ARCHIVES:  December 24-31, 2004

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December 31, 2004 - Friday

Easy Way to Make Firefox Faster

My husband found this tip. It's a simple way to make Firefox even faster than it is (which is already faster than IE). From what I can tell, it does this by making several hits to a site at once, downloading the page in parts. (Of course, overall, it just seems like a faster page load). This not meant for dialup - only broadband.

I am using it and it works - pages load noticeably faster. Wheeeee! Firefox does many things better than Internet Explorer.

My daughter's birthday is today. She's 23 years old and was born about a half hour before midnight. When I checked into the hospital, my doctor arrived in a tux. When she was little, I told her that the whole world celebrates her birthday - even her doctor dressed for the occasion. Have a happy and safe New Year's Eve.



December 30, 2004 - Thursday

Ten Most Popular Baby Names in Alabama

Thanks to Jean Brandau, comes this list of the most popular baby names in Alabama.



1. William
2. Jacob
3. Joshua 
4. James 
5. John
6. Christopher
7. Michael
8. Matthew
9. Austin
10. Caleb
11. Joseph
12. Andrew
13. Tyler
14. Ethan
15. Jackson


















H-m-m-m-m, my sisters named their girl cat, Madison -- and here it is right at the top of the list.



December 29, 2004 - Wednesday

Leo's Computer News and Help

I miss the original TechTV and Leo Laporte's shows. Fortunately, you can hear him via podcast or audio streaming from his site -- or even via the live broadcast from the radio station itself. Go to, then click on Radio from the sidebar, then Audio Archives. He gives great computer advice, news, recommendations, answers, etc. I always learn something.

Leo puts them out as podcasts before posting them for streaming. (I only recently figured out what a podcast is. It's just a very large mp3 file that is downloaded and played on your own computer or iPod instead of just listening to an audio stream.)



December 28, 2004 - Tuesday

Photography Magazines

We went to the bookstore today. While my husband wandered off, I settled down in the coffee shop with a half dozen photography magazines, trying to decide if I wanted to subscribe to any of them. This bookstore was busier at lunchtime than I expected. broke their 1-day sales record during the Christmas season, selling 32 items a second. Apparently bookstores are still appealing to people, although sells more than books.



December 27, 2004 - Monday

In the News

So sad to wake up to the morning news today. Tens of thousands killed in the 5th largest earthquake in history, according to one news channel. Our local paper printed an article about a man here in town with a seismograph who said it went off the scale during that 9.0 quake. He said none of us probably felt it even though it was a surprise to me that an earthquake on the other side of the world could register here in Alabama ... whew!

My husband and I went out to lunch today. The waitress asked me to move across from him so I would not block her way. I was glad to do so, but why did she allow a chair and place setting at a table if she did not want anyone to sit there? Since we sat a little far apart, we ate in silence. That was okay -- I tuned in to the people around me. At one table, a woman was describing types of tsunamis and how big they can get. At another table, two men were discussing the incoming flood. One of them said that people could probably outrun incoming water if they had enough notice that it was on its way. His eating companion disagreed.

A disaster like that is felt by many of us. We wonder what we would do if such a disaster hit our home. I told my husband that, if we ever move again, I am living far away from water, be it the coast or the local creek, even if he takes up fishing for a living. He agreed.

Where would be the safest place to live to avoid weather disasters? Flat land, mountain topis, caves?



December 26, 2004 - Sunday - My Shirt is fun! It works for anyone with a cell phone and text messaging. I just got my t-shirt and some arrows to place. If you have text messaging on your cell, send a message to 646-270-5537 (U.S.). In the body of the message, write ?dgj65 and you will get a reply with a short description of me.
u see the arrows around town, send the same  question mark and code to get a description of where the arrow points. Here's how they describe themselves:


The YellowArrow is a global public art project that merges graffiti and sticker culture with wireless media, creating an interactive forum for people to leave and discover messages pointing out what counts in their environment. Participants place arrows to draw attention to different locations and objects -- a favorite view of the city, an odd fire hydrant, the local bar.

Each arrow has a unique code, and by sending a text-message (SMS) from your mobile phone to 1.646.270.5537 in the format "+code your message" you associate a short text with your arrow -- messages can range from literary quotations to personal commentaries to game-like prompts to action.

When another person encounters the arrow, he or she sends "?code" to 1.646.270.5537 and immediately receives the message associated with it on their mobile phone.

Through this location-based exchange of text-messages, the YellowArrow becomes a symbol for the unique characteristics, personal histories, and hidden secrets that live within our everyday spaces.

And it's not just places, it's people: YellowArrow TXTshirts are individually coded just like the stickers. YellowArrow text-messaging is currently compatible with all phones and service providers in the US as well as internationally with those networks under the GSM standard.

The website,, allows participants to annotate their arrows with photos and maps and is the online gallery of YellowArrows placed throughout the world -- visit to order arrow stickers and tshirts and see announcements about new events and features.


H-m-m-m, now where can I place my stickers around town so they won't get removed?



December 25, 2004 - Saturday

Merry Christmas 2004

May you all have a wonderful day. Here's our Christmas! If you want to see it, click on the link below, then at the top of each picture, select "<-- Newer Photo" to view each image.


Christmas Photos




December 24, 2004 - Friday

It's Christmas Eve!

I love this day as much as Christmas itself. Anticipation is half the fun. While I am done with everything that HAS to be done, it is still fun to stop in a store, check out the sales, bake cookies and visit. I don't think I've EVER had a busier month, though. I don't want to have surgeries and floods at the same time -- or ever again.

Hope all of you are having an enjoyable holiday season and, if not, I hope you can find something to be happy about this week.


My daughter and son-in-law got a new cat. Here's the story about it as told by our cat, Muddy.