Toshiba A75 Laptop problems continue

I haven’t written about my toshiba woes for the past few months.  Not because they have been resolved, but to save my own sanity.

In November/December, I had more problems with it shutting down.  I fought for almost 2 weeks on the phone, for them to replace it.  I called every day, a few times a day.. and finally was backed against a wall – told to send it back to them.  I did… and for 2 weeks I was told it had been “rejected”, as in, they hadn’t received it… finally they get it, “fix” it and send it back. 

I don’t know why I even bother any more… but it shut down again within a couple weeks of having it back.  Not like I was surprised.  Then it did it again last week.  Just two days or so after the expiration of the 90 day warranty for the “refurbished” unit (again, I should have been under warranty through April of this year (2006) with my NEW laptop…… ).  After some grumbling from me, they shipped a box to me to send it back.  I did and received it in about 5 days (including the weekend!)… with a form saying it checked out OK.  As in “no problems”.  Sure, Ok.. and why did randomly shut down on me then?  Whatever.  I see I’m getting nothing from Toshiba willingly.  I’ll wait for the lawsuits to finish up and hope to get enough to buy a nice dinner somewhere.

I’m amazed though, at the traffic that comes in to Momma Muse, strictly on searches about Toshiba A75 problems. 

In response to this post Satellite A75 – National Class Action Attorneys :: Toshiba – I received this comment – Brooks going through the same ordeal as many others.

Is ANYONE having any good resolutions from Toshiba?  Have any of these laptops actually been fixed, as in no more problems? 

Instructions for Making Crock Pot Handmade Soap

Crock Pot Soap Making

Making soap in a crock pot is an easy way to use the “hot process” method. This method of soap making is also referred to as crock pot hot process, or in short, cphp.

This how-to tutorial outlines my steps for making crock pot soap and assumes you are familiar with the soap making process.

Start with a good recipe (Soap Recipes). I prefer recipes that have a higher amount of liquid oil to solids. One of my favorite recipes is very simple: 60% Olive Oil, 20% Palm Kernel Oil, 20% Palm Oil. Run it through a lye calculator to determine the amount of lye and [distilled] water needed. I do not discount my water when making hot process. One of my favorite recipes is at the end of these instructions, with more here: Soap Recipes – or use the search.

Detailed Photos, check my flick set: Crockpot Soap

I use a 6 1/2 quart crock pot. A 4 pound batch of soaps fits perfectly. It fills the crock pot about half full – giving room in the case of it bubbling up, but not too little an amount that it could burn.

First, measure cold water and set aside.

Then measure the lye into a separate container. Slowly pour the lye into the pitcher of cold water. Stir until dissolved. Set aside in a safe place.

Once I have my lye mixture set aside, I measure my solid oils. These can be put into the crock pot to be melted. But, it takes longer this way, so I generally put them into the microwave for a couple minutes until melted and then pour into the crock pot.

At this point, my crock pot is on low.

Mixing the Soap

I recommend using a good rubber spatula to scrape the bowl – no sense leaving any good oils behind.

Next, I measure my olive oil – and/or any other liquid oils I happen to be using – and pour this into the crock pot.

Get out your handy-dandy stick-blender and using low speed, slowly pour the lye mixture into the melted oils. Gently move the stick-blender around, up, down, around, ensuring a nice even blend. If you don’t have a stick-blender, a stainless steel wire whisk works great too – just requires a little more arm power, and of course, will take longer.

Once it has reached ‘trace’, I put the lid on the crock pot and turn the heat setting up to high. However, the first few times I made crock pot soap, I left it on low until I was confident in how it worked (both the soap AND my crock pot).

Now while it is cooking, I ready my mold, measure out any fragrance oils or essential oils and any additives I plan to use.


After about 15 or 20 minutes, I take the lid off and, using a potato masher, mash the soap around. It has a look of a vaseline texture; glossy, slick. It will have a waxy feel if you rub a piece of it between gloved fingers.

Add your additives, colorants, herbs, etc and mix well using the potato masher. Once that is blended fairly well, add your fragrance and mix again.

It is done! At this point, it’s really soap. It only needs to be put into your mold. I do this in large spoonfuls, pounding my mold on the counter every few scoops to ensure it packs into the mold tightly. Once I have it all in the mold, I put a baggie on my hand and flatten the top – making sure to “squish” it into the corners really well.

Now is a good time to wash all the dishes. And you don’t even need to add any soap! You should see some lovely lather from the soap you’ve just made.

I let this sit over-night. The next morning, I unmold and slice into bars to air out for a week or so. Once each bar has had time to harden, I bevel each one and it’s ready for use, or sale.

Rosemary Mint is my favorite crock pot soap recipe:
Rosemary Mint Handmade Soap
4 pounds
– 38 ounces olive oil (59.38%)
– 14.4 ounces palm kernel oil (22.5%)
– 11.6 ounces palm oil (18.13%)
– 8.7 ounces sodium hydroxide (5% discount)
– 17.5 ounces distilled water
– 3 ounces rosemary mint blend essential oils
– 2 teabags of Organic Peppermint tea

If you want a smaller or larger batch, just run the ingredients through a soap / lye calculator to ensure your lye to liquid ratio is correct – Don’t take chances on this, you don’t want soap that won’t set up, or worse, soap that burns.

handmade soap

A search of MommaMuse will provide other soap making recipes which may be used for cold process soap, hot process soap, or crock pot soap. Soap Recipes

Note: Sodium Hydroxide is highly caustic and should be handled carefully and knowledgeably. It is the soapmakers responsibility to research safety procedures for soapmaking.

Detailed Photos, check my flick set: Crockpot Soap

Sharing the Family Bed

The other night, I was rubbing Ry’s back as we were settling down into bed.  I rub and coo and we snuggle.. I said “you like your bed, don’t you?” and he quietly mumbles back, “uh, huh”…..

To which Tege pipes in just as quietly, “It’s my bed.”

Got a chuckle from Bob and I.  I then told Tege the bed was mine and Daddy’s, until he came along and then we started sharing…. Tege didn’t miss a beat, replying with “Umm… no… it’s my bed.”

No arguing with a tired 4 year old.  Of course, we’ve long known *everything* of ours is really his.


My dad got a book of Sudoku puzzles at the holidays.  He showed me how they worked, and the evidence of his frustration on several puzzles and my own interest was piqued.

Found a few books of Sudoku Puzzles at the bookstore last night.  I noticed the pricier books had much nicer paper, while the cheaper ones had paper thinner than newpaper.  I made a mental note that the pricier books, with heavier paper would probably be a better deal.  🙂

To take a different path, Wordoku puzzles are the same concept with words.  Some wordoku puzzles use real words, while others use random letters. 

We came across a site for free Sudoku Puzzles – more than billions of them.  If you haven’t done them, definitely go Easy first… and if for no other reason that to see what it’s like, try the Evil level… they also have a “pause” feature so you can pause the timer (yeah, they’ll even time you, so you can compare yourself to others – but be sure to read the faqs).. if you pause it, notice the number change to words – WEBSUDOKU and it follows the rules. 

Have fun!