Tag: May 2008

Odds and Ends
Sat 3 May 2008

Entry #1 of 6 on this page (tagged: may)

Random bits:

The SO has been forced to join me in my jobless bum state. sighs. It is irritating to have him invading my space all day, but I will adapt.

My mom will be visiting next week. Cleaning a year's worth of dust is also irritating, but I guess it will get done.

My favorite magazine, Creative TECH suddenly quit publishing. grr! And a new magazine that I subscribed to, Science Illustrated, sent me a bill, but no magazines. GRRR!

I enjoy getting magazines in the mail. so now I'm feeling bereft. (Even tho I still have a stack of unread mags.) (but they are old and boring.)

that silly girl squirrel with the droopy tail continues to dig holes for her nuts, RIGHT NEXT TO the new plants in the garden. All the plants are still alive, I guess they don't mind her much. Well. Plants, dead or alive... the squirrel still has precedence. :D

The other day I ran into this news article, A crusade to edit America about a guy correcting typos on signs and public text. I followed the links to the website and blog, and it's mildly amusing!

Reading the typo blog, I was momentarily ashamed of my own typing laziness... I very often ignore the possessive apostrophe. It's a conscious decision, usually, because I can't figure out if it looks right or not. um. Sorry people! I will try to do better! But I still reserve the right to capitalize or not where I see fit. heh.

My interest in language, written and otherwise, is on the ironic side. In grade school, my worst subject was Spelling (and I never got any better). In high school my most hated and worst subject was the section in English class where we diagrammed sentences. An "A" student totally flunking! haha... I know what a noun is and usually I can pick out the verb, but beyond that I am clueless.

It's kind of embarrassing when SO brings me a newspaper article with a grammar problem. He says, "Shouldn't this be a predicate past tense something or other?" and I have to hide the fact that I have no idea what he is talking about. ;) He also mentions "dangling participles" often, and I still haven't looked up what that means.

Ah, yes. The irritant on the icing. Yesterday I got a call from my old job: the lady I trained finally quit and they need me to come back and get them caught up and train someone new. I refused, perhaps with a bit too much staight-forwardness. heh. And now I feel kinda bad... but it's not my business that's going down the tubes, and they never appreciated me enough to be their miracle worker in the first place.

an Ode to Dust
mon 5 May 2008

Entry #2 of 6 on this page (tagged: may)

The last few days, I have had the... "opportunity" to do some spring cleaning, since my mom will be visiting.

Not a Poem:
About Dust

Oh, sweet little dust particle.
you are so cute.
your purpose in life
is to hang in the air
and make sunsets beautiful.

Oh sweet little dust particle.
maybe you get blown down
out of the air.
or perhaps gravity brings you down.
you join the top soil,
or you land in the ocean.
or you settle on my computer monitor.

Sweet little dust particle.
won't you ask a breeze
to take you elsewhere?
Your dusty friends are gathered
on my printer,
but won't you have more fun,
adventuring with the wind?

I think the poem would be better if it rhymed a little. After all, 'dust' does rhyme with 'cussed'. But cussing at my sweet little dust particle is going to change the tone of my wonderful poem.


wed 7 May 2008

Entry #3 of 6 on this page (tagged: may)

Okay, people: I'll be offline for the next week, spending time with my Mom and celebrating my birthday! Possibly some fun photos when I return. :)

I woke up this morning thinking about an article I read the other day...
Become an Expert with the Power of Deliberate Practice (found via lifehacker). You can be an "expert" in something, if you practice for two hours, every day for 10 years.

Ten years sounds rather intimidating, but I guess the ten years will pass, regardless. :)

So, if you practice four hours a day, you can get to "expert" in 5 years. But that is a lot of time taken out of your day... you'd only be able to day job part-time. Actually that sounds more like college student days.

And then, if you practice for one hour a day, it'll take 20 years. I was wondering if I had done anything for an hour a day for the last 20 years; since I was 15 years old? um, yeah! I started reading when I was a teenager. I've probably averaged out at an hour a day of reading.

So! I'm an expert at reading!! Yay!

back online
Sun 18 May 2008

Entry #4 of 6 on this page (tagged: may)

My Mom left Wednesday afternoon, and about six hours later I start coming down with a cold. ugh. I've been bedridden the last couple days. Yesterday morning I thought if I could get enough aspirin and coffee into my system, I'd be okay... but my brain was still foggy. bleh! And this morning is about the same, double bleh.

I am happy to be back online, tho. And I feel like typing...

Booking Through Thursday meme
Manual labor Redux

  • Scenario: You've just bought some complicated gadget home . . . do you read the accompanying documentation? Or not? Do you ever read manuals? How-to books? Self-help guides? Anything at all?

oh yes. I read the docs, I read the manual, sometimes I even buy extra tech books to read. Especially for software. Reading about your new things is part of the fun, after all.

When I pay for a new toy or new software, I definitely want to get my money's worth. Knowing how to work something is fine, and most stuff is pretty intuitive, these days: you can go to work right out of the box. But knowing how to work ALL the buttons and ALL the hidden features, is great!

How-to and self-help, yep I'm a total sucker for these! haha, I like books about journaling and creativity and inspiration. And lately, I've gotten a couple "how to draw..." books. *rolls eyes* I don't need to learn "how to", I just need to practice more than five minutes a day!

After an excessively pleasant spring-time, we suddenly got hit with a heat wave. We don't have air conditioning in the apartment, and the upstairs heats up like an oven. Yesterday, I had to move Boo and Twitch downstairs to the Summer Home.

The piggy's house is too big to move, so I have this horrible little cage setup in the living room. I put the fan on them and explained they'd just be there until the upstairs cooled down at night.

But Twitch was seriously pissed about the whole situation. She still hasn't forgiven me. Boo was just happy to be back, but Twitch is looking at me like, "if you Ever do that again, I will Kill You."

Twitch may weigh less than two pounds, but I'm pretty sure she could do me some damage. So I'm fearing for my life. Fortunately today is supposed to be much cooler, maybe with some quality play time I can get back into guinea pig good graces.

Wandering Through Parks
Sat 24 May 2008

Entry #5 of 6 on this page (tagged: may)

My Mom was here for a week during my birthday, and I took her through some of our local parks...

Thursday Hendrick's Park

pink rhododendrons

The Rhododendron Garden at Hendrick's Park is a favorite of mine, this time of year! The variety of colours is just amazing.


Hendrick's Park also has a little Native Plant Garden. This is the Oregon Iris. Please note the wildlife in the upper right of the photo. ;) Lady Bug!

Oregon Iris

We also learned about Sword Fern (the fern that grows here), Candy Flowers (delicate little flowers, everywhere) and MoonStone (pretty purple flowers, nice green leaves... I may need this for my garden!).

And speaking of my garden... We saw a couple Shooting Stars, which is the native I bought for my garden a few weeks ago. And Lupine, another native I brought to my garden through seeds I nabbed from plants near our house... I am glad to find out they are native and not invasive.

Friday Mount Pisgah

Looking south, up the Willamet

We did not go up to the top of the hill, instead walked around the river and wetlands.

The park has this cool "Tree Round" which I foolishly didn't take a picture of, argh: curse me! Well, here's a photo of the Tree Round, at the Mt. Pisgah website (bottom of page). I've forgotten the exact dates... but the tree was born somewhere in the 1400s, I think. And was chopped down by vandals in 1982. how sad. This section of the tree is 7 feet across, and was five feet above the ground when the tree was alive.

Saturday Wetlands and Saturday Market

Ducks at the Wetlands

The West Eugene Wetlands... not very exciting. :) It's a marsh, and it is mostly dried up already (we're over 9 inches behind on rainfall this year). So it mostly just looked like grass. A duck family was floating on the one pool that was left. First baby ducks I've seen this year.

my little dragon

The Saturday Market is much more exciting. Especially when people buy things for me (because my birthday is the next day). I was attracted to these dragons, and my Significant Other found a green one for me. Verdella.

And then my Mom bought me a beautful sweater. She got one for herself as well. Aren't we cute!

Mom and Me

Sunday Movie Day

Decided to take it easy on my birthday. We went to the mall to watch Iron Man. We had vegan pizza from the Pizza Research Institute in the evening... unfortunately they messed up the order, made us wait while they remade the pizza, then were belligerent to my Mom when she asked for a few dollars off. So, I guess that's the last pizza we get from there, even tho it's a vegetarian place. damn them.

And we watched my current favorite movie, Serenity. While Mom was here we also went through most of Firefly. Love that 'verse.

Monday Spencer Butte

We went up the steep side of the hill and, yikes! The trail was scary in several spots, and Mom said it's the steepest trail she's ever been on. (And Mom and Dad go hiking in the Rockies all the time, so that's saying something!)

Squirrel on the Butte

We made it to the top without falling to our deaths, tho. Kind of a hazy day, so the photos looking down at the world are bleh. But one of the locals was happy to pose, in exchange for Clif Bar bits. :)

And the climb down the other side of the hill was much nicer!

Computer Stuff
Mon 26 May 2008

Entry #6 of 6 on this page (tagged: may)

Over the weekend, I have been busy upgrading. I started with my antivirus, since they were forcing the issue: threatening to cut off my virus updates if I didn't download this huge 45meg file. ugh. Not so fun on the dialup, I tell you.


Next, I upgrade Aeris Calendar. I actually hadn't been using this program for a while because tended to make my computer retch. But the upgrade switches over to AccuWeather. So hopefully from now on, I will know what day it is!


And then I realize that my favorite text editor NoteTab has gone and made upgrades without even telling me. I'm on version 4.8, and they've moved up to version 5.6???! okay, you know what, I use this software to create my website, I don't even care if there are any significant changes because I'm paying for this upgrade immediately.

That's just how much I love my NoteTab. :) And, yeah, to be honest, there aren't any major changes. Except the Firefox bug was fixed, and I didn't mind living with that. And they've got a print preview, now... And there's no reason to print plain text these days. But I'm happy to pay for good, simple, useable software.

So, about this time, I'm surfing and I'm noticing some problems with my browser being slow. I'm pretty sure it's the new antivirus: people have complained about this "Link Scanner" thing. eh. I suppose I can live with it. But I think some new RAM will help.

I've had this computer for 2.5 years, my SO bought it for me used for a couple hundred bucks from a local computer fixit shop. It was a good deal, all it needed was the other half of it's memory. I don't know why I didn't go and buy it right away. Just lazy that way I guess. (Procrastinating spending my money is probably the only reason for my savings account!)

I've ordered the RAM, and I'll keep my fingers crossed that the slot in the motherboard is actually functional.


I keep thinking about upgrading my Paint Shop Pro. I have version 9, which was the last version that Jasc put out before they got bought by Corel. Every time I look at the product page at Corel, I am so very Not impressed. I'm just not interested in the direction they've taken it: Paint Shop Pro is now a "Photo Studio".

"super fast photo fixing"? uh huh. I do use some of the automatic photo fixes, but mostly photos look better if you do manual adjustments. So "super fast" is not something I want.

I'd rather have some of the other Version 9 features improved... like the vectors and the Art Media. But Corel already has Painter, so obviously they want you to buy that to do your art. And then I guess you have to buy Corel Designer to do vectors.

A curse on Corel!


I am also anxiously awaiting the new version of Firefox: Version 3 is due out... um, soon? Supposed to be faster, with a download manager and better bookmarking. whee.

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