ARCHIVES:  February 16-23, 2005

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February 23, 2005 - Wednesday

High-Definition Radio

I saw this link on about High Definition Radio being able to play over regular analog air waves.

I am recent convert to XM Radio (which is also available over the web). The music is crystal clear, the DJs are the best, there's plenty of choice (over 120 channels) and NO ADS -- especially, no long call-in programs and "here we are in the shopping mart parking lot, ready to give away a t-shirt to whomever pulls up next ... blah blah blah."



February 22, 2005 - Tuesday


We were sitting in the house yesterday afternoon when I heard loud thumping on the roof. I figured, "What now?!!!" First, the city is doing some work on the creek, giving the neighborhoods around here a miserable, annoying loud background hum -- noise pollution. We can hear the hum 24 hours a day -- it is so loud. At least this irritating buzz is only temporary.

Now the roof is going "clunk" "clunk." Our cats hate roof sounds and hide in fear. My husband looks out of the window and discovers that it is hailing. We only have big hail like this every few years. It is always a surprise. On the downside, hail often precedes a tornado and we listen for the tornado sirens. (Fortunately, they did not go off.)

The last time it hailed like this, we had to replace our roof and make an insurance claim to fix the dents on our car. Jenny was out and about. She drove up and asked me to look at her car, but it seems okay at first glance. It's hard to tell, though. Sometimes small cracks appear in the glass and grow. We will all be checking and watching for damage. It did a number on our pansies.



February 21, 2005 - Monday

Happy Presidents' Day

I was watching Fox News this morning and they debunked a myth. George Washington did not have wooden teeth. He had hippo teeth. They also said a survey showed Abraham Lincoln as the greatest president of them all, but Reagan got high marks, too.

I remember when Reagan was president. During those days, I saw the results of a nationwide poll. Everyone was asked who they thought the greatest person in history was and Ronald Reagan won. As for the most-hated person in history, President Reagan won that slot, too. Oh brother -- that's America for you. (Count me on the side that liked Reagan.)



Do Dreams have Meaning?

My nephew was talking about lucid dreaming the other day. If I go to bed thinking about something, sometimes I can have a dream about it. Some folks feel that dreams have deep signifigance. Others feel like they are random meaningless products of the sleeping mind. Still, others feel they could be revelations. I think they are all true at one time or another. As for me, for the most part, I think they are meaningless, but I love the dreams where I can fly by just holding out my arms.

Here's what Psychology Today says about where dreams come from:


"Are you trying not to think about all those problems or bothersome people at work? Well if you are, you might want to prepare to meet them in your dreams, a recent study seems to suggest.

In the study, published in the journal Psychological Science, when participants were asked to refrain from thinking about a certain person before they fell asleep, they ended up being more likely to dream about that person than someone they had been told to specifically think about before drifting off.

And participants also reported dreaming about people they were not attracted to at least as often as they dreamed of people they were attracted to. Daniel Wegner, a lead researcher and psychology professor at Harvard University, says that whatever it is that we sweep under the rug, oftentimes returns to us in our dreams.

He says that one thing this proves is that at least some dreams come from prior content in our lives and are not just random occurrences.Wegner also says that the part of the brain that has to do with mental control is not operative while we sleep, and this allows the release of our unwanted thoughts into our dreams."



February 20, 2005 - Sunday


Thanks to Jennifer C., comes this list of contradictory words. Some of these are just a matter of opinion, however funny, though. Have things gotten so bad that "business" and "ethics" are no longer associated? Have business owners and individual workers lost their ethics in dealing with each other? Is there no loyalty on either side any more? I hate to think that all ethics everywhere could be lost in favor of greed, but oh well, that's another discussion. (I am more than ready to go to church today and get my faith in human kindness renewed.) Back to the humor:


  • Act naturally
  • Found missing
  • Resident alien
  • Advanced BASIC
  • Genuine imitation
  • Airline food
  • Good grief
  • Same difference
  • Almost exactly
  • Government organization
  • Sanitary landfill
  • Alone together
  • Legally drunk
  • Silent scream
  • Living dead
  • Small crowd
  • Business ethics
  • Soft rock
  • Military Intelligence
  • Software documentation
  • New classic
  • Sweet sorrow
  • Childproof
  • "Now, then ..."
  • Synthetic natural gas
  • Passive aggression
  • Taped live
  • Clearly misunderstood
  • Peace force
  • Extinct Life
  • Temporary tax increase
  • Computer jock
  • Plastic glasses
  • Terribly pleased
  • Computer security
  • Political science
  • Tight slacks
  • Definite maybe
  • Pretty ugly
  • Twelve-ounce pound cake
  • Diet ice cream
  • Working vacation
  • Exact estimate
  • Microsoft Works



February 19, 2005 - Saturday

Cleaning a Camera Lens?!!

Cleaning a lens is harder than I imagined. First, I bought premoistened packets meant specifically for cleaning lenses and monitors, etc. The package says that no drying is needed. Their wet tissues do not leave streaks. I tried it on my monitor and it was great! The solution dries rapidly and my monitor sparkles with cleanliness.

BUT, I tried cleaning my camera lens and it left streaks! I could only see the streaks when I tilted the lens to catch the light just right, but the streaks were there. I walked into Wolf Camera today and bought a different kind of lens cleaning kit with solution, a blower and lens paper.

In the kit, it says to use a dry paper afterwards to clean off the streaks and do it all gently. So I did -- and much to my frustration, the streaks were still there! Even cleaning both sides of a lens, left streaks! Blasted streaks!

So next I buy a soft lens cloth. The instructions say that I can use it wet or dry. I try it both ways and there are STILL streaks on my camera lens! Why?!!! In desperation, I blow a little fog on the lens and then clean it off -- NO LUCK -- the streaks are still there!! How can this be? Will it be impossible to have a perfectly clean lens?

I asked Wolf Camera if they clean camera lenses and they said no, but they will ship them off to be cleaned. WHAT? Cleaning a camera lens requires sending it out of the store and I have to give them my lens for DAYS? What happened to the friendly neighborhood photography place that could take it in the back room and have it all cleaned up in a few minutes? Argh!!! Please excuse me while I go pull out my hair.



February 18, 2005 - Friday

Hubble Telescope Beauties

Thanks to Chris S., here is a link to beautiful pictures from the Hubble Telescope. These are the most beautiful ones I have seen yet - the best of the best. You can even vote for your favorite -- which will be hard to decide. --> Hubble Telescope Pictures.




February 17, 2005 - Thursday

How Weird Are You?

What is your weird quotient? Click to find out!Are you weird? Apparently, I am with a score of 120 the first time I took this quiz. I then took it again a few days later, putting more thought into my answers and scored an 89. What does this mean? Maybe on certain days I am weird and other days I am boringly normal. (Must be related to PMS somehow.)

I've been itching to go to a new movie this week. Having seen The Mask, Son of the Mask previews looked interesting, but as of right this minute, Rotten Tomatoes gives it a ZERO!!!! Whew! I know it is too soon for many reviews to be in, but that is SAD! Critics say it is mean-spirited -- which might be funny to some folks, but I think I will pass.

I just saw previews for Constantine with Keanu Reeves. The premise looks interesting. The reviews are not TOO BAD so far. If anyone sees this, please let us know what you think of it. (BTW, anyone know what this is going to be rated?)



February 16, 2005 - Wednesday


I have a vast bookmarks list. Since I am "old" (depending on whom you ask), I forget some of the things I have saved. Keyhole is one of them. This program zooms from outer space to your house in a smooth, fluid motion. It comes with a 7-day free trial. I've wasted half the morning looking up actual pictures of friends' and relatives' houses. (P.S. A good video card improves the fluid look of this.)