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ARCHIVES: September 1-7, 2003



September 7, 2003 - Sunday

Joys of Fast Food

We went to Dairy Queen yesterday. My husband ordered a banana split with specific flavors. Usually this is no problem. When he sat down, he found that it was a standard banana split with the wrong flavors, but he didn't feel like getting up, walking past the long line and complaining -- so he let it go.


Recently, we went to Subway's drive-through window. I was getting a meal for someone else and ordered a Dr. Pepper. What she got (and did not find out until it was too late to bother going back) was a Pepsi.


Mistakes are typical of fast food. We have to check the contents of a drive-through order very carefully.  Is it the speaker system? Do we mumble too much? Are the employees too rushed or is it just plain apathy on their part? I know companies are pretty good about complaints, but it is a bother to drive all the way back just to complain about a drink or to call a company.


That reminds me of a friend of mine. She will go anywhere and wait in any kind of long line for free food. When a grocery store near us opened, she stood in line for half and hour to get a hot dog. She did the same at a political rally. She's not poor - fairly well off, in fact. She loves getting something for free no matter how big a bother it is and is quite proud of it. I guess the thrill of it is worth the time for her. I get a chuckle when she tells me about it, but heck, standing in a line for an hour is not worth a hot dog for me. Time is valuable, too.



Learning Photoshop 7

I bought the CD a long time ago for a discount price at a computer show and am finally getting around to upgrading and understanding more of Adobe Photoshop. I had always thought it was complicated and preferred using a clone program, Micrografx Picture Publisher, but I think it is time to learn the "real" thing. I love the text effects.

Here's a couple of good sites for step-by-step tutorials: Absolute Cross and IceHouse Designs.



September 6, 2003 - Saturday

Photo Blogging

I have a cell phone camera and access to a free site where I can send pictures. The cell phone camera is not very good quality, but it is "on-the-spot" blogging no matter where I am (as long as it is within range of a cell phone tower). Yesterday, a friend pointed out a problem with my photo blog site: many food pictures. I had to chuckle because she has a point.


I love my life, but I've run out of things to photograph, so the blog lately consists of food, cats and sunrises, for the most part. Repeat that every day. Maybe I will have to call it "The Second Dullest Blog in the World." Oh well, I am having a good time amusing myself and my daughter (who takes most of the cat photos). Besides, I admire The Dullest Blog in the World. Maybe I could evolve this into the "Dullest Photo Blog in the World."


Watch today for photos from Dairy Queen where we are going for lunch. The excitement is killing me.


Tomorrow will be more exciting. I spend 2 hours watching and teaching about 8 children (with someone else, fortunately) between the ages of 18 months through 3 years old at church. I enjoy being with the children very much, but after that I am happy to go back to my quiet online life.


It's interesting to see different parental attitudes about the children. We have a schedule which includes free playtime with toys. Some adults feel like they need to referee the play closely, making sure nobody runs too fast or jumps off a chair while others sit back and chat to the other adults with the attitude that, if nobody is crying or doing anything extremely dangerous, they let them go. Of course, the definition of dangerous varies from parent to parent, but I find parents with the most children of their own are the most easy-going about it.



September 5, 2003 - Friday


Saw this today on Call for Help and I am hooked. E-Prompter is a free program that logs into all of your e-mail accounts and checks for new mail whether the account is on POP3 (Outlook Express), AOL, Yahoo, Comcast, Hotmail or others. It can be set to log in at specified intervals and will tell you how many messages you have waiting to read and will also let you read that mail if you wish. This is very handy for those of us with e-mail accounts scattered all over the place. I've been using it for an hour or so and find no problems. It shows all of my e-mail accounts and how many pieces of unread mail each account has waiting. I was able to easily go in and read that mail -- more quickly than going to a website to retrieve it.



Easy Way to Send a Postcard

Saw this this tip on Call for Help. A site called AmazingMail will take an uploaded picture and print it in postcards, then mail them out. They have a personal and bulk business option. Send vacation pictures with ease. The catch is that you need to have Internet access and the ability to upload, but someone could take a photo, upload it, and have AmazingMail send it to the addresses they specify. The addresses are saved on the site so it is easy to send cards in the future. The cost is about one dollar per card, depending on the size. I love this idea! My mother won't touch a computer so this would work for her when I have digital photos that I want to show her when out of town without access to my printer. H-m-m-m, maybe I could do this for Christmas. Take a photo of our tree and send out cards. (They let you try one for free.)



September 4, 2003 - Thursday

Things to Put on a Site

That last got me going and I was browsing around for things that could go on a site. OnYourSite.com offers several free items such as these. (I like the weather one since the one from Weather.com is not working this morning.) I am just going to let these scroll to the archives pages or put one on my weather page. I could easily go overboard here.




Here's an interesting newsticker from 7am.com. It can be customized to show different kinds of news. Click on a story to read more. They offer a pay service which excludes the ads and offers many more choices in news. This is kind of cute except for the ads which come up too often.





Quote of the Day

Thanks to Ex Cathedra I am testing out a "quote of the day" using a simple piece of javascript that calls to Quotationspage.com. I've seen some of the quotes and I can't agree with all of them, but then that gives me something to talk about (as if there isn't enough already). I could make my own page of quotes like I do in my cat site (www.Cats.Muddypaws.info), but the large database available could not be matched.


The problem is the large title and too much text in the box. I can't seem to space the text closer together, either. Oh well. Buried in all the text below is an actual quote which will change tomorrow.




September 3, 2003 - Wednesday

Alabama Rivers Alliance

I was proud and pleased that they printed one of my photos of Aldridge Creek in their last newsletter. This is a good organization. Their purpose: "Working to unite the citizens of Alabama to protect clean, healthy waters." Walking along Aldridge Creek every day has given me an appreciation for keeping the water clean. The creek supports much wildlife. As a child, I used to visit friends who lived by the creek to catch minnows.


The Aldridge Creek Clean Water Association recently held its first meeting. Contact person is Murray Carroll at canoemac@knology.net.


Alabama Rivers Alliance Website



New Camera Cell Phones

It looks like these are just getting better and better. I like the sidebar that shows the new Samsung models. I have a Samsung v205 with T-Mobile service that I love except the picture quality is not the as good as I'd like. Otherwise, it is a joy to use. I look forward to getting something better.


New Camera Cell Phones Announced



Windows Messenger Spam

I had turned this off before, but did not turn it off again when I reinstalled Windows on the new hard drive. Today, I went to a site that started sending me Windows Messenger spam. Many of you probably know what this is - a kind of spam that comes in the form of standard system windows that pop up on the screen anytime and is not detected by most virus protection programs. Most folks don't need to have this messenger service running. Turning it off solves the problem. I am also getting ready to run another spyware system sweep.


Here's a site that explains how to turn this off:


Windows Messenger Spam



September 2, 2003 - Tuesday

Artwork in my Home (Continued)

The picture on the left hangs in one of our rooms. I think it is very romantic. It's titled "Meeting on the Turret Stairs" by Frederick Burton (1864). The picture on the right hangs at the entrance to our bathroom, titled "Lesbia" by John Reinhard Weguelin (1878). (More Artwork in my Home.)




Labor Day

Labor Day was wonderful - a nice quiet day at home with a short trip to eat out for lunch. My daughter had to work, but she said she did not mind the holiday due to getting holiday pay. My husband spent the day taking apart the computer and working with software while Muddy sat around and kept us company. I spent time reading a good book in the same room. This was the ideal day for me - being at home with my husband, quiet, nobody wanting anything and so peaceable. Life is good (at least it was yesterday).


I get a chuckle from folks who tell me that they have to be out of the house. I think I can understand, but while I enjoy my 5-mile daily walk, after that, I am perfectly content to stay home with my computer, book and cats. As long as I have those things and my family is well, I think I could live in a cave and be happy.



September 1, 2003 - Monday

Thanks for the Buttons

At the bottom left of this page are buttons created by SeaDoc and MedicMom. Thanks! I am glad artistic, creative people like you exist (so people like me can take advantage.)



Cool Tools

MedicMom has a very useful site with lots of useful tools, Cool Tools. One she just added was a disposable e-mail address. Use the generated address when posting publicly. The resulting e-mail will be forwarded to your own e-mail address, but it expires when you want (such as only being good for 2 weeks, etc.). That way, you can avoid leaving your address behind for a long time, subjecting it to e-mail harvesting by spammers. This is a great idea!


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