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ARCHIVES: February 8-15, 2004


February 15, 2004 - Sunday

Jenny Sings ABC

This might embarrass her, but we are proud of the progress she made from singing ABC 20 years ago to the college graduate, degree-holding R.N. she is today. (We are also proud to finally be converting our old videos to digital -- I have a few 8 mm movies to convert, too.)


The movie clip is in 3gp format, popularly used by movie cell phones, but compressed to the hilt and a little small, making it more practical to put online. The movie can be viewed with the newest free version of QuickTime.


Jenny Sings ABC


It's interesting to note that the video tape lasted 20 years in a fairly decent condition,but we are not going to count on it lasting much longer than that. The original file was converted to 640 by 480 in size, good for a $53 TV card.



February 14, 2004 - Saturday

Happy Valentines Day

We ate at Papa Lovetti's, an Italian buffet. We hadn't been here in a year or so. It has changed. I used to claim that it had the best cold salad bar in town, but that has gone downhill somewhat since they removed several selections such as the variety of cheeses and several salad toppings. They no longer put tiny shrimp in the Alfredo sauce. It was still good, though. We had to pay extra for soft drinks (they used to be included) and the place now serves beer. Their breadsticks are wonderful and soft.



TV Tuner in the Computer

We have several video tapes -- some were 20 years old. Fortunately, they were still in decent condition, but they needed to be put in digital format soon.


My husband bought a TV tuner and converter -- it was $53 plus free shipping from New Egg (newegg.com) - a pretty decent price for a card to install inside a computer (a WinFast TV card from Leadtek). We were able to transfer several video tapes. It's fun to watch the TV inside the computer- but I would not want to do that too often - no need to strain the system - but it works for capturing TV shows, video clips and Tivo-type stuff, if wanted.


When my photoblog site begins accepting movies again, I'll put a short clip up there. I like to make short 60-second clips to share with family and friends. That way, they won't get bored to death watching an hour-long family movie.



February 13, 2004 - Friday

Best Cities in Which to Find a Soul Mate

According to One2One Living Magazine, the best U.S. cities in which to find a soul mate are:


1. Raleigh-Durham
2. Denver-Boulder
3. Washington, D.C.
4. Austin
5. San Diego
6. Dallas/ Ft. Worth
7. Chicago
8. Boston
9. New York
10. Los Angeles
11. Atlanta
12. Miami
13. Seattle
14. Philadelphia
15. Phoenix
16. Orange County
17. Houston
18. Portland
19. Salt Lake City
20. New Orleans
21. Milwaukee
22. Providence
23. San Antonio
24. Cleveland
25. Nashville



RSS-Yahoo vs Atom-Google

I must be behind the times. I had never heard of the Atom format before reading this article today. Google has jumped on the Atom bandwagon. Can't people who like this do their blogs in both formats - or have hosts offer both alternatives?


I understand why someone would want to use RSS or Atom because it saves a great deal of time, but I like getting the flavor of a blog by going to their actual page. I like to see the colors, graphics, sounds, etc.



February 12, 2004 - Thursday


I never understood what a "meta-tag" could do for my website until I saw this show (scroll down a little to find the article). This used to help search engines classify and others to find a page easily. I am going to work on this today even though most search engines do not use the tag anymore. The show links to a free download to help with it all. Ironically, when you go to the site that holds the download file, a note comes up that says meta-tags are no longer that important. Still, if it wouldn't hurt and if it might help a little, then why not? If only one search engine still uses the tags, then it can only help.


GoDaddy.com provides an option for this with domains managed through them, but I didn't understand it, so I left the meta tag box blank until now. I guess this is hardly important since spammer sites ruined the value of a meta-tag. Oh well, it takes no time at all to make one.



February 11, 2004 - Wednesday

Owning a Pet

My daughter got her 8 month-old kitten neutered today. It took many phone calls to find a reasonably priced vet. Our regular vet wanted $160 total. It involved a bunch of fees and procedures required in addition to the neutering and they refused to take the cat unless the extra procedures were followed. Another vet wanted $120. We finally found a vet who would do the whole thing for $72.


When the cat was brought in, the vet offered yet another test to see if the cat could take anethesia okay. That test was $75 in addition. We turned down the extra test. The cat came through the surgery just fine and everything looks perfect.


Why must it be so expensive to own an indoor-only pet? People talk about adopting homeless animals, giving them a loving home, then charge an arm and leg just to keep them. I think spaying and neutering are good for the cat, physically and psychologically, but I think it ought to be economically feasible to take care of pets. More people would be willing to get these procedures done if it did not involve so many additional fees.


Not only that, but my previous vet now refuses to give rabies shots without making the person pay for a complete physical, too. I say previous vet because I will find someone willing to do it for less, I hope. Too bad we can't do this at home ourselves, saving all the extra expense.



February 10, 2004 - Tuesday


Saw this on The Screen Savers show -- a nice little program that morphs one picture into another. I had never done anything like this before. It is easy to do and free --> SmartMorph. This is really just a transition effect - moving from one picture to the next. The program will make avi files from the effect and more. Here's my first attempt (AVI) --> Morphing Daughter.



Neutering the Cat

Originally, my husband and I wanted to get a female cat and raise a batch or two of kittens before having our cats fixed. That's probably not going to happen, now. Muddy has been aggressive lately, trying to drive Buzzy away. They are housecats so there is nowhere to drive Buzzy away to. Muddy is all muscle and fight these days. We can not leave him alone in a room with Buzzy. I hope neutering will calm him down somewhat. Our other two male cats were neutered over 10 years ago and it has been good for them.



February 9, 2004 - Monday

Flash Button Makeover

Just added flaming flash buttons to MyPlace.info. Here's a site that makes them for free (with a paid option for more choices) --> FlashButtons.com. These are good - I like the sounds in a few of the choices.


I had to decide between the Xara gif animated roll over buttons (examples on the next page) and the flash buttons. Flash buttons load much faster and have better animation. Several come with cool sound effects, so flash it is.


RelatedToUs.com has new "universe" buttons. I love these! I read that Microsoft is changing the way it reads flash files in the next version of Internet Explorer. Web designers will have to change their coding. Darn it all.



February 8, 2004 - Sunday

Recycle Pepsi iTunes Songs

Read this on largehearted boy's blog -- a great idea to help independent artists in need. Recycle your free Pepsi iTunes songs.



Next Year's Superbowl Halftime

I heard that CBS booked the act for next year's halftime. It's the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. (Joke from the Beltway Boys on Fox News.)


On that note, here's a joke from L.S. that's been going around the Internet, "The real reason that the Ten Commandments were removed from the Alabama Supreme Court Building: You cannot post "Thou Shalt Not Steal," "Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery" and "Thou Shall Not Lie" in a building full of lawyers, judges and politicians! It creates a hostile work environment."



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