Thursday, May 31, 2007

Instant Translation Buttons

For your browser. If you often get email or go to web pages written in a language that you don't understand, you can add a free Google Translation Button to your browser that allows you to select any text in your email or web page and click the button for an instant translation. Not a perfect translation of course, but I find generally you can get the gist of the matter.
Several language combos offered, none for Ebonics btw.

Google Branching Out

"Google is rolling out a technology designed to overcome the major drawback faced by all web-based applications: the fact that they don't work without an internet connection. Google Gears is an open source technology for creating offline web applications that is being launched today at Google's annual Developer Day gatherings around the world." from Slashdot

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

This always makes me laugh

Since my short term memory is not so great, I laugh when someone sends this to me, even if I have read it before, I have usually forgotten the punch-line.

This test only has one question, but it's a very important one. By giving
an honest answer, you will discover where you stand morally. The test
features an unlikely, completely fictional situation in which you will have
to make a decision. Remember that your answer needs to be honest,
yet spontaneous. Please scroll down slowly and give due consideration
to each line.

You are in Florida -- Miami to be specific. There is chaos all around you
caused by a hurricane with severe flooding. This is a flood of biblical
proportions. You are a photojournalist working for a major newspaper,
and you're caught in the middle of this epic disaster. The situation is
nearly hopeless. You're trying to shoot career-making photos. There are
houses and people swirling around you, some disappearing under the
water. Nature is unleashing all of its destructive fury.
Suddenly you see a woman in the water. She is fighting for her life, trying
not to be taken down with the debris. You move closer. Somehow the
woman looks familiar. You suddenly realize who it is --- it's Hillary Clinton!
At the same time you notice that the raging waters are about to take her
under forever. You have two options: You can save the life of Hillary Clinton
or you can shoot a dramatic Pulitzer Prize winning photo, documenting the
death of one of the world's most powerful women (in her mind, at least).

Here's the question, and please give an honest answer:

"Would you select high contrast color film, or would you go with the
classic simplicity of black and white?


Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Frances & Sharon Here

I love having visitors. Niece Frances and her friend Sharon came for a few days . We had a great tiem, wish they could have stayed a lot longer.

Big Fish

The humongous Red Snapper Contest just ended. The top photos is Bubba and his brothers Bubba, and Bubba. We went at sundown a couple of days to one of the Orange Beach marninas to watch the catches being weighed-in.

After Hours

I took some photos at the Chamber After Hours party a few days back. It was at Waterville Water Park. They were especially promoting a new wave-surfing feature and any of us that wanted to could try it out for free. Chamber membership director, Jana gave it a try on a boogie board. Some of the young lifeguards gave surfing demonstrations. I donated the basket that had everything for a Mojito picnic in it, it looked real color-coordinated and cute but the winner is showing the back so you can't see.

Gulf Shores Picnic

This was buddy, MaryJo called the City of G.S. and asked if it was OK to bring wine to the free outdoor concert last week. They said , OK, just be discreet. So when I got there she was the only one on the grounds with a round cloth tablecloth spread out in front, a candle burning, wine glasses and she had poured the wine into a Mason jar before she left home in her attempt to 'be discrete' !!...Ha !

Finally some photos

The Gulf Coast Zydeco Festival was in Daphne a week or so ago. Lots of good music, big crowd over 2 days. Mona Wilson from Texas was there again this year to lead Zydeco dance lessons. She is always very enthusiastic and fun. Saw friends from all over. We only went the last evening. Can't do everything.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Who Knew ?

I never kneew that Jerry Falwell and Larry Flint became friends after the big law suits were all is an interesting article in the LA Times.

New in Google Search Results

Saw something new today just now. I did a search for the latin phrase "mea culpa" and in about the 5th place of the organic results (not sponsored $$ links) was a thumbprint of a YouTube video by that name...I clicked it and it opened right in the search results and played from there.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Sunday,Sundy, Sundy....

I have tons of fascinating things that I have run across that I would love to put on this blog but alas, I am just swamped w/ real life.

Frances and Sharon left today....Frances is sister Cary's daughter, Sharon is her friend who is in law school in St. Louis. Both are adorable babes. And sweet as pie.

We all went to Daphne last night to dance Zydeco. Lots of fun, saw some out-of-town friends there. Several who live in Lafayette, LA area now that I knew in Memphis. Saw some Memphis friends too. We ate good food and danced and got inspired by Mona The Queen of Zydeco; and Geno Delafonse and French Rockin' Boogie played.

Today is another georgous , sunny day. Very dry and sunny here every day. I must go get some sprinklers going in a few minutes. Thank goodness for the well and pump.

Mark Berson is on his way to Joe Pattis in P'cola and called to see if I wanted to go w/ him or wanted anything. I told him to get some trigger fish if they have it and we'll fix supper for everybody.

Marti is here from Huntsville, she will be over in a bit. Dave is working this afternoon...he doesn't know about our fish dinner yet.

Shelly is on her way from Memphis, but won't get here till late as she got a real late start. She will be here 3 or 4 days.

I told Marti to invite Charles for supper too, Charles is my neighbor who is so sweet to cut and edge my Hardwood house. He is in town this weekend, (lives B'ham most of the time) but he may be here w/ a bunch of his buddies, not sure.

I have a bunch of photos, but no time to post on blog yet. I HAVE to get my Phase II paperwork in order, plus house is a big mess, I can't find anything....(so what else is new :o)

Ahhhhh.....summertime, I love it.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The rapist is caught --should be castrated

After a grueling, sleepless weekend, police tracked down one man in the rape and robbery of a woman and went out Monday afternoon to find a second suspect.

The woman told police that while one of the men was raping her, the other called friends on a cell phone to brag about it. Police later used a signal from the phone to identify the suspects.

Second Story:

As Memphis police brass commemorated fallen officers during a memorial service in front of City Hall on Tuesday, about 150 people, mostly women, converged inside to tell city leaders that they're fed up with crime.

The rallying force for many of them was the rape of a woman who was forced into her home Friday afternoon in an upscale neighborhood near Memphis Country Club.
"This is not about one rape, it's about the 11 rapes that took place this weekend..."

Hallmark is on to something

Scientists at Hallmark Cards' Center for the Research and Development of Sentiments announced Monday that they had discovered three previously unknown emotions that can be experienced by human beings and captured on a folded piece of card stock.

* Requiapathy - the combination of relief and guilt that comes with the sudden realization that you no longer miss a dead loved one.
* Seprudity - the feeling of appreciating a coworker's dedication without fully understanding his or her job function
* Trepatiousness - a synthesis of rage and jealousy, though more muted and often accompanied by a sensation of weightlessness.

The three emotions represent the latest discovery in the center's ongoing Emotions Mapping Project, a $42.4 million effort to identify and codify all of the mental and physiological states generated within the human psyche that are not currently covered by Hallmark's extensive line of greeting cards and collectible ornaments.
Thanks J-Walk

Give me a bit of time, a couple of cold beers, $42,000 and I bet I could come up with a couple more.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Hooked on Cigs ?

An image from British government anti-smoking posters featuring men and women with fish hooks through their mouths.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Tourism Here

Alabama tourism and travel-related spending hit a record $8.3 billion in 2006, state figures show.

That figure, which includes people traveling more than 100 miles to stay in hotels overnight or visit state attractions and other destinations, jumped 10 percent from nearly $7.6 billion spent the previous year, far above the 3 percent increase reported in 2005, said Lee Sentell, director of the Alabama Bureau of Tourism & Travel.

Alabama is one of just a few states to report higher tourism-related spending each of the past five years, Sentell said, noting that many states saw tourism slumps after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

An estimated 22.3 million people visited Alabama last year, up 500,000 from 2005.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Stalking AOL Searches

Lots of fun, put in a search term and see who all searched for the same phrase...then click the AOL user's IP and see all their recent searches...
AOL Stalker

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Recently Watched Movie

We watched an entertaining move from Netflix. In the vein of Mr Holland's Opus, but somewhat less believable, the charming French film The Chorus. Good for mid to older kids who can handle a few 'bad words' from the mouths of supposedly 'bad boys'.

The online description:
In this gentle French drama from first-time director Christophe Barratier, music teacher Clement Mathieu (Gerard Jugnot) lands a job at a boys' boarding school populated by delinquents and orphans -- and run by a martinet headmaster (Francois Berleand). Sensing potential in the rambunctious ruffians, Mathieu forms a choir to rein in his charges through the transforming power of song … even at the probable cost of his career.
Good movie for those who believe that all kids are essentially good at heart (not true, for the uninformed).

Monday, May 07, 2007

Boating on Sunday

Went with friends about 15 to 20 miles out in the Gulf yesterday. Fabo weather. Was sorta rough going out , then it got smooth as silk and the water was very clear. Dolphins were swimming all around, as were the fish that have the sucker plates underneath and attach themselves to other fish or boats,etc. We had a great snapper dinner last night afterwards.

Ripe Bell Pepper Lips

Shape Shifting Chandelier

This 2000 crystal chandelier changes continuously from the form of a classic chandelier to a random scattering of lights then back again. Watch it
(go to lines on lower right screen/lighting/pandora) requires Flash

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Daddy's Invention

One funny thing that happened when I was in Memphis : I went over to see Daddy and in the chair in his bedroom was a really soft white stuffed bunny that Momma had gotten at an after Easter sale at Target or someplace like that. I Picked the bunny up and commented that the bunny was oh so soft.

Daddy replied that he had invented that bunny. He said that it came with a cord and adapter for a car cigarette lighter and if you plugged it in, it got warm to take the chill off your hands when you got in a cold car. I was amazed and said something like "Is that so?" and he went on, "Yes, I hold the patent.... and your sister, Lisa sells them".

He was totally serious.
Alzheimers not only causes one to forget, it seems to re-arrange the memories and thoughts that remain.

Cool Site

Red Bull--The Art of the Can

Friday, May 04, 2007

Drought in Italy

I can't imagine this, Harry and I bicycled thru the Po River delta several years back. It was the most amazing and serene place I'd ever seen. Covers a huge area.

ROME, Italy (Reuters) -- Italy declared a state of emergency in northern and central regions on Friday. Farmers have been fretting as Italy's largest river, the Po, has dried up in recent months. The river, running west to east across northern Italy, feeds the broad Po valley which accounts for about a third of the country's agricultural output.

Drought fears intensified after the Po's level fell by 80 centimeters in late April, to 6.53 meters (21 ft 5.0 in) below its normal level in the northern town of Pontelagoscuro. The whole article

Thursday, May 03, 2007

In Memphis

By the time we got to Memphis (Germantown) Daddy was back in the Canterbury Court wing and was docile and happy. A week or two ago, he was an inpatient for several days after we found a geriatric psychiatrist and Daddy was taken off most all the drugs he was on. At his worst, it was terrible. It is a big problem when older people get put on multiple drugs and then see other doctors to treat the side effects of the first drugs....pretty soon, no one is in charge and the drug-stew makes them crazy beyond belief or causes permanent physical damage as in the case of a friend of mine's Mom.

The wing Daddy is in has a max capacity of 8 residents. Only six live there currently. Daddy seems cintent to have his nice room and sleeps a lot. They are suppose to be able to basically dress themselves (Daddy can't), brush teeth, and sit at the dinging room table and eat like one would at a nice restaurant. The ladies wear suits w/ a broach on the shoulder and one man wears a coat and tie, nor sweater and tie each day. The other man usually wears a pastel cotton turtleneck w/ a light wool or cashmere looking v-neck crew sweater over it. Nothing about the Alzheimer's wing seems like a nursing home.

I have not been to the next level of care wing. I understand that there are two more, greater intensity wings for them as their living skills deteriorate.

One thing that is very frustrating is that it seems to me that these places order all this various 'therapy' that is paid for by the Federal they take advantage of it. Part of the problem is that they order 'therapy' to cover their asses but I think it is so they can bill the patient. I came to understand that even chats w/ the various people involved can count as 'patient family education therapy'. You have to be very pro-active and try to 'second guess' what is not being said and ask pointed questions and read everything as they will all agree to allow the family to sign waivers to by-pass certain things and then present you w/ paperwork at the signing meeting that says the opposite !!!

Momma and I ended up in a meeting w/ the head knocker, the Uber-Yankee Director of Nursing, the floor nurse (LPN) and maybe someone else--can't remember--but when we reviewed the printed , itemized bill that Momma brought, no one there even seemed to know what some of the therapies charged were for. They all said, Oh we have NOTHING to do with billing, that is not our dept...oh PLEASE !

Then, after much consultation, they said, 'no problem it is Plan B" They all smiled, Momma and I said What is Plan B...they said, Oh this is covered by Medicare, don't even worry about it !!!

....the hair on the back of my neck stood up. I boldly told them that I felt like there was a matter of honor and honesty here...that just because we CAN bill the Federal Gov't for something does not mean that we necessarily should.

I told them that I was a tax payer and considered it a personal issue to know that Daddy's bill had things that he might not have needed or benefited from. I went on to say that I couldn't speak for everyone in the room, but I imagined that they were honorable enuf people that even tho they could go out on that driveway and twist an ankle and apply for disability, that would not make it the right thing to do. I considered this Plan B stuff to be in the same boat. It is one thing to do certain therapeutic things to someone who has a chance of being rehabilitate to join the workforce, etc...but senseless in the case of a 85 yr old Alzheimer's patient.

The administration of the Village of Germantown uses all this mumbo-jumbo language to refer to simple things. One has to listen VERY carefully and then say back to them what you think you understood them to say and ask if that is correct. Something as simple as a feeding tube is called some convoluted name like 'alternate means of nutrition in the NPO phase' and a few other twisted things. Some ways they reference things were just undecipherable....I had to PRESS to get an explanation I could grasp.

Now, part of this I understand. Our family prefers plain, straight talk, while others might not react as positively to direct, blunt statements. It reminded me a whole lot of talking to funeral home salesmen.

There is also the matter of how much each daily rate occurred to me mid-meeting that there might be an underlying urgency to transfer the lower care Canterbury Court to the more Nursing Home wing (Dont know its name) as the facility makes more money. I brought that up.

I was hoping that Momma was not going to get upset w/ me for exploring all avenues that I thought of, but she seemed OK sitting next to her barracuda daughter and she definitely was not realizing all the little ins and outs possibly involved. There HAS to be a lot of reading between the lines and thinking and planning ahead to avoid unexpected things and crisis situations.

There are a ton of wonderful things about The Village of Germantown , I just think they are in biz to make a profit and not get sued they try to keep the eldery alive, no matter what the quality of life, as long as possible....and they operate under tons of regulations and paperwork, so they are all used to this 'shop talk' and we are not.

I got an email today that said Daddy's therapy has been cut back to one essential (they think) service.

White Towels from Now On

After going to a lot of trouble to get great color towels that match perfectly the colors in bathrooms, I am distressed to see more and more bleached and discolored spots on them. Once a fellow condo owner board member and his wife spent the nite and she must have washed her face w/ peroxide cause the bathcloth was completely splotched forever, but now I am seeing smaller spots appear for no reason....until I figured it out today....the new whiting toothpastes contain bleach. I'd rather not have to turn into the bathroom police so I will just buy white towels no matter how nice the deep lavender ones looked in the hall bath.

Thank you MWCFT for your comments on moving refrigerators.


Ever since they changed daylight savings, I find that the hands on the clock turn faster...some weird phenomena. I got up at 6:30 and here it is five of ten...and I have been super busy all morning and I am just now getting out of the shower and sitting here dripping wet, air drying. I have mold growing in my shower that will need to be addressed..."How do you do Black Mold?" may be as far as I get any time soon.

I worked a bunch of last night. I found out that a fellow in Naples. FL who is building a mansion has been uploading video to YouTube, so I made a page to link to all his short film clips :

He may send me some text to add. I need to get his email address and let him know about the page I made. Ted says he is doing a wonderful job, easy to work with. hE DOES STILL PHOTOS AND MAKES NOTES ON THEM W/ A TEXT EDITOR AND ..OPPS CAPS....and uploads the stills on a free photo hosting page for Ted to review.

One batch of the Naples, FL house photos.

OK--gotta run

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The Sports Report (Odd for Sure)

Mike Penner, LA Times Staff Writer:
During my 23 years with The Times' sports department, I have held a wide variety of roles and titles. Tennis writer. Angels beat reporter. Olympics writer. Essayist. Sports media critic. NFL columnist. Recent keeper of the Morning Briefing flame.

Today I leave for a few weeks' vacation, and when I return, I will come back in yet another incarnation.

As Christine.

Back in GS

I had a great visit to Memphis. I stayed in Momma's guest bedroom in her new cottage and she was in a very uplifted mood the whole weekend. On Sat, my bro Stephen and his youngest, Hunter, drove up from Greenwood in a pick-up. He loaded the broken side-by-side refrigerator that was in the garage out and Dave and I worked all day empting boxes, making Goodwill boxes, and bringing some stuff into the house. We made big strides and her car would fit in the garage by the end of the day. The older frige was moved from the guest house at the house Momma and Daddy vacated and would have been handy to have for extra space at the new place, but old friges just don't like to be moved....they can run for years sitting in the same spot.....the get moved, even a short distance....and they die.
more later.....