on the first page of results?

Yeah, that’s right.

The EXACT picture that was displaying as the desktop background.

Larrie wins.

Point for me.

Zero for software tester.

I went back to my office where my desktop background is my pretty picture of a house in a field in Oxford, which you won’t find in a Google image search because I took it all by my little self.* Go me.

One last note: I have no idea how I can identify a tiny island in the Maldives simply by a picture of it. I should learn things that are more applicable on a DAILY basis.

The end.

*Good sentence. Should have included a few more prepositional phrases.

Happy Thoughts on London

I had a FABULOUS vacation to London over Easter. I went with Megs, met up with Monica and added people to the trip throughout (Michael, Annie, Britt, Niall, etc). If I were to write a travelogue on our adventures, it’d turn into a novel. I am rather effusive, after all. Instead, how about a list of some of my random thoughts on the trip? What a GREAT plan. And then, a nifty video I put together of our pictures. Hope you fancy that idea.

  • Do not ride in the Quiet Carriage. Especially avoid this when riding the train to Oxford with boisterous friends and none of you knew that you were in said car.
  • Mormon hookups are superb.*
  • Adding new friends to trips means cheaper train tickets (2 for 1 deals) and new Facebook friends! (Give it up for FB making it possible to keep in touch with new London friends.)
  • Being a student at Oxford made me smarter, saved me money, and gave me all sorts of free access.
  • Sharing two mattresses with two other friends does not make for a good night’s rest.
  • I am truly, madly, deeply a HUGE fan of crumpets.
  • When I’m rich, I’m going to own a house in Bath and visit in the summer.
  • Faraway horses look like small horses.
  • I’m horrible at putting on a British accent.
  • Walking straight is difficult when you’re constantly surrounded by amazing history and architecture.
  • When I returned to the states, it was difficult to look LEFT first and to actually cross the road at a crosswalk.
  • I miss British chocolate; my waistline would not miss it, though.
  • Donkeys that run castles are fantastic. And they’re not even stinky either.
  • If the Queen asked me to move into Windsor Castle just for the company, I wouldn’t turn her down.
  • There were big rocks at Stonehenge. wow. (That was an INTENTIONALLY lowercase wow.)
  • Wicked and 39 Steps were absolutely worth the ticket prices.
  • Playing soccer again with Monica after all that time was the HIGHLIGHT of the trip! (She assisted me on a goal, too.)
  • Attending a football match meant realizing Americans have no clue how to really cheer on their team. Brits taunt the other fans excessively, they chant and chant for the entire game, nobody sits down and it is definitely not a kid-friendly environment.
  • I know we have Starbucks in the states, but I had no clue that strawberry cream drinks were delightful until having one in London.
  • I almost wanted to go back to school just to be a REAL student at Oxford.
  • Nobody even reacted when the announcement in the Tube station stated that ‘The Jubilee line was experiencing delays due to a PERSON UNDER THE TRAIN.’
  • My feet hurt.
  • Mmmmmmm, chocolate.

*When I read over this list after finishing it (to proofread, of course), I realized this sounded like I “got some” on my trip. Really, it means that I had instant friends thanks to religion and they trusted us enough to hook us up with some great stuff like a free place to stay in Oxford.

Go Ahead, February, Do Your Worst

It’s the first day of February. Do you realize what that means? You made it through January.


Now, how are you going to make it through February?

I’m planning on doing it the same way I got through January: by being excessively busy. Sometimes a girl just needs reasons to get out of bed during dreary winter months. Also, she needs reasons not to fall asleep on the couch when she gets home from work.

I want to tell you, internet, that I have been consistent with going to the gym. This definitely helped me get through the last month and I have no plans to change that for February. Other things I did last month: played lots of soccer, played ward basketball, went to the temple several times, spent plenty of time in the eucalyptus-scented hot tub at my parents, ate crepes, joined a dinner group, shopped (gasp), went to movies (I heart Fantastic Mr. Fox), worked, thought about things I should write, visited girls in my ward, and watched prices on flights to London drop slightly.

There was one day that I didn’t quite resist the desire to curl up and hibernate when the morning rolled around. Luckily, though, it was a Sunday morning so all I had to miss was choir practice. Totally fine by me.

Bring on February. It’s a short month.