less mystery, more me.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

laptop & little heart

 This little heart came to me in a package along with my phone on my first trip to Texas in February, 2007. It was awfully sweet when it fell out of the box. I miraculously left my phone on the counter in the bathroom at 4:30 AM. It's harsh traveling that time of day.
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Monday, February 26, 2007

snow on rose

One more entry this morning. This is a shot I took with my first digital camera, in 2003. I know it was 2003 because we had just moved into our home. It was about this time of year. Middle of the night, snow still falling.
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Sunday, February 25, 2007

sokcho, korea

Korea was so beautiful, and the people so warm. I can see why my cousin married a Korean woman and has lived there for the last 20 or so years. I think I could live there myself. This photo is from our June 2006 trip. I went there to present my dissertation research.
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treva & her screen

 Here is a picture I took of mom when I was in Texas in mid February. If you recall, the surgery was canceled, and I spent 4 days with my parents at Tightwad. This picture pretty much sums up my mom. She loves anything with a screen, and she smiles a lot. I've been going through all may pictures of her, and all her pictures, and she's always got a big natural smile on her face. On the camera at least, it's as if there are no wasted moments. I don't think that's easy to do. I've got lots of photos of folks who don't have that look.

Dad said today that she's opening her eyes, and nods recognition of him. Yesterday she held up two fingers when asked to. I was relieved to hear it. They've turned the TV on for her, and I hope there are lots of westerns on. She loves them.
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Saturday, February 24, 2007

non-furniture looking furniture

Here is my new end table. A find from Earthewise. Furniture looking furniture creeps me out. I don't think this table goes with this chair. What do you think?
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parrots digging the spelt

 The parrots asked why we only take pictures of dogs. I caught this picture of two of them in their dinner dishes up to their gullets. The spelt is a hit. Even Maxine likes it. She is not pictured here. I'm using Picasa to upload these pictures. This is the only way I can find to upload the pictures without first putting them on some other server. It's not as easy as I'd have thought to do the layout for more than one picture in a blog entry.
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 Here we have Brocco right after he made his move on Minos' spelt. It's not often that Brocco tries to take anything from Minos, not because Minos is any stronger than Brocco (he isn't). Brocco is in love with Minos, and will do anything for him including give up his food. Minos does not return the favor.
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baby Xena's first haircut

 We dropped our baby off at the groomer's today. It wasn't easy to leave her behind with a groomer we don't know. It was hard for 5 minutes at least. I thought my most excellent half had the whole day off. I had some excursions planned.

 After we left little Xena at the groomer's, we went to breakfast in West Seattle, a pet food store in West Seattle, and looked at a house, also in West Seattle. We stopped by Earthwise on the way home to look for a corner cabinet for my little LCD TV. The steel table the TV sits on is humming 24 hours a day and I think I'm getting brain damage from it.
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 Here is a picture of Xena dosing in her break-room. She really doesn't like to be bothered when she's in there and she never goes in before 9pm. That's the requested pictures of Xena with her new haircut and her little pink ribbon. I didn't know she was white. Notice her little apricot ears? She has apricot spots on her back as well.
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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

thinking, thinking, thinking

I've realized that I'm sitting and thinking in the middle of the night like old times, when I was a poet. A tragic poet. I should get some poems up here. I don't think I have any mother poems.

I'm thinking about mom, but doing expert distraction maneuvers. She seemed so helpless and fragile laying in her hospital bed with the tubes down her throat and and in her arms. This whole mother in ICU thing has been written before many times, filmed, photographed, etc. I don't much want to talk or write about it.

There wasn't much classic country music. I've moved on to crash test dummies. This has been my favorite album off and on since it came out. I actually own it. They ask all the questions I've been curious about.

1. God Shuffled His Feet - Crash Test Dummies
2. Afternoons And Coffeespoons - Crash Test Dummies
3. Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm - Crash Test Dummies
4. In The Days Of The Caveman - Crash Test Dummies
5. Swimming In Your Ocean - Crash Test Dummies
6. Here I Stand Before Me - Crash Test Dummies
7. I Think I'll Disappear Now - Crash Test Dummies
8. How Does A Duck Know? - Crash Test Dummies
9. When I Go Out With Artists - Crash Test Dummies
10. The Psychic - Crash Test Dummies
11. Two Knights And Maidens - Crash Test Dummies
12. Untitled - Crash Test Dummies

home Texas music

ok, this is what I'm listening to tonight: Home Texas Music

1. Johnny One Time - Brenda Lee
2. Sunday Morning Coming Down - Johnny Cash
3. Almost Persuaded - Johnny Paycheck
4. You Never Can Tell - Billie Jo Spears
5. Take The World But Give Me Jesus - George Jones
6. Just Because - Freddy Fender
7. I Like Beer - Tom T. Hall
8. Hey Loretta - Loretta Lynn
9. Go Away - Willie Nelson
10. When I Lay By Burden Down - Roy Acuff

i did not take this picture

Ok, this is the kind of picture I've been trying to take recently and have filled my palm Treo 700p and Pentax Optio with files and files of very crappy pictures. I repeat, I did not take this picture. It's the Hotshot of the day for February 21, 2007, from DC Reviews.

It captures what I've been feeling. Except for the cold hard water, I've been seeing a lot of trees like this in Texas the last couple of weeks.

I'm thinking of mom and naming this guy's picture cold hard tree with cold hard water.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

more bad news

Mom did well in her surgery and her heart is in good shape. Unfortunately she had a stroke the next day after the surgery. Now we are in a holding pattern. Sitting in the waiting room, waiting. We wait for news of any kind, and there isn't much. We've had a parade of friends and family coming in to pay respects, show love and support. My cousins are especially upset, and they keep saying that if Treva goes, it will leave a "big hole" in the family.

They got that right. I'm not ready to let her go, but I know it's her wish not to survive with severe impairments.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

bad news

Dad called this morning, chipper as a blue jay, saying mom is doing well, and will be off the respirator soon. Then later Judith called to say that mom had a seizure when they tried to take her off the respirator, and now maybe her arm doesn't move. They don't know if she's had a stroke, and she's in the cue for a MRI and CT scan. One of the scanners is down, so she's waiting her turn. I guess they forgot that time lost is brain lost when a stroke is evolving.

I've covered my days at the hospital here, and will fly back to Texas early in the morning. I'm upset. I'm cleaning my office. Dixie Chicks. Have a listen.

Packing for Texas to Dixie Chicks.

1. Not Ready To Make Nice - Dixie Chicks
2. The Long Way Around - Dixie Chicks
3. Easy Silence - Dixie Chicks
4. Everybody Knows - Dixie Chicks
5. Lullaby - Dixie Chicks
6. Bitter End - Dixie Chicks
7. Voice Inside My Head - Dixie Chicks
8. Silent House - Dixie Chicks
9. Lubbock Or Leave It - Dixie Chicks
10. Favorite Year - Dixie Chicks
11. Baby Hold On - Dixie Chicks
12. I Like It - Dixie Chicks
13. I Hope - Dixie Chicks
14. Cowboy Take Me Away - Dixie Chicks
15. Landslide - Dixie Chicks
16. So Hard - Dixie Chicks
17. Not Ready To Make Nice - Dixie Chicks
18. Wide Open Spaces - Dixie Chicks
19. Travelin' Soldier - Dixie Chicks
20. Goodbye Earl - Dixie Chicks
21. You Were Mine - Dixie Chicks
22. I Can Love You Better - Dixie Chicks
23. Without You - Dixie Chicks
24. Ready To Run - Dixie Chicks
25. Sin Wagon - Dixie Chicks

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

happy wed

Mom should be on the operating table by now. I couldn't stay for her surgery, because I'm due back at the hospital today. I'm covering for the next couple of weeks. I've added a few more books to my database on LibraryThing. It really is simple. They even came up on my widgets when I refreshed the page.

Off to work.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

busy longhorns; still life; still objects; sun on the run

I went to Texas last week to help my mom who was to have a valve replacement surgery. The surgery was cancelled because the surgeon and transplant team were too tired from staying up partying all night. NOT! That's hospital humor. I can make hospital jokes because I am a hospitalist myself. Actually, the OR crew had been up all night doing a double lung transplant.

 These are some registered longhorns who live next door to my cousin Joanie. You can see they are pretty busy here. I had some better pictures, but they got funked up, and neither adobe nor picasa liked them.
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 I took this picture on the plane coming home from Texas. I forgot to take my actual camera, so I took this with my telephone, a Palm 700p. I've been thinking about still life. Does still life have to have a fruit in it? Maybe these are still objects. I was crowded into the window seat, sitting very still to avoid disturbing my neighbor who was cranky. I read my book. I rearranged the cards in my funky new wallet. I tried not to squirm. I took pictures out the window trying to catch the sun which hung on the horizon for a very long time. We chased it all the way from Texas back to Puget Sound.
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back to work

I've started to like my blogging. It has served its purpose and more. I'm moving back into my office, and playing my dissertation music. Today, I put some paper in the recycling! This office looks like a tornado came through and stayed for a week.

I feel like writing again. I wonder if I can get my poems up here? I'm still having a bit of pain, but it reminds me to stop, rest, reposition. I'm trying to live in harmony with it.

I wish I'd started blogging long ago, because it seems to be good for me. But I did try once a year for a long time, and it never took until now.

I'm such a geek. I can't resist trying this. Here is a link to today's dissertation music

I listen to music at my desk streamed via Rhapsody. It has a few problems sometimes but overall it's the best listening experience for me at this point. I can't think about owning music. I'm happy to rent it at this point.

I know this is Rhapsody's gimmick to get you to try their streaming music service, but how cool is this that I can share today's dissertation music with you without leaving my desk? Social networking applications strike again.

Here is the playlist. I love the whole thing, but Tubthumping keeps me going. I've been listening to this almost daily as encouragement. Today is the first time I've heard "Bankrobber." It's pretty cool:

1. Tubthumping - Chumbawamba
2. Amnesia - Chumbawamba
3. Mary, Mary - Chumbawamba
4. Drip, Drip, Drip - Chumbawamba
5. Laughter In A Time Of War - Chumbawamba
6. The Big Issue - Chumbawamba
7. Bankrobber - Chumbawamba
8. Fade Away ( I Don't Want To) - Chumbawamba
9. One By One - Chumbawamba
10. On eBay - Chumbawamba
11. Just Desserts - Chumbawamba
12. Everything You Know Is Wrong - Chumbawamba
13. Shake Baby Shake - Chumbawamba
14. The Good Ship Lifestyle - Chumbawamba
15. Outsider - Chumbawamba
16. Jesus In Vegas - Chumbawamba
17. Scapegoat - Chumbawamba
18. New York Mining Disaster - Chumbawamba
19. I Want More - Chumbawamba
20. By & By - Chumbawamba
21. Bella Ciao - Chumbawamba
22. Smith & Taylor - Chumbawamba
23. Walking Into Battle With The Lord - Chumbawamba
24. WWW.Dot - Chumbawamba
25. Pass It Along - Chumbawamba

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Xena Warrior Princess Puppy

  Here is a recent picture of puppy Xena. She weighs about 5 pounds and will have to have her little operation soon. She has an aversion to toileting in the great outdoors, and so far prefers extra strength piddle pads from Drs. Foster & Smith. Sigh.
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I'm dictating this blog post.  I'm using my Gmail account online.  This is the first time I've tried this and so far things are not working as I had hoped.  Dictation of text works perfectly, and I seem to be getting much better at this.  However using voice commands to surf through the web is not very easy for me at this point, as they dictate this I'm sitting in my office which desperately needs to be cleaned.  Bella, my cat is curled up asleep in her little cat bed, which sits on my desk.  She has almost outgrown her little leopard spot bed.  However, the little bed fits puppy Xena perfectly when she's driving me crazy and won't let me work.Xena is not as good at curling up as the cat is.  But she's learning.

Accuracy is not quite as good yet on the Gmail application.  However, I was just able to train the application to say, Tina completely through voice control.  As you can see still gives me Tina somes times instead of Xena.I guess use of Dragon NaturallySpeaking is not as seamless across all programs as they currently advertise.  However, I've tried speech recognition software almost every year since 2000, and this is the first year that I have actually found it fairly useful.  It helps that I'm motivated to get the software to work because of the way I must now limit my time at the keyboard and mousing due to to the dissertation shoulder.

I'm leaving in all of the mistakes or as many as I can tolerate.

I see from the preview that I still haven't gotten the photo embedded in the post that I am going for.

Related links:
Dragon NaturallySpeaking

photo in profile test update

I did manage to get a photo uploaded to the profile this morning. That is the last thing I'll tinker with until I've done some real work. I promise.

I uploaded the photograph from Picasa using the BlogThis button. It went right into a blog entry where I Did NOT want my profile photo. However, doing this gave the photograph a web address within the nether reaches of Google. I then cut and pasted that web address into the profile, as directed by the Picasa how-to. What the Picasa how-to didn't mention is that there are two slightly different addresses, and you want to cut and paste the one that says "src" or "source," I forgot which.

Then I deleted the post, and as promised, the post went away, but the photo remained in the profile. TADA!

This photograph is years old and will surely stump my web stalker. It was taken by fossilguy, and is from my bohemian poet years. It is my favorite photograph of myself. If you look closely, you'll see clearcreekgirls fingertips on my shoulders. I don't think she was choking me, but it's hard to remember, what with my AGE=64 brain and all.

photo upload from picasa using blogthis button

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I had to buy a new computer last week because my faithful lyndel has a death rattle in one of her drives. Since the rattle is in the primary drive, rebuild is going to require finesse, time and courage because this machine is where I've been doing primary data analysis.

I bought a refurbished Vaio VGC RC210 with WindowsXP Media Center, 1 gb RAM, 2 hds with room for 2 more. I named the new machine ziva, and she is RAID capable. I'm not sure that I am. Ziva is duo core this and that, and she is fast. The old machines (lyndel and isaure) were fast when I bought them, but they both choke on Picasa, Google's photo management software. Ziva says "bring it!"

Today I'm testing the "BlogThis" button on Picasa, which so far is the easiest way I've found for someone like me to simultaneously upload and format the placement of a photograph in the blog entry. I've set the photograph to be "medium" size and off to the right, embedded in the type. This is a picture I took this morning of one of my journal covers from the 90's before I quit carrying my journal everywhere. This actually is not a journal that I carried everywhere, but a larger one that I used at home during special meditative journaling and painting. (This was before the "scrapbooking" craze, which drives me crazy. These new scrapbooks are becoming too much like homemade hallmark. No grit. They bore the tits off of me. If you know me, you know that's serious boredom.)

I don't know who took these pictures of me, but I suspect it was either fossilguy, or perhaps a downstairs neighbor at the time.

When I saw this cover this morning, I remembered how I always thought there were never enough Whoopie Goldberg movies. I still think that. Isn't she articulate? I think so.

Preview is telling me that this picture is not in fact placed as I wanted so I'll have to try again. If anyone knows how to take a picture so that the flash doesn't do that, please tell me.

related links:
Whoopie Pie

Monday, February 05, 2007

blogger, picasa, photohosting not ready for primetime

I've been messing around trying to upload a photo to the profile. I've been around the bush and back with picasa+hello (bloggerbot is dead, don't try it), picasa+blogthis, (work-around currently posted in picasa "stuff we know is broke" section also doesn't work).

for now, no photo in profile.

I did finally get a widget from Google Reader to work. I'm amazed at how much I read from how many sources.

Back to real work for me. No pain.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

widgets in play today

Another recent NYT incident that re-piqued my interest in blogging was the article Bling for your Blog, which introduced a number of new and interesting widgets that I wanted to test out. Even though a new blog is born every two seconds, NYT makes it sound sooooo interesting!

LibraryThing is by far my current favorite. I have secretly wanted to catalog all of the books in my personal library for as long as I can remember. There was no reasonable way for me to do the cataloging or use the catalog until now.

TADA! Check out my books on the sidebar to the right. This should really help Homeland Security keep an eye on me! I had some "duh" moments when I couldn't see the obvious of how to insert the LT widget into triggXR but I simply experimented until I got it right. This kind of tinkering makes me feel very brave. At home I'm not permitted to use the power tools or the stovetop for very good reasons.

(To add LibraryThing to your blog, cut and past the code provided by LibraryThing right into a blogger 'page element' for outside scripts.)

I set up the tags on my personal library collection on LibraryThing so that I could easily display the books that I read and the conditions under which I read them. I have never read just one book at a time. As a child, as soon as I learned to read, I had the feeling that books were changing me as I read them and I was terrified and tormented by this feeling from first through third grade. Then I had an idea for holding the books at bay. I started reading several books at one time in order to maintain control over "who I am," or "who I become." As a third grader, this seemed to be a sure fire way to protect myself. It's interesting to note that I didn't feel threatened at all by television. TV was something we did as a family when I was young, and watching TV included running commentary on what was going on between the characters, including speculation about whether or not a real person would do that, how stupid it was. There was nothing scarier than books, which I faced alone. Given that I grew up in a very violent family in a very violent southern culture, I'm shocked and awed now to realize that I thought books were the scariest thing I faced.

Another widget I've enjoyed this weekend is from Blogrolling. They have a feature that lets me make different blog rolls and add to them automagically by pushing the "Blogroll It!" button I've added to my Firefox browser.
What is a blogroll you ask? Look to the side panel at the "stuff I like" section. Blogrolling also provides you with code for each of your blogrolls, which you insert into a blogger page element.

The puppy is telling me it's time to start "bird time" which is the quality family time we have each day starting around 5pm. It's a time when I'm joined for dinner in my beloved TV room by the avian, the feline and dogine members of the family. When my better half isn't home, we sometimes eat popcorn for dinner. Do not tell the vets...

related links:
I can't share NYT: Bling for your Blog today because it is from early in January, and I now have it in my TimeSelect account, but you might not. I'll tell you about TimeSelect and why I use it some other time. Remind me.

P.S. if you visit the widget folks, and like their apps, make a donation. These developers make far more code than they ever get paid for. We need them, and we need to keep them in caffeine and RAM.

hello world! email post

I can't resist trying out the different features available in the blog. I've studiously avoided blogs and blogging until now.

I've had a variety of different reasons to avoid it since blogging might:
  • become addicting and I plan to finish my dissertation and graduate. In my twenties, when I was a poet, I wrote at least one letter every day to the same friend, who graciously seemed to read them all for seven years. She said it was her contribution to my becoming a writer. (I wrote other things besides letters as well.)
  • expose too much of my life. What if Homeland Security is looking me up?
  • expose too much of how boring my life is. What if no one wants to read my blog? This must happen to people all the time.
There are a number of reasons why I should experiment with blogging:
  • Seven years of letters seems like fine preparation for blogging, however, I'm not sure how motivated I'll be without a specific audience or reader.
  • I've been having trouble getting back to work on my research since I had to take so much time away from the keyboard, due to dissertation shoulder. My keyboard time is limited for a while longer, and I get frustrated when my research thoughts are repeatedly interrupted. These bloglet entries are just about the right length to make me feel like I'm doing something, but not spending so much time on it that it triggers much pain.
  • It will be a an interesting challenge to "perform all my subject positions" in one blog.
  • Exploring social networking software seems like a very good thing for me to do, given my health informatics interests.
  • The hardest thing about blogging seems to be coming up with a pithy name for your blog, and get going on it. It'd be a shame to let triggXR go to waste!
  • I always feel so powerful right after I solve a tech problem, even if it's a little bitty one.
Check out the emailed post!

hello world!

I've started this blog as brain exercise after I scored "AGE=64" on a recent brain training activity. It's been on my mind since a website added years to my age based on a crappy little test.

I attribute my low score to (or is it a 'high' score?) to the fact that the brain-age exam is based on activities I have found boring for most of my life. Somehow, I've gotten along anyway, but I'm getting a little tired of all this pseudo or not quite ripe science telling me what to do from the pages of the NYT. However, in case the NYT is correct, and I need to train my brain, I decided to do so using activities that are of more interest to me and might benefit me in other ways.

Ergo, a new blog with the challenge to myself of integrating my many interests and occupations.

I'm not taking the braintraining too seriously yet, but I have had a lot of fun searching out suitable widgets and representative content for my blog.

related links:
Happy Neuron