ARCHIVES:  January 16-23, 2005

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January 23, 2005 - Sunday - Free Picture Cataloger from Google

Thanks to Christiaan, I learned about a free picture cataloging program called Picasa from Google. I already use Adobe Photoshop Album and am happy with it, but Picasa does some different things and I thought, why not? (I am not out of hard drive space yet.) For example, after it catalogs every photo on my hard drives, it will take any folder of images I select and create a collage in a few seconds (the collage is bigger and more printable, but I put a much smaller one here for an example). I then took the picture into Photoshop to add shadows and the background color that I wanted -- all very simple.

Picasa did not give me control over the picture layout or let me select different pictures from different folders at one time, but it was easy to install and fun to make this. Besides, you get a good picture cataloger. I love the way the thumbnails are displayed in the catalog. It looks smooth and sophisticated.



January 22, 2005 - Saturday

Personality Quiz

This quiz has been going around for a long time - so long that I don't know where it originally started. When my Dad sent it to me, I took it again. (Strangely, I got the same score: 38, but I can not describe myself as "modest." ) Still, I like this one.


How Others See You Quiz

How do others see you? This simple test lets you know how others see you. Simply grab a pen and paper and write down the letter of the answer that best describes you in the following ten questions:

1. When do you feel your best?
(a) In the morning
(b) During the afternoon and early evening
(c) Late at night

2. You usually walk
(a) fairly fast, with long steps
(b) fairly fast, but with short, quick steps
(c) less fast, head up, looking the world in the face
(d) less fast, head down
(e) very slowly

3. When talking to people, you
(a) stand with your arms folded
(b) have your hands clasped
(c) have one or both your hands on your hips
(d) touch or push the person to whom you are talking
(e) play with your ear, touch your chin, or smooth your hair

4. When relaxing, you sit with
(a) your knees bent and your legs neatly side by side
(b) your legs crossed
(c) your legs stretched out or straight
(d) with one leg curled under you

5. When something really amuses you, you react with
(a) a big, appreciative laugh
(b) a laugh, but not a loud one
(c) a quiet chuckle
(e) a sheepish smile

6. When you go to a party or social gathering, you
(a) make a loud entrance so everyone notices you
(b) make a quiet entrance, looking around for someone you know
(c) make quietest possible entrance and try to stay unnoticed

7. You are working hard, concentrating hard. You are interrupted. You:
(a) welcome the break
(b) feel extremely irritated
(c) vary between these two extremes

8. Which of the following colors do you like most?
(a) red or orange
(b) black
(c) yellow or light blue
(d) green
(e) dark blue or purple
(f) white
(g) brown or gray

9. When you are in bed at night, in those last few moments before going to sleep, you lie
(a) stretched out on your back
(b) stretched out face down on your stomach
(c) on your side, slightly curled
(d) with your head on one arm
(e) with your head under the covers

10. You often dream that you are
(a) falling
(b) fighting or struggling
(c) searching for something or somebody
(d) flying or floating
(e) You usually have a dreamless sleep
(f) Your dreams are always pleasant

Okay. Now write down the number that is after each of your answers for the ten questions:

1. (a) 2 (b) 4 (c) 6
2. (a) 6 (b) 4 (c) 7 (d) 2 (e) 1
3. (a) 4 (b) 2 (c) 5 (d) 7 (e) 6
4. (a) 4 (b) 6 (c) 2 (d) 1
5. (a) 6 (b) 4 (c) 3 (d) 5 (e) 2
6. (a) 6 (b) 4 (c) 2
7. (a) 6 (b) 2 (c) 4
8. (a) 6 (b) 7 (c) 5 (d) 4 (e)3 (f ) 2 (g) 1
9. (a) 7 (b) 6 (c) 4 (d) 2 (e) 1
10. (a) 4 (b) 2 (c) 3 (d) 5 (e) 6 (f ) 1

Now add together the ten numbers. How many points do you have?

Others see you as someone they should "handle with care." You are seen as vain, self-centered, and extremely dominant. Others may admire you and wish they could be more like you, but they don't always trust you and hesitate to become too deeply involved with you.

Your friends see you as an exciting, highly volatile, rather impulsive personality; a natural leader, quick to make decisions (though not always the right ones). They see you as bold and venturesome, someone who will try an adventure. They enjoy being in your company because of the excitement you radiate.

Others see you as fresh, lively, charming, amusing, practical, and always interesting; someone who is instantly the center of attention, but sufficiently well-balanced not to let it go to your head. They see you also as kind, considerate, and understanding; someone who will cheer them up and help them out.

Other people see you as sensible, cautious, careful, and practical. They see you as clever, gifted, or talented, but modest. Not a person who makes friends too quickly or too easily, but someone who is extremely loyal to the friends you do make and who expects the same loyalty in return. Those who really get to know you realize that it takes a lot to shake your trust in your friends, but, equally, that it takes you a long time to get over it if that trust is broken.

Your friends see you as painstaking and fussy. They see you as very, very cautious and extremely careful, a slow and steady plodder. It would really surprise them if you ever did something impulsively or on the spur of the moment. They expect you to examine everything carefully from every side and then, usually decide against it. They think this reaction on your part is caused partly by your careful nature and partly by laziness.

People think you are shy, nervous, and indecisive, someone who needs to be looked after, who always wants someone else to make the decisions and who doesn't want to get involved with anyone or anything. They see you as a worrier, who sees problems that don't exist. Some people think you're boring. Only the people who know you well know that you aren't.



January 21, 2005 - Friday

Surprising Little XP Font Trick

This is one of those things you wish some manual would clearly point out but none do (at least none that we've seen). My husband was reading about monitors on the Internet. In a message board, someone posted a note. Anyone using Windows XP and a flat panel monitor should set it for "Clear Type." This setting removes the dotty appearance of fonts and adds some depth. It might even offer improvement with regular monitors.

To set it, right click on the desktop, choose Properties, then Appearance, then Effects and check the font smoothing. All documents and even Internet page fonts look better.



January 20, 2005 - Thursday

Top Ten Proposed Changes At CBS News

In honor of today's inauguration, here's a recent Top Ten list from David Letterman. (Thanks, J.C., for reminding me about this site.)


Top Ten Proposed Changes At CBS News

10. Stories must be corroborated by at least two really strong hunches.

9. "Evening News" pre-show staff cocktail hour is cancelled until further notice.

8. Reduce "60 Minutes" to more manageable 15-20 minutes.

7. Change division name from "CBS News" to "CBS News-ish."

6. If anchor says anything inaccurate, earpiece delivers an electric shock.

5. Conclude each story with comical "Boing" sound effect.

4. Instead of boring Middle East reports, more powerball drawings.

3. To play it safe, every "exclusive" story will be about how tasty pecan pie is.

2. Not sure how, but make CBS News more like "C.S.I."

1. Use beer, cash and hookers to lure Tom Brokaw out of retirement.



January 19, 2005 - Wednesday

Color Sites

From and, comes this excellent list of color tool sites. Find the correct coordinating or contrasting colors for any web page, etc. I have gone through this list and found myself bookmarking nearly every site in it. See, I found an excellent color to use in this table.


Here's a coordinated color from




January 18, 2005 - Tuesday

Macs, Holidays, Photography, Books, etc.

I once used a Mac where I worked. It's a nice computer. I love my PC, too. I love Linux, too. (I know there's a relationship between Linux and Macs.) I think I want to try the new Mac mini, but my PC will always remain my main computer. I could never match the software investment with the Mac. For example, if someone is a registered user of Photoshop CS for the PC, can they get a copy free for Mac? I don't think so. Add a few other good programs and I doubt I could ever make a Mac my main computer (if I get one, that is). Still, they truly are beautiful machines.

My daughter called from the hospital yesterday. I asked her if it was slow due to the holiday. She said, that yes, things were slow and then asked what holiday it was. She works 12-hour shifts. Anyone would tend to lose track of what is going on in the outside world (except that she is very aware of car accidents, etc., since she is a trauma RN). My sister works at the same hospital as a psychiatric RN. Another blogger I visit is an EMT working in this end of town right now, so if you get violently hurt involving psychiatric considerations, you may be visiting the entire chain of my friends and family.

Speaking of accidents and stuff, did you know that there are less accidents and suicides during holidays?

It was a slow photography day. I found myself leaning over the washer, taking pictures of the water filling the barrel. Does it get more pathetic than that? The only problem with this is that I realized just how stained my very old washer is. Photos reveal details that are never noticed otherwise, darn it. Oh well, there's always Photoshop. (In this photo, I used the rope selection tool to select the "less-clean" areas and applied a Gaussian blur, then used the rubber stamp to clean it up a bit more. Ta-da -- easier than actually cleaning this machine to start with.)

Speaking of books, two books I had before the ones mentioned yesterday are "A Short Course in Canon EOS 20D Photography" and "The Adobe Photoshop CS Book for Digital Photographers" - both excellent. Before that I had, "Adobe Photoshop CS Classroom in a Book." All of those books are well worth the cost, especially the one for digital photographers.



January 17, 2005 - Monday

Two Photoshop Books Compared

I bought the book mentioned yesterday (and responsible for showing me how to do this photo of my nephew) and also "When Pancakes Go Bad" by Muchnick and Both books are good, but Down & Dirty Tricks is easier to follow and explains more techniques in an easy step-by-step guide.

Pancakes is a good coffee table book with many pages of very complex Photoshopped images. If offers a few step by step guides, but I felt these were aimed at more advanced Photoshop users, or at least users well into the intermediate stage. Still, I learned a few things from that book and loved the photos, but for practical lessons, Down & Dirty is better. (H-m-m-m, that doesn't quite sound right....)

Speaking of comparisions, my husband bought a Creative Zen Micro that he loves and I still love my iPod. If you want to read my reviews of both and additions others made, scroll below the image in this link and check the comments.



January 16, 2005 - Sunday


Photoshop CS rocks. There are so many tricks and secrets to this program. The authors are geniuses. I wish I could take a class in this, but I will do the next best thing - read books. My husband and I have one thing common, when we want to learn something, we throw ourselves into the project whole-heartedly. Right now, I am reading "Photoshop CS Down & Dirty Tricks" by Scott Kelby. It had gotten rave reviews on, so I decided to take a chance with buying it. I was not disappointed. I've only gone through the first few tricks, but they were easy and fun to do. (In the midst of all this fervor, my husband took me out to eat at my favorite oriental buffet. Naturally, I brought my camera.)