Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sunday Serenity #164

I'm watching the season one DVD set I've got checked out of the library. Am about to begin the sixth of thirteen episodes. A commercial free story binge.

I know it's neither good literature nor good science. It's not even the best story premise in this genere I've ever encountered. It's completely escapist, totally geeky TV.

You might find it funny to associate it with serenity. But then under my definition of serenity are included exhilaration inducing activities like roller coaster rides. This is a roller coaster for the eyes, mind and emotions.

I also crocheted two more bookmarks today. So it was a toss-up as to which activity I would feature here. All in all a pretty good Sunday.


Saturday, January 30, 2010

Show Up!

I surfed onto a talk show online this afternoon. Right into the middle of it. Shortly after I started listening there was a new caller who wanted to ask for advice about a book she had in mind to write. But before she could finish her question the hostess/teacher of the show interrupted her to say: Stop talking about it and show up.

She added that books don't get written by thinking about it or talking about it. They get written when you set the words on page or screen, when you pick up the pencil or apply fingers to keyboard. She told her caller that she sensed she was a good writer but that she lived too much in her head and she had to trust that the words would come through her if she would just show up for them.

(I am paraphrasing but that was the gist.)

I wish I knew who I'd been listening to so I could give her credit for applying a massive zing to my psyche. For that is the same problem I have. Living too much in my head--thinking and talking about my projects more than writing them and that includes writing about them here and elsewhere.

My new netbook is a tool I've been dreaming of having for nearly two decades--a computer small enough to carry about as easily as a spiral notebook, with several hours of battery power, with more space than I could fill in several lifetimes. I was sure that if only that ever became reality, I would be able to write anything, anytime, anywhere.

But I've had it for a month (28 days as of this night) and have yet to write one word of fiction or poetry.

Today I was made to see (yet again!) how easy it is to mistake the idea for the work; to make a zillion excuses which amount to spitting in the face of the muses; and to assume that the work of writing would accomplish itelf as though by magic if I could just manipulate my work environment, writing tools, papers, notes, books, thoughts into the proper arrangement.

But it doesn't work that way. It doesn't matter how organized or how beautiful or how convenient the tools and environment are--or how inspired the ideas--if you don't show up.

That's my primary 2010 goal: To make showing up for the words a daily habit. All year. Not just for NaNoWriMo.


Friday, January 29, 2010

Free Media Player Solved DVD View Issue

Ed found this solution to the dilemma discussed in last night's post regarding the missing MPEG-2 code in my Windows 7 starter edition that prevents media players from decoding DVD. Now I'm all set for watching the videos I checked out of the library this week on my netbook with the new external DVD drive.

The DVDs I'm most anxious about right now are the Torchwood season 1 which I've been in queue for since October. I was quite excited to find the set waiting at the library on the same day the DVD drive arrived. And then quite frustrated to discover I couldn't actually play DVD on it until I upgraded my Windows 7.

This pretty much eliminated over half the hours in any day for watching--when Ed was sleeping or either of us was watching TV.

The problem was going to be solved anyway when Ed transferred his Windows 7 Home Edition to my netbook on Sunday. But I would loose two full days and with it due next Thursday and containing 13 episodes on six discs and 14 extras on a seventh disc--well over 700 minutes--that's a significant setback. If I had to wait until Sunday night, there seemed little hope of getting to see them all before I had to let it go back (at the very latest the morning of February 8) and there are enough in queue behind me now that it would be 3-6 months before I get another turn.

So, while I was doing dishes, Ed went looking for a solution and found this one. VideoLAN's VLC media player. I downloaded it and got the Torchwood special features disc up and running on it. I watched the first special feature, a sort of intro to the series, before applying myself to preparing this post. It looks like a cross between X-files and Stargate but smarter and grittier as only BBC can do.

Got any guesses as to how I'm going to be spending the next several hours?


Thursday, January 28, 2010

My External DVD Drive Arrived Today

My nephew and sister helped me order it last Friday before I left Longview. It's a DVD and CD read/write external drive. I was all excited--well, still am but with a moderate (temporary I hope) annoyance--because I had just checked out two DVD series from the library this week. Both BBC: Torchwood series one and To the Manor Born entire series. Was hoping to watch some tonight but after I got my device installed I discovered that I can't play DVD on it yet because my Windows 7 Starter Edition that came with my netbook does not include a MPEG-2 decoder. Just to get the decoder will cost me $14 and to get the Windows 7 upgrade that includes it will cost $79.

I don't get the point of withholding that when every multi-media PC we've had since 1996 has allowed the playing of DVD. I feel somewhat like being held hostage. I never know when I try to do something on my netbook that I've taken for granted for over ten years if it is going to tell me I need this upgrade or that plug-in. Like there is someone in the shadows holding out his hand for cash every time I click on a shortcut.

I just spent the last two hours searching online for freeware that would play DVD or supply the MPEG-2 codex. Found one promising one and installed it but it didn't work. Found a free Windows Media Player Classic which also promised to solve it but it didn't work. Got the audio after installing the MPEG-2 but no picture.

So for the moment I'm stymied. I'll have to wait until Ed gets home from work tomorrow to see if he can solve it.

I know one possibility but I don't know if he is still inclined: he upgraded his Vista machine to Windows 7 Home edition last month and after we discovered the limitations of the starter edition that came with my netbook he discussed the possibility of taking his machine back to Vista with the factory discs and installing the Windows 7 upgrade on my netbook. There was something about the Vista he wanted back, so it wasn't just for my sake. We were discussing that on the phone just after I got my netbook nearly three weeks ago but we haven't discussed it again since.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Hot Off the Scanning Bed

Since I'm so close to finished with the scanning step of the family photo scanning project, I'm going to start prepping the photos for the digital photo album that is the goal. That means cropping, resizing, naming and, where necessary, rotating each individual photo which is usually one of several on the scanning bed image.

There are several hundred (over five) scanning bed images. Each with an average of three to four pictures.

They'll all need tagging and commenting on as well. I hope to get my Mom's help with that either the next time I visit or by sending pictures via email for her to comment on.

Whenever there was info on the back of photos I would flip that photo in place and scan the bed again immediately in order to preserve the information without having to write labels to lay under or beside the pictures. Below is the back side of the scanning bed image heading this post. You might recognize the pic o Uncle Lynn from yesterday's post.

I'm doing the image manipulating in MS Paint as that is the only program that came with my computer that has all the editing tools I need. How I miss Image Zone which came loaded on my laptop in 2005. I've downloaded several free applications but they are all lacking some essential thing. Except for Gimp which is far from lacking but in its comprehensiveness has me totally intimidated. I do need to just settle down and learn my way around Gimp and then maybe I would be protected against the inconvenience of loosing access to my image software along with the demise of a computer. Gimp is open source and we've had it on each of our computer's since 1997. It has grown in complexity faster than I could keep up with.

Anyway. Yesterday I shared pictures of Dad's Uncle Lynn, one of his father's brothers. Today I give you his Uncle Carl, his mother's brother and his wife. As you can see on the back side in the image above, her name was not included.

As far as I know, I never met Uncle Carl. I think all of my Grandma's family remained in the mid west in the vicinity of Nebraska and Oklahoma.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

More From the Family Photo Scan Project

On this last trip to Longview I did not get to choose to work at scanning photos until just about the very last minute. My focus the first two weeks was in getting acquainted with my new netbook and rescuing files off my laptop hard drive which wasn't accomplished until a week ago Saturday which left me only one week of my visit. I didn't scan any at all until the wee hours of the morning I left when the only thing left to pack was my netbook and HABA and it was only by giving up sleep entirely that I was able to scan about twenty scanner beds worth in just under two hours. The box of photos I did were of my Dad's parent's siblings and their families.

For this post I chose three snaps of my Great Uncle Lynn Coon in time. In the top one he is with Aunt Julia (whom I never met) and baby Nola sometime in the 1930s or late 1920s. I'm pretty sure he was Grandpa Fay's younger brother.

Above is Uncle Lynn again. This time with Aunt Ruth (whom I knew and remember, tho I would have been 2 when this pic was taken in 1959) with grown-up and married Nola. They are standing atop the New Yorker Hotel. The back of the pic says "on 'our' 'their' honeymoon" with the 'our' and the 'their' in quotes and stacked. It makes me wonder if this was Uncle Lynn and Aunt Ruth's honeymoon as well as Nola's and her husband is taking the picture. It would only be wondering.

I should try to ask my Dad's elder brother Dean, (a professional photographer) while he is still available for such questions. He's the only one of Fay's three sons still living.

At any rate, New York was a long way from home for this Idaho gladiola farmer.

This is Uncle Lynn in 1978 the year I was married and thus more like who I remember. Like my Grandpa Fay, he loved to fish.


Monday, January 25, 2010

I Gives Up

see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Haven't been awake a full twelve hours today but I'm loosing the fight to the sleepies. I'm not done unpacking. Far, far from it. I'm going to have to put the duffel on the front room couch again overnight. I just can't keep my eyes open.


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sunday Serenity #163

Ed and I got back to Pheonix OR about 8:30 this evening. Ed unpacked the car but I'll have to wait until tomorrow to unpack the bags and boxes as he has work tomorrow and had to sleep. And since I didn't sleep last night, sleep ia about to take me hostage against my will.


Saturday, January 23, 2010

I Need All the Help I Can Get

ai hep u pak  u forget sumtin?
moar funny pictures

Too, too busy to chat. Sooooo much left to do before hitting the road in the morning.

I've already said my good-byes to my Mom and my brother's family as Mom has gone to spend the weekend with them.

I hope to be home several hours before this time tomorrow.


Friday, January 22, 2010

No Time for Games

But I created the puzzle for the button picture in my Jigsaw Puzzle Lite game in order to show Mom and my sister what I was talking about. I won't allow myself to start putting it together until i get home and settled. Which probably means no sooner than after my doctor appointment Tuesday.

My sister and I are planning to leave here (Longview WA) Sunday morning before ten in order to meet my husbund in Rice Hill OR in the early afternoon.

I'll be saying my goodbyes to Mom Saturday afternoon as she heads to my brother's where she'll stay until my sister reaches Portland on her return trip.

Tomorrow is all about packing and last minute visiting. And maybe a few other last minute tasks if there is time--like taking more pictures of the buttons and maybe claiming some for some of those crafty projects I discussed in last night's post, some family photo scanning, reading the last couple chapters in one or more of the books I can't take home with me...


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Vintage Butttons

I've been playing with my Mom's buttons. She's got about a bushel of them ranging in age from around twenty to possibly a hundred and twenty years old, if she's remembering right that some of those that were from her own mother's sewing basket had either come from her grandmother's sewing basket or off her clothes. That would make them pre WWI and possibly late 19th century. But if such elderly buttons are among those I looked at today, their not declaring themselves. The buttons are not sorted by age but loosely by color and material--plastic, wood, metal, covered.

Even the bottles and jars Mom had them sorted into are vintage with 1950s era glass Alka-Seltzer bottles, pre-saftey cap prescription bottles, film canisters, coffee crystals, and various condiments. Where possibly she indicates the predominant colors of the buttons with the color of the lid..

I've been dreaming about these buttons for over five years ever since I first started looking through them when I was here for my Dad's last days in 2005. I became so enamored of them I set myself the task of devising uses for them other than sewing outfits as that is not my particular passion. Here are some of my ideas:

  • Spread a bunch out on a tray representing as many colors and types as possibly and arranged in an artistic fashion then take a picture and feed that picture into the jigsaw puzzle game on my computer. (The picture above will serve for that as well but I'd like to do several more--earth tones, black and white, metallic...)
  • I could even have such images turned into physical jigsaw puzzles. Picture that pic above as a 1000 or 1500 piece jigsaw puzzle.
  • Take a bunch of high quality pictures of individual buttons and then turn them into graphics that can serve as buttons on web pages. Or other decorative purposes on web pages.
  • Or the same graphics could be used on printed stationary, greeting cards, bookmarks.
  • Sew them onto book covers and book bags as decoration or even function--in place of a clasp. And for some of the rounder shapes use on the crocheted bookmarks in the way I'm now using beads.
  • Make a mosaic out of buttons for a wall hanging.
  • Replace the buttons on some of my own clothes and/or sew them onto clothing as decoration.
Anybody have any more ideas?


Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art... It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.
~~C. S. Lewis
This afternoon I got to visit with one of my closest friends thoughout Junior High and High School. She is pictured with me above at my wedding in December of 1978 where she acted as one of the official witnesses.

We had not seen each other in over twenty years.

The 2.5 hours we got to visit just flew by. We barely touched on the highlights of the happenings in our lives since we last spoke. We're hoping to have another chance to visit on Saturday which is my last day here.

We've promised not to loose touch again. Which means I'll have to use snail mail (yes I'm so spoiled) as she hasn't got internet access.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Joy (About To) Spilleth Over

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Because I slept only three hours Sunday morning, I slept thirteen Monday morning (2am-3pm) and then of course, not being ready for more sleep before dawn this morning. was still up when everybody else got up so I stayed up and am still up two hours after Mom headed for bed.

I'm trying to cram too much into this last week here at my Mom's.

I'm afraid to let go. Afraid I'll sleep ten plus hours again. But if I don't give in I'm going to fall off this exercise ball that serves as my desk chair.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Sokoban--Hello Old Friend

Love your new skin.

Sokoban has been one of the games on our computers ever since we began using the internet in 1996. Today I went looking for either the one I had on my laptop or a replacement for it and found this one at Source Forge. There are several hundred puzzles to solve and the ability to create your own puzzles to challenge each other.

I won't be having much time for games this my last week at Mom's, but I'm trying to do one or two things per day towards re-creating the environment I had on my laptop and/or getting to know my new netbook and/or organizing files and prepping for an easy back up method.

Saturday night I set about to move all my files from the laptop's hard drive onto the netbook. It took ten hours!!! At least six of that was the actual copying of files from drive to drive. It is knowing that such amounts of time are involved that makes procrastinating such a habit.

I think I figured out one thing that would help allieviate that issue. I realized that many, many, many of the folders will never be added to or subtracted from and most of those are the biggest files--images or graphics, video, audio and pdf. So what I need to do is back them up once and for all in a safe place and then for the regular back ups only worry about folders that have changed since the last back up.

Like, 'Duh!" right?

Now that those files are all on board though, I can be untethered from the external drives. That was imposing a frustrating limitation. What's a netbook good for if not for mobility?

Well we got a wind storm going on here in Longview so I should get this posted while the power is still on.


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sunday Serenity #162

My favorite thing to do even above reading or writing stories is to hold a baby. Today I got to meet, hold and play with my 7 month old 3rd cousin--son of my cousin's son. I was on cloud 999.

Holding babies was always a serenity inducer for me. Sometime just dreaming about holding a baby is enough to calm me down.

It's been years since there have been babies in my life. All my nieces and nephews are in their teens-thirties.

I wish I would have thought to take my camera with me to my cousin's house.

Mary Cassatt's art is also a source of serenity for me. I used to have a poster of this one.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Doctors Without Borders Helping Haiti Survivors

Stay connected with Doctors Without Borders:

Haiti Earthquake 2010

Donate to Doctors Without Borders:

Support Doctors Without Borders in Haiti


Friday, January 15, 2010

A Word to the Wise


So you haven
moar funny pictures

Memory is the mother of all wisdom.
~~Samuel Johnson

We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future. ~~George Bernard Shaw

Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life.
~~Imanuel Kant

Wisdom consists of the anticipation of consequences.
~~Norman Cousins


I'm busy tending to my files. Organizing, preparing for back up, moving from laptop and thumb drives to netbook and planning a back up procedure that will be easily committed to. Besides the all important file back up my goal is to get my netbook untethered from the extra drives containing my old files. Sure I could have just copied them all over as is but I don't want to just move the mess. I want to create an organized filing system from the get go this time so that the back up process won't be so intimidating that I can't manage to do it but once in six months.

Much of my computer time is being used for this until it is accomplished. And I don't have unlimited computer time. I have approximately one more week here at my Mom's and still have so much I need to do here:
  • The family photo scanning project.
  • Finishing a couple library books I can't get my hands on back at home.
  • Sorting and photographing my Mom's vintage button collection for the purpose of several projects I have in mind.
  • Visiting siblings, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
  • Getting my Mom or sister's help on a variety of projects for which they have special knowledge, skills or contacts.
  • Then packing and traveling

So pardon me if my posts look a bit lazy for the next couple of weeks. You know, heavy use of LOLs, YouTubes, quotes, pictures of odd or inspiring (to me) things and such with little to no freshly composed text. Maybe some pictures of 30, 50 or 100 year old buttons?


Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Rest of My Laptop Files Accessed

INFOSAFE External Hard Drive Enclosure

My sister took my mortally wounded laptop into the computer technician today to find out what my options were, if any, to get my files off of it. His solution, since the problem was with the monitor and not the hard drive, was to remove the hard drive and put it in an external hard drive enclosure (pictured above) which I can then access via a USB port from my netbook (or any computer with USB ports). An added benefit of this solution is that once I get the files I need off of it, I can reformat it and have an approximately 30 Gigabyte file storage and backup drive.

The enclosure case plus the service of removing the hard drive and installing it in the case only cost about $30 which was a huge relief when I was braced to hear something much bigger (upwards of $100) for some hard to imagine solution.

I was thrilled to hold this little case in my hand and feel the relief at now having access to the 8 to 10 G of files locked away from me for nearly a month.--mostly graphics and audio. And to top that off like whipped cream on pie was the unexpected plus of access to the applications. It's probable that some of them won't be supported on Windows 7 though. But at least I get to try and if they won't work I will have all the info I need to find out if there are upgrades. I'm speaking here mostly of freeware and shareware applications that I'd forgotten the full names for so I couldn't search out their download sites or web pages.

My thrill turned to a good spell of anxiousness when I got the drive hooked up to my netbook and accessed the files only to find that the place where my personal files were supposed to be seemed not to exist. The 'Joy' folder in Documents and Settings which should have contained my 'My Documents' folder which contained every other folder showed as empty and when I clicked on it a dialog popped up telling me I did not have permission to access that folder. But next to a security shield icon it said 'For permanent access click here' so I did. And was treated to the entertaining site of the busy icon spinning until my screen saver kicked in five minutes later. I nudged the mouse and watched for several more minutes.

The external drive was whirring like mad but the green progress bar had showed full since the first thirty seconds. There was no indication it wasn't just stuck in an endless loop. So I clicked on the parent folder and the busy icon went away but the drive continued to whir and click. I clicked on the 'Joy' folder again and again got the dialog and again clicked OK for permanent access. Then watched the spinning icon for several more minutes starting to feel the first hint of panic over that 'empty' message I got when hovering over the 'Joy' folder. I felt as though I'd been teased by the promise of access to my files only to have them pulled away again as I reached out to take them. Like that children's Keep Away game.

I clicked back to the parent folder and then its parent folder until I was back at the 'external drive F' folder but after a couple minutes I went back to 'Documents and Settings' and about then the whirring stopped and when I hovered over the 'Joy' folder this time it showed the familiar folder and file names and when I clicked to open it it opened. After browsing among the folders for a few minutes I stopped to prepare this post.

Meanwhile I wonder if I've learned my lesson yet. How many losses of files and scares over losses to I need before I take back up procedures seriously? This time I sweated it out for nearly a month. If all my text files had also been inaccessible for that entire time the anxiety would have been triple at least and mixed with serious grief over all the work done on my stories in the six months since the last time I'd backed up. It was only thanks to the fact that my laptop monitor lit up again after going black the first time which gave me the kick in the U know and time to back up those files which are still under a gig and thus still fit fine on their back up thumb. It was while I juggled the nearly 8 G of graphics files trying to figure out how to split them onto two 4G thumbs that the screen went black again and stayed black through repeated rebooots.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Have Mercy, Help Haiti

Tonight instead of weeping over vid after vid of horrifying images I'm going to do something constructive by showcasing one of the organizations that have an excellent track record in bringing relief to areas devastated by natural or man-made disasters like the earthquake that hit Haiti yesterday.

Mercy Corps may be best known for its espousal of the microloan as one of the most effective methods to shift an individual out of extreme poverty and into a productive member of their community who can not only support their own family but give a neighbor a hand up as well.

But they are also quite adept at rushing aid and supplies to areas impacted by quakes, floods, tsunami and conflict. And their help doesn't stop with immediate disaster relief for their forte is in long term help in rebuilding community, infrastructure and hope. They had a significant presence in the aftermath of Katrina and in the recent quakes in Indonesia, China, Pakistan and Peru and the 2004 Tsunami in Sumatra and surrounding areas.

More than 80% of all resources they garner are applied to programs that really help.

See how Mercy Corps helps here.

See where Mercy Corps has helped here.

Follow their current projects on their blog here.

Mercy Corps glabal headquarters is in Portland OR (a homey!):

Follow and/or contribute to their effort on behalf of Haiti here.

Subscribe to Mercy Corps YouTube Channel here.

Follow Mercy Corps on Twitter

Become a fan of Mercy Corps on Facebook

Check out the Mercy Corps photostream on flickr

The next days and weeks will be critical for efforts to forestall disease and despair from taking hold in Haiti and causing an even more catastrophic death toll. Please click on the banner heading this post and consider donating to Mercy Corps Haiti Earthquake Fund to help survivors continue to survive and ultimately thrive.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Haiti on My Mind

7.3 earthquake....many aftershocks....collapsed school with 100s of children....collapsed hospital. falling into ravines...tsunami watch.....

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Note: the images in the last video are from the Sumatra quake of similar strength last September combined with text snippets of news of today's Haiti quake and poignant music.


Monday, January 11, 2010

Mercurial Puns

I captioned two LOLcats this week and since their themes are tangentially related I thought I'd just post them together.

da pitchur of purrfekchun
moar funny pictures

jus watch meh  ai b da nex Daygrrr
moar funny pictures

Yes, I know this amounts to a lazy post. I plead guilty. I guess I just have different priorities while on this visit with my Longview family. I haven't spent very much time per day on the computer. Visiting and reading are probably the two things claiming the most time. With sleep coming in a close third. I've read over 800 pages in the last ten days.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sunday Serenity #161

Been hanging with my sister today. For a good part of the afternoon we were both sitting in side-by-side recliners reading. But we have visited too and will continue to do so this evening.


Saturday, January 09, 2010

My Pretties

I was finally able to open my mind map of my story world after installing Xmind on my netbook. The screen shot above shows the entire thing--what there is of it so far--on screen at once but to get it I had to shrink it to 40%. Truthfully most of the info in here duplicates what is already in my WhizFolder files for the story world. But this format allows me to see it graphically instead of hierarchically; to see it as an interconnected web instead of a series of outlines.

And I must say it is simply prettier with the color coded elements and gazing at it, manipulating its elements makes my fingers itch for the keyboard to get ideas down. Even though it is possible to write lengthy text documents in the mind maps, I don't wish to use it that way. I would rather return to Whiz for that. What the mind map helps with is fiddling with relationships among story elements--timelines and plot lines and family trees; character lists and place lists and novel/story/scene lists; and that pesky issue of defining the cult central to the story line--its beliefs, history, settings, culture.

I'm working with a roster of over 120 characters of which 70% at least belong to a few intermingled family lines of eight generations spanning 120 years or so. There are 16 to 20 separate stories in progress and I'm still unsure if it will be one huge novel or a collection of interrelated novellas and short stories.

Well it won't be anything but a private little hobby if I don't start translating the daydream in my mind into full blown scenes on the screen/page.


Friday, January 08, 2010

One by One

Screen shot showing Gimp (GNU Image Manipulation) with its about window open over the top of Zscreen the screen capture program that took the shot.

Gimp and Zscreen were the two free programs I downloaded and installed on my netbook today. I had both on my laptop but these are both newer versions than I was using. So I'll have a bit of getting used to to do.

I decided almost immediately after powering up my netbook late Saturday night that I wasn't going to try to go after every single ap that I had before in a mad rush. I would take my time installing them one by one and spend a little time exploring each one before going on to the next.

I started with a game. A jigsaw puzzle game that allows me to create and then assemble jigsaw puzzles out of any image I feed it.

Screen shot showing the playing field of the Kraisoft Jigsaw Puzzle Lite game with pieces scattered over the optional ghost image, a thumbnail open in bottom corner and one of the four sorting trays open in the top corner where I've started to collect the edge pieces.

This is the third approximately 300 piece puzzle I've started this week. I finished two already. I just started this one for the purpose of getting the screen shot for this post. The one drawback of playing this on the netbook vx my laptop is the limit of how many pieces I can have in a puzzle. I love to have them over 1000 but apparently this screen is too small to accomodate that. The pieces of the 300 count puzzles are tinier than the 1000 count puzzles on the laptop screen.

Actually WhizFolder Organizer Pro was the first application I added. I can barely function on a computer anymore without my Whiz files. It's almost like my brain itself is stored in them.

Screen shot showing several Whiz files open. The two most visible are Webmap my URL bookmarking file and Book Reviews where notes, links, thots and drafts for potential book reviews reside.

I do all my composing in Whiz now and only use a regular word processor when I need manuscript quality drafts, HTML pages, or desk top publish capabilities. For that my preferred ap is Productivity Suite's Writer which was yesterday's install project--the Suite that is--and which I discussed in yesterday's post.

I think tomorrow's new install should be X Mind so I can open the mind map of my storyworld I created while prepping for NaNo.


Thursday, January 07, 2010

On a Mission

Use The mission to re-create the environment of my laptop on my new netbook continues. Today I installed the Productivity Suite which can do anything MS Office can do and more:

Writer – a word processor you can use for anything from writing a quick letter to producing an entire book
Calc – a powerful spreadsheet with all the tools you need to calculate, analyse, and present your data in numerical reports or sizzling graphics.
Impress – the fastest, most powerful way to create effective multimedia presentations.
Draw – lets you produce everything from simple diagrams to dynamic 3D illustrations.
Base – lets you manipulate databases seamlessly. Create and modify tables, forms, queries, and reports, all from within
Math – lets you create mathematical equations with a graphic user interface or by directly typing your formulas into the equation editor

And it's free. Free to download, use, distribute. And open source so programmers can add plug-ins with ease. That last excites Ed but I'm more psyched by the desktop publishing capabilities and the database and spreadsheet.

I confess, I haven't used the program much in the two years since I got WhizFolder Organizer Pro, but it is going to be necessary for prepping final drafts of manuscripts for submission which Whiz is not such a whiz at. And which is one of my main missions for this year. I also have a number of files created in it that I want access to again. For example spreadsheets attempting to organize the family trees, time line and roster for my story world and the project itself and for NaNo 2007 I created a slide show in Impress with pictures of people, clothing, buildings and other items that helped define my characters and settings. I want to do more of those for the rest of the story world.


Wednesday, January 06, 2010

New Thread, New Bookmarks, New Aps

I've made six bookmarks since I left home. The first was the two toned green. Then I picked up three new colors of crochet thread the same day I got my netbook. Since then I've made five with them. Pale green, pink and blue. The pink one in the middle of the right hand bunch of three isn't showing very pink but the shade is almost right in the middle stripe of the one on the far left. I've tucked the tails on the right three but not the left three.

Bradley, the family cat here at my mom's, was quuite intrigued by those tails. He grabed that blue and pink one three times while I tried to take the pics.

Bradley: Such a helpful kitty

Well, the posting of these pics marks another milestone crossed in the developing relationship between me and my new netbook. I've obviously successfully introduced my camera to it. I took a chance that all I had to do was plug the camera in via the USB port as usual because when I did so with my portable mouse and with a smart thumb drive both times the netbook searched for and installed the necessary drivers.

But I had no image manipulating program on board and had to go searching for a free one. The first one I tried didn't allow editing other than autofix else I couldn't figure it out. So I had to find and try a second. Not thrilled with it either but it at least allowed me to get these two prepped for posting. Tho I couldn't figure out how to resize them for web posting so they might load slow.

There are some aps that were on my laptop that I'll really miss and many I probably can't get loaded onto the netbook or any future computer as they are no longer supported.

What I miss the most is the routine--knowing what moves to make from start to finish in prepping a post, in prepping pics for posts, in just about any activity I once did on my laptop. Learning my way around a new system is a challenge with impaired vision. Add to that that I've always had difficulty adjusting to change, to new environments, new routines, new places, new anything really.

Ah well. Adjustments. What life is full of if you're living it.


Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Having a Ball

ai haz a ball
moar funny pictures

I'm enjoying my visit with family, getting my new netbook set up, and reading. Also crocheting with three new thread colors I picked up on Saturday after buying my netbook. Pastel green, pink and blue. I've already made a book mark in each color and am starting one of the two-color bookmarks, incorporating one of the new colors.

I'm also getting caught up on sleep. Went to bed before nine last night and woke before dawn so I'm probably going to be ready to sleep early again tonight.

I hope to get my camera introduced to my netbook soon so I can post pictures of the new colors of thread and the bookmarks I'm making.

Then there is Bradley, my nephew's cat, whose been hanging close with me a lot since i got here. I think he remembers me from my six month visit last year. He's constantly purring when near me. I'd like to post pictures of him. He's really helping soothe the missing of my own cat Merlin.


Monday, January 04, 2010

What I Crave

see more Lolcats and funny pictures

The last week--heck the last month--has caught up with me. My brain feels fried. I'm so sleep deprived I'm dreaming of sleep while awake. I'm drooling over the thought of sleeping so hard that I wake with drool on the pillow. It's so bad that I'm loosing interest in my new netbook, the very object of my obsession since I first learned of them last summer.

So tonight I'm going to crash as soon as I can get away with it. Ordinarily, while visiting my mom's I'm waiting for that moment when everybody goes to bed so I can have the quiet and uninterrupted time for my thinking, reading, writing, surfing etc. Not tonight. I realized while eating dinner that I was more interested in sleep than the food in front of me and that meant I probably should try to post something as soon as I could grab a few minutes and not wait until my mom and sister were in bed.

Not that this is much of something.


Sunday, January 03, 2010

Sunday Serenity #160

Happy Birthday Mom

Today was my mom's 78th birthday and we had the family gathering at my brother's house in Portland OR. My sister-friend Jamie took this pic of us.


Saturday, January 02, 2010

Up and Running

I've been sans laptop for two weeks since the monitor went black on mine the Sunday before Christmas. Altho I did have access to my husband's it wasn't the same as having my own nor would I be able to take it with me on my upcoming trip. Ed tried to get me a netbook for Christmas but the ones in his price range (under $300) were out of stock by the time he was able to go looking. And because of the weather--the icy passes north and south of the Rogue Valley--none of the stores got restocked before I had to leave so Ed sent the money with me.
My sister drove me back down to Portland from Longview this afternoon so I could shop in Oregon's tax free stores. Also my Mom has a Cosgo card and we checked there first but they were out of stock on the Acer Aspire netbook that was in my price range. So next stop Wal-Mart. And my heart sank to learn they too were out of stock. But they had the eMachines eM250 which had more hardrive memory than the Acer Aspire (250 G instead of 160) and was $70 less ($228 vs $298). I was hesitant at first, not having heard much about eMachines but after my sister called first her son at home in Longview WA and than my husband at home in Pheonix OR to get their takes I felt better about taking the plunge. If neither of those two geeks had heard anything negative about eMachine then it must be OK. If I'd known then what I just learned--that eMachines are made by Acer--I probably wouldn't have needed their input.
It's kind of weird, the parrels between this time and last time. When I bought my laptop in 2005, it was on a trip to Longview too. That time I had come to be with my family at my Dad's bedsied on the final days of his battle with cancer. My brother took me shopping in the Portland area and I brought it to my parent's to upack it and get it set up with my brother's help. So as I unpacked and setup this one pretty much by myself tonight I was having some skin-shivering de je vieu moments triggering some unsettling memories of that night in September 05 when the joy of acquiring the laptop I'd dreamed of for a decade and saved for for four years was mixed with the grief of knowing my Daddy was leaving us.
This time the excitement and joy is tinged only by the fatigue from the shopping and probbably from the stress of the week of trip prep and travel. Not to mention the stress of the last two weeks of being without my laptop and fretting about the files still on it. I know it sounds pathetic but I was feeling as disoriented as one who's lost a limb for the last two weeks. Now I'm up and running again with 24/7 access. And this time my story machine is truely as portable as a slender hardback book. Which means I can take it with me more places more often.
It's going to take some time to get everything set up to my liking on this one--settings and preferences and favorites and applications etc. When I first opened the box, I was eager to do as much as I could towards that goal tonight but two hours later I am too weary to keep going.


Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy 2010

May your new year be full of wonder, dreams and joy.


Blog Directories


Feed Buttons

Powered By Blogger

About This Blog

Web Wonders

Once Upon a Time





70 Days of Sweat

Yes, master.

Epic Kindle Giveaway Jan 11-13 2012

I Melted the Internet

  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by 2008

Back to TOP