Archive for the ‘That and 50 cents will get you tomorrow’s newspaper’ Category

Geekery Wins Out Every Time.

May 17, 2008

I’m a geek. I admit it. And I like gadgets.

Which is why it’s a bit surprising that I bought my very first Palm Pilot (gasp) yesterday.

What finally pushed me over the edge?

Well… of all things, it was the search for an e-book reading device.

Just a few months ago I discovered that my local public library is plugged into a network of regional libraries with the capability of “checking out” e-books. For a while there, I had fun downloading and reading e-books on my laptop, lounging around in my bedroom. I can check out 8 books at a time, and they expire after 2 weeks, much like regular library books.

Then I got sick of schlepping the laptop around the house; plus, it gets HOT, so I kind of gave it up.

I did some research, and finally figured out my best (and cheapest!) bet for a reader would be a Palm Pilot Z22. It was in stock at the local Great Big Electronics Superstore, so I brought one home.

Then I found out that only one of the two e-book download formats available through the library would work–and that was, of course, the one with far fewer titles than the Adobe PDF versions. Supposedly, the latest (and allegedly greatest) version of Adobe Acrobat Reader (8.0) does not support transferring e-books to a Palm. Why, in heaven’s name, I have no idea.

I got out my big shovel and after a whole lot of digging, found out that version 6.0 WILL support transferring to the Palm. The only catch is, you can no longer download version 6.0.

Here is where my famous pack-rat tendencies come in handy. I have gazillions of old files stashed on my computer… and among them, in my software download directory, is the install file for 6.0.

Since you can’t run more than one version of Acrobat Reader at once… I uninstalled version 8.0, and then installed 6.0. Then I ordered it not to look for automatic updates.

And now I have two books in PDF format stashed on the Palm, as well as three in the Mobipocket Reader format. I’m partway through reading one book already. My only gripe is that the Adobe Reader on the Palm does not allow you to choose your screen colors so I am stuck with black text on a white background. In the other reader, I’ve got palest gray text on a black background, which is very easy to read and easy on the eyes.

And now, when I go traveling, I won’t have to lug actual physical books with me. Yee haw!

Meanwhile… I have, of course, uploaded a Moody Blues concert photo into the Palm to serve as my “wallpaper.” You knew I would. Admit it.

I have also figured out that I can actually make notes on the Palm much faster tapping the little on-screen keyboard than I can trying to use the Graffiti handwriting program. It’s not bad but it’s just a little fussier than I like, so it’s the keyboard.

I also discovered it’s really, really easy to misplace a black stylus when you set it down on your black computer keyboard, just above the function keys… so my stylus now sports two bands of magenta nail polish, and a white stripe made from wrapping a tiny sliver cut off the edge of a label. Now I can see the darn thing a lot easier.

It’s been an expensive month so far, because only a week ago I brought home a new faux-pod to play with. The week before that, it was a new portable hard drive because traveling or not, the work never stops.

They talk about boys and their toys. What about girls and their toys??

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Yep. Expensive Week.

August 26, 2007

Took the car in at 8:15 this morning and sat down in the waiting room, expecting about a 90-minute wait.

I should have known.

The service manager came in and said my transmission gasket is leaking a little, so they need to replace it. That’s a warranty repair. However… (isn’t there always a “however”?) my tires are wearing unevenly which means I need all four wheels balanced.

They issued me a loaner car and I headed home.

I should have quit right there. But no; I just had to go over to the mall to pick up a clock battery at Radio Shack and (here’s where I got in trouble) a larger Critter Keeper for The Spook at Petco.

Remember that business about me and pet stores and adult supervision? Right. I forgot too. And now there are four:

Until there is evidence to the contrary, I am declaring this one to be female, and her name is Inara, because she is dark, exotic and beautiful. I am open to suggestions on what to rename her if she turns out to be a he.

She weighs 5.5 grams (about the same as Firefly) and is tamer than The Spook but not as tame as Firefly and Geico. So far. She ate a big glob of pulverized banana off my finger. I set up her cage, and hopefully by now she’s gone back to sleep.

I wonder if there’s a 12-step program for this sort of addiction?

There Really Is A Generation Gap

June 21, 2007

Not long ago, a couple of co-workers and I were swapping girl-talk stories. (Those of you who are girls, of any age, will understand just what kind of stories.)

My story concerned the last day of a family camping trip the summer I was twelve. Let’s just say my mother had to dig some emergency supplies out of her suitcase for me, and we had to go to a store to buy safety pins.

This was where a younger co-worker jumped in. “Safety pins? What on earth for?” She just about flipped out when I told her it was because I didn’t own an elastic belt with little clamps in strategic places. I’m still not sure she entirely believed me. I suggested she ask her own mother, who is older than I am, so she would certainly know about the elastic and/or safety pins.

I told her this was back in the dark ages, in the days before there was such a thing as double-sided stick-um. This was also back in the days when “unmarried girls” were discouraged from using the other kinds of supplies. The kinds that don’t require safety pins or stick-um.

Yep. There really is a generation gap.

This Is Why…

May 19, 2007

… photographers will drag a tripod along on a shoot. You can’t get handheld shots like this.

Actually, I have a monopod that doubles as a walking stick, which often doesn’t keep me from jiggling the camera even so. But check out the difference:

A virtual cookie to he or she who can tell the audience at large what makes those two images different, other than the tiny differences in the composition of the shot.

Here’s the shot pointing downstream from the exact same spot:

Once again I went looking for silence. This is what silence looks like. Except for the babbling brook. That doesn’t count as noise.

Oh, you want to know where this is? Garrapata State Park. Look it up.

Okay, Why Not?

October 11, 2005

A suggestion, via Ith:

1. Search your blog archive.

2. Find your 23rd post.

3. Find the fifth sentence (this is meant to say something about you).

4. Post that sentence in your blog along with these instructions.

5. Tag five people to do the same.

Mine is from October 11, 2004, and reads as follows: Even I, dedicated coffee hound, will not drive 120 miles for a latte, so Starbucks it must be!

Hunh. What does that say about me? That I’m willing to settle for second best, if shooting for the top means going out of my way? Discuss among yourselves; I have work to do.

And ditto Ith’s feelings on the tagging part….

(Bum, I hope you’re happy. I finally posted something that wasn’t about Serenity!)

Kilabe Is Bored

July 22, 2005

And thanks to his boredom, we have this:


You are elegant, withdrawn, and brilliant.
Your mind is a weapon, able to solve any puzzle.
You are also great at poking holes in arguments and common beliefs.

For you, comfort and calm are very important.
You tend to thrive on your own and shrug off most affection.
You prefer to protect your emotions and stay strong.

Hat tip: Kilabe, who is dependable, popular, and observant.

Promises, Promises

February 14, 2005

My CPA just told me that as soon as he gets past a particular legal matter that’s been sucking much of his attention for many months, he will start reading my blog again.

Hey, Mr. CPA. Yeah, I’m talking to you. If you’re reading this, prove it by commenting! Click the link below. I’ll be waiting!

Big Wow

November 11, 2004

I arrived in the office this morning to find a faxed invitation to submit my info for possible inclusion in the National Register’s Who’s Who In Executives and Professionals.

They assure me that the book will be distributed ONLY to members, and registered at the Library of Congress. That’s in Washington, they tell me.

From their website:

The directory features a very extensive variety of businesses, companies and professionals, describing their particular business specialties and accomplishments. We encourage all members to use the publication to contact and network with other members to enhance public relations or possibly develop mutual and beneficial business relationships.

Wow! Just imagine the business benefits you can gain networking with a former webmaster and database geek for a long-ago small local political campaign! (That was the basis on which these people contacted me.) Not only that… she now has a (ta-da) BLOG!

Yep… such a person definitely belongs in “Who’s Who.” Maybe she can geek up YOUR website, if you ask her nicely.

What a resume enhancer it must be to be included in this listing. Running a Google search coughs up many, many entries of folks who are using their listing in the directory as a bragging point.

I suspect that if YOU wish to be included in this prestigious publication, a visit to their website might give you the opportunity. On the other hand, you could just wait for their spam invitation to show up in your in-box. Being listed in the book costs nothing. They don’t say how much it will set you back to acquire a copy of the doorstop book for your very own.