Wednesday August 31, 2005

Tiger Yes, G3 No

I upgraded to Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) last week. That was the easy part. Then the problems started.

My cursor was freezing several times a day. Unplugging and replugging the USB cable would get it moving again but... that's just not right. Once, my keyboard stopped sending signals (although the mouse was working that time).

Then there were the crashes. Oy!

I think the crashes may have been brought on by the too-frequent resetting of the USB and mouse but... at least twice a day, sometimes three or four times, always at the worst possible time. Crash. (Actually, Mac OS X is usually very polite. "We're sorry. You need to restart your computer.")

System 6 wasn't this bad. Even Windows isn't this bad!

What could have gone wrong? ...
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Tiger Yes, G3 No ( in category SciTech , Trivial Pursuits ) - posted at Wed, 31 Aug, 20:10 Pacific | Comments (0)

Tuesday August 30, 2005

More "Back to School" Thoughts

I watched a boy walking to school today. He was pulling what I swear was a wheeled suitcase. Another boy trudged along the sidewalk wearing a backpack one third his own size. Neither child is unusual.

When I was in school we had desks. We had lockers. Did you?

Last fall I volunteered for Junior Achievement in a local 2nd grade classroom. The kids had tables and coat pegs. They may have had a little cupboard. I guess they carry all of their books and supplies back and forth every day.

I've read that people are developing back problems at a younger age. Watching the boy with the backpack, I don't doubt it. The wheeled suitcase seems bizarre but at least that boy wasn't carrying everything on his back. Still, I have to wonder... what's in that backpack?

Myself, I'm happy to have had a locker and a desk I could put books into at the end of the school day.

More "Back to School" Thoughts ( in category Random Thoughts ) - posted at Tue, 30 Aug, 22:04 Pacific | Comments (0)

Monday August 29, 2005

First Day of School

Today is the first day of school in our local school district. From now through May, children will walk past our house on their way to school in the mornings. There will be more traffic in the mornings and afternoons near the schools. Kids will be out at recess. "Caution - Children Present" signs will flash.

Where I grew up, school always started on the Tuesday after Labor Day. This was of particular interest to my sister, whose birthday is early in September. Sometimes her birthday would fall during the end of summer vacation. Sometimes it would fall during the school year. And occasionally (blech!) it would fall on the first day of school.

We grew up in central PA where there is a real autumn. September can be very pretty there. We generally walked to school (during the elementary years) as well as home from (all the way through high school) until mid-winter weather made that difficult.

I remember new school books and fresh notebooks. I recall the fat, blunt, number 1 pencils of 1st through 3rd grade (and the cheap rag paper tablets that went with them). I recall how happy I was when I reached a grade where I could have "real" (i.e. sharp) yellow #2 pencils and white paper to write on!

In junior high and high school, we made book covers out of brown grocery bag paper and my Dad decorated them with images appropriate to the book inside. One science book cover especially sticks in my memory, decorated with flasks, retorts, bunsen burners, and colorful liquids.

Has school started yet where you live? What memories does it bring back for you?

First Day of School ( in category Gemisch/Gallimaufry ) - posted at Mon, 29 Aug, 08:07 Pacific | Comments (1)

Sunday August 28, 2005

Weekly Wrap-up 2005_34

The weather was fair. Sunny even! Gosh.

We had good net connectivity all day Monday and all week. Yes!

I got a huge email letter from my Mom. I guess because she was too busy to write all summer she had a lot to say!

We had dinner at our favorite pizzeria on Tuesday. The kitchen goofed and put mushrooms on the entire pizza (we ask for mushroom free on one half) so the waiter had them make another small pizza without mushrooms. We had a Lot of pizza! We gave a third of the leftovers to a friend of ours. ...
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Weekly Wrap-up 2005_34 ( in category Gemisch/Gallimaufry ) - posted at Sun, 28 Aug, 22:53 Pacific | Comments (0)

Saturday August 27, 2005

Scientific American Mind

We have begun a subscription to a new quarterly magazine, Scientific American Mind. The first issue arrived last week and I read it cover to cover. I recommend it to anyone who is interested in how the mind works.

Some of the feature articles in the first issue include:

  • Natural-Born Liars — Why do we lie, and why are we so good at it? Because it works

  • Sweet Dreams Are Made of This — What are dreams? Why do we have them? The answers are as intriguing as dreams themselves

  • True Crimes, False Confessions — How innocent people end up confessing to crimes they did not commit

  • The Truth and the Hype of Hypnosis — Though often denigrated as fakery, hypnosis is a real phenomenon with therapeutic uses

  • Signing Gets a Scientific Voice — Sign language is as rich and complex as spoken communication, probably because the brain creates and deciphers it in the same way

  • Buy This — Companies spend billions on marketing campaigns, but neuroscientists could someday determine which ads best capture consumers' attention

Interesting reading.

Scientific American Mind ( in category SciTech ) - posted at Sat, 27 Aug, 18:54 Pacific | Comments (0)

Friday August 26, 2005

Treasures 2005_34

The diversity of the phenomena of nature is so great, and the treasures hidden in the heavens so rich, precisely in order that the human mind shall never be lacking in fresh nourishment.
-- Johannes Kepler

Treasures are positive things that strike my fancy, that make me feel happy or thankful or interested. Treasures are memories encapsulated in just a few words. These are my Treasures for the past week.

  • Having the network back after a weekend of problems!

  • Snuggling in for a nap with Raven, rubbing his tummy...

  • Fog drifting over the Bay

  • A big yellow moon, slightly lopsided

  • New quotes for my collection

  • Scottish accents :-)

  • Peaches, at the peak of perfection!

  • A pigeon and a grey squirrel at the feeder - pigeon outside the barrier, flapping; squirrel inside the barrier, munching. "Nyah nyah!"

  • Learning cool new tricks with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript

Treasures 2005_34 ( in category Treasures ) - posted at Fri, 26 Aug, 23:55 Pacific | Comments (0)

Monday August 22, 2005

Weekly Wrap-up 2005__33

The weather was foggy a lot. Weird summer we're having.

On Monday, there was an adorable toddler puppy in the bank when I went in to make some deposits. His human had brought him in - too young to stay out front! I think this puppy might grow up to be a Golden retriever but right now he's just a puppy.

Another bank (from which I have a line of credit) has changed their statement system. To make it work better for them (emphasis on "them") they added 6 digits to the front of my account number. It now looks like a credit card number.

Unfortunately, it looks so much like a MasterCard number that their statement calculating program treated it like a MasterCard - including different rates for purchases vs cash advances and higher rates over all. ...
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Weekly Wrap-up 2005__33 ( in category Treasures ) - posted at Mon, 22 Aug, 08:14 Pacific | Comments (0)

Friday August 19, 2005

Treasures 2005_33

Monday August 15, 2005

Weekly Wrap-up 2005_32

The weather has varied from fog to clear and back but never too hot. August is very pleasant here.

We got the newest Jasper Fforde book (The Big Over Easy) this week. Unfortunately, the book was incomplete. A signature is missing; it goes from p. 52 to p. 83. Oh dear. I contacted the store. and they'll send another. Meanwhile, we can't read it.

I think I've finally convinced Rich to try Circus Ponies NoteBook, one of my "must have" applications. If you use Mac OS X and you haven't tried NoteBook... what are you waiting for? ...
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Weekly Wrap-up 2005_32 ( in category Gemisch/Gallimaufry ) - posted at Mon, 15 Aug, 17:27 Pacific | Comments (0)

Saturday August 13, 2005

Treasures 2005_32

Wednesday August 10, 2005

License to Shoot

Photos, that is...

Img 0001

I have a new camera. It's about the size of a Zippo lighter (in fact, the case resembles said lighter). James Bond would love it (or so claims the description :-)

I had been looking for an SD-card camera that would work with my Kyocera "smartphone" PDA. I think this is better, however. For one thing, I don't have to pop my memory card out of the Kyocera to use the camera! Also, this is a solid little beastie (at least in its metal case); I'd be somewhat afraid of breaking an SD camera attachment for the Kyo.

The camera uses one AAA battery, can take up to 150 640x480 "hi res" JPEG images, and connects to my Mac via USB. It also has 8 MB of internal storage, a voice record function (12 min max), 30 sec video clip capability, and timed recording mode. Not bad for such a little thing. ... and did I mention it works perfectly with Mac OS X? :-)

The results aren't half bad. I've attached the first image I shot, taken in relatively dim room light at night. It's a bit grainy at full size, much better at half size (as shown here), and really amazingly good for the conditions.

Does this make me a "Bond Girl"? ;-)

License to Shoot ( in category SciTech ) - posted at Wed, 10 Aug, 22:30 Pacific | Comments (0)

Monday August 8, 2005

Weekly Wrap-up 2005_31

Eek! It's August.

The weather has been nice during the afternoon, but very foggy in the mornings and evenings. Oh well, at least it's not hot. (I grew up in central PA where August was hot and muggy).

We had a small medical emergency this week. I was out for a meeting on Wednesday and, when I got home at lunch, Rich was on the phone with his brother-in-law Bill, an RN. Rich had gouged his finger on a piece of yard equipment working in the Back 40 and was wondering if maybe it should be looked at. Bill said that wouldn't be a bad idea, so... ...
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Weekly Wrap-up 2005_31 ( in category Gemisch/Gallimaufry ) - posted at Mon, 08 Aug, 08:00 Pacific | Comments (0)

Friday August 5, 2005

Treasures 2005_31

Monday August 1, 2005

Weekly Wrap-up 2005_30

The weather was quite nice for most of the week

Well, July is over and thus summer is more than half over. Drat. Well, we still have August and part of September.

We've had our Scion xB for a full year now (and I still think it's a great car!). Have you test-driven one yet? Try it. You might like it as much as we did. :-)

A friend of ours was (temporarily) storing his (large, decrepit, 40-some-year-old) Dodge wagon in our driveway. He finally came and drove it away; it was here for just under 3 weeks. :-(

Yes! We have our driveway back! ...
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Weekly Wrap-up 2005_30 ( in category Gemisch/Gallimaufry ) - posted at Mon, 01 Aug, 08:00 Pacific | Comments (0)