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ARCHIVES: January 16-23, 2004


January 23, 2004 - Friday

Adopting a Cat

My brother adopted a second cat from the Humane Society last week. The kitten is sweet and likes to hang around on my brother's shoulder. I took a short movie. They named him Tiger Woods.


My mother had a black Persian when I was younger. I remember seeing movies of myself with her 7 kittens in a playpen (being carefully watched). Mom was always adopting strays who came to our house over the years. Of course, she had 7 children, one of which was usually feeding a stray.


My husband is tender and sweet with animals and children. I love him for that. I keep telling my daughter that a good personality test is to observe how her friends treat animals such as her cat - with kindness or cruel teasing. It will reveal a lot about a person.



January 22, 2004 - Thursday

Many Writers Around Here

Jean Brandau, author of About.com's Huntsville Guide, says that North Alabama has more published writers than anywhere else in the country.


H-m-m-m, wonder how our number of bloggers compare to the rest of the country.



How to Get a Free Copy of Microsoft Office 2003

I saw this on The Screen Savers yesterday. Microsoft is offering free, 4-hour seminars across the country and will give a free $400 to $500 Microsoft Office 2003 program to anyone who attends. Sounds like a good deal. The site has a few other good deals such as a $399 Dell computer with a 2.6 ghz chip, cheap wireless routers and more.



January 21, 2004 - Wednesday

Brush Your Teeth

Brush your teeth every day! And then make sure you are born to parents with good teeth (ha!). I wasn't. Here's a picture of my mouth - hope you aren't eating right now.


I love my parents, but I live in the dentist's office as does my mother. Today, my dentist pulled 4 front teeth. The numbness has not worn off, but already I feel like someone punched me in the mouth. Oh well, the painkiller is nearby and I know my dentist is good at what he does.


At least I have a nice smile with the new bridge. My teeth look better than they ever have! I will keep telling myself this until the pain goes away.



Planning the Garden

My sister is planting vegetables this year. She has a wonderful flower and tree garden and now wants to try her hand at vegetables. My husband is the family vegetable expert so she called him to get planting times.


Certain vegetables have to be grown the cool spring or fall because summer is too hot here. Late February is the time to plant potatoes and snow peas here. March 17th for cauliflower, cabbage, lettuce, broccoli and more. My husband has several planting times -- midApril for tomatoes, corn, green beans, squash and other plants that can take the southern heat. Cool crops can also be planted on Labor Day.


The last frost is around April 10th, so my husband is usually out covering the crops whenever frost threatens. Planting early keeps the bugs down, too.



January 20, 2004 - Tuesday

Iowa Guessing

I tried to guess the winnner in Iowa. I was wrong. A friend was guessing, too. He was wrong. The polls were wrong. What does this mean? -- Probably that people can change their minds at the last minute, I'd guess.



Celebrating King Day at King Buffet

Since my husband and I love Chinese buffets (heck, we love nearly every place that serves edible food), we went to King Buffet in Madison for the holiday. Neither of us were off work -- we went for dinner.


We hadn't eaten there in a year or three. I remember that we used to love it (until we discovered New China on Jordan Lane and Meteor Buffet on U.S. 72).


King Buffet was good. The noodles were the best anywhere - flavored perfectly. My husband loved the potatoes, hot and sour soup and we both thought the egg foo yung was the best of any buffet. The soft, easy-to-scoop ice cream in several varieties couldn't have been better. The tapioca pudding was great.


I didn't like the shrimp in the seafood mix. It tasted old and fishy. Eating their lobster balls was like trying to chew through rubber. The coconut chicken is much better at Meteor Buffet (Meteor also offers yummy peanut butter chicken).


My husband loved it and would visit King Buffet again. I like Meteor Buffet much better although others do not agree with me. My husband said it was a bit disappointing the last time he went (not sure why) and several friends ate there and thought it was bad (didn't get the details of why).


As for me, it is my favorite restaurant in town. Along with the usual buffet offerings, Meteor Buffet has items that nobody else offers like pineapple rice, peanut butter chicken, bacon-wrapped shrimp, uniquely-baked fake crab -- all of which I enjoy.



January 19, 2004 - Monday

If You Own a Domain Name, Try This

I went to Google and typed in my domain names. The newest name (MyPlace.info) gave "no results" but Google offered to look up sites containing the term. I got many results from this type of search -- interesting references to sites that even mentioned MyPlace.info. It looks like this name might have been owned before.


I did a search for my cat's domain, MuddyPaws.info, and found the site mentioned in a funny place titled, "After the Bath" containing general pictures relating to taking a bath --> http://www.just-bath-links.com/after_the_bath.html -- so funny.



Martin Luther King Day or Not?

Today is one of those confusing holidays. Some things are open. Some are closed. The trash pickup will not be going today, but the recycler pickup is coming. (Several neighbors are confused, putting out trash cans this morning.) There's no mail and no usual evening paper, but there's a holiday morning paper. My husband's company does not take this day off, although schools are closed - I think. Government offices are closed, but large stores and restaurants are open. Many government contractors stay open even though the people they work for are taking the day off and the military base they work on is considered "closed." Is this a holiday or isn't it?



The Buffalo News on Blogging

Found this article today about blogging:


 Some experts claim that blogging will grow tremendously this year and in years to come, as people learn how to do it - and how much fun it can be.

"It's like a giant conversation," said Alex Halavais, an assistant professor in UB's School of Informatics who researches blogs and keeps one of his own. "Blogs kind of take the Web back to what it was in the old dirty days. It's definitely different than other things you see on the Web."


A giant conversation -- I like that thought.



January 18, 2004 - Sunday

Death of a Keyboard

My keyboard died. I am using a borrowed cheap temporary one until I can find a keyboard I like. I was using a very old IBM version - a heavy one where the keys are sensitive so I didn't have to mash them down as hard and where they made a smooth clicking sound - nothing like the plastic "thip" sound of today's cheap keyboards. The keyboard was heavy and felt well-made. The CONTROL key was bigger because it did not have a "Windows" key. It was a very nice board. I miss it already.


It died in blazing glory. It didn't simply stop working. It kept sending out a continuous keypress signal, making the system boot up to the CMOS settings screen, causing my mail program to think I was making keypresses I did not make.


I briefly regretted all the times I ate over it. I suppose it might be repairable, but we pronounced it dead and plan to move on. It was a good and faithful keyboard.



January 17, 2004 - Saturday

Unusual Morning Rainbow

This morning, the sky was turning bright pink just before the sun came over the mountain. I saw a jet trail turning colors. My walking companion, C.L., said it was not a jet trail, but a rainbow!


As we watched, the rainbow brightened and grew until it formed a perfect arc from start to finish. Then, a double rainbow started to form. A few moments later, the rainbow faded as clouds moved in to cover the sun.


I can't remember ever seeing a dawn sky-filling rainbow in the east. They usually appear in the west on a rainy afternoon. The whole incredibly beautiful scene lasted about 5 minutes. It is times like these that make me glad to be a morning person -- and that I had a camera.



January 16, 2004 - Friday

QuickTime VR Objects and Panoramas

I want to learn how to do this. I bought QuickTime Pro which has been a pretty nice little program. Used with Photoshop, it is good for putting titles in short videos. Quicktime has a VR mode somewhere.


The plan is to take an object and make an interactive picture of it in QuickTime as done with the new Sony DSC T1 camera I want. Moving the mouse over the picture allows someone to examine the appearance in detail.


There are kits that allow for easy making of these movies, but before I buy one, I might be able to find a way to create a movie with stuff  already on hand.


I have a turntable, tripod, camera and QuickTime Pro. I can get the individual pictures into QuickTime, but I haven't yet discovered how to make QuickTime Pro save the file as a VR movie. It doesn't seem to be an option - maybe the VR option is a separate program to purchase or maybe the option comes up only after the photos are inserted -- h-m-m-m.



Outdoing Google?

Speaking of Google, the current issue of PC Magazine reports that another search engine, Dipsie, coming out later this year, is supposedly going to catalog more sites than Google. Google, Yahoo, Dipsie - what is it about funny names for search engines? Do we believe that the funnier the name sounds, the better the search engine? At least its memorable - googling is a new dictionary word.



Many Url Shorteners

I did a Google search and found more than a half-dozen sites that shorten urls -- babyurl, linkz and more. One of the url-shortening sites that came up in Google had gone. Do the smaller urls still work if the site that created the new url is gone permanently?



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