Tuesday, January 31, 2006

My New Office Space








I got the key today...took pix of what is already in there. The Entrance, the foyer, the hall that goes to the exercise room , the sauna, the steamroom, and the two desks, refrigerator, coffee maker, and microwave that are already in there. What a deal !! I am so excited. Perfect spot for Heather to work on web stuff. She can take a break and go jump on the treadmill or stationary bike--I know I will.

No one has used this office since the day Hurricane IVAN hit. It is a time capsule.

I will return tomorrow with a dustbuster and a plastic file box to empty the filing cabinet of the old files in there and pack them up.

I bought a Zenith flat screen monitor tonight at W-M and will take my own compter there tomorrow. We are looking into having the DSL restored.

I just hope that I get to use it for a long time and it is not a dream !!

Monday, January 30, 2006

January Sunsets Rock

Two views of same sunset, taken a few minutes apart as it got darker last night. And Little Lagoon is so clear the last few days. I took this photo same time at night I was outside for the sunset but with a flash. It is looking thru a foot or two of water at the bulkhead. Clear-clear-clear. And we are having such pleasant temperatures too.


New Italian Chandelier


How I spent Sunday afternoon.
Assembling the bathroom Murano glass chandelier that I brought home from Venice last July. Now the reason for this post is two fold.

I know my readers are interested in this sort of stuff and seeing photo of these curiosities like hand blown Venetian glass.

I need to get the "How To" webpage that I made indexed by Google and this link might help. Murano glass chandelier

I walked about 2 miles with this chandelier packed in pieces in a box hanging around my neck by a spare luggage strap....pulling luggage w/ both hands, one suitcase with a broken wheel....ba-bump-ba-bump.....dripping with sweat....i was a wild sight !

The chandelier came on the plane as carry-on. It was one of those 'if i live thru this' things....

But lived I did, and now I need to tell other people how to assemble these things. I know my text needs lots of work( I did it real fast).....especially the electric wiring parts. I'd hate them to burn their houses down by following my vague and misguided instructions. Does it really matter if A/C wiring is hooked up to the little sockets in any certain polarity ???

The pre-wired arms had wire with no indication of positive and negative, both were same color wires, so I didn't pay any attention.

Well, I'm off to W-M to get a easy-on plug to test the thing before I hard wire it into the ceiling. I'll add photos of it hanging when I get it up.

Ever Notice the Ads ?

I find it pretty amusing to see what ads appear on the right side of this blog from the Google Adsense program. They are fed to the blog based on text content, as best as the robot can deciper. The little entry about N.O. and the mayor and his choclate remarks resulted in 4 ads about candy....

WhenI talk about my smashed toe and toenail, we get ads like herbal toenail fungus cures. So it will be interesting to see what this toe / toenail / chocolate mention does to the ads.

Maybe there are places that sell eatable chocolate body parts. Lets see what happens. Not sure how frequently the Ad-Bot visits to re-red the text.

and just to make it easier on the little text reading robot I'll throw in a few extra keywords here:
marshmallow foot jelly bean fingers gummi toes marzipan head gumdrop nose

Sunday, January 29, 2006

UK IQ Dropping in the masses ?

The UK Times Online reports that: 'After studying 25,000 children across both state and private schools Philip Adey, a professor of education at King's College London confidently declares: "The intelligence of 11-year-olds has fallen by three years' worth in the past two decades."' 3 years loss at age 11 is an IQ of 100*8/11 or 73 -- a massive loss of 27 points.
Slashdot Story

In case you missed it

Google is reminding us.




Chinese New Year - 2006 is Year of Dog.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Gulf Shores Technology Lunch

Big waste of time for me. I went to this thing this week, and while I wasn't miserable or anything (sat w/ friends), the topics were about economic development and venture capitol and stuff I don't care about. And the food was kinda school-lunch-room.

I got the impression that not many people there were web people, mostly business people.

But standing in buffet line this tall, older guy was saying that he managed about 12 websites ( I think he said 12, might have been 20, can't remember) anyway....he was so proud...he said that the busiest one was getting 15,000 visitors a week. Repeated it several times. Everyone around him was congratulating him.

I kept my mouth shut. I have sites that get 15,000 unique visitors a day. Last week the DAC-ART site had more than 99,000 visitors. The scrapbooking site runs between 35,000 to 45,000 per week.

Passing on swimming pool offer.

After much thought, i decided that the architectural dis-harmony would drive me crazy if I had a kidney shaped swimming pool with an Infinity Waterfall (tacky IMHO) even if it is free. I realized that what I like so much about this place even if it is only 600 sq ft is the 'Sense of Place'--the architectural proportions.

I figured that if I had young kids for whom I really, really wanted the pool, then I'd compromise my values and get the free pool but since I am totally content with my $32 Tuesday Morning blow -up pool, I am better of holding out for a perfect square...Roman-bath-looking...small pool that has mosics or features that look fabulous with the rest of the house.

New Office

Looks like I may have found a new office for Heather and me to do web work. It is just perfect...One room...110 sq ft with a window and on the beach in a very nice condo building. The owner is not using it and for now it will be a swap for some web help. That certainly works for me.

I may have to pay some rent in the future, but we'll work that out. The owner is not greedy. The office already has computer desks and a DSL line, filing cabinets, wastebasket, etc...it has not been used since Hurricane Ivan.

I will get the key on Monday and ck out what I need to do over there.

Heather is just working two days a week for 4 hrs each day but is considering taking a break in July when she finishes her 2 yr degree program in computer science before she starts the 4 yr college in P'cola and work full time for a semester. If I have addition building construction going on here, this little office will be so great. Hope it all works out as it should.

Fix Yer Own Camera

Today I went to Orange Beach to do some photos for a website. Turned on my trusty little HP R707 that I bought in June for the Europe trip. Nothing. Dead. Luckily, I had grabbed my larger Toshiba just as I was going out the door for 'just in case' ...you never know...and sure enuf, if iI had not had the Toshiba with me, I'd have been out of luck.

I came home and tried everything I knew on my HP R707.
Did searches, etc..
Swapped out batteries,
shook it,
found a HP product forum, jumped thru a bunch of hoops to join & post.

I had about decided that it was probably just the end of the line for my sweet little camera.

BUT
While on the HP site I started diging thru Knowledge Base articles, I had to look at maybe 4 dozen, but I kept digging, and on about page 4 of a huge list of topics, I see the one that held the key to my problem.

Turns out that on the camera there is this hidden, tiny, itty bitty hole--located in a hinge where you'd never see it. But it is some sort of reset button. Instructions said to remove battery or any power supply, insert a paperclip wire and press for 3 seconds, release and re-insert the battery.

I did, hit the on button and bingo--camera came to life and wanted to have its date and time set.

I kissed it.

Indian vs. Irish Yoga


My overseas friend, Zahir Sultanali Noorani (don't you love his name? He is just as dashing as his name, we met in the Deluxe First Class Coach in the Chunnel between London and Paris !) sent me some funny photos.

You need to look closely at the first one --click for enlargement--then look at the second one.

Indian vs. Irish Yoga

Friday, January 27, 2006

Watch out for large old, senile octupus


Giant octupus attacks mini-submarine. The event is captured on video.

Rare video footage shows a giant octopus attacking a small submarine off the west coast of Vancouver Island. "Old octopuses become what we call senescent, or senile, reaching the end of their life. And sometimes their actions are very inappropriate."said Cosgrove

Read the MSN story here.

Intelligent Public Officials


Good friend Marti just sent this:

Willy Wonka Announces Run for Mayor after New Orleans Rebuilt in
Chocolate

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana --- Willy
Wonka announced today that he will run for mayor of New Orleans after
Mayor Nagin rebuilds the city out of chocolate. The announcement comes
after Nagin announced he will make New Orleans a "chocolate" city.
"This is a chance of a lifetime," said Wonka. "I can put the Oompa
Loompas on my staff, change the water fountains to chocolate, make it
rain jelly beans, and hire Kojak and his lolly pop to protect the fine
city. It sounds like a magical place. I'm so happy Mr. Nagin is doing
this."
There will be significant controversy over rebuilding the city in
chocolate though. Infamous Louisiana Klansman, David Duke, insists that
the city be built out of white chocolate. And gay advocates representing
the city's large gay and lesbian population insist the city have a large
area built out of Skittles, the candy with a rainbow of fruit flavors.
The first major shipment of chocolate arrived yesterday, but it was
looted before construction crews could get started rebuilding.

Can You Guess


What Google is Celebrating today?

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

D Day



Life took a new turn today, but outlook is sunny for all.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Orange Beach major in BIG trouble

Memphis doesn't have a lock on corrupt politicians. I think they are dumber in Memphis, and the members of the same family keep getting voted back in office over and over in spite of convictions & scandal, but down here Orange Beach has got crooked politician problems too.

Orange Beach Mayor Steve Russo was indicted Thursday on federal criminal charges that he violated Alabama elections laws by not reporting more than $33,000 in campaign contributions prior to his 2004 re-election and used the money to pay for vacations, casino trips, clothing, a computer and other personal expenses.

In early 2004, on an official trip to New York to meet with financial firm, Merchant Capital, regarding an upcoming municipal bond issue, the indictment alleges Russo charged personal expenses, including $800 in Broadway theater tickets and a $1,700 on-call limousine service, to a credit card owned by the company, which were later billed back to the city as part of the company's services associated with underwriting the bond.

There is more that has to do with bribes, condos in New Orleans, a BMW for him and a car for his very young girlfriend (now wife--she won't have to testify against him)
A former District Attourney and a developer and some otther guy are also arrested on bribery charges over zoning issues and pay-offs.

Russo, 44, faces a maximum penalty of up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each of the seven counts of fraud charged in the federal indictment. The state charges, a mix of felony and misdemeanor violations, carry varying penalties.

Russo was arrested again by Baldwin County Sheriff’s deputies behind City Hall — in front of a waiting news crew — on minor drug charges.

Baldwin County District Attorney David Whetstone said that federal and state investigators found a small quantity of marijuana and a pipe while searching the mayor’s condo at Caribe Resort on Thursday after he was arrested there and booked at the Baldwin County Corrections Center on the state’s public corruption charges.

The drug charges — possession of marijuana and of drug paraphernalia — are both misdemeanors and pale in comparison to those brought last week against the 44-year-old mayor.

Russo, reading from the typed statement, told a packed City Hall: “I ask everyone, both in Orange Beach and south Alabama, to resist the urge to jump to conclusions. If you merely read the paper and watch the news it is easy to conclude that I am guilty and should hurry on off to jail.”

Read the complete news here

Learn from my mistakes


Well, computers just require constant additional purchases. And present constant headaches.

The keyboard that came with Gracie is longer than my other two VAIO ones. So I figured I'd swap out for the older one so I'd have room for the right and left mouse on my slide-out keyboard tray desktop thing.

Soooooo, i go around back and unplus the PS/2 keyboard and plug in the old one--it wont' work, so i figure, OK, maybe it is new-fangled and only the one that came with it will do. So I plug the original one back in, now it won't work either.

I reboot, try this and that. I go to Usenet and do some reading and i see where someone says 'never swap out keyboards with the machine on or you can cause damage".

Looks like the damage is to the machine since I took both keyboards over to the Granny house and tried them on Big Momma and both work.

Soooo, I had to go buy a USB keyboard today , which I am typing on now, and it works just fine.

Free drink for quoting Scripture in Alabama

At the Snead BP gas station at the intersection of Alabama 75 and U.S. 278, patrons receive a free soft drink if they can quote a requested Bible verse. "We've been doing this for about five years," he said. "We did John 3:16 once before Christmas and we got a lot of folks that time."

Lanier estimates three to five people a day take up the offer, depending on the difficulty of the verse. There's a cadre of familiar faces who routinely come in, including some parents who bring their children for a quick test. The verse is changed about once a month. Lanier picks them at random, usually from his occasional reading or from suggestions.
Read the newspaper article

Monday, January 23, 2006

Splish Splash

The friendly back-hoe driver working on clean-up next door just came over to ask if I'd like the Gunnite swimming pool that he has been instructed to remove from the development to the west.

His idea is to dig out the whole intact pool and float it or drag it over to my property and push dirt up around it and have it re-piped. The original filter and pump are there. I could have a DAC-ART wall built around it later and back-fill it.

If the wall were 4 ft (2 blocks) high, then no fence should be required as toddlers can't climb a 4 ft smooth wall.

What a crazy idea. I'm looking into it.

How You Feelin' ?

Today is calculated to be the most depressing day of the year.

Cliff Arnall, a health psychologist at the University of Cardiff in Wales who came up with a formula -- 1/8W+(D-d)3/8xTQMxNA -- to calculate the lowest emotional point of the year. He did this at the request of the travel industry, which wanted to know the best day in January to book a summer holiday.

Seems people tend to make travel plans when they're at their lowest, to give them something to look forward to.

Arnall factored in the dreariness of the (W)eather, the arrival of maxed-out Christmas bills or (D)ebt, minus monthly salary (d), (T)ime elapsed since Christmas and the failure to keep a New Year's resolution or to (Q)uit a bad habit, low (M)otivational levels and the need to take action (NA). He came up with Jan. 24, or the Monday closest to Jan. 24, since Monday is the most disliked day of the week.

Arnall's formula was validated by members of the public, though he did get flak last year from people with birthdays or wedding anniversaries on that day.

I wonder if the recent weather in certain parts of the US might not be a factor too.

FYI--It is lovely weather here, Mardi Gras is fixin' to begin and I am not depressed !

Read the details of Arnalls story here

California Dreamin'

It was so strange, all last week, I had these vivid dreams that took place in California. And I have never been to California ! Well, almost....once, when I was in college, I pretended to be asleep on a Brannif flight that went thru Dallas (where I was suppose to get off to get a connection) so I could fly on out to Los Angeles. When I got to the LA airport, I placed a payphone collect call back to my dorm room so my roommate could hear the operator's voice say 'I have a collect call from Los Angeles for Lundy from Bob Dylan".....of course she was so very excited , but as I was not there, she declined to accept the charges.

I was put on a Brannif return flight immediately to Dallas as I recall, and I suppose I got a connection on to my final destination.
Imagine the days when one would opt for extra hours on airplanes just to do a practical joke on your roommate ! Traveling was a different experience back then.

Computer and Toe Update

Happy to report that Heather, my bright web assistant and her husband Russ have successfully re-installed my old HD which seems to be acting right and also installed the new HD into Big Momma and Heather backed up the imp't files from the 'C' partition on the original HD to the new big secondary HD. She also found that my CD/DVD writer is going bad on that computer, so I'll pick one up at W-M. Once they started cleaning Big Momma's innards, the CPU was really dirty which could have contributed to my original problems. Heather and Russ loaned me back a functioning old CRT monitior that I had given them (it got wet during hurricane Ivan in airplane hanger storage when the doors blew off) to use until I can pick up a flat screen in P'cola Sam's or CompUSA.

I'm planning to set Big Momma up over in the 3rd bedroom at the Granny House that Harrys says I can use for an off-site office for a while. That location already has cable Internet but nowhere near that room, so I'll have to get MediaCom out. Big Momma has a TV tuner/recorder and there is cable TV in that room already and phone line.

My big toe nail is currently protected by a band-aid. It is detached the full length except for the entire right side where it is still firmly attached so it is hinged like a screen door. Gives me the creeps just typing this ...yuk ! At least it doesn't hurt unless it should 'catch' on something--the reason for the always-on band-aid. Thankfully it has been a very warm winter, so I have had no problem going barefoot or wearing open toe beachy shoes every day. Once it comes on off, then socks and shoes should be no problem.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

See Sum Sundance Films Online for Free


About two-thirds of the short films being shown at Sundance this year will also be viewable online.
Read news article

see e'm

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Wilson Pickett Gone



Alabama born ...Wilson Pickett, (who wrote his own songs) the soul pioneer best known for the fiery hits "Mustang Sally" and "In The Midnight Hour," died of a heart attack Thursday in a Reston, Va., hospital, according to his management company. He was only 64.
Read the article here.

The Internet's Worst Enemy

THE BACK-HOE !

According to Slashdot (AND I AGREE) :
Juha-Matti Laurio writes "Experts say last week's Sprint outage is a reminder that with all the attention paid to computer viruses and the latest Windows security holes, the most vulnerable threads in America's critical infrastructures lie literally beneath our feet. A study issued last month by the Common Ground Alliance, or CGA -- an industry group comprised of utilities and construction companies -- calculated that there were more than 675,000 excavation accidents in 2004 in which underground cables or pipelines were damaged." I estimate that one third of those accidents occured within the 5 block radius surrounding my office.

The other 2/3 rds happened on Ft. Morgan Road, Gulf Shores, AL

in fact, MediaCom fined a homeowner a few doors down $20,000 according to one of the MedicCom employees after they repeatedly cut the cable during hurricane clean-up and rebuilding projects a month or so ago. They were told to call for locating marking, but didn't. I was told that there would be a lean on the properety if they did not pay. As I was DIRECTLY downstream and affected by their idiot back-hoe operator, I am all for it.

How Does it Know ?


This morning, I am sitting at computer, phone rings, and low-and-behold, a pop-up bubble shows up on the monitor of my new computer that tells me my phone is ringing and who is calling. Never seent hat before--ever. I don't even have the DSL line plugged in at the moment (phone lines were messed up a few days ago)--so, How on earth does it know?

I just called myself using my cell to call the ground line and took a screenshot of the monitor.

The computer is hooked to the web by cable at the moment, so I don't know how it is communicating with my phone ground line, but it is and it is giving me caller ID. Anyone else have this 'feature' ?

And don't tell me to click the little icon on the systray--it is gone once the bubble is gone ! Tried to call myself a second time so I could click the green circle icon while the cellphone was ringing, but it didn't display that time...weird....

Must be that there is a phone line going to it thru the UPS that I can use for dial-up connections should both DSL & cable fail me. Maybe it is a 'feature' of WinXP Media Edition, which this new computer is running.

Its a Miracle !


The 10 arm chandelier here at home has had one arm that has failed to light up for a couple years. They all worked right at first--but after a few months--one light just wouldn't burn. The chandelier was shipped in pieces from Italy and I had assembled and wired it here.

I figured that somehow, one of the wirenut connections in the central hub musta just gotten pushed sideways and caused a bad connection when I shoved all the spaghetti wiring inside the cone shaped part that hides it.

Over the years, I had tried everything I knew short of disassembling the fragile thing to look for the bad connection. I figured one day I'd tackle that. Meanwhile, when I got back after Christmas, I found that so many bulbs were burned out or unscrewed themselves, that I was down to only two lit bulbs. I brought the really tall ladder inside and went around tightening and replacing bulbs.
Low and behold---all 10 arms are working !!!!! I'm holding my breath....I sure didn't want to have to start dissembling that thing. Click for biggie photo.

Little note: The top most do-dads are still blown around to one side from Hurricane IVAN. We just left them that way as a reminder. Plus it is a long way up there to change !

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Calling All Rich Friends

The property next door, all aprox 3 acres is for sale according to the back-ho operator. The fellow from Tuscaloosa who is the spokesperson for the group of cousins who inherited it from their auntie told him to find him a buyer and he'd give the back-ho operator a finder's fee. It is 270 ft of waterfront and about 400 ft deep. A prime Gulf Shores (in city limits) spot.

Property values have escalated dramatically in the last 2-3 years, and there seems to be no end in sight as every last bit of waterfront on all of the Gulf Coast is developed.

It sure would be nice to have friends or family buy that property and know that something nice would go in, or go in together and buy it and hold on to it a while. Seems the asking price is somewhat undervalued based on what I know other lots around here have sold for lately.

Monday, January 16, 2006

She Swallowed the Spider to Catch the Fly....

And so it goes down here. I arrived from Memphis to a messed up house phone (ground line ) and messed up DSL. Since our local phone co doesn't deal with repair calls on weekends, today they showed up and reported that the MediaCom Cable Co messed up my underground phone line while they were installing my new Internet cable line. Thank goodness I now have both Cable account and DSL for broadband. My cable connection is working.

Phone co said they'd get in touch with cable co and have cable co repair the phone line--hope they get a better response time than homeowners typically do. I cannot make a phone call from the house or receive one--4 days now....

And on the subject of phones-----get this---I have received 4 calls on my CELL from a Global Something Prison Calling System with a collect call from an inmate in the Mobile, AL Detention Center and would I like to accept charges?????

I DON'T THINK SO......

I don't know that many people in or from Mobile , and I doubt that the few that I do know would chose me for their one phone call. So I have declined each time...but if any of you think I should accept and are willing to pay for the (overpriced) collect fees just to find out who the hell it is , just let me know and I'll accept charges next time they call.

And can you believe it, on the Golden Globe Awards (on in the background, so I can turn around and see the dresses) and Dennis Quaid just said that Brokeback Mountain was a movie that was in a catagory that rhymed with 'chick flick'...very few laughed. I think they were embarassed. I thought it was funny.

January Sunset on Little Lagoon






Pulled into the driveway this evening to a wonderful sunset. I couldn't resist taking photos, even if there is still hurricane damage clearly visible next door. It is all to be torn down and cleared out soon--a back-hoe driver has been working for several days. He told me that it might be some time before any houses start to go up so the developers what the newly built pool changing shed torn down to reduce liability while the pool is out of commission and no one is around--but me. He is also gonna take out the trashed dock and boathouse, piers, etc...
Click on the photos if you want to see them a little larger. I reduced the size to 800 x 600 just to keep the file sizes smaller.

Towards the end of the sunset, it really did look like a forest fire behind the trees, so brilliant & firey was the sky.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Traffic Light Lens Dishes

You probably noticed that many traffic lights have been converted to brighter LEDs.
What happens to the old glass lenses? They are either thrown away, or they become the new attraction on your dinner table.

See them here www.recycledglassworks.com

Creative Peanut Butter Sandwich Recipes



Jif has a most creative peanut butter sandwich contest --they present some pretty interesting contenders--and you get to vote.

The winner gets a 10,000 buck college scholarship. I think kids were suppose to make up the nominated creations. Obviously these are not from 'cullinary challanged' children.

See 'em, read the recipes and vote here.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Guess I am in good company...

I am in the first third of the book The Search by John Battelle. Out of curiosity, this morning, I went to the Amazon site to see what some of the reviewers had to say. Over all, good reviews and lots of *stars* but this one review made me laugh.

But he cannot spell, January 10, 2006
Reviewer: Keith M. Atkinson (London, UK) - See all my reviews
Loved the book--great sweep across the subject but it is full of spelling mistakes "Schimdt" is unforgivable & causal for casual?

Really sloppy proof reading.....


It does surprise me that in the days of word processing and spell ck that what is obviously a typo, rather than an actual spelling error...'causal for casual'....was not caught by some software along the way.
But it is somewhat reassuring to think that lack of spelling skills might just put me in good company. Recently,I had begun to wonder if I should order an eight grade spelling book and make flash cards, etc.. and see if I could work my way up from there. Nah...only so many hours in a day. Spelling will just have to remain a non-skill for me.

Lately it seems I am getting worse than ever, not remembering the spelling of words I once knew. I suppose new stuff has pushed that knowledge out the backdoor as it entered.

Friday, January 13, 2006

A.I. it's NOT !

A good example of contextual advertising screwing up:

Just reading an online report of the Muslim pilgrimage deaths (remind me to never attend that pop festival)...a website called International Herald Tribune -Africa & Middle East edition.

Article Title:
Pilgrims search for relatives among stampede victims

at the foot of the article were four clickable ads chosen because of keywords that matched article content (third one is the worst):

ADVERTISER LINKS

Sprint Nextel i930 i860
Batt. chargers, holster, data cable Cheaper then ebay, free shipping
www.buynshop.com

Traffic Info
Find info and resources from all the leading search engines
www.dogpile.com

The Stampede Secret
Get More Targeted, Affluent Traffic 30 Days Risk Free, Just $97.00.
www.stampedesecret.com

Free Traffic Songs
Free Music Downloads! Get Your Favorite Songs Now. 100% Legal
www.EZ-Tracks.com

As a gesture of good will, I sent a report to the company supplying the ads...just so they won't get as much hate mail. This is why this type of software usuallyhas a built in set of 'stop' words that includes things like 'death, dead, prison, murder, etc..' and only PSA's appear in place of ads when those words are included in an article.

Follow-up: the ad serving co sent me a thanks email. Said more appropriate ads are on that page now. I have not looked.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Lundoo Bamboo




Another load of bamboo is headed south.

I went to Momma's and Daddy's today when Man, the yardman, was there and he helped load my car with a second load of bamboo for me to plant along my property lines. I hope to get an early start tomorrow and for once, I am glad it is suppose to be a rainy day. That way the sun won't scortch the leaves thru the windows and the soil will be nice and moist for planting them out the next day, which is suppose to be sunny.

The rainy front that is moving across Mississippi and Alabama is moving fast according to the online weather maps, so should be on over to FL by Sat.

See that little brown box with a hole cut in the end in the center of the bamboo leaves in the front seat? That is a peep-hole shaft that Harry made for me for the last batch of bamboo that I took down. He had it aimed at the side mirror, but I think it will serve me best if it just looks out the window. I had a near miss in Meridian because I couldn't see anything out my right window.

I'd have been fine if I'd have stayed on the highway--it was whilst I was weaving around in Hudson's territory.

If I can get that idiotic CD car player to work tomorrow, I'll get to listen to the conclusion on the Nicholas Spark's travel book on CD while I drive. If not, maybe I can look around and find a portable CD player around here. I didn't make much headway going thru Miller's boxes. It just tears my heart out to open and dig thru them, and I never get very far.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

SNAFU at W-M

Know how on Amazon you get the recommendations, like:
People who bought this title also bought such-and-such title? Well....

Wal-Mart 'heartsick' over DVD grouping-read whole article
No. 1 retailer apologizes for bizarre racial combinations on Web site, spoofs poor sales in song.
The retail giant apologized Thursday after its Web site directed buyers of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and "Planet of the Apes" DVDs to consider DVDs with African American themes.
The company said it would shut down its cross-selling system until the problem was resolved.

Google Quote Today

Nice thought fromGoogle:

The follies which a man regrets most, in his life, are those which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity.
- Helen Rowland

A First for Me


Just happened to notice that there were 81 unique visitors at one time on my DAC-ART website....
this is without a doubt the largest number of site visitors that i have ever seen in one given moment. Shown is a screenshot copied and cut from the actual webpage in the browser.

Lundy Island















One of my UK scrapbooking visitors wrote me today, sending links to websites about my island.

I knew about it. In fact, a few years ago, I ordered a little (overpriced) enameled pin from a museum gift shop of the Lundy Island Puffin Bird. I wear it occasionally, just for fun.

Seems my website visitor lives near my island & thinks I should visit more often (I have never been there, but they seem to carry on in my absence).

Visitors are carried to Lundy on the MS Oldenburg, Lundy's own ship. Seems my ship even has a bar and carries over 200 passengers. It doesn't look that big to me in the photos. Maybe they sit closely or dangle their legs over the side.

The official Lundy Island website (clickable link) says:
It is difficult to pin down why the island has such an effect on people. What is noticeable is visitors' enthusiasm. Whatever it is they are doing on Lundy, they really enjoy it.
I like that cheery statement !

And Lundy Island folk are might proud of this fact:
The Lundy cabbage flea beetle Psylliodes luridipennis is found only Lundy and nowhere else in the world.

And there is a guy who has a whole buisiness built around selling Lundy Stamps.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Momma's Eye Surgery

My mom's eye surgery was on Monday morning and it went very well. She came home the same day and I fixed them gumbo and grouper for their supper. She had not met the doctor who inserted the new cutting edge artificial lens until moments before she went back for the operation. She is a patient of the world-class Dr. David Meyers and he had Dr. Tom Wood do her cataract surgery.

Her post return visit was today to Dr. Meyer's clinic. I took her and I'll have you know, it is some special place. People come from all over to be seen by him. The entire building is custom made for seeing the maximum number of patients, with the most high-tech equipment, in the best possible environment. There is usually a very long wait once you arrive. Once she waited 5 hours. Today wasn't so bad--her app't was at 10:30 and I think we were out of there by about 3 p.m. I took my laptop and plenty to work on. The light level gets increasingly dark as you work your way up various levels to the ultimate goal of being seen by Dr. Meyer himself, in almost total darkness. It was rather like a movie set.

My laptop makes its own light, so I just sought out an electrical outlet and was completely content no matter where we were placed. They do serve complimentary drinks and sandwiches in the various staged waiting rooms. Dr. Meyer was REALLY friendly to Momma and thought she was doing great and wants to see her in a couple of weeks. He has numerous drops she is to use in the meantime.

I met people from various places there to be seen by Dr. Meyer and his two associates. One young lady, there with her husband from Chattanooga, had been treated for detached retinas at an early age with silicone injected into her eyes. (An obsolete practice it seems). Now at about age 30, she was legally blind and the eye doctors in Chattanooga, at Vanderbilt and B'ham Med center where she had sought help had told here that there was nothing that could be done to help her. Dr. Meyer, on the other hand, thinks he can help restore her vision somewhat and stop the constant pain.

Her cute husband was from Alabama and was so happy to report that Dr.Meyer's office had REAL sweet tea in the snack area--something not often found outside of the Deep South. He commented that plain tea and a couple packs of sugar was just not the same thing !!

I am thinking that I will probably work on organization and cleaning here and drive back on Friday. Last two days have been pretty much all about the eye surgery, etc.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Do me a Favor !

Please write ebay Uk and tell them that you think someone is selling stolen scrapbooking graphics....I got an email from an alert site visitor in the UK informing me of this.
ebay UK item #8249953746 Here is the link to the item:

There is a link on that page to click on to send the seller an email--just tell him/her, (name enforcer_109 , a power seller by the way) that you see they are offering a CD with stolen graphics and know they will burn in hell for it.

NEVERMIND !!--I see that this statement is already on her eBay page with MY GRAPHICS !!!:

The seller ended this listing early because the item is no longer available for sale.

Guess my little note to her did the trick...and quick too might add.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Windows gets more funky

Robert Fripp - Behind the scenes at Windows Vista recording session. He's the famous guitarist and composer, known for his founding role in the band King Crimson. New version of Windows will be using his riffs. Get a sneak preview.

Tax Time Approaches

Clickable link on a blurb on MSN sites, like Hotmail goes to this:

If you live in Maine, New York, Connecticut or Washington, D.C., you are a big spender at tax time, like it or not. Alaska or Alabama? You get to keep a bigger slice of what you make.
Best and worst states for taxes

Set New Speed Record !

I made it to Memphis from Gulf Shores in 7+ hours !!!!!

Route: State Hwy45 out of Mobile, all the way to Tupelo where I picked up Miss State Hwy 78 to Memphis, Got off at Byhalia Rd in Miss and wandered northwards thru Miss & Collierville, TN and county roads till I got on Houston Levy N. to Macon Rd in Cordova.

Stopped for gas twice and bathroom. Beautiful sunny day, light traffic, no police, no active construction zones.

Idiotic CD player wouldn't work right tho--got to listen to my book on CD part of the way then got all these error messages. But soon as I can, I am gonna get a magazine style CD player that loads 8 or 10 CD's in a clip and has a faceplate that will stick on behind the steering wheel. I like that kind because it will give you a read-out of what CD is playing, song name, etc...and the player part is very straightforward.

This thing in my car now is some original equipment CD player that is located way low on the center console area of dash(no way to look at it and road at same time) and has all these suppose-ed modes, and once you stick in a CD, it takes it s-l-o-w-l-y to the depths of some underground player that gives error messages about half the time. The whole thing is all about waiting--wait for the green lights to flash once you let it know that you want to stick in a CD, change the radio buttons to some mystic mode, and tell all the buttons to become cd buttons...all this while trying to drive. To get a CD out is just as much trouble in reverse. Wait on double red flashy lights...forget it. I have to keep the Trooper on the road and off the cows at 90 mph.

Anyway--now that Xmas is past--they will probably be some deals on Car CD players. I'll watch the newspaper ads.

It can get cold in G.S. too



Look at this !!!!

I awoke to 27 degrees outside, the sun is blazing tho, so it is very cheery indoors w/ all my windows. The lagoon is mirror still.

So, as you can see, it does sometimes get cold down here. Nice thing is that it doesn't last long.

I must load some stuff in the car and hit the road for Memphis today. Looks like nice day for a drive and I am still somewhere in the middle of the book-on-CD, Nicholas Spark's Three Weeks with My Brother.- unabridged and over 9 1/2 hrs long !

Friday, January 06, 2006

The good new, the bad news, then the good news

The computer arrived and I let Heather (shown at desk) name it: Gracie.
Gracie has an opening thru the middle. Don't know if it is just for effect, or has some function in the cooling dept. But it is reminiscent of the buildings in Dallas and Nashville that private pilots try to fly thru just for a thrill.
I it is also bigger and blacker and heavier than my previous VAIOs. It is hooked up and works great.

Now, the fancy-ass 5 piece, no make that 6 piece, surround sound speaker system has a problem. It won't power on. We tried everything. Swapped out other speakers to be sure it was not just a setting in the tower, tried different power sources, all that. Called Sony, and got a real person with out any trouble who told me to call Logitech (speaker mfg) and Logtech tried to pass me off but I said NO, Sony said you would handle it. From then on, they were really nice and are shipping a whole new set asap, going out this week DHL. At first they told me I had to ship the defective speakers set back at my expense. But then as the conversation continued, Ted, the fellow I was talking to, began to crab-walk and saying stuff, like , well, if you don't ship it back, we aren't gonna do anything, and from our conversation, I can tell that you are not an idiot who has just overlooked a fuse or something, but it DOES help our engineers to design better products if you mail it back, you know.
At any rate, my new speakers are due to ship out this week. Meanwhile, I have some ordinary Sony stereo computer speakers plugged into it and Heather has taken Big Momma home with her alongwith the assorted parts, new hard drive,old hard drive, etc...to see what she can do with it. From questions I posted on Usenet, seems that the original bios will only support 137 GB, so she is gonna try to re-install old HD and see if she can get it to work enuf to get online to Sony's site to download any BIOS updates and then switch over to new HD.

We are not giving up. Too much good computer to toss out.

I now have Gracie sitting on top of Hottie, tucked up under the lip of the kitchen counter overhang and the once sorta hidden multiple wires ane all exposed as we have switched everything under the sun in last few days.

Still waiting on the replacement load-balancing router from Hawking Tech. The one I bought right before Xmas from Buy.com also would not power up, just like speaker problem , and I had to mail original one back in. The router is suppose to allow me to switch from DLS to Cable high speed instantly & automatically, the second one goes down.

BTW---I asked the FedEx driver yesterday if he delivered any Google Xmas boxes (it has multi-color dots on 4 sides & Google on front ) to other people on his route. He said no, and he'd have remembered if he did. (So much for the privacy act ), I just wondered if there were any fellow Google heads down here .....seems not.

it is cloudy and freezing cold, so I am going to curl up on the sofa/bed with a glass of Cask & Casket and read 'The Search'. And wait on spring---
no , I actually have to drive to Memphis tomorrow !




Thursday, January 05, 2006

New Computer is Here !!

It has this cool open see-thru area in the middle--photos to follow !

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Happy New Year Card

Do I never shut up about Google?

Went to mail box, today received a nice HNY card from them. I suppose it still just amazes me that they know I exist.

Don't know why the weather thing says 'mostly cloudy' as it has been full sun all day.
Bamboo is lookin' good. I mixed up Green Light Root Stimulator and Starter solution today and doused each root zone. Only one clump has canes with leaves that look like they are drying up. Could be that they were closest to the car windows on the way down, or could be that the whole clump won't 'make it' . I treated the roots anyway, cause a root could send up a new shoot in spring...if I can keep the pandas away.

One clump that Man dug had small canes that looked rather dead to me in the first place, but I didn't have the heart to say anything to him at the time. So I just treated it like the rest of them, hoping that some of the root fragments might live. All-in-all, the bamboo is looking really good.

Wish I knew exactly which bamboo this is--there are hundreds of named varieties it seems as well as a bunch of species. Wonder how you 'key' bamboo? Pines are easy--different number of needles in the bundles.....

Google showing new SERPS

Just found out that Gg is showing new serps on two datacenters.
Immediately my heart starts racing....
all I can do is go to those specific IP addresses and do test searches for keyword phrases I am targeting w/ various sites.
So far so good.
But you never know, is it a major update or a mini one?
It has only been aprox 2 months since last major one, usually majors are about 3-4 months apart.

The two datacenters that show the new results:

http://66.249.93.104
and
http://64.233.179.99

I ck'd "hurricane windows' on one;
Out of 34,500,000 results.
I hold position number one. This is good.
That page has advertising on it that depends on web traffic.

Scrapbook site has slipped to position #3. Oh well, could be worse.
Other sites are up. None seem to be 'off the map' .....that is what one fears the most. For me, 'off the map' is anything off first two or three pages. No one looks beyond that except the rare bird.
Unfortunately www.MagnetGlasses.com still not out of the sandbox.

The test DC is being served on an intermitent basis to both .com and .co.uk main search.

Its switched on and off completely throughout the day and alternates with main index when live.

Sure is a roller coaster ride business !! Maybe I am an adrelinin junkie.

Google Braille







Check the Google classic home page today....
(not showing on personalized "/ig" pages )

www.Google.com

Click it--and you'll see why the special logo for today.
(louis braille birthdate)

Now--as I type, things are changing,
new logo added to personalized (/ig) pages:
With alt text : "Happy Birthday Louis Braille !"

www.google.com/ig

Update: Interesting, I think Google, like everyone else, sometimes screws up--they have switched the /ig pages to a min version of the braille logo--i think someone accidentally put up the Google 7th B'day logo by for a short time this morning.

Robbin' Banks in Memphis

This was posted to comments, but warrants full exposure:

Memphis must be home of stupidest criminals (not including public servants). On 5 o'clock news, there was a story of a woman test driving a range rover suv w/ child in baby seat and trying to rob a credit union in drive through lane by saying she had been car-jacked and a bomb would go off if they didn't give her money. No, I am NOT making this up. Credit Union employees concerned about the child followed her, and woman is in custody of police, & child is in protective services. I'm reading between the lines, but I'm thinking she didn't get any money. This has GOT to make national news! You saw it here first! here's channel 3 (cbs affiliate) link:http://www.wreg.com/Global/story.asp?S=4314646

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Googles Quote of the Day

Usually more serious--wonder who picks them? I'll ask if I go to WW Conference in April.

Electricity is actually made up of extremely tiny particles called electrons, that you cannot see with the naked eye unless you have been drinking.
- Dave Barry

Monday, January 02, 2006

Scrapbooking Kit Suggestions

Received this email today from my scrapbook site:

I was just wondering, first, I'd like to say thank u for the printable, I;m just going crazy and next I need a divorce page, my husband and I was divorced and then remarried and need to explain this in my book, JUST WONDERING, HAVE A GOOD DAY AND THANKS AGAIN!
I forwarded this interesting email to a scrapbooking friend who replied to me:

"don't you think most people would want to just brush over this - not memorialize it in a scrapbook? tell her to take her meds & just use the wedding ones she has - she can tear the wedding rings/bells/etc. in half to indicate the divorce, and put them back together for remarriage."

and later

"still laughing over woman wanting to scrapbook divorce & subsequent remarriage. you could do pages for surrogate pregnancies. in-vitro fertilization (little sperm & egg borders, plus die cuts shaped like petrie dishes). or how about "i caught my husband cheating" pages. Memphis alone might have a market for "my husband, the public servant, was indicted". or "is he my baby daddy" with a little yes/no flipper that spins around. i think the market has been limited to the basic white middle-class mormon population. there's room to expand. "

Two Lenses-One Camera-Wide Angle

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 2 -- Kicking off this week’s 2006 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Eastman Kodak Company today introduced the world’s first dual-lens digital still camera, the KODAK EASYSHARE V570 zoom digital camera.

Ultrawide angle zoom lenses are tricky and expensive to make, not to mention bulky. Kodak sidesteps these limitations by combining an ordinary 3x zoom lens and a 23mm equivalent fixed focal length ultrawide optic in a single camera, making what's sure to be one of the more intriguing cameras of 2006.


Two lenses in the same body provide ultra-wide angle (23mm equivalent) and normal 3x zoom capability. Each sensor has its own CCD sensor chip. This camera also does in-camera 3-shot panarama stitching. Breaks new ground and offers an absolutely unique set of capabilities in a very compact camera body, and at an affordable price--$399 predicted full retail price. (means you can usually do a lot better if you try)

And it uses SD cards !! I have a bunch ! Maybe this is the wide angle one I need.
Read lots more and see diagrams of its innards here

Clic Readers



Little plug for www.MagnetGlasses.com my Clic Readers site.

I made this site in August after I got back from my summer trip. During the remainder of 2005 the little site has sold 214 pair of glasses and 22 pair of goggles so I consider it a success. Most of the traffic comes from Yahoo & MSN. Google let it in their index temporarily, but then 'sandboxed' it. If it ever makes it out of the Google sandbox, it could really do well.

Merchant of Venice



Recommended--and this is coming from 'The Cliff Notes Kid' ...yes it is adapted from Wm. Shakespeare and I didn't even know the story or anything about it beforehand. Made in 2002. Filmed in Venice and Europe.
Took me a few minutes to pickup on the storyline. I had to listen pretty closely. But I think both guys and girls would enjoy this if you are in the mood. Definately not just a chic flick love story, it has that but also a business story intertwined, and courtroom drama.

Oh, my, the architecture is breath-taking !!
Watch it, then see if you don't want to build a DAC-ART residence !!

One of the DVDs I got in Hudsons in Meridian, MS for 5 bucks. Rent it , but if you are the buying type, get it used thru my Amazon box on bottom of my www.mosaic-tile-design.com pages por favor !