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ARCHIVES: September 8-15, 2003


September 15, 2003 - Monday

Restaurant Disturbance

We went to Meteor Buffet's seafood night (my favorite restaurant). It was heaven. I loved their coconut shrimp as well as the shrimp in lobster sauce, pineapple rice, bacon-wrapped shrimp and a lot more.


When we finished, we paid and my husband ducked into the bathroom while I waited by the door. I chatted with the hostess a minute. Several people came into the lobby and stood there talking and looking at the goldfish. Apparently one of the women in the group was mad-- she started a physical fight, shoving one of the guys with her. The argument looked like it was getting worse. I took a step back and the poor young hostess was shocked. We glanced at each other. She stepped over to the kitchen and called to someone.


I was relieved to see a very nice, fit, large Chinese guy appear. Frankly, he looked like a bouncer. I think he was a chef/owner. At any rate, the fight broke up as soon as he walked over to the group, speaking Chinese the whole time. I got a chuckle because they did not know what he was saying. Perhaps they thought he did not speak English so they could not draw him into the fight. Eventually, they stopped and sat down to eat. By that time, my husband came out of the bathroom. What timing!



September 14, 2003 - Sunday

Rainy Morning

It was pretty quiet out on the greenway today, probably due to last night's shower and the looks of another one to come. I did meet some friends. We had a great walk -- it did not rain until the last minute or two of our walk. Fortunately, we had umbrellas or rain hats. We met other friends just starting to walk who quickly turned around.


Actually, it was so hot and humid that the rain felt good. We'd had several cool mornings so this hot one seemed worse than usual. We saw a large snapping turtle along with several other kinds of turtles looking down from the Mtn. Gap Bridge. Some people throw bread to them and once counted at least 20 turtles.


My cell camera took a decent picture of the dawn that I posted on my photo blog (which has dropped to number 3 as the largest photoblog at Textamerica.com). I love this cell phone camera. It does not look like a camera so nobody knows I am taking pictures. I can walk around basically unnoticed.



September 13, 2003 - Saturday

Johnny Cash & Diabetes

I was sorry to hear about Johnny Cash passing away. Today's paper said it was due to diabetes, a problem found in my own family. From what I've been able to learn, diabetes shaves an average of 15 years off a life. Of course, everyone is different and reacts differently to medicine, but this is a big killer - and medicine for it is an expensive way to live.


Most old overweight people I talk to have diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is caused more by being overweight than any other factor. One person asked me if eating a lot of sugar causes diabetes. The answer is no. Having a lot of fat on the body is the more likely cause, no matter if it was caused by sugar, grease or whatever. Once you have it, you can still eat sugar, but it is best to avoid carbohydrates. Eating a tortilla chip may raise blood sugar faster than eating a piece of candy.


My mother is slowly going blind from this disease and I would not be surprised if I followed. There is still much to learn about diabetes. For more information, check The American Diabetes Association.



September 12, 2003 - Friday

Couple of Good Quotes

I got these quotes from Ex Cathedra's site. I used to be sympathetic to Bill Gates and the RIAA, but I've changed my mind over time after observing bullying attitudes. I don't feel sorry for either of them anymore. It's ridiculous that sharing one song carries a bigger penalty than hitting someone over the head! (The second quote was just plain funny.)


The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. - Dr. Hunter S. Thompson


I need a girlfriend whose name doesn't end in .jpg - Bumper sticker seen at DEFCON by gnat



Google News Service

For years, I've been using AOL's news alerts but I found a much better one - Google's news alerts. Its free. Register with Google to receive news using keywords you specify. The news can be set to send once a day with all the articles compiled into one page or several times a day, as it happens. I tried some of the same keywords I use with AOL's service and I was getting 5 times the articles! Obviously Google is much better at this and you don't have to be a member of AOL to get it. It's perfect for following an issue, public person, any town you might want to watch, etc.


My husband came from a little tiny town in Idaho and I signed up for news about his town. I doubt it will come very often, but its a way to keep tabs on what might make the news from around there without having to go to a website to check.



Neighborhood Blackout

Around 5:30 this morning, the lights went out for about an hour in neighborhoods next to ours (Shades, Mountain Gap Road). Being just across the creek from them and tied into a different substation, our power only blinked a few times. My parents live in that area. Their power goes out more often than ours. Some of our walking friends said it was black on neighboring streets. I imagine a few folks were late for work today.


The city was right on it, though. One of our running friends saw the utilities guy carefully shining a flashlight through the substation. We thought it might be squirrels, a constant problem there.



September 11, 2003 - Thursday

Ten Commandments Monument Witch Hunt

This is getting completely out of hand! The ACLU in various states has called on people to look for other monuments to see if they are located on government property so action could be taken against them. Doesn't the ACLU have enough to do? Somebody please find constructive work for this group. Surely they can find a better use for their time.



9/11 - My Memories

There are many excellent bloggers posting today. Check out Seadoc and MedicMom who refer to other good articles today, too. I'd like to see this day made into an official memorial day of some kind, eventually. It is certainly worth stopping from the daily grind and honoring those who sacrificed their all.


I remember that day. I had just gotten in from my 5-mile walk, showered and sat in front of the morning news show with a hot bowl of oatmeal. I saw a burning building and thought that it was some kind of bad accident. Then my mouth fell open and I stopped everything as I watched the second plane hit the tower as it happened. I could not believe what I was seeing. It was truly a shocking day.


As MedicMom said, it changed my life. Before I leave the house each morning, I check the morning news to see if the world is still in one piece and to see if it is safe to go outside.



September 10, 2003 - Wednesday

Blogger Pro Now Free

Got this information from Kottke.org:


According to news.com, Google is discontinuing Blogger Pro and folding the Pro features back into their free version of the software:

Google-owned Web log-creation site Blogger is eliminating its paid version and folding premium functions into its free service, bucking a trend toward making people pay for Web site extras.

The creation of Blogger Pro, which cost subscribers a yearly fee of $35, came about as a result of financial necessity, Blogger co-founder Evan Williams wrote in an e-mail to subscribers. Now that Google owns the service, that need has passed.

It's a good move...Pro never offered significant improvement over the free version and the proliferation of Blogger's various options (Blogger, Blogger Pro, Blog*Spot, ad-free Blog*Spot, etc.) was confusing.


Kottke.org goes on to say that Blogger has many downtime and other problems. There's a site I go to on Blogger that has never been down in the mornings, at least.



Political Discussion

I got into a fervent political discussion with a walking friend this morning. We disagreed very much and presented our cases. After the whole thing was over, I found it had been invigorating, partly because I knew enough to actually talk about it. I had enjoyed the whole thing - kind of stretches the mind. Neither of us "won" and we found agreement in several things. The problem with all of this is that we don't know how things will turn out in the future. Could someone please go forward in time and check for us? Then we'd know if certain policies will work.



Photoshop 7 - One Click Wow

I bought the book by this title and I literally was saying, "Wow" repeatedly. This is fun. Here's some of what can be done with it.



September 9, 2003 - Tuesday

Remember Bloom County? It's Coming Back .. Sort Of

Terry over at Possomblog posted the news: Opus is returning to Sunday comic strips. Berkeley Breathed's last attempt was terrible. I hope he knows what went wrong and does better this time. Bloom County was one of my favorites.



Changed the Weather Page

In playful retaliation for doing RSS, I've created a wilder, crazier weather page. Warning - it may cause headaches or eyestrain. I decided to throw all my gimmicky stuff on one page for the heck of it: Weather.



More on RSS

Darn - without all the color and glitz, my site loses flavor. Now I have to write well to keep an RSS/XML user's  interest instead of hiding it behind photos and color. (If you get bored, just stop by the actual site and gaze at the photos and graphics. Maybe I can include music guaranteed to put you to sleep.)



Voting on a Local Tax Issue

I have discussed and debated this issue with friends and appreciated their opposing viewpoints so I could decide better how to vote. On the one hand, we've been taxed enough. Where does taxing end? When they take 60% out of our income? When they take 70%? 80%? How many times can a tax increase be approved before it gets to be too much? It just seems to be creeping up endlessly. People have a right to spend their own money the way they want to.


On the other hand, we do need to improve our schools, etc. So this tax bill is not perfect. At least it is something and will do some good. But we need to improve on corruption and bad spending habits too. Messed-up priorities and corruption exist all around us. Throwing money at the problem will likely help, but it will probably result in more mismanagement, corruption and bad spending.


I think this tax bill is too wide-sweeping. Perhaps specific tax legislation targeted for specific things would be better. Even better would be better spending habits, less pork, better government management. I voted for Riley, but I am beginning to think he is a Democrat in Republican clothing.


I believe in voting for the individual and there are folks in several political parties that raise good issues. If they had a new political party with a touch of everything, that would work for me. Otherwise, I am probably closer to Republican on most issues.


I got a chuckle from some noncomputer-type friends. I told them that I was going to put my viewpoints on my blog and they said, "To be fair, you need to include the other side." This is my BLOG - basically meant to be one-sided. Now, if I were a newspaper or TV service, then I would pretend to present the other side while making sure everyone knew my own viewpoint anyway.



September 8, 2003 - Monday


I (finally!) took a close look at RSS. It is not hard to do manually, but looks tedious since the entire page has to be redone in XML format and saved as a separate page. I can see where having a blogging program that does this automatically comes in handy.


While it makes reading content easy and quick, it's like someone redid your site and converted it to a "generic, no-frills format." Forget the ads and extras from the sidebar. Forget the style and colors. I did a test RSS feed at https://www.angelfire.com/folk/morgan/blog/bamablogrss.xml. I am not sure if I want to keep this up or not, but the subject is fascinating. I need to learn how to do graphics and additional links if I plan to continue with it.


If you have never done RSS, you can view the page this way (and test other RSS feeds):


1. Go to this link --> http://www.wc.cc.va.us/services/news/default.asp

2. You will see a blank box on the page near the top. Type in the address for my RSS page (copy and paste this text) --> https://www.angelfire.com/folk/morgan/blog/bamablogrss.xml

3. Press <Enter> and wait a few moments. The RSS view will show the page if you scroll down. Below is a link for more information. It will also give you the Java code to put the feed on any other page.


I understand why this is popular with some folks. It saves a lot of time for the readers.


Making an RSS Feed



Children in Church

Yesterday in church was much fun. I was asked to photograph each child individually to include in a children's program in 2 weeks. They were all good sports and smiled for me. I also enjoyed the nursery where I spend most of my Sunday time. When I came into the classroom, one little girl shouted my name over and over and ran up to hug me. It's good to be wanted like that. Our children are wonderful.


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