Saturday, December 31, 2005

Let Verizon give you an iPod

Verizon is backing a website to get people to rant about cable companies. People don't know it is Verizon behind it. They're giving away iPods for the best 'horror stories' In the battle between telcos and cable companies, both sides like to look for "public opinion" that proves their point

Friday, December 30, 2005

FedEx Wants me to Know

I think this is great--new since the last time I bought anything from Ubid that was getting delivered FedEx, I can opt-in to have the shipping status emailed to me as my package hops-skips and jumps southwards from the Ubid warehouse in Illinois. This is great if you want to be on hand to sign for a significant delivery. My new computer is suppose to require a signature, but my FedEx guy and I have a deal worked out and after all, this is a pretty crime free area, so he will probably leave it whether I am here or not. But since we do sometimes get driving rain and my porch is shallow, it will be really cool to know exactly when to expect delivery.

And it is super great that it has already left the warehouse and made its first stop at a FedEx distribution center. That is fast.

I nearly had heart failure today....the failed HD computer is giving us fits--it will only recognize 8GB of the new HD.....we have started over couple times, changed all sorts of things. If we can get the whole HD to format, then Windows won't install...Meanwhile, since i can see that this is not gonna be a quick fix, I made the decision to migrate ScrapbookScrapbook and DAC-ART from FrontPage98 to FP2000 and install on the other fully functioning desktop. (It already had FP2000 and you can't run 2 versions on one computer)

Well, wouldn't you know it. I ran into problems. And for a short time, I thought that due to some networking that the 'good' computer was totally screwed up and trying to reformat its HD from a disk in the broken was panic city. ALL websites are now on that second computer..... and how it all happened was while I was on phone with tech support at hosting co in Canada, server wouldn't recognize my password w/ site in FP2000....(they finally fixed that later tonight). Tech guy told me to restart the computer but it wouldn't reboot !!!!!
I put in emails and calls to Heather who had been gone about 30 min and she gave me some info that saved the day.

Luckily, this kind of thing only happens about twice a year. That sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach.

But during that time, I was so glad to know that I had fairly recent back-ups on the external SimpleTech back-up thingies I got at Sams. They don't hold it all by any means, but the vital stuff would have been there. I'd just have lost a lot of photos and real recent stuff and probably silly stuff you emailed me ! No, really, it would have been a very, very time consuming thing to have to reformat that second computer HD and get all the software installed again and updates, etc....again...and yes, I'd have lost some sentimental stuff.

The mantra that I always told the scrapbook moms rang in my ears.....
backup, backup, backup.....

New computer can't get here soon enuf.

Where there is a will there IS a way & then some

Young man in England wanting funds to pay for college decides to make a website and sell small pixel squares as ads to people willing to help send him to school-in 4 months he is a millionaire. Don't you love cleverness ? I'd give him an honorary degree in marketing or something right now.
Great story here

Thursday, December 29, 2005

New Bad Virus

Microsoft says 'Extremely Critical'

you get it thru the browser mostly, and thru a wmf file.

The flaw is in Shimgvw.dll which is a system component. Therefore, lots of products are vulnerable (including Google Desktop). It is reported to be extremely easy to infect your PC. You don't even need to open the WMF file - just having it on your system may well trigger Shimgvw.dll loading up if it does any file operation on the WMF file at all.

In a corporate environment, it could potentially spread very quickly through network shares.

Microsoft has a workaround:

Amuse yourself:
Watch it Spread on the graph on PandaSoftware page
see the last 24 hours worldwide

Google word of the day

Isn't this great:
Word of the Day for Thursday December 29, 2005

quiddity \KWID-ih-tee\, noun:
1. The essence, nature, or distinctive peculiarity of a thing.

I just love this new word I learned today. I shall try to use it daily. And speaking of daily....get ready

Computer Ordered

OK--thanks to anonymous commenter and friends who emailed--I ordered the second one, and even with the $44 shipping the total was only $863.63
I love the no sales tax part. Hope I die before congress insists on allowing states to get sales tax on these interstate purchases.
I've seen where flat screen monitors have really come down in price. I'll need another one.

Tonight we tried to get the older computer switched over to the new HD. It was a strange experience. When the old HD, which had all of a sudden started acting right when it heard me talking in its presence about how it was gonna be replaced, came out of the machine, I got all si-fi.....or sentimental and felt like a part of my brain or soul or something was being removed by surgery. I really felt like I owed it a decent funeral or a going away party at the least. That little HD had done so much for me....made me a good bit of money, helped keep me semi-sane by facilitating the ability to rant, rage and vent to others, allowed me to make new friends, keep in touch & be touched by old ones, ....oh my gosh, in the future,, will we be buried with our hard drives?

Of course--in computerville nothing goes smoothly, so the computer only recognizes 8 GB of the new 200 GB HD....BUT.....Heather is coming in the morning, and intuitive as she is, I have confidence that she will be able to solve the problem for me.

And one big hurdle went well-----Win XP re-installed without a lot of rig-a-ma-roe like having to get approval from MS to re-install and all--as I had feared might be the case.

Look how big the fans are in a Sony Vaio--see photo.
And , see the cute little Google travel case Xmas laptop accessories---I have my wireless mini-mouse in charging rite now. And if the (printed in china) directions that came with it are true, then I will be experiencing "somatology" because, as it also says, "you can get rid of the bondage of wires and enjoy your beautiful life from the high technology".

Da Bamboo is Planted

Photo Notes: I know this photo doesn't look like much--but click it to make it larger and it is a little easier to see the bamboo against the other foilage and trees, etc. I put the clumps in where every other dead Leiland Cypress was. And , suprisingly , I had enuf to go pretty much the whole length of the property line. Even tho we dug the smallest canes we could find, I still had to cut the bamboo about half of its length to get it in the car. Most of the leaves were left on the ground in Cordova so they don't show up well in this photo. Figuring that the dead plants could help shade the root zone from the drying sun, I left them on their side at the base of each bamboo clump for now at least.

All 16 clumps !! Weather is georgous !!!!! Sunny and t-shirt warm. I will keep the pump water sprinklers on it during sunniest periods for next few days to simulate & stimulate. I want the bamboo to think I have brought it to the tropical rain forest paradise. If it looks fretfull , I will make it cocktails and play music.....
Just days earlier it was in a much shadier spot and in a downright cold climate and the car ride is always taxing on all concerned. I brought a spray bottle of water in the car to mist the leaves on and off, and tried to keep it cool and hydrated. And I drove fast to minimize the time the leaves baked in the sun. That is what I'd have told the police if I'd have been stopped :o)

Altho, I did somehow get sidetracked and end up in themiddle of downtown Meridian instead of on the bypass, so I figured well, why not stop at Hudson's Salvage since I an right here.
So what do I see soon as I walk in????? Huge flat trays of foreign film DVDs from some video rental place for $5
All these award winning films from all over the world. Movies I had read about and knew that the Dukes-of-Hazzard mentality video rental place here would never offer. (Now there is nothing wrong with the Dukes of Hazzard movie--I LOVED it--great fun on the BIG screen, but I know you all know what i mean) --so I bought 17 movies and when I looked up a couple to see what they sold for on Amazon used, It was just as I suspected, after my friends and I all see them , I'll sell them at a nice little profit. But, that poor bamboo did have to sit baking the sun ---yesterday was georgous too--while I wandered about in Hudsons Salvage in Meridian, Mississippi. I could have spent hours and hours in there--a virtual gold mine of fascinating treasures, but I had a hard time finding room for the 17 DVD's in my car with all that bamboo in it.

Once I was with Jane Brookshire and we spent something like 5 hours in the Hudsons in Hattiesburg !! Who is there who does not love Hudsons ???

Mary Jo has a bumper sticker on her car that says "I got this bumpersticker at Hudsons for 90% off"

Advice anyone?

I think I need to buy a computer today. Even tho Heather is gonna help me replace the HD in the older of my two desktops now that i am back in G.S., I have a weird feeling that the processor might be involved with its meltdown issues.

So what I can't decide is if I should go with:

Sony VAIO VGC-V620G Pentium 4 3.4GHz 1GB 250GB DVD+-R
WIN XP HOME 20" X-BRITE MONITOR--about $1700 plus shipping
Ubid Link
Upside being ---includes 17 in SonyLCD flatscreen monitor --no wires--everything built in. Way less dust & easier for evacuations.
Downside, doesn't include PhotoShop Elements--can't use my older copy on this computer.
No diskette slot (but don't use much)


Sony VAIO VGC-RA840G Pentium D 820 2.8GHz 1GB 250GB DVD+-RW DL DVD/ATI X300/2MB L2/Windows XP MCE 2005 about $900 plus shipping
Ubid link
The downside being tons of wires running all over the place, surround sound--tons of wires-- catching more dust and spiders--it already takes me 3 hours (no lie) to hook up what I have now. (routers, back-up external HD's, expansion USB hubs, monitors, speakers,scanner, printers, UPS, etc,etc.....) or course, I suppose i wouldn't have to hook up all 5 speakers.

The upside being tons of processor power: dual core processor--run anti spyware in background while doing photoshop, run huge programs simultaneously, no is made for gaming & video editing, so it can handle huge files and 3-D rendering. And it comes with the newest version of Photoshop Elements (my older versions will not install on any computer but the one they came with), water cooled--Sony's tend to run warm anyway I think.

Advice anyone?

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Christmas at Hope Pres in Cordova

Update: Over 20,000 attend Xmas Eve (and eve-eve-eve) Services. I took some of these inside shots in the afternoon when no one was around. One shows the sound booth and seating on the south side at Cordova's Hope Presbyterian and the other is the seating on the north side of the stage as people were exiting after a service. The stage area is open to both sides. The giant Jumbotron screens in all 4 corners help everyone to see all the 'action' all the time. Hope has tried to reach the unchurched in the Cordova area and the Lord has really blessed Hope these last few years. It is REAL hard to be satisfied with anything less once you have been a part of Hope Pres. (even when it was a small church)

I am late getting these photos up due to laptop+dial-up and not-so-hot software. And add to that the fact that, like everyone else, we had out of town company, family dinners, etc...

The photos of the Christmas services were taken without a flash, in a descrete manner by me from one of the 3 services i attended. Hope did the same Christmas service 8 times--and then --on Christmas day had two more !! Senior Pastor Craig Strickland did an outstanding job--from start to finish as did the entire music team and all the hundreds of volunteers too.

I'll be curious to know what the total attendance was this year. (Got the word--over 20,000) We had pretty good weather--some drizzle but no big deal--and a big turn-out for the Memphis Music Christmas service.

Harry was in charge of the luminary effort on Thursday. The luminarie volunteers at Hope Pres had nice weather on Thursday to put out the many little white paper sacks with sand and a candle in each. Hope has become a big church. It wasn't always that way. Things have changed pretty fast. Unfortunately it rained the next couple of days, so the luminaries didn't get used but one night, but they looked great that first night.

And can you believe that even with all this building, there is not the 'official' sancutary yet.

The round thing you can see, sorta in the middle is a small chapel. It is good for little weddings and such. It has nicely tiered stadium seating so everyone can see really well. We went to 'piped in' church there for a time when there was a big crunch in regular church before the wall was busted out behind the stage area and tons of new seating was added in a big double north gym. Now the stage is open on both sides--like church-in-the-round. Sounds strange but works really well., I think.

One thing everyone loves is the coffee bar in the foyer. Both the north and south side have them. All sorts of flavored coffees & tea and you can take it into the service. Big hit !

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Google's Quote of the Day

Today's Google quote is kinda interesting, esp. in light of all the recent events and the whining about the government's responsibility to house and support people financially, medically, etc.

The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'
- Ronald Reagan

Monday, December 26, 2005

Digging Bamboo Today+Update

My mom and dad's house has this GREAT bamboo that momma planted years ago to screen out an unslghtly view. She spotted it growing on a rural piece of property in Cordova and stopped and asked the owner if she could dig some. That was at least 10 yrs ago. I doubt if it is a native bamboo. Up here in the Memphis area they have had hard freezes and this particular bamboo is still totally green, and is a fabulous screen. It holds its leaves all the way down, grows densely, is much taller than native bamboo, and runs--everything I need. No idea about its salt tolerance tho.

Bamboo from the plant nurseries is very expensive. Insanely expensive, and I need a lot. The four pots I have bought locally in Gulf Shores were $89 each and if you try save by mailordering it, the postage is an additional expense.

Soooooooooo, the Man, the yardman (yes, his name is 'Man') is working today and I am on my way over with empty black pots in my traveling mini-storage of a car to dig bamboo with him this afternoon. The sun is out. I have cut a pair of old tennis shoes so my poor ailing toe can stick out--hope this works with minimum discomfort (if not, you can rest asssured I will tell you) .

Man and I dug some bamboo back in the spring and I drove directly to G.S. and planted it but it just got too warm too fast & was dry and it didn't live. BUT...Now is the perfect season for the attempted transplanting. I just need to do some web reading on successful bamboo root digging now before I grab my gloves and go.

Wish you were all here to grab and shovel and help !

Update: Bamboo is dug , bound, roots wrapped, tops trimmed and loaded in my car ! Now I think I will return to G.S. even sooner than I originally thought so I can get this stuff planted asap. My car is LOADED with VALUABLE CARGO !! Anyone up for an afternoon of planting?

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Christmas Dinners Across America

Christmas, Holiday, Seasons Greetings...Day off from Work.....I am reminded of Dar Williams' song. We saw her a few years back on a trip to Austin in Carrolton, TX in a nice music venue that was once a small town movie house. She was on the bill with Ellis Paul. Terriffic show , it was. Anyway, a verse from her Christmas song:

Amber called her uncle, said ’we’re up here for the holiday,
Jane and I were having solstice, now we need a place to stay.’
And her Christ-loving uncle watched his wife hang mary on a tree,
He watched his song hang candy canes all made with red dye number three.
He told his niece, ’its Christmas eve, I know our life is not your style,’
She said, ’Christmas is like solstice, and we miss you and it’s been awhile,’

o the Christians and the Pagans sat together at the table,
Finding faith and common ground the best that they were able,
Lighting trees in darkness, learning new ways from the old, and
Making sense of history and drawing warmth out of the cold.

It's Today

Merry Christmas

Friday, December 23, 2005

Hard to Find Phone Numbers

Quite possibly the most valuable thing I have ever told you about:

Hard to find 1-800 numbers and other unlisted customer service numbers.
Do not lose this.

A Holiday for my Griping Friends

Festivus Dec 23rd - Have a Beer !

"A Festivus for the rest of us!" An aluminum pole is generally used in lieu of other holiday decoration. Those attending participate in the "Airing of Grievances" which is an opportunity for all to vent their hostilities toward each other, and after a Festivus dinner, The Feats of Strength are performed. Traditionally, Festivus is not over until the head of the household is wrestled to the floor and "pinned."
Festivus is a non denominational holiday featured in an episode of Seinfeld

Ck it out: Festivus

My Toe

Update: added new photo sans polish. Still hurting, and itis like 5 days post injury.

I know you all are immensely interested in seeing my toe. I took this photo today and here it is about 4 or 5 days after the injury.
Sorry it is a bit out of focus--but you get the idea.
See the black just between the polish and the skin? No? --Click the photo to supersize it !

And the toenail next to it is just now finally growing out from losing it from excessive walking with shoes and socks in Europe--Rome one day, I think. Constant slight friction from toes on socks can do it.

Most days I wore black suede dress flip-flops with beaded tops, but one or two times I wore Reebok sneakers. Flip-flops and comfortable sandals are good for sightseeing, but if they are the kind that are held on by only one strap or point of contact and that place breaks--you are in trouble. That is where tennis shoes are better. Of course you scream "American Tourist"

I feel like some kind of prepetually toenail losing lizard. But I am just ACTIVE !

BUT...If you are not losing toenails on a regular basis , maybe you are too much of a stick-in-the mud !!!

Don't Swallow Cell Phones

We've all been there. Your spouse or loved one drives you to the breaking point, and you have no other choice than to swallow their cell phone.
Read why it is a bad idea.

Googles Holiday Countdown

The Google graphics art dept is obviously having fun this year. In case you have not noticed, they have a progressive thing going on with the Google logo.
Each day this week the mouse and now the cat are closer to acomplishing something. We are suppose to guess what. The main logo changes daily. You can see the whole lineup here:
Google Christmas Logos

Pilots are fun

I can tell you for sure, that if you could just pick a group as a whole, in general terms, for intelligent fun , polite, adventurous people to be around, choose pilots. Three young guys, all friends of Miller's flew in yesterday, spent the night and went to Hope Pres Xmas service last night to to a great Thai restaurant w/ friends from Huntsville and Memphis. We were loud and boistrous in the restaurant but some of us are friends with the owners so they were ok with it. Plus I think we are good tippers !

The pilots are all flying out today , back to the Tullahoma area. Tab, our friend from Huntsville had not met the pilots before but he is a rocket engine engineer so had lots in common w/ these guys.

I am now headed over to Hope to boss the Luminary Candle Team around. Hope has about 15 entrances and puts out about 1500 (a guess) white paper sacks with little candles in them from the various parking lots along the walkways. Tons of first timers come to the Xmas services. Around 13,000 total in previous years. Big music--jazzy music

Last year when I showed up , they were going about it in the absolute most inefficient manner imaginable.(Luminary assembly)I told them that I was sorry to be so bossy, but that this was one case where I HAD TO BE or I would lose my assembly line system was the ONLY, using the tinyest bit of time and motion analysis on the different aspects, cut the process time in half and produced a much better product. I am sure they will be thrilled to see me coming !

Then at 2:00 I meet with a Turtle Wax car wash supply owner friend about a new website.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Christmas Girls Spell it Out

The Lynx Alphabet girls will spell out the letters of any Christmas greeting for you to send to your favorite guy friends. Just watching the cute little loading graphic is fun (i'm on dial up here so I saw plenty of that)--the girls do some stretches during the loading phase in preperation for the actual letter formations. P.S. (It's not porn--just skimpy, like Vic's Secret.)

Make My Card

Here is a Tip

I have always found that prices are lower at Ubid on weekends and especially USA holidays and during national disasters. Ubid is mostly business to business and unlike ebay, it is not an auction site from persn to person, it is manufacturer to you. Like Sony, HP, is mostly where I have bought all my computers, cameras is true that they list way less stuff during Christmas week, cause they know no one much is looking or bidding, but what is listed will most likely go for lots less. - Click Here!

For Baseball Fans

My buddy Carol Mc has a new blog. She is bright and versatile, so of course her interests are varied. They include stuff that i know nothing about, one of them being Johnny Damon. She is big on Johnny Damon. When I looked him up on the Internet, I could see that he cleans up well.
Here is the link:

I know she'd appreciate participation from all you baseball followers, as I will have nothing to add to her blog except comments about his current haircut.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005


Well, the Google Publishers Webinar was light duty and went well. The software was neat. I went to Carol's and used her brand new computer and RoadRunner connection. I couldn't make the sound part work, so I used my cell to call in the 1-800 tell conferencing number. (All the more reason to call the cell a biz expense !)

Luckily I had recently run across a $25 gift certificate I won a year or so ago and stopped at the cell phone place that issued it and got a new hear-thing on my way out of town so I didn't have to hold the phone to my head the whole time.

OK--check the names of the Google Panel today:

Satya Patel, Business Product Management
Mohammed Abdoolcarim, Product Marketing
Cherie Yu, Product Marketing
Phoebe Ho, Account Management

What if your last name was HO ? That wouldn't be fun. And if Cheries's sister married Phoebe's brother, she'd be Girlname Yu Ho.

Bad Dog

Czech surgeons have reattached the nose of an 11-year-old boy after it was bitten off by a dog and remained in its stomach for two hours.

Jiri Vesely, head of plastic and esthetic surgery at St Ann Faculty Hospital in Brno, in the Czech Republic, told a newspaper: "Sewing back a nose is not so exceptional in surgery.

The 11-hour operation was carried out after a neighbour’s dog attacked the boy on November 17.

Read the news account here

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Thieving UK Scoundrel

I got an email from a lady in the UK alerting me to the fact that someone had burned my graphics to CD and was offering them on ebay UK auction site. Bummer, this happened once before on US ebay and once on Dutch ebay.

Sure enuf, I looked and she had grabbed the illustrations off my site and everything. Ebay has a special task force for dealing with this kind of fraud, but Ihave to fill out forms and fax then and when it is overseas, I have to deal with overseas phone calls--and expense.

So this time, I first used the ebay 'ask the seller a question' online form to send a 'cease and desist'
note and tell her that I'd be filing the complain w/ ebay officials. By the time I got back home and checked, she had removed all the auctions that offered my stuff. So I didn't bother faxing forms to ebay UK.

I did offer to send the alert visitor a nice book on scrapbooking for letting me know--i wrote and asked for her mailing address, but she refused the offer saying that she was just ever so glad to help put a stop to it for me. I insisted, but she wouldn't send me her snail mail address.

I noticed that my reaction was much less intense this time than the first time this happened---I was LIVID the first time--my blood actually boiled. Gives one a tiny taste of how Bill Gates must feel about pirated software.

All this 'making money while you sleep' does take a certain amount of vigilance and maintanence !

Google Gift Came !

This is an experiment--I am going to try the 'Publish from an Email' technique. It is suppose to work and could come in handy some time, like if I am ever taken prisoner and allowed only one email---it would be a shame to email someone who's overly aggressive spam filter grabbed my note and tossed it into the abyss that exists for 'size does matter'  messages. If I used my one and only email to send to the blog, then all 4 of my friends would surely see it and come to my rescue, or bail me out. So lets just see if this works.

Heather, my web helper in G. S. emailed that my Google Xmas gift arrived today !!!! Yipeeeeee---I am still on their list of most wonderous persons.

Now I have asked her to open it and let me know if my USB  flash storage has 64 or 128 MB and if I get headphones or not !! There are two versions of the gift and i wonder if I am on the 'A" list or the 'B' list. Either way, I am very honored. At this rate, by the time I die, I will have all manner of Google branded techie brick-a-brack in my life and y'all can just make a little shrine at my funeral with candles & incense in front of the Google 'Portal' as they  would call it in Costa Rica....just to add an exotic touch & make it a Googlite funeral....then pass out the Google keychains and flashing-light hurricane glasses (from last June web conference), etc.. to the funeral attendees as favors. Better yet--make hurricanes (the drink, not the wind) and everyone have one.  Don't guess I'll need all this stuff in Google heaven.

Update: Heather replied,she opened it.....

 I am on the "A" list...I got the 128 MB & headphomes version of the gift.
How kind of them and how wise they are to recognize QUALITY ;o)

When it rains...

it keeps, add these to my list of woes (along with dying hard drive).

Something is wrong with some tooth on my right side. Before I left G.S., I spent $175 at the dentist just trying to figure out what and which tooth. He is a real high-tech guy and we did everything imaginable to isolate the problem. 3 Xrays, ultra-mini tv cameras, ice on each tooth individually, blow air on them , etc...Most of these teeth already have big gold crowns on them, some have already had root canals. He decided it might be sinus inflamation so gave me a Rx for round of Keflex and some weak pain pills. Not helping. I am sick of the vague migrating toothache.


as I am loading the car to leave, somehow, graceful as i am, i managed to lose my footing, wearing open beach shoes, going up the concrete steps and fall forward into the steps (arms loaded with stuff of course) and in doing so, I jammed my left foot big toe into the concrete step riser. Didn't break the toe. Just damaged the toenail. If Ihad wimpy, thin toenails, they'd just bend, but NO, I have horse hoof, thick, shiny toenails. They usually serve me well. But these guys don't bend or budge a bit, if they get a head on collision, they ram directly back into the drivers seat.

well...That was 2 days ago and my toenail is still throbbing. As I type this it is throbbing. Did I mention throbbing? And it is black. And the skin around it is red. And I cannot wear a sock, much less a closed toe shoe or boot. Isn't that just grand? It is mid-winter in Memphis Tennessee and i am barefoot. Mink coat and barefoot. That is how I will be, well, maybe flip flops. Maybe I can throw together some FUR flip-flops. Hot glue to the rescue. Maybe start a new fashion trend.


the last time I lost a big toenail, it took almost a whole year to re-grow the entire thing. And in the awful, losing-it stage, I had to protect it while it was half off and hanging by a super sensitive thread. And after it finally came on off, I had to buy Lee Press-On Nails and use teacher's putty to wear a fake big toenail because it looked sooooooo bad that the one day I didn't do that, I went to the post office in flip-flops and of course people stared, but what was worse, a mother grabbed her child and drew her close, so he wouldn't get any cooties from me. It looked that bad.

Then I went to the home of some interior decorator friends of the male type who had yappy little doggies ( I wanted to squish them), the dogs kept trying to lick my feet and all. Before leaving I looked down and MY FAKE TOENAIL WAS GONE ! I had to tell them that their stupid little insect-like dogs might have eaten my toenail, or that if they spotted it on the floor later....don't freak is plastic...and I was forced to go into the whole discussion of wearing a fake toenail with these guys who were probably about to puke and really didn't need to know all that about me in the first place. i go again...........I will lose the toenail, no doubt about it.
Now in a cold region this might not be such a big deal, but at the beach it is like having a mole with a hair growing from it on your nose. I wear nothing but sandals there or I get a weird tan.

Which brings me to this, I think the anti-skin cancer cream I put on my little flakey forehead spot may have actually worked. It is still red a bit but not flakey. And the treatment phase was not nearly as bad as I expected. (Didn't need the bangs, which didn't work out so great anyway--hair just kept on curling up and not behaving as bangs.)

I told my mom today that this Christmas stuff was just too hard on me and next year I might just skip altogether. I think she knew that I meant it.

Google Zeitgeis

It turns out that looking at the aggregation of billions of search queries people type into Google reveals something about our curiosity, our thirst for news, and perhaps even our desires. And Google shares it with us. Don't overlook the tabs at the top.
Google Zeitgeist

Monday, December 19, 2005

Control Panel

Thanks Martin. Funny & TRUE. Did the guys at Stennis or Rocketdyne put this together?

Malcolm Gladwell in Boston in April

Well, it looks like I may go to Boston in April. I don't want to miss this. Malcolm Gladwell is fascinating. His books are anyway. I think he will be too. I bet Boston will be cold in April tho--I went to Philidelphia in march once and it was freaking WINTER....snow everywhere. Ice too. Too bad this isn't in June. Too bad I am such a wimp. Oh well, Gladwell and conference won't be outside ! This will be a sell-out I bet. And Gladwell , up till now, has not had anything to do with search or web stuff(that I know of)--just culture and the human mind.

If you have not read his books--you should. Read them in order--Tipping Point first. Blink second. I got turned on to him by the guy who wrote the article in Coastal Living on our house. He told me I was a info-maven a la Gladwell.

I am suppose to be on the road but fascinating news just keeps coming at me.

--PubCon Hosted by WebmasterWorld, Announced for April 18-20th 2006 Hynes Convention Center, Boston, USA.

Austin, TX --December 14, 2005 --WebmasterWorld's Search Engine & Internet Marketing Conference, PubCon, returns to Boston, April 18-20th, 2006. The event is supported by the Industry's leading businesses as speakers, exhibitors, and sponsors.

This conference will feature a Keynote Speech by best selling author Malcolm Gladwell, writer of 'The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make A Big Difference,' and 'Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking.' Gladwell is also a writer with 'The New Yorker' magazine.

Are they Happy in Happy?

Google somehow uses Happy, TX as the default weather on the log-in page on my Firefox homepage. I don't know where Happy is, never heard of it before, but the town has a nice name. The 15 yr old boys there probably hate the name. But I have to wonder how happy any of them are today with their weather. Plus the graphics are a first for me to see. I guess it means ICE STORM.

I was suppose to drive to Memphis yesterday---couldn't manage it---today is last call---I have Rhonda lined up to come help clean the Memphis house tomorrow and try to dig out beds and get clean sheets on them for the pilot friends of Miller's that will be there on Thursday night.
The weather here yesterday was wonderful--looks like today will be the same, and I have to drive away from it. Blue Angels are out my window as I type this. Hate to leave.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Google Webinar Invite

I got an invitation to a Google Webinar--new word for me. They said it was only offered to certain people and space was limited, so I signed up.

I want to be amongst the chosen "Googlites".... can't help but learn something useful

I have to be in front of a computer on Dec 21st for an hour or two. Since I only have dial-up in Memphis, I will have to see if I will need to go to a friend's house for cable connection.

Google sent me a confirmation email with a link in it to a trial of the software I have to be able to access for the 'event' and it will test my system, etc...for compatibility. I am taking a WinXP laptop home and have an older Win98 desktop there, so I can try both before i decide if I am going to have to go to my friend's house.

Don't know yet if I am gonna get the Google Xmas present this year. They are starting to arrive in the UK and west coast. It is a zippered case with Google branded laptop accessories. Seems there are two versions--one is a bit more upscale than the other. I have read other's accounts on a forum. Last year I got the Google color-change radio. Felt very honored. Everyone says this years gift is way better--in fact they are downright excited about them. It includes a wireless mini-mouse and a nice keychain flash drive. Bunch of other stuff too. Heather is going to get my mail for me, so if it comes this week,( If I get one), hope she spots it or that my FedEx fellow puts in in my package mailbox.

Anyway--this Webinar thing should be is for web publishers.

Domain registration weirdness--spies watching

Ok--Check this :

I have been talking to a guy I know about us doing a website for his already written good articles plus adding his professional contact info. So I do a search on a Icann registery "whois" site to see if and is available. He has an unusual name. I see that both are available and I email him to say so.

So he also goes to ck on a different registery site , he wants to do his own registering and own his own domain--he is techie--so when he decides to register both and he sees that has ALREADY been registered 1 or 2 days before ! He quickly registers and he asks me if it is gonna hurt him, not owning the doman with his own UNUSUAL name...I tell him that it all depends--if someone doesn't like him and makes a DrLastName Sucks site--and it is well optimized , it could be a drag. (Just ask Terminix)

It is too soon for the info on who registered his name to show up in a "whois" search---a couple weeks later he goes to and low and behold it says: "Buy this domain" ! And has ads on it and ad links and has doctor links & Dr references !!!! Only way that could happen was if the person snagging the domain knew the association with his name and the fact that he was also searching DrLastname on same night. Obviously, someone was watching us ck the domain available look-up as there is not anything much about him on the web at present.

SO...last night I remembered that and jumped up and ran to computer and went to my usual quick register spot ( i keep money in escrow there for one click, fast action moves)--it is an official Icann Registry place offering hosting , etc...and I trusted them , till now.

So I look to see if I can register just to keep some creep from registering it and putting porn on it. --Look at screen shot to see what I saw--look what came up--the search results told me that I could register every 'no-count' or foreign ending BUT that .com and .net were not open for registeration ---with no expaination given !!!!! They put a default question mark beside them instead of the 'available ' green check mark......hmmmmm.....what the hell is that about ????

I quickly went straight to NetSol, who originally was the first and only URL registering place in the universe. They said I could register my name in both .com and .net versions. Trouble is thatNetSol (Network Soultions) is expensive. But they offer a hosting package option now , it is not overpriced, and you get a good discount on domain registeration if you do a combo purchase, so I picked a hosting package real fast (remember I think someone at other look-up spot is watching that I searched on my name a few minutes back) ...and fast as I could , i told them I wanted to register both and
and it accepted the registeration. Cost me $200 all together. But I secured them for 3 years each, plus I have a year of hosting for one of them if I want to use it.

That was last night and I have the confirmation email now--whew----

I find it despicable that employees of the domain registeration companies watch to see what names people check on--then quickly register it to sell back to you. My PhD friend did end up buying back but they clipped him for $50 in the process. Could have been a lot more, he considers himself lucky--and we both learned a lesson.

Time makes decision

Well, it looks like your boss wasn't chosen for the Time Person of the Year (see previous post)... but it does look like they had a hard time making up their minds. They picked 3.
Story Here

Wonder why: "Persons of the Year" why not "People of the Year"?
Wonder if Bill is that much taller than Bono ? I thought Bill was kinda short. And why is Bono standing between Bill and Melinda?

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Mesmerizing Poinsettia

I was walking thru the Brunos Grocery Store and spotted the most unearthly poinsettias ever !! Barbarella Poinsettias for sure. Talk about impulse sale...ten bucks of outer limits vegetation. The colorful bracks in this variety are really beautiful as it is, the colors vary from pink to mauve to purple to plum but all over it is Aurora Borealis glitter !! Totally Irresistible. And it winks at me from all corners of the room. You simply must click on the top photo to see the big version in all its glory in case you can't find one of these at your local grocery. My buying it had nothing to do with Christmas--I'd have bought it no matter WHAT.

What is real and what is not

Watch a cover girl's transformation in a 20 hr touch-up. She looks good before, she looks unrealistically 'good' after....She is on the website of some European teen magazine.

Friday, December 16, 2005


I think I have hard drive failure on my main computer.....

Oh tiss the season....


After a BUNCH of hard restarts and every kind of error message , I finally got a desktop. The most beautiful screen on earth. (update note: that desktop was a sham :o( it was still frozen)

I CAN'T BELIEVE IT>>>>Tomorrow I will burn everything i can find on that computer to CD. I have an external HD I backup to but it is not nearly as large as the actual HD so I only backup crutial files.
I really heard click-click-click- tonight--the Click of Death. I have heard it before in a zip drive. I lost that drive to Click of Death and lost data on the disk in it too. The Click of Death I hear now is on my internal Hard Drive....

Saturday Update: I have managed to get the machine to boot and actually work today ... sort of. It's days , or hours are numbered. It certainly DOES have the click of death. It is just a matter of time. I have to leave for Memphis for Xmas. Will just have to deal with it upon my return. Happy New Year to me. 100 GB of death. And this is the machine that manages my 2 most important websites.

More UPdates, Sunday: Official Sony replacement HD costs over $500--forget that. I have burned 13 CDs chock full of files off this computer--up till 2:30 a.m. !! Can't leave town till I get it done. Have delayed that till tomorrow. Ubid has some interesting Vaio's on auction right now--some have a flat screen lcd monitor built in--a new concept with the computer and monitor built as one. Another model has surround sound--sub wolfer--huge HD, TV tuner, multi layer DVD burning-made for video editing. Trouble is I have to have it delivered to Memphis or wait till I am back here to order. Last time i ordered a computer in Memphis (the land of rampant thieft(and other crime)) the UPS driver claimed he was scared of the dog and left a Sony Laptop leaning by the mailbox at the street in a box clearly marked "New Sony Laptop"---obviously he has passive-aggressive tendencies. Luckily I happened to pull in the driveway and spot it. Blew my mind.

Croc Crazy Here

Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE is Croc crazy here.

Men, women, children, babies, doggies, cats,

This is the shoe of the moment.

I tried some on a couple months ago but with my two different sized feet (7 1/2 and 8 1/2 --polio at young age) the standard shoe just wasn't gonna work without me buying two pairs. (See all of y'all who thought I was just PERFECT, will now know, or be reminded that I have a few minor defects)

The Croc company is about to come out with a flip-flop version. The illustration is on the website--no price yet. I'll get those and buy one pair (split the size difference)

I see school kids, boys and girls, moms, teens, you-name-it wearing Crocs.....of course the mild climate here helps. Guys wear the guy-colors like drab.

We can sorta pull off open shoes year 'round--worn by those of us optimistic by nature. As in "once the sun comes out this day will warm up for sure".

"the beach, our original crocs model; comfortable, cool, and molds to your feet; orthotic foot bed; advanced toe-box ventilation system; slip-resistant and non-marking soles; anti-microbial and odor resistant; ergonomic italian styling; wide, roomy foot bed; made from PCCR material; buoyant; weighs only ounces"

We even have Croc knock-offs already...called Gators or something. Wonder how long any of them last? Seems like they are so soft them might wear away quickly.

A side note: for anyone interested in SEO, the Croc website description on Google SERPS says "checking for flash", that is a really great, grabbing tagline isn't it--NOT. I read where a Google engineer once made a joke about a Flash site and said something about the description being "loading, loading, loading...."

Read all about Crocs here

Read Gmail on Your Phone

Now you can access your Gmail messages from the web browser on your mobile phone or device. Read and reply to your Gmail messages any time, anywhere.

It's free. (But your wireless plan might still charge, so you might want to check with your provider first.)

It's smart. It can handle attachments like photos and .pdf files.

Point your phone's web browser to

They can send you this URL in a text message.
Go to this page and enter your phone number and they send you a text message

Now, I have the cheap-o phone plan, so don't think I will be reading my Gmail online right away, but I bet my next phone will. And I can think of times when this woukld be REAL handy.

Writely--create pdf's for free

Writely. Another thing in beta, and free for now.

They plan to keep basic Writely free they say and charge for premium features later.

Multiple users can edit .rtf or .doc files and also create .pdf files from remote locations thru the browser. But like so many things, sometimes early users get 'grandfathered' in so you could open a user account now and who knows, maybe you will not get charged for premium features later--you never know.

I have not played around to see how file size of their .pdf files compare to FinePrint PDF factory for instance--and I don't have Acrobat Distiller software, but I know .pdf file size can vary if that is important to you--for dial up users for instance.

Writely says it creates html web page docs too---and I have not looked to see if the code is bloated like Word html is. But it might be useful in a pinch.

This online service might be of use to some of you.

The name makes me think of Oscar Meyer products that are 'rightly seasoned'

Destroyed Churches in New Orleans

Thanks Marti Choate for sending this great news story:

One of the local television stations in South Louisiana actually aired an interview with a woman of color from New Orleans. The interviewer was a woman from a Boston affiliate, so she asked the interviewee how such total and complete devastation of the churches in the area had affected their lives.

The woman replied," I don't know about all those other peoples, but we gets our chicken from Popeye's".

The look on the interviewer's face was priceless.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Blue Angels

The air show season is over and the Blue Angels are doing tons of practicing over the beach across from the house. Sometimes over the house. They are training the new guys I suppose. We are having beautiful, sunny weather, so it is really nice to run out on the porch and watch them roar by or grab the camera with a good zoom for some photos.

Google Music --new feature coming

Google will begin giving some musical artists the star treatment by spotlighting links to their songs, lyrics and other related material at the top of the results page.

The music section, scheduled to debut Thursday, is designed to provide a more direct route to the content that most music fans want to see when they inquire about a singer or band, said Marissa Mayer, Google's director of Web products.

Among other things, Google's music section will provide lists of all the songs recorded on a specific album and also will point to places where the music can be legally downloaded. Google is working with several online libraries to make sure its song list remains up to date.
Read More

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Guess who surfaced?

Foster son Nick, .....after a long period of no communication. He called Memphis. Turns out he is married, to a 40 yr old nurse ( ? ) with a son only 2 yrs younger than Nick who lives with them. They live in the Nashville area. Got married in a civil ceremony-- and her name: Tammy. Seems he is still working as an assembly line welder but doesn't like it and gets laid off periodacally. That is about it.

My Photos on Chamber Homepage

Well, I am right tickled....the Chamber is using three of my photos in the rotation of shots on its homepage. They previously had just the static overhead shot of the beach area and it wasn't so great, so in haste the other day we grabbed three photos off my HD and Mark gave them to their web people. They put a sunrise and sunset over Little Lagoon right from my yard plus a photo from the beach down Ft. Morgan Rd into a rotation. I promised to dig out some better, summer photos of happy vacationers when I get time. I don't know who took the ariel beach photo--wasn't me. Itis a professional photographer--Mark told me who--I just forgot. I have some from Harry's plane from shrimp festival that we might outta use--more colorful.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Do You Like to Make Stuff ?

Ever read Make Magazine? or the book... Makers

The book: Makers introduces you to a brigade of citizen engineers making their own cameras, clocks, airplanes, submarines, musical instruments, weapons, medical equipment, energy- saving devices, robots, and houses. They create their own tools to explore the outer atmosphere, the deep sea, and the behavior of tiny flies in their backyard.

Photo is of Matty Sallin, New York, creater of the bacon-cooking alarm clock. When Sallin first woke up to his Wake n' Bacon alarm clock -- constructed from a gutted Wal-Mart alarm clock, a PIC microcontroller, and two 100-watt halogen lamps -- everything came back to him again. "My first thought was 'Mom's in the kitchen,' soon followed by "The apartment's on fire."

Getting Married in Ohio?

Looks like this would be the guy you'd want to do the ceremony....obviously a very versatile sort of fellow.

He offers custom ceremonies : Traditional, Christian, Shotgun

styles : He has a Formal Suit, Priest Robe, Elvis Suit, etc.

and atmosphere : Funny, Celebratory, Let's-Just-Get-It-Over-With-And-Get-Drunk

Marry in Ohio

Monday, December 12, 2005

Xmas list is growing

John Battelle was the keynote speaker at the WebmasterWorld Conference that i went to back in June in New Orleans--pre Katrina. Not only was he very good looking ... he was a very interesting speaker. His talked about his soon to be released book the book is available and has gotten good reviews. I want to read it. Title: The SEARCH, How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture.
Hot Diggity Dog--looks like there IS a santa !!

Yahoo Mindset

Need better non-commercial search results? Try YahooMindset---you can move a sliding scale to determine how commercial vs. academic the search results are suppose to be.

This is in beta and they have a 'Send us Feedback' link...
I think they actually read the feedback too. I got a reply from some feedback I sent to Yahoo recently.

Yahoo! Mindset