Friday, August 29, 2003

Children are such little PEOPLE. A little voice says: "Daddy, I need in the office to get my drink..." OH SURE - another ploy to get into the office and "help" Daddy. The little guy wants to WORK. It seems so exotic, WORK - it's what Daddy does...oh the sultry oriental pleasures that lurk behind the door to the OFFICE....Daddy calls his bluff by saying:"Pick up your drink" and the little head twists around to look back downstairs....ah HA! Busted....

Thursday, August 28, 2003

Reading Evelyn Waugh again. "Scoop" is really ironic. Hysterical irony at every turn. Waugh just makes a statement - no explanation, and I role in the aisle. Laughing out loud while reading on the back deck has the effect of making me seem a bit mad. Well, I suppose there may be substance to that impression.

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Learning to take pictures again because my old TLR camera has no working light meter. Needs a mercury battery. Mercury batteries have been banned in the U.S. I am trying to master (which is in this instance means get to a level above crap) exposure control by eyeball. In the old days, when I was a kid, I had a Zeiss Ikonta. Folding bellows and all. Not only did you eyeball the exposure, you had to cock the shutter. I sold the Zeiss, complete with huge flash unit, when the ZOWEEEE new Kodak Instamatics came out (1965)because they were point and push and had photoelectric cell exposure meters. At least the one I bought did (what did I DO with that camera?) So - the skill of exposure setting has left the database of my brain, and practice is all that will restore some of those skills. Today's films seem to operate on a wide latitude. My latest roll came back today, and the prints all look well exposed no matter what the aperture setting as long as it was WIDE. "Rule of sunny 16", and then open her on up seems to do the trick! More like the "Rule of sunny f8" here in the Northeast.

Monday, August 25, 2003

So the Farmer's Almanac says we are to have a cold, miserable, long, snowy New England winter. Just for a second this appeals - after the heat wave we had just a week and a few days ago. But then, thinking back to cold, miserable, icey, snowy dark winter, my heart plummets to my socks and I remember taking those vacation days instead of driving on the worst days. Winter is so long here, and so dark. I photocopy the months from December to April from the Almanac, just the parts where the sunrise and sunset stats are listed. Then I check off the days as it gets lighter and lighter minute by blessed minute. There is a short while in December where I go home from work around 3:30pm to get on the way by dark and be home in the twilight, and then in the summer I leave work at 5:50PM in the light. The worst of the Winter is the dark, and the best of the Spring is the light.
I downloaded Nisus Writer Express Demo last week and have been using it. Except for the stupid "watermark" on the last printed page, which is really a pain because it is actually several diagonal lines down the entire page, this is a really nice beginning of the new word processor. I love the feature of a flexible writing area like MSWord has, and I don't want to buy WORD. Mellel and Appleworks both have a small writing area reminiscent of the old Mac with a tiny screen. Nisus Express is flexible and has the coolest slide-out preferences and formatting screen. In addition it is much more intuitive to use than the above mentioned programs. I have been using Microsoft WORD a long time now and before that - Word Perfect. Having used Appleworks since I became a Mac user, I was looking for something sleek, faster, and more flexible specifically for word processing, and I think Nisus Writer Express is that program.

I had questions about the registration and upgrades, so I wrote the support address an email. Within the morning I had an answer to my query. Very pleasent and prompt response, which I truly enjoyed seeing. This will be the only the second major software I have purchased for my Mac - the only other real purchase has been GraphicConverter and my several-button mouse! Now, a nice, affordable ice white Mac USB ergonomic keyboard might be nice - nothing out there fills that bill entirely.

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Too much violence in the news. Middle East hot spots as usual added to the rest of the hodgepodge of cruel humanity. Would that we would not be deluged with bad news. Would that everyone had learned not to make a mess and then kept to that advice. Ruling out any mess would always rule out hurting people, leveling people's homes, and general mayhem of all sorts.

Watched "StarTrek: Nemesis" last night. Excellent. Better than several of the other "StarTrek" films have been. Data lost his "life." And in so doing he became more human and more hero than most humans ever do. He "laid down his life for a friend" to quote scripture. The entire verse goes: "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." (Jn 15:13). I was very surprised that the film didn't offer more homage to Data gone than they did. Of course they have a new android who is Data's "brother" so the actor keeps on in the same general role and more development is now possible again of the android character.

Thursday, August 14, 2003

It is now almost the end of today and the lights are slowly coming on in the vast area affected by the 4:00PM blackout of '03. I checked the email forum for my email service of choice, and there were carping comments about the unavailability of the email service. Now the main servers for our service - a small one in comparison to many better known brands - reside in New York City. Some people felt that "backup plans should have been made" and that the outage was apparently a major problem in their lives hour by hour. You know, given that this is the largest rolling blackout ever, and that Cleveland to New York to Toronto to Sudbury, Ontario, for Pete's sake, had power out, you would think checking your email was not the top priority. Granted, some was business related, but really, half a day and one night - maybe people should examine their lives and find a good book to read when they can't read their email. In fact, I guess they just must have fuller, more exciting email lives than I do! I checked my Yahoo mail just now. I got several spams, and one mailing list post. So I am going to go watch "House Hunters" on HGTV and let the excitement carry me away. I can read that other mail when they have it up and running tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Sunday past comics section - Doonesbury concerned itself with the very real problem of "Blogger-block." It has affected me the past few weeks, probably due to the inertia caused by sitting basking in the mugginess. As ideas hit me, I will respond, though if they hit me hard enough I can probably be found sleeping. There is an old saying: "When I works, I works hard, when I thinks, I goes to sleep." Lately this has been true, except perhaps for the "working hard" part. Just joking.
The "dog days of summer" are here. Muggy weather for as far back as we can remember now. Some promise of a break tomorrow. Meanwhile, talk about OLD news, there is another vulnerability in Microsoft OS. So go get that patch, or is it those patches, and upgrade those virii sigs.

Monday, August 04, 2003

Well, Monday. Monday in August...home and work, a humid cloud over the day. Days like this were made for rocking on the veranda fanning while you sip a non-caloric diet lemonade. Certainly not the day for exertion. My my.