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ARCHIVES: October 24-31, 2003


October 31, 2003 - Friday

Extreme Pumpkins

Leoville.com recommends this page of unusual pumpkins -- Extreme Pumpkins. It's got the conjoined pumpkins, gunshot pumpkin, head flames, etc.



October 30, 2003 - Thursday

Post in Your Blog - Lose Your Job

Hard to believe this was worth firing someone over: "MICROSOFT Fires Mac Fan For Blog Photo:  Christor writes Microsoft has fired a full-time temp employee after it discovered that the employee posted in his blog a photo and story concerning a G5 purchase. http://yro.slashdot.org/yro/03/10/29/1421223.shtml?tid=109&tid=187 "


What is news to share and what is a secret to hide? Sometimes, it isn't clear.



October 29, 2003 - Wednesday

Internet Explorer Problems

Has Microsoft gone overboard in correcting security flaws? When I go to a PDF site, it just shows an "X" in the window. I fiddled around with Acrobat settings and searched for a solution on Google. So, I set Acrobat to NOT show PDF files in the browser. This works a little. The PDF file opens in its own window which is slightly annoying, but at least it works. After opening ONE PAGE of a PDF file, I just get the message the the next page is "not found." This is not true. When I run Mozilla, I have no problem opening the same page and viewing the entire file.


Next, I want to listen to a sound recording online. The file can play through WinAmp or Windows Media Player. Using IE6, nothing will play. Again, if I come to the same site through Mozilla, I can play the file through the Windows Media Player just fine.


I've searched through the settings for IE6 and checked for updates and still can not make it work with these files. I am glad I have Mozilla on hand. Has anyone else had these problems?



Great Photo of the Giant Solar Flare

Hitting the earth right now, this is the biggest solar flare in decades. According to NewScientist.com, "The eruption is the latest event in a week of intense solar activity. The activity is highly unusual because the 11-year sunspot cycle peaked in 2000."




October 28, 2003 - Tuesday

Broadcast Your Funeral on the Internet

This was funny -- maybe not a bad idea, but I would want sound clips and photos on a website in addition or instead of a live broadcast at my funeral. The November Reader's Digest lists these unique funeral items:


1. Live Internet broadcasts by Chapelview Online. Heck, log in from anywhere in the world.

2. Art caskets like a NASCAR fan's "Race Is Over" or a golf nut's "Fairway to Heaven." [H-m-m, aren't these going in the ground? What do the worms care? At least it would look good for the funeral, but bury me in a cardboard box and just rent something pretty for the funeral. Dying is way too expensive these days - most of us can not afford to.]

3. Themed services. Batesville Casket Co.'s offerings range from The Farmer (complete with hay bales to prop up the coffin) to The Jazz Man (including smooth mood music.) [I like this one -- can't think of what I'd want for a theme - but a little humor at a funeral would make it memorable.]

4. Eternal Reefs' artificial coral reefs made from cremated remains -- so the dearly departed can swim with the fishes. [That's cool for those who want it, but being a genealogist, I've grown fond of graveyards. Just bury me near someone I knew - family, maybe.]

5. Golf course burials. Turtle Run in Danville, IL, has a plot on the front nine. Say farewell and make your tee time. [There's a golf course just off Lily Flagg and Bailey Cove here in Huntsville where folks will plant a tree in someone's name.]



October 27, 2003 - Monday

Very Important Things

I was just reading Seadoc's blog (now known as Far From Perfect) and he recommends an amusing site, Very Important Things, where funny captions are added to old images. This is hilarious. I am glad he had a slow day so he could discover these things.



Funny Poster

Saw this at BananaFlip - originally from Despair.com. You know, this is so funny that I think I'll buy the calendar.



Flash - Punk Rock Kittens

Found this cute flash animation of kittens - http://www.rathergood.com/punk_kittens/. Good for a chuckle. (While its nice  going to back to "real" time and getting morning daylight back, it's still difficult getting used to the time change - grumble - grumble.)



October 26, 2003 - Sunday

Darn Daylight Savings Time

I HATE changing the clocks in this house every 6 months and trying to get used to a new sleep schedule. It takes me a good month to get used to this, if I do at all. When my daughter was a baby, I thought she would NEVER adjust to the new time.


It's a pain to take clocks down from the wall, change them, then try to hook them back over that little nail that tends to slide flush with the wall so you have to stop and pull it out and try half a dozen times before the clock stays. Not only that, but the VCR, cable box, Caller ID and other electronic devices change themselves -- but NOT at the right moment. Our VCR has changed, but our cable box with the large display that we use for time, does not change until after we are up, later in the day. We can not change it ourselves. The Caller ID box will not change right away, either. Argh!


We don't need daylight savings time anymore. It's a 24-hour society out here - it's not like everyone goes to bed when it gets dark these days. And, when I am home, I turn on a light and a TV, no matter how dark it is outside. The light outside certainly makes no difference in running a computer.


It's time to stop this nonsense.



My Sister Started a Blog

My little sister (I have 4 sisters and 2 brothers -- all younger than me) started a blog. She also has a photo blog. (Any of you other siblings and cousins want to start one? It's a good way to keep in touch.) She is using a simple, free service at Blogspot.com.


To give you an idea of my family size, I came from a family with 7 children. So did my mother. Add in my father's side and my husband's side, several descendants of polygamous marriages from Mormon history (which we do not practice today, thank goodness), and I am related to half the state of Utah and a big portion of Idaho and a piece of California (I descend from the brother of one of the first discoverers of gold at Sutter's Mill which began the gold rush, so a large portion of the family lives there).


And I had better stop before I bore you all to death. Genealogists can talk forever about their families.


Bonnie's Blog | Bonnie's Photos



Revising My Opinion about iTunes

I am learning a lot more and I see that iTunes is the not the ultimate service out there. I have been disappointed in the many searches that yield nothing. Apparently, the supply of songs is limited and, as others have said, it is just easier to buy the CD than mess with the digital rights stuff.


PC Magazine's current issue rates several services and they like RealOne Rhapsody 2.1 and MusicMatch Jukebox 8.1 better than iTunes.


As far as appearance goes, I like the way iTunes organizes and displays my music with the iPod. A day does not pass that I do not listen to it. MusicMatch never displayed right on this monitor. The player had overwritten text and looked sloppy -- probably due to the video display being set to "large" fonts which hurts the display of other programs like PrintShop and some AOL screens. I never got familiar enough with MusicMatch to appreciate it. It deserves a second look.


October 25, 2003 - Saturday

Amazon Offers Full Text Searches of Books

Wow! I like this -- you can do a search for any phrase or word and find the books that contain that phrase. What a good way to sell books and useful to the consumer, too.



Commercials Get Angry

Advertisers are supposed to be nice. At least, that's what I used to think. There are two commercials running right now that "yell" at viewers. One DEMANDS money for a charitable children's fund. They actually get angry and try to lay a huge guilt trip on the viewer. What ever happened to being polite?


Another one advertises a computer CD learning program. At one point the guy hawking this stuff complains about people who do not like to buy things because they are on TV and launches into a speech about why they are on TV. Sheesh.


I remember when a network held to a policy of not showing the same commercial within a 2-hour period. Heck, they did not even show nearly as many commercials as they do today. I know I am old - I was on the Internet with my little Commodore before spam and popups were around. Things sure have changed out here.



October 24, 2003 - Friday

iTunes Plays on a Regular CD

I found out that iTunes songs can be copied to a CD that will play in any machine, then ripped by a slow ripper like the slower version of MusicMatch and made into mp3 files. A fast ripper seems to get clogged on these files. At least that's what I learned watching TV. They also said that technically, it is illegal to remove the copy protection, but on the other hand, they said it seems fair that the owner of a song can use it for themselves this way and cited some old law.



Quiet Day

Compared to some of you, I have a very uneventful life. I like that way, though. Since my daughter moved out last week, taking her cat with her, things are very quiet. I no longer worry about when she comes home late. Funny how, if she isn't here, it's a whole different world. I just want her to be happy and I think she is. She has friends over constantly, seems to enjoy her job and social life and keeps very busy.


Her empty bedroom seems kind of strange. I get a little down walking into it and knowing she's not living there anymore. On the other hand, I have plans for it -- I want to turn it into a library with bookshelves and a comfortable recliner -- a quiet reading room. I can't decide if I am depressed or excited to have the extra space in our small house.


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