Tag: March 2008

Paper Journal
Sun 2 Mar 2008

Entry #1 of 8 on this page (tagged: march)

I started a new paper journal at the beginning of the year. And I was bound and determined to finish it, so I could start a new one as my new "jobless bum" life commenced.

For my jobless bum journal, I wanted to do something wonderfully different. I am going to use loose leaf paper, and then bind it up when I've collected enough sheets.

I bought my Bind-it-All last September, and this year I've picked up a box of ½ inch O-wires. I love this size! Some random website said the ½ inch wires would hold 90 sheets of paper... I'm using 24 pound paper, tho and it's taking about 65 to 70 sheets plus cardstock covers for the front and back. (The Space Bar thingee is a must for this size project.)

Anyway. I am very excited about my loose leaf journal. Yesterday, Significant Other and I walked over to Staples... I got a new green clipboard and a new green folder to keep my finished pages together. I figure about two months of journalling will get me 60 sheets, and then I'll bind it. um. well. actually. I've got a lot more time on my hands now! Maybe I'll get the 60 in just one month. *grins*

Oh the possibilities of loose leaf!

  Printing stuff without adding the bulk of gluing or tipping or stapling! I'll be printing up my blog entries. I also like to print calendars. Printing up cool Internet stuff?

  Digital Paper. This is a recent not-quite-obsession of mine. It's decorative paper, like scrapbookers use, but since it's a file you can change it to however you want. I'm thinking of a sheet that has a strip of the full colour down one of the margins, or as a border all the way around, and then fade the colour in the writing area.

  Coloured Paper. Yep, I've got paper... lt green, dark green, lt purple, dark purple, lt blue, aqua, yellow. Would love to add a ream of black... but they don't sell that in stores. And I'm having trouble finding the ultimate white pen: Uniball Signo White. Guess I'll have to track them down online.

  Typing Journal Entries. I have some really good desktop publishing software, PagePlus, which I've not used in a while. I can add my own photos, clipart, use whatever fonts I please, scans of magazine or newspaper articles/photos to comment upon.

So, yeah, that looks like a lot of printing, doesn't it. Not to worry, I came prepared with some spare printer ink! ha.

Week 1 of Freedom
Sat 8 Mar 2008

Entry #2 of 8 on this page (tagged: march)

huh. You know, I thought I would do a lot more blogging. I also thought I would do more reading, more drawing, more writing.

Evidently you need some discipline, even to work on the stuff you are passionate about! haha!!

I have been letting my obsessions run loose, here and there. and, oh, this is so wonderful. I am using the Internet to it's full dialup capacity (heh). And my Scanner brain is on crack!

But yeah, crack on the brain isn't getting things done. :)

The things I have worked on...

  Some Reading There are a few books that I've had bookmarks in for months, and I'm getting those out of the way. And updating my GoodReads. Recently added: my review of Endgame, which I am inordinately proud of. ;) and my review of Darwin's Voyage of the Beagle.

  Digital Camera I was getting rather frustrated with the pictures I was taking and was wondering if I made a bad decision with this particular camera. A lot of my photos are blurry. A lot. And when I started playing with the manual setting, my photos came out perfectly black. And I wondered if my $230 had been wasted.

Eventually, wisdom descended from the heavens: It's all about light. When I take photos on the auto settings (point and click), the shutter speed is way LOW because I'm indoors and there's not enough light... slow shutter speed means the slightest movement -- either the guinea pigs moving, or me just pressing the click -- is equal to blurry photos. When I increase the shutter speed in the manual settings, there is not enough light coming in and that is equal to black photos.

So. Taking photos of guinea pigs, indoors, I'll have to use the flash. Which I hate because it looks bad and I can't fix the over-exposed parts of the photo. Or I could just wait for a sunny afternoon, and keep my window blinds open. Or I could take the guinea pigs outside... which might be an interesting, if dangerous, possibility.

And, along the lines of light... outside photos "should" come out alright with the auto settings. I have taken a few, but they are not universally decent. So I need to do some experimenting there, and apply my thinking and let some more wisdom descend.

its a crow

  Drawing I am taking an online drawing class, hoping to get myself into the habit. It's a six week course, the first two weeks were my last two weeks of day job, and I'm playing catch up with that. This week I've completed the first two lessons, altho I've not done the "extra credit" assignment yet. Hoping I will get at week 3 lessons this weekend, so that I can be up to date when week 4 comes out on Monday.


Anyway. I drew that the other day. and I'm kind of brain storming ideas that continue with the three or more "circled images" thing. I've not drawn anything yet but: "cow" + "pig" + "chicken" + "fish" = "GO VEGAN". :) We'll see how that all works out!

I am also going through several months of email. And I am playing with my spam settings. One of the joys of owning a website that's listed on google: I am hit with 50 to 70 spams every day. and some of the sexual subject lines are starting to offend me. um, Very much offend me.

My host provides me with some decent spam killing software, and I have attempted to work with it before... but the directions are so -not- clear that I quickly gave up. But now I have the time to sit... and read... and re-read. These two paragraphs they have given me... for about an hour I stared at those words. So strangely incomprehensible. You know, I am not a stupid person, it is not supposed to take me an hour to understand two paragraphs!

laughs. Having worked so hard for this knowledge, it definitely feels like a "win". *rolls eyes*

Tuesday Ten
Tues 11 Mar 2008

Entry #3 of 8 on this page (tagged: march)

Tuesday Ten prompt from Daydreaming on Paper for 03/11/2008...

List ten ways that the computer and/or internet has changed your life for the better. (List ten ways that the computer and/or internet has added more complications to your life.)

Ah, sweet, sweet Internet: you can do no wrong with the proper filters.

#1. I really enjoy my web site. I like writing for an audience, I like playing with HTML and graphics. The time I spend here, in my cyber area, is meaningful to me.

#2. Okay. Amazon. Stuff comes to my door, instead of me running around town, and it's usually cheaper than I can get locally.

#3. And VeganEssentials. Yes, it's more Stuff coming to my door. But it's Vegan stuff and that makes it better! :)

#4. Books. and free books. I love to read, and when I can get loads of fascinating ebooks, for free, that's better! That's the best!

#5. People? yes. People. People on the Internet are much better. laughs. I hate being around people in real life, because it's just not polite to leave when they are being stupid. But you can on the Internet!

#6. Neophilia. I need a constant stream of new things, and nothing supplies this like the Internet.

#7. Art. I don't like going to museums. And they never have the kind of art I like to look at anyway. The Internet is way better!

#8. Learning. Easy and cheap. And you should never stop learning!

#9. Community. I can lurk here, and there, and where-ever. And I don't have to be nervous about people wanting to talk to me or wanting me to talk to them.

#10. Friends. I am not the easiest person to get along with in real life. And, truth be told, I do not want to deal with humans in real life, just too much bother. So, yep!

Dawn, the owner of the website above, Daydreaming on Paper, is also the owner of the yahoo group, Purple_Ink. It's a journalling community which has been going strong for eight years now. Dawn is closing Purple_Ink at the end of the week.

I've been a member there for about 7 years. Lurking, yes. I'm sad to see it go. It was a phenomenal group of people.

Best wishes to Dawn! And some major Thank Yous for all the time, effort, tears, blood and joys, put into Purple_Ink!

Thurs 13 Mar 2008

Entry #4 of 8 on this page (tagged: march)

1946 - March 11, 2008

Elediary at The Elephant Sanctuary

Delhi has left us group discussion at Elephant Lovers at Care2

Light a candle for Delhi at

Week 2 Recap
Sat 15 Mar 2008

Entry #5 of 8 on this page (tagged: march)

Kind of a sad week, this past week. My favorite email group, Purple_Ink closed down. Delhi died. Found out Chris, over at my favorite charity, Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary, had a heart attack. And my Gram, who has been stuck in the hospital since the beginning of Feb, will be stuck there another week.


I've not done much drawing, and I've not done my lessons, either. So I am very behind with my drawing class. arg!

The one project that I am working on, I am vaguely proud of. I decided to grab my very few posts at the email group, tidy them up in my desktop publishing software and print them out for my new journal.

I honestly thought that I would be able to cut and paste and be done in a couple hours or so. ha. I'm up to 20 pages, now, and I'm still not done! and that's why I'm vaguely proud of myself...

Usually, if I see a project is going to take longer than "one sit down"... I will not even start it! So, I'm glad I'm running with this one. I've broken it down, and written the steps on an index card, and I get to check them off as I finish each step.

Additionally, I am learning some stuff about my software. Noticing some buttons that I don't know how to use, but I think I want to use them... So I may be reading the manual at some point soon. :)

And, if I'm going to be typing these "recap" posts every weekend, I should put them to work by listing my goals for the next week!

  Play with the worms! We've had the worm box for a whole year now! And it is very very full of dirt. I'm going to dump everything out, separate worms from dirt, and start over!

  Write a letter to my Gram!

  Finish the desktop publishing project.

  Read some magazines. Oh, the huge pile. It mocks me.

  Draw something every day.


Week 3 Update
Sat 22 Mar 2008

Entry #6 of 8 on this page (tagged: march)

Well, I couldn't be bothered to type up any blog entries this week, but I did brilliantly on my list of stuff to get done! The worms took three days, and I took a couple photos so I'll be typing about that soon. I wrote a letter to my Gram, and I finished my desktop publishing project. I read a lot, including the dumb magazines. And I worked on my drawing assignments every day.

I am really finding out how much I hate "finishing" projects. (That's part of my Scanner personality, according to Barbara Sher.) I wanted to grab all my posts to the email group that closed last week, clean them up in my desktop publishing software, and print them up to put in my journal...

The first 20 pages of this project were fun. And then it got BORING! I tried to trick myself into working on it by doing five minutes at a time. But I finally had to just force myself to get in the last hour or so of work because I was tired of having it hang over me. It ended up at 28 pages.

But now I'm having the same problem with my drawing assignments. This week I worked on lesson 3, I had two pages of drawings that I was working on. I finished one and it looks pretty good, but was doing the five minute thing with the other... and I honestly don't know if I want to finish it! It looks fine and everything, I'm just bored with it and can't really think of anything to liven it up or to get me excited about it. I'm thinking I'll just move on to lesson 4.

I was thrilled to see that A.W.A.D had a vegan guest wordsmith this week!

A.Word.A.Day is a daily email that I've subscibed to for about seven years now. I love the new words, and the quote at the bottom!

The guest this week was Matt Ball, the co-founder of Vegan Outreach, and he defined some vegan words. Starting with the word "vegan"!

  Monday: vegan
  Tuesday: speciesism
  Wednesday: factory farming
  Thursday: cartesian
  Friday: karuna

I'm so excited because this mailing list has over " 640,000 people in at least 200 countries". And that's 640,000 people who will no longer ask "what's a vegan?" Not that I get tired of answering that question, or anything! heh.

And in my bouncing excitement about all those people learning about vegan things... I bought a new vegan related domain name.

WHY?! Why Do I Do These Things?! Do you know how much work is involved in launching a new web site??? A lot. A lot, I tell you. A lot of stinking work.

So yeah. It's parked, and because I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it, I'm keeping you in the dark about where exactly it is. ;) Sorry people! Just another example of me not finishing things!

a Worm Story
Mon 24 Mar 2008

Entry #7 of 8 on this page (tagged: march)

Our worm box is a year old this month!! And it was seriously full. It was mostly dirt, and it came all the way up to the vent holes. The last time I put food in, the top layer of bedding was hitting the lid and I had to squish it down.

So, yeah, it was definitely time to do something! My idea was to dump the whole thing out, separate worms from dirt, and start over with fresh bedding. In preparation of the big day, I quit feeding the worms for a couple weeks, so they could eat what they had.

worm dump

And then I just picked a non-rainy day! I raked off the top layer of bedding and set it aside to put back in the box. Then just dumped the rest of the box onto some plastic garbage bags. It slid right out without any trouble. The bottom part was solid with the leaf litter (oak leaves) that we started with, mostly not decomposed.

I refilled the box with bedding -- newspaper shreds that came from the guinea pig home. And then the tedious part. I'd scoop up a handful of mud, glance through it for worms. Then throw the mud in the garden and put the worms back in their box with the new bedding.

working on the worm box

The box is 14 gallons, and going though that much dirt took me four or five hours, total. I worked on it over three days, just covering the worm pile with another garbage bag to protect them from the rain and the cold nights.

At first, I was pretty careful about getting each worm adult and any worm eggs I saw ... but eventually I scooped out the worm nests to put back in the box and ignored individual worms, who I just tossed with the dirt into the garden.

The last day, I got tired of looking at it (surprise, surprise!), and I turned the pile over in the garden and scooped off the worms that had migrated to the bottom. I left a lot of worms to fend for themselves in the garden... it's a shame because they probably won't live very long out there.

But about half of my new box is filled with worms! There are just too many! Next time, I will definitely have two boxes ready to split the worms between.

all done

All the new dirt, spread out in the garden, looks so wonderful! By the way, those are white irises growing in the garden, and the little plant behind the corner of the worm box is some parsley I planted last year. These are the only things that have survived ... with no sunshine, no rain in the summer, and just a couple inches of wood chips for dirt over a very solid and impregnable floor of tree roots.

Now that I have a short layer of real dirt, I'm thinking about planting some flowers. They won't live, but just think how lovely it will look for a few weeks.

  Read last year's worm saga... 2007 Tag: Vermicomposting

  Some popular forums... Vermicomposting Forum at Garden Web and The Worm Bin at Yahoo Groups.

ugh Week 4
sat 29 Mar 2008

Entry #8 of 8 on this page (tagged: march)

Well. I have somehow turned into a lazy (but tidy) bump on the futon. This week, I spent a couple hours cleaning the apartment... and the rest of the time I'm either reading or watching DVDs or TV.

Yes, yes, it's totally pathetic. And I quit doing my drawing lessons again. And since I am not doing drawing practice, I am never going to be a real Artist. So I decided to give up and never draw again.

And then I drew something. But today I am back to never drawing again. heh.

In my "never drawing again" despair, I signed up for a postcard exchange at one of my new Yahoo groups. I've never done an exchange before, so I'm not really sure what to expect. I think I'm just going to get some stamps and print up one of my photos on some cardstock and cut it down to postcard size.

I was looking at Postcrossing's Flickr group to give me an idea of what people are doing. Doesn't seem to be many homemade cards.

My Significant Other found out I've never eaten beets before. I'm not sure why, except maybe they look funny. laughs!

He got us some pickled, canned beets. They are quite tasty.

My jobless bum daily schedule:

* wake up around 8am, and just lay there!
* get up around 9am, and do morning things like feed the guinea pig people.
* sit in front of the computer and surf and drink chocolate coffee for a while.
* eat miso for lunch and read the newspaper comics.
* read books and watch tv and drink coke and eat cookie bars until SO comes home in the evening.
* spend time with SO and go to bed.

I shouldn't watch so much tv, but I really like CSI. I also love my Firefly DVDs, I watch them over and over. I am also drinking way too much caffeine. And some days are more nutritious, but just barely! I hate to prepare food.

I should do more healthy things. Like exercise or eat properly. Maybe that will be my goal for next week.

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